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In the first of the three points mentioned above, his chronological arrangement has been accepted, not with any wish to press its several conclusions but in the belief that it is generally true and invariably suggestive; in the second, his metrical divisions have been implicitly followed; but in the third, no amendments have been admitted without a careful examination of the principal commentators. The Editors, in concluding a work in which they have drawn largely from the rich mine of his writings on the 'Poets' and 'Prophets of the Old Testament' and “The History of the People of Israel,' wish to express their profound sense of his immense services in the cause of biblical research. Personally they wish also to express their gratitude for his kindness, not only in allowing them to make whatever use of his labours seemed most likely to serve for edification to English readers, but in sending them the sheets of his 3rd edition of the Psalms' while passing through the press, and in answering with unvarying patience and courtesy any questions which they had occasion to ask in the course of the work.
The version of the Psalms followed in this volume is that of the great Bible of 1540, adopted in the Book of Common Prayer for the Church of England in 1548, and retained there when the new and more accurate translation of the Psalms from the Hebrew was substituted for it in the present Authorised Version of James I. This version, though in many passages less accurate, has an intrinsic beauty and force and so surpassing an excellence, that it has insensibly become the expression of the religious feeling of the nation. Dr Nicholls' has well expressed the feeling of all who have studied the Prayer-Book and the Bible Versions, when he says, “ the translation in the Prayer
i On the Book of Common Prayer. London, 1775. Note on the Great Bible.
Book is very plain and easy and fitter for devotion than any one extant, by reason that the Hebraisms are not so much retained as in the others, and notwithstanding some persons objections, it is nigher the original than those who have not examined it may imagine.” In numberless instances a careful consideration of the two' Versions has led the Editors to feel that “the greater divergence is the higher unity.' No amendment therefore has been introduced unless to remove obscurity or actual error, and great care has been taken to introduce no diction discordant with the adopted text. The fact that each Psalm has passed through four hands is some guarantee that no alteration has been made upon light grounds.
It is hoped that by these means something may have been gained for the edification of the general reader by putting before him a clear and intelligible text, and by throwing such light upon the times and circumstances of the several Psalms as may suffice to remove some of the difficulties known to every serious student. It was chiefly a sense of these difficulties, that induced the Editors to undertake the labour of which the present volume is the fruit.
1 In the course of this work the Bible or Authorised Version is always referred to by the letters A. V.; that of the Prayer-Book by P. B.; while § refers to the sections of this book.
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.
THE publication of a Second Edition has been delayed by
1 the issue of a popular edition of the same work in an abridged form'. In the meantime the whole of the matter contained in the First Edition has been carefully reconsidered and to a great extent recast; the historical introductions in the latter part of the book have been considerably enlarged, not only by the addition of new matter but also by many fresh illustrations from the writings of the contemporary Prophets; while a supplement has been added, containing the chief specimens of Hebrew lyric poetry not included in the Book of Psalms. It seemed to the Editors that a treatise on the Psalter could hardly be considered complete, which did not embrace compositions having so direct a bearing on its contents as the Lamentations of Jeremiah, the Thanksgivings of Hezekiah and Jonah, the Triumphal Songs of Miriam and Deborah, and the ‘Pindaric Ode' of Habakkuk. This supplement can be supplied separately to those who have the First Edition.
1 The Golden Treasury Psalter.
Student's Edition, Macmillan, 1870.
§ 66 , § 59 10 Morning. § 75 § 46 § 84 Evening.
" § 43 § 51 11 Morning. § 52 § 53
LIV. LV. LVI.
LVII. § 5 3 Morning. LVIII. § 65 »
LIX. § 64
LX. v. 6-9.
LXII. § 22
LXIII. § 69 Evening. LXIV.
LXVI.V.12-18. § 77 10
LXVII. § 55
LXVIII. Evening LXIX. § 56 ,
LXXI. § 28 6 Morning. LXXII. § 57
LXXIII. § 13 Evening. LXXIV. § 150 e
LXXVI. § 70 7 Morning. LXXVII. § 47
LXXVIII. § 62 Evening. LXXIX. § 718 Morning. LXXX. § 33 »
LXXXI. § 72 »
LXXXII. § 29 Evening. LXXXIII. § 67
LXXXIV. § 119 9 Morning. I LXXXV.
XIX. xx. XXI. XXII. XXIII. XXIV. v. 1-6. XXIV. v.7-10. XXV. XXVI. XXVII. XXVIII. XXIX. XXX. XXXI. XXXII. XXXIII. XXXIV. XXXV. XXXVI. XXXVII. XXXVIII. XXXIX. XL. XLI. XLII. XLIII. XLIV.
§ 125 § 49 § 32 12 Morning. $ 50 § 45 § 39 Evening. § 116 § 30 § 113 § 114 13 Morning. § 73 Evening. § 72 § 76 14 Morning § 63
80 Evening. 120 § 38 15 Morning § 37 § 81 § 128 Evening. $ 121 16 Morning. § 122 § 129 § 83 Evening. § 127 § 68 § 126
§ 79 20 Morning.
§ 91 9
§ 88 -
§ 97 »
§ 42 Evening
§ 142 30 Morning.
§ 149 Evening.
§ 153 . "
B.-Superscriptions p. 438
Index I.- Difficult Passages... p. 450
Testament............ p. 453
§ 10 23 Morning.