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IN the Psalm Books used at the Reformation in Scotland, there was invariably included the Book of Common Order, or Liturgy of the Church of Scotland, drawn up by John Knox and his fellow Reformers. I have added to this Psalm Book portions of the illustrious Reformer's Liturgy.
I have also added the Confession of Faith and the Shorter Catechism.
The too just description of the Scottish Version of the Psalms, though unquestionably the best ever executed, and in fact of all other paraphrases and poetical versions of Scripture, is, an adaptation of God's word to suit man's music.
In several instances I have added, not another version, which I am not at liberty to do, but the original prose Psalm. I have called this The Bible Version. In order to sing it, man's music must accommodate itself to God's word. I like this idea very much. I cannot bear the thought that the word of God should be adapted to any frame-work, or theory, or musical composition. I think the right Protestant course is to retain the inspired word in its integrity, and bend all theories, and tunes, and systems to suit it. Let the human give way to the Divine, not the Divine to the human.
I have specified a few tunes, merely as examples of the character and class of the music adapted to the Psalm, and not as the only ones to be used.
ORDER OF PUBLIC WORSHIP.
READING HOLY SCRIPTURE.
PRAYER AND LORD'S PRAYER.
BEFORE PUBLIC WORSHIP.
O LORD Jesus Christ, who hast said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them,” be pleased at this time to fulfil this thy gracious word, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. Give to thy ministering servant the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, and unto all here assembled meekness—faithlove. Put thy Holy Spirit into all our hearts ; open the eyes of our understandings; enlighten thou our souls. Feed us with living bread; may the word this day spoken be to us all the savour of life unto life: and unto Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God, be equal and eternal glory. Amen.
O LORD our God, grant us at this time those things which thou seest that we, thy unworthy servants, truly need. Teach us to pray. Give to each of us thy Holy Spirit. Create in us clean hearts. O grant us the unction of the Holy One. Assist thy ministering servant who is this day to speak to us in thy name. May we read, mark,
learn, and inwardly digest thy holy word; may it be as good seed sown in good soil. Speak, O God, to our hearts and consciences; and grant we may have reason to say, it is good for us to be here. We beg these and all other mercies in the name and through the mediation of our only Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.