17. In 1645 Wm. BARTON, a minister in London, published a version of about 30 of the Psalms, together with “choice collections of the old Psalms." An edition had been previously printed by order of parliament. This edition, having "the cream and flower of the best authors,” came out with the approbation of more than 40 divines, most of them of the Assembly. Barton's entire version was published in 1682. He says, “ The Scots have of late put forth a psalm book, most-what composed out of mine and Mr. Rouse's.” This version is of a higher poetical character than the Scotch. The following stanzas of the 23d Ps. were in part copied by Watts :

“The living Lord my shepherd is,
And he, that doth me seed;
Since he is inine, and I am bis,
What comfort can I need?
“He leads me to the tender grass,
Where I both feed and rest;
Theu to the streams, that gently pass;

In both I have the best.” 18. About 1660 bishop H. King, and soon afterwards SAM. WOODFORD, D. D. published metrical versions of the Psalms. Denham remarks on the latter,—“his verse is not for singing but reading."

Bishop Godeau, a member of the Academy of Belles Lettres in France, who died in 1672, published a version of the Psalms in metre.

19. John Eliot, one of the authors of the New England version, published the book of Psalms in Indian metre in 1680. The language was that of the Naticks near Boston, or the Massachusetts' language. The unlearned reader may judge, whether he can relish the melody of the Indian, by examining the two first verses of the 97th Psalm :

“Wutassootamun God, mutlaok

Munnahanash wonk monakish

0 Oweepuhkunkqun pohkenai;

matokqs, wussittumoonk
Wunnomwausseonk wutappue

ne menuhkesuonk.” Mr. Eliot must be deemed excusable for putting this Indian version in the half-rhy med stanzas of his English predecessors.

20. A new and entire version was made by Simon Ford, D. D. in 1688. In speaking of Sternhold he says, “ it were but decent to bury that former translation with honor for the service it hath done.” But Sternhold's book, intrenched in the English church, has survived that of Dr. Ford. He has various metres, and no half-rhymed stánzas ; but the work has no peculiar excellence. Some of his lines seem to have been borrowed by Watts ; as the following from Ps. 139 :

“Asleep, å wake, at home, abroad,
Thou knowest all

my ways,

() God, Darkness and light in this agree,

That they are both alike to thee." Two other poetical versions of the Psalms were published by Luke Milbourne, who died in 1720, and by Mr. Darby. The Psalms in Swedish verse appeared in 1695, and perhaps much earlier.

21. The version of Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady was published in 1696. Some of the Psalms have dignity and excellence ; yet the general character of the work is that of diffuseness and dulness. The measure is heavy, and many of the pieces are only balf-rhymed. The plan was radically defective ; for the whole of every Psalm is versified ; of course much of the book is totally unsuitable for lyrical purposes, and cannot be employed in Psalınody. Yet this is the only authorized version of the episcopal churches of this country, and is commonly used by the episcopalians of England, yet by them often with other versions. Until recently the whole of Tate and Brady was retained by the American episcopalians ; but in Dec. 1832 a selection was made from Tate's book and Psalms and parts of Psalms omitted, so that the present authorized version has only 124 Psalms ; and as the whole book is reduced, it is odd enough, that the pieces have lost their old names. For instance, David's 119th Psalm is called the 97th, to the confusion of those, who wish to call things by their right names. After all the

abridgement, and reduction, and patch-work, employed upon Tate and Brady, the version is not worthy of the good taste of the episcopal churches.

An episcopal writer in England said in 1825, “Sternhold and Hopkins retain possession of only a few cathedral or collegiate churches ; and even Tate and Brady have, to a very great extent, given way before the practice of introducing private selections of Psalms and Hymns for public worship.

Versions of the Psalms were made by Sir J. Denham in 1714, and by Dr. J. Patrick in 1715. Dr. Basil Kennet, who died in 1714, also published a version. Patrick's version was much used by the dissenters.

22. In 1718 Dr. Cotton Mather of Boston published the book of Psalms in Blank Verse, fitted to the tunes in com

It was designed to be an exact copy of the original “without the fetters of rhyme ;” and the author hoped, that

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it would be more acceptable to those, who reverenced the , words of inspiration, than if it departed from the original “ for the sake of a little jingle at the end of the line !" However, he mistook the public taste ; and his work, if it was ever sung in any church, is now forgotten. The jingle of Watts was preferred to it. This version was printed, so that what is called the Long metre might be converted into Common mefre_by omitting the words in black letter between the brackets. The following is a specimen from Ps. 23d.:

“My shepherd is th' eternal God ; || I shall not be in [any] want : || In pastures of a tender grass || He [ever] makes me to lie down : || To waters of tranquillities || He gently carries me, (along. ] ||

23. Dr. Watts' Psalms introduced a new era in the history of church psalmody. His Hymns were published in 1707, when he was only 23 years of age ; but his Psalms, though partly written in 1712, were not finished and published till 1719. The excellent plan of Dr. Watts, in which he followed Barton,was this;—not to make an entire version of every Psalm, but to select the most lyrical portions of the book of Psalms. He proposed to give an Imitation of the Psalms in Christian language."

There are two very different principles, on which a metrical version of the Psalms may be made.

The first is to give as beautiful, and complete, and perfect a representation, as possible, in English poetry of the Hebrew original. But in this case, the version will not be well adapted to the purposes of public psalmody, however interesting to the reader, and however valuable in the character of devotional poetry.

The second principle, on which a version may be made, is to render it a strictly lyrical version, or one, which is to be sung by a religious assembly. Of course the long Psalms must be abridged ;—the historical Jewish narratives and allusions, so far as they cannot be accommodated to the circumstances of the Christian church, are to be omitted ;-and Psalms, merely doctrinal or didactic, are either to be overlooked, or to be drawn somewhat into a lyrical character.

By the first method the whole sentiment of the Psalm is. transferred without omission into metre. By the second method a version is made only of select parts. The first method was adopted by Sternhold and Hopkins, by Sidney, by Sandys, by the New England fathers, by the Scotch churches, by Tate and Brady, and indeed by almost all the writers enumerated and by others yet to be mentioned. The second method was adopted by Dr. Watts ; and he made a truly lyrical version,


fitted to be sung in Christian worship. Yet there are great imperfections in his version, which will be adverted to, after this brief historical account of metrical versions is brought to a close.

24. Sir Richard Blackmore published in 1721 a version, which is even inferior to that of Tate and Brady. A version by Jonathan Harle was published in 1730.

In 1752 John Barnard, minister of Marblehead, Massachusetts, at the age of 70 years, published a version of the Psalms, with tunes. He freely borrowed from the labors of his predecessors, and produced a patch-work, equal indeed to many of the English versions in point of poetry, yet without any peculiar excellence. It is imperfectly rhymed. Being an entire version, it is poorly adapted to lyrical purposes. Perhaps it never was sung out of the bounds of Marblehead.

25. In 1754 S. Wheatland and T. Silvester published at London a close translation of the Psalms of David in heroic

In the same measure a version was published in 1756 by Thomas Cradock, an episcopal clergyman in Baltimore county, Maryland.

26. Thomas Prince, the distinguished minister of the Old South church in Boston, published in 1758 a revision of the New England Psalms, made with much labor and great care. It is valuable as a translation of the original Hebrew ; but as a poetical and lyrical version it has not much merit.

27. James Merrick, educated at Oxford, and who died at Reading in 1769, aged 51, published the 2d edition of his Psalms paraphrased in English verse in 1766. A specimen may be found in this book ; Ps. 136 ; version 7th. This work has mach poetic excellence ; but, besides being an entire version, it is diffuse, and of the nature of a paraphrase, and destitute of the lyrical energy of the original. Indeed it was not adapted for the purposes of the singer in the church ; it is rather for the devout and poetic reader. In 1792 Mr. Tattersall published an edition of Merrick, divided for singing.

In Italy Savinio Matti made a fine poetical translation of the Psalms.

28. In 1811 William Goode, an episcopal minister in London, published an entire version of the Psalms, in 2 vols. 8vo., which in poetic excellence and lyrical power is superior to any preceding version, unless it be that of Watts. Some of his excellencies and his faults will be pointed out. Regarding it as a fault of Watts, that his Psalms are “more frequently Hymns upon the subjects of the Psalms, than a regular version of the Psalms themselves,” more frequently “imitations,” than copies of the Psalms of David, Mr. G. resolved to keep as near


as possible, to the originals in sentiment and language; to preserve the utmost simplicity of language ; and to express clearly the typical intent, making the Psalms Christian, as they should be rendered at the present day. He has accordingly given a more perfect and beautiful copy of the original, adapted to Christian purposes, than was ever given to the public. He has often several versions of the same Psalm, dwelling on the same subject ; the first versions being in the more simple measures, beginning with short metre, for the use of general congregations, and the last versions in more complex measures, so chosen as to prevent introduction into common use, designed for the churches, in which less simple and more extensive singing is introduced. In his more simple metres he pays more regard to simplicity of language, than in the others, in which he takes greater liberty too in departing from the original. In the longer Psalms instead of different versions of the same, he has give en each succeeding part of the Psalm in a different metre.

Mr. G. has admirably executed his plan; but it was a mistake to attempt an entire version of the Psalms, with reference to lyrical purposes. He admitted, that it was “impossible to render the whole so as to be suitable for Christian worship.” His work is more valuable to the devout and poetic reader, than to the singer ; yet many of his pieces have a high lyrical char

Had he confined himself to the method of Watts, selecting only parts of the Psalms, and had he excluded many of his complex measures, and written only for general congregations, he might have produced a work, which would have superseded Tate and Brady in the episcopal churches of England. Specimens of bis more simple metres and several of his best pieces are given in this book.

Yet with all the spirit and excellence of the work of Mr. G. it has some prominent defects. Though it has very few halfrhymed pieces, not more perhaps than half a dozen ; yet the author is often careless in his rhymes, bringing together words, which can hardly walk together with much concord, as may be judged from the following pairs ;-"compassion, salvation ; Savior, favor ; possess, increase ; dwell, conceal ; trust, burst; consume, dome ; blaspheme, name ; believe him, griev'd him; alloted, devoted ; rebuke, stroke ; appeal, fail ; stores, adore ; comes, resumes ; man, gain : forsake, speak ; completes, forgets ; raise, seize ; glory, before thee ; sit, delight. The introduction of the name of Britain in several of the Psalms seems sufficiently odd ; as in Ps. 104.

“There go the navies, BRITAIN's boast !
They spread their sails from coast to coast,

And ride the pathless way.”


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