PSALM XCVII. Paraphrased.


HERE is in no colleЕtion of devout compositions

a greater diversity of matter than in the Psalms of David. They appear to have been pen'd while the author was under the immediate impresion of those feelings which he so admirably describes; whether of religious pensiveness, devout contemplation, admiration of God's attributes, pious joy, gratitude, and thanksgiving, arising from the various state of kis mind or temporal affairs. They are, therefore, wonderfully fitted and adapted to the case of men in general, who, at one time or other, are in some of those situations, and actuated by the same sensations : And as they are written with great fervour of Spirit, Solidity of understanding, strength of fancy, and a soul illuminated by divine inspiration, it is not to be wondered that they have so often charmed the best and greatest geniuses.--Sundry of our most celebrated English poets have employed their pens in rendering divers of those excellent pieces into verseand there is not a sublimer and more musical poem in the compositions of Addison, than that which is wrought out of the 19th psalm.

I have thus far premised, to induce, if posibie, those youths among us, we ho have enjoyed the advantage of a


liberal education, and have leisure for literary pursuits and a taste and capacity for poetry, which some have lately evinced, to turn their talents towards such instručtive performances.--The Holy Scriptures are the true fountain from which to extraet the richest draughts of poesy, both as to dignity of matter and embellishment of figures ; witness the noble use the great Milton made of them in his marvellous poems, and though few muft expect to reach to such heights as did that prodigy of learning and genius, yet all, according to their ability, may follow his illustrious example, and if we would wish to excel and atchieve any thing great and laud. able, we mould always look to a mark superior to ourselves.

The 145th psalm, in particular, one of those paraphrased below, is a mojt beautiful picture of the Supreme Being, whom the Psalmist extols for those amiable attributes, which most of all must affeet men with joy, as subjects of God's moral government, his goodness and mercy. Such a theme needs no apology ; and as to the preent handling of it, if it jould excite others, of a similar taste, who, like the Author, may sometimes have an hour in the country unoccupied by duty, business, or friends, which they would wish rationally to employ in such like amusements, be hopes it will plead his excuse.

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XULT, O earth! ye nations sound his praise,
One God supreme, with pow'r unbounded

Offspring of nature ! the glad tidings hear,
Th'eternal Ruler makes the world his care;
Enthron'd sublime, with awful glory crown'd,
Vindictive thunders his bright feat surround;
Rob'd in thick clouds his rapid lightning flies,
And hurls destruction on his enemies;
Celestial righteousness, with truth her own,
And perfect justice form his sacred throne ;
This rolling ball he pour'd his light around,
And the world trembled to its utmost bound;
Mountains, whose brows in lofty æther nod,
Melt at the presence of th' all-potent God.
Omniscient Lord ! immaculate, divine,
Thro' all creation's frame thy glories shine!
Suns, at thy word, illume each distant pole,
Earth teams with joy and azure oceans roll.
Abalh'd, confus'd be those who, vain, adore
Idols of wood, or bend to imag'd ore ;
Before his throne let gods and mortals all
In grateful adoration prostrate fall.
The ardent strain, lo! joyous Zion heard,
And Judah’s nymphs their tuneful voices reard,


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Praising transported, and in sweet accord,
Thy holy judgments, ever-righteous Lord.
For thou, Great Monarch of this mighty Whole!
Dost all the pow'rs of heav'n and earth control.
Ye mortals, who to love divine aspire,
From vice polluting and foul sin retire ;
Fix on the law of heav'n your steady gaze,
And Wisdom's self shall pleas'd protect your ways,
Those who thy laws, all-gracious Sire, obey,
Are crown’d with bliss, in realms of endless day.
Wake then, ye virtuous ! wake the rape'rous lays,
Join the loud choir of universal praise !
Hail! highest Sovereign! Godhead infinite !
Supreme in glory, majesty and might!




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10 Thee, all-bounteous Lord and King,

My muse in sweetest strains shall sing;
Her morning and her evening lays,
Shall warble forth thy glorious praise.
Nor ever shall my grateful foul,
Forget thy goodness to extol.
Of pow'r and wisdom, source immense !
Unsearchable to mortal sense !
From age to age, the human race
Thro' all thy works, the God shall trace,
Declaring to their

The wonders of thy majesty.
I too will join th' adoring throng,
Thy name shall dignify my song,
And with thy acts my tongue shall sound,
Responsive to the world around,


The world around with heav'n shall join,
To tell that thou art love divine ;
Compaflion, grace, and mercy sweet,
Hover, like cherubs, round thy feat.
And Goodness too, whose smile alone
Can beautify thy awful throne;


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