« VorigeDoorgaan »
for the press was regarded as too sacred to allow any farther interference with their plan and execution, than merely to correct any slight inaccuracy of expression, which, admitted in the hurry of composition, had inadvertently been
permitted to remain. The notes and corrections which they have occasionally interspersed through them, mark the
gradual improvement of his. intellectual powers, and extension of his religious knowledge, and afford a favourable presentiment of what may have been expected from more leisure, improved faculties, and regularly directed exertion. All of them, however, evince his extensive acquaintance with scripture, the soundness of his religious views, and the evangelical turn of his mind. Strenuous in upholding the righteousness of Christ, as the sole means of pardon and salvation to a sinful world, he. ceased not to impress upon believers the necessity of conjoining with their faith and love to the Saviour,--that “ holiness, without 66 which no man shall see the Lord.”
The number of subscribers for this work has far exceeded the most sanguine calculation. This, no doubt, is in part to be ascribed to the zeal and activity of those friends who kindly undertook to forward the measure ; but at the same time it bears no small testimony to the excellency of Mr Ramsay's character, indicating the general esteem in 'whịch, during life, he was held, and the regret felt at his death. To his relations and acquaintances, this publication will be bailed as the memorial of a friend, whose many excellencies cannot soon be forgotten. To those who have sat under his ministry, and who will recognise in it many discourses which they heard with approbation, it will excite recollections which cannot fail to be productive of lasting good, while it presents truths, that powerfully tend to qualify for the observance of every moral and spiritual obligation in time, and to prepare for eternity. And to all who have subscribed for this work, it must certainly afford a gratification of the purest kind, that while they are possessing themselves of a source of valuable instruction, they are at the same time contributing to the comfort of the only surviving member of the Author's family.
1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts !
2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
3 Yea, the sparrow hath foưnd an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.
4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house ; they will be still praising thee. Selah.
5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well ; the rain also filleth the pools.
7 They go from strength to strength ; every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer ; give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
9 Behold, O God, our Shield, and look upon the face of thine Anointed.
10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand : I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield ; the Lord will give grace and glory : no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
The Book of Psalms is a portion of Scripture, with which every devout mind is peculiarly delighted. It consists of hymns, mostly composed by David, King of Israel, one of the most pious characters of antiquity. While yet a stripling with his father's flocks, he rejoiced to contemplate the perfections of God in the history of his ancestors and the works of creation, and to celebrate these perfections in those sweet and enchanting lays which flowed spontaneously from a youthful fancy and a feeling heart. It was then, no doubt, he received those deep and lively impressions of religion that he retained through life, and which, according to the various situations in which he was placed, gave rise to those hymns of praise,
of gratitude, of contrịtion and pious fervour, which Christians in all
ages often read, and with which they have been so often affected.
When David had been elevated from the fold to the throne, so far from forgetting to whom he owed his greatness, as happens too frequently with ungrateful man, his piety became more fervent and conspicuous by his exaltation.' He who, in the retired vale or extensive plain, sung, when tending his flocks, the praises of his God, reckoned it, after being raised to the throne, his greatesthonour to appear in the public worship of the Almighty, and to be the foremost of his subjects in bending the knee to the King of Kings.
The Psalm we have now read shews, in a manner truly affecting, the fervour of David's piety. Driven from Jerusalem by the conspiracy of his beloved son Absalom ;-deprived of the privilege and consolation of pouring out his feelings in the house of God ;=he recalls to his mind the sweet and delightful moments he had enjoyed in that sacred place, what a source of consolation it had always been in the hour of distress, how often it had