« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
disdains to answer to an 'unskilful, or careless Touch. A meaner Pen
imitate at a Dif. tance, but a compleat Translation, or a just Paraphrase demands [beside a thorough Knowledge of the Hebrew] a rich Treasury of Diction, an exalted Fancy, a quick Taste of devout Passion, together with a Judgment strict and fevere, to retrench every luxuriant Line, and maintain a religious Sovereignty over the whole Work. Thus the Pfalmifts of Israel might arile in Great Britain in all their Hebrew Glory, and entertain the more knowing and polite Christians of our Age.” In all that Glory Mr. Merrick has represented them, and what Transports of Joy and Pleasure would the sweetest Singer of his Time, in all the Regions of divine Poetry, have felt, had he lived to see his Work; and with what Energy and Pathos would he have recommended it to the Attention and Regard of the whole English Church.
As to the several other Versions, suffice it to observe, that they extend only to some particular Psalms or Parts of Psalms; yet the Compiler presumes, that they possess some superior ExcelJencies peculiar to themselves, and will afford an agreeable Variety.
just Account has been given by the worthy Author himself. « This Attempt on the Psalms, though a Mixture of Translation and Paraphraje, will, I hope, be found to contain little more of the later Kind than what may be useful either in Opening the Sense, or in pointing out the Connexion of the Original.” This Work is a Master-piece in its kind. Such a Work had been long wilhed for, but to the Execution of it, none were found of equal Resolution and Abilities, till Mr. Merrick undertook it.
This Gentlemam was just such a Poet, as the excellent Doctor Watts had formed an Idea of, and fervently wished some Time or other to arife, though with very feeble Hopes that his Idea would ever be realized, it being scarcely to be fupposed, that so many essentially requisite Qualifications should at any Time be conbined in one Person. “I must confess, says the Doctor in the Preface to his Psalms, I have never yet feen
any Version, or Paraphrase of the Psalms, in their own jewish Sense, so perfect, as to discourage all further Attempts. But whoever. undertakes the noble Work, let him bring with him a Soul devoted to Piety, an exalted Genius, and withal a studious Application, For David's Harp abhors a profane Finger, and
been attempted with some peculiar Attention, and with the most earnest Desire of succeeding, by excluding all Words and Phrases of a controverted Meaning,
As the Duty of Pfalmody must necessarily be confined to some certain common Form, that Form ought doubtless, agreeably to the great Law of Charity, to be such as is likely to give none Offence. “I have not, says Doctor Watts in the Preface to his Version of the Psalms, confined my Expressions to any particular Party or Opinion : [He did not intend fo to do] that in Words prepared for public Worship, and Lips of Multitudes, there might not be a Syllable offensive to sincere Christians, whose Judge ments may differ in the lefler Matters of Re. ligion.”
To the fame Purpose he speaks in the Preface to his Hymns. " The contentious and distinguishing Words of Sects and Parties are secluded (or were intended to be secluded] that whole Affemblies might aslift at the Harmony, and different Churches join in the same Worship without Offence, it being most agreeable, that what is provided for public Singing should give to sincere Consciences as little Disturbance as
This important Rule of Charity has been edir most scrupulously attended to, from a thorough
Conviction, that without adhering to it,
Conformity to the Apoftolic Precept, “ to make arisk) Melody in the Heart to the Lord, would with 1, de Respect to whole Assemblies of Christian Wor
glippers be utterly impracticable. Haft thou Faith, : o gjë this or the other Opinion different from what
some of thy fellow Christians may entertain, be fan it in it self ever so harmless or just, keep it to •Paj thy self, rather than be the Occasion of dimin
ifhing, in any Degree, either the Pleasure or Profit of social Worship, or of disturbing the Devotion of a fellow Worshipper. Let Christians of all Denominations provoke one another, only to Charity. The Whole Christian Law is fulfilled by Love: Therefore let all our Things be done in Charity. ABOVE ALL THINGS PUT ON CHARITY,