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Minister of the Gospel at Millville, New Jersey.

O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done
marvellous things; bis right hand and his holy arm hath
gotten bim the victory.

Psalm xcvii. 1.




THIS Ame disintent to the m



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District of New-Jersey, ss. BE IT REMEMBERED that on the twenty-second day of May, in the thirty-sixth year of the independence of the U.S. of America, Abijah Davis,of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book the right verse ir whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, so the grow to wit: “An American Version of the Psalms of David, suited to the state of the church in the present age of the world, by A bijah Davis, minister of the Gospel at Millville, New Jersey," in conformity with the act of the congress of the United States, entitled " An act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of plays jus maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.”


Clerk of the District of N. J. *** Copy.

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THIS American version of the Psalıns of David is intended to be, as it were, a new song put into the mouths of God's ransomed people, written in a language which they understand, but breathing the spirit of the divine original. In executing this work, the plan was to give. free verse translation of the Psalms, making them the ground work of the new song, preserving the leading ideas and metaphors, but varying the expression to suit the circumstances of the church in the present age of the world. A prose translation strictly, literal, is very difficult, and not always just; a verse translation strictly literal, is an impossibility which it is folly to attempt. In a version of the Psalms the harmony of sounds ought not to be sacrificed for the sake of being a little more literal. « The letter profiteth nothing, it is the spirit that giveth life." It is enough for me, therefore, and it ought io satisfy every unprejudiced Christian, if in this work, 1 have kept as near as I could to the inspired model, without running into a gingle of words.

This version is intended for the use of all the true worshippers of God, who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth. There may, indeed, be a few stanzas that will not exactly correspond with the received opinions of some, but the author hopes that they will have more liberality than to condemn a work for the fault real or supposed) which they find with a few


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lines. It ought rather to lead them to a deepers study of the scriptures to discover where the error lies, whether in this work or in their own minds. It is not by an intolerant spirit, but by mutual forbearance, and a free exchange of keto sentiment, that the several Christian denominations, if ever, will be brought to the unity of the fai faith.

That I might not be under the necessity of rejccung many of the most poetical words, or of compelling the unlearned worshipper to sing without understanding, I have given ir: the margin an explanation of the most difficult terms. An author is oftentimes but imperfectly understood by many, for want of a dictionary at hand, or of a sufficient knowledge of the meaning of words. By casting an eye to the references the language in this rsion is familiarized to almost every child, while by this means I have been enabled to sing in more harmonious strains. This practice is new, but was it adopted generally by authors, I think it would greatly tend to the improvement of language and consequent enlargement of ideas, especially among ihose whose opportunities have not been favorable. I hope, therefore, that the scholar, who is under no necessity of such an help, will not censure me for the pains which I have taken to enable the unlearned to sing with the understanding.

The Psalms are varied in length from four verses to ten, to suit times and circumstances. Where a Psalm is thought to be too long for the occasion, a part may in many cases be omitted, where it woes not too much injure the connexon. But as church music is generally perform

in quicker time now, than in former ages, it

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is hoped that in so delightful a part of Christian
worship as ikat of praise to God, eight or ten
verses will seldom be thought tedious. What can
be said, or sung, in eight or ten verses equal to
the honor of his name,“ who loved us and wash-
ed us from our sins in his own blood," when
eternity itself would be too short to utter all his

I must here record the goodness of the Lord
in preserving my life to accomplish this work.
I was not sixteen years of age when I formed
the resolution that at forty I would begin what is
here completed. When the time of life came I
without delay set about the work, and by the
good hand of my God upon me I have lived to
prepare it for the press. It was God, I trust, who
first put the thought into mine heart, it is God
has preserved my life until I have accomplished
the design which I formed in youth, and if in the
execution of this work I have done any thing to
advance his kingdom in the world, not unto me,
not unto me, but unto his name be all the glory.
It is, and will continue to be, my rejoicing in
old age, that I devoted to God the prime of life.
May other's receive as much pleasure in singing
the praises of God, as I have in putting this new
song into their mouths. May thousands, who
are now silent in his praise, or whose mouths
are full of cursing and bitterness, have their
hearts turned, and their voices tuned, to strike
the heavenly key and to sing, “ Worthy is the
Lamb that was slain to receive blessing, and
glory, and honor, and power.” When the author
sleeps in dust, may the name of the Redeemer
still be sung by the generations that shall arise
to call him blessed. May other bards in future

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