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(Authorised Version Annotated Psalms Inleiding)

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THE *BOOK OF
PSALMS.



This book is among the other canonical books of the Old Testament in the church of God rightly esteemed as a precious jewel of which the value and usefulness can never be sufficiently comprehended, much less uttered by the tongue, or described by the pen. Some do call it a garden of pleasures, apothecary and a treasury or store-house of the Christians; others, an anatomy or analysis of the believing souls, a mirror of the manifold and unsearchable mercy of God; likewise, a complete summary or compendium of the entire Bible, of the Law and Gospel, or of the true knowledge and worship of God. For, it contains, on the one hand, very solid and wholesome doctrines, concerning the Essence of God, and the sacred Trinity, the Divine attributes, the eternal counsel, the Holy Word and all the works of God, especially His mercies and benefits bestowed on His church, and His justice and judgments upon all the ungodly. Moreover, touching the Person and the saving office of the MESSIAH, our Lord JESUS CHRIST, about His eternal Godhead, incarnation, suffering and dying, resurrection from the dead, ascending into heaven, sitting at the right hand of His Father, yea about the increase of His Kingdom among the Gentiles by the preaching of the Holy Gospel; moreover, about the sinful state and condition of man, the quality and property of regeneration, of true conversion, of the love and fear of God; likewise, of the nature of true faith, of relying and glorying in God, of the assurance of salvation, of the combat between the spirit and the flesh; likewise the catholic or universal church of Jews and Gentiles, the discipline of the church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the flesh and the life everlasting. On the other hand you also find in this book all manner of holy and spiritual exercises of godliness, as: sundry forms or instructions of blessing and praising God, of giving thanks for mercies received, of vows of thankfulness, with a number of devout and fervent prayers unto God, for whatsoever may tend to His glory and the welfare both general and particular of all and every true believer, especially in all kinds of affliction, temptation, trouble, with holy meditations, the exceeding sweet comforts and building up in faith, in patience and in all godliness. In so much, that there can be no condition of any christian found or thought of, but that he may be served and supplied out of this book, according to his heart’s desire, as well for the calming of his conscience, as for the furtherance to his salvation. It behooves every christian, whether he be of high or low degree, for this reason to read, peruse and study this book with extraordinary diligence and singular attention to accustom oneself to the peculiar style of the Holy Spirit, in which it is expressed. There is no doubt at all, when one has gotten a right taste of the genuine sap and the experience of its virtue and efficacy, it will be upon his soul as a most sweet and wholesome dew of heaven and one shall never be weary to carry the same continually about oneself, in heart, tongue and hands. It is also for this reason that it is repeatedly recommended to us by the Holy Spirit in the Old and by our Lord JESUS CHRIST and His apostles in the New Testament, and unto more gracefulness, serving our memory and the daily exercise of singing about the wise and benevolent God, having been delivered to His church. The Hebrews call this book Tehillim, or shorter Tillim, that is, songs, or songs of praise, since the greater part of the psalms is on this subject. The Greek translators have used the word Psalms, or Psalter, which term is likewise kept in the Greek New Testament, both among the Latinists and other Christian nations, even with us in our language. Although the Greek word does properly imply such a kind of songs, which are suited to be played on or touched with the fingers on musical instruments, and were sung suitably after the manner used in the Old Testament in the public service of the tabernacle and temple. They are commonly called, The Psalms of David, since king David, as one endued with singular ability by the Holy Spirit in making the psalms (as related in 2 Sam. 23:1, 2), composed most of them. The remainder have been indited by other prophets and men of God, as Moses, Asaph, etc. and collected thus (it is thought) by Ezra, into one book or volume together, after the Babylonian captivity without regarding the order of time in which each Psalm was composed. The Hebrews divide this book (which by the Lord CHRIST Himself is called the Book of Psalms, Luke 20:42) into five parts or volumes; whereof the first part extends to the end of Psalm 41, concluding with Amen, yea Amen; the second, to the end of Psalm 72, concluding in the same terms, Amen, yea Amen, and the end of David’s prayers; the third, to the conclusion of Psalm 89, likewise ending in Amen, yea Amen; the fourth, to the end of Psalm 106, which end is Amen Hallelujah; the fifth, to the conclusion of Psalm 150, being the last of all the Book of Psalms, and ending in Hallelujah.

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