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mind as little short of a reprobate when I was with you. But so it is.-- With God all things are possible. After my departure from
till within some few months since, my career of folly was, if possible, with greater rapidity and more aggravation than ever, till a long-suffering and compassionate. God arrested me in my downward course to perdition, and plucked me as a brand from the burning by a most extraordinary interposition, viz. per. mitting the enemy of souls to assail me with a violent temptation'; in an agony of despair I gave myself up as lost, till by degrees I was (with a perhaps God will have mercy upon me) brought to present, me at his throne of grace. His Holy Spirit operated gradually on my mipd, tore away the veil of carnality and ignorance, and held up Jesus on the cross as my propitiation to offended justice. And what do you think, Sir, was the light in which I was enabled to view Him ?-as the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of peace. This was my consolation, that he was not only all-willing to embrace every returning sinner, however great, that desires to have an interest in his sacrifice, but that He was all-powerful, in defiance of all the opposition of earth and hell, to rescue me from the tyranny of both. For He upholdeth all things, by the word of His power, whether in heaven or earth-thrones, and principalities, and powers, being made subject to Him, having triumphed over them in his cross. 7. By a variety of trials, such as I have related, has the Lord, who willeth not the death of a sinner, brought me at last to that peace of mind which the world can neither give nor take away, has reconciled me to himself by the blood of His cross. Thus my God, merciful and gracious, has led me, and is still leading me, by a way that is known but to himself; but what I know not now I shall know hereafter. Oh, Arianism! when shall thy votaries look upon Jesus with that eye of faith that believeth unto everlasting lifeWhen shall they cease robbing God in Christ of that glory and salvation which was purchased .by his blood, by placing them as the reward of their own works? How shall they appear in the presence of a Holy God, clad in the filthy rags of their own righteousness, and abide the scrutiny of His: omniscient eye? Oh! how shall they escape if they neglect this great salvation ? Oh! that every Arian may be enabled to see with the same eyes that have been given to me. But some, perhaps, on hearing this, may assert that it is mere chimera, a vision
fancifully raised in my own mind.' But I say no, it is no chimera, it is a reality. “ For the grace of God that brought me salvation, teaches me that I should deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts; and not only so, but enables me to practice soberness, righteousness, and god. liness ;'' teaches me to hate, as offensive to God, all those pleasures and sins which I was formerly in the babit of loving or committing. All things are indeed become new. I bave; it is most true, many defects, and in many things I still come short. But there is no man that liveth and sinneth not. Yet do I not despair, for there is no con. demnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. The good ibat I would I sometimes cannot perform. But the promise of God assures me that He will perfect his strength in my weakness, and make his grace sufficient for me. The terms of his covenant are that he will write his laws in my heart, and put them into my inward part. He has given me at least a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, which has the promise of being satisfied. . Thus, in all my difficulties, I have recourse to his promises for counsel and comfort. I can in fact see every Scripture with new eyes, and hear it from the pulpit with new ears. I can now pray, I trust, in the confidence of
being 'heard, and of receiving through Christ, an · answer of mercy, and of peace and forgiveness.
Would to God that all with whom I formerly held acquaintanceship, were as I am while writing this," and could say they were kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal life. This, my case, ought to be a stimulas to Ministers, confident that though their bread may be cast as it were upon the waters, they shall find it after many days. Well may I sing,
is Oh! to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I'm constrained to be ;
.. Bind my wand'ring heart to thee,
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love:
Here's my heart, Oh take and seal it. Un .
. Seal it from thy courts above." ,. input ,vt • You'will pardon this lengthened epistle, but the im
portant subject of it must be its apology." The Lord be with you and every Minister that preaches Christ in sin, cerity.
Your obedient servant, :* **
HISTORY OF THE METRICAL VERSION OF THE PSALMS USED
IN THE PRESBYTERÍAN CHURCH.
(Continued from page 103.)
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN: : SIR,
FROM the time that Sterphold's Version was adopted by the Church of Scotland, various attempts were made by her to remedy its acknowledged defects. Thus in the General Assembly, which met in May 1601, Mr. Robert Pont, one of the most learned and eminent Ministers in the church, was appointed to revise the entire book. It does not appear, however, that this appointment was attended to ; at least no revision of the Psalm Book took place. The Assembly at which this measure was proposed, is remarkable for having been the means of first suggesting to James I. the propriety of obtaining an entirely new translation of the Bible. This most important object he accomplished, soon after he ascended the English throne. The translation which we now use, and which is adopted by all the reformed churches in Great Britain and America, was commenced by English divines acting by committees in the year 1606, and was brought to a happy and satisfactory termination in the year 1611. The narrative wbich Spottiswood, in bis " History of the Church of Scotland" has given of James's proceed. ings at the Assembly above mentioned, though that of a fawning courtier, is worthy of being preserved in your pages, not only on account of its connexion with the subject of the present paper, but also as developing the germ of that noble undertaking the present authorized translation of the Bible, and as exhibiting a characteristic sketch of the learned but vain and pedantic monarch.
"A proposition was made for a new translation of the Bible, and the correcting of the Psalms in metre. His Majesty did urge it earnestly, and with many other reasons did persuade the undertaking of the work; showing the necessity and the profit of it, and what glory the performance thereof would bring to this church. When speaking of the necessity, he did mention sundry escapes in the common translation (of the Bible,) and made it seen that he was no less conversant in the Scriptures than they whose profession it was. When speaking of the Psalms, he did recite whole verses of the same, showing both the faults of the metre, and the discrepancies from the text. It was the joy of all who were present, and bred not little admiration in the whole Assembly, who, approving the motion, did recommend the translation (of the Bible) to such of the brethren who were most skilled in the languages, and the revising of the Psalms to Mr. Robert Pont; bat nothing was done in the one or the other. Yet did not the king let his intention fall to the ground. The perfect. ing of the Psalms be made his own labour; and at such hours as he could spare from the public cares, went through a number of them, commending the rest to a faithful and learned servant, who hath therein answered his majesty's expectation.”
This " faithful servant” was Sir William Alexander, afterwards created Earl of Stirling. King James versified only the first thirty psalms, and Sir William the remainder. The entire version, known by the name of the Royal Psalter, was completed and published about the year 1630. Charles I. was very anxious to have it introduced into ge. neral use especially in Scotland. But as this was the first of his innovations on the usages and authority of the Scottish Church, it met with considerable opposition; and together with the more serious and offensive encroachments of Laud, was defeated by the commotions in 1638, wben prelacy was wholly abrogated. Row, in his manuscript history of that church, thus relates the steps that were taken towards its introduction :-:. : "In the year 1631, there was a report that the King (Charles I.) would have the Psalms of David, as they were translated and parapbrased by King James, his father, received and sung in all the kirks of Scotland. Some of the books were delivered to presbyteries, that Ministers might advise concerning the goodness or badness of the translation, and report their judgments, not to the General Assembly, for that great bulwark of our church was then demolished, but to the diocesan assemblies. . Yet the matter was laid aside for some time." si
Of this Royal version Dr. Beattie thus speaks : : The work does honour to the learned monarch. It is not free from the northern idiom; but the style seems to me to be superior to every other Scotch writer of that age, Hawthornden excepted. There are in it many good stanzas, most of which have been adopted by the compilers of the version now
authorized in Scotland, whereof this of King James is, indeed, the groundwork. Nay, those compilers have not always equalled the royal versifier, where they intended, no doubt, to excel him. I shall give one example. The the third verse of the fiftieth psalm stands in our version thus:-
"Our God shall come, and shall no more
Be silent, but speak out;
Shall compass him about. “James has the advantage, both in the arrangement of the words and in the harmony:
Our God shall come, and shall not then
Keep silence any more ;
Great storms about him roar."'). Though this version was almost unanimously opposed and finally rejected by the church, yet the want of a new one, or, at least, an emendation of the old, was still felt and desired. Several persons, both in England and Scotland, translated particular psalms. But a new version of the whole book was undertaken by Sir William Mure, of Rowallan, in Ayrshire, and completed by him in the year 1639. Sir William, or, as he was in those days more briefly styled, Rowallan, had early distinguished himself as a religious poet. He was a staunch friend to the Presbyterian Church, and died in 1657. Some of his descendants settled in this country, where they still remain. His version does not appear to have been ever printed, though it must have been pretty generally known. For when the Westminster Assembly was engaged in preparing our present version, Principal Baillie, one of the commissioners to the Assembly, from the Church of Scotland, writing from London, thus speaks of it:“I wish I had Rowallan's Psalter here, for I like it better than any I have yet seen.” In the “ Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane," written by the poet, Sir William, and lately published from the original manuscript, several specimens of his version are given, copied from the origi. nal which is still preserved among the family papers in Scotland. As this version has been now altogether un. known for nearly two centuries, and as it was used in compiling our present Psalm Book, a few of these specimens may prove interesting to your readers, and especially to