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"Ver. 19. O how great is thy GOODNESS, which "thou haft laid up for them that FEAR thee, which "thou haft wrought for them that TRUST in thee, be"fore the Sons of Men!
20. Thou shalt HIDE them in the Secret of thy "Prefence from the PRIDE of Man: Thou shalt KEEP "them fecretly in a Pavilion from the STRIFE of "Tongues.
A FEW of these ESSAYS were printed in the Year 1724; fince which Time, the MEDITATIONS of the Earl of Clarendon upon the PSALMS, has been published. * Wherein having found, that in fome measure my Thoughts concerning this Sacred Book, were agreeable to the Sentiments of that Noble Perfon; I take the Liberty to infert the following Paragraph out of his Lordship's PREFACE, P. 369.
To my Children.
"MY CHILDREN, you have undergone fo great a "Share with me, in all the INCONVENIENCIES and "AFFLICTIONS of my BANISHMENTS, that it is but "Juftice to affign you a Share likewife of whatsoever "I have GOTTEN by them: and I do confefs to you, "I found fo great a SERENITY and TRANQUILITY of "Mind in composing these CONSIDERATIONS and RE
ELECTIONS upon the PSALMS of David, that I "am willing to believe, that the Reading them may "adminifter fome kind of RELIEF and EASE to you, "in any TROUBLE OF ADVERSITY to which you may "be expofed at leaft, that they may yield fome "Hints to roufe up other RIPER THOUGHTS of your
own, which may produce that EASE and RELIEF, "by difpofing you to fuffer no Day to pafs, without "at leaft reading fome of the Pfalms; and care"fully to obferve, whether there be not in every one
❝ of them, SOMEWHAT that doth immediately concern "your felves and refer or reflect upon your own "THOUGHTS, your own HOPES and FEARS, or fome « other of your Affections and Paffions. Though "there is no Part of the SCRIPTURES, towards which "we ought not to have all the Reverence imaginable; "yet it is plain, both by the Efteem and frequent "Ufe of them in the Church of the Jews, and the « Injunction of all CHRISTIAN Churches, (how difa "greeing foever amongst themselves) that the Pfalms "be more conftantly read than any other Part of the "SCRIPTURE; that in all Times fomewhat extraordi
nary hath been thought to have been contained there" in, for the INSTRUCTION, ENCOURAGEMENT, and RE"FORMATION of Mankind; and for the rendring our « Lives more ACCEPTABLE to GOD Almighty. And "He was a very learned Man, who thought the Book " of Pfalms to contain the Sum and ABRIDGMENT of "all that is in the OLD TESTAMENT: That all that "Mofes had derived to us in his HISTORY, or prefcrib'd « to us in the Law; and whatsoever the reft of the PRO"PHETS writ, in exhorting Men to VERTUE, and fore"telling what was to come, is all comprehended in the
Pfalms. We may in truth believe, that whofoever is « very converfant in the Pfalms, cannot be ignorant of "any Thing that is abfolutely enjoined to be done, or "not to be done; and of any thing that is abfolutely
neceffary to be BELIEVED, throughout the whole Body " of SCRIPTURE; and it hath a greater Testimony, and " is more frequently urged for the Advancement of « CHRISTIANITY throughout the NEW TESTAMENT, "than any other Part of the BIBLE.
I AM fenfible, that many excellent MANUALS of DEVOTION have been Published, but furely none of thefe come up to that elegancy of EXPRESSION, and ardour of DEVOTION, that is found in the SUPPLICATORY Part of the Pfalms, which are the Dictates of that
DIVINE SPIRIT, which helpeth our INFIRMITIES, and teaches us how, and what we fhould PRAY for as we ought, and alfo maketh INTERCESSION for us with Groanings which cannot be UTTERED.
AS in the Pfalms may be found PETITIONS adapted to all the EXIGENCIES of both SouL and BODY fo there is no PRAYER contain'd therein, to which fome EVANGELICK PROMISE may not be applied, without any forc'd Construction.
PRAYER in General;
Its NECESSITY, EFFICACY, and USE:
Appears from the PRECEPTS and PROMISES, contained in the HOLY SCRIPTURES; and the great Encouragement we have to this DUTY, from the Example of PATRIARCHS, PROPHETS, and APOSTLES:
EBREWS xi. 5. By FAITH Enoch was TRANSLATED that he should not fee DEATH; and was not found, because GOD had tranflated him: For before his Translation he had this Teftimony, that he PLEASED GOD.
6. But without FAITH, it is impoffible to PLEASE Him: for he that cometh to GOD, muft BELIEVE that He is, and that He is a REWARDER of them that diligently SEEK Him.'
Gen. xviii. 27. And Abraham anfwered and faid, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but DUST and ASHES.
Chap. xxv. 21. And Ifaac INTREATED the LORD for his Wife, because fhe was barren; and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebeccab his Wife conceived.
Chap. xxxii. 9. And Jacob faid, O GOD of my Father Abraham, and GoD of my Father Ifaac, the LORD which faidft unto me, Return into thy Country, and to thy Kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10. I am not worthy of the LEAST of all the MERCIES, and of all the TRUTH, which thou haft fhewed unto thy Servant; for with my Staff I paffed over this Jordan, and now I am become two Bands.
II. DELIVER me, I PRAY thee, from the Hand of my Brother, from the Hand of Efau; for I fear him, left he will come and fmite me, and the Mother with the Children.
12. And thou faidft, I will furely do thee GOOD, and make thy Seed as the Sand of the Sea, which cannot be numbred for Multitude.
24. And Jacob was left alone, and there WRESTLED A MAN with him until the breaking of the Day.
25. And when he faw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the Hollow of his Thigh; and the Hollow of Jacob's Thigh was out of Joint, as he WRESTLED with him.
26. And he said, Let me go, for the Day breaketh: And he faid, I will not let thee go, except thou BLESS
27. And he said unto him, What is thy Name? And he faid, Jacob.
28. And he faid, Thy Name fhall be called no more Jacob, but * Ifrael: for as a PRINCE haft thou POWER with GOD and with Men, and haft PREVAILED.
Hofea xii. 4. Yea, he had PowER over the ANGEL, andP REVAILED: he wept, and made SUPPLICATION unto him: He found him in Bethel, and there he fpake with us.
Even the LORD GOD OF HOSTS, the LORD is his MEMORIAL.