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Student's Proper Psalms :
THE PROPER PSALMS ON CERTAIN DAYS,
THE TEXT, ARRANGED IN PARALLELISMS,
AND TAKEN FROM
THE BIBLE AND PRAYER-BOOK VERSIONS,
WITH A GENERAL INTRODUCTION,
NOTES HISTORICAL, TEXTUAL, I EXPLANATORY.
THE REV. G.
W. WALL, M.A.,
INCUMBENT or BICKERSTAFFE,
“THE OLD PASSOVER AND THE NEW,"
" THE STUDENT'S PRAYER-Book,"
in the Diocese (formerly of Chester and now) of Liverpool.
(all rights rcscrved.]
The object of the following pages is to render assistance to those engaged in the study of the Proper Psalms. By this is intended not the study mere of the Prayer Book Version of them, nor of the Version of 1611, but the study of the subject matter of the Psalms themselves.
The character of the Text is consequently the first matter with which the Student is concerned. From its ecclesiastical use, the Prayer Book Psalter might seem at first sight to be the most fitting Version to adopt, yet, as it is not always a critically correct Translation, an inconveniently frequent modification of its renderings would be necessary. Its freg and flowing style moreover can bardly be said to represent the terse vigour, or the occasionally abrupt transitions of the Hebrew Psalmists.
The Text presented in the following pages is a composite words, (frequently needless, and sometimes incorrect interpolations, have been as freely omitted. Lastly, it will be noticed that the order of the words of the Version of 1611 has been largely modified. A desire that the Text should remain in the wording of Translations more or less familiar, and yet be conformed as nearly as possible to the Versions of modern critical Commentators, must be pleaded as a justification for these various alterations. “Let a translator," wrote Bishop Jebb, “only be literal, and as far as the genius of his language will permit, let him preserve the original order of the words, and he will infallibly put the reader in possession of all, or nearly all, that the Hebrew Text can give to the best Hebrew Scholar."
The ordinary student is in possession of two Versions, and has probably a familiar acquaintance with the one contained in the Prayer Book, and a less accurate knowledge of the one to be found in the Bible. From these two Versions the Text which follows is taken. Its basis is the Version of 1611, but the renderings of the Prayer Book
have occasionally adopted. Free use also has been made of the marginal renderings of the Bible Version, while its italicized
The arrangement of this book endeavours to carry out the following scheme. After some pages dealing with Preliminary Matter with which it is desirable that the Student should have some acquaintance, the reader is presented with an account of the Historical Circumstances, either evidently or conjecturally connected with each Psalm as it occurs. After this will be found a brief Analysis of its Structure, and a Summary of its Contents, together with a reference to its selection for Eccle. siastical Use. After some remarks upon each Inscription, the Text, just described, is given. Immediately subjoined are references to Critical Commentaries, and to various Versions, which support by their authority the omissions, the borrowings, the insertions, and the transpositions to which they severally relate, and which occasionally supply the reader with other, and more critically accurate renderings of the Original. Notice is taken in the Explanatory Notes of the few instances in which the Text given requires to be replaced by an absolutely new rendering. A list of New Testament References follows, after which are placed various Explanatory Notes. In these verbal, mostly precede historical explanations, and these again more general ones, or such as endeavour to indicate the train of thought. Any Messianic Reference is then pointed out, and occasionally an allusion is made to the comments of the Mystical Interpreters. The references made in these Notes to passages in the Now Testament, will frequently be found to illustrate the Mystical method of Interpretation. An historical outline of the circumstances to which the Proper Psalms have been severally supposed to refer, is given in one Appendix, and in another an endeavour has been made to point out the connection between these Psalms and the Days on which they are to be used.
It is needless to say that the writer is under the greatest obligation to the works of numerous authorities on the subject. But, patent as the fact may be to some who may scan the following pages, fitting acknowledgment should be made here of continual indebtedness to writers such as Perowne and Kay, to Commentaries such as the Speaker's, and Bishop Wordsworth’s, to the volumes of Neale, Littledale, and Spurgeon, and to the critical labours of Delitzsch, Lange, Hengstenberg, Stier, Hupfield, Hitzig, and others. To use the words of the late Dean Alford, “the matter must be understood to be “gathered from all sources, to which time and opportunity "have afforded access.”
G. W. W.
Bickerstaffe, February 14th, 1884.