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as one obferves, with a monument of primitive theology, a specimen of Gentile piety, an expofition of the book of providence, a great example of patience, an illuftrious type of Chrift, and a heroic magnanimity in fuffering; for, as it has been obferved concerning him, he appears brave in diftrefs, and. valiant in affliction; maintains his virtues, and with that his character, under the most exasperating provocations that the malice of hell could invent, and thereby gives a moft noble example of paffive fortitude; a character no way inferior to that of the active hero,

I have not tranflated any of this book in a hiftorical, but rather fome parts of it in a doctrinal way. The whole hiftory of this book is fet forth in heroic rhyme, to very excellent purpose, by that lofty poet, and eminent author, Sir Richard B'ackmore: from whofe Paraphrafe on this book, though I have not followed him in every glofs of his upon fome texts, yet I have taken all the help and aft ance I could in framing many of the Songs into common metre; and upon many parts of this book, that not one chapter is overpaft without one or more Songs upon fuch fubjects therein as I judged moft fit to be the matter of fpiritual fongs.


I did not fee how the ftrict tranflation of this book, in a historical way, would answer the end of pfalmography; and therefore, that I might extract from it a number of fongs, I have thought fit to pick out the places of this book, that appeared to me to be the most doctrinal, practical, experimental, inftructive, or directive. And though I have, no doubt, paffed over many places that might have afforded most edifying matter, and which I should with to fee drawn out, to better purpose, by any who have more skill and leafure than I; yet I have more fully infifted upon these chapters towards the end of the book, where God himself is faid to be the fpeaker,

Some of thefe Songs are by way of tranflation; and others more paraphraftical and large upon the places quoted at the title. And they being a century of fongs, or an hundred different fubjects at least, I have thought fit to give titles to every one of them, by which, I hope, they may be rendered the more agreeable and edifying to the reader, in fo far as the fubject of each fong answers the title given to it and readers may, at their pleafure, choose the matter of meditation that is most acceptable to them.

I do not expect that thefe Songs fhould deferve to be efteemed for any poetical genius that may appear therein; feeing, in this refpect, I am fenfible enough of their defect; but if any think fit to decry them, or their author, for their fpiritual matter, or religious defiga, he will have little reafon to be difpleafed with them for doing him fo great an honour. It is a great pity that many, who are indued with an excellent genius for poefy, do cccupy it fo little upon divine and feriptural fubjects, and fo much proftitute it to wantonnefs and folly, which is frequently fet off in fuch a fine drefs, that it may be faid, I hope, pardonably, in the following lines.


Applauded for their vanity,

Are poets of the stage;
Skill'd in corrupting artfully

The manners of the age.

Who, fond to pleafs the carnal tafte,
The facred art defile,
And fine poetic spirit waste,

On fubjects vain and vile.

Have Chriftian Bards no nobler themes,
To decorate their odes,

Than Jove, Mars, Juno, Venus, names,
And heaps of Pagan gods?
Shall buried idols, known to be
A fiction and a jest,

Be rais'd to paint our poetry,
And living truths fupprefs'd!
The learn'd, for helps to poetize,
Who Greeks and Latins rob,
May filch far better, if they please,
From this old book of Job.
Here's matter for the lofty muse;
Examples take at will,

All ye that read and can excufe

The foftness of the quill.



Loffes thankfully received. Job i. 21.

Ver. NAKED, at first, as any swain,
I left my mother's womb;


And shall anon return again

As naked to my tomb.

Who crown'd my life fo gay, the fame

May crush it to the grave:

God gives, and bleffed be his name,

He takes but what he gave.

Ver. While fmiling mercy crown'd my brow,
Its praife abroad was fpread;
I'll now adore the juftice too,
That ftrikes my comforts dead.


Patience in Tribulation. Job ii. 10.

10 WHAT! fhall a man, a finful man,

A worm with God contend;

Difpute his will, his counfel fcan,
His rule of juftice mend!

Shall we receive his bleflings grand,
Yet frowardly complain,
Whenever his afflicting hand
Creates us any pain!

Patience in trouble, though fevere,
We fhould fubmiffive fhew;
Bleffings are not, yea, never were,
But troubles are our due.

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Repofe in the Grave. Job iii. 17,-19.

17 Quiet grave, the wicked there
No more the juft moleft;

Th' afflicted are at eafe, and there
The weary are at reft.

18 There, clofe to the oppreffor's bones,
Sleeps the opprefs'd in peace;

And there the pris'ners heavy moans
And cries for ever ceale.

19 The fmall and great, the friend and foe,
The conqu'ror and the flave;

The rich and poor, the high and low,
Are level'd in the grave.

There lies the fceptre with the fpade,

Sunk to the fame degree:

And there the fervant-man and maid,
Are from their mafter free.

Ver. The coward and the brave alike,
The peafant and the peer;

The wife and foolifh, proud and meek,
Ly undiftinguifh'd there.

Soul-reft, to faints, in heav'n is fix'd,
But body's reft, till doom,

Is there, where faints and finners mix'd
Poffefs one quiet room.

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The Excellency of Man laid low before Gon.
Job iv. 17,-21.


Man mortal and impure. Ver. 17, 18.

HALL mortal man, a tainted clod,

17 SHA

Boaft righteousness divine;

Or think he can his Maker, God,
In purity outfhine?

18 Behold! no truft is put by him,
In yonder glorious race
Of bright immortal feraphim,
That ftand before his face.
Of folly comp❜rative can he
His pureft angels blame,
Who, plung'd in his infinity,

Before him blufh for fhame?

And fhall vain man, in impure ftate,

His innocence defend?
Will he with his Creator great
Prefumptuously contend!


Man fhort-lived and contemptible. Ver. 19, 20, 21. 19 VILE mortal man, a worthless wight, Triumphs but for a day;

And but inhabits, for a night,

A houfe of mould'ring clay.

His ftrongeft lodge, and vital fort,

Is founded in the duft,

Which, quickly falling, cuts him fhort,
And difappoints his truft.

Ver. For, but how foon a gnawing worm,
Or filly moth affails,

The rampart cannot stand the storm,
The feeble fabric fails.

20 The fap'd foundation every hour
Thus piece-meal feels decay;
And life ev'n in its blooming flow'r,
Does daily fade away.

So faft men perish out of fight,
Their pomp that fhone before,
And once could wonder fond excite,
Can raise regard no more.

21 In vain no pow'r and wealth atchiev'd,
For help at laft they cry;
For without wisdom, as they liv'd,
They in their folly die.


Sin the Caufe of Trouble. Job v. 6, 7.

6 AFFLICTION fprings not from the earth,

from the duft;

Yet men are heirs of wo by birth;
Sad heritage! but juft.

7 Flames to their element afcend,
So men, conceiv'd in fin,

To trouble as their centre tend,
Like kindred to their kin.
For fin and wo, twins of the clan,
By chance were ne'er convey'd,
But propagate from man to man,
Since Adam difobey'd.


The Saint's Refolution when in Affliction. Job v. 8.

8 TO God I'd feek, when in his chain

I'm held, and would fubmit;

All my own paths I would arraign,
But his I would acquit.

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