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Ver. While vain ye feek, with earthly toys,
To fill an empty mind,

You lofe immortal folid joys,

And feed upon the wind.

3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
Hear, and your foul fhall live:
For mercies fure, as well as free,
I bind myfelf to give.



Faith and Repentance urged upon Sinners, from Mtives of grace and mercy: or, GoD's drawing them to bimfelf with Cords of Love. Ifa. lv. 6,-9.



CK God while yet he may be found,
Call on him while he's near;
While grace's trump, the joyful found
Of mercy, ftrikes your ear.

7 O let the wicked change his way!
And the unrighteous man

His thoughts, and legal hopes, that stray
Crofs to the gofpel-plan.

And let him now return to God,

The Lord our righteoufnefs;

Who, through the merit of his blood,

In mercy will him bless.

To our God let him turn betimes,
For gracious will he be;
And for his multitude of crimes
Will pardons multiply.

Let, faith the Lord, my boundlefs grace
Move guilty fouls to come,

And truft me with their defp'rate cafe
When hoplefs thoughts do roam.

8 Because my thoughts and ways divine
Are not as yours; for why?


All yours are bafe and low, but mine
Immenfely great and high:

For as the heav'ns, in height and space,

Tranfcend your earthly boors;

Much more my thoughts and ways of grace

Surmount all thoughts of yours.

Ver. [Great God, then bid the mountains move;
Our fins that reach the fky,

Be melted down with flames of love,
More infinitely high.]


The defperate State of the Church bewailed.
Jer. viii. 18,-22.

18 WHEN fain I would comfort myself,
Againft prevailing grief,

My heart within me waxed faint,
Nor could I find relief.

19 Behold my peoples rueful cry,
Hath reach'd my wounded ear,
For exiles now in mifery,

Who yokes of bondage bear.
Doth not the Lord in Zion dwell,
And there for ever reign?
Why have they thus provok'd his ire,
With idols ftrange and vain?

20 The harvest time is over-past,
The fummer's at an end;

Yet fav'd we are not, nor from Heav'n
Does help to us defcend.

21 The daughter of my peoples hurt
Doth wound and blacken me;
Aftonishment hath feiz'd my foul
To an extreme degree.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is no phyfician there?

Why then hath Zion's hurt no cure,
Nor yet her health repair?

+ Pp






The TITLE of this book, which has none in the original, is taken from the fubject matter of which it treats; and therefore intitle LAMENTATIONS. As there are facred odes, or fongs of joy; » there are facred elegies, or fongs of lamentation.-The PENMA of the Spirit of God in this book, was Jeremiah the prophet, who is here Jeremiah the poet; and, indeed, Vates fignifies both. Its thought fitly adjoined to his book as an appendix.-The OCCASION of thefe Lamentations was the deftruction of the city and temple of Jerufalem, and of the land of Judea, by the Caldean army; the diffolution of the Jewish state, both civil and ecclefiaftical, there by.-The USE of thefe Lamentations is still to affect the Lord's pe ple with godly forrow for fin, as the procuring caufe of all fuch miferies and calamities, that may befal the church of God in this world.


The original Composure of this book is not only poetical, but alțbsbetical; each verfe beginning with a feveral letter, in the order of the Hebrew alphabet; the first ALEPH, the fecond Beth, &c. This order is followed in all the fi ft four chapters.

The firft, fecond, and fourth chapters confift of twenty-two verfes, which comprehend the whole alphabet. The third chapter confifts of fixty verfes, whereof each three verfes do begin with one letter throughout, and all in the forefaid alphabetical order, except that in chapter fecond, third, and fourth, the letter PE is put before Ars, which, in all the Hebrew alphabets, follows it. As to the reason whereof, Dr. LEIGHTON offers this conjecture, that the letter AIN, which is the numeral letter for 70, was thus, by being misplaced, made remarkable, to put them in mind of the feventy years; at the end of which God would turn again their captivity, under which they were in Babylon..

The fifth chapter is not alphabetical as the reft; yet (it seems, in conformity to the reft) it confifts alfo of twenty-two verfes according to the number of the letters in the faid Hebrew alphabet.

It may be faid therefore of this book of the Lamentations, what fome fay of the hundred and nineteenth Pfalm, that "it seems to have "more of poetical skill and number in it, than we, at this distance, "can easily understand;" in fo much, that fome have called that pfalm the Saint's Alphabet, it being divided into twenty-two parts,

according to the number of the Hebrew letters, and each part confists of eight verses. All the verses of the first part begin with ALEPH; all the verfes of the fecond with BETH; and fo on, without any flaw, throughout the whole pfalm: Heaven thus condefcending to teach by letters and, as it were, with an A, B, C. "If any cenfure it as "childish and trifling," fays Mr. HENRY, "because acroftics are quite "out of fashion, let them know, that the royal pfalmift despises their "cenfure: he is a teacher of babes; and if this method be beneficial “to them, he can cafily ftoop to it: if this be to be vile, be will "be yet more vile." Now, as the tranflators of that hundred and nineteenth Pfalm, both in the prose and in the metre, have fet down the names of the Hebrew letters on the head of every part or fection thereof; fo in imitation of that method, I thought fit to fet down the name of every Hebrew letter, before each verfe that begins therewith, that thus the beauty and order of the original might appear, and to fhew how much the Spirit of God, who is a God of order, confulted the help and benefit of weak memories, by modelling the compofure of this book, with these memorial letters: intimating, perhaps, to us, that method and order, even in facred difcourfes, ought not always to be hid, or couched in the bofom of long harangues; and that the methodical way of treating them, equally evident and confpicuous, as these initial letters, has a divine precedent, in many fcripture inftances. That the paraphrafe on this book of the Lamentations might keep the order that is in the original, I have, in all the four alphabetical chapters, endeavoured fome conformity thereto, by comprehending every verfe under each Hebrew letter, within the compafs of two ftanzas: fome of the verses being long, required them both; and this occafions, that in fome other places, where the verfes are thorter, the verfion, or paraphrafe, is the longer.

That all may be bleffed of God, for the edification of his church and people, is the earnest defire of their fervant, and yours in Christ, DUNFERMLINE, 2 1750.




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JERUSALEM'S miferable State, by reafon of fin, bitterly bewailed: She complaineth of ber calamities and grief, both to GOD and to friends; folicits commiferation, and confeffeth God's judgments to be righteous.

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Ver. Amidst the provinces around,
She like a princess fat;

But now is under tribute bound
Unto a foreign flate.


2 By night fhe weeps, and briny tears
Bedew her comely cheeks;
'Mong all her lovers none appears,
Nor to her comfort speaks.

Her friends, by whom the was carefs'd,
Have ferv'd her treacheroufly;
Their friendship, formerly profefs'd,
Is turn'd to enmity.


3 Judah into captivity,

By adverfaries rude,

Is gone, because of cruelty

And grievous fervitude.

'Mong heathens now fhe dwells in thrall,
No rest her grief abates :
Her bloody perfecutors all
O'ertake her in the ftraits.


4 The ways of Zion wail her fates,
None keep her folemn feasts:
And all her once frequented gates,
Black defolation waftes.


Her priests, in fable, figh to fee
Their folemn fell'als gone;
Her virgins are opprefs'd, and fhe
In bitterness doth moan.


Her foes the chief above her are,

Her adverfaries thrive;

For God hath meafur'd grief to her

Who did his Spirit grieve:

Because her fins were num'rous grown,

And heinous in his eye,

Her num'rous feed are captive gone

Before the enemy.

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