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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;
The manners of the age.
Who, fond to pleafs the carnal tafte,
On fubjects vain and vile.
Have Chriftian Bards no nobler themes,
Than Jove, Mars, Juno, Venus, names,
Be rais'd to paint our poetry,
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,
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,
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,
Shall we receive his bleflings grand,
Patience in trouble, though fevere,
Repofe in the Grave. Job iii. 17,-19.
17 Quiet grave, the wicked there
Th' afflicted are at eafe, and there
18 There, clofe to the oppreffor's bones,
And there the pris'ners heavy moans
19 The fmall and great, the friend and foe,
The rich and poor, the high and low,
There lies the fceptre with the fpade,
Sunk to the fame degree:
And there the fervant-man and maid,
Ver. The coward and the brave alike,
The wife and foolifh, proud and meek,
Soul-reft, to faints, in heav'n is fix'd,
Is there, where faints and finners mix'd
The Excellency of Man laid low before Gon.
Man mortal and impure. Ver. 17, 18.
HALL mortal man, a tainted clod,
Boaft righteousness divine;
Or think he can his Maker, God,
18 Behold! no truft is put by him,
Before him blufh for fhame?
And fhall vain man, in impure ftate,
His innocence defend?
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,
Ver. For, but how foon a gnawing worm,
The rampart cannot stand the storm,
20 The fap'd foundation every hour
So faft men perish out of fight,
21 In vain no pow'r and wealth atchiev'd,
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;
7 Flames to their element afcend,
To trouble as their centre tend,
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,