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In the following pages the Psalter is given as it stands in the Book of Common Prayer of the American Church, except that the colon of the English Psalter is retained, which marks that division of the verse which is observed in chanting. The variations of the American Psalter from the English are carefully noted wherever they occur.

This translation is based upon S. Jerome's second version of the Psalms, called the "Gallican," made in A. D. 389, which is substantially the present Vulgate, or Latin version of the Psalms. This was introduced into Gaul and Germany either by S. Gregory of Tours at the close of the sixth century, or S. Boniface early in the eighth century, and from Gaul it soon passed into England. It was used by Coverdale in his translation into English of the whole Bible, published in A. D. 1535; was revised by Rogers in A. D. 1537; it was again revised by Coverdale in A. D. 1539, and was then published under the name of the Great Bible. This was again revised in A. D. 1540, and it is from that or one of the later editions, (published under Archbishop Cranmer's sanction), that our Psalter version is taken.2 It is singularly well adapted to the purposes of devotion and worship by the smoothness of its language and the musical flow of its verses.3 The translation in King James' version of A. D. 1611, (commonly called the "Authorized" version), is often, however, more faithful to the original, and when this

1 See Table on p. XIII.

2 See Eng. P. B. Note, p. XI.

3 The 4to Book of 1552 (Whitchurch's Edition), is the earliest edition of the Prayer-book containing the Psalter. With the folios there was no Psalter, nor does it occur in the folio editions of 1559, though it is found with the 4to of 1560.- Lathbury, Hist. C. P. Book, p. 35.

is the case, its renderings are given in the following pages without note or reference. In many cases literal translations are given. The historical or other headings, or "Titles ", of the K. J. version are also given in corrected translations.

In order to give on the right hand pages only what will be found useful for devotional purposes, the historical and explanatory notes, and the K. J. version where only one or two words are altered, have been placed at the foot of the page.

At the close of each psalm, there is given in compact form a list of Offices and Liturgies in which the psalm is used, and the Seasons, Days, and Hours, for which it has been ap pointed.2


Of the use of the Psalms in the Eucharist, Archdeacon Freeman writes, They ane no longer merely so much Sacred Song, uttered by earthly voices: they blend, through the supernatural medium of the Offerings about to be made, with the worship of Angels; and will be carried up, in that Offering, with all their freight of love and penitence, of Redemption memories and Resurrection hopes to the very Holy of Holies." 3

Valuable assistance has been rendered in the preparation of this volume by the Rev. Alfred Evan Johnson, of S. Anne's Church, Lowell.

I The marginal translation is often substituted. 2 The Nocturn selections are not noted.

3 The Principles of Divine Service, Vol. II, Pt. II, p. 445.




There is a species of rhythm in the original Hebrew, depending upon the number of accented words in the several lines. (See Thrupp, Introd. to the Psalms, Vol. I, p. 17). There is also a symmetrical arrangement of the thoughts and figures of speech, which is retained in a translation. This is termed parallelism, and is defined by Bp. Lowth as "a certain equality, resemblance, or parallelism between the members of each period; so that in two lines (or members of the same period) things for the most part shall answer to things, and words to words, as if fitted to each other by a kind of rule or measure." The synonymous parallelism is an expression of the same thought in different forms. (Ps. 114). The antithetic parallelism opposes one thought to another, as in Ps. 1:7 and 11:6. The synthetic or constructive parallelism constructs successive thoughts in the same form. (Ps. 19). There is also a parallelism of verses and strophes which is more difficult to follow. (Ps. 77).


David "set singers before the altar, that by their voices they might make sweet melody, and daily sing praises in their songs. He beautified their feasts, and set in order the solemn times until the end, that they might praise His holy name, and that the temple might sound from morning." Ecclus. 47: 9, 10.

“The priests faced the people, looking eastwards, while the Levites, who crowded the fifteen steps which led from the Court of Israel to that of the Priests, turned westwards to the sanctuary. On a signal given by the president, the priests moved forward to each side of him who struck

the cymbals. Immediately the choir of the Levites, accompanied by instrumental music, began the Psalm of the day. It was sustained by not less than twelve voices, with which ming

led the delicious treble from selected voices of young sons of the Levites, who, standing by their fathers, might take part in this service alone. The number of instrumental performers was not limited, nor yet confined to the Levites, some of the distinguished families which had intermarried with the Priests being admitted to this service. The Psalm of the day was always sung in three sections. At the close of each the priests blew three blasts from their silver trumpets, and the people bowed down and worshipped. This closed the morning service.”—A. Edersheim, The Temple, its Ministry and Services.

"It would not be possible, it never has seemed so, to Christianize the Hebrew anthems, retaining their power, their earth-like richness, and their manifold splendours,-which are the very splendours, and the true riches, and the grandeur of God's world,-and withal attempered with expressions that touch to the quick the warmest human sympathies. Nothing that mediæval Gothic has achieved, nothing that modern music has effected, can be sufficient for carrying the modern worshipper back to that place and age where and when these anthems 'made glad the city of God.'" "No spot on earth was there then-none has there been since -that might claim comparison with that 'Hill of the Lord,' whereupon, under the blue vault of heaven, these national anthems were performed, and took effect with every aid of a composite musical system-with the harmony of instruments and voices-with the popular acclamation-with the visible adornments of the temple and its awful sacrificial rites."-Isaac Taylor, Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, pp. 151, 157.


It was said of old, by the Psalmist (119: 164), that he praised the Lord for His righteous judgments seven times a day. And after the same manner have holy men in all ages of the Christian Church, having the opportunity and being endowed with a full measure of the Spirit of Prayer, observed seven hours in their private devotions. These Seven Times of Prayer, according to immemorial tradition, are as follows.

The first is that portion of the twenty-four hours when, midnight being past, it is still dark, but drawing towards the day. The Offices used at that time were known as Nocturns and Matins; ' the Nocturns being divided into three parts, known respectively as the first, second, and third Nocturn, and the Matins, which followed immediately upon the Nocturns, being prolonged and terminated in an Office called Lauds, which was said at daybreak. Concerning the night-watches, Christ said,-"Watch ye therefore, for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning." The second time is that of the sunrising, at which the Office known as Prime was used, when man goeth forth to his work, and to his labour, until the evening." (Ps. 104:23.) The third time, Tierce, is nine o'clock A. M., the "third hour of the day" in a double sense: it was then that our Blessed Lord was devoted to crucifixion by His foes, and at that hour the Holy Ghost descended on the Day of Pentecost. The fourth time, Sext, is twelve o'clock meridian, at which period the Lord was hanging on the Cross, and the darkness was gathering upon the land. At this hour, also, He appeared to Saul the persecutor with a glory surpassing that of the sun. At three P. M., the Jewish "Hour of Prayer" (Acts 3:1), is said the fifth Office, None, in commemoration of our Redeemer's death, and with special remembrance of those in the agony of their own dissolution, or approaching it. The Office of Vespers is said at eventide, sunset, at which time the Church hath in all ages praised God for the Incarnation of His eternal Son. Seventh, and lastly, is said the Compline Office, at that time when men are about to seek for strength and refreshment in that rest which is a figure of death.-From "The Book of Private Prayer," and "The Book of Hours."


"Ordo psalmorum,' says S. Augustine, 'mihi magni sacramenti videtur continere secretum ;' 'the order of the Psalms appears to me to involve a great mystery.' Not only are the Psalms inspired, but the arrangement of them was not without the guidance of the Holy Ghost." "S.

I Or Nocturn and Matin Lauds. The name Mattins (or Mattens) has been given also to the public Morning Service

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