Images de page

Ver. While vain ye seek, with earthly toys,

To fill an empty mind,
You lose immortal folid joys,

And feed upon the wind.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;

Hear, and your soul shall live :
For mercies fure, as well as free,
I bind myself to give.

Faith and Repentance urged upon Sinners, from Mo-

tives of grace and mercy: or, God's drawing ibem

to bimself with Cords of Love. lfa. ly. 6,-9. 6 SEEK " EEK God while yet he may be found,

Call on him while he's near ;
While grace's trump, the joyful sound

Of mercy, strikes your ear.
7 O let the wicked change his way !

And the unrighteous man
His thoughts, and legal hopes, that stray

Crofs to the gospel-plan.
And let him now return to God,

The Lord our righteousness ;
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 trust me with their defp’rate case

When hopless thoughts do roam.
8 Because my thoughts and ways divine

Are not as yours; for why?
All yours are base and low, but mine

Immensely great and high :
9 For as the heav'ns, in height and space,

Transcend your earthly boors;
Much more my thoughts and ways of

Surmount all thoughts of yours.

Ver. (Great God, then bid the mountains move;

Our fins that reach the sky,
Be melted down with flames of love,

More infinitely high.]



[ocr errors]

Tbe desperate State of the Church bewailed.

Jer. viii. 18, -22.
JHEN fain I would comfort myself,

Against 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 misery,

Who yokes of bondage bear.
Doth not the Lord in Zion dwell,

And there for ever reiga ?
Why have they thus provok'd his ire,

With idols llrange and vain ?
20 The harvest time is over-past,

The summer's at an end ;
Yet fav'd we are not, nor from Heav'n

Dues help to us descend.
21 The daughter of my peoples hurt

Dth wound and blacken me;
Astonishment hath feiz'd my soul

To an extreme degree.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead ?

Is no physician there?
Why then hath Zion's hurt no cure,

Nor yet her health repair ?







P R E FACE. The Title of this book, which has none in the original, is taken fra

the subject matter of which it treats ; and therefore intitle LAMENTATIONS. As there are sacred odes, or songs of joy; b there are sacred elegies, or songs of lamentation.—The PERLE of the Spirit of God in this book, was Jeremiah the prophet, whe is here Jeremiah the poet; and, indeed, Vates signifies both. It's thought fitly adjoined to his book as an appendix. - The Occasios af these Lamentations was the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, and of the land of Judea, by the Caldean army; and the diffolution of the Jewish state, both civil and ecclesiastical, there. by.-- The Use of these Lamentations is still to affect the Lord's people with godly forrow for sin, as the procuring cause of all fach miseries and calamities, that may befal the church of God in this

world. The original ComPOSURE of this book is not only poetical, but alba

betical ; each verse beginning with a several letter, in the order of the Hebrew alphabet; the first ALEPN, the second Bete, &c. Tbs

order is followed in all the fift four chapters. The first, fecond, and fourth chapters consist of twenty-two verfes,

which comprehend the whole alphabet. The third chapter confifts of sixty verses, whereof each three verses do begin with one letter throughout, and all in the foresaid alphabetical order, except tirat in chapter second, third, and fourth, the letter Pe is put before An, whichi, in all the Hebrew alphabets, follows it. As to the reason whereof, Dr. LEIGHTON offers this conjecture, that the letter As, which is the numeral letter for 70, was thus, by being misplaced, made remarkable, to put them in mind of the seventy 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 tue rest; yet (it seems, in con

formity to the rest) it consists also of twenty-two verses according to

the number of the letters in the said Hebrew alphabet, It may be said therefore of this book of the Lamentations, what some

say of the hundred and nineteenth Pfalın, that“ it seems to have s more of poetical kill and number in it, than we, at this distance,

can easily understand;" in so much, that some bave called that psalm the Saint's Alphabet, it being divided into twenty-two parts,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

according to the number of the Hebrew letters, and each part consists of eight verses. All the verses of the first part begin with Aleph; all the verses of the second with Beth; and so on, without any flaw, throughout the whole pfalm: Heaven thus condescending to teach by letters : and, as it were, with an A, B, C. “ If any censure it as < childish and trifting,” says Mr. Henry, “ because acrostics are quite " out of fashion, let them know, that the royal psalmist despises their « censure: he is a teacher of babes ; and if this method be beneficial 46 to them, he can casily stoop to it: if this be to be vile, be will

so be yet more vile.” Now, as the translators of that hundred and nineteenth Pfalı, both

in the prose and in the metre, have set down the names of the Hebrew letters on the head of every part or section thereof; fo in imitation of that method, I thought fit to set down the name of every Hebrew letter, before each verse that begins therewith, that thus the beauty and order of the original might appear, and to thew how much the Spirit of God, who is a God of order, consulted the help and benefit of weak memories, by modelling the composure of this book, with these memorial letters: intimating, perhaps, to us, that method and order, even in facred discourses, cught not always to be bid, or couched in the bosom of long harangues ; and that the methodical way of treating them, equally evident and conspicuous, as these ini

tial letters, has a divine precedent, in many scripture instances. That the paraphrase on this book of the Lamentations might keep the

order that is in the original, I have, in all the four alphabetical chapters, endeavoured some conformity thereto, by comprehending every verse under each Hebrew letter, within the compass of two stanzas: some of the verses being long, required them both; and this occasions, that in some other places, where the verses are ihorter, the version,

or paraphrase, is the longer. That all may be blessed of God, for the edification of bis church and

people, is the earnest desire of their servant, and yours in Christ, DUNFERMLINE,



[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

с н л Р. І.

ers conit of more than

weet. The team ce veries do begin to aid alphabetical t', the letter ft 15.25 z bets, follows it is his conjecture, the O, 1125 thus bor her to

mind of the leren again their artim, s

JERUSALEM's miserable State, by reason of fin, bit

terly be wailed: She complaineth of ber calamities and grief, borb to God and to frirnds; folicits commiferation, and confiffeth God's judgments

to be righteous.

AH! how so populous of late

The city fits alone!
How widow-like is the, that great
Among the nations thone!


[ocr errors]

zal as tue rel; met lo cf twenty-two veris en Lid liebrewable ok of the Lamerates i eenth Pialın, that wij bi mber in ia dhar r, ** much, that fome home

[ocr errors]

divided into


Ver. Amidst the provinces around,

She like a princess sat;
But now is under tribute bound
Unto a foreign state.

2 By night she weeps, and briny tears

Bedew her comely cheeks ;
Mong all her lovers none appears,

Nor to her comfort speaks.
Her friends, by whom she was carefs'd,

Have ferv'd her treacherously;
Their friendship, formerly profess’d,
Is turn'd to enmity.

3 Judah into captivity,

By adversaries rude,

gone, because of cruelty

And grievous servitude.
'Mong heathens now she dwells in thrall,

No rest her grief abates :
Her bloody persecutors all
O’ertake her in the straits.

4 The ways of Zion wail her fates,

None keep her folemn fealls :
And all her once frequented gates,

Black defolation waltes.
Her priests, in sable, sigh to see

Their fulemn fell’als gone ;
Her virgins are oppress’d, and she
In bitterness doth moan.

Her foes the chief above her are,

Her adversaries thrive ;
For God hath measur'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.

« PrécédentContinuer »