Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Scottish Psalter, Part One

The Scottish Psalter. General Assembly Free Church of Scotland. 1650. GLH Publishing. 497 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: That man hath perfect blessedness, who walketh not astray/ In counsels of ungodly men, nor stands in sinners' way,

I meant to buy this one earlier in the year. But it wasn't until mid-February that I got around to it. I began reading it in March. I've read Psalms 1-41 so far.

How am I liking it? Some psalms, some verses I just absolutely love. It is such a treat to read them in poetic verse or "meter." But I don't "love, love, love" all of them. There are a few that are so awkwardly worded I can't imagine trying to sing them--at least today--and having a congregation understand and enjoy them.

Here are a few of my favorites:

From Psalm 3
Yet thou my shield and glory art,
   th' uplifter of mine head.
I cried, and, from his holy hill,
   the Lord me answer made.
I laid me down and slept; I waked;
   for God sustained me.
I will not fear though thousands ten
   set round against me be.
Salvation doth appertain
   unto the Lord alone:
Thy blessing, Lord, for evermore
   thy people is upon.

From Psalm 4

But know, that for himself the Lord
   the godly man doth choose:
The Lord, when I on him do call,
   to hear will not refuse.
I will both lay me down in peace,
   and quiet sleep will take;
Because thou only me to dwell
   in safety, Lord, dost make.

From Psalm 5

Give ear unto my words, O Lord,
   my meditation weigh.
Hear my loud cry, my King, my God;
   for I to thee will pray.
Lord, thou shalt early hear my voice:
   I early will direct
My pray'r to thee; and, looking up,
   an answer will expect.
But I into thy house will come
   in thine abundant grace;
And I will worship in thy fear
   toward thy holy place.

From Psalm 7

According to his righteousness
   the Lord I'll magnify;
And will sing praise unto the name
   of God that is most high.

From Psalm 8

How excellent in all the earth,
   Lord, our Lord, is thy name!
Who hast thy glory far advanced
   above the starry frame.
Then say I, What is man, that he
   remembered is by thee?
Or what the son of man, that thou
   so kind to him should'st be?

From Psalm 9
Lord, thee I'll praise with all my heart,
   thy wonders all proclaim.
In thee, most High, I'll greatly joy,
   and sing unto thy name.
And they that know thy name, in thee
   their confidence will place:
For thou hast not forsaken them
   that truly seek thy face.

From Psalm 13

I will unto the Lord my God
   sing praises cheerfully,
Because he hath his bounty shown
   to me abundantly.

From Psalm 16

Unto me happily the lines
   in pleasant places fell;
Yea, the inheritance I got
   in beauty doth excellent.
I bless the Lord, because he doth
   by counsel me conduct;
And in the seasons of the night
   my reins do me instruct.
Before me still the Lord I set:
   since it is so that he
Doth ever stand at my right hand,
   I shall not moved be.
Because of this my heart is glad,
   and joy shall be expressed
Ev'n by my glory; and my flesh
   in confidence shall rest.
Thou wilt me show the path of life:
   of joys there is full store
Before thy face; at thy right hand
   are pleasures evermore.

From Psalm 17

Hold up my goings, Lord, me guide
    in those thy paths divine,
So that my footsteps may not slide
    out of those ways of thine.
But as for me, I thine own face
   in righteousness will see;
And with thy likeness, when I wake,
   I satisfied shall be.

From Psalm 18

Thee will I love, O Lord, my strength.
   My fortress is the Lord,
My rock, and he that doth to me
   deliverance afford.
My God, my strength, whom I will trust,
   a buckler unto me,
The horn of my salvation,
   and my high tow'r, is he.
Upon the Lord, who worthy is
   of praises, will I cry;
And then shall I preserved be
   safe from mine enemy.
In my distress I called on God,
   cry to my God did I;
He from his temple heard my voice,
   to his ears came my cry.
The Lord will light my candle so,
   that it shall shine full bright:
The Lord my God will also make
   my darkness to be light.
As for God, perfect is his way:
   the Lord his word is try'd;
He is a buckler to all those
   who do in him confide.

From Psalm 19

God's law is perfect, and converts
   the soul in sin that lies:
God's testimony is most sure,
   and makes the simple wise.
The statutes of the Lord are right,
   and do rejoice the heart:
The Lord's command is pure, and doth
   light to the eyes impart.
Unspotted is the fear of God,
   and doth endure for ever:
The judgments of the Lord are true
   and righteous altogether.
They are more than gold, yea, much find gold,
   to be desired are:
Than honey, honey from the comb
   that droppeth, sweeter far.
Moreover, they thy servant warn
   how he his life should frame:
A great reward provided is
   for them that keep the same.
The words which from my mouth proceed,
   the thoughts sent from my heart,
Accept, O Lord, for thou my strength
   and my Redeemer art.

From Psalm 22

All day, my God, to thee I cry,
   yet am not heard by thee;
And in the season of the night
   I cannot silent be.
Be not far off, for grief is near,
   and none to help is found.
The meek shall eat, and shall be filled;
   they also praise shall give
Unto the Lord that do him seek:
   your heart shall ever live.

Psalm 23
The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want
   He makes me down to lie
In pastures green: he leadeth me
   the quiet waters by.
My soul he doth restore again;
   and me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
   ev'n for his own name's sake.
Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale,
   yet will I fear none ill:
For thou art with me; and thy rod
   and staff me comfort still.
My table thou hast furnished
   in presence of my foes;
My head thou dost with oil anoint,
   and my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life
   shall surely follow me:
And in God's house for evermore
   my dwelling-place shall be.

From Psalm 25

   To thee I lift my soul:
   O Lord, I trust in thee:
My God, let me not be ashamed,
   nor foes triumph o'er me.
   Let none that wait on thee
   be put to shame at all;
But those that without cause transgress,
   let shame upon them fall.
   Show me thy ways, O Lord;
   thy paths, O teach thou me:
And do thou lead me in thy truth,
   therein my teacher be:
   For thou art God that dost
   to me salvation, send,
And I upon thee all the day
   expecting do attend.
   Thy tender mercies, Lord,
   I pray thee to remember,
And loving-kindnesses; for they
   have been of old for ever.
   My sins and faults of youth
   do thou, O Lord, forget:
After thy mercy think on me,
   and for thy goodness great.
   God good and upright is:
   the way he'll sinners show.
The meek in judgment he will guide,
   and make his path to know.
   The whole paths of the Lord
   are truth and mercy sure,
To those that do his cov'nant keep,
   and testimonies pure.
   Now for thine own name's sake,
   O Lord, I thee entreat
To pardon mine iniquity;
   for it is great.
   What man is he that fears
   the Lord, and doth him serve?
Him shall he teach the way that he
   shall choose, and still observe.
   O do thou keep my soul,
   do thou deliver me:
And let me never be ashamed,
   because I trust in thee.

From Psalm 27

The Lord's my light and saving health,
   who shall make me dismayed?
My life's strength is the Lord, of whom
   then shall I be afraid?
One thing I of the Lord desired,
   and will seek to obtain,
That all days of my life I may
    within God's house remain;
That I the beauty of the Lord
   behold may and admire,
And that I in his holy place
   may rev'rently enquire.
O Lord, give ear unto my voice,
   when I do cry to thee;
Upon me also mercy have,
   and do thou answer me.
When thou didst say, seek ye my face,
   then unto thee reply
 Thus did my heart, above all things
   thy face, Lord, seek will I.
O Lord, instruct me in thy way,
   to me a leader be
In a plain path, because of those
   that hatred bear to me.
Wait on the Lord, and be thou strong,
   and he shall strength afford
Unto thine heart; yeah, do thou wait,
   I say, upon the Lord.

From Psalm 30
For but a moment lasts his wrath;
   life in his favor lies:
Weeping may for a night endure,
   at morn doth joy arise.
Hear, Lord, have mercy; help me, Lord:
   Thou turned hast my sadness
To dancing; yea, my sackcloth loosed,
   and girded me with gladness;

From Psalm 31

In thee, O Lord, I put my trust,
   shamed let me never be;
According to thy righteousness
   do thou deliver me.
Bow down thine ear to me, with speed
   send me deliverance:
To save me, my strong rock be thou,
   and my house of defense.
Because thou art my rock, and thee
   I for my fortress take;
Therefore do thou me lead and guide,
   ev'n for thine own name's sake.
Into thine hands I do commit
   my sp'rit: for thou art he,
O thou, Jehovah, God of truth,
   that has redeemed me.

From Psalm 32

O blessed is the man to whom
   is freely pardoned
All the transgression he hath done,
   whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord
   imputeth not his sin,
And in whose sp'rit there is no guile,
   nor fraud is found therein.
Thou art my hiding-place, thou shalt
   from trouble keep me free:
Thou with songs of deliverance
   about shalt compass me.
I will instruct thee, and thee teach
   the way that thou shalt go;
And, with mine eye upon thee set,
   I will direction show.

From Psalm 33

Ye righteous, in the Lord rejoice;
   it comely is and right,
That upright men, with thankful voice,
   should praise the Lord of might.
The heavens by the word of God
   did their beginning take;
And by the breathing of his mouth
   he all their hosts did make.
O but the counsel of the Lord
   doth stand for ever sure;
And of his heart the purposes
   from age to age endure.
Since in his holy name we trust,
   our heart shall joyful be.
Lord, let thy mercy be on us,
   as we do hope in thee.

From Psalm 34

Extol the Lord with me, let us
   exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, he heard, and did
   me from all fears deliver.
They looked to him, and lightened were:
   not shamed were their faces.
This poor man cried, God heard, and saved
   him from all his distresses.
O children, hither do ye come,
   and unto me give ear;
I shall teach you to understand
   how ye the Lord should fear.
Depart from ill, do good, seek peace,
   pursue it earnestly.
God's eyes are on the just; his ears
   are open to their cry.

From Psalm 37

Set thou thy trust upon the Lord,
   and be thou doing good;
And so thou in the land shalt dwell,
   and verily have food.
Delight thyself in God; he'll give
   thine heart's desire to thee.
Thy way to God commit, him trust,
   it bring to pass shall he.
And, like unto the light, he shall
   thy righteousness display;
And he thy judgment shall bring forth
   like noon-tide of the day.
Rest in the Lord, and patiently
   wait for him: do not fret
For him who, prosp'ring in his way,
   success in sin doth get.

From Psalm 40

I waited for the Lord my God,
   and patiently did bear;
At length to me he did incline
   my voice and cry to hear.
He took me from a fearful pit,
   and from the miry clay,
And on a rock he set my feet,
   establishing my way.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   our God to magnify:
Many shall see it, and shall fear,
   and on the Lord rely.
O blessed is the man whose trust
   upon the Lord relies;
Respecting not the proud, nor such
   as turn aside to lies.
O Lord my God, full many are
   the wonders thou hast done;
Thy gracious thoughts to us-ward far
   above all thoughts are gone:
In order none can reckon them
   to thee: if them declare,
And speak of them I would, they more
   than can be numbered are.
To do thy will I take delight,
   O thou my God that art;
Yea, that most holy law of thine
   I have within my heart.
Within the congregation great
   I righteousness did preach:
Lo, thou dost know, O Lord, that I
   refrained not my speech.
I never did within my heart
   conceal thy righteousness;
I thy salvation have declared,
   and shown thy faithfulness:
Thy kindness, which most loving is,
   concealed have not I,
Nor from the congregation great
   have hid thy verity.
Thy tender mercies, Lord, from me
   O do thou not restrain;
Thy loving-kindness, and thy truth,
   let them me still maintain.
In thee let all be glad, and joy,
   who seeking thee abide;
Who thy salvation love, say still,
   The Lord be magnified.
I'm poor and needy, yet the Lord
   of me a care doth take:
Thou art my help and savior,
   my God, no tarrying make.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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