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AFTER the many excellent versions which have already appeared, both in catholic and protestant Cbristendom, many persons may, no doubt, esteem a new translation of the Psalter superfluous; and they will, on the same ground, probably conclude that nothing can be added to the excellent Scripture commentaries which are already extant.
But the mine of Scripture is inexhaustible; and from the time at which it was first opened, till the time when faith shall be exchanged for sight, not one labourer who works therein, even from the most robust to the most feeble, will remain unrewarded by a participation in its wealth.
Besides which consideration, it has been thought that many of our valuable commentaries, not excepting those of St. Augustin in the catholic church, and Bishop Horne in our own, whilst they abound in spirituality, are yet deficient in strict fidelity of interpretation.
It is, however, only on an accurate and strict exposition of the letter of the Scripture text, that every other sense, however spiritual, must be grounded; otherwise it sinks into a mere edifying adaptation, instead of presenting the solid and true spiritual interpretation intended by the Holy Ghost. It becomes in this case the ingenious imagination of good men, not the lesson proposed to us by the Divine Spirit. And however true such fanciful interpretations may be according to the analogy of faith, and however edifying in themselves, yet they, in truth, neither convey the actual spiritual, any more than the actual literal interpretation of the particular passage in question. For, as the great object of a Christian faith is really held out in every part of Scripture, so will Christ, that glorious object, be best and be most truly, as well as most gloriously, discerned by a most literal and exact translation and exposition: and this not in order to rest on that literal sense, with a pharisaic or masoretic dryness or sterility; but because the Holy Spirit, the appointed guide to lead the church into all truth, and to take of the things of Jesus and show them to her, has, in reality, chosen the very