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Ver. While vain ye seek, with earthly toys,
To fill an empty mind,
And feed upon the wind.
S O N G XX.
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 ;
Of mercy, strikes your ear.
And the unrighteous man
Crofs to the gospel-plan.
The Lord our righteousness ;
In mercy will him bless.
For gracious will he be ;
Will pardons multiply.
Move guilty fouls to come,
When hopless thoughts do roam.
Are not as yours; for why?
Immensely great and high :
Transcend your earthly boors;
Ver. (Great God, then bid the mountains move;
Our fins that reach the sky,
More infinitely high.]
Jer. viii. 18, -22.
Against prevailing grief,
Nor could I find relief.
Hath reach'd my wounded ear,
Who yokes of bondage bear.
And there for ever reiga ?
With idols llrange and vain ?
The summer's at an end ;
Dues help to us descend.
Dth wound and blacken me;
To an extreme degree.
Is no physician there?
Nor yet her health repair ?
A SHORT PARAPHRASE
LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH.
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,
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,
RALPH ERSKINE. 1750. XOXOXO
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.
The city fits alone!
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
Ver. Amidst the provinces around,
She like a princess sat;
Bedew her comely cheeks ;
Nor to her comfort speaks.
Have ferv'd her treacherously;
By adversaries rude,
gone, because of cruelty
And grievous servitude.
No rest her grief abates :
None keep her folemn fealls :
Black defolation waltes.
Their fulemn fell’als gone ;
Her adversaries thrive ;
Who did his Spirit grieve :
And heinous in his eye,
Before the enemy.