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please chiefly from their novelty, will in their turn be displaced ; but there will always remain a few, (fortunate the poet who can contribute but one or two to the number,) which will live and give life, and be used in the church and the closet, as long as the language, that is to say, as long as the world shall last.

Mr. Lyte is well-known to our readers, and we announced this work as preparing for publication in our notice of his Religious Poems. The design and character of the volume will best be learned from his own explanation. After remarking that, notwithstanding some happy occasional specimens, a good metrical. translation of the Psalms is still a desideratum in our language, Mr. Lyte says:

The Author of this little volume has not had the temerity to hope that he could supply this deficiency. Instead of attempting a new Version of Psalms, he has contented himself with endeavouring to condense the leading sentiments of each into a few verses for congregational singing. The modern practice of using only three or four verses at a time would render the great majority of the Psalms, if literally translated, unfit, on the score of length, for public worship; and a few ill-connected verses detached from the rest can scarcely give a more just view of the harmonious whole, than a few bricks can of the building, of which they may have formed a part. The Author has therefore simply endeavoured to give the Spirit of each Psalm in such a compass as the public taste would tolerate, and to furnish, sometimes, when the length of the original would admit of it, an almost literal translation, sometimes a kind of spiritual paraphrase, and at others even a brief commentary on the whole Psalm. He feels in truth that, in order to render the Psalms fully applicable to a Christian audience, considerable liberties must be allowed in the way

of adaptation. They ought, he thinks, to be made to express all that David himself would have expressed, had he lived under the superior light which we enjoy, and beheld, not the mere twilight of the yet unrisen “Sun of Righteousness," but, like ourselves, the splendour of His meridian day. What therefore he darkly intimates respecting Christ and His Gospel, (and the Psalms are full of such intimations,) the Author has in many instances endeavoured to unfold and expand, and adapting the whole in some degree to present times, usages, and circumstances, he has sought to preserve the spirit of the originals, while he has somewhat altered the letter.' pp. iii-v.

For our own part, we much prefer, for the purposes of Christian worship, free imitations of the Psalms to accommodated versions which neither retain the language and sentiment of David, nor yet possess the genuine character of a Christian hymn. We could wish to see more of the Spirit of the Psalms of those especially which were composed for worship-transfused into our hymns; but we question the propriety, and certainly must deny the good effect, of putting force upon the compositions of the inspired Psalmist, in order to make them speak evangelical

VOL. XII. - N.S.


language, and to adapt to the purpose of Psalmody, what would never have been intended for the general worship of the Church.

Mr. Lyte has, however, been very happy in his spirited imitation of some Psalms which, though, in the letter, not applicable to the circumstances of the Church, admit of an accommodation of the sentiment. We may instance the XXth., which primarily refers to some military expedition and victory; and Dr. Watts has accordingly turned it into a psalm, "for a day of 'prayer in time of war. Mr. Lyte's can hardly be called a version,-it is a perversion of the Psalm, but a beautiful and allowable perversion, for which he must not only be forgiven, but thanked.

· The Lord in trouble hear thee,

And help from Zion send;
The God of grace be near thee

To comfort and befriend!
Thy human weakness strengthen,

Thy earthly wants supply,
Thy span of nature lengthen

To endless life on high !
• Above his own anointed

His banner bright shall wave:
Their times are all appointed ;

The Lord his flock will save :
Through life's deceitful mazes,

Their steps will safely bear ;
Accept their feeble praises,

And hear their every prayer.
•Go on, thou heir of glory!

No ill can thee betide.
The prize is full before thee,

Thy Guardian at thy side.
Who trust in mortal forces

Their weakness soon shall see ;
But God a sure resource is,

And God shall succour thee.'

Our readers may not be displeased at having the opportunity of comparing with this free imitation, a more literal version, in French, of the same Psalm, taken from the Chants Chrétiens ;' and another in English, in which the attempt has been made to preserve the lyrical spirit of the original.

• Que le Seigneur tes veux entende

Dans ta nécessité !
Que son puissant nom te defende

Dans ton adversité !

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Thy success our hearts shall cheer:

We with glad acclaim
Will our grateful trophies rear

In Jehovah's name.
Go beneath his guardian care,
And the Lord fulfil thy prayer.
Now am I assured, the Lord

Will bis servant shield,
Succour from the heavens afford,-

Guard me in the field.
Let them trust their vaunted force,
Scythed car and marshalled horse:
Be our trust his mighty name

Who outspread the skies.
Theirs shall be defeat and shame;

We shall victors rise.
Save the king, O God most high !

Hear us in our fervent cry.' As a further specimen of Mr. Lyte's 'Spirit of the Psalms ', we take two Versions of the Ninety-first Psalm, both very pleasing, although the first is best adapted for public use.

• There is a safe and secret place

Beneath the wings divine,
Reserved for all the heirs of grace ;-

O be that refuge mine !
• The least and feeblest there


Uninjured and unawed;
While thousands fall on every side,

He rests secure in God.
• The Angels watch him on his way,

And aid with friendly arm ;
And Satan roaring for his prey

May hate, but cannot harm.
He feeds in pastures large and fair

Of love and truth divine.
O child of God, O Glory's heir,

How rich a lot is thine !
A hand Almighty to defend,

An ear for every call,
An honoured life, a peaceful end,

And heaven to crown it all!'

O how safe, how happy he,
Lord of Hosts, who dwells with thee!

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Sheltered 'neath Almighty wings,
Guarded by the King of kings!
Thou my hope, my refuge art;
Touch with grace my rebel heart ;
Draw me home into thy breast;
Give me there eternal rest!
Many are the ills and foes
Which the child of God enclose ;
Plagues that walk the sullen night,
Shafts that fly in noonday light.
Here his snares the fowler plies,
There the world's pollution tries
Lord, while thousands round me fall,
Help, and I am saved from all.
How to him should evil come,
Who has found in thee a home?
Angels round him take their stand,
Guide him with unerring hand;
Safe he speeds his conquering way
Where the lion lurks to slay,
Treads the crested dragon down,
Hasting to his heavenly crown.
· Hark the voice of love divine !
“ Fear not, trembler, thou art mine!
“ Fear not, I am at thy side,
• Strong to succour, sure to guide.
** Call on me in want or woe,
“ I will keep thee here below;
And, thy day of conflict past,
“ Bear thee to myself at last!

pp. 130–132. The versification of these psalms is in general so smooth and musical, that we are surprised at finding any instances of unreadable and unsingable lines : e. g.

- Is man’s, fallen man's, without, within.' p. 78. We must beg Mr. Lyte to dismiss the uncouth abbreviation, neath. Will he

Will he accept the following emendation of a verse in his version of the xciiid Psalm, in which this inelegance occurs, and the last line of which is rendered more smooth and more emphatic by a simple transposition ?

· Hark, the deep winds lift up their voice;
Beneath his feet the waves rejoice :
The elements are in his hands,

And rage or rest as he commands.' We shall give one more specimen from this very pleasing and acceptable volume. The following is one of the most perfect of the series.

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