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The Book of Psalms.

The Book of Psalms forms the subiec* of Mr Gladstone's article m the July number of "Good Words." The first paragraph of the first section (which treats their historic place m the devotion of all ages) is as follows :—" John Bright has told me that he would be content to stake upon the Book of Psalms, as it stands, the great question whether there is »r is not a Divine revelation. It was not to him conceivable how a work so widely severed from all known productions of antiquity, and sbanding upon a level so much higher, could be accounted for except by • special and extraordinary aid calculated to product special and extraordinary results; for it is reasonable, nay, needful, to presume a due correspondence between the cause and the effect. Nor does this opinion appear to be , unreasonable. If Bright did not possess the special qualifications of the scholar or the. critic, he was, I conceive, a very capable judge of the moral and religious elements m any case that had been brought before him by his personal experience," The second section deals with the antiquity of the Book of Psalms. "On this point of antiquity it is more than enough if a large portion of the Psalms are ascribable to King David. I venture, however, to offer two suggestions : First, the Psalma come to us through a channel supplied by the kingdom of Judah, not the kingdom of Israel, If they had been largely composed after the severance of the ten tribes from the two, would they noc have presented some more definite indication of that severance ? The name of Israel is the name under which m the Psalms the chosen people are described. We have this name repeated twenty-six times. The name of Judah was likely, it may be supposed, after the schism, to become the prevailing and distinctive name, still more so after the captivity and the dispersion of the ten tribes, and so long as their vemnants continued to maintain any .serious and systematic rivalry with the Jews. Yef throughout the Psalter we never find the name of Judah mentioned m tins paramount sense. Could this have boon so if the Psnlms had mainly been composed when Judah was the only acknowledged name for the elect people, and Israel was a stranger, often an enemy, always tho symbol of a rival and proscribed worship."

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Bibliographic details

The Book of Psalms., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2518, 15 September 1890

Word Count

The Book of Psalms. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2518, 15 September 1890