James Anderson on the value of the book of Psalms

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... But the intrinsic excellence of this Book gives it still higher claims on our attention. Written under the influence of the Spirit of inspiration, its subject-matter is worthy of its celestial origin. In general, it contains details of the national history of the Jewish people, records of particular portions of the life and experience of individuals, and predictions of future events. Each of these heads embraces a wide field, and they include illustrations of every religious truth which it is necessary for us to know, exemplifications of every devout feeling which it is our duty to cherish, and examples of every spiritual conflict which it is possible for us to experience. We meet with many disclosures of the greatness, majesty, and perfections of the only true God; his government of the world; and his special care over his chosen people.

We meet with the varied exercises of the regenerated soul, and behold it at one time offering up fervent supplications to the Hearer of prayer, at another celebrating his perfections and works; at one time giving utterance to the ardent breathings of love to God, and trust in him, at another struggling with unbelief and corruption; at one time mourning under the divine chastisement on account of sin, at another rejoicing in a sense of forgiving mercy, and enjoying the peace which passeth all understanding. We have presented to us many wonderful predictions concerning the Messiah, his humiliation, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension to his Father’s right hand; his work in heaven as the intercessor of his people, and his authority as universal King; the effusion of the influences of the Holy Spirit, and the conversion of all nations to the faith of the Gospel. In short, we have unfolded to our view the final judgment, the gathering of all the righteous to God, and the eternal exclusion of the wicked from happiness and from hope.

These and similar topics which are set forth in the noblest strains of poetry, and in a diction whose magnificence and sublimity correspond to the importance and grandeur of the sentiments, constitute the materials of this Book; and while they afford an incontestable proof that it Is inspired, that it does not consist of the creations of mere human genius, but is an emanation from heaven, they show that its character and tendency are altogether different from the character and tendency of the most admired poetry, which the genius of heathen nations has ever produced. ...

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