William Gouge on the Psalter as a book after God’s own heart

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I decided to read something from Robert Bolton on EEBO-TCP as I was sitting in a cafe at Portrush earlier before heading home, and I came across a collection of his prayers. However, I never made it to Bolton's prayers as the Westminster divine, William Gouge wrote an outstanding introduction to the collection, which constrained me to compose a couple of blog-posts (there is another one from Gouge on prayer in the pipeline, DV). His comments on the Psalter are pure gold:

Among Treatises fit to be published and read, Treatises of Devotion are most fit: as being freest from offence, and fullest of divine matter. If comparison may be made betwixt parts of sacred Scripture, the Psalms of David have an excellency in that they consist of matters of Devotion. Answerable to the style of his name, is the style of his book. The style of his name was, A man after GOD’S own heart. For such was his piety and sincerity as GOD was well pleased therewith, and took much delight therein. The rather because his devotion towards GOD incited him to do what GOD required to be done. So the Book of Psalms, may well carry this style, A book after God’s own heart, in that nothing is more acceptable unto GOD, nothing wherein he takes more delight then Devotion.

And no book of sacred Scripture fuller of Devotion then that book. Most of the Psalms wholly consist of Prayers or Praises: very few, if any at all, wherein there are not some divine raptures, and such heavenly ejaculations, as manifest an heart full of Devotion. For Devotion is a pious and humble affection to God-wards. Humble through conscience of a man’s own infirmity. Pious through a due consideration of the divine clemency. Such Devotion is never more fully and to the life manifested then in Prayers and Praises. ...

For more, see William Gouge on the Psalter as a book after God’s own heart.
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