Isaac Still Rocks by blueridge [WorldCat.org]
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The Psalms of David ; imitated in the language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian state and worship

by Isaac Watts;

  Book   Microform : Microfiche  |  The thirty-first ed. [Six lines of Scripture texts]

Isaac Still Rocks   (2011-04-30)

Excellent

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by blueridge

I discovered that I had this volume from the time I was a young man, in New England.  For about 60 years, I considered it just another old translation of the Psalms, in one volume, so that a person could carry it about and read it while traveling.  Oh, the ignorance of youth...my youth, in particular.

This is a quality work by a genius who loved God and who loved words.  English words.  I feel that my generation has grown lazy, because it takes some effort to read Watts beautiful, transcendent prose and poetry.  Not only because of the complicated "f's" that represent "S's", but because I do not memorize the psalms---no one that I actually know, does.  So, to truly read the poet's take on a psalm, one must first read a verse from the psalm, then read the poetry of Watts.  An example:

Psalms 104. 1.  BLESS THE Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty, 
 2.  who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent, 
 3.  who hast laid the beams of thy chambers on the waters, who makest the clouds thy chariot, who ridest on the wings of the wind, 
 4.  who makest the winds thy messengers, fire and flame thy ministers. 
 5.  Thou didst set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken. 
 6.  Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 

Here is what Watts did with this lovely verse:PSALM CIV:

1. My soul, thy great Creator praise;

When cloath'd in his celestial rays

He in full majesty appears,

And like a robe his glory wears.

2  The heav'ns are for his curtains spread;

Th'unfathome'd deep he makes his bed,

Clouds are his chariot when he flies

On winged storms across the skies.

3  Angels, whom his own breath inspires,

His ministers are flaming fires;

And swift as thought their armies move

To bear his vengeance or his love.

4  The world's foundation by his hand

Are pois'd and shall for ever stand;

He binds the ocean in his chain,

Lest it should drown the earth again.

5 When earth ws cover'd with the flood,

Which high above the mountains stood,

He thunder'd and the ocean fled,

Confin'd to its appointed grave.

6  The swelling billows know their bound,

And in their channels walk their round;

Yet thence convey'd by secret veins,

They spring on hills, and drench the plains...

 

If that does not carry you above this sullied Earth, nothing will.  And Watts does it relentlessly, throughout the Psalms.  If David was loved by God as a man after God's own heart, surely Watts is loved as dearly, for his soaring meditations, in rhyme and dignity, of David's work. 

 

To think...I had this treasure in my bookcases, all these years, and never opened it beyond the title page, which I had not the patience to read with understanding.  "The PSALMS of DAVID; Imitate in the Language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian State and Worship."  Now, Worldcat has the wisdom and daring to make it available to everyone's library.  Thank you Sirs/Mesdames, for this lovely service.  Isaac still rocks.

Thomas Fowler, "blueridge"

 




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