Words: Brady and Tate, A New Version of the Psalms of David
ALEPH. 1 How blessed are they who always keep the pure and perfect way; Who never from the sacred paths of God's commandments stray! 2 How blessed, who to his righteous laws have still obedient been; and have with fervent humble zeal his favor sought to win! 3 Such men their utmost caution use to shun each wicked deed: But in the path which he directs with constant care proceed. 4 Thou strictly hast enjoined us, Lord, to learn thy sacred will; And all our diligence employ thy statutes to fulfil. 5 O then that thy most holy will might o'er my ways preside! And I the course of all my life by thy direction guide! 6 Then with assurance should I walk, from all confusion free; Convinced, with joy, that all my ways with thy commands agree. 7 My upright heart shall my glad mouth with cheerful praises fill; When, by thy righteous judgments taught, I shall have learnt thy will. 8 So to thy sacred laws shall I all due observance pay: O then forsake me not, my God, nor cast me quite away. BETH. 9 How shall the young preserve their ways from all pollution free? By making still their course of life with thy commands agree. 10 With hearty zeal for thee I seek, to thee for succor pray; O suffer not my careless steps from thy right paths to stray, 11 Safe in my heart, and closely hid, thy word, my treasure, lies; To succor me with timely aid, when sinful thoughts arise. 12 Secured by that my grateful soul, shall ever bless thy Name: O teach me then by thy just laws, my future life to frame. 13 My lips, unlocked by pious zeal, to others have declared, How well the judgments of thy mouth deserve our best regards. 14 Whilst in the way of thy commands more solid joy I found, Than had I been with vast increase of envied riches crowned. 15 Therefore thy just and upright laws shall always fill my mind; And those sound rules which thou prescrib'st all due respect shall find. 16 To keep thy statutes un-defaced shall be my constant joy; The strict remembrance of thy word shall all my thoughts employ. GIMEL. 17 Be gracious to thy servant, Lord, do thou my life defend, That I, according to thy word, my future time may spend. 18 Enlighten both my eyes and mind, that so I may discern The wondrous things which they behold, who thy just precepts learn. 19 Though like a stranger in the land from place to place I stray, Thy righteous judgments from my sight remove not thou away. 20 My fainting soul is almost pined, with earnest longing spent, Whilst always on the eager search of thy just will intent. 21 Thy sharp rebuke shall crush the proud, whom still thy curse pursues; Since they to walk in thy right ways presumptuously refuse. 22 But far from me do thou, O Lord, contempt and shame remove; For I thy sacred laws affect with undissembled love. 23 Though princes oft, in council met, against thy servant spake; Yet I thy statutes to observe my constant business make. 24 For thy commands have always been my comfort and delight; By them I learn, with prudent care, to guide my steps aright. DALETH. 25 My soul, oppressed with deadly care, close to the dust does cleave; Revive me, Lord, and let me now thy promised aid receive. 26 To thee I still declared my ways, who didst incline thine ear: O teach me then my future life by thy just laws to steer. 27 If thou wilt make me know thy laws, and by their guidance walk, The wondrous works which thou hast done shall be my constant talk. 28 But see, my soul within me sinks, pressed down with weighty care; Do thou, according to thy word, my wasted strength repair. 29 Far, far from me be all false ways and lying arts removed! the path by thee approved. But kindly grant I still may keep. 30 Thy faithful ways, thou God of truth, my happy choice I've made; Thy judgments, as my rule of life, before me always laid. 31 My care has been to make my life with thy commands agree; from shame and ruin free. O then preserve thy servant, Lord, 32 So in the way of thy commands shall I with pleasure run, And, with a heart enlarged with joy, successfully go on. HE. 33 Instruct me in thy statutes, Lord, thy righteous paths display; And I from them, through all my life, will never go astray. 34 If thou true wisdom from above wilt graciously impart, To keep thy perfect laws I will devote my zealous heart. 35 Direct me in the sacred ways To which thy precepts lead; Because my chief delight has been thy righteous paths to tread. 36 Do thou to thy most just commands incline my willing heart Let no desire of worldly wealth From thee my thoughts divert. 37 From those vain objects turn my eyes, which this false world displays; But give me lively pow'r and strength to keep thy righteous ways. 38 Confirm the promise which thou mad'st, and give thy servant aid, Who to transgress thy sacred laws is awfully afraid. 39 The foul disgrace I justly fear, in mercy, Lord, remove; For all the judgments thou ordain'st are full of grace and love. 40 Thou know'st how after thy commands my longing heart does pant; O then make haste to raise me up, and promised succor grant. VAU. 41 Thy constant blessing, Lord, bestow to cheer my drooping heart; To me, according to thy word, thy saving health impart. 42 So shall I, when my foes upbraid, this ready answer make; "In God I trust, who never will his faithful promise break." 43 Then let not quite the word of truth be from my mouth removed; Since still my ground of steadfast hope thy just decrees have proved. 44 So I to keep thy righteous laws will all my study bend; From age to age my time to come in their observance spend. 45 Ere long I trust to walk at large, from all encumbrance free; Since I resolve to make my life with thy commands agree. 46 Thy laws shall be my constant talk, and princes shall attend, Whilst I the justice of thy ways with confidence defend. 47 My longing heart and ravished soul shall both o'erflow with joy, When in thy loved commandments I my happy hours employ. 48 Then will I to thy just decrees lift up my willing hands; My care and business then shall be to study thy commands. ZAIN. 49 According to thy promised grace, thy favor, Lord, extend: Make good to me the word, on which thy servant's hopes depend. 50 That only comfort in distress did all my griefs control; Thy word, when troubles hemmed me round, revived my fainting soul. 51 Insulting foes did proudly mock, and all my hopes deride; Yet from thy law not all their scoffs could make me turn aside. 52 Thy judgments then of ancient date I quickly called to mind, Till, ravished with such thoughts, my soul did speedy comfort find. 53 Sometimes I stand amazed like one with deadly horror struck, To think how all my sinful foes have thy just laws forsook. 54 But I thy statutes and decrees my cheerful anthems made; Whilst through strange lands and desert wilds I like a pilgrim strayed. 55 Thy Name, that cheered my heart by day, has filled my thoughts by night; I then resolved by thy just laws to guide my steps aright. 56 That peace of mind, which has my soul in deep distress sustained, By strict obedience to thy will I happily obtained. CHETH. 57 O Lord, my God, my portion thou and sure possession art; Thy words I steadfastly resolve to treasure in my heart. 58 With all the strength of warm desires I did thy grace implore; Disclose, according to thy word, thy mercy's boundless store. 59 With due reflection and strict care on all my ways I thought; And so, reclaimed to thy just paths, my wand'ring steps I brought. 60 I lost no time, but made great haste, resolved without delay To watch, that I might never more from thy commandments stray. 61 Though num'rous troops of sinful men to rob me have combined, Yet I thy pure and righteous laws have ever kept in mind. 62 In dead of night I will arise to sing thy solemn praise; Convinced how much I always ought to love thy righteous ways. 63 To such as fear thy holy Name myself I closely join; To all who their obedient wills to thy commands resign. 64 O'er all the earth thy mercy, Lord, abundantly is shed; O make me then exactly learn thy sacred paths to tread. TETH. 65 With me, thy servant, thou hast dealt most graciously, O Lord; Repeated benefits bestowed, according to thy word. 66 Teach me the sacred skill, by which right judgment is attained, Who in belief of thy commands have steadfastly remained. 67 Before affliction stopped my course, my footsteps went astray; But I have since been disciplined thy precepts to obey. 68 Thou art, O Lord, supremely good, and all thou dost is so; On me, thy statutes to discern, thy saving skill bestow. 69 The proud have forged malicious lies, my spotless fame to stain; But my fixed heart, without reserve, thy precepts shall retain. 70 While pampered they, with prosp'rous ills, in sensual pleasures live, My soul can relish no delight but what thy precepts give. 71 'Tis good for me that I have felt affliction's chast'ning rod, That I might duly learn and keep the statutes of my God. 72 The law that from thy mouth proceeds of more esteem I hold Than untouched mines, than thousand mines of silver and of gold. JOD. 73 To me, who am the workmanship of thy Almighty hands, The heav'nly understanding give to learn thy just commands. 74 My preservation to thy saints strong comfort will afford, To see success attend my hopes, who trusted in thy word. 75 That fight thy judgments are, I now by sure experience see; And that in faithfulness, O Lord, thou hast afflicted me. 76 O let thy tender mercy now afford me needful aid; According to thy promise, Lord, to me, thy servant, made. 77 To me thy saving grace restore, that I again may live; Whose soul can relish no delight but what thy precepts give. 78 Defeat the proud, who, unprovoked, to ruin me have sought, Who only on thy sacred laws employ my harmless thought. 79 Let those that fear thy Name espouse my cause, and those alone, Who have by strict and pious search thy sacred precepts known. 80 In thy blest statutes let my heart continue always sound; That guilt and shame, the sinner's lot, may never me confound. CAPH. 81 My soul with long expectance faints to see thy saving grace; Yet still on thy unerring word my confidence I place. 82 My very eyes consume and fail with waiting for thy word; O when wilt thou thy kind relief and promised aid afford. 83 My skin like shriveled parchment shows, that long in smoke is set, Yet no affliction me can force thy statutes to forget. 84 How many days must I endure of sorrow and distress? When wilt thou judgment execute on them who me oppress? 85 The proud have digged a pit for me, that have no other foes, But such as are averse to thee, and thy just laws oppose. 86 With sacred truth's eternal laws all thy commands agree: Men persecute me without cause; thou, Lord, my helper be. 87 With close designs against my life they had almost prevailed; But in obedience to thy will my duty never failed. 88 Thy wonted kindness, Lord, restore, my drooping heart to cheer; That, by thy righteous statutes, I my life's whole course may steer. LAMED. 89 For ever, and for ever, Lord, unchanged thou dost remain: Thy word established in the heav'ns does all their orbs sustain. 90 Through circling ages, Lord, thy truth immovable shall stand, As doth the earth, which thou uphold'st by thy Almighty hand. 91 All things the course by thee ordained e'en to this day fulfil; They are the faithful subjects all, and servants of thy will. 92 Unless thy sacred law had been my comfort and delight, I must have fainted and expired in dark affliction's night. 93 Thy precepts therefore from my thoughts shall never, Lord, depart; For thou by them hast to new life restored my dying heart. 94 As I am thine, entirely thine, protect me, Lord, from harm; Who have thy precepts sought to know, and carefully perform. 95 The wicked have their ambush laid my guiltless life to take; But in the midst of danger I thy word my study make. 96 I've seen an end of what we call perfection here below: But thy commandments, like thyself, no change or period know. MEM. 97 The love that to thy laws I bear no language can display; They with fresh wonders entertain my ravished thoughts all day. 98 Through thy commands I wiser grow than all my subtle foes; For thy sure word doth me direct, and all my ways dispose. 99 From me my former teachers now may abler counsel take, Because thy sacred precepts I my constant study make. 100 In understanding I excel the sages of our days; Because by thy unerring rules I order all my ways. 101 My feet with care I have refrained from ev'ry sinful way, That to thy sacred word I might entire obedience pay. 102 I have not from thy judgments strayed, by vain desires misled; For, Lord, thou hast instructed me thy righteous paths to tread. 103 How sweet are all thy words to me ! O what divine repast! How much more grateful to my soul than honey to my taste! 104 Taught by thy sacred precepts, I with heav'nly skill am blest: Through which the treach'rous ways of sin I utterly detest. NUN. 105 Thy word is to my feet a lamp, the way of truth to show; A watch-light to point out the path in which I ought to go. 106 I sware, (and from my solemn oath will never start aside,) That in thy righteous judgments I will steadfastly abide. 107 Since I with griefs am so oppressed, that I can bear no more, According to thy word do thou my fainting soul restore. 108 Let still my sacrifice of praise with thee acceptance find; And in thy righteous judgements, Lord, instruct my willing mind. 109 Though ghastly dangers me surround, my soul they cannot awe; Nor with continual terrors keep from thinking on thy law. 110 My wicked and invet'rate foes for me their snares have laid; Yet I have kept the upright path, nor from thy precepts strayed. 111 Thy testimonies I have made my heritage and choice; For they, when other comforts fail, my drooping heart rejoice. 112 My heart with early zeal began thy statutes to obey; And, till my course of life is done, shall keep thy upright way. SAMECH. 113 Deceitful thoughts and practices I utterly detest; But to thy law affection bear too great to be expressed. 114 My hiding-place, my refuge-tow'r, and shield art thou, O Lord; I firmly anchor all my hopes on thy unerring word. 115 Hence ye that trade in wickedness, approach not my abode; For firmly I resolve to keep the precepts of my God. 116 According to thy gracious word from danger set me free; Nor make me of those hopes ashamed that I repose on thee. 117 Uphold me, so shall I be safe, and rescued from distress; To thy decrees continually my just respect address. 118 The wicked thou hast trod to earth, who from thy statutes strayed; Their vile deceit the just reward of their own falsehood made. 119 The wicked from thy holy land thou dost like dross remove; I therefore, with such justice charmed, thy testimonies love. 120 Yet with that love they make me dread, lest I should so offend, When on transgressors I behold thy judgments thus descend. AIN. 121 Judgment and justice I have loved; O therefore, Lord, engage In my defense, nor give me up to my oppressors' rage. 122 Do thou be surety, Lord, for me, and so shall this distress Prove good for me; nor shall the proud my guiltless soul oppress. 123 My eyes, alas! begin to fail, in long expectance held; Till thy salvation they behold, and righteous word fulfilled. 124 To me, thy servant in distress, thy wonted grace display, And discipline my willing heart thy statutes to obey. 125 On me, devoted to thy fear, thy sacred skill bestow, That of thy testimonies I the full extent may know. 126 'Tis time, high time, for thee, O Lord, thy vengeance to employ, When men with open violence thy sacred law destroy. 127 Yet their contempt of thy commands but makes their value rise In my esteem, who purest gold compared with them despise. 128 Thy precepts therefore I account in all respects divine; They teach me to discern the right, and all false ways decline. PE. 129 The wonders which thy laws contain no words can represent; Therefore to learn and practice them my zealous heart is bent. 130 The very entrance to thy word celestial light displays; And knowledge of true happiness to simplest minds conveys. 131 With eager hopes I waiting stood, and fainted with desire, That of thy wise commands I might the sacred skill acquire. 132 With favor, Lord, look down on me, who thy relief implore; As thou art wont to visit those who thy blessed name adore. 133 Directed by thy heav'nly word let all my footsteps be; Nor wickedness of any kind dominion have o'er me. 134 Release, entirely set me free from persecuting hands, That, unmolested, I may learn and practice thy commands. 135 On me, devoted to thy fear, Lord, make thy face to shine: Thy statutes both to know and keep my heart with zeal incline. 136 My eyes to weeping fountains turn, whence briny rivers flow, To see mankind against thy laws in bold defiance go. TSADDI. 137 Thou art the righteous Judge, in whom wronged innocence may trust; And, like thyself, thy judgments, Lord, in all respects are just. 138 Most just and true those statutes were, Which thou didst first decree; And all with faithfulness performed succeeding times shall see. 139 With zeal my flesh consumes away, my soul with anguish frets, To see my foes contemn at once thy promises and threats. 140 Yet each neglected word of thine howe'er by them despised Is pure, and for eternal truth by me, thy servant, prized. 141 Brought, for thy sake, to low estate, contempt from all I find; Yet no affronts or wrongs can drive thy precepts from my mind. 142 Thy righteousness shall then endure, when time itself is past; Thy law is truth itself, that truth which shall for ever last. 143 Tho' trouble, anguish, doubts, and dread, to compass me unite; Beset with danger, still I make thy precepts my delight. 144 Eternal and unerring rules thy testimonies give; Teach me the wisdom that Will make my soul for ever live. KOPH. 145 With my whole heart to God I called, Lord, hear my earnest cry; And I thy statutes to perform will all my care apply. 146 Again more fervently I prayed, O save me, that I may Thy testimonies thoroughly know, and steadfastly obey. 147 My earlier pray'r the dawning day prevented, while I cried To him, on whose engaging word my hope alone relied. 148 With zeal have I awaked before the midnight watch was set, That I of thy mysterious word might perfect knowledge get. 149 Lord, hear my supplicating voice, and wonted favor show; O quicken me, and so approve thy judgments ever true. 150 My persecuting foes advance, and hourly nearer draw; What treatment can I hope from them who violate thy law? 151 Though they draw nigh, my comfort is, thou, Lord, art yet more near; Thou, whose commands are righteous all, thy promises sincere. 152 Concerning thy divine decrees my soul has known of old, That they were true, and shall their truth to endless ages hold. RESCH. 153 Consider my affliction, Lord, and me from bondage draw; Think on thy servant in distress, who ne'er forgets thy law. 154 Plead thou my cause; to that and me thy timely aid afford; With beams of mercy quicken me according to thy word. 155 From hardened sinners thou remov'st salvation far away; 'Tis just thou should'st withdraw from them who from thy statutes stray. 156 Since great thy tender mercies are to all who thee adore; According to thy judgments, Lord, my fainting hopes restore. 157 A num'rous host of spiteful foes against my life combine; But all too few to force my soul thy statutes to decline. 158 Those bold transgressors I beheld, and was with grief oppressed, To see with what audacious pride thy cov'nant they transgressed. 159 Yet while they slight, consider, Lord, how I thy precepts love; O therefore quicken me with beams of mercy from above. 160 As from the birth of time thy truth has held through ages pant, So shall thy righteous judgments firm to endless ages last. SCHIN. 161 Tho' mighty tyrants, without cause, conspire my blood to shed, Thy sacred word has pow'r alone to fill my heart with dread. 162 And yet that word my joyful breast with heav'nly rapture warms; Nor conquest, nor the spoils of war, have such transporting charms. 163 Perfidious practices and lies I utterly detest; But to thy laws affection bear, too vast to be expressed. 164 Sev'n times a day, with grateful voice, thy praises I resound, Because I find thy judgments all with truth and justice crowned. 165 Secure, substantial peace have they who truly love thy law; No smiling mischief them can tempt, nor frowning danger awe. 166 For thy salvation I have hoped, and, though so long delayed, With cheerful zeal and strictest care all thy commands obeyed. 167 Thy testimonies I have kept, and constantly obeyed; Because the love I bore to them the service easy made. 168 From strict observance of thy laws I never yet withdrew; Convinced that my most secret ways are open to thy view. TAU. 169 To my request and earnest cry attend, O gracious Lord; Inspire my heart with heav'nly skill, according to thy word. 170 Let my repeated pray'r at last before thy throne appear; According to thy plighted word, for my relief draw near. 171 Then shall my grateful lips return the tribute of thy praise, When thou thy counsels hast revealed, and taught me thy just ways. 172 My tongue the praises of thy word shall thankfully resound, Because thy promises are all with truth and justice crowned. 173 Let thy almighty arm appear, and bring me timely aid, For I the laws thou hast ordained my heart's free choice have made. 174 My soul has waited long to see thy saving grace restored; Nor comfort knew, but what thy laws, thy heav'nly laws, afford. 175 Prolong my life, that I may sing my great Restorer's praise; Whose justice from the depth of woes my fainting soul shall raise. 176 Like some lost sheep I've strayed, till I despair my way to find, Thou, therefore, Lord, thy servant seek, who keeps thy laws in mind.