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who had read their writings, was induced, some years since, to procure them; and for his own instruction and amusement, he translated several sermons of each of these authors, and also part of a work of Massillon, entitled a spiritual Paraphrase of some of the Psalms. Some of these Translations he now offers to the public.
The two first Sermons in this volume were preached by Massillon to a Synod, and the third to a number of young ministers, at a College. Some of the observations in these discourses may not be applicable to the Clergy of this country; but the general strain of them is applicable to all the ministers of Christ, and in them they will see many parts of their duty strikingly inculcated, and ministerial faithfulness urged by weighty motives. The necessity of zeal and engagedness in their work, the characteristics of true ministerial zeal, and the spirit of the ministry, are here illustrated with great force and beauty.
The fourth Sermon by Massillon, and the fifth by Bourdaioue, are upon a common though all will acknowledge a very impor、 tant subject. The closing scene of life is a very interesting period in man's existence, and one on which every person ought frequently to meditate.
The sixth Sermon, by Bourdaloue, is up
on Spiritual Blindness, and it is thought will afford instruction to the attentive reader.
The Paraphrase of some of the Psalms was written by Massillon in the latter part of his life, and, as the Editor of the original work observes, "It is to be regretted that "he did not in this way go through the "whole Book of Psalms. There is perhaps "no work which, in a more striking manner, exhibits the emotions of the heart, "when lamenting past sins, or when, hav"ing renounced the world and its false bles. "sings, it acknowledges that being created "for God, it can find consolation and hap"piness only in God."
Respecting this Paraphrase the original Editor further observes, "It is not a Com"mentary upon the Psalms; it is neither "the historical nor the prophetical sense "which the Author pretends to explain. It "is not, properly speaking, a Paraphrase; "for a Paraphrase adds nothing to the text "when it is clear, it only endeavors to ren"der obscure passages more clear by adding to them. But the object of Massil"lon was to furnish models for prayer and "devout meditation. Taking a verse or part of a verse, and sometimes more than "one verse,' as a theme, he pursues a train. "of reflections adapted to the subject."
In some instances these reflections may
not appear to the English reader to be such as would naturally arise from the words. This is owing to the Translation of the Psalms which the Author used, and which in many places, differs in the turn of the expression from that in our Bibles. See the Note at the bottom of the 189th page in this book.
The Translator of this volume is very sensible that he has not infused into the translation the peculiar spirit and beauty of the originals. Those who have ever attempted to turn one language into another must have found it extremely difficult to preserve in a translation the characteristic excellences of the original. This difficulty arises from two sources;-every language has its peculiar idioms, and every writer has a style and manner peculiar to himself. The Translator has endeavored to adhere as closely to the originals as the different idioms of the two. languages would admit. He has not intentionally misrepresented any sentiment, nor has he added any thing of his own; he has however omitted several sentences, becauseas they alluded to some of the peculiar doctrines or ceremonies of the Romish Church, he judged they would not be interesting or instructive to the Protestant reader.
HARTFORD, August 14, 1805.