Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Read the Psalms

The book of Psalms… "Tends only to refine and exalt the nature of man, to elevate the soul to God, and inspire it with the admiration and love of his character, to curb the passions, purify the affections, and excite to the cultivation of whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. It has guided the saint in doubt and difficulty; it has nerved him for self-denial and suffering; and it has imparted support and comfort to him in the hour of death"

-Rev. James Anderson, Forward to John Calvin’s commentary on the Psalms-

"Genuine and earnest prayer proceeds first from a sense of our need, and next, from faith in the promises of God. It is by perusing these inspired compositions (Psalms) that men will be most effectually awakened to a sense of their maladies, and, at the same time, instructed in seeking remedies for their cure. In a word, whatever may serve to encourage us when we are about to pray to God, is taught us in this book. And not only are the promises of God presented to us in it, but oftentimes there is exhibited to us one standing, as it were, amidst the invitations of God on the one hand, and the impediments of the flesh on the other, girding and preparing himself for prayer: thus teaching us, if at any time we are agitated with a variety of doubts, to resist and fight against them, until the soul, freed and disentangled from all these impediments, rise up to God; and not only so, but even when in the midst of doubts, fears, and apprehensions, let us put for the efforts in prayer, until we experience some consolation which may calm and bring contentment to our minds.

–John Calvin-

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