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Humility & Hope in Psalm 49

As part of the Psalms Project We recently had the privilege of hosting Michael Morgan as he displayed a small portion of his incredible, personal collection of old and rare Bibles and psalters.

One of the rare psalters was:
William Tattersall’s collection, A Metrical Paraphrase of the Psalms, Originally Written by the Rev. James Merrick, Divided into Stanzas and Adapted to the Purposes of Public and Private Devotion (London: Thomas Paine, 1789).

Apparently this one never made it into common use and is recognized as not being very good for singing. I don’t know anything about that conclusion, but I was gripped by the rendering of Psalm 49, particularly these two verses:

10. Yet Man, with erring pride elate,
And high in pow’r, in honour great,
Shares with the Brute an equal doom,
And sleeps forgotten in the tomb.

15. My Soul, amidst your happy train,
The wish’d redemption shall obtain,
By God adopted, Death shall brave,
And mock the disappointed Grave.

I need to be reminded of my smallness and mortality so as to be delivered from pride and to be reminded of the hope of the gospel so as to be delivered from despair. This Psalm accomplishes these purposes well.

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