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A New Edition of the following Dissertation
upon the Book of Psalms, with Illustrations upon each, by Mr BARCLAY, having long been desired by his Friends, a Committee from the Berean Congregation in Edinburgh, was appointed to carry the measure into effect. In doing this, it was considered expedient to substitute, in place of the Paraphrase to which the Illustrations were formerly prefixed, the common version of the Psalms, as being better adapted to public and family worship. The Committee were therefore instructed to see this done,-to add such Explanatory Notes as this alteration might require, - to put the whole to press, and to oversee the printing
These instructions the Committee have endeavoured to carry into effect; and, in addition, they have, from their own personal knowledge of the worthy Author—from the recollection of several of their friends and from other sources-drawn up and prefixed a short but accurate Memoir of Mr Barclay's Life; which they know will be considered a boon of no ordinary value by those who have similar views of divine truth, and who have long cherished with respect the memory of the Author.
MR BARCLAY's LIFE.
CLAY's Dissertation, accompanied with his Hlustrations, prefixed to the common version of the Psalms, the Committee of the Berean Church* have little to offer for an apology; knowing well, that in this form the book will be more extensively useful than if it had been accompanied with his original version.
The individuals to whom this book will be most interesting, will naturally wish to know something of the man to whom they have been indebted for any information they may receive from the following worky or from any other of his publications.
* The reason of taking the title of “ Berean Church,” may require explanation. Mr Barclay always made an Appeal to the Divine Testimony for the truths of what he declared; and earnestly exhorted his hearers to search the Scriptures, like the BEREANS of old, whether these things were so. It was for those reasons that they became distinguished by this name.
Mr BARCLAY was born in 1734. His father, Mr Lodovic Barclay, who was a farmer in the parish of Muthill in Perthshire, at an early period designed his son for the ministry, and accordingly gave him a classical education.
On the 27th September 1759, Mr Barclay was licensed by the Presbytery of Auchterarder, as a preacher of the Church of Scotland ; and was soon after engaged by Mr Jobson, then minister of Errol, to be his assistant. In this situation he remained for several years.
It was here that he began to study the Scriptures in their connection. To this he was in. duced by the violent disputes that were going on at that time between professing Christians of different denominations. He had not long prosecuted this course of enquiry, until, by the grace of God, he was made. not only to perceive, that the doctrines of all these sects were contrary to Seripture, but that even he himself had been led by the opinions of men, to entertain 'notions of divine truth, which the Scriptures did not warrant.
Being induced by these means, to throw off the authority and the systems of men, he boldly and fearlessly preached what he saw to be 'supported by the Scriptures, and by the Scriptures alone. About this period, having, as his custom then was, prepared and written out a discourse to he delivered on a communion Sabbath, (the importance attached to which occasions is well known,) he neglected to put it in his pocket. Not having observed this circumstance till he was in