“Considering the Anglo-Scots thought that Christians should continually praise God with these two psalms (107 and 119), the compilers may have been seeking to highlight their didactic function by applying the same tune to both.”

Thanks to Brad Johnston for this helpful quote from Tim Duguid’s  new book on Metrical Psalmody. Brad is the Pastor of the Topeka Reformed Presbyterian (RPCNA) Church in Topeka, KS.

From Timothy Duguid, Metrical Psalms In Print And Practice: English ‘Singing Psalms’ and Scottish ‘Psalm Buiks’, c. 1547-1640, p. 46-47.

“The pairing of Psalms 107 and 119 is classified as a Category 2 conflation. Psalm 107 praises God for his deeds throughout history, and his works for the children of men, especially in the way that he gathered the Israelites from distant lands and preserved them through distress, drought, and slavery. Psalm 119, however, is a series of 22 meditations on the blessings of the Law, acrostically based on the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, with all the letter in each successive meditations beginning with the same letter. Considering the differing content of these two psalms, it is not immediately obvious why they share the same tune. Proverbs 22:6 may be the key, asserting that parents should train their children according to God’s Law, and additionally, teach their children about the Lord’s works throughout history and especially the Passover (Exodus 12). While the Anglo-Scots community understood these as commands from the Old Covenant, the exiles maintained that they still applied to Christians under the New Covenant. In the Order of Baptism, [Knox’s 1560] Forme of Prayers had the pastor recite the following to parents:

Moreouer, ye that be fathers and mothers may take hereby moste singular comfort, to se your children thus receyued in to the bosom of Christes congregation, whereby you are daily admonished that ye nourishe and bring vp the children of God’s fauor and mercye, ouer whom his fatherly prouidence watcheth continually … So oght it to make you diligent, and carefull, to nurture and instruct them in the true knowledge and feare of God … Therefore, it is your duety, withal diligence to puide that your children in tyme conuinient, be instructed in all doctrine necessarie for a true Christian: chiefly that they be taught to rest vpon the iustice of Christ Jesus alone, and to abhorre and flee all superstition, papistrie, and idolatrie.”

… Considering the Anglo-Scots thought that Christians should continually praise God with these two psalms, the compilers may have been seeking to highlight their didactic function by applying the same tune to both.

MY OWN MODERN ENGLISH TRANSLATION of The Forme of Prayers Statement (1560-1561)

Moreover, ye that be fathers and mothers may take [in this baptism] most singular comfort, to see your children thus rescued into the bosom of Christ’s congregation, whereby you are daily admonished that ye nourish and bring up the children in God’s favor and mercy, over whom his fatherly providence watcheth continually … So ought [this baptism] make you diligent and careful to nurture and instruct [this child] in the true knowledge and fear of God … Therefore, it is your duty with all diligence to provide that your children in time convenient, be instructed in all doctrine necessary for a true Christian – chiefly, that they be taught to rest upon the justice of Christ Jesus alone, and to abhor and flee all speculation, false doctrine, and idolatry.”

 

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