He excellent uses of the Psalmes are manifold, yea universall; for they are good for all spirituall uses and advantages. They have in them Instruction, to increase our knowledge; Spirituall Fervour, to inflame our zeale; Consolation, to refresh and revive our fainting soules; Praiers, to fetch blessings from God; and Praises, to returne to God for his blessings. Yea, the very afflictions of the Saints therein expressed (even their outward sufferings, and inward dejections and desertions) are no small consolations to us. For, by them wee see that fiery Tryalls are no strange matters to Saints, and Saints wee may bee amid all these fiery Tryalls. But [Page] withall, if wee marke the issue of th […]se Tryalls (often set forth in these Psalmes) then wee cannot but see strong and vehement incouragements of Faith, and of that praier of Faith, which saveth the sick, even those that are sick at h […]art: yea, sick at the very soule. For how often doe wee see a sick soule to begin a Psalme, even in the belly of Hell, and yet end it in Heaven? So that a Saints soul being as it were in Hell, yet is neare unto Heaven, if it can be earnest with God in these melodious Praiers of Faith. For God, being thus called on, turnes in to the soule; and when God comes into a soule, hee makes a Heaven there, though a Hell were there before. And then naturally (I speak of a godly nature) do arise in the soule high Jubilations and Extasies, and not these onely, but glorious Thanksgivings to God; to whom alone must be ascribed the bringing of light out of darknesse: [Page] and that voice of joy and gladnesse, which the Saints doe heare even at the same time, when their bones are broken with humiliation.
Briefly, the Psalmes are characters and representations of the thoughts, meditations, and affections of a sanctified soule, throughout all the changes of her pilgrimage; so that a good man can be in no kind of estate, but he shall find his owne estate in a Psalme: and in a Psalme, he may find thoughts and expressions which doe well agree with that estate, and make it good unto him.