Book Overview - Psalms
by Hamilton Smith
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Like many young believers, I had difficulty in understanding the Psalm. On the one hand there was so much pastoral language and on the other, many calls for vengeance. I was greatly helped by J. N. Darby"s introduction to the Psalm in his Synopsis of the Books of the Bible. Darby explained that the Psalm "express the feelings, not only of the people of God, but often...those of the Lord Himself." However, "a maturer spiritual judgment is required to judge rightly of the true bearing and application of the Psalm than for other parts of Scripture; because we must be able to understand what dispensationally gives rise to them, and judge of the true place before God of those whose souls" wants are expressed," and this is often "difficult as the circumstances, state, and relationship with God, of the people whose feelings they express are not those in which we find ourselves." This helps us understand how "They teach us thus that Christ entered into the full depths of suffering which made Him the vessel of sympathizing grace with those who had to pass through" the sufferings.
Those two features, the pre-eminence of Christ in many of the Psalm, especially His entering into the sufferings of others, and the dispensational import characterize this book on the Psalm by Hamilton Smith. In many ways, this is an unique volume with its clear teaching of the prophetic aspect of the book while at the same time including the practical lessons of piety which are essential for God"s people in any age. Smith always brings out the moral beauty and suffering unique to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hamilton Smith is a beloved English expositor of the Scriptures who died in1943. He wrote on many different portions of the Bible but is probably best known for his character studies of Abraham, Elijah, Elisha, Joseph, and Ruth which have been published in several languages. Those familiar with his style will value his terse, pithy language in this book. One of his effective teaching methods is short, profound comparisons and contrasts. In this book, he helpfully expounds on the many quotations on the Psalm in the New Testament. For these reasons, I can recommend this volume especially to young Christians who are studying the Psalm.
Scripture quotations are from the King James Version. Those marked "JND" are from the Darby translation of the Bible.
Believers Bookshelf is thankful to be able to publish the first complete edition of the Psalm by Hamilton Smith. We are indebted to the John Rylands University Library of Manchester for providing a copy of the original manuscript. Portions of Psalm 1 through105 appeared in the British periodical "Precious Things" from1957 (volume1) through1962 (volume7).
May this volume provide the reader with a greater understanding of the Psalm and of the empathy and sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ and His glory.
Lytton J. Musselman
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34