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The Tree of Life:


Songs of Life

The Psalter contains five books, each of which closes with a doxology. These songs are not didactic, nor an appeal to reason, like the rest of the Scriptures. "Singing exalts, and causes the affection to break forth from the heart into sound, and to present itself intensely in its life" (Apocalypse Revealed #279). The songs are inspirational. Of course, the better we grasp the purport of the words, and enter into the spirit of them, the greater the inspiration.

The Psalms are suited to all ages. Children should be encouraged to memorize many of them, even though they do not understand them. Songs are more easily committed to memory than history, and unconscious impressions are made on character through the repetition of holy writ that are deeper than words, and more far reaching than ordinary literature. In his Praeterita John Ruskin tells how his mother taught him to memorize large portions of the Bible in his childhood. He did not enjoy repeating the 119th Psalm, because it was so long, and meant so little to him. But he expressed gratitude in later years that he had memorized it, because he then regarded it as one of the most precious parts of God’s Word. After all, life is just the unfolding of the meaning of our earliest impressions. "In the beginning was the word; . . . and all things were made by it" (John 1:1, 2). "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44). David, "the beloved," represents the Lord, "the beloved Son of God." These are therefore the Lord’s songs.

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