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PSALM XV.

We learn from 2 Sam. vi. 17, that when David had brought the ark from the house of Obededom to Zion, he placed it in the tabernacle which he had prepared for it, and celebrated the joyful event by a solemn and public festival. The Psalm before us was probably composed to form a part of the sacred service of that day. As a strong propensity had always been shown by the Israelites to substitute ceremonial institutions, in place of the sanctity and rectitude which the law enjoined, the Psalm expresses, in strong terms, the necessity of these qualifications to all acceptable worship of God. By entirely omitting the mention of every thing relative to the rites and ceremonies to which they were so much attached, the Psalmist intimates that they were without value, in the absence of those essential qualities.

No occasion could be more appropriate to a purpose of this kind than such a solemn festival. Numerous sacrifices were offered, the service was performed with the greatest splendour, and was attended by a vast concourse of nobles, magistrates, priests, and people. The tabernacle was designed to be God's earthly palace, at which his worshippers were to be assiduous attendants; it was, therefore, of the highest moment that they should be duly instructed in all which pertained to the honour of God, and the acceptableness of the services which were to be presented to him. Happy would it have been for that people, if they had thus shown their devotedness to the holy and spiritual King, in whose favour they professed to glory, and whose subjects and children they boasted themselves to be!

A PSALM OF DAVID.

10 JEHOVAH! who shall abide in thy tabernacle ?
Who shall dwell on thy holy hill?

2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness,
And speaketh the truth that is in his heart.

3 On whose tongue there is no slander:
He doeth no evil to his friend;

Nor uttereth a reproach against his neighbour.
4 In his eyes a vile person is contemned;
But he honoureth them that fear Jehovah.
He sweareth to his friend, and changeth not.
5 He putteth not out his money to usury;
Nor taketh a bribe against the innocent.
He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

5. His money to usury.]- The Jews were prohibited by the law from taking usury, or interest on money lent to their

brethren, but not on what was lent to strangers; that is, foreigners of other countries. Deut. xxiii. 20. The manifest

PSALM XVI.

THE Apostle Peter has established the title of this Psalm by ascribing it to David. Acts ii. 25. The same authority, with which that of the Apostle Paul concurs, Acts xiii. 35, assures us that the latter part of the Psalm relates, not to David himself, but is prophetic of the resurrection of Christ, that immortal Redeemer and King, who was to descend from him: these testimonies are so express, as to make it not a little surprising, that christian commentators should have applied the Psalm to David; since we must abandon all dependence upon the apostles, as inspired interpreters of the Old Testament, if we depart from their decision in a case where it is so unequivocally expressed. We are, therefore, constrained to apply the latter part of the Psalm to no other person than to the divine Saviour; and as the construction of the whole evidently negatives the application of any part of it but to one and the same person, we have no alternative but to receive it altogether as a direct prediction of the Messiah. It is delivered in his person, and is descriptive of his inviolable faith and hope in God during the period of his humiliation upon earth, when the prospect of his sufferings, and death, and of the glorious consequences of these events, was continually before him. The language in which the Psalm is composed is such as every Christian, while he refers it in its fullest extent to the adorable Saviour, may humbly appropriate to himself, in his measure, and thus render it an incentive to many a joyful song of praise, as he passes through the diversified and often painful changes of this mortal and sinful state, to that "fulness of joy" to which the triumphant Redeemer has ascended; and to which he will not fail to conduct even the feeblest of his disciples whose faith reposes upon him.

MICHTAM (A TERM OF VERY DOUBTFUL MEANING, EXPRESSIVE OF SOME UNASSIGNABLE PECULIARITY OF THE COMPOSITION,) of david.

put my trust.

1 PRESERVE me, O God! for in thee do I
2 I have said to Jehovah, Thou art my Lord:

My welfare cometh only from thee.

3 In the saints that are upon the earth,

Even in the excellent, is all my delight.

4 They multiply their sorrows who hastily turn backward :

design of this prohibition was to promote humane and fraternal sentiments in the bosoms of the Israelites towards each other. A more remote end seems also to have been aimed at, viz. to check the formation of a commercial character among the Jews, and to confine them as much as possible to those agricultural and private pursuits, which would seclude them from

intercourse with the surrounding nations, as it was not very likely that a practice of this nature would be extended much among foreigners which was prohibited at home.

PSALM XVI.

4. They multiply their sorrows, &c.]— Both the translation and the sense of this verse are exceedingly controverted. The

Their libations of blood will I not offer;

Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5 Jehovah is the portion of my inheritance, and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot.

6 The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places;

Yea, I have a goodly heritage.

7 I will bless Jehovah, who giveth me counsel: My reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

8 I set Jehovah always before me:

Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoiceth; My flesh also shall rest in hope:

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades;

Neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.

11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life :

In thy presence there is fulness of joy;

At thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

PSALM XVII.

THE tenor of this Psalm leads to a conclusion that it was composed during some one of the many seasons of anxiety and danger to which David was subjected by the restless and implacable enmity of Saul and his adherents. In most pathetic language the Psalmist implores the divine interference between himself and his adversaries. He asserts, with great energy, the

version which is here given is as literal as it can be, without any forced construction being put upon the words. The sense in which the passage is to be taken may be thus stated: The speaker having declared the delight that he takes in holy and excellent men, proceeds to say, that those persons who rashly and precipitately turn away from him, and from the truth which he proclaimed, augment their own sufferings: and he affirms that he will hold no association with them, either in their religious services, which were polluted and detestable, or in the intercourse of friendship, by making mention of their names.

6. The lines, &c.]-A figurative expression, taken from the custom of measuring and allotting lands by cords or measuring-lines.

7. My reins also, &c.]-The reins, or kidneys, are used to signify the interior faculties; and the divine Speaker observes, that in seasons of solitude, his thoughts were instructively employed in contemplating the heavenly discoveries that were communicated to him. "Whatever I speak, therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." John xii. 50.

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rectitude of which he was conscious, and his entire innocency of the crimes of which his enemies were guilty. He portrays in very lively and expressive images the characters of these men, whom he represents as oppressive and cruel in the highest degree, and altogether abandoned to sensual and worldly dispositions, which rendered them equally regardless of the authority of God, and the obligations of justice and humanity. He concludes by expressing his confidence that God will finally vindicate his cause, and make him joyful, by the triumphant issue of his mournful and distressing state.

A PRAYER OF DAVID.

1 HEAR the right, O Jehovah! attend unto my cry: Give ear unto my prayer from lips without deceit.

2 Let the determination of my cause come forth from thy presence: Let thy eyes behold the things that are upright.

3 Thou searchest my heart, thou visitest me in the night, Thou examinest me, thou findest no evil in me :

My mouth doth not transgress.

4 As for the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have shunned the paths of the oppressor.

5 Hold up my goings in thy paths,

That my footsteps may not slip.

6 I call upon thee, for thou, O God! wilt answer me: Incline thy ear to me, and hear my speech.

7 Shew thy marvellous loving-kindness,

O thou! that savest by thy right hand

Them that trust in thee, from those who rise up against them.

8 Keep me as the pupil of the eye;

Hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

9 From the wicked that oppress me,My deadly enemies, that compass me about. 10 They are enclosed in their own fat: With their mouth they speak proudly.

1. Hear the right.]-David here appeals to God, as an impartial judge, who was fully acquainted with his character and actions the strict integrity of which he firmly asserts, and entreats that a decision may be given in his favour. These vehement assertions are not to be understood

as though he claimed a character absolutely sinless, which rested its hopes of divine favour on this ground, as a matter of right; but they are to be limited to the case in point, which was the Psalmist's innocency with respect to Saul, against whom he had neither done nor intended any evil.

11 Now are they surrounding our path;

They are setting their eyes, declining to the earth, 12 Like a lion greedy of his prey,

Even as a young lion, lurking in secret places.
13 Arise, O Jehovah! disappoint him, cast him down ;
Deliver my soul from the wicked, who are thy sword :
14 From men who are thy hand, O Jehovah !

From men of the world, whose portion is with the prosperous;
Whose belly thou fillest with thy treasures:

They abound in children, and lay up their superabundance for

their offspring.

15 As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness:

I shall be satisfied when thy glory awaketh.

PSALM XVIII.

THE account which is given in the title of this magnificent song of praise very satisfactorily states the purpose for which it was composed. David's enemies, both foreign and domestic, had been entirely subdued by the special interference of God, who thus fulfilled the promises which he had made, and established the public welfare of his people, and the prosperous reign of the prince whom he had chosen. In celebrating these signal instances of divine faithfulness and goodness, the inspired Psalmist soars to the loftiest regions of poetic sublimity. By a series of the boldest figures, he depicts the Most High as being incensed at the conduct of his adversaries; rising up with inflamed indignation to avenge his cause, and appearing in such awful majesty as to agitate the heavens with tremendous storms, and to convulse the earth to its base with terrific concussions. He imparts effect and grandeur to his sublime effusions, by images drawn from the fearful catastrophe of the deluge, when "all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened;" and from the magnificent descent upon Sinai, when "the mount was altogether on a smoke, because Jehovah descended upon it in

13. From the wicked, who are thy sword.] -It may be questioned whether David, in this and the next clause, intended to represent wicked men as the sword and hand of God, that is, the instruments which he employed to correct his servants; or whether his meaning was to pray that God would interpose his own

hand and sword to defend him, and punish his enemies. The latter sense is adopted by some interpreters; but as the former is a perfectly scriptural sentiment, and requires the supposition of no ellipsis, it appears to me to be most likely what is intended. Vide Isa. x. 5.

15. As for me, &c.]-Vide Addit. Notes.

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