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1. INTE are taught from hence, to labour after sincerity of
V heart ; that we may neither dissemble with men nor God. Especially when we address his majesty, let there be no feigned lips ; but let the impressions of the heart correspond to the expression of the lips; otherwise our prayers will be an abomination. God is a spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit and truth.
2. A sense of the divine omniscience should regulate our words and thoughts. His eyes behold the things that are equal; he tries and proves us, and is intimately acquainted with our true characters; therefore we should steadily purpose and resolve that our mouth shall not transgress, and that our words and thoughts shall be such as he approves.
3. In times of temptation and distress we should seek our secue rity in the word of God and prayer. To arm us against temptation, let us consider, that the path of sin is the path of the destroyer. It is the way of Satan, who was a destroyer from the beginning, and who still leads to destruction. Let us attend to the words of God's lips, that we may learn our danger and duty, and pray that he would hold us up and preserve us, even when we have formed the best resolutions ; then we may hope that he will guard us with the greatest care and tenderness.
4. It is comfortable to think, that the bitterest and most power. ful enemies are only a sword in God's hand, his instruments in chas. tising his children and people. He manages them as he pleaseth: they can do nothing without his leave; they cannot exceed his commission. The wrath of man therefore shall praise him, and the remainder of wrath he will restrain, 15. We may observe, what little reason there is to envy the pros. perity of sinners ; of men who have large possessions, and whose families prosper from one generation to another. It is God who fills them, though they are so wicked ; therefore it is do mark of his approbation, nor is the want of abundance a mark of his dislike. But all their portion is confined to the present life ; they have no hope beyond it. May the Lord deliver us from such a portion, and teach us to seek better things ; and to welcome afflictions, yea, even poverty itself, as the means of preparing us for them. . 1.6. Let us often meditate on this sublime and delightful view of heaven, this bright abridgment of fulure blessedness. It consists in seeing and knowing God ; in being like him, and transformed into his spotless image. This will yield us entire satisfaction, when nothing else can; and the hope of it should reconcile us to the prosperity of the wicked, and to our own troubles ; and engage us to purify ourselves even as he in pure ; since none but the pure in heart shall are God.
This Psaim is the same as the twenty second chapter of the second book · Of Samuel, where it is explained and improved, to which the reader
is therefore referred. To the chief musician, CA Psalm) of David, the servant of the
LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the
day [that] the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his ene: mies, and from the hand of Saul : And he said,
WILL love thee, O Lord, my strength. The LORD [is] 21 my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer ; my God, my
strength in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my :3 salvation, [and] my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, (who
is worthy) to be praised : so shall I be saved from mine ene4 mies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of 5 ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed 6 me about ; the snares of death prevented me. In my distress
I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God : he heard my
voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, [even] 7 into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled ; the foun
dations also of the hills moved and were shaker, because he was 8 wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out 9 of his mouth devoured : coals were kindled by it. He bowed
the heavens also, and came down : and darkness (was] under To his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly : yea, he did li fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret
place ; his pavilion round about him (were] dark waters [and] 12 thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness (that was] be
fore him his thick clouds passed, hail (stones] and coals of fire. 13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest 14. gave his voice ;. hail (stones) and coals of fire. Yea, he sent
out his arrows and scattered them ; and he shot out lightnings 15 and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen,
and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, 16 ( LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent 17 from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He * delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hat18 ed me ; for they were too strong for me. They prevented me 19 in the day of my calamity : but the LORD was my stay. He
brought me forth also into a large place ; he delivered me, be20 cause he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according
to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands 21 hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the 22 LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all
his judgments (were) before me, and I did not put away his 23 statutes from me. I was also upright before him," and I kept 24 myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the LORD recomVOL. IV.
pensed me according to my righteousness, according to the 25 cleanness of my hands in his eye sight. With the merciful
thou wilt show thyself merciful ; with an upright man thou wilt 26 show thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt show thyself
pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward. 27 For thou wilt save the afficted people ; but wilt bring down 28 high looks. For thou wilt light my candle : the Lord my God 29 will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a 30 troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. (As for)
God, his way [is] perfect : the word of the Lord is tried : he 31 (is) a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who [is] God 32 save the LORD ? or who [is] a rock save our God ? [It is] God
that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. 33 He maketh my feet like hinds' [feet,) and setteth me upon my 34 high places. Ile teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of 35 steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the
shield of thy salvation : and thy right hand hath holden me up, 36 and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged 37 my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued
mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again 38 till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were 39 not able to rise : they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast
girded me with strength unto the battle : thou hast subdued 40 under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given
me the necks of mine enemies ; that I might destroy them that 41 hatc me. They cried, but [there was) none to save (them : 42 even) unto the LORD, but he answered them not. Then did I
beat them small as the dust before the wind : I did cast them 43 out as the dirt in the streets. Thou hast delivered me from the
strivings of the people ; [and] thou hast made me the head of
the heathen: a people (whom] I have not known shall serve me. 44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me : the strangers 45 shall submit themselves unto me. The strangers shall fade 46 away, and be afraid out of their close places. The Lord liveth ;
and blessed be) my rock; and let the God of my salvation be 47 exalted. (It is] God that avengeth me, and subdueth the peo48 ple unto me. He delivereth me from mine enemies : yea,
thou listest me up above those that rise up against me : thou 49 hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give
thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises 50 unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king ; and
showeth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.
To the chief musician, A Psalm of David..
A most noble and delightful composition; containing a devorii medita.
tion on the glory of God, as displayed in the works of nature and providence, but especially in the holy scriptures.
T HE heavens declare the glory of God; and the firma.
1 ment showeth his handy work; the visible heavens show they are his work, and display the glory of his power, wisdom, and 2 goodness. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night
showeth knowledge; every successive day and night, produced
by the motion of the heavens, proclaim constantly the glory of the 3 almighty Creaior. [There is) no speech nor language, (where)
their voice is not heard ; their notice of the divine existence and perfections is so plain, that all nations, how different soever their languages are, may understand it ; or, as it may be rendered, They
have no speech nor language ; but their voice is heard : there is 4 much silent eloquence in their motions and influences. Their line
is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world; they are a sacred book, in which all men may read a GOD, and they powerfully speak his name to all nations. In
them hath he set a tabernacle, a glorious but moveable habitation, 5 for the sun, Which [is] as a bridegroom coming out of his
chamber, [and] rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race ; no
bridegroom hath so pleasant a look, or is arrayed in such gay apo 6 parel as the sun when it ushers in the morning. His going forth
[is] from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of .it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof; he travels
(according to common appearance) with unwearied; unabating · strength, from one end of the heavens to the other. ; his heai er. tends over the whole earth, and reacheth even to the bowels of it.
The next verses show the superior excellency of the law of God. 7 The law* of the LORD (is) perfect, converting the soul from ig
norance and error ; the testimony of the LORD [is] sure and cer
tain, fully to be depended upon, making wise the simple ; it is 8 plain and intelligible, 80 28, 10 enlighten the ignorant, The stat.
utes of the LORD (are] right, rejoicing the heart ; they are free from ertar and deceit, and afford the noblest pleasure : the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, free from corrupt mixture,
enlightening the eyes : removing prejudices and vice, by which 9 the mind is darkened and misguided. The fear of the LORD (is)
clean, enduring for ever; free from all drege of uncleanness and suferstiticn, and not subject to change, like human laws, it is the
• David here user many words to describe God's law, as in the hundred and nineteenth psalm, all centering in the same thing. He calls it the law. statutes, and commands, as it shows God's authority and our duty ; his testimony, as it testifies his will; his scar, because it teaches us to tear, worship, and serve him arighe: and his judgments, because it is 25 tended with awful sanctions, and is the rule of final judgment,
same for substance in all ages : the judgments of the LORD (are)
true [and] righteous altogether ; they are entirely righteous, and 10 shall be faithfully execuied. More to be desired (are they) than
gold, yea, than much fine gold : sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb : the richest treasures of other countries, of the
sweetest productions of our own, are not so desirable and valuable. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned of his danger and duty :
(and) in keeping of them (there is) great reward ; the exercise of piety is delightful and profitable at present, as well as infinitely
advantageous hereafter. He then adds some practical uscs which -12 may be made of the whole. Who can understand (his) errors,
his transgressions against this pure and perfect law ? cleanse 13 thou me from secret [faults ;) pardan my unknown sins. Keep
back thy servant also from presumptuous, that is, wilful, delibe. I rate (sins ;] let them not have dominion over me: then shall I
be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgres. ·sion ; from much transgression, from a great deal of guilt, which 14 I should contract by violating or neglecting this rule. Let the
words of my mouth, or rather, Then the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart shall be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer ; when I am sincere in my obedience to thy law, my service qvill be acceptable ta thee, who wili defend me from sin, and enable me to observe thy testimonies.
THE reflections arising from this delightful composition are
1 very natural and easy to be learned, and at the same time most important and useful. '. Prove I i II
1. We should acknowledge God in the works of his hands, and give him the glory of them. Notwithstanding these plain intima, tions, the heathen, even their philosophers, knew not God ; professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. But let us, who enjoy the peculiar advantages of revelation, observe the power, wisdom, and goodness; which appear in the works of creation, in the sun, moon and stars, the revolution of times and seasons, of day and night; and let this raise our thoughts to him who formed all things out of nothing. How wonderful his power ! Let us medi. tate on his works, and muse on the operations of his hands. But • 2. Let us be deeply sensible of and thankful for the superior excellency of his word. This is a noble description of the law of Moses, but it still better suits the gospel of Christ. That enlightens the eyes, turns men fron darkness to light, converts the soul, and is the source of the noblest pleasures, and the most solid edification ; yea, it makes men wise'lo salvalion. Let us ferrently bless Coll for the book of nature, in which we read so much of his name, but es. pecially for the fairer, plainer, nobler book of grace. Let us bless him for the spread of the glorious gospel. The apostle, in Rom. x. 18. applies the fourth verse of this psalm, to this glorious event,