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and the successful labours of the apostles. Let us highly prize it, esteemn it soveeter than honey and better than thousands of gold and silver. · 3. Let us carefully improve our knowledge of God's will to practical purposes. It shows us our errors and sins, and our dan. ger by them ; and should lead us to seek mercy 10 pardon our numberless offences, and grace to helh us in every time of need. We should especially pray against presumptuous sins ; lest we sin wil. fully against the law of God; in which case we are more inexcusable than even Jews or heathens. Our great desire should be, that our hearts may be humbled, and our lives directed and guided by the law of God.. And unless we pay such a practical regard to it, our most serious words and meditations upon it, will neither be acceptable to God nor profitable to our own souls ; for those who turn away their ear from hearing, that is, obeying God's words, will find that he will turn away his ear from hearing their prayer.'

PSALM XX.
To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

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This pealm is a prayer for the king, composed by David, to be 23ed in the temple service before he went out on a military erpedia tion, firobably against the Syrians and Ammonites, who had a mula titude of chariots and horsemen, to which there is a reference in the

seventh verse. See 2 Sum. X. 18. The people say, i T HE LORD hear thee in the day of trouble ; they kneto • T he would pray, and therefore desire God to hear ; the name

of the God of Jacob, the grace and providence of that God who is 2. in covenant with his people, defend thee. Send thee help from

the sanctuary, from the holy place where he dwellesh, and strength· 3 en thee out of Zion, Remember all thy offerings, and accept

thy burnt sacrifice; show That he accepis thy sacrifices, by giving 4. thee success. Selah. Grant thee according to thine own heart,

and fulfil all thy counsel ; fulfil thy heart's desire, which they knew - 5 wus no other than reasonable, just, and nious. We will rejoice,

in thy salvation, in humble confidence that God will hear us, and in the name of our God we will set up (our) banners : the LORD fulhl'all thy petitions ; we will go forth with thee in humble de pendence upon him, and may he give us success. Thus far was the

prayer of the people. Then the king, who was present at this 80.* o lemnity, and joined in the service, adds, Now know I that the

LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand; I am assured that God will give me success, as he inclines the hearts of my people to pray for it ; he will hear me and defend me by his almighty

7 power. Some (trust) in chariots and some in horses, our me

mies boast of these, and despise us for the wanı of them : but we will remember the name of the LORD Our God; we will rake mention of the Lord our God, and trust in him ; and can even tri. 8 umph beforchand, saying, They are brought down and fallen;

but we are risen and stand upright; we have gained the victory 9 over them. Then the chorus of the Israelites concludes ; Sare,

LORD : let the king hear us when we call ; or, as the words are better rendered in the English liturgy, O Lord, save the king, and hear us when we call upon thee.'

REFLECTIONS. 1.

W E learn hence the duty of praying for our king, and i VV for victory and success in time of war. It was an unifersal custom among the heathens, it was required among the Jews, and is enjoined by the rules of the gospel. We should commend our king, his counsellors and forces, to the guidance, care, and blessing of the Almighty: These are important petitions, since the heart of the king is in God's hand, and victory and success depend entirely upon him. . Let us pray, that God would incline the hearts of our rulers to pray for themselves, and the nation, as David did ; and as the apastle exiiorts, I Tim. ij. 2. we should continue to make supplication, prayers, and intercession, for our king, and all that are in authority, that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all god. liness and honesty. --- 2. We are here taught, not to trust in our military preparations in times of danger and war, but in the Lord. Pride and confidence in our military strength has been too much the character of our country. We have often talked arrogantly of our soldiers and Davies; and God has oft in, by terrible things in righteousness, shown us the vanity of that confidence. Let us learn this wisdom by all our former disappointments, to make mention of the name of the Lord, and go forth in his arength. (that such may always be the disposition and conduct of our country, and especially of our commanders ; then we may hope that God will appear for us ; that he will hear 2 from his holy habitation, and deliver us by the saving strength of his right hand. Finally, let us often pray for one another, especially for those in danger or distress, in spiritual troubles, or spiritual desertions, in the suitable language of this psalın ; The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble, the name of the God of Jacob defend thee, Send thee helf from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion, May he grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy petitions.

PSALM XXÍ.
To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

The former psalm was a prayer for the king, this is a thanks

giving for mercies received. i T HE king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD ; and in 2 1 thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice ! his joy in

ihy delivering goodness is beyond expression. Thou hast given

him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of 3 his lips. Selah. For thou preventest him with the blessings

of goodness, thou hast not only granied his request, but hast given

him more than he asked : thou settest a crown of pure gold on * 4 his head. He asked life of thee, that is, present deliverance,

[and] thou gavest (it) him, [even) length of days for ever and • ever ; thou gavest him the promise of long life, and thou wilt con. 5 tinue the crown to his posterity. His glory (is) great in thy sal

vation : honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him ; his renown is greatly spread abroad by reason of those wonderful deliverances and favours granted to him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever, or rather, hast set him for a blessing, hast made him such an example of happiness, that it shall become a proverb, let him be as successful as David : thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance, by the discoveries of thy love and

favour to him. He then expresses his humble confidence in what 7 God would further do for him. For the king trusteth in the

LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be 8 moved. Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies ; his ene

mies who are also thine : thy right hand shall find out those that 9 hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time

of thine anger : the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath,

and the fire shall devour them ; They shall perish as unavoidably 10 as if they were thrown into a fiery oven. Their fruit shalt thou

destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children Il of men. For they intended evil against thee : they imagined a

mischievous device, (which] they are not able (to perform.] 12 Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, (when) thou

shalt make ready (thine arrows] upon tny strings against the

face of them; they will be thrown into utter confusion when thou 13 appearest against them. Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own

strength : [so] will we sing and praise thy power ; for this manifestation of thy power thou shall be applauded ; and the glory of all the deliverances vouchsafed 10 our king and people be given to thee.

REFLECTIONS.

A NSWERS to prayer demand a return of praise. When

1 God hears the petition of his servants for public or pri. vate blessings, it becometh them to render thanks to him ; to

acknowledge the suitableness, seasonableness, and greatness of the mercy granted ; and especially to take notice how graciously God has exceeded their prayers and their hopes,

2. This psalm naturally leads our thoughts to the Lord Jesus Clirist. If the author of it had not a direct reference to him, as many suppose, yet David's victories over his enemies were emblems of the nobler victories of the Redeemer. Let us rejoice in his ex• altation and triumph, because God hath given him his heart's desire ; conferred all authority upon him, and vanquished all his foes: he is set for a blessing for ever, and his seed, his faithful servants, shall enjoy everlasting happiness. Let us then submit to this king, and behave as his loyal subjects ; for dreadful is that condemnation and ruin which shall be the final portion of his enemies. Let us heartily pray for the further spread and establishment of his kingdom ; and do all we can for his service ; and wherein the strength of the Lord appears to be exalted, and exalted too in spreading the gospel, and making any the willing subjects of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us sing and praise his power, and long for the happy day, when all the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord, and of his anointed.

PSALM XXII.

To the chief musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, or, the hind of the

morning ;* A Psalm of David.

This whole psalm is a prophecy of Christ, of his sufferings, and the

glory that should follow. IMTY God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? (why art

I thou so) far from helping me, (and from) the words of my roaring ? why dost thorl withdraw the sensible tokens of chy 2 presence and love? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou

hearest not ; and in the night season, and am not silent ; to an * 3 eye of sense thou seemest to have entirely deserted me. But thou

(art) holy, [O thou] that inhabitest the praises of Israel ; thout

art still good and gracious, and art always surrounded with the · praises of Israel, as we are with the houses in which we dwell. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee : they trusted, and thou didst de5 liver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered : they

trusted in thee, and were not confounded, pleading God's former :6. goodness to his people and praying servants. But I fam) a

worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the

people ; though they were delivered, I am treated as the meaneet 7 creature, and dealt with in the most contemptible manner. All

• The Jewish paraphrase interprets it, of the daily morning sacrif.ce; and hence some learned men soppose that it was sung every morning in te temple service, to accustoa thrin bo che expectation of Christ's sufferings and kingdom.

they that see me, laugh me to scorn : they shoot out the lip,

they shake the head, they show all the marks of reproach, and 8 scorn, (saying,] He trusted on the LORD (that he would deliver

him : let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him ; the very quords used by the priests when Christ hung upon the cross, which

was most astonishing, considering how often they must have read 9 them. But thou (art] he that took me out of the womb : thou

didst make me hope (when I was) upon my mother's breast,* 10 and therefore I hope thou wilt not now forsake me. I was cast

upon thee from the womb : thou (art] my God from my mother's belly ; my mother and supposed father, being unable of them

selves to protect and provide for me, without thy special providence. 11 Be not far from me ; for trouble [is] near ; for (there is) 12 none to help ; my circumstances are still helpless. Many bulls

have compassed me : strong (bulls) of Bashan, powerful and 13 furious enemies, have beset me round. They gaped upon me

[with] their mouths, (as) a ravening and a roaring lion ; wicked 14 men and evil spirits are joined together against me. I am poured

out like water, and all my bones are out of joint : my heart is like wax ; it is melted in the midst of my bowels ; my spirils are spent, and I am left as weak as water ; firobably referring 10

Christ's sufferings in the garden and on the cross, to the depression 15 of his spirits, and his bloody sweat. My strength is dried up like

a potsherd ; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws ; my suffering: have wasted my strength, and brought on great thirst ; and thou

hast brought me into the dust of death ; it is thinc appointment, 16 my enemies are only the instruments. For dogs have compassed

me : the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me ; my persecutors are like su mwany hounds hunting a weak and trembling animal : they pierced my hands and my feet ; words which

plainly refer to Christ's crucifixion, and cannot be applied to David. 17 I may tell all my bones, through leanness and distortion upon the

cross : they look [and] stare upon me ; my enemies gaze upon 18 me and take pleasure in my misery. They part my garments

among them, and cast lots upon my vesture ; a circumstance 19 which the evangelists directly apply to Christ. But be not thou

far from me, O LORD ; O my strength, haste thee to help me ; 20 again I seek thy help in these distressing circumstances, Deliver

my soul from the sword; from the rage and violence of my ene.

mies ; my darling from the power of the dog ; my spirit from 21 the assaults and suggestions of Satan. Save me from the lion's

mouth : for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns ; thou hart granted me former deliverances, especially from the

temptations in the wilderness. The rest of the psalm refers to the 22 glory that should follow Christ's sufferings. I will declare thy

name, thy attributes and grace, unto my brethren, to my true disciples, in my person and by my ministers : in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee ; make known thy praise in large

• Thix refers to the helpless circumstances in which Christ was born ; his mother might. have no help in bringing hinn forth, or dressing and swaddling him.

VOL. IV.

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