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Lessons for the Third Day of the Month throughout the Year.
(1) ante, 57 49. (2) ante, 202. (3) ante, 214. 179. (4) ante, 101. (5) ante, 48. (6) ante, 52. (7) ante, 181. (8) ante, 231. (9) ante, 162. 86. (10) ante, 88. 238. (11) ante, 53. (12) ante, 201. (IS) ante, 136. 72. (14) ante, 97. 116.
"ing." A highly poetical idea. It is to be met with Ps. xxxvi. 7.—lvii. I.—lxi. 4. —lxiii. 8.—Is. xxxiv. 15. and more particularly in our Saviour's affectionate lamentation over Jerusalem: " How often "would I have gathered thy children to"gether, even as a hen gathereth her "thickens under her wings, and ye would "not! Matt, xxiii. 37.—Luke xiii. 34."— See also Ps. xci. 4. (A) v.9. "Soul," i.e. "life."
(») v. 10. "Inclosed in their own fat." An expression to denote their arrogance. So Ps. lxxiii. 7. "their eyes swell with fatness;" and Ps. cxix. 70. "their heart is as "fat as brawn." And in the sublime hymn of Moses, Deut. xxxii. 15. "Jeshurun "waxed fat and kicked; (thou art waxen "fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered "with fatness); then he forsook God which ««made him, and lightly esteemed the "rock of his salvation."
Psalm xviii. (q)
I Will love thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my stony rock, and my defence: my Saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will trust; my buckler, the horn also of my salvation, and my refuge.
2. I will call upon the Lord, which is worthy to be praised: so shall I be safe from mine enemies.
3. The sorrows of death compassed me: and the overflow
(k) v. 1*. " The men of thy hand," i. e. (probably) "those thou usest as instru«' ments to execute thy vengeance;" the same as in verse 13. "the ungodly, who "are a sword of thine." So Ps. lxxx. 17. And in Is. x. 5. God calls the Assyrian "the rod of mine anger, and the staff in "their hand is mine indignation;" and see Is. xxxvii. 26.
(/) "Their portion in this life," i. e. (probably) "who look to nothing after "this lire, have no prospect of blessings "in a future state, and think they have "every thing if they have wealth, and "children, and worldly advantages."
(m) " Whose bellies thou fillest," i. e. (perhaps) "who are fully satisfied by hav"ing worldly treasures, and thou reward"est them accordingly."
(n) v. 15. " Leave the rest of their substance," i. e. (probably) "have substance ■« to leave behind them after their deaths." See Ps. xlix. 11.
(o) v. 16. " Will," or " shall."
(p) " Behold, &c." This probably alludes to his expectations after death, in opposition to the views of the worldly men before referred to, who have no thought beyond this life. See Ps. xlix. 15.
(a) " The song of David, in the day that "the Lord had delivered him out of the "hand of all his enemies, and out of "the hand of Saul." It is recorded also, 4 Sam. xxii. Mr. Pierce considers it as spoken in the person of Christ, and looks upon it as a hymn to God for raising him from the dead, for making him victorious over his enemies, (the Jews,) and for giving him a people among the Gentiles. Pierce on Rom. xv. 7. 9.
ings of ungodliness (r) made me afraid.
4. The pains of hell came about me: the snares of death overtook me.
5. In my trouble I will call upon the Lord : and complain unto my God.
6. So shall he hear my voice out of his holy temple : and my complaint shall come before him, it shall enter even into his ears.
7. The earth trembled (s) and quaked : the very foundations also of the hills shook, and were removed, because he was wroth.
(r) v. 3. "Overflowings of ungodliness," or, as it is in the Bible translation and in 2 Sam. xxii. 5. "the floods of ungodly "men." The same image is used, Is. lix. 19. " when the enemy shall come in "as a Jlood, the Spirit of the Lord shall "lift up a standard against him."
(*) v. 7. "The earth trembled, Ac." This probably refers to some extraordinary interposition of God's assistance by thunder, lightning, and hail. Similar interpositions are noticed in fine animated language in the 29th and 97th Psalms, but it may be questioned, if this passage issny where surpassed in sublimity and majesty. Dr. Blair says of it, " The descriptions of "the Deity in the Psalms are wonderfulK "noble, both from the grandeur of the "object, and the manner of representinc "it. What an assemblage, for instance, "of awful and sublime ideas is presented "to us in that passage of the 18th Balm, "where an appearance of the Almighty » "described, verse 7., &c." And even in Sternhold's version much of its spirit and magnificence is retained:
"The Lord descended from above
"And underneath his feet he cast
"On cherubs and on cherubim*
"Full royally he rode,
"Came flying all abroad."
In the magnificent description of the leviathan in Job, some of the imagery » so like this, that the writer of the latter of the two compositions had probably tec the former. See Job xli. IS to SI.
8. There went a smoke out in his presence: and a consuming fire out of his mouth, so that coals were kindled at it.
9. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and it was dark under his feet.
10. He rode upon the cherubims, and did fly: he came flying upon the wings of the wind.
11. He made darkness his secret place: his pavilion round about him with dark water, and thick clouds to cover him.
12. At the brightness of his presence his clouds removed: hailstones, and coals of fire. (7)
13. The Lord also thundered out of heaven, and the Highest gave his thunder; hail-stones and coals of fire. («)
14. He sent out his arrows, and scattered them (.r): he cast forth lightnings, and destroyed them.
15. The springs of waters (y) were seen, and the foundations of the round world were discovered at thy chiding, O Lord: at the blasting of the breath of thy displeasure.
16. He shall send down from on
(1) v. 12. For "his clouds removed "hail-stones and coals of fire," the pas<age in Samuel is, "were coals of fire "kindled."
(») v. 13. For "gave his thunder, hail"stones, and coals of fire," the passage in the Bible translation and in Samuel is, "uttered his voice,'' which introduces a new idea: saying that the Highest " gave "his thunder," after stating that he "thundered out of heaven," is repetition.
(*) v. 14. " Them," i. e. "the hosts of "the ungodly."
M v. 15. "The springs of waters," i. e. "the very bowels of the earth, down to "the lowest water springs." Jn Samuel the reading is, " the channels of the sea," which contrasts better with "the found<> "ations of the world," or earth: "the
high to fetch me: and shall take me out of many waters. (2)
17. He shall deliver me from my strongest enemy, and from them which hate me: for they are too mighty for me.
18. They prevented (a) me in the day of my trouble: but the Lord was my upholder.
19. He brought me forth (b) also into a place of liberty: he brought me forth, even because he had a favour unto me.
20. The Lord shall reward me after my righteous dealing: according to the cleanness of my hands shall he recompense me;
21. Because I have kept the ways of the Lord : and have not forsaken my God, as the wicked doeth.
22. For I have an eye unto all his laws: and will not cast out his commandments from me.
23. I was also uncorrupt before him: and eschewed mine own wickedness.
24. Therefore shall the Lord reward me after my righteous dealing : and according unto the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight
"inner parts of earth and sea were both "exposed to view."
(z) w. 16. "Many waters," i. e. "the "greatest troubles or danger." The same expression is used in the same sense, Ps. lxix. 15. — cxxiv. 3, 4. — cxliv. 7.
(a) v. 18. "Prevented," i. e. "sur"prised," " came upon me unawares."
(6) v. 19. "Brought me forth, &c." A common expression (probably) to denote deliverance. So Ps. xxxi. 9. "Thou hast "not shut me up into the hand of the "enemy, but hast set my feet in a large "room ;" and (Job xxxvi. 16.) where Elinu is stating what God would have done for Job had he conducted himself differently, he says, "He would have removed thee "out of the strait into a broad place, where "there is no straitnest"
25. With the holy thou shalt be holy : and with a perfect man thou shalt be perfect
26. With the clean thou shalt be clean : and with the froward thou shalt learn frowardness.
27. For thou shalt save the people that are in adversity : and shalt bring down the high looks of the proud.
28. Thou also shalt light my candle (c) : the Lord my God shall make my darkness to be light
29. For in thee I shall discomfit an host of men : and with the help of my God I shall leap over the wall (d).
30. The way of God is an undefiled way : the word (e) of the Lord also is tried in the fire; he is the defender of all them that put their trust in him.
31. For who is God, but the Lord : or who hath any strength except our God?
32. It is God that girdeth me with strength of war : and maketh my way perfect
33. He maketh my feet like hart's feet (g) : and setteth me up on high.
34. He teacheth mine hands to fight : and mine arms shall break even a bow of steel (h).
35. Thou hast given me the defence of thy salvation : thy right
(c) v. 28. "Light my candle,'' a figurative expression: "bring me from trouble "to ease, from sorrow to joy."
(rf) v. 29. "Leap over the wall." A figurative expression, to signify a great achievement: "I shall do what without "thy aid would have been impracticable."
(e) t>. 30. '« The word, &c." i. e.«' his as"surances will certainly be accomplished, "will never fail." See Ps. xii. 7.
(g) D.ss. "Like hart's feet," i.e. "for "swiftness." . .
hand also shall hold me up, and thy loving-correction shall make me great.
36. Thou shalt make room (i) enough under me for to go : that my footsteps shall not slide.
37. I will follow upon mine enemies, and overtake them: neither will I turn again till 1 have destroyed them.
38. I will smite them, that they shall not be able to stand : but fall under my feet
39. Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle : thou shalt throw down mine enemies under me.
40. Thou hast made mine enemies also to turn their backs (k) upon me : and I shall destroy them that hate me.
41. They shall cry, but there shall be none to help them : yea, even unto the Lord shall they cry, but he shall not hear them.
42. I will beat them as small as the dust before the wind : I will cast them out as the clay in the streets.
43. Thou shalt deliver me from the strivings of the people : and thou shalt make me the head ot the heathen.
44. A people whom I have not known : shall serve me.
45. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me : but (f) the
(h) v. 34. "A bow of steel," "such is the "strength he has given me."
(t) v. 36. "Room." See note on r. 19.
(*) v. 40. "To turn their backs," i. e. "to fly."
(/) v. 45. "But, &c." B. T. is "the "strangers shall submit themselves unto "me," which seems to agree better
with the original There is nothing
in the Hebrew answering to the word "but,"
strange children shall dissemble with me.
46. The strange children shall fail : and be afraid out of their (m) prisons.
47. The Lord liveth, and blessed be my strong helper : and praised be the God of my salvation,
48. Even the God that seeth that I be avenged : and subdueth the people unto me.
49. It is he that delivereth me from my cruel enemies, and setteth me up above mine adversaries : thou shalt rid me from the wicked man.
(m) v. 46. " Prisons," or (B. T.) « close "places," the places in which they had hid themselves.
(«) On the glory of the heavenly system, the excellency of God's law, the grounds they afford for believing in and praising God, with an acknowledgement of man's frailty, and a prayer against falling into sin. David is considered as the author. It is one of the proper Psalms for Christmas Day.
(o) o. 1. "Declare, &c." The works of the creation are elsewhere referred to as proving the power, wisdom, and goodness, of God. In Acts xiv. 17. Barnabas and Paul told the people of Lystra, that though pod " in times past suffered all nations to "walk in their own ways, nevertheless he "left not himself without witness, in that "he did good, and gave us rain from "heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our "hearts with food and gladness." So TM>m- i. 20.: and in Ps. xxviii. 6. it is as8lgned as a ground for punishing the *icked, that •« they regard not in their "mind the works of the Lord, nor the ''operation of his hands." See also Is. v. 12. Had David known, (what astronomy nag since discovered,) the size, and other particulars of the sun, moon, and starry astern, how would it have raised his adoration! The moon, the nearest to us of we heavenly bodies, is almost one third fe size of the earth. The planets, (that W*jj8e stare wn'cn are nearest the sun, and derive their principal light from him,) Me Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, JuP"er, Saturn, Herschel, &c. Mercury an<l Mars are less than the Earth, and
60. For this cause will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles : and sing praises unto thy name.
51. Great prosperity giveth he unto his king : and sheweth loving-kindness unto David his Anointed, and unto his seed for evermore.
I He heavens declare (o) the glory of God : and the firmament sheweth his handy-work.
Venus about the same size, but Jupiter is a thousand times larger, Saturn a hundred times, and Herschel eighty. And if these are all inhabited by rational beings, (as is most probable,) how insignificant in the great scale of the creation is our earth, and how is our idea of the works of God extended! And yet our sun and all these planets are almost as nothing when we enlarge our view. Every star is probably another sun like ours, with its peculiar planets; and if so, ours is only one, and that a very small one, of many thousand worlds. The sun is a million times larger than the earth, and ninety-five millions of miles from us, and the nearest of the stars (excluding the planets) is many millions of miles beyond him. A thousand stars are visible to the naked eye, with a good telescope three thousand may be seen, and as glasses are improved, more are continually discovered. Mr. Addison has noticed the commencement of this Psalm in the 6th volume of the Spectator, page 272. "The Supreme "Being has made the best arguments for "his own existence in the formation of the "heaven and the earth : and Aristotle says, "that should a man live under ground, "and there be conversant with the works "of art and mechanism, and then be "brought up into the open day, and see "the several glories of the heaven and "earth, he would immediately pronounce "them the works of such a Being as we "define God to be. The Psalmist has "very beautiful strokes of poetry to this "purpose in that exalted strain: "The "heavens declare the glory of God,'' (to the T