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4 shall execute mere vengeance among them.* Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail against David, and the caw of tru'h and virtue; me shall set Saul and the profile against him fa cur slanders; our lips [are] our own, to speak tv/iat we please: •who [is] lord over us, to'call us to account for what me say?

5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set [him] in safety [from him that] puffeth at him; that speaks of him as scorn/ally

6 a* if he could blow him away with his breath.f The words of the Lord [are] pure wprds, not false and treacherous, like theiri: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times; which is purified from eqrth and dross many times over, till it ii

7 gjti'e pure and unmixed. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, tiw shalt preserve \\\zm,that is, the pious poor and ofiflressed,fromtiui generation for ever ; from this wicked generation as long as thry are assaulted by malice and cunning. With this hope he encourages himself, though tffings were bad at present; and he urges it at a

8 plea why God should arise and help speedily ; for The m'cied walk on every sicje when the vilest men are exalted; the wicked walk proudly and without fear, you may meet them wherever you go, while base and wicked men are exalted to be governors and magistrates.

REFLECTIONS.

1. "X 7f 7" E have great reason to lament that the character, V V which is here described, suits our own days and circumtjtances so much : a general decay of piety and honesty, which naturally stand or fall together. It is to be feared that many of our courtiers are too much like Saul's; they speak with flattering tiftt, end a double heart, make no conscience of lying; and often promise when they never intend to perform. It were well if such infamous practices were confined to the court; but a general licentiousness of the tongue, is too much the character of our country. With confidence and insolence men say what they please ; profane (lie name of God, the most High: and deceive, reproach, and slander their neighbours. This ought to be lamented; and we have great reas-m to fear the continuance of divine judgments, because our tongues and our doings cannot please the Ix>rd.

2. Let us guard against this iniquity in ourselves. In speculation we think it wrong to speak falsely and to deceive; and should perhaps resent it if it were practised on ourselves. Let vs then Tesolutely keep our own tongues from speaking evil, and our lip' frm g>iile. Let us abhor to speak proud and insolent things, even to the meanest ; and especially guard against speaking with a double heart, against flattery, and excessive compliments; which lead men to

• Perhaps there is an allusion here to a custom in the enstem nations of carting** "* tongue or Jij> of those who hail spoken treasonable or seditious worrls.

t Cod is h-re introduced as speaking when D ivid w is writtne, these words. He V^V Upon i» a- rf r-iel..tinn which God then made to him, and not merely as rhe «"**'*,'.'"t'i,

ii< o»n rni id, and what he l>v .i figure put imo the month of the Lord ; as be inuwdt*" » etlares his fiith in it; This Uud'hath sard, aid fwfn triumph u it.

make light of truth and integrity. We ought to remember that

our tongurn are not our oton; nor are we at liberty to speak what we

filease. There is a Lord over us, who hears and remembers our

■Words, and will call us to account for them : by thy words thou

tfiale be justified, and by thy words thou shall be judged. Jfanyt man

among- you seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, that

man's religion is vain. (

3. Let us remember the purity and certainty of God's words.

He is not a num, that he should lie or be deceived ; his declarations

are true, and his promises are faithful; he neither imposes upon us,

nor jests with us. The words of men are not always to lie relied

upon, but God's words are. All his promises shall be fulfilled ,

and we should particularly encourage ourselves, with those which

relate to the happiness of his faithful servants, for not one word shall

Jail.

4. We are here taught our duty in degenerate times; that is, deeply to lament the want of honesty and piety, and earnestly to seek God's help, when honebt and pious men are scarce; when they die, or abate in their zeal. When godly and faithful men, who should and would lend a hand to support the cause of God and religion, die, it is time to cry, Help, Lord. Let good men rejoice in his protection; he will keep them from being destroyed and corrupted; keep, them front this crooked and perverse generation; yta keep them for ever. The Lord will deliver them from every coil work, mnd preserve them to his heavenly kingdom.

PSALM XIII.

To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

It was firobably penned during his persecution by Saul, as that continued the longest : and the psalm intimates that he had been it considerable time in circumstances of distress.

1 TTOW long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? forever? how XI long wilt thou hide thy face from me? He complains tlu.t his deliverance was so long delayed, that God seemed to have forgotten him and hid his face from him, as men turn away their face

2 from those whose petitions, they will nut grant. How long shall I take counsel in my soul, change my purposes, and perplex- myself with one contrivance after another, and all in vain, [having} sorrow in my heart daily ? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over iliC I so exalted that I continually fear destruction, and

3 know not where to turn myself for help. Consider [and] hear mc, O Lord my God : lighten mine eyes; endue me with wisdom and circumspection to avoid the dangers that besst me, and give n.e refreshment in u.y spirits by delivering mi-; lest Lslytp [the

4 sleep] of death; Lest mine enemy should say, I have prevailed against him: [and] these that trouble me rejoice when I am moved; their boasts will dishonour thy name, and grieve t Ay fteofile. Then, by asurfirizing turn of language, he exfiresse» a theer

5 ful confidence in God. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation, that is, in the assurance I have that thou wilt afifiearfor me, and in due lime deliver me.

6 I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully •with me; he hath done so in former instances, and especially because he hath given me such promises and assurances of deliverance and salvation, as I know vail at length be accomplished.

REFLECTIONS.

I. "\Ж7"Е may here reflect on the melancholy condition of a V V person under dejection of spirit. This is a mournful circumstance, especially when it arises from any apprehension of the displeasure of God, and being rejected of him. This was David's case, and has been the case of many good men. When this affliction is long continued, it is a very dreadful one; anxiety and impatience are apt to arise, and despair of relief to fill the soul with exquisite distrAs. If a good man may be thus afflicted, what have not the wicked to fear! How sad must their case be, whom God ha» utterly f)rgftlen, and from whom he will hide his face for ever.

2. Let the afflicted servants of God continue in prayer. This is the best relief under trouble, and the sure way of obtaining support and deliverance. It is some ease to a burdened and dejected spirit to communicate its grief to a faithful and tender friend; but a much greater ease to pour out its complaints before the Lord; who knows the depth of its distress ; who tenderly pities, and is able to help. We should never allow ourselves in any complaints, but such as are fit to be presented to the Lord; nor ever despair, while there is a way open to the throne of grace.

3. We here see what should be our plea in prayer when we are afflicted ; namely, the mercy of God, as displayed in his works, and especially in the scheme of redemption by Christ Jesus. He is a merciful Being, he has therefore wise and kind designs in afflicting us; and will continue our troubles no longer than they are needful. Let us also, with David, plead former experiences of his power and goodness; recollect the instances in which he hath dealt bountifully •inith us; and endeavour to maintain a lively faith in his righteousness and fidelity ; for the /.orrf taketh pleasure in them that fear Aimt in them thai fiofie in his mercy.

PSALM XIV.

To the chief musician, [A Ps?Im] of David.

Probably composed dltfing Absalom's rebellion; which was a time of great and general degeneracy. Me calls the Israelites hit people I and represents them as comparatively in a captive stale: arid speaks of Zion as the residence of God, -which it was not till after David tcan king.

1 HP H E fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God ; he

JL does not believe there is a God, or that he i* governor of the world. When this principle prevails, no wonder it follows that they are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good; the greater pa't of the nation were degenerate, corrupt in their principles, and licentious in their morals. . 2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, ■ to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God; to see how they behaved themselves upon thin occasion, and whether they would, by shaving fidelity to me, prove their religious regard

3 to him; but to their shame I must add, They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one; the greater part of the nation are become

4 abominable in his sight, there is scarce one that doeth good. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people [as]^hey eat bread, and call not upon the Lord, have the principle managers of this revolt no knowledge? The meaning is, Do not these traitors know that to gratify thtir ambition they are preying upon my people, taking measures that will end in weakening and ruining thfm, and yet act without remorse? care not what becomes of the deluded people? Irreligion is the source of all this,

5 the came of all their treachery and inhumanity: yet There were they in great fear; / question not their hearts misgave them; vtethir.ks I ste them defeated and full of the horrors oj conscience: for God [is] in the generation of the righteous, to assist, comfort, and deliver them. I am confident of this, though they would con

6 ceal it, and put on insolent airs. Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because he had nothing but his piety to trust to ; mocking him for his confidence in God; because the Lord [is] his refuge; or rather, although the Lo'd is his helper. He then expresses a strong degree of filth, and expects deliverance from Zion, though that at present was the chief seat of the rebels, but he

7 knew the ark wax there. O that the salvation of Israel [were come] out of Zion ! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, [and] Israel shall be glad: he compares their present deluded state to a captivity w'.'A great propriety and beauty; when they are delivered from it, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel be glad; though now they oppose me with so much heat, they will be glad at my restoration. Probably many

Vol. IV. G g

joined with Absalom through artifice or fear, who were in their hearts with David ¡ and they and others would rrjoiee to have these disturbances cecue, and their lawful monarch on the throne.

REFLECTIONS.

1. *\Д7Е should labour to be confirmed in the belief ofthe beV V ing, perfections, and providence of God. This is the great foundation of religion. Some fools in David's time said, there is no God: and none but fools would say so. Even they could scarce believe this, but said it in their hearts; and rather wished it was so, than believed it. May we guard against every thought which would lead us to disown God, or forget him! Let us study his works and his word; then we shall have the clearest proof of his being and overruling providence. And as we cannot but believe the being of a God, let us be careful we are not like those, who (hough they profess to know God, yet, in works deny him.

2. Let us lament the depravity and corruption of human nature, in that any should deny the most evident principles, and practise the most wicked and mischievous deeds. The apostle quotes part of this psalm in Horn. iii. 10. to prove the degeneracy of the Jews, and to shew that on many accounts they were no better than tile gentiles, being alike under sin, and incapable of being justified before God by their own righteousness. It is a lamentable case, but deserves seriously to be considered, and considered with self application, that we none of us perfectly do good, no not one ; and therefore must seek, pardon, and be justified in the gospti way, or be •vyithout it for ever. And till our hearts are deeply impressed with thi» thought, the gospel will never be welcome to our souls.

3. Let us rejoice in God, as the refuge of his people, however their counsels may be shamed. The licentious and free thinkers in these days, may say like those in David's time, there is no God, and ridicule those who reverence him and trust in him; and a more vile, wretched character there cannot be, than he who laughs at religion, weakens the regards of others to it, and endeavours to put to shame their counsel, dependence, and hope. But let none of these tilings move us ¡ God is in the generation <tf' the righteous, however men m»y treat them i and he will appear to be their refuge, and at last their exceeding great reward. It is a righteous thing with God to rt'iidtr tribulation to thrm that trouble and ridicule Ms fieofiie, and to them la/io arc troubled, he will render everlasting rest.

4. How melancholy is it to reflect, that this whole description so naturnlly suits the present state of our country. Corrupt principles und morals prevail among us; Christianity is despised, and religion neglected by many, and abominable works are done in the midst of us. I fear we may justly say ol many of those that are, or have been, or would be, ministers of state, Have the worker» of iniquity no knowledge? Do they never consider that the nation is suffering, and the people arc devoured, while they are indulging their own

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