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, REFLECTIONS. à'*.
l. "TIC 7^ are taught from hence, to labour after sincerity of V V heart; that we may neither dissemble with тед nor God. Especially when we address his. majesty, let there be no feigned lifts; but let the impressions of the heart correspond to the expression of the lips; otherwise our firayera will bt on abomination. God is a sfiirit, and must be worM/ifted in efiirit and truth.
2. A sense of the divine omniscience should regulate our words and thoughts, ffis eyes behold the tiling» that are equal s he tries and proves us, and is intimately acquainted with our true characters ; therefore we should steadily fturfiose and resolve that our mouth shall not transgress, and that our words and thoughts shall besuch as he approves.
3. In times of temptation and distress -we should seek our security in the word of God and prayer. To arm us agamst templa
Ï'on, let us consider, that the path of sin is the path of the dt»troyer. i 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 powerful enemies are only a sword in God's hand, his instruments in chastising his children and people. He manages them as he pleaseth; they can dp nothing without his leave; they cannot exceed his commission. The wrath of man therefore shall firaitt him, and tht remainder of wrath he will restrain.
5. We may observe, what little reason there is to envy the prosperity 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 no mark of his approbation, nor is thç want of abundance a mark of hi» dislike. But all their portion is confined to the present life ; they have no bepe beyond it. May the Lord deliver us from such a portioli, and teach us to seek better things; and to welcome afflictions, yea, even poverty itself, as the means of preparing us for them.
6. Let us often meditate on this sublime and delightful view of heaven, this bright abridgment of future blessedness. It consists in seeing and knowing God ; in being like him, and transformed ipto 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 fiurify ourselves even as he i* faire ; since none but the pure in heart shall sre God.
This Psalm it the »eme as the twenty second cfiafitfr of the »etond beck qf Samuel, -wh:re it it explained and improved, to which the reader it therefore re/erred.
To the chief musician, [Л Psalm] of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake Unto the Lord the words of this son g in the day [that] the Lord delivered him from the hand of ail his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,
! T WILL love thee, О Lord, my strength. The Lord [is] 2 J. my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my
strength in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my "salvation, [and] my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, [who
is worthy] to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine ene* mies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of
5 ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed
6 rne 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 foundations also оГ the hills moved and were shaken, 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 cama down : and darkness [was] under
10 his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did
1Í 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] before 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 О Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent .jV from abnve, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He
delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hat
18 edme: 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, be
20 cause he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according tT my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands
21 hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the 32 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 2* myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the Lord recomVol. IV. H h
pensed me according to my righteousness, according to the
C5 cleanness of my hands hi his eye sight. With the merciful
thou wilt show thyself merciful; with an upright man thou «ill
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 afflicted people; but wilt bring down
28 high looks. For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my Go4
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 lhat trust in him. For who [is] God
32 save the Lord? or who [is] a rock save our God? [It is] God that girdcth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
33 He muketh my feet like hinds' [feet,] and setteth me upon my
34 high places. He teacbeth my hands to war, so that a bow of
35 bteel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand halh holden me up,
36 and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged j7 my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I ha've pursued
mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did 1 turn again 58 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 •10 under me those lhat rose up against me. Thou hast also given
me the necks of mine enemies; that 1 might destroy them that
41 líateme. 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.
•11 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me : the strangers 4i shall submit themselves unto me. The strangers shall fade
46 away, and be afraid out of their close places. The Lohd liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and let the God of my sulvalion be
47 exalted. [It is] God that avcngeth me, and subdueth the peo
48 pie unto me. He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those lhat rise up against me : thou
49 hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, О Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises
¿0 unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and slioweth mercy to his anointed) to David, and to his seed for evermore.
To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.
^ mo*t noble and delightful composition; containing a devout meditation on the glory of God, as displayed in the works of nature and flrovidencc, but especially in the holy scripture*.
1 r I 'H E heavens declare the glory of God; arid thS firma
A. 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 Creator. [There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard; their notice of the divine existence *nd 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 alt 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] rejoicelh as a strong man to run a race ; no bridegroom hath so pleasant a look, or is arrayed in such gay ap
6 pare! 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, uvabaling strength, from one end of the heavens ta the other; his heat extends over the whole earth, and reacheth even to the bowels of it. The next verses show the superior excellency of the law of God.
t The law* of the Lord [is] perfoct, converting the soul_/rom ignorance and error; the testimony of the Lokd [is] sure and certain, fully to be depended upon, making wise the simple j it it
8 plain and Intelligible, so as. to enlighten the ignorant^ The statutes of Jhe Loan [are] right, rejoicing the heart; they arc free
from error end deceit, and afford the noblest pleasure: the commandment of the Lo«.D [is] pure, free frjm corrupt, vuxture., 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 dregs of uncleanness andsuperstition, and not subject to change, lifc l:umu:r law*, it is (he
• Divki her* uses many words to describe God'* law, at in the hundred nnd nineteenth pstlm, all centreing in the same thin;. He calls it the Ixw. statutes, and commands,' a*£t shows God's authority and our dutv ; his testimony, as it testifies his will; his.lcar. because. it teaches ns to tear, worship, and serve him aright: and his judgment*, because it is at traded with anjlVil sanctions, aitd is the rale ol final judgment.
вате for mittönet in alt ages: the judgments of the Lord [are] true [and] righteous altogether; they are entirely righteous, and
10 »hall be faithfully executed. 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, or thf evieetest productions of our oían, are not to desirable and-valuable.
I 1 Moreover by them is thy servant warned rf his danger and duty; [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward ; the exercise of piety i» delightful and profitable at present, as well a« tnfrtitriy advantageous hereafter. He then adds some practical uses viiucA
•12 may be made of the whole. Who can understand [hîs>] errors, his transgressions against this pure and perfect law? cleanse
•13 thou me from secret [faults ;] pardon my unknown sins. Keep
• back thy servant also from presumptuous, that is, wilful, deabe* rate [sins ;] let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression ; from much transgression, fram a great deal of guilt, -wJucA
14 I should contract by violating or neglecting this rule. Let the words of my mouth, or rather, Then thf words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart shall be acceptable in thy sight, О Loro, my strength, and my redeemer; tv/ien I am sincere in my obedience to thy law, my service mill be acceptable ta Lhee, u-ho will defend, me from «in, and enable me la observe thy tcstimcnie».
• . * • • )
THE reflections arising from this delightftil composilioA are very natural and easy tobe leaVned, and at'the sarne tirhe roost important and useful.' ''
1. We should acknowledge God in the works of his hands, and give him the glory of them. Notwithstanding these plain intimations, the heathen, even their philosophers^ knew not God ; flnftising themselves to be toise, they became fbols. 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 «rid night; and Jet this raise our thoughts to him who formed all things out of nothing. How wonderful his power! Let us meditate 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 fnh'ghtens the eyre, turns men from darkness to tight, converts the «он/, and is
the source of the noblest pleasures, and the most solid edification; yea, it makes men wise to salvation. Let us fervently bless Getbfor •the book of nature, in which we read so much of his name, but especially for the fairer, plainer, nobler book of grace. Let us ble&s him for the spread of the glorious gospel. The apostle, in Кот. х. 18. applies the fourth verse of this psalm, to this glorious ¿vent,