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5. We learn to guard against all rash and hasty conclusions, and especially such as may impeach the faithfulness of God. Good men are ready to fall into this temptation; to say things, even of God himself, in their haste, which afterwards they deeply repent of, and which gives them much concern and grief. Let us keep the passions of fear, sorrow, and anger, in due bounds; trust a faithful, unchanging God, and persevere in »erring him and hoping in him, however heavy our afflictions, er gloomy our apprehensions may be. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart) all ye that hope in the Lord.
[A Psalm] of David, Maschil, which signifie» giving instruction, by theviing hot» to be happy.
This psalm was probably composed after hi» an in the matter of
1 ~D L E S S E D [is he whose] transgression [is] forgiven, JO [whose] sin [is] covered, so as not to rue up to condemn
2 Mm. Blessed [is] the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, that in, chargeth it not to his account, to as to punish him for it, and in whose spirit [there is] no guile; -whose repent* anee га sincere, and -ш/iose conduct is suitable. He then adds from
3 his ovni experience, When I kept silence, when I concealed my tins, and did not confess them and repent of them, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long; / ivas ßlled -with inward agony, iv/'.ich weakened my strength, and brought on me
4 the decays of age. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me ; it ivaa thy hand that impressed those terrors upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer; my body wat parched and consumed like grass in the height of summer. Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid; therefore I fully resolved, though guilt and shame had long ke/it me at a distance, to fiour out my comfitaini to God; I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou for« gavest the iniquity of my sin; I had no sooner formed the resolution, than thou wast graciously/¡leased to accept of it, and gave
6 me the tokens of returning mercy. Selah. For this, because t hau hast pardoned my sin, shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters, in time of the greatest troubles and dangers, they shall not come nigh unto him, to hurt him: since under tuc/i guilt a* mine the encouragement is so great, much more shall it be
t to under other troubles. Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shall preserve me from trouble ; thou art so entirely reconciled to me, that Icannoiu triumph in thy protection; thou shall compas« We about with songs of deliverance; / »hall have reatan for many tonga of firoise, and my brethren shall join -with me in them.
t Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shall go: I will guide thee wilh mine eye; / will give thee counsel from my own experience, and have an eye upon thee
9 that thou dost not go astray, only be wilting to be instructed. Be ye not as the horse, [or] as the mule, [which] have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee; do not follow your apjietites, and be untractable, when God would by afflictions bring you to your
0O duty. Many sorrows [shall be] to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about; he »half not only be secured by firavidence, but be enriched with abundance
11 of blessings. Therefore Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous, though ye may be in affliction; and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart, because you have the blessedness of being fiardoned, and shall finally be victorious over every enemy and every tribulation.
1. "IT1 ROM hence we learn the folly of sin; what a burden it J? brings upon the mind, and into what distress and perplexity it is thrown by it. What a gloomy state must David's mind have been in! full of agony, yet silent in that agony. This is often the case with sinners; they are conscious of guilt, yet keep silence; they stifle convictions, and endeavour to divert their minds by company and amusements, seeking rest, and finding none. Into such circumstances may a good man be brought, if he falls into sin. Wherefore let him that standeth, take heed lest hefall.
3. We are taught, the wisdom of repentance. It is the only way to obtain pardon, and the surest way to comfort. David, in the expression of not imfiuting iniquity, seems to intimate, that all mankind are in a guilty state, and that no man is blessed but he to ivhcm the Lord imfiuteth not iniquity. Oh that this might be a motive to all sinners to repent, to confess their iniquity with deep humility, shame,and sorrow,and earnestly to entreat divine forgiveness. They have great encouragement to do this, because God is ready to pardon, to take off the load of guilt and grief. But then let them see to it, that their repentance be sincere, that they do not trifle and prevaricate with God ; confessing and lamenting those sins which they do not design to part with. If there be guile in the spirit, there can be no forgiveness; but if toe confess and forsake our sins, he it faithful and just lv forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. Those who have received signal mercies from God, should do what they can to instruct, comfort and edify others. David tells из his experience of the smart of sin, and the pleasures of forgiveness and obedience. Let pardoned souls exhori sinners to repent, and animate them to it by a consideration of the grace of God manifested to them; and let Christians eoccite one another to love and ta good works; to prayer, and faith in God, by mutual information of the dealings of God with their souls. Thus they will strengthen each others hands in God. ,
4. See the wide difference there is between the righteous and the wicked. The righteous may be perplexed and troubled ; but they have a hiding place in God, and mercy shall compass them about. But let the wicked be at present ever so prosperous and merry, many sorrows shall be to them; they are like the horse and the mule, hurried by appetite and passion, untaught and unhumbled. They may at length have their spirits broken by affliction; or, if they pass through life without it, their end is sorrow and destruction. JLet the wicked then forsake his way, and the unrighteous man At» thoughts, and turn unto the Lord, and he viil¿ Aove mercy u/ton him. But let the righteous hold on his -way, and the ßoods of dcefi matera »hall not come nigh him.
Some suppose this psalm ivas comfiosed by David in his advanced aget when his neighbouring enemies mere subdued, aa he cells upon Au people to join with him in praising God.
1 Tl EJOICE in the Lord, O ye righteous, youare under fieculiat
.[V obligations to it; [for] praise is comely for the upright;
there is a beautiful agreement between the language of praise and t your general conduct. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto
him with the psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings; make à tue nf those instruments to express and cxcile religious joy. Sing
unto him a new song, for his new mercies, and with new and
4 lively affections; play skilfully with a loud noise. For the word of the Lord [is] right; his revealed word is true and righteous; and all his works [are done] in truth; are correspondent to
5 Ai» nature and will. He loveth righteousness and judgment, and always practises them: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord: his mercy abounds in every part of it, else strict juc
6 tice would turn it into a heap of confusion. By the word of the Lord, his single almighty wird, were the heavens made ; and all the host of them, all the heavenly bodies, were formed by the
7 breath of his mouth. He gathcreth the waters of the sea together as an heap ; he shows how powerful he is, by separating the sea from the dry land, and cutting a channel for the waters: he layeth up the depth in storehouses; though they stand on an heap as high as the land, yet they are kept, as in a storehouse, from werßowing it; they cannot pass beyond their bounds. Therefore
S Let all the earth, which is encompassed with these wonderful display* of his power, fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the
9 world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was [done ;] he commanded, and it stood fast; an allusion to God's saying, 'Let there be light, and there юса light;' all таз done at a ward »freaking, and continues firm and unmoveable. fie then proceed» to the moral world, and there also he need» tut speak the word, and
10 the event »hall answer his pleasure. The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect; he either gives them uft to a series of wrong thoughts and schemes, or, vahen the wisest filan» are laid, he disconcerts them, by bringing about such event» as their greatest
11 wisdom cmild not foresee. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations; nothing
12 can frustrate his counsels, or break his schemes. Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the Lord ; [and] the peo'ple [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance; Israel, hi» peculiar peo
13 pie and inheritance, are happy under his care. The Lord lookla eth from heaven; hebeholdeth all the sons of men. From the
place of his habitation he looketh upon, discerns the actions and 15 thoughts of all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he has made human nature in the same manner; or, God firesides over the thoughts of men, and influences them as he Jileases; he considereth all their works; he know» and can dele feat their deepent filots. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength when God determines othentrise; David, though a great warrior,
17 depended enly ufion God. An horse [is] a vain thing for safety:
18 neither shall he deliver [any] by his great strength.* Behold, the eye of the Lord, his watchful providence and favour, which is better than all military preparations, [is] upon them that fear h i in, not with « servile, slavish fear; therefore he adds, upon
19 them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine; to do that for them which all
20 human skill and strength cannot do. Our soul waitheth for the
21 Loud: he [is] our help and our shield. For our heart shall re
22 joice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, О Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. In this comprehensive prayer he appeals to an omniscient God fur the sincerity of their fuit/ in him, and declares, they could desire no greater mercy than what they firmly hoped for.
l- T E T us learn from hence toaboupd in praise; and observe 1 л what tends to excite it, namely, the perfections of God as displayed in the works of nature, the conduct of Providence, and his dispensations to his people ; the ease with which universal nature was formed, the firmness of his ordinances, and especially that the
• The Israelirrn were forbidden to use horses in war, to keep them dependent on God «1т. David incale»« rh«; he had no dependence upon them without God, muckkn when he 'hid forbid.len the use of them.
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earth is so full of his goodness. It is a pity it should be so «mpty of his praise. Let us praise him in the best manner we are able; do it skilfully, with our voice ami our heart; with a loud voice, like those who have their hearts in the work : an admonition that many need in our public assemblies. Let us reflect upon this psalm often in' this view, that we may know what to do it for, and how to doit acceptably. • •'• '• » ••
2. We may rejoice in the immutability of the divine counsels, and the certain success of all his schemes. He baffles the devices of men when they are most wisely formed; but hi» own can never be frustrated, nor the execution of them be obstructed. A pleasing thought this, when we consider that all his schemes are for the benefit of his church and people1. Let us stand in awe of this glorious Being, who hath snch 'amazing power, and against whom there is no wisdom nor understanding, nor device that shall prosper.
• 3. Let us reflect on the universal influence of God on the hearts of »en ; that he can turn and fashion them as he pleases. He knows all their schemes, and can divert their thoughts so as shall be must contrary to their own former views, and to the expectations of all about them. The hearts of princes and kings are as much under his influence as those of the meanest subjects: this is a great satisfaction amidst national confusion,or fearful apprehensions. It isa great comfort to ministers in their work, that God knows how toreach and turn those hearts which seem proof against all their admonitions, entreaties, and motives. This also shows the reasonableness and expediency of prayer for any blessing or comfort \ve want, and which may depend on the hearts and inclinations of men, that God can overrule all for our good.
• 4. We are taught to seek bis protection and assistance in all oer private and public concerns. Л"о ting if saved ay the multitude of an host; horses, soldiers, ships, are all vam things without God. Let «s then local for the Lord; observe his providence, accommodate ourselves to it, and endeavour to cherish a lively faith in him. Then, however he may deal with nations, here is our comfort, that the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that kape in tí» тепу.
[A Psalm] of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech,* 1 Sam. ii. 13. wko drove him away, and he departed.
David ßed to jichish far security from Saul's attempts; the courtier» of Aehish representing him as a dangerous man, he Jcignrd himself mad, and so escaped the snare. This psalm is addressed to the soldier* who ahared his fortune. It is an alphabetical fisalm, each verse beginning tvii/i the several letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order.