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mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way [that is] not good ; fixe» his resolution to go on: he abhorreth not evil ; refuses nothing that is likely to answer hit purpose, though it be ever to e-vil. Da-aid knew that God's perfections viere his best support f

5 and therefore lu sets himself to take a view of them. Thy mercy, О Lord, [is] in the heavens; [and] thy faithfulness [veacheth]

6 unto the clouds. Thy righteousness [is] like the great mountains,j£rm and stable, and can never be undermined or thrown down; thy judgments [are] a great deep, which cannot be fathomed: О Lord, thou preserves! man and beast; thou /irotectest

7 and sufipUest them, and much more those who love thee. How excellent [is] thy loving kindness, О God; the thoughts of it are; precious to me, the effects of it are great and wonderful: therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings; they trust to thy powerful protection, as chicken» run

8 for shelter under the wings vf their parent. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house ; they shall Jind euch pleasure there as to make it an inexhaustible store of good; and thou shall make them drink of the river of thy pleasures; the comfort they shall receive from thee^ shall no more exhaust thy

fullness and bounty, litan a few drops of watejffould exhaust a

9 river. For with thee [is] the fountain of natural and spiritual life; thou art ths origin and support of all happiness: in thy light shall we see light; with thy favour the darkest condition

10 чти become comfortable. О continue thy loving kindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. TAe original is more emphatical; Draw out thy loving kindness. God had been represented as a fountain of happiness, therefore David prays, Braw out this living water for our refreshment and comfort, and let u/iright souls drink and be satisfied.

11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, to trample me in the dint, and let not the hand of the wicked remove mtfrotn my con

12 fidence in ther, or subdue and destroy me. There, where they thought to have vanquished me, are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down and shall iM be able to rise; as if Ле had »aid, I can by faith look forward to the time when it shall be fo; while I am praying I foresee their ruin coming upon them; and this was abundantly fulfilled in the death of Saul and the rout of his army.

REFLECTIONS.

I.' T E T us learn from hence, to abhor and avoid that detestable JLj character* which is represented in the beginning of this psalm. To deceive others with fair pretences, to seek their ruin, while we speak friendly, and deliberately to contrive mischief, is a most odious character. Flattering others is bad ; but it is worst of mil to flatter ourselves, to think our state right, and our practice law-ful, and to varnish over our wicked actions with plausible prctenc-.-s. The cheat will sooner or later be discovered) to our shame in this "World, or our everlasting confusion in the other. May we therefore guard against leaving- off to be wise and to do good. Leaving off to do jgood, i«5 leaving off to be wise. The source of all these evils, is forgetting God, and not keeping his fear before our eyes. Let us therefore be solicitous to set him always before us; then we shall «6/ior that which in evil, and cleave to that which is good.

2. We are taught to entertain venerable ideas of the blessed God, as a being of perfect righteousness and invariable fidelity, of diffusive rviul boundless goodness. Though his judgments are unfathomable, yet mercy presides over all his dispensations toward all his creatures. Such views of the divine perfections are very comfortable amidst the abounding wickedness of the world about us, and the mischievous designs of proud and deceitful men; and should be encouragements to us, to trust under the shadow of his wings ; that we may enjoy a sure protection and a most delightful repose.

3. As the favour of God is the greatest blessing both in time and eternity, let us seek it, by endeavouring to know him, and to serve • him with an upright heart. There is fatness in his house ; comfort and joy, which will abundantly satisfy us; he is the inexhaustible fountain of life and happiness. Amidst all the darkness through ■which we pass, and all our disappointments in creature comforts, the Lord will be a light about us: he will communicate from this Fountain to the everlasting refreshment of our souls; and will advance us to his heavenly presence, where he will be our everlasting light, and the days of darkness and mourning shall be ended.

PSALM XXXVII.

[A Psalm] of David.

Composed in his old age ; full of excellent instructions, which were the fruit of lo?ig observation and experience.

1 I,* RET not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou

2 J7 envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

3 But Trust in the Lord; and do good; [so] shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou* shalt be fed; thou shalt enjoy secttrity

4, and comfictencij. Delight thyself also in the Lord, in his perfections, promises, and benefits; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart; that is, all the reasonable and proper desire* of

5 thy heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it]' to pass ; shalt grant such an issue as

6 m-M Jor thy good. And he shall bring forth thy-righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon day ; if thy character is aspersed, it shall be cleared up ; and shall at length shine forth like the neon day. He then renew* the caution agains! fretfulncss at

•f the 'mitked. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: Vol. IV. N n

freí not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, be« I cause of the man who bririgeth wicked devices to pass. Cease

from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise la 9 do evil. For evil doers shall be cutoff: but those that wait

10 upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be :] yea, thou shall diligent*

11 ly consider his place, and it [shall] not [be.] But the meek, those luho silently wait on God according to these directions, shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace ; they shall be settled in their flossessions, and lead a

12 pleasant life in them. The wicked plotieth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth ; their rage against the right'

13 eons is -very great; out The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is Coming; God will dita/ifioint him, for hi«

14 day to Jail shall come before he can ereCute his designa. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, [and] to slay such as be of up

15 right conversation. Their sword shall enter their own heartr and their bows shall be broken ; their mischief shall return ufion themselves; they shall hurt themselves most by their wicked de

16 signa against others. A little that a righteous man hath [is] better than the riches of rriany wicked ; for it is generally more

17 honestly gained, and always better imftroved. For the arms, that is, the fioivcr, of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous; the wicked have none but their own arm» to su/i/wrl them, and a floor su/if/ort they are; out the Lord ufi

18 holdeth the righteous.. The Lord knoweth the days of tbe upright; he observes them every day, and knows /iott> long their afflicted state shall continue: and their inheritance shall be for

ever; they shall at length be removed to an everlasting inherit

19 anee. They shaH not be ashamed in the evil time г and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied; they shall be /¡reserved

50 and suj'i/iorted. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord [shall be] as the fat of lambs- burnt on the altar, and which all vanishes: they shall consume; into smoke shall they

51 consume away. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again; •wicked men are often reduced to a necessity of borrowing, and art to floor that they cannot, or so unjust that they will not, refiay it: but the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth; the у have enough,

22 and a generous heart to assist others» For [such as be] blessed of him, that in, of God, shall inherit the earth, the land of Ca

23 naan; and [they that be] cursed of him shafl be cut oft'. The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way ; or,as it would be better rendered, The etefi* of a man are ordered by the Lord when he del'ghtelh in Ais way.

5-1 Though he fall info great dangers, or even into sin, he shall nct be utterly cast flown ; he shall not be destroyed, shall not be ut-, tcrhj overcame: for here lies his security, the Lord upholdeth

35 [him with] hi* hand. I have been young, and [now] am old yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed

bread. This is generally true, but not always .♦ David once begged flit bread; but in general the bleating of God attend) the children 86 of good men, and he raises them ufi friends* [He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; God sendeth him new supplies to do good with i and his seed [is] blessed. He then enlargeth ufion the security of

27 the righteous. Depart from evil, and do good } and dwell for

28 evermore. For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints j they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the

29 wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land,

30 and dwell therein for ever. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment; he does good, not only to the bodies, but to the souls of men, and breathes forth

31 wisdom continually. The law of his God [is] in his heart; he knows it, meditates u/ion it, and delights in it; none of his steps shall slide ; he shall not fall into that mischief to which the wicked

32 are exposed. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and sceketh,

33 to slay him. -But The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged ; he will find out a way to vin*

34 dicate his servants, when they are falsely accused. Wait on the Lord byfaithand prayer,a.nd keep his way,and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shah see [it;] thou shot: see his providence appearing for their destruction.

35 This, says David, J have often observed, I have seen the wicked: in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he [was] not: yea, I sought hirnT but he could not he found; / have seen families which flourished by iniquity gone at once, one scarce knows how, as Saul, Ahithophd,

37 Doeg, and others. Hut Mark the perfect [man,] and behold the upright; fix your eyes on the honest, ufiright man; though he be oppressed and persecuted, yet it will be well with him either in this

38 world or another j for the end of [that] man [is] peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: tbe end of the wicked shall be cut off; though they escape the judgments of God in this world, they shall be condemned, and suffer together in another^

39 But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the Lord: [he is] their strength, security and happiness, in the time of trouble.

40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall de< liver them from the wicked, and save thera, because they trust in him} and use no irxegular methods for their redress.

REFLECTIONS.

1. L'ROM the exhortations so earnestly and frequently given X. in this psalm, we should be concerned to guard against envy and fretfulness at the prosperity of the wicked. This is too common even with good men, and therefore David repeats the cau-* tion, and gives a substantial reason for it, namely, that all their glory will be quickly gone, and end in sorrow, shame and torment.

• tf the sfntrncc is stopped after \ted, it will r^in thus, / hnve not teen thi ri^ht^m, prtaitn wr Mi i«j, tkoufb ttliint hrtti, though nduc<4 ta tUi nejKttity. £<!•<.

2. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of tte life that notv is, as -.veil as that which is to come. The way of religion is the true way to thrive, to be secure, easy, and happy. To trust in God, commit our way to him, and take no sinful, dishonourable, or doubtful methods to mend our circumstances, is the way to have enough, and the favour of God with it; and to entail a bitssii g upon our families, which is the best portion we can leave them.

■3. Let us often reflect on the difference between the righteous and the wicked. What a strong and lively contrast is drawn between their character and condition through the whole psalm! Under the christian dispensation it is not so visible as it was under the Jewish; but it is sufficient to show us which is to be preferred, if we confine our views only to the present life; a little that a rights, us man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. Though he has not abundance of riches, he has abundance of peace, and he is blessed of the Lord.

4. We should carefully observe the providence of God, as illustrating his word; and communicate to others what observations we have made upon it. David here informs us what remarks he had made on the care God takes of the righteous, and their children, and of the speedy, sudden destruction of wicked families. If we have used ourselves to reflect on what passes about us, we have seen much of this. God's aged servants should recollect such observations; and, like David, cheerfully relate them to others; especially to their descendants. Their mouths should speak ofUds ■oik-, dom, and their tongues talk of these judgments. tVhoso'is wise, and Gbm observe these tilings, shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord.

5. Let us endeavour to treasure up. these words m our hearts. It is the character of a good man, that the law of the Lord is in his heart; and it is in vain to read and hear these lively descriptions and admonitions, and in vain is the labour of ministers to illustrate or improve them, if we do not take pains to lay theui up in our hearts; that they may be always ready for use, and have a commanding influence on all our conduct. Thus shall we enjoy the blessing of heaven ; and, whatever we suffer here, our end will be peace,.

PSALM XXXVIII.

» * • ■ • * • -

A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance, that is, to put himself in- mind of the sore affliction he had been infjpr hi* sins, and of God's mercy in his deliverance; and to put others in mind how to behave themselves upon a, Hke occasion^ (• ' X

It was probably composed after his guilt in the matter of Uiiah. - God •: visited him with sickness, and Absalom took advantage of hii tmr fnement and danger to raise a rebellion against htm.

1 /^VLORD, rebuke me not in thy wraih: neither chaste}

2 V-/ me in thy hot displeasure- For thine arrows stick fast in

me,, and thy haiid presscth urn *gre , A» oyuiit <#« kand.afC<4^

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