Imatges de pÓgina

An earnest persuasion to build

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2 Both low and high, rich and together.

3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;

7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him;

8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever :)

9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

+ Heb. to

11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwellingplaces † to all genegenera rations; they call their lands after their own names.


Ver. 3. My mouth shall speak &c.] I am going to utter things of most important concern, even weighty matters, which my heart has deeply pondered. Travell. I will speak such things as shall teach men to be truly wise, and to judge and determine prudently in all things. Rosenmüller.

4. I will incline mine ear &c.] I myself will diligently attend to the lesson I am going to unfold, and the important instruction shall be accompanied with the melody of musick. Travell.

5. Wherefore should I fear &c.] Why should I give way to fear and despondency in the time of calamity, when the wickedness of my wealthy and powerful adversaries compasses me about, to supplant and overthrow me? Bps. Horne and Lowth.

-of my heels] Rather, "of my supplanters;" of those who endeavour to supplant me. Parkhurst. 7. None of them &c.] None of them, with all his wealth and power, can save his dearest friend from the grave, or preserve him alive when God calls him. Bp. Patrick.


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the faith of resurrection on God only.

12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.

13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their Heb. delight sayings. Selah.

in their

14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their || beauty shall consume || in the grave from their dwelling.

15 But God will redeem my soul + from the power of the || grave: for he shall receive me. "Selah.

16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;

17 b For when he dieth he shall b Job 27. 19. carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.

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Or, strength.

Or, the grave being

an habitation them.

to every one of

+ Heb. from the hand of the grave.

|| Or, hell.


18 Though while he lived het Heb. in his blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.

soul shall


19 He shall go to the generation + Heb. The of his fathers; they shall never see light.

20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

no service after death, is doubtless a folly; but it is a folly, which, like many others, is at once blamed and imitated. Bp. Horne.

14. Like sheep &c.] They must, like sheep driven to the slaughter, become the prey of death, and go in crowds to the grave: and then the just, whom they insulted, shall triumph over them in that glorious dawn of the resurrection; their faded beauty shall moulder away in the silent habitation of the grave. Travell.

18. Though while he lived &c.] While men enjoy all the pleasures which their riches afford them, they call themselves the only happy people: and whoever follows their steps will be sure to have the praise of wicked and foolish people. Bp. Wilson.

20. Man tha in honour, &c.] That man who lives in outward honour, and yet wants true wisdom and understanding to know God and himself, lives and dies like a beast. Bp. Hall.

Let us seriously lay to heart, that our time in this world is but a short eve to an everlasting holyday; and that the world itself is but a barren, steep, and stormy passage, to the most fertile and pleasant land that ever was inhabited; where, if we have behaved ourselves well in the way, more glorious mansions are prepared for us, than the greatest monarch of the earth was ever in possession of: let us in our daily morning prayers humbly and earnestly beseech God to root out of our hearts all those immoderate desires and inclinations towards the pomp and pleasures of this life, which intoxicate us, and we shall be ashamed all the day after to entertain any of those proud, and covetous, and ambitious thoughts, that are so contrary to our prayers; and so, by devoutly wishing to be what we ought to be, we

The majesty of God in the church.


1 The majesty of God in the church. 5 His
order to gather saints. 7 The pleasure of
God is not in ceremonies, 14 but in sin-
cerity of obedience.

|| Or, for Asaph.

PSALMS. The pleasure of God is not in ceremonies,

8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.

A Psalm || of Asaph.

10 For every beast of the forest is

THE mighty God, even the LORD, mine, and the cattle upon a thousand


and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.

Psalm L. This Psalm sets forth, that the Divine favour is not to be conciliated by sacrifices, or by any of the external rites and services of religion, but rather by sincere piety, and by the devout effusions of a grateful heart and yet, that even these will not be accepted without the strictest attention to justice, and every practical virtue. It consists therefore of two parts: in the first, the devout but ignorant and superstitious worshipper is reproved; and in the second, the hypocritical pretender to virtue and religion. Each part of the subject, if we regard the imagery and diction only, is treated rather with variety and elegance, than with sublimity; but if the general effect, if the plot and machinery of the whole be considered, scarcely any thing can appear more truly magnificent.

God is here introduced as entering upon a solemn and publick action or pleading before the whole world, against His disobedient people. He summons all mankind, from east to west, to be present to hear His appeal; and the solemnity is held on Zion, where He is attended by the same terrible pomp that accompanied Him on mount Sinai. Bp. Lowth.

-Asaph.] Whether this Asaph was the Levite who lived in the same age with David, or some other Prophet in aftertimes, cannot be certainly determined. Bp. Patrick.

11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are + mine.

12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: a for the world is mine, and a Exod. 19. 5. the fulness thereof.

Deut. 10. 14.

Ps. 24. 1.

Job 41. 11.

13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

1 Cor. 10. 26,


Ver. 1. The mighty God, &c.] That is, The decree is gone out from God the Father, touching the calling of all nations by God the Son.

2. Out of Zion,] As God in a special manner was present here in His tabernacle, so shall the Son of God, in fulness of time, be visibly present in that place, and

14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most high:

15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

+ Heb. with


shall grow fixed, and steady, and superiour to those thence give His commission to reveal the Gospel to all vain temptations. Lord Clarendon.

nations. Fenton.

17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, b Rom. 2. 21, and castest my words behind thee.


18 When thou sawest a thief, then

4. He shall call to the heavens &c.] The heavens and the earth are invoked as witnesses, which is a pompous form of expression common with the Hebrew writers: "He shall call the heavens from on high; and the earth to the judgment of His people." Bp. Lowth.

5. Gather my saints &c.] He shall say, Bring those men before Me, whom I have separated to Myself to be a holy nation, and who have made a solemn agreement with Me, confirmed by the blood of sacrifices. Bp. Patrick, Travell. 8. I will not reprove thee &c.] It is not for any defect in thy external and ceremonial service of sacrifices and other appointed offerings that I complain of thee: these have been performed with scrupulous exactness. Travell.

9-12. I will take no bullock] The Jewish folly of doating on the legal offerings, as things in themselves acceptable to God, and conferring justification on man, is reproved in these verses, from the consideration, that the various animals slain in sacrifice were long before, even from the creation of the world, the sole right and property of Jehovah; which, therefore, He needed not to have required at the hands of His people; nor would He have done so, but for some further end and intent signified and represented by such oblations. What that end and intent was, Christians know; and Jews formerly did know. Learn we hence, not to dream of any merit in our works and services; since God has a double claim, founded on creation and redemption, to all we have, and all we are. Bp. Horne.

14. Offer unto God thanksgiving; &c.] God here declares, that the sacrifice which is truly acceptable to Him is a heart thankful for all the blessings He has

but in sincerity of obedience.

Heb. the

portion was with

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+ Heb. Thou sendest.

Heb. that dispeseth his way.


20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own

thou consentedst with him, and + hast been partaker with adulterers.

19 + Thou givest thy mouth to evil, HAVE mercy upon me, og ind

and thy tongue frameth deceit.

according to lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

mother's son.

21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the

salvation of God.


1 David prayeth for remission of sins, whereof he maketh a deep confession. 6 He prayeth for sanctification. 16 God delighteth not in sacrifice, but in sincerity. 18 He prayeth for the church.

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23. Whoso offereth praise] This verse sums up the two principal points of charge. "I look upon him only as the man who truly honours Me, that offers before Me a grateful heart; and none but the man that sets himself to order his life aright shall ever find protection and blessing from God." Mudge.

The duty of praise is the end of our being, and the very rule and law of our nature. It is the most excellent part of our religious worship, enduring to eternity after the rest shall be done away. It recommends itself to us by several peculiar properties and advantages; as it carries more pleasure in it than all other kinds of devotion; as it enlarges and exalts the several powers of the mind; as it breeds in us an exquisite sense of God's honour, and a willingness to promote it in the world; as it teaches us to be humble and lowly ourselves, and yet preserves us from base and sordid flattery, from bestowing mean and undue praises upon others. Bp. Atterbury.

David prayeth for remission of sins.

Psalm LI. No one can read this Psalm of David, but must see all the characters of true repentance in the person who wrote it, and the marks of the deepest sorrow and humiliation for the sins of which he had been guilty. How earnestly does he plead for mercy, and acknowledge his unworthiness! How ingenuous VOL. II.

came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before


4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified b Rom. 3. 4. when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother † conceive + Heb. warm



6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know



Numb. 19. 18.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I e Lev. 14. 6. shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

the confessions he makes of his offences! How heavy the load of guilt which oppressed him! The smart of it pierced through his very bones, and the torture he felt was as if they had been broken and crushed to pieces. Dr. Chandler. This Psalm is inserted in the Commination service, and so is used with the other penitential Psalms in the service on Ash-Wednesday.

Ver. 2. Wash me throughly &c.] The soul, that is sensible of her pollution, fears she can never be sufficiently purified from it; and therefore prays yet again and again, continually, for more abundant grace, to make and to keep her holy. Bp. Horne.

4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,] For none else knew it, till Thou madest it known, 2 Sam. xii. 12. Bp. Wilson.

that thou mightest be justified &c.] Rather, So that Thou art righteous in Thy sentence, and just in Thy judgment. Edwards.



-I was shapen in iniquity; &c.] I derive from my parents an original corruption, and a natural proneness to evil. Travell. This corruption is here only alleged as the cause of transgressions, not as their excuse; seeing that, the greater our danger_of falling, the greater should be our care to stand. Bp. Horne.

6. Behold, thou desirest truth &c.] The force of "behold" is, "It is too plain; I feel it but too sensibly; the punishment I suffer is evidence sufficient, that Thou art not contented with a superficial appearance of goodness: Thou lovest truth and sincerity in the bottom of the heart." God was now teaching him this, by the correction He made him suffer. The punishment inflicted tended to give him a right understanding of things, and to work it deep into him. Mudge.

7. Purge me with hyssop, &c.] As the priest is wont to denote unclean persons to be cleansed, by sprinkling them with water mixed with the ashes of an heifer,


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d Is. 57. 15. & 66, 2.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from † bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud


11. Cast me not away &c.] The soul that is truly penitent dreads nothing but the thought of being rejected from the "presence," and deserted by the 'Spirit" of God. This is the most deplorable effect of sin; but it is one that in general, perhaps, is the least considered and regarded of all others. Bp. Horne. 12.- and uphold me with thy free spirit.] He prays to be preserved and continued in a state of salvation by the Spirit of God, which might enable him to act as became a Prophet and a king, free from base desires and enslaving lusts. Bp. Horne.

14. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness,] Deliver me from the punishment due to this crying sin, the murder of a trusty servant, and of several of my servants, 2 Sam. xi. 17. Bp. Patrick.

16.-thou desirest not sacrifice;] This is not to be understood absolutely and universally, as appears from ver. 19, but comparatively. See the note on Psalm xl. 6. Poole.

of thy righteousness.

15 O LORD, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; Or, that I else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

should give it.


17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. ||| which sprinkling was performed with a bunch of hyssop; so be Thou pleased to absolve me from the guilt of the great sins I have been guilty of, and restore me to Thy former favour. Dr. Wells.

8. Make me to hear &c.] Renew the joy of my heart, in the comfortable assurance of Thy forgiveness; that so my soul, which is now dejected and justly grieved for my sin, may find cause of rejoicing in Thee. Bp.


18. — build thou the walls of Jerusalem.] Be favourable to Jerusalem, and let its walls, which I have begun to build, 2 Sam. v. 9, be perfectly finished, 1 Kings iii. 1. Bp. Patrick.



sacrifices of righteousness,] That is, such sacrifices as are offered with true piety of heart. Rosenmüller.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.


1 David, condemning the spitefulness of Doeg,
prophesieth his destruction. 6 The right-
eous shall rejoice at it. 8 David, upon his
confidence in God's mercy, giveth thanks.

He prophesieth




To the chief Musician, Maschil, A
Psalm of David, when Doeg the a1 Sam. 22.
Edomite came and told Saul, and
said unto him, David is come to
the house of Ahimelech.

goodness of God endureth continually.
2 Thy tongue deviseth mischief;
like a sharp rasor, working deceit-

3 Thou lovest evil more than good;
and lying rather than to speak right-
eousness. Selah.

HY boastest thou in

mischief, O mighty man? the

4 Thou lovest all devouring words, Or, and the O thou deceitful tongue.

deceitful tongue.

From the third verse of this Psalm, we should learn to correct a propensity in the human mind, which is very general and very natural, yet, at the same time, unfavourable in a high degree to the Christian character; namely, that when we look back upon our lives, our recollection dwells too much upon our virtues; our sins are not, as they ought to be, before us; we think too much of our good qualities, or good actions, too little of our crimes, our corruptions, our fallings off and declensions from God's laws, our defects and weaknesses. But this is not the true Christian disposition, and it is dangerous to our salvation. We ought rather to let our "sins be ever before us," our omissions, deficiencies, failures, our irregularities of heart and affection, our vices of temper and disposition. These are the things which should occupy our attention, this should be the ber and direction of our thoughts, for they are the thoughts which will bring us to God evangelically. Archdeacon Paley.


Psalm LII. The occasion of this Psalm is to be found in 1 Sam. xxii. where we read, that Doeg, in order to ingratiate himself with Saul, discovered to him those who were confederate with David, particularly Ahimelech and afterwards, at the desire of Saul, murdered the priests of the Lord. Travell.

Ver. 1. Why boastest thou &c.] The Psalmist thought it strange that any man should value himself for being able to do mischief, when God esteemed it His glory to do good. In vain did Doeg the Edomite boast himself in the mischief he had done, by massacring the innocent priests and their families; since "the goodness of God," which is unchangeable, had decreed the preservation of David. Bp. Horne.

devouring words,] That is, such as are mischie

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vous, and by which the innocent may be destroyed. Rosenmüller.

6. The righteous also shall see, &c.] All good men shall remark the righteous judgment of God, and shall be confirmed in their fear of offending Him; they shall deride thy folly and disappointed ambition, and shall say; &c. Bp. Patrick, Travell.

8. But I am like &c.] As for me, notwithstanding his crafty designs against me, I am, in comparison of him, in a flourishing condition; my unchangeable trust in the goodness of God shall make me grow and increase, like a fruitful olive tree in the courts of God's house. Travell.

He glorieth in the salvation of God. upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not

9.-for it is good before thy saints.] That is, it is goodly thing, it carries a good appearance, it looks well before the friends of God, to see me praising Him, and putting my trust in Him. Mudge.

It very much concerns us to follow the wise man's counsel, and "to weigh our words in a balance, and make a door and bar for our mouth," Ecclus. xxviii. 25. If licentious and unbridled thoughts will, in spite of all our watches and guard, steal into our hearts, let us be sure that no unruly words break out of our mouth; and if, in the variety of our language and expressions, some inconsiderate, rash, and imprudent words escape from us, at least let them not be malicious and detracting words, to wound the credit and good name of our neighbours: let us inform and instruct the weak without insolence, and reprove and advise the wilful without bitterness; let us do all good offices towards advancing the reputation of those who desire to advance God's glory and the public peace, and all charitable offices towards those who are in misery and distress, by what means soever


4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.

feared a fear.

5 There were they in great fear, Heb. they where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.


6 † Oh that the salvation of Israel + Heb. Who will give were come out of Zion! When God salvations, bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.


1 David, complaining of the Ziphims, prayeth for salvation. 4 Upon his confidence in God's help he promiseth sacrifice.

¶ To the chief Musician on Neginoth,


19. & 26. 1.

Maschil, A Psalm of David, when a 1 Sam. 23. the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?

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Psalm LIV. This Psalm was composed by David at a time of his great distress, and seasonable deliverance afforded him by God, when, hiding himself in the wilderness of Ziph, the Ziphites made discovery to Saul, and he went with forces to seek him, but gave over the pursuit, by reason of the Philistines invading his land. See 1 Sam. xxiii. 14, to the end. Dr. Hammond. The application to Christ and to Christians is plain and easy; for which reason our Church hath appointed this Psalm to be read on Good Friday. Bp. Horne.

Neginoth,] See the note upon the title to the

fourth Psalm.

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