Imatges de pÓgina
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HABAK. 3. I.
A Prayer of Habakkuk, the Prophet upon Sigionoth.

Hese wordes are the title of this Chapter,
Thewing the contents thereof.

It is called a prayer, and it is a Pfalme or
Hymne, such as Davids Psalms;the Heathen
Poets call them Odes, or Songs.

It is called the prayer or song of Habak

kuk , both as composed by him and used by himself; and addressed to the use of the people of God in their captivity in Babylon.

It is a song upon Sigionoth.

The Hebrews affirm this song to be one of the hardest places to interpret in all the old Testament, because it is full of dark Parables, such as could not be well understood till he came, who hath the key of David, who openeth and no man foutteth.



Our former Translation readeth a Prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet for the ignorances and it is expounded diversly.

Some understanding it a prayer to God for the pardon of all those fins which the people of God have committed igno rantly.

Others conceive thus, that seeing the Prophet in the behalf of the Church in the first Chapter had taxed God, of too much remisness toward his people, in bearing with their sins and forbearing to punish them i and then again fore-seeing how God in time would awake and punish them by the furious Chaldeans, hee doth as much tax the feverity of God towards his Church.

Now, that God in the second Chapter hath declared his justice in punishing his people, and reveiled the decree of his vengeance against his and their enemies; now the Prophet maketh this recantation and prayer for the ignorances, because they not knowing the secret purposes of God, have been so forward to judg his ways.

But we must admit this confirmation and the learned tranflators of the Kings Bible , finding this to have been an errour in the former translations , have followed the Originall more faithfully, and call it, The Prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet upon Sigionoth. Some say, this Sigionoth was some fpeciall instrument of Musick, upon which this song was sung in the Church of God, and the last verse of this Chapter faith. To the chief finger on my stringed instruments

. For as Titkman faith in this Pal. the Prophet, Canendo orat, orando canit. By singing prayed, and by praying fung.

So the 70 read mporoux) 'ACancu os carpophto jet' adns.

But Tremelius and Junius read, Oratio Habac. Propheta for cundum odas mixtus.

That is not accommodated to any set kind of verse, but mixt of sundry kinds,

And so they do not understand the word Sigionoth to be the the name of the instrument, upon which it was sung; but the name of the verse into which their prayer is digested


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As the Greeks and Latines had their severall kinds of verfes.
Heroick, lambick, Asclepediake, Phaluciake, and such like.

I cannot better expresse this to the understanding of the weakest judgment, then by referring you to the varieties of

verfe in our English Psalmes, that we sing in the Church, for - if they were all composed in one kind of verse, they might all be lung to one tune.

Some have their fet tunes and adtnit no other, because they are of a severall kind of verse. So I take it that this Sigionoth

was the name of that kind of verse, in which this Pfalme was rus written

Thus much of the words of the title.
The things which we may

make profit of in this title are
1. That the Prophet composeth a prayer for his own use,

and for the use of the people in captivity.
2 That he putteth this prayer into a song or pfalme.

Concerning the first. The contemplation of the Justice of God in punishing the Doct. fins of his Church ; of the vengeance of God revenging the quarrels of his Church, and of the mercy of God in healing the wounds of his Church, and restoring it again to health; doch give the Faithfull occasion to resort to God by prayer.

The reason is, because these things well considered that God is just and mercifull, do breed in us Fear and Faith, which being well mingled in us, cannot chuse but break forth into prayer.

Fear difcerning the danger of his power wisely, and Faith laying hold on the hand of his mercy strongly,

For howsoever Tear be an effect of weaknesse, yet doth it 'ferve to good use in the fitting of us to prayer; because,

1 Fear breedeth humility, which is necessary in prayer, as St. fantes adresseth.

Cast down your selves before the Lord: and St. Peter, Humble Jam.4.16. Jour selves under the mighty hand of God.

Ааа 2


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1 Pet.5.6. 1 Pet.s.s.

And howsoever the proud despise humility, as too base a vertue for heroick and generous spirits, St. Peter commendech it for a speciall ornament.

Deck your selves inwardly in lowlinefse of mind. That feare which is in the reprobate, doth drive them quite away from God, but the fear of the elect brings them to his hand, and casteth them at his feet, the Publican full of fear, yet it had not power to keep him from the Temple, nor from prayer,rather because he feared, he came to Church to pray.

2 Fear breedeth in us a desire to approve our selves to God, and keepeth us in awe, setting both our sins always in our own sight, and our selves in the sight of God, which Theweth,what need we have to fly to him. 3

Fear doth serve for a spur, to put us on, and to mend our pace, that we may loodan, run the way of Gods. Cumandements;

For men run for fear. With this fear is joyned faith, which layeth' hold on the comfortable promises of God, and so filleth us with the love of him, that we resolve under the Shadow of his wings, we shall be safe.

This also doth break forth into prayer, as the Prophet faith, I believed, therefore did I speake.

Fear directed by Faith, will soon finde the face of God.

For fear humblech us, faith directech this humiliation to the mighty hand of God. Fear makes us ful of desire, faith directeth our desire to God.

Fear makes us runne , faith Thewech us the face of God, and biddeth us runne thither; and thus the contemplation of Gods justice and mercy doth fill the heart with zeale, and the spirit of supplications, as in this present example.

The Church seeth God remiffe in forbearing them, it feeleth God sharp in punishing them , it discerneth him just in avengiag them, and it is promised mercy and favour in delivering them, therefore the Prophet teacheth them to pray.

We are taught to think on chese things, which may move us to seek the face of our God, and that is a work for the soul,


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