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with necromancers, (or any other of those vanities and slanders, also, whereby the greatest persons defame wherewith the Gentile world is cheated), which way me, are come to my ears. They say I am a seditious I should fee, or how I should provide for my safety : fellow ; that the life of the king cannot be in safety ng, I have hated all such practices, and those that ob- till I be destroyed : and so they have held consultaserve them; confiding entirely in the Lord, and his tion together against me; wherein they have debated directions.
nothing else, but how to find a way to take away my Ver.
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy : for life. thou kast considered my trouble, thou last known my soul Ver. 14. But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, in adversities.] In whose merciful providence over Thou art my God.] But how great soever their cunme I will be glad and rejoice, even when I am in ning and their power be, and how dejecting soever straits : for it is most delightful to remember how my fears, I do not quite despond; but still repose a thou hast taken care of me in my affictions; and sure confidence in thee, O Lord, saying, Thou art a never neglected, but still owned me, and provided for judge of my innocence ; thou art my defender and my security, in the greatest distresses.
protector, who hath hitherto alway done me right. Ver. 8. And hast not shut me up into the hand of the Ver. 15. My times are in thy hand : deliver me from enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.] And very the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute lately didst not suffer me to be shut up in Keilah, (i me.] It is not in their power to dispose of my life Sam. xxiii. 7.), whose inhabitants would have deli- at their pleasure, no more than it is in mine to apvered me into the hands of Saul : but admonishedst point the time of my deliverance, which I leave to thy me by thy oracles, at which only I inquired, (1 Sam. wisdom, O Lord, to whom it belongs; only beseechxxiii. 9. &c.), to depart from thence, where I was in ing thee, at present, to rescue me from falling into danger to be inclosed; and gavest me a larger com- the hands of my enemies, and at last, when thou pass to seek the means of my preservation.
judgest it most fit, to free me from their persecution. Ver. 9. Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in Ver. 16. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant ; trouble : mine ege is consumed with grief, ren, my soul save me for thy mercies sake.] Disperse these black and my belly.] Go on, good Lord, to perfect thy clouds of affliction, which have so long kept me in mercy to me ; and now that I am fallen into a new such a mournful condition, that my enemies fancy difficulty, and closely begirt an every side by my ene- thou hast abandoned me: and shew the favour thou my, take some pitý upon me, and speedily deliver bearest to me, who am faithfully devoted to thy me : for the continual anguish and vexation which service ; and therefore, though I am unworthy of it, these returning dangers give me, together with the yet hope thou wilt magnify thy own mercy in delihunger and thirst which at present sorely pinch me, vering me from these dangers, and making me as have in a manner quite dispirited me.
happy as now I am miserable. Ver. 10. For my life is spent with grief, and my years. Ver. 17. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD, for I quith sighing : my strength faileth because of mine iniquia have called upon thee : let the wicked be ashamed, and ty, and my bones are consumed.] I cannot subsist long, let them be silent in the grave.] Let not thy humble unless thou relievest me: for I am wasted away with supplicant, O Lord, who testifies by his daily prayers sorrow and sighing; the punishments of my sins are that he wholly depends upon thy favour, be shame. so heavy, and I am so weak, that I cannot support fully disappointed in his expectation of relief from myself under their burdens.
thee: but let the wicked be confounded, to see all Ver. 11. I was a reproach among all mine mnemies, their contrivances against me come to nothing ; let but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine ac- them be laid in their graves, and give me no farther quaintance : they that did see me without, fled from me.] disturbance. My enemies also mock at my confidence in thee, now
Ver. 18. Let the lying lips be put to silence, which that they have thus, distressed me : and my neigh- speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against bours, who have been witnesses of my integrity in all the righteous.] Stop the mouths of those bold calum. my actions, are too prone to join with them in those niators, who insolently threaten utter ruin to the innoreproaches: and, which is still sadder, my familiar cent;' whom they charge with the most grievous friends are afraid to be seen in my company, or to crimes, and deride all that he can say or do in his send me the least relief : they dare not entertain me own defence. into their houses ; for when they have met me in the Ver. 19. O how great is thy goodness which thou hast highway, they fled, and would not come nigh me. laid up for them that fear thee ; which thou hast wrought
Ver, I am forgotten, as a dead man out of mind: for them that trust in thee, before the sons of men ! ] O I am like a broken vessel] They look upon me as a
what a comfort is it, when they thus insult, to think man utterly lost; and so never think of me, no more of thy kind intentions towards those that fear to of. than if I were in my grave : they despair of my re- fend thee, though for the present they are most mise. stitution, and despise me as much as an earthen vessel rably abused ! how great are the blessings thou hast when it is broken in pieces ; which no body minds, treasured up in store, (as shall in time appear openly because it cannot be repaired.
before all the world), and prepared for those that reli. Ver. 13. For I have heard the slander of many ; fear giously avoid all unjust ways of preserving themwas on every side, while they took counsel together against selves, and trust to thee alone. me they devised to take away my life.] The calumnies Ver. 20. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy
presence from the pride of men : thou shalt keep them seu was set to the tune of a song, in vulgar use in those cretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.] They days, which began with the word Maschil. This are forced to hide themselves sometimes in caves and is the more probable of the two, because there are dens of the earth, (1 Sam. xxiii. 14. 19. 23. xxiv. twelve psalms besides this that have the same 2. 3. 8.), but there thou art present with them; and title, to all of which the former reason cannot be it is thy gracious providence that preserves them from applied him that furiously persecutes them : thou dost keep them as safe as if they were in thy dwelling-place, Ver. 1. BL
Lessed is be whose transgression is forgifrom the mischiefs which contentious men, by their
ven, whose sin is covered.] Happy is that false accusations, seek to bring upon them.
man, thrice happy, to whom God will be pleased, Ver. 21. Blessed be the LORD, for he hath shewed out of his own free grace and mercy, (for no man can me bis marvellous kindness in a strong city.] Of which merit such a favour by any services that we can do I myself (for ever praised be the Lord) am a remark- him), to remit not only his common errors and weakable instance : for he hath magnified his mercy to me nesses, but also his grosser sins, whether commitin assisting my escape, when I was shut up in a for- ted against the divine majesty, or against his neightified city that had gates and bars, (1 Sam. xxiii. 7. bour. 13.)
Ver. 2. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imVer. 22. For I said in my haste, I am cut of from puteth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.] before thine eyes : nevertheless thou beardes the voice of It is impossible to express the happiness of that man my supplications, when I cried unto thee.] And pre- to whom the Lord will be so gracious, as not to ex., sently after that, when I fell into such a strait, that act the punishment due to his former offences, for I had no hope of evading it, but (so vehement was which he is most heartily afflicted, (for to none else my fear) said in my precipitous flight, (1 Sam. xxiii. this happiness belongs); and doth not only seem by 26.), I am lost : I shall never be able to save myself, his sorrowful confessions to hate and abhor them, but though I make never so much haste; yet even then, is unfeignedly resolved to forsake them. upon my humble supplication to thee, thou didst in
Ver. 3. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old ; stantly senda most seasonable and wonderful deliver through my roaring all the day long.] He that hath felt ance to me, (ver. 27.)
the smart of them as I have done, will be sensible Ver. 23. O love the LORD, all ye bis saints : for the what a pleasure it is to be eased of such a sting. LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth i'or when I seriously reflected upon the grievous sin the proud doer.] What an encouragement is this to I had committed, but not bewailed it as I ought, it all truly pious souls! Let them love the Lord, and filled me with such anguish and horror, that I lost all stedfastly cleave unto him : for the Lord taketh care appetite to my meat, and pined away till I was not of their safety, who continue faithful to him in all able to go or stand; but lay roaring perpetually (like their troubles, and plagueth those who proudly a lion that hath received a deadly wound) under the insult over them, till he hath left none of their race miserable torture of my mind. remaining.
Ver. 4. For day and night thy hand was beavy upon Ver. 24. Be of good courage, and be shall strengthen me : mny moisture is turned into the drought of summer. your heart, all ye tbat lope in the LORD.). Be not de- Selah.] So heavy was the sense of thy displeasure, jected, therefore, much less disheartened, in the course wherewith I was struck, that I could find no means of piety, all ye that place your hope and confidence to throw it off, either by business or diversions in the in the Lord : But let that fill you with courage, and day; nor would it suffer me to take my rest in the make you firmly resolved to adhere to him, and night, but still pressed down my spirit, and scorched never to shrink from your duty under the sorest af. me so vehemently with its raging heat, that my body flictions.
(which heretofore was fat and fresh) was consumed
and parched like the grass of the earth in the midst PSALM XXXII.
of the driest summer,
Ver. 5. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine A Psalm of David. Maschil.
iniquity bave I not hid: 1 said, I will confess my
transgression unto the LORD; and thou forgavest THE ARGUMENT.--A psalm composed by David, when the iniquity of my sin. Selah.] But at last Ï be
the calamities into which he fell by his son's rebel- thought myself of that remedy which I had too lion, taught him how evil and bitter a thing it was long neglected, and humbled myself before thee in to offend God, and how infinitely he was beholden a sorrowful confession of all my sins, both great and to him, that he was so merciful as not to take such small: I laid open all those wounds which were so a vengeance on him as his sins deserve. There are
There are full of anguish, and acknowledged I deserved to be those who think it was intended for public use, still far more miserable ; I resolved I would never upon the great day of expiation, when the whole hereafter palliate or excuse my sins, but ingenuousnation made a general confession of their sins; and ly charge myself home with them, and condemn mycalled Muschil, either because it contains an excel- self before thee for them. And straightway thou lent instruction, (as that word signifies), concerning (who sawest the sincerity of my repentance) was. the means to obtain true blessedness; or because it pleased to grant me a gracious pardon, and to release
me from all my pain ; though my guilt, which was obediently led and governed by him : rejoice in the the cause of it, was exceeding great.
confidence you ought to have of his favour towards Ver. 6. For this shall every one that is godly pray you : triumph in his loving kindness, all ye that sinunto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found : surely cerely study to do his will; and shout for joy, as if in the floods of great waters, they shall not come nigh you were already victorious over all your enemies. unto him.] Which should encourage every one that hath any sense of God, and of the blessedness of
PSALM XXXIII. being in his favour, and the misery of lying under his displeasure, to apply himself speedily to him, by un- Tue ARGUMENT.-It is not recorded by whom this feigned repentance, as soon as ever he hath offended
psalm was composed, nor upon what occasion. hiin: for that is the surest time of finding mercy with But there is little question it was a pious meditahim, and the way of preventing those great calami. tion of David, (of whose spirit it savours), and, ties, which otherwise may overtake him, when the as we may guess, upon occasion of some special Lord sends a deluge of miseries, as he did in the days ben fit received from God, (though not particuof Noah, upon the world of the ungodly.
larly mentioned); which makes himn call it, ver. g. Ver. 7. Thou art my hiding-pluce, thou shalt pre- a new song: (Of which see more, Psal. cxlix.) serve me from trouble : thou shalt compass me about with Wherein he desires all the faithful to join with him songs of deliverance. Selah.] Then he may say, Thou, in joyful praises of the Lord; considering his exLord, art my refuge, to whom I fy for safety; and I cellent nature, and his admirable works, both of trust that thou wilt preserve me (though I have been creation and providence ; especially over good a grievous sinner) from those distresses which sur- men, who piously trust in him, and expect all round me ; and thereby give abundant cause to me, good from him ; and therefore ought to think and all that are about me, to bless and praise thee for themselves blessed that they have relation to him. thy merciful deliverance of me.
Ver, 8. I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the Ver. 1. REJOICE in the LORD, ye righteous i for way which thou shalt go : I will guide thee with mine
praise is comely for the upright.] Bless eye.] Hearken therefore unto me, whosoever thou the Lord with joyful hearts, triumph in his praise, all art, who hast any care of thy salvation ; and I will ye that are just and good : for nothing is more bebestow some good advice upon thee, and direct thee coming them that sincerely do the will of God, than into the wisest and safest course of life : trust thyself to praise him, from whom they have received, and with me to be thy guide, and I, from my own ex- hope for so many benefits; and nothing is more deperience, will give thee faithful counsel, and take sired, than to have your hearts perpetually filled with care thou do not go amiss.
delightful thoughts of him. Ver. 9. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which Ver. 2. Praise the LORD with harp : sing unto him have no understanding : whose mouth must be held with with the psaltery, and an instrument of ten strings.] Exbit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.] God tol, therefore, his glorious perfections in psalms and hath endued you with reason, both to tell you what hymns, composed in praise of him: and let all the you ought to do, and to check you when you do instruments of music accompany the voices, to express not as you ought; and hath made you capable also and excite your joy in him. of receiving good admonitions from others : do not Ver. 3. Sing unto him a new song ; play skilfully with therefore follow your own unbridled lusts and appetites, a loud noise.] Let not the ancient songs of praise sufinuch less be refractory and untractable, when God fice you, but indite a new hymn, to testify your would reduce you froin the error of your ways; as if singular love and gratitude to him: employ your best you were not men, but headstrong horses and mules, skiil to make the sweetest music; and sing as chearwho can by no means be curbed, nor made to come fully as you are wont to do at your most solemn feasts. near thee, that thou mayest manage them at thy plea- Ver. 4. For the word of the LORD is right : and all
his works are done in truth.] For the Lord hath graVer. 10. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but ciously revealed his will unto you, and shewn you the be that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him right way, in which if you walk, you cannot miss about. Let such ungovernable, obdurate sinners, ex- of being happy: and whatsoever he doth, hath the pect to be handled like those brutes, for they shall same scope with what he saith ; for in all that befals receive many and grievous strokes, which shall make you, he faithfully designs your good. their hearts to ache. But he that entirely commits Ver. 5. He loveth righteousness and judgement : the himself to the Lord, to be ruled and disposed of ac- earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.] Let this, cording to his will, shall be not only secured by his therefore, be part of your song, The Lord governs good providence, but enriched with abundance of his the world with perfect justice and equity; these he blessings.
loves, and in these he delights : his goodness and Ver. 11. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righ- mercy also are so conspicuous, that we can look no teous ; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in where, but we see innumerable proofs of his bounty beart.] And therefore, whatsoever your present towards us, which spreads itself over the face of the troubles may be, let your heart be glad, Oye that are whole earth.
Ver. 6. By the word of the LORD were the heavens most special and most glorious presence, yet there is made: and all the bosts of them by the breath of bis not a man upon earth but he sees and observes him. mouth.] And who can doubt of the greatness of his Ver. 14. From the place of bis habitation he looketh power, when he beholds the spacious heavens, with upon all the inhabitants of the earth.) They are all exthe sun, moon, and all the stars, which are placed posed to his view; and from thence he takes a strict there like an army in excellent order ; and considers, and exact account, not only of all their open actions, that all these he made with the same ease that we but of their most secret designs and contrivances. speak a word, only by commanding them to be? Ver. 15. He fashioneth_their huarts alike : be con
Ver. 7. He gathereth the waters of the sea together sidereth all their works.] For they are every one of as an heap : be layeth up the depth in store-houses.] them, without exception, his creatures : and as he is Nay, the earth itself declares how mighty he is : for equally the Former of them all, so he formed their when it lay covered with the waters, being far heavier souls, as well as their bodies; and, therefore, must than they, he commanded it to appear, (Gen. i. 9. needs see into their very hearts, and be perfectly ac10.); and cutting a deep channel for them, he laid quainted with every one of their thoughts. them up there as in cellars, where they swell and rise Ver. 16. There is no king saved by the multitude of up in round heaps, higher than the shore, but cannot an host : a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.] overflow the earth.
And to him a king is no more than another man ; but Ver. 8. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the if he sees that he regards not his majesty, nor deinbabitants of the world stand in awe of him.] Let all pends upon him, he will make him find, that it is not mankind, therefore, in whatsoever part of the world in the power of the greatest army he can raise to sethey dwell, dread this Almighty Lord : let them not cure and defend him ; nor shall the mightiest and dare to disobey him, who thus tamed even the raging most valiant man in that army be able to deliver sea.
so much as himself, though he hath a giant-like Ver. 9. For be spake, and it was done : be command strength. ed, and it stood fast.] For as then he did but signify Ver. 17. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither his pleasure, and the thing was done, and remained shall be deliver any by his great strength.] Though he fixed and firm according to his appointment; so, what should be mounted upon the stoutest horse, (which is soever he will have now to be done, (whether for a a most warlike creature), he will but deceive himblessing on those that submit to him, or a punishment self, if he rely either upon his courage, of the disobedient), it shall certainly come to pass; strength, or his agility, or his swiftness, for preservaand none can resist or alter his orders.
tion. Ver. 10. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the bea. Ver. 18. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon their then to nought : be maketh the devices of the people of none that fear him, upon them that bope in his mercy;] It is effect.] Let men lay their designs never so deep; let the Lord only from whom comes salvation; and he whole nations combine together, and in their gravest hath regard to none but those that fear to offend his assemblies consult how to compass their ends; the majesty, and, placing their confidence and hope in his Lord (such is his wisdom, as well as his power) love, more than all human force, look up to him for easily disappoints them all, and makes the most like- safety. Over such he will watch with a very careful Jy contrivances which oppose his will, to be in vain, providence; and without success.
To deliver their soul from death, and to Ver. 11. The counsel of the LORD standeth for sver, keep them alive in famine.] To rescue them when the thoughts of his heart to all generations.] Whereas, they are in danger by the sword or the plague, and to that which he resolves none can defeat, but shall supply their necessities in time of scarcity and certainly obtain its effect. One generation passes dearth. away, and another comes in its stead ; but his pur- Ver. 20. Our soul waiteth for the LORD; he is our poses are still immoveably the same, and can no help and our shield.] What shall we do, therefore, more in future ages, than now, be overthrown. in all straits, but desire him to take care of us? fue
Ver. 12. Blessed is the nation whose God is the this is our peculiar privilege, that we may confidently LORD; and the people wbom be bath chosen for his in- expect and wait for his seasonable relief, who is our beritance.] Most happy, then, is that nation which only helper and defender. worships this Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth: Ver. 21. For our heart shall rejoice in him ; because unspeakably happy are they who live under the care we have trusted in his holy name.]
be of so just, so good, so powerful, and wise a Being, and sure he will not fail our expectations, but at last fiil are so highly in his favour, that he hath chosen them our hearts with joy, as a reward of the pious trust wo. (though all mankind be his) to be a peculiar people have reposed in him, whose unspotted purity and to himself; among whom, in a special manner, he faithfulness shall be ever famed. will reside, and hath engaged himself, by a gracious Ver. 22. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, accovenant, to do them good.
cording as we hope in thee.] O Lord, thou seest we Ver. 13. The LORD looketh from beaven : he bebold- depend upon thee alone, and have placed all our eth all the sons of men.] How careful ought they to hope, all our comfort and contentment, in thy care and be to please him, and approve their very hearts unto good providence over us : let us prosper accordinghim! For though he be in heaven, as the place of bis ly; deal with us according as we trust in thee, an!
For we may
not in any streng:h, wision, or contrivance of our in the court of Achish who I was ; and many a sad
thought and dreadful apprehension began then to
trouble my mind; but, committing myself to thee by PSALM XXXIV.
hearty prayer, and desiring thee to be my guide and
my protector, thou wast pleased presently to rid me A Psalm of David, when be changed bis behaviour of them, by inclining his heart to look upon me as I
before Abimelech, who drove bim away, and be des appeared, and to make no stricter inquiry after me. parted.
Ver. 5. They looked unto bim, and were lightened ;
and their faces were not ashamed.] From which all THE ARGUMENT.--The title tells us this psalm was pious men should take courage in all their straits, and
penned by David, after the escape he made from when their hearts are ready to sink, look up unto Achish, king of Gath, (in which country all their God; who will revive and comfort them, and never kings were called by the common name of Abi- suffer them to be ashamed of the hope they repose in melech, i. e. my father the king; as in Egypt an- him. ciently they were all called Pharaoh, and afterwards Ver. 6. This poor man cried, and the LORD beard Ptolomy), who he was afraid would seize on him, bim, and saved him out of all bis troubles.] Let them when he heard it commonly reported that he was fix their eyes on me, and excite one another to a the person that killed Goliah, and pretended to the chearful dependance on him, saying, Behold that sovereignty over all those countries, (1 Sam. xxi. man : he was in a miserably poor condition, destitute 11.) And therefore he put on the behaviour of a of all human help; but, commending himself to the man beside himself, hoping, that when Achish Lord by earnest prayer, the Lord took care of him, saw this, he would despise bim; and looking upon and delivered him out of all his distresses. him as an useless man, that could do neither good Ver. 7. The angel of the LORD encampeth round a. nor harm, think fit to thrust him out of his court, bout them that fear him, and delivereth them.] Why where he had been entertained, and send him pack- should we then despair of his mercy, who sends an ing from thence. And accordingly it succeeded, invisible host (as appeared to Elisha) to guard those
But though he was preser- who fear nothing so much as to offend his majesty, ved by this artifice, the deliverance notwithstanding and to preserve them as securely, as if they were suris piously ascribed unto God's great mercy, who rounded with an invincible army, from all the assaults prospered the device: To whom therefore he of their enemies? would have all pious men commit themselves, and Ver. 8. O taste and see that the LORD is good : blessdepend upon his favour in well-doing ; which he ed is the man that trusteth in him.] Oh that men would declares is the sure course to be happy. The not be so negligent, but seriously consider this, and psalm is curiously composed, according to the make a trial, by stedfast fidelity to God in all their number and order of the letters of the Hebrew troubles, how gracious and kind he is ! They shall Alphabet, in the beginning of every verse ; which soon find, that there is no man so happy as he that shews it was contrived when he reflected upon his piously confides in him. escape, in some place of safety.
Ver. 9. O fear the LORD, ye bis saints ; for there
is no want to them that fear him.] Continue, therefore, Ver. 1. bless LORD times ;
Oye ! shall continually be in my mouth.] I will other men do), to fear nothing, but lest you should never forget how gracious the Lord hath been to me be false to him. Never betake yourselves to any sinin this remarkable deliverance ; but, whatsoever my ful ways to provide for your safety, or to supply any condition be, will still have my mind and my mouth of your necessities; but religiously observe his comperpetually filled with his praise.
mands, and you shall never be reduced to such straits, Ver. 2. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: as to be utterly destitute of what is needful for your the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.] This shall preservation. be my glory, in this I will think myself happy, that Ver. 10. The young lions do lack, and suffer bunger: the Lord is with me, wheresoever I am, to guide and but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.] defend me; and I will let all those that humbly de. The young lions, (an emblem of those that seek to pend on him know what he hath done for me, that enrich themselves by rapine or by injurions practices), they may likewise joyfully hope for his mercy. who are most ravenous in their appetites, as well as
Ver. 3. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us swift to pursue, and bold to seize, and strong to tear exalt his name together.] Oh that they would all join in pieces their prey, are many times disappointed, with me in declaring the greatness of his goodness in and cannot meet with satisfaction to their hungry dethis miraculous providence over me! Let them with sires; but they that seek their food from the Lord in the same devout affection extol him in all his glorious pious and honest ways, shall certainly be blessed with attributes, who hath given me such a deliverance, and every thing that is good for them. them such hope in the greatest danger.
Ver. 11. Come, ye children, bearken unto me; I will Ver. 4. I sought the LORD, and be heard me, and teach you the fear of the LORD.] Come hither then, delivered me from all my fears.] I was sore afraid (I all ye that are disposed to learn, and hearken to the Sam. xxi. 12.) when I found they had discovered me instruction which, out of a most tender affection to