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help me; therejore shull i sie my desire upon them that his mighty power to appear to be superior to all other; bate me.] It is sufficient that the Lord, who hath for not by man, but by that power, we have again and done great things for me by weak instruments, is still again obtained illustrious victories over our enemies, aiding to me; therefore I dare look the most mali- (2 Sam. xix. 9.) cious enemies in the face, and doubt not to see them Ver. 17. I shall not die, lut live, and declar. the turn their backs upon me, (2 Sam. viii.)
works of the LORD.] From whence I conclude, that Ver. 8. It is better to trust in the LORD, than to put I shall not fall into the hands of those that would take confidence in man.) This is my hope ; and long ex. away my life ; but still prolong it, to declare what perience hath taught me, that it is much safer to rely wonderful works the Lord hath done for me. upon him, than upon the most numerous armies.
Ver. 18. The LORD bath chastened me sore ; but be Ver. 9. It is better to trust in the LORD, than to bath not given me over unto death.]
Who hath let my put confidence in princes.] Far more safe to depend enemies have power to afilict me very sorely, but not upon his help and protection, (who, as he can do to proceed so far as to destroy me. what he pleases, and is constant to his word, so never Ver. 19. Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will dies), than to confide in the aid of the greatest princes; go in to them, and I will pruise the LORD:] No, instead whose mind may change, or their forces fail, or they of that, he hath brought me to his own house again, themselves on a sudden leave the world.
from which I was banished, (1 Sam. xxvi. 19.), Ver. 10. All nations compassed me about ; but in the where I will return thanks 1111t0 him; and therefore, name of the LORD will 1 destroy them.] All the Oye that minister in the tabernacle, open the gates at neighbouring nations round about, (1 Sam. v. 17. &c. which the righteous enter into the courts of the Lord, vii. 1.), combined with the Philistines to environ me; that I may go in, and make him my acknowledgebat by the almighty power of the Lord, I was confi- ments, for bringing me from a most forlorn condition dent that I should hew them in pieces.
to a throne. Ver. 11. They compassed me about, yea, they com- Ver. 20. This gate of the LORD, into which the passed me about; but in the name of the LORD I will de- righteous shall enter.] This is the gate (which I bestroy them.] Again they made a new invasion, and hold and approach with joy) that leads to the courts beset me with stronger forces, (2 Sam. v. 22.), &c. of the Lord, at which the righteous shall enter tobut still, by the almighty power of the Lord, I doubt- gether with me, and hear me say, ed not that I should cut them off, and utterly defeat Ver. 21. I will praise thee, for thou hast Leard me, them.
and art become my salvation.] I will never cease to Ver. 12. They compassed me about like bees, they are praise and acknowledge thy goodness, O Lord, who quenched as the fire of thorns ; for in the name of the hast graciously heard my prayer, when I implored LORD I will destroy them.] Though they were ex- thy help, and delivered me out of all my
distresses. ceeding numerous, swarming about me like angry Ver. 22. The stone which the builders refused, is be. bees, and flaming with such rage and fury as if they come the head stone of the corner.) And let them bear a would presently consume me; yet it was but like the part with me in this my song of praise, saying, He blaze of fire among thorns, for by the almighty whom the great men and rulers of the people rejected, power of the Lord, I was confident I should destroy (1 Sam. xxvi. 19.), as the builders of a house do a them.
stone unfit to be employed in it, is now become our Ver. 13. Thou bast thrust_sore at me, that I might king, to whom we must all join ourselves, if we fall; but the LORD helped me.] They pressed me ex- hope for safety : In whom we see a figure of that gloceeding hard, and, as one man, conspired with all their rious King, who shall be in like manner refused, might to throw me down from the throne, to which I (Luke, xix. 14. xx. 17.), and then by God exalted was advanced; but though they shaked it, and it was to be the Lord of all the world, and the foundation ready to fall, yet, by the help of the Lord, it was sup- of all men's happiness, (Acts, iv, 11. 12.) ported.
Ver. 23. This is the LORD's doing, it is marvellous Ver. 14. The LORD is my strength and my song, and in our eyes.] This is the sole work of the Lord, (not is become my salvation.] To him alone 1 ascribe my the effect of human counsels, who opposed and ob. present happiness, saying, with our forefathers in structed it), which surprises us with the greatest adtheir triumphant song, (Exod. xv. 2.), the Lord hath miration, to see a despised person become on a sud. armed me with invincible strength; he, and he alone, den so renowned. is to be praised, who hath given me a most glorious Ver. 24. This is the day which the LORD bath made, deliverance.
we will rejoice and be glad in it.] This is the happy Ver. 15. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the day which the Lord himself hath made illustrious by tabernacle of the righteous : the right band of the LORD his marvellous work, and which it becomes us to ce. doth valiantly.] Which comforts the hearts of all lebrate with joyful hearts, and with all outward exrighteous men, whose houses sound with such joyful pressions of gladness for so great a benefit; shouts of praise for my deliverance, as these, The Ver. 25. Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD; O mighty power of the Lord hath done most stupendous LORD, 1 beseech thee, send now prosperity.] Most humthings.
bly beseeching thee, O Lord, to preserve our king, Ver. 16. The right hand of the Lord is exalted ; the and to perpetuate his kingdom, (especially the kingright band of the LORD dotb valiantly.] He hath made dom of Christ, which shall be welcomed into the world with these words, Matth. xxi. 9. &c.): it be
which there were, I suppose, some quiet intervals, gins most gloriously; be pleased now, O Lord, to give (see ver. 54.), either between the time that Saul it answerable success and prosperity.
(having his life given him by David) resolved to Ver. 26. Blessed be be that cometh in the name of the persecute him no more, i Sam. xxiv. and his reLORD; we bave blessed you out of the house of the newed attempts to destroy him, upon the inforLORD.] Which acclamations of the people, let the mation the Ziphites again gave him, 1 Sam. xxvi. priests of the Lord meet with their approbation, say- or after David's fresh demonstration of his loyalty ing, Blessed be the king which is set over us by the to him, before he went to Gaih; or while he was divine appointment, and blessed be all the people in that city, where he had liberty to meditate on who live under his happy government; we, whose the excellence of God's laws, and the happiness office it is to minister to the Lord, give you his bless- of those that kept them, and the comfort they ing from the holy place, into which you are come were to him in his afliction ; which he found to be to worship him;
so sweet and so great, that he begs of God little Ver. 27. God is the LORD, which bath shewed us
else, but that he might be more and more in love light; bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of with them; which were already so much his dethe altar.] Who is the omnipotent Lord, most faith. light, that he mentions them under one name or ful to his promise, who hath put an end to our trou- other in every verse of this psalm, none excepted bles, and made peace amongst us. O be not ungrate- but one, ver. 122. or two at the most, ver. go. ful to him, but solennize this day with festival joys; where he celebrates God's faithfulness, which re. bind your sacrifices with cords, and bring them to lates to the sted fastness of his promise, (called in the corners of the altar, to be offered as testimonies of this psalm his word), it may well be thought to be your love and thankfulness unto him.
no exception to that observation. Ver. 28. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; I shall not be so curious as to examine the nice differthou art my God, I will exalt thee.] And so for my ence which is made by some, between laws, stapart I am resolved, who must own thee to be my tutes, testimonies, judgements, precepts, &c. bemost gracious God and almighty deliverer, to whom cause they scem here to be used promiscuously ; or therefore I will make continually my most thankful if there be any peculiar meaning in some verses, acknowledgements; to thy almighty goodness alone I shall endeavour to express it plainly in the paraI owe this greatness to which I am promoted, and
prase. therefore I will never cease to speak the highest things Theodoret hath a conjecture concerning David's deI am able in thy praise.
sign in this psalm, (both in his preface to it, and Ver. 29. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good ;
upon ver. 157, which I shall mention, that the for his mercy eni?:reth for ever.] And let all good reader may take his choice. David, it is well men rejoice together with me, and make their thank.
known, had great varieties in his condition ; for ful acknowledgements to the great Lord of the world,
he both fled from enemies, and chased them, who, as he is the author of all good, and hath been lived sometimes very melancholy, and again most exceeding bountiful anto us, so will continue his kind.
pleasantly ; ran into God's ways, and stumbled, and ness unto all succeeding generations.
rose again to run that good course. Now, all these
things, says he, (and it is not improbable), David PSALM CXIX.
afterward collected into this one “ psalm, connect. THE ARGUMENT.-This psalm is contrived so artifi.
ing all the prayers which he had made to God at
several times, and on several occasions, and putting cially, that one wonld think, at first sight, it was
them together in this admirable meditation, divimade after the foregoing, when God had subdued
ded into twenty-two parts, which propound one the rest of David's enemies, (2 Sam. viii. 10.),
and the same most profitable lesson to all men, and and given him leisure for such curious composures.
teaches them how it is possible to live virtuously in For it is divided into as many parts as there are the worst condition. Nor doth he neglect dogmaletters in the Hebrew alphabet, each part contain
tical instruction, as he speaks, but adds it to the ing eight verses, and every one of those verses be
other; so that this psalm is sufficient to perfect ginning with that letter where with that part begins.
those that study exquisite virtue, and to stir up the The verses, for instance, of the first part, all begin
diligence of those that are lazy, 10 comfort those with Alpha, or A, and all of the second with Beth,
that are sad, to correct the negligent; and, in one or B, &c. And thence this psalm is called in the
word, to afford all manner of medicines for the cure Masora, the great Alphabet, which is an indication
of the various diseases of mankind. And if it that David was now in a very sedate condition,
would not have made this book too big, I should under no extraordinary motions, when he penned
have taken the pains to shew the design of every this psalm, but quietly considered things, as they
part in an argument before it. were represented to his remembrance. But when we observe how frequently he mentions his
ALEPH, PART I. affliction, as lying actually upon him, now when he wrote these meditations, is forces us to conclude Ver.1. BLESSED are the undefiled in the way, who wa!!
in the law of the LORD.) Happy, more hapa
py than can be expressed, are those men, who do not be drawn aside at any time from thy command. take the liberty to live as they list, but, making the law of the Lord their rule, order their life in an ex- Ver. 11. Thy ward have I bid in my heart, that I act conformity therewith.
might not sin against thee.] Next, I have laid up thy Ver. 2. Blessed are they that keep bis testimonies, and word in my heart, as the most precious treasure, hothat seek him with the whole beart.] The stricter ping that will be a security to me, and preserve me they keep to that rule, (wherein he hạth testified from offending thee, whose promises are no less conhis will unto us), most heartily studying to please fortable than thy threatenings are dreadful. him, entirely devoting themselves to seek his favour Ver. 12. Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy in this way alone, the happier still they are.
statutes.] And I know also, that thou, O Lord, art Ver. 3. They also do no iniquity; they walk in bis kind, and dost not envy thy favours to any of us, but ways.] Especially when they will not be tempted to wilt for ever be praised for thy bounty towards us; do an evil action, though it were to gain the greatest and therefore I expect that thou wilt hear my prayer, good in this world ; but constantly adhere to him in and enable me effectually to learn thy statutes. the way which he hath prescribed them.
Ver. 13. With my lips have I declared all the judgeVer. 4. Thou bast commanded us to keep tly precepts ments of thy mouth.] "On which I have so much set diligently.] We are infinitely beholden to thee, there- my heart, that I have not spared to declare to others fore, O Lord, that thou hast obliged us to be so hap- the great regard I have to every thing which thou py, by requiring us to use our utmost diligence to ob- hast pronounced just, or condemned as unrighteous. serve thy precep's (which we ourselves know to be Ver. 14. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimogood for us) with all care and exaciness.
nies, as much as in all riches. I can safely say likeVer. 5. Ob that my ways were directed to keep try wise, that I have taken more satisfaction, now that I statutes ! ] O that I may ever be one of those happy am poor, in doing that which thou hast testified to be men ! I have no greater wish than this, that all the acceptable to thee, than I should in all the wealth of actions of my life may be ordered and governed ac- the world, were it heaped on me. cording to thy will.
Ver. 15. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have Ver. 6. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto thy ways.] I will ruminate also often on respect unto all thy commandments.] Then shall I thy precepts, (which will be another means I trust to never be disappointed of my hopes, nor blush at the preserve me undefiled), and never do any thing, but crimes which are laid to my charge, when my own consider beforehand how it agrees with the rules conscience tells me, that there is not one of thy com- which thou hast prescribed me. mandments but is ever before my eyes, as the rule of Ver. 16. I will delight myself in thy statutes; I my actions ;
will not forget thy word.] The study of thy, statutes Ver. 7. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, (see ver. 8.) shall be my delight; and I will not let when I shall have learned thy righteous judgements.] slip any word of thine, but preserve it in faithful reAnd is so dear unto me, that nothing can give me
membrance. such a joy as to have learnt effectually how just and good they all are, for which I will most sincerely
GIMEL. PART III.
. thank thee, as the greatest benefit.
Ver. 8. I will keep thy statutes : O forsake me not Ver. 17. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I utterly.] Deal with me according to the uprightness may live, and keep thy word.] Let these reasons of my heart in this resolution, that I will observe move thee to deal graciously with me, who am de. even those statutes, for which I see no other reason
voted to thy service : render to me according to my but only thy will. O do not abandon me too far, (1 integrity, and let not my enemies take away my Sam. xxvii, 1.), but stick to me, as I purpose to do life, which I intend to employ in doing whatsoever to thy statutes.
thou hast commanded.
bebold BETH. PART II.
wondrous things out of thy law.] For which end, I
beseech thee to illuminate the eyes of my mind, that Ver. 9. Wherewith shall a young man cleanse bis I may clearly discern the admirable wisdom which way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.] discovers itself in thy law. But how shall a young man, such as I am, (Sam. Ver. 19. I am a stranger in the earth; bide not thy xxvii. 33. 2 Sam. y. 4.), in an age that is prone to commandments from me.]
no better than a evil, be able to do as he resolves? keeping himself stranger in the land, wandering from place to place, so pure in all his ways, that they maintain an exact (1 Sam. xxiii. 13.), and having no possessions ; but conformity unto thy word.
do not let me want the knowledge of thy will, and Ver. 10. With my whole heart have I sought thee: then I shall not think myself destitute of an inheritO let me not wander from thy commandments.] First, I implore, with all my soul, thy gracious assistance, Ver. 20. My soul breaketh for the longing that it beseeching thee to afford me such a measure of it, bath unto thy judgements at all times.] For which my that for want of those heavenly supplies I may not soul longs so vehemently, that I am not more broken
with the hardships of my banishment, than with my undo me; I desire not to learn any of their wicked continual labour, and earnest application of my mind, arts, but only beseech thee to give me grace to obto have a full understanding of thy judgements. serve thy laws constantly.
Ver. 21. Thou hast rebuked the proud that are Ver. 30. I bave chosen the way of truth; thy judge. cursed, wbich do err from tly commandments.] Ac- ments have I laid before mer] That is the way I have cording to which, thou hast already given a severe resolved upon, to deal truly and sincerely ; squaring rebuke to those hauyhty men, who, without any re- all my actions according to thy judgements, which I spect to right or wrong, persecute and abuse thy ser- have laid before me as the most equal rule of my vant, (1 Sam. xxiv. 11. &c. xxv. 10. 37.); and the life. curse which thou hast pronounced. (Deut. xxvii. 26.) Ver. 31. I bave stuck unto thy testimonies ; 0 shall light on all such men as take the boldness to LORD, pit me not to shame.] And hitherto I have transgress those bounds which thou hast set them. kept my resolution, and never started from thy testi
Ver. 22. Remove from me reproach and contempt, monies; preserve me, good Lord, that I may not for I have kept thy testimonies.] And thereby remove hereafter disgrace myself, by doing any thing confrom me that disgrace and shame, unto which they trary to them; por be disappointed of my hope; by expose me as a traitor to my king and country; for I falling into the hands of those that seek my ruin.. am not guilty of any such wickedness, bat carefully Ver. 32. I will run the way of thy commandments, observe thy testimonies, ver. 14. (1 Chron. xii. 17.) when thou shalt enlarge my heart.] And when thou
Ver. 23 Princes also did sit and speak against me ; shalt have filled my heart with joy, by freeing ne but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.] Though from those grievous straits, I will do thee better the rulers and principal senators of the kingdom sat service, and be more forward chearfully to execute in consultation how to ruin me, declaring me guilty all thy commandments. of the greatest crimes, the only care of thy servant hath been to study how to behave himself unblames
HE. PART V. ably according to thy statutes.
Ver. 24. Tby testimonies also are my delight, and Ver. 33. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy stre my counsellors.] of which I have not been weary, tutes, and I shall keep it unto the end.] Instruct me, but make the study of thy testimonies my recreation, therefore, good Lord, more and more in the right and never took advice of any other counsellors.' way of serving thee ; and I will shew myself most
thankful for it, by keeping to it all the days of my DALETH. PART IV.
Ver. 34. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Ver. 25. My soul cleaveth unto the dust ; quicken thy law, yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.] Ebout me arcording to thy word.] Consider, therefore, Illuminate my mind to understand the excellence of the forlorn condition wherein I lie; struggling for life, thy law; and then I shall not only observe it, but set and utterly unable to help myself; and be pleased to myself to do it with a watchful, impartial, and most revive and raise me out of it, according to thy pro- affectionate diligence. · mise, (1 Sam. xvi. 12.)
Ver. 35. Wake me to go in the path of thy comVer. 26. I have declared my ways, and thou heardest mandments, for therein do I delight.] Be thou my me : teach me thy statutes.] Thou knowest both my leader and guide, that I may not stray from the path manner of life, and all the dangers to which I am ex of thy commandments; wherein I find the greatest posed; for I have ever laid them before thee, and satisfaction. found thee ready on ah occasions to assist and relieve Ver. 36. Incline my beart unto thy testimonies, and me; and therefore I hope thou wilt not leave me, not to covetortsness.] Incline my heart always to seek but more perfectly instruct me in my duty, as the its contentment in thy testimonies; and suffer it not to surest way to safety.
I be drawn away by the desire of worldly goods, Ver. 27. Make me to understand the way of thy pre- which, having no measure, is never satisfied. cepts; to shall I talk of thy wondrous worés.] Give . Ver. 37. Turn away mine eyes from beboldling 'vame such a right understanding, that I may ever be nity ; and qñicken' thou me in thy way.] Help me to preserved in the way of thy precepts; then shan I overlook those empty honours and fading beauties escape the 'snares of my enemies, and my ordinary which we are apt to belrold with too much admira. disconrse shall be, what wonderful deliverances thou tion, and with lively affections and vigorous endealast given me.
vours, to persist in the pursuit of thy favour, in the Ver. 28. My soul melteth for heaviness
' ; strengthen way thou hast set before me ; thou me according unto thy word.] Pity my sad condi- Ver. 38. Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who
to my affliction, support and strengthen me according to promise to tlıy servant, (2 Sam. v. 2.), who fears to the promise; that I may never take any undue do any thing to offend thee, through thereby he might coarse for ease and relief.
win a crown. Ver. 29. Remove me from the way of lying; and Ver, 39. Turn away my reproach which I fear ; grant me thy law graciously.) Far be all fraud and for thy judgements are good.] Turn from me that falsehood from me, whereby my enemies contrive to disgrace, of which I cannot but be sometimes afraid, VOL. III.
(1 Sam. xxvii. 1.), and must certainly suffer, if ! iby statutes.] Not only in their study, but shew the fall into my enemies hands, for thou wilt proceed, I truth of my love to them, by a diligent and zealous know, according to thy own judgements, which are practice of them, which shall be the end of my meall equitable, merciful, and gracious.
ditation in them. Ver. 40. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts ; quicken me in thy righteousness.] 1 appeal to thee,
ZAIN. PART VII. whether I have not a great zeal for thy precepts, un. to which I desire above all things to be conformed : Ver. 49. Remember the word unto thy scrvant, upot iet me not perish, therefore, in these troubles, but which thou hast caused me to hoje. Be pleased, therein much mercy revive me, according to thy faithful fore, in due time, to perform the promise which promise.
thou hast long ago made unto thy servant, (2 Sam. V.
2.), and when I thought of no such thing, given me VAU. PART VI.
an assured hope of it, (1 Sam. xvi. 11. 12. 13.)
Ver. 50. This is my comfort in my affliction ; for thy Ver. 41. Let thy mercies come also unto me, 0 word hath quickened me.] Which as it hath been the LORD; even thy salvation, according to thy word.) To occasion of many and great troubles to me, so hath ihose infinite mercies of thine, which moved thee comforted me under them all; and, even when I de. to make me such gracious promises, I betake myself, spaired of safety, revived my spirit, and restored my and beseech thee to let me feel the happy effects of courage to life again. both in my deliverance.
Ver. 51. The proud bave bad me greatly in der ision ; Ver. 42. So shall I have wherewith to answer him yet have I not declined from thy law.] Though my that reproacheth me ; for I trust in thy word.] So insulting enemies mocked exceedingly at my hope, shall I be able to put to silence those that reproach and, in the pride of their hearts, attempted by the me for my confidence in thee ; which they call a vain most unjust means to destroy me, it never moved me presumption, but is an humble reliance on thy own to imitate them, by taking any unlawful method for gracious promises to me.
my preservation. Ver. 43. And take not the word of truth utterly out Ver. 52. I remembered tby judgements of old, O of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgements.] LORD; and bave comforted myself:] But I called to Which till thou art pleased to fulfil, do not so far mind, O Lord, how, in all foregoing ages, thou hast abandon me, as to let me be disheartened in asserting suffered good men to fall into great calamities, their truth and faithfulness, (which I am wont to op- thereby to render them, at last, the more illustrious; pose to all the threats of my enemies); for my whole and with this consideration also I comforted myself. dependance is on this, that thou wilt not fail me, but Ver. 53. Horror bath taken hold upon me, because pronounce a righteous sentence for ine.
of the wicked that forsake tby law.] I have been Ver. 44. So shall I keep thy law continually, for seized, indeed, sometimes with an horrible fear, when ever and ever.] And 1 for my part promise, when I thought what sort of men were my persecutors, thou shalt be so gracious to me, not to suffer myself who stuck at nothing which would serve their ends, to grow more negligent in thy service; but to be having no regard to right or wrong. more careful than ever in the observance of thy laws, Ver. 54. Tby stututes have been my songs in the to the very end of my days.
bouse of my pilgrimage.] Yet in all my wanderings Ver. 45. And I will walk at liberty ; for I seek thy up and down, (1 Sam. xxii. 1. 2, s. xxiii. 13.), I precepts.] For then I shall have no such encumbrau- never tarried long in any place; but I passed the time ces on me, as I now have in these straits and difficul- delightfully, in composing some such song as this in ties; from which when thou freest me, I will do my praise of thy statutes. duty with the greater chearfulness and joy; for it is Ver. 55. I have remembered tby name, O LORD, in not liberty, no, nor a kingdom that I seek, so much the night, and have kept thy law.] When others were as better advantages to fulfil thy precepts.
asleep, I was calling to mind how good, how power. Ver. 46. I will speak of thy testimonies also before , ful, and how faithful thou art; and resolving with kings, and will not be ashamed.] Which I will not be myself still to observe thy laws; ashamed to justify before the greatest persons in the Ver. 56. This I bad, because I kept thy precepts.] world, to be the most excellent rule of life, and the Which make those so happy that obey them, that I best testimony of thy love to us; and will do it with ascribe this sweet composure of mind, and chearful. such reasons, that they shall never be able to disproveness of spirit, under all my grievous afflictions, to my
strict observance of them. Ver. 47. And I will delight myself in thy command ments, wbich I have loved.] Nor will I confute myself,
CHETH. PART VIII. by leading a voluptuous life, when I have liberty to do as I list; bnt as I have hitherto preferred thy Ver. 57. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have commandments before all other things, so then will I said that I would keep thy words.] I have no posses. take the highest pleasure in them;
sions in this world, (1 Sam. xxvi. 19.), which I see Ver. 48. My bands also will I lift up unto thy como others greedily sharing among them, but I do not mandments, wbich I have loved : and I will meditate in think myself poor, as long as I have an interest in thy