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The Psalms of David in Metre

with Notes by John Brown of Haddington

Book 1, Psalms 1-41

Psalm 1

Perhaps this psalm was added by Ezra, or whoever else was the collector of the others into one book. We have represented to us in it, (1.) The character of the godly; how holy they are, abstaining from every temptation to, or appearance of evil; and with pleasure meditating on, and endeavouring to fulfil the whole law of God, ver. 1-2; and how happy, planted in the nearest fellowship with Jesus, the River of Life, they prosper in their lawful attempts: They never fall from their grace or profession; and they shall stand with approbation at the judgment-seat of God, ver. 3. (2.) The sinfulness and misery of the wicked: How different from, and contrary to the godly in their inclinations, companions, exercises, and ends! How light and unsubstantial, as chaff, and ready to be hurled by the storms of infinite wrath, into the depths of hell, as cast and condemned in the righteous judgment of God! ver. 4-5. (3.) The great reason of the happiness of saints, and of the misery of sinners: The Lord loveth the righteous, and observes and approves of their inclinations and behaviour; but, as an enemy, he brings destructive vengeance upon the wicked, ver. 6.

While I sing these important lines, let my soul lift up her eyes to that great pattern of perfection, Jesus, the man of God's right hand, who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners; and who fulfilled all righteousness, magnified the law, and made it honourable for men ­ for me. United to his person, clothed with his righteousness, and all inflamed and animated with his redeeming love shed abroad in my heart, let me examine myself as in his sight; let me walk in him as my way, and follow him as my pattern and guide: Let me with solemn awe look to, and prepare for his last, his eternal judgment!

1    That man hath perfect blessedness,
          who walketh not astray
     In counsel of ungodly men,
          nor stands in sinners' way,

     Nor sitteth in the scorner's chair:
2          But placeth his delight
     Upon God's law, and meditates
          on his law day and night.

3    He shall be like a tree that grows
          near planted by a river,
     Which in his season yields his fruit,
          and his leaf fadeth never:

     And all he doth shall prosper well
4        The wicked are not so;
     But like they are unto the chaff,
          which wind drives to and fro.

5    In judgment therefore shall not stand
          such as ungodly are;
     Nor in th' assembly of the just
          shall wicked men appear.

6    For why? the way of godly men
          unto the Lord is known:
     Whereas the way of wicked men
          shall quite be overthrown.

Psalm 2

Perhaps this psalm relates partly to David's instalment on his throne, and the victories over his enemies which attended it. Compare Psalm 18; 2 Samuel 3, 5, 8, 10, 18, 20. But the whole of it respects Jesus our Redeemer. Behold, (1.) The violent and harmonious, but unsuccessful opposition, which Jews and Gentiles of all ranks make to the person and redemption work of the great God my Saviour. Behold what ruin and woe they draw upon themselves by their attempts! ver. 1-5, 9. (2.) Behold how, notwithstanding all their raging malice and furious opposition, Jehovah instals our Redeemer King in his church, and infallibly fixeth him on his throne; avows him his only begotten Son, and gives unto him the Gentiles for his people! ver. 6-8. (3.) Behold Jehovah's demand of serious consideration and fear of, joy in, and trust, obedience and love to his exalted Son, ver. 9-12.

While I sing, let me remark the horrid nature of sin; let me with broken heart, bewail my neglect of, and opposition to Jesus Christ. Let me with wonder bless his name, that I have not already perished in mine iniquity. Let me with earnestness accept that once debased Redeemer, as my Saviour, my sovereign, my proprietor, my God, my all. Let me learn to know him, rejoice in him, and with holy awe, commit my whole salvation, and the salvation of my country, nay, of all the ends of the earth to him.

1    Why rage the heathen? and vain things
          why do the people mind?
2    Kings of the earth do set themselves,
          and princes are combin'd,

     To plot against the Lord, and his
          Anointed, saying thus,
3    Let us asunder break their bands,
          and cast their cords from us.

4    He that in heaven sits shall laugh;
          the Lord shall scorn them all.
5    Then shall he speak to them in wrath,
          in rage he vex them shall.

6    Yet, notwithstanding, I have him
          to be my King appointed;
     And over Sion, my holy hill,
          I have him King anointed.

7    The sure decree I will declare:
          The Lord hath said to me,
     Thou art mine only Son; this day
          I have begotten thee.

8    Ask of me, and for heritage
          the heathen I'll make thine;
     And, for possession, I to thee
          will give earth's utmost line.

9    Thou shalt, as with a weighty rod
          of iron, break them all;
     And, as a potter's sherd, thou shalt
          them dash in pieces small.

10   Now therefore, kings, be wise; be taught,
          ye judges of the earth:
11   Serve God in fear, and see that ye
          join trembling with your mirth.

12   Kiss ye the Son, lest in his ire
          ye perish from the way,
     If once his wrath begin to burn:
          bless'd all that on him stay.

Psalm 3

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

Having beheld the royal dignity of my Redeemer, let me here behold the joy, the peace, the safety of the redeemed, amidst their distresses innumerable. Here David, driven from his holy capital and high throne, by his rebellious son Absalom, ( 1.) Complains to his God of the number and malice of his enemies, ver. 1-2. (2.) He encourageth himself in his God, as the source and subject-matter of his safety, joy, and honour, ver. 3. (3.) He recollects, how, on former occasions, his troubles had driven him to his prayers; how he had always found God ready to hear and grant his requests; how safe and easy he had lived under his protection; and how effectually he had broken the power and restrained the malice of his enemies, ver 4-5, 7. ( 4.) Triumphantly trusting in God, as the salvation and blesser of his people, he silenceth all his fears, and pours forth his prayers for new protection and deliverance, ver. 6, 8.

Think, my soul, of Jesus, who, when bulls of Bashan compassed him about, trusted in God, that he would deliver him. In all my distress, let me pour out my heart before him, believing in him as God, even my God. Let me always rejoice in the great God my Saviour. Let me trust in him at all times, that as he hath delivered, and doth deliver, so he will deliver me.

1     O Lord, how are my foes increas'd?
          against me many rise.
2     Many say of my soul, For him
          in God no succour lies.

3     Yet thou my shield and glory art,
          th' uplifter of mine head.
4     I cry'd, and, from his holy hill,
          the Lord me answer made.

5     I laid me down and slept; I wak'd;
          for God sustained me.
6     I will not fear though thousands ten
          set round against me be.

7     Arise, O Lord; save me, my God;
          for thou my foes hast stroke
      All on the cheek-bone, and the teeth
          of wicked men hast broke.

8     Salvation doth appertain
          unto the Lord alone:
      Thy blessing, Lord, for evermore
          thy people is upon.

Psalm 4

To the chief Musician on Neginoth,
A Psalm of David.

This psalm was, perhaps, composed on the same occasion as the former, when David fled from Absalom his son. Here, (1.) David encouraged by former experience, casts his burden on the Lord, and supplicates a merciful deliverance, ver. 1. (2.) Addressing himself to men, particularly to his persecutors, he reproves their contempt of God and religion, their delight in, and practice of vanity, fraud, and falsehood. He represents the happiness of the saints in having God their protector, and ready to hear their requests. He recommends a holy filial awe of God, and careful abstinence from sin; together with a devoting of themselves, and their conduct and substance, to the Lord, ver. 2-5. (3.) To encourage them to the study of practical religion, he remarks, what superlative satisfaction and rest himself had found in familiar fellowship with God, and in a believing dependence on him, ver. 6-8.

While I sing, let me have faith in God, as my own God in Christ. Let me abhor that levity of mind, that deceitfulness, that earthly mindedness proper to the ungodly, and every remain thereof. Let my soul pant for Jehovah, and prefer him to everything else. Let me, by faith, lay myself down in his arms, his bosom, as all my salvation and comfort.

1    Give ear unto me when I call,
          God of my righteousness:
     Have mercy, hear my pray'r; thou hast
          enlarg'd me in distress.

2    O ye the sons of men! how long
          will ye love vanities?
     How long my glory turn to shame,
          and will ye follow lies?

3    But know, that for himself the Lord
          the godly man doth chuse:
     The Lord, when I on him do call,
          to hear will not refuse.

4    Fear, and sin not; talk with your heart
          on bed, and silent be.
5    Off 'rings present of righteousness,
          and in the Lord trust ye.

6    O who will shew us any good?
          is that which many say:
     But of thy countenance the light,
          Lord, lift on us alway.

7    Upon my heart, bestow'd by thee,
          more gladness I have found
     Than they, ev'n then, when corn and wine
          did most with them abound.

8    I will both lay me down in peace,
          and quiet sleep will take;
     Because thou only me to dwell
          in safety, Lord, dost make.

Psalm 5

To the chief Musician, upon Nehiloth,
A Psalm of David.

Here, (1.) The man according to God's heart, in the assured faith of God's hearing his prayers, and hating his sins, fixeth a daily, an early, an earnest, a steady, a grace-founded correspon dence with God, in his ordinances of meditation, prayer, praise, etc., ver. 1-7. (2.) Behold him humbly requesting God's special direction in duties which his enemies had rendered difficult to perform; supplicating and predicting the ruin of his implacable foes; and, in the assured faith of obtaining it, imploring comfort and prosperity to his fellow saints, ver. 8-12.

While I sing, let my heart and flesh cry out, and my soul pant and wait for the Lord. In the firm faith of infinite mercy to forgive all my crimes, and wash out all my sinful stains, let me blush at, and detest my own abominations. Let me cultivate the closest familiarity with the Lord my God. Let my prayers correspond with his promises, and with the particular condi tion of myself or others.

1    Give ear unto my words, O Lord,
          my meditation weigh.
2    Hear my loud cry, my King, my God;
          for I to thee will pray.

3    Lord, thou shalt early hear my voice:
          I early will direct
     My pray'r to thee; and, looking up,
          an answer will expect.

4    For thou art not a God that doth
          in wickedness delight;
     Neither shall evil dwell with thee,
5         Nor fools stand in thy sight.

     All that ill-doers are thou hat'st;
6         Cutt'st off that liars be:
     The bloody and deceitful man
          abhorred is by thee.

7    But I into thy house will come
          in thine abundant grace;
     And I will worship in thy fear
          toward thy holy place.

8    Because of those mine enemies,
          Lord, in thy righteousness
     Do thou me lead; do thou thy way
          make straight before my face.

9    For in their mouth there is no truth,
          their inward part is ill;
     Their throat's an open sepulchre,
          their tongue doth flatter still.

10   O God, destroy them; let them be
          by their own counsel quell'd:
     Them for their many sins cast out,
          for they 'gainst thee rebell'd.

11   But let all joy that trust in thee,
          and still make shouting noise;
     For them thou sav'st; let all that love
          thy name in thee rejoice.
12   For, Lord, unto the righteous man
          thou wilt thy blessing yield:
     With favour thou wilt compass him
          about, as with a shield.

Psalm 6

To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith,
A Psalm of David.

Observe here, (1.) David, a great saint, under grievous and manifold troubles, sickness of body, conscience-felt charges of guilt, vexation of mind, attended with desertion from God, and contemptuous insults from his enemies, ver. 2, 3, 5, 7, 9. (2.) His supplications, with strong cries and tears, to God for mitigation of trouble, support under it, and deliverance from it, ver. 1, 4, 6. (3.) His triumphant separation of himself from the wicked, in the full assurance of faith, that God had heard, and would graciously grant his requests, and would either convert or destroy his opposers, ver. 8, 10.

In all my afflictions, let me believe that Jesus was afflicted for me. Let me call my sin to remembrance, spread my case before him, fill my mouth with arguments; implore his abundant, free, and sovereign mercy, as my sole and all-comprehensive relief. Nor let me ever expect a comfortable answer to my prayers, while I cultivate an intimacy with profane and wicked men.

First Version (Long Metre)

1    Lord, in thy wrath rebuke me not;
          Nor in thy hot rage chasten me.
2    Lord, pity me, for I am weak:
          Heal me, for my bones vexed be.

3    My soul is also vexed sore;
          But, Lord, how long stay wilt thou make?
4    Return, O Lord, my soul set free;
          O save me, for thy mercies' sake.

5    Because those that deceased are
          Of thee shall no remembrance have;
     And who is he that will to thee
          Give praises lying in the grave?

6    I with my groaning weary am,
          I also all the night my bed
     Have caused for to swim; and I
          With tears my couch have watered.

7    Mine eye, consum'd with grief, grows old,
          Because of all mine enemies.
8    Hence from me, wicked workers all;
          For God hath heard my weeping cries.

9    God hath my supplication heard,
          My pray'r received graciously
10   Sham'd and sore vex'd be all my foes,
          Sham'd and back turned suddenly.

Second Version (C.M.)

1    In thy great indignation,
          O Lord, rebuke me not;
     Nor on me lay thy chast 'ning hand,
          in thy displeasure hot.

2    Lord, I am weak, therefore on me
          have mercy, and me spare:
     Heal me, O Lord, because thou know'st
          my bones much vexed are.

3    My soul is vexed sore: but, Lord,
          how long stay wilt thou make?
4    Return, Lord, free my soul; and save
          me, for thy mercies' sake.

5    Because of thee in death there shall
          no more remembrance be:
     Of those that in the grave do lie,
          who shall give thanks to thee?

6    I with my groaning weary am,
          and all the night my bed
     I caused for to swim; with tears
          my couch I watered.

7     By reason of my vexing grief,
          mine eye consumed is;
     It waxeth old, because of all
          that be mine enemies.

8    But now, depart from me all ye
          that work iniquity:
     For why? the Lord hath heard my voice,
          when I did mourn and cry.

9    Unto my supplication
          the Lord did hearing give:
     When I to him my prayer make,
          the Lord will it receive.

10   Let all be sham'd and troubled sore,
          That en'mies are to me;
     Let them turn back, and suddenly
          ashamed let them be.

Psalm 7

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord,
concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.

Here, accused of traitorous conspiracy against his sovereign by king Saul, or by Cush one of his courtiers, David, (1.) Appeals to God, concerning his innocency of that crime, ver. 3-5. (2.) He supplicates, that God, as governor of the world, and King of Israel, would protect him from danger, plead his cause and give judgment for him, ver. 1, 2, 6, 9. (3.) In the exercise of faith, he depends on God, to protect and deliver him, and to avenge the injuries he had sustained upon his implacable adversaries, ver. 10, 16. (4.) He resolves to ascribe the glory of all his deliverances to God alone, ver. 17.

While I sing, let me contemplate the spotless innocency, the finished righteousness of my Redeemer, together with the injurious usage he received from his brethren of mankind and the fearful ruin which hath befallen, or awaits his incorrigible foes. Let me carefully approve myself in his sight who searcheth my heart, and trieth my reins, and who must quickly be my final judge. Let me implore the just vengeance of heaven, against my spiritual enemies. And not unto me, but to his name be the glory and praise of all my protection and deliverance.

1    O Lord my God, in thee do I
          my confidence repose:
     Save and deliver me from all
          my persecuting foes;

2    Lest that the enemy my soul
          should, like a lion, tear,
     In pieces rending it, while there
          is no deliverer.

3    O Lord my God, if it be so
          that I committed this;
     If it be so that in my hands
          iniquity there is:

4    If I rewarded ill to him
          that was at peace with me;
     (Yea, ev'n the man that without cause
          my foe was I did free;)

5    Then let the foe pursue and take
          my soul, and my life thrust
     Down to the earth, and let him lay
          mine honour in the dust.

6    Rise in thy wrath, Lord, raise thyself,
          for my foes raging be;
     And, to the judgment which thou hast
          commanded, wake for me.

7    So shall th' assembly of thy folk
          about encompass thee:
     Thou, therefore, for their sakes, return
          unto thy place on high.

8    The Lord he shall the people judge:
          my judge, Jehovah, be,
     After my righteousness, and mine
          integrity in me.

9    O let the wicked's malice end;
          but stablish stedfastly
     The righteous: for the righteous God
          the hearts and reins doth try.

10   In God, who saves th' upright in heart,
          is my defence and stay.
11   God just men judgeth, God is wroth
          with ill men ev'ry day.

12   If he do not return again,
          then he his sword will whet;
     His bow he hath already bent,
          and hath it ready set:

13   He also hath for him prepar'd
          the instruments of death;
     Against the persecutors he
          his shafts ordained hath.

14   Behold, he with iniquity
          doth travail, as in birth;
     A mischief he conceived hath,
          and falsehood shall bring forth.

15   He made a pit and digg'd it deep,
          another there to take;
     But he is fall'n into the ditch
          which he himself did make.

16   Upon his own head his mischief
          shall be returned home;
     His vi'lent dealing also down
          on his own pate shall come.

17   According to his righteousness
          the Lord I'll magnify;
     And will sing praise unto the name
          of God that is most high.

Psalm 8

To the chief Musician upon Gittith,
A Psalm of David.

This psalm contains a pleasant, but solemn meditation upon the glory, the greatness, and the grace of God. Let me here observe, (1.) How illustrious and widespread are all his glory and renown, ver. 1, 3, 9. (2.) By how weak and insignificant instruments, he manifests and spreads his superlative fame, ver. 2. (3.) Behold his marvellous condescension and bounty to mankind, but chiefly to the man Christ, in uniting his human nature to his divine person, and in giving him all power in heaven and earth, for the benefit of his chosen people, ver. 4-8.

May this Jesus, this name of God in him, be the enthroned inhabitant, the everlasting wonder, and the superlative darling of my heart. Let me, with the babes of Jerusalem, Matt. 21, pour forth my hosannas to him that cometh in the name of the Lord to save me ­ hosannas in the highest. Let all the works of nature lead, and excite me to admire their Creator's kindness towards men ­ towards sinful and insignificant me.

1    How excellent in all the earth,
          Lord, our Lord, is thy name!
     Who hast thy glory far advanc'd
          above the starry frame.

2    From infants' and from sucklings' mouth
          thou didest strength ordain,
     For thy foes' cause, that so thou might'st
          th' avenging foe restrain.

3    When I look up unto the heav'ns,
          which thine own fingers fram'd,
     Unto the moon, and to the stars,
          which were by thee ordain'd;

4    Then say I, What is man, that he
          remember'd is by thee?
     Or what the son of man, that thou
          so kind to him should'st be?

5    For thou a little lower hast
          him than the angels made;
     With glory and with dignity
          thou crowned hast his head.

6    Of thy hands' works thou mad'st him lord,
          all under's feet didst lay;
7    All sheep and oxen, yea, and beasts
          that in the field do stray;

8    Fowls of the air, fish of the sea,
          all that pass through the same.
9    How excellent in all the earth,
          Lord, our Lord, is thy name!

Psalm 9

To the chief Musician upon Muth-labben,
A Psalm of David.

This psalm was, perhaps, composed on the occasion of his son Absalom's death, 2 Sam. 18; or on the occasion of the death of Goliath the champion and duellist of Gath, 1 Sam. 17. We have in it, (1.) David's hearty thanksgivings to God, for his pleading of his cause against his and his country's enemies, and for giving him a complete victory over them, ver. 1-6, and his excitement of others to join with him therein, ver. 11-12. (2). His triumph in God as the righteous judge of the world, protector of his people, and the destroyer of his implacable enemies, ver. 7-10, 15-18. (3.) His requests for further grounds of praising God as his own deliverer, and the confounder of his enemies, ver. 13-14, 19-20.

While I sing these subjects, let me chiefly consider the blessings of redemption, the victories of my Redeemer over sin, death, and hell; and believe that I, through him, shall be more than a conqueror. Let the ruin of transgressors effectually admonish me to stand in awe of God, and at the furthest distance from sin.

1    Lord, thee I'll praise with all my heart,
          thy wonders all proclaim.
2    In thee, most High, I'll greatly joy,
          and sing unto thy name.

3    When back my foes were turn'd, they fell,
          and perish'd at thy sight:
4    For thou maintain'dst my right and cause;
          on throne sat'st judging right.

5    The heathen thou rebuked hast,
          the wicked overthrown;
     Thou hast put out their names, that they
          may never more be known.

6    O en'my! now destructions have
          an end perpetual:
     Thou cities raz'd; perish'd with them
          is their memorial.

7    God shall endure for aye; he doth
          for judgment set his throne;
8    In righteousness to judge the world,
          justice to give each one.

9    God also will a refuge be
          for those that are oppress'd;
     A refuge will he be in times
          of trouble to distress'd.

10   And they that know thy name, in thee
          their confidence will place:
     For thou hast not forsaken them
          that truly seek thy face.

11   O sing ye praises to the Lord,
          that dwells in Sion hill;
     And all the nations among
          his deeds record ye still.

12   When he enquireth after blood,
          he then rememb'reth them:
     The humble folk he not forgets
          that call upon his name.

13   Lord, pity me; behold the grief
          which I from foes sustain;
     Ev'n thou, who from the gates of death
          dost raise me up again;

14  That I, in Sion's daughters' gates,
          may all thy praise advance;
     And that I may rejoice always
          in thy deliverance.

15  The heathen are sunk in the pit
          which they themselves prepar'd;
     And in the net which they have hid
          their own feet fast are snar'd.

16  The Lord is by the judgment known
          which he himself hath wrought:
     The sinners' hands do make the snares
          wherewith themselves are caught.

17  They who are wicked into hell
          each one shall turned be;
     And all the nations that forget
          to seek the Lord most high.

18 For they that needy are shall not
          forgotten be alway;
     The expectation of the poor
          shall not be lost for aye.

19 Arise, Lord, let not man prevail;
          judge heathen in thy sight:
20   That they may know themselves but men,
          the nations, Lord, affright.

Psalm 10

In this psalm of lamentation and woe, we have, (1.) David's mournful complaints of God's withdrawment of his gracious and comfortable presence, ver. 1. (2.) His mournful and shocking representation of the wicked men, who persecuted him, during God's absence: They proudly gloried in themselves; they counteracted the laws, and contemned the judgments of God; they contradicted and defiled their opposers; they were malicious, treacherous, crafty, hypocritical, and atheistical persecutors, ver. 2-11. (3.) His earnest supplications for relief to the people of God, attended with the firm faith of obtaining it, ver. 12-18.

While I sing these lines, ponder, O my soul, what a privilege it is to enjoy familiar fellowship with God! What abominations lie hid in an evil heart of unbelief! What a mercy, that the Lord hath withheld me from that outrage in wickedness, of which my corrupt nature is capable. Let all my views of sins and of judgments cause me to flee to Jesus for relief. If he prepare my heart to pray, he will surely grant my requests.

1    Wherefore is it that thou, O Lord,
          dost stand from us afar?
     And wherefore hidest thou thyself,
          when times so troublous are?

2    The wicked in his loftiness
          doth persecute the poor:
     In these devices they have fram'd
          let them be taken sure.

3    The wicked of his heart's desire
          doth talk with boasting great;
     He blesseth him that's covetous,
          whom yet the Lord doth hate.

4    The wicked, through his pride of face,
          on God he doth not call;
     And in the counsels of his heart
          the Lord is not at all.

5    His ways they always grievous are;
          thy judgments from his sight
     Removed are: at all his foes
          he puffeth with despight.

6    Within his heart he thus hath said,
          I shall not moved be;
     And no adversity at all
          shall ever come to me.

7    His mouth with cursing, fraud, deceit,
          is fill'd abundantly;
     And underneath his tongue there is
          mischief and vanity.

8    He closely sits in villages;
          he slays the innocent:
     Against the poor that pass him by
          his cruel eyes are bent.

9    He, lion-like, lurks in his den;
          he waits the poor to take;
     And when he draws him in his net,
          his prey he doth him make.

10   Himself he humbleth very low,
          he croucheth down withal,
     That so a multitude of poor
          may by his strong ones fall.

11   He thus hath said within his heart,
          The Lord hath quite forgot;
     He hides his countenance, and he
          for ever sees it not.

12   O Lord, do thou arise; O God,
          lift up thine hand on high:
     Put not the meek afflicted ones
          out of thy memory.

13   Why is it that the wicked man
          thus doth the Lord despise?
     Because that God will it require
          he in his heart denies.

14   Thou hast it seen; for their mischief
          and spite thou wilt repay:
     The poor commits himself to thee;
          thou art the orphan's stay.

15   The arm break of the wicked man,
          and of the evil one;
     Do thou seek out his wickedness,
          until thou findest none.

16   The Lord is King through ages all,
          ev'n to eternity;
     The heathen people from his land
          are perish'd utterly.

17   O Lord, of those that humble are
          thou the desire didst hear;
     Thou wilt prepare their heart, and thou
          to hear wilt bend thine ear;

18   To judge the fatherless, and those
          that are oppressed sore;
     That man, that is but sprung of earth,
          may them oppress no more.

Psalm 11

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

Behold here, (1.) David, tempted by his timorous friends to escape to some mountain, and hide himself from the fury of Saul, or of Absalom, as if that were his only safe course now when his enemies were exerting themselves to the uttermost, and all things were in disorder and confusion, ver. 1-3. (2.) David baffling the temptation by a resolute profession of his trust in God, as the observer of all men; as the holy and righteous punisher of the wicked, and friend of the godly, ver. 4-7.

Let no temptation decoy me from my duty. Let no danger deter me from it. While Jehovah, my reconciled God and Father, manageth and judgeth the world, my safest course is to commit myself to him in well-doing. Let the just vengeance of God upon sinners deter my heart from sinning, and his kindness to his people encourage me to holiness in all manner of conversation.

1    I in the Lord do put my trust:
          how is it then that ye
     Say to my soul, Flee, as a bird,
          unto your mountain high?

2    For, lo, the wicked bend their bow,
          their shafts on string they fit,
     That those who upright are in heart
          they privily may hit.

3    If the foundations be destroy'd,
          what hath the righteous done?
4    God in his holy temple is,
          in heaven is his throne:

     His eyes do see, his eye-lids try
5         men's sons. The just he proves:
     But his soul hates the wicked man,
          and him that vi'lence loves.

6    Snares, fire and brimstone, furious storms,
          on sinners he shall rain:
     This, as the portion of their cup,
          doth unto them pertain.

7    Because the Lord most righteous doth
          in righteousness delight;
     And with a pleasant countenance
          beholdeth the upright.

Psalm 12

To the chief Musician upon Sheminith,
A Psalm of David.

In this psalm, which was probably penned during the reign of Saul, observe, (1.) The times rendered extremely bad by the almost universal death of the godly, the general decay of piety and honesty, the common prevalence of dissimulation and flattery; by the proud and daring contempt of God, and oppression of the poor; and by the protection and encouragement of wickedness, by those that bare rule in church or state, ver. 1-4, 8. (2.) Enough in God to balance the evils of the worst of times. He is ready to help. He will in due time reckon with the wicked, and restrain their insolence. He will seasonably and effectually relieve his oppressed people. His words are pure, firm, and faithful; and he will always secure a remnant for himself, ver. 1-5, 6-7.

In evil times, do thou, my soul, live on thy God. Walk humbly with thy God. Hope continually in thy God; and rejoice in his new covenant promises to men ­ to me.

1    Help, Lord, because the godly man
          doth daily fade away;
     And from among the sons of men
          the faithful do decay.

2    Unto his neighbour ev'ry one
          doth utter vanity:
     They with a double heart do speak,
          and lips of flattery.

3    God shall cut off all flatt'ring lips,
          tongues that speak proudly thus,

4    We'll with our tongue prevail, our lips
          are ours: who's lord o'er us?

5    For poor oppress'd, and for the sighs
          of needy, rise will I,
     Saith God, and him in safety set
          from such as him defy.

6    The words of God are words most pure;
          they be like silver try'd
     In earthen furnace, seven times
          that hath been purify'd.

7    Lord, thou shalt them preserve and keep
          for ever from this race.
8    On each side walk the wicked, when
          vile men are high in place.

Psalm 13

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

Here we have the Psalmist sowing in tears, but reaping in joy. Observe, (1.) His extreme distress, occasioned by God's apparent unkindness, and by inward anguish of soul, and the insolence of enemies, ver. 1-2. (2.) His fervent supplications that God would consider his case, strengthen his faith, direct his goings, and comfort his heart, ver. 3-4. (3.) Sudden deliverance, flowing from a fixed trust in God, and inducing to a triumphant joy in him, ver 5-6.

Think, my soul, how divine withdrawments, sensibly perceived, sting a renewed heart! How changeable the saints' spiritual frames are, while they continue in this world. Weeping endures for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And behold, how quickly the prayers of faith are answered, and its expectations fulfilled!

1    How long wilt thou forget me, Lord?
          shall it for ever be?
     O how long shall it be that thou
          wilt hide thy face from me?

2    How long take counsel in my soul,
          still sad in heart, shall I?
     How long exalted over me
          shall be mine enemy?

3    O Lord my God, consider well,
          and answer to me make:
     Mine eyes enlighten, lest the sleep
          of death me overtake:

4    Lest that mine enemy should say,
          Against him I prevail'd;
     And those that trouble me rejoice,
          when I am mov'd and fail'd.

5    But I have all my confidence
          thy mercy set upon;
     My heart within me shall rejoice
          in thy salvation.

6    I will unto the Lord my God
          sing praises cheerfully,
     Because he hath his bounty shown
          to me abundantly.

Psalm 14

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

This psalm represents the fearful sinfulness and misery of mankind, and the marvellous method of deliverance therefrom. Behold, here, (1.) All mankind fearfully infected with the God -dishonouring, the soul-debasing and defiling, the world -disturbing malady of sinful corruption in heart and life, ver. 1-3. (2.) Warm expostulations for the conviction, awakening, and reclaiming of wicked men, ver. 4-6. (3.) Consolations exhibited to the righteous, from God's being among them, and being a refuge to them; and from his sending his Son to save and redeem them, ver. 5-7.

While I sing these lines, let me have a deep sense of my corruptions. Let me be ashamed of them before God. Let me, with a broken heart and weeping eye, confess my filthiness and crimes. Let me groan after and flee to Jesus, the Saviour, the salvation of God. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this abominable life, from this inward body of death! Thanks to the Redeemer, who is come to Zion to turn away ungodliness from Jacob! Let therefore Jacob rejoice and the Gentiles sing.

1    That there is not a God, the fool
          doth in his heart conclude:
     They are corrupt, their works are vile;
          not one of them doth good.

2    Upon men's sons the Lord from heav'n
          did cast his eyes abroad,
     To see if any understood,
          and did seek after God.

3    They altogether filthy are,
          they all aside are gone;
     And there is none that doeth good,
          yea, sure there is not one.

4    These workers of iniquity
          do they not know at all,
     That they my people eat as bread,
          and on God do not call?

5    There fear'd they much; for God is with
          the whole race of the just.
6    You shame the counsel of the poor,
          because God is his trust.

7    Let Isr'el's help from Sion come:
          when back the Lord shall bring
     His captives, Jacob shall rejoice,
          and Israel shall sing.

Psalm 15

A Psalm of David.

Here let me, (1.) With wonder, observe the happy state of present fellowship with God in his church on earth, and of everlasting fellowship with him in the temple above; and how fixed the saints are in this their new-covenant state, ver. 1, 5. (2.) Let me with self-examination, remark the discriminating characters of such as are admitted to that happy state: They are sincere, upright and honest in all their ways; they are kind to neighbours; they esteem others in proportion to the appearance of Christ's image on them; and they prefer a good conscience to every earthly advantage, ver. 2-5.

While I sing, let me think of my perfect and all-sufficient Saviour, who is passed into the heavens; is entered there for me, as the forerunner. And, having received him into my heart, as my sanctifying furniture, let me walk in him as my way, and follow him as my pattern, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and living soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. Thus shall the Father and the Son come unto me on earth, and take up their abode with me; and so shall I in heaven be for ever with the Lord.

1    Within thy tabernacle, Lord,
          who shall abide with thee?
     And in thy high and holy hill
          who shall a dweller be?

2    The man that walketh uprightly,
          and worketh righteousness,
     And as he thinketh in his heart,
          so doth he truth express.

3    Who doth not slander with his tongue,
          nor to his friend doth hurt;
     Nor yet against his neighbour doth
          take up an ill report.

4    In whose eyes vile men are despis'd;
          but those that God do fear
     He honoureth; and changeth not,
          though to his hurt he swear.

5    His coin puts not to usury,
          nor take reward will he
     Against the guiltless. Who doth thus
          shall never moved be.

Psalm 16

Michtam of David.

This psalm is indeed a michtam, a golden psalm. Behold the man according to God's heart, (1.) Committing himself to God as his preserver, ver. 1. (2.) Avowing his endeared love to the people, and strict adherence to the worship of God, ver. 3-4. (3.) With great confidence and joy claiming God for his satisfying portion, ver. 2, 5-7. (4.) Comforting himself in, and blessing God for his present intimacy with him, and granting direction to him, and for his certain prospect of the eternal enjoyment of him, ver. 8-11.

But chiefly behold here, Jesus, the man of God's right hand, surrendering himself up to his Father's service, in room of, and for the everlasting advantage of his elect! Behold him, taking out his new-covenant claim to God, as his God and portion for ever; and as our God and portion in him! Behold how, supported of God in his holy manhood, he suffers unto a tremendous death, and debased burial; but being raised again, he is crowned with everlasting glory and honour! Behold how the agonies of suffering, and the pains of death, are succeeded with fulness of joy, and rivers of life and pleasures, at God's right hand for evermore! Looking to him, let me with patience run the race that is set before me, living on, and rejoicing in God, as my all, and in all; and looking for the blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God my Saviour. Through him, neither sin, nor devils, nor death, nor hell, shall be able to prevent my immediate and everlasting enjoyment of Jehovah, as my infinite portion and exceeding joy.

1    Lord, keep me; for I trust in thee.
2          To God thus was my speech,
     Thou art my Lord; and unto thee
          my goodness doth not reach:

3    To saints on earth, to th' excellent,
          where my delight's all plac'd.
4    Their sorrows shall be multiply'd
          to other gods that haste:

     Of their drink-offerings of blood
          I will no off 'ring make;
     Yea, neither I their very names
          up in my lips will take.

5    God is of mine inheritance
          and cup the portion;
     The lot that fallen is to me
          thou dost maintain alone.

6    Unto me happily the lines
          in pleasant places fell;
     Yea, the inheritance I got
          in beauty doth excel.

7    I bless the Lord, because he doth
          by counsel me conduct;
     And in the seasons of the night
          my reins do me instruct.

8    Before me still the Lord I set:
          sith it is so that he
     Doth ever stand at my right hand,
          I shall not moved be.

9    Because of this my heart is glad,
          and joy shall be exprest
     Ev'n by my glory; and my flesh
          in confidence shall rest.

10   Because my soul in grave to dwell
          shall not be left by thee;
     Nor wilt thou give thine Holy One
          corruption to see.

11   Thou wilt me shew the path of life:
          of joys there is full store
     Before thy face; at thy right hand
          are pleasures evermore.

Psalm 17

A Prayer of David.

Here in the depths of distress, (1.) David appeals to God concerning the integrity of his heart, and the justness of his cause, ver. 1-4. (2) He prays for establishment in grace within, for tokens of divine favour from above; and for preservation from his carnal, malicious and insolent, his restless and powerful enemies, around, ver. 5-14. (3.) His triumphs in the assured faith of his everlasting enjoyment of, and conformity to God, ver. 15.

Let me also here look after Jesus, in whose heart was no deceit, and in whose mouth was no guile: Jesus, who fulfilled all righteousness for me; and who, notwithstanding all the rage of devils and men, hath sat down at the right hand of God, crowned with glory and honour. Let me remember, that he, as the forerunner is for me entered into mansions of bliss; and hath left me an example, that I should follow his steps.

1    Lord, hear the right, attend my cry,
          unto my pray'r give heed,
     That doth not in hypocrisy
          from feigned lips proceed.

2    And from before thy presence forth
          my sentence do thou send:
     Toward these things that equal are
          do thou thine eyes intend.

3    Thou prov'dst mine heart, thou visit'dst me
          by night, thou didst me try,
     Yet nothing found'st; for that my mouth
          shall not sin, purpos'd I.

4    As for men's works, I, by the word
          that from thy lips doth flow,
     Did me preserve out of the paths
          wherein destroyers go.

5    Hold up my goings, Lord, me guide
          in those thy paths divine,
     So that my footsteps may not slide
          out of those ways of thine.

6    I called have on thee, O God,
          because thou wilt me hear:
     That thou may'st hearken to my speech,
          to me incline thine ear.

7    Thy wondrous loving-kindness show,
          thou that, by thy right hand,
     Sav'st them that trust in thee from those
          that up against them stand.

8    As th' apple of the eye me keep;
          in thy wings shade me close
9    From lewd oppressors, compassing
          me round, as deadly foes.

10   In their own fat they are inclos'd;
          their mouth speaks loftily.
11   Our steps they compass'd; and to ground
          down bowing set their eye.

12   He like unto a lion is
          that's greedy of his prey,
     Or lion young, which lurking doth
          in secret places stay.

13   Arise, and disappoint my foe,
          and cast him down, O Lord:
     My soul save from the wicked man,
          the man which is thy sword.

14  From men, which are thy hand, O Lord,
          from worldly men me save,
     Which only in this present life
          their part and portion have.

     Whose belly with thy treasure hid
          thou fill'st: they children have
     In plenty; of their goods the rest
          they to their children leave.

15  But as for me, I thine own face
          in righteousness will see;
     And with thy likeness, when I wake,
          I satisfy'd shall be.

Psalm 18

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,

In this psalm of thanksgiving for manifold deliverances, observe, (1.) David's ardent love to God in Christ, whom he believed to be his own, in every gracious and saving relation; and whom he had experienced his merciful, almighty, and seasonable deliverer, from depths of trouble, ver. 1-19. (2.) His comfortable reflections, on the integrity which the Lord had enabled him to maintain, and on the gracious kindness of God, consequential thereupon, ver. 20-28. (3.) His thankful ascription of all the glory of his noted exploits to God, as his director and strengthener, ver. 29-42. (4.) His triumphant faith and hope, of further assistance and favour from God, to himself and to his seed for evermore, ver. 43-50.

But let me not forget Jesus, to whom Jehovah is so closely, so marvellously, so sweetly related: Jesus, who so ardently loveth his eternal Father, and for ever returns the grateful remembrance of his kindness to him, and to his chosen seed, in delivering him from distress; in raising him from the dead; in rewarding his obedience unto death, in giving him glory at his own right hand, and in rendering all nations his obedient subjects. Let me sing this new song, in the full assurance of faith, that God in Christ is my all and in all; and with a heart ravished with the consolations of Christ, and in the sweet reviews of what he hath done, what he doth, and what he will for ever do, for my soul.

1    Thee will I love, O Lord, my strength.
2          My fortress is the Lord,
     My rock, and he that doth to me
          deliverance afford:

     My God, my strength, whom I will trust,
          a buckler unto me,
     The horn of my salvation,
          and my high tow'r, is he.

3    Upon the Lord, who worthy is
          of praises, will I cry;
     And then shall I preserved be
          safe from mine enemy.

4    Floods of ill men affrighted me,
          death's pangs about me went;
5    Hell's sorrows me environed;
          death's snares did me prevent.

6    In my distress I call'd on God,
          cry to my God did I;
     He from his temple heard my voice,
          to his ears came my cry.

7    Th' earth, as affrighted, then did shake,
          trembling upon it seiz'd:
     The hills' foundations moved were,
          because he was displeas'd.

8    Up from his nostrils came a smoke,
          and from his mouth there came
     Devouring fire, and coals by it
          were turned into flame.

9   He also bowed down the heav'ns,
          and thence he did descend;
     And thickest clouds of darkness did
          under his feet attend.

10   And he upon a cherub rode,
          and thereon he did fly;
     Yea, on the swift wings of the wind
          his flight was from on high.

11   He darkness made his secret place:
          about him, for his tent,
     Dark waters were, and thickest clouds
          of th' airy firmament.

12   And at the brightness of that light,
          which was before his eye,
     His thick clouds pass'd away, hailstones
          and coals of fire did fly.

13   The Lord God also in the heav'ns
          did thunder in his ire;
     And there the Highest gave his voice,
          hailstones and coals of fire.

14   Yea, he his arrows sent abroad,
          and them he scattered;
     His lightnings also he shot out,
          and them discomfited.

15   The waters' channels then were seen,
          the world's foundations vast
     At thy rebuke discover'd were,
          and at thy nostrils' blast.

16   And from above the Lord sent down,
          and took me from below;
     From many waters he me drew,
          which would me overflow.

17   He me reliev'd from my strong foes,
          and such as did me hate;
     Because he saw that they for me
          too strong were, and too great.

18   They me prevented in the day
          of my calamity;
     But even then the Lord himself
          a stay was unto me.

19   He to a place where liberty
          and room was hath me brought;
     Because he took delight in me,
          he my deliv'rance wrought.

20   According to my righteousness
          he did me recompense,
     He me repaid according to
          my hands' pure innocence.

21   For I God's ways kept, from my God
          did not turn wickedly.
22   His judgments were before me, I
          his laws put not from me.

23   Sincere before him was my heart;
          with him upright was I;
     And watchfully I kept myself
          from mine iniquity.

24   After my righteousness the Lord
          hath recompensed me,
     After the cleanness of my hands
          appearing in his eye.

25   Thou gracious to the gracious art,
          to upright men upright:
26   Pure to the pure, froward thou kyth'st
          unto the froward wight.

27   For thou wilt the afflicted save
          in grief that low do lie:
     But wilt bring down the countenance
          of them whose looks are high.

28   The Lord will light my candle so,
          that it shall shine full bright:
     The Lord my God will also make
          my darkness to be light.

29   By thee through troops of men I break,
          and them discomfit all;
     And, by my God assisting me,
          I overleap a wall.
30   As for God, perfect is his way:
          the Lord his word is try'd;
     He is a buckler to all those
          who do in him confide.

31   Who but the Lord is God? but he
          who is a rock and stay?
32   'Tis God that girdeth me with strength,
          and perfect makes my way.

33   He made my feet swift as the hinds,
          set me on my high places.
34   Mine hands to war he taught, mine arms
          brake bows of steel in pieces.

35   The shield of thy salvation
          thou didst on me bestow:
     Thy right hand held me up, and great
          thy kindness made me grow.

36   And in my way my steps thou hast
          enlarged under me,
     That I go safely, and my feet
          are kept from sliding free.

37   Mine en'mies I pursued have,
          and did them overtake;
     Nor did I turn again till I
          an end of them did make.

38   I wounded them, they could not rise;
          they at my feet did fall.
39   Thou girdedst me with strength for war;
          my foes thou brought'st down all:

40   And thou hast giv'n to me the necks
          of all mine enemies;
     That I might them destroy and slay,
          who did against me rise.

41   They cried out, but there was none
          that would or could them save;
     Yea, they did cry unto the Lord,
          but he no answer gave.

42   Then did I beat them small as dust
          before the wind that flies;
     And I did cast them out like dirt
          upon the street that lies.

43   Thou mad'st me free from people's strife,
          and heathen's head to be:
     A people whom I have not known
          shall service do to me.

44   At hearing they shall me obey,
          to me they shall submit.
45   Strangers for fear shall fade away,
          who in close places sit.

46   God lives, bless'd be my Rock; the God
          of my health praised be.
47   God doth avenge me, and subdues
          the people under me.

48   He saves me from mine enemies;
          yea, thou hast lifted me
     Above my foes; and from the man
          of vi'lence set me free.

49   Therefore to thee will I give thanks
          the heathen folk among;
     And to thy name, O Lord, I will
          sing praises in a song.

50   He great deliv'rance gives his king:
          he mercy doth extend
     To David, his anointed one,
          and his seed without end.

Psalm 19

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

Now the books of God are opened, not for my trial and condemnation in the last judgment, but for my instruction. Let my soul look and read therein ­ (1.) The book of creation and providence, in which all the works of God instruct mankind in general, concerning the eternal wisdom, power and goodness, of their Maker, ver. 1-6. (2.) The book of inspiration; the sure, the right, the pure, the true, the perfect and powerful oracles of which instruct, convert, comfort, and warm the members of the church; and in keeping of which there is an exceeding great and everlasting reward of glory obtained, ver. 7-11. (3.) What conviction of sin! what supplication for pardon of it, and preservation from it! and for the acceptance of our duties through Jesus' blood, doth or ought to ensue upon a proper perusal of these volumes of heaven, ver. 12-14.

While I sing these matters, let me, conscious of my own ignorance and folly, in all things consult the mind of God. Let me blush that my experience of the powerful influences of God's word is so scanty; and that in me, still dwell such fearful remains of sinful corruption. Let me cry mightily to God, for the subduing and destruction thereof.

1    The heav'ns God's glory do declare,
          the skies his hand-works preach:
2    Day utters speech to day, and night
          to night doth knowledge teach.

3    There is no speech nor tongue to which
          their voice doth not extend:
4    Their line is gone through all the earth,
          their words to the world's end.
     In them he set the sun a tent;
5         Who, bridegroom-like, forth goes
     From's chamber, as a strong man doth
          to run his race rejoice.

6    From heav'n's end is his going forth,
          circling to th' end again;
     And there is nothing from his heat
          that hidden doth remain.

7    God's law is perfect, and converts
          the soul in sin that lies:
     God's testimony is most sure,
          and makes the simple wise.

8    The statutes of the Lord are right,
          and do rejoice the heart:
     The Lord's command is pure, and doth
          light to the eyes impart.

9    Unspotted is the fear of God,
          and doth endure for ever:
     The judgments of the Lord are true
          and righteous altogether.

10   They more than gold, yea, much fine gold,
          to be desired are:
     Than honey, honey from the comb
          that droppeth, sweeter far.

11   Moreover, they thy servant warn
          how he his life should frame:
     A great reward provided is
          for them that keep the same.

12   Who can his errors understand?
          O cleanse thou me within
13   From secret faults. Thy servant keep
          from all presumptuous sin:

     And do not suffer them to have
          dominion over me:
     Then, righteous and innocent,
          I from much sin shall be.

14  The words which from my mouth proceed,
          the thoughts sent from my heart,
     Accept, O Lord, for thou my strength
          and my Redeemer art.

Psalm 20

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

Probably this psalm was composed, to be a prayer for success in some particular expedition of David's wars. Here, (1.) The people pray for their king, that God would grant him his requests; protect, assist, and strengthen him in his work; accept his oblations, and succeed his projects for the public welfare, ver. 1-4. (2.) They triumph in God as their only strength and deliverer, in whom they shall be more than conquerors, ver. 5-6.

Let me not forget Jesus, for whom prayer is made continually; Jesus, who shall daily be praised, and whom the Father heareth always; accepts his sacrifice, and crowns him with glory and honour. And let no creature, but Jehovah as my God in Christ, be the ground and the object of all my faith and expectation.

1    Jehovah hear thee in the day
          when trouble he doth send:
     And let the name of Jacob's God
          thee from all ill defend.

2    O let him help send from above,
          out of his sanctuary:
     From Sion, his own holy hill,
          let him give strength to thee.

3    Let him remember all thy gifts,
          accept thy sacrifice:
4    Grant thee thine heart's wish, and fulfil
          thy thoughts and counsel wise.

5    In thy salvation we will joy;
          in our God's name we will
     Display our banners: and the Lord
          thy prayers all fulfil.

6    Now know I God his king doth save:
          he from his holy heav'n
     Will hear him, with the saving strength
          by his own right hand giv'n.

7    In chariots some put confidence,
          some horses trust upon:
     But we remember will the name
          of our Lord God alone.

8    We rise, and upright stand, when they
          are bowed down, and fall.
9    Deliver, Lord; and let the King
          us hear, when we do call.

Psalm 21

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

In this song of thanksgiving, observe, (1.) All the joys, the honours, and happiness, of king David, founded in the perfections and gracious works of God, ver. 1-6. (2.) Full assurance of the stability of David's throne, and of the discovery and destruction of his implacable opposers, ver. 7-12. (3.) Earnest supplications to God, for the exhilarating displays of his glory and power, ver. 13.

But chiefly, my soul, behold here, the everlasting honours, joys, happiness, and blissful influences of thy Redeemer! Behold how fixed in his kingdom and dignity, in the infinite, everlasting, and unchangeable wisdom, power, mercy, equity, goodness and truth of the Most High! Behold, what inexpressible vengeance kindles upon and destroys his Jewish, his Heathen, his Antichristian, and other incorrigible foes! ­ Rejoice my soul, in this God thy Saviour. Rejoice at the glory wherewith he is crowned: at the life granted to, and lodged in him; and in his being made blessings for evermore to men; blessings for evermore to me. And let the ruinous overthrow of his Jewish or other enemies, make me stand in awe to provoke him, by presumptuous refusal of him, or rebellion against him.

1    The king in thy great strength, O Lord,
          shall very joyful be:
     In thy salvation rejoice
          how veh'mently shall he!

2    Thou hast bestowed upon him
          all that his heart would have;
     And thou from him didst not withhold
          whate'er his lips did crave.

3    For thou with blessings him prevent'st
          of goodness manifold;
     And thou hast set upon his head
          a crown of purest gold.

4    When he desired life of thee,
          thou life to him didst give;
     Ev'n such a length of days, that he
          for evermore should live.

5    In that salvation wrought by thee
          his glory is made great;
     Honour and comely majesty
          thou hast upon him set.

6    Because that thou for evermore
          most blessed hast him made;
     And thou hast with thy countenance
          made him exceeding glad.

7    Because the king upon the Lord
          his confidence doth lay;
     And through the grace of the most High
          shall not be mov'd away.

8    Thine hand shall all those men find out
          that en'mies are to thee;
     Ev'n thy right hand shall find out those
          of thee that haters be.

9    Like fiery ov'n thou shalt them make,
          when kindled is thine ire;
     God shall them swallow in his wrath,
          devour them shall the fire.

10   Their fruit from earth thou shalt destroy,
          their seed men from among:
11   For they beyond their might 'gainst thee
          did plot mischief and wrong.

12   Thou therefore shalt make them turn back,
          when thou thy shafts shalt place
     Upon thy strings, made ready all
          to fly against their face.

13   In thy great pow'r and strength, O Lord,
          be thou exalted high;
     So shall we sing with joyful hearts,
          thy power praise shall we.

Psalm 22

To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar,
A Psalm of David.

Here the debasement and exaltation of David, king of Israel, are merely subservient to, and figurative of the debasement and exaltation of Jesus Christ, our blessed Aijeleth Shahar, Hind of the Morning ­

I. In this deep debasement we find, (1.) Bitter, but kindly and believing, complaints of God's withdrawment; attended with earnest attempts of faith to quiet the complainer's soul under it, drawn from the consideration of God's holiness and highness, and his seasonable deliverance of his people in former times, when they cried to him, ver. 1-5. (2.) Bitter complaints of men's reproaches and contemptuous derision; attended with self encouragements, drawn from former experience of God's early and seasonable care and friendship, ver. 6-10. (3.) Bitter complaints of the number and rage of enemies, attended with exquisite agonies of body and mind, and mingled with earnest prayers for God's speedy supports, assistance, and powerful deliverance, ver. 11-21.

While I sing these, let me behold the vileness, the criminality, the destructive influence of sin! Let me behold the sovereignty of God, who not only scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, but spared not his only begotten Son, but delivered him up for us all! Behold, how he hates, how he punisheth our sin! And what manner of love he bestowed upon us, that we might be called the sons of God! Behold, how he commendeth his love unto us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! And if Jesus, with patience bore such desertion, reproach, and distress; let me, in the firm faith that he did all for me, and that God is mine, and maketh all things work for my good, study an unhampered resignation to his will.

II. By the typical exaltation of David, and the increase, happiness, honour, and duration of his kingdom, we have prefigured the glorious exaltation of our Redeemer; importing, that he should have a church among men; that his Father should be glorified in them as well as in him; that his true subjects should abound in prayer, praise, spiritual comfort, and everlasting life; and that his church should be enlarged with multitudes of both Jews and Gentiles, and should, to his honour, and for his worship and service, continue to all generations, ver. 22-31.

While I sing this, let me trust, and rejoice in, and plead his promises, relative to myself and his church. Let me ponder, whether I have heard his voice, shared his saving pity, feasted on his spiritual provision, and worshipped him in spirit, and in truth! And whether it is the desire of my soul to cause his name to be remembered to all generations.

1    My God, my God, why hast thou me
          forsaken? why so far
     Art thou from helping me, and from
          my words that roaring are?

2    All day, my God, to thee I cry,
          yet am not heard by thee;
     And in the season of the night
          I cannot silent be.

3    But thou art holy, thou that dost
          inhabit Isr'el's praise.
4    Our fathers hop'd in thee, they hop'd
          and thou didst them release.

5    When unto thee they sent their cry,
          to them deliv'rance came:
     Because they put their trust in thee,
          they were not put to shame.

6    But as for me, a worm I am,
          and as no man am priz'd:
     Reproach of men I am, and by
          the people am despis'd.

7    All that me see laugh me to scorn;
          shoot out the lip do they;
     They nod and shake their heads at me,
          and, mocking, thus do say,

8    This man did trust in God, that he
          would free him by his might:
     Let him deliver him, sith he
          had in him such delight.

9    But thou art he out of the womb
          that didst me safely take;
     When I was on my mother's breasts
          thou me to hope didst make.

10   And I was cast upon thy care,
          ev'n from the womb till now;
     And from my mother's belly, Lord,
          my God and guide art thou.

11   Be not far off, for grief is near,
          and none to help is found.
12   Bulls many compass me, strong bulls
          of Bashan me surround.

13   Their mouths they open'd wide on me,
          upon me gape did they,
     Like to a lion ravening
          and roaring for his prey.

14   Like water I'm pour'd out, my bones
          all out of joint do part:
     Amidst my bowels, as the wax,
          so melted is my heart.

15   My strength is like a potsherd dry'd;
          my tongue it cleaveth fast
     Unto my jaws; and to the dust
          of death thou brought me hast.

16   For dogs have compass'd me about:
          the wicked, that did meet
     In their assembly, me inclos'd;
          they pierc'd my hands and feet.

17   I all my bones may tell; they do
          upon me look and stare.
18   Upon my vesture lots they cast,
          and clothes among them share.

19   But be not far, O Lord, my strength;
          haste to give help to me.
20   From sword my soul, from pow'r of dogs
          my darling set thou free.

21   Out of the roaring lion's mouth
          do thou me shield and save:
     For from the horns of unicorns
          an ear to me thou gave.

22   I will shew forth thy name unto
          those that my brethren are;
     Amidst the congregation
          thy praise I will declare.

23   Praise ye the Lord, who do him fear;
          him glorify all ye
     The seed of Jacob: fear him all
          that Isr'el's children be.

24   For he despis'd not nor abhorr'd
          th' afflicted's misery;
     Nor from him hid his face, but heard
          when he to him did cry.
25   Within the congregation great
          my praise shall be of thee;
     My vows before them that him fear
          shall be perform'd by me.

26   The meek shall eat, and shall be fill'd;
          they also praise shall give
     Unto the Lord that do him seek:
          your heart shall ever live.

27   All ends of th' earth remember shall,
          and turn the Lord unto;
     All kindreds of the nations
          to him shall homage do:

28   Because the kingdom to the Lord
          doth appertain as his;
     Likewise among the nations
          the Governor he is.

29   Earth's fat ones eat, and worship shall:
          all who to dust descend
     Shall bow to him; none of them can
          his soul from death defend.
30   A seed shall service do to him;
          unto the Lord it shall
     Be for a generation
          reckon'd in ages all.

31   They shall come, and they shall declare
          his truth and righteousness
     Unto a people yet unborn,
          and that he hath done this.

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

Here is the children's psalm, and which is, in very deed, a noted song of all the children of God. Behold, (1.) New-covenant relation to God, as a full and everlasting security against hurtful wants, ver. 1. (2.) Pleasant experience of God's acting up to his new-covenant character, in disposing of, directing, assisting, feasting and comforting his people, ver. 2-3, 5. (3.) Well-grounded hopes of God's careful and seasonable supplies; of his comfortable presence and help amidst distress and death; of the perpetual and everlasting manifestation of his mercy and grace to us-ward; and of our endless nearness to, and immediate enjoyment of him, ver. 1, 4, 5-6.

While I sing, let me think, as before God, whether I have the experimental knowledge of all these things. Let my soul be as a daughter of the horse-leech, crying mightily, Give, give what is good. And let me, in all these forms, taste and see that God is good.

1    The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want.
2          He makes me down to lie
     In pastures green: he leadeth me
          the quiet waters by.

3    My soul he doth restore again;
          and me to walk doth make
     Within the paths of righteousness,
          ev'n for his own name's sake.

4    Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale,
          yet will I fear none ill:
     For thou art with me; and thy rod
          and staff me comfort still.

5    My table thou hast furnished
          in presence of my foes;
     My head thou dost with oil anoint,
          and my cup overflows.

6    Goodness and mercy all my life
          shall surely follow me:
     And in God's house for evermore
          my dwelling-place shall be.

Psalm 24

Probably this psalm was penned for use of the Hebrews, when David brought up the ark of God to Jerusalem, or when Solomon brought it into the temple, 2 Sam. 6, 1 Kings 8, in order to raise their hearts above their external ceremonies, to a reception of, and walking in Christ, who was thereby prefigured. Observe, (1.) Christ's kingdom of nature, comprehending the whole world and all the inhabitants thereof, ver. 1-2. (2.) His kingdom of grace in the nature of it; the gracious character of its subjects; and their charter to their everlasting happiness above, ver. 3-6. (3.) Under the figure of a call to admit the ark, we have a solemn summons, issued forth by God, for the heavens to receive Jesus, our glorious and almighty King, into their blissful abodes in his ascension; and for us to receive him into our hearts and societies below, ver. 7-10.

While I sing, let me be affected with the double claim the Redeemer hath on me ­ as his creature, and as his ransomed one. Let me try whether I possess the distinguishing characters of a real saint; and whether I have received an abundance of the gift of righteousness, and of blessedness from the God of my salvation. Let me charge, let me rouse up all my inward powers, to receive Jesus Christ the Lord, as made of God unto me, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

1    The earth belongs unto the Lord,
          and all that it contains;
     The world that is inhabited,
          and all that there remains.

2    For the foundations thereof
          he on the seas did lay,
     And he hath it established
          upon the floods to stay.

3    Who is the man that shall ascend
          into the hill of God?
     Or who within his holy place
          shall have a firm abode?

4    Whose hands are clean, whose heart is pure,
          and unto vanity
     Who hath not lifted up his soul,
          nor sworn deceitfully.

5    He from th' Eternal shall receive
          the blessing him upon,
     And righteousness, ev'n from the God
          of his salvation.

6    This is the generation
          that after him enquire,
     O Jacob, who do seek thy face
          with their whole heart's desire.

7    Ye gates, lift up your heads on high;
          ye doors that last for aye,
     Be lifted up, that so the King
          of glory enter may.

8    But who of glory is the King?
          The mighty Lord is this;
     Ev'n that same Lord, that great in might
          and strong in battle is.

9    Ye gates, lift up your heads; ye doors,
          doors that do last for aye,
     Be lifted up, that so the King
          of glory enter may.

10   But who is he that is the King
          of glory? who is this?
     The Lord of hosts, and none but he,
          the King of glory is.

Psalm 25

A Psalm of David.

In singing this psalm, let me observe, (1.) What serious work prayer is; what lifting up of soul, what directing of eyes to God, and fixing them on him, must be in it! ver. 1-15. (2.) What mercies ought to be prayed for Pardon of sin, ver. 6, 7-18; direction in duty, ver. 4-5; familiar intimacy with God, ver. 10; deliverance from trouble, ver. 17-18; preservation from adversaries, ver. 20-21; and, in fine, safety and deliverance to the church, ver. 22. (3.)What pleas are proper to be used in prayer; as, the trust we have reposed in God, ver. 2-3, 5-21; our own divinely affected sincerity in the Lord's way, ver. 21; our distress, and the malice of our enemies, ver. 2, 16-19; but chiefly, the mercy that is in God, and the glory which redounds to his name from his bestowing of new-covenant favours, ver. 6-11. (4.) Strong encouragements to prayer ­ taken from the perfections of God's nature; from his promises of instruction and direction; from the fulness and grace of his covenant; and from his delight in allowing men familiar intimacy and fellowship with himself, ver. 8-14.

Let these things, my soul, be the object of thy strictest care and attention, in all thy addresses to God.

First Version (S.M.)

1    To thee I lift my soul:
2          O Lord, I trust in thee:
     My God, let me not be asham'd,
          nor foes triumph o'er me.

3    Let none that wait on thee
          be put to shame at all;
     But those that without cause transgress,
          let shame upon them fall.

4    Shew me thy ways, O Lord;
          thy paths, O teach thou me:
5    And do thou lead me in thy truth,
          therein my teacher be:

     For thou art God that dost
          to me salvation send,
     And I upon thee all the day
          expecting do attend.

6    Thy tender mercies, Lord,
          I pray thee to remember,
     And loving-kindnesses; for they
          have been of old for ever.

7    My sins and faults of youth
          do thou, O Lord, forget:
     After thy mercy think on me,
          and for thy goodness great.

8    God good and upright is:
          the way he'll sinners show.
9    The meek in judgment he will guide,
          and make his path to know.

10   The whole paths of the Lord
          are truth and mercy sure,
     To those that do his cov'nant keep,
          and testimonies pure.

11   Now, for thine own name's sake,
          O Lord, I thee entreat
     To pardon mine iniquity;
          for it is very great.

12   What man is he that fears
          the Lord, and doth him serve?
     Him shall he teach the way that he
          shall choose, and still observe.

13   His soul shall dwell at ease;
          and his posterity
     Shall flourish still, and of the earth
          inheritors shall be.

14   With those that fear him is
          the secret of the Lord;
     The knowledge of his covenant
          he will to them afford.

15   Mine eyes upon the Lord
          continually are set:
     For he it is that shall bring forth
          my feet out of the net.

16   Turn unto me thy face,
          and to me mercy show;
     Because that I am desolate,
          and am brought very low.

17   My heart's griefs are increas'd:
          me from distress relieve.
18   See mine affliction and my pain,
          and all my sins forgive.

19   Consider thou my foes,
          because they many are;
     And it a cruel hatred is
          which they against me bear.

20   O do thou keep my soul,
          do thou deliver me:
     And let me never be asham'd,
          because I trust in thee.

21   Let uprightness and truth
          keep me, who thee attend.
22   Redemption, Lord, to Israel
          from all his troubles send.

Second Version (C.M.)

1    To thee I lift my soul, O Lord:
2          My God, I trust in thee:
     Let me not be asham'd; let not
          my foes triumph o'er me.

3    Yea, let thou none ashamed be
          that do on thee attend:
     Ashamed let them be, O Lord,
          who without cause offend.

4    Thy ways, Lord, shew; teach me thy paths:
5         Lead me in truth, teach me:
     For of my safety thou art God;
          all day I wait on thee.

6    Thy mercies, that most tender are,
          do thou, O Lord, remember,
     And loving-kindnesses; for they
          have been of old for ever.

7    Let not the errors of my youth,
          nor sins, remember'd be:
     In mercy, for thy goodness' sake,
           O Lord, remember me.

8    The Lord is good and gracious,
          he upright is also:
     He therefore sinners will instruct
          in ways that they should go.

9    The meek and lowly he will guide
          in judgment just alway:
     To meek and poor afflicted ones
          he'll clearly teach his way.

10   The whole paths of the Lord our God
          are truth and mercy sure,
     To such as keep his covenant,
          and testimonies pure.

11   Now, for thine own name's sake, O Lord,
          I humbly thee entreat
     To pardon mine iniquity;
          for it is very great.

12   What man fears God? him shall he teach
          the way that he shall chuse.
13   His soul shall dwell at ease; his seed
          the earth, as heirs, shall use.

14   The secret of the Lord is with
          such as do fear his name;
     And he his holy covenant
          will manifest to them.

15   Towards the Lord my waiting eyes
          continually are set;
     For he it is that shall bring forth
          my feet out of the net.

16   O turn thee unto me, O God,
          have mercy me upon;
     Because I solitary am,
          and in affliction.

17   Enlarg'd the griefs are of mine heart;
          me from distress relieve.
18   See mine affliction and my pain,
          and all my sins forgive.

19   Consider thou mine enemies,
          because they many are;
     And it a cruel hatred is
          which they against me bear.

20   O do thou keep my soul; O God,
          do thou deliver me:
     Let me not be asham'd; for I
          do put my trust in thee.

21   O let integrity and truth
          keep me, who thee attend.
22   Redemption, Lord, to Israel
          from all his troubles send.

Psalm 26

A Psalm of David.

Here, (1.) David solemnly appeals to God ­ concerning his integrity; his constant regard to him and his grace; his regular attendance upon instituted ordinances: and his fixed aversion to sin and sinners, ver. 1-8. (2.) He deprecates from himself, the condemnation of the wicked, and his being shut up in society with them, ver. 9-10. (3.) Depending on the mercy of God, he resolves to hold fast his integrity, and maintain his confident hopes of eternal life, ver. 11-12.
While I sing, let the perfect God-man come into my mind. Let me wash myself in his blood, and so compass God's altar with songs of praise for his favours. Making Jesus' example my pattern, let his ordinances be my pleasure, and his people my sole intimates and familiars on earth.

1    Judge me, O Lord, for I have walk'd
          in mine integrity:
     I trusted also in the Lord;
          slide therefore shall not I.

2    Examine me, and do me prove;
          try heart and reins, O God:
3    For thy love is before mine eyes,
          thy truth's paths I have trode.

4    With persons vain I have not sat,
          nor with dissemblers gone:
5    Th' assembly of ill men I hate;
          to sit with such I shun.

6    Mine hands in innocence, O Lord,
          I'll wash and purify;
     So to thine holy altar go,
          and compass it will I:

7    That I, with voice of thanksgiving,
          may publish and declare,
     And tell of all thy mighty works,
          that great and wondrous are.

8    The habitation of thy house,
          Lord, I have loved well;
     Yea, in that place I do delight
          where doth thine honour dwell.

9    With sinners gather not my soul,
          and such as blood would spill:
10   Whose hands mischievous plots, right hand
          corrupting bribes do fill.

11   But as for me, I will walk on
          in mine integrity:
     Do thou redeem me, and, O Lord,
          be merciful to me.

12   My foot upon an even place
          doth stand with stedfastness:
     Within the congregations
          th' Eternal I will bless.

Psalm 27

A Psalm of David.

For thy instruction, my soul, behold here, (1.) The holy courage and undaunted bravery of true faith, amidst manifold dangers and enemies, ver. 1-3. (2.) What earnestness there ought to be, and what pleasure, profit, and honour there are, in the study of familiar fellowship with God, ver. 4-6. (3.) Fervent desires, with strong cries and supplications, for the gracious favour, spiritual presence, and saving direction and protection of God, ver. 7-12. (4.) Strong and encouraging expectations of help, favour and strength from God, ver. 10, 13-14.

While I sing, let my soul enter the very marrow of these matters. Let God himself be relied on, as my trust, my Saviour, and my all in all. Let my heart burn with superlative desires after the knowledge and enjoyment of him. Let nothing less than the most familiar communion with him here, and the full enjoyment of him hereafter, satisfy my longings. Let me readily embrace every invitation to seek his face. Amidst enemies and distresses unnumbered, let me always believe in, wait for, and boast of God my only Lord.

1    The Lord's my light and saving health,
          who shall make me dismay'd?
     My life's strength is the Lord, of whom
          then shall I be afraid?

2    When as mine enemies and foes,
          most wicked persons all,
     To eat my flesh against me rose,
          they stumbled and did fall.

3    Against me though an host encamp,
          my heart yet fearless is:
     Though war against me rise, I will
          be confident in this.

4    One thing I of the Lord desir'd,
          and will seek to obtain,
     That all days of my life I may
          within God's house remain;

     That I the beauty of the Lord
          behold may and admire,
     And that I in his holy place
          may rev'rently enquire.

5    For he in his pavilion shall
          me hide in evil days;
     In secret of his tent me hide,
          and on a rock me raise.

6    And now, ev'n at this present time,
          mine head shall lifted be
     Above all those that are my foes,
          and round encompass me:

     Therefore unto his tabernacle
          I'll sacrifices bring
     Of joyfulness; I'll sing, yea, I
          to God will praises sing.

7    O Lord, give ear unto my voice,
          when I do cry to thee;
     Upon me also mercy have,
          and do thou answer me.

8    When thou didst say, Seek ye my face,
          then unto thee reply
     Thus did my heart, Above all things
          thy face, Lord, seek will I.

9    Far from me hide not thou thy face;
          put not away from thee
     Thy servant in thy wrath: thou hast
          an helper been to me.

     O God of my salvation,
          leave me not, nor forsake:
10   Though me my parents both should leave,
          the Lord will me up take.

11   O Lord, instruct me in thy way,
          to me a leader be
     In a plain path, because of those
          that hatred bear to me.

12   Give me not to mine en'mies' will;
          for witnesses that lie
     Against me risen are, and such
          as breathe out cruelty.

13   I fainted had, unless that I
          believed had to see
     The Lord's own goodness in the land
          of them that living be.

14   Wait on the Lord, and be thou strong,
          and he shall strength afford
     Unto thine heart; yea, do thou wait,
          I say, upon the Lord.

Psalm 28

A Psalm of David.

Observe here, (1.) David, amidst great distress, earnestly supplicating deliverance from his God, ver. 1-3. (2.) His implacable enemies doomed to the just punishment of their sin, ver. 4-5. (3.) Himself triumphing in God, as the hearer of his prayers, and as his protector, help and strength, ver. 6-8. (4.) His solemn supplication for salvation and blessedness; for nourishment, honour, and safety to the people of God, ver. 9.

While I remember Jesus of Nazareth ­ whose cries in trouble were so vehement; whose implacable enemies incur such fearful misery; and who being exalted to the right hand of God, and made full of joy with his countenance, maketh continual intercession for his chosen race ­ let my soul lift up her voice to God, for rich and everlasting blessings to myself and his church.

1    To thee I'll cry, O Lord, my rock;
          hold not thy peace to me;
     Lest like those that to pit descend
          I by thy silence be.

2    The voice hear of my humble pray'rs,
          when unto thee I cry;
     When to thine holy oracle
          I lift mine hands on high.

3    With ill men draw me not away
          that work iniquity;
     That speak peace to their friends, while in
          their hearts doth mischief lie.

4    Give them according to their deeds
          and ills endeavoured:
     And as their handy-works deserve,
          to them be rendered.

5    God shall not build, but them destroy,
          who would not understand
     The Lord's own works, nor did regard
          the doing of his hand.

6    For ever blessed be the Lord,
          for graciously he heard
     The voice of my petitions,
          and prayers did regard.

7    The Lord's my strength and shield; my heart
          upon him did rely;
     And I am helped: hence my heart
          doth joy exceedingly,

     And with my song I will him praise.
8         Their strength is God alone:
     He also is the saving strength
          of his anointed one.

9    O thine own people do thou save,
          bless thine inheritance;
     Them also do thou feed, and them
          for evermore advance.

Psalm 29

A Psalm of David.

This psalm was probably composed on the occasion of a thunderstorm. It is a solemn charge from heaven, to great men to worship and glorify God; who (1.) In his magnificence and power thundereth in the most terrible, alarming, and destructive manner, ver. 1-9. (2.) Who is supreme Governor of the world, and bestoweth strength and peace on his peculiar people, ver. 10-11.

While I sing, let me by faith behold the glory of God in Christ, and be filled with reverential awe of his power and grace. And while I adore his perfections, admire and praise his excellencies, let Jerusalem come into my mind; and let me apprehend the promise, and pour forth a prayer for the remnant which is left.

1    Give ye unto the Lord, ye sons
          that of the mighty be,
     All strength and glory to the Lord
          with cheerfulness give ye.

2    Unto the Lord the glory give
          that to his name is due;
     And in the beauty of holiness
          unto Jehovah bow.

3    The Lord's voice on the waters is;
          the God of majesty
     Doth thunder, and on multitudes
          of waters sitteth he.

4    A pow'rful voice it is that comes
          out from the Lord most high;
     The voice of that great Lord is full
          of glorious majesty.

5    The voice of the Eternal doth
          asunder cedars tear;
     Yea, God the Lord doth cedars break
          that Lebanon doth bear.

6    He makes them like a calf to skip,
          ev'n that great Lebanon,
     And, like to a young unicorn,
          the mountain Sirion.

7    God's voice divides the flames of fire;
8        The desert it doth shake:
     The Lord doth make the wilderness
          of Kadesh all to quake.

9    God's voice doth make the hinds to calve,
          it makes the forest bare:
     And in his temple ev'ry one
          his glory doth declare.

10   The Lord sits on the floods; the Lord
          sits King, and ever shall.
11   The Lord will give his people strength,
          and with peace bless them all.

Psalm 30

A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David.

In this psalm, composed for the dedication of the new palace which David had built for himself at Jerusalem, 2 Sam. 5:11, or for the dedication of it after it had been polluted by Absalom, 2 Sam. 16, he (1.) Offers thanksgiving to God for the answering of his prayers, the overthrowing of his enemies, and the preserving of his life, ver. 1-3, 11-12. (2.) He calls and chargeth others, to praise the Lord, on account of the purity of his nature, the short duration of his frowns, and the sweetness of his favours, ver. 4-5. (3.) He remarks, how his carnal security, under prosperity, had occasioned his sudden fall into divine hidings and frowns, ver. 6-7. (4.) He recollects what supplications he had made to God, in his former distress, ver. 8-10. (5.) He triumphs in the kindness of God towards him; and resolves to praise and thank him for evermore on account of it, ver. 11-12.

While I sing, let me with grateful heart remember the Lord's mercies. Let me remember my own follies; and how the Lord corrected me for them. Let me look after my prayers, and wait for an answer. And the nearer my end draweth, let my heart and mouth be the more abundantly filled with the high praises of my God, and my Saviour.

1    Lord, I will thee extol, for thou
          hast lifted me on high,
     And over me thou to rejoice
          mad'st not mine enemy.

2    O thou who art the Lord my God,
          I in distress to thee,
     With loud cries lifted up my voice,
          and thou hast healed me.

3    O Lord, my soul thou hast brought up,
          and rescu'd from the grave;
     That I to pit should not go down,
          alive thou didst me save.

4    O ye that are his holy ones,
          sing praise unto the Lord;
     And give unto him thanks, when ye
          his holiness record.

5    For but a moment lasts his wrath;
          life in his favour lies:
     Weeping may for a night endure,
          at morn doth joy arise.

6    In my prosperity I said,
          that nothing shall me move.
7    O Lord, thou hast my mountain made
          to stand strong by thy love:

     But when that thou, O gracious God,
          didst hide thy face from me,
     Then quickly was my prosp'rous state
          turn'd into misery.

8    Wherefore unto the Lord my cry
          I caused to ascend:
     My humble supplication
          I to the Lord did send.

9    What profit is there in my blood,
          when I go down to pit?
     Shall unto thee the dust give praise?
          thy truth declare shall it?

10   Hear, Lord, have mercy; help me, Lord:
11        Thou turned hast my sadness
     To dancing; yea, my sackcloth loos'd,
          and girded me with gladness;

12   That sing thy praise my glory may,
          and never silent be.
     O Lord my God, for evermore
          I will give thanks to thee.

Psalm 31

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

Observe here, (1.) David's solemn professions of his dependence upon God, and his prayers for support and deliverance, ver. 1-8. (2.) His sad complaints of inward grief, bodily weakness, unkindness of friends, unjust censures of enemies, and horror of death; attended with a solemn commitment of himself to God's mercy and care, and earnest supplication for deliverance from enemies, ver. 9-18. (3.) Amidst admiration of God's kindness to his people, and thanksgiving for favours to himself, he encourageth himself and others firmly to trust in God, ver. 19-24.

While I sing, let me be deeply affected with my sores, my maladies, and troubles; and cast all my burdens on the Lord. In the assured faith that he is God, even my God, let me admire his gracious thoughts, words, and deeds to me-ward; and commit myself wholly to his care and protection.

1    In thee, O Lord, I put my trust,
          sham'd let me never be;
     According to thy righteousness
          do thou deliver me.

2    Bow down thine ear to me, with speed
          send me deliverance:
     To save me, my strong rock be thou,
          and my house of defence.

3    Because thou art my rock, and thee
          I for my fortress take;
     Therefore do thou me lead and guide,
          ev'n for thine own name's sake.

4    And sith thou art my strength, therefore
          pull me out of the net,
     Which they in subtilty for me
          so privily have set.

5    Into thine hands I do commit
          my sp'rit: for thou art he,
     O thou, Jehovah, God of truth,
          that hast redeemed me.

6    Those that do lying vanities
          regard, I have abhorr'd:
     But as for me, my confidence
          is fixed on the Lord.

7    I'll in thy mercy gladly joy:
          for thou my miseries
     Consider'd hast; thou hast my soul
          known in adversities:

8    And thou hast not inclosed me
          within the en'my's hand;
     And by thee have my feet been made
          in a large room to stand.

9    O Lord, upon me mercy have,
          for trouble is on me:
     Mine eye, my belly, and my soul,
          with grief consumed be.

10   Because my life with grief is spent,
          my years with sighs and groans:
     My strength doth fail; and for my sin
          consumed are my bones.

11   I was a scorn to all my foes,
          and to my friends a fear;
     And specially reproach'd of those
          that were my neighbours near:

     When they me saw they from me fled.
12        Ev'n so I am forgot,
     As men are out of mind when dead:
          I'm like a broken pot.

13   For slanders I of many heard;
          fear compass'd me, while they
     Against me did consult, and plot
          to take my life away.

14   But as for me, O Lord, my trust
          upon thee I did lay;
     And I to thee, Thou art my God,
          did confidently say.

15   My times are wholly in thine hand:
          do thou deliver me
     From their hands that mine enemies
          and persecutors be.

16   Thy countenance to shine do thou
          upon thy servant make:
     Unto me give salvation,
          for thy great mercies' sake.

17   Let me not be asham'd, O Lord,
          for on thee call'd I have:
     Let wicked men be sham'd, let them
          be silent in the grave.

18   To silence put the lying lips,
          that grievous things do say,
     And hard reports, in pride and scorn,
          on righteous men do lay.

19   How great's the goodness thou for them
          that fear thee keep'st in store,
     And wrought'st for them that trust in thee
          the sons of men before!

20   In secret of thy presence thou
          shalt hide them from man's pride:
     From strife of tongues thou closely shalt,
          as in a tent, them hide.

21   All praise and thanks be to the Lord;
          for he hath magnify'd
     His wondrous love to me within
          a city fortify'd.

22   For from thine eyes cut off I am,
          I in my haste had said;
     My voice yet heard'st thou, when to thee
          with cries my moan I made.

23   O love the Lord, all ye his saints;
          because the Lord doth guard
     The faithful, and he plenteously
          proud doers doth reward.

24   Be of good courage, and he strength
          unto your heart shall send,
     All ye whose hope and confidence
          doth on the Lord depend.

Psalm 32

A Psalm of David, Maschil.

Perhaps this psalm was composed for the great day of the national atonement, on the tenth day of the seventh month, Lev. 16. In it observe, (1.) The exceeding riches of the grace of God, manifested in blessing men with forgiveness of sin, and with protection amidst dangers, and direction in duty, ver. 1-2, 7-8. (2.) The indispensable duty of them who desire new-covenant blessings; viz. to acknowledge their offences to God; to implore his favour, which they need; to walk humbly and circumspectly before him, and to rejoice in him as God and their God, ver. 3-6, 9-11.

While I am truly conscious of my sinfulness, and deeply affected therewith, let the faith and experience of Jesus' full pardon of my sins, and of the communications of his grace, melt my heart, and animate me to every commanded duty.

1    O blessed is the man to whom
          is freely pardoned
     All the transgression he hath done,
          whose sin is covered.

2    Bless'd is the man to whom the Lord
          imputeth not his sin,
     And in whose sp'rit there is no guile,
          nor fraud is found therein.

3    When as I did refrain my speech,
          and silent was my tongue,
     My bones then waxed old, because
          I roared all day long.

4    For upon me both day and night
          thine hand did heavy lie,
     So that my moisture turned is
          in summer's drought thereby.

5    I thereupon have unto thee
          my sin acknowledged,
     And likewise mine iniquity
          I have not covered:

     I will confess unto the Lord
          my trespasses, said I;
     And of my sin thou freely didst
          forgive th' iniquity.

6    For this shall ev'ry godly one
          his prayer make to thee;
     In such a time he shall thee seek,
          as found thou mayest be.

     Surely, when floods of waters great
          do swell up to the brim,
     They shall not overwhelm his soul,
          nor once come near to him.

7    Thou art my hiding-place, thou shalt
          from trouble keep me free:
     Thou with songs of deliverance
          about shalt compass me.

8    I will instruct thee, and thee teach
          the way that thou shalt go;
     And, with mine eye upon thee set,
          I will direction show.

9    Then be not like the horse or mule,
          which do not understand;
     Whose mouth, lest they come near to thee,
          a bridle must command.

10   Unto the man that wicked is
          his sorrows shall abound;
     But him that trusteth in the Lord
          mercy shall compass round.

11   Ye righteous, in the Lord be glad,
          in him do ye rejoice:
     All ye that upright are in heart,
          for joy lift up your voice.

Psalm 33

Contains a sweet but solemn summons to praise the Lord, (1.) For his justice, goodness, and truth, manifested in his word and works, ver. 1-5. (2.) For his power, manifested in the works of creation, and in his sovereign dominion over the world, ver. 6-11, 13-17. (3.) For his special and new-covenant relations, and merciful kindness towards his chosen people, ver. 12, 18-22.

While I sing, let me observe, let me admire, and be deeply affected with the blessings of creation, providence, and redemption. And chiefly let me remember, let me behold, let me glow with ardent desire after him, whose bones the Lord so kept, that not one of them was broken.

1    Ye righteous, in the Lord rejoice;
          it comely is and right,
     That upright men, with thankful voice,
          should praise the Lord of might.

2    Praise God with harp, and unto him
          sing with the psaltery;
     Upon a ten-string'd instrument
          make ye sweet melody.

3    A new song to him sing, and play
          with loud noise skilfully;
4    For right is God's word, all his works
          are done in verity.

5    To judgment and to righteousness
          a love he beareth still;
     The loving-kindness of the Lord
          the earth throughout doth fill.

6    The heavens by the word of God
          did their beginning take;
     And by the breathing of his mouth
          he all their hosts did make.

7    The waters of the seas he brings
          together as an heap;
     And in storehouses, as it were,
          he layeth up the deep.

8    Let earth, and all that live therein,
          with rev'rence fear the Lord;
     Let all the world's inhabitants
          dread him with one accord.

9    For he did speak the word, and done
          it was without delay;
     Established it firmly stood,
          whatever he did say.

10   God doth the counsel bring to nought
          which heathen folk do take;
     And what the people do devise
          of none effect doth make.

11   O but the counsel of the Lord
          doth stand for ever sure;
     And of his heart the purposes
          from age to age endure.

12   That nation blessed is, whose God
          Jehovah is, and those
     A blessed people are, whom for
          his heritage he chose.

13   The Lord from heav'n sees and beholds
          all sons of men full well:
14   He views all from his dwelling-place
          that in the earth do dwell.

15   He forms their hearts alike, and all
          their doings he observes.
16   Great hosts save not a king, much strength
          no mighty man preserves.

17   An horse for preservation
          is a deceitful thing;
     And by the greatness of his strength
          can no deliv'rance bring.

18   Behold on those that do him fear
          the Lord doth set his eye;
     Ev'n those who on his mercy do
          with confidence rely.

19   From death to free their soul, in dearth
          life unto them to yield.
20   Our soul doth wait upon the Lord;
          he is our help and shield.

21   Sith in his holy name we trust,
          our heart shall joyful be.
22   Lord, let thy mercy be on us,
          as we do hope in thee.

Psalm 34

A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.

This psalm was composed by David, when Achish, or Abimelech, king of Gath, drove him from his court as an idiot or madman, 1 Sam. 21:10-15. Here are, (1.) David's high praises to God, for the favours himself and others had received, ver. 1-6. (2.) His warm invitations and strong encouragements to others to seek after and fear the Lord, and to trust in him for all necessary supplies, in time, or in eternity, ver. 7-10. (3.) Familiar advice to children and others to eschew every thing sinful, and make conscience of known duty, both towards God and man, as a means of present and future happiness, ver. 11-14. (4.) A representation of the misery of the wicked, in having God against them as an avenging enemy, and in having ruin before them as the just reward of their sins; and of the happiness of the godly, in having God near to them in every case, ready to hear their requests, to protect them amidst dangers, and to deliver them from enemies and trouble, ver. 15-22.

While I sing, let my heart be warmed with my subject. Come my soul, and walk in this light, in these joys of the Lord: Come, taste and see that he is good; extol his kindness, and trust him in all things, and on every occasion.

1    God will I bless all times; his praise
          my mouth shall still express.
2    My soul shall boast in God: the meek
          shall hear with joyfulness.

3    Extol the Lord with me, let us
          exalt his name together.
4    I sought the Lord, he heard, and did
          me from all fears deliver.

5    They look'd to him, and lighten'd were:
          not shamed were their faces.
6    This poor man cry'd, God heard, and sav'd
          him from all his distresses.

7    The angel of the Lord encamps,
          and round encompasseth
     All those about that do him fear,
          and them delivereth.

8    O taste and see that God is good:
          who trusts in him is bless'd.
9    Fear God his saints: none that him fear
          shall be with want oppress'd.

10   The lions young may hungry be,
          and they may lack their food:
     But they that truly seek the Lord
          shall not lack any good.

11   O children, hither do ye come,
          and unto me give ear;
     I shall you teach to understand
          how ye the Lord should fear.

12   What man is he that life desires,
          to see good would live long?
13   Thy lips refrain from speaking guile,
          and from ill words thy tongue.

14   Depart from ill, do good, seek peace,
          pursue it earnestly.
15   God's eyes are on the just; his ears
          are open to their cry.

16   The face of God is set against
          those that do wickedly,
     That he may quite out from the earth
          cut off their memory.

17   The righteous cry unto the Lord,
          he unto them gives ear;
     And they out of their troubles all
          by him deliver'd are.

18   The Lord is ever nigh to them
          that be of broken sp'rit;
     To them he safety doth afford
          that are in heart contrite.

19   The troubles that afflict the just
          in number many be;
     But yet at length out of them all
          the Lord doth set him free.

20   He carefully his bones doth keep,
          whatever can befall;
     That not so much as one of them
          can broken be at all.

21     Ill shall the wicked slay; laid waste
          shall be who hate the just.
22     The Lord redeems his servants' souls;
          none perish that him trust.

Psalm 35

A Psalm of David.

In this psalm, (1.) David, as a type of Christ, complains of the cruelty of his enemies, in striving with him, in persecuting him, in seeking his ruin, and in reproaching, contemning, deriding, and triumphing over him, ver. 1, 3-4, 7, 11, 15-16, 20-21, 25-26. (2.) He pleads his own innocency, that he had never given them any provocation; but, amidst their abuse of him, had earnestly and affectionately studied to promote their welfare, ver. 7, 9, 12-14. (3.) He supplicates that God would espouse his cause, protect, deliver, and comfort his soul, defeat the designs, and disappoint the expectations of his enemies; and that he would countenance and encourage his friends, ver. 1-2, 4, 17, 22-27. (4.) He predicts the destruction of his enemies, and the abounding of his own comfort; and in the views hereof, resolves to thank and praise the Lord, ver. 4-10, 18, 28.

While I sing, let me, with grief and shame, call to mind the infernal opposition, I and others have made to our all -compassionate Redeemer. Let me beware of exposing myself to that vengeance, which is laid up in store for his incorrigible enemies. Let me never avenge myself on my injurious neighbours: But amidst all attacks from hell or earth, or from my own corrupt heart, let me commit all my concerns to him who judgeth righteously, that he may bring them to pass.

1    Plead, Lord, with those that plead; and fight
          with those that fight with me.
2    Of shield and buckler take thou hold,
          stand up mine help to be.

3    Draw also out the spear, and do
          against them stop the way
     That me pursue: unto my soul,
          I'm thy salvation, say.

4    Let them confounded be and sham'd
          that for my soul have sought:
     Who plot my hurt turn'd back be they,
          and to confusion brought.

5    Let them be like unto the chaff
          that flies before the wind;
     And let the angel of the Lord
          pursue them hard behind.

6    With darkness cover thou their way,
          and let it slipp'ry prove;
     And let the angel of the Lord
          pursue them from above.

7    For without cause have they for me
          their net hid in a pit,
     They also have without a cause
          for my soul digged it.

8    Let ruin seize him unawares;
          his net he hid withal
     Himself let catch; and in the same
          destruction let him fall.

9    My soul in God shall joy; and glad
          in his salvation be:
10   And all my bones shall say, O Lord,
          who is like unto thee,

     Which dost the poor set free from him
          that is for him too strong;
     The poor and needy from the man
          that spoils and does him wrong?

11   False witnesses rose; to my charge
          things I not knew they laid.
12   They, to the spoiling of my soul,
          me ill for good repaid.

13   But as for me, when they were sick,
          in sackcloth sad I mourn'd:
     My humbled soul did fast, my pray'r
          into my bosom turn'd.

14   Myself I did behave as he
          had been my friend or brother;
     I heavily bow'd down, as one
          that mourneth for his mother.

15   But in my trouble they rejoic'd,
          gath'ring themselves together;
     Yea, abjects vile together did
          themselves against me gather:

     I knew it not; they did me tear,
          and quiet would not be.
16   With mocking hypocrites, at feasts
          they gnash'd their teeth at me.

17   How long, Lord, look'st thou on? from those
          destructions they intend
     Rescue my soul, from lions young
          my darling do defend.

18   I will give thanks to thee, O Lord,
          within th' assembly great;
     And where much people gather'd are
          thy praises forth will set.

19   Let not my wrongful enemies
          proudly rejoice o'er me;
     Nor who me hate without a cause,
          let them wink with the eye.

20   For peace they do not speak at all;
          but crafty plots prepare
     Against all those within the land
          that meek and quiet are.

21   With mouths set wide, they 'gainst me said,
          Ha, ha! our eye doth see.
22   Lord, thou hast seen, hold not thy peace;
          Lord, be not far from me.

23   Stir up thyself; wake, that thou may'st
          judgment to me afford,
     Ev'n to my cause, O thou that art
          my only God and Lord.

24   O Lord my God, do thou me judge
          after thy righteousness;
     And let them not their joy 'gainst me
          triumphantly express:

25   Nor let them say within their hearts,
          Ah, we would have it thus;
     Nor suffer them to say, that he
          is swallow'd up by us.

26   Sham'd and confounded be they all
          that at my hurt are glad;
     Let those against me that do boast
          with shame and scorn be clad.

27   Let them that love my righteous cause
          be glad, shout, and not cease
     To say, The Lord be magnify'd,
          who loves his servant's peace.

28   Thy righteousness shall also be
          declared by my tongue;
     The praises that belong to thee
          speak shall it all day long.

Psalm 36

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.

Observe here, (1.) How great is the wickedness of men! They naturally contemn God, flatter themselves in sin, and abandon themselves to falsehood and mischief, ver. 1, 4. (2.) How great is the excellency of God, in truth, in righteousness, and in mercy! And what a fountain of preservation, support, comfort, light, and life, he is to his people! ver 5-9. (3.) How, from the excellency and goodness of God, the psalmist draws encouragement, to pray for himself and other saints, and to triumph in the view of his enemies' ruin, ver. 10-12.

While I sing, let me review my natural abominations and wretchedness, and try, whether the Lord hath made me a new creature, created in Christ Jesus unto good works; and whether he hath made me taste of, admire, and trust in the exceeding riches of his grace.

1    The wicked man's transgression
          within my heart thus says,
     Undoubtedly the fear of God
          is not before his eyes.

2    Because himself he flattereth
          in his own blinded eye,
     Until the hatefulness be found
          of his iniquity.

3    Words from his mouth proceeding are,
          fraud and iniquity:
     He to be wise, and to do good,
          hath left off utterly.

4    He mischief, lying on his bed,
          most cunningly doth plot:
     He sets himself in ways not good,
          ill he abhorreth not.

5    Thy mercy, Lord, is in the heav'ns;
          thy truth doth reach the clouds:
6    Thy justice is like mountains great;
          thy judgments deep as floods:

     Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
7         How precious is thy grace!
     Therefore in shadow of thy wings
          men's sons their trust shall place.

8    They with the fatness of thy house
          shall be well satisfy'd;
     From rivers of thy pleasures thou
          wilt drink to them provide.

9    Because of life the fountain pure
          remains alone with thee;
     And in that purest light of thine
          we clearly light shall see.

10   Thy loving-kindness unto them
          continue that thee know;
     And still on men upright in heart
          thy righteousness bestow.

11   Let not the foot of cruel pride
          come, and against me stand;
     And let me not removed be,
          Lord, by the wicked's hand.

12   There fallen are they, and ruined,
          that work iniquities:
     Cast down they are, and never shall
          be able to arise.

Psalm 37

A Psalm of David.

This psalm is wholly of the instructive kind. As the Mosaic system, and the covenant between God and Israel, as his peculiar people, promised remarkable temporal felicity to such as were obedient to the law, and denounced temporal miseries against those that were impious and profane; so the psalmist here cautions against stumbling at particular providences, which might appear contrary to the tenour of that covenant. Here are, (1.) Plain and express warnings against fretfulness at the prosperity of the wicked, in their wickedness, ver. 1, 7-8; with the arguments and reasons enforcing the same, viz. that the character of the wicked is ignominious, while that of the righteous is honourable, ver. 12, 14, 21, 26, 30-32; that the wicked, in the very height of their prosperity, are near to destruction, while the righteous, even in their adversity, have special protection from God, and shall never be ruined, ver. 2, 9-10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 28, 33-40; and that God hath special blessings in store for, and even in this life manifests distinguished kindness to, the righteous and their seed, ver. 11, 16, 18-19, 22-25, 28-29, 37. (2.) Here are proper and effectual remedies to prevent sinful fretting at the prosperity of the wicked, or troubles of the godly, viz. hoping in God as our Saviour; delighting in God as our companion, friend and portion; following him as our guide; departing from evil and doing good; waiting on the Lord, and keeping his way, ver. 3-6, 27, 34.

Be thou, my soul, an accurate observer, of the matter and circumstances of every providence. Carefully compare them one with another; and all with perfections, covenant, and promises of God; in order that thou mayest never be offended thereat.

1    For evil-doers fret thou not
          thyself unquietly;
     Nor do thou envy bear to those
          that work iniquity.

2    For, even like unto the grass,
          soon be cut down shall they;
     And, like the green and tender herb,
          they wither shall away.

3    Set thou thy trust upon the Lord,
          and be thou doing good;
     And so thou in the land shalt dwell,
          and verily have food.

4    Delight thyself in God; he'll give
          thine heart's desire to thee.
5    Thy way to God commit, him trust,
          it bring to pass shall he.

6    And, like unto the light, he shall
          thy righteousness display;
     And he thy judgment shall bring forth
          like noon-tide of the day.

7    Rest in the Lord, and patiently
          wait for him: do not fret
     For him who, prosp'ring in his way,
          success in sin doth get.

8    Do thou from anger cease, and wrath
          see thou forsake also:
     Fret not thyself in any wise,
          that evil thou should'st do.

9    For those that evil doers are
          shall be cut off and fall:
     But those that wait upon the Lord
          the earth inherit shall.

10   For yet a little while, and then
          the wicked shall not be;
     His place thou shalt consider well,
          but it thou shalt not see.

11   But by inheritance the earth
          the meek ones shall possess:
     They also shall delight themselves
          in an abundant peace.

12   The wicked plots against the just,
          and at him whets his teeth:
13   The Lord shall laugh at him, because
          his day he coming seeth.

14   The wicked have drawn out the sword,
          and bent their bow, to slay
     The poor and needy, and to kill
          men of an upright way.

15   But their own sword, which they have drawn,
          shall enter their own heart:
     Their bows which they have bent shall break,
          and into pieces part.

16   A little that a just man hath
          is more and better far
     Than is the wealth of many such
          as lewd and wicked are.

17   For sinners' arms shall broken be;
          but God the just sustains.
18   God knows the just man's days, and still
          their heritage remains.

19   They shall not be asham'd when they
          the evil time do see;
     And when the days of famine are,
          they satisfy'd shall be.

20   But wicked men, and foes of God,
          as fat of lambs, decay;
     They shall consume, yea, into smoke
          they shall consume away.

21   The wicked borrows, but the same
          again he doth not pay;
     Whereas the righteous mercy shews,
          and gives his own away.

22   For such as blessed be of him
          the earth inherit shall;
     And they that cursed are of him
          shall be destroyed all.

23   A good man's footsteps by the Lord
          are ordered aright;
     And in the way wherein he walks
          he greatly doth delight.

24   Although he fall, yet shall he not
          be cast down utterly;
     Because the Lord with his own hand
          upholds him mightily.

25   I have been young, and now am old,
          yet have I never seen
     The just man left, nor that his seed
          for bread have beggars been.

26   He's ever merciful, and lends:
          his seed is bless'd therefore.
27   Depart from evil, and do good,
          and dwell for evermore.

28   For God loves judgment, and his saints
          leaves not in any case;
     They are kept ever: but cut off
          shall be the sinner's race.

29   The just inherit shall the land,
          and ever in it dwell:
30   The just man's mouth doth wisdom speak;
          his tongue doth judgment tell.

31   In's heart the law is of his God,
          his steps slide not away.
32   The wicked man doth watch the just,
          and seeketh him to slay.

33   Yet him the Lord will not forsake,
          nor leave him in his hands:
     The righteous will he not condemn,
          when he in judgment stands.

34   Wait on the Lord, and keep his way,
          and thee exalt shall he
     Th' earth to inherit; when cut off
          the wicked thou shalt see.

35   I saw the wicked great in pow'r,
          spread like a green bay-tree:
36   He pass'd, yea, was not; him I sought,
          but found he could not be.

37   Mark thou the perfect, and behold
          the man of uprightness;
     Because that surely of this man
          the latter end is peace.

38   But those men that transgressors are
          shall be destroy'd together;
     The latter end of wicked men
          shall be cut off for ever.

39   But the salvation of the just
          is from the Lord above;
     He in the time of their distress
          their stay and strength doth prove.
40   The Lord shall help, and them deliver:
          he shall them free and save
     From wicked men; because in him
          their confidence they have.

Psalm 38

A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.

This psalm appears to have been penned by David, under some remarkable distress, attended with a deep sense of sin as the procuring cause of it. Here are, (1.) David's sorrowful complaints of God's sore displeasure, and of the weight of his own sins, ver. 1-5; of the sickness of his body, and distress of his mind, ver. 6-10; of the unkindness of his friends, ver. 11; and of the unprovoked injuries he received from his enemies, who were spiteful, cruel, subtile, unjust, ungrateful, impious, devilish, numerous and powerful, ver. 12, 20. (2.) His remarkable patience and resignation under his troubles, ver. 13-15. (3.) His fervent supplications to God for the mitigation of his troubles, ver. 1; and for comfort and support under, and speedy deliverance from them, ver. 16, 21-22; attended with candid and ingenuous acknowledgment of the sinful causes thereof, ver. 3-5, 18.

In all my troubles, let me search out, and by faith confess and mourn over the sinful causes of them. Let me take every distress as out of God's hand; and call on him in the time thereof, that he may deliver me.

1    In thy great indignation,
          O Lord, rebuke me not;
     Nor on me lay thy chast'ning hand,
          in thy displeasure hot.

2    For in me fast thine arrows stick,
          thine hand doth press me sore:
3    And in my flesh there is no health,
          nor soundness any more.

     This grief I have, because thy wrath
          is forth against me gone;
     And in my bones there is no rest,
          for sin that I have done.

4    Because gone up above mine head
          my great transgressions be;
     And, as a weighty burden, they
          too heavy are for me.

5    My wounds do stink, and are corrupt;
          my folly makes it so.
6    I troubled am, and much bow'd down;
          all day I mourning go.

7    For a disease that loathsome is
          so fills my loins with pain,
     That in my weak and weary flesh
          no soundness doth remain.

8    So feeble and infirm am I,
          and broken am so sore,
     That, through disquiet of my heart,
          I have been made to roar.

9    O Lord, all that I do desire
          is still before thine eye;
     And of my heart the secret groans
          not hidden are from thee.

10   My heart doth pant incessantly,
          my strength doth quite decay;
     As for mine eyes, their wonted light
          is from me gone away.

11   My lovers and my friends do stand
          at distance from my sore;
     And those do stand aloof that were
          kinsmen and kind before.

12   Yea, they that seek my life lay snares:
          who seek to do me wrong
     Speak things mischievous, and deceits
          imagine all day long.

13   But, as one deaf, that heareth not,
          I suffer'd all to pass;
     I as a dumb man did become,
          whose mouth not open'd was:

14   As one that hears not, in whose mouth
          are no reproofs at all.
15   For, Lord, I hope in thee; my God,
          thou'lt hear me when I call.

16   For I said, Hear me, lest they should
          rejoice o'er me with pride;
     And o'er me magnify themselves,
          when as my foot doth slide.

17   For I am near to halt, my grief
          is still before mine eye:
18   For I'll declare my sin, and grieve
          for mine iniquity.

19   But yet mine en'mies lively are,
          and strong are they beside;
     And they that hate me wrongfully
          are greatly multiply'd.

20   And they for good that render ill,
          as en'mies me withstood;
     Yea, ev'n for this, because that I
          do follow what is good.

21   Forsake me not, O Lord; my God,
          far from me never be.
22   O Lord, thou my salvation art,
          haste to give help to me.

Psalm 39

To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthan,
A Psalm of David.

Here we have, (1.) Violent struggling in the psalmist's own breast between grace and corruption; between passion and patience, ver. 1-3, 11. (2.) Serious views of human frailty, shortness of life, and self-emptiness, ver. 4-6. (3.) Strong cries to God, for pardon of sin, preservation from reproach, and for removal of trouble; for hearing and answering of prayer, and for lengthening out of life, till further preparation for death should be attained, ver. 7-13.

While I sing, let my soul blush deep, for the untenderness and want of circumspection, in my life, and for my want of resignation to God's disposing will. Let me be suitably affected with the shortness, vanity, and uncertainty of my temporal life. Let me be always exercised in earnest prayer to, and believing dependence on God, as my companion and friend.

1    I said, I will look to my ways,
          lest with my tongue I sin:
     In sight of wicked men my mouth
          with bridle I'll keep in.

2    With silence I as dumb became,
          I did myself restrain
     From speaking good; but then the more
          increased was my pain.
3    My heart within me waxed hot;
          and, while I musing was,
     The fire did burn; and from my tongue
          these words I did let pass:

4    Mine end, and measure of my days,
          O Lord, unto me show
     What is the same; that I thereby
          my frailty well may know.

5    Lo, thou my days an handbreadth mad'st;
          mine age is in thine eye
     As nothing: sure each man at best
          is wholly vanity.

6    Sure each man walks in a vain show;
          they vex themselves in vain:
     He heaps up wealth, and doth not know
          to whom it shall pertain.

7    And now, O Lord, what wait I for?
          my hope is fix'd on thee.
8    Free me from all my trespasses,
          the fool's scorn make not me.

9    Dumb was I, op'ning not my mouth,
          because this work was thine.
10   Thy stroke take from me; by the blow
          of thine hand I do pine.

11   When with rebukes thou dost correct
          man for iniquity,
     Thou wastes his beauty like a moth:
          sure each man's vanity.

12   Attend my cry, Lord, at my tears
          and pray'rs not silent be:
     I sojourn as my fathers all,
          and stranger am with thee.

13   O spare thou me, that I my strength
          recover may again,
     Before from hence I do depart,
          and here no more remain.

Psalm 40

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

Here we have, (1.) David's hearty acknowledgments of God's kindness, in bringing him out of long and sore afflictions, ver. 1-5. (2.) His preferring of holy obedience to God, and faithful publication of his truths and praises, to all ceremonial oblations, ver. 6-11. (3.) His improvement of his former deliverance, as an encouragement to supplicate further mercy and protection; an encouragement to confess sin, and implore the pardon thereof; an encouragement to rejoice in, and praise God for his excellencies and favours; to trust him under affliction, and to comfort himself in him, as his help and Saviour, amidst poverty, sinfulness, and trouble, ver. 12-17.

But let me here chiefly think, (1.) Of Jesus the great Shepherd of the sheep, who was brought again from his agonies and death, by the blood of the everlasting covenant, and set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, that he might receive gifts for men, and that our faith and hope might be in God, ver. 1-5. (2.) Let me think of the new covenant, made between him and his eternal Father, for the redemption of sinful men; and of his complete fulfilment of the divine law as the condition thereof, ver. 6-10. (3.) Let me think how our iniquities were charged to his account, and punished on him, as our Surety, ver. 11-13. (4.) Let me think how the unrelenting vengeance of Almighty God, overtook his Jewish betrayers and murderers; and hath, or will overtake his Heathenish, Antichristian, or other implacable enemies; and of the joy and consolation, which flow from and through him to his chosen friends, ver. 14-17.

1    I waited for the Lord my God,
          and patiently did bear;
     At length to me he did incline
          my voice and cry to hear.

2    He took me from a fearful pit,
          and from the miry clay,
     And on a rock he set my feet,
          establishing my way.

3    He put a new song in my mouth,
          our God to magnify:
     Many shall see it, and shall fear,
          and on the Lord rely.

4    O blessed is the man whose trust
          upon the Lord relies;
     Respecting not the proud, nor such
          as turn aside to lies.

5    O Lord my God, full many are
          the wonders thou hast done;
     Thy gracious thoughts to us-ward far
          above all thoughts are gone:

     In order none can reckon them
          to thee: if them declare,
     And speak of them I would, they more
          than can be number'd are.

6    No sacrifice nor offering
          didst thou at all desire;
     Mine ears thou bor'd: sin-off 'ring thou
          and burnt didst not require:

7    Then to the Lord these were my words,
          I come, behold and see;
     Within the volume of the book
          it written is of me:

8    To do thy will I take delight,
          O thou my God that art;
     Yea, that most holy law of thine
          I have within my heart.

9    Within the congregation great
          I righteousness did preach:
     Lo, thou dost know, O Lord, that I
          refrained not my speech.

10   I never did within my heart
          conceal thy righteousness;
     I thy salvation have declar'd,
          and shown thy faithfulness:

     Thy kindness, which most loving is,
          concealed have not I,
     Nor from the congregation great
          have hid thy verity.

11   Thy tender mercies, Lord, from me
          O do thou not restrain;
     Thy loving-kindness, and thy truth,
          let them me still maintain.

12   For ills past reck'ning compass me,
          and mine iniquities
     Such hold upon me taken have,
          I cannot lift mine eyes:

     They more than hairs are on mine head,
          thence is my heart dismay'd.
13   Be pleased, Lord, to rescue me;
          Lord, hasten to mine aid.

14   Sham'd and confounded be they all
          that seek my soul to kill;
     Yea, let them backward driven be,
          and sham'd, that wish me ill.

15   For a reward of this their shame
          confounded let them be.
     That in this manner scoffing say,
          Aha, aha! to me.

16   In thee let all be glad, and joy,
          who seeking thee abide;
     Who thy salvation love, say still,
          The Lord be magnify'd.

17   I'm poor and needy, yet the Lord
          of me a care doth take:
     Thou art my help and saviour,
          my God, no tarrying make.

Psalm 41

To the chief Musician,
A Psalm of David.

This psalm contains, (1.) A representation of the blessedness of him who wisely considereth the case of the poor, and affords them relief, ver. 1-3. (2.) David's candid acknowledgments of the justness of his affliction, and earnest supplications for a merciful deliverance, ver. 4. (3.) His sad complaints of the malicious, censorious, and spiteful reflections, and of the insolent carriage of his enemies, ver. 5-9. (4.) His hearty committing of his case and way to God, in the assured and triumphant faith of his favour, ver. 10-13.

While I sing, let mine eyes be toward the Lord Jesus, who thought on me in my low estate. Let me consider him, who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich ­ Jesus, who had not where to lay his head; Jesus whom his own disciple betrayed; and who through manifold enemies and much tribulation, entered into the kingdom of God!

1    Blessed is he that wisely doth
          the poor man's case consider;
     For when the time of trouble is,
          the Lord will him deliver.

2    God will him keep, yea, save alive;
          on earth he bless'd shall live;
     And to his enemies' desire
          thou wilt him not up give.

3    God will give strength when he on bed
          of languishing doth mourn;
     And in his sickness sore, O Lord,
          thou all his bed wilt turn.

4    I said, O Lord, do thou extend
          thy mercy unto me;
     O do thou heal my soul; for why?
          I have offended thee.

5    Those that to me are enemies,
          of me do evil say,
     When shall he die, that so his name
          may perish quite away?

6    To see me if he comes, he speaks
          vain words: but then his heart
     Heaps mischief to it, which he tells,
          when forth he doth depart.

7    My haters jointly whispering,
          'gainst me my hurt devise.
8    Mischief, say they, cleaves fast to him;
          he li'th, and shall not rise.

9    Yea, ev'n mine own familiar friend,
          on whom I did rely,
     Who ate my bread, ev'n he his heel
          against me lifted high.

10   But, Lord, be merciful to me,
          and up again me raise,
     That I may justly them requite
          according to their ways.

11   By this I know that certainly
          I favour'd am by thee;
     Because my hateful enemy
          triumphs not over me.

12   But as for me, thou me uphold'st
          in mine integrity;
     And me before thy countenance
          thou sett'st continually.

13   The Lord, the God of Israel,
          be bless'd for ever then,
     From age to age eternally.
          Amen, yea, and amen.

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