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2 my mouth, as long as I live. My soul shall make her boast in
the LORD, as my guide and defence : the humble shall hear 3 (thereof,), and be glad ; shall be encouraged by it. O magnify
the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; "because 4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all 5 my fears of Saul and Achish. They, his companions, or others,
who were interested in his deliverance, looked unto him, and were
lightened: and their faces were not ashamed; they were como 6 forted and revived. This poor man, I niyself, despised and pero
secuted as I was, cried, and the LORD heard [him,) and saved
him out of all his troubles. Nor was this my frivilegé alone, for. 7 The angel of the LORD, with other spirits under his command,
encampeth round about all them that fear him, and delivereth 8 them, keeps them secure. O taste and see that the LORD' [is],
good; make trial of his goodness by a steady, faithful adherence to 9 him: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him.". O fear the
LORD, ye his saints, and make use of no irregular methods for 10 your supply; for (there is) no want to them that fear him.. The
young lions do lack, and suffer hunger : but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing ;] nothing that is truly good for them. He then addresses those about him, particularly his men,
and exhorts them with lenderness and respect, as if they were his Il children, saying, Come, ye children, hcarken unto me: I will 12 teach you the fear of the Lord. What man [is he that) desir.
eth life, (and) loveth (many) days, that he may see good ? It
you would desire' many years, and would have them prosperous, 13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile ; 14 avoid all injurious and deceitful speeches. Depart from evil, and
do good ; do not seek to keep yourself from irouble by unlarujul, or dishonourable means : seek peace, and pursue it ; use all pos
sible endeavours to procure it. He enforces this by weighty red15 sons : The eyes of the LORD (are) upon the righteous, to guide, 16 and protect them, and his ears (are open) unto their cry.
The face of the LORD, his open anger, his righteous indignation, [is] against them that do evil; he looks upon them with awful sterne,
ness and severity; to cut off the remembrance of them from the 17 earth ; both them and their descendants, But [The righteous]
cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their 18 troubles. The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken
heart, to assist them; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 19 Many Care] the afflictions of the righteous : but the LORD de
livereth him out of them all, when they have answered the end he/ 20 designed. He keepeth all his bones : not one of them is broken 21 Evil shall slay the wicked ; those who have forced me to fly the
country: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate; 22 shall be forsaken of God, and in miserable circumstances. "The
LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants : and none them that trust in him shall be desolate,
1. ET us, from David's example, learn to declare our own
experience of the divine goodness with modesty : this is an important part of christian friendship and communion.' We should, with David, acknowledge the interpositions of divine providence and grace in our favour, and call on our fellow christians to join with us in magnifying them. The humble shall hear thereof, and be glad;; and it will be a great encouragement to the young and weak.
2. We should be desirous to taste and see that the Lord is good : to have an appropriating sense of it, founded on our own experience. A man can have no just ideas of fruits or liquors without tasting them. Let us pray for an experimental relish of the divine good. ness, arising from a serious contemplation of it ; gratefully acknow. ledging, and faithfully improving it. Then may we with a good grace, and a probability of success, encourage others to make the experiment, and so lesie that the Lord is gracious.
3. Let us cheerfully repose ourselves on the divine protection, and never use any unlawful or doubtful means to defend ourselves. God will employ his angels to defend his servants; they encamp about them thai feor him, and they are too brave to be terrified, and too strong to be routed, by any human host. "We receive many, kind offices from these holy and benevolent spirits; they will always protect the righteous, when God sees it best they should be protected ; and he will never leave the souls of his people desolate. Amidst all the desolations that his judgments make on the earth, the immortal interests of the righteous shall be secure.
4. We are here shown the way to a happy and comfortable life. And what man is he“ who does not desire this? If we would attain it, let us attend to the psalmist's exhortation to fear Gud, to do good, to depart from evil, and keep our hearts and tongues from guile. The fear of God will lead us to practise the other duties recommended in this passage, which is quoted by St. Peter,' 1 Pet. ii. 10-12. where these duties are all enjoined upon us as christians; and indeed they are of perpetual and universal obligation. Upon the whole, this psalm furnishes us with great and noble encouragements to fear, love, and serve God; as the only way to be happy in this life, and to be saved from the wrath to come.
(A Psalm) of David. Comosed during his persecutions by Saul and his courtiers. As he
*could have no justice in earth, he appeals to heaven.
LORD igue : because I am not able to defend myself, fight against 2 them this fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, 3 and stand up for mine help.' Draw out also the spear, and stop
(the way) against them that persecute me; that, if they still
hereisl, they may run upon it : say unto my soul, I [am] thy 4 salvation. Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek
after my soul : let them be turned back and brought to confu. sion that devise my hurt. There is a beautiful gradation in the
original, Let them be ashamed, yea, confounded, yea, turned back, 9 yea, pierced quite through. Let them be as chaff before the 6 wind : and let the angel of the LORD chase (them.] Let their
way be dark and slippery ; let them go on with as much difficulty and distress, as a person does in slippery ways in a dark night ; and let the angel of the LORD persecute them ; let those angels,
who are the ministers of thy power and justice, chase and perse-, ? cute them that they may not rest nor escape. For without cause
or provocation have they hid for me their net (in) a pit, (which] without cause they have digged for my soul ; therefore Let destruction come upon him at unawares ; and let his net that he
hath hid catch himself : into that very destruction let him fall. 9 And then my soul shall be joyful in the LORD : it shall rejoice 10 in his salvation. All my bones, which thou hast preserved, shall
cztof thee, and say, Lord, who (is) like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? He then pro
ceeds to observe how unkindly and treacherously they had behaved Il 10 him. False witnesses did rise up ; they laid to my charge 12 [things) that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good (to]
the spoiling of my soul; they drove me from my country and
my father's housé, and so made me' an orphan, as the word signia 13 fies. But my conduct toward them was quite different ; as for
me, when they were sick, my clothing (was) sackcloth : I humbled my soul with fasting ; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom ; though it did not prevail for them, yet it
brought inward, satisfaction to my own soul that I had done my 14 duty. I behayed myself as though (he had been] my friend
(or) brother: I bowed dowņ heavily, as one that mourneth (for
his) mother ; I was as constant in my inquiries, visits, and good 15 wishes, as if he had been my nearest relation. But in mine adver.
sity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together : [year] the abjects, poor and mean persons, gathered themselves together against me, and I knew [it] not; they did tear (me,) and
ceased not, with their scoffs, slanders, reproaches and curseta 16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, contemptible buffoons, who
till say or do any thing to please those who entertain them, they
gnashed upon me with their teeth ; their scorn was carried io 17 such a height that they could even have eaten me up. LORD, how
long will thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, 18 my darling, my precious life, from the lions. I will give thee
thanks in the great congregation : I will praise thee among
much people ; I will give thanks before the whole nation at their 19 solemn fearls. Let dot them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me : (neither] let them wink with the eye, mack 20 and insult, that hate me without a cause. For they speak not
peace ; they use nothing but threatening language ; they devise
deceitful matters against [thern that are) quiet in the land ; 21 they lay plots against me who desire to be a peaceable subject : Yea,
they opened their mouth wide against me, (and) said, Aha, aha,
our eye hath seen (it ;] they tax-me openly with being a traitor, 22 and pretend that they were eye witnesses of il. (This] thou hast
seen, O LORD : keep net silence :, O LORD, be not far from 23 me. Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, (even) unto 24 my cause, my God and my Lord. Judge me, O LORD my God,
according to thy righteousness, then I am sure to escape, and 25 let them not rejoice over me. Let them not have reason to say
in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it ; he is in the fair. way
to ruin: let them not say, We bave swallowed him up: he is at 26 length ac ually destroyed. Let them who have conspired together
be ashamed and brought to confusion together, that rejoice at
mine hurt : let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that 27 magnify (themselves) against mes ) Let them shout for joy, and
be glad, that favour my righteous cause : yea, let them say
continually, Let the LORD be magnifred, which hath pleasure 38 in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue above all
others, as I am under particular obligations, shall speak of thy righteousness (and) of thy praise all the day long.
E may observe, that it is no new thing for the best of
men to be persecuted, and the most peaceable subjects to be falsely accused. David the servant of the Lord, was most shamefully and injuriously treated ; and though one of Saui's best subjects, he was most insolently abused, and virulently persecuted. Good men, generally speaking, are the quiet in the land ; they pay their dues, and live in all dutiful subjection. Yet deceitful matters are often devised against them, and they are represented as enemies to Cesar, as troublers of Israel, and injurious to kings and prova inces. Therefore laws are made to ensnare and ruin them; and men of bad characters are often employed to hunt them down.
2. How desirable is it to have the supreme Lord and judge for our friend, and to be able to appeal to him for the righteousness of our cause, and the integrity of our conduct. It is a mercy that we live under a government, to which we cafu appeal wiren injured and deprived of our rights, and can meet with redress. But many cases occur in which the laws afford no relief; in which the most wise and honest kings can do nothing. Let us therefore rejoice in God's universal government, and be solicitous to secure his guardianship: We should especially make it our prayer that he would say unto our souils, I am your salvation, and give us a comfortable assurance of our interest in his favour. This will afford abundant support under every difficulty and trouble. Let men curse, if the Lord will but-bless.
*-9. Let us abhor the odious ingratitude and baseness of David's enemies, and imitate the gentleness and benevolence of his temper. We can scarcely conceive any thing more base, treacherous, and ungrateful, than their condact; or more humane, friendly, and affectionate, than his. Who would not rather have been the aspersed, persecuted David, than the most powerful and successful of his enemies ?May we be upright, friendly, and compassionate ; and endeavour to secure the character of faithful, tender friends, however ill we may have been treated. It will be a great satisfaction, when we are under injuries and neglects, that we never gave cause for them ; yea, that we might have expected returns of kindness, sympathy, and respect. To the affection of the man, let us add the piety of the saint. Then our prayers will return into our own bosoms ; they will at least afford us satisfaction ; and God will remember them for our good.
4. Let us reflect on the amiable idea here given of the blessed God, that he taketh pleasure in the prosperity of his servants, v. 27. Not of this church and people in general only, but of every particular servant, however mean and despised. He consults and is pleased with their happiness. If he afflicts, it is not willingly, but to pro. mote their best and highest prosperity ; and he rejoices to see the end answered. He makes the souls of his servants prosperous ; takes pleasure in their improving graces and comforts, and will at last rejoice in their final salvation. In the recollection of this we should say, Let the Lord be magnified, and speak of his righteousnesa and his praise all the day long.
To the chief musician, (A Psalm] of David, the servant of the
It is most likely that this psalm was composed after David had discovo
ered Saul's malicious designs against him.
HE.transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, [that there is) no fear of God before his
eyes; the tuickedness of mine enemies appears so plain, that it proves to me that
they have no sense of God's omniscience, no regard to his authori. 2 ty, nor fear of his displeasure. For, or nevertheless, he flattereth
himself in his own eyes that he shall not be discovered, until his
iniquity be found to be hateful; till it becomes apparent, and 3 renders him odious in the sight of men, The words of his mouth
[are] iniquity and deceit :* he hath left off to be wise, [and] to
do good ; he becomes an open apostate from what he once profess4 ed, and - whatever public declarations he makes, He deviseth
• Saul pretended friendship, and therefore gave him his daughter, but hoped by the terms he imposed upon him that he would die in battis, or be destroyed by private assassination