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mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way (that is not good ; fizes his resolution to go on : he abhorreth not evil; refuses nothing that is likely to answer his purpose, though it be ever

80 evil. David knew that God's perfections were his best support, 5 and therefore he sets himself to take a view of them. Thy mercy,

O LORD, (is) in the heavens ; (and) thy faithfulness (reacheth] 6 unto the clouds. Thy righteousness (is) like the great moun

tains, firm and stable, and can never be undermined or thrown down ; thy judgments (are) a great deep, which cannot be faih.

omed : O Lord, thou preservest man and beast ; thou protectest 7 and suppliest them, and much more those who love thee. How ex

cellent (is) thy loving kindness, O God; the thoughts of it are precious to me, the effects of it are great and wonderful : there. fore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of

thy wings ; they trust to thy powerful protection, as chickens run 8 for skelter under the wings of their parent. They shall be abun

dantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house ; they shall find such pleasure there do to make it an inexhaustible store of good ; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures ; the comfort they shall receive from thee, shall no more exhaust thy fullness and bounty, than a few drops of water could exhaust a 9 river. For with thee [is] the fountain of natural and spiritual

life; thou art the origin and support of all happiness : in thy

light shall we see light ;. with thy favour the darkest condition 10 will become comfortable. O continue thy loving kindness unto

them that know thee ; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. The original is more emphatical ; Draw out thy loving kindness. God had been represented as a fountain of happiness, therefore David prays, Draw out this living water for our refresh

ment and comfort, and let upright souls drink and be satisfied. 11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, to trample me in the

duss, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me from my con. 12 fidence in thee, or subdue and destroy me. There, where they

thought to have vanquished me, are the workers of iniquity fallen : they are cast down and shall not be able to rise ; as if he had said, I can by faith look forward to the time when it shall be 80 ; while I am praying I foresee their quin coming upon them; and This was abundantly fulfilled in the death of Saul and the rout of

his army.

REFLECTIONS.

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psalm. To deceive others with fair pretences, to seek their ruin, while we speak friendly, and deliberately to contrive inischief, is a most odious character. Flattering others is bad ; but it is worst of all to flatter ourselves, to think our state right, and our practice lawful, and to varnish over our wicked actions with plausible pretences. The cheat will sooner or later be discovered, to our slame in this

world, or our everlasting confusion in the other. May we therefore guard against leaving off to be wise and to do good. Leaving off to do good, is leaving off to be wise. The source of all these evils, is forgetting God, and not keeping his fear before our eyes. Let us therefore be solicitous to set him always before us ; then we shall abhor that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good.

2. We are taught to entertain venerable ideas of the blessed God, as a being of perfect righteousness and invariable fidelity, of diffusive and boundless goodness. Though his judgments are unfathomable, yet mercy presides over all his dispensations toward all his creatures. Such views of the divine perfections are very comfortable amidst the abounding wickedness of the world about us, and the mischievous designs of proud and deceitful men ; and should be encouragements to us, to trust under the shadow of his wing: ; that we may enjoy a sure protection and a most delightful repose.

3. As the favour of God is the greatest blessing both in time and eternity, let us seek it, by endeavouring to know him, and to serve him with an upright heart. There is fatness in his house ; comfort and joy, which will abundantly satisfy us ; he is the inexhaustible fountain of life and happiness. Amidst all the darkness through which we pass, and all our disappointments in creature comforts, the Lord will be a light about us: he will communicate from this fountain to the everlasting refreshment of our souls; and will advance us to his heavenly presence, where he will be our everlasting light, and the days of darkness and mourning shall be ended.

PSALM XXXVII.

[A Psalm] of David.

FRET

Composed in his old age ; full of excellent instructions, which were

the fruit of long observation and experience. 1 TRET not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou 2 envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall

soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 But Trust in the LORD, and do good ; (so] shalt thou dwell in

the land, and verily thou shalt be fed ; thou shalt enjoy security 4 and competency. Delight thyself also in the LORD, in his per.

fections, promises, and benefits ; and he shall give thee the desires

of thine heart ; that is, all the reasonable and proper desires of 5 thy heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD ; trust also in him;

and he shall bring [it] to pass ; shall grant such an issue as is 6 most for thy good. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as

the light, and thy judgment as the noon day ; if thy character is aspersed, it shall be cleared up; and shall at length shine forth like

the noon day. He then renews the caution agains: freefulness at 7 the wicked, Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him : VOL. IV.

Nn

XXXVII

fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, be 8 cause of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease

from anger, and forsake wrath : fret not thyself in any wise to 9 do evil. For evil doers shall be cut off : but those that wait 10 upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little

while, and the wicked (shall] not (be :) yea, thou shalt diligento 11 ly consider his place, and it [shall) not (be.) But the meek,

those who silently wait on God according to these directions, shal} inherit the earth ; and shall delight themselves in the abundance

of peace ; they shall be settled in their possessions, and lead a 12 pleasant life in them. The wicked plotteth against the just, and

gnasheth upon him with his teeth ; their rege against the right13 cous is very great ; but The LORD shall laugh at him : for he

Seeth that his day is coming ; God will disappoint him, for his 14 day to fall shall come before he can exečule his designs. The

wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to

cast down the poor and needy, [and] to slay such as be of up15 right conversation. Their sword shall enter their own heart,

and their bows shall be broken ; their mischief shall return upon

themselves ; they shall hurt themselves most by their wicked de16 signs against others. A little that a righteous man hath [is] bet.

ter than the riches of many wicked; for it is generally more 17 honestly gained, and always better improved. For the arms, that

is, the power, of the wicked shall be broken : but the Lord upholdeth the righteous ; the wicked have none but their own arme

10 support them, and a poor support they are ; but the Lord up18 holdeth the righteous. The Lord knoweth the days of the up

right; he observes them every day, and knows how long their afflicted state shall continue : and their inheritance shalt be for

ever ; they shall at length be removed to an everlasting inherita 19 ance. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time : and in the

davs of famine they shall be satisfied ; they shall be preserved 20 and supporteil. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of

the LORD [shall be) as the fat of lambs burnt on the allar, and

which all vanishes : they shall consume; into smoke shall they 21 consume away. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again;

wicked men are often reduced to a necessity of borrowing, and are 80 poor that they cannot, or so unjust that they will not, repay it :

but the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth ; they have enough, 22 and a generous heart to a981st others. For (such as be] blessed

of him, that is, of God, shall inherit the earth, the land of Cae 23 naan ; and (they that be] cursed of him shall be cut off. The

steps of a (good) man are ordered by the Lord : and he delighteth in his way ; or, as it would be better rendered, The steps of a

man are ordered by the Lord when he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall into grea! dangers, or even into sin, he shall not

be utterly casť down ; he shall not be destroyed, shall not be ula

terly overcome : for here lies his "security, the LORD upholdeth 25 [him with] his hand. I have been young, and (now) am old ;

yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging. bread. This is generally true, but not always : David once begged

his bread : but in general the blessing of God attends the children 26 of good men, and he raises them up friends." (He is] ever mer,

ciful, and lendeth ; God sendeth him new supplies lo do good with;

and his seed [is] blessed. He then enlargeth upon the security of 27 the righteous. Depart from evil, and do good ; and dwell for 28 evermore. For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not

his saints ; they are preserved for ever : but the seed of the 29 wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, 30 and dwell therein for ever. The mouth of the righteous speake

eth wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment; he does good,

not only to the bodies, but to the souls of men, and breathes forth $1 wisdom continually. The law of his God (is) in his heart ; he

knows it, meditates upon it, and delights in it ; none of his steps

shall slide ; he shall not fall into that mischief to which the wicked 32 are exposed. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh 83 to slay him. But The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor

condemn him when he is judged; he will find out a way to vine. 34 dicate his servants, when they are falsely accused. Wait on the

LORD by faith and prayer, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land : when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt sec

[it ;) thou shalt see his providence appearing for their destruction. 35 This, says David, I have often observed, I have seen the wicked ; in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree, 36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he (was) not : yea, I sought him,

but he could not be found; I have seen families which flourished

by iniquity gone at once, one scarce knows how, as Saul, Ahithophel, 37 Doeg, and others. But Mark the perfect (man,) and behold the

upright i fox your eyes on the honest, upright man i though he be

oppressed and persecuted, yet it will be well with him either in this 38 world or another ; for the end of [that] man [is] peace. But

the transgressors shall be destroyed together : the end of the wicked shall be cut off ; though they escape the judgments of God

in this world, they shall be condemned, and suffer together in another. 39 But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: (he is}

their strength, security and happiness, in the time of trouble. 40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them : he shall den

liver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him, and use no irregular methods for their redress.

REFLECTIONS. 1. TROM the exhortations so earnestly and frequently given

in envy and fretfulness at the prosperity of the wicked. This is too common even with good men, and therefore David repeats the cau. tion, and gives a substantial reason for it, namely, that all their glory will be quickly gone, and end in sorrow, shame and torment.

If the sentence is stopped after seed, it will run thus, I have not seen the righteou. forenken ner his side shouzki beggiaz bread, though reduced to this necessity. Edii.

2. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to come. The way of religion is the true way to thrive, to be secure, easy, and happy. To trust in God, commit our way to him, and take no sinful, dishonourable, or doubtful methods to mend our circumstances, is the way to have enough, and the favour of God with it ; and to entail a blessing upon our families, which is the best portion we can leave them.

3. Let us often reflect on the difference between the righteous and the wicked. What a strong and lively contrast is drawn be. tween their character and condition through the whole psalm! Under the christian dispensation it is not so visible as it was under the Jewish ; but it is sufficient to show us which is to be preferred, if we confine our views only to the present life ; a little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. Though he has not abundance of riches, he has abundance of peace, and he is blessed of the Lord.

4. We should carefully observe the providence of God, as illustrating his word

;

and communicate to others what observations we have made upon it. David here informs us what remarks he had made on the care God takes of the righteous, and their children, and of the speedy, sudden destruction of wicked families. If we have used ourselves to reflect on what passes about us, we have seen much of this. God's aged servants should recollect such observations ; and, like David, cheerfully relate them to others ; especially to their descendants. Their mouths should speak of this wisdom, and their tongues talk of these judgments. Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord.

5. Let us endeavour to treasure up these words in our hearts. It is the character of a good man, that the law of the Lord is in his heart ; and it is in vain to read and hear these lively descriptions and admonitions, and in vain is the labour of ministers to illustrate or improve them, if we do not take pains to lay them up in our hearts ; that they may be always ready for use; and have a commanding influence on all our conduct. Thus shall we enjoy the blessing of heaven ; and, whatever we suffer here, our end will be peace,

PSALM XXXVIII.

A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance, that is, to put himself

in mind of the sore affliction he had been in for his sins, and of God's mercy in his deliverance ; and to put others in mind how to behave

themselves upon a like occasion. It was probably composed after his guilt in the matter of Uriah. God

visited him with sickness, and Absalom took advantage of his con. finement and danger to raise a rebellion against him. 1

O 2 me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in

me, and thy hand presseth me sore"; "he owns the hand of God

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