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3 in this affliction, however heavy. [There is] no soundness in my

flesh because of thine anger ; neither [is there any) rest in my

bones because of my sin ; his whole body was full of sores, and 4 his bones full of pain. For mine iniquities are gone over mine 5 head : as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My

wounds stink (and) are corrupt because of my foolishness; they 6 were offensive to himself and all around him. I am troubled ; I

am bowed down greatly ; I go mourning all the day long. 7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome [disease :) and (there 8 iş) no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken : I 9 have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. LORD,

all my desire (is) before thee : and my groaning is not hid

from thee ; he still comforts himself that God heard his groans, 10 and knew every desire of his heart, My heart panteth, my

strength faileth me : as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone

from me ; he was full of inward agitation and uneasiness, which 11 weakened his strength and his sight. My lovers and my friends

stand aloof from my sore ; and my kinsmen stand afar off ; 10

add to his distress, his friends would not come near him, because 12 his sores were offensive. They also that seek after my life lay

snares (for me :) and they that seek my hurt speak mischiev. ous things, and imagine deceits all the day long ; his enemies were busy sowing sedition, and improving the time of his confinement

in prejudicing the people against him ; this he heard of, and it 13 aggravated his distress. But I, as a deaf (man,) heard not ;*

and [I was) as a dumb man [that] openeth not his mouth. 14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth

[are) no reproofs; he thought it best at present to take no notice of

their designs. Amidst all the distress those complicated afflictions 15 gave him, he turns to God, and entreats his help. For in thee, O 16 LORD, do I hope ; thou wilt hear, O LORD

my

God. For I said, [Hear me,) lest (otherwise) they should rejoice over me : when my foot slippeth, they magnify (themselves) against me; they were glad at his affliction, hoping it would prove his death,

or at least give them an opportunity of compassing their designs. 17 For I (am) ready to halt, and my sorrow [is] continually before

For I will declare mine iniquity ; I will be sorry for my sin : still he dwells on the most grievous circumstance, that his afflictions were sent on account of his sin ; this therefore he

again laments, as what gave him reason to expect the worst treul19 ment. But mine enemies (are] lively, [and] they are strong : 20 and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also

that render evil for good are mine adversaries ; like a man in great distress, without much regularity, he complains of the virulence of his enemies ; he might suspect.or know that Ahithophel, his minister of state, and Joab, his general, were confederate with Absalom, and therefore say, they render me evil for good; because

18 me.

The words may denote, that when they came to see him out of pretended friendship, they hinted something to one another even in his presence, relating to their designs, and abeir expectation of his death, inagining that he was too weak to understand or hear thein.

I follow (the thing that) good [is ;] his impartial administration

of justice might be improved by the conspirators to set the people 21 against him as cruel and tyrannical. Forsake me not, O LORD : 22 O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O

LORD my salvation.

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REFLECTIONS.
TUCH distempers as are here described, show what vile

bodies ours are, which contain the seeds of such diseases, and are capable of being overspread, weakened, and pained by them in every part. If we, or any who are dear to us, have been carried safely through loathsome, and dangerous distempers, especially jf friends have been kind and tender, ready to pity and assist us under the burden of them, we should bless God, and devote our lives to his service, who healeth all our diseases.

2. The sting of affliction is sin ; it is that which makes the burden heavy, and almost insupportable, which otherwise the spirit would bear. How often does David repeat the thought in this psalm, that it was because of his foolishness and sin that he

was afflict, ed. Beside the disorder in his body, his spirit was wounded, and his heart dejected under God's displeasure. Had he enjoyed a sense of divine love, he could easily have borne the unkindness of his friends and the treachery of his enemies. See how dear sin may cost a child of God, even after it is forgiven; how bitter the remembrance of it may be, even when God is pacified toward us for what we have done. Let us therefore stand in awe and noi sin.

3. It is a very desirable thing under ill treatment from men, eso pecially from those who profess themselves to be friends, to keep our temper. Whether David was capable of speaking or not, the language here used suggests a useful lesson to us, to govern our spirits and bridle our tongues. It is in general the best way to be deaf and dumb when we are ill used ; it is dangerous to say much, lest it should inflame our passion and beget more strife. Silence, or at least calmness, is the best way to preserve our inward peace, to answer the reproaches of our enemies, and mortify their ill nature. Let us then learn of David, and of a greater than David, even Christ, not to render railing for railing, and when reviled, not 20 revile again.

4. We should hope in God, and commit our way to him ; this will compose qur spirits under every afflictive dispensation. When God visils us or our families with loathsome or threatening sick. nesses, we are taught in this psalm, what our prayer may be, and whence our expectations should come. God is a friend to the afflicted, and never stands aloof from those who seek and serve him. He hears our groans, and knows our desires ; and he will at length appear as the God of our salvation. Let us therefore hope and quietly wait for his salvation.

PSALM XXXIX.

'I

To the chief musician, [even) to Jeduthun, one of the masters of

music, see I Chron. xxv. 1. A Psalmi of David. On what occasion this psalm was written is uncertain ; but no doubt

it was some aflictive providence, under which he describes the work. inge of his mind. He found it difficult to see the prosperity, and hear the rage of his enemics, and not break out into violent ethos. tulations. 1 6 AID, I will take heed to my ways, 10 my whole conduct,

but particularly that I sin not with my tongue : I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me ; while % I am considering the flourishing state of wicked men. I was

dumb with silence, I held my peace, [even) from good ; lest, by vindicating myself, I should be hurried into any indecent expresse ions ; and my sorrow was stirred ; it rather increased by my silence. My heart was hot within me, it was agitated and disa turbed, and while I was musing in a silent manner, the fire burn. ed ; a fire burst forth, and I could hold no longer ; (then) spake I with my tongue. What he said showed great piety and moderas

tion ; he spake not to the wicked, nor to his friends concerning 4 them, but to God. LORD, make me to know, that is, consider and

reflect upon, mine end, and the measure of my days, what is [is ; that] I may know how frail [am,) and so be less concerned

al the misery I have to endure, or the prosperity of the quicked that 5 I see. Behold, thou hast made my days (as) an hand breadth,

that is, the shortest measure, and mine age [is] as nothing before thee, in thy sight, or compared with thine eternal duration ; verily every man, whatever his rank in life is, and when he is seemingly in the greatest security, at his best state [is] altogether vanity ;

is vain, yea, vanity, yea, altogether vanity : as if all kinds of van. 6 ities met in him, and he were an abstract of them. Selah. Sure.

ly every man walketh in a vain show, all his pomp is a shadow ; surely they are disquieted in vain ; the things he hurries himself about are empty and vain ; he heapeth up (riches,] and knoweth

not who shall gather them. The inference from hence is just and 7 devout. And now, LORD, what wait I for? my hope [is] in

thee ; since life is '80 short, and worldly enjoyments are so vain,

I will not disquiet myself about them, no not even for the glory of $ e kingdom, but set k my haphiness in thee. Deliver me from all

my transgressions, which have deserved the calamities I complain

of ; make me not the reproach of the foolish, by suffering me to 9 be quite overwhelmed with my troubles. I was dumb, I opened

not my mouth, and they imputed my silence 10 a sense of my guilt ; 10 yet it was because thou didst [it.] Remove thy stroke away

from me : I am consumed by the blow of thine hand ; I can 11 support it but a little longer.' When thou with rebukes dost

correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth ; it is as easily consumed, as a moth is crushed :

surely every man (is) vanity ; especially does he appear to be 80 12 when under thy rebukes. Selah. · Hear my prayer, O LORD,

and give ear unto my cry ; hold not thy peace at my tears ; regard my tears, when my heart is so oppressed with grief that I cannot give vent to my thoughts any other way : for I [am] 4 stranger with thee, [and] a sojourner, as all my fathers (were ;]

therefore I am exposed to injury, and need divine guidance and 13 protection. O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I

go hence, and be no more, that is, before all my schemes and designs in this life perish.

REFLECTIONS.

L

ET us learn from David's example, to govern our tongute

and our passions under every provocation. When we meet with insults and abuse, or see the wicked prospering, let us take heed to our tongue, and bridle that unruly member. If any evil thought arises, let it be immediately checked; for thoughts ate words before God. It may be sometimes prudent and necessary to hold our peace from good ; but this precaution should not be carried so far as to neglect the duty of brotherly reproof and admonition. Wisdom is profitable to direct ; but it is certainly better to say nothing, than to say that which would irritate the passions, and injure the cause we profess to serve. It is necessary to lay a strong restraint upon our tongues, for St. James says, If any man among you seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, this man's religion is vain.

2. It will be profitable often to meditate on the vanity and mortality of man. The schemes and pursuits of wicked men are vanity; and too many of the schemes of wise and good men are so ; and both are mortal. How vain is strength and beauty! what poor things to be proud of! which God can, by a few days or hours sickness, entirely destroy. All the glory of man is short lived, and it is sufficient one would think, to abate the ardour with which men pursue riches, to observe how short their lives are, and that they are toiling for they know not who. Let us remember that our days are but as an hand's breadth ; we carry the measure of our days always about with us ; and it is a pity we should ever forget it. But as we are prone to do so, we should pray that God would enable us to consider it and lay it to heart, that we may act accordingly.

3. Let the vanity of all earthly things lead us to God, and engage us to seek our happiness in him. We shall never find happiness in earthly things, though we seek it ever so eagerly. Let us therefore, with David, disclaim all expectations of this kind, and seek an interest in God as our portion. This is the way to true satisfaction ; it will remove some of the vanities of human life, and reconcile us to others, and it will fix us in a state of security and peace.

4. Let us consider ourselves as strangers and sojourners here. Al our fathers were so, and we inherit their imperfections, their labours,

and sorrows. This is not our home and rest ; we are travelling through this world to another. May we then be content with our lot, and daily think of a removal. This is a proper plea to use with God for pity, direction, and support, a powerful motive to excite us to consider our latter end; and as pilgrims and strangers, to seek a better country, even an heavenly one.

PSALM XL.

To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

I

That some part of this psalm is a prophecy of Christ, is very evident from what the apostle quotes in Hebrews x. 5. But it has been much debated whether the whole psalm is prophetical, and the language of the Messiah, or whether it describes David's case, and in the descriptim introduces a prophecy of Christ. I incline to the latter interpretation, because there are some passages in the psalm which secm to me not to suit the temper of our blessed Lord. The psalmist here celebrates God's goodness in delivering him from his enemies, or recovering him from sickness, or both. 1 2 petition ; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, he delivered me from great and desperate dangers, and set my feet

upon a rock, brought me into a safe condition, [and] established 3 my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, hath

given me great cause for praise, (even) praise unto our God ; and my deliverance is 80 remarkable, and its happy consequences so extensive, that many sliall see [it,) and fear, and shall trust in

the LORD ; shall join with me in worshipping and serving God. 4 Blessed [is] that man, notwithstanding his afflictions, that maketh

the Lord his trust; and respecteth not the proud, nor such as

turn aside to lies ; who neither envies nor imitates the proud, nor 5 those who are deceitful, or worship idols. Many, O Lord my

God, fare) thy wonderful works (which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts (which are] to us ward : they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee : (if] I wculd declare and speak (of them,] they are more than can be numbered. From hence to the eleventh verse he firophesies of that mercy with which the world was to be favoured by the coming of the Messiah, and introduces him as say. 6 ing, Sacrifice and offering thou di Ist not desire ; thou intendest

to put an end 10 ihem; mine ears hast thou opened, or bored ; in allusion to the Jeuish servants when they chose not to be made free,* Exodus xxi. 5, 6. burnt offering and sin offering bast 7 thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come, I am ready to exe

The apostle guoring this passage from the Greek, renders it thus. A body hast thew $repared for me, that is, stred for thy service ; a pot use in sense much the same as the ücher, but which those to wboun he wrote would better understand.

VOL. IV,

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