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perfect his work, yet he was not negligent, but continued in prayer, The promises of God are designed to encourage, not to supersede our prayers. Let us then continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving ; since he who hath begun the good work will per. form ic until the day of Jesus Christ.

PSALM CXXXIX.

To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

Tlus psalm is by the Jewish writers estcemed the most excellent ; and indeed it deserves our most serious attention for the grand ideas it gives us of God, and the useful instructions it contains. It was composed by David when he was reproached for having ill designs against Saul. O and )

actions, and the workings of my mind. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, at home and abroad, thou unders

standest my thoughts afar off, which are the most contingent 3 things, yea, oven my future thoughts. Thou compassest my path

and my lying down, and art acquainted (with) all my ways. 4 For (there is) not a word in my tongue, (but,] lo, O LORD,

thou knowest it altogether, that is, before there is a nyord uttered 5 by my tongue. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid

thine hand upon me; I cannot outrun thee, nor retire without

thy leave ; thou directest and controlest my motions as thou 6 pleasest. (Such) knowledge us this [is] too wonderful for me :

it is high, I cannot [attain) unto it ; I cannot say how thou knotte

est all I have mentioned, but I am well salisfied that thou dost. 7 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ? or whither shaļl I fee from 8 thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou (art) there : if

I make my bed in hell, in the deepest caverns of the earth," be9 hold, (thou art there. If] I take the wings of the morning, if

I could fly with the swiftness of a sun beam, (and) dwell in the 10 uitermost parts of the sea ; Even there shall thy hand lead me, 11 and thy right hand shall hold me in my flight. If I say, Surely

the darkness shall cover me ; even the night shall be light 12 about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee ; but the

night shineth as the day : the darkness and the light Care] both 13 alike [to thee.) For thou hast possessed my reins ; observed

the secret recesses of my body : thou hast covered me in my

mother's wonil) ; cherished, preserved, and taken care of me there, 14 I will praise thee ; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made :

marvellous Care) thy works ; and [that] my soul knoweth right well; I have frequently considered and acknowledged thy won,

Herren mav signify the place where God manifests his brightest glory, and hell the abode of the damice

15 derful wisdom in my formation. My substance was not Irid from

thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the 16 lowest parts of the earth.* Thine eyes did see my substance,

yet being unperfect ; and in thy book all (my members] were written, (which] in continuance were fashioned, when (as yet there was) none of them ; or, and there was none of them

left out, or unfinished ; but all completed according to thy perfice 17 model. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how

great is the sum of them! I think of thy mercies with pleasure 18 and thankfulness. [If] I should count them, they are more in

number than the sand : when I awake, I am still with thee ; when I lie down I think of thy goodness and mercy ; and these thoughts possess me in the morning ; or, if I begin the enumera. tion of them in the morning, and continue it all day and all night,

yel I find myself the next morning as far from the end as ever. 19 Surely thou, who art omniscient an seest all they do, wilt slay the

wicked, () God : depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20 For they speak against thee wickedly, [and] thine enemies take

[thy name] in vain ; they are thy enemies as well as mine, for : they prostitute the sacred name of religion to countenance their

villany, and call upon thee as a wiiness for what they know to be 21 false. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee ? and ain I 22 not grieved with those that rise up and rebel against thee? I

hate them with perfect hatred it I count them mine enemies :

yet, lest any personal malice should lurk in my breasi, and I should 23 err through self love, do thou Search me, o God, and know my 24 heart : try me, and know my thoughts : And see if (there be

any) wicked way in me, and lead me in the way cverlasting, by unchangeable rules of sincerity and truth.

REFLECTIONS.

1. E T us charge it upon our consciences that we remember

the omniscience of God at all time's ; that he is perfectly acquainted with every one of our actions, words, and thoughts, though we cannot comprehend it. It is impiety not to believe the omniscience of God, and folly and madness not to act accordingly, The recollection of this would be a powerful restraint from every sin, an incentive to every duty. Let us then set the Lord always before us ; act und endure as seeing him that is invisible ; and never consent 10 sin, for God sets u8. Let us remember that his eyes are upon us, by day and by night, in darkness as well as in the light ; and that he particularly observes our behaviour and our thoughts in his house, and in what manner we worship him.

This, some suppose, all.des to the manner in which th: creatures were first produced out of the earth, and if so, ir intimites, that when he was formed in his mother's womb, it was as much a work of divine piner, as it ha band been createl ont of the earth. I think it ratheriguities, he was formed in the womb, as remvie from mortal cyes, as if it had leta in the deepest cilveruis of the earth.

' + This evidently refers to their character, and not their persins ; for it appears from other psalms, and David's history, that he jajcd for them, and often reinsed to take vene geance upon them, when it was in his power.

2. Let us acknowledge and adore him as the former and preserter of our frame. There are innumerable beauties in it : every limb, organ, and sense, every bone, vessel, and nerve, displays exquisite wisdom and skill. His mercies to us are innumerable, more than the sand. Let our bodies then be devoted to bis service, and all our members be employed as instruments of righteousness. We should keep alive a sense of God and his goodness upon our minds ; lie down every evening with a serious, grateful impression of it, and direct our first waking thoughts to him, that we may be in his fear all the day long.

3. Let us set ourselves in his presence to search and try us. A man may mistake his own character, and have sin prevailing in him, without being sensible of it. Let us therefore be careful that we be not deceived by an external profession, transient affections, or any gifts or privileges. Though we may not be conscious to ourselves of hypocrisy, or self deceit ; yet in a matter of such moment we ought to make diligent search, and beg the guidance of God; that he would show us the worst of ourselves, and preserve us from fatal delusions. Be not deceived ; God is not mocked.

4. If we can really approve ourselves in the sight of God, let us take comfort in his omniscience, and the thought of his being a witness of our integrity. It is a small matier to be judged of man's judgment ; our judge is the Lord. There are excellent marks in this psalm to judge of our characters by. Do we maintain a sense of the omnipresence and omniscience of God? Do we cherish a grateful remembrance of his mercies? Do we hate wicked practices? Do we feel a just indignation against those who continue in them? Do we give no countenance to sinners? Do we oppose the progress of iniquity, and count the enemies of God our enemies, so as to have no fellowship with them, however wealthy, polite, or honourable they may be? These will be considerable proofs of our integrity ; and this will be our rejoicing when men abuse and misrepresent us. But lest we should draw back, let us earnestly pray that God would strengthen these dispositions in our hearts, and lead us in the way everlasting : the way of eternal truth and rectitude ; the way that leads to everlasting life.

PSALM CXL.

To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

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Composed on occasion of his trouble from Saul and Doeg.
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from the violent man ; Which imagine mischiefs in [their] heart ; continually are they gathered together (for) 3 war, repeating their attempts to injure and destroy me. They

have sharpened their tongues like a serpent ; adders' poison, -which is not only painful but deadły, [is] under their lips. Selah.

4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked ; preserve me

from the violent man ; who have purposed to overthrow my go5 ings. The proud have hid a spare for me, and cords ; they have 6 spread a net by the way side; they have set gins for me. Selah. I

said unto the LORD, Thou (art) my God: hear the voice of my 7 supplications, O LORD. O God the LORD, the strength of my sal

vation, that is, my strong saviour, thou hast covered my head in the

day of battle ; probably alluding to his combat with Goliath, when 8 he went out without shield or helmet. Grant not, O LORD, the

desires of the wicked : further not his wicked device ; (lest] they exalt themselves ; lest they consider it as an evidence that

God favours them, and so be led on to wicked attempts against other 9 innocent persons. (As for] the head of those that compass me 10 about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. Let burn

ing coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire ; into deep 11 pits, that they rise not up again. Let not an evil speaker be es

tablished in the earth, though he may thrive for a while by his arti

fices : evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow and destroy 12 [him.] I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the af

ficted, (and) the right of the poor, though he may seem for a while 13 to forget it, and suffer it 10 be borne down. Surely the righteous

shall give thanks unto thy name : the upright shall dwell in thy presence ; in a state of security and comfort, when their enemies are destroyed.

REFLECTION.

WICKED amane care miserable notwlthstanding all their art or

, and good saulted and ill used. Who would not wish rather to be David than any of his enemies ? Though such wicked men sharpen their tongues, yet the mischief of their own lips shall cover their heads, and burning coals fall upon them whose mouths are set on fire of hell. Let those that delight in malice and mischief, that carry tales to sow discord among brethren, that spread ill natured chara acters and stories of their neighbours, remember, that there is a day of retribution coming, when their own tongues shall fall upon them, and they will be cast into that deep and bottomless pit from whence they will neverʻrise again. But God is the strong saviour of good men, he can preserve them from secret fraud and open vi. olence ; he will maintain their cause, and make it appear to all the world that he favours them, and they shall.dwell for ever in his presence.

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PSALM CXLI.

A Psalm of David.

TVritten on the same account as the last, when he was persecuted by

Saul ; probably a little after the slaughter of the priests who were his friends.

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1 2 unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be

set forth before thee [as] incense ; [and] the lifting up of my hands (as) the evening sacrifice ; though I cannot go to thy house, as thy people do, at the times of morning and evening sacrifice, let

my prayer nevertheless be as acceptable to thee as if offered in the 3 holy place, and with incense and sacrifices. Set a watch, O LORD,

before my mouth ; keep the door of my lips ;* guard me by thy 4 grace, that I do not break out into intemperate speeches. Incline

not my heart to (any) evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity : and let me not eat of their dainties, of

partake of any of those feasts, at which they contrive mischief, and 5 encourage one another to pursue it. Let the righteous smite me;

[it shall be} a kindness : and let him reprove me ; [it shall be] an excellent oil, (which) shall not break my head : for yet my prayer also (shall be) in their calamities ; let the righteous reprove me severely, even though so keenly as almost to wound me, I would excuse it on account of the good effects it is likely to produce,

and consider their reproofs as an engagement to pray for them and 6 do them all the service I can, when they are in trouble.t When

their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my 7 words; for they are sweet. Our bones are scattered at the

grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleareth (wood) upon 8 the earth. But mine eyes Care) unto thee, O God the LORD :

in thee is my trust ; leave not my soul destitute, nor suffer them 9 to lake away my life. Keep me from the snares (which) they 10 have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. "Let

the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.

His passions might be stirred up to an high degree, and realy to break out in reviling words against Saul, on account of this tragical scene, many having been put to death for the aci of one, and that an act of kindness.

+ These words are capable of another translation, wh'ch some learned critics preter, ** Let the righteous teach me kindly, and reprove me. The oil of the wicked shall not anoint my head ; that is, I wili not go to visit him and keep him company (it being usual to anoint the heads of their guests); yet will I pray for them when I see thini in distress.'

This is an obscure expression, and seems to prophesy that God would bring some signal punishment upon the leading men among his cnemies. It is an allusion to a case that might often happen, viz. when men run from an enemy to rocks and mountains, they may be taken and sl in there, where they thought to shelter themselves, so should the people hear his words of praise to God. Thus Saul was destroyed. Some understard it of the comfort which the pious Israelites would have in David's preservation, and the encouragement he gave them when the prieste were slain.

| It is vot unlikely but Sanl might leave the priests whom he had slain, unburied ; if so, the hand of God was remarkably upon him, in his body being hung up, and denied the hose ours of a burial.

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