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David both praiseth God and prayeth Him for deliverance.

To the chief musician upon 1 I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. 3 When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.

4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.

5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

6 thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with

them.

7 But the LORD shall endure for ever he hath prepared his throne for judgment.

8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness, 1e shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. 11 Sing praises to the LORD,

Muth-labben, A psalm of David.
which dwelleth in Zion: declare
among the people his doings.
12 When he maketh inquisi-
tion for blood, he remembereth
them: he forgetteth not the cry
of the humble.

13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:

14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.

15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.

16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.

17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

LECTURE 839.

How God will befriend us against all enemies.

This psalm contains first praise, and afterwards prayer; praise for deliverance already experienced, prayer for further interference on God's part, in behalf of his faithful people. It was evidently written after David had established the worship of God on mount Sion; mention being here made of that holy hill, as the

dwelling place of the Lord, where it was meet to shew forth all his praise. If therefore it refers especially to the victory which David gained over Goliath of Gath, as some have shewn reasons for thinking, it must have been composed long after the event to which it refers. This would shew how thankfully God's mercies were remembered by David for a long time afterwards. This would teach us how thankfully God's mercies ought to be remembered, and that for a long time, by us. And this may serve to make us ashamed, if we seldom or never call to our remembrance, much less openly commemorate to others, the chief instances of deliverance, whether temporal or spiritual, for which we own ourselves beholden to the bounty of the Lord.

Let us learn from David, when we praise God, to praise Him with our whole heart. And when we have been made acquainted with God's marvellous works, and find how much we have profited thereby to our souls' health and safety, let us with David resolve that we will shew them forth. Let us, when we are glad, rejoice in the Lord. When we are merry, and would sing let us sing the praises of the most High. Whether we have other enemies or not, we have a legion of spirits in league against our souls; enemies very powerful, subtle, and malicious. But we have a Friend more mighty than they; and glad it ought to make us, to be assured that they will turn from before his presence and power. Thankful we ought to feel, and thankfully we ought to speak, and sing the praise of Him who saved us, when we consider from what He has already delivered us, and how graciously He has promised to deliver us yet further. He is our sure refuge in times of trouble. He will not suffer the evil spirits to tempt us, beyond our power to resist and overcome, beyond the power which He gives and makes our own. And though they should stir up against us enemies on earth, still will God neither forsake us nor forget us. He will arise in his due time, and will make inquisition for blood. And those amongst mankind who oppress his people, He will make to know themselves to be but men. Whilst to those also in the world of spirits, who are our adversaries, He will declare in his due season, that the destructions in which at present they delight, are come to a perpetual end.

The Psalmist protesteth to God against the godless.

1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.

3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all thoughts.

5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.

6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.

7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.

9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the when he draweth

poor,

him into his net.

10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.

11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.

12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.

13 Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.

14 Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man : seek out his wickedness till thou find none.

16 The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

LECTURE 840.

The indignation which we ought to feel at the oppression of the poor. Whether this psalm were written by David, when smarting under Saul's oppressive treatment, or by some other inspired man in the times of the captivity, is a doubtful point. It describes a state of things unhappily not confined to either of those periods, not confined to any age or any country, not unfrequently to be met with amongst ourselves. Who has not known instances of the wicked in their pride persecuting the poor? Who has not felt how just it would be if they were to be taken in their own cruel devices? Who has not heard the wicked boasting of that

which ought to be their shame, the desire of their own evil hearts, and commending those who cherish that which God abhors, the love of money? Where can we go, and not meet with many who will not seek after God, in whose thoughts God is not at all? Grievous as their ways are to God, they think within themselves, that they shall never be moved. And as they scorn their enemies amongst men on earth, they set at nought also Him whom they are making their enemy in heaven. With oaths and falsehood, with mischief and vanity on their lips, they have cunning and cruelty in their hearts; and they care not what meanness they are guilty of, in order to get the poor into their net, and to make to themselves gain out of the weak and helpless. Such is, alas! the secret history of many a man's wealth. And the secret principle on which men venture thus to act is this, they say in their hearts, "God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it."

When we look around us, and see the multitude who, in a land of superabundant wealth, are destitute of food or clothing; when we reflect in how many instances their labour has not been fairly paid for, or they have been tempted to spend their hard earned wages in return for that which is nothing worth; when we see palaces of drunkenness built up with poor men's pence, and think of the many wives and children, the many widows and orphans, whose groans and tears form but a small portion of the misery on which that hateful splendour thrives; when we remember that snares of the same kind, though not all of like outside show, are set in every corner of the land, to catch the poor man by his baser appetites, and not only impoverish his substance, but at the same time injure his health, and greatly endanger his soul; we shall be inclined, when we think of such as thrive on gains like these, to apply the indignant language of this psalm, and say, "Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up thy hand." Let us know then for our comfort, that "the Lord is King for ever and ever." Let us be assured that these abominations, however little repressed, if not rather actually encouraged, by the mistaken laws of man, are absolutely prohibited by the laws of God. And let us not doubt, that though He seems to give impunity for a time to wickedness so hateful in his sight, He best knows how and when to put an end to evil, and He will not fail to avenge in due season the cause of the poor.

David encourageth himself in God against threatened danger. To the chief musician, A psalm of David.

1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.

3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in

heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

LECTURE 841.

How much the righteous may venture to risk and do.

The title tells us that this is a psalm of David. And the contents make it highly probable that this psalm was written when the persecution of David by Saul was at the highest; and when the latter seemed disposed to overturn the foundations of law and justice, of every thing that was most sacred in the state and in the church of Israel, rather than not take David's life. At this juncture, it appears that some of David's counsellors had recommended him to take refuge in flight, and that at a time when he felt it his duty to abide within the reach of Saul. And therefore he replies to them, "In the Lord put I my trust." And seeing this was his resolution, he asks them, "how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" David's friends had both counselled him to fly, and had given him these reasons for their advice. They had urged the preparation made against his life by Saul, describing him with his bow bent, and the arrow ready on the string, wherewith to shoot privily at David. They had referred to Saul's arbitrary acts, setting all foundations of law at defiance. And they had perhaps especially pointed at his violence in slaying the priests of the Lord, that were at Nob, as instigated by the ill advice of Doeg.

Let us then hear the reply of him who has grace to put his trust in the Lord. Thus it is that he reasons against the threats of danger from the hands of evil men: "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men." That is to say, however loudly men may threaten, however absolutely they may bear sway on

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