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21 mother's son, thy nearest relations. These [things] hast thow don ;, and I kept silence; but instead of being amended by this goodness, thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such an one] as thyself; that I had forgotten thy crimes, or had not that rectitude and abhorrence of them which I have often declared I had; [but] I will reprove thee openly, and set [them] in order before thine eyes; set them in battle array against thee, and so make it appear

22 that I both kw,w them and hate them. Now, as an inference fromthe whole, consider this, ye that forget God, lest my fiatience be exhausted, and, like a roaring lion, I tear [you] in pieces, and [there be] none to deliver. Know that this is the maxim by which I will administer the rewards and punishments of my empire.

23 Whoso offereth praise from a devout, humble heart, glorifieth me ; promotes my honour and interest in the world: and to him thatordereth [his] conversation [aright,] who is concerned to dispose his actions in a proper manner, will I show the salvation of God, that is, a complete salvation; a salvation worthy of God, by

jQf way of eminence mine, and infinitely superior to all others.

REFLECTIONS.

!. QEE how odious formality and hypocrisy are in the sight O of God. How strange is it that the Israelites should substitute sacrifices instead of holy obedience, when there were so many cautions in the law against it! We are in no danger of this; ^but christians are in danger of laying too much stress en rites and ceremonies of men's devising, or even of substituting the means of religion instead of the end; praying, hearing, and receiving sacraments, instead of justice, mercy, and self government. How abominable is it to talk of religion, to be zealous for its articles and doctrines, while we are enemies to its morals! to love to give instruction, but hate to receive it [ Such are an abomination in the sight of God ; and we should dread every degree of the hypocrisy here condemned.

2, Let us guard against the source of such a temper, and particularly against imagining that God is such an one as ourselves. The best men have but imperfect notions of God, and too many have mean, false, and dishonourable notions of him. May we never think that he is weak and fickle, like ourselves ; that he forgets .what is past; is unconcerned about truth and righteousness ; and that because he does not immediately punish transgressors, he never will; but be false to his word. Let us remember that he is a God of perfect knowledge, and forgets nothing; that he is the just, the holy, the terrible, the unchangeable God; that he has declared the highest abhorrence of hypocrisy and wickedness, and will not fail in his own good time to reprove and punish it.

3. Let us devoutly present to God the acceptable sacrifices and services here required. Though he does not now command sacrifices and burnt offerings, he still demands the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and the regular exercise of serious, fervent prayer. He requires us to vow to forsake sin, and do our duty; and to perform those vows; to glorify him, when we aTe delivered from trouble, by offering praise, and by holy lives; especially that we order our conversation aright, agreeable to the reason of things, the rules of his .word, and our true interest; as we desire to escape the doom of hypocrites, and to see and enjoy the salvation of Gmd.

4. Let us keep in remembrance the final awful judgment, in order to preserve the integrity of our hearts before God. This poetical description of God's coming to judge his people Israel, will be verified at the great day, when Christ shall appear in his own and his Father's glory, attended with a/l his angels, to judge the world. Then the whole earth shall be summoned before him to receive their sentence; then will he gather his saints together, who have been sincere in their worship, holy in their conversation, and faithful to their covenant. He will set the sins of the wicked in order before them; the sins of childhood, youth, and riper years; the sins of heart, hand, and tongue; and they that have forgotten God, will with inexorable severity be torn in pieces, and there shall be none to deliver. May we all seriously consider this; and so remember that future solemn account, that our work may be found to praise, mnd honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

4 PSALM LT.

To the chief musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he hed gone in to Bathsheba.

Tne title of this psalm tells us on what a melancholy occasion it tear composed, namely, upon David's great and heinous sin in committing adultery with Bathsheba, and murdering her husband. It is a remarkable instance of his humility, and a proof of his repentance, that U should be delivered to the master of music in the tabernacle service, and publicly performed there, the king himself probably attending in sackcloth. He repeats the same petitions again and againf hie heart being too full to attend to any order.

1 TTAVE mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving X1 kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender' mercies blot out* my transgressions; his pleas are all taken from God's goodness and mercy. I am fully sensible of my defilement

3 by my sin, and pray thee to Wash me throughly from mine in

3 iquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin [is] ever before me; / keep it ever in view, to increase my humility and make me more watchful for the

4 future. Against thee, thee only, or chiefly, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight; I have done evil to myself, to Bath

• The trim Uttth' mit iltndn to the notion of Coil's krrpin? p hook of r«ne:nhr»nce of we good and evil attious of hit trrMurci; nod is a metaphor waick occurs fa ituiiy part* of M»£ twiplurtt.

shein, to Uriah, and to those brave men who wete slain with him { but my sin chiefly grieves me as committed against thee, against thine authority, omniscience, justice and goodness: this I ackniwl* edge, that then mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and} be clear when thou judgest; or, as it should be rendered,1 so that thou art justiflrd in pronouncing sentence against me, and wouldst be clear from the imputation of injustite, wert thou to execute it *

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity ; and in sin did my mother

6 conceive me.* Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; / know that thou requires! of men to suppress the first mo'ion to that which is evil, to etifle every sinful inclination: and in the hidden [part] thou shalt make me to know wisdom, or hast made me to know it ; given me a principle of reason and conscience, to

7 correct and res/rain the workings of corrupt nature. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean : wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow ; an allusion to the waters of purification which were to be sprinkled over those who were ceremonially unclean; as if he had said, Till I am purified in a spiritual sense, I am not fit to

ft appear in thy sanctuary, or have a place among thy people. Make me to hear joy and gladness, by affording me thy pardoning mercy; [that] the bones [which] thou hast broken, my wounded

9 spirit, may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out -10 all mine iniquities; let my guilt be entirely forgiven. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me; thy almighty power only can renew thine image in me, anarmake me a new and hply creature; a very humbling expression, as if his wickedness had not only polluted all that was good in him, but en

I 1 tirely destroyed all rectitude and integrity. Cast me not away

from thy presence,y'rom communion with thee; and take not the

12 influences and assistance of thy holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, a confortable sense of thy favour j and uphold me [with thy] free Spirit, from falling into sin, and

13 give me courage and resolution in thy service. [Then] will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee; I ivill admonish others against sin, and encourage those

II who have fallen to repent. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, the murders I have been acrcasart/ to, O Cod, thou Cod of my salvation: [and] my tongue shall sine; aloud of thy righteousness, or

15 goodness. O Lord, open thou my lips, which have been sealed with shame, conf'usinn, and fear, and my mouth shall show forth

16 thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give [it ;] hast ?iot appointed any sacrifice for such sins as I am g'li/ty of: thou delightest not in burnt offering; thtu dost not value

17 them in comparison of sincere and universal obedience. The sacrifices of God, his bel'wcd and most acceptable sacrifices, [are] a broken spirit; an heart which is humble, penitent, tender, and pa

• TVsr are undoubtedly Iterative expressions; probably a strong declaration nfthlb (rreitne,s of his (ruilt, just as the Israelites are called tran;£rtntrs frcm the w«mA: or if ic refer, as is generally supposed, to his brituring corrupt and evil inclinations into rhe world with him. jt cjn lot he mentioned as an rsense, but rfn aggravation of bis sin; that knowing il«s, Ik ouglitto have bem ioure wauUiuL

tienl: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not de

18 spise, but graciously accept, and therefore I will offer it. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion ; favour the public interests of Israel: build thou the walls of Jerusalem; complete the work,

19 and protect and defend the city. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar; though I am unworthy to do if, thy faithful servants shall bung those sacrifices, thou meuest accept; and when I am reconciled to thee, I will join with them in such devout services and offerings.

REFLECTIONS.

1. /"\B SERVE how David describes the threat evil of sin, from V-/ his own painful feelings. All his petitions for washing, cleansing, and purifying, intimate how sadly defiling it is; that it destroys the beauty and purity of the soul, renders it offensive and odious to God, makes the sinner a burden to himself, and gives him a pain, which the language of broken bones does but imperfectly represent. His guilt and remorse are recorded for our admonition, that when we think we stand, we may take heed lest we fall. They that make light of ski, forget its malignity and its horrors, and will be of another mind when God and conscience set their sins in order before them.

2. We are here taught the nature of genuine repentance. It consists in a due sense of the evil of sin; more particularly as committed against God; as it manifests a disbelief of his omniscience, a contempt of his authority and justice, and an abuse of his goodness. It consists in having the heart broken and contrite for sin, deeply humbled, ashamed, and grieved for it, and produces a serious, humble confession of its particular circumstances and aggravations. A true penitent will, like David, give glory to God by a public acknowledgment of his guilt and repentance, where his sin has been public, and take shame to himself in the presence of God's people.

3. Under a sense of guilt, let us adopt these suitable and excellent petitions and plea*. God may have preserved us from such heinous and aggravated offences as David was guilty of; but in mnvy things we offend all; our souls have been polluted and defiled, and we need pardoning mercy and purifying grace. Let us thin offer up these petitions with the same temper as David did, rememberingthat the gospel directs us to seek mercy through the atonement and intercession of Christ, and represents his blood as the great instrument of our purification. Let us have recourse to the blood of sprinkling, and the sacrifices of a broken and contrite heart will then be acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

4. When God has extended his pardoning-goodness to us, let us teach, admonish, and encourage others; warn them from our own experience of the evil and mischief of sin, and caution them to abstain from that bitter and abominable thing. We should encourage them to hope in God's mercv, and to seek it in the gospel way.

Vol. IV. R r

David is in this psalm teaching us, and all other transgressors to the end of the world. Let us join in his good resolutions; and make it our great aim in teaching and admonishing others, that they may turn to God, do works meet for repentance, and.sin no more.

5. Amidst our greatest private cares and sorrows, we should not forget the interests of God's /.ion. It is a most lovely and amiable part of David's character, and should be imitated by us, that oppressed and almost distracted as he was, under a sense of guilt, still Jerusalem came into his mind, and that he offered up a prayer for its welfare. As we have all more or less done injury to the public by our sins, we should do it what service we can, by our prayers: for ivith such sacrifices God is well fileased.

PSALM LII.

To the chief musician, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David, when Doeg the Edomitc came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.

This Doeg made a false representation to Saul, of David's being supplied with food and weapons by Ahimelech; upon which Saul sent Doeg, who slew a great number of the priests, \ Sam. xxii. 10—18T. and it seems from the first verse of this fisalm, that he boasted of it, an a noble exploit. David may probably refer to some other enemies of a like character.

1 T T7-H Y boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man,

V V and promisest thyself that thou shall prevail over me? the goodness of God, which has hitherto appeared for me, [endureth] continually, and shall still protect me; his goodness makes thy mischief appear more base and abominable. The finest

2 and most just censure on tyranny that ever was penned. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs ; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully ; it is a keen instrument of mischief; thou hidest perfidy

3 and falsehood under the name of loyalty and friendship. Thou lovest evil more than good; [and] lying against me, Ahimelech, and the priests, rather than to speak righteousness, the whole truth which would have cleared our character. Selah. Fira,

4 Thou lovest all devouring words, which were the ruin and destruction of a fumily of priests, and the whole city; (see 1 Sam.

5 xxii. 18, 19.) O [thou] deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away suddenly, and pluck thee out of [thy] dwelling place, where thou thinkest thyself secure, and root thee and.thy posterity, out of the land of

6 the living. Selah. The righteous also shall see this, and fear the righteous judgment of God, and shall laugh at him; shall turn

7 from thee with contempt and derision, saying, Lo, [this is] the great man [that] made not the favour of God his strength ; but

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