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exalted upon the ROCK of ages, from whence that fountain flows.
6. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
These words, as they are supposed to be spoken by David, by Christ, or by the church, express their respective assurances, through faith, of final victory over their several enemies, with their determined resolution of singing hallelujahs to Jehovah for the same.
7. Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
From the assurances of faith it is always good to descend to the humiliation of prayer to God; who alone can grant unto us that one thing which we desire, and long after, while in the land of our captivity, and house of our pilgrimage.
8. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
The voice of God, throughout the Scriptures, exhorts the believer to turn away from the delusive appearances of the creature, and to seek after Him who is “ altogether lovely,” until he behold “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” To this voice the believer answers, like a well-tuned instrument to the master's touch, declaring his resolution so to do.;
9. Hide not thy face far from me ; put not thy servant away in anger : thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!
The suppliant, having determined to seek the face of God, here prays, that he would permit himself to be found, and to be seen; and that he would not, by hiding his face, cause the light of knowledge to become darkness, and the fire of charity to go out. The church dreads nothing so much as an eclipse of the « Sun of righteousness.” . . . .
10. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
A time will come, when the dearest earthly friends and relations can no longer be of any assistance to us. The case of the church and of the soul is oftentimes compared to that of a poor, helpless, exposed orphan. Where worldly comforts end, heavenly ones begin.
11. Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
The child of God, learning to walk in the law of his lieavenly Father, prays to be directed and strengthened from above, that the enemy may neither pervert his steps, nor triumph in his fall.
12. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine ene- mies : for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. : .
David had his enemies, and false accusers ; Christ also had his; and every child of God has need to petition for deliverance from the great enemy of his salvation, the grand accuser of the brethren, who is ever breathing out malice and cruelty against the body and members of Christ.
13. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Faith in the comfortable promises of God is the only sovereign cordial for a fainting spirit. Earth is the land of the dying; we must extend our prospect into heaven, which is the land of the living, where the faithful shall see, and experience evermore the goodness of the LORD.
14. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
The person speaking concludes with an apostrophe to his own soul, resulting from the confidence in God, expressed, ver. 1. from the desire and the hope of heaven, and from the manifold piedges of the divine love already received in this life. The proper inference from all which considerations is this; that we should patiently wait on the Lord, till the few and evil days of our pilgrimage pass away, and we arrive at the mansions prepared for us, in the house of our heavenly Father; till our warfare be accomplished, and terminate in the peace of God; till the storms and tempests of wintry time shall give place to the unclouded calm, and the ever-blooming pleasures of eternal spring:
The prophet, in a state of distress and persecution,
determines to be watchful and silent, as our blessed Lord also was, before his enemies. He prays for a
due sense of the shortness of human life; and after : meditating on that subject, fixes all his faith and
hope in God, whom he entreats, but with submis
sion to his will, for the remission of sin, and allevi. : 'ation of misery. From a view of the human body wearing away by sickness, he breaks out into a most fervent and affectionate prayer, which ought to be continually in the mouth of the Christian, upon earth. This Psalm is, with the utmost propriety, appointed by the church to be used at the burial of the dead, as a funeral is indeed the best comment upon it.
1. I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
The Psalm begins abruptly with the result of a meditation on the narrow, slippery, and dangerous paths of life; and more especially on the extreme difficulty of restraining the tongue, amidst the continual temptations and provocations of the adversary. In these circumstances, watchfulness and silence are re
solved on, as the only means of security. Let us behold the Lamb of God as our great pattern and example herein.
2. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace even from good, and my sorrow was stirred..
There is a time to keep silence, because there are men who will not hear; there are tempers, savage and sensual, as those of swine, before whom evangelical pearls, or the treasures of heavenly wisdom, are not to be cast. This consideration stirs up fresh grief and trouble, in a pious and charitable heart. How much more must it have done so, in the soul of him who lived and died only for the salvation of sinners!
3. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue. . · The fire of divine Charity, thus prevented from diffusing itself, for the illumination and warmth of those around it, and, like other fire, rendered more intense by its confinement, presently ascended, in the fame of devotion, towards heaven; while it continued to be fed, and preserved in brightness and vigour, by meditation on the goodness of God, and the ingratitude of man ; the transient miseries of time, and the durable glories
of eternity. - 4. LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days what it is: that I may know how frail I am. '
Wearied with the contradiction of sinners, and sick. ening at the prospect of so much wretchedness in the valley of weeping, the soul looks forward to her departure from hence, praying for such a sense of the short