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earnest, and pressing in my supplications. Whilst I have no rest, I can give thee no rest; oh, therefore, attend and hearken unto the voice of my crying and supplications !
Ver. 3.- It is true, O Lord, thou God, great and terrible, that if thou shouldest deal with me in this condition, with any man living, with the best of thy saints, according to the strict and exact tenor of the law, which first represents itself to my guilty conscience, and troubled soul; if thou shouldest take notice of, observe, and keep in remembrance, mine, or their, or the iniquity of any one, to the end that thou mightest deal with them, and recompense unto them according to the sentence thereof; there would be neither for me, nor them, any the least expectation of deliverance; all flesh must fail before thee, and the spirits which thou hast made, and that to eternity; for who could stand before thee when thou shouldest so execute thy displeasure?
Ver. 4.-But, O Lord, this is not absolutely and universally the state of things between thy majesty and poor sinners; thou art in thy nature infinitely good and gracious, ready and free in the purposes of thy will to receive them. And there is such a blessed way made for the exercise of the holy inclinations and purposes of thy heart towards them, in the mediation and blood of thy dear Son, that they have assured foundations of concluding and believing, that there is pardon and forgiveness with thee for them; and which in the way of thine appointments they may be partakers of. This way, therefore, will I, with all that fear thee, persist in: I will not give over, leave thee, or turn from thee, through my feárs, discouragements, and despondencies ; but will abide constantly in the observation of the worship which thou hast prescribed ; and the performance of the obedience which thou dost require; having great encouragements so to do.
Ver. 5.—And herein, upon the account of the forgiveness that is with thee, O Lord, do I wait with all patience, quietness, and perseverance. In this work is my whole soul engaged; even in an earnest expectation of thy approach unto me, in a way of grace and mercy. And for my encouragement therein, hast thou given out unto me a blessed word of grace, a faithful word of promise, wherein my hope is fixed.
Ver. 6.-Yea, in the performance and discharge of this duty, my soul is intent upon thee, and in its whole frame turned towards thee, and that with such diligence and watchfulness in looking out after every way and means of thy appearance, of the manifestation of thyself, and coming unto me, that I excel therein those who with longing desire, heed fulness, and earnest expectation, do wait and watch for the appearance of the morning; and that either that they may rest from their night watches, or have light for the duties of thy worship in the temple, which they are most delighted in.
Ver. 7, 8.-Herein have I found that rest, peace, and satisfaction unto my own soul, that I cannot but invite and encourage others in the like condition to take the same course with me. Let then all -the Israel of God, all that fear him, learn this of me, and from my experience. Be not hasty in your distresses; despond not, despair not, turn not aside unto other remedies; but hope in the Lord; for I can now in an especial manner, give testimony unto this, that there is mercy with him suited unto your relief, Yea, whatever your distress be, the redemption that is with him is so bounteous, plenteous, and unsearchable, that the undoubted issue of your performance of this duty will be, that you shall be delivered from the guilt of all your sins, and the perplexities of all your troubles.
General scope of the whole psalm. The design of the Holy Ghost in this psalm is to express, in the experience of the psalmist, and the working of his faith, the state and condition of a soul greatly in itself perplexed, relieved on the account of grace, and acting itself towards God and his saints, suitably to the discovery of that grace unto him. A great design, and full of great instruction.
And this general prospect gives us the parts and scope of the whole psalm : for, 1. We have the state and condition of the soul therein represented, with his deportment in and under that state and condition, in ver. 1, 2.
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
• Lord hear my voice; let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.'
2. His inquiry after relief; and therein are two things that present themselves unto him; the one whereof, which first offers the consideration of itself to him in his distress, he deprecates, ver 3.
• If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ?
The other he closeth withal, and finds relief in it, and supportment by it, ver. 4.
But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.'
Upon this his discovery and fixing on relief, there is the acting of his faith, and the deportment of his whole person;
1. Towards God, ver. 5, 6.
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
• My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning; I say, more than they that watch for the morning.'
2. Towards the saints, ver. 7. 8.
• Let Israel hope in the Lord : for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.'
All which parts, and the various concernments of them, must be opened severally.
And this also gives an account of what is my design from, and upon the words of, this psalm; namely, to declare the perplexed entanglements which may befall a gracious soul, such a one as this psalmist was; with the nature and proper workings of faith in such a condition ; principally aining at what it is that gives a soul relief and supportment in, and afterward deliverance from, such a perplexed estate.
The Lord in mercy dispose of these meditations in such a way and manner, as that both he that writes, and they that read, may be made partakers of the benefit, relief, and consolation, intended for his saints in this psalm by the Holy Ghost.
The state and condition of the soul represented in the psalm. The two
first verses opened. The state and condition of the soul here represented, as the basis on which the process of the psalm is built, with its deportment, or the general acting of its faith in that state, is expressed in the two first verses.
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.'
1. The present state of the soul under consideration is included in that expression,'out of the depths.'
Some of the ancients, as Chrysostom, suppose this expression to relate unto the depths of the heart of the psalmist; rì ŠOTLV ÉK Badéwv; not from the mouth or tongue only, άλλ' από καρδιας βαθυτάτης και “but from the depth and bottom of the heart;' εξ αυτών της διανοίας των βάθρων, “ from the deepest recesses of the mind.'
And, indeed, the word is used to express the depths of the hearts of men, but utterly in another sense, Psal. Ixiv. 6. • The heart is deep.'
But the obvious sense of the place, and the constant use of the word will not admit of this interpretation ; ' e profundis,' from pay “profundus fuit,' is Dipaya in the plural number,' profunditates,’or' depths.' It is commonly used for valleys, or any deep places whatever, but especially of waters. Valleys and deep places, because of their darkness and solitariness, are accounted places of horror, helplessness and trouble, Psal. xxiii. 4. •When I walk in the valley of the shadow of death,' that is, in the extremity of danger and trouble.
The moral use of the word, as expressing the state and condition of the souls of men, is metaphorical. These depths then are difficulties, or pressures, attended with fear, horror, danger, and trouble.
And they are of two sorts.
1. Providential; in respect of outward distresses, calamities, and afflictions; Psal. Ixix. 1, 2. Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my.soul. I stick in the mire of the deep, and there is no standing : I am come, 'n prayna into the depths of waters, and the flood overflows me.' It is trouble, and the extremity of it, that the psalmist complains
of, and which he thus expresseth. He was brought by it into a condition like unto a man ready to be drowned ; being cast into the bottom of deep and miry waters; where he had no firm foundation to stand upon, nor ability to come out : as he farther explains himself, ver. 15.
2. There are internal depths. Depths of conscience upon the account of sin; Psal. lxxxviii. 6. •Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. What he intends by this expression, the psalmist declares in the next words, ver. 7. “Thy wrath lieth hard upon me.' Sense of God's wrath upon his conscience upon the account of sin, was the deep he was cast into. So, ver. 15. speaking of the same matter; saith he, 'I suffer thy terrors ;' and ver. 16. • Thy fierce wrath goeth over me.' Which he calls water, waves, and deeps ; according to the metaphor before opened.
And these are the deeps that are here principally intended, 'Clamat sub molibus et fluctibus iniquitatum suarum,' says Austin on the place. 'He cries out under the weight and waves of his sins.'
This the ensuing psalm makes evident. Desiring to be delivered from these depths out of which he cried, he deals with God wholly about mercy and forgiveness; and it is sin alone, from which forgiveness is a deliverance. The doctrine also that he preacheth upon his delivery, is that of mercy, grace, and redemption, as is manifest from the close of the psalm : and what we have deliverance by, is most upon our hearts when we are delivered.
It is true, indeed, that these deeps do oftentimes concur: as David speaks, 'Deep calleth upon deep;' Psal. xlii. 7. The deeps of affliction, awaken the conscience to a deep sense of sin.
But sin is the disease; affliction only a symptom of it; and in attending a cure, the disease itself is principally to be heeded, the symptom will follow, or de
part of itself.
Many interpreters think that this was now David's condition; by great trouble and distress, he was greatly minded of sin, and we must not therefore wholly pass over that intendment of the word, though we are chiefly to respect that which he himself, in this address unto God, did principally regard.