A BRIEF EXPLICATION of the First Fifty PSALMS: BY DAVID DICKSON Professor of Divinity in the Col­ledge of Edenburgh.

PSAL. 106.4.

Remember me O Lord, with the favor that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation, that I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may re­joyce in the gladnesse of thy Nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.

The second Edition corrected.

Imprimatur, EDMUND CALAMY, Nov. 15. 165 [...].

LONDON, Printed by T. M. for THOMAS JOHNSON at the Key in Pauls Church-yard, 1655.

To the truly Honorable and Re­ligious Ladies, my Lady Marquesse of Argyle, and my Lady Anne Camp­bell her eldest daughter: Grace and Peace through Jesus Christ.

IT is the good and wise way of God, in matters con­cerning this temporal life, to make manifest his bounty and kindnesse to all men, how unkind and wicked soever they be, and not leave himselfe without a witnesse against complainers: But in the mat­ters of salvation, and things which do belong to eternal life, hee useth not to extend his spe­cial love so largely; for even the externall means of saving knowledge are bestowed up­on few Nations and People, in comparison of the whole race of mankind, Psal. 147.19, 20. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, and his sta­tutes and his judgments unto Israel; hee hath not dealt so with any Nation, and as for his judge­ments they have not knowne them. And though the people be few to whom the offer of salva­tion [Page] is made, in comparison of the rest of the world; yet are they many in comparison of those who find grace in the eyes of the Lord, to accept the offer of Grace tendred unto them in Christ Jesus; for many are called, but few chosen, Mat. 22.14. And albeit it be true, that Gods calling and election hath place in all rankes and estates of persons, higher and lower, learned or unlearned, rich and poor; yet doth this grace stretch it selfe to many moe of the meaner sort of people then of the wise, weal­thy and honorable in the world, 1 Cor. 1.26. Yee see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many Noble are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things in the world, &c. Therefore so much the greater is the favour of God, which your souls have found, most honorable, that you are made some of those few, yea after so com­fortable a manner, that the daughter finding her self led by her Mothers hand, in her tender youth unto Christ the Saviour, looketh on her as her mother twice; and the Mother having power and place to draw the vaile of her daughters virginall modesty, retirednesse, and prudence, which concealeth much of the lustre of accomplishments from the sight of others who stand at a greater distance, doth look up­on her notable endowments, and growing graces, as more then a recompence of all the [Page] paines sustained in bringing forth, and bestow­ed upon education of such a plant so wel fitted for that which is most desirable in earth and heaven; And thus much I have reason for me to say, not only because it is my part, as I have occasion, to stir up parents to study to have their children timously engaged to the Lord, in hope to have the more early and abundant com­fort by them in their owne time; but also be­cause I have been witnes of the Christian beha­viour of both your Ladiships, in no smal tryal of your faith & patience by the troubles of the times, both publick and private, for a number of yeares together; which experience hath now good use to fit and prepare your honours for a further exercise [...]rue beleevers are subject unto in this life, and for what this present time doth call unto all to be prepared for. This condition being in all ages incident to the godly, should not be looked upon in our time as if some strange thing did befall us: for it is the Lords ordinary way of dealing with his children, by changes of their condition out­ward and inward, by vicissitudes of straits and outgates, by entercourse of Crosses and Comforts, and by much variety of severall conditions, powerfully to traine, advance, and settle their faith, and to increase the growth of all graces accompanying salvation in them; for what we cannot conceive at one lesson, be­cause [Page] wee are dull, he teacheth us by parts, in many & sundry instructions, all tending to bring us to a further measure of humiliation, and self denial on the one hand, and of submission unto God, and faith in Christ on the other hand: And this way of God is made plaine by the practice of the Saints, and laid open before us in the book of the Psalms; wherof at this time I have on­ly taken a third part to handle by way of Es­say, thereby to finde the advice of judicious brethren, how to satisfie, and edifie the Reader more in what is behind to be handled, if God be pleased to give further employment and assistance in this service; And this which here is offered to the edification of the Lords people, I have put forth under your Honours Name, because of your constant affection to the study of the Scrip [...]ures, and respect to all the messengers of Truth, and to me for the Truths cause, for which I will still remaine,

Your Honours much obliged servant in the Gospel. DAVID DICKSON.


CHristian Reader, In this Essay on the Psalmes, as in other like pieces, on some other Books of Scrip­ture, sent forth to the world from me, a part of my designe is still the same, that hereby I may try, if it may be the Lords will, to stirre up some more able instruments to lay open briefly, in this mould, or any o­ther they please better, the chiefe Do­ctrines treasured up in the store-house of [Page] holy Scripture, whereby the Lords people may bee solidly informed in the know­ledge, and established in the faith of true Religion, by the most near and immediate way of drawing their light from the foun­taine of the Lords owne word: for this were a meane (as I humbly conceive) to cut off many needlesse disputes wherewith the world is filled; a meane to refute ma­ny errours, which the ignorance of Scrip­ture and of the power of God hath bred and fostered in the Christian Church; a meane to prevent many mistakes whe [...]e­in well-meaning zeale doth oft-times fall, for lack of a briefe manuduction into the true sense and intent of places mistaken. And I am not altogether out of hope, that the Lord shall hearken to my desire, and set some of his servants on worke, ere it bee long, to entertaine this moti­on, and to take a share also in the taske. Meane time, I pray let my aime and endeavour bee acceptable unto thee, [Page] and doe not take exception that so much is left unsaid upon so pregnant passages of Scripture as I goe through briefly, and that so much good matter is hinted at, and past by so quickly; and some­times so abruptly; nor that the deductions of sundry doctrines from the ground poin­ted at in the text, are oft-times not so con­vincingly cleared as you would; But take this consideration along with thee, That any longer insisting either in ex­plication of the grounds of the Do­ctrines pointed at in the text, or in amplification of the Doctrines deduced from the grounds, would have marred much the intended brevity of the mould, wherewith both the learned, and such as have lesse leisure to read longer discour­ses, possibly will be wel pleased; mainly for this cause, that they are not much ta­ken off their studies, or from their other ne­cessarie employments, by this manner of writing: And wherewith also charitable [Page] censurers, will be content haply when they perceive that in this plainnesse and bre­vity, every Reader shall quickly meet with good matter of meditation at least, whereby the smallest grains of sound truth, sowne by this means among Readers, may by Gods blessing get root, watering, and increase in a good and honest heart: which blessing, that it may be very large, shall be the hearty prayer of,

Thy Servant in the work of the Gospel, DAVID DICKSON.


ALbeit the Booke of the Psalms be not composed after the manner of Humane Wri­tings, in some such Method of Parts, as History or Art could possibly prescribe; yet it is so digested in Divine Providence, as the Order it hath, is farre better then humane Artifice could have given unto it: For the scope of this Book being not only to teach us the Grounds of Divinity, for our informati­on, but also to direct us how to apply saving Doctrines practically to our selfe, and to make use thereof for Reformation of our Affections, and Actions, and to helpe us by the Example of the Practice and Exercise of Gods deare Chil­dren, to go after their footsteps, being led by this [Page 2] Directory all along, as by the hand unto the fruition of Felicity, in higher and higher De­grees thereof, till wee bee perfectly possessed of it in Heaven. The Psalmes in relation to this scope are so placed, as the first Psalme having divided all men in two Ranks, in order to the way of seeking Felicity, doth give direction to us to chuse, not the counsel of the Wicked, but the Word of God for the Rule whereby to walk unto true Blessednesse: And the second Psalm giveth us God in Christ for a Captain and Leader to us, who is able to maintaine his Church, and all those who shal follow this Rule, against all the Opposition which can be made against them by the Power and Multitude of the wicked, who wil not be bound by the bonds and cords (as they e­steeme) of this Rule of the Lords Law: And the rest of the Psalmes do hold forth the Examples of Christ and his Followers, yoaked in Conflict with their Persecuters for Righteousnesse sake; in all Assaults making use of their Covenant with God, and prevailing by his power which up­holdeth, di [...]ecteth, comforteth them in all their Troubles, and giveth victorie and deliverie unto them out of them all: to the intent that every one who shall chuse to be truly blessed in the way prescribed of God (who only can give and main­taine Felicity) may resolve and prepare them­selves [Page 3] for such a life as the Saints have had in all Generations before them; that is, a life mixed with Crosses and sweet Comforts; a life wherein they shall be put to make use of their faith in God by Prayers, and shall not want for their answer, in due time, matter if Ioy and Praises to God; a life composed of variety of Godly Exercises, and alternating vicissitudes of Conditions, as the bulk of this Book representeth; but closing as this bundle of Psalms closeth, with six times pure praises, whereunto now and then the Lord frameth the heart of the Believer with Ioy unspeakable and full of Glory: That endlesse and uninterrupted Thansgiving and Praise being reserved to the General Assembly and full meeting of Christ, and all his Redeemed ones, at the great day of our Lords second coming.


THis Psalme teacheth, that no ungodly man is blessed, but the godly man only, ver. 1, 2. Which is proved by three reasons: The first, because God doth blesse the godly even in this life with grace to bring forth good works profi­table to themselves and others, in every state of life, ver. 3. But all that the wicked doe for making themselves happy, shall be blasted, and found to be meer vanity, ver. 4. Another reason is, because after this life the wicked shall be s [...] ­cluded from the presence of God, and societie of the godly at the day of judgment, v. 5. The third reason, confirming both the former, is, because God approveth the way of the godly, and will make the end of the way of the ungodly destruction, ver. 6.

Ver. 1. BLessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand­eth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate both day and night.

FRom the pronouncing of the godly man to be the blessed man, and not the ungodly, Learn 1. Though sin and misery [Page 5] abound among men, yet blessednesse may be attained; for God here pronounceth some to be blessed. 2. In relation to the seeking of blessednesse, all men, within and without the vi­sible Church, are divided into godly men, that seek to be blessed in Gods way; and ungodly men, who seeke blessednesse, but not in Gods way [...]; for so are they here all ranked. 3. To de­termine the Question, who is the blessed man, is competent to God only, in whose hand alone it is to make a man blessed; for here he taketh it upon him, to pronounce the godly man to be the blessed man. 4. The ungodly doe think themselves very wise in following the counsell of their own heart, and of others like themselves, that they may be blessed; But this is not the way of the blessed man, He walketh not in the counsel of the un­godly. 5. The ungodly do obstinately continue in the course of sinning, but the blessed man, if he be overtaken in a sinne, doth not defend his sinne, nor persist in it: Hee standeth not in the way of sinners. 6. The ungodly may come to that height at length, as to mock godlinesse, as meet folly, and to scorne ad­monitions and reproofs: But the blessed man doth never har­den his heart so, as to mock piety in others, or instruction offered to himselfe, He sitteth not in the seat of the scornfull. 7. The blessed man maketh the word of God in holy Scripture, to be his Counseller concerning the remedie of sinne and misery, and to be the rule to walk by, til his blessednesse be perfected; for the Scripture to him, for the obedience of faith, is a Law, and that fenced with supreme authority: It is the Law of the Lord. 8. In that measure that a man is godly and blessed, hee ma­keth the word of God, which holdeth forth the way of recon­ciliation with God, through the Messiah, Christ, the way of growing in communion with God through him, the matter of his chief delight, and contentment; His delight is in the Law of the Lord. 9. In that measure that a man delighteth in the Law of the Lord, he verseth himselfe therin upon all occasions. In his Law doth he meditate day and night.

Ver. 3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season: his leafe also shall not wither, and whatsoe­ver he doth shall prosper.

[Page 6] Ver. 4. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaffe which the wind driveth away.

This is the first reason proving the Godly man to bee the only Blessed man, and not the ungodly: Hence learn, 1. In that measure a man studieth holy Communion with God, by delighting and meditating in his word, he shall bee fixed and furnished with the influence of Grace from Christ, for the entertaining of Spiritual Life in him; Hee shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. 2. The man that maketh the word of God his delight, shall be made fruitfull in every good worke, as opportunity is offered to him; Hee shall bee like the tree that bringeth forth his fruit in his season. 3. This man shall be enabled to bear out a holy profession of his faith in, and obedience to God, in adversity, as well as in prosperity: His leaf also shall not wither. 4. Whatsoever Duty or Service to God this man goeth about, shall not want the assistance of God, nor successe, nor acceptance at his hands; Whatsoever hee doth shall prosper. 5. The ungodly man (whatsoever hee may seeme to be before the world) yet hee is destitute of all Spirituall Life, and alien from the fellowship of Gods grace, unfit for every good work, ready when tempted hard, to quit his counterfeit profession of Religion, and is cursed in all that hee doth; for what the blessed Godly man is here said to bee, the wicked is the contrary; The ungodly are not so. 6. Whatsoever appearance of godlinesse, or temporal prospe­rity, or hope of happinesse the ungodly man seemeth to have, it shall be found but counterfeit, and shal stand him in no stead in his greatest need▪ The ungodly are like the chaffe which the wind bloweth away.

Ver. 5. Therfore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righ­teous.

The second reason proving the Godly man to be the Bles­sed man, and not the ungodly, is a consequence of the first: Whence learn, 1. Not only shall all that the ungodly man soweth to his fleshly Felicity, prove chaffe; but also for his paines he shall answer to God in the day of judgement, and there be condemned; for it is said, Therfore the ungodly shall [Page 7] not stand in the judgment. 2. Howsoever the Godly cann [...] enjoy one anothers fellowship in this life, for many reasons; yet at last they shall meet in a generall Assembly of all Saints, in the full fellowship of God; for there is a day of Judgement to bee, wherein they shall stand, and not be casten or con­demned, but shall be fully absolved, and remain in the stand­ing Congregation of the Righteous. 3. Albeit now the ungodly and godly do live together, mixed in one Kingdome, City, In­corporation, visible Church, Family, and Bed, possibly, yet there shall be a perfect separation at last, of the one from the other; for sinners (or servants of sin) shall not stand in the Congre­gation of the Righteous.

Ver. 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righ­teous: but the way of the ungodly shal perish.

The third reason confirmeth the former two: Whence learn, 1. Albeit there be no man that liveth and sinneth not, yet the godly man, being justified by faith, and carefull to bring forth the fruits of faith, is not a sinner in Gods esteeme; for hee is here called Righteous. 2. However there be many im­perfections and failings of the Godly mans actions, yet the course hee keepeth, and way which hee endeavoureth to walke in, is holy and acceptable to God; For the Lord knoweth, or appro­ [...]eth the way of the Righteous. 3. Let the men of this world please themselves, and applaud one another in their Godlesse carri­age; yet the end of their course shall be everlasting destruction; for the way of the ungodly shall perish.


That this Psalme doth mainly, if not only, concern Christ, appeareth by this, That it hath not so much as Davids name in the inscription, al­beit he did write it: and by Act. 4.25, 26. where it is appropriate to Christ. This Psalm hath two parts; in the former is set down the stability of [Page 8] Christs Kingdome, against all the enemies ther­of, ver. 1, 2, 3. First, Because God the Father taketh part with his Son, against all his enemies, and wil establish Christs Kingdome, maugre them all, ver. 4, 5, 6. Secondly, Because in the Covenant of Redemption, the Father hath pro­mised to the Son enlargement of his Kingdom, and victory over all his enemies, ver. 7, 8, 9. In the latter part of the Psalm the Prophet delive­reth the use of this Doctrine in an exhortation to great and smal, to repent of their sins, and to believe in Christ, ver. 10, 11, 12.

Ver. 1. WHy do the Heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the Rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Annointed, saying,

3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us▪

THe Prophet sheweth, That in vaine shall Christs ene­mies oppose his Kingdome: Whence learn, 1. Thae the ungodly world being strangers from the life of God, are incensed in a mad moode against the Church and Kingdom of Christ in the world, The heathen rage, saith he, to wit, against the Visible Government of Christ in his Visible Church, as appeareth ver. 2, 3. 2. Their Opposition is al­together unjust, without cause, and reasonlesse; for being as­ked, they cannot render a reason Why? 3. Though Christs's Enemies promise to themselves success in their opposition to Christ, and that they shall surely overturne his Kingdome, yet shall their imaginations prove folly; they shall not pre­vail, for they imagine a vain thing, which is impossible to bee effectuate. 4. The chief Instruments that Satan stirreth up a­gainst Christ, to be Heads and Leaders to Heathen and god­lesse [Page 9] people in opposing and persecuting Christs Kingdome and Church, are the Magistrates, Rulers, and States-men, that he may colour his malice with the shadow of Authority and Law; For the Kings of the earth and Rulers set themselves, to wit, in opposition to him. 5. In this attempt the great ones among men agree more easily together, then in any thing else; they fix their resolutions, communicate their counsels, and conjoyne their power; The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the Rulers take counsel together. 6. Howsoever the Per­secuters of the Church conceive themselves not to oppose God, but men only, when they trouble his people and servants for Righteousnesse, yet because the Quarrel is the Lords, there­fore their opposition is declared here to be against the Lord, and his Annointed, or his Christ, who is distinguished here from the Lord, in regard of his Incarnation, Mediation, and Offices, being otherwise, in respect of his God-head, one in Essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit. 7. Though the Law and Ordinances of God be most Holy, most Equitable, most Harmlesse, yea, also most profitable; yet the wicked esteem of them, as they call them here, Bands and Cords, because they curb and crosse their carnal Wisdome and Licentiousnesse of life. 8. It is not enough to the wicked to disobey and reject the Law and ordinances of Christ, for their owne part, but they wil also have them abolished, that God in Christ should not have a Church at all, at least in their bounds, or where they have power; Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

Ver. 4. Hee that sitteth in the Heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derisi­on.

5. Then shal he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Si­on.

The first reason of the stability of Christs Kingdome is, because God scorneth mens opposing thereof, and will vex his enemies, and settle Christs Kingdome in his visible Church, in the sight of his enemies: Hence learn, 1. Though [Page 10] the Church visible, and the Ordinances of Christ be among the feet of Potentates, and Christs subjects want wisdome and power on earth, to defend themselves, yet their main­tainer is omnipotent God, judge over all, even he that sitteth in Heaven. 2. All the devices and conspiracies of men a­gainst Christs Kingdome, (how terrible soever to Gods people) are but ridiculous and foolish attempts in Gods sight; The King that sitteth in heaven, shall laugh at them all, and expose them to mockery before men: Hee shall have them in derision. 3. After the Lord hath made manifest the intent of his ene­mies, and brought their foolish and mad purposes to light, he wil not fail to manifest his mind, and just indignation against them; for, then shal he speak to them in his wrath. 4. The Lord hath his appointed time wherein he wil arise, and vex the ene­mies of his Church, partly by disappointing them of their hopes, and partly by inflicting sore plagues upon them; Then shall hee vex them in his sore displeasure. 5. When the Lord ariseth to judge the enemies of his Church, then doth he give a further manifestation of his purpose to establish his Church, and the visible Kingdome of Christ in the World, maugre all oppo­sition: Yet have I s [...]t my King upon my holy hill of Zion▪ 6. Though all Kings and Kingdomes belong unto the Lord, yet he owneth the Church (represented by the hill of Zion▪ and he owneth his Son Christ the King thereof, in a special manner, as his peculiar property, wherein he glorieth more then in all his works; therfore saith he, I have set my King up­on my holy Hill; this is the Speech of God the Father, speaking by his Spirit in the Prophet concerning Christ his Son.

V. 7. I will declare the Decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begot­ten thee.

8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the Heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

The second reason of the stability of Christs Kingdome is, the decreed agreement betweene God the Father and the [...], in the Covenant of Redemption; some Articles where­of [Page 11] Christ by his Prophet doth here reveal; for this is the speech of Christ the Son of God, to be incarnate, speaking by his spirit, concerning the stability of the Church, and his King­dome over it: Whence we learne. 1. The faith of the Saints, in time of the persecution of the Church, may, and should rest perswaded of the stability of the Church, and of Christs King­dome in it, because it is grounded upon the mysterious and unchangeable decree of God, which here is brought to light, I will declare the decree, saith Christ, not as yet incarnate. 2. It is Christs office as Prophet, to reveale the secret coun­sel of the Trinity, being the substantial Word of the Father; and who before the world was created, was with God, and was God, Iohn 1.1, 2. I will declare the decree, saith the Son of God. 3. The Son of God as he is a person, concurring in the decree of establishing of the Church, and Kingdome of God in it, against all opposition; So is he party contracter in the Covenant of Redemption: And as he is the promiser, and undertaker to pay the price of the Redemption of his people; so also is he the receiver of promises, made in fa­vour of his Church and Kingdome: It is he to whom the Father directeth his promise concerning his Church, first and immediately; for the Son in declaring the decree, saith, The Lord said to me. 4. It is one of the Articles of the Covenant of Re­demption, That the promised seed of the woman, the Redeem­er of his people, the promised seed of Abrah [...]m, the Messiah and Saviour of the Elect, the promised son of David, and true King of Israel after his incarnation, shall not be disowned of the Father; But in and after his deepest humiliation and sufferings, as he shall be, and remaine really the very Son of God, so shall he really at the set day, be acknowledged by the Father, to be the only begotten Son of God; which day, is the day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, as the Apostle, Rom. 1.4. doth teach us, saying, He was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead; For the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was a reall speech, say­ing to Christ in the audience of all the world, in effect as much as, I declare thee this day to be my Son, my only begotten Son, one in substance with me eternally. 5. The declaration of the decree of manifesting of Christ to be the Son of God, is a sufficient demonstration of the impregnable stability of the [Page 12] Church, maugre all the opposition of all the power in the world; for to this very end is the decree of revealing Christ to be the Son of God▪ here declared. Thou art my Son whom I have bogotten, is proof abundant; for this is the Rock where­upon Christ undertaketh to build his Church, against which the gates of hel shal not prevaile, Mat. 16.16.18. and who is he that overcometh the world, saith Iohn, save he that belie­veth that Christ is the Son of God? 1 Iohn 5.5. 6. Another article of the Covenant of Redemption here declared is, That after Christs Resurrection, and declaration of his formerly over-clouded God-head, he should continue in the office of his mediation, and intercession; and by vertue of his payed ransome of Redemption, call for the enlargement of his pur­chased Kingdome among the Gentiles; for this is the Fa­thers compact with the Son, saying, Ask of me, and I will give thee the Heathen. 7. The opposition which the world shal make to the Kingdome of Christ, shall not hinder the enlargement and spreading thereof; but by the intercession of Jesus Christ, the Heathen shall be his inheritance, and the ut­termost parts of the earth his possession; not his by a short tack, or lease for some few years, but a lasting inheritance, and con­stant possession. 8. The necessity of prayer is pointed out to all the Lords people by this, that the possession of the purchase which our Lord hath made by his precious blood, is to be drawn forth by a sort of Prayer and Intercession suitable to Christs person; Ask of me, saith the Father, and I will give thee the Heathen, &c.

9. Thou shalt breake them with a rod of Iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a Potters Ves­sel.

A third Article of the covenant of Redemption, is, a pro­mise made to Christ, of ful victory over all his, and his Churches enemies, ver. 9. Wherein observe, 1. That Christ shall not want enemies, who wil not only for their own parts, refuse salvation offered by him, and subjection to be given to him; but also will oppose him, and make head against him, til he destroy them; for these Kings and Rulers spoken of ver. 2, 3, wil not cease, till he break them, and dash them in pic­ [...]es; and these are here understo [...], as repeated from ver. 1, 2, 3.

[Page 13]2. Though Christs Church be weak and unable to help it selfe against persecution, yet Christ wil owne the quarrel, and fight against all the enemies thereof himselfe, whereunto he is sufficiently furnished, for he shall break them in pieces with an Iron rod. 3. Though the enemies be numerous and strong, being compared with the godly, whom they do persecute, yet compared with Christ, or looked upon by him, they are but weake, brittle, and naughty things. Thou shalt dash them in pieces as a potters vessel.

Ver. 10. Be wise now therefore, O yee Kings: be instructed, ye Iudges of the earth.

11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoyce with trembling.

12 Kisse the Son lest he be angry, and yee perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little: blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

This is the later part of the Psalme, wherein the uses of the former Doctrine are set down. Whence learn, 1. The more clear advertisement is given concerning the sinne and danger of opposing of Christs Kingdome, cause, work or people; the more wary should all men be, and namely Potentates, as they love their places or soules, to eschue this evil; for hee hath said, Be wise now therefore, O yee Kings and Iudges of the Earth. 2. Though it may seem wisdome to make and execute lawes in prejudice of Christ, and his cause, rather then vent their malice without a pretence; yet it is more wisdome to cease from opposition, and take lawes from Christ; for so the Lord doth reckon, saying, Be wise now therefore, and instructed. 3. If any be guilty of this sinne, and not as yet smitten for it, the goodnesse of God offereth to him mercy in time, and steppeth in timously to take off the snares of flatterers, who use to har­den men, and especially great men, in this sinne: Be wise now, saith the Lord, O yee Kings. 4. It is no disparagement to the greatest Monarchs (but a mean for them to eschue the wrath of God) to be subject to Christ Jesus, to stand in awe of him, to submit themselves to him, and promove his ser­vice to their power; for the command to all, and to them in special, is, Serve the Lord in fear. 5. As there is matter of [Page 14] fear to Christs Subjects, lest they provoke him; for there is matter of rejoycing for them to be under his Government, and these two affections may wel consist in his service: Re­joyce in trembling: yea there is no right rejoycing in any thing without-some mixture of fear to offend him. 6. Because Christ Jesus the Son of God, is a lovely King, bringing Righte­ [...]eousnesse and Eternal life to all his true subjects, hee should be submitted unto, and imbraced (when he offereth grace) very heartily: To this end, Kisse the Son, or do him homage, is added; for to kisse is a signe of religious adoration, Hos. 13.2. and a signe of homage and hearty subjection, 1 Sam. 10.1. 7. Where grace offered by Christ Jesus is refused, the refusing of mercy shall procure more anger then all former sins; kisse the Son lest he be angry. 8. When Christ taketh a refusal of a man, to whom grace is offered, wrathwil follow, to the cutting off of the refuser from all means of happinesse, both temporal, which hee hunteth after; and eternal, which is offered in Christ unto him, and to the bringing upon him u [...]ter perdition; for it is said, Kisse the Son lest he be angry, and yee perish from the way of all possible salvation. 9. Unspeakable must the wrath of God [...]e, when it is kindled fully, since perdition may come upon the kindling of it but a little. 10. Remission of sin, delivery from Wrath, communion with God, and life everlasting, are the fruits of imbracing of Christ, of closing in Covenant with Christ, and resting on Christ; For, blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

PSALM III. A Psalm of David when he fled from Absolom his son.

This Psalm holdeth forth a notable proof & bene­fit of faith in Davids experience; who when his own son Absolom rebelled against him, and forced him to flee for fear of his life, did first lay before the Lord his pitiful condition, ver. 1, 2. Second­ly, [Page 15] He setled his faith on God, prayed, and ob­tained a comfortable answer, was quiet and re­freshed in soul and body, and made confident a­gainst all fears possible, ver. 3, 4, 5, 6. Thirdly, He continueth in prayer, confirming his faith from former experience, ver. 7. And lastly, he giveth forth the use of his experience to the Churches edification in a general doctrin. ver. 8

FRom the Inscription, learn, 1. How great calamity may befal the best of Gods children, and that from those persons, from whom they could least expect to be troubled: for David was deserted of his own subjects, and chased from his Palace and royal State by his owne son Absolom. 2. Although the Lord do not follow the sins of his children with vindictive justice, yet by the sharp rods of fatherly correction▪ hee can make his own children, and all the beholders of their scanda­lous sins, see how bitter a thing it is to provoke him to wrath, as once David did. 3. Even when sin hath drawn on judge­ment, God must be dealt with for relief, no lesse then if it had been sent for trial onely; as David doth in the case of the cor­recting and purging of the pollution of his family, by the insur­rection of his Son against him.

Ver. 1. LOrd, how are they increased that trouble me? many are they that rise up against me.

2. Many there be which say of my my soul▪ There is no help for him in God.

FRom his laying before God his pitiful condition: Learn 1. The man who believeth in God, hath an advantage a­bove whatsoever any ungodly man can have in the time of trouble: he hath the Lord to go unto for comfort and relief, of whose kindnesse he may make use, as David did here, laying out his trouble before him, and saying, Lord, how are they increased that trouble me? &c. 2. The world counteth a mans case desperate, when they see no worldly helpe for him. Many [Page 16] say, there is no help for him in God. 3. Mercilesse beholders of the corrections of Gods children for their sinnes, think and say also oft times, that God is following them with vindictive justice, and is destroying them both in regard of their soules and bodies, &c. without mind of mercy to them. Many say of my soul, there is no help for him in God. 4. Tentation to de­spair of relief, doth accompany unexpected and sad troubles; and this is more grievous then the trouble it self: Therefore David presenteth this tentation before God in the last roome, as the heaviest part of his exercise, with a note of uplifting the mind and voice. Selah.

Ver. 3. But thou O Lord, art a shield for me, my glo­ry, and the lifter up of mine head.

In the second place he sheweth how hee made use of faith in prayer; and what fruit he received thereby: Whence learne, 1. The nature of true faith is to draw the more neare to God, the more it be driven from him, Many say, no helpe in God; but thou art my shield. 2. God is a counter-comfort in all calamity, our shield in danger, our glory in shame, the lifter up of our head in dejection. 3. As there is reliefe in God out of all evil, so faith seeth in God sufficient helpe from all evil, and in special that the sword of the enemie cannot bee so neare, but he can interpose himselfe, as a sheild to ward off the blow: But thou O Lord, art a shield round about me, &c. yea, faith seeth in God matter of rejoycing and gloriation in the middest of all the shame and disgrace which men can cast upon the believer, and can make a man say to God, Thou art my glory. In a word, faith seeth goodnesse and power in God to raise the believer out of the lowest condition wherein he can be: Thou art the lifter up of my head.

Ver. 4. I▪ cryed unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

5. I laid me down and slept; I awaked, for the Lord sustained me.

6. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about.

From the exercise of faith, and the fruits of it in these [Page 17] three verses: Learn, 1. The conscience of seeking God by prayer is an ease to a man, not only for the time present, while he is in prayer pouring out his heart; but refreshful also, when 'tis looked back upon: therefore by way of gratulation saith David here, I cryed to the Lord. 2. Faith in a strait stirreth up affection and earnestnesse in prayer, and maketh the whole man to be ta­ken up about it: I cryed to the Lord with my voice, saith hee. 3. The prayer of faith shal not want an answer, and the returne thereof is worthy to be attended and marked, when it is obtain­ed; I cryed, and be heard mee. 4. The prayer of faith trusteth God in Christ, as the propitiatory and mercy seat, and seeketh audience and answer only for Christs cause, whose sacrifice, and mediation, and benefits were shadowed forth in the Taber­nacle: And the [...]eliev [...]r, as he should take heed that his prayer go up to God through Christ, so should he observe how it is answered and returned also through Christ, represented▪ by the Ark in the Tabernacle, pitched on the holy hill of Sion: He heard me also out of his holy Hill. 5. In the greatest extre­mity of danger, a believer may have his mind quieted, and his body refreshed also, after that in faith he hath had his recourse to God, and hath casten his care upon him: I laid me downe and slept, I awaked. 6. The quietnesse and set­lednesse of a mans heart by faith in God, is another sort of work then the natural resolution of manly courage; for it is the gracious operation of Gods spirit upholding a man a­bove nature, and therefore God ought to have all the glory of it: The Lord sustained me. 7. When the Lord will answer the believer to his comfort, he can not only satisfie him in the particular which he prayeth for, but also furnish him with confidence against whatsoever evil can be apprehended by him for time to come: I will not be afraid of Millions of people, that have set themselves against mee round about. 8. When faith finds it self welcome to God, 'tis able to give a defiance to all adversaries; more or fewer, weaker or stronger enemies, all are alike despised: I wil not be afraid of thousands of people.

Ver. 7. Arise, O Lord, save me, O my God, for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheeke bone: thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

In the third place he continueth to pray against the evil, [Page 18] which might thereafter follow: Whence Learn, 1. Faith in God is not a bragger, nor confident in the mans owne strength, or imagination; but humbly dependeth on God, and continueth in prayer, so long as the danger remaineth; as David doth here, after delivery received. 2. The cove­nant of grace, wherein the believer is entered with God, furnisheth him with confident prayer, and hope of salvation: Save me, O my God. 3. When faith is fixed upon God covenanted, then by-gone experiences do come up as pin­nings in the bigging of a wall, to bolster it up, and confirme [...]t; For thou hast smitten all my enemies upon the cheeke-bone, thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. 4. God smites the pride of persecuters with a shameful stroke, and their beast­ly cruelty, with breaking their power; Thou hast smitten mine enemies on the cheek-bone, thou hast broken the teeth of the ungod­ly.

Vers. 8. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

From the last part of the Psalme, wherein he giveth forth from his own experience a general Doctrine, for the com­fort of all the Lords people, Learn 1. The use of the experi­ence of the Godly, should be the confirmation of the faith of all others, as well as of their owne: as here is seen. 2. The fruit of the Lords putting his owne in straits, is to make them and all men see, that he hath waies of deliverance, more then they know of▪ and that hee will save his owne, when men do count their case desperate: For, Salvation belongeth to the Lord. 3. Whatsoever mixture his people doe find of crosses and comforts, or vicissitude of danger and delivery, adversity or prosperity, still the course of blessing of them stand­eth, which now and then they are forced to acknowledge to the Lord: Thy blessing is upon thy people.

PSAL. IV. To the chief Musician on Neginoth. A Psalm of David.

Another experience of David, as an example of a Christian sufferer, unjustly perse [...]ted and scor­ned [Page 19] for his piety by his profane enemies, such as Saul, and his Courtiers were: wherein first he setteth down his prayer, ver. 1. Then being comforted in God, he insulteth over his ene­mies, and glorieth in Gods favour, ver. 2, 3. Thirdly he exhorteth his enemies to repentance, and faith in God, ver. 4, 5. Fourthly, He pre­ferreth the blessedness of his estate above what­soever the worldly man can enjoy, ver. 6, 7, 8.

FRom the Inscription of this Psalme, which is the first wher­in mention is made of the chief Musicians, or musical instru­ments: Learn 1. The praise of God, and the joy of his Spirit, allowed on his people, do surpasse all expression which the voice of words can make; for this was signified by the pluralitie, and diversity of musicall instruments, (some of them soun­ding by being beaten, some of them by being blown,) su­peradded to the voice of singing in the praedagogie of Moses. 2. Albeit the ceremonial, figurative, and religious use of mu­sical instruments be gone, with the rest of the Leviticall sha­dowes, (the natural use of them still remaining:) yet the vocal singing of Psalmes in the Church is not taken away, as the practice and doctrine of Christ and his Apostles makes evident; and so the voice of a Musician in the publick worship still is useful. 3. The Psalmes are to be made use of with discretion, as the matter of the Psalme, and edification of the worshippers doth require. And in the publick, it is the called Minister of the Congregation his place, to order this part of the worship with the rest; for this the direction of the Psalms, To the chief Musician, giveth ground.

Ver. 1. HEar me when I call, O God of my righ­teousnesse: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distresse, have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

FRom his prayer, Learn, 1. Though there be many and divers troubles of the godly, yet there is but one God to give comfort and relief, and one way to draw it from God; [Page 20] to wit, by prayer in faith, Heare me when I call. 2. Albeit the conscience of much sinne be opposed to the prayer of the be­liever, yet the everlasting righteousnesse of faith, (whereof the Lord is God, Author, and maintainer for ever) doth open the way to the suppliant, specially when he cometh to God in a righteous cause, Hear me, O God of my righteousnesse. 3. Ac­knowledgment of by-past mercies in former experience is a good preparation for a new mercy, and a mean to strengthen our faith to receive it, Thou hast enlarged me when I was in di­stresse, have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. 4. Faith is a good Oratour, and a noble Disputer in a strait; it can reason from Gods readinesse to hear, Heare mee when I call O God. And from the everlasting righteousnesse given to the man, in the justification of his person, O God of my righteousnesse: and from Gods constant justice in defending the righteousnesse of his servants cause, O God of my righteousnesse: and from both present distresses, and those that are by-past, wherein hee hath been: and from by-gone mercies received, Thou hast en­larged me when I was in distresse: and from Gods grace, which is able to answer all objections from the mans unworthinesse, or ill-deserving: Have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

Ver. 2. O ye sons of men, how long wil ye turne my golry into shame? how long wil ye love vanity and seek after leasing. Selah.

3. But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himselfe: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.

In the next place, after comfort received, hee triumpheth in Gods good will over all his enemies. Whence learn, 1. Though a godly man, when he is both persecuted for righteousnesse, and mocked for his piety, may hang his head in his trouble for a little, til he goes to God with his complaint; yet after that he is comforted, hee wil be able to speake a word to his mockers, and holily to insult over them, time about; as after prayer, David here turneth him to speake to the sons of men. 2. Mockers of piety, when pious men are under affliction, doe bewray themselves to be stil in the state of nature, and desti­tute for the present of the Spirit of regeneration: For David calleth them, in relation to their sinful condition, O yee sons of men. 3. Though faith in God, and calling on him in [Page 21] trouble, and innocency of life under persecution, be the high­est commendation, and glory of a man; yet the wicked, (though oft convinced of Gods goodnesse to such persons) do not stand to reproach piety, as a matter of scorn, so oft as God doth suffer the godly to fall in calamity. How long will ye turn my glory into shame? 4. Meer natural men cannot be made wise, neither by the word of God, nor by experience in their own, and others persons, to consider that things of this earth, as temporarie riches, honour, and pleasure, are nothing but vanity, and deceiving lies, which promise some­thing, and pay nothing but vexation of spirit, because of guiltinesse and misery following upon the abuse of them. How long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? 5. The most satisfactory revenge, which the godly can desire of their per­secuters and mockers, is, to have them turn converts, to have them recalled from the vanity of their way, and brought to a right understanding of what concerneth their salvation, where­unto the godly are ready to offer themselves admonishers of them, and instructers, as here the Prophet doth, O ye Sons of men, how long? &c. But know, &c. 6. The cause of the worlds despising of piety in the persons of Gods afflicted chil­dren, is the grosse ignorance of the precious privil [...]ges of the Lords sincere servants: the world cannot think that the godly in the midst of their calamities are Gods peculiar jew­els, chosen and called out of the world, for honouring of God; admitted to fellowship with God in this life, and ap­pointed to dwell with him for ever. Therefore, know, saith David, as speaking to ignorants, That God hath set apart for himself, him that is godly. 7. This is one of the priviledges of the godly, that how oft soever they are put to their prayers, by [...]ouble or tentation, so oft they get audience, upholding, comfort, and delivery; as their crosses doe abound, so doe their consolations; as the Prophet testifieth, saying, The Lord will hear me when I call upon him. 8. The experience of one of the Saints concerning the verity of Gods promises, of the cer­tainty of the written priviledges of the Lords people, is a sufficient proof of the right which all his children have unto, and ground of hope for their partaking in the same mercies in their need; therefore David, to prove his generall doctrine▪ set down in the first part of the verse, he saith, The Lord will heare me when I call unto him.

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Ver. 4. Stand in awe and sin not, commune with our own heart upon your bed, and be stil. Selah.

5. Offer the sacrifices of righteousnesse, and put your trust in the Lord.

In the third place, he exhorteth his enemies to repentance and faith God; wherein as he laid downe the course which they should keepe, to wit, to have their judgment wel inform­ed in the principles of Religion, in the former verse; so here in this verse he will have their heart and affections reformed: and in the following verse hee wil have their actions also re­formed in relation to the duties of the first and second Teble, and their actions to flow from their faith in God. Whence learn, 1. Repentance is not real and sound, til the heart bee affected with the sense of sinne by-past, and fear of sinning hereafter, and bee brought in subjection under the dreadful Majestie of God: therefore after instruction, ver. 2, 3. Hee saith here, Stand in awe and sinne not. 2. The meane prescribed of God for to make the heart sensible of its condition, is the serious and daily examination of the conscience, posing it to answer all interrogatories concerning the mans conformi­tie to Gods law, and that in secret, in the night, without di­straction: for a man had neede to have his wits about him, when hee goeth to examine a deceitful thiefe: to this pur­pose saith hee, Commune with your hearts on your beds. 3. The fruit of daily, serious examination of the conscience, concer­ning sinne committed, is, to make a man humble, quiet, and submissive to the Lord: this he insinuateth in foretelling them that thus they shall be still, or silent, not opening the mouth to excuse their sinnes, or to mock the godly. As for re­formation of their lives in relation to the law of God, ver. 5. He teacheth, 1. That the formal discharge of the external ceremonies of Religion will not prove a man to be a true convert, or a sincere penitent; but the true sacrifice of Christs obedience unto the death, signified by the external sacrifices, must bee looked unto; and the sacrifice of thanksgiving and wel doing, and the dedication of the whole man to the ser­vice of God, must testifie the truth of repentance. There­fore in opposition to the external ceremonial sacrifice, hee commandeth to offer the sacrifices of righteousnesse. 2. When a penitent hath for evidencing the sinceritie of his turning to God, brought forth fruit suitable to repentance, hee must not lay weight upon his works, but lay all his confidence upon [Page 23] Gods free grace, who justifieth the true convert by faith only: Therefore, after commanding them to offer the scrifices of righteousnesse, he directeth them, saying, Put your trust in the Lord.

Ver. 6. There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy coun­tenance upon us.

7. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more then in the time that their corne and their wine increa­sed.

8. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

In the last place he commendeth his own blessed estate, and to enforce the former ehxortation, he compareth the happi­ness which the worldling doth seeke after, with the spirituall joy which is granted to the godly, and prefereth the last far before the other. Hence learn. 1. The blind worldlings, ig­norant of what is truly good, are taken with insatiable wish­ing, and seeking for some earthly thing, whereby they con­ceive they may be happy. Of those speaketh he, saying, There be many that say, Who will shew us any good 2. The truely god­ly joyne one with another, in seeking? their felicity in Gods favour, and in the sense of his reconciliation, and not in seeking the worldly mans choice: for in the opposition to the worldlings wishes, David with the rest of the godly, faith, Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 3. The comfort of Gods Spirit, and sense of a mans reconciliation with God in Christ, is greater then any worldly joy can be, and is able to supply the want of riches, honors, and plea­sures worldly, and to season, yea and swallow up the sense of poverty, disgrace, and whatsoever other evill. This David testifieth by his own experience, saying, Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more then in the time that their corn and wine increa­sed. 4. Faith in God, as it bringeth joy, so also peace un­speakable, and passing understanding, in the midst of trou­ble: This Davids experience teacheth also, I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, notwithstanding of all the oppositions the sons of men made unto him. 5. Whether God do give means of safety, or none at all which can be seen, preserva­tion and safetie is his gift, and the making a man observe the [Page 24] benefit of preservation is another gift also: wherefore, David giveth the glory of both unto God, Thou only makest mee dwell in safety.

PSAL. V. To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth. A Psalm of David.

David as a type of Christ, and one of the number of his afflicted followers, set forth in his afflicti­on, as an example of exercise to others in after ages, doth pray for himselfe, and against his E­nemies, using sundry arguments to strengthen himself in his hope to be heard: First, from the grace of God bestowed on himselfe to use the means, ver. 1.2, 3. Secondly, From the justice of God against his wicked enemies, ver. 4, 5, 6. Thirdly, From his own stedfast purpose and desire to continue in Gods service, and to walk so uprightly, as the enemie shall not have ad­vantage of him by his miscarriage, ver. 7▪ 8. Fourthly, From the ripenesse of sin in his ad­versaries, which did prepare them for sudden destruction, ver. 9, 10. Fifthly, From the cer­tain hope of joy, and defence, and spirituall Blessing to be bestowed on himself and all belie­vers, out of the free love and favour of God to­ward them, ver. 11, 12.

Ver. 1. GIve eare to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.

2. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

3▪ My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and wil look up.

[Page 25]In his strengthening of his hope to be heard, from the grace of God bestowed on him, to use the means for obtaining a good answer, Learn, 1. When the Lord giveth us a mouth to speak to him, there is ground of hope hee will grant an eare to us; for so reasoneth David, Give ear to my words, O Lord. 2. In time of trouble, the heart hath more to say to God, then words can utter; and what a man cannot expresse, the Lord wil take knowledge of it, no lesse then of his words; This the prophet hopeth for, saying, Consider my meditation. 3. When extremity of danger forceth a way to the Lord, the belie­vers necessity hath a voice, lowder then his expressed words, and whereunto the Lord will give eare; hearken to the voice of my cry. 4. It is a point of spirituall wisedome for the helpe of our faith, to take hold of those relations we have to God, whereby we may expect what we pray for, as David doth here, when we would have protection and delivery, saying; My King, & my God. 5. Faith knoweth no other to pray unto for helpe, save God alone, nor any other way to be helped, save by perse­verance in prayer; For unto thee will I pray, saith he. 6. Resolved Importunity in prayer must bee joyned with taking hold of the first and fittest opportunity offered for prayer: My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord, saith hee. 7. Calling on God in trouble, with dependance on him, doth give hope of audience, and deliverie by him, by way of a convincing Syllogisme, whereof the promise of deliverie made to such as call on the name of the Lord in the day of trouble, is the first proposition; the conscience of resolved calling on him maketh the assumption or second proposition; and faith con­cludeth the expection of deliverance; for the prophets rea­soning is this in effect, whosoever they be, that pray to the Lord in their trouble, thou wilt hear them: But I doe pray to thee, and do resolve to continue praying: Therefore thou O Lord wilt hear me.

V. 4. For thou art not a God that hast pleasure in wickednesse: neither shall evil dwel with thee.

5. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

6. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhorre the bloody and deceitful man.

In the second place, he reasoneth from the justice of God against his enemies: Whence learn, 1. The worst qualities [Page 26] in the adversaries of the Godly, doth furnish good matter of Faith and Hope to the beleever to be rid of them: for this use doth David make of the wickednesse of his enemies in these three verses. 2. Such as take pleasure in sin, God cannot take pleasure in them: Thou art not a God, saith he, that hast pleasure in wickednesse: And such as wil not part with sin, God shal separate them from his companie; for it is said, Neither shall evil dwell with thee. 3. Let wicked men seem never so wise Polititians among men, yet shal they be found mad fools before God, selling heaven for trifles of the earth, holding war with the Almighty, and running upon their own destruction in their self-pleasing dreams, to the losse of their life and state, temporal and eternal. For the foolish (saith he) shall not stand in thy sight. 4. Such as make iniquitie their worke, shal have the effects of Gods hatred for their wages: for Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity. 5. The enemies of Gods people, whiles by slanders and lies they murther the innocent, do draw upon themselves swift damna­tion from God: Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing, saith he. 6. Falshood and crueltie which are the characters of the foes of the godly, are abomination to the Lord, which he can­not endure: Thou wilt abhor the bloudie and deceitful man.

Vers. 7. But as for me, I will come into thy house, in the multitude of thy mercies: and in thy feare will I worship toward thy holy Temple.

8. Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousnes, be­cause of mine enemeis, make thy way straight before my face.

In the third place, he resolveth that what ever the enemy shal do, he will walk as God hath commanded him: with reso­lution to serve God in sincerity, as also a profession of hope to enjoy the society of his Saints in Gods publicst [...] Worship: and to this end he prayeth he may be kept straight in his walk­ing, that the enemy might have nothing wherewith to re­proach him. Hence Learn, 1. Though the Godly want not the conscience of their own sins, when they speak of the sins of their enemies, yet there is a difference between them and the wicked, in respect the Godly are humbled in the sense of their sins, are brought to the acknowledgment of their need of mercy, and do [...] to God for having mercy, and to [Page 27] the multitudes of mercies, as they see the multitude of their sins: and therefore saith hee of himself, in opposition to the wicked, But as for me, I wil come into thy house, in the mul­tude of thy mercies. 2. The faith which the godly have in the mercies of God, doth encourage them to follow the service of God; and in some cases doth give them hope to be loosed from the restraints which doe hinder them from en­joying the publick Ordinances: I will come into thy house, in the multitude of thy mercies. 3. The right temper of the heart of a true Worshipper, is feare before God: In thy feare will I worship. 4. Under the sense of sinfulnesse and unworthi­nesse, faith must be supported by looking toward Jesus Christ, prefigured by the Tabernacle and Temple▪ In thy feare, saith hee, I wil worship toward thy holy Temple. 5. When the Godly are under trouble from their enemies, and under tryal by other sorts of exercise, they are no lesse feared for their mis­carriage and offending the Lord, then they are feared for what their enemies can doe against them; Therefore, Lead mee O Lord, in thy righteousnesse, saith hee. 6. So much the more as the godly are sensible of their own blindnesse, and weake­nesse, and readinesse to go out of the right way; so much the more doe they call for, and depend upon Gods directing of them. Lead me, saith hee; As one that seeth not, or as one who is not able to hold a right course, without a guide. 7. If the godly man take a sinful course, to be relieved from his trouble, the enemie is hardned in his wicked course, by this means to blaspheme the profession of Piety, as meere hypo­crisie, and so God is provoked to let the enemie prevaile, be­cause the miscarriage of the godly hath made way to him; for avoiding of which inconvenience, he prayeth: Lead mee, in thy righteousness because of my enemies. 8. The deceitfulnesse of sin, the ignorance of what is expedient and lawful in a particular case, the mist of private affections, and the example of ill counsel of the World, are ready to make a man mistake the right way, except the Lord make clear what is his duty: Therefore saith he, Make thy way straight before my face.

Ver. 9. For there is no faithfulnesse in their mouth, their inward part is very wickedness: their throat is an open sepulchre, they flatter with their tongue.

10. Destroy thou them, O God, let them fal by their own counsels: cast them out in the multitude [Page 28] of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against thee.

In the fourth place he strengtheneth his hope to be helped, because his enemies sins were ripe for judgment. Whence learn, 1. Among other motives to make the godly take heede of their carriage in time of trial, this is one, they have to doe with a false world, and hollow hearted men, who will make false pretences of what is not their intentions, and will make promise of what they mind not to performe, and wil give none but rotten and poisonable advice, fairded with false flattery, and all to deceive the godly, and draw them in a snare. This is it, he saith, For there is no faithfulnesse in their mouth, their inward part is very wickednesse, their throat is an open sepul­chre, they flatter with their tongue: and this is the nature of all carnal men, when it cometh to the point of defending Gods cause in time of trial. 2. Though this prayer bee not to be drawne in imitation against particular persons, by us who have not so infallible revelation of mens state before God, yet is it a prophesie against all the irreconcilable enemies of God, and of his people, against whom the Spirit of God ma­keth imprecation here, saying, Destroy thou them O God. 3. There is no need of any other means to destroy the Lords enemies, then their own devices: The very course they take to establish themselves, will serve for their owne ruine. Let them fal, saith he, by their own counsel. 4. The certain cause of the ruine of the persecuters of Gods people, is the ripenesse and ful measure of their sinnes. Cast them out (saith he) in the multitude of their transgressions. 5. The opppsing of truth, and of the Ordinances of God, in the person of his servants who stand for the same, is not simply the opposing of mortal men, but the opposing of God, whose quarrel it is; Therefore, saith hee, They have rebelled against thee.

Ver. 11. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoyce: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy Name, be joyful in thee.

12. For thou LORD, wilt blesse the righteous, with favor wilt thou compasse him, as with a shield.

In the last place, he maketh prayer for all the godly, mi­ [...]itant in this warfare with himselfe, that they may share to­gether [Page 29] in the Lords favour. Hence learne, 1. Persecution for righteousnesse is a cause common to all believers, wherein they should all joyn, and pray one of them for another, and seeke for a joyful out-gate each to other in their owne time. for this cause, after prayer against enemies, he saith, But let all that trust in thee rejoyce. 2. The manifested care of God for his people, in protecting and delivering them from their enemies, is matter of exceeding joy to his people, because hee is glorified herein, and his Church is preserved: Let them ever shout f [...]r joy, because thou defendest them. 3. Such believers as have gotten grace to love Gods name, (albeit it be not yet gi­ven unto them to suffer for his Name) are allowed to share in the joy of victorious sufferers. Let them also that love thy Name, saith he, be joyfull in thee. 4. The person who is justified by faith, and studieth unto holinesse, is an heir of Gods blessing, whether he be lesse or more taken notice of by the world, whether entred in the conflict with persecuters or nor: For thou, O Lord, wilt blesse the righteous. 5. The favour and good wi [...] of God toward his own, is a strong and glorious defence to them; it is a crowning shield, a shield compassing a man round about like a glorious Diadem, a shield very handsome and strong, which the believer ought to gripe wel, and hold fas [...] and manage warily, and oppose it to every assault of the adversary: a crowning shield, which cirkleth the man round about, and keepeth off the dint of the adversaries weapon, even when the pursued believer is not aware: With favour wilt thou compass hi [...] as with a shield.

PSALM VI. To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.

Another experience of David, useful to be known by all the children of God, who are subject to the like exercise; wherein David being under the sense of the Lords heavie hand, upon his body and spirit, prayeth for the removal of felt wrath, ver. 1, 2, 3 Next prayeth for the renewed feeling and experience of Gods mercy towards [Page 30] him, laying forth his lamentable condition be­fore the pitiful eye of God, ver. 4, 5, 6, 7. After which, being heard and comforted, in the third place, he defieth, and triumpheth over all his e­nemies, ver. 8▪ 9.

Ver. 1. O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten mee in thy hot dis­pleasure.

2. Have mercy upon mee, O Lord, for I am weak, O Lord heal me, for my bones are vexed.

3. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou▪ O Lord, how long?

From his prayer for removal of wrath, Learne, 1. It is possible, that a true believer, who hath been oft times re­freshed with the sense of Gods favour, may by some sad exercise have his conscience so wakened in the sense of sinne, as hee can feele nothing but wrath, and fear of cutting off; as this experience of David maketh manifest. 2. There is no relief in such case, save to set faith on work, whatsoever bee felt or feared, and to seek mitigation and deliverance of God, as the Prophet doth here. 3. Even the fatherly wrath of God, and far more the apprehension of hot displeasure of an angry Judge, is unsupportable to a soule that knoweth God, and hath ever tasted of his favour before: Rebuke me not in thy wrath, saith he. 4. There is as much ground of faith holden forth in the Lords Name Iehovah, (importing his unchange­able being, and his constancy in his promises) as to ground a prayer upon it, for obtaining the change of a mans case to the better, in the hardest condition imaginable; O Lord, or O Iehovah, (saith hee) Rebuke me not in thy wrath ▪ 5. Though sense feel wrath, and see nothing but hot displea­sure, yet faith can pierce through cl [...]uds, and bespeake mercy: Have mercy on me, O Lord, saith David, in the midst of this sad condition. 6. Though sinne doth provoke anger, yet the misery and inability to subsist, presented unto God, is the ob­ject of mercy, and a motive to faith to expect compassion: Have mercy on me, saith he, for I am weak. 7. When sinne hath drawne on sicknesse, or any other danger, let pardon of [Page 31] sin be first sought, and after that, the removing of the stroke; for first, hee saith, have mercy on mee, and then, heale mee. 8. The Lord can make the strongest and most insensible part of a mans body, sensible of his wrath, when he pleaseth to touch him; for here Davids bones are vexed. 9. Anguish of Spirit and torment of conscience, is heavier then any torture of body, as, my soul is also vexed, doth import. 10. The Lords apprehended absence in t [...]ouble, and delaying to an­swer the supplicant, putteth a load above a burthen, and surpas­seth all expression of words; for here his speech is cutted, But thou O Lord, how long?

Ver. 4. Returne, O Lord, deliver my soule: O save me for thy mercies sake.

5. For in death there is no remembrance of thee, in the grave who shal give thee thanks?

6. I am weary with my groaning, all the night make I my bed to swimme, I water my couch with my tears.

7. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it wax­eth old, because of all mine enemies.

In the next place he prayeth for a renewed sensible experi­ence of Gods mercy to him, because of his pitifull condition. Wherein learn, 1. A renewed blenk of the Lords countenance wil satisfie a soule in greatest distresse: Therefore David craveth this for a remedie of all his sorrow, Returne, O Lord. 2. If desertion continue, feare of perishing utterly doth pre­sent it selfe; as this prayer insinuateth, O Lord, deliver my soul. 3. The only time to spread the praise of God, by ma­king mention of him before them that know him not, is the time of this life: For in death there is no remembrance of thee. 4. The Christians love of life, should proceed from the love of honouring of God in this life, (where it may inlarge Gods glory, before them who may be profited by preaching of his praise) and should be preferred to our own contentment for a time in heaven, so long as God pleaseth to take service of us here. For this is the force of the Prophets reasoning, In the grave who shal give thee thanks? Our place waiteth for us, and no man can take it over our head, while wee on earth are induring toy­ling and trouble, to bring more to heaven with us. 5. A true desire and purpose to glorifie God in this life, to the edi­fying [Page 32] of others, may give hope of some prolonging of life, and assurance of not perishing for ever: for Davids hope to be heard doth run here upon this ground. 7. The most la­sting, pressing, and piercing sorrow that ever soul felt, is from the sense of sinne, and of Gods displeasure for it, as the Prophets expression here doth give evidence. 8. The exercise of the god­ly under the sense of Gods displeasure, may be very heavy, and of long continuance; The prophet is weary with his groaning, & his eyes consumed with grief. 9. No delay of comfort, no sense of sinne, no fear of Gods utter displeasure can be a reason to the believer to cease from prayer, and dealing with God for grace; for the Prophet is weary, but giveth not over; only his con­dition is the matter of fresh mourning to him night and day, and powring out of tears in the Lords bosome: All the night maketh hee his bed to swim, and watereth his couch with his tears. 10. The insulting of enemies over the godly when the Lords hand is heavy upon them, because it reflecteth upon Religion and upon Gods glory, is a main ingredient in the sorrow of the godly: Davids eye had waxen old and dim with griefe, be­cause of all his enemies.

V. 8. Depart from mee all yee workers of iniqui­ty: for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weep­ing.

9. The Lord hath heard my supplication, the Lord wil receive my prayer.

10. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

In the third place David defyeth all his enemies, being comforted by the light of Gods countenance, and lifted up in his spirit. Whence Learne, 1. The Lord can shortly change the chear of an humble supplicant, and raise a soule trembling for feare of wrath, to a triumphing over all sort of adversaries, and over all tentations to sinne arising from them, for the return of the Prophets prayer maketh him say, now, Depart from me all ye workers of iniquity. 2. The Sacrifice of a contrite Spirit, offered by a believer, the Lord will no [...] despise; For the Lord heard the voice of the Prophets weeping. 3. The hearing of our prayer should be thankfully observed and made use of, for strengthening our faith in prayer afterward: For after the Prophet hath said, [The Lord hath heard [Page 33] my supplication; he addeth, The Lord will receive my prayer. 4. The enemies of the godly shal all of them be disappointed of their hopes, and ashamed for their attempts against them, and filled with vexation for their pains; for this prayer fur­nished by the Spirit (vers. 10) to one of the godly against his wicked enemies, is a prophecie against all the rest of the ene­mies of the godly, in all ages.

PSAL. VII. Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamine.

The Prophet as a type of Christ mystical, and an example of Christians suffering, being slandered of treason against his Prince, by one of the cour­tiers, first fleeth to God for delivery, ver. 1, 2. Secondly, cleareth his innocencie, ver. 3, 4, 5. Thirdly, requesteth the Lord to judge between him and his enemies, ver. 6, 7, 8, 9. And fourth­ly, in prayer is made confident, that the Lord will plead for him against his enemies, ver. 10, 11, 12, 13. and will returne their devised mis­chief against him, upon their owne head, ver. 14, 15, 16. Whereupon in the last place he pro­miseth praise to God for his righteous judge­ment, ver· 17.

Ver. 1. O Lord, my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

2. Lest he teare my soul like a Lion, renting it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

AS to the first part, wherein he fleeth to God to bee de­livered from the bloody tongues of calumniators; Learn, [Page 34] 1. It is a part of the exercise of Christs servants, to bee slan­dered as Traitors to their lawful Magistrates, as David was by Cush, a flattering courtier. 2. God who is able to clear the innocent, and to defend them from malice, is in this case to be run unto, and use is to be made of faith in him, and our Covenant with him, for reliefe from all adversaries, as the Prophet doth here. 3. If God do not interpose him­selfe, for defence of his unjustly slandered Servants, there is nothing to be expected from wicked enemies inraged, but mercilesse beastly crueltie, as is showne in Davids experi­ence.

Ver. 3. O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there be iniquity in my hands.

4. If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at pe [...]ce with me, (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is my enemie.)

5. Let the enemie persecute my soule, and take it; yea, let him tread downe my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

In the second place, wherein hee cleareth his own inno­cency, Learn 1. Though innocency cannot exempt a man from being unjustly slandered, yet it will furnish him with a good conscience, and much boldnesse in the particular, before God; as here is seene, ver. 3, 4. 2. The more a man doth render for evil good, the more confidence shall hee have, when hee cometh to God; for innocencie served David for this good use, That hee had delivered Saul, who without cause was his enemie, vers. 4. 3. He that is conscious of doing, or in­tending injury to his neighbour, will have his own conscience against him, in the time when hee meeteth with a greater in­jury done to him, and in that case will be forced to justifie Gods righteousnesse against himselfe, as Davids conditional prayer doth here imoort, ver. 5.

V. 6. Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thy self, because of the r [...]ge of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgement that thou hast com­manded.

[Page 35] 7. So shall the Congregation of the people compasse thee about; for their sakes, therefore returne thou on high.

8. The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousnesse, and accor­ding to mine integrity that is in me.

9. Oh let the wickednesse of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

In the third place, hee prayeth that God would judge be­tweene him and his enemies: Whence learne, 1. Though the Lord for the tryal and exercise of his children, sit still as it were, for a time, when men are about to oppresse them; yet will hee in due time manifest himself to be no idle spectator of wrong, but a just defender of the oppressed, and avenger of the injurious, He wil arise in anger, and lift up himselfe. 2. When our enemies are desperately malicious, and nothing can mitigate their fury; let the consideration of Gods justice mitigate our passion: for he wil arise in anger against them. 3. There is no lesse just zeale in God, to defend his owne oppressed people, then there is malice in the wicked, to wrong them: For his rising in anger, is here opposed to the rage of the enemies. 4. Albeit judgment against the oppressour be not at the first executed, yet God in his Word hath given out sen­tence against them, and in his active providence, hath pre­pared means and instruments for execution thereof in due time; When hee shall awake to execute the judgement which hee hath commanded, or given order for. 5. When the Lord ariseth to judge his enemies, then the Lords people will draw warmly unto him, and as it were, compasse him round about. 6. In calling for justice upon the wicked enemies of Gods people, wee should not be led with private passion, or desire of revenge, but with desire of Gods glory, and edification of his people: for their sakes prayeth he, return thou on high, or ascend to thy Tribunal Seat. 7. Principles of Religion, whereof we may have use in our exercises, should be solidly digested, that we may apply them readily to use, as neede re­quireth, for strengthening of our faith, and prayer to God: for when the Prophet hath setled his faith upon the Doctrine [Page 36] of Gods judging and executing justice in favours of his people, in the general, hee applyeth it to his own particular, saying, judge me O Lord. 8. When a man hath made peace with God about all his sins, upon the termes of grace and mercy, through the Sacrifice of the Mediatour, he may in comparison with his injurious enemies, in a particular cause, appeale to Gods justice to decide the controversie; as here the Pro­phet doth, saying, Iudge me according to my righteousnesse, O Lord, and mine integrity that is in me. 9. When a processe hath beene lying long before God, and the controversie be­tween the godly and their persecuters is not yet decided, the godly may put in a bill for passing the decree, and executing of the sentence, as here is done: Oh let the wickednesse of the wicked come to an end, &c. 10. The upright man needs not to fear that his enemies shall obtain a decree in their favours, or suspension, or reduction of the sentence pronounced: For the righteous God tryeth the heart and the reins.

Ver. 10. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

11. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

12. If hee turne not, he wil whet his sword; hee hath bent his bow and made it ready.

13. Hee hath also prepared for him the instru­ments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecuters.

14. Behold he travelleth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischiefe, and brought forth fals­hood.

15. Hee made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen in­to the ditch which hee made.

16. His mischief shall return upon his owne head, and his violent dealing shal come down upon his owne pate.

In the fourth place is the answer of his prayer, viz. as­surance given of delivery to him, and of judgment on his [...]: Whereupon the supplicant giveth thanks to God. [Page 37] Whence learne, 1. The fruit of faith joyned with a good conscience, is accesse to God in prayer, confidence, peace and tranquillity of mind, mitigation of trouble, protection and deliverance, as the Prophets experience here doth prove. 2. Victory granted unto faith, after wrestling with darkness is satisfactory to the soul of the godly, as if all that [...] did hope for were perfected; for he is now clear to [...] My defence is of God, &c. 3. Whatsoever we doe think [...] [...] the time of tentation, neither justice against the wicked, 1. mercy toward the godly is idle; for Gods Word and Worke [...] do speake mercy to the one, and wrath to the other, ever [...] day; all things are working for the ones good, and for the others dammage continually; For God judgeth the righteous, and is angry with the wicked every day. 4. God delayeth the execution of his judgement on the wicked, to lead them to repentance; for here God hath whet his sword to strike, if the wicked turn not. 5. If repentance intervene not, the de­struction of the wicked is inevitable: If he turn not, the instru­ments of death are prepared, and the arrowes directed towards the persecuters. 6. It is a matter of no smal pains that the sinner is put unto, to serve the Divel and his owne corrupt affections, hee travelleth as with a child, he digs a pit, one of the hardest pie­ces of worke to slaves. 7. When once the wicked hath con­ceived mischiefe, hee cannot rest till hee bring his purpose to action, that his sinful thoughts may be wrought in effect: Hee conceiveth mischief, and travelleth with iniquity. 8. The adversary of Gods people shall have no profit of all his la­bour, but shall be met with disappointment, Hee bringeth forth falshood, and the evil which is most contrary to his hope and intention shall befall him: Hee is fallen in the ditch which hee made, and his mischief shall returne upon his own head, &c. as a stone throwne up against heaven, returneth upon the head of him who did throw it.

Vers. 17. I will praise the Lord according to his righteousnesse: and will sing praise to the Name of the Lord most high.

In the last place he promiseth praise, and closeth his son [...] so. Whence learn, 1. The issue of the hardest exercise of the godly, is comfort to their souls, and praise to God, as here [...] see. 2. When faith is sensibly satisfied, and setled in assu­rance [Page 38] of what was promised, it will be glad and give thanks for what is to come, as if it were in possession alreadie: so speaketh this conclusion, I will praise the Lord, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord. 3. Let the party opposer of the godly be never so powerful and violent, and his place in the world never so high, faith may set to its seal, that God shal ma­fest himself a righteous Judge in power and authority above the highest oppressing powers on earth: I will sing praise to the Name of the Lord most high.

PSAL. VIII. To the chief Musician upon Gitteth, A Psalm of David.

To the end the Prophet may commend the glory of Gods grace toward man, hee first admireth his glory in the works of Creation and Provi­dence, which are able to stop the mouths of all blasphemous Atheists, ver. 1, 2. In the second place, he admireth the Lords love to man above all other, even the most glorious creatures, ver. 3, 4. Thirdly, he setteth out this grace of God to man, in the Incarnation, humiliation, and exaltation of Christ for mans cause, and for restoring of redeemed man in Christ, to their right unto, and over the visible creatures. ver. 5, 6, 7, 8. and closeth the Psalme, with the ad­miration of Gods glory in all the Earth. ver. 9.

Ver. 1. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies, that thou mightest stil the enemie and the avenger.

From his admiration of Gods glory in the workes of [Page 39] Creation and Providence, learn 1. The godly are not alwaies born downe with trouble; Sometime they have liberty to goe, and delight themselves in the beholding of Gods glory and goodnesse towards themselves, as the whole Psalme shew­eth. 2. The mysterie of the glory of God, in his workes of Creation and Redemption, is such, as none save the eye spiritually illuminate by his spirit, can see it: And he that seeth it, cannot but be ravished therewith, when he doth dis­cerne it; and none can sufficiently comprehend it, or take it up fully, save God himselfe. Therfore the Prophet direct­eth his speech full of admiration, wholly to the Lord, through­out all the Psalme. 3. The glory of the Lord is great­ly sweetned unto the godly, in the time of their praising of his Majestie, when they consider their own Interest in him, as in their own propriety. Therefore saith he, O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name! 4. No words are sufficient to set out the glory of the Lord, not only as it is in it selfe, but even as it is discovered to a spirituall understanding; There­fore by way of admiration, must he cry out, How excellent is thy Name! 5. The heavens and celestial lights shining from above, do speake much of Gods glory; but in effect his glory is greater then they can hold forth; for his glory is set above the heavens. 6. Albeit the glory of the Lord doth fill the world, yet hath he enemies of his glory, to wit, profane and godlesse persons, Athiests, Epicures, and persecuters of his people and truth; For here are enemies spoken of, and aven­gers, opening blasphemous mouths against him, and his peo­ple, as if God, and his people, had injured them. 7. Not only the providence of God in new borne babes, framing them in the belly, providing nourishment unto them when they are borne, and making them to suck the brests; but al­so the giving of saving knowledge to some of them, in their tender years, is able to refute all Atheists and profane despi­sers of the glory of the Lord; for out of the mouth of babes and sucklings he hath ordained strength, or strong conviction, to still the enemie and the avenger, and put him to silence. Matthew 21.26.

Ver. 3. When I consider the heavens, the worke of thy fingers, the Moon and the Stars which thou hast ordained;

4. What is man that thou art mindfull of him? [Page 40] and the son of man that thou visitest him?

From his admiration in Gods respect, and love to man a­bove all other creatures, Learne, 1. The weaknesse and un­worthinesse of man, considered both in himselfe, and compa­red with his glorious creatures made for his use, do commend the bounty of God to man, and make it a matter of great ad­miration. For when the prophet considereth the glorious hea­vens &c. he asketh, What is man? &c. 2. Man of all the crea­tures is most esteemed and taken care of by God. For hee is mindful of man, and daily visiteth him.

Ver. 5. For thou hast made him a little lower then the Angels, and hast crowned him with glory and ho­nour.

8. Thou madest him to have dominion over all the works of thy hand; Thou hast put all things under his feet.

7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field.

8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth thorow the paths of the seas.

In the third place, hee looketh on man considered in his Creation before the fall, and as he is in his head Christ (who is God incarnate, humbled and exalted for mans cause after the fall) restored to what hee lost by the fall. Whence learne, 1. Looke unto man in his creation, and God hath given him the place, in order of dignity, above all the creatures visible, next unto heavenly Angels: Thou hast made him a little lower then the Angels. 2. Looke unto man after his fall, restored by Christ unto his place, and in this respect hee is established in that dignity to be next unto the glorious Angels: Thou hast made him a little lower then the Angels. 3. Looke unto man in our Head Christ Jesus, God incarnate, and there man is wonderfully exalted in regard that for respect and love to man, the Man Christ being very God, is humbled unto the death of the crosse. And in this sense doth the Apostle, Heb. 2.7, 9. take this place, Thou madest him a little lower then the Angels, for the suffering of death. 4. Looke unto man in Christ Jesus, after his resurrection, and in his glorification; God hath crowned him with glory and Majestie. 5. It is no [Page 41] small point of dignifying man, that all believers have by Christ this title of Heirship, with lawful use and possession of the creatures recovered and restored unto him: Thou ma­dest him to have dominion over the works of thine hands. 6. As there is nothing which may doe man good service, which God hath not granted man dominion over in and through Christ, so there is nothing can harm him, but he hath put under Christs feet, and under beleevers feet in and through Christ, to wit, sinne and Satan, and all our enemies, and Death the last ene­my; Hee hath put all things under his feete, as the Apostle ga­thereth, 1 Cor. 15.26. 7. Christ shall not lay downe his kingdome which he hath in his Church, and over all her ene­mies, till hee hath put downe all rule and authority, and power against him and his Church, and have subdued all enemies under himselfe. For hee must reigne till hee hath put all things under his feete, as the Apostle collecteth, 1 Cor. 15.25. 8. Nothing is excepted or exeemed from being sub­ject to Christ, as man, no not the holy Angels (who are made ministring Spirits, to serve believers) but only God, essen­tially considered, he only is excepted. For he hath put all things under his feet; but when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted who did put all things un­der him, as the Apostle proveth from this place, 1 Cor. 15.27.

Ver. 9▪ O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the earth!

Hee closeth the Psalme as he began it with admiration: Whence learne, 1. The praises of our Lord, and the excel­lency of our covenant right, and Interest in him, are wor­thy again and again to be considered, and that God should bee proclaimed Lord of us whom hee hath l [...]fted up to so high a Dominion. Therefore is this verse repeated again. 2. When a man hath begun to declare some reason of his wondering at the glory of God, manifested in the whole world, and specially in his Church, he must give over the ful explication of this glory, and close as he begun, with wondring stil as here the same ex­clamation of wondring at the excellency of Gods glory conclu­deth the Psalme, as it did begin it, O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the earth!

PSAL. IX. To the chiefe Musician upon Muth-Labben. A Psalme of Da­vid.

Here is Davids song of praise to God, first, for his own exeperience of Gods goodnesse towards himselfe, and Gods righteous Judgment against his enemies, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. Secondly, for the Lords readiness to do the like worke▪ in favours of all the godly, ver. 5▪ 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Thirdly, hee exhorteth the godly to praise God with him, ver. 11, 12. Fourthly, he prayeth for his owne deli­verie out of his present distress, ver. 13, 14. Fifth­ly, he hath assurance of the overthrow of all his enemies, ver. 15, 16, 17, 18. And last of all, for the execution of this overthrow, hee heartily prayeth, ver. 19, 20.

Ver. 1. I Will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart, I wil shew forth all thy marvellous works.

2. I wil be glad and rejoyce in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most high.

3. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fal and perish at thy presence.

4. For thou hast maintained my right and my cause, thou satest in thy throne judging right.

FRom the first part of this song of praise, Learne, 1. The exercise of the Saints in variety of troubles doth occasion the setting forth of the glory of God in all his attributes, as in this Psalme is shewne▪ 2. When the heart is enlarged with the sense of Gods goodnesse, the work of praising God will [...]e more heartily undertaken, and a large heart will make a [Page 43] loosed tongue and an open mouth, to set forth his glory. Da­vid will now praise the Lord with his whole heart. 3. One worke of Gods wonderful goodnesse useth to call for another▪ that they may goe forth together in each others hands to set forth his excellency; as here David wil shew forth all his wonderfull works. 4. A lover of the glory of God, cannot rest til he com­municate with others what he knoweth of the Lords won­ders: he wil shew forth (for others upstirring) all the Lords marvellous works. 5. Not any benefit or gift received of God, but God himselfe, and his free favour is the matter of the believers joy: David will be glad and rejoyce in God him­selfe. 6. It is not enough to have joy in our heart in the Lord, but it is his glory, that the joy which we have in him, be openly known as occasion offereth: therefore will David sing praises to the name of the Lord most high. 7. The way of giving God the glory in every action, and in special of our victories over our enemies, is to acknowledge him to bee the chief worker thereof, and the creatures to be but instru­ments by whom hee turneth the enemie back: for the enemie falleth and perisheth at his presence. 8. As for time by-gone God should have the glory of what is done▪ so must wee consecrate the glory of what shal bee done, and of what we would have done altogether to the Lord; therefore also for time to come David speaketh, When mine enemies are turned back, (to wit, by thy power) they shal fall at thy presence. 9. Were a cause never so right and just, it requireth Gods power for keeping it on foot: the justnesse of the cause must not be relyed on, but God must have the trust of the cause, and the glory of maintaining of it: David acknowledgeth God the maintainer of his right and cause. 10. What Judge soever shal condemne us unrighteously, there is a higher Judge to judge the cause over againe, and the parties also: who when he sheweth him­self, should be glorified in his justice by us; Thou [...]test in the throne judging right, saith David, after he was condemned of the Judges of the Land.

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

6. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetu­all end: and thou hast destroyed Cities, their memo­rial is perished with them.

[Page 44]7 But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath pre­pared his throne for judgment.

8 And hee shall judge the world in righteousnesse, hee shall minister judgement to the people in upright­nesse.

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.

In the second place, hee foreseeth in the spirit what shall become of all Gods enemies, and adversaries of his people, and prophesieth concerning them, to the praise of God, and comfort of the godly, who were to live after his time: Whence learne, 1. Although the conscience of the persecuters of Gods people be silent in their securi [...]y, yet shall Gods judge­ment against them [...] their conscience [...]e last, whether they be enemies without the Church, or [...] the Lord shall destroy them: For thou, O Lords, hast [...] ▪ the heathen▪ thou hast destroyed the wicked [...] Although the e­nemies have a great name in the [...] their glory be blasted, and their [...] ne­ver been heard of [...] name for ever and ever. 3. The [...] people, and of their dwellings [...] bee charged upon their enemies [...] executed and brought their [...] enemies themselves know and think they [...] pur­pose: their intended [...]. 4. The time shall come, when [...] godly [...] over all their oppressours▪ yea, in the midst of the enimie [...] inso­lencies, the godly, by faith may [...] say as here, O thou enemy, destructions are come to a [...] end. 5. As the enemies of Gods Church have destroyed the earth­ly dwellings of the Lords people; [...] hath destroy­ed, and will destroy their cities and their dwellings, and make their memorial cease with them. 6. The reigne of the wick­ed adversaries of Gods p [...]ople is very short, and in a few daies they are cut off, but the Lord shall endure for ever, to defend his people from age to age. 7. Courts of Justice among men [Page 45] are not alwaies ready to hear plaintiffs; but the Lord holdeth Court continually, the taking in of no mans complaint is delayed so much as one houre, though thousands should come at once, all of them with sundry Petitions: Hee hath prepa­red his throne for Iudgment. 8. Albeit in the Courts of men justice be not alwaies found, and very rarely in any matter con­cerning Christ; yet the Lord shall judge the world in righteous­nesse, and minister judgment to the people in uprightnesse: the injuries done to his people shal be all of them righted by him. 9. Although the Lords children have no residence, but be cha­sed from place to place, and know not whither to goe in the earth, yet there is an open City of refuge unto them, where they shal find shelter: For the Lord also will be a refuge to the oppressed. 10. The Lords relief which hee giveth to his peo­ple, is reserved, til other inferiour reliefs doe fa [...]l, til the god­ly man bee humbled and emptied, and then will he helpe: Unto the oppressed he will be a refuge in time of trouble. 11. The way of the Lords helping and comforting his owne people, is by lifting up the believer above any thing which can overtake him; above the reach of all creatures; The Lord will be an high tower, an high place, as the word importeth, whence the believer may look down and despise wha [...] flesh can do unto him. 12. The ignorance of the Lords goodness, mercy, truth, and other his at­tributes, is the cause of making so little use of God in prospe­rity, and so little believing in him in the time of trouble. For, they who know his name, will trust in him. 13. They to whom the spiritual knowledg of God is revealed, wil certainly trust in him: and they that trust in him will seek him: and they that seek him, wil find him to be what he is called: for the man know­ing God, trusting in God, and seeking God, is the same here. 14. The Lord may for a time hide himselfe, or delay to manifest himselfe to a believer that seeketh him (which he doth sometimes for the believers tryall, exercise, and profiting) yet no age can give an instance of his rejecting such a sup­plicant: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seeke thee. 15. As many experiences as are past of Gods grace to be­leeving supplicants before this day, as many confirmations of Faith are given, and as many encouragemints to all believers to seeke his face in Christ: For hee never forsooke them that sought him.

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Ver. 11. Sing praise to the Lord, which dwel­leth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

12. When hee maketh inquisition for blood, hee remembreth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

In the third place, he exhorteth the rest of the godly to praise God with him. Whence learn, 1. It is the duty of all believers to joyn themselves chearfully in the setting forth the Lords care over them, and whatsoever may make his lovely Majestie known to the world: for so requireth the present precept and example, Sing praises to the Lord. 2. The on­ly true God, and the right object of our joy and praises, is he who did manifest himself to the Church of the Jewes of old; who gave his Scriptures and his Ordinances to them; and among whom hee took up his residence in Jerusalem, in Sion, in the Temple, in the Mercy seat, betwixt the Cherubims, (which was a figure of the Incarnation of the Son of God; in whom, as the only Mediatour, is the trysting place betweene God and Believers, for accepting their persons and worship) for so doth the description of the true God here teach us: Sing praises to the Lord, who dwelleth in Sion. 3. The acts of the Lord for his people are so stamped with the im­pression of his divinity, that they are able to purchase glory to God even among the Nations that are without the Church, and to draw them to him: and so it is not a needlesse, fruit­lesse or hopelesse worke, to declare his doings among the Na­tions. 4. If the Lord be pleased to honour himselfe with the martyrdome of any of his servants, it is not for disrespect to their persons, for they remaine, even when dead, honou­rable in his estimation, and high in his affection; for he re­membereth them in a special manner. 5. There is a time appointed of God for bringing to judgment every sinne, and especially murther; and of all murthers, to avenge most se­verely the slaughter of his servants, concerning whom it is here said, When he maketh inquisition for blood, hee remembreth them: Precious in his eyes is the death of his Saints: 6. There is not a lost word in the earnest prayers of the humble belie­ver, poured forth in the day of his necessity: every petiti­on shal have a ful answer, partly in this life, and partly in the life to come: For God forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

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Ver. 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 Sion: I wil rejoyce in thy salvation.

In the fourth place, hee cometh to his owne particular and present case, and prayeth for a new experience of the truth formerly set downe, believed and sealed by him. Whence learn, 1. When new troubles befal experienced believers, they must betake them to their old refuge, and to the former­ly blessed means of prayer; as here David doth: Have mer­cy, O Lord, upon me. 2. Never a word of merit should be in the mouth of a true believer; For, Have mercy on mee, O Lord, is Davids onely plea; any good in us, is but a sandy ground to build on. 3. It sufficeth a believer acquainted with God, to present before God the trouble hee suffereth unjustly from his enemies, and to expect deliverance from the Lords grace towards himselfe, and from his justice in re­lation to the adversary: for this is the argument here used, Consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me. 4. Ex­treme danger of present death, should not dash nor discourage the believer to pray for deliverance, because experience hath proven, that the Lord can lift a believer up from the gates of death. 5. Life should not be loved so much for it selfe, as that wee may glorifie God in our life; and edifie others in the knowledge of God; For deliverance from death is here asked of God, that hee may set forth all the praises of God in the gates and most open places of the daughter of Sion: that is, in the audience of the people of God. 6. He gets a satis­factory Answer: which teacheth us, That in a moment the Lord can perswade the supplicant of the grant of his prayer, and fill him with joy; as here in one breath, ere the prophet could close his prayer, he is made to joy in the salvation or delive­rance which he was perswaded God was to give to him: I will rejoyce in thy salvation.

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

[Page 48] 16 The Lord is known by the judgments which hee executeth: the wicked is snared in the worke of his own hands. Higgaion, Selah.

17 The wicked shal 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 shal not perish for ever.

In the fifth place is set downe, how with confidence of his own delivery, he is made sure of the overthrow of the enemie: Whence learne, 1. Ordinarily, the delivery of the persecuted people of God is joyned with the overthrow of their op­pressors: And ceatainly, the wicked cannot take a readier way to ruine themselves, then to seek the overthrow of the Lords Church and people: For here, The heathen are sunke down in the pit that they made; and their crafty counsel a­gainst the godly, is the trap to take themselves into: In the net which they hid, their own feet are taken. 2. None of Gods judgments, and specially none of those Judgments whereby he pleads the cause of his Church against her enemies, should be lightly looked upon: For the Lord is known by the judgments which hee executeth: His judgements bear the impression of his wisdome and justice; so as the sinne may be read written on the rod. 3. Amongst other manifestations of Gods wisdome and justice in punishing his adversaries, this is one. The Lord makes the workes of the wicked, and specially what they doe against his people, to be the very means to undoe them: The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. 4. As the devices of the wicked do come from hel, so do they re­turn thither, and draw the devisers with them: Though they cry, Peace, peace, and put the fear of hell farre from them, yet all the wicked shal be turned into hell. 5. As they who give themselves to sinne, and specially enemies to peace, doe cast a­way the knowledge of God out of their mind and affections; so shall God cast them away far from his presence: All the nations that forget God, shall be turned into hell. 6. Albeit the Lord doe not presently execute judgment on the godlesse oppressors of his people, yet for respect the Lord doth beare to his people, their destruction shal certainly come: They shall goe down to bell; for the needy shall not alwayes bee forgot­ten. The cry of the needy and oppressed shall bring judge­ment [Page 49] upon the oppressors. 7. The Lords people are an humbled people, afflicted, emptied, sensible of their need, driven to a dai­ly attendance on God, daily begging of him, and living only up­on the hope of what is promised: for so are they here described needy, poor, supplicants, and expectants of the performance of what is promised. 8. Albeit the Lord seeme to lay aside the prayers of the oppressed godly, and forget them: and albeit the godly mans hope doth seem for a time vaine, yet shal he not al­waies be forgotten, nor his expectation perish for ever, and special­ly the expectation he hath of things everlasting, shal not be dis­appointed, but shal be satisfied for ever.

Ver. 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.

In the last place he followeth his condemnatory sentence of the wicked with prayer, that the Lord would put it in ex­ecution, even in his owne time. Whence learn, 1. The Lord doth not so delay to execute judgement on the oppressors of his people, but he may be intreated to make speedy dispatch, and as need requireth to arise and fall to worke. 2. The time of Gods arising is, when the cause of God which the godly do mai­taine is like to be lost. Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail. There is his reason, why he would have God to arise. 3. When God ariseth for the godly, he maketh it appear, that they are his peo­ple, and that their adversaries are in effect before him but hea­then and strangers from the inward covenant, and common­wealth of his people, whether they be within the visible Church or not; for he prayeth, Let the heathen be judged in thy sight. 4. So long as the Lord [...]oth spare his adversaries, they do mis-know themselves, and God also. Sin doth so besot ignorant and gracelesse people, that they forget that they are mortal, and that God is their judge. Therefore David desireth, that the nations may know themselves to be but men. 5. Where there is any hope or possibility of the salvation of enemies, the godly mans de­sire is they should be brought in subjection to God▪ and hum­bled before him; and that judgments might be so tempered as the enemie might profit thereby, and God be glorified: Put them in fear, that they may know themselves to be [...]ut men.


This Psalme wanteth an inscription, and that in Gods wisedome, that being less restricted to a particular mans case, it may be of more general use, whensoever the godly find themselves in a condition whereunto this prayer may be sutable: and specially in time of general persecution. The prophet here complaineth to God and craveth justice against the persecuters of his people, be­cause of the intolerable wickedness of the op­pressor, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Secondly, he prayeth for hastning of the deliverie of the Lords people, and for hastning of judgment up­on the persecuters, for vindication of the glory of Gods justice against his enemies, and of his mercy to his people. Ver. 12, 13, 14, 15. Thirdly, he professeth his confidence that he shall be heard, and so glorifieth God, Ver. 16, 17, 18.

Ver. 1. WHy standest thou a far off, O Lord? why hidest thou thy self in time 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 hearts 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 his thoughts.

5. His wayes are alwayes grievous, thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he [...]uffeth at them.

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

[Page 51] 7. His mouth is full of cursing, and deceit, and fraud: under his tongue is mischiefe and vanity.

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

9. He lyeth in wait secretly as a lyon in his den, he lyeth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor when he draweth him into his net.

10. He croucheth, and humbleth himselfe, 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.

In this complaint he speaketh to God after the manner of men, in the termes of sense, and as matters did seem to him in outward appearance. Whence learn, 1. How far contrary to the word of promise, may Gods word and dispensation seeme to speak: the word saith, He will ever be with his owne, and not for­sake them; and here his dealing with them seemeth to say, That he standeth afar off, and hideth himself in time of trouble. Sense may sometime speak contrary to faith. 2. In this case the speech of sense is not to be subscribed, but the truth of the word should be relyed upon; and the objection made by sense, or suggestion against the word, is to bee brought before the Lord in Prayer, that it may be discussed: as here the Prophet doth. Why standest thou afar off, &c? 3. Ob­serve how homely an humbled soule may [...] God, and how far the Lord will be from mistaking of his people, when faith doth borrow senses tongue; The Lord will suffer such speeches and not take them in ill part, knowing that they proceede from faith and love, wrestling with sense; yea, and hee will suffer them to be registred in his Book, as here we see, for prudent use making of them, though they appear to challenge him, for stan­ding al [...]ofe, and hiding himselfe. 4. Oft times it cometh to passe, that the godly are in a meane condition in the world, when their adversaries are in high places and power, and so bee able to oppresse them as their underlings. The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poore. 5. In respect that pride disdain­eth what is apparantly good in a mean person, and overvalueth its owne worth, therefore pride is easily coupled with oppression [Page 52] and pride is able to raise persecution. The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poore. 6. What persecuters do devise against Gods people, may with good grounds be expected shal turne to be a snare unto themselves. Let them be taken in the devices they have imagined. 7. All the Politicians on earth cannot de­scribe the vilenesse of the wicked, so wel as the Spirit of the Lord doth point it out, for he setteth him forth. 1. Hee is an arrogant, self-confident man, threatning to bring to passe what hee would have done, as if he were able in despight of God to effectuate it: Hee boasts of his hearts desire. 2. He accounts of no man, but such a one, as by hook and crooke is able to in­hance honour and riches; He blesseth the covetous man. 3. Hee valueth not what God judgeth of a man, whether he be a man whom God loveth, and respects, or not; he setteth his opinion in opposition to Gods judgment of men, He blesseth the man whom God abhorreth. 4. The wicked man hath such a conceit of his own ability and perfection, as his countenance and car­riage doth testifie that he scorneth to imploy God by prayer for any thing: Through the pride of his countenance hee will not seeke God. 5. For the rule of his life, he consulteth not what may please or displease God, what may honour, or dishonour God. He troubles not himself with such thoughts. God is not in all his thoughts. That is, as the Hebrew phrase doth mean, all his thoughts are, that there is no God: or none of his thoughts are upon God. 6. His waies are ever noysome, [...]ending especi­ally to hurt the godly; His waies are alwaies grievous; or as his wayes prosper, they do vex others. 7. Hee feareth not Gods judgements, hee believeth not that they shal ever come; hee putteth them far [...] in his conceit: yea; and what the Lord hath set down in his word, as his judgment, hee apprehendeth it not; he is not capable of spiritual wisdome. The Lords [...]udgments are far above out of his sight. 8. He neither feareth God nor man, All his enemies he puffeth at them; as disdaining what they can do against him. 9. The wicked doe promise to themselves perpetuity of prosperity, and doe not feare evil, to see a change to the worse, He assureth himselfe never to be moved, nor to be in adversity. 10. For his words, he standeth not to blaspheme God, to lie, swear, and curse, if it may purchase him credit, and may help him to deceive others. His mouth is ful of cursing. 11. His fair promises are but vanity; and when hee minds a mischiefe, he hides it with pretences of best intentions, under his tongue is mischief and vanity.. 12. As thieves and [Page 53] cut-throats lie in wait about villages, to catch the stragling passengers, where there are few to help them, so do the wicked watch where they may oppresse those who have few to doe for them: He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages, in secret places doth he murther the innocent. 23. As an Archer in the hunting of his prey, so doth the wicked marke and spie out a poor man, to make advantage of him: His eyes are privily set a­gainst the poor. 14. As a Lion in his den, or some lurking place, lieth stil til the prey come by, and then he leapeth out upon it, when he is able to take it: so doth the wicked dissem­ble his malice, till he be Master over a man, and then doth what hee can against him. He lieth secretly in wait as a Lion. 15. As a crafty hunter spreadeth his net for a prey, and mis­kenneth it, til the prey be intangled, so doth the wicked lay some device to catch the poor, and taketh him. Hee doth catch the poor when he drawes him in his net. 16. As the Lion lieth low in the dust, as if he minded to do no harme at all; so doe the wicked men pretend themselves the most reasonable men that can be, and most observant of Law and equity till by their power they may have their intent of the poor. He crou [...]h­eth and humbleth himselfe, that the poor may fall by him, or his associates. 17. Present prosperity joyned with impurity ma­keth him perswade himselfe that God wil never take notice of him hereafter, or cal him to account, or punish him. He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten, he hideth his face, hee will never see it.

Ver. 12. Arise O Lord, O God, lift up thine hand [...] forget not the humble.

13. Wherefore doth the wicked contemne God? hee hath [...] in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.

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

15. Break thou the arme of the wicked, and the evil man: seek out his wickednesse til thou find none.

Thus hee hath given the character of the enemies of Gods people, and so made a Dittay for them. Now in the second place, he prayeth against them, that their Doome may be given out, and may be executed. Whence learn, 1. The more wee see [Page 54] Atheisme in the wicked, the more wee should draw neere to God: and albeit the godly conceive God to lye off, and sit stil from executing of justice; the godly being tempted with the tentations which overcome the wicked, yet they must not yeeld to the tentation, but pray against it, as here is done, Arise, O Lord, lift up thy hand. 2. The merciful respect and love which the Lord hath to his afflicted people, wil not suffer his justice against these persecuters, to be long quiet, For he will not for­get the humble. 3. As the Interest which God hath in his owne people, doth engage him to fal on their enemies; so the vin­dication also of his own glory from the contempt which they doe to his Name, doth ingage him against them; for wherefore doth the wicked contemne God, &c? 4. The godlesse enemies of Gods people doe deny Gods providence, and deny Gods ju­stice, yet his people are comforted under their saddest sufferings by the Lords seeing and marking thereof; for the godly say here, Thou hast seene it, and beholdest mischiefe. 5. Gods judg­ments on the wicked shall really refute the Atheisme of the wicked, and requite their opposition made to the godly. He be­holds mischiefe and spite to requite it with his hand. 6. When a man hath laid forth his desires, and poured out his heart before God, he should quiet himselfe, and cast himselfe with his bur­den upon the Lord; for here the poor committeth himselfe to God. And when an humble believer hath casten his burden on the Lord, the Lord wil not faile to take care of what hee is trusted with, it is an engaging of God, that the poor hath com­mitted himself to him. 7. As the Lords Office, Custome, and Nature is, so is his real work to do for them who imploy him, and are not able to do for themselves; Hee is the helper of the fatherlesse. 8. The power of persecuters cannot be so great, but God shal weaken and break it, so as they shall not be a­ble to trouble his people. Breake thou the arme of the wicked. 9. Though the Lord reckons not with his enemies for their sins at first, yet he reckons for all at last; for lesse and for greater, for one and for all, and doth not passe a farthing of the debt of punishment un-exacted: But seeketh out their sinnes till hee find none. O how fearful a reckoning must it be, which the Lord maketh with the impenitent, who die unpardoned, and unreconciled with God, through the Mediator Christ Jesus!

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

[Page 55] 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 fatherlesse and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppresse.

In the last place, the answer of the petition followeth, in a comfortable perswasion of the supplicant, concerning the grant thereof: Whence learn, 1. That the prayer of the persecuted shall not be rejected, because the kingdome of Christ in his Church is perpetual: earthly Kings cannot live still to helpe their friends, followers, or flatterers, or to persecute and mo­lest Gods Church: But Christ is the Lord and King for ever and ever, to defend his people, and punish his foes. 2. The wicked within the visible Church, howsoever they have the ex­ternal priviledges of Gods people, yet if they continue unre­conciled, and do oppose piety, they shal be in Gods estimati­on, and in the day of his judging of them, counted, as they are here called, heathen, and shal be separate from the fellowship of God and Gods people, The heathen shall perish out of his land. 3. Its the Lords way to exercise his children with trouble, till hee humble them, and make them sensible of the neede of his help, til he turn their sense of need, into a desire of his reliefe, and their desire into a prayer, and then hee will in due time give answer: Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble. 4. Grace to pray, and the fixing of the heart in prayer on the Lord, is his gift, no lesse then the answer of the prayer: and where the Lord doth give the one grace, he wil also give the other: Thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear. 5. When God beginneth to shew his respect to the prayers of his people against their oppressors, then the helplesse and weake servants of God shal have deliverance from the power of oppressours, and their oppressours shal not be able to do any more harme, when the Lord causeth his ear to hear their prayer: the fatherlesse shal be judged, yea declared righteous, absolved and delivered; and the oppressour shall no more oppresse. 6. If there were no more comfort to the godly opressed, yet this may suffice, that their life, inheritance, and happinesse is in heaven; and that their oppressours, in opposition to them are declared here, to be but men of this earth, whose portion is no better, then what they have here in this World.

PSAL. XI. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

David, as an example of a Christian under the trial of his faith in time of trouble, and tempted to desperation, resisted the temptation, how despe­rate soever his condition seemed: ver. 1, 2. and disputeth for the confirmation of his own faith. ver. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Ver. 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.

BEfore the Prophet dispute, and produce his reasons against the tentations unto unbeliefe, he asserteth and avoweth his faith, and presenteth the danger he is in, before God. Whence learn, 1. Its the surest method in our spiritual combate a­gainst Sathan, and his fiery darts, to hold up the shield of faith, and to fix our self in resolution never to loose our gripes off the Lord; As David doth here, In the Lord put I my trust. 2. Ha­ving once fixed our foot on the rock, wee may the more effectu­ally rebuke our adversaries, for mocking of our confidence: As David doth here, saying, How say you to my soule, Flee? 3. God is a strong refuge to his owne, whereunto they should flie like birds, chased to their strength, in all necessities, for he is our rock or mountaine. 4. The wicked world doe scorne the godly mans confidence, and the avowing of his faith in God, when they see no visible helpe for him on earth. Take up your faith now (say they) when they see the man beset by apparently in­extricable troubles, as here they say to David, flee now as a bird to thy mountaine. 5. The believer is not stupid in time of danger, nor senseless of difficulties, when hee asserteth his [Page 57] faith: For lo (saith hee) the wicked bend their bow, they have me as it were under the visie of their shot. 6. The Lord for the ex­ercise of the faith of his owne, and for discovery of the plots of the wicked against them, and for shewing of his own glory in protecting them more cleerly, doth suffer the wicked to make all ready, even unto present execution of their cruelty, as here, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot, &c.

Ver. 3. If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

4. The Lord is in his holy Temple, the Lords throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eye lids try the chil­dren of men.

5. The Lord tryeth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence, his soul hateth.

6. Vpon the wicked he shal raine snares, fire, and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shal be the portion of their cup.

7. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousnesse: his countenance doth behold the upright.

In the next place, he disputeth for the confirmation of his own faith by sundry reasons or severall considerations. The first reason to confirme his faith, is from the absurdity of the tentation, tending to the overturning of the very foundation of religion, whereunto, if the believer should yield, he is lost and gone. Whence learn, 1. Faith in God, and flying to him in all straits for relief, is the foundation of all religious and righteous persons, whereupon they build their hope and happi­nesse solidly; for David had laid it for a foundation, that God was a Rock, or mountaine of refuge for men to flee unto in straits. 2. A tentation to mistrust God, and not to flee to him in all hazards, is most dangerous, and destructive of all true Religion, for it is the destroying of the very foundations of righteousnesse and happinesse; and the resisting of this ten­tation is so necessary, as in what measure it is yielded unto, in that measure the righteous man is put to a stand, and to a com­fortlesse perplexity, and should despair certainly if he went from it. For if the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous man do? If it be in vaine to flie to God, righteous men are lost men, which is absurd.

[Page 58]The next reason to confirme his faith is the establishment of a Mediatour, set forth in the Word of God, and other holy ordi­nances, concerning the covenant of grace, and the benefits of it, and duties required in it, all to be found in the Lords holy temple, or Tabernacle, representing Christ Jesus and his Church, and the mutual relations betweene God and his peo­ple. Whence learne, 3. The way to refresh and strengthen faith, is to looke to God in Christ the Mediator, reconciling the World to himself, according as he was shadowed forth in the Temple of Jerusalem, and as he is stil holden forth in the Church, in his word and other ordinances. First and last Christ is the trysting place, where God is constantly to be found on his mercy seat; for the Lord in his holy Temple, did speake so much to the Church in typical terms.

4. The third reason is, because God is a perfect judg to take order in due time, both with them who oppose his worke and people, and with those who wil not make use of his mercy. The Lords throne is in heaven. 5. The Lords knowledge of all mens carriage is perfect: His eyes behold. 6. When the Lord doth not make manifest by his work that he seeth mens carriage, but seemeth, as it were, to wink and close his eyes, he is then about to try the hearts of men, and to bring their thoughts to light. His eye-lids (when eyes seem closed) do try the children of men. 7. The troubles whereunto the Lord doth put his chil­dren in times of tentation, are not to be exponed as acts of displeasure, or meer justice, but as acts of wisdome and love, to try, exercise, and frame them to obedience. The Lord tryeth the righteous; at such times as he sendeth trouble specially. 8. How­ever he giveth the wicked and violent persecuter to have a seem­ing prosperity, while the godly are in trouble, yet that is no act of love to them: for the wicked, and him that loveth violence, his soul hateth. 9. All the seeming advantages which the wicked have in their owne prosperity, are but meanes of hardening of them in their ill course, and holding them fast in the bonds of their own iniquities, till God execute judgement on them. Upon the wicked he shall raine snares. 10. Whatsoever be the con­dition of the wicked for a time, yet at length suddaine, terrible, irresistible, and remedilesse destruction they shal not escape: fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest is the portion of their cup.

The 4. reason for confirmation of his faith is from the Lords love, setled upon his upright servants, in the midst of their troubles, while they suffer for righteousnesse sake. Whence learne, [Page 59] 11. The respect that the Lord hath to the cause for which his ser­vants do suffer, [...]hasteneth on, and fastneth wrath upon their ad­versaries. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousnesse, is given as a reason of the sentence in the preceeding verse. 12. Though clouds do sometime hide the expressions of the Lords respect and love towards his people, yet stil his love is set upon them; for continually his countenance doth behold the upright.

PSAL. XII. To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.

The Prophet having observed, as is set down, ver. 8 how wickednesse lifteth up the head in all the Land, when the places of power and trust doe come in the hands of naughty and vile men, doth give direction by his own example unto the god­ly; first, to have their recourse to God by prayer, while they are born down by the wicked in such an ill time, ver. 1, 2. and next how to comfort themselves by the word of God, pronouncing the sentence of justice upon all loose-tongued men, ver. 3, 4. And promising delivery to the op­pressed godly, and preservation of his Church in all generations, ver. 5, 6, 7. Howsoever he suf­fer wicked men to bear rule sometimes, and wic­kednesse to abound by that means, ver. 8.

Ver. 1. HElp Lord, for the godly man ceaseth: for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

2. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour with flattering lips, and with a double heart do they speak.

David finding no friend at Court, nor any place or power, who either would speak a word in his favours, or give him any [Page 60] friendly counsel, turneth himself to God. Whence learne, 1. The face of the visible Church may sometime be so far defaced, that there cannot be a man found to show himself openly, for a good cause, as here is noted. The godly man ceaseth, the faithfull fail from among the children of men. 2. In such a case God can and wil supply the in-lack of friends and counsellers to his own, when they seek to him, Help Lord: the Lord wil help. 3. At such a time, a godly person may not think upon seditious pra­ctices against those that are in lawful authority, but take him­self to prayer; for David who had a fairer pretence for such a practice then any private man or men can have, because he was designed successour to the kingdom, he goeth to God in this case, and cryeth, Help Lord.

He proveth the in-lack of godlinesse and faithfulness, because there was no upright, nor honest dealing among the people, but falshood and flatterie. Whence learn, 4. Where true godlinesse is out of request, the common bonds of neighbourhood, (in­cluding bonds of blood, alliance, and acquaintance) wil fail al­so, and every one wil goe about to deceive his neighbour; so that a man cannot trust what another saith: for They speak vanity every one with his neighbour. 5. When ungodly men intend most to deceive, then they are sure to speak fairest, giving pleasant words, with insinuation of respects in abundant complements. They speak vanity to their neighbour with flattering lips. 6. Vain talk, cousening speeches, flattering words, are unbeseeming honest men, and do argue in so far as men affect them, ungodli­nesse, unfaithfulnesse, and deceitfulnesse in a man; for when with flattering lips they speak, with a double heart they speak.

Ver. 3 The Lord shal cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.

4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail, our lips are our own: who is Lord over us?

He setteth down in the next place the comforts of the godly, which are three. The first is from Gods justice in punishing calumniators of the godly, and proud boasters. Whence learne, 5. Although pick-thankes, and flatterers of great men, in prejudice of the godly, do hope to stand by their flatterie, yet the Lord shall cut off all flattering lips. 2. Albeit men in power and place do threaten to bring about great things against Gods people, yet they shall not bee able to doe what they have said, for God shall cut off also the tongue that speaketh proud things. [Page 61] 3. Wicked men are confident, and do assure themselves to dou­ble out their course by their falshood, flattery, and calumnies against the godly; They have said, With our tongue wil we pre­vail. 4. Wicked men make no conscience to use well the gifts which they have gotten of God; such as are wit, or language, or any other thing; for they say, Our lips are our owne. 5. Wicked men stand not in awe of God; they fear not pu­nishment from him, for in effect they say; Who is Lord over us? But we must learn from their faults three contrary lessons; to wit, 1. That nothing which we have is our own. But 2. What­soever is given to us of God is for service to be done to him. 3. That whatsoever we do, or say, we have a Lord over us, to whom we must be answerable, when he calleth us to accounts.

Ver. 5. For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise (saith the Lord) I wil set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

6. The words of the Lord are pure words: as sil­ver tryed in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

7. Thou shalt keep them (O Lord) thou shalt pre­serve them from this generation for ever.

The second comfort of the godly in an ill time, is from the promise of God, to deliver the godly out of the hand of the wicked. Whence learn, 1. When the Lord hath exercised the Godly for a while, with the oppression of the wicked, he will not fail to make manifest, that he hath heard their sad supplica­tions, and seen their oppression; for the oppression of the poor, for the fighting of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord. 2. The proud persecuter doth think little of the Godly, or any power that can defend him, but doth mock the hope he hath to be helped; yet God will set the godly in safety from him that puffeth at him.

This promise the Prophet commendeth to the Church, as a precious truth, which will be found forth-coming to the full, in experience. Whence learn, 3. To the end that the word of promise may be comfortable to us, till new experience comes, we must consider whose word it is, and that there is no vanity in promises, but all contained in them, shall be found very solid, like the refined silver, or gold, which is purged from all drosse, and the oftner it is put in the fire, it is the more fair, and of grea­ter value: for the words are the Lords words, and pure words, tryed, [Page 62] true his experience, as silver tryed in a furnace of earth seven times, and clear from all drosse.

The third comfort of the godly is from assurance given of the perpetuation of the Church, and custody of it by God, in all ages. Whence learn. 4. Let men persecute the godly, as much as God pleaseth to suffer them, yet shall God preserve a Church of god­ly persons at all times to the end of the world: For God shall pre­serve the godly from this generation for ever. 5. Albeit the dis­comforted godly, under persecuters, are not alwayes able to draw presently comfort from this promise, yet it is a truth which God will own, which God will keep in his hand to us, when we come to him, and which every beleever must own, though no man should take it off his hand. Therefore doth David turne himself to God, in delivering this Charter of the Churches safe­ty▪ Thou, saith he, shalt keep them.

Ver. 8. The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

In the close of the Psalme, upon his own experience; he draw­eth up a generall observation of what may be expected, when the most wicked are most advanced. Whence learn, 1. God sometimes so disposeth in his Wisdom and Justice, for punish­ing of wicked people, and exercising of the godly, that the pla­ces of government in a Kingdome, are filled not with the best men, but with the vilest of the sons of men; For in Davids ex­perience it was so, and he presupposeth it might fall to be so, that the vilest of men should be exalted. 2. The wickednesse of the ungodly doth in this case break forth most, and spread it selfe among the Subjects, being heartned thereunto by the Ru­lers toleration, connivance, or instigation, or example, and countenance; For when the vilest men are exalted, then the wicked walk on every side. Turne you where you will, you shall meet with them, at such a time as the vilest are exalted.

PSAL. XIII. To the chiefe Musician, a Psalm of David.

Another Christian experience, wherein David un [...]der the sense of desertion, layeth forth his lamen­table case before the Lord, ver. 1, 2. prayeth for [Page 63] releif ver. 3.4. and by faith is refreshed and com­forted, ver. 5, 6.

v. 1 HOw long wilt thou forget me (O Lord) for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

2. How long shall I take counsel in my soul, ha­ving sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

In laying forth his grief, he beginneth at his apparant deserti­on; then speaketh of the perplexity of minde, arising herefrom; and last of all he mentioneth the continuance of his outward trouble from his enemies. Whence learn, 1. Trouble out­ward and inward, of body and spirit, fightings without, and terrors within, vexations from heaven and earth, from God de­serting, and men pursuing, may fall upon a child of God at one time, and continue for a time long enough, as here; How long wilt thou forget me, how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? 2. When trouble is continued, and appearance of means of deli­very is not, and God both withholdeth inward and outward help, sense calleth this the Lords forgetting and hiding of his face. How long wilt thou forget me, and hide thy face? 3. The Lords chil­dren in their resolution for faith and patience, do set to them­selves a shorter period usually then the Lord doth, for making them have their perfect work; therefore when their hope is de­ferred, it makes their heart sick, and to cry out, How long? how long? 4. When comfort trysteth not with our time, fear of eternall off-casting may readily slide in: and this fear, a soul acquainted with God, or that loveth him in any measure, can­not endure. Wilt thou forget me for ever? saith he. 5. What­soever sense do speak, or suggested tentations do speak, faith will relate the businesse to the Lord, and expect a better speech from him: For in this condition the Prophet goeth to God, saying, How long, O Lord? 6. A soul finding desertion, multi­plyeth consultations, falleth in perplexity, changeth conclusions, as a sick man doth his bed, falleth in grief, and cannot endure to live by its own finding, but runneth upon God for direction, as here we see it; How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? 7. The enemies taking advantage, (by the continuance of trouble upon the Godly,) against his cause and religion, and against God, doth augment both the griefe [Page 64] and temptation of the godly, How long shal mine enemies be ex­alted over me?

Vers. 3. Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.

4. Lest mine enemies say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me, rejoyce when I am moved.

Now followeth his prayer for some comfortable answer, lest both he should perish, and God be dishonoured: Whence learn, 1. The edge of tentations is blunted, and griefe asswaged, when the swelling of the soul doth vent it self to God: and certainly complaints are then best eased, when they are dissolved in humble supplications, as here, Con­sider and hear me, O Lord my God. 2. Albeit faith belie­veth that God considereth and heareth alwaies, yet it cannot rest till it feele by some effect that he doth hear and consider, by his giving some reall support, or help in need, according to co­venant; This is imported in his praying, and words of prayer, consider, hear me. 3. If the Lord think it not good to give an outward delivery, faith will be content of a blenk of Gods countenance for the present, lighten mine eyes, saith he; that is, let me have some immediate comfort to uphold me in the hope of my delivery. 4. Its a death to the godly man who hath seen him that is invisible, to be long without the sense of Gods love; sense of succumbing and perishing in trouble, doth in this case usually set upon the Godly, as here, lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death. 5. The enemies of the godly do feed themselves with the trou­ble of the godly, and rejoyce the more they see them in di­stresse, and discouragement; which two inconveniences, the Lord useth to prevent, for he cannot endure long to see the pride and rejoycing of the enemy to feed it self on the miseries of his children; and this the Prophet insinuateth, when he seeketh relief, lest the enemy glory that he hath pre­vailed, &c.

Vers. 5. But I have trusted in thy mercy, my heart shall rejoyce in thy salvation.

6. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

[Page 65]Here the Prophet is raised up unto comfort by degrees: first he setleth himself upon the tried grounds of faith, then promiseth to himself deliverance, and thirdly findeth comfort: Whence learn, 1. Albeit we find not present reliefe, or com­fort when we pray, yet we must resolve to adhere to God by faith: when we have powred out our soul in his bosome by prayer, we must resolve to settle our feet on the ground of faith, before we can expect to be comforted: For here David re­lyed on Gods mercy, and ratifieth his former resolution and practise of resting on his mercy, I have trusted on thy mercy. 2. So soon as faith is fixed, and resolute to adhere to cove­nanted mercy, hope doth lift up the head, and this anker of the tossed ship stayeth the soul from being driven; The believer looketh out for Gods salvation, by some way of de­livery, which God thinks good to give, and assureth himself it shall come, and that he shall finde joy in Gods way of deli­verance, My heart (saith he) shall rejoyce in thy salvation. 3. When the believer is resolved to rest on Gods mercy by faith, then followeth peace at least, and readily more comfort of Gods Spirit, then for the present he expected to have, yea as much as shall satisfie him, and make him count himself richly dealt with, as here David acknowledgeth, saying, He hath dealt bountifully with me. 4. Fresh experience of fa­vour from God, in the renewed sense of his good will to a soul, is a matter of great joy, in the midst of trouble; and the right fruit of it, is a renewed resolution cheerfully to praise God, as here we have the example, I will sing unto to the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

PSAL. XIV. To the chief Musician. A Psalme of David.

David looking on the constitution of the visible Church, and seeing the great body of the peo­ple lying in their naturall state, working ini­quity, and hating the truely Godly amongst them, even to the death, vers. 1, 2, 3. com­forteth [Page 66] the Godly, first by the care the Lord hath of them, in pleading their cause against the ungodly; vers. 4, 5, 6. and next by giving hope of better daies for the godly, when after sore plagues come on that people, Christ should manifest himself unto them, vers. 7.

Vers. 1. THE fool hath said in his heart, There is no God: they are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doth good.

2. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men; to see if there were any that did un­derstand, and seek God.

3. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doth good, no not one.

The Prophet divideth all these who were in the visible Church, into un-regenerate men on the one hand, and Gods true people converted inwardly unto him on the other hand; and doth argue all the un-regenerate to be practically Atheists, without God in the World, by the same proof whereby the Apostle convinceth all men in nature, to be in the state of sin, Rom. 3.13. Whence learn, 1. Every man so long as he lyeth unrenewed, and unreconciled unto God (how wise so ever, or of how great parts so ever he may seem to be to himself or the world) is nothing in effect but a mad man, running to his own destruction in losing his soul and eternall life, when he seemeth most to gain the world, therefore he is called the fool. 2. It is not heeded by God what a mans mouth saith of God, or of himself, but what his heart saith. The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. 3. It is not the word, or outward profession, which truely doth expone the heart, but the current of a mans life and actions; for here it is proved, that the heart is full of Atheisme, by this, that they are corrupt in their conversation, and do abominable works. 4. God is onely the right Judge of regeneration and unregeneration, and the onely true searcher of the heart: [Page 67] Its he who looketh down from heaven, to see if any of the sons of men, or any in the state of nature, have any wisdome in them, or affection after God: if any of them have understan­ding, or do seek after God: For he that doth not seek God, hath no understanding, nor principle of Spirituall life in him. 5. Whatsoever may be the odds among unrenewed men, some more, some lesse grosse in their out-breaking, yet God pro­nounceth of them all, that they are all of them gone out of the way, to wit, of holinesse and happinesse, they are altogether be­come filthy; that is, all their actions flowing forth from their corrupt hearts are vile and loathsome in Gods sight, and they are all in one rank in this, there is none of them that doth good, none of them, being unreconciled to God, do or can do any thing at all commanded of God, as commanded, from right principles, and for right ends.

Vers. 4. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledg? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.

5. There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.

6. You have shamed the counsel of the poor; be­cause the Lord is his refuge.

In the next place he comforteth the people of God, living in so­ciety of the visible Church, with the unrenewed multitude. First, by this, that the Lord doth plead their cause against the ungodly. Whence learn, 1. That the nature of all unrenewed men, is to bear deadly enmity against those that are really Gods people, and delight to undo the godly, as contemners of all that live not as they do. They eat up my people as they do bread, saith the Lord. 2. The Lord owns the quarrell, and wrongs done to the godly, as done to him, in whomsoever his image is hated or persecuted. They eat up my people, saith he. 3. The causelesse hatred of the godly is a most unreasonable thing, and argueth admirable stu­pidity in wicked men, who maligne the innocent, by whose life they are admonished of their duty, and taught the way to felicity. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? 4. The mis-kenning of God, and working of iniquity, and persecuting of the godly, are three conjunct properties of a man in nature, [Page 68] not reconciled to God, For to be workers of iniquity, and eaters up of Gods people as bread, and not calling on God, are put for the marks and properties of the same sort of ungodly men.

Upon the challenge of the ungodly, the Prophet inferreth the consequence of certain and sad judgements to follow on the wicked, because God is nearly concerned in the quarrell of his people. Whence learn, 5. The persecution of piety in the god­ly, provoketh God to inflict the most fearfull, and most suddain judgements. For therein specially were the ungodly put to fear, where they had no fear at all. 6. The near conjunction which God hath with the godly, is the reason of the greatnesse of the sin of persecution of them for godlinesse: for here it is given for a reason, why there they were in fear, why they were to tremble when God came to avenge the oppression of the god­ly, which the wicked feared never to be questioned; Because God is in the generation of the righteous. 7. Persecuting of a man for piety, were it but in jesting at a man, or mocking of him for piety, is the turning of piety, which is a mans glory, into a matter of reproach to him; and [...] means to drive him and others from seeking of God, You have shamed the counsell, or re­solution of the poor, when you scorn, because he hath made God his refuge.

Ver. 7. O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Iacob shall rejoyce, and Israel shall be glad.

The next comfort of the godly, is from the hope of Christs coming, in whom the redressing of this evill, and of all other, is to be found, for whose coming he wisheth. It is true, the sending of deliverance unto the distressed people of God in Sauls time, by bringing David to the Kingdom, was worthy to be wished for: but this could not fill up the measure of the wish here stirred up by the Spirit. Therefore we must look to the substance in Christ, in whom this wish and prayer hath full accomplishment, which in effect is, O that Christ the Savi­our of Israel were come out of Sion. And this same wish clo­seth the fifty third Psalm also; where salvations of Israel in the plurall number is set down, to note the perfection of salvation which cometh onely by Christ, at whom the very forme of the [...]ebrew wishing doth look, as pointing at the person which shall [Page 69] give all sort of salvation to Israel, Who shal give; Now there was a coming of Christ in the flesh unto Sion, foretold by the Spirit, Zech. 9.9. and this is presupposed in this wish; for Christ must be in Sion before he come out of it. But not by this com­ing were so many Israelites saved as here is wished for: not by this coming was the body of Israel brought back from cap­tivity here prophesied. There is also Isai. 2.3. a coming of Christ out of Sion to the Gentiles; and this coming is presup­posed here, before that Israels captivity bee loosed. There is Isai. 59.20. compared with Rom. 11.26. a coming out of Sion for the bringing salvation to be body of the now mis-believing Nation of the captive Israelites, lying in captivity, scattered a­mong the Gentiles, and this is directly prayed for, and longed after in this place. O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion, even the time when the Lord shall bring back the captivi­ty of his people. Paul, Rom. 11.26. calleth this the Redeemers coming out of Sion, in regard of the time when, and the con­dition wherein Christ is to find the Israelites, to wit, out of Sion, out among the Gentiles, scattered among the Gentiles, to whom Christ came when hee left Iudea. And, Isaiah calleth it a coming to Sion, in respect of the benefit to be given to the Iewes, who are designed oft by Sion. Whence learne, 1. Christ is the salvation of Sion, both figuratively and properly called so, as well before he came, as after; for here he is looked on as the Salvation of Israel, in whom all our salvation, Iewes or Gentiles, is founded. 2. Whosoever seeth him, (from how far off soever) he cannot chuse but long for a further mani­festation of him, for perfecting of the blessednesse of his peo­ple: O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion! 3. It was revealed to the Prophets, that Christ was to come to the Church of the Iewes, and from thence to manifest himselfe to the Gentiles, casting off the Israelites for a time, scattering them among the Gentiles, and then to come about again towards the Iews in their scattering and captivity, without casting off of the Gentiles; and this last turn is in the Prophets eye, and aim­ed at by the Spirit, when hee wisheth that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion. 4. It was revealed also to th [...] Pro­phets, and to David, that before the constitution of the Church of Israel should be freed from the persecution of domestick e­nemies, vexing the hearts of the godly, or delivered from such mens power, as are described, ver. 1, 2, 3. that sore plagues were to be poured out upon that people, and that the Israelites [Page 70] were to be driven out of their own Land, and led in captivities, as the words here, and Psalm 53.6. do import; for they who were to be brought back from captivity after Christs coming out of Sion unto the Gentiles, are presupposed to be in captivi­ty, when Christ cometh to give salvation unto them. 5. Be­cause of the large pouring out of the Spirit upon the body of the converted Iews or Israelites, when the time shall come of their turning Christians, prophesied of here, and Isai. 59.20. and Rom. 11.25, 26. as their mourning in repentance for the injuries done by them and their progenitors, to Jesus Christ, shall be as the mourning of Hadadrimmon, in the valley of Megiddon, Zech. 12.10, 11. So here, joy in Jesus Christ recon­ciled unto them, shall be greate [...] then any that ever that Nation saw, whether in Davids time, or Solomons: for then the Lord shall bring back the captivity of his people, here prophesied of, to be under the time of the Gospel, (whether by loosing their cap­tivity bodily as wel as spiritual, whether they shall returne to their own Land or not, or what the Scripture doth speak to this purpose, this place is not for the determining of it.) Then Ia­cob shall rejoyce, and Israel shall be glad, when the Saviour of Isra­el shal come out of Sion to them.

PSAL. XV. A Psalm of David.

The Prophet for distinguishing of the true members of the Church from those who were only out­wardly professors, asketh of the Lord, how the one may be known from the other? ver. 1. and receiveth answer to the question, ver. 2, 3, 4, 5.

Ver. 1. LOrd, who shall abide in thy Tabernacle? who shal dwel in thy holy hill?

THe question is proponed about the marks of the sincere be­lievers, the true Covenanters with God, the true Professors of true religion, who they are who shall not be cast out from the society of Gods true Church. Whence learne, 1. The Ta­bernacle pitched by Moses, and the hill of Sion, where the Ta­bernacle [Page 71] and the Temple wat at last setled, was a Type of the true Church, and of Communion with God in Christ the Me­diatour, a type of God incarnate, dwelling, and exercising all his offices in his Church, and of the heavenly condition of his people called out of the world, and lifted up toward him, de­signed under the name of Gods Tabernacle, and Gods holy hill. 2. Some of those who professe to be of this fellowship may be thrust out from it again, and debarred from all com­munion with God, when other some shall remaine in this state, and not be removed. For the question is moved, What are the marks of the members of the Church invisible? and who they are who shal abide in Gods tabernacle, and dwel in his holy hill? 3. Only the Lord who searcheth the heart, can put the diffe­rence betweene the true and the false; for this cause the questi­on is proponed to God, Lord, who shall abide in thy Taberna­cle?

Ver. 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righ­teousnesse, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

3. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach a­gainst his neighbour.

4. In whose eyes the vile person is contemned, but he honoureth them that fear the LORD: he that swea­reth to his own hurt and changeth [...]t.

5. He that putteth not out his mony to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doth these things, shall [...]ever be moved.

The Lord answereth in the rest of the Psalme, by shewing the fruits of faith manifested in obedience to Gods commands, both moral and judicial, in the sight of all men: The since­rity of which faith and truth was to be certainly knowne to God only, and to the conscience of every mans self; which was sufficient to satisfie the question, quieting and comforting of the upright ones. Whence learne, 1. That sincere indeavour of universal obedience in a mans conversation, is a fruit and evi­dence of true faith, and a mark of a true member of the Church invisible, He walketh uprightly, and doth righteousnesse. 2. Ano­ther fruit of true faith, is conscience-making of what a man spea­keth, ruling his tongue so, as his heart and his tongue do agree [Page 72] in the truth: he speaketh the truth from the heart. 3. A third fruit of unfained faith, is making conscience in all his dealings, that he harm not his neighbour, neither in his name, nor in his person, nor his goods, and making conscience not to receive readily a false report of his neighbour, when it is devised by another, Hee backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4. A fourth fruit of sound faith, is the low estimation of any wordly excellency wherewith a wicked man can be busked; to whom, although the godly, according to duty, will give civil honour, as his place requireth, yet hee counteth him a poor miserable man for all his honour and wealth, because hee walketh in a godlesse way: but where he seeth one that feareth God, he e­steemeth highly of him in his heart, whatsoever externall ex­pressions thereof hee find fit to give, because of the honoura­ble way of holinesse, wherein the godly walketh; for in his eyes a vile person is contemned, but he honoureth him that feareth the Lord. 5. A fifth fruit of sound faith, is tender respect to the Name of God, and care to keep lawful promises, cove­nants, and oathes, whatsoever civil inconveniences may fol­low upon the strict keeping of them; Though he swear to his owne damage, he changeth not. 6. A sixth fruit and evidence of faith, is dispensing with commodity, when God by a speciall reason calleth for so doing, albeit other wayes a man might take rea­sonably more gaine. Many of such sort of cases do occurre in merchandise, and [...] exacting of rents and debts, as circum­stances may teach, when, and where God calleth for most mo­deration; such was the judicial dispensing with commodity, put upon the Iewes for loosing the yoke of a bought servant, being a Iew, at the end of six years; and quitting of houses and lands bought from a Iew at the yeare of Iubile, how deare so­ever it cost the buyer; and not taking usury of a Iew; wherein the Iew was priviledged above men of another Country: for in all these three particulars, it was lawfull for the Iew to doe otherwise with other country-men, to wit, in buying a servant from a stranger, and not [...] all his dayes, and buying land from a stranger of another country, and trans­mitting it to his own posterity, and taking usury of a stranger, according to the rate which was acknowledged on all hands to stand with equity; which commodity if an Israelite did not dis­pense with toward an Israelite, it made him short of this com­ [...]endation of the true Israelite, who putteth not his money to usu­rie. [Page 73] 7. The seventh fruit and evidence of faith, is freedome from briberie, with love of justice, which the believer wil not pervert, to the detriment of the man who hath a good cause, for whatsoever bud or reward man can give him. This is the upright mans last property, He taketh not a reward against the innocent.

Having numbred out the evidences of a sound convert and true believer, who shal never be thrust out of Gods fel­lowship, he concludeth, That whosoever doth these things, or studieth to do them, shall never be moved. That is, hee that shal evidence his faith in God, by a sincere indeavour to doe the duties of the first and second table of Gods Law, shall not be removed from Gods house, but shall abide in his Taber­nacle, and dwell in Sion, in the fellowship of God and his Saints for ever.

PSAL. XVI. Michtam of David.

David in this Psalm, finding himself in the state of grace, prayeth for preservation in general, in relation unto all dangers, and evils of body and soul, and whatsoever other evill, from which a godly man, with allowance of Gods word might pray to be preserved. His only reason to assure himself to be heard, is because he had got­ten grace to trust in God. The sincerity of which faith in God, he proveth by sundry evidences, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. In the second place he climbeth up to the comfort and joy of believing; And all the grounds of joy whereupon he goeth, do serve both to confirme his faith, and to give him assu­rance of the granting of his prayer, ver. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

[Page 74] Ver. 1. PReserve me, O GOD: for in thee do I put my trust.

HE findeth himself in a good condition, and all the prayers he prayeth, is in one word, for preservation. Whence learn, 1. As our being, living, and moving natural, and our bringing into the spiritual and blessed estate of grace, is of the Lord, so is our keeping therein of the Lord also, and our duty is to ac­knowledg God in both, and to live unto, and pray for his upholding of us, and not to leane upon our owne wisdome, strength, or holinesse; For David teacheth so to doe. Pre­serve me, O God. 2. The grace of God having granted to us lively faith, setled on God, is a sufficient ground of our hope, and assurance to persevere, and to be still preserved, for this is the reason whereby David confirmeth his prayer, For in thee doe I put my trust.

Ver. 2. O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodnesse extendeth not to thee:

3. But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.

Because he hath made his faith in God, the reason of his hope of perseverance, and of his having his prayer granted, he pro­veth the sincerity of his faith by five Evidences or fruits there­of. Whence learn, 1. The first solid evidence of the sincerity of saving Faith, is the testimony of the conscience, bearing witnesse to a man, that he hath layd hold on the covenant of grace, and hath chosen God for his protectour, and master, and that he is resolved to depend upon God, and to serve him, as David did, saying, O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, thou art my Lord. 2. Another evidence of the sincerity of faith, is renunciation of all confidence in a mans owne works, and the rejecting of all conceit of any possibility of merit at Gods hand, who cannot be profited by our goodnesse; for we have what we have of him, and can never put an obligation on him by any thing which we can doe. My goodnesse doth not extend to thee. 3. A third fruit and evidence of faith, is love and kindnesse to the godly, and bestowing of our own goods for supplying their need, joyned with a high estimation of their preciousnesse, above the godlesse world, and with pleasure ta­king in their fellowship: so reckoneth the prophet, saying, My [Page 75] goodnesse extendeth not to thee, but to the Saints that are on the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight: where, by the way, let us observe, He knew no saints to whom he could be profitable, save only the Saints who are upon the earth.

Ver. 4. Their sorrowes shal be multiplied, that hasten after another god: their drink-offerings of bloud will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.

A fourth fruit and evidence of faith, is, the hating of false religion, and counting all followers of idolatry, or worship of another god, then the true God, to be accursed; such a ha­ting of false religion as is accompanied with the discountenan­cing, open discrediting, and abhorring of all idol service, as David expresseth here in the whole verse. Whence learne, 1. Men as they are naturally averse from following the true God, and the true religion; so are they naturally bent to all idolatry, and zealous in following idols, and any false religi­on. They hasten after another god.. 2. The more men do hasten after felicity, in the way of idolatry, they have the worse speede. For their sorrowes shall be multiplied that hasten after another God. 3. The more madly the world runne after idolatry, the more should the faithful man testifie his abominating thereof, as David doth. Their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. He cannot speak of them without disdaine.

Ver. 5. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

A fifth fruit and evidence of faith in God, is delight, and satisfaction in, and resting on God, as all-sufficient for the believers compleat happinesse, as the whole verse holdeth forth. Whence learne, 1. The believer hath as sure right unto God, as any man hath to the patrimony whereunto he is born; or any Tribe ever had to his share in the Land of Canaan. T [...] Lord is the portion of his inheritance. 2. The Lord is the believers lot and share▪ when the world are seeking, some one, some another temporal good; The Lord, and the light of his coun­tenance, is the believers compleat good; whatsoever measure of earthly things is given to the godly beside, Levi's portion is his portion. The Lord is the portion of his inheritance. 3. The Lord is the believers livelihood, and the furnisher of his daily bread, He is the portion of his cup. 4. The Lord giveth him­selfe [Page 76] to the believer for his felicity, as he also maintaineth the believer in the right unto, and possession of himself: Hee main­taineth his lot: and so, as the believer cometh to his right he hath unto God, not by his owne purchase, but by spirituall birth-right, as a child of Christ by faith, or by free donation of this inheritance, received of God by faith; so he may claim to God, and enjoy the possession of God, as firmly as his in­heritance; as fully as if God were his particular property and portion; as sweetly as his daily food, and the portion of his domestick cup: and with as great quietnesse and security, as the immediate vassal of the mightiest Monarch, being willing, able, and ingaged most deeply to maintain his lot.

Ver. 6. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant pla­ces; yea, I have goodly heritage.

In the second place he climbeth up to the joy of faith, ari­sing from the certaine perswasion, and present sense of his being in the state of grace; The reasons or grounds of his joy are six, The first reason of his joy, is founded upon the properties and self-sufficiency of God, compared to a goodly and pleasant heritage, which wanteth no commodity within it self. Whence learn, 1. Pleasure and profit, and all commodities of life are abundantly to be found in God; & whatsoever can be represented by any goodly heritage, lying in most pleasant places, is but a sha­dow of what is to be found in him, as the comparison taken from lower things here importeth. 2. The more the believer con­sidereth what the Lord is, and what are his perfections, and what is the believers own interest in God, the more is he satis­fied, and ravished in the beholding of God, and his owne feli­city in him. No wonder therefore if David say, for the measu­ring out of this share to him, that his lines are fallen out to him in pleasant places, &c. 3. The believer hath liberty to appro­priate God in a manner to himselfe, and in comparison with the share of the worldlings, to preferre his own portion above all ot [...]rs: This doth David, when he calleth God his own plea­sant places, and his own heritage.

Ver. 7. I will blesse the Lord who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night season.

The second reason and ground of joy, is because God hath perswaded him to believe in the Messiah, or Christ to come, as is clear by the next verse, and that God has taken the directing of him▪ Whence learn, 1. As it is the work of God only, to [Page 77] give effectuall counsel to any man to believe in Christ; So also the way of perswasion of a soul to trust in God, is a way of working, proper onely to God; for it maketh the man so free an agent, in the act of believing, as if Gods work were coun­sel only, and the work of active perswasion so invincible, as the work is effectually wrought, and infallibly: for he calleth the bestowing of saving faith, or grace to consent to the covenant of grace, a giving counsel: He hath given me counsel. 2. The glory of trusting in God, is not a matter of gloriation of the believer, in his own disposing of himself, but a matter of thanks­giving to God, and glorifying of him, who giveth the counsel to believe, and maketh the counsel to him effectual: For Da­vid saith, I will blesse the Lord who hath given me counsel, to wit, effectually; for faith is not of our selfe, it is the gift of God, wherein flexanimous power and voluntary consent are sweetly joyned together. 3. This mercy of powerfully perswading a soul to make choice of God, to close in covenant with him, and to trust in him, doth put a perpetuall obligation of thanksgiving unto God upon the believer, to make him say in all time com­ing and for ever, I will blesse the Lord, who hath given me coun­sel. 4. With the gift of saving faith, or perswasive counsel to believe in God, is joyned the sweet guiding and directing of the Lords Spirit, how to order the wayes of the believer: For here instruction of him in the night season, is joyned with the former mercy, and is made a reason of thanksgiving, and blessing of God. For he addeth, My reins also shall instruct me in the night season. 5. The framing of the will, desire, appetite, affections, inclinations, thoughts, and secret meditations, is so inward, secret and deep a work, as the Spirit of God thinks good to expresse this his giving discretion secretly to David, in the terms of the teaching of the reins, because they are the hid­dest parts of the body, and nearest to the back of any of the inward noble parts; and because of the nature of the reins, which have much affinity with the affections, and have for their office the discretive purging of the blood, the natural fur­niture of life, My reins also instruct me in the night season.

Ver. 8. I have set the Lord alwayes before me: be­cause he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

The third reason, and ground of joy, is the gift of the grace of God, making him alwayes keep his eye (for getting as­sistance, direction, and comfort) to good purpose, upon Je­sus Christ, the Lord, of whom this place is exponed Act. 2.25. [Page 78] Whence learn, 1. The duty of the believer, and the way for him to have and retain joy in the Lord, is to fix the eye of faith alwaies, in all estates, on the Mediator, the promised Messiah, the Lord Jesus, for direction, assistance, comfort, and de­livery. For this was Davids way, I have set the Lord alway before my face. 2. Such as implore Jesus Christ for all things in all estates, shall be sure to have his effectuall presence neer hand to help him in time of need. For he is at such a mans right hand, at all times. 3. Faith, kept in excercise by em­ploying of Jesus Christ, may have assurance of perseverance, and enjoying constantly the state of grace: what-ever alterations, and commotions come, their state shall stand fixed; they shall stand in grace; for upon this ground the Prophet saith, I shall never be moved.

Ver. 9. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoyceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope.

A fourth reason of joy abounding in his heart, and breaking forth in his words, is his victory over death, and the grave, by faith in Jesus Christ. Whence learn, 1. Faith in Christ is able not only to give peace that passeth understanding, but also to fill the heart with joy, and to make the tongue, which is a mans glory, above all other creatures, sometime to break forth in expressions of joy; for therefore saith he, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoyceth. 2. So great victory over death and the grave, is gotten by faith in Jesus Christ, that a believer can lay down his body in the grave, as in a bed, to rest it there, in hope of the resurrection; and here an instance and example for it. My flesh also shall rest in hope.

Ver. 10. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corrup­tion.

The first reason of his joy, is the assurance of the resur­rection of Jesus Christ his head, through whom he hopeth to be raised in his own order and time. Whence learn, 1. A believer is so nearly joyned with Christ, that he may give to him the styles of what is nearest and dearest to him, and call him his very life and soul, as here David saith of Christ, who behoved to rise again, Act. 2.25. Thou wilt not leave my soul, or my life in grave: and by this means he also is assured of his own resur­rection in due time; for our life and soul is bound up in Christ: Our life is hid with God in Christ, specially in respect [Page 79] of that wherein he standeth in our room, such as his suffering, ri­sing, reigning as our Surety and Atturney. 3. The body of Christ not onely was to rise from the dead, but also could not so much as putrifie in the grave: For of Christ he saith, Thou wilt not suffer thy holy One to see corruption.

V. 11. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence there is life, at thy right hand there are plea­sures for evermore.

The last ground and reason of his joy, is the assurance he hath of blessednesse and of eternall life: Whence learn, 1. The believer who is fixed by faith on Christ, may be assured of his perseverance in the way leading to life: Thou wilt shew me the way to life: that is, thou wilt point out the way that I should walk in, thou wilt go alongst with me, and make me effectual­ly finde thy help, to walk in it. 2. The fruition of Gods im­mediate presence is not like the joyes of this world, which nei­ther do feed nor fill a man: but when we shall enjoy Gods pre­sence fully, we shall have full contentment, and compleat feli­citie: For in his presence is fulnesse of joy. And the felicity of believers is not like the pleasures of this world, which passe away suddenly as a dream: but it endureth for ever: At his right hand are pleasures for evermore.

PSAL. XVII. A Prayer of David.

This Psalm, according to the Inscription thereof, is a Prayer of David, mixed with sundry reasons for helping: wherein first, he craveth in generall justice in the controversie between him and his oppressors. ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. Secondly, more special­ly, he requesteth for a wise carriage of himself under this exercise, ver. 5.6. Thirdly, prayeth for protection & preservation from his enemies, ver. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Fourthly, for disappointment to his enemies, and for delivery of himself from [Page 80] them, ver. 13.14. and closeth comfortably in confidence of a good answer, and hope of sa­tisfactory happinesse, ver. 15.

Ver. 1. HEar the right, O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer that goeth not out of feigned lips.

2. Let my sentence come forth from thy presence: let thine eyes behold the things that are equall.

3. Thou hast proved mine heart, thou hast visited me in the night, thou hast tryed me and shalt finde no­thing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not trans­gresse.

4. Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the Destroyer.

The first part of the prayer is unto God, as a righteous Judge, to hear his plaint, and to decide in his favour, according to his just cause, and righteous carriage in relation to his enemies: Whence learne, 1. As righteous men are subject unto inju­ries and oppressions, as well as others are, and are driven by trou­ble to seek relief of God, as, in this case; it is a speciall com­fort, to have God a righteous judge to hear them, and a righteous cause to bring before him, that the man may say, Hear the right, O Lord. 2. The conscience of earnest and honest dealing with God, in the singlenesse of our heart in prayer, is a good reason to helpe our faith in prayer, when wee may say, We cry, and pray, not with feigned lips. 3. When wee are unjustly condemned by men, we may appeale to God, and call the appellation, and seek and expect a more just sentence pronounced and executed by God. We may say, Let my sentence come forth from thy presence. 4 Although men cast out our true defences, which we make against false Li­bels, and doe not respect equity; yet God will take notice of the whole processe his eyes will behold things that are equal. 2. Sin­cerity of heart giveth boldnesse to a man to present himselfe to God, to be examined, after that the conscience in its private tryall of the mans carriage toward the adversary, hath in the sight of God absolved him; as here the Prophet, in relation to his carriage toward the oppressor, doth speak to God, [...]hou [Page 81] hast tryed me in the night, and hast found nothing. 6. Sincerity of carriage for time by-past, must be joyned with a purpose of sincerity in time coming, that he may say with David, in re­lation to his part, I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgresse; that is, not to speak a wrong word against him. 7. Naturall mens manner of dealing, when they are injured, is to recompense evill for evill. For the works of men are to follow the paths of the destroyer. 8. There is no way to keep the children of God from these paths of the destroyer, when they are provoked to injuries, except in the fear of God, they look to what Gods word directeth them to doe. Thus did David escape an ill course, when his nature might have tempted him to it. By the words of thy lips have I kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

Ver. 5. Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

6. I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

The second part of the prayer, wherein he requesteth for grace to be kept still in a righteous and holy way; Whence learne, 1. The most holy man, though he have stood fast formerly, is most feared to offend, and most suspicious of himselfe, and most ear­nest with God to be holden up, that he fall not in time to come; and giveth all the glory of his standing in a good cause, unto God, as is evidently holden forth in this petition of David, Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. 2. The best way to have deliverance from, and victory over adversaries, is to keep a straight course of carriage in the fear of God, Going in Gods paths, that is, as God hath prescribed our way in his word. 3. Our prayer should be such, and so put up, as we may be sure to be heard; and when we have prayed unto God, according to his will, we may be confident of a good an­swer with David, That he will incline his ear, and hear our speech. 4. Confidence to be heard, [...] our hands in pray­er, but hearten us to p [...]ay, as this example [...]eache [...] us.

Ver. 7. Shew thy marvellous loving kindnesse, O thou that savest by thy right hand, them which put their trust in thee, from those that rise up against them.

[Page 82] 8. Keep me as the Apple of the eye: hide me un­der the shadow of thy wings.

The third part of his prayer, is, for a mercifull protection, and preservation from his enemies. Whence learne, 1. The Beleever must hold his eye in time of dangers and straits, es­pecially upon Gods good will and kindnesse, as a counter-ba­lance of all the malice of men: and here, though his straits were never so great, he shall read a possibility of wonders for his deli­very, as here is seen; Shew thy marvellous loving kindnesse, O Lord. Beside common favors, God hath other mercies in keeping for his own, and those are marked even with some wonderful­nesse, either in the time, or manner, or measure, or mean, or some other respect. 2. The Lords power and his office of Saviourship, and his constant manner of dealing for beleevers, are the pillars of the perswasion of help to be had in God. So reasons David, say­ing, O thou that savest with thy right hand them which put their trust in thee: for Gods Nature, Christs Office, and his manner of dealing, are equivalent to promises, when they are looked unto by a beleever. 3. Such as trouble unjustly them, of whom the Lord hath taken the maintenance, do in a sort engage God to be their, party, and to defend his servants, for they rise up against not only Gods servants, but against God, who saveth by his right hand. 4. The care God hath of his poor children, that depend upon him, is unspeakable; and the tender love he beareth unto them, no one similitude can expresse, as plurality of similitudes joyned here, doe give evidence; for Gods care of them is com­parable to mans care of the apple of his eye; Gods love to them is comparable to the love of the Bird-mother toward her young ones, whom she warmeth, and hideth under the shadow of her wings. O wonderfull goodnesse, and wisedom of God, who admitteth himselfe to be compared to such low similitudes, that he might lift up our faith above all objections of mis-belief.

Ver. 9. From the wicked that oppresse me, from my daily enemies, who compasse me about.

10. They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.

11. They have now compassed us in our steps, they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth.

12. Like as a Lion that is greedy of his prey, and as [Page 83] it were a young Lion lurking in secret places.

The reason of his prayer, is taken from the deadly malice of his enemies, v. 9. from their pride, v. 10. from their confidence, v. 11. from their beastly cruelty, v. 12. Whence learn, 1. The ene­mies of Gods people are ordinarily wicked, oppressors, deadly enemies to them, proud of their wealth and power, boasters, crafty Foxes, cruel Lions: and the more of these evils doe break forth against Gods people, the more should the dangers be layd before God; not for information of him, but for the exone­ration of our griefs, tentations, fears and dangers before God, and laying of our care upon him: and so much the more also is vengeance on the enemie, and the delivery of the godly near hand; and hopes of answering the prayers put up against them, are the more made certain, as the use of the wickednesse of the enemy made by the Prophet here doth teach.

Ver. 13. Arise, O Lord, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked which is thy Sword:

14 From men which are thy hand, O Lord, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are ful of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

The Fourth part of the prayer is, for frustrating the intention of the enemy, and setting the supplicant free from the danger. Whence learn, 1. When danger is most nigh, God is more nigh, and he can shortly interpose himself, to the overturning of the designe of the enemy, and to the ruine of the enemy him­selfe: he can quickly arise, and disappoint him, and cast him down. 2. The power of the enemy standeth in the Lords imploying of him; he cannot strike, except God strike by him; therefore he is called Gods sword. 3. The shortest way to be safe from what the wicked can doe, is prayer to God, to over-rule him. Therefore saith David, Deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword. 4. The Lord ordinarily for execution of wrath, and for hard tryals, and troubles of the godly, doth in his pro­vidence make use of the wicked; Deliver me, saith he, from men which are thy hand. 5. The wicked neither have, nor doe seek any felicity, but what may be had in this life, they are men of this [Page 84] world, and have their portion in this life, they need look for no more good then they finde in the world, and that is, a poor, and sorry happinesse. 6. The belly full of sensuall lust, and rarest dishes, and best meats which Gods store-house can afford, is the height of the happinesse of a poor rich worlding. In his own per­son, it is all that God giveth him for his portion, and which the Fool hath chosen, even the filling of his belly with Gods hid trea­sure, or of some rare meat, which meaner people cannot have, and therefore it is called Gods hid treasure. 7. All the felicity which the worldling can have, in the point of honour and riches to himselfe, and his posterity, is worldly wealth while he liveth, and a number of children to enjoy his wealth after him; whether they shall live and inherit it, whether they shall prove wise men or fools, he knoweth not; this is his all; for in Gods favour he hath no interest; heaven he hath nothing to doe with; and at the best, They are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

Ver. 15. As for me, I will behold thy face in righ­teousnesse: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likenesse.

He closeth his prayer comfortably, with the hope of true fe­licity in fellowship with God. Whence learne, 1. In the midst of whatsoever worldly trouble [...]e godly can be in, his hope is far better then the worldly mans possession; and the Prophet here, for this cause doth preferre his present condition, being in danger daily of his life, to all his enemies prosperity, saying, by way of opposition, As for me, I will behold thy face. 2. The injoying of the presence, and sense of the loving kindnesse of the Lord, is the felicity of the godly, in that measure they attain it; the hope whereof upholds the beleevers heart in the dark­est times of trouble. As for me, saith he, I will behold thy face. 3. The enjoying of God is proper only unto the man justified by Faith, and endeavouring to live righteously; and it is righ­teousnesse with God, that such a man be brought to the enjoying of his hope. I will behold thy face in righteousnesse, saith he. 4. There is a sleep of deadnesse of spirit, out of which the shi­ning of Gods loving countenance doth awake a beleever, and revive the spirit of the contrite ones; and there is a sleep of death bodily, out of which the loving kindnesse of the Lord shall awake all his own, in the day of the resurrection, when he shall so change them into the similitude of his own holinesse [Page 85] and glorious felicity, as they shall be fully contented for ever▪ and this first and second delivery out of all trouble, may every believer expect and promise to himselfe. I shal be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likenesse.

PSAL. XVIII. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song, in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said.

David in this Psalme, as a Type of Christ, and fel­low partaker of the sufferings of Christ in his mi­stical members, and of deliveries and victories over his and their enemies, being now setled in the Kingdom, praiseth God for his marvellous mercies; and as a Type of Christ, he prophesieth of the enlargement, & stability of his own King­dome, and of Christs Kingdome, represented thereby; and first obligeth himself thankfully to depend upon God, whatsoever enemies he shal have to deale with, ver. 1, 2, 3. Secondly he gi­veth a reason of his resolution, from the experi­ence of the Lords delivering of him out of his deepest distresses, ver. 4, 5. to ver. 19. Thirdly, He amplifieth this mercy, acknowledging that this was a fruit of his faith, & righteous dealing with his party adversary; the like whereof eve­ry believer might expect, as well as he for time coming, by reason of this his by-gon large ex­perience, from ver. 20. to v. 30. Fourthly he prai­seth God in particular, for the experience he hath had in time by-gon in warfare, and victories in battel, to ver. 43. Fifthly, As a Type of Christ, he [Page 86] promiseth to himself the enlargement of his own Kingdom, and prophesieth of the enlargment of Christs Kingdom among the Gentiles, for which he praiseth God unto the end of the Psalme, ver 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50.

In the inscription, he telleth the time, and occasion of his writing of this Song, Whence learn, 1. That after long trouble, the Lord wil give his chil­dren rest at last, one way or other, and delivery from all their enemies, as here is given to David from Saul and all his enemies. 2. When the Be­liever getteth relaxation from trouble, he should set himself to glorifie God for his delivery, and give evidence of his thankfulnesse, as David doth in penning of this Song, when God delive­red him. 3. It is a greater honor to be a real ser­vant of the Lord in any calling, then to have the honour of being a King, not being his servant: so esteemed David when he made this Inscripti­on, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.

Ver. 1. I Will love thee, O Lord, my strength.

2. The Lord is my rock, and my fortresse, and my deliverer: my God, my strength, in whom I wil trust, my buckler▪ and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

3. I wil call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shal I be saved from mine enemies.

IN the first part of the Psalme, he setleth his resolution yet more to love God, to believe in him, and to worship him still in all difficulties, knowing by experience, this to be the way to be saved from all his enemies. Whence learne, 1. The chiefe fruit of faith▪ and end of Gods mercies to us, is to grow in estimation of, and affection towards God: for so doth David, saying, I will love thee, O Lord. 2. Whatsoever a believer hath [...]eede of that will the Lord supply; that wil the Lord be him­selfe [Page 87] unto him according to his need, as here he is Davids strength in weaknesse; his rock of refuge, when he is pursued; his fortresse, when besieged; and his deliverer when in extreme danger. 3. Experience of the Lords faithfulnesse, and kind­nesse to us, should confirme us in the covenant of grace, and strengthen our resolution to believe in him: for upon this ac­count David calleth the Lord, My God, my strength, in whom I will trust. 4. When the believer is yoaked in fight with what­soever adversary, he shall be sure to have defence in it, delivery out of it, and preservation after it. Therefore doth David glory in God, as a Buckler to be opposed to all blowes, and throwes of darts from adversaries, as the horn of his salvation, powerfully fighting for his delivery and victory: And as his high Tower, whence he might look downe, and despise all the wit, malice, and power of his enemies. 5. Prayer and invocation of God, should be alwayes joyned with praises and thanksgiving, and used as a means, whereby faith may extract the good which it knoweth is in God, and of which he hath made promise, I wil call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised. 6. Delivery, safety, and peace may the believer expect, as the answer of his invocation upon God. So shall I be safe from mine enemy.

Ver. 4. The sorrowes of death compassed me, and the flouds of ungodly men made me afra [...]

5. The sorrowes of hell compass [...] about: the snares of death prevented me.

In the second part, he bringeth forth his experience, where­by he was encouraged unto the foresaid duties. Whence learne, 1. Although the word of God be infinitely sure, and true in it selfe, yet experience of the truth thereof, helpeth much to streng­then our griping thereof, and to cherish hope, as here is decla­red. 2. The believer in his exercise, may be put hard to it, and brought in sight of apparent perishing of soul and body; while men seek his life, God for a time hideth his face: for David felt deadly fears, and extreme torment of soule, even the sorrows of death, the sorrowes of hell, and the snares of death preventing him, that he could not get free from them.

Ver. 6. In my distresse I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears▪

[Page 88]He hath set down the strait he was in, now he setteth downe the mean he used to be relieved, to wit, prayer to God, as in covenant with him; and how he was mercifully heard through Christ. Whence learne, 1. No strait is such, but God can [...]e­liver out of it, no case is so desperate, as to make prayer need­lesse or uselesse: for David saith in his deepest distresse, I called on the Lord. 2. It is necessary not to give over, when help is delayed; yea, it is necessary to grow more fervent, and for this end to lay hold on the covenant of reconciliation, and upon God in covenant with us: for hee addeth, I cried to my God. 3. By vertue of Christs sacrifice, and his intercession, notice is taken of prayer graciously, and answer cometh to the belie­ver; for he addeth, He heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even unto his ears; He pointeth at the Tem­ple, in regard of the Ark, and other figures representing Christ in his intercession for us in heaven.

Ver 7. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foun­dations also of the hils moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

8. There went up a smoak out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured, coles were kindled by it.

9. He [...] the heavens also, and came downe: and darknesse was under his feet.

10. And he rode upon a cherub, and di [...] flie: yea, he did flie upon the wings of the wind

11. He made darknesse his secret place: his pavi­lion round about him, were dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.

12. At the brightnesse that was bef [...]re him, his thick clouds passed, hail-stones and coales of fire.

13. The Lord also thundred in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice, hail-stones and coals of fire.

14. Yea, he sent out his arrowes, and scattered them, and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

15. Then the chanels of waters were seene, and the foundations of the world were discovered: at thy re­buke [Page 89] O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy no­strils.

The manner of his delivery is set down in comparative speeches, alluding to the most glorious manifestations which eve [...] God gave of himselfe, in Mount Sinai, or in the dayes of Ioshua, or in the dayes of the Iudges, or Samuel, all which glorious manifestations of God to his people, David esteemeth to be re-acted in the wonderfulnesse of his delivery; so as he thinks he may justly compare the wonders shewn in his pre­servation from his enemies, to any of, or to all Gods former wonders, in saving his people. Whence learne, 1. Although our natural stupidity, unbeliefe, and enmity against God, do extenuate the works of Gods providence about his children; yet the believer should look upon them with a spiritual, and discerning eye, and should so set them forth to others, as David doth here. 2. The most sensible mutations in heaven and earth, are not so observed by the blind world, as a soul illu­minate with spiritual light wil observe Gods spiritual provi­dence in his works towards his people, and toward himselfe, as here Davids example doth shew. 3. The history of the Lords redeeming of his Church, set down in Scripture, and by David alluded unto, may be seen in Gods particular dealing with his children, as very like to the same, and as appendicles of the same work repeated. This is imported in Davids re-calling to memory what is said, Exod. 9.23, 24. and 9.18. Iosh. 10.11. Iudg. 5.4. 1 Sam. 12.18. concerning the Lords manife­sting of himselfe. 4. The terriblenesse of God coming to judge his enemies, is a matter of consolation to the believer, and of praise to God: as here is set down.

Ver. 16. He sent from above, he tooke me, he drew me out of many waters.

17. He del [...]vered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

18. They prevented me in the day of my calamnity: but the Lord was my stay.

19. Hee brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

[Page 90]Now he draweth forth his delivery in lower comparisons, and more proper words, for the more cleare capacity of the Church; to wit, that God delivered him as one in perill of drowning, ver. 16. As helping a weak man from a strong par­ty, ver. 17. As upholding a man circumvented, and ready to fall and fail, ver. 18. And setting a man free from all dan­ger, ver. 19. Whence learn, 1. Our weaknesse in the time of our delivery, commendeth Gods power, as Davids delivery is magnified, because it was as a drawing of him out of many wa­ters, where he was like to drown. 2. Whether God use means or not in our deliveries, the work must ever be ascribed to him alone. He sent from above, and took me out. 3. Power of ad­versaries wil not hinder Gods helping hand; he can, and doth usually deliver his own from them that are too strong for them. 4. A soul sensible of Gods merciful worke, cannot satisfie it selfe with expressions about it. And as many new considerati­ons as a believer hath of the circumstances of a mercy, as ma­ny new mercies doth he see; therefore is it that David repeateth the same worke of deliverance in moe and moe new expressions, and cannot expresse himself in one word, with satisfaction to himselfe. 5. When a man is inclosed, and prevented from e­scaping out of trouble, faith would faile, and then despaire should follow, if God did not interpose himselfe, and did not furnish strength in this difficulty. David being thus circumven­ted, saith, But the Lord was my stay. 6. The Lord doth not leave his work about his owne, til he perfect it, but he compleateth their delivery ere he cease, and doth crown his mercy with joy: To express this, David saith, He brought me forth also into a large place

Ver. 19 Hee brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20. The Lord rewarded me according to my righ­teousnesse: according to the cleannesse of my hands hath he recompensed me.

21 For I have kept the wayes of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22 For all his judgments were before me: and I did not put away his Statutes from me.

23. I was also upright before him: and I kept my selfe from mine iniquity.

[Page 91] 24. Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me ac­cording to my righteousnesse, according to the righte­ousnesse of my hands in his eye sight.

The third part of the Psalme, wherein he goeth on to amplifie mercy sundry waies, and first from the cause of it, which is the meer good will and love of God. Whence learn, 1. That the cause of any mercy shewn to us, is not to be found in us, but in Gods free love, He delivered me, because he delighted in me. 2. The beliefe of Gods love sweetneth and commendeth the mercy exceedingly: The delivery here is great, but this word, because he delighted in me, is far more sweet, verse 20. There is another point of amplifying the mercy of his preservation and delivery, in the clearing of his innocency▪ and freeing of 'him from the slanders of ungratitude, rebel­lion, treachery against his Father in law, and his Prince, which was the fruit of another grace of God, given unto him, to wit, righteousnesse and innocency, in relation to his enemies, ver. 20. and a study to keep Gods commands, ver. 21. and the feare of God fastening him to Gods Statutes, ver. 22. and sincere and tender walking with God, and watching over the sin which did most beset him, ver. 23. where his delivery from his ene­mies, and clearing his innocency from calumnies, was a gra­cious reward, ver. 24. Whence learn, 1. In a good cause, it is necessary we have a good carriage, lest we marre our cause, and our comfort also: For David studied righteousnesse and clean­nesse of hands, in relation to his enemies, when he was most un­justly persecuted. 2. A godly behaviour in a good cause shall not want the fruit: For the free love of God rewarded David according to his righteousnesse. 3. The conscience of a godly behaviour in time of persecution, is twice profitable: once under the trial and trouble, it doth support: againe, after the delivery, the looking back upon it, doth comfort, as here is shewne. 4. As we should at all times take heede to our conver­sation, so in special, when by persecution we are troubled for a good cause: For now we are upon the trial of our faith, patience, wisdome, and other graces, as David was: and should do as he doth here. 5. We have special rules of good behaviour set down in Davids example; first, we must be sure to follow such wayes, as Gods word doth allow, that wee may say, I have kept the wayes of the Lord. Secondly, if in our in­firmity we be miscarried at any time, we must not persist in a [Page 92] wrong course, but return to the way of Gods obedience, That we may say▪ I have not wickedly departed from my God, neither in the point of belief, nor practical obedience. Thirdly, we must set all the commands of God, and his written judgments before us, to be observed, one as well as another, and must have respect to Gods threatned, and executed judgments also, that we may say with David, All his judgments were before mee. and I did not put away his statutes from mee. Fourthly, We must study sincerity in our carriage, doing good actions well from right principles, and for the right end, that we may say, I was also upright before him. Fifthly, We must keepe strict watch o­ver our wicked nature, and most raging passions and affecti­ons, lest they break out; that our conscience may not contra­dict us, when we say, I have kept my selfe from mine iniquity. 6. It is wisdome to joyne one mercy with onother, in our rec­koning, that we may say that we have gotten grace for grace, as David doth acknowledge, That as God had given to him grace to study righteousnesse and innocency, so had he recompensed him according to his righteousnesse. 7. When the world would bur [...] our innocency with slanders, it is lawful and expedient to defend our own good name, and to speak and write in defence of it, as David doth here.

Ver. 25. With the merciful thou wilt shew thy selfe merciful, with an upright man thou wilt shew thy selfe upright.

26. With the pure thou wilt shew thy self pure, and with the froward thou wilt shew thy self froward.

27. For thou wilt save the afficted people: but wilt bring downe high looks.

From his owne experience he draweth up a general doctrine, concerning the Lords holy, just, and wise manner of dealing with all men, according to their carriage towards him. Whence learne, 1. The experiences which any of the Saints have, of the effects of Gods word, are proofs of the certainty of Gods promises and threatnings, and pawns of the like effects to fol­low unto others; For here David draweth a general doctrine from his particular experience. 2. As a man would have a meeting from God, so must he study to behave himselfe to­ward God and man, for Gods cause; for with the bountifull, merciful, upright, and pure, he will deal accordingly. 3. Who­ [...]ever shall walke contrary unto God, and strive with him; or [Page 93] will not submit themselves unto him, he shall walke contrary unto them, and punish them seven times more, because of their stubbornesse; for toward the froward he will shew himself froward. 4. Asbeit the godly be for a while afflicted, and the wick­ed do prosper, yet after the affliction of the godly, salvation shall come to them; and after the prosperity, vaine and proud glo­riation of the wicked, their destruction shall follow, For he will save the afflicted people, but will bring downe high looks.

Ver. 28. For thou wilt light my candle, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

From by-gon experience he strengthens his own hope of fur­ther experience thereafter, as need should require. Whence learn, 1. Beleevers being delivered out of many by-gon troubles, must not promise to themselves exemption from new troubles here­after, but rather make themselves ready for new exercise, and more sad passages of Gods dispensations towards them. For Da­vaid presupposeth here, that he may, yea, and that he shall be thereafter in darknesse, and want for a while the Candle light of consolation. 2. As the godly man may expect crosses, so may he be sure also of as many consolations, and sweet seasonings of his troubles▪ and deliverances out of them; so that he may say, both before trouble come, and in the midst of it, The Lord will light my Candle, and my God will enlighten my darknesse.

Ver. 29. For by thee I have run through a troup: and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

Here is another part of his experience, concerning his victo­ries and good successe in battel, the glory whereof he ascribes al­together to God. Whence learne, 1. Although the courage, va­lour and successe of all souldiers is from the Lord, yet only the beleever doth give God the glory thereof, as David here. 2. Na­turall courage, and whatsoever measure a man may have of it, now and then, may faint and fail altogether, when it meeteth with very strong opposition; But the spirituall courage which is from Faith, is from a more sure ground, and will not faile, when faith setteth it on, whatsoever be the apparent difficulty: for by Faith in God David was made to run through a troupe, or leap ov [...]r a wall into a Town, full of his enemies, with assurance of victory.

Ver. 30. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the [Page 94] Lord is tryed: he is a Buckler to all those that trust in him.

31. For who is God, save the Lord? or who is a rock, save our God?

The Fourth part of the Psalme, wherein he praiseth the Lord expresly, for what he had found in him; and in this he is a spe­ciall type of Christ, in his conquest and victories. The rea­sons of his praysing, are four, set down in order. Whence learn, 1. The constant, equable, and old way of Gods dealing with those that beleeve in him, is a matter of Gods praise; and a reason why the experience of one beleever may be a ground of hope for another, to finde the like, because it is said here, As for God, his way is perfect. This is one reason of his praise, and of the beleevers hope. 2. In all times by-gon, experience hath proved the word of the Lord to be most solidly true. Which serveth for the second reason of praising God, and grounding of our hope; The word of the Lord is tryed. 3. There is none of the beleevers excepted from the benefit of his promises, which is a third reason of Gods praise, and our hope; for he is a buck­ler to all those that trust in him. He is a defence which we may constantly carry along with us, where ever we goe, and make use of his power and love, as of a buckler in all conflicts. 4. A fourth reason of Gods praise, and ground of our hope is, that as there is no true Religion, nor true Faith save one, so there is no true God save onely one, whose true and tryed word, is with his true Church and Saints, who beleeve in him: For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God? 5. There is no fountain of comfort, or of strength or delivery, save the Lord, of whom onely all things have their being: for who is God save the Lord? 6. There is no ground to build our confi­dence and felicity upon, save God alone, who is in Covenant through Christ with us: who is a rock save our God?

Ver. 32. It is God that girdeth me with strength, and makeh my way perfect.

33. He maketh my feet like hindes feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

23. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salva­tion, [Page 95] and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentlenesse hath made me great.

36. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; that my feet did not slip.

He goeth on to reckon the furniture, and ability for warre, which the Lord did give to him. Whence learne, 1. The man of God must resolve to be a man of war, and to yoake with adversa­ries of one sort or other; Such as was David, and Christ, and his followers represented by him. 2. The man whom the Lord sendeth out to fight his Battels, he will arme him compleatly from head to foot; He will gird him with strength, and make his way plaine and perfect; he will make his feet swift, he will furnish him with a retiring place on high, he will furnish him with a Bow of steel, and with all armes offensive, and will enable him with more skill and strength then to make use of them; he will furnish him also with a shield of salvation, which shall save him in effect: and with all arms defensive, and uphold him by his right hand, when he is like to be overcome; and by his tender care of him, wil make him a great man, a valiant man of war, and hold him on his feet, that he fall not in his service. Whereof David here hath experience in his warfare, bodily and spirituall. 3. What God hath done for a man, will be better seen after the trouble is end­ed, then in the mean time. The back-look upon the Lords as­sistance is most clear. As here David giveth the clearest compt of Gods assistance, when his experience is reviewed. 4. All the furniture of spirituall armour, in our spirituall warfare, which here is chiefly aimed at, is only from the Lord; for he, even he only is here declared the furnisher thereof, and without him the man is altogether weak, witlesse and naked.

37. I have pursued mine enemies and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consu­med.

38. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: thy are fallen under my feet.

39. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battel: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

40. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine ene­mies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

[Page 96]Here he maketh mention of the victories which God gave to him, as a Type of Christ, over all his enemies. Whence learn, 1. It was revealed to David, that as he himself had, so also Christ should have many enemies, and should fight against them, and prevail over them, and make all his followers vi­ctorious over them all; That he should pursue his, and their enemies, in every age, and not turn again till they shall be con­sumed, as is, ver. 37. till he cast them down, that they be not able to rise, vers. 38. till he hath subdued them all under his feet, and ours, ver. 39. till he have taken them captives and destroyed them, ver. 40. For Christs victories are common to him and his fol­lowers, in as far as their warfare is from him, and he is engaged to fight our battels for us, or by us, as he sees fit.

Ver. 41. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.

42. Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out, as the dirt in the streets.

In the type of some passages of some severe justice which David did execute against his enemies, he setteth forth the cer­tain destruction of Christs enemies, in judgement mercilesse. Whence learne, 1. That whosoever do look for release out of their trouble, and that not through Christ, shall have no release at all. Though they cry, there shall be none to save them. 2. It may be some may think themselves friends to God, and God a friend to them, and pray to him, albeit they be enemies to Christ; but that prayer which is put up to God without recon­ciliation made through Christ, shall be rejected. Though they cry to the Lord, he shall not answer them. 3. If men pursued by Christ for their enmity against him, shall not under the rod at least, turn to him, there remaineth nothing for them, but that they be utterly destroyed, and as it were beaten as small as the dust. 4. The obstinate enemies of Christs Kingdome shall perish shamefully, and as they have de [...]pised the blood of Christ, and of his servants, so shall the Lord despise them; He shall cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

Ver. 43. Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

[Page 97] 44. Ass [...]on as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

In the fifth and last part of the Psalm, he promiseth to him­selfe the setling and enlargement of his own Kingdome, and prophesieth also of Christs Kingdome represented thereby. Whence learn. 1. As was Davids, so is Christs Kingdom, sub­ject to intestine commotions, tumults and dissentions; as in the one there was, so in the other hath been, and will be conten­tions, and strivings of the people, raised by Satan, fostered by wicked hypocrites, and by the corruption of the Lords chil­dren. 2. Such striving and dissention do put our Lords King­dome in a sort of hazard, if we look to second causes, so as there will be need of Gods help for a delivery from it. But the Kingdome of Christ shall stand for all that, notwithstanding these contentions, that it may still be said of his Kingdome, as it is said here of the typicall Kingdome, and is prophesied of Christs Kingdome, Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people. 3. To the Prophet it was revealed, that Christs Kingdome was not to remaine straitned within the bounds of Iudea, but to be extended to the Gentiles, over whom Christ was to reign, and now hath he a long time reign'd. The Father, as he made David the Type, so hath he made Christ head of the heathen. 4. The wickednesse of a person or people, whose works have been most loathsome to the Lord, cannot hinder him to shew mercy to them through Christ, when he pleaseth to convert them. For he hath said, A people whom I have not known, shall serve me: which hath oft-times come to passe, and will yet more bee seen effectually. 5. The word of the Lord is the Scepter of his Kingdome, the sword whereby he subdueth people to himself; as soon as they hear of me, saith the Lord, in the mouth of his Type, and Prophet, they shall obey me. 6. The more room the word gets in a mans heart, and the sooner it be believed and obeyed, after signification of Gods will to him by his word, the more kindly is the conversi­on, and the more of the Lords power is evidenced: as here is imported in, assoon as they hear of me. 7. When Christ subdueth Nations to himselfe by his word, and doth convert the elect, or his own redeemed ones: strangers in heart will come also outwardly unto the society of his Church and King­dome, though fainedly. The strangers shall submit themselves to me; fainedly, as the word importeth. 8. Even this outward [Page 98] offer of submission to Christs Kingdome, made by strangers, coming to the visible Church, is not refused, but received pro tanto, and made a matter of glorifying of Christ. The stran­gers shall fainedly submit themselves to me. For it is no small glory to Christ that the Majesty of his Word and Ordinan­ces, doth make many stoop before him, who are not turned truely unto him. Mean time, albeit by entring into, and sub­mitting to the external covenant, a man be admitted into the visible Church, and outer Court of Gods house, yet not with­out reall conversion is a man made a member of the invisible Church, and admitted into the inner Court of heaven.

Ver. 45. The strangers shall fade away, and be a­fraid out of their close places.

He prophesieth what shall become of Christ enemies at length. Whence learne. 1. As some strangers shall come into the outward fellowship of Christs Kingdom, so others of them shall remain professed strangers, and dis-affected to his Kingdome, and whether strangers within, or without, shal continue to be strangers stil, both of them shall perish. For strangers shall fade away. 2. Al­beit Christ at first, may have many enemies, and unfriends where he cometh to set up his Kingdome, yet where and when he pleaseth to stay, and keep up his Kingdom, his open enemies shall grow fewer. The strangers shall fade away: to wit, where he minds to stay, and for that end thinks good to diminish them. 3. Whether the Lord be pleased to convert strangers, or not, their strong holds, (whether their high imaginations, or their earthly power) shall not be able to stand before him; let him come to convert them outwardly or inwardly also, or destroy them, as he shall be pleased, his terrour shall affright them; For the strangers (before him) shall be afraid out of their close pla­ces.

Ver. 46. The Lord liveth, and blessed be my rock: and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

47. It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

48. He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

[Page 99] Ver. 49. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee (O Lord) among the heathen: and sing praises unto thy name.

50. Great deliverance giveth he to his King, and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

He concludeth the Psalme with thanksgiving, and prai­seth the Lord for his personall preservation unto eternall life, verse 46. for overthrowing of his enemies, verse 47. for delivery of him from them, vers. 47, 48. and in Christs name he setteth forth the Lords glory, before the Gentiles, for the mercies following the Kingdome of Christ, and his own Kingdome, the type thereof, ver. 49, 50. Whence learne, 1. The end of all our speeches, concerning what we have been imployed into, and have done, or have had successe in, should be to shew forth the glory of God to others, and to offer praise and thanks to him: for this, Blessed be my rock, &c. is the end whereunto Davids example doth drive. 2. Life, and blessed life, quickening life ▪ the only fountain of life, is the proper stile of God, of whom most properly and deservedly we may say, The Lord liveth. 3. Because God is the Fountain of all bles­sednesse, to Angels and men; therefore should we acknow­ledge him, and proclaim him blessed, that the hearer may seek blessednesse in him alone. 4. The perfection of God in him­selfe, the out-letting of his goodnesse to the creature, his im­mutability in his love to his own, his making himselfe to be as it were the proper good of the believer by covenant: and his giving the certainty of salvation to the believer, established by covenant: These and other perfections should exalt the Lord highly in estimation, and affection of the believer, and do make the believer heartily wish the Lord may be known to his praise: for this cause saith the Prophet, the Lord liveth, and blessed be my rock, and let the God of my salvati [...]n be exalted. 4. David, as a type of Christ, in name and behalfe of Christ, doth give unto God the glory of taking order with his enemies, for preserving and propagating his Kingdome, and for the de­livering his people from cruell persecuters. It is God, saith he, that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies; yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise u [...] against me: Thou hast delivered mee from the violent man.

[Page 100] Ver. 49. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee (O Lord) among the heathen; and sing praises unto thy name.

Besides present praising of God, he promiseth to insist in praise and thanksgiving. This the Apostle, Rom. 15.9. sheweth to be the speech of Christ, and a prophesie of the con­version of the Gentiles. Whence learn, 1. Beside all the victo­ries given to the Church in Davids time, as a pledge of promises, it was foretold that the Gentiles should see many victories over the enemies of the Church of Christ, after his coming, and that they should joyne with the Iews in thanksgiving to God for the same; for upon account of the Lords lifting up Christ above his adversaries, and cruell persecuters, Thanks shall be given unto the Lord among the heathen. 2. The sacrifice of praise offered up in the Church, as it is the work of the Saints in one respect, so it is the work of Christ in another respect, because he raiseth by his Spirit the song in their hearts, and offereth up the sacrifice of thanks unto the Father. For it is Christ who here saith, I will give thanks unto thee (O Lord) among the heathen, and sing praises to thy name.

Ver. 50. Great deliverance giveth he to his King: and sheweth mercy unto his annointed: to David, and his seed, for evermore.

David as a Type of Christ, giveth a reason of perpetual praising of God; to wit, the constant course of Gods mercies shewn to him, and his house, and to be shewn to Christ, and his children, and house, for evermore. Whence learn, 1. As difficulties, enemies, and dangers of the Church, are many and great; so shall their victories over these evils be great also; For great deliverance giveth he, in a continuall tract and course, as it were, one after another, as need is. 2. All the delive­rances are given to Christ principally, and in him to his Church, and particular soules through him. For it is said, Great delive­rance giveth he to his King. 3. The chusing of a man for a service, shall by the calling of him to it, and qualifying him for it, and sustaining him in it, be confirmed to him, and by the course of mercy following him in all his difficulties, which he shall meet with in his calling. Therefore significantly doth he say, Great deliverance giveth he to his King, to David, a cho­sen [Page 101] Type, and to his annointed Christ, represented by him: He sheweth mercy to his annointed, Christ his seed. 4. It is meer mercy whereof Christs followers, Christs children and seed do stand in need: and mercy by course constantly shall follow them, not for a short time, but world without end, for the Lord sheweth mercy to David and his seed for evermore.

PSAL. XIX. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

This Psalm is a sweet contemplation of the glory of Gods wisdom, power, & goodness, shining in the works of Creation, v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. and of the glo­ry of his holiness, and rich grace, shining through his word and Ordinances in his Church, v. 7, 8, 9, 10. whereof the Prophet having proof, prayeth to have the right use and benefit, ver. 11, 12, 13, 14.

V. 1. THe heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handy workes.

ALbeit the whole earth be ful of the glory of the Lord, yet the Prophet contenteth himselfe to pitch his meditations on the heavens alone, and the vicissitude of day and night, and upon the course of the Suns light. Whence learn, 1. Albeit the glory of the Lord shine in all his works, yet any portion thereof will take up a mans meditation, when he beginneth to think upon it, as here the heavens are the Prophets Theam and subject matter of meditation. 2. The invisible things of God, even his e­ternal power and Godhead, and glorious attributes of wisdome, and goodnesse, and Majestie are to be seen in the works of Cre­ation, from the beginning of the world. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy worke. 3. Though his glory be shewne to all men, yet it is the illumi­nate child of God that can observe it; for he that setteth it forth to others, doth it by the inspiration of the Lords own Spirit: He is a Prophet who here is stirred up to point unto us this lesson▪ most worthy of our observation. For in substance the heavens [Page 102] declare that they are not their own maker, but that they are made by one, infinite, incomprehensible, omnipotent, everlasting, good, kind and glorious God. And the firmament (taking it for the region of the aire, and place of the stars) declares how curiously he can adorne the work of his hands, and how power­fully he can put glory abundant on the creature, though it have no matter in it to make it glorious.

2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledg.

3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

4 Their line is gone out thorow all the earth, and their words to the end of the world: in them hath he set a tabernacle for the Sun.

He looketh next upon the vicissitude of night and day, and as he saw what the heavens gave him to read, so he hearkeneth and heareth what the day and the night did speak; and he com­priseth all their speech in the Doctrine of knowledge. Whence learn, 1. The right observation of the vicissitude of the night and day, may give instruction unto us to be wise; for day unto day, in their revolution, utter speech to the observing ear; And night unto night, in their vicissitude sheweth to the understand­ing man knowledge. For in substance, the vicissitude of day after day, doth serve to teach man that he liveth in time, and that his dayes are numbred, that his dayes do go quickly away, and that time is precious, and cannot return when it is gone; and that so long as it shall last, it shal serve man to view the workes of the Lord, and to goe about his own necessary labours; and such like other speeches doth it speake: Also the night saith, That man in himselfe is weak, and cannot endure long toyling in labour; that as some little short rest and recreation of the labou­rer is necessary, so it is prepared for him, that he may lie under a curtaine, and sleep a while, and so be fitted for more worke, if more time be lent unto him; and that he may now quietly examine, what he hath been doing, may commune with his heart and be still; and that if he doe not what he hath to do in time, the night cometh when no man can work: By which, and such like speeches men may learn knowledge. [...]. There is no people nor country, but as much of the speech of the creature is spoken convincingly unto them, as may make them inexcusable; and [Page 103] albeit all doe not learne wis [...]ome, yet the voice of the works of creation and providence, is every where in some measure heard: their line and direction is gone out through the earth.

5 Which is as a Bridegroome coming out of his chamber, and rejoyceth as a strong man to run a race.

6. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, [...]nd his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid f [...]om the heat thereof.

He contracteth his thoughts from the highness of the heavens, and pitcheth upon the Sunne, and beholdeth Gods glory in it. Whence learne, 1. All the glory to be seen in the Sun belongeth unto the Lord; for he hath made it, and set it in its place, as in a Tabernacle, for a time, so long as he hath use and service of it. 2. The beauty of the Sun when it ariseth in the morning; the wonderfull swift and regular motion of it, so tempered by the huge distance thereof from the earth, that it cannot be seene moving, when it is running in a circle in the heaven most swiftly: The constancy of the motion of it from day to day, from year to year, without wearying or failing; the vast circle which it maketh every twenty four hours; the heat and vertue, and powerful operation upon all inferiour creatures are all ad­mirable, and matter of manifesting the glorious perfection of God, who made it, and moveth it; As the Bridegroome he riseth, compasseth the Circle of heaven and earth and nothing is hid from the heat thereof.

7 The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoycing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlight­ning the eies.

9. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous al­together.

10. More to be be desired are they then gold, yea, then much fine gold: sweeter also then the hony, and the ho­ny combe.

[Page 104]The next part of his contemplation, is concerning the glory of the Lord, declared in his word and scripture; which light as it is more necessary for our blessednesse then the Suns light for our bodies, so he commendeth this point of Gods glory, (far above that, which shineth in the worke of creation) from the per­fection, efficacie, infallibility, and sundry other properties of it. Whence learne, 1. The Doctrine of life and salvation, set down to us in Gods word, as a law to us, and a rule of faith and obe­dience, needeth no deck of humane traditions; it is sufficient in it selfe, and wanteth nothing necessary unto salvation; For the Law of the Lord is perfect. 2. No doctrine, no word save this divine truth, set downe in Scripture, is able to discover the sinne and misery of man, or the remedie and reliefe from it; no doctrine save this alone, can effectually humble a soul, and con­vert it to God; or make a soul sensible of the losse it hath by sin, and restore it to a better condition then is lost by sin; for it is the property of this law or doctrine, to be converting of soules. 3. Whosoever hearkeneth to this word, shall be satisfied about what is the Lords mind and will in all matters of religion, con­cerning Gods service, and mans salvation; for it is the testimony of the Lord, wherein he giveth forth his will, concerning what he approveth, and what he disalloweth. 4. This word being un­derstood rightly, as it may be understood when it is compared with it selfe, one part of it with another, and other means also used, which God hath appointed, may be safely relyed upon: it will not disappoint a man; For the testimony of the Lord is sure. 5. Albeit there be many deep mysteries in this word, which may exercise the greatest wits, yet for the points necessary for the sal­vation of every soul, it is so plaine and clear, that it may be un­derstood by persons of mean wits, and may make those who are otherwise dull of understanding, wise to salvation; for it is a testimony making wise the simple. 6. Nothing is commanded by God in his word, but that which the illuminate soul must sub­scribe unto, as equitable in it self, and profitable to us. For the statutes of the Lord are right. 7. The approving and following of the Lords directions given to us in his word, is a sure mean to get comfort and joy raised in our conscience. For the statutes of the Lord rejoyce the heart. 8. There is no mixture of error, no drosse, nor refuse doctrine, no deceit in the Lords word; for the commandment of the Lord is pure. 9. By the word of God a man may clearly see himself in himself blind and naked, and wretched and miserable, and by coming into the grace and mer­cy [Page 105] offered in the Messiah, Christ, may see himselfe entred in the only safe way of salvation. By the word of God a man may see every thing in its own colours; vertue to be vertue, and vice to be vice and vanity: For the word illuminates the eyes. 10. The way of worshipping, fearing, and serving God, set down in his word, is holy, and in substance the same in all generations, and alwayes unalterable by man for ever. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever. 11. The doctrines set downe in the word of God, are all of them decrees of the almighty Law-giver, given forth in his owne Court with authority uncontrolable; all of them are true and worthy to be obeyed; for the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. 12. The word of God isable to enrich a man more then all the riches in the world, because it is able to bring him to an everlasting Kingdome; for Gods judgments being as judicial sentences, to determine all necessary truths and controversies, about saving truth, are more to be desired then gold, yea then much fine gold. 13. There is more sweet comfort and true pleasure to be found in the Lords word, then in any pleasant thing in this world. They are sweeter then the hony, and the hony combe.

11. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

The Prophet subscribeth this commendation of Gods word, by his owne experience, and seeketh to make good use of it. Whence learne, 1. That man, of all other, is most meet to com­mend the word of the Lord, who in himselfe hath felt the expe­rience of the effects and good use thereof, as the Prophets ex­ample doth shew. 2. As the word of God is able to make a man wise to salvation, so also to make him prudent in his carri­age, to eschue not only sin, but also inconveniences, and to warne him of snares, wherein he may fal by imprudency. For beside all the former commendation, he addeth, Moreover by them is thy servant warned. 3. When a man hath said all hee can, in commendation of the word of God, he shal not be able to say all, but must close in some general, because the benefit of ob­serving of the Lords Statutes and Commands, doth passe his reach; for thus the Prophet closeth, In keeping of them there is great reward.

12. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

[Page 106]Lest he should seem to speak like one who seeks to be ju­stified by his works, he acknowledgeth himself a man that clea­veth not to his owne righteousnesse, but to the fountaine of free grace, and to the expiation of sin made by Christ, signified un­der the shadow of ceremonial cleansing. Whence learn, 1. The most holy man, after conversion, must make stil use of the law for his humiliation, and for driving of him to Christ continu­ally; and when he compareth himself with the Law of God, he will be forced to blush and acknowledge himself and every other man unable to condescend upon the particulars, and the multi­tude even of his actual sins. Therefore saith hee, Who can un­derstand his errors? 2. Sins of ignorance, sins past out of me­mory, do leave guiltinesse upon the man, and must be count­ed for in heap at least: and mercy through the blood of clean­sing must be requested for, as here. Cleanse thou me from secret sins.

13. Keepe back thy servant also from presumpiu­ous sins, let them not have dominion over me: then shal I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

He puts up another petition, to wit, That he may be preser­ved from presumptuous sins. Hence learne, 1. Holiest men are most sensible of their by-gone sins, and so also of their naturall sinfulnesse, and readinesse to fall, whereof the Prophet here is to fear, saying, Keep back also thy servant from presumptuous sins. 2. Even the regenerate, if the Lord doe not keep them from ten­tation, or if he leave them in tentation, unto their own will and strength, they may fal into most scandalous sins, against the light of their conscience, and be slaves thereunto; Therefore pray­eth he to be kept back from presumptuous sins, and that God would not suffer such sins to have dominion over him; insinuating his own weaknesse, if God did not prevent, did not assist and helpe him to prevaile against them. 3. Uprightnesse and integrity in Gods obedience may stand with sins of infirmity, and sins of ignorance, but cannot stand with presump [...]uous sinnes, against the light of conscience▪ for if the Lord shall save him from presumptuous sins, then, he saith, he shall be upright. 4. Presumptuous sinnes, and letting sin reigne in a mans mortal body, is the high way to the sin unto death, or sinning maliciously, with despight a­gainst God; and he that makes conscience of secret sins, and is [Page 107] feared to fall into presumptuous sins, and flieth to God to bee cleansed from the one, and preserved from falling into the o­ther, may be sure not to fall into [...]he sinne against the Holy Ghost. For the Prophet having prayed to be cleansed from his secret sins, and kept back from presumptuous and reigning sinnes, assureth himselfe, That so he shall be innocent from the great trans­gression.

Ver. 14. Let the words of my mouth, and the medi­tation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my strength, and my Redeemer.

The third petition, is, for the acceptance of his service in his prayer, and purpose of heart. Whence learne, 1. As par­doning grace, and preventing grace, and restraining grace, must be prayed for; so also powerful, sanctifying, or enabling grace, both for inward and outward service; yea, and grace accepting the service when it is offered▪ must be sought for by prayer from God. For as the Prophet hath prayed for the for­mer acts of grace, so also he prayeth here for the latter sort, say­ing, Let the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart, he acceptable. 2. As all our prayers, and all our holy indeavours, and abilities to serve God, must be furnished unto us▪ by our Redeemer who is Jesus Christ; so also every other grace, and the acceptance of our persons and services, must come through him; and we may look for all these by vertue of the Covenant of grace, whereby Christ is made our strength and Redeemer in all respects: Therefore layeth he all the weight on this, O Lord my strength, and my Redeemer.

PSAL. XX. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

This Psalme was dited to the Church in forme of a prayer for the Kings of Israel, but with a speci­all eye upon, and relation unto Christ, the King of Israel; in respect of whom this prayer is a prophesie, and a forme of blessing of Christ, and [Page 108] praying for his Kingdome, wherof the Kingdom of Israel was a type, and the Kings thereof are types of Christ. Not that the Kingdome in eve­ry condition was figurative, or every King a type of him; But as the Priests being taken not se­verally, one by one, but together, shadowed forth in something, Christ in the Office of his Priest­hood; so the Kings, not every one, but taken together, shadowed forth in something Christ, in his Royal Office, and their Kingdom resem­bled his Kingdom in his visible Church in some things, and in his invisible Church in other some things, leaving room to some persons, both a­mong the Priests, and Kings, to be more specially types then any of the rest in common, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4▪ 5. After which the Churches confidence to be heard is set downe, and their gloriation in God over their enemies, with dependance on God for salvation in all difficulties and strai [...]s, ver. 6, 7, 8, 9

Ver. 1. THe Lord hear thee in the day of trouble, the Name of the God of Iacob defend thee

2 Send thee help from the Sanctuary, and streng­then thee out of Sion▪

3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice. Selah.

4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.

5 Wee wil rejoyce in thy salvation, and in the Name of our God we will set up our banner; the Lord fulfil all thy petitions.

FRom this prayer of the Church for the King of Israel. Learn, 1. It is the duty of all the godly, where-ever they live, [Page 109] to pray for the welfare of their Kings, Rulers, and Magistrates, as this example teacheth. 2. Greatest men, though they be also gracious, are subject to trouble: for even the best of the Kings of Israel, and Christ typified by them, were not ex­empted therefrom. The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble. 3. It is the part of such as desire the prayers of others to bee made for them, to pray also themselves, were they never so great Kings; and prayer must be counted their best weapons in trouble; The Lord hear thee, saith he, in the day of thy trouble. 4. No defence to be expected from God, but when he is look­ed upon and believed in as he is manifested to us in his word. Therefore he saith, The Name of the God of Iacob defend thee. Or, God who in his word hath revealed himselfe to Isra­el, and entred in covenant to be his God, defend thee. 5. It is by vertue of Gods dwelling amongst men, and his ta­king on mans nature in the person of Christ (represented by Gods presence in Sion and the Sanctuary) that help must be expected from God. Therefore saith he, The Lord send thee help out of the Sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Sion. 6. Kings and all for whom the godly may pray with confidence, must be worshippers of God, believers in Christ, relyers upon the mer­cy of this only once offered sacrifice, represented by often re­peated typical burnt offerings. For this is imported in, The Lord remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifices. For it is for Christs sacrifice that we are accepted, and that any grace is granted to us. 7. A believer in Christ, praying according to the revealed will of God, ask what he will, it shall be gran­ted; he who studieth to walk sincerely before God, studying to do what is pleasant to Gods heart, shall receive satisfactory answers according to his own hearts wish. Upon this ground the prayer goeth here, The Lord grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel. 8. Whosoever do partake with Christs Subjects in trouble, shall share with them also in the joy of their deliverance; therefore it is said, We will rejoyce in thy salvati­on. 9. When it goeth well with the King, and chiefe Magi­strates, it goeth the better with all the subjects, and the praise of delivery and welfare redoundeth to the glory of God who is the fountain of all felicity; for, In the Name of our God, we shall set up our banners, saith the Church, if God shall blesse the King.

Ver. 6. Now know I, that the Lord saveth his an­nointed; [Page 110] he will hear him from his holy heaven, with the saving strength of his right hand.

7. Some trust in charets, and some in horses: but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God.

8. They are brought down and faln: but we are risen, and stand upright.

9. Save, Lord; let the King hear us when we call.

This is the Churches confidence to be heard, and her glori­ [...]tion in God, and dependance on God for salvation. Whence learn, 1. A believer may be sure he hath his request granted, when he hath prayed according to Gods will; in speciall when he prayeth for safety to the Church, and Kingdome of Christ. I know (saith he) that the Lord saveth his annointed. 2. He that seeketh God by the means appointed; in speciall, he who seek­eth God, and help from him, through Christ, in whom the ful­nesse of the Godhead dwelleth, shall have the grant of his pray­er from heaven; for help sought to come from the Sanctuary, ver. 2. is granted from his holy heaven, ver. 6. 3. Whatsoever be the straits of Gods Church, or any member thereof, faith seeth suf­ficiency in God to relieve out of it, and doth lay hold on it. [...]or he heareth with the saving strength of his right hand. 4. Weak man cannot chuse but have some confidence without himselfe, in case of apparent difficulties; and naturall men do look first to some earthly thing wherein they confide. Some trust in charets, and some in horses, some in one creature, some in another. 5. The believer must quit his confidence in these things, whe­ther he have them, or want them, and must rely on what God hath promised in his word to do unto us. But we will remem­ber the Name of the Lord our God. 6. That which terrifieth the believer in the first assault of a tentation, before he go to his re­fuge, is contemned by the believer when he looks to the Lord, his true defence; Charets and horses when they are invading Gods people are terrible: but now when the Lord is remembred, they are here set at nought in comparison. 7. The condition of the worldly man and of the enemies of Gods people seems to be the better, at the first, and the condition of the Church the worse. But a short resolution cometh, which determineth the question in the end; the standing of the ungodly is follow­ed with a fall; and the low condition of the godly hath a bet­ter condition following upon it. The worldly man, and ene­my, [Page 111] is brought down, and falleth. But the godly are made to say, We are risen and stand upright. 8. True confidence strengthens it selfe by prayer, Save Lord. 9. That which is prayed for in the type, is perfected in Christ, who is the truth; salvation is granted to all his Subjects, whensoever they call. Let the King hear us when we call. 10. And when the Lord is relyed upon for safety, the means shall have the promised bles­sing. The Kings of Israel were to be the more usefull to the people when safety was sought from the Lord. First, they pray, Save us, and then, Let the King hear us when we call, or im­plore him.

PSAL. XXI. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

As the former Psalm was a prayer for the preserva­tion of the Kingdome of Israel, in relation to the Kingdome of Christ, represented by it: So this Psalm is a form of thanksgiving unto God by the Church, for blessing of the Kingdom of Israel, representing the blessing, and cause of thanks­giving, to be found in Christ, and his Kingdome, wherein a number of good things are set forth▪ heaped upon the King, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. And [...] number of miseries set forth, heaped on the head of his enemies, ver. 8▪ 9, 10, 11, 12. For both which the Lord is glorified, ver. 13. The reason why the former Psalme and this, are referred in so many particulars unto Christ▪ is, because the verity of these things here spoken of, is to be sought in Christ, and his Kingdome: for but in some few onely of the Kings, and in some few times of the Kingdome onely, was the shadow of what is here spoken of, to be found, when the whole history is consulted.

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Ver. 1. THe King shall joy in thy strength, O Lord: and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoyce!

2. Thou hast given him his hearts desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.

3. For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodnesse: thou settest a Crowne of pure gold on his head.

4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, e­ven length of dayes for ever and ever.

5 His glory is great in thy salvation; honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.

6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy coun­tenance.

7. For the King trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the most high he shall not be moved.

The benefits bestowed on the King, and his Kingdome, are seven or eight, which are so many reasons of thanksgiving. The first is joy in the Kings heart, for strength and salvation given unto him. Whence learn, 1. As prayer is necessary, so also is thanksgiving; and the offering of both to God, as it is our duty, so it is his due; and as we should seek the concur­rence of others in prayers, so should we seek their concurrence in praises: And he that offereth prayer one day, shall have matter of praise to offer another day, as here we are taught. 2. Christ, and all his true Subjects, are sure to be furnished with furniture of strength from God, for every imployment, and to be delivered out of every danger by God, and to have joy and rejoycing in the experimental feeling thereof. For, The King shall joy in thy strength, O Lord, and in thy salvation how greatly shall be rejoyce? This is the first reason of praise and thanks, for this first benefit. The second benefit bestowed on Christ, to be forth-coming to his true Subjects, is this, Sa­tisfactory answers shall be given to all the articles of Christs intercession, and all the articles of the Saints warrantable sup­plications. Thou hast given him his hearts desire, and hast not with-holden the request of his lips. The third benefit is this [Page 113] There shall be a ready out-giving of liberall gifts for Christs subjects, and fruits of Gods love, before the need thereof be felt, or observed; Thou preventest him with the blessing of good­nesse: The fourth benefit is right, and title, and possession given to Christ; a name of glory, or the gift of [...] glorious Kingdome, wherein Christ shall give all his subjects crowns of glory. Thou settest a crown of pure gold upon his head. The fifth benefit is right to eternall life, as the fruit of Christs inter­cession; He asked life of thee, and thou gavest him even length of days, for ever and ever. The sixth benefit given to Christ, and his subjects, is growing honour, and growing weight of glory, a load of it, even before men; for nothing can make men more glorious, even before the world, then Gods own­ing them before the world, and putting respect upon them; yea, and the world shall more and more see and admire the glory which God shall put upon Christ, and his Kingdome: His glo­ry is great in thy salvation; honour and majesty hast thou laid up­on him. The seventh benefit, is a begun possession of ever­lasting blessednesse, and joy unspeakable; partly from the feel­ing of the first fruts, partly from the hope of a full harvest. For God will never make an end of blessing whom he will blesse. Thou hast made him and his followers most blessed for ever; thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance. The eighth reason of thanksgiving, and the last benefit, in rela­tion to the giving of what is good to Christ, and to his sub­jects, (among whom David, and every one of the godly come in to share) is the unchangeablenesse of Gods mercy, and power­full love toward the believer, who hath closed in covenant with him, and doth trust in him. He shall not be moved. And why so? The King trusteth in the Lord: What then? The co­venanted mercy of the most High is unchangeable, and maketh all blessednesse fast to Christ, and to every believer: Through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved. Christs King­dome in his Person, and his Subjects with him, shall stand, when all the kingdomes of the earth shall stagger and fall.

Ver. 8. Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies, thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.

9. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the Lord shall swallow the [...] up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

[Page 114] Ver. 10. Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.

In the 2d place there is a prophecy of Gods vengeance on the e­nemies of Christ, and his Church, under the type of the enemies of Davids Kingdom. Whence learn, 1. All the enemies of Christ, and his Church, shall be pursued by God, and overtaken, and none of them shal escape his hand, neither open enemies, nor close lur­king traitors. The Lords hand shal find out all the Kings enemies, and his right hand shall find out all those that hate him. 2. All the enemies of Christ, and his Kingdome, howsoever they may possibly be spared and forborn for a while, yet there is a set time for punishing of them, here called the time of Gods an­ger. 3. When the time is come, their judgement is inevita­ble, horrible, and compleatly full. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven, where the burning is extream hot, the heat striking upon what is in it, from all hands, above, below, and about, on all hands, and the door closed from going out, or suffering any coole refreshment to come in. 4. There is no possibility to apprehend the horrible punishment of Christs enemies: for after their casting in a fiery oven, they are set down here as few­ell, to suffer what God's being incensed in anger, as a consu­ming fire swallowing them up, and devouring them in his in­comprehensible wrath, doth import. 5. After the Lords ven­geance is come upon the enemies of Christs Kingdom, his curse shall follow the works of their hands, and upon whatsoever they sought to make themselves happy by in their life: and his vengeance shall follow upon their posterity, till he have rooted out their memoriall from among men. Their fruit shall he destroy from the earth, and their seed from amongst the children of men.

Ver. 11. For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not a­ble to perform.

For evidencing the Lords justice, he giveth a reason of this from the designe which the enemies have to root out the Lords annointed, and his seed, ver. 11. Whence learn, 1. The malici­ous enemies of Christs Kingdome, (beside all the hatred they have shewn, and evil which they have done) are still upon plots and designes to overturn Christs Kingdome, and work. They in­ [...]ded evil against thee. The enemies of Christs Kingdome [Page 115] may possibly conceive they onely oppose such as do trouble mens interests, and not as they are the Lords childern: yet it is found, that what they do against them, they do it against the Lord; because they do it against his children and subjects, for his cause and service. 2. Plot what the wicked please against Christ and his Church, they shal not be able to accomplish their designe or desire: They have imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to performe. 3. The evill which the wicked would do, and do set themselves to do, shall be made their dittay, and the reason of their doom and destruction, as well as the evill which they have done, if they repent not. For they inten­ded, is here given as the reason of the judgement.

Ver. 12. Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrowes up­on thy strings, against the face of them.

He cleareth their dittay and judgement yet more, vers. 12. teaching us, 1. That the Lord will suffer his enemies to ma­nifest themselves in open opposition oft-times, before he fall upon them: for here they are found in the posture of pursuers, and opposers of God, setting their face against him, when he cometh to execute judgement on them: Thou shalt make them turn their back. 2. When God falleth upon his enemies to be avenged upon them, he useth to make them, and the beholders see, that he hath set them up as a mark to shoot at: for He will make ready his arrows, one after another, against the face of them. 3. The Lords wrath shal so meet his enemies in the teeth, where­soever they turn, that they shall be forced to forsake their pur­suing of the Church. Thou shalt make them turn their back.

Ver. 13. Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

He closeth the Psalme with giving glory to God, including also a prayer. Whence learne, 1. When the Lords Church is preserved from persecuters, then the Lord is exalted. Be thou exalted, saith he. 2. When the Church is delivered, it is not by her own strength, but by the power of the Lord. Be thou exalted in thine own strength. 3. Albeit the godly be put to mourn for a time, yet when the Lord appeareth for them, they get matter of joy to themselves, and pr [...]se to God. [...] sing, and praise thy power.

PSAL. XXII. To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar. A Psalme of David.

This Psalm is a Prophecy of Christs deepest suffer­ings, whereof Davids exercise is a Type. The A­gony of spirit in Christ, and wrestling of Davids faith as the Type, is set down to v. 22. and the vi­ctory, and the outgate to the end of the Psalme. In the exercise there are three conflicts between sense and faith. The first conflict, wherein the sense of trouble is set down, v. 1▪ 2. and faiths wrest­ling against it, v. 3, 4, 5. The second conflict, wher­in is the second assault of sense, v. 6, 7, 8. & faiths wrestling against it, v. 9, 10▪ 11. The third conflict, wherein the third assault of sense is, v. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18▪ and faiths wrestling with it. v. 19, 20, 21. Then follows the victory, set forth first in a promise of praise, v. 22. Secondly, in an exhor­tation to all the godly, to praise the Lord, with a reason from his experience, v. 23, 24. Thirdly, in a renewed promise of praise and thanks, to the edification of the Church, v. 25. Fourthly, in a Prophecy of the encrease of Gods glory in the earth, as a fruit of Christs suffering and victory, ver. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.

V. 1. MY God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2. O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hea­rest not, and in the night season, and am not silent.

IN this exercise of David the type, and of Christ represented here, both doe agree in these four things. 1. Both are under [Page 117] the sense of wrath, and of oppressing trouble. 2. Both are tempted to doubting and desperation. 3. Both wrestle against the tentation, and against trouble, the occasion thereof; And 4. Both get the victory. But they differ in these four things. First, In the measure of the trouble; Davids trouble was little in comparison of Christs trouble; David laid not down his life under trouble; but Christs trouble was incomparably more, and his soul made heavy unto death, and the trouble tooke his life from him. Secondly, In the manner of the trouble they dif­fer; for Davids trouble was only a probatory exercise, without vindictive wrath; not a curse, but a crosse, for trying of him, and training of him to believe against sense; which trouble of his paid no debt, neither his owne, nor any others; but Christs trouble was a vindictive and avengefull punishment; for reall wrath was against him, as he was bearing our sins, and the bit­ter curse of the Law was cast upon him: for he was made a curse for us; and his punishment paid our debt, and was expiatory and satisfactory to justice. Thirdly, though both David and Christ were tempted to doubting and desperation, yet Davids tentation could not be sinlesse, because of his sinful imperfecti­ons, common to him, and all the rest of the godly; The ten­tation got some advantage of him, because of the imperfe­ction of his knowledge, faith, love, and abilities; and be­cause of the power of the body of original sin in him. But Christs passive tentation was altogethet sinlesse, and could not have any sin at all on his part; for albeit he was tempted in all things like unto us, yet it is said, without sin. Because when the Prince of this world, Satan, came and took essay of him, he found none of his own stuffe in Christ: he had nothing in him to work upon; and it was impossible that sin could be in him, being the holy one of Israel our sanctifier, Holy Lord God Almighty, and man also in one person, Isa. 6.3. Iob. 12.41. Fourthly, they differ in their wrestling, and victory; for David wrestled not in his own strength, got not the victory in his own strength, [...] in and through Christs strength, who gave David a taste only, or a smel rather, of the cup which he was to drink out, unto the dregs, and with the dregs, and who helped him to wrestle by Faith. But Christ wrestled and got the victory in his owne strength, which is one with the strength of the Father. For he is Jehovah our righteousnesse. In all the Psalme wee shal look [...] upon every passage, not so much as it concerneth David the type, as wherein it concerneth Christ the truth. In the first conflict [Page 118] of the sense of trouble with faith; Learn from the words as they are Christs words. 1. God is Christs God; he being conside­red as God and man, in one person, entred in the Covenant of redemption with the Father as Mediatour and Surety for men; That he shall satisfie justice, and doe all the Fathers will in be­halfe of the Elect, and that God shall be his God, and the God of all the Elect redeemed by him. Therefore doth he here say, My God, my God. 2. Faith, as it is a vertue giving perfect trust and credit unto Gods promises made to his Son the Redeemer, is a part of that original holinesse in the man Christ, and a point of his personal perfection, sutable to his imployment. This faith he professeth while he saith, My God, my God. 3. Christ, as man lying under the curse of the law for us, was really deser­ted and forsaken for a time, in regard of all sensible consolation: for it behoved him to bear the wrath, or effects of wrath, due to our sins really, so far as might satisfie for us, and relieve us from wrath. Its true, the man Christ could no more be forsaken, in regard of divine presence supporting him, then the personal union of the two natures could be dissolved: But in regard of sensible consolation, he was by way of punishment for our sins, and by way of cursing our sin in him, really in our stead for a while, deprived, as man, of the sense of the comfort of his owne God-head. The sense of wrath filling now the soul of the man to the brim, and running over. Therefore speaks he of his for­saking, Why hast thou forsaken me? 4. As sense and reason can expresse themselves in seeming contradictory terms, and yet without contradiction can very well agree in their seeming opposite, and inconsistent expressions; so can faith and sense ex­presse themselves, in seeming contradictory terms, and yet ve­ry wel agree; for as sense, and paine, and sicknesse in the pati­ent, can in its own language, and style of natural feeling, say to the Chirurgion, cutting and lancing the flesh, and to the Phy­sician who hath given a bitter portion▪ you have hurt me, you have made me sick: when indeed in the stile of reason and wit, he hath been healing the man, and recovering him from sicknesse. So sense of sorrow, grief, pain, and affliction, desertion, and wrath can speak in the terms of natural feeling, that which may seeme to crosse, but doth not indeed crosse faith speaking in the terms and language of supernatural Theological truth. Therefore My God, my God, spoken in the perfection of faiths language, can very well agree with, Why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping of me, and from the words of my roaring? [Page 119] spoken here in the language of perfect natural sense; for per­fect faith, and perfect natural sense were in our Lord Christ, very God, and very man, compleatly holy. 5. Bitter was the cup of Divine wrath, which Christ did drinke: great was the price our Redeemer paid, to ransome us, when the sense thereof drew forth of his Majesty such expressions. Thus faith and feeling may both speak, each of them their owne language to God in one breath, as here they do. Now as these words are Davids, who had in him sinful corruption of nature, Learne, 1. Sense, and tentation, and corrupt nature, may represent God in his dispensations to his own children, as if he had forsaken altogether, and regarded not their hard condition, and would not helpe, as here is shewn in Davids experience. 2. Faith should correct sense, and refute tentations, and bridle effecti­ons, and not suffer their words to go forth, expressing sense or appearance of doubting of Gods favour, till first faith speak, and goe before, and fasten its gripes on the Covenant; as here faith goeth formost, and calleth the Lord, My God, my God, before that sense utter a word. 3. At one time, and in one exercise, these three may concur. 1. Desertion in the point of comfort. 2. Growing trouble without help seene. And 3. Apparent re­jecting of prayer: And these three joyned together do set sore upon the faith of a child of God. For continuance of trouble is a sore tentation, albeit comfort be now and then mixed: want of sensible comfort, mixed with trouble, doubleth the burden, and disquieteth the mind much: but to seem to lose la­bour in prayer, made for either help or comfort, is the heaviest part of the exercise: I cry day and night, and thou hearest not, is a sad condition. 4. In this case it is the best remedie, to lay the worst of our thoughts single before the Lord, and to tell him whatsoever is suggested to us, and not to be Secretars to Satan; but to reveale our selves fully to God, and fix our selves on the Covenant of Grace, wherein we have closed with him; yea, and to double and treble our gripes of, My God.

3. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4. Our fathers trusted in thee; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5 They cryed unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

[Page 120]Now Faith having spoken with Sense, and grapled with the tentation, speaketh alone, that it may prevail. Whence learne, 1. Were tentations never so black, Faith wil not hearken to an ill word spoken against God, but will justifie God alwayes; This should be our part in time of greatest perplexity, to say, But thou art holy. 2. It is wisdome for a soul in a sad exercise, to take side and part with Faith, to gather arguments to strengthen it, to divert the mind from thinking still on its calamity, and to set it upon the contemplation of Gods perfections in himselfe, and toward us in his Gospel, and of the passages of his provi­dence toward his people, whereby he hath purchased constant praises at their hands: In the right of which praises and posses­sion whereof, God is resolved to keep himselfe and to dwel there­in as in a habitation wherein he delights to remain. O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 3. It is wisdome to look to the carriage of the Godly in former times: Our Fathers trusted n thee. To their trusting, and trusting in God constantly in their trouble; they trusted in thee, they trusted, and the third time they trusted: and to look upon their patient depending on God, doubling their diligence in calling on him; as their straits did grow, they cried, they trusted: and to remember that they did ne­ver seek God in vain, but every one of them were delivered, and not confounded; for this direction is holden forth to us in this example, which our Lord Jesus could well make use of for our consolation, and whereof David made use for his owne up­holding.

6. But I am a worm and no man, a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7 All they that see me, laugh me to scorne: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the Lord, that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

The second conflict, wherein the sense of trouble is set forth as a new assaulting of Faith. Whence learn, 1. Never was any child of God before Christ, under so much misery as Christ was himself: His own heavens, his own Father, his own God­head did hide their face and consolation from him: Our sins willingly taken on him, and Gods wrath pressed the weight of punishment with the full power of Justice, both upon his soule and body: These for whom he died despised him, he himselfe [Page 121] being emptied of all things which make men respected to the world, and depressed lower then ever any man was, as a worme to be trod upon, he was made a matter of common talk, and re­proach in all mens mouths; set at naught by the basest of the people; derided, and scorned in his most holy behaviour; sport, and matter of laughter was made of his sufferings; malice feed­ing it selfe with pleasure, upon his paine and misery, and ex­pressing it selfe with the basest signes of disgrace, which disdain could devise, for flouting of him, mocking of his saving do­ctrine, and faithful testimony given unto it; insulting over him, as if he had been neither Gods Son, nor an honest man: and all this was counted little enough for satisfaction to Justice exacting of him, as the due punishment of our sins, whatsoever is imported in the sad expressions, set down in the Text. 2. As the more misery the children of God are under, the more doth tentation make their misery seem weighty, for bearing downe of their confidence in God: So the more that misery seemeth to grow, and the world to turn their back on Gods children in their tryals, the more should they draw neer to God, and lay out their case be­fore him, as here we are taught by this example. 3. Let no man wonder to be despised of men, and mocked for religion; for so was the man according to Gods own heart, and Christ our Lord mocked more then any, in his sad sufferings. Let God deliver him, seeing he delighteth in him, said his enemies.

9 But thou art he that took me out of the wombe; thou didst make me hope when I was upon my Mo­thers brests.

10 I was cast upon thee from the wombe: thou art my God from my mothers belly.

11 Be not far from me, for trouble is neer; for there is none to help.

Here faith opposeth whatsoever the complaint could import, to the prejudice of confidence, and laboureth to strengthen it selfe by all arguments. Whence learn, 1. As Satan maketh as­sault after assault, against Faith, upon new representations of calamity and misery; so we should raise bulwark after bulwark for defence; and after we have looked upon other mens experi­ences before us, we should recount our own experiences of Gods are towards us, and should make use of all that the Lord hath done unto us, for our strengthning; for so doth this example [Page 122] teach us. 2. Albeit men in a fit of misbelief, will admit no proofe of Gods respect unto them, except singularities, and wil question also speciall grace, when it is given; yet the humbled believer is so wise, as to make use of the most common benefit which the man hath received from God for confirmation of his owne faith; even the ordinary work of our conception, frame of body, birth, and education may suffice us to draw in to God who made us, and hath done so much for us (ere we could im­plore him, or doe any thing for our selves) as may incourage us to come to him, and seek his favour, whatsoever objection can be made to the contrary; for this example teacheth us so to doe. 3. Seeing the Lord doth many things for us, which in the time when he doth them for us, we doe not observe; it is our duty to look upon them afterwards, that they may furnish us with matter of praise to God and faith in him; for so doth this example teach us. 4. Whatsoever instruments and means the Lord maketh use of, the spirituall eye pierceth through them, and looketh on God as worker of all things, for and upon them, from their cradle. Thou tookest me out of my mothers wombe. 5. Children borne within the Covenant have God for their God, from their nativi­ty, and may lay their reckoning so; and whensoever they would draw neer to God, to make use of the Covenant, they may say, Thou art my God from my mothers belly. 6. The approaching of trouble, and neernesse of danger should draw us neer to God; who in an instant can interpose himself between us and the evil: and the lesse help we have beside the Lord himselfe, the more hope may we have to be helped by God; This is the Pro­phets plea, Be not far from me, for trouble is neer, &c.

12 Many Buls have compassed me: strong buls of Bashan have beset me round.

13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and roaring Lion.

From ver. 12. to 22. is the third conflict of Sense with Faith, upon the consideration of the multitude, power and cruelty of his enemies, compared with his owne infirmity, now emptied of all strength to resist them; and these are mixed one with another. The enemies terriblenesse is first set forth, then his emptinesse and weaknesse by turnes, to v. 19. unto all which faith opposeth it selfe, by prayer to God, to v. 22, He compareth (v. 12, 13.) his persecuters to Buls, many buls, strong, cruel, gaping, roaring, [Page 123] devouring Lions. Whence learn, 1. The persecuters of Christ and his people, are but beastly, sensual bodies, sold to this pre­sent world, and destitute of grace and humility; more like in their rage to savage beasts then to rationall men; commonly also they are men of riches, and worldly power, fed and fat Buls; and many in number, all of them ready for an ill turne, and so cruel, that nothing lesse wil satisfie them, then blood and slaugh­ter, as they are here described. And no wonder that Christs ser­vants shall finde it so in their case, seeing Christ himselfe and his servants before us have had experience of such enemies.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joynt: my heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dryed up like a potsheard: and my tongue cleaveth to my jawes; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

What the Lord wrought upon his body, and natural spirits, and strength, is here set downe. Whence learn, 1. It was deter­mined by God, that with outward persecution of Christ, by his cruel adversaries, the Father should bruise him and breake him inwardly also, and punish him with all severity: for here his suffering is in body and mind, in flesh and bones, in his natural spirit, and natural courage, in heart, and whole strength, that in nothing he should be unpunished, wherein we sinners are found polluted; to the intent that he being fully emptied, the ransome might be full; he is poured out like water, and empti­ed of all that the created humane nature could furnish. The ter­rour of Divine Justice and wrath did in a manner loose all the joynts of his body, so that natural courage, before the dreadfull avenger of sin, did fail: his heart was made soft like wax to receive and keep the impression of Divine terrour, til justice should be satisfied, and was dissolved like wax, in the point of resolution to withstand it. It is melted in the midst of his bowels, his na­tural strength is dryed, burnt up like a potsheard, baken in the fire, his mouth was stopped from all defence and apology; for he was content to be holden as guilty, standing in our room. There­fore his tongue cleaved to his jawes. And in a word, the hand of God exacteth the full price of him, and brings him downe so, as there is not a bit of him free of the punishment. Thou, saith he, hast brought me into the dust of death. This David had but a taste [Page 124] of in his deepest trouble: The verity and weight of this, is to be found only in Christ, of whom this was prophecied, that it should come, and indeed is come, done and ended, and so it behoved to be.

16. For dogs have compassed me, the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feete.

Againe he bringeth forth his enemies part, to shew us that Christs enemies were to prove but bloody dogs, when they should be let loose upon him, whom nothing but Crucifie him, crucifie him, could satisfie: and such will they be still who per­secute his Church. Next, to shew, that although his enemies were to be the assembly of the visible Church, for open profession, yet by rejecting of his grace, and opposing of him, in Gods sight and estimation, they were holden for the assembly of the wicked. Thirdly, to foreshew the death of the Crosse to be ap­pointed for Christ, it is said, They pierced my hands and my feet.

17. I may tell all my bones: they looke and stare upon me.

18. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Another, and further point of Christs fore-prophecied suf­fering, is his nakednesse on the Crosse, and the discovery of his leane body (being wasted with decreed sorrowes) and the gazing of his enemies upon him hanging on the Crosse, and the part­ing of his garments among the souldiers, and the casting of lots for his upper garment, because it was woven, and could not be divided. Whence learne, 1. All that our Lord Jesus suffered, was before decreed and agreed upon, betwixt the Father and the Son, and foretold by Christ himselfe long before his incarnation, speaking by his Spirit in his Prophets, as here appeareth, by the description of our Lords death and passion, so plainly and par­ticularly, as if it were a History, and not a prophecy. 2. Beside paine of body, leannesse of flesh, with daily sorrowes and trouble of spirit, the least disgrace done to our Lord, the least wrong, a look unto him, the least injurie in the matter of his [...]loathing, are all reckoned up in his sufferings, all counted up in the price of redemption, that there may be nothing inlacking in the pu­nishment of our cautioner, wherby Gods justice might be satis­tisfied, [Page 125] or our consciences quieted, for the expiation of our sin, by his suffering in body, soul, same, apparell, and every other thing else, wherein justice could overtake the guil [...]y.

Ver. 19. But be not thou far from me, O Lord, O my strength, hast thee to help me.

Unto this last assault, faith opposeth prayer for divine assi­stance, for strength to bear out, and for delivery; in all which he was heard. Whence learn, 1. Faith is made victorious over all as­saults, by opening of its tentations to God, and putting up prayer to him for help, as here is seen. 2. If God shall not withdarw his sweet presence for supporting a soul, albeit it should not finde his presence for comforting of it, supporting presence may suffice in a time of sad exercise: for this much did satisfie our God in his agony. Be not thou far from me, O Lord. 3. Faith findeth God to be its strength when the be­liever is emptied of his own strength; O my strength, saith Da­vid the type, and Christ as man by him represented. 4. As the hast of our necessity doth require, we may without limitation request the Lord to haste: Haste thee to help me.

Ver. 20. Deliver my soul from the sword: my dar­ling from the power of the dog.

21. Save me from the lions mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

He prayeth to be delivered from the violent blood-shedder, and bloudy doggish persecuter, and from the cruell lion-like oppressour, and then saith presently, that he is heard and deli­vered from the power of the enemies which were setting upon him as Unicorns. Now concerning David, the matter is clear▪ for he was delivered so from his enemies, that they got not his life: But of Christ the question may be, how he was deli­vered, seeing his life is taken: For answer, Christ here doth say, that he was delivered; and so it was indeed; for when he had payed the price, he was not holden by the bonds of death, and the grave, but rose again the third day. Whence learne, 1. Christ was no lesse delivered from dogs, lións, unicorns, his persecuting enemies, by his resurrection after death, then if he had been taken out of their hands, when they came to ap­prehend him in the Garden; yea, this delivery out of the grave, was a farre greater delivery then if he had not been slain at all: [Page 126] For then he had delivered himself onely, and not us: But now by the laying down of his life, he hath discharged himself of his suretiship for us, and delivered us with himself, and so hath saved both himselfe and us; yea, by his rising out of the grave, he is demonstrate more fully to be the Son of God, then by any of his miraculous escapings out from the hands of the mul­titude, when they were about to apprehend him. Thou hast heard me, that is, delivered me. 2. To get victory over trouble, is a no lesse glorious delivery from trouble, then to be preserved from falling into trouble; yea, its a more glorious delivery. For the troubles are broken, by falling on the believer, like waves of the sea on the rock, and the believer remaineth vi­ctor, and setled as a rock. 3. It is a notable argument of confidence to be heard by way of delivery, when a man can say he hath in extremity of danger prayed, and hath been heard as a Supplicant: Save me, for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Ver. 22. I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

After the conflict, the victory and out-gate by way of thanksgiving is set down, to the end of the Psalme: wherein Davids part is but a little shadow, and is swallowed up here in Christs glory, shining in the fruits of his passion and re­surrection. Learn from Davids part: That delivery foreseen by faith, worketh in some sort the effects of the delivery past in effect; to wit, quietnesse, peace, joy, and thanksgiving; as here is to be seen. From Christs part promising and pro­phecying of the fruits of his death and resurrection, Learn 1. Christ, though he be God Almighty, yet by reason of his incarnation, for the redeemeds sake, he is not ashamed to call them Brethren. 2. The preaching of the Gospel of Christs satisfaction for our sins by death, and of his resurrection for our justification, is the matter of great praise to God, and com­fort to the redeemed: I will declare, saith Christ, thy name to my brethren. 3. In the right preaching of the Gospel, the Mi­nisters are in effect but Christs voice. Christ himselfe is the principall Prophet and Preacher: For I, saith he, will declare thy name in the midst of the great Congregation; to wit, of the whole Catholick Church on earth.

Ver. 23. Ye that fear the Lord, praise him, all ye [Page 127] the seed of Iacob, glorifie him, and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24 For he hath not despised, nor abhorred the affli­ction of the afflicted: neither hath he hid his face from him, but when he cried unto him, he heard.

He exhorteth all that fear God, to praise and glorifie God, because of Christs victory, and Gods hearkening unto his in­tercession made for the redeemed. Whence learn, 1. Such as are made partakers of the benefit of Christs passion, and re­surrection, are chiefly called, and bound to praise God for their redemption, and to fear God more and more, that they may be more and more fitted to praise and glorifie him; for of a sanctified mouth onely will God accept praise. Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; All ye seed of Iacob, glorifie him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. 2 The Fathers hearkening unto Christs intercession, and delivering of him from our sin, and our deserved punishment laid upon him, is the common benefit of all the redeemed, the matter of their common thanksgiving and praise, and the matter of their assurance of their delivery from sin and death; Of the certainty of which delivery Christs deliverance is both a cause, and a pawn. For he hath not hid his face from him, but when he cried, he heard him. 3. Neither the sense of a mans own meanesse, and despicablenesse, nor the mean estimation that the world hath of him, will prejudge him when he is supplicant at the Lords hand. For he hath not despi­sed, nor abhorred the afflictions of the afflicted.

25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congre­gation: I will pay my vowes before them that fear him.

He reneweth the promise of thanksgiving, which as it con­cerneth David, teacheth, 1. That the purpose of praising of God, is no light motion in the hearts of his children, when the Lord hath given them experience of his respect to them; but a fixed and solid resolution to set forth the goodnesse of God before others. For here he reneweth his promise to praise. 2. The Lord, and the Lord only, is the Theme which the believer handleth in point of praise; no other subject of praise acknowledgeth he; My praise shall be of thee, &c. 3. The op­portunity of time, place and persons, offered for praising of God, ought to be taken, and made use of by every one, accor­ding [Page 128] to their calling: My praise shall be of thee in the great con­gregation. 4. Duties, specially when lying upon us by vow or oaths, ought to be the more heeded, and made conscience of: I will pay my vowes before them that fear him. As this con­cerns Christs undertaking, it teacheth, 1. The Son of God, and promised Son of David, Christ Jesus, by all the work of redemption, studieth, as to bring salvation to his elect, so to honour the Father, saying here, My praise shal be of thee in the great congregation. 2. Albeit our Lord hath finished all his under­taking for the payment of the price and ransome of redempti­on, yet hath he not yet performed all which he hath under­taken for making use of his purchased salvation, unto the en­larging of the glory of his Father, and gathering into the great congregation all his redeemed ones to be worshippers of the Fa­ther in spirit and truth: But as he is still upon this work from generation to generation, so is he willing still to lie under this engagement, and these vowes, till he perform them to the full: I will pay my vowes before them that fear him.

Ver. 26. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him; your heart shall live for ever.

He alludeth to the manner of offering of peace offerings, where the godly friends concurring in the thanksgiving, had a share in the feast of what was sacrificed. Whence learn, 1. The mercy bestowed upon one of the godly, serveth to refresh the souls of the rest; and in speciall there is a banquet prepared for the souls of the redeemed by the purchase of Christs sacrifice, where­of the humbled believer is made partaker: The meek shall eat, and be satisfied. 2. Albeit the believer, at all times, do not find the sweetnesse of this feast, but be put to work after a meal received, put to fight after a feast, and made hungry af­ter a new meal, and be made to pray for it, and to seek after the Lord in the use of the means, yet shall he eat again in due time, and be satisfied: For they shall praise the Lord that seek him, is as much as they that seek him, shall find so much as shall make them both to have cause of praising, and also in effect to praise him. 3. Whatsoever alterations or vicissitudes of things be in the condition of humble believers, seeking more and more communion with God, they may be sure of eternal life, beside what they get by way of earnest in this life. For the Spirit of the Lord directing his speech to them, hath said, Your heart shall live for ever.

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Ver. 27. All the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28. For the Kingdome is the Lords, and he is the Governour among the nations.

Now followeth speciall prophesies of the enlargement of Christs Kingdome, wherein the Prophet by the Spirit of pro­phesie doth speak, and teach us, 1. That the calling of the Gentiles after Christs resurrection, was a concluded matter with God, whereof he gave warning long before it came, which though it be come to passe, yet not in so ample a measure, as may be yet further expected, because for the making of these words yet more clearly seen to be fulfilled, it shall come to passe, that all the ends of the world shall remember. 2. So long as men shall lye unconverted, they know not what they are doing, they are as men sleeping or distracted, not making use so much as of the very principles of truth, which by the light of com­mon reason from inspection of the creatures may be learned, concerning the invisible things of God; But when the light of Christs Gospel shineth in upon their heart, They are made to remember and turn to the Lord. 3. Such as are converted, do make God the object of their worship, do imbrace his ordi­nances, and subject themselves to his lawes and discipline; For they worship before him, become subjects to him, and that by the powerfull subduing of them to himself: For the Kingdome is the Lords, and he is Governour among the nations.

Ver. 29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go downe to the dust shall bow before him, and none can keep alive his own soul.

30. A seed shall serve him: It shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31. They shall come, and declare his righteousnesse unto a people that shal be born, that he hath done this.

A further clearing of this Prophesie of Christs Kingdome enlarged among the Gentiles. Whence learn, 1. That Kings, [Page 130] Rulers, and Magistrates shall have no cause of jealousie from Christs Kingdome, and his governing over nations. For so many of them as shall imbrace Jesus Christ, not only may brook their places, honours, riches, and all lawfull benefits, wherein their fatnesse and worldly welfare seemeth to consist, but also shall be made partakers of the delicates of the Lords house, which shall so satisfie their soules, as they shall count his Gospel their choice chear, and shall blesse God for his consolations; for its promised to all Christs true subjects, who are in high place, All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship. 2. As the highest condition worldly shall not be hurt by obedience to Christ, but helped, for the benefit of the true believer; so be­lievers in the meanest condition they can be in on earth, shall find reliefe, comfort, and making up of all their inlacks in Jesus Christ, and shall fall downe and worship their rich and boun­tiful Lord: All that goe down to the dust shall bow be­fore him. 3. Whosoever shall not come to Christ to be saved by him shall perish, and they that come unto him, shall be forced to hold their salvation of him. For none can keepe alive his owne soule: This is the proper worke of the only Saviour Jesus. 4. Albeit every particular person, in every Nation, and Kingdome, be not converted unto Christ: yet so many persons of all ranks, out of all nations, shall be con­verted, as shall make evident Christs power, and Soveraignty, to conquer subjects to himselfe at his pleasure, even as many as may perpetuate his Kingdome, and the succession of wor­shippers of him from one generation to another; For a seed shall serve him, it shall bee accounted to the Lord for a generation: He wil make little reckoning of the rest, whom he converteth not. 5. Albeit there be little appearance of accomplishing prophe­sies and promises of the propagation of Christs Kingdome from age to age, yet the promise and prophecie shal be fulfilled. They shall come, who shall receive the Doctrine of Christs righteous­nesse by faith in him, and shall declare this righteousnesse of faith, and Gods faithfulnesse in promise keeping, to another gene­ration, unto a people that shal be born. 6. The whole work of redemp­tion, converting of souls, comforting of souls, propagation of the doctrine of righteousnesse, and manifestation of Gods glory there­by, shall from age to age be declared to be the work of God himselfe, which he doth by his instruments, and means. They shall declare to their children, and successours, that God hath done [Page 131] this; to wit, all that is spoken of here, or elsewhere in his word: To a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

PSAL. XXIII. A Psalme of David.

This Psalme is the expression of the Prophets confi­dence in Gods grace, wherein from the setling himself in the belief of our covenanted relation, between God and him, he doth draw sundry comfortable conclusions and confirmations of faith, from it, concerning the Lords furnishing every necessary good thing to him, ver. 1, 2. For recovery of him from every evill condition, wherein he may fall, ver. 3▪ And for assisting and comforting him in the greatest danger he could fall into, ver. 4. And for making him blessed in despite of his enemies, ver. 5. And for his continu­ing in Gods grace, and fellowship for ever, ver. 6.

Ver. 1. THe Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

HE layeth down for a ground his relation to God, & thence con­firmeth his assurance to have the fruits thereof. Whence learn, 1. The Lord is content to demit himselfe to be compared unto any thing which may import his love, and respect, and care of his own. As here for our comfort he is pleased to be called a Shepherd. 2. The grounds of our faith in God, making us to have right unto him by covenant, should be solidly laid, and these being firmly laid, then comfortable conclusions may, and should be drawn from thence, as here the Prophet doth. 3. In speciall, whatsoever sweet relation the believer standeth in with God, he may assure himselfe of all the fruits, and good, which [Page 132] that relation can import. As here having said, The Lord is my Shepherd, he assureth himself then, he shall not want; to wit' what such a Shepherd, seeth necessary for such a sheep.

Ver. 2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; be leadeth we beside the still waters.

3. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousnesse, for his Names sake.

He goeth on numbring the benefits following from the fore­said relation; partly shewing what experience he hath had, partly assuring himself what further to find. Whence learn, 1. As the Shepherd provideth good and wholesome pasture for his sheep, and a place of safety and rest, with the commodity of all needfull refreshment of calme running waters: So doth the Lord furnish the food of life to the believer with quiet rest, and satisfaction of timous consolation, by his word and Spirit: He maketh me lie down in green pastures, &c. 2. It is possible through the evill that is in us, we fall in decay of graces, in sicknesses of divers sorts; yea, and that we wander away from the Shepherd, and the society of the flock sometime. In which case we should perish, if our carefull Lord did not apply himselfe to our necessities, to relieve us; for it is he that restoreth our soul. It is he that reclaimeth us from our wandrings: it is he that di­recteth us, and keepeth us from going on still in by-paths. He leadeth me, saith he, in the paths of righteousnesse. 3. It is not for any good we deserve, or have done, or can do, for which he taketh such care of his weak and foolish children. It is for the glory of his free-grace, constant love, and sworn covenant, even for his own Names sake.

Ver. 4. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear none evill; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staffe they comfort me.

He presupposeth he may fall in new, and harder troubles, then ever he fell in before, and yet hopes to be delivered there­from. Hence learn, 1. The believer in his best condition may not promise to himselfe immunity from trouble, or perils; [Page 133] but must prepare for the worst, even to be put to extreme dan­ger of perishing, and in such darknesse as were most like, and near (unto death) To walke through the valley of the shadow of death, where sheep may fall in the pit, or be fallen upon by e­very devouring beast in the dark. 2. The fruit of former deli­very out of trouble, should encourage us to hope for deliverance out of whatsoever new trouble we may fal into, as the Pro­phets example doth teach. 3. Faith after a victory is very stout and hath warrant indeed to be so, and may, and should resolve to be stout by Gods grace; howsoever when trouble cometh (which is the touch-stone of the strength of faith) it may dis­cover weaknesse for a time. For here David saith, I will feare no evil, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. 4. The consideration of Gods covenanted presence with his own in trouble, and of his power to protect, and deliver them, and of his wisdom and goodnesse to make his own profit by troubles▪ may, and should comfort the believer against the fear of perishing in whatsoever trouble. For David giveth this as a rea­son of not fearing evil. Thou art with me, thy rod and thy staffe they comfort me.

5. Thou preparest a Table before me in the presence of mine enemies, thou annointest my head with oyl, my Cup runneth over.

From the grounds of his Faith, confirmed by experience, he seeth stil satisfaction from God, who giveth the banquet to him, as it were in his enemies sight. Whence learn, Albeit som­time the believer may be put to hardship and hazard, for trying and training of his faith; yet sometimes also the Lord wil give him rich evidents of his love and kindnesse unto him, if not in both outward and inward benefits, yet at least in spiritual con­solations comparable to a royal feast, as here, Thou preparest a Table before me. 2. Although the enemies of the godly, are not few, both bodily and spiritual, all concurring to mar [...] the felici­ty of the Lords children, yet shal they not be able to hinder their sense now and then of satisfactory blessedness maugre them al; for as oft as God seeth fit, he giveth his own the banquet, in the presence of his enemies. 3. When it pleaseth the Lord to comfort a believer, and to give him the banquet, there is nothing [Page 134] wanting, during the time of the Lords comfortable entertaining of him, which may strengthen him, or rejoyce him; but as much given unto him sensibly, as may make him say, Thou an­nointest my head with oyl, and my cup runneth over, Psal. 92.10. & 104.15.

6. Surely goodnesse and mercy shal follow me all the dayes of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

He sheweth that in his former speeches, be meant not of earth­ly benefits, although these also be worthy of acknowledgment, and of thanksgiving for them; But of spiritual mercies, by this, that he is assured of the continuance thereof, in this life, and in the life to come. Whence learn. 1. The delight and satis­faction of the believer is not in any earthly portion, but in Gods good wil and pity toward him; Gods goodnesse and mercy is the matter of his contentment. 2. An humble believer, who in his own eyes is like a weake witlesse sheep, and yet doth fol­low the Shepherd, may assure himselfe from the Covenant re­lation between God and him, of the constancy of Gods good will, and actual outletting of liberal gifts of good things unto him, and of removing of evils, both of sin, and of the fruits of it, and be perswaded of his own perseverance in the way to salvation, all the dayes of his life; for here is an instance for it, Surely goodnesse and mercy shall follow me all the dayes of my life. 3. As a believer may be assured of the constant course of Gods love to follow him, and of his own preserving in the way of life, so may he be perswaded of eternal life, and everlasting communion with God in heaven. And this perfecteth the feli­city of the believer; and no lesse can do it then this; I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

PSAL. XXIV. A Psalm of David.

The Psalmist having in the first place set down Gods Lordship in the world, that he may therby com­mend the special Prerogative of the true Church, ver. 1, 2. describeth in the next place the true Citi­zens of this spiritual Kingdom, ver. 3, 4, 5, 6. And exhorteth in the third place all Incorporations, and in special the visible Church, to accept the of­fer of a more intire communion with God in Christ, that they may enjoy the spiritual privi­ledges of the subjects of the invisible and spiritu­all Kingdome, v. 7, 8, 9, 10.

v. 1. THe Earth is the Lords, and the fulness ther­of; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and esta­blished it upon the floods.

From the Lordship and Soveraignty of God over all the world. Learne, 1. The Lords power and authority over the Saints, considered in their natural condition, is no lesse then o­ver the rest of the world, and the Lord is no more bound to one then to another, laying aside the decree of his own good will and pleasure; The earth is the Lords and the fulnesse thereof, the world and they that dwel therein. 2. The earth is so ful of the riches of Gods bounty toward man as it can hold; and the standing miracle of the dry land, lifted up contrary to the na­ture of that element, which is to be under and not above, and much higher then the element of water; is a standing evidence of Gods power and care imployed to make a habitation for man; For he hath founded the earth upon the seas, and established it upon the floods, commanding the element of water to goe down below the earth, as if it were the foundation thereof.

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3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? and who shall stand in his holy place?

4 Hee that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn de­ceitfully.

5 He shal receive the blessing from the Lord: and righteousnesse from the God of his salvation.

6 This is the generation of them that seek him: that seek thy face, O Iacob. Selah.

In the second place he cometh to the special dominion of God and Christ in the Church, and asketh for the marks and priviledges of the true subjects of this Kingdome. Whence learne, 1. God hath chosen a Church out of all the earth, to be his peculiar people, with whom he may converse, and to whom he may give priviledg of communion for ever with himselfe; he hath his own holy & high hil, he hath his own holy place, to wit, a holy universal Church, represented by the hil of Sion, lifted up above the inferiour valleys; he hath his holy Tabernacle, where he giveth the signes of his presence, separate from the common multitude, and wordly affairs; who shall ascend into the hil of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? He compareth the in­visible Church, to a hill or mountain, and the holy place, because Gods true Church indeed for firmnesse, durablenesse, dignity above all other Incorporations, and spiritual sublimity, is like a hill above the plaine, lifted up above all the world, a holy socie­ty, wherein God delighteth to dwel. 2. Not every one who is a member of the visible Church, but only true Converts, who make up the invisible Church, have the honour and happinesse of ascending unto the spiritual use, end, meaning and profit of the Ordinances of God in his Church, and of keeping constant communion with God in heaven, represented by standing in the holy place. Therefore for stirring up of outward professors of religion, to examine themselves, lest they be mistaken and so perish; the question is here made to God to shew who shall a­scend to his hill, and who shall stand in his holy place. 3. The marks of a Citizen of the invisible Church and Kingdome of God, are such only, as God and a mans own conscience can soundly judg of; to wit, faith in God, manifested by en­deavoured [Page 137] sanctity of thoughts, words, and deeds, by way of obedience to the First and Second Table in sincerity: for hee must after Covenanting with God by Faith, which makes him a subject, study also cleanness of hands, or innocency of life, and that out of a pure heart, cleansed by the blood of sprinkling for justification, and by the clean water of begun sanctificati­on; And therefore he must not any more look upon the deceit­ful baits of sin, with a longing desire to have them; for that were to lift up his soul unto vanity. Neither must he mis-regard an oath, whether in or after the taking of it; for that were to swear deceitfully, seeming to stand in awe of God when he doth not fear him at all. 4. Every believer who setteth himself to bring forth the fruits of his faith in obedience to Gods law, shal have a gracious reward, he shal receive the blessing from the Lord. 5. The holy life of the true believer, is not the cause of his justification before God, by reason of the imperfection thereof, and impossibility to satisfie the Law thereby; But he shal receive justification and eternal life, as a free gift from God, by vertue of the Covenant of grace: therefore it is said here, That he shall receive righteousnesse from the God of his salva­tion. 6. Whosoever they be within the visible Church, who have the marks of true Covenanters, such as are here described, yea, whosoever are seeking God, to make them such; whosoe­ver are seeking reconciliation with God, and communion with him, whether they be Iewes or Gentiles, bound or free, male or female; they are the generation, that shal ascend and dwel in Gods holy place; for this is the generation of them that seeke him. The generation that seek thy face (saith he to God.) This is the true Iacob, the true heir of the promi­ses.

Ver. 7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shal come in.

8 Who is this King of glory? the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battel.

9. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, even lift them up ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.

[Page 138] 10. Who is this King of glory? the Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

In the third place, having described these persons who shall surely dwel in heaven with God, he exhorteth all the mem­bers of the visible Church, to the intent they may receive righ­teousnesse and salvation from God, (who is in covenant with his Church) heartily to welcome Christ Jesus, the King of glory, and Lord of hosts, dwelling in the midst of them in the Ta­bernacle, shadowing forth and signifying his coming in the flesh, by his giving oracles from the Ark of the covenant, de­fending them, feeding them, and fighting their battels, and at length in Davids time ascending on Mount Sion, he and the Ark of the covenant triumphantly, to let them see in a shadow, how after his great battels, foughten for our redemption, he should ascend to heaven, and make way for his subjects to come up after him, to dwel with him: He exhorteth, I say, patent doors to be made unto him, where-ever he offereth himselfe to King­domes, Cities, Incorporations, visible Churches, Families, and hearts of men in special. Whence learn, 1. The way to make men true Converts, true believers, true Saints, and inheriters of heaven, is to receive Christ heartily and honourably, to cast up doors in hearty consent of faith and love, like triumphant Archers for welcoming so glorious a conquerour to be their guest; Lift up your heads, O ye gates, &c. 2. Whosoever shall receive the offer, and open the heart to him, he shall close cove­nant with him; Be ye lift up ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. 3. He is an unknown King till he bee manifested to us; and such as are wise, when they hear of him, will seek to know him. Who is this King of glory? will be their question. 4. Such as seek to know Christ, shall indeed have experimental knowledge of him: That he is able to save them to the uttermost, to work all their work for them, to defend them from their adversaries, and to give them compleat victory; He is the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battel. 5. We have need again and again to hear the offer of Christs grace, and to be wakened up to observe Christ, and his glory: need to be ex­horted again and again to open our hearts wide to him. Lift up your heads, ye gates, the second time. 6. Christ is indeed glo­rious, and a glorious King, in all the passages of redemption, [Page 139] and salvation of his people; albeit the ignorance and unbeliefe, and the crosses, and troubles following his Kingdome in this world, do obscure his glory to the carnal eye: And therefore no wonder, that men do oftner move the question about his Kingdom and Glory, asking Who is the King of glory? 7. Christ Jesus (whose ascention was prefigured by the ascending of the Ark upon Mount Sion, convoyed with David, and all Israel,) as he is true man, so he is also very God Almighty, one with the Father, and Holy Spirit, in his God-head: for The Lord of hosts he is the King of glory.

PSAL. XXV. A Psalm of David.

In this Psalm the Prophet being in danger of his life by his enemies without, and troubled with the sense of sin within, maketh his prayer for reliefe from both, mixing meditation with prayer along the Psalme, for strengthening of his faith: So first he prayeth from v. 1. to v. 8. then meditateth, v. 8 9.10. In the third room he prayeth again, v. 11, In the fourth is a new meditation, v. 12, 13, 14, 15. In the last room is a prayer from v 16 to the end.

Ver 1 UNto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soule.

2. O my God, I trust in thee; let mee not be ashamed: let not mine enemies triumph over me.

3. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgresse without cause.


[Page 140]In the entry of his prayer, he draweth his eye off all reliefe save God alone, and fixeth his trust upon him, and then pray­eth: Whence learne, 1. It is necessary for a Supplicant, if he would have help from God, to loose his confidence off all crea­ture help, and set his eye and heart on God, as David here lifteth up his soul to God. 2. Faith in God, fixed on the covenant, giveth wings to the soul, as misbeliefe causeth it to sink: O my God, saith he, I lift up my soule, I trust in thee. 3. It is not enough to act faith in time of a strait; but it is profitable to observe also the least measure of faith bestowed on us, and to entertain it, were it never so little, and to avow it that it may be fixed when we go to pray: for before David put up any petition, he prefixeth, I lift my soul to thee, I trust in thee: for otherwise the prayer of the Supplicant can find no footing. 4. The believing Supplicant shall never be disapoin­ted of promised help: nor shall the hope and expectation of the enemies of God be satisfied: He will not suffer the believer to be ashamed, nor the enemy long to triumph. 5. The godly in their prayer are not selfish, nor suiters for singularities to bee granted unto them, but are content, yea, and desirous, that all other believers may share in their mercies: Yea, let none that wait for thee be ashamed, saith he. 6. The godly shall not want enemies, albeit they give no offence to the world: for carnal hope and expectation to obtain worldly gaine by op­posing of the godly, may, and usually doth, set the wicked on work against them; but they that look to have advantage that way, shal be close disappointed; for the godly shal escape their snare, and they shal lose their hoped advantage, and shal gain to themselves nothing save shame, and a mischief: For let them be ashamed that transgresse without a cause, is an induring petition, and a granted petition against them.

Ver. 4. Shew me thy wayes, O Lord, teach me thy paths.

5. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

6. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies, and [Page 141] thy loving kindnesses: for they have been ever of old.

Here he prayeth for grace to behave himselfe holily under his exercise, and to have renewed experiences of mercies, such as he had felt formerly. Whence learn, 1. The understanding of the way how the Lord useth to deal with his children, ser­veth greatly for patient bearing of affliction; and the best way to eschew the snare of adversaries, is to carry our selves holily. Therefore prayeth David four times to be instructed, and effe­ctually taught, and guided in the wayes and paths of Gods truth, or faithfull word. 2. Because the Lord in covenanting with us, taketh the work of our salvation in hand, not to lay it down till he have perfected it; he alloweth his children, in all particular difficulties, to hold this ground, and constantly to expect the accomplishment thereof, whatsoever strait they fall into: and to wait for direction how to behave them­selves, till it be perfected: for David giveth this for a reason of his prayer, Thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day long. 3. Though the course of kindnesse and mer­cy seem to be interrupted by affliction, and temporall deser­tion, and to be forgotten on Gods part; yet faith must make use of experiences, and read them over unto God out of the register of a sanctified memory, as a recorder to him, that cannot forget: Remember thy tender mercies O Lord, and thy loving kind­nesses. 4. Mercies and kindnesses sometimes felt, may be, and should be followed up unto the very fountain of eternall love, and election, from which they came; so shall the channel be opened, and run clear with fresh consolation so much the soo­ner; Remember thy mercies to me, for they have been ever of old.

Ver. 7. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me, for thy goodnesse sake, O Lord.

He laboure [...] to have his sins removed, as the chiefe impediment of the granting of his prayer: Whence learn, 1. New affliction [...] may easily renew the sense [Page 142] of old sins, even from the time of youth, albeit forgiven of God, and forgotten by the beliveever, and the tempter can make use thereof against faith in the day of trouble; in which case the believer without losse may read over blotted accompts, and renew petitions for pardon: Remember not, saith David, the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions. 2. As God holdeth two Courts in a mans conscience, concern­ing sin; one of justice, according to the Law, or Cove­nant of works; another of mercy, according to the Gospel, and Covenant of grace offered in the Mediatour, which is posteriour to the other Court; wherein the man who hath glorified justice, and acknowledged his sin, and deserved perdition, is pardoned; (for the ransome paid by the Mes­siah Christ Jesus the Mediatour, to whom the sinner is fled for refuge:) So the believer hath two reckonings with God, about his sins. One according to justice, and another according to mercy; and albeit the believer will never re­fuse to read, acknowledge, and subscribe again and again, the first reckoning to be just, yet he will not stand to that reckoning for payment; but will hold him to the last bar­gain of grace, and mercy, and goodnesse, which cleareth the claim of the first accompt: for this is Davids practise here, that the first accompt may be forgotten: Remember not the sins of my youth. And that the last accompt and re­koning may stand, and be held in memory, saying, Ac­cording to thy mercy, remember thou me▪ 3. For eviden­cing the stability of the accompt of mercy for pardoning of sin, the glory of Gods goodnesse is laid in pawn in the co­venant; and that holdeth all fast unto the believer: There­fore, saith he, Remember, for thy goodnesse sake, O Lord.

Ver. 8. Good and upright is the Lord: there­fore will he teach sinners in the way.

9 The meek will he guide in judgement: and the meek will he teach his way.

10 All the pathes of the Lord [...] mercy and truth, unto such as keep his covenant, and his te­stimonies.

[Page 143]In the second place after praying, he falleth upon a me­ditation of the grace and good will of God to a believer, and of his mercifull dealing with him in every condition. Whence learn, 1. In the secret exercise of the Sants, a pause may be usefully made in prayer, and a meditation, or soliloquie may be fallen upon, when the Lord doth fit matter for fostering faith, and furthering of prayer, as here we may in Davids practice observe. 2. The good­nesse and faithfulnesse of God in his promises, and his rea­dinesse without respect of persons, to be gracious to every one who cometh unto him, is the fountain of the believers strength, hope, and consolation: Good and upright is the Lord, is here a Well of comfort to the Supplicant. 3. The conscience of sinne must not keep the believer back from confidence to be heard in his prayer, when he cometh to seek direction: for from this ground, That the Lord is good, the Prophet draweth this consequence, Therefore will he teach sinners in the way. 4. Gods justice will not hinder his mercy to be bountifull, nor will former break­ing of commands, prejudice the sinner, who being weary of his wandring, doth seek to be directed hereafter in the Lords way; He will teach sinners in the way. 5. When by affli­ction a man is humbled, and brought to submit himself to God, he shall not want a guide to lead him out of his trouble, to direct his pathes, till the delivery come; for God will guide the meek in judgement, most wisely and discreet­ly, as his good requireth, and teach him his way. 6. The property of the believer, is to cleave to the covenant, and to what the Lord hath set down in his word, They keep his covenant, and his testimonies; and will not part with them whatsoever come. 7. Whosoever do hold fast the covenant of grace, and do make conscience of obeying Gods word, they may be sure that all their troubles, and variety of ex­ercise is nothing but Gods way, to make them partake of Gods promises; for unto such all the pathes of the Lord are mercy and truth.

Ver. 11. For thy Names sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity: for it is great.

[Page 144]In the third place, having laboured to strengthen his faith, he falleth to prayer again, for remission of sin. Whence learn, 1. The conscience of sin will oftner assault our faith then once, and so oft as it assaulteth, it is to be answered with renewed prayer to God; O God, saith he, pardon my iniqui­ty. 2. The honour of the Lord is ingaged by covenant for remission of sin to the penitent believer, and the Lord counts it a glory to be mercifull; Therefore, saith he, For thy Names sake pardon. 3. Faith can make advantage of mis­beliefs arguments to retort them against it, and can plead for pardon from the very multitude and grieveousnesse of sin; as here, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. For the greater sin is acknowledged to be, the more is the object of pardon made clear, for it cannot be payed for by the sin­ner, and the more is the Lords pitty letten forth, that the believer be sensible of the weight.

Ver. 12. What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shll he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13. His soul shall dwell at ease: and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him: and he will shew them his covenant.

In the fourth place there is another meditation of Gods good­nesse to a believer, for strengthening of his faith yet further, wherein he layeth down three generall promises, made to them that believe in God, and do stand in awe to offend, ver. 12, 13, 14. and by way of Syllogisme he assumeth of him­selfe, that he is a believer, whereupon he inferreth the con­clusion, ver. 15. Whence learn, 1. The fear of God (im­porting care to serve God according to his word, and to stand in awe to offend him) is the necessary property of a true and lively believer; Therefore it is made the believers cog­nizance, and mark to discern him by: What man is he that feareth the Lord? 2. The believer walking in the fear of God, may expect from the Lord direction and light, how [Page 145] to carry himselfe in all perplexities, so oft as he in his need shall seek it of God; for in dubious cases, God shall teach him in the way that he shall chuse. 3. Albeit the believer be put to trouble, and hard exercise, yet shall he have place alwayes with God, as a man reconciled to him, and peace in his conscience also, as his good doth require, and he shall have contentment in his lot; for, his soule shall dwel at ease. 4. The surest way to transmit inheritances to a mans children, and to make houses to stand, and however matters go, for a man to be sure of the Kingdome of Heaven, (sig­nified by an inheritance in the Land of Canaan) is, that the parents fear God, and that the children do follow their footsteps, and fear God also; For the seed of the man fea­ring God shall inherit the Land. 5. The man that feareth God, shall know more of Gods mind then others shall; he shall know the good and acceptable will of God for his di­rection in dangerous controversies, and for his satisfaction a­bout Gods dispensations, both toward himselfe, and others, and for his consolation in all afflictions; For the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. 6. Albeit the Lords co­venant with the visible Church be open, and plain in it self to all men, in all the Articles thereof, yea it is a mystery to know the inward sweet fellowship which a soule may have with God, by vertue of this covenant▪ And a man fearing God, shall know this mystery, when such as are covenanters onely in the letter, do remain ignorant thereof; For to the fearers of God onely is this promise made, That to them the Lord will shew his Covenant.

15. Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord, and he shall pluck, my feet out of the net.

Having laid the ground of his reason in the former verses, which is in summe this, To every believer God will be graci­ous, as his need is: now he assumeth, I am a believer; For mine eyes are ever toward the Lord. Therefore to me God will be gra­cious in my need, and so pluck my feet out of the net, as my need now requireth. Whence learn, 1. The believer can read his own name, and his own blessednesse in the promises made to believers, and can draw out the extract of Gods decree of ab­solution, [Page 146] direction, consolation, and salvation in his own fa­vours; for where the generall is written, there all the particu­lars are also written in effect: And so the beleever may read his name written in the book of life, as here David doth read his own deliverance, in the Charter of Beleevers; Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord, therefore he will pluck my feet out of the net. 2. The beleever is not a little helped to beleeve, and to draw sweet conclusions from inspired Scripture, to strengthen himself by avowing himself to be a beleever, or to have the true proper­ty of a beleever, as here David doth, saying, Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; First, he avoweth his Faith, and then draw­eth this conclusion from it, he shall pluck my feet out of the net. 3. To depend on God, for the supply of all necessities, and for deliverance out of all straits, is the property of true Faith; for the Prophet to prove himselfe a beleever, and to have an interest in the mercies formerly set down, ver. 12, 13, 14 he saith, ver. 15. Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord. 4. Though the godly walke among snares, and nets, set by their enemies, bodily and spirituall to entrap them, yet God will either direct their way, to eschue these snares and nets, or will pluck their feet out of them; For this is the Prophets comfort, Thou shalt pluck my feet out of the net.

16. Turne thee unto me, and have mercy upon me: for I am desolate and afflicted.

17. The troubles of my heart are inlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

After meditation, he concludeth his exercise, with petitions for himselfe, and for the Church. The Petitions for himselfe are six, in so many verses. In the first, learne, 1. Naturall sense and suggestion of Satan, saith, that God doth turne his back on us, when he doth not sensibly by outward workes shew him­selfe for us as we could wish; But Faith maketh advantage of the tentation, by adhering to God in time of a seeming deser­tion, and prayeth for his manifesting of himselfe unto us; Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me. 2. A felt, and acknow­ledged miserable, helplesse, and desperate condition, is to the [Page 147] beleever halfe a promise, and a whole reason, to expect reliefe from God; Turne thee unto me, and have mercy one me, for I am desolate and afflicted, ver. 16. and so also in his second Petition, The torubles of my heart are enlarged, O bring me out of my distres­ses. As his troubles were multiplied and enlarged, his heart was straitned, and his distresses multiplyed, and this he bringeth for a reason of his hope to be brought out of these straits.

18. Look upon mine affliction, and my paine, and forgive all my sins.

From the Third Petition, Learne, 1. How sad and fearfull troubles, a believing and beloved soul may be brought into, no words can sufficiently expresse, he is desolate, afflicted, the troubles of his heart are enlarged, he is in moe distresses then one; he is in affliction and paine, which no eye can see, nor any behol­der judge of, save God onely; therefore saith he to God, Look on my affliction, and my paine. 2. Sore trouble will waken up the conscience of sin a fresh, and call to minde forgiven and buried sins; which new challenge cannot be answered, but by prayer for a new application, and intimation of remission of sins; As here, forgive all my sins.

19 Consider mine enemies: for they are many, and they hate mee with cruel hatred.

20. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in thee.

From the Fourth and Fifth petition, relating to the hazard of his life, from his bodily enemies, Learn, 1. The multitude, pow­er, rage and cruelty of the enemies of the Lords people, is a ground of hope to the beleever, to be delivered from them. Con­sider my enemies, for they are many, &c. 2. There is no surer evidence of deliverance, then faith in God, setled on a promise, Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in thee.

21. Let integrity and uprightnesse preserve me, for I wait on thee.

[Page 148]The sixth Petition is, for the fruit of his innocent behaviour toward his enemies. Whence learn, 1. Albeit a man be burdened with the sense of many sins against God, yet he may have the conscience of innocency toward his enemies; And here a good conscience giveth great boldnesse before God, to hope for deli­very; Let integrity and uprightnesse preserve me. 2. Integrity of life, or a good behaviour after prayer, is as needfull as before it; yet neither integrity before, nor after must be leaned upon, but Gods goodnesse and mercy only; Let uprightnesse preserve me, so David reasoneth, for I wait on thee.

22. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his trou­bles.

He closeth his exercise with a Prayer for the Church. Whence learne, 1. It is the common lot of all the Saints to be exercised with plurality of troubles; and as the troubles of each par­ticular member should not swallow up the sense of the troubles of the Church; but rather private trouble should make every one sensible of the like or greater troubles of the rest of the body; So should the delivery of the whole Church be sought after, as our own, yea and more then our own; and as our last petiti­on: and how ever the matter shall goe with our selves, let us pray, Redeem Israel O Lord, out of all his troubles.


David being oppressed by the Judges of the Land, his powerful adversaries, and being exiled from the house of God; he appealeth to God, the supreme Judg in the testimony of a good conscience, bear­ing him witnesse, first of his endeavour to walk up­rightly as became a believer, ver. 1, 2, 3. And se­condly, of his keeping himself from the contagion of the evil counsel, sinful courses, and example of the wicked, ver. 4, 5. Thirdly, Of his purpose stil to behave himself holily and righteously, out of love to be partaker of the publick priviledges of the Lords people in the congregation, v. 6, 7, 8. Wher­upon he prayeth to be free of the judgment co­ming on the wicked, ver. 9, 10. According as he was purposed to eschew their sins, ver. 11. And he clo­seth his prayer with comfort and assurance to be heard, ver. 12.

Ver. 1. JVdg me, O Lord, for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord: therefore I shall not slide.

2. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reines and my heart.

3. For thy loving kindnesse is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

FRom Davids appellation from the unjust sentence of men against him in their courts and elsewhere, calumniating him and burying him under slanders, from which God and his own conscience knew he was free: Learne, 1. Gods children may be [Page 150] for a time unjustly in their cause and name, so born down with calumnies by Judges and others, that they must content them­selves with the approbation of God, and of their own conscience, as David doth here. 2. When no remedy is seen on earth for Gods oppressed children, remedy may be had from God, the su­preme Judge, who can redresse all matters abundantly. This did David, when he said, Iudg me, O Lord: that is, do the part of a just Judg to me, in this controversie between my adversaries and me. 3. He who appealeth to God, had need of a good cause, and a good conscience, for his carriage in it, that he may say with Da­vid, I have walked in mine integrity. 4. A good carriage in any controversie is then only comfortable and commendable, when it is the fruit of faith in God: therefore David addeth, I have trust­ed also in the Lord. 5. He that in obedience to God doth carry himself righteously, may be assured he shal stand and prevaile; for this conclusion doth the Prophet draw from these grounds, saying, I shal not slide. 6. Not only must a mans hand be free from injuring his party, but his affections also: In which case, the upright man is content the Lord should try him, and tel him what is wrong, that it may be amended hereafter; for here since­rity saith, Examine and try my reins. 7. Sincerity of behaviour may abide the trial of the conscience, and expect the approbation of God, when the word of God is the mans rule, and fear of in­terrupting of the sense of sweet communion with God, is the aw­band to keep him to his rule▪ for so doth David prove his sincerity here: for thy loving kindnesse is before mine eyes, and I have walk­ed in thy truth, to wit, looking to thy precepts, threatnings, and promises.

Ver. 4. I have not sate with vain persons▪ neither wil I go in with dissemblers.

5. I have hated the congregation of evil doers and wil not sit with the wicked.

The second part of the testimony of his conscience, that he hath rejected the course of wicked men, and their ill counsel, and that he would neither follow the way against his enemies, which they followed against him, nor hearken to the evil advice, which wic­ked men, under whatsoever pretence of good wil to him, did offer to him, for a sinful transaction, or private revenge. Whence learn, 1 Though innocency may seem to make the godly a prey to their enemy, yet it wil promote their cause more before God, and give greater contentment to the conscience, then witty wicked plot­ting [Page 151] against witty and wicked enemies; for this doth Davids ex­ample teach us. 2. A godly man may take the service of many in a case of Law-businesses, and civil matters, whose counsel he must refuse in a moral dutie; as when Davids followers counsel­led him to slay the King, when he had him in his power in the Cave; In such a consultation or debate, he wil not sit nor go in with the wicked. 3. He that giveth ill counsel, whatsoever pre­tence of friendship, or advantage be made to commend the coun­sel which he offereth; yet in that point, he is a vain man and a dis­sembler. So doth the Prophet stile him here. 4. It is neces­sary to hate and abhor every wicked course, lest if we do not hate it, but can hearken unto it, we be drawn over to imbrace it: I hate (saith he) the congregation of the evil doers.

Ver. 6. I will wash my hands in innocency: so wil I compasse thine Altar, O Lord.

7. That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

8. Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

The third part of the testimony of his conscience, is concer­ing his resolution, to behave himself righteously and godlily out of love to honour God, and to be the fitter for worshipping of God, and serving him, as he should be employed. Whence learn, 1. The man whose hands are not clean from injuries done to men, his conscience should tel him, that he is not meet to offer worship to God: and where guiltinesse is, it should be taken a­way, lest the worship be refused: So resolveth David, I will wash my hands in innocency, and so compasse thine Altar. 2. Whatsoever was the ceremony of the godly with their friends, in compassing the Altar with songs of praise, when they offered their peace-offe­rings, it yieldeth a fit direction for every worshipper, and offe­rer of prayer, or praise to God, to do it with an eye to Jesus Christ, the true Altar that sanctifieth our offerings, and maketh our persons and services acceptable? for the compassing of the Al­tar, with an eye on it, signified this duty. 3. The Lords mercies to his own are marvellous in effect, when all circumstances are wel considered; Therefore are they here called wondrous works. 4. To love the fellowship of the Saints in the publick worship of God, is a token of our interest in God; and the conscience of this love is refreshful, as here. Lord, I have loved the habitation [Page 152] of thy house. 5. The meetings of the Church should be to pro­claime the Lords glory in the exercise of all his ordinances; and where this is endeavoured, there wil God dwel, for such holy as­semblies, are the place where his honour dwelleth, albeit many of the members of the Church be such before God, as they were in Sauls time, wherunto this Psalme relateth.

Ver. 9 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:

10 In whose hands is mischief: and their right hand is ful of bribes.

11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.

Now he prayeth to be exeemed from the company of the wic­ed in their punishment, seeing he hath gotten grace to resolve, not to walk in their sin. Whence learn, 1. The Lord hath a harvest and a gleaning time also, set for cutting down, and binding together in the fellowship of judgments, Gods enemies, who have follow­ed the same course of sinning: for here we are given to under­stand, that God wil gather their soule, and so wil le [...] none e­scape. 2. Such as separate themselves (not from the lawful socie­ty, but) from the sinful wayes of the world; shal also be separate from the society of their punishment; The soul of the one and the other shal not be gathered together. Gather not my soul with sinners. 3. Ungodly men will never stand to consent to the ta­king of the life of the godly, if by a fit tentation they be put to it, a bribe, or fear, which is all one, will do the turn; for sinners here are declared bloody men, in whose hands a mischief is, and their right hand is full of bribes. 4. It is the mark of a wise and godly soule, not to be diverted from his God or godliness, by the ten­tation of loss or gaine, which overturneth the worldly man; for David resolveth, go others where they wil, as for me, I wil walke in my integrity 5. A man so resolved, that is, who hath cho­sen God for his Redeemer, and Gods wayes for his rule, may be sure to be borne thorow all difficulties, all troubles and temptati­ons, and to meet with mercy in the course and close of his life; for David after resolution of faith in God, and resolution honest­ly to endeavour obedience to God in his course, he prayeth (which is as good as a promise to us) Redeem me, and be merciful to me.

[Page 153] Ver. 12. My foot standeth in an even place: in the Congregations wil I blesse the Lord.

He closes the Psalme comfortably; Whence learn, 1. The be­liever, resolving obedience to God, and wrestling in prayer with God, shal not want a comfortable answer; his conscience shal speak good to him, and God shal ratifie the testimony of it, with his testimony: and thus shal the man be established in that sweet course of faith and obedience, and have cause to say, My foote stands in an even place. 2. Such a man may be assured to bless God effectually, for the performance of promises, and that in good company, either in this life, or in the next, or in both; and in this life with assurance, he may say with David, In the Congre­gation wil I blesse the Lord.


In this Psalm David setteth down what use he had of his faith in God, in the time of his trouble: and first, how he strengthened his faith. vers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. and next how he prayed, upon the foresaid grounds, vers. 7▪ 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. And thirdly, what advantage he had by believing in God, in the time of his exercise, ver. 13. Whereupon he exhorts all the godly to follow his example, under hope to be helped, as he was helped, ver. 14.

Vers. 1, THe Lord is my light, and my salvation; whom shal I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shal I be afraid?

THe grounds of strengthening of his Faith are three. The first is, That God by vertue of the Covenant hath obliged him­self to give direction and comfort in trouble, and deliverance out of it; from which he inferreth, that he needeth not fear his ene­mies. Whence learn, 1. When we are to wrestle in prayer, a­gainst the doubts, which trouble and tentation may raise in our hearts to mar our confidence in prayer; It is wisdome to arm [Page 154] our selves by faith against these doubts, before we pray, for so doth the Prophets example teach us. 2. He who is in Cove­nant with God, hath solid ground to expect from God, directi­on and comfort in every trouble, and deliverance out of it; for by vertue of the Covenant of grace David saith, The Lord is my light and my salvation. 3. When we have fastned our faith on God, we may then with reason defie our enemies, and say with the Pro­phet, of whom shall I be afraid? 4. When our enemies do appear strong, and we know our selves to be but weak, we should oppose the Lords strength to our tentation, that we may resist all fear; for so teacheth David, The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shal I be afraid?

Ver. 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies, and my foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stum­bled and fel.

The next ground of confidence is, that he hath proofe and ex­perience of the fruit of the Covenant, when he was in greatest danger to be overtaken by his enemies. Whence learn, 1. When the rage of the wicked against the godly doth break forth, then no lesse then the precious life of the godly can satisfie their beast­ly cruelty; they hunger even to eate their flesh. 2. God can ea­sily make the wicked in their hottest pursuit of the godly, to come short of their purpose, as here, to stumble and fall. 3. Experi­ence of Gods power is very forcible to confirm our faith, and to erect our hope, as it did Davids faith.

Ver. 3 Though an hoste should encamp against me, my heart shal not fear: though war should rise against me, in this wil I be confident

After setling of his faith, he puts on a resolution to stand to his point, in resisting assaults of fears, from whatsoever tentation. Whence learn ▪ 1. It is a means to strengthen faith, to resolve by the grace of God to put faith in act, in whatsoever difficulty, and in a manner to lay hands on our selves, [...]o hold up this shield a­gainst whatsoever fiery darts, albeit possibly when it cometh to push of pike, we be not found so strong as we are stout, as here Da­vid doth. 2. The Lord being ours by Covenant, and the Lord proved to be ours in experience, is warrant and reason sufficient for us to put on such a resolution; Though warre be raised, in this (that is, upon the foresaiid ground) will I be confident, saith he.

[Page 155] Ver. 4. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the dayes of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his Temple.

A third ground of confidence, is the conscience of his purpose to studie to have constant communion with God, in the use of the means, and the conscience of his very earnest desire to have the benefit of all the publick ordinances, in the fellowship of the Church. Whence learn, 1. Hearty resolution to subject our selves to all Gods ordinances, and to follow the appointed means of com­munion-keeping with God, is a sound mark of solid faith, and the conscience of this resolution, serveth much to confirme our con­fidence in God, If we can say with the Prophet, This one thing have I desired, &c. 2. In the using of the means and ordinan­ces of Gods house, the glory of the Lord may be seen, counsel, and direction in all things may be had with comfort and spiritual delight to our souls; for in the ordinances David was to behold the beauty of the Lord, with delight, and to enquire in his holy Temple. 3. The desire of communion with God, and love to his ordinances, where it is sincere, should have the chief place in the heart, above all earthly desires and delights whatsoever. One thing have I desired. 4. A sincere desire must not be suffered to go away, but should be pursued resolutely, and recommended to God daily. This I wil stil seek after, saith he: and the means of communion with God in the publick fellowship of the Church must be constantly continued in, even all the dayes of our life.

Ver. 5, For in the time of trouble he shal hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shal he hide me, he shal set me upon a rock.

He giveth a reason of his so earnest a desire to have fellowship with God, entertained by the use of all Gods ordinances, because in this way he was sure that faith should draw all necessary com­fort and protection from God, as need should require. Whence learn, 1. Faith keeping communion with God, findeth him all-sufficient in all necessities, to supply every inlack of the creature, where the believer standeth in need; He wil be a pavilion in war­fare, and a hiding place, and a rock of refuge: that is, God wil make a man as quiet by faith, in himself, as if there were no hazard; In the time of trouble he shal hide me in his pavilion: In the secret of his Tabernacle, shal be hide me, he shall set me up upon a rock. [Page 156] 2. The godly cannot promise to themselves the influence of Gods grace in time of need, otherwaies then by following di­vine ordinances, both private and publick, so far as they may be had; for the Prophet promiseth to himself this protection, as a fruit of his faith, fostered by the use of the ordinances. I desire saith he, to dwel in thy house, and to enquire in thy holy Temple; for in the time of trouble he shal hide me, &c.

Ver. 6. And now shall mine head be lifted up a­bove mine enemies round about me: therefore wil I offer in his Tabernacle sacrifices of joy: I wil sing, yea I will sing praises unto the Lord.

After this wrestling of faith, he obtaineth victory, and assu­rance of satisfaction to his desire, and the grant of all that he was to seek in his Prayer. Whence learn, The Lord can give a be­liever assurance of what he would have, and make him so clear of the possession of the Promise, as if it were in his hand, as here the Psalmist is sure to prevail over his enemies, sure to come to the Temple even as he wished, And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies, I will offer sacrifices of joy in his Taberna­cle.

Ver. 7. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8. When thou saidst, Seeke yee my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, wil I seek.

In the second place, having thus strengthened his faith, he en­tereth the lists with his present trouble and tentations, and en­countreth them by Prayer to God upon the foresaid grounds, in three Petitions. In the first he prayeth for the sensible experi­ence of Gods favour, as his present condition required; wherein he strengthens his faith by three considerations. The first is, because he had gotten grace to close with the Word of God▪ in­viting him to seek what he sought, ver. 8. Whence learn, 1. Con­fidence in God, is diligent in Prayer, and despiseth not the means, whereby the mercy hoped for, may be brought about; But by Prayer it maketh particular application of the Lords good wil offered to all, unto it self; that it may be helped in the present need, as here David doth, Hear me when I cry, have mercy on me, answer me. 2. As the Lords Word encourageth us to seek things of God, which without a warrant we durst not seek; [...]o [Page 157] when we have gotten grace to embrace Gods warrant given to us by Precept or Promise, we may ask with confidence to obtain; Hear me, answer me, why? When thou saidest, Seek ye my face; my heart answered, I will seek thy face, O Lord.

Ver. 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.

He meets here with an objection from his sins and mis-deser­vings, and prayeth it down, adding another consideration to confirm his faith from by-gone experience of mercy, not­withstanding of his unworthinesse. Whence learn, 1. Though (when we would draw near to the Lord) sense of sin and unwor­thinesse, and fear of wrath do flee in our throat, yet faith clea­ving to Gods goodnesse, and to the promises of mercy, and to our relation unto our God, may cry down the tentation, Hide not thy face, put not away thy servant in anger. 2. The former experinces which we have had of Gods being gracious to us, ac­cording to the tenor of the Covenant of salvation, should con­firme our faith, that God will never cast us off, nor any man that cannot endure to be separate from him: Thus David rea­sons, Thou hast been my help, leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

Ver. 10. When my father and my mother for­sake me, then the Lord will take me up.

A third consideration to confirm Davids faith, is a nearer re­lation between God and David, then between David and his Parents. Whence learn, The bands between God and a believing soul, are more strait and intimate, and more strong, then any band civil or natural between him and any creature; and they are appointed to hold fast when natural bands do fail, as here is asserted. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. This is for the first petition.

Ver. 11. Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me into a plain path, because of mine enemies.

The second petition is for Direction in a holy and wise car­riage, that his enemies get no advantage against his behaviour or person. Whence learn, 1. There is danger of desertion, or of Gods leaving us to the will of our enemies, if we carry not a good cause in a lawful, holy, tender way; and therefore we had [Page 158] need to seek our direction from God, to be taught in his way, and led in a plaine path. 2. Because the enemies of the godly are ready to calumniate their cause, and their intentions, and to take advantage to calumniate them upon the least occasion of a questionable practice, we had the more need to be circumspect, and to pray to be directed in a plaine path, because of our ene­mies.

Ver. 12. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

The third petition is, to be delivered from the power of the enemy, prosecuting their false calumnies, and raging in cruel­ty. Whence learn, 1. The godly have reason to pray with sub­mission, that they may not fall in the hands of men because of their cruelty, and to say to God, Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemy. 2. Because it is easie for the Lord to mitigate the enemies fury, or to break their power, or to elude their craft and power▪ Let us pray, Deliver, and let God chuse the way of delivery. 3. When the good cause of the godly, and the persons also are left to suffer both together, there is ground that God in that case will interpose himself in due time: for this is Davids reason of hope to be helped, because false witnesses resolved to oppresse him in name, and breathers out of cruelty, were set to have his life, ever rising against him: and here he is a clear type and example of the suffering of Christ, and his followers.

Ver. 13. I had fainted, unlesse I had believed to see the goodnesse of the Lord in the land of the li­ving.

14. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

In the third place he cometh to shew, and to make use of the benefit he had by beleeving, that he may encourage others to fol­low his example in their tryals. Whence learn, 1. Discourage­ment under trouble, is a sort of quitting of our cause, and of all comfort in it; but faith keepeth a man close to his cause, and from being overcome with troubles; it holds up his heart in his duty, till the Lord send an out-gate, wherein he were not able to subsist otherwise: Unlesse I had believed, I had fainted. 2. Our expriences of the good of believing in the time of [Page 159] straites, should be communicated to others, as our calling may suffer to encourage them, for so doth the Prophet, saying, Wait on the Lord, and be of good courage. 3. The striving to take cou­rage from the ground of faith, shall be followed with strength from God to go under the trouble, and to finde comfort now and then, and full delivery at last: He shall comfort thy heart. 4. Al­beit the Lord let the trouble lie on, and strong tentations to in­crease, and griefe of heart to grow, yet must we still wait; for at the due time, the out-gate shall come, Wait I say, on the Lord.


In the first part of this Psalme, we have the Pro­phets conflict against his enemies, such as in the former Psalm is to be seen, wherein he pray­erh for audience, ver. 1.2. and delivery to him­self, ver. 3. and that God would vindicate his own justice against his disdainful enemies, ver. 4, 5. In the latter part, the Prophet having gotten comfort in his Prayer, doth glorifie God, ver. 6. and strengthens his own and the rest of the godlies faith, ver. 7, 8. and prayeth for a bles­sing to the Church, ver. 9.

Ver. 1. UNto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock, be not silent to me: lest if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

2. Heare the voice of my supplications when I cry unto thee: when I lift up mine hands toward thy holy Oracle.

IN his conflict with trouble, he runneth to God for a com­fortable answer, with reasons to help his hope to be heard. Whence learn, 1. It is good to pray in time of trouble, and to be instant, and resolved to be instant; For unto thee will I cry, doth import these three. 2. A soul in great straits is not [Page 160] able to suspend, and want comfort long: it must have some comfortable answer, because of what God is unto it by Cove­nant, My rock, be not silent unto me. 3. It bringeth deadnesse of spirit on a supplicant, when his Prayer is not taken off his hand, which albeit it be by no reason, but a consequence ill inferred from the Lords not answering of us, yet we are sub­ject to this evil, and should pray to have it prevented: Be not silent, saith he, lest I become like them that go down into the pit. 4. Though the heart be in bonds in time of Prayer, under trouble, yet the Lord will not despise the voice, nor the knees bowed, nor the hands lifted up, no [...] the least expressions of a sup­plicants desire, to be helped by him: Hear my voice when I cry, and the lifting up of my hands, saith he. 5. Seeking of God in Christ, and trysting the fulnesse of the Godhead in the Person of the Mediatour, represented by the Tabernacle and Oracle, answereth all objections from the supplicants unworthinesse, and giveth encouragement to expect a good answer from God; for to this purpose doth he mention his lifting up of his hands towards the Lords holy Oracle.

Ver. 3. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity: which speak peace to their neigbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

Now he prayeth God would deliver him, and not deal with him as with an enemy. Whence learne, Albeit there be sin in the godly, yet are they not workers of iniquity, nor treache­rously disposed towards their neighbours, when they pretend to have friendship with them; and therefore may the godly expect from God, not to be dealt with, as obstinately wicked and im­penitent sinners; for this he meaneth, saying, Draw me not away with the workers of iniquity, &c.

Ver. 4. Give them accordong to their deeds, and according to the wickednesse of their endeavoure: give them after the work of their hands, rend [...]r to them their deserts.

5. Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

He prayeth now against his enemies, not out of private re­venge; but being led with the infallible Spirit of Prophecy, look­ing through these men to the enemies of Christ, and of his [Page 161] People in all ages. Whence learn, 1. Albeit imprecations must not be used against our own enemies, nor for any injury done to us, nor against any in hatred of their persons, nor against e­very enemy of God, but only against desperate sinners, and that in general, rather then with an eye to this man or that man in special; about whom we may be mistaken; yet the imprecation of the Spirit of God standing in the Scripture, cryeth still a­gainst obstinate sinners, although we cannot condescend par­ticularly upon their names; God shall give them according to their deserts. In the controversie between the godly and their enemies, not only doth God shew by his word, which party he alloweth, but also by the works of his providence, in favours of the godly, and against their enemies, he doth give forth his minde, according to what he hath said in his Word to be ob­served; but when both these are misregarded, he will destroy the wicked, and not suffer them to carry on their purpose; for because they regard not the workes of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

Ver. 6. Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

7. The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoyceth, and with my song will I praise him.

8. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his annointed.

The other part of the Psalme, wherein he maketh use of the good answer given to him; first honouring God for it, then strengthening his own faith by it; and thirdly strengthening the faith of others also. Whence learn, 1. The believing suppli­cant shall not seek God in vain; he shall not fail in due time to finde such fruit, as shall make him blesse and praise God for the answer; for in the entry of the Psalme it was, Be not silent to me, O Lord, lest I become like them that go down to the pi [...] ▪ and here, Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my sup­plication. 2. What faith saith to God in wrastling, it shall be made to subscribe it victoriously and experimentally thereafter, My rock, said he, hear me, ver. 1. And here, The Lord is my strength and my shield; to furnish me within and without. 3. It is a good use m [...]de of experience, to confirme our faith thereby, and to [Page 162] commend the course of believing in God, as here David doth, My heart trusted in him, and I am helped. 4. The joy of faith and of sense also, will be given sometime together to the godly, for the increasing of their joy, as here he sheweth, Therefore my heart greatly rejoyced. 5. Albeit we must praise God in what­soever condition we can be in; yet spirituall rejoycing doth specially call for singing a Psalm unto God, Therefore with my song will I praise him, saith he. 6. What the Lord is to one of the godly calling on him in the sense of need, he is unto them all the same: as he was Davids strength, ver. 7. so is he their strength, to wit, all his peoples strength, ver. 8. 7. All the bles­sings which believers get do belong unto Christ, first as to the annointed of the Lord in chief, and to his servants as partakers of his annointing; for the Lord is the saving strength, or the strength of salvation to his annointed, or to his Christ, and those that are true Christians, partakers of his Unction, or holy Spirit; What concerneth David is but a shadow, and as one who is a partaker of the holy Unction through Christ.

Ver. 9. Save thy People, and blesse thine inheri­tance; feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

He closeth his Prayer with intercession for the Church. Whence learn, 1. Such as finde accesse in Prayer to God for themselves, should speak also a word for his Church, and pray, Lord, save thy People. 2. The Priviledges which the godly have are common to them all. The godly are all Gods people, his inhe­ritance, his flock: and as the benefits imported under these titles are common, so are the duties due from us to God, imported thereby, common also, and to be so studied, that we may dis­charge them, as we would finde from God the benefits of pro­tection and deliverance, as subjects whom he will save; of be­ing watered and warmed, as his inheritance, fed and led on, as his flock, and exalted over all our enemies, or being lifted up for ever.


David exhorteth Princes and great men, to humble themselves before God, and to worship him (as he hath commanded) in his publick ordi­nances, [Page 163] verse 1, 2. First, because he is infinitely higher then they, and more terrible to all men, then they can be to their subjects or inferiours, as the uttering of his Majesty and power by thun­der doth make evident▪ ver. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Secondly, because he offereth the means of sa­ving knowledge, even all his ordinances, where­by men may heartily glorifie him in their assem­blies, ver. 9. Thirdly, because he is an everlast­ing King and Ruler of all the creatures, ver. 10. And fourthly, because such as do humbly submit themselves to him, and worship him as his People should do, shall be furnished with abili­ties for every good work, and shall be abun­dantly blessed.

Vers. 1. GIve unto the Lord, (O ye mighty) give unto the Lord glory and strength.

2. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his Name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holinesse.

HE directeth his speech and exhortation to the Potentates of the earth, that they may humble themselves before God, and give him the glory of all power, and authority, and excellency above themselves, and above all other creatures. Hence learn, 1. Of all men Princes should be most carefull to glorifie God, and yet it is most rare to see them humble them­selves before him: for natural corruption is as strong in them as in others: Their education doth breed them to high and stately thoughts of themselves, their riches and power puffeth them up, and flatterers ordinarily following them, do make them forget themselves and God also. Therefore are they here thrice exhorted to give glory to God. 2. It is most neces­sary that Potentates do humble themselves before God, and be particularly dealt with to that purpose, because their example and authority doth move many outwardly to submit to God, or stand out from his service: therefore he speaketh to them in their grandeur, Give glory to God, O ye mighty. 3. As men are [Page 164] great in the world, so they are ready to think much of their own strength, of what their power is able to reach to, and what honour is due to them; but if they reckon right, strength and glory belongeth to God. And according as he is above them in power and excellency, so should he proportionably be magni­fied, Give unto the Lord glory and strength, and give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name. 4. He will have no glory of men, but as he hath prescribed to men in his own ordinances, given forth in his Word to his Church: Worship him in the beauty of holinesse, that is, in the glorious sanctuary, the place of publick meeting; beautiful indeed, not for timber or stones so much, as because the holy and beautiful means of grace to men, and Gods worship shewing forth his glory was there to be found.

Ver. 3. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: The God of glory thundereth, the Lord is upon many waters.

4. The voice of the Lord is powerful, the voice of the Lord is full of Majesty.

He proveth that strength and glory belongeth to the Lord, by one only work of thundring, and kindling fire in the midst of watery clouds; that he may make thunder in the conflict of water closing in the fire, and fire breaking through the clouds, how oft soever he pleaseth to shew his power to the children of men. Whence learn, 1. Though the standing works of Creation speak most of God, yet such is our foolishnesse, that we are least apprehensive of that which is daily seen, and a lesse work more rarely occurring will move more; as for example, the thunder or the Eclipse of the Sun or Moon, will move more then the making of heaven and earth. 2. No work of the Lord is right­ly taken up till he himself be looked unto, as the immediate Worker of it: therefore he points out the sound of the thunder, as the voice of the Lord upon many waters. 3. Though the Lord should be observed as the worker of every work, yet not at first is he seen in his work to any purpose, till we by oftner review­ing his operation about it, be somewhat affected with his glory and power therein; therefore he repeateth the second time, The God of glory thundreth; And the third time, The Lord is up­on many waters. 4. When the thunder or any work of God is well considered, some invisible thing of God will appear therein; as for example, his power and majesty will be evidenced in the [Page 165] thunder; for the voice of the Lord is powerful and ful of maje­stie.

Ver. 5. The voice of the Lord breaketh the Ce­dars; yea, the Lord breaketh the Cedars of Leba­non.

6. He maketh them also to skip like a Calfe: Leebanon and Syrion like a young Vnicorne.

7. The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire.

8. The voice of the Lord shaketh the wildernesse: the Lord shaketh the wildernesse of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the Lord maketh the hindes to calve, and discovereth the forrests: and in his Temple doth every one speak of his glory.

He insisteth in his subject, and sheweth the effects thereof, on trees, ver. 5. on mountaines, ver. 6. on the fire of the thun­der, parting it in lightning, ver. 7. on the waste wildernesse, ver. 8. on the beasts and woods where they haunt, ver. 9. Whence learne, 1. That the stupidity and senselessness of man is greater then that of the brute creatures, which are all more moved with the thunder, then the hearts of men for the most part, as here may be seen in the comparison. 2. One work of God dwelt upon, shal shew more of God then many of his works being slightly looked on, and passed over: as for example, this one of the thunder, considered with the effects, saith more then many; yea, one sensible and understanding man, wil disco­ver more of God in one work of God, then many in their ordina­ry mood, either in that work, or in any other, or in all his works.

Ver. 9. The voice of the Lord maketh the hindes to calve, and discovereth the forrests: and in his Temple doth every one speak of his glory.

He giveth a second reason of his exhortation to the mighty, to worship God in the beauty of holinesse, because in his Temple every one doth speak of his glory. Whence learne, 1. The glory of the Lord is shewn forth in all the earth, and in all his works, but in his Temple, in his Church, his works are holden forth expresly and fully, for there by his Word, his counsel is open­ed, his holinesse, his goodnesse, justice, mercy, and all his [Page 166] attributes are declared. Without the Church, men are compelled to acknowledg glory now and then, but in his Church, men do declare his glory distinctly and willingly. In his Temple doth every one speak of his glory, all men there do confesse his praise, and every thing in the Temple holdeth forth something of Christ and his benefits, to the glory of Gods mercy; and this is more then the world understandeth.

Verse 10 The Lord sitteth upon the flood: yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever.

A third reason, to move Princes to give to God glory and strength, is, because his Kingdome reacheth to the ruling of the waters, and because he is a King immortal. Whence learn, 1. As the strength of the Lord appeareth in all his works, so especial­ly that he ruleth the raging sea, whereby once he did drown the world, and now bindeth up, that it should do no more so a­gain, The Lord sitteth upon the floods. No King is King over every Kingdom and King, but God is King above all Kings; No King is of long continuance, but the Lord is the everlasting King, He sitteth King for ever; and therefore every mighty man should do him homage, as his King, his Lord, and supreme Supe­riour.

Verse 11 The Lord wil give strength unto his Peo­ple: The Lord wil blesse his People with Peace

The last reason to move Potentates to give all glory to God, and to joyne with his People in glorifying of him, is, because of the blessednesse of his people, who worship him in his holy Temple. Whence learne, 1. The power of the Lord is not a­gainst his people, but for his people, against his and their e­nemies, He giveth strength to his People, to wit, against their enemies, and for furnishing them to every part of his service whereunto he calleth them; The Lords people do give the glory of power and strength to the Lord, And the Lord wil give strength to his People. 2. The true worshippers of God, whatsoever may be their exercise in the world, may be sure of reconciliation with him, and of true blessednesse, For the Lord wil blesse his People with Peace.

PSAL. XXX. A Psalme and Song at the dedication of the house of David.

David praiseth God for his late deliverance from the hand of Absalom, ver. 1, 2, 3. And secondly, he exhorteth others to praise God also for his mercies, ver. 4, 5. Thirdly, he confesseth his car­nal security, and how hee was corrected for it, ver. 6▪ 7. Fourthly, he sheweth how he prayed for mercy, ver. 8, 9, 10. And fifthly, he praiseth the Lord for his gracious answer, ver. 11, 12.

THe Inscription of the Psalme sheweth, that it was endited at the dedication of Davids house, after it was polluted by Ab­saloms vilenesse with his fathers Concubines, as Davids securi­ty and trouble after that herein described, giveth us to under­stand. Whence learn, 1. That no benefit or creature-comfort is lawful and pure to us, except it be sanctified by the Word and Prayer, except we dedicate our selves and the creatures also to Gods service; and more specially the dedication of a mans house with the Ceremonies of the law, used about the dedication thereof, teacheth us to consider and to ackdowledge before God, That we are the Lords Tenants at will, received by him in his lodgings, to be entertained by him during our abode on earth; It teacheth us also that our houses should be holy, both for the Persons in our company, and for the exercise of Religion there­in daily, before and after our lawful daily refreshments and em­ployments therein; and that the Lord only is the Preserver of us, and of our houses, against what evil might otherwaies befall us, by men or divels, or any other accident; and that the house is polluted, especially when God is openly dishonored therein: in which case we are to seek mercy to our selves, and to our fami­lies, and to pray to God for the continuance of his guard about us, and his grace, to make a right use of our house hereafter, which is the substance of the old Ceremonies used in dedication of a mans house.

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Ver. 1. I Wil extol thee, O Lord, for thou hast lif­ted me up; and hast not made my foes to rejoyce over me.

2. O Lord my God, I cryed unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

3. O Lord, thou hast brought up my soule from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

HE praiseth God for a number of mercies concurring toge­ther in his deliverance, out of the hazard of losing both his life and his Kingdome. Whence learn, 1. The more the Lord exalts us, we should humble our selves the more before him, and mag­nifie his bounty: for David wil extol the Lord, here, because the Lord had lifted him up. 2. The disappointment of our enemies is a new mercy, beside our delivery from their cruelty, and a rea­son of thansgiving to God, when he makes our foes not to re­joyce oyer us. 3. When God seemeth to desert us, and expose us to hazards; readily our spirits grow sick, and deadnesse of spi­rit, (with inability to go about any point in our calling, or of his service) do seise on us; but when after the prayer of faith grounded on the Covenant, the Lord sendeth relief, it is a reviving of us again, as we see in Davids case, O my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 4. Preservation from evil, and delivery out of evil are mercies equivalent; rescuing a man from instant death, should be looked upon as resurrection from death, and acknowledged so to be in our thanksgiving to God; for Da­vid here saith, The Lord hath brought up his soul from the grave, because he had kept him alive, that he should not go down into the pit.

Ver. 4. Sing unto the Lord, (O ye Saints of his) and give thankes at the remembrance of his holi­nesse.

5. For his anger endureth but a moment, in his fa­vour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

The second part of the Psalme, wherein he stirreth up o­thers to praise God for his mercies. Whence learne, 1. Dwel­ling a while upon the consideration of mercies shewn unto us, bringeth with it rejoycing in God, and [...] singing disposition, [Page 169] whereunto when we are once wakened and warmed, we will think that one mouth to praise God is too little, as here we see in David, who not only praiseth God himself but also setteth all the Saints on work to the same purpose, saying, Sing to the Lord all ye Saints of his. 2. Albeit we had no present sense of lately received remarkable mercies, yet by-gone experiences of the Lords faithfulness and holiness, should give matter of thanks and praise, on all occasions, specially in the Congregation, where his works are called to mind: Give thanks, saith he, at the remembrance of his holinesse. 3. Albeit we were not upon the thoughts of any particular experience, yet the knowne perfections of God should furnish matter, and in special, be­cause howsoever we be sinful, and do provoke the Lord often, yet he, as he is slow to anger, so is he soon pacified, his anger en­dureth but for a moment. 4. When reckoning is rightly made, the tokens of Gods displeasure are but for a moment. But the evidence of his favours to believers is a life-time, for in the midst of wrath he remembreth mercy; and the tokens of his favour, are farre more then of his displeasure, and wrath soone goeth, and favour shineth latest, and is of longest continuance; Wrath is but temporary at the longest, but favour endureth for ever: His anger is but for a moment, but in his favour is life, yea life everlasting. 5. When the Lord sheweth himself angry at a soul, it is dark and cold night with it, and what can it do, but weep or walk heavily in this case, when the bridegroom is as absent? Weeping may abide for a night. 6. Unto the believer the longest winter-night hath a change to the better following it: consolation is certain after a mournful condition; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Verse 6. And in my prosperity I said, I shal never be moved.

7. Lord, by thy favour thou hadst made my mountain to stand strong: Thou didst hide thy face and I was troubled.

In the third place, he cometh to his late experience, which gave occasion and matter of this Psalm; he abused his prosperi­ty, not remembring that because his standing was by grace therefore he should have stood in awe, and feared to forget him­self, and therefore he was chastised for it. Whence learn, 1. A child of God, after long trouble may have a time of outward rest and prosperity; for example, David, whose troubles were many, doth [Page 170] acknowledge here that he was in prosperity. 2. As men in [...]ouble do fear they shal never be rid of it, so when God granteth a change to the better, they think never to be so troubled again; This fleshly security is a soul sicknesse, attending prosperity, and the most holy men may easily be overtaken with it; for Da­vid confesseth, I said in my prosperity, I shal never be moved. 3. The consideration that our standing in any good condition, is of Gods meer favour and grace, should keep us in fear and trembling to offend, and prevent our falling in carnal security. This David acknowledgeth for aggravating of his fault, Lord, by thy favour thou hadst made my mountain strong. 4. The Lord wil not suffer his own to lie stil in carnal security, but wil withdraw the bolster and pillow of those benefits whereon they do sleepe, and together with that, wil withdraw also the sweet sense of re­conciliation, and put his owne in trouble to waken them: Da­vids experience teacheth so much, Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. 5. Men understand the folly of their sinful way, and of their carelesse entertaining of Gods favour, not so wel in the time of prosperity, as after they have smarted for their folly, and have found the fruit of their forgetfulnesse of God, and of their too much embracing and resting on prosperity to be no­thing, save sore and sad troubles, both bodily, and spiritual; for this is taught us by the reckoning that David now maketh, as a Pilot, discovering a rock, to forwarn others to beware of security; and this reckoning is all after his trouble, and after his victory al­so over it.

Ver. 8. I cryed to thee, O Lord, and unto the Lord I made supplication.

9. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to pit? shal the dust praise thee? shal it declare thy truth?

10. Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord; be thou my helper.

In the fourth part of this Psalme he sheweth his recovery out of his trouble, and out of his sinful security which drew it on; he prayed, disputed and dealt with God, til the Lord delivered him. Whence learn, 1. As the fire and the hammer, and the files do serve to put off the rust off iron, so doth affliction to rouse a godly soul out of security, and drive him to earnest Prayer; for after trouble is come, David cryed to the Lord. 2. Al­beit a man hath miscarried, and proved ungrateful to God in [Page 171] his prosperity, and unmindful of his resolutions and promises made to God in his low estate, when he should come to prosperity; yet when trouble cometh to waken him up, and cal him to a reck­oning, he must not despaire, nor set downe in discouragement in the conscience of huge guiltinesse. But because the Lord is angry, and no remedy but Gods grace, he must lay himself at Gods feet a supplicant: Unto the Lord David made supplication. 3. Faith in God is very argumentative, and wil dispute wel for the mans life, having the Covenant of grace as a ground to go upon; It wil take a reason to strengthen it selfe from Gods nature, who doth not delight in the death of a penitent sinner, and a reason from no advantage unto justice, by the mans de­struction, when justice may have satisfaction in the Redeemer, and the man may be saved also; What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? and a reason from the mans pur­pose to glorifie God, to the edifying of others in his life, if he should be spared: from which mercy if he should be cut off, it would be more bitter to him then death; Shal the dust praise thee? Shall it declare thy truth? 4. When faith hath said to God that it hath to say, it wil wait for a good answer, wil relie on his mercy, and expect relief from the Lord, as here David doth, Hear, O Lord, have mercy on me, be thou my helper.

Verse 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast put off my sackloth, and gird­ed me with gladnesse:

12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee; and not be silent: O Lord, my God, I wil give thanks unto thee for ever.

In the last part of the Psalm he thankfully praiseth God, for granting unto him all he desired, and obligeth himself to a more careful carriage, and setting forth of Gods glory. Whence learne, 1. It becometh the child of God to weep when he is beaten, and to humble himself in the exercise of Prayer, and Fasting; for Davids mourning and sack-cloth, sheweth his exercise in his former trouble. 2. As security turneth all our joy into trouble, so sincere seeking of God in trouble, is the way to turn all our trouble into joy, Thou hast turned for me all my mourning into dancing, &c. and great is that joy which a reconciled soul findeth in God, after renewed feeling of the interrupted sense of mercy. 3. A well ordered tongue, watch­ing [Page 172] all opportunities to glorifie God, and edifie others, is a main point of a mans excellency, not only above beasts, but al­so above all men, who do not use their tongue for God, and for good to others; Therefore David calleth his tongue his glory. 4. The very intent of Gods shewing mercy to men, is to oblige them to give praise and glory to himself before the world, thou hast girded me with gladnesse, saith he, To the end my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. 5. The right use of our experiences of Gods mercy to us, is first to fasten our faith in God, and to stand fast to the Lords Covenant, made with us in Christ; next after acknowledging that this is our duty, to be thankful to God, to engage our hearts to the dis­charge thereof constantly: The first of these the Prophet doth here by calling God, The Lord my God; the next he doth in these words, I wil give thanks to thee for ever.

PSAL. XXXI. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

Another exercise of David, wherein he being in great danger to be taken by his enemies, pray­eth for delivery, ver. 1, 2, 3 4, 5▪ 6. Secondly, he strengtheneth his faith by his by-gone experi­ence. ver. 7, 8. Thirdly, in Prayer he layeth out his lamentable condition before God, ver. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Fourthly, he wrastleth on in Prayer for comfort and safety to himself, and confusion to his enemies, ver 14 15 16 17 18. Fifthly, being delivered and comforted by a new experience of Gods merciful preservation of him, he maketh good use of it, by praising God for it, and ex­horteth the godly to love God and relie on him, ver. 19 20 21 22 23 24.

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Ver. 1. IN thee, O Lord, do I put my trust, let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righ­t [...]ousnesse.

2. Bow down thine ear to me, deliver me speedily: be thou my stong rock, for an house of defence to save me.

3. For thou art my rock, and my fortresse: there­fore for thy Names sake lead me and guide me.

FRom his interest in God by Covenant, he strengthens him­self in Prayer for delivery. Whence learn, 1. Faith avowed and maintained, furnisheth prayer, and giveth hope to be heard; for David having first said, In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; he subjoyneth, Let me never be ashamed: For this much may a believer expect, that albeit he be put to hang down the head for a little, yet he shall not at last be ashamed. 2. As the Lord sendeth in his wisdom, trouble after trouble, upon a be­liever, so he sendeth in his justice and faithfulnesse, promised delivery after delivery from oppressors, Deliver me in thy righ­teousnesse. 3. Where the danger is pressing, and the affection is ardent, the Petition may be repeated without babling, and speedy help my be craved without limitation of God; and hearkening to a poor supplicant, as it were, with a bowed down eare, may be prayed for without abasing of Gods Majesty, as here, Bow down thine eare to me, deliver me speedily. 4. Were there but a moment betwixt us and perishing, and our enemies stronger then we, were ready to lay hands on us; faith seeth that God can interpose himself speedily, and lift us up above our enemies reach: Be thou my strong rock, for a house of de­fence to save me. 5. What the Lord is engaged to be unto us by Covenant, we may pray and expect to finde him in effect; Be thou my strong Rock, saith he, for thou art my Rock. 6. When trouble and uncouth passages discover our ignorance, our blindnesse and weaknesse unto us, we have God engaged for his glories cause, to take care of us, and to bring us through; for the Prayer of the beleever is, For thy name sake lead me and guide me.

Ver. 4. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me, for thou art my strength.

[Page 174] 5. Into thine hands I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.

He cometh more particularly to his danger, and prayeth for deli­very, and strengthening his faith by sundry reasons. Whence learn, 1. As the children of this world are more wise in their genera­tion, then the children of the light: so do they hunt and overtake the godly, by their crafty devices against him, They laid their nets privily against David, and ensnared him. 2. Though the godly be both weak and simple-witted, yet they have a wise and strong God to call upon, who is able to break the snare, and set his own free, whose help David imploreth here, Pull me out of the net, for thou art my strength. 3. The way to quiet our mindes, in the hazard of our mortal life, (which is soon and easily taken away, and we cannot our selves preserve,) is to put our soul over on Gods care and custody, Into his hands committing our spirits. 4. The Word of God, giving assurance to the believer of his Redemption, is a ground sufficient, to make him confidently commit his soul to Gods keeping; for he may say with warrant, Thou hast redeemed me, O God of truth. 5. Worldly men that believe not in God, have some other thing wherein they trust beside, as riches, friendship, their own wit, &c. which carnal confidences are but lying vanities, whereof the true believer must be aware, and hate the way of such as follow them; for David hated them that regarded ly­ing vanities, because he trusted in God.

Ver. 7. I will be glad and rejoyce in thy mercy, for thou hast considered my trouble: thou hast known my soul in adversities;

8. And hast not shut me up into the hand of the ene­my, thou hast set my feet in a large room.

In the next place he strengtheneth his faith by his former ex­perience, and promiseth himself after this present sorrow, joy and gladnesse, whereof he hath some present sense, stirred up by calling to memory his experience. Whence learn, 1. In the midst of trouble faith will furnish matter of joy, and promise to it self gladnesse, especially from the memory of by-past ex­periences of Gods mercy; as here, I will rejoyce and be glad in thy mercy. 2. When a believer is in adversity, the Lord will [Page 175] not misken him, he will make him know, that even then he hath an eye upon him, and friendly affections to him: Thou hast known my soul in adversity. 3. Adversary power shall not get their will of a fixed believer, but he shall have delivery from them, and victory over them, either temporally or spiritually, or both ways; for here is the experience of it, Thou hast not shut me up in the hand of the enemy, thou hast set my feet in a large room. 4. The ground of our gladnesse, when we have found a proof of Gods kindnesse to us, should not be in the benefit so much, as in the fountain of the benefit; for this giveth us hope to drink again of the like experience, from the fountain which did send forth that benefit. Therefore David sayes, I will be glad and rejoyce in thy mercy for ever.

Ver. 9. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

10. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth, because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

11. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to my ac­quaintanc: they that did see me without, fled from me.

12. I am forgotten as a dead man out of minde: I am like a broken vessel.

13. For I have heard the slander of many, fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

In the third place he layeth out his lamentable condition, in regard of perplexity of minde, and decay of natural strength, by grief and sorrow of heart, and in regard of the con­tempt of his adversaries, and neglect of his friends, and hazard of his life joyned with the sense of Gods displeasure for his sinnes, wherein he is a type of Christ suffering for our sinnes imputed to him, and an example of the hard exercise of the Saints▪ Whence learn, 1. Great and of long continuance may the troubles of the godly be, great may their grief and heavinesse of heart be, before they get comfort, as the example of this meek man, so holy in his [Page 176] way, so subdued in his affections, doth shew by sundry expressions. 2. Albeit the Lord needs no words to informe him of our condi­tion, or to move his affection to his children in trouble, yet he hath appointed us for evidencing our faith in him, and depen­dance upon him for relief, to come and tell him what aileth us; and indeed it is an ease to the godly heart, to have the Lord to speak unto, and lay out their case before him, as here we see. 3. The conscience of sinne joyned with trouble, is a load above a burden, and able to break a mans strength more then any trouble; for here he saith, my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. 4. When the godly have many and power­full enemies, then their acquaintance and neighbours, and the multitude of the people will readily believe that all misreports of them are true, and this maketh the grief of the godly the grea­ter; as here, I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but specially among my neighbours. 5. When the godly fall under persecution and trouble, their worldly friends for fear of danger, or burden by them, will turn their back on them, and forget acquaintance, yea and natural bands with them also; and then must the godly lean to God, and expect comfort from him. This is holden forth in this type of Christ, and example of believers under tryall; I am a fear to my acquaintance, &c. 6. Long lying in trouble will make a man to be forgotten of his friends, as if he were dead, and make him to lose all estimation at their hands, as if there were no worth in him at all. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind, I am like a broken vessel. 7. It is Satans policy to draw great men and Councellors of State in tops with the godly, because common­ly what great men esteem of the godly, that passeth for currant; and it is Satans policy first to laden the godly with slanders, and then to persecute them to death, I heard the slanders of many, they took counsell together to take away my life. 8. In a sharp triall a soul may be assulted with terrible tentations on all hands, and feel terror and fighting within and without, fear, saith he, was on every side.

Ver. 14. But I trusted in thee, O Lord, I said, Thou art my God.

15. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

16. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies sake.

[Page 177] 17. Let me not be ashamed, O Lord, for I have cal­led upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

18. Let the lying lips be put to silence, which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

In the fourth place he wrestles by faith for delivery, and com­fort in the mean time till delivery come to himself, and disap­pointment to his enemies. Whence learn, 1. It is the nature of faith, and it is the believers duty, to oppose help from God, unto all tentations, were they never so many; as here David did. But I trusted in thee, O Lord. 2. Except we hold fast the grip of our Covenant with God, and avow it before him, trust will faile, and tentations readily prevail: much use made David of the Co­venant in his strait, I said, Thou art my God. 3. Faith can make good chear of the general grounds of Gods providence, by making application thereof to its present use. The dispensations of al mens comforts and troubles, life and death, are in Gods hand, and not in mens power: my times are in thy hand, saith David. 4. Be­cause all power is in Gods hand, prayer to him will prevail more for delivery from enemies, then any means besides; Deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and them that persecute me. 5. When the cloud of trouble hideth the Lords favour, faith knoweth it may shine again, and therefore prayeth through the cloud for dissolving of it; make thy face to shine upon me. 6. As we must stu­dy to approve our selves to be the Lords servants, by studying o­bedience to him; So must we make grace and nothing else save grace, the ground of our hope to be helped, comforted, or saved. Shine upon thy servant, saith he, save me for thy mercies sake. 7. As the humble prayer of the persecuted godly, shall be granted and have effect; So the proud brags, coloured calumnies, and threatnings of slanderous and cruel adversaries, shall be shame­fully refuted and disappointed; and if the enemies shall not ti­mously cease to persecute, they shall be made to cease in their graves, Let me not be ashamed, for I have called on thee, let the wicked be ashamed, and made silent in their graves; let lying lips be put to silence, which speak grievous things proudly and contemp­tuously against the righteous.

Ver. 19. O how great is thy goodnesse, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast [Page 178] wrought for them that trust in thee before the sonnes of men!

20. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy pre­sence, from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them se­cretly in a pavilion, from the strife of tongues.

21. Blessed be the Lord, for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindnesse in a strong City.

Comfort and deliverance being the answer of his prayer, he praiseth God, and stirreth up the godly to set their hearts on God, and trust in him at all times. Whence learn, 1. The bounty of the Lord to his own people seen in the World, observed in the Lords ordinary dispensation towards them, and felt in a mans own experience, is able to ravish the heart with admiration of the blessednesse of Gods people, as here, O! how great is thy goodnesse! 2. Beside what consolation of spirit the Lord giveth to his own, the Lord sometimes will manifest so much respect in his providence to his servants, that not only the godly, but also they who are but children of men, will be forced to acknowledge the Lords singular respect to them; and beside what the Lord bestow­eth either inwardly or outwardly upon his own in this life, there is yet more laid up for afterwards, for compleating of the blessed­nesse in the life to come: How great is thy goodnesse which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! 3. How great peace of con­science before God, and comfort in the holy Ghost, the Lord can give a believer when he hath to do with proud open persecuters, and privily whispering slanderers; It is a secret and hid mystery to the worldly man: this David describeth in a similitude taken from wa [...]fare, Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man, thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. 4. As every believer having gotten a­ny experience of Gods goodnesse, should read it as a particular proof of some generall promise made to the godly; so should he subscribe the truth of that promise, in favour of all beleevers, and blesse God for his own particular experience of it; for so doth the Prophet here, saying, He hath shewed his kindnesse to me, that is, how kinde a God he is to his own, is in a strong City; that is, preserved me in the wildernesse, as if I had been in the best fenced City in the world, furnished with men, victual and amunition in abundance.

[Page 179] Ver. 22. For I said in mine haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: Neverthelesse thou heardest the voice of my supplications, when I cried unto thee.

He confesseth the great distress he was in, and how weak his faith was under the tentation; this he doth to his own shame ac­knowledge also, that he may give the greater glory to God. Whence learn, 1. The faith of the godly may be shaken, and the strong­est faith may sometimes shew its infirmity. I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes. 2. Though faith be shaken, yet it is fixed in the root, as a tree beaten by the winde, keeping strong gripes of good ground; Though faith seem to yield, yet it fail­eth not, and even when it is at the weakest, it is uttering it self in some act, as a wrestler; for here the expression of Davids infirmi­ty in faith is directed to God, and his earnest prayer joyned with it, I am cut off from before thine eyes, yet thou heardest the voice of my supplications. 3. Praying faith, how weak soever, shall not be misregarded of God; for neverthelesse saith he, thou heardest the voice of my supplication. 4. There may be in a soul at one time both grief oppressing, and hope upholding: both darknesse of trouble, and the light of faith; both desperately doubting, and strong griping of Gods truth and goodnesse; both a fainting and a fighting; a seeming yeelding in the fight, and yet a stri­ving of faith against all opposition; both a foolish haste, and a settled stayedness of faith; as here, I said in my haste, &c.

Ver. 23. O love the Lord, all ye his Saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: all ye that hope in the Lord.

Now he maketh farther use of his experience, in exhorting all the godly to follow his example, encouraging them yet with hope of like success. Whence learn, 1. The gracious dealing of God with believers, should glew their own hearts, and all other Saints hearts that hear of it, unto God in faith and love. O love the Lord all ye his Saints. He putteth love for faith, because it is in­separable from faith, and faith worketh by love, and love proveth the sincerity of faith. 2. The faithful man shall not want an up­holder, albeit he had no friends: for the Lord preserveth the faith­ful. 3. The proud man shall not want a pursuer, and one to be avenged on him for his pride and oppression, though all the world [Page 180] should let him alone, for the Lord doth plentifully reward the proud doer. 4. Albeit opposition be made unto a believer, yet must he resist every thing which might put him back from trust­ing in God; for it becometh a believer to be stout; Be of good courage. 5. Who so aimeth at courage in the Lord, shall be fur­nished with strength to double out his undertaking of faith: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart. 6. Hope grounded on the promise, must be fixed, that our courage may be founded not on our selves, but on the word of God: Be of good courage all ye that hope in the Lord.

PSAL. XXXII. A Psalme of David, Maschil.

David in this Psalm describeth the blessednesse of the man justified by faith, by way of general Doctrine, set down, ver. 1, 2. Which he clear­eth by his own experience, ver. 3, 4, 5. Then he sheweth the uses both of the general doctrin, & of his own experience; First, for inducing the godly, to go to God by prayer in trouble. v. 6. Se­condly, for confirming of his own faith▪ ver. 7. Thirdly, for teaching all men submission to God, and not to strive with him when he doth cor­rect or exercise them, ver. 8.9. Fourthly, for believing in God in all conditions, ver. 10. And fifthly, for making the Lord the joy and delight of the justified man.

MAschil is put in the inscription of the Psalm, signifying in­struction; to teach us, That the Doctrine of justification by faith is a lesson which all men have need to learn, and to learn more and more solidly; because salvation and daily consolation in all the exercises of a mans soul dependeth on it.

Ver. 1. BLessed is he whose transgression is for­given, whose sin is covered.

2. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth [Page 189] not iniquity: and in whose spirit there is no guile.

IN the Doctrine set down in these two verses; Learn, 1. That sin draweth on a debt which no man can satisfie for: such a debt, as a man must perish, if it be not forgiven. 2. Sin is a fil­thinesse, which neither God can behold, without abominating the sinner, nor the guilty conscience can look upon without hor­ror, except it be covered. 3. Sin draweth on a guiltinesse, which may draw men to damnation, if it shal be imputed. 4. There is no justification of a sinner by his good works before God, but only by the forgivenesse of his evil works, as the Apostle, Rom. 4.6, 7, 8. citing this place, proveth, Blessed is he whose trans­gression is forgiven. 5. Justification by faith, or remission of sins is accompanied with right unto salvation, because it is writ­ten, Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven. 6. Justifi­cation by faith, or absolution from sin, is accompanied also with the upright endeavour of sanctification; for of the justified man it is said, Blessed is the man in whose spirit there is no guile. 7. Al­beit no man liveth and sinneth not, yet God hath a way to cleanse the conscience of the upright man; who honestly and without guile, endeavoureth to walk before God, by bringing him to give account of his debt, and to acknowledge his filthinesse, and his guiltinesse before God, and then for Christs sake forgiving him, and with Christs righteousness covering him, and for Christs me­diation, not imputing iniquity unto him.

Ver. 3. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

4. For day and night thy hand was heavy up­on me: my moysture is turned into the drought of Summer. Salah.

He declareth this Doctrine by his own experience, how Gods wrath never left pursuing of him, til he came to make use of this doctrine, acknowledging his sin, and fleeing to the benefit of re­mission of sin, for the blood of the Messiah, the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, in the symbole of the expiatory sacri­fice then daily offered for sin. Whence learn, 1. That man is fittest to speak of the Doctrine of mans sin and misery, and of Gods free grace and mercy, who hath felt the bitternesse of sin and wrath, and the sweetnesse of Gods grace by experience of Gods pardon; therefore is this Doctrine recommended to the Church by David, [Page 190] who had felt both. 2. A justified man who knoweth the Do­ctrine of Justification by faith in Christ, possibly, yea readily may forget to make use of this precious truth, when he hath most need of it, being under guiltinesse, and the pressure also of Gods fatherly wrath for it; for David for a while being in this con­dition, was silent, and came not off at first to seek relief the right way: for he kept silence, and did not come to the acknowledge­ment of his sin, but was taken up only with the sense of the Rod. 3. When the Lord is about to make his child sensible of his sins, and of the necessity of a free remission of them, through the Me­diatour, he can awake the conscience of sin, by the sense of sad affliction, and can encrease the heat of the furnace, and make his child roar for sorrow and paine, and thereby weaken his natu­ral strength, and waste his spirits and his flesh, and his bones, and drive him to deaths door, til he make use of the Doctrine of Justi­fication, or remission of sin by faith in God the Redeemer; This was Davids case, when he kept silence, his bones waxed old. Gods hand was heavie upon him night and day, and the sap of his body was dried up as a piece of moist earth is dried in the drought of Summer.

Ver. 5. I acknowledged my sinne unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid: I said, I wil confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

At last the Lord led him to the right remedy, pointed out the way unto him of humiliation, and confession of sin, and seeking of mercy, as it is prescribed in the Word, and so he was relieved. Whence learn. 1. Before the Lord let his child go from under the Rod, after he hath given him an essay of himselfe, and of his own way how unprofitable it is, he will bring him about to the right way of relief, as here we see. 2. The only way to quiet the conscience, to pacifie wrath, and remove judgment, is ingenu­ously to confesse sin, and to aggravate it sincerely (laying aside extenuations, excuses, and subterfuges, for justifying of Gods dealing with us, and for humiliation of our own selves before him,) and to flie to Gods mercy, laying out all before him; as before a gracious God, who doth pursue controversies with his own, only to th'intent, that they may make peace with him in the Mediatour, and so be reconciled. So did David, He acknowledg­ed his sin, and that unto God, he hid not [...] iniquity. 3. Re­conciliation with God, and renewing our peace is ready at hand, [Page 191] when we take the right way (as is said) to be delivered, for so sonne as David resolved opon this course, and said, he would con­fesse, it followeth, Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.

Ver. 6. For this shal every one that is godly pray unto thee, in a time when thou maiest be found: surely in the floods of great waters, they shal not come nigh un­to him

The first use of this Doctrine and of Davids experience, is to teach others how to behave themselves in their trouble. Whence learn, 1. The Doctrine of Justification by gracious forgiving iniquity, is the ground of all the godlies approaches to God, and right worshipping of him; for to shew the use of this Doctrine, thus tried by experience, he saith, Every godly one shall pray unto thee. 2. There is a time when God may be found, to wit, so long as God is offering grace, and sparing extremity of wrath, which time men ought to lay hold on, not knowing how short while it may last: They shal pray in a time when thou mayest be found. 3. It is possible, that a godly man may be in the middest of the waters of sore troubles, and yet these troubles not come near unto him, because God can furnish the man an Ark in Christ, whereby he shal swim above the deluge: and when God keep­eth off trouble, that is proveth not hurtful, (much more when he: maketh trouble a means of spiritual good to a man, and giveth the man true peace and contentment in himself) it is verified what is promised here, Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come near him.

Ver. 7. Thou art my hiding place, thou shalt pre­serve me from trouble: thou shalt compasse me about with songs of deliverance

From the second use wherein David confirmeth his own faith for time to come, Learne, 1. Experience of Gods mercies by gone should fasten resolution, to make use of faith hereafter in all trou­bles, as here. 2. The godly after one trouble, should prepare for another, after one delivery expect another, as here. 3. What God hath proved himself to be to us before, we may promise, he shal be the same to us in effect hereafter, because he is that by Co­venant and promise to us, what in practice we have found him to he; for David reasoneth thus, Thou art mine hiding place, thou shalt preserve me from trouble; that is, I shal have no dammage by trouble, as is said. 4. A justified soul resolving to make use [Page 192] of God in every condition that can come unto him, according to the Covenant, may promise to himself a comfortable out-gate of all his troubles, and matter of praise and joy from God on all hands, yea, he may confidently say with David, Thou shalt com­passe me about with joyfull deliverance.

Ver. 8. I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I wil guide thee with mine eye.

9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule which have no understanding: whose mouth mu [...]t be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come n [...]er unto thee.

From the third use of teaching others to be wise, by his exam­ple, Learn, 1. The right use of experience is to edifie others as our calling requireth; when we are converted, we should streng­then our brethren; for this David doth, I wil instruct thee, &c. 2. When we have heard how others have been afflicted, we should be wiser, and take instruction by their example, that we strive not with God, but submit our selves under his hand, acknowledge our sins, and seek mercy of him: Be not as the horse or the mule. 3. Whosoever wil not submit unto God, and seek unto his favour, shal find themselves so much the more hardly dealt with, as horses and mules are bound in with bit and bridle.

Ver 10 Many sorrows shal be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shal compasse him about.

From the fourth use of maintaining a course of adhering to God in all conditions, because it shal be better with the belie­ver, then with the wicked; Learne, 1. There is no advantage to be had by repining against God, only the multiplication of sor­rows shal follow thereupon, sin upon sin, wrath upon wrath, judge­ment upon judgement; and after temporal evils, everlasting shal follow, for many sorrowes shall be to the wicked. 2. Not repining against God, taking with our chastisements, acknowledging of our sins in our affliction; seeking in to Gods mercy, and leaning unto him, putteth difference between the wicked and the godly; for here the believer is set in opposition to the wicked, and to the man that is like a horse or mule; for he is called the man that trusteth in the Lord. 3. Whatsoever tentation, trouble, or oppo­sition shal make assault against the believer; mercy shal make [Page 193] the defence; and shal give the deliverance on all hands, for mercy shall compasse him about.

Ver. 11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoyce, yee righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

From the last use of making God our joy and delight; Learne, 1. Such as understand the way of Justification by grace, and have fled to God for pardon of sin, and so are justified, have great matter of rejoycing, and should make conscience to re­joyce in God: for to them it is said, Rejoyce ye righteous. 2. The justified man is no counterfeit in the matter of Religion, nor hypocrite in the matter of outward obedience to the Lords Law, He is a righteous man, he is upright in heart. 3. The matter of his joy and triumphing is the Lord himself, his grace, his good wil, his Covenant, his promise, and constant kindnesse and mercy, for it is said to them, Be glad in the Lord.


This Psalm in Gods Providence hath no Inscripti­on, as also many others have none; that we may look upon holy Scriptures as altogether inspired of God, and not put price upon it for the Wri­ters thereof, whether their name be expressed or not. In it there is first an exhortation to praise God, ver. 1, 2, 3. for his powerful, wise, and righteous government of all things in general, ver. 4, 5. and more specially for his powerfull guiding the workes of Creation, ver. 6, 7. Se­condly, an exhortation, as to praise God, so also to fear him, for his omnipotency, and his pow­erful over-ruling and disappointing all the devi­ces of men against his Church, and his powerfull executing all his own wil, v. 8, 9, 10, 11. Thirdly, a proclaiming the blessedness of the Lords Church and People, and of Gods praises in reaching his Providence over all the world, in favours of his [Page 194] People, ver. 12, 13, 14, 15. In special, for disap­pointing and evacuating all vaine confidences of men, great and smal, who do not trust in him, ver. 16, 17. and taking care of such as fear him, and trust in him, to deliver them from all evil, v. 18, 19. Fourthly, the use is set down which the godly doe make of this doctrine, and song of praise.

Ver. 1. REjoyce in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.

2 Praise the Lord with Harp, sing unto him with the Psaltery, and an instrument of ten strings.

3 Sing unto him a new Song, play skilfully with a loud noise

FRom the exhortation made to the godly to praise God, Learne, 1. That to rejoyce in God is a point of praising of him, for it is here expounded to be praise; Rejoyce in the Lord saith he, for praise is comely. 2. Albeit all be bound to praise God, yet none wil do it chearfully and acceptably, save only the godly, Rejoyce, ye righteous. 3. There is no exercise more becoming the godly, then praising of God, whether we look to the object of the praise, which is God; or whether we look to their obligation above all people in the world; For praise is comely to the upright. 4. There is no exercise whereunto we have more need to be stirred up, then to praise; such is our dul­nesse, and such is the excellency and necessity of the worke, as the Ceremonial use of musical instruments in the paedagogie of Moses, did signifie and import; the religious use whereof, albeit it be taken away, with the rest of the Ceremonial Law; (the natural or civil use thereof remaining stil the same, both before the Ceremonial Law and after it,) yet the thing signified, which is the bending all the powers of our soule and body to praise God, is not taken away: and this necessity of our up-stir­ring is imported in a threefold exhortation. 5 The praises of the Lord, being wel considered, wil yeild continually new matter, and fresh delight in the work. Sing unto him, saith he, [...] new Song.

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Ver. 4. For the Word of the Lord is right, and all his works are done in truth

5 He loveth righteousnesse and judgment: the earth is ful of the goodnesse of the Lord.

From the arguments of praise taken from his good govern­ing of all things in the general, Learne, 1. The power­full appointment of what is done in the world, and the ex­ecution thereof in effect, is most holy, just and equitable, that the creatures are so ranked as they are, some of them superiour, some inferiour; some of them ruling, some of them serving; some of them stronger, some weaker; some of them agreeing to other, some of them disagreeing one from another; some of them feeding upon, and others of them made food and prey to others; all making up a harmony of wel ruled concords and discords, all is done wel and equitable: for, The Word of the Lord is right, and all his workes are done in truth. 2. The Lord cannot but do justly, because his nature is such, He loveth righ­teousnesse and judgment. 3. There is no part of the world wee can set our eyes upon, but it speaketh praise to God for his bounty to his creatures, and specially to man. The earth is ful of the goodnesse of the Lord.

Ver. 6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the hoste of them by the breath of his mouth

7 He gathereth the waters of the Sea together as an heap, he layeth up the depth in store houses.

From the Works of Creation, Learne, 1. The omnipotency and wisdom of God in creating heaven and earth, and all things of nothing; as they do praise God, so also do they prove the power and righteousnesse of his governing them. By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made. 2. How easie a thing it is to God, to govern and guide the World wel, appeareth by his making of all things at a word, He made all the hoste of them by the breath of his mouth, and it can cost him no more to up­hold and rule them at his pleasure. 3. He is able to ward off whatsoever evil can befal us: For he gathers the waters of the sea as an heap, which would naturally overflow the earth. 4. He hath more bands over our heads to keep us in fear, and awe before him, and amongst the the rest, He layeth up the deep in store-houses, to let them loose, when and where, and how far he pleaseth.

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Ver. 8. Let all the earth feare the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

9 For he spake, and it was done, he commanded, and it stoodfast.

10. The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought; he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

In the second place, he exhorteth as to praise, so also to fear him. Whence learn, 1. The right use of the works of Creation, is, to take up, how glorious and how dreadful the Creator of them is, and to beware to offend him. Let all the earth feare be­fore the Lord. 2. No man on earth is exempted from Gods judgment, when he transgresseth Gods Law, albeit he be with­out the Church: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 3. His omnipotency manifested in framing and set­ling the frame of the world at a word: should move men to feare him; for it is given for a reason to feare him, Because he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 4. Such as fear not God, have many devices of their own, how to make themselves blessed, and how to overturn his Church and People; but God disappointeth them of their design, both in the one and in the other; He bringeth the counsel of the Hea­then to nought, and he maketh the devices of the people of none effect, and therfore all should fear him. 5. The whole worke of the Lords Providence, from the beginning of the world to the end therof, is all at once before his eyes, and all the Lords work is deliberately fixed by him; The counsel of the Lord stand­eth for ever. 6. The Lord goeth on in executing of his deter­minate resolution, from one generation to another, without being frustrate of his purpose in any thing, lesse or more at a­ny time: The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. 7. Such as follow Gods dire­ction, do obey his revealed Wil, do take the course set down by him in his Word, for their reconciliation with him, through the Messiah Christ, and do set his Word before them, to be the rule of their faith and obedience, cannot be disappointed of what is promised by God in his revealed wil, For the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, and the thoughts of his heart to all genera­tions.

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Ver. 12. Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord: and the People whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

13. The Lord looketh from Heaven: he behold­eth all the sons of men.

14. From the place of his habitation, he looketh up­on all the inhabitants of the earth.

15. He fashioneth their hearts alike: he considereth all their works.

In the third place he sheweth the blessednesse of Gods people, in order to his praise who hath chosen them, and who doth dis­pose of all things to their behoof. Whence learn, 1. Of all the people on the earth, the Lord hath only entred in Cove­nant with his Church, to be their God in a peculiar way; for here, There is a Nation whose God is the Lord. 2. Such as do lay hold on God as their God, are the only blessed people in the world; for it is said, Blessed is that Nation, whose God is the Lord, 3. Such as in the sense of their own sin and misery, and consi­deration of the vanity of all things beside God, have chosen God for their God, to live in Communion with him, they have evidence of their Election; for they are here called, The people whom he hath chosen. 4. Such people, as is said, are that peculiar portion of the world, which God hath set apart for himself to draw the rent of his glory in the world by them, and from them in a special way; and whom he will keep in his possession for ever, and not suffer himself to be bereft of them; For they are the People whom he hath chosen for his inheritance. 5. Though the Church be the only inheritance of God, yet the rest of the world is the object of his wise, holy and powerful pro­vidence, no lesse then the Church: The Lord looketh down from heaven, and beholds all the sonnes of men. 6. There cannot be a plot on earth against Gods Church: but God is privy to it, and knoweth it perfectly; for from the place of his habitation, he looketh on all the inhabitants of the earth. 7. The Lord cannot be ignorant of the most secret device of men, better or worse, be­cause he is the Maker of the hearts of all men, He fashioneth their hearts alike, (that is, the heart of one as well as of another) he considereth all their works, that he may make of them what he will. 8. Men had need to consider whereupon their heart is set, and what course they are upon, and what work they are a­bout, [Page 198] for he knoweth the heart, and considereth every mans work.

Ver. 16. There is no King saved by the multitude of an hoste: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.

17. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither, shall he deliver any by his great strength.

18. Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him: upon them that hope in his mercy:

19. To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Here he sets at naught all carnal confidence of men, that his people may neither fear their enemies, nor trust in their own furniture, and preferreth trusting in God, to all carnal confidence whatsoever. Whence learn, 1. Trusting in means, (such as a mans strength, and the assistance of other men, or o­ther creatures,) is an errour so natural, and fixed, as it had need to be refuted by God, who hath said, that they are a vaine confidence to lean unto, which cannot deliver a man, There is no King saved by the multitude of an hoste, a mighty man is not delivered by much strength, and a horse is a vain thing for safety: And the actuall frustrating of mens hopes, to be helped by authority, strength, or external helpes, should teach men not to lean to them, when they are making use of them. 2. The man that believeth in God, and feareth him, is in a more safe condition, then the wicked in all their power and riches: Be­hold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, and hope in his mercy, to deliver them. 3. The whole perfection of a Chri­stian life is comprized in these two, trusting in Gods mercy, and fearing him: for this is the description here of the Elect, and blessed man. 4. The godly cannot secure themselves from being brought in straits and necessities, but may be sure that God shall have a care of them in their necessities, and give them a blessed out-gate out of them all, For his eye is on them, to deliver them from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Ver. 20▪ Our soul waiteth for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.

21. For our heart shall rejoyce i [...] him; because we have trusted in his holy Name.

[Page 199] 22. Let thy mercy (O Lord) be upon us: according as we hope in thee.

In the last place is set down the use of this doctrine, which the godly should make of it. Whence learn, 1. All the points of the Lords praise, are props of the Saints faith, and grounds of their hope, as this Conclusion drawn from this song of praise, doth shew: Our soul waiteth for the Lord, &c. 2. Every believer may rejoyce, and promise to himself cause of rejoycing through faith in his name, Our hearts shall rejoyce in him, be­cause we have trusted in him. 3. Faith always differenceth it self from presumption, by praying for what is promised, Let thy mercy be upon us, say the Believers. 4. Because the hope of the godly is grounded upon Gods promises, therefore it shall not be disappointed, But Gods mercy shall be on them, according as they hope in him.

PSAL. XXXIV. A Psalme of David, when he changed his behaviour before A­bimelech; and he drove him away, and he departed.

In this Psalme David praiseth God, for his delivery from the King of Gath, and exhorteth others to praise God with him, for his experience of Gods mercy, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Then for making farther use of this mercy, he gives out general doctrines concerning Gods protection and care of his children, with the uses thereof, ver. 7, 8, 9, 10. Thirdly, he giveth counsel how to lead a blessed life, ver. 11, 12, 13, 14. Fourthly, he enforceth his counsel by promises to the god­ly, who obey Gods counsel, and threatnings to the wicked man, who obeyeth not, ver. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.

FRom the Inscription We learn, 1. That it is to good pur­pose to observe special mercies, in a special manner, and to [Page 200] note the circumstances thereof as here is done. 2. And that men in a preposterous fear, flying from one danger, may fall in another worse, as David did, when he fled into an unhallow­ed place, amongst Gods enemies, for fear of Saul, he falleth in Abimelech or Achish his hands. 3. And that God pitieth the in­firmity of his children, and gives successe, some whiles to weak and unthrifty shifts, as here when David changed his behaviour, he escaped. 4. That God can and doth dispose of mens hearts, as he hath a minde to work by them: for he did move the heart of Achish not to take notice of David, otherwise then of a di­stracted man.

Ver. 1. I Will blesse the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.

HE promiseth here for his own part to praise God for the mercy received: Whence learn, 1. As no mercy should be misregarded; so, notable mercies should be specially remember­ed, and God blessed for the same. 2. It is a point of thank­fulnesse, to take all occasions to speak of God to others, His praise shall be continually in my mouth. 3. Whatsoever be our condition in our selves, matter of gloriation in God shall never be wanting to the believer, and this gloriation is a duty and a point of praising God, My soul shall make her boast in the Lord. 4. On­ly humble souls sensible of their own weaknesse are the people who do reap benefit by Gods mercies, bestowed on others and themselves: The humble shall hear and be glad.

Ver. 3. O magnifie the Lord with me, and let us exalt his Name together.

4. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and deli­vered me from all my fears.

He exhorteth others to praise God with him, magnifying him for his greatness, and exalting him for his highnesse. Whence learn, 1. The Saints are obliged to help one another in praises as well as in prayer, albeit it cometh to passe that many do crave the aide of others prayers; who call not for their help to praise: for here it is, Let us exalt his name together. 2. By Prayer the Lord is sought and found, and it is no small matter of comfort to [Page 201] us, and glory to God, that our prayer is regarded: I sought the Lord, saith he, and he heard me. 3. The fear of what is like to be, should not hinder prayer; for the fears of the godly, are not cer­tain prophecies: for God can deliver out of them all, He deli­vered me out of all my feares.

Ver. 5. They looked unto him and were lightned: and their faces were not ashamed.

6. This poor man cryed, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

He is glad, and commendeth Gods goodnesse to him for the fruit of this mercy to other believers. Whence learn, 1. One mans experience may be an encouragement to many, to run to God for the like alms. This David foreseeth shall be the fruit of Gods mercy to him, when men seeing him delivered, shall look to God, and take comfort, and confidence by this means. They looked on him, that is, on David, and so may we on Christ (represented by him) and at the fulnesse of the Godhead dwelling in Christ; So they were lightened, and thus comforted in the middest of the darknesse of their troubles: and their faces were not ashamed; be­cause of confidence raised by this experience, that they should find the like mercy, when they stood in need. 2. The way to make best use of the example of Gods mercy to any person set down in Scripture, or which fall forth in our time, or are made certainly known to us any way, is to look upon them, not as they differ from us or our condition, but as they draw nearest in simi­litude to us, and unto the mean condition we are in, for so do the Saints look on David, saying, Not this rare Saint David, or this great Prophet David, or this holy man David, who was ac­cording to Gods heart; but this poor man David cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Verse 7. The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

8. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

In the next place are set down general Doctrines concerning Gods care of believers, to protect and feed them; and the uses thereof; To trust and fear God. Whence learn, 1. A right sight of Gods dealing with a mans own self, will give him great light about the Lords manner of dealing with others, his chil­dren, [Page 202] as here. 2. Though the Godly walk among foes, and be in a continual warfare, yet they are well looked to and guarded. The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them. 3. The sense of Gods mercy and goodnesse, is the sweetest thing that ever was felt, and is able to season the bitterest cup that ever believer drank of: Taste and see that the Lord is good. 4. By faith is the taste of this sweetnesse gotten: for blessed is the man that trusts in him. 5. All that the believer can attain to in this life of spiritual con­solation, whether by faith or experience sweetened with lively comforts of the holy Ghost, is but a taste in comparison of what is to be had hereafter, and yet that taste, O how sweet a joy, un­speakable and full of glory is it! O taste and see that the Lord is good. 6. Affliction purgeth the taste of the believer, and a soul driven from all worldly helps, but fitted for exercising spiritual senses, as here we see, Davids taste is purged well after trouble. 7. As God is very communicative of his goodnesse, and offereth himself to men to be taken a proof of: so also gracious souls do wish and invite others to share with them in whatsoever grace the Lord doth bestow on them, as David doth here, saying to all, O taste and see. 8. Albeit this sweetnesse be not found at the first out-putting of faith, yet let faith rest on God, and it shall feel in due time, for blessed is he that putteth his trust in God; yea, faith it self is a taste of that grace that is in God.

Ver. 9. O fear the Lord, ye his Saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

10. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord, shall not want any good thing.

Another Doctrine concerning Gods care to feed and provide for all necessary furniture, unto the believer, with the use thereof; which is to fear God. Whence learn, 1. True believers in God must study holinesse, for evidencing of their faith; for therefore are they called Saints, and his Saints. 2. The fear of the Lord is the property of the Saints, whereby they are set on work to do what the Lord commandeth, and to forbear what he forbiddeth; and no bonds of inclination, counsel, example, lawes, fear of shame, or punishment from men, are able to keep a man in order when he meeteth with a fit tentation to sin, but the fear of God restraineth the man both outwardly and inwardly, in secret, and open, alwayes, and every where▪ and whatsoever measure of ho­ly [Page 203] fear the Saints have attained unto, yet may they be exhorted, and must hearken unto exhortation, to grow in this grace: O fear the Lord, ye his Saints. 3. Such as fear God, need not to want any necessary furniture in Gods service, for there is no want to them that fear him. 4. Proud oppressors, wealthy and potent Princes, that trust in their own power, shall not be so sure of their own standing and furniture, as the meanest of true believers are. The lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want. Though the godly may want many earthly things yet shall they have food and raiment, and shall not want any good thing. 6. The right sort of fearing of God, and labouring for more and more near communion with him, are inseparable pro­perties of the Saints, for they that are called Saints are called here fearers of him, and seekers of him also.

Ver. 11. Come, ye children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12. What man is he that desireth life: and loveth many dayes: that he may see good?

13. Keep thy tongue from evill, and thy lips from speaking guile:

14. D [...]part from evill, and do good: seek peace, and pursue it

In the third place, he giveth direction how a man shall live blessedly, by evidencing the sincerity of the fear of God in him, which is a grace inseparable from faith in God, manifesting it self in obedience to his commands. Whence learn, 1. There should be such mutual love and respect between the teacher and the peo­ple taught, as is between parents and children; yea, God in his servants offereh himself as a father ready to instruct his visible Church, as his children, Come, ye children, saith he, and hearken unto me. 2. The true fear of God is the way to live blessedly in this life; where misery most aboundeth, and this should be a motive to seek after this grace, for it is asked here, What man is he that desireth life, &c? and then the way to attain to it, is set down in some particulars of the fear of God, as the inseparable compa­nions of faith in God. 3. The true fear of God must evidence it self by the fruits thereof, such as are the ruling of mans tongue, & of the rest of the outward man; eschewing whatsoever the Lord forbids, and endeavouring every good duty which God com­mandeth, and the keeping peace with all men so farre as in us li­eth, [Page 180] for so doth the Prophets words bear, vers. 13, 14. This is the evidence of the fear of God in effect, when such outward works proceed from inward principles of saving grace.

Vers. 15. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righte­ous: and his ears are open unto their cry.

16. The face of the Lord is against them that do e­vil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

In the last place he presseth this Doctrine by shewing the pri­viledges of the righteous, and the miserable state of the wicked, setting the one against the other, in opposition thrice; In the first learn, It is a good means to keep our hearts in the fear of God, to consider the gain of godliness, and the dammage and danger of wickednes, as here they are set in opposition. 2. Such as have their eye upon God and his word, for righteousnesse and life, may be sure of the watchful eye of God on them, for their direction in their way, their consolation in their grief, and deliverance out of trouble; for, The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous. 3. As the righteous lend their ears to Gods word, to his promises and precepts: so the Lord lendeth his eare to their supplications and desires, His ears are open to their cry. 4. On the other hand, as the wicked, who fear not God, set their face to do evill, and to transgresse Gods commands; so God shall set his face against them, to be avenged upon them: The face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 5. The only happinesse which the wicked man seeketh, is to have riches, honour and pleasure in the earth, and to have his own name in estimation among men hereafter, and these things also, beside the losse of heaven shall be taken from him, and his temporal life withal; for The face of the Lord is against them, to cut off their remembrance from the earth.

Ver. 17. The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

18. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart: and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

[Page 205] 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

21 Evil shal sla [...] the wicked; and they that hate the righteous shal be desolate.

Another opposition, of the good appointed for the godly, and the evil appointed for the wicked. Wherein learn, 1. The Lord putteth the godly to trouble, and by trouble putteth them to their prayers, and delayes answer til the need be great; and then they do cry to the Lord, and then he giveth evidence of his hearing, and sendeth deliverance; for The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 2. It is as true, as it may seem strange, that the Lord wil press his own so long with trouble til he break their hearts, and kil their natural courage and confidence; for here are the god­ly described to be men of a broken heart, and contrite spirit. 3. Though the Lord so break the natural confidence of his own, and so empty them (by trouble) of all conceit of their own worth, wisdom or ability to deliver themselves out of trouble, that they may rely on God only; yet wil he not withdraw himself from them, nor suffer them to perish in discou­ragement. The Lord is neer to them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 4. Though the righteous be the only men in the world whom God loveth best; yet will he not only not exempt them from trouble, but also wil exer­cise them with multitudes and varieties of troubles from his own hand immediately, from Satans temptations, from the malice of the wicked of the world, &c. Many are the troubles of the righteous; for thus wil the Lord conform the redeemed to their head, try, and traine them up in faith, and patient sub­mission to Gods wil; teach them to pray and wait on, and give proof of the sincerity of the grace given to them. 5. The god­ly are as oft delivered, as they are troubled; either by removing of the trouble, or by giving strength and patience to bear it, or comfort under it, and certain hope of outgate from it; or by ending all troubles to them at once. His troubles are many; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. 6. The Lord modera­teth, weigheth, and measureth all the troubles of his own, what they shal suffer in their life and death, and leaveth it not to the [Page 206] wil of the instruments of their trouble. He keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken. This was true of Christ our Lord, of whom many things were prefigured, and prophesied in the Psalms; and in this amongst the rest, which sheweth: That in the Psalms, as the matter wil suffer, Christ is much to be eyed, and more then David, of whom at [...], the same seemeth to speak chiefly. 7. As to the opposite state of the wicked; Wee learne, That the wickednesse of the wicked, is both the merito­rious cause, and the means also of the wicked mans destruction; For evil shall slay the wicked. 8. It is the mark of a wicked man, to hate the righteous for his righteousness; and so is it set down here. 9. He that hateth the righteous, or the image of God in his neighbour, shal be guilty of all the consequences of the enmity, and be destitute of comfort when he hath most need, He that hateth the righteous, shall be desolate.

Verse. 22. The Lord redeemeth the soule of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shal be desolate.

The third opposition between the righteous and the wicked, is in relation to what is said in the former verse. Whence learne, 1. The wicked shal perish in their sin, and for their sin; But the righteous shal not perish in their sinnes, nor for them; for, Evil shal slay the wicked; but the Lord shall redeeme the soules of his servants, to wit, out of sinne and misery. 2. As the wicked are servants of sin, and serve an ill Master, and get an ill reward; so the godly are servants of righteousness, and have God for their Master, and shal have delivery and salvation for their reward, as the comparison here set down sheweth. 3. As the wicked who are destitute of faith in God, when they fall in trouble, want consolation: So all the righteous, who are no other then sincere Believers in God, shal have good company and consolation in all their trouble, and never be left alone: for, The haters of the righteous shal be desolate, but none of them that trust in God shall be desolate.


This Psalme is a representation of Christs hottest contest with his adversaries, wherein they are about to doe their worst against him, and his Kingdome; and he denounceth the hottest wrath of God against them, for their everlasting over­throw, set forth under the shadow of Davids contest with his irreconcileable enemies. Wherin he prayeth God to arise for him, ver. 1, 2, 3. and take order with his despiteful enemies, ver. 4, 5, 6▪ 7, 8. which as it may comfort the supplicant, so shall it serve also for Gods glory, ver. 9, 10. A maine reason of which petition, is the un­just and ingrate dealing of his enemies with him, ver. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Whereupon he reneweth his petition the second time, ver. 17, 18, 19. Pressing his former reason from the ene­mies unjust and insolent disposition, ver. 20, 21. and then reneweth his petition the third time for himself against his enemies, ver. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26. and for all the favorers of his cause, ver. 27, 28.

Ver. 1. PLead my cause (O LORD) with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

2. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help.

3. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me; say unto my soule, I am thy salvation.

[Page 208]FRom his petition for himself; Learn, 1. Such as take part with God against his enemies, the Lord wil take part with them against their enemies: If any plead against the Believer by verbal calumnies, and slanders, the Lord wil be their party. If any wil oppose the godly with violence, the Lord wil oppose them: For this prayer of one of the godly, is as good as a pro­mise to all, Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. 2. There is de­fence abundance to be found in God, against whatsoever the ene­mie can do; a shield and buckler in Gods hand, when he plea­seth to stand up and help. 3. The Lord can terrifie the enemy, so that he dare not assault the man whom God pleaseth to defend, and hold him off with long weapons, giving the enemie some o­ther thing to do, then pursue his people: Hee can draw out the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute the godly. 4. He can quiet the hearts of his own in the midst of persecution, and make them fearlesse, in perswading them of their salvation, everlasting at least; and this may fully satisfie, if the Lord say unto their soul, I am thy salvation.

Verse 4 Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion, that devise my hurt.

5. Let them be as chaffe before the wind: and let the Angel of the Lord chase them.

6▪ Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the An­gel of the Lord persecute them.

7. For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.

8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares, and let his net which he hath hid, [...]atch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.

From his petition against his enemies; Learn, 1. Shameful disappointment shal they find at length who intend to destroy the godly; Let them be confounded and put to shame, that se [...]ke after my soul. 2. Though the enemies of Christ and the godly, advance in the prosecution of their hurtful devises, yet shal [Page 209] they be forced to retire with shame. They shal be turned back and brought to confusion, who devise their hurt. 3. As the enemy hath pursued, so shal Gods wrath pursue him, and chase him, and drive him to perdition: They shall be as the chaffe before the wind. 4. Albeit there were no earthly man to pursue Christs enemies, yet avenging angels, or evil spirits shal be let forth upon them and their families, to trouble them: Let the Angel of the Lord chase them. 5. The Lord shal put them to such straits, as they shal not know what hand to turn to, what way to take, and in the way which they take, they shal fal: Let their way be dark and slippery. 6. When they are fallen in a mischief, the hand of the Lord shal be stretched out against them stil; Let the Angel of the Lord pursue them. 7. Though the godly by behaving themselves innocently, cannot eschew the per­secution of the wicked; yet innoc [...]nt behaviour is a great ease to the conscience of the godly, a matter of encouragement to them in their addresses to God, and a great aggredging of the ditty of the enemy, as here twice he saith, Without cause they hid their net. 8. Though the enemies of the godly do plot secret devices against them, yet not so secret, but God can give warn­ing of it, and make it an errand for the godly, to pray to him, to disappoint the plot, as is here imported; They have hid for me their net in a pit. 9. The wicked know not how to be sure of their prey, when they hunt for the life of the godly. They pre­pare the net, and set it; they hide it, and they hide it in a pit. 10. When the enemies of Gods people do least expect harm, then shal a mischief surprize them; Destruction shall come upon them unawares. 11. The very course which the enemy taketh a­gainst Gods Church and people, shal be the nearest course to destroy themselves: Let his net that he hath hid, catch himself: Into that very destruction let him fall.

Ver. 9. And my soul shal be joyful in the Lord; it shal rejoyce in his salvation.

10. All my bones shal say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

He brings a reason of his prayer from the comfort which hee should have, and the glory which God should have, by the [Page 210] means. Whence learn, 1. It is a good reason to strengthen our hope to be heard, when our comfort and Gods glory may both be promoted, by the granting of our desire, as here we find it. 2. The destruction of the enemies of the Church, is not a matter of rejoycing in mens destruction, but of rejoycing in the Lord, and in his wise manner of delivering of his people; My soule shal be joyful in the Lord, it shall rejoyce in his salvation. 3. In the estimation of the godly, the tongue is too little to mag­nifie the Lord for his mercies; for their desire is, that all the powers of the soul, and that all the parts of the body, even the bones, which are least sensible in their own kind, might praise him; All my bones shal say, &c. 4. The Lord hath waies wonderful, others and more then ever man conceived, wherby he can deliver his own in their lowest condition from their oppressors, when they are in the height of their power and pride, Lord, who is like unto thee? which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, &c. 5. Though before deliverance come, Faith hath cause to say all that sense can say of Gods praises, after delive­rance is come; yet when sensible experience of a hoped delivery is come, there is a more hearty and a more chearful manner of expressing of the Lords praises, then can be before it come; as the promise of the Prophet, to say, so and so, as is in the Text, after the delivery is come, doth import. 6. It is a sort of (as it were) ingaging of God to deliver, when the heart of the Believer ingageth it self to glorifie God after the deliverie; for here the Prophet maketh use of this, promising praise towards this end.

Verse 11. False witnesses did rise up: they laid to my charge things that I knew not.

12 They rewarded me evil for good: to the spoiling of my soul.

13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clo­thing was sackloth: I humbled my soul with fast­ing, and my prayer returned into mine owne bosome.

14. I behaved my self, as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

[Page 211] 15. But in mine adversity they rejoyced, and gather­ed themselves together; yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not.

16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts: they gna­shed upon me with their teeth.

He amplifieth that reason of his petition, taken from his ene­mies carriage, by laying before God their falshood and ingrati­tude. Whence learne, 1. The godly are subject, not only to be backbitten, and traduced privily, and slandered more openly; but also to be charged unjustly before Judges, and pursued crimi­nally for their life without a cause, and to have false witnesse led against them, that they may be condemned under colour of Law; this was found in effect by David, and Christ represented by him. False witnesses did rise up; They laid to my charge things that I knew not. 2. No bonds of nature or humanity will bind up the wicked from persecuting the godly, even to death, how wel soever the godly have deserved of them, They rewarded me evil for good, to the depriving me of my life. 3. True love is best known, as by rejoycing at anothers welfare, so by grieving for his grief; When they were sick, my cloathing was sackcloth. 4. Hear­ty prayer also for any man, is a token of unfeigned love to a man, specially when prayer and fasting are joyned together for them, I humbled my soul by fasting. 5. When the expressions of grief, by words or teares in prayer for any, waken up the affection yet more to pray ardently for them; It is yet a farther token of un­feigned love of them for whom we pray. My prayer (saith he) returned into my bosome; which is as much, as my expressions in prayer, in sighes, affectionate words and teares, affected my heart (Lament. 3.49.51.) with new motions of earnest dealing for them. 6. True Christians affection to their enemies, is able to affect the soul, as much to the seeking their welfare, and commiserating their miserie, as the natural affection of a natu­ral man can affect him toward friends and kinsfolk, in nearest natural relations unto him; for David saith, I behaved my self as though he had been my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily as one that mourneth for his mother.

[Page 212]From the evil meeting which he received of his enemies, ver. 15, 16. Learn, 1. Many of those that pretend great friendship to the godly in time of prosperity, may not only turn their back up­on them, in time of adversity, but also turn to be their open ene­mies, and rejoyce in their calamity; But in my adversity, saith he, they rejoyced. 2. The troubles of the godly do draw the wicked into a more neer union amongst themselves, as it were congratu­lating one another in their sinful courses, and strengthening one another; They gather themselves together. 3. Base rascals, who have nothing to commend them, save meerly their hatred of Gods, peo­ple, and of their piety, wil get respect amongst the enemies of Christ, and of his people, for that very reason, because they hate the godly, and wil be admitted in the fellowship of ring­leading enemies; Yea the abjects gathered themselves together a­gainst me. 4. In the meeting of the wicked among themselves, Christ and his followers have their name torn and rent in pieces continually, with calumnies and slanders, which possibly come not to their ears half of them: They gathered together, and I knew it not: they did tear me in pieces, and ceased not. 5. Sad [...]aunts and scoffs of pretended holy men, jearing at true piety; is no smal part of the persecution of Christ, and of his followers; for here amongst the rest are hypocritical mockers. 6. When the wicked without fear do fil and stuffe their belly in their feasting in the time of the Churchs trouble: Their scoffs and their jests, yea and their bloody expressions of cruelty against the godly, are the most relishing sauce of their banquets: With hypocritical mockers in their feasts, they gnash upon me with their teeth.

Ver. 17. Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destruction, my darling from the Lions.

18 I wil give thee thanks in the great Congrega­tion: I wil praise thee among much people.

19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoyce over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

20 For they speak not peace; but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.

[Page 213] 21. Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.

He repeateth his petition for delivery from his enemies the se­cond time, and presseth the same reason taken from the insolent and cruel disposition of the enemy. Whence learn, 1. The time of trouble and persecution of the godly may continue much longer then the goldly did expect, in which case as they must waite on patiently, till the Lord put to his hand to relieve his Church, and punish their enemies; so they may ease their heart, in laying their earnest longing to be delivered, before the Lord, and say, Lord, how long wilt thou look on? 2. As it is lawful to la­ment the Lords seeming long delay to help us, so we must not complain too soon; for before David uttereth this, how long, he is long in trouble, and in danger of his life, by unreasonable and beastly cruel men, and is altogether destitute of all means of re­lief, as his prayer testifieth; Rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the Lions. 3. The godly by faith in the deepest danger, may see their delivery in their sadest and darkest sorrow; yea may behold the light of consolation coming; in their banish­ment, may behold their liberty, and see their fellowship with the Saints; and in the midst of complaints, may promise to themselves reasons of praise, and the payment of their vows made to God, as here we see in the midst of this sad condition the Prophet saith, I will give thee thanks in the great congregati­on: I will praise thee among much people. 4. It augmenteth the grief of the godly, to see the wicked take advantage of their trouble, and mockers of Religion to rejoyce over their sufferings in a good cause; and they may heartily deprecate this evil, that it may not at least, last long; Let not those that are my enemies rejoyce over me. 5. The less cause of provocation of our enemies be given to them by us, the greater is the hope of delivery, and the readier shall be our help from God, and the less cause shal be to the enemy to wink with the eye, as witty well pleased scoffers do, when they get their will; Neither let them wink with the eye, saith he, that hate me without a cause 6. Al­beit godly mens quiet carriage in the land where they live, will not save them from the hostile speeches, and malicious plottings of their adversaries against them, yet shall their quiet behaviour speak to God for them; and against their enemies, and ma [...]e a speedy mischief come upon them from the Lord; for to this pur­pose [Page 214] he saith, They speak not peace, but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. 7. The enemies of the Church are a base generation, taking pleasure and sport in the miseries of the godly, who do not injure them, yea are a vain and insolent generation, triumphing over the weakness of the inno­cent, when they are in low condition, and in the case of suffering, which common humanity, and ordinary generosity doth abhor, They opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.

Ver. 22. This thou hast seen: (O LORD) keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.

23. Stir up thy self, and awake to my judgement, even unto my cause, my God, and my Lord.

24. Iudge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousnesse, and let them not rejoyce over me.

25. Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.

26. Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together, that rejoyce at my hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour, that magnifie themselves a­gainst me.

He reneweth his petition for himself and against his enemies the third time. Whence learn, 1. Such as feed their eyes upon the miseries of others, and specially on the miseries of the godly, the Lord shall not wink at their wickedness, but make it appear, that he hath marked their cruelty, that he may punish it exem­plarily; for after the enemies crying out, our eyes have seen, the Prophet addeth, This thou hast seen, O Lord, be not silent. 2. The hardest condition that can befall a believer, is a tolerable case and condition, if God draw neer to his soul: for all the remedy that David craveth, till the outgate come, is this, O Lord, be not far from me. 3. Though the Lord for a time suffer his own to lie under foot oppressed, yet for his justice sake, and for his cove­nants sake, he will justly determine the controversie, and clear [Page 215] his own servants, He will stir up himself to do judgement▪ & decide their cause. 4. In the decision of the controversie between the godly and their enemies, the cause of the godly shall get no wrong, but be declared to be righteous, and the enemies shall have no matter to rejoyce in. He shal judge the godly according to their righteousnes, and shal not suffer the wicked to rejoyce over them. 5. When the e­nemies of the Church have laid their last reckoning of the issue of their bloody course against the godly, they shall see the matter to go otherways then they would, or expected on both hands. They shall not have cause to say, So would we have it, or we have swallowed them up. They are too too precious a morsel for them to devour. 6. Shame and confusion, dishonour and disgrace on all hands shall be upon one, and upon all Christs enemies, who seek the detriment of his cause, and to have gain to themselves, by opposing of him, and his cause in his peoples hand; for this prayer against them shall still speak effectually, Let them he asha­med and brought to confusion together, and let them be clothed with shame and dishonour, &c.

Ver. 27. Let them shout for joy, and be glad that favour my righteous cause; yea, let them say continu­ally, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servants.

28. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousnesse, and of thy praise all the day long.

As David prayeth for himself, so he prayeth for all the favour­ers of his righteous cause, as the type of Christ, whose spirit spake by him, for the edification of the Church in all times com­ing. Whence learn, 1. It is one mark of godliness amongst many other, to befrind the cause of Christ, and to further it in the person of his Saints suffering for righteousness, with their best affection; for here they are described by being the favourers of their righte­ous cause. 2. In the persecution of the godly for the cause of Gods truth and true Religion, all the godly are concerned: and as they partake of the sufferings with others under Christ the head; so shall they partake of the joy of the victory, and outgate which shall be exceeding joyful at last; Let them shout for joy, and be glad (saith the type of Christ) that do favour my righteous cause. 3. The troubles of the godly are not so many, but room is left for [Page 216] sometimes prosperity, for God loveth the prosperity of his servants, to wit, as it may conduce to his purpose, and their good. 4. When any of the godly are delivered from their persecutors, all the rest of the godly are bound as they understand of it, to set forth the power of God, and his love and bounty manifested and forth coming to his people: Let them say, Let the Lord be magnified, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servants. 5. Whatsoever op­position the enemies of Christ, and of the godly shall make, Christ shall keep up the open profession of true Doctrine, which manifesteth the righteousness of God; leading men to eternal life, and bringing glory to God; for this is the undertaking of the type and of Christ represented by him, after the hottest contest between him and the wicked enemies. My tongue shall speak of thy righte­ousness, and of thy praise all the day long.

PSAL. XXXVI. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD.

This Psalm hath three parts. In the first David sets down the perversness of the wicked in their sinful course and devices against the godly and himself, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. In the second, he com­forts himself, and doth settle his faith on the praises and properties of God, ver. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. In the third he prayeth in the behalf of Gods children, and for himself, to be delivered from the wicked, ver 10, 11, 12.

FRom the inscription, Learn, That to be a servant of the Lord is an honour, and a priviledge above all earthly priviledges; and by giving a sweet testimony to the conscience, [Page 217] it doth season every condition of life, more then any earthly ad­vantage can do.

Ver. 1. THe transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

2. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

3. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.

4. He deviseth mischief upon his bed, he setteth himself in a way that is not good: he abhorreth not evil▪

FRom his observation of the carriage of the wicked; Learn, 1. Albeit all the world cannot be discerned to be graceless and unconverted, yet the lewd life of some may speak their being in the state of corrupt nature unconverted, to the conscience of a discerning man; For the transgression of the wicked saith in my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. 2. It is not the imperfection or short coming in the fear of God, but the be­ing destitute of it altogether, that proveth a wicked man: There is no fear of God before his eyes. 3. As a man that feareth God is watchful over his own ways, and censorious of himself; so the man that feareth not God is secure and well pleased with his own doings, He flattereth himself in his own eyes. 4. As the man that feareth God laboureth to inform his conscience well, that he may not commit iniquity; so the man that feareth not God, doth gull and deceive his own conscience, till he have gotten the iniquity accomplished, and it be now made open in its own co­lours, He flattereth himself in his own eyes, till his iniquity wor­thy to be hated be found, or his iniquity be found to be hatefull. 5. As the man that feareth God will discern the sin in himself, whereof he is in danger, before any man perceive it; so the man that feareth not God, will not see his own sin, no nor when any that looks upon his way may see it, He flattereth him­self in his own eyes, till his iniquity be found to be hated. 6. As the man that feareth God makes conscience of his speeches, and will be loath to cover sin with vain pretences and excuses, [Page 218] but rather will confesse it. So the man that feareth not God, will not stand, whatever pretence he useth for doing of iniquity, nor what excuse he maketh for the iniquity, when it is done, for deceiving both others and himself. The words of his mouth are in­iquity and deceit. 7. As the man that feareth God, by all means striveth that he may grow wiser and holier, so the man that fears not God, will misregard, and cast off the means of wisdome and holiness; He hath left off to be wise, and to do good; whatsoever he seemed to have before, he goeth back even from that more and more. 8. As the man that feareth God, communeth with his heart upon his bed, that he may not sin, no not in his heart: So the man that feareth not God, deviseth how he may plot and perform sin willingly, He deviseth mischief on his bed. 9. As the man that feareth God doth abhor that which is evill, and la­boureth to be sure that the way he is upon is good: so the man that feareth not God, taketh no farther notice of what he doth, then what is most for his purpose; and neither abhorreth what he would be at, because it is evil, nor affecteth it, because it is good▪ but having digested his purpose, by meditation and resolution, he goeth on obstinately, He setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil, and such were Davids enemies, and such will be the enemies of Christ and his people.

Ver. 5. Thy mercy (O LORD) is in the Hea­vens, and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

6. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains: thy judgements are a great deep; O Lord, thou pre­servest man and beast.

7. How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

8. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatnes of thy house: and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

9. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

The second part of the Psalm, wherein David comforteth him­self [Page 219] in God, and setleth his faith on the praise-worthy properties of God. Whence learn, 1. The turning of the believers eye off the wickedness of their adversaries, and looking to Gods goodness, and wise dispensation, will comfort his heart against all that the ene­my can do, and set him on work toward godliness, so much the more as he perceiveth atheisme in them; for when David had pointed out his enemy, he falleth to the praising of God, saying Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the Heavens. 2. Albeit the carriage of the wicked toward God, and the godly, doth tend to obscure Gods glory, in the point of justice toward the one, and point of mercy toward the other; yet the works of creation, and the constant go­vernment therof, shal bear witness of the constancy of Gods mercy and faithfulness, and righteousness, and judgement, as here is shewen. 3. Though the effects of Gods mercy should not ap­pear to the believer on earth, yet faith will see them in their foun­tain and cause, Thy mercy O Lord (saith the believer) is in hea­ven. 4. Let Gods works and his word be compared together, and the truth of his promises and threatnings shall be so traced, and seem to be true, as shall satisfie us, and let us see so far till our eye can follow no farther, Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. 5. Whatsoever carnal reason may judge of Gods dispensations towards the godly, and the wicked: yet his holiness and justice is firme and unchangeable, Thy righteousness is like the great mountains. 6. Albeit we cannot see thorow matters, nor recon­cile cross cogitations, sometimes offered from the grounds of faith on the one hand, and from the effects of providence offered by sense on the other hand, yet must we remember that God is wiser then we, and his deep draughts are past finding out by us, Thy judgements are a great deep. 7. This one consideration of Gods course of kindness to his own creatures, making his Sun to shine, and his rain to fall on his enemies, as on his friends, may quiet our mind, concerning Gods sparing for a time the wicked, and liberal dealing with them; O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. There is a course of common preservation, and kindness, running toward all. 8. Over and above common kindness there is a more intire, special, and precious love and kindness toward believers in God, which is inexpressible a [...] [...]teth compari­son, How excellent, or precious is thy loving kindness, O God! saith David, speaking of this. 9. The belief [...] Gods readiness to let forth this love, may and should, and doth animate men to draw neer unto him, albeit they have as yet no experience of the fruits of it, Therefore the children of men that put trust under the sha­dow [Page 220] of thy wings. 10. The Lord without exception of any, to whom he sendeth the Gospel, and without exception of any with­in the visible Church, doth offer to be reconciled through Christ Jesus, to every man who shal flie into the propitiatory and mercy-seat erected in Jesus Christ; who is God incarnate, according as he was holden forth in the figure of the golden Ark of the Cove­nant, and stretched forth wings of the Cherubims, as is here said, Therefore the children of men put their trust under the sha­dow of thy wings. 11. Such as do not give the lie to God, when they find not at first what they hoped for, but do indeed believe in his word, and wait on till he make his word good to them; such as do not tempt or take essay of God, as if they would see what believing may do, and then do quit their gripes if their ex­pectation be not answered; but do indeed trust God upon his word, and do resolve to die with the gripe in their hand, of his freely offered Covenant of grace in Christ, and of his promises made to them that flie to him for refuge, shall be sure to be in more respect with God, then common subjects. They shall be Domesticks of his house, of the houshold of faith, to whom God shall keep a table furnished for spiritual life unto them; he shall make them now and then, when it is meet time for the hungry to feed abundantly and to be satisfied, They that put their trust under the shadow of thy wings, shall be abundantly satisfied with the fat­ness of thy house. 12. In the use of the means and holy ordinances of God given to his Church, God shall make the man, that indeed giveth him credit upon the word of his grace, sensibly feel the joy of the holy Spirit, to be unspeakable and full of glory, and that there are greater contentments to be found for a mans soul▪ in God reconciled through Christ, then the world can yeeld beside; for, Thou shalt make them drink of the rivers of thy pleasures ▪ 13. Whatsoever can be found in the creature, even when God blesseth the use thereof to his own children▪ is but a drop from the Ocean, is but a little water out of the well, in comparison of what a believer will see and feel to be in God reconciled through Christ, For, with thee is the fountain of life. 14. No light▪ save the light of Gods revealed word in holy Scriptures for the mirrour, no light but the light of Gods Spirit illuminating the soul looking upon the mirrour, can make a man understand, or believe, or sensibly discern the wisdome, comfort, and felicity, which is held forth to his Church in his ordinances, and felt in himself by experience: In thy light (saith he) shall we see light.

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Ver. 10. O continue thy loving kindnesse unto them that know thee, and thy righteousnesse to the upright in heart.

11 Let no [...] the foot of pride come against me and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.

12 There are the workers of iniquity faln: they are cast down, and shal not be able to rise.

The last part of the Psalm, wherin he prayeth for all believers, himself being included, and then for himself in particular. Whence learn, 1. The true mark of a godly man standeth in the con­junction of faith in God with sincere study of obedience to him, for, He is the man that knoweth God, and is upright in heart. 2. Albeit what the believer hath found in God by experience, he may expect it shal be continued to him, both for his entertain­ment by God▪ and defence and deliverance in his righteous cause from his enemies; yet must he follow his confidence with prayer, O continue thy loving kindness unto them that know thee, and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. 3. As we have no right to any benefit, but in so far as we are of the number of upright-hearted believers, so should we seek every benefit we would have, as be­ing of this number, and as seeking that others may be sharers with us, as David doth before. 1. It is the Lord only who can di­vert proud persecuters, that they hurt not his children, and it is the Lord only who can keep his children in the course of faith & obedience, when the wicked imploy their power against them: Therfore doth David pray, Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. 5. The ruin of the enemies of the godly is as certain as if it were already past; yea faith may look upon it through the prospect of the word of God, as if it were to be seen and pointed out to others to be­hold with their eyes, There are the workers of iniquity faln. 6. The fal of the wicked is not like the fal of the godly, for though the godly fal sundry times, yet they recover their feet again, but a fal is prepared for the wicked, after which they shal not recover themselves, They are cast down, and shal not be able to rise.


This Psalm tendeth to guard the godly against the ordinary tentation unto envy, emulation, fret­ting, and discouragement in the way of godliness, arising from the temporal prosperity of the wicked, and that by eight directions or counsels from the Lord, each of them confirmed by rea­sons: most of which are comparisons of the blessed estate of the godly at the worst, with the estate of the wicked at their best. The first direction or counsel, ver. 1, 2 the second, ver. 3 the third, ver. 4 the fourth, ver. 5 6 the fifth ver. 7 the sixth, ver. 8 9 10 11 12, to ver 26. the seventh; ver 27 to ver 33 The eighth direction, ver 34 to the end.

Ver. 1 FRet not thy self because of evil doers; nei­ther be thou envious against the workers of iniquity

2 For they shal soon be cut down like the grass: and wither as the green herb▪

THe first direction is to beware of fretting at, or envying of the prosperity of the wicked, because their prosperity is but temporal. Whence learn, 1. Wicked men may be in a more pros­perous condition in the world, then the godly; and oftentimes, yea and for the most part are; for this is presupposed here as an ordinary tentation in all ages and places. 2. Albeit carnal rea­son and suggestions of Satan and corrupt nature, do from the prosperity of the wicked, and the ordinary troubles of the godly, furnish tentations unto the godly, to be male-contents with Gods dispensation, yet should the godly take heed that they be not o­vercome by, or yeild in any sort to this tentation, Fret not thy [Page 223] selfe because of evil doers. 3. As tentation to male-contentment maketh assaults on the one hand, to render the godly weary of wel doing, so tentation to emulation of the wickeds course, and follow­ing of their way, assaulteth on the other hand, but should no way get place, Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 4. If it were wel considered, that all the prosperity of the wicked is but in things concerning the outward mans back and belly, and that this prosperity is but temporal, and oft-times of shorter con­tinuance then a mans own brittle life, there should be no ground of envy found therin; for, They shall soon be cut down like grass, and wither like the green herb.

Ver. 3. Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt th [...]u dwel in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

From the second point of Gods counsel and direction; Learn, 1. Holding fast the Covenant of Grace made with God, through Christ, and studying to bring out the fruits of faith, in obedience to Gods command, is a soveraign remedy against male-content­ment with a mans own condition, and against envying of the wicked, Trust in the Lord, and do good. 2. Continuance in the faith, and obedience of God, whatsoever tentation we meet with, is the surest way to have Gods blessing in this life, and to have heaven, (represented by Canaan) after this life, Trust in the Lord, and do good, so shalt thou dwel in the Land. 3. The up­right believer in God is the only man that gets the right use of the creature, and in whose cup the true juice of Gods benefits being pressed out is poured, whose bread is dipped in oil, and in whom spiritual life is constantly entertained, Verily thou, that art such a man, shalt be fed.

Ver. 4. Delight thy self also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

From the third direction to ward off the tentation; Learn, 1. The godly man hath warrant to make God the object of his delight, who being reconciled to the believer through the Media­tor, is become the believers own, in whom he may continually re­joyce; but the object of the ungodly prosperous mans delight, is but [Page 224] some creature or temporal trifle; for to the believer it is said, De­light thy self in the Lord. 2. Though the believer be rich in his rights, yet he is slow to make use▪ therof, and hath need to be stirred up to take possession, Delight thy self. 3. If the believer shal make use of his Covenant-right, and interest in God, and set his affections upon him, he shal find such solid contentment and satisfaction in God, as he shal not envy the condition of the most prosperous wicked man in the world; for it is said, Delight thy self in the Lord, and hee wil give thee the desire of thy heart. And certainly the forgetting or not hearkning to this direction, is the cause of our being male-contented with our lot, and of our envying of the wicked.

Ver. 5 Commit thy way unto the Lord: trust also in him, and he shal bring it to pass.

6. And he shal bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon day.

From the fourth direction; Learn, 1. When we bear the burden of our own affairs our selves, and are chastised with anxiety and want of success, and with envying the ungodly who prosper bet­ter then we do; the best remedy is first to do our duty, as we are inabled in the use of the means, then cast the care of the success o­ver on God, as the plow-man doth when he hath harrowed his land, and let the burden of it rest on God, and let us not take it off him again, but put our mind to rest, resolved to take the har­vest in good part, as he shal send it; Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him. 2. The man who followeth this direction, shal come to speed best in his affairs; because God shal do that, wher­with the man shal have reason to be satisfied; for that which he would have done, or what is better, shal be effected, Commit thy cause unto the Lord, and he shal bring it to pass. 3. It is possible that the godly following this counsel, may be misreported of, and both lose his labour and estimation among men, yet it shal not be long so; for, God shal bring forth thy righteousness as the light. 4. Albeit the godly and his cause may be obscured by a shorter or longer winter-night of trouble, as shal please God to appoint, yet shal he and his cause and integrity be found absolved by God in due time, He shal bring forth thy judgment or decree of absolution as the noon day.

[Page 225] Ver. 7. Rest on the LORD, and waite patiently for him: fret not thy self because of him who prospe­reth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wick­ed devices to pass.

From the fifth direction; Learn, 1. The victory over this ten­tation to envy the wicked, is not gotten at first, nor by carnal reason, but by faith in God, and patient waiting on him, Rest on the Lord, and wait patiently for him. 2. As the tentation unto fretting is very pressing, when we see the wicked get so much of their wil, so much of their purpose brought to pass: so we have need to be pressed again and again to resist this tentation; Ther­fore is it said again, Fret not thy self because of him who prospereth in his way, or because of the man that bringeth wicked devices to passe.

Ver. 8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; fret not thy self in any wise to do evil.

The sixth direction is to curb this tentation, in case it hath al­ready defiled and fired a mans spirit, lest it break out, and make the believer put forth his hand to iniquity. Whence learn, 1. The insolency of the Wicked is such, and their provocation of the god­ly oft-times so great, that their spirits are much stirred and kindled with indignation, and thoughts of private revenge; yet must not this passion prevail with the godly, but should be striven against: Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: vengeance is the Lords, he wil repay. 2. The godly should eschew the motions of fretting, anger or envy against the wicked; and if anger enter, he must cease from it; if it urge it self on him with pretences of reason or violent impulsion, he must forsake it; but by any means he must keep this tentation within doors, that it drive him not to break forth to a compleated sin in action and doing of wrong, Fret no [...] thy self in any wise to do evil.

Verse 9 For evil doers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shal inherit the earth.

The Prophet presseth this direction by sundry reasons; and in [Page 226] special, by six comparisons of the Lords way and purpose about the wicked and the godly, how prosperous soever the wicked may be for a time, and howsoever the godly may be afflicted and exer­cised for a time. The first comparison is in this verse. Whence learn, 1. If any who pretend to be godly, shal by the foresaid ten­tation forsake the way of godliness, and follow the way of the wicked, they shal have the reward of the wicked for the chan­ging of their way, For evil doers shall be cut off. 2. It is not the present condition whereinto men are, which is to be looked unto, but what shal become of them at length; for all the prosperity of the wicked is blasted with this one sentence of the supream Judg, Evil doors shal be cut off. 3. Albeit the godly be kept in some hardships for a time, as young heirs in their minority; yet shal their inheritance in heaven (represented by the land of Canaan) be reserved unto them; and in the mean time by their heirship in Christ, they have solid right to what portion in this world God doth allow them, they have the use thereof with a good consci­ence, and remain on the earth as long as God hath service for them, however the wicked would thrust them out of the world as unworthy of it: and if they be banished out of one country, they know, the earth is the Lords, and the fulness of it, and they live more contentedly in that condition, then the wicked do live in their nest; for, They that wait on the Lord shal inherit the earth.

Ver. 10. For yet a little while, and the wicked shal not be: yea thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shal not be.

11. But the meek shal inherit the earth, and shal de­light themselves in the abundance of peace.

From the second comparison of the wicked and the godly; learn, 1. We must not pass sentence suddenly, to absolve their way who are prosperous, or to condemne their way who are crossed; but we should wait upon Gods word, til God from heaven manifest his judgment about both, which shal not long be delayed in re­gard of the wicked; for, Yet a little while, and the wicked shal not be, yea thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shal not be. 2. Submission unto Gods dispensation allayeth all troubles, and enlargeth the good of every benefit; and a good construction of Gods dealing with us, bringeth much peace and quietness of mind with it, and enricheth our portion, The meek shal inherit the earth, and shal delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

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Ver. 12. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

13. The Lord shal laugh at him; for he seeth that his day is coming.

14. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

15. Their sword shal enter into their own heart, and their bowes shal be broken.

The third comparison of the wicked and godly looseth a doubt, when the godly cannot get living in their mean condition, in presence of the wicked, but their life is also in peril by their plot­ting, for effectuating the destruction of the godly. Whence learn, 1. The godly have to do, not only to wrestle against the thriving condition of the wicked, but also with their deadly ha­tred: The wicked plot against the righteous, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 2 The godly must make the Lord to be party against the wicked, and must oppose his justice, power and wisdome to the enmity of the wicked; for albeit the godly be forced to mourn at their threa [...]ning, yet their plotting and pratling a­gainst the godly, as if they could do any thing of themselves; is ridiculous, The Lord shall laugh at them. 3. If the godly did consider of the wicked, as the word of the Lord speaketh of them; they might look upon their boasts, as on the brags of a man up­on the scaffold, ready to be executed: For, God seeth his day is coming. 4. The godly must resolve to bear the open violence also of the wicked, and to be made as butts for their arrowes, and sheaths for their swords, which is more then their words: For, The wicked have drawne out their sword, and bent their bowe. 5. Before deliverance come unto the godly, they shal find them­selves in a weak condition, for any thing they can do for them­selves; for here they are poor and needy; and the wicked thinks to cast them down. 6. Those are the truly godly, and the objects of the wickeds malice, who for their inward condition depend on God in the sense of their poverty and neediness, and withall are of an upright conversation, as they are here described. 7. When the wicked are most near to do a mischief to the Lords people, then is a mischief most near unto them; Their sword shal enter into their own heart, and their bow shal be broken.

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Ver. 16. A little that a righteous man hath, is better then the riches of many wicked.

17. For the arms of the wicked shal be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

The fourth comparison of the godly and wicked, looseth ano­ther doubt about the wealth and power of the wicked. Whence learn, 1. The oddes between mens living and means of lively­hood stands not in more or lesse abundance of worldly goods, but in Gods blessing, which because it accompanieth the provi­sion of the godly, have they lesse or have they more; there­fore, A little that one righteous man hath, is better then the riches of many wicked. 2. The little somthing of the godlies provisi­on is made to subsist for the poor mans standing, while the power and wealth of the wicked cometh to nothing; For the arms of the wicked shal be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

Ver. 18. The LORD knoweth the dayes of the upright; and their inheritance shal be for ever.

19. They shal not be ashamed in the evil time; and in the dayes of famine they shal be satisfied.

20 But the wicked shal perish, and the enemies of the Lord shal be as the fat of Lambs: they shal con­sume into smoak, they shal consume away.

From the fifth comparison of the godly and wicked; Learne 1. The godly have two advantages above the wicked, one in this life, another in the life to come. For the first, all the vicissitudes of dangers and daily necessities of the godly are taken notice of in a special way by God, choosing and weighing to them exerci­ses for their condition, moderating them in their measure and time, seasoning them with mixture of consolation, turning them to their best; furnishing all necessaries to bear out their exercises, and sending particular deliverances one after another: For the Lord knowes the dayes of the upright. As for the next life, he hath reserved for them an inheritance of constant blessedness, never to be taken from them: Their inheritance shal be for ever. 2. Albeit the Lord wil not exempt the godly from sharing in [Page 229] common calamities with the wicked, yet shall they have the evidences of Gods favour to them in the time of trouble, and shall not be disappointed of the kindnesse promised by God, and ex­pected by them: They shall not be ashamed in the evill time. 3. Whatsoever scant or inlack be of creature-comfort, the god­ly shall be supplied to their reasonable satisfaction: In the dayes of famine they shall be satisfied. 4. When the wicked are most liberally dealt with, it is but a feeding of them like beasts to the slaughter, all their glory shall vanish, and they themselves shall be destroyed in Gods wrath: But the wicked shall perish, the e­nemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of Lambs, they shall consume into smoake, they shall consume away.

Verse 21. The wicked brroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

22. But such as be blessed of him, shall in­herite the earth, and they that be cursed of him, shall be cut off.

From the sixth comparison, Learn, 1. In the middest of the wicked mans wealth, he is oft times wanting, as if he were a poor man; if he have much wealth, he hath much to do with it, and many times is unable to defray his charges without borrow­ing; and when he has borrowed, he is either unable or unwilling to pay again, and so is but a miserable wretch with all he hath; or he is a profuse prodigall and deceiver of his creditors: The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again. 2. On the contrary, the righteous man by his godly behaviour, mannageth the little which God giveth him so well, as he needeth not to borrow; he wanteth not for any good work which God calleth him unto, and is able to supply others necessities: The righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. 3. The blessing of God on the godly, maketh the oddes betwixt them and the wicked, for it is to him as good as the inheritance of the whole earth; but Gods curse rooteth the wicked man out of the earth; for Such (saith he) as be blessed of him, shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed, shall be cut off.

Ver. 23. The steps of a good man are ordered by [Page 230] the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast dow; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

26 He is ever mercifull, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

He closeth the confirmation of the sixth direction with enume­rating sundry priviledges of the godly, of some whereof, he made observation in his own time. Whence learn, 1. The pri­viledges of the godly are so great, as should content him, albeit his outward prosperity and wealth be not such as he conceiveth the wicked to have; for God teacheth the godly how to behave himself in his particular actions, prudently and holily: The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord, he approveth the course the godly man keepeth; He delights in his way. Though the godly man through infirmity fall into a sinne, or by his sin draw on a calamity on himself, yet the Lord recovereth him again; Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; and that he perish not when he falleth, the Lord shall preserve him by holding a grip of him; The Lord upholdeth him with his hand. 2. Albeit the Lord will not exempt the godly from poverty, nor yet their seed; albeit we presuppose the children be godly also, if he think it good to exercise them so; yet the Lord hath made the examples of such misery so rare, as a man of good years could observe few or none of them beggers; specially in the Prophets time, when God by external benefits, was training his people to the hope of spirituall things, as David here testifieth. 3. It is a gift of God to use whatsoever a man receiveth of God, so as others be helped there­by; The godly is ever mercifull and lendeth. 4. The readiest way to bring a blessing to a mans house and posterity, is to be godly himself; for, The godly mans seed is blessed.

Ver. 27. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

28. For the Lord loveth judgement, and forsaketh [Page 231] not his Saints, they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

29. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

From the seventh direction, and the reasons thereof teaching how to guard against fretting at, and envying of the prosperity of the wicked; Learn, 1. To meet an injury with another injury, or to recompence evil for evil, or to forbear to do good where it is not deserved, is not the way to be blessed: But by the con­trary the way of possessing setled felicity, is to depart from evil; and to do good, so shall a man dwell for ever. 2. The love that the Lord beareth to righteousnesse, is the cause why it cannot but be well with the righteous: For, The Lord loveth judgement. 3. The Lord may well exercise his children with trouble, yet he will not with-draw himself from them in trouble, but will stay with them, and bear them company, and save them to the uttermost; He forsaketh not his Saints, they are preserved for ever. 4. As wickednesse is the ready way to root out a man and his family from off the earth; so is righteousnesse the way to e­stablish a mans family, and to bring himself to a solid habitation with God for ever; For, The seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever; that is, in Heaven signified by that land.

Ver. 30. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wis­dome, and his tongue talketh of judgement.

31. The Law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

Because so much is spoken of the righteous man, he describeth him by three properties; one in his words, another in his affe­ctions, a third in his deliberate actions, and course of his ways and life. Whence learn, 1. The righteous man studieth in his speeches to glorifie God, and edifie those he speaketh to, and in all things he is truths friend; The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdome, and his tongue talketh of judgement. 2. For his affe­ctions, he loveth that which is commanded of God, and hat [...]th that which is forbidden him, because God hath taken him in Covenant with himself to be his man; The Law of God is in his [Page 232] heart. 3. For his course of life, whatsoever tentation he doth meet with, to divert him from the faith and obedience of God, he will not choose another way, then the Law of his God; None of his steps shall slide.

Ver. 32. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

33. The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemne him when he is judged.

For clearing of the seventh direction, he answereth an obje­ction from the persecution which the righteous are subject unto from the wicked; Whence learn, 1. Temporall blessings or be­nefits are not so promised to the godly, as that they shall be free from troubles, crosses and persecutions. For the Lord for his own glory, for edification of his Church, and for conviction of his enemies, and for perfecting his children in holinesse, useth to suffer the wicked to hunt and persecute them, even to death; The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. 2. The wicked may apprehend the righteous mans person, lay false ac­cusations to his charge, and bring him before Judges, and not get his will of him, to drive him from a righteous cause: For, The Lord will not leave him in his hand. 3. Albeit the righteous man by persecutions may be judged, and condemned to death un­justly, yet may he be more then a conquerour through God that loveth him, and careth for him; For God will not condemne him when he is judged. And that may suffice him against whatsoever flesh can do to him.

Ver. 34. Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

35. I have seen the wicked in great power: and spreading himself like a green bay-tree.

36 Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not; yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

The eighth direction, is to wait on God, and to keep his way; serving with the former direction, to guard the godly mans [Page 233] heart against all tentations of fretting, envy, anger and emulation, because of the wicked mans seeming more prosperous condition in the world then his own, and this direction is confirmed with five reasons. Whence learn, 1. He that believeth on God must not make haste, nor judge rashly of matters as they seem for the present, but must attend till God make his word good; Wait on the Lord. 2. True patient hope and waiting on God, must be joyned with the study of obedience to Gods directions; Wait on the Lord, and keep his way. 3. Though the godly be kept under for a while and humbled, yet God shall lift them up to a satisfa­ctory estate: He shall exalt thee to inherit the land. This promise is the first reason to move us to wait on the Lord. 4. In every age some of the wicked shall be made spectacles of Gods threatened judgement, before the eyes of the godly, to give assu­rance of his judgement; that he shall overthrow all the rest in due time, and avenge on them all the wrongs done by them unto the godly: When the wicked are cut-off, thou shalt see it. And this is the second argument to confirme the exhortation. 5. How the wicked have seemed very glorious in the world for a while, and shortly both they and their glory did vanish, every man in his own time should make their own remarkes and obser­vations, as the Prophet sheweth here, that he had his observa­tions in his time, vers. 35, 36. And this is the third reason to confirme the direction taken from experience concerning the wicked.

Ver. 37. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace.

38. But the transgressours shall be destroyed toge­ther: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

The fourth reason of the direction, is from the happy close of the course of the godly, and the certain perdition of the wicked; Whence learn, 1. The Lord gives so many remarkable instances of the comfortable departure of the godly out of this life, as may give assurance of the dying of all the upright in Gods favour: Mark the upright man, for the end of that man is peace. 2. Whe­ther men be witnesses or not of the departure of the wicked, one and all of them die in a desperate condition; they are deprived of heaven and earth, and perish soul and body at the expiring of their breath: Transgressours shall be destroyed together; the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

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Ver. 39. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD; he is their strength in the time of trouble.

40. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them because they trust in him.

The last reason to move men to wait on God, is from his care of the godlie. Whence learn, 1. How hard soever the condition of the godly be, the Lord hath ways of his own to preserve and save them; yea the Lord is resolved, and hath passed his word that he will save them: The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord. 2. So long as God is pleased to let righteous mens trouble continue, he will now and then comfort them, and will enable them to their trouble, when comfort is suspended: He is their strength in time of trouble. 3. When the godly in their trouble feel their own wants and weaknesse, he will furnish what in them is lacking, till the delivery come; The Lord shall help them, and deliver them. 4. Albeit many be the troubles of the godly, especially from their wicked persecuters; yet by faith in God they shall keep their conscience clean: Their cause they maintain whole, and shall have their souls safe, do what their persecuters can; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them because they trust in him.

PSAL. XXXVIII. A Psalme of David, to bring in remembrance.

In this Psalme David in trouble both of soul and body, as an example of the hardest exercises that Christs followers can fall into; First, prayeth for the mitigation of his trouble, and removall of wrath, vers. 1. And secondly, layeth out this sense of the trouble which he felt immediately from God, vers. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, [Page 235] 7, 8. Thirdly, having put up his confused de­sires to God, for prayers, in the sense of his inability to expresse himself, vers. 9, 10. He lays out his sense of the grief and troubles which he felt from men, and endured with great patience, vers. 11, 12, 13, 14. Fourthly, he sets down the wrestling he had in prayer to God, because of his persecution by his adversaries, vers. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. And closeth the Psalme, not having gotten comfort for the time, vers. 21, 22.

FRom the Inscription; learn, that exercises of conscience, the more heavy they have been, the more should they be remembered, and the passages thereof more carefully marked; when the sense thereof is most fresh, lest they passe without the fruit which may be had of them after delivery: for thus much are we taught by the Inscription of this Psalme, wherein it is in­tituled: A Psalme of David, to bring to remembrance.

Ver. 1. O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: nei­ther chasten me in thy hot displeasure:

FRom his prayer for mitigation of trouble and removall of wrath; learn, 1. It is consistent with Gods Fatherly love, and our Sonship, to taste of Fatherly wrath against our sinnes, as this place proveth. 2. Albeit it is not lawfull for us to follow our natural desires in prayer, or to seek to be free of chastisement; yet may we seek mitigation of trouble, and tempering of our cup, so as we may digest it, and we may pray for the removall of Father­ly wrath also; Rebuke me not in thy wrath, nor chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Ver. 2. For thine arrows stick fast in me: and thine hand presseth me sore.

3. There is no soundnesse in my flesh, because of thine anger: neither is there any rest in my bones, be­cause of my sin.

[Page 236] 4. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head; as an heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

5. My wounds stink and are corrupt, because of my foolishnesse.

6. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly: I go mourning all the day long.

7. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundnesse in my flesh.

8 I am feeble and sore broken, I have roared by reason of the disquietnesse of my heart.

He giveth the reason of his prayer from his pitiful case both in soul and body. Whence learn, 1. When it pleaseth the Lord to make his children sensible of their sinnes, and of his dreadfull justice; he can make the tokens of his displeasure against sinne piercing sharp, and pressing heavy: Thy arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. 2. Although the Lord should set us as a marke to shoot at, and lay the heaviest load of judge­ments on us for our sinnes; yet we must not seek the ease thereof, nor can we have ease from them, save by coming to God him­self, to bemoan our misery, as this example teacheth us. 3. As the sense of trouble on our body, or any way else will waken the conscience of sinne; so the conscience of sinne, and feeling of wrath due for our sin, will make no small alteration on our very bodies: There is no soundnesse in my flesh, because of thine anger, nor rest in my bones because of my sinne. One sinne will waken the memory of moe sinnes, till they present themselves as an in­numerable army; My iniquities are gone over my head. 5. How light soever sin may seem when it is committed, it will be found insupportably heavy, when God pursues for it: As an heavy bur­den, they are too heavy for me. 6. When the Lord doth smite the conscience for sin, the rod will not fail to make a wound, which shall have need of the cure of the Physician, according to the bruise made by his hand, or deep peircing of his arrowes; for after arrowes and pressing hand, he mentions wounds more then one. 7. When a wounded spirit is not timeously by a right cure bound up and healed, the wounds do grow the longer the worse; the longer, the more guiltinesse, filthinesse and perplexity of spirit doth grow: My wounds do stink and are corrupt. 8. As through our inconsideration of our duty, and danger of sinning [Page 237] we fal actually in sin, and do draw upon our selves wrath: So by our inconsideration of the right remedie, we augment that measure of both: My wounds stink and are corrupt, because of my foolishnesse. 9. So long as the conscience of sin and sense of wrath kept on therby do last, the mans wit and his cou­rage, and his countenance and his joy are smitten, both before God and men: I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly, I go mourning all the day long. 10. To add to the pace, and to make the sense of sin more bitter, the Lord can lay his hand on the body, and make the loathsomness of the sickness resemble the loathsomness of the sin which drew it on, and to speak unto the conscience in its own language, the cause why it is sent unto him: For my loines are filled with a loathsome disease; and there is no soundness in my flesh. 11. A wounded spirit wil dash and beat down the stoutest heart it can meet with, I am feeble and sore broken. 12. If the Lord pursue a mans conscience for sin, and intimate his displeasure against him, and continue this exercise for any time; it wil pass the mans power to hide or smother his grief, or hold in the expressions thereof: I have roared b [...] reason of the disquietness of my heart.

Ver. 9. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

10. My heart panteth, my strength faileth me; as for the light of mine eies, it also is gone from me.

In the third place, that he may bring forth the trouble which he suffered from men, and his patience towards them, he present­eth his heart to God, as it was ful of confused desires, in stead of explicite prayers, being now unable to express himself more largely▪ Whence learn, 1. As sin causeth wrath, and wrath sore [...] and sorrow; so these evils looked upon, should waken desires to have them removed, and send us to seek the true reme­die [...] in God, as here doth the Psalmist. 2. As desires and [...] if they be presented to God, have their own speech, which we cannot express in time of our confusions; so should we [...] of them, not as of vanishing expressions of nature, but as prayers stirred up by God, and standing before him til they receive their answer; Lord, all my desire is before thee. 3. It is not wrestling with trouble within our selves, nor venting our grief as natural men, which can give us ease, but pouring out [Page 238] one heart before the Lord which must do it: All my desire is before thee. 4. The strength of faith in the godly is not so great, as to swallow up all infirmities; but so great as to wrestle with them, and confess them to God, who useth to supply his own with his strength & wise direction, when their own strength is evacuate, and the man is before God humbled: For here even Davids heart panteth and his strength faileth him, and the light of his eyes is gone from him; not so much in regard of the bodies decay, as in his spiritual condition, expressed in bodily terms; and thus much for the troubles, which he felt immediate­ly from Gods hand.

Ver. 11. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore: and my kinsmen stand afar off.

12 They also that seek after my life, lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt, speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

13 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

14 Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

From the troubles which he felt from men; Learn, 1. A wounded spirit is a disease which the natural man hath no skil of, nor wil to meddle with; but flieth from it, as from a plague or pest; My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore. 2. In time of sad affliction and narrow trial of our faith, natural bonds between us and our kinsfolk, wil shrink and fail us, so as we shal have little comfort in the earth; My kinsman stand afar off. 3. In time of sad exercises and hard trials, as friends may fail, so enemies may make head; and by craft and cruelty, by slanders and cunning policy, open enmity and secret plot­ting may conspire against a mans fame, good cause and life, They also that seek after my life, lay snares for me; and they that seek my hurt, speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. 4. The more emptied, afflicted, disconsolate, for­saken of friends, pursued by foes a man be; if he go to God for reconciliation and relief, he hath ground of hope to be helped, and to have God engaged to him so much the more; for here David maketh this use of all his troubles, he layeth all out before God. 5. It is possible, yea and oft-times cometh to passe, that [Page 239] the godly have so many lies made of them, calumnies and slan­ders devised and vented against them by so many mouths, that they are not able to follow them, or to answer and refute them, but are forced to misken them, and in patience hold themselves quiet till God make matters clear for them: But I as a deafe man heard not, and as a dumb man opened not my mouth. 6. When the godly overloaden with multitude of calumnies, and the mul­titude of enemies backing them, do sit down in patient silence, nor seeing to what purpose they speak: They are taken readily as guilty, or as such who cannot refute the thing which is alledged of them, or maintain the truth which they profess, and this is an addition unto all the rest of their trouble; As David importeth, saying: Thus was I as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.

Ver. 15 For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.

16 For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoyce over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnifie themselves against me.

17. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is conti­nually before me.

18 For I wil declare mine iniquity; I wil be sorry for my sin.

19 But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully, are mul­tiplied.

20 They also that render evil for good, are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

In the fourth place he setteth down his wrestling against his persecuters, seeking to destroy both him and his righteous cause, Hence learne, 1. It is a sore and high degree of the trial of the godly, when at one time God pursueth for sin, and friends with­draw from them in the duties of humanity, and persecuters are likely to destroy their lives, and withal do suppress Religion in their person by this means; and yet this hath been the case of many of Gods children, and may be also, as this example teach­eth [Page 240] us; yea, also our Lord Jesus, his condition was like this, when he suffered for our sins. 2. Sore trials cannot be born without holding fast the gripe of the Covenant of Grace; for this fixeth faith, and strengthens hope, and furnisheth patience in greatest troubles; for David rendereth this reason, for his bearing patiently his foresaid hard condition: In thee, O Lord, do I hope; Thou wilt hear, O Lord, my God. 3. If the Covenant be holden fast, wherby we may warrantably cal God our God; we may be as it were, surety to our self for a good answer from God; Thou wilt hear me, O Lord my God. 4. When the ene­mies of the godly in their righteous cause, are ready to triumph over the godly and their cause, and the godly are like to be dis­couraged, if the Lord help not; then the godly may be sure the Lord wil hear and help: For David giveth this for a reason of his perswasion, that God would hear him, ver. 15. because the enemies otherwayes would triumph, and he be made to halt, and turn off the way, vers. 16, 17. for in this the Lords glory is in­terested. 5. When the outward prosperous condition of the godly is changed, and their feet slip, and the hand of the Lord lieth on sore without relaxation, even they of strong faith are ready to be discouraged and faint; so weak are we in faith when a hard trial cometh: For, When the enemy magnified him­self against David; When his feet slipped, when his sorrow was continually before him; He confesseth he was ready to halt; To warn the godly, that they might guard against this tentation. 6 To keep our selves from fretting under trouble, it is expedi­ent that we compare our sins with Gods fatherly chastisements of us, and that we take course for remission of our sin, and turn [...] the sorrow raised by affliction into godly sorrow for sin; for this David resolved in his distress, I will declare mine iniquity, I wil be sorry for my sin. 7. The Lord so disposeth of the out­ward condition of the godly and the wicked in this life, that the godly oft-times have the mourning part, and the wicked the rejoycing part, and that so much the more as they see the head of the godly is born down: I wil be sorry for my sin, but mine enemies are lively and strong. 8. As it is a matter of grief to see the affliction of the godly growing, and the enemies growing in joy, and strength, and number; so it is a matter of comfort, that the enemies of the godly are enemies without a just cause given to them: They that hate me wrongfully, are multiplied. 9. We must not leave off the doing of what God requireth at our hands, albeit we should have the hatred of the world; for David followed [Page 241] that which was good, albeit his adversaries for that very cause did render to him evil for good.

Ver. 21. Forsake me not, O Lord; O my God, be not far from me.

22 Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.

He closeth the Psalm with prayer, laying all his weight on the Covenant, not having gotten comfort for the time. Whence learn, 1. We must not limit the Lord to give us comfort and deliver­ance, when we think we have greatest need of it, but must leave our prayer at his feet, as the Prophet doth. 2. The believer must be so warie to lean unto sense, that he must hold the gripes of faith not only when he misseth sense of comfort, but also when Gods dispensation toward him, and his sense therof doth seem to speak most contrary to faith: Forsake me not, O Lord; be not far from me: Make haste to help me, saith Davids Faith, when his sense speaketh what his prayer here importeth, that is, present perdition. 3. The bond of the Covenant of Grace is able to bear the weight of the believers most heavy burden, and by vertue of it, he may lay claim unto God, as his own God, and lay claim also unto salvation in him; for notwithstanding of all the troubles and tentations laid forth in this Psalm, the Believer sustaineth all on this ground; O my God, O Lord my salvation; And here is the victory of Faith.

PSAL. XXXIX. To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.

Another such like hard exercise as in the former Psalme, wherein David acknowledgeth his infir­mity in a passionate expression, when he was in trouble, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. Secondly he recovered and comforted himself, ver. 5, 6, 7. Thirdly, what was his prayer in this exercise, ver. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

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Ver. 1. I Said, I wil take heed to my wayes, that I sinne not with my tongue; I wil keep my mouth with a bridle▪ while the wicked is before me.

2. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good, and my sorrow was stirred.

3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned; then spake I with my tongue.

4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my dayes, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.

THe Prophet for fear of impatient expression in his trouble, resolved to keep silence in the audience of the wicked, but was not able to keep in his passionate wishing for death. Whence learn, 1. As it is the Lords wil that we should have the infirmi­ties of the Saints registred unto us for our edification, as wel as their vertues: So it is his wil, that when the confession of our infirmity may profit others, we should not spare to let it be known, as this passage teacheth us. 2. Conscience of our weak­ness, and of the unruliness of our tongues, ready to break forth in the time of tentation, should make us take better heed to our selves, and to watch over our speeches: I said, I wil take heed to my wayes, that I sinne not with my tongue. 3. Because the wicked may take advantage of the godlies miscarrying in time of their trouble, it is needful to watch the more over our beha­viour and words in their presence: I wil keep my mouth with a bridle, while they are before me. 4. When we are about to keep in our corruptions, and amend our own faults by our own way of it, by our wisdom, our strength, our resolutions, we do not eschew the evil we would eschew, and we also fal in a fault we were not aware of, as here in stead of praying to God to direct one part of his speech after another, that he might speak prudently in the audience of the wicked, he did not speak at all, he did not speak that which he might, and should have spoken: I was dumb with silence, I held my peace even from good. 5. When grief is not rightly vented but suppressed, it is not therby asswaged but en­creased rather: I held my peace, and my sorrow was stirred. 6. The power of sinful nature, and inraged passions is such, [Page 243] that even when they are opposed by reason of strength of grace in us, they may easily over-power us, except God put to his hand to help us in the conflict; My heart was hot within me: while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue. 7. It is a natural evil in man when he is overcome by trouble in this life, to wish for death, looking to be in a better condition by the change; As the sick man looketh for ease by changing of his bed, and here ver. 4. we have the example of it. 8. The shortness of this life is a mitigation of the troubles thereof un­to the godly, and the fear that life should continue longer then the afflicted man would, augmenteth the trouble; and this is the fountain of this passionate and curious wish: Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my dayes what it is: that I may know how frail I am.

Ver. 5. Behold thou hast made my dayes as an hand-breadth, and mine age is as nothing before thee; verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

6 Surely every man walketh in a vaine shew: sure­ly they are disquieted in vain; he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shal gather them.

7. And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

In the second place, not being answered in this curious que­stion, but secretly checked for his impatient wish, he contents himself with the known truth, That this present life is but short how long soever it shal last, and resolveth to wait on Gods time patiently. Whence learn, 1. For tempering our condition what­soever it be, it should suffice us to know, that whether we be in prosperity or adversity, our time in this life is but short: Thou hast made my days as an hand-breadth, and mine age is as no­thing before thee. 2. Not in prosperity, but in adversity, is the uncertainty, weakness, emptiness, and vanity of prosperity, and things temporal wel seen; for in troubles sayes David, Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. 3. What­soever seemeth excellent in the eyes of natural men in this world is but the shadow of what it seemeth; health, strength, prosperity, riches, pleasure, honour, dominion, power, authority are but [Page 244] the shadowes of things so named; Every man walketh in a vain shew. 4. Too much care and anxiety about things of this life, is a sickness and folly, Surely, they are disquieted in vaine. 5. Ex­perience putteth a deep stamp of the truth upon a mans mind, and causes him to set his subscription unto it without hesitation, Verily, surely, surely, is the seal of this truth here delivered after his experience. 6. The too much care which men take to gather riches, this toyling and travelling, this spending of body, of wit and time, this frowning on some, and fawning on others, this pleading and fighting with some, and flattering of others, with the rest of other shifts by which men use to gather riches, (which they must leave behind them, and do not know to whom) is a point of great folly and vanity in men; He heapes up riches, and knoweth not who shal gather them. 7. The right use of the perceived vanity of all things under the Sun, is, that we should be sent by that consideration unto God to rest on him; And now, Lord, what wait I for? 8. That which God hath pro­mised in the life to come, is only satisfactory and able to quiet a mans mind, and make him patiently wait on God in all his trou­ble; What wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Ver. 8. Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the foolish.

9. I was dumbe, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.

10. Remove thy stroke away from me, I am consu­med by the blow of thine hand.

11 When thou with rebukes doest correct man for i­niquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a mothe: surely, every man is vanity. Selah.

12. Heare my prayer, O LORD, and give eare unto my cry: hold not thy peace at my teares: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

13. O spare me, that I may recover strength; before I go hence, and be no more.

In the third place, he prayeth to be freed from his sins▪ and the sense of Gods wrath, using sundry reasons to help his faith. [Page 245] Whence learn, 1. Seeing sin doth plunge us in all perplexities, and bringeth trouble after trouble upon us; the best cure of our trouble, is to seek pardon for our sins; Deliver me from all my transgressions. 2. The ungodly are fools, let them seem to themselves and others what they please; for all their way and work is to make themselves miserable; therefore doth the Scripture call them foolish. 3. That the wicked get no advantage of us so as by troubling of us to drive us from the profession of righ­teousnesse, for which they do persecute us, should be the main care of every Believer under persecution: For this is Davids prayer, Make me not the reproach of the foolish. 4. It is usuall to us to see our duty after we have sinned, better then before; for, after experience of his falling, he resolveth it is his duty not to speak an impatient word, but to be silent, and not open his mouth, to wit, impatiently. 5. The consideration of God for our party, with whom we have to do in trouble, should humble us, and make us quiet; David saith, he should not have opened his mouth, Because thou Lord didst it. 6. Prayer for removing the tokens of Gods displeasure, especially after pray­er for remission of sins, is not contrary to patience and silen [...] submission under Gods hand; for he prayeth also, Remove away thy stroak from me. 7. When we feel the Lords hand heavy upon us, we may bemoan our selves to him with submission to his will, for he pitieth us, and will lay no more on us then we are able to bear, I am consumed by the blow of thy hand. 8. The stoutest and strongest courage will soon be brought down by trouble of conscience; when God entreth in judgement with him, man falls down: When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a mothe: surely, every man is vanity. 9. When God seemeth to refuse to hear prayer, true faith will follow God with more fer­vent prayer, and crying, and tears, and not leave God with­out a good answer: Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear unto my cry, hold not thy peace at my tears. 10. The more our hearts be alienated from this world, and conversant with God by faith; the more we misse our countrey, our parents, our kinsmen on earth, and have our conversation in heaven, the more we may be as­sured that God shall avow himself to be our God: I am a stranger and a sojourner with thee. 11. Entring our selves heirs unto the godly, who lived before us in their estrangements from the world, and seeking after heaven, intitleth us unto their com­forts also; I am a sojourner, as all my fathers. 12. It is an [Page 246] usuall tentation unto the godly in their trouble, that they shall never be relieved out of it in this life; O spare me before I go hence. 13. The godly may pray for a little breathing before death with submission, that they may the more quietly render up their spitits to God: Spare me, that I may recover strength before I go hence and be no more. 14. If the Lord do not hearken to us when we would, let us leave our petition beside him till he an­swer it, as here the Prophet doth.

PSAL. XL. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

David as a type of Christ in the whole Psalme, and as an example of the exercise of the godly, giveth thanks for the experience of Gods de­livering of him out of a notable trouble, verse 1, 2, 3, 4. In the second place, he is led on in his thanksgiving to praise God for the great work of Redemption by Christ the Son of God com­ing into the world, which is the fountain of all other mercies to the Saints, verse 5, 6, 7.8. In the third place, David in type, and Christ in the accomplishment, giving accompt of his propheticall office, intercedeth and prayeth for the evidence of Gods favour to himself perso­nally and mystically considered, vers. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. and for disappointment of his ene­mies, vers. 14, 15. and for the comfort of all the godly beholding his exercise and his delivery which he confidently doth expect, vers. 16, 17.

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Ver. 1. I Waited patiently for the LORD, and he in­clined unto me, and heard my cry.

2. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and esta­blished my goings.

3. And he hath put a new Song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

4. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust: and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

In his thanksgiving, Learn, 1. As the Lord of set purpose de­layeth to answer the prayer of his own, and suspendeth to help them out of trouble for a time, that he may try and train their faith to a better measure; so the believer must resolve to wait on patiently, I waited patiently for the Lord. 2. Albeit waiting for the time is joyned with languour and grief, yet the remembrance of it is sweet, and it wants not a blessing following it, I waited, and he enclined to me, and heard my cry. 3. The godly may be brought in their trouble to as desperate like condition, as a man faln in a horrible deep and dark pit, sinking in miry clay, out of which there is no appearance of relief: in which case as the great­ness of the danger commendeth the faith of him that calleth up­on God, and waiteth for him; So doth it commend Gods wis­dome, power, goodness and faithfulness in delivering the pa­tient waiter. To this end saith the Psalmist, He brought me out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay. 4. The man who de­pendeth on the Lord when he is delivered out of trouble, is not left to himself, but the Lords care attendeth him to guide him after his delivery; He brought me out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 5. As it is a part of our duty to glorifie God after every mercy, and in a speciall man­ner when the mercy is very notable: So it is a new gift of God to enable a man to give thanks, and praise for the mercy received; therefore it is put for a point of thanksgiving, He hath put a new song in my mouth. 6. As the experience of Gods mercy to one who is in Covenant with God, is the encouragement of all belie­vers: so should it be the common matter of praise unto God from [Page 248] them all, therefore doth he call the praises which he did sing, The praises of our God. 7. The right observation of Gods mercy to his children, especially when he will shew himself eminently, is able to strike a man with much awe and reverence of God, who is fearful, even in his praises; Many shall hear and fear. 8. Then do we make right observation of Gods mercy to his children, when thereby we encourage our selves to look for the like mercy, when we call for it in our need; Many shall hear and fear, and trust in the Lord. 9. As the preciousness of faith is not seen in the time of trial, so well as after the victory; so the fruit of it when it is seen is no less then true blessedness: Blessed is the man who ma­keth the Lord his trust. 10. All true believers are humble towards God, and of a high spirit against whatsoever cometh in competi­tion with him, and will despise every mans way who regardeth not him: So the mis-believer is proud toward God and his truth, but a base subject of his own spirit, and to lying vanities; for the believer here is opposed to the proud, and to such as turn aside to lies.

Ver. 5. Many, O Lord my God, are thy won­derful works, which thou hast done, and thy thoughts, which are to us-ward; they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are moe then can be numbred.

In the second place he is led up to the consideration of Gods wonderful care and providence about men, and in special to the work of Redemption by Christs coming into the world. Whence learn, 1. One of the Lords wonderful works of providence wel meditated upon, may and should lead us to the consideration of many other his works of that kind, Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works, which thou hast done. 2. The works of Gods pro­vidence about us should lead us up to the counsel of God, to be­hold his care of us, his minde and purpose to us-ward, who are brought into Covenant with him, for confirming of our faith in him; Many, O Lord my God, are thy thoughts which are to us-ward. 3. Albeit the Lords deep thoughts and works of wonder about his own people, be unspeakable, unsearchable, and innumerable, yet must we not cease to look upon them, and speak of them in heap when we cannot attain to them in tale, They cannot be reckoned up in order to thee: If I should declare and speak of them, they are moe then can be numbred.

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Ver. 6. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou opened; burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required.

7. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me.

8. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy Law is within my heart.

He condescends upon a particular which did overcome his de­claration and searching, to wit, the Covenant of Redemption be­tween the Father and the Son coming into the world, some articles whereof he toucheth, as they are rehearsed by the Son speaking here by his Spirit. Whence learn, 1. The work of Redemption by Christ, the Covenant betwixt the Father and the Son about our Redemption, the incarnation of the Son of God, and the course of the salvation of the redeemed, is one of the most wonderful things that ever was heard tell of, wherein so many wonderful works of God, so many wonderful thoughts of God about us do concur, that they can neither be declared nor numbered, nor set in order: for this work here touched is set down for an instance of what was said in the former verse; now that this is spoken by Christ, the Apostle, Heb 10.5, 6. &c. doth shew unto us. 2. Albeit sa­crifices & oblations were appointed to be offered before Christ came yet were they not acceptable in themselves, but in respect of the sacrifice of Christ signified by them; not they, but Christ signi­fied by them could take away sin, Sacrifices & offerings thou didst not desire, burnt-offerings and sin-offerings thou didst not require, to wit, for any worth in themselves, or by way of real satisfaction for sin. 3. The ceremonial law was not to remain, but to be taken away when Christ came to offer himself, who was foresha­dowed by the sacrifices and Levitical ordinances; for, Sacrifices and oblations thou didst not desire, but mine ears thou hast opened ▪ which presupposeth thou hast formed a body unto me, as the Apo­stle, Heb. 10.5. doth shew; and so the rejecting of the ceremo­nies, is at the incarnation, or at the forming of the body of Christ, and bringing the Son into the world. 4. The Son of God in­carnate becomes voluntarily, a very capable, discreete, ready and obedient servant to the Father for us: Mine ears hast thou opened, to wit, for receiving of every command; or mine ears hast thou boared, as the servants ears were boared under the Law, when he choosed to [Page 250] stay still with his master in service, Exod. 21.5. 5. By offering of burnt-offering God was not satisfied for sin, but only by Christs coming and offering himself a sacrifice once for all, Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required; Then said I, Lo, I come, saith Christ. 6. Both in the book of Gods eternal decrees, and in the book of holy Scripture, this way of taking away the sins of men was established, as the only way to effect it; for that the seed of the woman by his suffering should bruse the head of the Serpent was foretold by God, Gen. 3.15. and Christ was the Lamb slain in the representative sacrifices from the beginning of the world; In the volume of thy book it is written of me. 7. Jesus Christ God incarnate is in Covenant with God the Father, that believers may be in Covenant with God by this means also, there­fore doth he call him, O my God: as our Lord, Iob. 20.17. saith I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and you [...] God. 8. All Christs sufferings and service done in our name for us, was most willingly and heartily undertaken and discharged by Christ, I delight to do thy will, that is, as the Apostle▪ Heb. 10.10. doth expound, it to perform whatever might sanctifie us through­out for ever. 4. The way of our redemption by Christs doing and suffering for us, is Gods own device, his very will and plea­sure; and the obedience of Christ unto the very death of the cro [...] done in our name unto the Father, hath pleased the Father fully▪ I delight to do thy will, O my God. 10. The Son of God incar­nate was perfectly holy, so as he could answer to the law compleat­ly, and give accompt of it to the Father; yea thy law is within my heart: That these words may be applied to David, and made use of by every believer in their own degree and measure, there is no question: but that they are principally and in the main inten­tion to be applied to Christ speaking of himself, the matter it self doth evidence; for who but he can ascribe to himself the accom­plishing of what the typical sacrifices fore-shadowed? who but [...]e could satisfie for sin, which the sacrifices could not? Again, the Apostle Paul Heb. 10.5, 6, &c. doth clear the matter so, as [...] ground of doubting is left. In all the Psalm, le [...] David be as the shadow, but let Christ be the substance.

Ver. 9. I have preached righteousnesse in the great Congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord thou knowest.

[Page 251] 10. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart▪ I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy loving kindness, and thy truth from the great Congregation.

In the third place, as Christ hath given an accompt of the exe­cution of his Priestly Office, in expiation of sin; so here he giveth accompt of his Prophetical office, to make way for his intercession. Whence learn, 1. Christ did not only undertake to suffer for expi­ation of our sins, but also he undertook to apply to his people, by preaching, the fruits of his sufferings, for their righteousness and salvation, for justifying, sanctifying, and saving the redeemed; I have preached righteousness in the great congregation. 2. The way appointed for application of the grace purchased to the redeemed, is preaching; I have preached righteousness in the great Congrega­tion, in the visible Church, and in all confluences of the redeem­ed where opportunity is offered. 3. As Christ did not conceal what might save souls, but did communicate it carefully; so should they who are trusted by him to preach without fear sincerely, as they wil be able to answer God, proclaim it, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. 4. The true way of justification of sinners by faith, is a Jewel so precious and necessary for poor souls, that it should not be concealed, I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart. 5. One Sermon on this subject is not sufficient, it is ne­cessary to make this mystery plain, how by faith in Christ the man that flieth to him is justified from his sins, and saved accor­ding to the Covenant past between the suffering Mediatour and God the faithful promiser to justifie and save by his own way, I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation. 6. The way of righteousness and salvation purchased unto believers by Jesus Christ, is very solid and compleat; for first, this way of forgiving sins unto us, because of the satisfaction made by Christ for us in his obedience unto the Father, even unto the death of the Cross, is of Gods own devising, and his free-gift; therefore as it is cal­led the righteousnes of God, Rom. 3.21, 22. So here it is called Gods righteousness. O Lord, I have not hid thy righteousnes. And the sal­vation or eternal life annexed unto this imputed and gifted righ­teousness bestowed upon the embracer of it, is also of Gods devi­sing, & his free-gift; therefore it is also called his salvation, I have declared thy salvation. Next the certainty and ground of the belie­vers assurance that this righteousness and salvation is made fast unto him, is the truth of God, and faithfulness of God, obliging [Page 252] himself to make good this way of justfication and salvation by the Covenant of redemption made between the Father and the Son our Mediatour, as in the promises of the Covenant of grace is set down in Scripture, which can no more disappoint the believer, then the truth and faithfulness of God can fail, I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation. And last of all, the foun­tain, spring and rise, and unchangeable ground of righteousness and salvation purchased by the redemption made by Jesus Christ, and applied to us by faith in him, is the meer good will and plea­sure of God, the free grace, the free love and bounty of God, with­out any deserving of the redeemed; I have not concealed thy loving kindness, and thy truth from the great Congregation; This indeed is a solid ground. 7. The plain preaching, declaration, and mani­festation of this Gospel with the grounds thereof, is able by the blessing of God to perswade a trembling soul to lay it self over upon Jesus Christ, and to rest upon the unchangeable truth and kindness of God offered to every poor humble sinner, without exception; for the preaching of these things, not refraining of the lips, not hiding of this precious and saving truth, the declara­tion and not concealing of it, is given up here for the sufficiency of means, to apply the purchased righteousness and salvation by Christ to the redeemed; and this execution of Christs Propheti­cal Office hath been faithfully performed by him, not only in his personal preaching in the days of his flesh, but also in his Mini­sters both before his incarnation and since, which also shall be continued from generation, to generation, to the end of the world, maugre all opposition; for Christ shall be able to make no less perfect account of his other Offices then of the Kingly Office, when he shall give up the Kingdome to his Father. 8. What may concern David here as the type of Christ, or as one of the servants of Christ, we take it up in one word, which is this: The more faithful Preachers be to declare the Gospel to the salvation of souls, the more confidence and comfort shall the testimony of their conscience afford to them in the day of their trouble, when they come before God; as the Prophet here by experience findeth.

Ver. 11. Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy loving kindness, and thy truth continually preserve me.

12. For innumerable evils have compassed me about, [Page 252] [...] [Page 253] mine iniquities have taken hold upon me; so that I am not able to look up: they are more then the hairs of mine head, therfore my heart faileth me.

13. Be pleased O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD make haste to help me.

Christ having given accompt of his performances, of what was undertaken, intercedeth for the promised mercies to his Mysti­cal body and to himself, as standing in the room of the ransomed; wherin David as the type of Christ, and as a member of Christs mystical body, hath his own place. Whence learn, 1. Because the price of Redemption is holden here as fully payed, and nothing is left unpayed by Christ; therfore the application of the purchased mercy must be granted; for Christ, here speaking, having declared his performance of his part of the Covenant, from ver. 6. to ver. 11. doth now require the performance of promised kindness and mercy to him and his mystical body, saying, Withhold not thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy loving kindness, and thy truth continually preserve me; and this is a standing petition of the Mediatour, in favour of his afflicted mystical body in all generations. 2. The unchangableness of Gods loving kindness, and truth of promises made in his Covenant, is a solid ground of assurance that the Lord wil not withhold his tender mercies from the afflicted believer; for upon this ground do the parts of his petition run; Withhold not thy tender mercies from me, and let kind­ness and truth continually preserve me. 3. Albeit the troubles which are inflicted, be drawn on by sin, and be the effects of just wrath for sin, yet are they also the object of tender mercies, when the afflicted do present both their troubles & their sins, which deser­ved them before Gods merciful eye; for here a reason of hoping for tender mercy▪ is brought from both trouble and sin lying on, for innumerable evils have compassed me about, and mine iniquities have taken hold on me. 4. By vertue of the intercession of Christ, e­very believer may take up the same supplication in Christs name, and present it in his own behalf unto God, in the time of trouble and necessity; for as David might make this use of it, as one of the members of the mystical body: so may all the rest of believers al­so; because Christ the Mediatour doth own all the sins of all his redeemed ones as his own, as made his by consent to have them imputed unto him, and hath born the punishment therof so much as may and doth satisfie justice for them. Therfore Christ in the [Page 254] behalf of his redeemed ones, and every believer in Christ for that respect may expect continual preservation by the loving kindness and truth of God laid in pawn for it by the Covenant, when they have recourse to God in the time when trouble and guilti­ness doth both set on at once; for the reason of the prayer is so conceived, as it may fit both the Mediatour interceding for his mystical body, and every wearied soul also who is fled to God through Christ by faith in him, that he may find his outgate and deliverance in, with, and for Christ, Let thy loving kindness and truth continually preserve me; for innumerable evils have compas­sed me about, mine iniquities have taken hold on me. 6. Nothing can so empty a man, and lay him low, and fil him with confusion of face, as his sin pursuing him; Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up. 7. When all that is a mans own, as natural strength, wit, or courage doth fail; yet God doth not fail and faith doth not fail; For here when it is come to this, my heart faileth me, Faith stands up, and in prayer pleadeth for mercy and kindness upon this very reason, because the heart doth fail. 8. As the strait is great, and the burden heavy, and the creature weak: so is the delivery and help neer at hand, Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me.

Ver. 14. Let them be ashamed and confounded to­gether that seek after my soule to destroy it: let them be driven backward and put to shame, that wish me evil.

15 Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha!

From this part of his prayer, which is against his enemies: Learn, 1. As the Lord for the intercession of Christ, wil not fail to help his people in trouble; so wil he not miss to disap­point, and bring mischief upon the enemies of his people, how many and how strong soever they be; Let them be confounded to­gether and ashamed that seek after my soul to destroy it. 2. Not only the open persecuters of the godly, but all their ill willers and un­friends, who could be content to see evil come upon Gods Church, shal be punished with the open adversaries; They shall be driven backward and put to shame that wish them evil. 3. The mock­ing of the godly and putting them to shame, is the shame indeed of the mockers, and not of the godly, upon whom in their suffe­ings the Spirit of glory doth rest, and therfore shal the wicked [Page 255] scorners bear their own shame and their punishment; Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame, that say unto me, Aha, aha!

Ver. 16. Let all those that seek thee rejoyce and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation, say conti­nually, The LORD be magnified.

17. But I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer, make no tar [...]ying, O my God.

From this prayer that the rest of the godly may have comfort by his delivery, which delivery he doth confidently expect; Learn, 1. As every mercy to every believer giveth a proof of Gods readi­ness to shew the like mercy to all believers, when they stand in need; so should every mercy shewn to any of the number, being known to the rest, be made the matter and occasion of magnify­ing the Lord, Let all those that seek thee rejoyce and be glad in thee. 2. The godly whose property it is to be partakers of the affliction of Christ with others, and to seek God, and to wait for the Lords way of delivery, and do love the safety of his people, shal have reason to rejoyce and praise God continually for new evidences of his mercy to his own; Let all those that seek thee rejoyce and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation, say continually, The Lord be magnified. 3. It is an usual condition of the godly, before they be delivered out of any difficulties, to be made once sensible of their own weakness, emptiness, and necessities; as here, I am poor and needy. 4. It is an ordinary exercise of the afflicted, to be despised of the world, and contemned; and this also is a tenta­tion to move them to mistake their own condition before God; for so doth the Psalmist propound the matter before God; But (saith he) I am poor and needy. 5. Whatsoever the world or sense and false suggestions do say of the afflicted, yet faith gives ground of assurance that our base and mean condition is so far from making us loathsome to God, that by the contrary the lower we are brought, the more we are in his heart and estimation; Yet the Lord thinketh upon me; and Gods respecting of us, may easily make up our loss of respect among men. 6. When the believer hath fastned his faith, he may expect shortly his relief, Thou art my help and my deliverer, saith he, and then make no tarrying, O my God.

PSAL. XLI. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

David as a Type of Christ, and one of his afflicted followers, after prayer comforteth himself a­gainst the uncharitable judgment, which the wick­ed had of him in his affliction, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. In the second place, he complaineth of his enemies cursed disposition against him, and prayeth to be delivered out of his trouble, ver. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 In the third place, he is answered comfortably, and praiseth God for it, ver. 11, 12, 13.

Ver. 1. BLessed is he that considereth the poore: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.

2. The Lord wil preserve him, and keep him alive, and he shal be blessed upon the earth; and thou wilt not deliver him unto the wil of his enemies.

3. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

4. I said, Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.

THat he may comfort the godly in their afflictions, and cor­rect the common judgment of the world concerning affli­cted people, he giveth a reason for which it is safe to judg cha­ritably of every man who humbleth himself before God in his affliction. Whence learn, 1. Albeit it be usual for the world to judg all them that are afflicted, to be plagued of God in wrath, yet it is a blessed course to study to frame our hearts to a wise and discreet judging of other mens estates, by looking to a mans be­haviour [Page 257] in his trouble, and to judg charitably of the man who is contrite, and humbleth himself before God in his afflictions, Blessed is he that considereth the poor, or giveth comfort and in­struction to the weak. 2. It is a blessed thing for a man afflict­ed and humbling himself before God to judg charitably of his own condition, as wel as of anothers condition in the like case; for, Blessed is he that considereth the poor, is so set down as it is applicable to the patient in affliction judging of himself, no less then to the beholder of another in affliction: and for confirma­tion of this, he giveth six reasons of comforting the afflicted and humbled man, and confirming the charitable beholder and judger of him as a fellow-sufferer with him. 3. The afflicted and hum­ble man shal be delivered out of his trouble, be what it may be, The Lord wil deliver him in time of trouble. This is the first reason of the comfort, and withal a reason of confirmation and encouragement of him that doth judg wisely of the afflicted. 4. The Lord hath a way of delivery, not only from trouble, that a man fal not in it, and not only of delivering from trouble, by removing of the trouble, but also a way of delivery, when the trouble is yet remaining; to wit, by sustaining the man, comfor­ting of him, saving of him from any harm by the trouble, gi­ving him good by the trouble, quieting his mind by patient sub­mission unto God under the trouble, &c. The Lord wil deliver him in time of trouble: and this is branched out in particulars in the verses following, as so many reasons of comfort, and chari­table judging of his own condition and others. 5. Albeit the godly be brought very low, yet shal he not perish, The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive; and this is the second reason of comfort; albeit he faint, and have soul-swarses now and then, yet shal spiritual life be kept in him. 6. None of the godly mans afflictions shal hinder or take away his begun blessedness, even in this world; He shal be blessed on the earth: and this is the third reason of comfort; if it may be for Gods glory and the mans good, this temporal life shall be preserved, and evidences of Gods blessing shal be seen upon him. 7. No persecuter shal drive the godly man from his point, and make him forsake God, or the way of godliness; if he slip in a step, God shal raise him up again; Thou wilt not deliver him to the wil of his enemies: and this is the fourth reason of his comfort. 8. The Lord wil strengthen the godly to bear whatsoever trouble he putteth on him; The Lord wil strengthen him on the bed of languishing: and this is the fifth reason of his comfort. 9. The Lord shal miti­gate [Page 258] and moderate all the afflictions of the godly, and ease him under his trouble, as tenderly as when a sick persons bed is made the best way that can be for his ease; Thou shalt make all his bed in his sickness: and this is the sixth reason of his comfort. 10. The man who may look for all these consolations, and may be judged of charitably, whether it be himself or another, is the man who in the sense of his sins humbleth himself before the Lord, especi­ally when he is afflicted, and flieth to Gods mercy: first, to have sins pardoned; and next, to have his trouble removed, as God seeth it fit for his salvation. This is pointed out in Davids behaviour under his trouble, of set purpose that he may give the character of the Lords poor man, to whom the foresaid comforts do be­long, and of whose estate a good construction is to be made; I said, Lord, be merciful to me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.

Ver. 5. Mine enemies speake evil of me: When shal he die, and his name perish?

6. And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to it self, when hee goeth a­broad, he telleth it.

7. All that hate me whisper together against me: gainst me do they devise my hurt.

8. An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that hee lieth, he shal rise up no more.

9. Yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trust­ed, which did eat of my bread, hath lift up his heel a­gainst me.

10. But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and [...]aise me up that I may requite them.

From his complaint against his enemies, set down in the second place; Learn, 1. Evil speeches against the godly wil be taken notice of by God, and made a part of the wickeds ditty, Mine enemies speak evil of me. 2. The malice of the enemies of god­liness is such against the godly, as nothing but their utter over­throw and root [...]ng out from the earth of such a sort of people can satisfie them, When shal he die, and his name perish? say they, [Page 259] 3. The godly have to do not only with open enemies, but with secret false dissemblers also, who wil profess friendship with fair words, when they are following the way of malice, from whose falshood there is no refuge more then from the force of the open enemy, save to fly▪ to God, the Judg of all oppressed people: If he come to see me, he speaketh vanity; many fair words, but none of them true. 4. The end of the wicked mans pretended kindness to the godly, and of his insinuating of himself in their fellowship is, that he may make observation of somthing in their behaviour, or condition or speeches, wherof he may make advantage against them▪ If he cometh to see me, his heart gather­eth iniquity to it self; when he goeth abroad he telleth it. 5. Al­beit the wicked can do no more against the godly then God wil permit to be done for the godly mans exercise and good, yet many are the consultations which the wicked have, that they may hurt and destroy the godly, All that hate me whisper together against me, against me do they devise my hurt. 6. When the godly fal in straits, the wicked judg that the godly shal never get out of their trou­ble, and in this hope do refresh themselves, An evil disease cleaveth fast unto him, and now that he lieth, he shal rise no more. 7. The lot appointed to Christ, and to all the true members of his mystical body as wel as to David, is to find in the time of their trials a hard meeting in the world from the wicked, how many bonds soever of nature, friendship, familiarity, or obligations of the wicked unto the godly intervene, which otherwayes might require better offices; Yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lift up his heel against me. 8. We must not dwel upon our miseries in time of trouble, as if we had nothing to do, save to weep and mourn, but we should turn our selves to God, and pray to him for mercy, and expect a delivery, as the Psalmist doth here, But thou, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up. 9. Albeit it be not fit for every believer, to resolve requiting of their persecuters and enemies, as it was sit to David as a Magistrate, and to Christ who is King of Kings, here re­presented by him; to resolve vengeance, and to execute the same also against their enemies; yet every believer may be assured of this, that what injuries are done to Christ in their person, Christ shal requite their persecuters; for he in his mystical members shal never be so born down, but he shal be raised up again (as he was raised up personally after his personal suffering) Raise me up, that I may requite them.

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Ver. 11 By this I know that thou favourest me because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.

12. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mime in­tegrity: and settest me before thy face for ever.

13. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from e­verlasting and to everlasting, Amen and Amen.

In the last part of the Psalm in his thanksgiving, presuppo­sing that the Psalm was drawn up after the delivery from the trouble which is set forth in the former part. Whence learne, 1. Albeit external deliveries from enemies, and success eternal do not alwaies serve for marks of Gods favour (for an ill man in an ill cause may have success for a time) yet when the man is reconciled to God, and the cause which the reconciled man de­fendeth against his persecuters, is the Lords cause; in this case if God shal give to his servant either spiritual victory, that the enemy do not so prevail over him, as to drive him from his righ­teous cause; or external victory, and deliverance also from the power of the adversary, together with the spiritual victory; in this case (I say) the word of God, and the work of God concurring, do give evidence not only of Gods favouring the mans person, but also of his favouring the mans cause and carriage in the cause, so as he may say, By this I know that thou favorest me, because mine enemie doth not triumph over me. 2. Uprightness is a special means to bring a man through difficulties, and whatsoever infirmities the believer be subject unto, he shal not want comfort, if he keep the conscience of integrity, uprightness, and sincerity; for this is the Psalmists rejoycing, when he looks back upon his former exercise under trouble, As for me, thou upholdest me in my integrity. 3. The wise wrastler with tentations, is made at length to see and acknowledge by the experience he hath of him­self and of Gods help in time of tentation, that all the glory of his standing and bearing out in trouble for righteousness, doth belong to the Lord, Thou upholdest me in mine integritie. 4. Experience of Gods gracious bearing out of a believer in time of trial, serveth for a good argument to make him confident of the continuance of Gods favour to him for ever; yea after expe­riences and victory, God useth to give some measure of perswa­sion of his everlasting love toward them that have overcome; as here, Thou settest me before thy face for ever. 5. He that gets a [Page 261] sight of Gods love to him, may knit Gods felt favour in effect with Gods everlasting love decreeing to shew favour, and his ever­lasting love communicating it self to him, and performing the decrees of love touching him, and may behold the course of ever­lasting blessings running from eternity before the world, to ever­lasting after the world; and the believer having seen it, should ac­knowledge this with praise and thanksgiving; as here, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting. 6. He that seeth the course of Gods love to himself, seeth Gods love in conjunction with the rest of the Lords people also, who are joyn­ed in the same Covenant with him unto God in Christ. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, says the Psalmist, now when he will bless God for his own particular mercy. 7. Fresh experiences of Gods love in a particular trial, especially when the soul is lifted up to the eternal original, and everlasting endurance of it, will make a soul heartily with all his strength give everlasting praise to God, and seal it affectionately again and again, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting, Amen, and Amen.

PSAL. XLII. To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.

In this Psalm David sheweth what was his longing after the fellowship of the Saints in their pub­lick worship and service of God, in the time of his banishment, by the persecution of Saul, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. and how he wrastled with discourage­ments, by checking himself for it, and by pray­ing to God, whereby he was erected unto hope and confidence to be answered, ver. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Vers. 1. AS the Hart panteth after the water-brooks: so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

[Page 262] 2. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

3. My tears have been my meat day and night: while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

4. When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me; for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voyce of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day.

HE setteth down his sad condition in his banishment, especi­ally when he remembred the solemn assembly of Gods people at the Temple, and saw himself either in the wilderness, or a­mong the heathen, deprived of the use of publick ordinances. Whence learn, 1. It is not a bare formal use of the ordinances, but communion with God himself, which the lively believer doth seek after in the use of the publick ordinances, My soul painteth after thee, O God. 2. Spiritual affections when they are raised, and by delay, or by outward restraint are kept off from satisfaction, are comparable in measure or in the point of sincerity to the kindly appetite of natural food, As the heart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 4. Worship­pers of the true God do find, and more and more may find lively refreshments to their souls in him, the experience whereof doth kindle their desire of the renewing thereof by such means, as they have found refreshments by before, My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God. 5. Because the assemblies of the Church, for the exercise of Religion, are the trysting places, where God useth to shew himself to his people; therefore lovers of God are hearty lovers of the publick ordinances, and most desirous to frequent them for that cause; When shall I come and appear before God? 6. It is not enough for the wicked to see the godly in affliction, except they impute the misery of the godly unto their Religion, and insult over them, either as Atheists, or as false worshippers, or as hypocritical people forsaken of God; They say continually unto me, Where is thy God? 7. To find Satan and wicked men, and Gods sad dispensations seeming to speak rejection from God, & to see the glory of the true Religion, and a mans own interest in [Page 263] God called in question, and thrust through with fiery darts of insulting enemies, is a matter indeed of great grief, and able to render all the comforts of the earthly creatures tastless to a godly soul, My tears have been my meat day and night, while they say un­to me, Where is thy God? 8. As they who have had most plenty of the means of grace, may have scarcity of them ere all be done; so no one will take the inlack of them more heavily, then they who have reaped most spiritual benefit by them; When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me. 9. The Saints should be so far from separation from the fellowship of the visible Church in the publick exercise of holy ordinances, albeit they know certainly that all are not sound professors who are to joyn with them, that it should be their joy to have multitudes partaking in the use, (at least of some) of the publick means, and such as were not publickly scandalous joyning in all the ordinan­ces, whereby God might be openly honoured, and his elect among them might in Gods own time be converted; for David went with the multitude, and that to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, and with a multitude that kept holy day. And this was at the time when King Saul and his Courtiers were joyned in the publick ordinances with him, and with Iona­than, and other such godly persons: Now what the constitution of the Church visible was in Sauls days, in regard of the hypocri­sie of professors known to David, sundry of Davids Psalmes do make evident, and yet for all that he wisheth to have the like oc­casion of worshipping God again, and doth account highly of what he sometimes did enjoy.

Ver. 5. Why art thou cast down, O my soul; and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him for the help of his counte­nance.

In the second part of the Psalme, he wrestleth with discou­ragements, and the conflicts are four. In the first he laboureth to comfort himself three wayes; first by checking himself for his de­jection of spirit, and for disquietness; next, by stirring up the grace of God in himself, namely faith and hope; thirdly by ap­plication of the word of promise made unto him for strengthening of both to bear him o [...]t, till the Lord should manifest his pro­mised kindness. Whence learn, 2. When sore troubles in stead of humbling a man, do press him down unto dejection and dis­couragement [Page 264] of minde; it is a gracious mans part to check him­self for this reasonless fit of unbelief▪ and to put his conscience to answer for yeilding so far to the tentation; Why art thou cast down, O my soul? 2. Mis-belief in a child of God is followed with restlesness of spirit, as a chastisement drawn on by that sin, for which disquieting of himself the man may justly be challenged also, and will not be able to give a reason for it, Why art thou dis­quieted within me? 3. The only means of remedying discourage­ments and unquietness of minde, is to set faith on work to go to God, and take hold on him, and to cast anchor within the vail, hoping for and expecting relief from him, Hope thou in God. 4. The believer in the midst of trouble, may promise to himself new experience of Gods kindness and consolation by delivery out of it, and to God he may promise praises: I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Ver. 6. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Iordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Missar.

In the second conflict he turneth him to God, and layeth the case of his discouraged heart before him, labouring to make use of old experience. Whence learn, 1. Albeit a dejected and discon­solate soul may and should deal with it self rationally, to recover it self, yet can it not do it effectually; but as a man sick and weak and faln from his bed calleth for help, so must it call to God and lay out its case before him, that he may recover it: O my God, my soul is cast down within me. 2. Albeit the power of making the means effectual, be not in us, but in the Lords hands, yet must we not cease to use the means rationally still, whereby the Lord useth to convey his efficacious power, and to call to minde experiences, as a good means for recovering of our selves; My soul is cast down, O God, therefore will I remember thee from the Land of Iordan. That is, I will aime at comforting my self, by remembring what I have found by experience in several places of Iudea of thy goodness to me: and I will look to the holy land, and to the Temple, the place where thy gracious presence is of­fered, and where thy honour dwelleth.

Ver. 7. Deep calleth unto deep, at the noise of thy [Page 265] water-spouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

In the third conflict, wherein the very remembrance of by-gone experience, which even now was made use of to comfort him, doth kindle a fresh again his grief. Learn, 1. Though the using of the right and appointed means to comfort us, should seem to us to have a contrary effect to what we intended, and to encrease our grief by our using them, yet still must we wrastle on, using still one means after another, mixing prayer with all o­ther means, as David doth here, saying, Deep calleth to deep, at the noise of thy water-spouts. 2. As the noise of rain from the clouds raiseth a noise of the inferiour waters and floods; as the raising of brooks doth raise the rivers, and all do shut themselves into a sea; and as the waves of the sea do call one upon another to follow the former at the back: so one grief doth waken another, one tentation doth strengthen another, one affliction augmenteth another, till a sea of troubles raised by a storm be like to over­whelm the man, All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Verse 8. Yet the LORD will command his loving kindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

9. I will say unto God, My rock, why hast thou fore gotten me? why go I mourning, because of the oppres­sion of the enemy?

To oppose this new assult, faith puts forth it self the third time, promising to the wrastler what God hath promised to the believer; whereupon he resolveth to plead his cause more hardly, and ply God yet again with prayer more earnestly, that he may prevaile: Whence learn, 1. Faith seeth in Gods Word and in by-gone evi­dence of his truth manifested in his word, as it were a written or­der and commission ready to be given forth in acts of providence for satisfying the believer with so much fresh experience, as may fill him day and night with sense of Gods love and songs of praise, Yet the Lord will command his loving kindness in the day­time, and in the night his song shall be with me. 2. The care of our life bodily, spiritual, and everlasting, lieth upon God, by ver­tue [Page 266] of his Covenant with us to keep it, to feed it and renew it in all the decays thereof, till it be possessed of unchangeable bles­sedness, the belief whereof is a ground of perseverance in prayer, My prayer shall be unto the God of my life. 3. Faith may im­prove its right before God, and plead that the believer be not re­jected, and may regrate any appearance (which is offered to sense) of rejection, I will say unto God, Why hast thou forgotten me? 4. The believer in his complaints must not weaken his own faith, but weaken his unbelief rather, and to this end should fasten his faith ere he complain, I will say unto God, My rock, there faith is fastened, then followeth the complaint, why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Ver. 10. As with a sword in my bones, mine ene­mies reproach me: while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

11. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and w [...]y art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the help of my counte­nance, and my God▪

In the fourth conflict which he hath chiefly with the mockers of his Religion, and of his cause, and of his trust in God; Learn, 1. The sharpest part of a believers trial and affliction is, when in his person Religion and Gods glory is mocked; this cruel sort of persecution pierceth deepest in his heart, because it tends to drive the man to desperation, and to make Religion and faith in God out of request, As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me. 2. Continuance of the reproach of godliness, and of the insolency of mockers scorning Religion in the afflicted mans face, in the time when it seemeth that his affliction speaketh desperation of relief, doth greatly encrease the power of the tenta­tion, and the godly mans grief: A sword in my bones, while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? 3. As the battel against discourage­ments and unbelief useth to be oftner renewed even after the be­liever hath gotten the victory once and again, and as the wrastlers weakness useth oftner to be made evident: so the same means and weapons must be oftner used, and we must not be weary to fight on; for, Why art thou cast down, O my soul, is now repeated as before; the mis-beleif and disquietness drawn on by mis-belief, must be yet again rebuked, Why art thou disquieted within me? [Page 267] Faith and hope must be set on work against all the disappearances of help, Hope thou in God; we must (as it were) be surety to our selves for Gods promises made to us, that they shall be performed; I shall yet praise him. 4. As when the Lord doth withdraw both the outward tokens of his favour, and also his inward con­solation for a time, the countenance of the godly cannot chuse but be heavy, cast down, and look sad like a man that is sick; so when God returneth to comfort, and to owne his own ei­ther both inwardly and outwardly, or inwardly only; the mans face looketh cheerful, He is the health of my countenance. 5. Al­though the Lord for a time shall nether remove the outward af­fliction, nor yet inwardly give comfort, yet faith will sustain it self upon the Covenant, and lay its whole weight upon it, and may do it confidently; for it will not sink under the man, nor under his burden, He is my God.


This Psalme tendeth to the same purpose with the former; for David in exile complaineth of his persecuters, and prayeth for delivery, and re­grateth his sad condition, ver. 1.2. prayeth for restitution unto the liberty of the publick ordi­nances, promising to praise God at his re­turning cheerfully, ver. 3, 4. and warstleth with his discouragements as he did in the former Psalme, ver. 5.

Vers. 1. JVdge me, O God, and plead my cause a­gainst an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

2. For thou art the God of my strength, why doest thou cast me off? why go I mourning, because of the oppression of the enemy?

[Page 268]FRom his complaint and prayer against his enemies; Learn, 1. As the godly have usually enemies powerful, many, craf­ty and cruel, oppressing them for righteousnesse; so want they not a Judge impartial, who is sufficient to take order with their adversaries, to whom they may & should address themselves in their affliction, as David doth here; Iudge me, O Lord, and plead my cause against an ungodly Nation. 2. The craftinesse and falshood, and fair pretences, whereby the enemies do palliate their cruel purposes, are more dangerous then their professed cruelty; from which no wisdome, except divine direction, can save a man; O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. 3. What the oppressed Church, or particular Believer wanteth, that God hath, and is to be forth-coming for the Believers use and benefit, (as his need shall be) to uphold him by it, and comfort him, and de­liver him, and blesse him: For, Thou art the God of my strength. 4. Although the Lord be all in all to us by Covenant; yet for our good and his own glory he may so exercise us, as we may want possession for a time of what we have in promise; yea, and seem also to be thrust out of our right; in which case if we shall once fixe our faith, we shall have liberty to dispute our right against all tentations, and to expresse the sense of our condition unto God without being mistaken, as here David doth, saying (not before, but after the fixing of his faith:) Why dost thou cast me off? Why go I mourning for the oppression of the enemy?

Vers. 3. O send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy Tabernacles.

4. Then will I go unto the Altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God, my God.

From his prayer and promise of thanksgiving; Learn, 1. No tentation unto discouragement, nor seeming desertion should divert the Beleever from pursuing his desire of relief, but rather kindle his affection in prayer: O send out thy light. 2. Com­fort, deliverances from troubles, and performance of promises, when they most disappear, are kept in store for us, and fast locked up, to be let forth in due time unto us: O send out thy light, and thy truth. 3. Direction how to carry our selves till we obtain our desires, and observation of the steps of Gods pro­vidence; [Page 269] bringing us to the possession of promised mercies, are necessary preparations for the mercie which we seek, and should be prayed for as mercies in order preceding that particular which we should have: Let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hil. 4. Spiritual grief must have spiritual comfort; godly sorrow for distance from God and want of the comforta­ble use his of ordinances, admitteth no comfort, save a comfort of that kind; for David longeth more to have the free use of the publick ordinances, then to have the Kingdome; There­fore saith he, let them bring me to thy holy hill, and to thy Ta­bernacles. 5. The first thing a soul is to look unto in his address to God, is the means of expiation of his sin, and that is Christ (represented by the Altar) offering himself a ransome for the sinner, and sanctifying the person of the offerer, and the wor­ship and service of the man that comes to God through him; Then wil I go to the Altar of God. 6. This way of making ad­dress to God by Christ, giveth present access to God, and peace to the soul of him who draweth near this way: Thus I wil go to God. 7. God laid hold upon through Christ, furnish­eth not only peace, but unspeakable joy also to the believer; yea, God reconciled through Christ, is the life of the believers glad­ness, I wil go to God, my exceeding joy. 8. As is the longing of the soul after God, when it is at a distance from him: so is the consolation and satisfaction which it findeth after renewed access; and as the supplicant is earnest for renewed sense of fel­lowship: so doth he purpose that the praises of God shal be hear­ty at the receiving of that which he longed for, and also that his faith shal be stronger by the fastning of the bond of the Covenant between him and God more strongly: I wil praise thee with the harpe, O my God.

Ver. 5. Why art thou cast downe, O my soule? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God; for I shal yet praise him, who is the health of my coun­tenance and my God.

He closeth this Psalm as the former, setting faith and hope on work to wrastle with discouragement. Whence learn, 1. The strongest Believer may be overtaken with fits of dejection and discouragement; for this Champion findeth his soul cast down. 2. A praying soul believing in God through Christ, hath no [Page 270] reason of dejection and discouragement, whatsoever reason of humiliation he may have: Why art thou cast down, O my soule? 3. It is a sanctifying means for wrastling out of discouragement, to dispute mis-belief to the door, or to dispute our selves out of the dumps by reason taken from the Lords word; and it is wis­dome to get the conscience to be our friend, when the mind and the heart are in a wrong temper in this case; it is necessary to take Gods part against mis-belief, and unwarrantable unquiet­nesse, and to dispute both his cause and our own against tenta­tions: Why art thou disquieted within me? 4. No rest to a troubled and unquiet spirit, but by casting anchor on the Rock, and hoping in God; Hope thou in God. 5. Hope cannot raise it self in trouble, but by the gripe of a promise; Hope in God, for I shal yet praise him. 6. Though faith be in darkness, yet wil it see afar off; so soon as it puts the prospect of the Covenant of Grace to its eye, it discerneth the proper remedy of present evils to be in God, and the good it would be at, coming along unto it, and is as sure of it, as if it were in possession: He is the health of my coun­tenance, and my God.

PSAL. XLIV. To the chief Musician, for the sons of Korah.

The Church under heavy persecution: First, streng­theneth her faith in God before she enter upon her lamentation, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. In the second place, she layeth forth her sad suf­ferings under the hands of cruell persecu­ters, verse 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. In the third, she professeth her constant adherence unto God, and doth avow his truth for time by-past, and her purpose to continue for time to come, vers. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. In the last place, they pray unto the Lord to arise, and relieve them from their cruel persecuters, [Page 271] for the glory of both his justice and mercy, ver. 23, 24, 25.

FRom the Inscription, Learn, Seeing the Canon of the whole Hebrew Bible is commended to us by Christ and his Apo­stles, as the undoubted word of God, and the undoubted Scrip­tures given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the holy men of God, the writers therof, as kept inti [...]e and not vitiate by the Jewes, (whose honor for preserving faithfully the Oracles of God committed unto them, is unstained, Rom. 4.2.) We are not to trouble our selves about the name of the writer, or time of writing of any part therof; especially because God of set pur­pose concealeth the name sundry times of the writer, and the time when it was written; That we might look in every book, more to the enditer of it, then to the writer of it; and that the use of any exercise of any of the Saints set down therein, might be so much the more large, as the consideration of particular cir­cumstances of time and persons, (whereunto it might seem only to be applied) were laid aside; For this Psalm wanting the name of the writer, and time of the writing of it also, is looked upon by the Apostle, Rom. [...].36. not only as an experience of the Church before us, but also as a prophecie of the martyrdom of Christians under the Gospel, and as encouragement to stand constant in the faith in hottest persecutions.

Ver. 1. WE have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us what works thou didest in their dayes, in the times of old.

2. How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.

3. For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy coun­tenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

FOr the confirmation of their faith, they lay forth three argu­ments. The first is from the Lords mighty work in driving out the Canaanites, and planting their fathers in Canaan, made [Page 272] mention of in holy Scripture. Whence learn, 1. The informa­tions which the Scripture doth give us of Gods working for his people, is as sure, and should be so looked upon by us; as if the people of God who lived in the dayes when these works were done, and who were eye-witnesses thereof, should also rise up from the dead when the Scriptures are read, and testifie unto us, saying: Of these things we were eye-witnesses, and we tell them unto you for unquestionable truths; for thus much do these words import: We have heard with our eares, O God, our fa­thers have told us what thou didst in their dayes. 2. The Scrip­ture doth keep the declarations of Gods work and wil so fresh, and clean and pure from the mixture and superfluitie and im­perfection of humane tradition, that God wil own it as his own proper testimonie, when we bring it before him: Our eares have heard, O God, what thou didst in the times of old. 3. Gods old works have new use in all ages, for the furtherance of Be­lievers faith, patience and comfort: Wee have heard what thou didst in times of old, say the Saints now in trouble; and standing in need of experience of the like works of God for them. 4. Albeit comparison of by-gone better times with ours, doth augment grief and tentation at first; yet when they are well looked upon in their end and use, they serve to comfort us, and confirm our faith, as here the persecuted Kirks use-making of the like condition of the Lords people before them doth teach us. 5. Although Families and Nations were rooted in a Land, like old Oak-trees, and were very long possessors of it; yet God can drive them out of it, by what instruments soever he pleaseth to do it; The work of vanquishing Nations, and subduing of them, and casting out of them, is the Lords work: Thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand. And so is the planting of a people in a land, or continuing families in succession: Thou plantedst our fathers, and castedst out the people. 6. The Lords part in a work is best seen, when mans part and all that he, as an instrument hath done, or could have done in it, is all declared null; being considered as separate from God, who moved the in­struments, and did work by them what he pleased: They got not the land in possession by their own sword, &c. 7. The fountaine of all good which is done to, or by the Church, is the only meer favour of God and his good pleasure; That they are an incor­poration, a Church planted, fost [...]red, defended so long, watered, spared so long, all is free favour; Neither did their own arme save them, but thy right hand, &c. because thou hadst a favour [Page 273] unto them. 8. When God sheweth the light of his countenance to a people or person, he wil also shew his power for them; Thy arm and the light of thy countenance, gave them the land in possessi­on. These two go together.

Ver. 4. Thou art my King, O God; command deliverance for Jacob.

The second argument for confirmation of the Church, is from the relation between God and her; Thou art my King, O God, &c. Whence learn, 1. Trouble doth make Faith thirsty, and teacheth the believer to make use of his right and interest, and re­lations between God and him, which otherwise possibly might have lien idle in his coffe [...]; yea, and Faith by trouble is made wise to chuse out the relation which serveth most for its present use; Thou art my King, O God. 2. Relations between God and his people, do stand constantly in adversity, as wel as in prosperity: The godly in persecution have God for a King to come unto, from whom they may expect all the benefits which Subjects can expect from a potent King, as here the Church saith to God, how ever thou thinkest it fit to put us under the feet of persecuters; yet Thou art my King, O God. 3. Whatsoever be the particular con­dition of any member of the Church, their prayer should be put forth for the whole body; specially when the persecution is of the whole: Command deliverance for Jacob. 4. It wil cost the Lord but a word to deliver his people: Let him give out order, and it shal be effected; The Church craveth no more, but Com­mand deliverance.

Ver. 5. Through thee wil we push down our enemies; through thy name wil we t [...]ead them under that rise up against us.

6. For I wil not trust in my bowe, neither shall my sword save me.

7. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.

8. In God wil we boast all the day long; and praise thy Name for ever. Selah.

[Page 274]The third argument to confirm their Faith, is the conscience of their sincere purpose, to give God the glory of inabling them unto all duties, whereunto he hath promised to inable them. Whence learn, 1. The believer may promise to himself whatso­ever God hath promised unto him; hath God promised to give his own people the victory over their enemies? then the be­liever may promise to himself he shal overcome his persecuters, and through Gods strength be more then a conquerour over them; Through thee wil we push down our enemies. If the enemy make head against them after a defeat, the Believer may say, Through thy Name wil we tread under that rise up against us. 2. The less confidence me have in our selves or in any thing beside God, the more evidence have we of the sincerity of our faith in God: For I wil not trust in my bow, neither shal my sword save mee. 3. It is a proof of sincerity of Faith, to give God as much credit for time to come, as he hath gained to himself, by the evidencing of his truth in time by-gone; My sword shal not save me: But thou hast saved us, and therfore through thee wil we push down our enemies. 4. Whosoever doth hate the Lords people, shall be forced to think shame of their enmity one day; Thou hast put them to shame, that hated us. 5. The glory which we give to God in prosperity, we should give him the same in our adversity; change of times and dispensations should not change his glory, nor our confidence in him: Though the Church be under foot of men, the Churches God is above all: In God wil we boast all the day long, and praise thy Name for ever.

Ver. 9. But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame, and goest not forth with our armies.

10. Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy; and they which hate us, spoile for themselves.

11. Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.

12. Thou sellest thy people for nought; and dost not increase thy wealth by their price.

13. Thou makest us a repro [...]ch unto our neigh­bours, a scorn and derision to them that are round a­bout us.

14. Thou makest us a b [...] word among the heathen; a [Page 275] shaking of the head among the people.

15. My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me.

16. For the voice of him that reproacheth and blas­phemeth: by reason of the enemie and avenger.

Having thus fastned a resolution to believe constantly in God, the Psalmist layeth forth the lamentable condition of the Church before God, with the tentation which did assault his people in their sufferings. Whence learn, 1. It can stand with the constant love of God to his people, to put them to so hard exercises by va­riety of troubles; as he may seem not only to break off his former course of kindness towards them, but also to cast them off, and turn against them, by sending sore judgments on them, which ordinarily do speake unto humane sense wrath, and utter wrath; Thou hast cast off; yea, and they may seem disappointed of their hoped for protection and assistance from God; Thou hast put us to shame: and may lose heart and hand when they go to battel against their enemies in a good cause; Thou goest not forth with our armies, ver. 9. and be put to flight in battels, and be made a spoil to their despiteful enemies: Thou makest us turne back from our enemies, and they that hate us, spoil for themselves. v. 10. and being destitute of humane help for recovery, may seem to be left in the hand of the enemie, to dispose of them (as it may seem) to his pleasure; Thou hast given us like sheepe for meat. And albeit all believers cannot be cut off, yet we may lose the face of a Church or Congregation: Thou hast scattered us among the Heathen, ver. 11. and may be made underlings and slaves to oppressors with no apparant advantage to the Lords glo­ry, but seeming losse rather; Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase thy wealth with their price, ver. 12. And may be deprived, not only of the common duties of humanity, which may be expected of neighbours, but also be disdained by them, mocked and reproached by them: Thou makest us a re­proach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are about us, ver. 13. And in a word, may be the most despised people under heaven; which as it is the just punishment of the scandalous carriage of the visible Church, when they make Gods name to bereproached among Idolaters and heathen people; So is it the sharpest trial and tentation of the truly godly that can [Page 276] be; Thou makest us a by-word among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people, vers. 14. Learn also, 2. As Gods presence manifested among his people, and for them in the sight of the world, makes them the most famous, wise, couragious, prospe­rous and blessed people in the world: So when God being pro­voked by the wicked behaviour of his professed people, leaveth them, with-draweth his protection from them, wil shew himself angry at them; they become foolish and feeble sheep, a despica­ble and disdained people above all others; We turn back from the enemy. Thou hast given us as sheep appointed for meat, a reproach, a scorn, a by-word. 3. Whatsoever calamity cometh upon us, howsoever, and for whatsoever cause, we may safely take God for the worker of all our woe; albeit the meritorious cause be in our self, the inflicting of the calamity is of the Lord; for there is no trouble in the City which the Lord wil not avow himselfe to be the inflicter of; for here the Prophet puts all upon God, Thou hast done it, five or six times. 4. When the visible Church hath drawn on miserie on her self, and God hath inflicted cala­mities justly on her; it is safer to go to God, and lay before him all his work of justice, and the misery which lieth on us, then to keep it within our brests, or tel it of him to others; He that hath wounded us, is only able to heal us, so doth this example teach us to do. 5. When the visible Church is visited with sad calamities, the true members therof are partakers of the trouble and sorrow, and shame of that condition: My confusion is conti­nuallly before me, saith the Psalmist. 6. It is not very soon that the Church is delivered out of her trouble, when once she falleth in it; there is a time wherein it is continued: My confusion is conti­nually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, ver. 15.7. When the enemy doth reproach Religion and righteousness, because of the calamity of the godly; the more is spoken of Gods respect to the godly, and their cause, the more the enemie re­proacheth and putteth the godly to shame; and so (while Gods dispensation seemeth to speak the contrary) it seemeth to be but their own confusion for the godly to speak of God, or godliness, and righteousness of their cause. This is a sad case, The shame of my face hath covered me, for the voice of him that reproacheth, and blasphemeth, by reason of the enemie and the avenger ▪ verse 16.

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Ver. 17. All this is come upon us, yet have we not forgotten thee: neither have we dealt falsly in thy Covenant.

18. Our heart is not turned back: neither have our steps declined from thy way.

19. Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.

20. If we have forgotten the Name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god:

21. Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

22. Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long: we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

In the third place, the godly do professe for all that is said, their stedfastnesse in the profession of their faith for which they were persecuted. Whence learn, 1. It is the duty of the Lords people, whatsoever trouble or persecution they shall fall into, to be stedfast in the profession of the true Religion, and in every point of controverted truth: All this is come upon us, yet have we not forgotten thee. 2. As the maintaining of contro­verted truth must flow from faith in God, and love to him, entertaining the affectionate remembrance of Gods kindnesse, whatsoever change of dispensation they shall feel: So the pas­sing from a point of truth in time of trouble, is a forgetting of God who is but hiding himself for a while, till the trial be per­fected; Therefore say the faithful, All this is come upon us, yet have we not forgotten thee: 3. As the Lord hath been pleased to enter into Covenant with his Church, and to make the Cove­nant a sanctified means for keeping his people more stedfast in their duty; So should his people make conscience of keeping Co­venant made with God, and of remaining stedfast in the mainte­nance of every duty whereunto they stand bound therein, that when they give accompt thereof, they may say with comfort, We have not dealt falsly in thy Covenant. 4. Covenants which people do make for adhering to the true Religion, and to mora [...] duties commanded in Gods word, are not of the nature of hu­mane [Page 278] Covenants, wherein man and man are the parties, and God only judge and witnesse; but are such Covenants as God is also a party therein, to whom a people is so much the more en­gaged, as they are sworn to keep his Law, and therefore such Covenants are called Gods Covenant: We have not dealt falsly in thy Covenant. 5. No excuse from hazard of trouble, or per­secution can guard the conscience, to shift or passe from the Co­venant of God: Nothing can make us give a comfortable ac­compt of our carriage in relation to the Covenant, save upright and streight dealing before God; We have not dealt falsly in thy Covenant. vers. 17. 6. The Lord can procure more honour to himself in the time of the persecution of his scattered people by the constancy of his Martyrs, and suffering Saints in their o­pen profession and maintenance of his truth before their perse­cuters; then when the visible Church lived in prosperity, and scandalized their neighbours by their ill behaviour, as this expe­rience of scattered Israel maketh evident. 7. A good conscience doth much sweeten affliction in the time of trial, as here appear­eth. 8. It is necessary for making a man constant in the outward profession of truth in the time of persecution, that his heart be established by grace, that his heart be fixed, trusting in the Lord; These shall be born through, who may say, Our heart is not turned back. 9. It is necessary to watch over our severall acti­ons, lest by little and little in particular passages we be drawn aside from our walking with a streight foot toward the Gospel; and lest the heart be stollen away by little and little from the truth; therefore these two must be joyned together in our endea­vour: That neither our heart be turned back, neither our steps decline from the Lords way, vers. 18. 10. Albeit the Lord for perfecting the full triall of the faith of his people should put them in the power of most cruel Tyrants, and in daily danger of losing their life, yet should they choose to suffer all extremity of torments, and death it self, rather then to depart from the truth; for so did the Lords approved witnesses before us: Though God did break them sore in the place of Dragons, and cover them with the shadow of death, v. 19. 11. In the time of trial concerning Religion, two sorts of sins are to be eschewed. The one is the passing from a­ny point of the truth of doctrine or divine ordinances; The other is the practising of any point of false worship of another instituti­on, then what is the Lords; Whether under pretence of offering it to the true God, or with profession unto another God; for both these are to be eschewed, because the first sort of sin is a forgetting of the [Page 279] name of God: The other is, a stretching out of our hands to a strange god. 12. The Lord who searcheth the depth of a mans heart, will make speciall search for corrupters of Religion, and depravers of divine Doctrine, worship or ordinances, and all sorts of idolatry, whatsoever excuses or pretences be used for the co­louring or covering of the same: If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to another god, shall not God search this out? v. 20. 13. In time of persecution for Reli­gion; nothing can counter balance the terrours and allurements of the persecuters, and make a man stedfast in the cause of God, save the fear of God, and love to God setled in the heart; For the reason of the Saints stedfastnesie in this Psalme is, because God would have searched out their sinne, if they had done other­ways; for he knoweth the secrets of the hearts, v. 21. 14. Such as resolve to bear out the profession of the truth, must resolve to give their life for the maintenance of it: We are killed all the day long. 15. It is ordinary for the world to hate the servants of God, and true Saints, more for their faithfulnesse to God, and uprightnesse in his service, then for any other cause; For thy sake are we killed. 16. It is mercy to us, that when God might punish us for our sins, he doth make our correction honourable, and our troubles to be for a good cause; For thy sake are we kil­led. 17. Although all the hours of the day the persecuters were taking and killing some of our Brethren, the Saints for their faith in God, and fidelity in his service; yet that must not divert the rest from following of the truth, and professing of true Religion; How long soever the Lord continue the persecution and our trouble for his cause, we should resolve constantly to endure to the end; Yea, for thy cause are we killed all the day long, vers. 22.

Verse 23. Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever.

24. Wherefore hidest thou thy face? and forgettest our affliction, and our oppression?

25. For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly cleaveth unto the earth.

26. Arise for our help, and redeeme us for thy mer­cies sake.

[Page 280]In the last part of the Psalme, the Psalmist in behalf of the Church doth pray to be delivered from the cruelty of persecuters; and being in bitternesse of spirit for anguish and grief, doth vent his present sense of Gods dispensation, yet corrected by faith; Whence learn, 1. Albeit the Lord who watcheth over Israel be most vigilant for every one of his children, and never slumber­eth nor sleepeth, but is still upon his work, his glorious work of preparing his jewels for eternal life, even when he putteth his people in the furnace of affliction by hottest persecution, (for then in special he is about to glorifie himself and his Saints also in the triall of their precious faith, and is bringing to the view of men and Angels, that he hath a people who do love him better then their own lives, and who will endure any misery rather then deny any point of his truth committed unto them;) yet such is the strength of natural senses and affections, such is the partiality of self-love in carnal disputation about Gods providence, when he putteth his people to so sad sufferings for no fault done to their persecuters; and such is the power of Satans tentations, helped on by humane infirmity, and perturbation of passions, that God is looked on as if he misregarded the case of his own people, and took no more care of them then a sleeping man doth of his busi­nesse, and this is imported in this expression; Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? 2. Faith doth not allow not subscribe unto carnall sense, but in presenting the objections thereof unto God, doth really refute them. First, in that by prayer it go­eth to God, who is the hearer of the most secret sighes of suppli­cants, at whatsoever time, night or day, or in whatsoever place opened up unto him. Secondly, by intreating him to refute the slander and calumny which carnal sense, and suggested tentations did put upon him, Awake, arise; that is, let it be seen by the manifesting of thy justice and mercy, as thou usest to do by thy open working for us, that thou takest notice of our sufferings, and of our persecuters violence. Thirdly, by avowing that such misregarding of his own cause and servants, as sense and tentati­on did vent, is inconsistent with his nature, Covenant, Promises, and practices towards his people; for, Why sleepest thou, is as much as, it is not possible that thou sleepest; and why here is not a word of quarrelling, but a word of denying, that any rea­son can be given for such a thought, as God sleepeth. Fourthly, by avowing faith and hope of God manifesting himself in due time, for deciding of the controversie between them and their per­secuters; for what he prayeth for, he believeth to obtain. His [Page 281] prayer being according to the revealed will of God: and Awake why sleepest thou, O Lord, is as much as I believe, Lord, that thou wilt indeed let us and the world see that thou art not sleep­ing in all this our hard sufferings for thy sake; and therefore I pray thee shew thy self early. 3. As tentation, if it cannot fast­en upon us any thought of Gods careless misregarding of us in our sad sufferings; yet will it suggest suspicions of Gods wrath, indig­nation, hatred, rejection, and reprobation of us; So faith will study to dispell this mist, and quench this fiery dart by prayer also; Cast us not off for ever, giving assurance, that albeit there were wrath in their exercise, yet it shall be but for a short time, and shall not be perpetuall. 4. As tentation, if it cannot fasten up­on us suspicion of Gods hatred of us, and of his purpose to cast us off for ever; yet it will suggest that God is pursuing us for some sinne which we know not of, that he is wroth with us in suffering persecuters to prevaile and to oppresse us, (when in the mean-time he is glorifying himself, and his truth in us, edify­ing others by our constancy in such a point of truth, and by our patience in bearing the crosse, to the advantage both of the pre­sent age and posterity:) So faith must study to dispel this mist also, and to quench this fiery dart as well as the former by reject­ing this to be the cause; for it is no token of Gods pursuing sin in wrath, when God giveth us grace, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his Names sake, and the Gospels; When he maketh us to be his publick Martyrs and witnesses for his truth, some in one degree of Martyrdome, some in another; When he maketh the spirit of glory, and of God to rest upon us, and so blesseth us, that when on the persecuters part he is evil spoken of, he is on our part glorified. This (I say) is no token of wrath, no token of pursuing us for our sinnes. Therefore albeit sense calls this a hiding of his face, yet faith will not admit these causes which might import wrath: For, Wherefore hidest thou thy face? is in the terms of faith, as much as, Albeit it be true, that we have sinned, and thou seemest to hide thy face; yet I can­not admit this thought, that this thy dealing with us is in wrath; I see no reason why I should expound thy dispensation so; yea, the very question wherefore, importeth that the Psalmist cannot con­descend upon any suggested reason of this sort, to prove the hiding of Gods face, as sense would say; and therefore he expecteth the Lord will shew forth tokens of his love and good will to them in due time. 5. As when these tentations are refuted by faith, long-lasting trouble meeting with infirme flesh, doth hold up [Page 282] the complaint of poor frail man, not being able to endure trouble long, weak nature is ready to think that it is forgotten or laid aside, and striketh still upon its own string of lamentation, whatsoever faith doth speak to the contrary, whether it have rea­son or not; So faith must do its office, and that is, when it can­not stop complaining, it must lay forth before God in prayer the lamenter, and his lamentation to finde pity; Why forgettest thou our affliction, and our oppression? 6. All the reason that a poor persecuted and afflicted person can bring from himself, to plead pity when he lamenteth his case to the Lord, is his own weak­nesse, emptinesse, low condition, near drawing to discourage­ment, fainting and dying; For, Our soul is bowed down to the dust. 7. The godly soul under persecution, resolveth never to yield to the will of the persecuters, nor quit the Lords cause, but to lie supplicant at Gods feet from day to day, and there to die, if it be his will to delay or deny outward relief. Thus much the gesture of the supplicant speaks; Our belly cleaveth to the earth. 8. Though the Believer do finde no reason in himself of his pray­er for relief, yet he findeth reasons sufficient to give him hope in God; As first, The Lords Soveraign power and place to help such weak creatures as come to him in their need; Arise for our help, arise a help for us: Secondly, the office of a Redeemer, wherewith he cloathed himself in the Messiah Christ Jesus; in the paction of whose redemption, and payment of the price of it, and begun and perfected accomplishment of it, every Believer hath undoubted interest and right unto all particular deliveries out of all straits, as branches, and appendices of the great Re­demption of their souls unto eternall life. And this is hinted at in these words; Arise for our help, and redeem us. Thirdly, the purchased, promised, and constantly running forth, and offered mercy of God to Believers, looseth all objections and doubts arising from our sins, unworthinesse, and ill-deserving: For, (Redeem us for thy mercies sake) importeth so much.

PSAL. XLV. To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sonnes of Korah, Maschil: a song of loves.

Laying aside what useth to be spoken here of Solo­mons marrying of Pharaohs daughter, and of some typicall things therein, (tending to the extenuation of Solomons fault) as conjectural, and serving nothing to the advantage of that marriage, presuppose the conjecture did hold, both concerning the occasion, and also what might seem typical in it, because similitudes ta­ken from, and types made of what thing soever God pleaseth, do serve to make clear what the Spirit will have taken up about Christ, or about any spiritual antitype; but doth not serve to make clear the thing resembled by the antitype, from being sinful, as by the type of Agar, and of the brazen Serpent, and of Ionas his punishment, and sundry other similitudes and parables set down in Scripture doth appear: But we are sure this Psalme is a song, describing the mystical marriage of the Messiah Christ Iesus our Lord, and his Church, wherein Christ the Bridegroom is praised, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. And the Church his Spouse is instructed in her duty to him, ver. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. And the end of the song declared to be the everlasting praise of Christ, ver. 16, 17.

[Page 284]COncerning the Inscription, that this Psalme is altogether spiritual and holy, appeareth; First by this, That it is di­rected to the publick Minister of Gods worship, to be made publickly use of in Gods publick praises. To the chief Musician, for the sonnes of Korah. Secondly, it is intituled Maschil, a song to give instruction to the Church of God, concerning the Majesty and grace of the Kingdom of Christ, and the duty of the Church, and the spiritual blessings of the Believers. Thirdly, it is a part of divine Scripture, ranked among the holy Psalmes, and ac­knowledged by the Church of the old Testament for such. Fourth­ly, the testimony of the Apostle, applying it directly as the word and speech of the Father to the Sonne of God, Christ Jesus, Heb. 1.8. Fifthly, the matter and words of the Psalme, which cannot be verified in any person save in Jesus Christ alone. Sixthly, the plurality of loves here spoken of, to shew unto the Reader the excellency of the love of Christ, or the love of God to us in Christ Jesus; wherein the perfection of all loves that ever was heard tell of, is surpassed; It is a song of loves.

Ver. 1. MY heart is enditing of a good matter▪ I speak of the things which I have made touching the King: my tonque is the pen of a ready writer.

THis Verse is a commendation given to this song by the Spirit of God, by way of Preface. 1. It is a good matter. 2. It is inspired; The Spirit of the Lord making the heart fil­led with his presence, to be boiling in the enditing of it. 3. It is of Christ the King. 4. It is the Poem of the inspired Pro­phet, made ready to expresse what is furnished by the Spirit, for the edification of the Church in all ages. Whence learn, 1. The knowledge of the love of Christ to his Church, and of his e­spousing of her, is the sweetest subject, the matter of the most glad tydings that ever sinners did hear of, and worthy indeed to be called a good matter. 2. The heart acquainted with this sweet and saving knowledge, will be more ready to communicate what it knoweth, then able to expresse it self; the heart will be as a spring-well, a boiling pot, according to the measure of the Lords presence in it. 3. The theam of the praises of the belie­ving soul is Christs person, cloathed with offices for the salvation of souls. For the main subject of this song is touching the King.

[Page 285]4 When the heart is full of gracious affection, the tongue wil be loosed to praise God, so as others may be edified: out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth wil speak heartily; My tongue, saith he, is the pen of a ready writer.

Ver. 2. Thou art fairer then the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath bles­sed thee for ever.

3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty: with thy glory and thy majesty;

4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously, because of truth, and meekness, and righteousnesse: and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

5. Thine arrowes are sharpe in the heart of the Kings enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.

6 Thy throne (O God) is for ever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter.

7 Thou lovest righteousness▪ and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath annointed thee with the oyl of gladnesse above thy fellows.

8 All thy garments smell of mirrhe, aloes, and cassia: out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

9 Kings daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the Queen in gold of Ophir.

In the description of the excellency of Christ, the very true Son of God, there are set down sundry points of glory. The first is, no beauty among men comparable to the beauty of Christ, who is not only the fairest of ten thousand for wisdome and holi­nesse, and whatsoever vertue can be named, as he is man; but also as he is God, he is the resplendency of his Fathers glory, the holy one of Israel; of whose glory the whole earth is full, by whose beautiful righteousness and power the deformity of sin and misery of his own is taken away in part, and shall be removed fully, therefore justly is it said of him, Thou art faire [...] then the [Page 286] children of men. 2. Christ by the doctrine which he delivereth is able not only to discover sin and misery, and the true way of delivery from the same by grace, and to direct a man in the way of salvation by grace, but also graciously and powerfully to per­swade a man to embrace it, Grace is poured into thy lips. 3. Christ as man is furnished abundantly and above measure, for commu­nicating of the blessing to his hearers invincibly and infallibly, and for making his Doctrine effectually powerful to salvation to whomsoever he wil; for, Therefore (or to this purpose) God hath blessed him for ever. 4. Christ is furnished to subdue and con­quer and bring in so many as he pleaseth under subjection unto his Kingdome; he hath his sword even the rod of his mouth, his word which is sharper then any two-edged sword which no man can withstand. 5. He goeth not abroad to conquer or subdue without this his sword, which is his word; it is alwayes with him ready to be drawn forth, and to be thrust in the soul and consci­ence of the hearer, with whom he mindeth to deal, His sword is girded upon his thigh. 6. Christ is Almighty, and so able to make good all that he speaketh, and to make his word of precept, pro­mise and threatning effectual unto the errand for which it is sent, He is most mighty. 7. Where he is pleased to open his word and to discover himself what he is, they that s [...]t in darkness do see a great light of his own glory as God, a shining light, a glo­rious light, making open the deep counsel of God, and mystery of mens salvation, Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory. 3. Where he pleaseth to shew himself, there the state­liness of a mighty Monarch is seen, the soveraignty of the rule of heaven and earth is seen, able to shake the heart with fear, and awe of his greatness, with his glory there is majesty or stately mag­nificence. 9. The wheels of Christs Chariot, whereupon he rideth when he goeth to conquer and sub [...]ue new converts to his Kingdome, are Majesty, truth, meekness, righteousness, manifest­ed in the preaching of his Gospel; Majesty, when the stately mag­nificence of his person and offices is declared; Truth, when the certainty of all that he teacheth in Scripture is known; Meekness when his grace and mercy is offered to rebels; and Righteousness, when justification by f [...]ith in his name, is clearly set forth. 10. Christ goeth no voyage in vain, he cometh not short of his intent and purpose, but doth the work for which hee cometh, preaching the Gospel, In his majesty, truth, meekness, and righteousness he rideth prosperously. 11. Christ can do what he will; he can do terrible things to make his enemies tremble, and [Page 287] his friends reverence him with holy fear, having omnipotency in him to work by, as ready as a man hath his right hand to em­ploy; let him but will to have any thing done, and it shall be done; he hath not long to advise what he is able to do, as men consult with their ability, whether they be so powerful as to effect what they intend, or would have done, Thy right hand shal teach thee terrible things. 12. Albeit he needeth no admonition to do what he is in doing or wil do, yet loveth he to have his children furthering the advancement of his Kingdom, shewing unto him what they would have done, & praying unto him that his King­dom may more and more come, as the form of speech endited by the holy spirit doth import, Gird thy sword, ride thou prosperously, &c. 13. Christ in his conquest is to meet with his enemies, of whō some wil openly oppose him, some wil feignedly profess subjection, but wil not heartily submit themselves unto him, but stand aloof and at a distance, being far from him in their hearts, when with their lips they draw neer-hand unto him; both these are here called The Kings enemies. 14. Such as do not draw neer unto him in their heart, he can and wil send messengers of wrath unto their heart, threatnings which shal be executed, terrors which shall be followed with judgments, and judgments which shall end in their destruction, sudden and unexpected; how many or how strong soever they seem to be, they shal not stand before him nor be able to hinder his conquest, Thine arrowes are sharp in the heart of the Kings enemies, wherby the people fall under thee. 15. Christ Jesus the promised Messiah was revealed to the Church of Israel, to be the very true eternal God, that their faith and ours might have satisfaction, and a solid ground to rest upon, in the all-sufficiency and infinite worthiness of the promised Redeemer, as the Apostle, Heb. 1.8. confirmeth unto us, citing to this purpose this very text, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. 16. Christ shall not want a Church from generation to genera­tion; let persecuters do their worst, he shal reign as King, and sit on his throne in his Church, giving forth his laws, and executing them, oppose him who wil, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever ▪ 17. The Scepter of Christs Kingdom, which is the Gospel or the word of God in Scripture, whereby he gathereth his subjects and ruleth them, and the manner of his governing his people by the rules of his law and discipline, is most just and equitable, a righ­teous scepter, wherby the subjects may be instructed in all righ­teousness, and may be justified and made righteous; The scepter of thy Kingdome is a right scepter. 18. The holiness and righ­teousnesse [Page 288] of Jesus Christ, both as he is God, and as he is God incarnate, is so essential to his person and employment, that his rule of government and administration of his affaires in his kingdome cannot be but right, as for direction, so also for re­wards to them who obey his direction, and punishments of the disobedients, Thou lovest righteousnesse, and hatest iniquity. 19. As Christ is very God, so is he very man in all things (except sin) like unto us whom he calleth, Psal. 22.22. and Heb. 2.12. his brethren, and here his fellows, sharemen and partakers of all that is given to him, and joynt heirs with him, Rom. 8.17. and by reason of making covenant in our name with the Father, and by assuming of our nature, according to the tenor of the cove­nant, God becometh his God and our God, and he in our name as man receiveth the gifts of the holy spirit without measure, for fitting him as he is man to manage his Kingdome in righteous­ness effectually; for it is said, Therfore, or to that intent, God, thy God hath annointed thee with the oyl of gladness. 20. The gifts and graces of the holy Spirit spoken of here in terms of oile, (em­ployed for figuring mens furnishing unto their calling, and ena­bling of Kings and Priests unto their offices, and employed also in the entertainment of honourable guests invited to a feast) are so bestowed on believers, joynt-heirs with Christ, as Christ is not degraded from his soveraignty by his partners exaltation; for of Christ it is said, Thy God hath annointed thee with the oyle of gladness above thy fellowes. 21. As the attendants of great per­sons are refreshed by the smel of their oyntments and perfumed garments, so are Christs attendants refreshed with the consola­tion of Christs Spirit perfuming all his outward ordinances, wherein as in his garments he doth shew forth himself to his church more comfortably, then any perfume or odoriferous spice can set forth, All thy garments smel of myrrhe and aloes and cassi­ [...]h. 22. Not only the heavens where God sheweth fo [...]th his glory to souls of just men made perfect, but also all the places where his honour dwelleth, all the meetings of his church where he sheweth himself in his ordinances to a spiritual eye, are all of them most glorious and stately palaces; for there is the Temple of the Holy Ghost, and there is the beauty of holiness, whence doth come forth the smel of his graces in his ordinances, as out of I­vory palaces. 23. It is savoury and well-pleasing to Christ, when his people find pleasure in him, and are refreshed by his blessing upon the publick ordinances; for, Therby they have made thee glad, saith the Psalmist to Christ. 24. Albeit the catholick church con­sisting [Page 289] of true converts or real Saints, be but the one and onely true Spouse of Christ, yet particular visible churches consisting of Saints by calling, by obligation, by profession & common esti­mation, their own or others; some of them being true Saints in­deed in the Spirit, some of them but counterfeits, and Saints in the letter only, are in number many, as they are dispersed for time and place wherein they do live, and do make up sundry incorpo­rations and Ecclesiastick consociations in Parishes, Townes, Countries and Kingdomes, as the Lord giveth them occasion, opportunity or possibility to make use one of another for commu­nion of Saints; in this respect (I say) they are many, and therfore the true Spouse, the true church consisting of true converts (whose praise is of God, to whom only they are certainly known, and not of men) being but one, is compared to the Queen; but the particular churches, whose collections and consociations is known to men, being many, are compared to Ladies of Honour which serve the Queen; of this sort is here prophesied, that the most renowned cities, countries, Provinces, and Kingdomes should be professed attendants of Christ the bridegroom's honour, and professed servants of his church, and promoters of the honour, estate, and welfare of his spouse; Kings daughters among thy ho­nourable women. 25. Albeit our Lord wil allow a place of ho­nour and room in his own court unto visible churches in their several consociations greater and smaller, for that service which they may do in order to the gathering in of the Elect into the in­ner court of neerest spiritual communion with him, yet it is the universal invisible church which he counteth his Spouse; she is the Queen who hath access unto him to be in highest honour beside him, Upon thy right hand did stand the Queen. 26. As the whole society of true Saints reverently attend the wil of the Lord, that every one of them in their place may honour the Lord: so are they all highly honoured of the Lord, and adorned with whatsoever may make them glorious; for the ornaments put on by Christ, such as are adoption, justification, sanctification, with all other re­lations tending to their felicity, are here compared to the finest Gold; The Queen doth stand at his right hand in gold of Ophir.

Ver. 10. Hearken (O daughter) and consider, and encline thine ear: forget also thine own people, and thy fathers house,

[Page 290] 11. So shal the King greatly desire thy beauty: he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.

12 And the daughter of Tyre shal be there with a gift, even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour.

13. The Kings daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold.

14 Shee shal be brought unto the King in raiment of needle-work: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

15 With gladness and rejoycing shall they be brought: they shal enter into the Kings Palace.

This is the other part of the Psalme wherein the Spirit of the Lord speaketh to the true Church-militant, and directeth her in her duty, and encourageth her by sundry inducements to follow the Lords direction. Whence learn, 1. As because their is spiri­tual love and respect between God and his Church, therfore the Cevenant and the spiritual communion between Christ and his Church is compared to a marriage: So because the derivation of all spiritual life, grace and motion which the Church hath, is from God, and dependeth on him; Therfore the Church is compa­red to a daughter, Hearken, O daughter, and ver. 13. she is called the King [...] daughter. 2. The way and order of bringing the Church to her duty, is by her hearing of his word, consideration of what is taught, and subjection of her spirit to the obedience of faith; Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and encline thine ear. 3. Because even the true members of the Church, whose praise is not of men but of God, are in this life intangled in affections to their old wayes and corruption of manners; Therefore every one hath need to renounce and forget more and more their old lusts and entice­ments of the world, which is a very true fruit, and necessary evi­dence of their hearing in faith, Forget also (saith he) thine own people, and thy fathers house. 4. The more we renounce and aban­don our lusts and sinful inclination in obedience to God, the more are we beautified with holiness, and are acceptable to God In our endeavours, Forsake thy fathers house, so shal the King greatly desire thy beauty. 5. Christ hath all right unto our service, and by creation, redemption, & covenant we are absolutely bound to serve [Page 291] and honor him in all things: He is thy Lord, and worship thou him. 6. When the Church honoureth Christ he wil honour her, and make the noble and potent in the world submit themselves to her and seek communion with her, and to esteem the meanest true member of the Church, more blessed then riches or honour can make any man: The daughter of Tyre shal be there with a gift: The rich among the people shall entreat thy favour. 7. The glory of the true Kirk, and of every true member thereof is in things spi­ritual, not discernable by the uptaking of the natural man; for what is outwardly professed, is inwardly studied unto sinceri­ty by them who worship God in spirit and in truth; and the graces wherewith she is adorned, as knowledge, faith, love, hope zeal, courage, sob [...]iety, patience, are not the object of outward be­holders, but most beautiful in the eyes of a spiritual discerner, and in the eyes of him that seeth in secret: The Kings daughter is all glorious within. 8. Whatsoever inherent graces the Saints have, and how beautiful soever they be; yet they have need of a gar­ment which may hide their imperfections, and beautifie them be­fore God; to wit, the imputed righteousness of Christ, the Hus­band of the Church, who only hath this garment to sel, Rev. 3.18. and though it be bought without mony and without price, yet it is very rich; for whatsoever either nature or art can furnish to set it forth, is but a shadowing similitude of it, Her cloathing is of wrought gold. 9. Though the marr [...]age of Christ and his Church be bound up, and the hand-fasting be past, and tokens of love be given to the Bride yet the full solemnity of the complete mar­riage is delayed til a set time, that the particular members and the whole Church may be perfected. The time of the brides being brought to a constant habitation with Christ, is at the Lords ap­pointed time; to wit, at the death of every particular Saint, and of the whole Church together at the day of our Lords second co­ming; the day is coming, wherin she shall be brought unto the King. 10. Albeit now there be many imperfections of the Saints, which Christs imputed righteousness doth hide, yet in the day of the Churches being brought to the presence of God to be with him for ever; she shal have no imperfection, spot or wrinkle, or want of any thing which may per [...]ect her glory in all respects; she shal put on immortality and incorruption, and her very body of flesh shal be made conformable to the glorious body of our Lord Jesus; She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needle work: Wherin the height of artifice and of natures materials are joyned as the fittest similitude which can express this unexpressible glory. [Page 292] 11. The same shal be the glorious state of particular Saints, and particular congregations, which shal be of the whole church u­niversal; whereof as every true congregation and particular Saint therein is a part, and have contributed their service in their time to the good of the whole church, as handmaids to the Mistris: so shal they share in the glorious reward; The virgins, her compa­nions shal be brought unto thee, so saith the Psalmist unto Christ. 12. Great shal be the joy of men and angels in the general meet­ing of the whole church, all being gathered together by the an­gels, who have lived from the beginning of the world to the en­ding thereof, and all received in the fellowship of God in blessed­ness to endure for ever, with gladnesse and rejoycing shall they be brought, they shall enter into the Kings palace.

Ver. 16. In stead of thy fathers shall bee thy children, whom thou mayest mak [...] princes in all the earth.

17. I will make thy name to be remembred in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.

The two last verses may be applied both to the Bride the true militant church, and to the Bridegroom Christ Jesus, the King of Saints. As it is applied to the church, Learn, 1. The Saints have no ground of gloriation in their progenitors accord­ing to the flesh, of whom they draw nothing but what is pollu­ted with sin; but all the glory of the church, is rather in her chil­dren which she bringeth forth by the Gospel unto God, In stead of thy fathers shall be thy children 2. What any member of the church seemeth to lose in the world by forsaking thereof and coming to Christ, it is made up to them by Christ in spiritual respects, if not also in temporal blessings when God seeth fit, In stead of thy fathers shall be thy children. 3. The true children of the church are indeed the excellent ones of the earth, and princes indeed, wherever they live, in comparison of all other men who are but the beastly slaves of Satan: Thy children are princes in all the earth. 4. The true church shal be honorable, and honore [...] by her kind­ly children in all generations, because of the estimation which God putteth upon her in his holy Scripture: I wil make thy name to be remembred in all generations: Therefore the people shal praise thee.

[Page 293]These verses may also be applied more pertinently to the bride­groome Christ Jesus, for whose praise the whole Psalm is compo­sed. ver. 1. Of whom only the words can be verified fully, as onely capable of what is ascribed directly to the person spoken un­to here, and cannot be well ascribed to Solomon and Pharaohs daughter in their marriage; because partly Solomons marriage with outlandish women, is marked among his faults, and so can hardly be esteemed to be honoured with this song delivered to the Church for her perpetual instruction; partly because in the Inscri­ption there is not so much as mention of Solomons name, either as type or resemblance of this marriage of Christ & his Church; & partly also because what is here spoken, hath little typical verity answering to it in the History of Scripture concerning Solomons marriage, or children of Pharaohs daughter. And lastly, this song is set down not in a typical manner, but in a simple simili­tude of the marriage of a King & Queen indefinitely, whose mar­riage useth to be the most glorious of all eatthly marriages, and fittest to lead us up to that incomparably glorious spiritual mar­riage of Christ & his Church. In which consideration from these words, Learn, 1. Christ doth not draw glory from his progeni­tors according to his flesh, but giveth being and gracious being to such as he regenerateth by his word and Spirit to be his children, and so it may be said to Christ, In stead of thy fathers shall be thy children. 2. The excellency of Christs children and their prince­ly disposition above the rest of mankind unregenerate, is of Christs making; he only it is, of whom properly it may be said, Thou shalt make thy children princes in all the earth; for, He hath made us Kings and Prists to God and his Father. 3. By the Spirit that indited this Psalme, and all other Scriptures Christs name shall be holden forth and remembred from age to age, while the world lasteth, I will make thy name (saith the Spirit) to be re­membred to all generations. 4. Christs espousing unto himself a Church, and gathering moe and moe from age to age by his word and Spirit unto it, his converting souls, and bringing them in to the fellowship of his family, and giving unto them princely mindes and affections where ever they live, is a large matter of growing and everlasting glory unto his majesty; for in regard of this point, and what is said before in this Psalme, he addeth as the close of all, Therefore shall the people praise thee.

PSAL. XLVI. To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, a song upon Alamoth.

After some notable delivery of the Church from the enemies, the Lords people do confirm them­selves in their resolution to trust in God, and not to be afraid of trouble, because of his comfort­able presence among them, which is like unto a river of continual refreshment, as late experi­ence did give evidence, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. and do exhort all men in the world to observe this his late work, and make use of it for their humiliati­on, ver. 7, 8, 9, 10. as the Church doth make use of it for confirmation, ver. 11.

Ver. 1. GOD is our refuge and strength: a very present help in trouble.

2. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed: and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the Sea.

3. Though the waters thereof roar, and be trou­bled: though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

FRom by-gone experience of Gods defending his Church, the Lords people do strengthen themselves in the faith of Gods word, concerning the care of his people; and from this ground do guard their heart against the fear of all possible trouble in time coming. Whence learn, 1. Faith in Gods word and the professi­on of it, is made much more vigorous and lively after felt-experi­ence of the verity thereof; for the Church did believe this truth be­fore this late delivery, but now after this fresh experience they are [Page 295] animated to set to their seal to it more confidently, saying, God is our refuge. 2. Albeit the Church were destitute of all humane strength within her self, and were forsaken; yea and pursued by all Kings and Princes, yet hath she God for a retiring place, and for furnishing of what is sufficient for her subsistence; God is our refuge and strength. 3. Albeit the Lord will not exempt his people from trouble, yet he will be near them in trouble; and when their weakness is discovered to them, then he will help them, and will not delay his help too long, but will give help in time of need effectually; for God is to his people, A very present help in trouble. 4. Nothing can guard the heart of Gods people against the ter­ror of possible, or imminent troubles, sa [...]e faith in God; for here the Lords people having fixed their faith, do make this inference, Therefore will we not fear. 5. The terrour of apparent trouble, is the touchstone of confidence in God, and then is faith fixed, when it doth look upon the greatest dangers and troubles that can be imagined, with resolution to adhere to God and to that truth that persecuters do oppose, whatsoever may come. We will not fear, though the earth be removed. 6. Albeit the whole frame of the world were changed, and the work of creation were either dissol­ved or confounded, which shal be in effect at the last day; yet faith findeth footing and ground to stand upon in God himself, We will not fear, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the Sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Ver. 4. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God: the Holy place of the Ta­bernacles of the most High.

5. God is in the midst of her: she shall not be mo­ved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The Church doth look upon the Lords word and ordinances joyn­ed with the blessing of his Spirit among them, as upon a sufficient consolation against whatsoever trouble can be imagined. Whence learn, 1. Although there be many particular persons in the Lords Church militant, & many particular Congregations as there were many habitations in Ierusalem, and many tabernacles at the time of the solmn feast, when all the Lords people were gathered to­gether to the keeping thereof; yet are they all one Church univer­sal, one kingdom of God, one City compact together in the union [Page 296] of one sealed Covenant, one true faith and Spirit▪ The plurality of the Tabernacles of God doth make but one City of God here. 2. Albeit trouble without comfort may fall on men who know not God; yet to believers within the Church there can no trouble come, wherein the true Citizens may not finde consolation and joy to uphold them against all causes of sorrow, There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the City of God. 3. The consola­t [...]ons which God furnishes to all who wil make use of them with­in the Church, are not like the consolations which the world can afford, which are in all respects insufficient to overcome trouble; but the consolations of God are abundant, constantly running, ready at hand, and able to make a man a conquerour over trouble effectually, and to make him rejoyce in the Lord in the midst of [...]ouble; for this is imported in the similitude of refreshing water; There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad th [...] City of God. 4. God will never forsake his people who seek after him, but where they are following his ordinances in any measure of sincerity, there will he be; God is in the midst of her, 5. As the consolation of the Church, so also the stability of the Church, and continuance of it from generation to generation, dependeth upon Gods setled residence therein; God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. 6. Gods presence among his people will not exempt them from trouble, but from perdition in trouble: he will not exempt the bush from burning, but from being consumed, For God shall help her. 7. Albeit the Lord do not appear at the point of time when we would, yet shall he come and help in time of need most timeously, God shall help her, and that right early.

Ver. 6. The heathen raged, the kingdomes were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

7. The LORD of hosts is with us: the God of Ia­cob is our refuge. Selah.

He cleareth the doctrine delivered, by a late experience of Gods taking order with the enemies of the Church, at the time when they in great confluence and power made assault against her. Whence learn, 1. It is no small indignation which the world doth bear against the Lords Kingdome, his people, and work among them: nor is it any mean power from which the Church is in dan­ger to suffer hardship, but fury in the height of it, and force in the farthest extent of it, may she expect to encounter with; The heathen raged, the Kingdoms were moved. 2. It is not the worldly power of the Lords people which can sustain the assault of their raging [Page 297] enemies, but God himself must prove party to her oppressors; there­fore here the Lord doth interpose himself for his people; The Lord uttereth his voice. 3. It shall not cost the Lord any business to dispatch the enemies of his people; let him shew himself a little, let him but say the word, and they are gone; as Snow be­fore the Sun, or fat cast into the fire, so are they consumed; He uttered his voice, the earth melted. 4. Any one experience of the Lords working for his church may suffice to confirm the faith of his people concerning his perpetual presence in his church, for as­sistance of his people in their difficulties; for from this one ex­perience he draweth the inference; The Lord of hosts is with us. 5. What the Lord is in wisdom, power, and other attributes, that may the church apply to her self, and be sure to have the fruit of it as her need requireth; if hosts of heathen and huge great Armies of whole Kingdomes he against his church, yet still we may be sure God the Lord of Armies will stand up against them, and for his church, The Lord of hosts is with us. 6. The covenant of God made with the church in former ages is good enough security to the church in after ages; for obtaining whatsoever benefit his covenant includeth; The God of Iacob is our refuge▪ yea the rights made to the incorporation of the church, is as good security for the use of every particular believer, as if it were made personally to every member by name; and therefore as wise citizens do reckon whatsoever they can claim by their town-charter, no less to belong to them then their own private posses­sions: so whatsoever the believer can claim by vertue of the great charter made to the church, he should reckon it as sure to be his as if his proper name had been specified in the promises; for, The God of Iacob is our refuge, is thus much; because God is undoubt­edly the God of Iacob, and his childrens refuge; he must un­doubtedly be our God, who are members of that incorporation, and our refuge.

Ver. 8. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

9. He maketh the wars to cease unto the end of the earth: he breaketh the bowe, and cutteth the spear in sunder, he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be ex­alted among the heathen: I will be exalted in the earth.

11. The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Iacob is our refuge. Selah.

[Page 298]In the latter part of the Psalm, he exhorts all men to make use of this deliverance given to the Church for their humiliation, con­fidence in God, and consolation. Whence learn, 1. When God doth work works of wonder in favour of his Church, most men mark not the Lords doing; such is the dulnesse and stupidity, in­gratitude, mis-belief & perverseness of men, either thinking little of his work, or ascribing the praise to instruments, or some other thing besides God; so that there is need to call unto men, and set them to their duty; Come and behold the works of the Lord. 2. Wonderful calamities doth God pour out upon the enemies of his people, when he entreth in judgement with them; for what they intended to do to his people, he doth unto them, Behold, what desolations he hath made in the earth. 3. When it seemeth good to the Lord, he can give peace universally to his Church, and a whiles breathing from the trouble of outward enemies, He maketh wars to cease to the ends of the earth. 4. Long preparations for war, arms and amunition which have been made with great la­bour and expences against his Church, the Lord can soon give a short accompt of them, and make them useless when he pleaseth, He breaketh the [...]ow [...], and cutteth the spear in sunder, he burneth the Chariot in the fire. 5. Because men cannot understadd what they are doing, or what is their duty so long as their passi­ons are aloft, so long as their mindes are tumultuous, busi­ed about many things, and distracted from what is most ne­cessary; it is good for people from time to time to gather in their straying thoughts, to silence their passions and per­turbations, and humbly compose themselves for observation of whatsoever God requireth of them, Be still, and know that I am God. 6. It is better for men to be wise and acknowledge the Lord by the words of his instruction, then to leave their lesson to be learned by doleful experience and danger of destruction, Be still, and know that I am God. 7. There is not so ready a way for the Lords people to quiet their minde against the fear of trouble and persecution of men, as to settle their faith about Gods taking care of his people and of his own cause, and of his minde declared against his and their enemies; Be still, and know that I am God. 8. The Lord will not be at a loss by the opposition of his enemies, he will not fail to enlarge his glory, the more that men go about to suppress it; he will make an inrode upon his ad­versaries lands, and make them know himself to be God, either to their conversion or confusion and destruction; I will (saith he) be exalted among the heathen. 9. How little notice soever [Page 299] be taken of the Majesty of God oft-times in the visible Church, and always without the Church he be misregarded, yet will he see to his own glory, not only in the Church, but also among the ene­mies of the Church; and not only among such as have actually invaded his people, but also among them far and neer that have taken no notice either of him or of his people; I will be exalted in the earth. 10. Whatsoever manifestation of Gods power be made in the world by his judgement against his enemies who know him not; yet he is ever doing for his Church, and not a­gainst her; The Lord of hosts is with us. 11. The Church of God or belivers, need not care how many be against them seeing they have moe for them then can be against them; to wit, God and all the creatures at his command, The Lord of hosts is with us. 12. The strength of the Church stands in her renouncing her own, and fleeing into Gods strength, and not in opposing their e­nemie by strong hand, but by betaking of themselves to God; The God of Iacob is our refuge. 13. We have need to make God the ground of our confidence, and to make our communion with God the ground of our comfort; for God is sufficient for us a­gainst every evil, and God is sufficient unto us for furnishing every good; and we have need to fix and settle our grounds, by oft­ner subscription of this truth, and oftner avowing of it, The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Iacob is our refuge, is repeated.

PSAL. XLVII. To the chief Musician. A Psalme for the sons of Korah.

This Psalme is a Prophecy of the enlargement of Christs Kingdome, and of the conjunction of Jews and Gentiles in one body under Christ their [...]ead and Lord, delivered by way of exhortation to Jews and Gentiles, joyfully to praise the God and Saviour of his people Jesus Christ▪ on whom the Psalmist looketh as now ascended into hea­ven triumphantly after the full payment made of the price of Redemption, and as going about the gathering in of the Redeemed Gentiles, til he [Page 300] bring in the fulness of them into one Chruch with the Jews; the exhortation is prefi [...]ed, ver. 1. and repeated, ver. 6, 7. the reasons of the exhorta­tion to a joyful praising of him are seven. The first, ver. 3. The second, ver. 3. The third, ver. 4. The fourth, ver. 5. The fifth, ver. 7. The sixth, ver. 8. The seventh, ver. 9.

Vers. 1. O Clap your hands (all ye people) shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

FRom the exhortation to Jews and Gentiles, joyfully to praise the Redeemer; Learn, 1. Christs Kingdome and the be­nefits thereof do belong to moe nations then one, for in him the redeemed in al the nations of the earth are blessed, Clap your hands all yea people, or, all ye Nations, saith the Lord. 2. The King­dome of Christ coming to a people, or family, or person, is mat­ter of chief joy to them, because thereby delivery cometh from sin, Satan, and misery, and sure mercies of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Ghost with eternal life brought to them, and therefore just reason to say to them to whom Christ cometh, O clap your hands, shout unto God with the voice of triumph. 3. Our joy and our victory over all our enemies, which Christ hath pur­chased and bringeth to all believers in every Nation, is the mat­ter of Christs praise and doth declare that he is God, who having in his manhood suffered, wrastled against sin, Satan, death, hell, and the curse of the law, did by the power of his Godhead pre­vaile before he brought joy to the Gontiles. Thus much do the words of the exhortation import; for his triumph presupposeth his victory, and his victory presupposeth his battel before he over­came, and the commanding of the Gentiles to clap their hands and shout, and to shout with the voice of triumph, presupposeth their interest in the victory; and while they are bidden shout to God, the triumpher, who in all this Psalme is the Redeemer Christ (as shall appear hereafter;) it imports that the Redeemer is God, and howsoever he is God inseparably from the Father and the Holy Spirit, yet here he is distinctly to be looked on in his person; and howsoever he is inseparably to be praised with the Father and Ho­ly Spirit, yet here distinctly to be praised for this his work of victorious Redemption of sinners; therefore it is said with di­stinct relation to his person, Shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

[Page 301] Ver. 2. For the Lord most high is terrible, he is a great King over all the earth.

From the first reason of the joyful praising of Christ, taken from his Sovereigne Majesty over all the world; Learne, 1. That the Redeemer, the victorious triumpher, is the Lord very God, essentially Iehovah, the Lord most high. 2. Christ is able both to keep his subjects in subjection by his rod and corrections, and to take order with his enemies also, how high soever they be, The Lord most high is terrible. 3. Christ hath right and just title to erect a church in what country and kingdome he pleaseth, with­out asking any mans licence, and to set up among his subjects the profession of his name, and practice of all his Ordinances per­taining to the exercise of Religion in doctrine, worship, and Ecclesiastick government of his subjects, He is a great King over all the earth.

Ver. 3. He shall subdue th [...] people under us, and the nations under our feet.

From the second reason for joyful praising of Christ, taken from the encreasing of his own Kingdome, and the exalting of all his subjects above the rest of the world; Learn, 1. The true church of Christ may from age to age promise to her self addition of new subjects, or bringing down of their enemies under their feet; for as the true church in the Prophets time might say, so may also every true church say after them, Hee shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. 2. If it wil not please the Lord at such a time as men would wish, to execute judge­ment on their enemies, nor yet to convert them, and make them additional subjects to his Kingdome, yet shal he not fail to make his own people victorious over their opposition, power, and per­secution, and more then conquerors in this respect, He shal sub­due the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

Ver. 4. He shal chuse our inheritance for us, the excellency of Iacob whom he loved. Selah.

From the third reason of Christs praise, taken from the care he hath for sustentation and welfare of his subjects; Learn, 1. As God by allotting of earthly Canaan for the inheritance of his people, did testifie his care to provide for them both earthly suste­ [...]ance and an enduring substance for their spiritual subsistence represented thereby; so wil he provide for the sustenance of all his subjects in all ages, both bodily and spiritual, Hee shall chuse [Page 302] our inheritance for us. 2. As he is most loving of us, and more wise to make choice of what is good for us, then we our selves are: so wil he imploy his wisdome and love in carving out unto us our lot▪ measure, portion, and inheritance; He shall chuse our inheritance for us, and not leave it to our carving. 3. The main part of the inheritance of Christs subjects is no earthly thing, but his very best blessing, such as he gave to Iacob above Esau; Their inheritance shall be the excellency of Jacob. 4. The fountaine of Christs care for all his subjects, is common to them and to Iacob, and that is his love, The excellency of Iacob whom he loved, shall be their inheritance. Selah.

Ver. 5. God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with a sound of a trumpet.

From the fourth reason of Christs praise taken from his glori­ous triumphing over all his enemies and ours when he ascended to heaven; Learn, 1. He that ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? he that de­scended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fil all things, Ephes. 4.9. That is, Christ being very God, descended in humbling himself to take on him the shape of a servant, and when he had perfected the work of redemption a­scended in our nature, the same very person stil, very God, which descended; for God is gone up with a shout. 2. As the Ark of the covenant, the figure of Christ, after the victory gotten over the chief enemies of the church, ascended up to Sion, and Gods pre­sence in it; So Christ after victory obtained of his chief enemies on the cross, ascended triumphantly into heaven, God is gone up with a shout, Iehovah, with the sound of a trumpet.

Ver. 6. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

7. For God is the King of all the earth: sing yee praises with understanding.

The exhortation given to all people to praise Christ for the work of redemption, is repeated, and directed to the church of the Jewes more particularly with a fifth reason of praise, taken from a neerer conjunction between Christ and them, then betweene him and any other Nation. Whence learn, 1. Albeit the Lord doth shew his glory in the works of creation, and is shining day­ly in the works of providence also; yet in the work of redempti­on, conversion and salvation of souls▪ his glory is manifested [Page 303] far more; for here, praise, praise, praise, and the fourth time praise is called for. 2. When believers in Jesus Christ do con­sider how he abased himself to assume our nature, how he payed the ransome for us as surety, how he did encounter and fight with all our enemies, and being victorious in our name, ascended in our nature with the shout of the victory, and sound of the trumpet of the triumpher, they cannot chuse but see reasons of praising joy­fully the glorious Godhead of Jesus Christ, and of singing praises to him as God again and again. 3. Of all Nations of the earth, the Jewes have the first place, priviledge, and prerogative, most bonds with, and interests in Jesus Christ; for he delivered them out of Egypt, setled them in Canaan, held house among them in a Tabernacle, answered them by Oracle out of the A [...]ke of the covenant the type of his incarnation, took upon him to be their King and sanctifier, the holy one of Israel, their Redeemer, took of them his humane nature, and was born a Jew, therefore had the Prophet good reason to say to the church of the Jewes, Sing praises to our King▪ sing praises▪ and in this song may all they joyn with the Jewes, who have embraced Jesus for their King. 4. Christ is so King over the Jews, as he also extendeth his kingdom over all the earth, not only in regard of his power in a common manner, but in regard of his special grace gathering in subjects out of all parts of the world, til he have the ful number brought in and saved, he, he only is the true Catholick King, for God is the King of all the earth. 5 As none can praise God, or praise Christ sin­cerely, who do not understand the reasons for which they should praise; so he that praiseth understanstingly, cannot chuse but praise affectionatly, therfore saith he, Sing ye praises with understanding.

Ver. 8. God reigneth over the heathen: God sit­teth upon the throne of his holiness.

From the sixth reason of Christs praise taken from the keeping a church among the Gentiles, for gathering the redeemed out of all Tongues and Languages, and reigning among them as King of Saints, and author of holinesse; Learn, 1. To the end that Faith may find footing and a Rock to rest upon, we must in all the promises, works and praises of Christ still remember that as he is now very man, so is he also eternally God, and that no man reasonably or with understanding can praise him as the Re­deemer and perfecter of what is spoken of him in Scripture, ex­cept he acknowledg him to be God; therefore is Christ eight times in this Psalm calleth God, beside the ascribing unto him works proper to God only; and twice he is called by the incom­municable [Page 304] name of Jehovah the Lord; and in this verse God­head is twice acknowledged in him, as King of the church among the Gentiles; God reigneth over the heathen, God sitteth upon the throne of his holinesse. 2 Because the summe of Christs Kingdome is holiness, and his work is to teach, prescribe and command holiness, to take away sin, and powerfully to apply and work in his owne redeemed ones holinesse, and to continue in his actual governing of his Subjects, til he have made all and every one of the redeemed perfectly holy; therefore is his throne in a special manner called the throne of holinesse; God sitteth upon the throne of his holinesse.

Ver. 9. The princes of the people are gathered toge­ther, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

From the seventh reason of Christs praise, taken from his con­verting of great men of the earth, (as Kings and Princes) and bringing them to the obedience of the faith and union with the true church; Learn, 1. Albeit oft times it is seen, that not ma­ny rich, noble, or potent are called; yet God for his own glory is from time to time bringing in some of them, and when it may glorifie his name, shal bring in and perfect what is promised, and prophesied here; The princes of the people are gathered toge­ther. 2. It is a point of Christs praise in the conversion of men, that his omnipotency maketh men voluntary Subjects, and to come in to him as by invincible power on his part, so also delibe­rately with a free election, and hearty consent of wil on the con­verted m [...]ns part: The Princes of the people, and excellent ones in the earth▪ of whatsoever rank converted unto Christ, are voluntary people, for the original suffereth also this reading, The voluntary of the people are gathered together. 3. The church of the Jews is the mother-church, wherof Abraham and the godly Jews yea and Christ himself were Members; The church of the Jewes is the Olive-treee, whereunto all the converts of the Gen­tiles are ingraffed, gathered, and made one people with Abra­ham and the faithful among the Jewes; The Princes of the people are gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham. 4. The unity of the church standeth in the union of the Spirit, under the service of the only true God, and in conjunction with his people, for the union of Jew and Gentile, is the gathering together of the Princes of the people to the God of Abraham. [Page 305] 5. As there is a necessity of the union of Jewes and Gentiles in one visible Christian Church, because it is promised and prophe­sied that it shall be so; So there is reason to wish for the more evident union of them; that they may be as eminently consociate as ever the Christian Churches were, (either in the Apostles time, or in the Christian Emperors time,) in a general Assembly or oecumenical councel; for that there is at least a possibility of an oecumenical councel, or a general assembly of Jewes and Gentiles in this world under Christ their King. This place makes it plaine, because after it is foretold that there shall be such a union of all the people of the God of Abraham, Jewes and Gen­tiles, as their princes shal be gathered together, He takes away the chief ground of a great objection which may be made from the discord and disagreement of the Princes of the world; some of them being averse altogether from the Christian Religion, some of them from the true Religion of Christ, and all of them al­most dissenting one from another, and warring one against ano­ther; whereby now for many years the gathering of an oecume­nical councel hath not been possible. He meeteth this objecti­on in the Text, saying, For the shields of the earth belong unto God, that is, the hearts and power of all the Kings of the earth are in the Lords hand, and he hath the disposing of shields, ar­mies and ammuintion, with all their commanders and rulers in the world, and therefore can make them serviceable for the near­est conjunction and union of his visible church, which can be for his glory in this world, as he sees [...]it how and when he will. 6. When all is said of Christs praise that man can expresse of him, there is no possibility to attaine to the ful or satisfactory setting forth of his glory as it deserveth; but men must content themselves to set sail [...], and to rest in the general, that Christ is and shal be very highly glorified; for so the Psalmist closeth, saying after all; He is greatly exalted.

PSAL. XLVIII. A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah.

In this Psalme the Lord is magnified for all his mercies bestowed on his Church, (resembled by Ierusalem,) ver. 1, 2, 3. And in special for a late mercie manifested in a passage of his [Page 306] care to preserve Ierusalem, a type of the Church universal, against the assault of mighty Kings, ver. 4, 5, 6. The uses of which mercies are set down in number seven; The first, v. 7. The second v. 8. The third, v. 9. The fourth, v. 10. The fifth v. 11. The sixth, v. 12, 13. The seventh, v. 14.

Ver. 1. GReat is the LORD, and greatly to bee praised in the city of our God, in the mountain if his holinesse.

2. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Sion: on the sides of the North, the city of the great King.

3. God is known in her palaces for a refuge.

IN the first place he declareth his purpose to give God the praise of whatsoever is commendable in Jerusalem, or done unto it, or wrought for it. Whence learn, 1. As God shewes his great­ness and glory in all his works, and specially in his care for, respect unto, and operation in his church; so should he have glory and praise from his church, for and from all his works, but spe­cially for his care of her: Great is the Lord, and greatly to bee praised in the city of our God. 2. As it is the benefit of Ierusa­lem, and of his church represented thereby, to be united and go­verned in a regular incorporation; so it's a matter of Gods praise, that he maketh his visible church above all other incorporations and societies of men in the world to be his citie, with which he wil be in covenant, and wherein he wil manifest his holy Name; Therefore Ierusalem, and the church represented by her [...]s here called, the city of our God, and the mountain of his holi­nesse. 3. Whatsoever could commend Ierusalem for situation in the point of pleasantnesse, commoditie, strength or statelinesse; all is but a shadow of the glory of the Lords church, and in par­ticular, as the joy of the whole land depended on Ierusalems well-fare, and this city did adorn all Iudeah, and the great Kings palace adorned her; So the church is the joy of the whole earth, by holding out to all the light of saving Doctrine, and shewing the authority, power, wisdome, and grace of Christ; who is her great King, and doth beautifie his church, for the illu­mination [Page 307] of the blind dark world; Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Sion, on the sides of the North, the city of the great King. 4. As the walls, houses, and palaces of Ieru­salem were not the strength of the citizens; but God was her strength as they had learned by experience; so worldly strength is not the confidence of Gods church▪ but God only, who defend­eth her by his power; God is known in her palaces for a refuge.

Ver. 4. For lo, the Kings were assembled: they passed by together.

5. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.

6. Fear took hold upon them there; and pain as of a woman in travell.

He confirmeth what he hath spoken, by a late experience of deliverance from the invasion of mighty Kings, gathered to be­siege and destroy Ierusalem. Whence learn, 1. The Lord by ex­perience from time to time, maketh manifest his care to defend his church against most mighty oppressors; who use to combine themselves together, when they mind to overthrow the church: For lo, the Kings were assembled. 2. Many imaginations are in the heads of adversaries when they are plotting the ruine of Gods church, which when they are about to execute, do vanish and prove presumptuous and vain apprehensions of their owne ability, and of the churches weakness; When the Kings were as­sembled, they passed by together. They found themselves unable to effect what they intended, and hoped to bring to passe. 3. When the strait cometh, and the church is in danger▪ then the Lord doth shew himself for her, and against her enemies, and makes men see his interest in his church; now when the Kings were assembled, they perceived themselves mistaken wonderfully; They s [...]w it, so they marvelled. 4. Such as come to bring trouble to Gods church, come to catch troubles to themselves; When Kings assembled to trouble Gods people, they saw, and mar­velled, and were troubled. 5. If the enemies of the church could foresee their own foul retreat, they would not advance or make assault against the church; for now when they did see matters, as they were indeed, they were troubled, and hasted away. 6. Besides the mischief which God bringeth upon the churches enemies, when he begins to plead by way of judgment against them, he [Page 308] sendeth terrour on them also, a messenger of the ill-tidings to for­warn them that worse yet shal befall them: Feare tooke hold upon them there. 7. Heart and hand, courage and strength, counsel and resolution doth faile a man, when he seeth God to be his partie, and to be prevailing against him: Feare took hold on them, and pain as a woman in travaile; Sudden, unexpected, sore and inevitable is their destruction when it cometh.

Ver. 7. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an East wind.

The first use they make of this experience is this, they are led up by it to see and acknowledge Gods power in all the world, to take order with and destroy whomsoever he will. Whence learn, 1. No power can stand before God, and none can escape his hand; go whither they wil, he can arme some of his creatures a­gainst them both by land and sea; Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an East wind. 2. One work of the Lords justice or power against his enemies, and one experience of his merciful defending of his church, should lead his people to acknowledg his Soveraign power and omnipotency over all, whereby he (ha­ving all creatures at his disposal) can secure his people from all quarters, and destroy all that shall rise against them; for this speech sayth this in substance: Thou who scatteredst the armies of Kings who had invaded us, hast power in all the world by sea and land to overtake thy enemies; for, Thou didst break the ships of Tarshish with an East winde.

Ver. 8. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God. God wil establish it for ever. Selah.

The second use is this, by this experience we perceive that the Lord wil keep his promise to his church, and preserve her for ever, Whence learn, 1. They that believe the word of God, and doe mark his workes foretold in the word, shal see and find by ex­perience the event thereof to answer to the prediction; and ha­ [...]ing their faith so confirmed: they should say; As we have heard, [...]o have we seene in the city of the Lord. 2. The mercies of the Lord bestowed on his church for her defence and continuance, do [...] from his covenanting with his Church; for the reason of the [...]rcy now bestowed is; because the city of the Lord of hosts, is the city of our God. 3. Albeit all Kingdomes and Common­wealths be subject to destruction, and have their certaine limits [Page 309] and periods; yet the church, the Kingdome of Christ, the city of God shall endure throughout all generations; and the gates of hell shall not prevail over it; God shall establish it for ever.

Ver. 9. We have thought of thy loving kindnesse, O God, in the midst of thy Temple.

A third use is the acknowledgement of the sweet fruit of their former patient depending upon Gods kindnesse in the use of the publick ordinances, and now they perceive by this late experience it was not vain. Whence learn, 1. They that believe Gods lo­ving kindnesse in the time when there are apparent signes of his wrath, and patiently do depend on him in the use of holy ordi­nances, shall not be frustrate of their expectation, as here the Psalmist doth acknowledge. 2. As it is a good thing pati­ently to wait on Gods loving kindnesse in the use of the means, when troubles and dangers do come; so it is a good thing for the godly after receiving the fruit of their faith, hope and patience, to observe the grace gotten of God, which made them to meditate upon and look unto his loving kindnesse: and so to strengthen themselves in their resolutions, to follow this blessed course here­after, as the faithful do here: We have thought of thy loving kindnesse, O God, in the midst of thy Temple.

Ver. 10. According to thy Name, O God; so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousnesse.

A fourth use is their gladnesse, because of the encrease of Gods glory by this his late mercy towards them, where-ever it should be mentioned. Whence learn, 1. Whatsoever God giveth himself out for, that wil he be found to be answerable unto in effect, even to all his holy and magnificent attributes: According to thy Name, O God, so is thy praise. 2. The manifestation of Gods Name by preaching of his word cometh to many, who will not subscribe all to be true that is said of him: But afterward when he maketh his word good to the comfort of his people, and over­throw of his enemies, men will be forced to say of him, that he is as good as his word, and that his works do loose his word laid in pawn for performance of it; According to thy Name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth. 3. The Lords power is not idle, but constantly working in equity and justice for per­formance of promises and threatnings, for defending his people, [Page 310] and punishing his enemies; Thy right hand is full of righte­ousnesse.

Ver. 11. Let mount Sion rejoyce; let the daughters of Iudah be glad, because of thy judgements.

A fourth use is to stirre up all good people to rejoyce, because God hath pleaded their cause against their enemies. Whence learn, 1. It becometh all men to be glad to see God glorifie him­self in deciding controversies equitably; but most of all the people of God, who have the present benefit thereof, and in whose fa­vours controversies between them and their enemies are decided; Let mount Sion rejoyce, and the daughters of Iudah be glad. 2. Al­beit it be lawfull for Gods people to rejoyce when the enemies are punished; yet had they need to take heed to their spirit, that their joy be not fleshly, for satisfaction gotten to their vindictive passions; but spiritual, for the declaration of Gods kindnesse to his people, and just indignation at the wickednesse of their ma­licious persecuters: Let them be glad, because of thy judgements.

Ver. 12. Walk about Sion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.

13. Marke ye well her bulwarkes, consider her pa­laces, that ye may tell it to the generations following▪

The sixth use of this late experience of the churches delivery, is to observe the impregnable defence of the church, shadowed forth by the walls of Ierusalem, for the encouraging of Gods people in all ages, and advertising of all men to beware to attempt to do her wrong in time coming. Whence learn, 1. The church of God is so well guarded by Gods wisdome, power, good will and justice, as with a wall of fire, that all the strength to be observed in the walls and towers of earthly Ierusalem are but shadowes; For, Walk about Sion, and go round about her, and tell the towers thereof, is no other thing then look through the type, and con­sider Gods protection represented thereby. 2. When a type is to be studied, observation particularly may and should be made of whatsoever in it may lead us further in upon the right uptaking of the antitype resembled thereby, Walk about, go round a­bout; Marke ye well her bulwarkes, consider her palaces; for in God, or in Gods attributes something answerable to all these will be found. 3. What light the Lord furnisheth concerning himself and his church which may glorifie God, and serve the po­sterity [Page 311] for their edification, should be transmitted unto them: Marke, that ye may tell it to the generations following.

Ver. 14. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide, even unto death.

The seventh and last use of this experience of the church, is con­solation in God to Gods people in every hard case, and encou­ragement to them against all future fears, because God is the same constantly to his people in all ages as the late experience of the church had given proof. Whence learn, 1. The great Maker of Heaven and Earth, and Redeemer of his people is one and the same for ever, both in himself and towards those that believe in him; This God is our God. 2. God is still in covenant with his church, and with all the members thereof, as well in one age as in another; Now, as of old; for This God is our God for ever and ever. 3. God will guide them whose God he is, when they seek his counsel out of desire to follow it, and he will not lay down the conducting and governing of those who have commit­ted themselves unto him, but will guide them constantly all the days of their life; He will be our guide, even unto death.

PSAL. XLIX. To the chief Musician, A Psalme for the sons of Korah.

This Psalme sets forth the gloriation of a Believer in the grace of God, and in his blessed condition, wherein he is lifted up above all the wealthy and honorable men in the world, who are not recon­ciled unto God: And this the Psalmist delivereth out of his own feeling and experience. And first, because it is a main matter, and worthy of all acceptation, he maketh a Preface to his gloriati­on, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. Then he cometh out with it, making his boast in God; That by faith in God he was so secured against sinne and misery that they should not be able to mar his happines ver. 5. Thirdly he doth preferre his blessedness above whatsoever wealth or riches could yield [Page 312] to a man, vers. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. and above what­soever dominion over fa [...]ir lands, or honour a­mong men could yield to any man, either living or after his death, either to himself or to any of his posterity, vers. 11, 12, 13, 14. Fourthly, he giveth reason of his gloriation, because being ju­stified by faith, and at peace with God, he was sure of delivery from every evil, and to be recei­ved out of his grave into glory and fellowship with God, vers. 15. Fifthly, he guards every true Believer against every tentation which might disquiet him, when he seeth himself and other godly persons in outward trouble, and the wic­ked in prosperity, vers. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

Ver. 1. HEar this, all ye people, give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world.

2. Both low and high, rich and poor together.

3. My mouth shall speak of wisdome: and the me­ditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

4. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.

THe Preface calleth to the hearer for attention, faith and affe­ction to this excellent mystery which he is to deliver unto all men concerning the blessednesse of the Believer above all other men in the world. Whence learn, 1. A prepared and sanctified ear is necessary for heavenly doctrine, and people had great need to be stirred up to take knowledge of the excellency of it; Hear this, all ye people, give ear. 2. The doctrine of salvation, of faith, and of consolation against sin and misery, concerneth all people in the world to know; Give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world, both high and low, rich and poor together. 3. That is true wis­dome and understanding, which doth make men wise to salvation, and which maketh them truly blessed in this life; and this wisdom is not the birth of mans brain, but is revealed in the word of the Lord, delivered to his Church by the holy men of God in holy [Page 313] Scripture; My mouth shal speak of wisdome, and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. 4. As it is necessary for the Preachers encouragement to believe what he doth preach; so is it a great inducement to the people to hear Gods word from him who doth speak Gods word, because he doth believe, and doth subject his spirit to the Lords word, as the Prophet doth here; I will incline my ears to a parable. 5. The doctrine of true blessed­nesse▪ and of the mystery of mans salvation manifested in the Scripture, doth far transcend the carnall wisdome of the world; the excellency of the Gospell unto the natural man, is a parable and dark saying: I will open my dark saying on the harp. 6. How dark and difficult soever the mystery of the Gospel be to the car­nall world; yet to the man of experience it is plain, sweet and comfortable; and a man of experience as he is best seen in that matter, so is he most willing, heartily to communicate it to o­thers; I will open (saith he) my dark saying upon the harp: Inti­mating his delight in the doctrine.

Ver. 5. Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compasse me about?

After this Preface he uttereth his parable and dark saying, the substance whereof is this: I am so perswaded of the favour of God now reconciled to me by the blood of the Covenant, that neither do I need to fear by-past sins, nor any trouble which can come on me hereafter: And this, I say, to let all men know that this blessednesse may be attained by every man, who shall acknow­ledge his sinnes, and embrace the offers of grace made by God with his directions unto life, as I have done. Whence learn, 1. What God has spoken in his word of the blessednesse of the man that is justified by faith, every true believer may finde, and may attain to be fully assured of their perseverance unto eter­nall life; for here is a proof and example of it in the Psalmists person. 2. This Doctrine of the unspeakable peace of the Be­liever reconciled to God through the blood of the Covenant, is a point of truth which the world is ignorant of, and hardly will believe: No wonder therefore he did call it before, and here uttereth it as a parable and dark saying. 3. A Believer after re­conciliation, must neither exempt himself from danger of sinning, nor from giving daily accompt of his carriage unto God, nor from challenges for sin, nor from ordinary chastisements for sin, nor [Page 314] from heavy troubles and ill days which he may meet with; whether by Gods immediate hand for his correction, or by the persecuters of godlinesse for his further triall, exercise and train­ing of faith; for here the Psalmist presupposes that evill days will come: he presupposeth that every sin or iniquity of every action and passage of his life, shall leave behinde it an impression of guiltinesse to be taken notice of thereafter, like the print of a mans foot when he lifts his heel and walketh forward; he presup­poseth after remission of sin, after the daily exercise of repent­ance, after frequent intimation made of remission of sin, and that oftner from day to day repeated, a man may be brought back in the day of trouble to an accompt for altogether, and old reckonings may be raked up again by the troubled conscience, and by the accuser of the Brethren, and that God will be ruling the business for the further glory of the riches of his grace, and further good of his exercised childe; for here the Psalmist foreseeth, and speaketh of his looking for days of evill, and of the iniquity of his heels compassing him about, as what shall or may befall him. 4. Faith in the Messiah Jesus Christ, is able to make a man, not only at length to triumph over sin and misery, over the curse of the Law, and condemnation, or trouble and persecution, but also before trouble come in humble and solid confidence to be fearless for what can come, and to look all possible evils out of countenance; Wherefore should I fear in the dayes of evil▪ &c. 5. Albeit it be possible when it cometh to push of pike, and when the man is yoked in the conflict with troubles from without, and challenges for his sinnes within, that the strongest in faith may finde himself not a little afraid; yet when he considereth the ground laid down for settling of his faith, to wit, the truth of the covenant, the merit of the Mediatours sacrifice, and the free­dome, riches and immutability of Gods love and grace, with the Psalmist he may confidently professe and acknowledge, that he hath no reason to be feared for what Satan or the conscience may threaten him with; for this also is imported in wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall com­passe me about? which is as much as if he had said, whatsoever may be my weaknesse, and exercise in trial; yet I know there is no just reason why I should fear condemnation, or to be debarred from the possession of full blessednesse, by whatsoever possibly can come unto me.

Vers. 6. They that trust in their wealth, and boast [Page 315] themselves in the multitude of their riches,

7. None of them can by any means redeem his bro­ther, nor give to God a ransome for him:

8. (For the redemptoon of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever)

9. That he should live still for ever, and not see corruption.

10. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

In the third place, the Believer preferreth this his blessed con­dition to whatsoever either riches or honour or any earthly thing can yield to any man. Whence learn, 1. The blessedness of the Believer, and the glory of faith is best seen, when the vanity of all earthly happinesse and worldly gloriation in any thing be­side God is discovered and compared with the condition of the Believer, therefore are they that trust in their wealth, brought in comparison with the Believer here. 2. In whatsoever men do count their felicity to stand, in that they put their confidence, and do glory in it, as here is presupposed: They that count riches their happinesse, They trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches. 3. The weaknesse of all worldly things to make a man blessed doth best appear when death com­eth▪ for when the time thereof is come, no rich man can help himself, nor yet joyning his riches with his brothers riches, can help his brother, either by lengthening his life and suspending death temporall, or by recovering him from death when he dieth▪ None can by any means redeem his brother. 4. All men are Gods prisoners of warre, his captives, and liable by justice to death tem­poral & eternal; and there is no delivery from death, whether tem­poral or eternal, but by paying a ransome unto God, which is impossible for a meer man to pay; None can give to God a ran­some for his brother. 5. We are not redeemed with silver or gold, or any perishing thing; our ransome must be of greater value then a meer man can pay, that is a man, and no more: The re­demption of a mans soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever. 6. Not so much as this worldly life can be perpetuated, by whatsoever wealth, or riches, or humane ability can do; far lesse can the life of God, and that blessednesse in heaven be purchased by any meer [Page 216] man; None can redeem his brother, that he should still live for ever and not see corruption.

Ver. 11. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.

12. Neverthelesse, man being in honour, abideth not; he is like to the beasts that perish.

13. This their way is their folly; yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

14. Like sheep they are laid in the grave, death shall feed on them; and the upright shal have dominion over them in the morning, and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.

He compareth the gloriation of the Believer with the condition of those who are not only rich, but also honourable, and Lords of great rents, fair lands, houses and heritages; and he doth pre­ferre the blessednesse of the Believer to their condition also: Whence learn, 1. Albeit experience doth teach that death is common to men of all rankes, wise and foolish, rich and poor, and all; yet men are so besotted, as when they see this, they do not consider it, that they might not place their happinesse in any thing, wherefrom they may be separated by death: The worldly man seeth the wise man die, and also the foolish. He sees also that many rich men do leave their goods they know not to whom; They leave their wealth to others: and yet for all this their seeing the mortality and the folly of mortall men dying before them, they that survive a little do not draw wisdome from this obser­vation, but dream they shall deceive death, and make them­selves some way eternall; they think to perpetuate their name in their posterity by their heritages and the honours of their great families: Their inward thought is, that their houses shall con­tinue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations. They call their lands after their own names. 2. The cause of this folly is his deceived heart, avd vain conceits and imaginations, which by death are blown away; Their inward thought is to eternize themselves. Neverthelesse, man being in honour, abideth not; or doth not attain his fancied eternity. 3. The blessedness of the wealthy, potent and honourable man, as it is not permanent: [Page 317] so it leaves him in the dirt at length, and in no better case (if he have no faith or saving knowledg) then a beast: Neverthe­ [...]esse, man being in honour abideth not, he is like the beasts that pe­lrish. 4. Though the men who are most able to purchase lands, and to transmit them to their posterity, are counted ordinarily the most wise men; yet when men spend their wit and care main­ly about things of this present earth, the Lord pronounceth them to be fools: This their way is their folly. 5. Though the observation of the folly of predecessours should make the po­sterity wise; yet few are found father-better, or father-wiser; but fools follow fools in a race, and folly wil not want a pa­trone so long as fools are gone before: This their way is their folly, yet their posterity approve their sayings. 6. A worldly man not reconciled to God, dieth as a foolish, sensual and secure beast as he lived; Like sheep they are laid in the grave, for they are deaths prey both soul and body; Death shall feed on them. 7. The righteous man justified by faith, and studying to live righteously, albeit you look on him in the worst estate he can be in the world, under poverty and persecution; yet he is in better condition then the richest and most honourable ungod­ly man in all the earth; and albeit this doth not appear in this dark world, to blind men that have not the light of Gods word in them; yet at the resurrection it shal be seen, that the poor and mean just man shal be in a glorious condition above the worldling: The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. 8. The whole glory of the worldly-minded man is shortly consumed so soon as he dieth, and then he changeth his lodging for the worse, the best dayes that ever he shal see are gone: Their beautie shall consume in their grave from their dwel­ling.

Ver. 15. But God will redeeme my soul from the power of the grave; for he shall recieve me. Selah.

In the fourth place he perfects the comparison, and gives a reason of his gloriation, whereof we heard, ver. 5. The summe whereof, is this, wealth and riches, nobility, honour and domi­nion among men can follow an ungodly man no farther then the grave, there all wel-fare doth forsake him for evermore but as for me who am reconciled to God, justified, and in some measure sanctified, though I die, yet do I live in my soule, be­ing kept by God til the day of compleat redemption, and then my soul being deprived only for a while of the body, shal have i [...] [Page 318] restored again in the resurrection, and then soul and body both shal fully be redeemed and delivered from the power of the grave: for as God hath received me into favour in this life, & shal receive my soul at death; so at the time of the delivering of my body from the grave, he shal receive me both soul and body into his fellowship, and therefore my condition is better▪ how many dayes of evil soever I shal see in this life, then the condition of an ungodly man in the world, how wealthy, how honourable and apparently happy soever he be in this world; yea, I may justly glory over all ungodly men, and say yet again, wherfore should I feare in the dayes of evil, when the iniquitie of my heels shall compasse me about? For God wil redeeme my soule from the power of the grave. Whence learn, 1. Albeit the godly may be subject to mortality and outward misery of this mortal life, common to him and the ungodly, yet here is the difference, he is sure of a deliverance from all misery; But God shall redeem my soul, seith he; which God wil not do to the ungodly. 2. Hope of the resurrection is the godly mans chief consolation, and this was the hope of the Saints before Christ came, aswel as since: God shall redeem my soul from the power of the grave. 3. A believer hath good warrant to be perswaded not only of his reconciliation with God in this life, but also of the receiving of his soul after this life unto the fellowship of the glory of God both in soul and body at the resurrection; God shall redeeme my soul from the power of the grave; for he shall receive me. Selah.

Ver. 16. Be not thou afraid when one is made rich; when the glory of his house is increased.

17. For when he dieth, he shall carry nothing away: his glory shal not descend after him.

18. Though whiles he lived, he blessed his soul; and men will praise thee, when thou dost wel to thy self.

19. He shal go to the generation of his father [...], they shall never see light.

20. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

In the last part by way of exhortation, to make use of this Do­ctrine, he guardeth every Believer against every tentation which may arise from the prosperity of the wicked, & the hardship of the godly in this life. Whence learn, 1. It is a tentation which [Page 319] shaketh the faith of the godly sometimes, when they see the flourishing prosperity of the wicked, and their own daily afflicti­on; but this should not move the godly, or make them suspect themselves to be in a wrong course, and the ungodly in a better way: Be not thou afraid when one is made rich. 2. The consi­deration of the shortness both of our temporal calamity and of the ungodly mans prosperity, both which do end at death, is the way to overcome the foresaid tentation; For, When he dieth, he shall carry nothing away, his glory shall not descend after him. It is not so with the godly, whose glory and happiness meets him at death. 3. A mans own self-deceiving heart, measuring all hap­piness by a mans present outward condition in the world, and hearkning to the flatterie of fools about him, who use to currie the favour of the wealthy, and love to have the like condition themselves, is the cause why the miserable man is kept stil in a golden dream, as if he were happy: Though while he lived, he blessed his soule; and men will praise thee when thou dost well to thy self; that is, when thou takest a life of it while thou mayest have it; yet he and they are altogether deceived. 4. The ungod­ly at their death shal go the way the ungodly went before them, to the place of darkness and disconsolation, being separate from God and his Saints, and from all blessedness, and shal never have comfort in their miserable estate for ever; He shall go to the gene­ration of his fathers: and what shal become of such wretches? They shall never see light; that is, they shal never see the meanest appearance of any joy or comfort. 5. It is not honour, but want of understanding, want of saving faith and wisdome, to provide for eternal life, that puts man down from his excellency, and de­barreth him from blessedness; Man that is in honor, and understan­eth not, is the man here set at nought, and declared to be farre from true blessedness. 6. Whatsoever natural excellency be in man above the beasts; yet sin hath put him so far down, that ex­cept he get saving knowledge of God, and be reconciled to him, he is in no better condition, at least when he dieth, then a beast; Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beast that perisheth.



This Psalme is a citing of the visible Church before God, the Judg of all the earth, (who at last shal judg all flesh in the day of judgment, and shall take vengeance on the wicked,) to compeare be­fore the tribunal of God; now in time while mercy may be had, and now then timeously to consider the Lords controversie against the sin­ners in his Church, that they may repent and he saved. And first, the dreadfulness of the judgment is set downe, v. 1, 2, 3. Secondly the citation of the partie, that is, the visible Church, with the wit­nesses, v. 4, 5.6. Thirdly, there is a challenge of self-work-justisticiaries, legalists, and formal cere­monialists, who did rest upon outward good be­haviour, and upon the outward discharge of the ordinances, as if the sacrifices of the law or any performance of extetnal duties had been suffici­ent to expiate sin, and justifie a man, v. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Fourthly, there is a direction unto them how to come off their legal righteousness, and carnal way of worship, and to turn themselvs to the right way of worshipping God in spirit and truth, 14, 15. Fifthly, there is a challenge of those who were grosly wicked, v. 16, 17, 18, 19.20, 21. And lastly, there is a direction also to them to repent, and to give God glory in time, with an encouragement to the upright Believers to go on their way, vers. 22, 23.

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Ver. 1. THe mighty God, even the Lord hath spoken, and called the earth, from the rising of the Sun, unto the going down thereof.

2. Out of Sion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

3. Our God shall come, and shal not keep silence: a fire shal devour before him, and it shal be very tempe­stuous round about him.

From the description of the terrour of the Lord coming to judg his visible Church, for the slighting of the means of salva­tion, and loosness of life and conversation; Learn, 1. As the Lord is to judg the whole world one day, so in a special and most exact manner wil he judg those that draw neer to him in the pro­fession of true Religion, as this whole Psalm holdeth forth. 2. This advantage have they who live in the visible Church, they are warned of the judgment ere it come: for, as many other places of Scripture, so this Psalm is an express warning piece to the Church to prepare for judgment. 3. The terrible process of the day of Gods severe judgment, being wel meditated upon, is a special means to waken mens consciences to take course about their sins in time, that they may be pardoned, and their persons reconciled, which is the scope of the whole doctrine delivered in this Psalm. 4. The mystery of the great and terrible day of ge­neral judgment is to be learned from the Scriptures, and ex­press predictions thereof in Gods word: The authority, weight, certainty and efficacy whereof flowes from, and depends upon God almighty only; The mighty God, even the Lord hath spoken. 5. God Almighty the Sovereign Judg of all the earth hath ap­pointed, that all who ever took life, in whatsoever time or place they have lived in the world, shal compear befote his Majesty in the appointed time, The Lord hath spoken, and called the earth, from the rising of the Sun, unto the going down thereof. 6. The true visible Church where Gods ordinances are set up, as he hath appointed, where his word is purely preached, is the most beau­tiful thing under heaven, and there is Gods glory set forth, and manifested more clearly then in all the Lords handy work beside in heaven or earth; Therefore is the place of the Lords Temple here so highly commended; and Sion called the perfection of beau­ty, because of the glory of God sundry wayes revealed there; Out [Page 322] of Sion God hath shined, saith he, in regard of the clear manife­station of his wil, specially in the matter now in hand about the day of judgment. 7. Men wil take no heed unto what the word of the Lord declareth, til the authority, supremacy, om­nipotency and justice of God the Judg be apprehended by them, and the great day of his terrible judgment be looked upon as a thing which shal most certainly come to pass at the time appoin­ted; Therefore is it said, Our God shal come and shall not keep si­lence. 8. So many as are reconciled with God, and have closed uprightly with him in the Covenant of Grace, may look upon the day of judgment without terrour or perplexity; yea, and with comfort and confident hope to find the Judg gracious to them according to the Tenour of the Covenant, even their God: Our God, saith the Prophet shall come. 9. Look how fearful and terrible the Lord did shew himself at the giving out of the Law, no less terrible shal he be in the execution thereof, in the day of judging all those whose sins shal be found not pardoned before: A fire shal devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous a­bout him.

Ver. 4. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

5. Gather my Saints together unto me: those that have made a Covenant with me by sacrifice.

6. And the heavens shal d [...]clare his righteousness: For God is judg himself. Selah.

In the second place, he sets down the citation, and summoning in of officers, parties, and witnesses, to make all ready for the judging of all the world, but in special of the people who have given up their name to God, and have made a Covenant with him, and professed themselves to be his people; who shal find all of them at last, that they have had to do with a righteous Judge. Whence learne, 1. In the great day of the last judgment, Heaven and Earth, and all the Elements shal be moved to render up all whom they have received in custody unto that day; The Lord shall call to the Heavens from above, and to the Earth. 2. We need not to question how all the dead shal be raised, how souls shal be reunited to their bodies, how they shal all be ga­thered [...]ogether, and how such like great things shal come to pass, [...] resolves all; He shal call to the Heavens, and to the [Page 323] Earth. For as at a word all were made: so at a word, so soon as he shall cal, and give out order for compearance, the dead shall be raised, and all shall compear, good Angels, and wicked spirits, all men good and evil, young and old, every reasonable and understanding creature in heaven and earth by his almighty power shal be made quickly to present themselves; He shall call, is sufficient to effect whatsoever he wil. 3. What shal be the course that the Judg shal follow about those who have not heard of him, or who have heard of him, and lived without the Church, is not the main matter which the Lords people should enquire for; but this is their part to know, to wit, what concerneth themselves; therefore doth the Lord say no more here but, Hee shal call to the heavens and to the earth, that hee may judg his peo­ple. 4. All who are in Covenant with God, every Member of the visible Church are Saints by calling; God alloweth this stile upon them, because they are dedicated and consecrated to him, be­cause they are all by speciall vow obliged to be Saints; all make profession of their purpose to be such; all do esteem of them­selves, and wil have allowed unto them by others the esti­mation of Gods people, whatsoever be their deserving; there­fore saith he, Gather my Saints together unto me. 4 At how great a distance soever, whether of time or place, Gods people by profession have lived in this world, all of them shall be assembled to together at length to the judgment of that great day; some to the judgment of absolution, some to the judg­ment of condemnation, good and bad, all shal be gathered be­fore the Judge at once; Gather my Saints together unto mee. 5. The Lord shal not want Officers, Serjeants, and Servants sufficient for this work, he hath Angels innumerable, who shal effect what he giveth order unto them for; Gather yee my Saints together. 6. The external Covenant with God, is the ground of the title and honour of Saintship, and church-member­ship; whosoever are in visible Covenant with God, are called by his allowance, his Saints; for so here he doth expound whom he calleth his Saints, even all those who have made a Covenant with him by sacrifice. 7. No Covenant can be made with God without the interposing of, or professed respect unto a sacrifice, according as the Lord did teach his people in the type and shadow of the ceremonial sacrificing; for as God by appointing a sacri­fice to be offered by his people would have every Covenanter to acknowledge and profess that he was worthy to die for his sins, and that it behoved him to flie to a suretie to die for him▪ (even [Page 324] to the promised Messiah Jesus Christ, that Lamb of God which was slain from the beginning of the world, to take away the sinnes of the world;) and to consecrate himself wholly to Gods service; so doth the Lord require stil the same things of every Covenanter, from every one of his people; and whosoever do profess their accepting of the conditions of the Co­venant, are called those that have made a Covenant with God by sacrifice. 8. In that general judgment, the wise framing the world, the constant course of governing of it, the appointing of the sea­sons of Summer & Winter, Spring time and Harvest, the making of the Sun to shine, and the rain to fal upon all, and the furnishing of all with food and good things, shal be witnesses for Gods part to­ward all men, and so the heavens shal declare his righteousness. 9. No man shal be injured nor suffer wrongfully that day; yea, all men shal have wrongs done to them repaired, all rewards shal be given according as the word of the Lord hath said: For God is judg himself. Selah.

Ver. 7. Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I wil testifie against thee: I am God, e­ven thy God.

Having now foretold his people, that there shal be certainly a great day of judging of all men, and specially of his Covenant­ed people; he entereth here in a friendly manner of controversie with his visible Church or professed people, that they might re­pent and find mercy in time, before they were brought to a tribu­nal of severe justice: And first, he useth a preface directing his speech to such as were of a better outward behaviour then the worst, to wit, such as trusted in their own works, and specially in the external sacrifices and ceremonies of the Law without looking to the end and intent thereof; as if by those external sacrifices their sins had been expiated, and God fully satisfied for them. Whence learne, 1. A people setled upon the dregs of their carnal customes, in security and presumption, cannot be moved to enter into conside [...]ation of their wayes, or in suspicion of their dangerous condition, except the Lord do shew himself to them, and rip up their conscience; therefore saith he to them, Hear, O my people, and I will speake. 2. Albeit the Lord doth suffer such as are without the Church, strangers to the Covenant and Common-wealth of Israel, to lie stil in their sinnes; yet [Page 325] will he debate his quarrel against his own people, which is no small mercy; O Israel! I will testifie against thee. 3. The Covenant made with God, joyned with his absolute Sovereignty, do lay double bonds upon Gods people for the obedience of faith, obliging them not to seek salvation otherways then he doth teach us; but to worship and serve him as he appointeth; for, I am God, even thy God, saith the Lord. 4. Whatsoever quarrel the Lord has against his people for not keeping Covenant made with him; yet so long as there is hope of repentance, he will not dissolve the Covenant, but will offer the benefit thereof unto them; for when the Lord hath said, I will testifie against thee, he addeth, I am God, even thy God, ver. 11.

Ver. 8. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices, or thy burnt-offerings, to have been continually be­fore me.

9. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he-goats out of thy folds

10. For every beast of the Forrest is mine, and the cattel upon a thousand hills.

11. I know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wilde beasts of the field are mine.

12. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

13. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

After the preface, the Lord passeth by the reproof for much neglect, even in the external performances of outward ordinan­ces, and chall [...]geth only their relying upon the outward work, and their putting a sort of merit upon their work, as if they minded to oblige God unto them by their outward performances. Whence learn, 1. Albeit there be just reason to challenge men for coming short of their duty in the discharge of outward ordinan­ces; yet when that is not the main fault, or when the mending of that fault will not satisfie God, he will wave that challenge for the present, and fasten upon their chief sins, I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices, or thy burnt-offerings which should have been continually before me. 2. As men are ordinarily little sensible of their omissions of duties, so are they ready to overvalue their out­ward [Page 326] performances, and to think that what they do in this kind shall be very acceptable to God, as the carnal Israelites here chal­lenged, did conceive their bullocks and goats out of their houses or folds should have been esteemed by God of as much worth, as they who offered them did put upon them. 3. That which is most esteemed of by men, without allowance of God, is abomination to God: such were the external sacrifices of carnal Israelities, who rested upon the offering of external sacrifices, without looking to that only true sacrifice of the Mediator repre­sented thereby: I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he-goat out of thy fold. 4. It is a disease of foolish man, to think with himself that God is obliged to him when he offereth unto God any part of his goods, when in the mean time a man hath no­thing but what God hath given unto him, and which is the Lords by primitive right; Every beast of the forrest is mine, and the cattel upon a thousand hills. 5. Albeit all men profess that they acknowledge God to be owner of all the creatures, because he hath made them all; yet their practice many ways doth bewray their heart-ignorance in this point, and that they have need to be taught this lesson from God, I know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 6. Unrenewed men can­not chuse but have gross co nceptions of God, and to think of him after their own fancy, as the carnal Israelites conceived that a fat sacrifice was as acceptable to God, as a fat dinner was to them­selves; but God is not like man, and standeth in no need of supply from man or from any of the creatures; all of them have their be­ing and dependance on God, to dispose of them, and bestow them [...]n whom he will at his pleasure, He is not hungry; and put the case he had a minde to serve himself of any of the creatures, yet he needs not employ man for that effect; for, The earth is the Lords and the fulness thereof. 7. The Lord disdaineth the fleshly con­ceits which men have to satisfie his justice for their sins by any thing that man can offer unto him, as imaginations unbeseeming a reasonable man; Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

Ver. 14. Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the most High.

15. And call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorifie me.

In the third place, he exhorteth them to forsake this carnal way [Page 327] of seeking salvation, and setteth them upon the right course of true blessedness and spiritual service. Whence learn, 1. The way of salvation and of Gods worship is spiritual, and may possibly be resembled and furthered by external bodily exercises, but does not stand on things external; and to speak it more particularly, God will have the man whose person and service he will accept, to be sensible of his own want of every good thing, and inability to furnish to himself any thing which he lacketh, and to acknowledge God only to be the all-sufficient fountain of grace and of every good donation, and to seek what he hath need of from God, and to depend upon his grace when he hath sought it, and to return the praise of Gods free and gracious gift unto him when he hath received it; for all this is presupposed & imported in this offering of thanks, Offer unto God thanksgiving; to wit, for every point and passage of his undeserved favour: and this he calleth for, be­cause this offering of the sacrifice of praise and thanks, was more acceptable to God then their Ceremonial sacrifices of slain beasts. 2. God will have the man, whose person and service he will ac­cept, to make conscience of all his lawful vowes made unto God, in special of his Covenant-vow made for giving God the obedience of faith all the days of his life, which vow true wor­shippers use upon sundry occasions solemnly to renew: Offer un­to God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the most high God. 3. Were a man never so faithful and upright in the Lords service, yet he is not exempted from trouble, for reasons concerning Gods glory, good of the person troubled, and benefit of others; this the Lord holdeth forth in preparing their mindes, by making mention unto believers of a day of trouble. 4. Among other ends of the Lords sending trouble, this is one, to make the believer in the sense of his need to make use of his Covenant with God, and by faith to draw neer to him in prayer for help and relief in due time, Call upon me in the day of thy trouble. 5. The true be­liever and depender upon the sure and rich grace of God, cannot possibly fall in any trouble out of which he shall not be delivered, but whatsoever evil come, he may (by praying to God) yea he shal be delivered, Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee. What more absolute promise can be made to a believing suppli­cant? 6. A believing supplicant shall not only be graciously an­swered to his petition, and so have cause of praising God; but also shall have grace in effect to praise God, And thou shalt glo­rifie me.

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Vers. 16. But unto the wicked, God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my Covenant in thy mouth,

17. Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behinde thee?

18. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consent­edst with him, and hast been partaker with the adul­terers.

19. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

20. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother: thou slanderest thine own mothers son.

21. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence: thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thy self: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

In the fourth place, the Lord pleadeth mercifully with the gross sinner and scandulous liver, for abusing this priviledge of the Co­venant by his lewd conversation and secure Atheisme, that he being convinced of his sin, might repent, and eschew the wrath which is to come. Whence learn, 1. To such as profess Reli­gion, and observe the outward ordinances thereof, and do not live scandalously; the Lord howsoever he lets them know he is not well pleased with their way, yet he doth speak unto them more mildly, because it is possible some beloved Laodiceans, young and unskilful true converts may be guilty of no small measure of dead formality; but to such as live in gross scandalous sins, the Lord speaketh more roughly, calling them by the name of wicked; But unto the wicked God saith. 2. Such is the deceivableness of sin, and the deceit of the heart, and the power of Satan upon se­cure sinners, that they can without remorse of conscience pro­fess the true Religion, pretend to a Covenant with God, and yet live loosly as Pagans or Atheists: They take Gods Covenant in their mouth, and mean time do hate instruction, and cast Gods words behind them. 3. Such as by their lewd conversation do give an open affront to their Religion, are so detestable to God, that he accompteth them wicked haters of reformation, contem­ners of Scripture, disgracers of their holy profession, and such as [Page 329] he wil take no Religious service of their hand: Unto the wicked God saith, what hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my Covenant in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest in­struction, and castest my words behinde thee? 4. Albeit men do profane the Covenant, and deserve to be thrust out of it as un­worthy to have the benefit of it, or to be suffered any more to pro­fess it; yet God wil not give up with them hastily, but wil af­ter a friendly manner declare to them their sin and misdeserving, that their conscience may be moved towards repentance; What hast thou to do to take my Covenant in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction? 5. The man that casteth Gods word behind him, cannot chuse but serve a worse master, and be made slave to his lusts, and be led away to every sin, as tentation doth lead him; he wil not stand to be a greedy thief, and a filthy adulterer, ver. 18. and to loose his tongue to all the evils whereunto the tongue can serve, ver. 19. yea and to become unnatural to those with whom he is bound in nearest bonds of blood, ver. 20. 6. Such is the Lords patience, that he doth oft-times endure very long horrible provocations of those that are in outward Covenant with him, in that by his long-suffering he may lead them to repentance: These things thou didst, and I kept silence. 7. When men do not profit by the means which should lead them to repentance, they grow worse for the means, more secure and hardened in their ill wayes, and more godless in all respects: Thou thoughtest I was altogether such a one as thy self. 8. Such as live a loose life with a professi­on of Religion under the shining light of Gods word, do not keep their consciences quiet, otherwaies then by transforming God into an idol after their own fancy, and by feigning him to be what he is not, and not to be what he declareth himself to be; Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thy self; that is to say, No more displeased with thy wayes then thou thy selfe was. 9. Although the Lord keep silence for a time, yet he wil at length let the sinner know by his word and rods, how displeased he is at sin: But I wil reprove thee, saith the Lord. 10. Sins forgotten cast behind back, and cast together in confusion by the secure sinner, shal in the day of Gods reckoning be brought to remembrance with time, place, and other circumstances, and so presented to the conscience, as the sinner shal not be able to look aside from his fearful accusation and ditty, I will set them in order before thine eyes.

Ver. 22. Now consider this, ye that forget God, [Page 330] lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to de­liver.

23. Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God.

In the last place, the Lord being lo [...]th to dissolve the Cove­nant, or to destroy those that are in the visible Church, how wicked soever, exhorteth them to repentance while it is time, before he cast them off utterly, and so sheweth them the way of returning hom [...] to him, as he doth also encourage such as are sincere worshippers of him to go on. Whence learn, 1. The Lords controversie with his people, and threatning of wrath upon them, do carry much love and mercy in their bosome; it is admirable that such offers of grace and reconciliation are made by God after so just and fearful challenges, as here we read. 2. As the affectionate remem­brance of God is an aw-band to keep from sin, and a spur to all duties; and as consideration of Gods word is a means to waken the conscience, and affect the heart with high and right thoughts of God: so the forgetting of God, and consideration of what is necessary, casts a man open to all sin, and makes way for his de­struction; Consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces. 3. If they who have gone far away from God, do not haste them home unto him, they are like to meet with judgement mer­ciless, and to finde no opportunity or time granted as they could wish to repent, Consider, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver you. 4 To set men on work to endeavour the honour of God by worshipping him in spirit, and to conforme their out­ward actions of the body to the rule of Gods word, is the scope of all Gods pleading with his own people; for his controversie is clo­sed with a direction to all, to glorifie God, and to order their con­versation aright. 5. That man worshippeth God in spirit, who giveth him the praise of his justice, in acknowledging his sinnes against Gods law, and his ill deservings in the course of daily re­newed repentance, and who giveth unto God the praise of his grace and mercy, in flying to the refuge set before him in the Gospel, in the course of daily renewed acts of faith in Christ▪ and he who giveth God the praise of his holiness in studying daily to mortifie the lusts of the flesh by his Spirit, and to be re­newed in his minde and affections; and in a word, he who in his heart and affections studieth to give God the honour of all his at­tributes, [Page 331] titles, or name, by whatsoever occasion manifested to him: This is the worshipper of God in spirit and truth, whom the Lord by all his dealing with his people is seeking to form and gain to himself, Who so offereth praise, glorifieth me. 6. Sincere endeavour to worship God in spirit, is best seen in a mans care to conform his life and bodily actions to the rule of Gods word; for with glorifying of God he joyneth here, ordering his conver­sation aright. 7. Whosoever shall set himself to be Gods servant in spirit and truth, shall finde God to be his Saviour to the ut­termost, how godless soever, how vile soever he hath been; If he shall prepare himself against the dreadfull day of Judgement, by receiving the offer of grace in Jesus Christ, with all the fulness of the salvation of God in him, and in Christs strength shall study to bring forth the fruits of his faith in a blameless conversation, he shall undoubtedly be saved: for God hath said, Whoso offereth the sacrifice of praise, glorifies me, and to him who ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God. Amen, Amen.


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