A BRIEF EXPLICATION Of the other fifty Psalmes, From Ps. 50. to Ps. 100.

BY DAVID DICKSON, Professour of Divinity in the Colledge of Edenburgh.

Blessed is the man whom thou chusest, and causest to ap­proach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy Courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodnesse of thy house, even of thy holy Temple.

Psal. 65. 4.

Imprimatur, Iuly 16. 1653. EDMUND CALAMY.

London, Printed by T. R. & E. M. for Ralph Smith, at the Bible in Cornhill, near the Royal Exchange. 1653.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE The EARL of EGLINGTON, Mercy and Peace through Iesus Christ.

My right Noble Lord,

THE reason of my sending forth of this piece, under your Lordships name, is, that by this means I may pay home before I die, the old debt which I owe to your Lordship, and to the whole noble family, for countenan­cing and encouraging me openly in my Ministery, all the while I was in Irwin near your Lordship, full twenty yeares.

And the reason why I do confesse my debt now, and go about to discharge some part of it, at this time of your Lordships restraint in England, is, be­cause when I call to minde the time of my restraint about some thirty yeares ago, (when the High Com­mission Court of Prelates procured my confinement within a little village in the North beyond Aberdein, in regard I could not give them satisfaction by recei­ving the yoak of some Popish ceremonies, imposed [Page] then upon the Ministery,) I cannot forget how comfortable your Lordship was to me then, and what paines and travel you endured summer and winter without wearying, untill they who at that time had power to loose me from my confinement, being made sensible, some of them of the iniquity, and all of them of the inexpediencie of keeping me in bonds, I was restored to the free and full use of my Ministery. Wherefore I do esteem it a part of due gratitude, to do what in me lieth, to be com­fortable to your Lordship in this your present con­dition; and do heartily pray to God that your ex­ercise and trouble, may prove a meanes of your happinesse. It is true indeed, that happinesse with­out this meanes were to be wished, if so it were Gods pleasure; but unto God onely (in whose hands ‘alone it is to make men blessed, and in’ whose friendship and favour through Christ on­ly men are really blessed) it doth belong, as to choose the man to whom, so also to choose the meanes whereby, and the manner how he will communicate the right and possession of true bles­sednesse. If happinesse were at mens wish and carving, no man would choose God for his chief good, nor Gods way to bring his felicity about; for the multitude of men do say, Psal. 4. 6. Who will shew us any good?

The good which God doth shew unto them, and the way how by reconciliation with himself, and walking humbly and uprightly before him, they may have God to be their rich reward, is not the thing they love to have; but corn and wine and oile, and whatsoever may best please their fleshly fancie, is their desire. And of this the [Page] Lord doth complain, Psal. 81. 11. My people, saith he, would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of me. And what was it which they did preferre unto God? they loved to have their own will in this world, whatsoever should befall them after death; they loved rather to have their own earthly desires satisfied, then to have the friendship of God: and their choice was given unto them to their owne destruction. So (saith the Lord) I gave them over to their owne hearts lust, and they walked in the counsell of their owne heart. Few, when they look upon the course which the world doth runne after, yea very few do preferre the fellowship of God reconciled to them in Christ, before riches, honour, and sen­sual pleasure: For, Who will shew us any good? is that which many do say, Psala 4. 6. bu [...] Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us, is the petition of the few opposed to the multi­tude; and even those few godly would wish to go to heaven with ease, and to be free from trouble in their journey, if it were the Lords will, as we may see in the prayer of Iabez, 1 Chron. 4. 10. Who called on the God of Israel saying, Oh that thou wouldest blesse me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evill, that it may not grieve me. But our loving and wise God, who knoweth perfectly what is fittest for every man, doth crosse and correct those natural de­sires of his children. And howsoever he will now and then possibly grant the prayer of Iabez, to some of his people, yet he hath appointed this to be the ordinary road-way to heaven, which [Page] the Apostle pointeth forth to us, Acts 14. 22. We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God,

And this course of carrying of Gods children through many afflictions, doth no wayes hinder their happinesse; for how many soever their cros­ses be, yet this holdeth alwayes fast, Psal. 65. 4. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee. If therefore by plurality of chastisements, the Lord shall draw, and drive them to seek remission of sinnes and reconcilia­tion with himself, and the renewed sense thereof through Christ, and shall by the rod hedge them within the way of walking with him in a friendly communion: they lose nothing except their lusts, and do gain eternal blessednesse. And certain [...]y there is so much reliques of natural cor­ruption, so strong inclinations unto sinne, so many actuall outbreakings, and grosse transgres­sions to be found in the most precious Saints, that there is no wonder the Lord should visit their trespasses with the rod, and their iniqui­ty with stripes; but all the wonder is, that he will not take his loving kindnes utterly from them. There is also so great need of loosing their affe­ctions from what seemeth love-worthy in this world; so great need of raising the hearts of the heires of Salvation unto the seeking of a King­dom, which cannot be shaken, and of a crown uncorruptible; as all reason doth call for the mix­ture of troubles with earthly comforts, lest the sweetnesse of temporary vanities should prove un­to them poysonable. Moreover, the experience of the Saints set down in Scripture, and especi­ally [Page] in the Psalmes, doth make it manifest, that by the variety of outward and inward troubles the faith of Gods children hath been tried, and trained to farther strength. Their love, hope, and patience, and all other spiritual graces in them have been so fostered and augmented, as they have been made joyfully and thankfully to subscribe this truth, Psal. 94. 12. Blessed it the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy Law. This is the language of the Lords present dispensation toward his people, and the lesson which his Providence doth recommend to us all, that we may learn it to our good: where­unto if this piece shall contribute any thing for the edifying of those who shall be pleased to read it; and in speciall, if it shall be acceptable to your Lordship, this shall do much more then re­compence the labour of

Your Lordships obliged servant in the Gospell, DAVID DICKSON.

The Epistle to the READER.

Christian Reader.

THe acceptance which the former fifty Psalme [...] ha [...]e found, doth give me encouragement suf­ [...]ient to offer these other fifty to thy view also, and to give thee the last fifty so soon a [...] the Lord [...]all enable me: I am still sparing of thy time, and do strive to point forth, not all the [...]octrines which may be deduced from the words; but so many onely a [...] being joyned to­gether and compared with the [...]xt, may give unto thee both the sense and the use thereof. It is not possible to expresse grave purposes suf­fieiently without [...] volume, nor to open mysteries in few words unto thy sati [...]tion, who c [...]st not chuse but wish to have more of the purpose, whereof th [...]u lov [...] [...]o hear much, and findest but a little of it [...]inted at. No sort of writing, except that of the Scripture, hath all perfections; but this a [...] [...]ge thou hast by this mould, thou shalt not r [...]d long till thou meet with matter worthy of thy medita­tion; and whensoever thou meetest with a word spoken in seas [...]n, or fit for thy condition, thou m [...]t close thy reading for the time, without losing any long discourse, and feed upon what thou hast found till it be digested, and then returne when thou wil [...], & seek for as much as may be another morsell. For the reading of many div [...]rse doctrines, without some interlaced meditation is like eating of [...]rrow without bread, and cannot but [...]loy thee for the time, or give thee a sur [...]eit of wholesome food; which evil if it be [...]al thee, may be helped for after-time by short ejaculations of a word of prayer whilest thou art reading, according as the purpose calleth thee [...] seek the Lords blessing unto that which thou readest, whose presence that thou mayest finde comfortable, is the prayer of

Thy servant in the Gospel, DAVID DICKSON.

The mistakes in the printing whi [...]h have escaped the Prsse in the former piece, and may possi [...]ly also escape it hereafter, I pray thee excuse; because I am a [...] such a distance, as I [...] neither timously prevent th [...], nor marke them as Errata that [...] mightest correct them.

A BRIEF EXPOSITION Upon the other fifty Psalmes.

PSAL. LI. To the chief Musician. A Psalme of David, when Natha [...] the Prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

THE Psalmist in the sad sense of his guil­tinesse, prayeth for remission of sinne, with an eye to the Lords large mercy, ver. 1, 2. and followeth his petition with a deep and hearty confession of his sinfulnsse, ver. 3. 4, 5, 6. He prayeth the second time for remission of sinne, with an eye toward the blood of the [...]essiah, ver 7. and fol­loweth it with another petition for comfort to his afflicted spi­rit, ver. 8. He prayeth for remission of sins the third time, ver. 9. and followeth it with another petition for renewed comfort of the holy Spirit, and for removal of selt wrath, with a promise of making use thereof, to the [...]fication of Gods people, ver. 10, 11, 12, 13. He prayeth for remission of [...] fourth time, and namely of that particular sinne, wherewith for the present his conscience was most troubled, ver. 14. and he followeth it with another petition, for enabling of him for a more spiritual & [Page 2] sincere manner of serving God hereafter, renouncing all confi­dence in the external ceremonies of the Law, ver. 15, 16, 17. And l [...]st of all, he prayeth for mercy to the Church, ver. 18, 19.

From the Ins [...]ription, Learn, 1. How soone the most morti­fied lust may be kindled and break forth like fire in the embers, when it meeteth with powder; how fraile the strongest of the Saints are in themselves, when they are tempted to sinne; and what need he who standeth hath to take heed lest he fall: for the holy Prophet, the sweet singer of Israel is here foully defiled by his going in to Bathsheba. 2. How fast asleep in sinne, even the most watchful watchman may fall, and that he cannot at all awake of himself, till God of his grace (who in love pursueth fu­gitives) by some means of his own chusing, stir up his consci­ence, as here is evidenced in the case of the Psalmist, who did lie still in his sin secure, till Nathan the Prophet came unto him. 3. How faithful Ministers ought to be in their proper cha [...]ges, reproving sinne, even in greatest personages, when God doth call them unto it: and how acceptable their rep [...]oof should be to the honest heart, as Nathan the Prophet, Davids Seer, his coming unto David, and rebuking him after the open knowledge of his sinne; and Davids acceptance of this office at his hands; and the honourable mention made of his sidelity here do teach us. 4. How little a true penitent doth stand to shame himself, when his sin hath dishonoured God, and he seeth that the confession of it may glorisie God; and how far the Pen-men of holy Scri­pture do differ in this point from the writers of humane histo­ries, as David in the Inscription of this Psalme giveth proof.

Ver. 1. HAve mercy upon me, O God, according t [...] thy loving kindnesse: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgres­sions.

2. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

In this first affectionate prayer for remission of sins, Learn, 1. As the conscience, till it be awakened by God, cannot appre­hend how displeasant sin is to God; how it meriteth wrath; [...] how unsupportable a burden it is to the sinner, when he is cha­ged [Page 3] with it: So after it is wakened, it can see no refuge till it con­sider that mercy may be had in God, and then the more it is pressed by the Law, or fear of wrath, the more it seeketh after Gods mercy, as here we see; Have mercy on m [...], O God. 2. The consideration of the Lords loving kindnesse, and readinesse to forgive the sinner that cometh unto him, should keep the sinner, (how grievous soever his offence hath been) from running away from him, yea should give him hope to meet with mercy, what­soever may be his demerits: Have mercy, O God on me, according to thy loving kindnesse. 3. Sin is a debt obliging a man to a penalty which he cannot pay, but must be forgiven, otherwayes he perisheth, as blot out my transgressions doth import. 4. All doubts arising from the multitude of sins forgiven before, and from the abuse of many mercies already received, and from the deep deservings of most hainous sins, are solved, when Gods lo­ving kindnesse, and the multitude of the mercies of God are op­posed to these doubts and fears, and are put in the balance over against them; according to thy loving kindnesse, according to the multitude of thy mereies, blot out my transg [...]essions. 5. When a Saint now justified doth any thing against the Law of God, his sin is so farre from being extenuated or made lesse, as by the contrary it is multiplied so much the more, and found to have in it a plurality of sins, when it is rightly considered; blot out (saith he) my transgressions, in the plural number. 6. Sin, as it bindeth a man over to punishment, till he be forgiven; so it de­fileth a man, and puts an abominable deformity on him, which his illuminate conscience cannot look upon, without loathing, till it be by pardon and purging washed away; wash me and cleanse me from mine iniquity and my sin. 7. The pollution of sin goeth through the whole powers of the soul and body, which have been serviceable to it; through minde, will, affections, senses bodily, and all, and nothing can quiet the soul here, except it finde pardoning mercy, and sanctifying mercy, going after all the soule footsteps of sin, and doing away the filthinesse thereof, wash me throughly, and cleanse me.

Ver. 3. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

4. Against thee, thee onely have I sinned, and [...]e this evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justi­sied [Page 4] when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity: and in sinne did my mother conceive me.

6. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdome.

Here he maketh confession of his sin and sinfulnesse, and ag­gravateth his guiltinesse, from the very root of original sinne, and subscribeth whatsoever God hath spoken of mans sinful nature, and deserved punishment in the Scripture approving himself for the sincerity of his confession unto God. Whence learn, 1. Whosoever would have mercy and pardon of his sin from God, must acknowledge his sin and debt, and must take part with God, and with justice against himself, because the Psalmist here giveth this for a reason of his hope of pardon, for I acknowledge my transgression. 2. Albeit God hath pardoned sin to a peni­tent soul, and albeit his Ministers have made declaration of the pardon to him, yet the conscience will not pronounce the sen­tence of absolution, but still present the sin as unpardoned, till God make it quiet by his immediate intimation: for David after that Nathan had told him from the Lord, that his iniquity was pardoned, still findeth the conscience pursuing for the guilt, my sinne is ever before me. 3. The dividing of the grant of pardon from the effectual intimation thereof unto the conscience, is done in Gods wisdome and mercy towards his childe for good: for here it ripeneth repentance, and bringeth forth this deep confession, I acknowledge mine iniquity, and my sinne is ever before me. 4. It is most suitable for true repentance, to pitch upon some particular sin, in the vilenesse whereof the evil of other sins may be taken up and lamented against thee have I done this evill; he meaneth the particular whereof Nathan charged him in the matter of Uriah. 5. The material injury and hurt of a sinful action may resolve upon a creature, but the formall obli­quity of the action resolveth upon the law or command of God, and upon his sovereigne authority which gave the law; against thee, thee have I sinned. 6. If the injury done to the creature, could be severed from the offence done to God, the conscience would not be so much troubled for the first as for the last [...] [Page 5] if the injury done to God against so many obligations, be com­pared with the injury done to the creature; the injury done to God is so high as it comprehendeth all the challenge which the creature could make for its part, and leaveth nothing to the creature to say besides: Therefore saith he, against thee, thee onely have I sinned, and done this evill in thy sight, 7. Albeit no man should challenge for a wrong done by one man to another, and in particular for a wrong done to a subject by a Prince or Ruler, yet will the Lord challenge for it, and bring the man to an accompt for it, against thee, thee onely have I sinned. 8 How closely soever the circumstances of a sinful action be conveyed, that men should not see the vilenesse thereof, yet before God all the matter is plaine: I have done this evill in thy sight, saith he. 9. The conscience rightly wakened in the sense of sin, cannot but justifie what God hath spoken in his Word of mans sinful­nesse, and of the merit of sin, and of whatsoever God hath done, or shall do in the punishing of sin: for David maketh this deep confession of sin against himself, that God may be justified when he speaketh, and cleare when he is judged. 10. Although presumptu­ous man will not stand to examine, judge, and passe sentence up­on God, and his words, and his works, yet shall no m [...]n be able to bear a blot upon God; but every conscience when awake, shall be found to blame the man, and to justifie God in all his words and proceedings, as David is forced to blame himself here, that God may be justified when he speaketh, and clear when he is judged. 11. As original sin is common to all men by natu­rall propagation from their parents, so is it not abolished out of the most holy in this life, and as it is found to utter it self by actual transgressions, in the children of God, so must the evill thereof be acknowledged by them, and that not to extenuate, but to aggravate their sin thereby, as David sheweth here, saying, Be­hold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 12. No confession of sin, nor any other part of Gods wor­ship giveth ease to the minde, or is acceptable to God, except it be done in sincerity and truth, and when it is done in spirit and truth, it is acceptable to God, and giveth eare to the conscience; Behold, (saith David after his deep confession) thou desirest truth in the inward parts. 13. The last operation of Gods gr [...]ce in us, is worthy to be observed, acknowledged, and made use of, as an evidence that God hath some work in us, wherein he taketh pl [...]asure, Behold (saith Da [...]id to God) thou desirest or delightest in [...]ruth in the inward parts. 14. When a man hath sound some spark [Page 6] of grace in himself, he may expect to finde yet more grace from God, as David after this observation of grace given unto him, to make a sincere confession of his sin, doth expect that God shall effectually teach him more wisdome, or wise behaviour in his sight. In the hidden part thou wilt make me to know wisdom; that is, thou wilt make my conscience judge yet more impar­tially of my native sinfulnesse, and wilt teach me to walk more circumspectly before thee, in the sense of my sinfulnesse.

Ver. 7. Purge me with bysope, and I shall be clean: wash me and I shall be whiter then snow.

8. Make me to hear joy and gladnesse: that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoyce.

He prayeth for remission of sin the second time, with an eye to the bloud of the Messiah Christ, and joyneth with it, a peti­tion for comfort to his afflicted spirit. Whence learn, 1. No lesse loathsome then leprosie is the sight of sin, when it is looked upon as unpardoned; and nothing lesse then the bloud of Christ signified by the bloud of the clean bird slaine to cleanse the leper, can purge a man of it, for David doth look unto the manner of cleansing the leper, as it is set down, Levit. 14. Where two birds were taken, and one of them slaine, and the living bird being dipped with bysope in the bloud of the slaine bird, was let flie away, to signifie the leprous sinners deliverance from perdition by the bloud of that cleanly bird Jesus Christ: purge me with by­sope, saith he. 2. Whatsoever application hath been made to a man of Christs blood in justification of his person, it doth not hinder, but rather doth open a way unto the renewed acts of ap­plication thereof, according as new sins do draw on new guilti­nesse: for here justified David prayeth to be yet again purged with bysope. 3. Renewed acts of remission of sin granted, by new application of the vertue of Christs blood, cleanse [...]h the conscience of the guilt of sin, and cleareth the man before Gods justice, purge me with bysope, and I shall be clean, saith he. 4. Howsoever remission of the guilt for Christs sake, be inse­parable from the imputation of righteousnesse for Christs sake, yet may these two be distinguished, and distinctly looked upon for the beleevers comfort; for here David looking on the removing of the guiltinesse of sin by Christs death, saith, purge me with bysope, and I shall be cleane: and looking upon the im­putation of Christs righteousnesse, or obedience even unto [...]he death, he saith, Wash me and I shall be whiter then sno [...] [Page 7] Now that these two branches of this mercy are distinguishable, may appear from this, that as to be freed from eternal torment is one benefit, put case a man were annihilated in his loosing from it; and to be not onely freed from eternal torment, but also made blessed by the gift of eternal life, is another and a greater benefit: So removing the guilt of sin, in relation to the remo­ving of punishment is one thing, and the assignation of Christs righteousnesse in relation to eternal life is another thing; and these two benefits both of them are purchased by Christs perfect obedience unto the death, and are holden forth, Levit. 14. for after the delivery of the leper from death (figured and symboli­zed by the letting go of the living bird, dipped in the bloud of the slaine bird) the cloathing of the leper with righteousnesse, is figured and symbolized by the washing of the man, and putting clean cloaths upon him. Now it is not the mans personal san­ctification inherent, (which in every man is joyned with much pollution) that maketh him clean, but the imputation of Christs righteousnesse; This maketh him whiter then snow. 5. As we must not neglect the Ordinances of God, but must use them carefully for obedience unto God, and for strengthening of our faith, so we must not rest upon them, but seek in unto the signi­fication, substance, and end of them, which is Christ; as here David seeketh perfect pardon by Christs blood, perfect purging and cleansing through him under the termes of purging with bysope and washing. 6. The grief and torment which followeth sinne, and is felt by a wounded spirit, even in the children of God, in the time of their repentance, is greater then ever the pleasure of sin was to them, as David sheweth here, who speak­eth of his vexation, and wounded spirit, as of the painfullest trouble which can fall upon the body: for by the bones which thou hast broken, he meaneth the chastisement of his spirit, inflicted of God. 7. Nothing can heal this wound of the spirit, save the hand that made it; nothing but Gods lively application of his word of Grace and pardon to the guilty s [...]nner can do it; so: David will not rest with what Nathan had spoken, till God speak the same effectually unto him; make me to hear joy and gladnes. 8. As there is no sorrow so deep, as the sense of Gods displea­sure, so there is no joy so refreshing as the inward consolation of Gods Spirit; for Davids broken bones will rejoyce, if God will speak peace to his soul: make [...]e to hear joy and gladnesse, that th [...] ones which thou hast broken, may rejoyce.

Ver. 9. Hide thy face from my sint, and blo out all mine iniquities.

10. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11. Cast me not away from thy presence: and take not thy holy Spirit from me.

12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13. Then will I teach transgressours thy wayes, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

He prayeth for remission of sin the third time, ver. 9. And joyneth therewith a petition for rectifying his sad condition; first by renovation of that grace which was decayed, and as it were lost in his sense, ver. 10. Secondly, by preventing his deserved and feared separation from God, & from communion with his Spirit, ver. 11. Thirdly, by repairing and restoring of his some-time gracious condition, and setling him therein by the Spirit of a­doption, ver. 12. And then he promiseth to make good use thereof for the comfort and edi [...]ication of other sinners, ver. 13. Whence learn, 1. Sin is soone committed, and guiltinesse and inisery soone drawn on, but not soone and easily removed; many a cry to God may be uttered in the sense of felt displeasure of God, and fear of more and more evill following on it, before the soul finde freedome from it; as this frequently repeated peti­tion for pardon, and these expressions here set down do make e­vide [...]. 2. Earnestnesse of affection maketh often repetition not to be babling, and when that which most presseth us, is most pressed, and insisted upon by us in our prayer, it is no vaine repetition or idle multiplication of words, as here is to be seene. 3. Sin seen in its own shape, is a loathsome sight to God, and horrible to the sinner; which loathsome sight nothing can remove, save the Lords voluntary forgiving of it, and his not setting it before his own face, to be pursued in severe justice, Hide thy face from my sins. 4. As one sin doth waken up the conscience of many other sins, so nothing can quiet the consci­ence about that one sin, except both it and all other sins be for­given, therefore saith he, [...]lot out all mine iniquities. 5. A [...]ncere penitent is no lesse desirous of renovation and sanctifica­tion then he is of forgivenesse of sin; for with blot out all mi [...] [Page 9] iniquities, he joyneth create in me a cleane heart, and renew a right spirit within me. 6. Albeit sin against the conscience in a renewed man, defileth it throughly, and desaceth the work of th [...] holy Spirit, openeth the flood-gate of natural corruption, to the pollution of the whole frame of a holy heart; openeth the way unto, and strengthens the work of an evill and deluding spirit; yet no principle of grace in the renewed man is able to remove this evill; but the removing and remedying of it must be by the immediate work of Gods own omnipotent hand. This work is no lesse then creation, therefore saith he, Create in mo a cleane heart, and renew a right spirit within me; that is, it is not in my power to clear my conscience, and my polluted heart, or to set my perverted spirit in a right frame again, but thy creating and renewing power, which borroweth nothing from the crea­ture, must do it: create in mo importeth this. 7. Albeit a re­newed soul cannot be utterly cast off from God, nor be berest utterly of saving grace once bestowed on him; yet if he grieve the Lords Spirit by presumptuous sinning, his assurance of stand­ing in Gods favour may be mightily brangled, and he put in [...] of losing the possession of what is behinde of the saving work of Gods Spirit in him, especially when he considereth that his provocation doth deserve no lesse at Gods hand; Therefore saith he, Cast me not away from thy presence▪ and take not away thy ho­ly Spirit from me. 8. Nothing is so terrible to a renewed soul which hath been sometime sensible of Gods favour, and sure of the presence of his Spirit, as to be shut out from Gods favour, and sever'd from the communion of his Spirit, as this prayer te­sti [...]ieth, Cast me not away, &c. 9 As a beleever may come to assurance of his own salvation, and when he keepeth a good con­science, may swee [...]y rejoyce therein; so when he seeth that the pleasure of sin hath marred this joy unto him, he cannot rest nor be quiet till he recover the assurance he had, and his wonted joy be joyned therewith, restore unto me the joy of thy salvation. 10. The godly by their fall, should learn sensibly to acknow­ledge their own weaknesse, and their need of the supporting strength of Gods Spirit, and to account the hands of Gods Spi­rit, keeping them in order, and in Gods obedience, to be their only freedome. Therefore David after prayer to have the joy of Gods salvation restored unto him, [...] lost he should lose it again if he were left to himself, doth [...] another prayer, Up­ [...] me with thy free Spirit. 11. As the end of seeking mer­ [...]y to our selves, should be this, that we may be [...] to be in­struments [Page 10] of glorifying God, and saving of others: so the sensi­ble feeling of mercy which is sought after, doth greatly encou­rage a man to the work: Then will I teach transgressours thy wayes. Then, that is, when the joy of Gods salvation is restored to me, and I confirmed somewhat in the grace of God. 12. As the way which God keepeth in manifesting his justice against transgressours, and his mercy to self-condemned sinners flying to him in Christ, is not known by nature to sinners, so long as they go on in their evil course, or before they be effectually taught to know both; so none is so [...]it to teach and perswade them of this mystery, as they who by frequent experience are acquainted with the wayes of God: Then will I teach transgesso [...]rs thy wayes. 13. The communicating the knowledge and experience of Gods justice and mercy, according to every mans place and calling, is a good means of converting of others who know no such thing: I will teach others thy wayes, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Ver. 14. Deliver me from blood-guiltinesse, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing a­loud of thy righteousnesse.

He prayeth the fourth time for remission of sin, and namely of that fearful and bloody transgression in the matter of Ur [...], which now did most trouble his conscience Whence learn, 1. As the conscience doth passe upon particulars in the midst of con­fused challenges for multitudes of sins: so doth it presse some particulars more eagerly then other some, according as it is set on work: as here the guiltinesse in the matter of Baths [...] and Uriah presseth David▪ deliver me from blood-guiltinesse. 2. Though sin seeme pleasant at the beginning, yet at length it is found a devouring enemy, from which none can deliver a soul save God alone: Deliver me from blood-guiltinesse, O God. 3 Upon the general grounds of the Covenant of Grace made with us for salvation through Christ, must a soul seek to have particular mer­cies; Deliver me, thou God of my salvation 4. The righteous­nesse of God, which standeth in the remission of sin, and impu­tation of Christs obedience unto us, through faith according to Gods promise, is the matter of our joy and song of praise to God: which song, a soul being in thraldome by self guiltinesse can hardly sing, but after the intimation of pardon will sing [...] [Page 11] chearfully: Deliver me from blood-guiltinesse; then shall my tongue sing aloud of thy righteousnesse.

Ver. 15. O Lord open thou my lips, and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16. For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt-offering.

17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou will not de­spise.

He pursueth this fourth petition for remission of sin, with [...] request for enlarging of his heart, and furnishing him with m [...] ­te: and ability for praising of God; Wherein he sincerely re­nounceth all confidence in external ceremonies of the Law, o [...] in any thing else which he could performe. Whence learn, 1. How­soever proud spirits think that they can do any thing they please in Gods service, yet a humbled soul under exercise knoweth that it is God that giveth both to will and to do of his good plea­sure; such a man knoweth that the habit of grace is a gift, and the bringing forth of the habit to exercise, is another gift, he knoweth that when one hath gotten grace, to will to praise God; he must have grace to put this will to act effectually: This the Psalmist doth acknowledge and (prayeth, open thou my lips, and my tongue shall show forth thy praise. 3. Whatsoever holy ordi­nances and outward services God doth prescribe to his Church, they are not required for satisfaction of his justice, nor are they the maine thing he is pleased with, but they are meanes onely to lead men to himself in Christ, in whom onely justice findeth satisfaction, and man findeth strength to go about the worship, that so God himself may have all the praise of our services: Therefore David giveth it for a reason of his former petition, for thou desirest not, (or thou hast not pleasure in) sacrifice. 4. That which God aimeth at, we should most intend; and what he is well pleased with, we should most endew [...]; Thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it. 5. The main in [...]nt of the sacrifices under the Law was, that a man in the sense of his sin and deserved judgement, and inability to satisfie for his faul [...], should come and empty himself before God, and [...] him to that onely one propitiatory sacrifice, represented in [...] ex­ternal sacrifices: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; that [Page 12] is, the right way of sacrificing, is that a mans spirit be emptied of its own self-confidence when it cometh to offer unto God the external sacrifices, which otherwayes God regardeth not. 6. The man who most renounceth his own works, worth, or me­rits, and despiseth all his own doings, as a broken earthen vessel is most acceptable in his approaches to Gods free grace in the Mediatour: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise; and that not for any worth in the matter of contrition, but because by contrition is expelled all conceit of self-worth, and so the man is most fit for receiving grace and free pardon from God.

Ver. 18. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Sion, build thou the walls of Ierusalem.

19. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousnesse, with burnt-offering, and whole burnt-offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine Altar.

In the last verse David prayeth for the Lords people; that what breach had been made in the walls of Gods protecti­on about them, by his sins and theirs, might be repaired; and God more holily and heartily worshipped, both by himself and by them in time coming. Whence learn, 1. As every true mem­ber of the Church should bear in heart the condition of the bo­dy, and put it up to God, whatsoever be the mans own private condition; so in special he that hath by his sins provoked God to with [...]aw his prote [...]ion from the incorporation wherein he is, should most earnestly interce [...]e for the good of the body, as David doth here: do good in thy good plea [...]ure unto Sion, build thou the walls of Ierusalem. 2. The rich grace of God, his free love and unchangeable good will to his people is the cause of all the welfare of the Church: do good in thy good pleasure unto Sion. 3. Whosoever have been most instrumental in the building of Gods Church, must some way be emptied of the glory of this work▪ that it may be all ascribed unto God alone, who is the onely builder of his own Church; as David here em­ptieth himself of this honour, & ascribeth it to God, saying, Build thou up the walls of Ierusalem. 4. When God poureth ou [...] [...]p­on his people his Spirit of g [...]ce and supplication, and ot [...] [Page 13] proper effects of his good will to them, then, and not till then, are they fit to do him service acceptably: do good in thy good pleasure to Sion; then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices, &c. 5▪ No sacrifice is acceptable to God, save the sacrifices of righ­teousnesse; Now the sacrifices of righteousnesse are first, the propiriatory sacrifice of Christ, whereunto every beleever must have respect, as offered in his Name when he cometh to God; and next the sacrifices of thankfulnesse and new obedience of­f [...]ed up by vertue of Christs sacrifice, to be accepted: The first sort of sacrifice was represented most specially by burnt-offering, and whole burnt-offering; and the other sort by peace-offer­ings and other oblations: Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousnesse, with burnt-offering, and whole burnt-offering, then shall they offer bull [...] upon thine Altar.

PSAL. LII. To the chief Musician, Maschil. A Psalme of David: when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul▪ and said unto him, David is come to the house of Abimclech.

THe scope of the Psalmist is, to shew that Doeg his enemy had no reason to glory in the favour of the Court, purcha­sed by his false and cruel calumnies against him and the Lords Priests▪ which he proveth by four reasons: First, because Gods kindnesse could not be taken away by Doegs cruel calumnies, v. 1. Secondly, because God s [...]ould [...]oot our Doeg out of the world for his wicked calumnies, ver. 2, 3, 4, 5. Thirdly, because Doeg should be made a laughing-stock and matter of derision to the godly, ver. 6. 7. Fourthly, because ma [...] his malice, David should be blessed as a believer in God, and a true worshipper of him, ver. 8. Whereupon he concludeth with praise to God, ver. 9.

From the Inscription, Learn, 1. It is no new policy of wick­ed men, to seek to be great in Court, and in the favour of Prin­ces, by maligning the godly, and fostering the displeasure of Princes against them, for D [...]eg of old did climbe in Court this way. 2. Such practices are most suitable to false brethren: for this Doeg is an Edomite of the posterity of Es [...]. 3. When the w [...]ked come to be in power and credit with Kings, for their [Page 14] very enmity against Gods people, it is a narrow trial, and a sore tentation to the godly, as here in Davids case with Doeg is to be seIn. 4. In this case there is nothing so needful as to go to God for direction and consolation; for so David did, and came back with a Maschil, or P [...]alme for instruction to himself and others. 5. It is no advantage to a claw back Calu [...]niator, to pretend that he told nothing but truth, and said no more then what he saw: for it is true, that David came to the house of Abimelech, but the telling of this to Saul, imported much mischief upon the matter, even all the evil which fell forth, and all this is laid on Doeg presupposing he had said no more then is expressed here, that is, that he told Saul, David is come to the house of Abimelech.

Ver. 1. Why boast est thou thy selfe in mischief, O mighty man? the goodnesse of God endureth conti­nually.

David chargeth Doeg with the vanity of his gloriation, that he was now made so mighty a man, for his ill service done a­gainst the Lords servants, and re [...]uteth his folly, because he would not take the kindnesse of God from the godly so easily as he might steal their good estimation from them among men. Whence learn, 1. Prosperity and successe following upon a wicked cour [...], d [...]th hide the sin and mischief which is in it from the sin [...], as we see here, how the favour which foolish Doeg found a [...] Court for his calumniating David and the Lords Priests, did puss [...] him up. 2. There is small reason for a wick­ed man to glory in his wickednesse, whatsoever profit or prefer­ment it doth bring unto him, for after examination he will not be able to give a reason of his vain boasting; Why boastest thou thy self of thy mischief, O thou mighty man? 3. Albeit the wicked do think that God forgetteth his simple and silly ser­vants, yet it is not so; and albeit the Lord doth alter the exercise of the godly, and changeth their prosperity into adversity, yet he changeth not his affection to them, this remaineth fast for ever, whatsoever seem to the carnal spectator, of the Lords dealing with his people; The goodnesse of God endureth continually. 2. So long as Gods unchangeable kindnesse endureth, the wicked have no cause to insult over the godly, nor have the godly cause to faint or be discouraged; for this goodnesse of God David doth oppose, both to Doegs boasting, and to his own tentation; The [...]indnesse of the Lord endureth for ever.

Ver. 2. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs: like a sharp r [...]sour working deceitfully.

3. Thou lovest evil more then good and lying rather then to speak righteousnesse. Selah.

4. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.

The next Argument of refuting Doegs folly, is, because this cruel calumny should bring Gods vengeance on Doeg, and root him out from all felicity; and here he first sets down his ditty in these three verses, before he sets down his doom, ver. 5. Whence learn, 1. The tongue when it is abused, is a world of wickednesse, setting the world on fire, as it self is set on fire from hell by Satan: for whatsoever mischief the devil can sug­gest, or a wicked heart can devise, the tongue will serve to vent it; therefore is the tongue charged with devising of mischief: Thy tongue deviseth mischief. 2. The smooth convey of a wick­ed device doth not hide the mischief of it from Gods sight, nor extenuate the mans fault, but rather doth help on the mis­chief more cunningly and powerfully: like a sharp rasour work­ing de [...]itfully. 3. When a man speaketh no more of a tale of his neighbour, but what may serve to the mans hurt and prejudice, and keepeth up the relation of that part of the tale which might clear the mans innocency, or might give a right con­struction of his doing, albeit that part of the tale told be true, if all the rest of the tale had been told with it, yet being told alone as if it were the full history, it is evil, it is false lying. It is a murthering and devouring speech, and full of deceit; and doth argue the Speaker such a one as Doeg was, in the par­ticular at least, to whom David saith; Thou lovest evil more then good, and lying rather then to speak righteousnesse; Thou lo­vest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 4. The more wit, deliberation and affection is in a sin: the heavier is the guilt, and challenge for it more just. Doegs devising mis­chief, Doegs chusing evil, and not good; chusing lying, and not righteousnesse; loving these evil and all-devouring words, ma­keth his ditty most fearful.

5. God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwel­ling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. [...]ah.

[Page 16] Now followeth his doom; Whence learn, 1. As any wicked man is instrumental for bringing temporal destruction on the godly, so is he instrumental in drawing everlasting destruction upon himself from Gods hand, God shall likewise destroy thee for ever. 2. He that seeketh to settle himself, to inlarge himself, to root himself in the earth, and to prolong his standing in the world, by wrong means, and in special, by hurting the god­ly, and their good name and cause, shall finde the event quite contrary to his desire, designe and expectation, as Doeg did, whose doom was destruction, for his evil offices done at Court against David [...]nd the Lords Ministers God shall take thee away and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living.

Ver. 6. The righteous also shall see and feare, and shall laugh at him.

7. Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wicked­nesse.

The third Argument of ref [...]tation of Doegs vain-boasting, is, that his wisdome should be seen to be ridiculous folly; and his b [...]asting to be the matter of his shame and disgrace. Whence learn, 1. The notable enemies of Gods children and servants may expect to be notably punished, and that they who did see their sin, shall see also Gods vengeance on them: The righteous shall see it. 2. As the godly are the only wise observers of Gods work, and dispensation of his mercy and justice: so also are they the only persons that do make spiritual advantage thereby: The righte­ous shall see it and fear. 3. As the good of godlinesse is seen and felt by the godly in their own experience of Gods blessing upon themselves, so is it seen and observed also in the contrary evils which befal the ungodly; Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength, (say they) but trusted in the abundance of his ri [...]hes, and strengthened himself in his wickednesse.

Ver. 8. But I am like a green Olive-tree in the house of God, I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

The fourth Argument for refutation of Doegs foolish boasting, is because, I, saith David, shall flourish in Gods favour, in de­spite of Doeg; Whence learn, 1. Whatsoever may befall [...] [Page 17] godly by the malice of their enemies, it shall not hinder their felicity, when their enemies are running to their own destru­ction, it shall be well with the godly, they may be perswaded of it, for the Psalmists example doth encourage to it: But I am like a green Olive-tree. 2 As the Olive-tree, being planted in a fertile ground, draweth in moisture, whereby it is nourished and groweth up: so doth the beleever, being planted in the Church, draw spirit and life trom God by the holy ordinances, whereby he groweth up: I am like a green Olive-tree in the house of God. 3. The wisdom of the godly, and the ground of their true bles­sednesse is this, they make fast work of their everlasting felicity by saith in God, and this maketh them like green Olives all the dayes of their life; for I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever, is given here for a reason of his happy growing in the house of God.

Ver. 9. I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy Name, for it is good before thy Saints.

He closeth the Psalm comfort [...]bly, with resoluti [...]n to praise God, and to depend upon him. Whence learn, 1. Victory over tentations obtained by saith, i [...] very glori [...]us, for saith doth make a man as sure of what is to come, as if it were perfected, and filleth him with praise for the certain hope of the perform­ance of Promises; I will prais [...] thee for ever (saith David.) be­cause thou hast done it. 2. [...]ith being soli [...]ly fixed, bringeth forth hope and quiet expectation of what is promised, I will wait o [...] thy Name. 3. As the Christian patience of one of the Saints, is a matter of g [...]od example, and great encouragement unto all the rest that behold it: [...]o the consideration of the good which may redound to others, who shall be witnesses of our pa­tient atten [...]ing upon God, should sti [...]e us up to this duty of patient hope in God, I will wait on thee, for it is good before thy Saints.

PSAL. LIII. To the chief Musician up [...]n Mahalath Maschil. A Psalme of David.

AS in the fourte [...]nth Psalm, so here David comforteth him­self, and the rest of the godly in their sad sufferings which they felt from godlesse men lying in the miserable condition of nature, ver. 1, 2, 3. The grounds of comfort are three; the first, because God was engaged in the sufferings of his own, and would plead their controversie against the wicked, ver. 4. The next, because Gods judgements were to come on all the persecutors of the godly, v [...]r. 5. and the third, because there is hope of full salvation of the godly in Christ, ver. 6. Com­paring this Psalme with Psalmer 14. wherein. the enmity of the wicked against the godly, and the comfort of the godly in that case, in this place are the same which are set down there; We learn, That as the godly may fall oftener then once, in one case, under one and the same tentation, some sort of hard exer­cise and grief: so may they, and should they make use of the same comforts, and bring to memory the same doctrines for that end, as the Church is taught to do, Psalme 14. and here in this Psalme.

Ver. 1. THe foole hath said in his heart, There is no God; corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none that doth good.

2. God looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

3. Every one of them is gone back, they are altoge­ther become filthy: there is none that doth good, no not one.

From the description of the miserable condition, wherein the world and every unrenewed man within the Church visible [...]o [Page 19] lie; Learn, 1. All unrenewed persons are fools before God, how wise soever they may seem to men 2 All unrenewed men are inwardly in their affections and resolutions Atheists in effect, and such as do not regard God in any thing; whatsoever they may seem to themselves or others outwardly, They say in their heart, There is no God. 3. All unren [...]wed men are altogether rotten in their principles and motives of their actions: They are corrupt. 4. The actions of the unrenewed will be found abo­mination before God, and will prove them to be corrupt: They have done abominable iniquity. 5. Among all unrenewed men, whether without or within the visible Church, not so much as one man shall be found to have done so much as one good acti­on, which can stand for good in Gods accompt: There is none that doth good. 6. The truth of this doctrine is put to trial and proo [...] by God himself, and sentence is pronounced of all mens natural aversenesse from God, and impotency to do good. God looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there we [...]e any that did good, and he found none. 7. As it is impossible they can do any good, or be wise who seek not God; so the proof and trial of this naughtinesse of all men, so long as they lie in nature unrenewed, is found by their not understand­ing; not seeking of God; The Lord looked to see if there were any that did understand, that did, seck God. 8. Every man by nature is a Revolter from God, and from the state wherein once God made man, Every one of them is gone back. 9. There is nothing clean or unpolluted in soul or body of the unrenewed man; but the longer he liveth in nature, the viler is he: They are altogether become filthy. 10. Seeing all men by na [...]ure are concluded under sin, without exception, And there is none that doth good, no not one; It is no wonder, that the image of God appearing in his children, be ill entertained by natural men, and that Gods children expect no good fruits from such ill trees, as all men are by nature, for this doctrine is delivered to quiet the hearts of the godly, when they are molested by the men of this world. 11. It should yield comfort to the godly, to behold the miserable condition wherein all men are by nature, and themselves called forth of this miserable estate, and converted; for this doctrine offereth ground for the comparison and conso­lation.

Ver. 4. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge▪ who eat up my people as they eate bread; they have not called upon God.

[Page 20] The first direct Argument for the comforting of the godly under their persecution by the wicked among whom they live, is, that God conside eth their case, and will plead their cause, When [...] learn, 1. The Lord observeth every point of enmity which the world [...]ieth agninst his People; he taketh their case to heart, and will plead their cause, and this is a solid ground of comfort to his People in all their sufferings; H [...] the workers of iniquity no knowledge? that ca [...] up, &c. 2. Grounds of di [...] between the unrenewed, and the re­newed or [...], [...] in this opposition of the one sort [...] the other are th [...]; First, the unrenewed, all of them are ca [...] workers of iniquity; but they that aree reconciled, howsoev [...] they are not [...] sin, yet they are not counted by God to be workers of iniquity. Again, the Lord doth own the regene [...] and call them [...] own People, but doth disclaim the other, as in [...]t not his people, but his enemies. And lastly, the un [...] ­generate do [...] call upon God, to wit, in earnest, or in [...], but the [...]ate by the oppos [...]ion made are presupposed h [...] to call on God, and to depend upon him in truth. 3. [...] doth more evidence the blindnesse and beastly be [...] of the conscience of sinners, then the pe [...]ecuting of the Saints; [...] will not [...] the un [...]dly to [...]ve a godlesse life themselves, except they m [...]igne and most unreasonably oppose Piety in [...] thers; Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? that they [...] up my People as they eat bread. 4. To vex, be [...] down, and de­stroy the godly, is as great a pleasure to the wicked, as to [...] their meat; They [...] up my People as they eat bread.

Ver. 5. There were they in great feare, where [...] feare was; for God hath scattered the bones of him that encamped against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.

The next ground of comfort to the godly against persecution, is, because Gods judgements shall overtake the troublers of God; People, when they do least feare it. Whence learn, 1. As per­secution doth cauterise the conscience, and maketh it sen [...]c­lesse of sin▪ so also doth it make the Persecutors fearlesse of judgement, when they do eat up the People of God as b [...] without fea [...]e; For there, faith he, no feare was. 2. The [...] secure a sinner is, and in special a Persecutor of Gods People, [Page 21] the more terrible shall his wakening be, when Gods judgement cometh on him; There were they in great feare where no feare was. 3. The enemies of Gods Church make it their study and main work, to overthrow the godly, and to compasse them as it were by way of laying siege about them, that they escape not; They encamp against thee, saith the Psalmist, speaking as it were to every one of Gods People. 4. Wra [...]h pursueth the Persecutor, both living and dead, and ceaseth not to follow him so long as there is any thing of him capable of punishment; for God not only [...]iseth the [...], and destroyeth the enemie, and consumeth his flesh, but also he hath seattered the b [...]es of him that en [...]ampeth against the [...]. 5. When the [...] is nothing left of the P [...] [...] unpunished in the world, the wrath of God pursueth his name and memo [...]ial; and the wrong done to the innocent, is the Persecutors great [...] [...] Thou hast put them to s [...]me. 6 As true h [...]ur, and th [...] [...]ring of [...]pect from men upon any, is the gift of God, who honour­eth them that honour him; so deserved s [...] and [...] for [...]n committed, when it is po [...]ed out, as the eff [...]ct of God [...] ju­stice maketh them who [...] him to be lig [...]ly esteemed; Thou hast put them to s [...], because God hath [...] them.

Ver. 6. O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion! when God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Iacob shall rejoyce, and Israel shall be glad.

The last ground of comfort to the persecuted godly, is the hope of compleat [...]ion to the Church of God, and of every true member therof in Christ. Whence learne. 1. There is no [...]lid consolation against persecution, or any other grievance, save in the salvation which is to be [...]ad in Christ; He is the S [...]iour and salvation of Israel. 2. As Christs coming [...]o ac­complish salvation by p [...]t and part, in his own order and time, is most certainly to be bel [...]ved and hoped for: so is it most ear­nestly to be wished, longed after, and prayed for: as the ex­ample of the Lords People here (longing for his coming to [...]ion, in his incarnation and mani [...]ion of his grace; and then in the spreading forth of his grace and salvation out of Sion to G [...]ntiles and Jewe [...] doth teach us; O th [...] the salvation of [...] were come out of Sion. 3. As the captivity of Gods People d [...] remain in any degree and measure, which may make [...] coming to be so much the more de [...]eable, and to be [Page 22] the object of wishes, and matter of Prayer; so shall every sort and degree of captivity at last be removed from Gods People, till Redemption be compleatly fulfilled; God shall bring back the captivity of his People. 4. As of all People, whoever had the name of Gods People, the miseries and captivities of the Is­raelites, because of their provocation against God, have been the most conspicuous and signal: So of all the People on the earth, and of all the Nations which have been honoured with the title of Gods People, the deliverance of Israel from cap­tivity shall be most eminently and conspicuously comfortable; for when God shall bring back the captivity of his People, then Jacob shall rejoyce, and Israel shall be glad.

PSAL. LIV. To the chief Musician on Neginoth Maschil. A Psalme of Da­vid, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not Da­vid hide himself with us?

DAvid being betrayed by the Ziphims; First, doth make his Prayer to God for delivery, ver. 1, 2. Secondly, he strengtheneth his faith by some reasons, ver. 3 Thirdly, he is confident of his own delivery, and of Gods judgement on the Ziphims, whereunto he subscribes, ver. 4, 5. And last of all, he promiseth praise to God for his own assured deliverance, ver. 6, 7.

From the Inscription; Learn, 1. Particular straits and particu­lar deliveries should be particularly remarked, as David here remembereth the danger he was in by the treachery of the Zi­phims. 2. Mighty men will finde readily more friends in an evil cause, then the godly do finde in a good cause: As Saul hath the Ziphims to offer their service to his cruelty, when David was in straits. 3. The wicked are very hearty to do an ill turn, and glad to finde occasion of it: Doth-not David, (say they) hide himself with us? as if this had been good and bles­sed newes.

Ver. 1. SAve me, O God, by thy Name, and judge me by thy strength.

2. Heare my Prayer, O God, give eare to the words of my mouth.

From Davids Prayer; Learne, 1. The godly can never be so surprised with trouble, but they should flie to God for de­livery, as David doth here; and it is a rare vertue not to forget this relief in depth of distresse. 2. When men beleeve that God is all-sufficient and answerable to what is spoken of him, they have great encouragement to go to him in diffi [...]ulty, Save me by thy Name, saith David: Gods name gave him ground to pray and hope for deliverance. 3. Albeit no man should rashly call God to give judgement, yet in a good cause, against a strong Party, an upright man may call for and expect assistance from God; Iudge me by thy strongth, saith he. 4. In servent prayer, the very voice hath use, as with the supplicant to expresse his ear­nestnesse, and his faith in God, and to sti [...] him up, and hold him fixed to his supplication; so with God also hath it use in regard it is an expresse invocation of him, and a signe of depend­ance upon him, and of expectation of a good answer from him; Heare my Prayer, O God, give care unto the words of my mouth.

Ver. 3. For strangers are risen up against me; and oppressours seek after my soule, they have not set God before them. Selah.

The reasons supporting his saith in his Prayer, [...]e taken from the unkindnesse, unnatu [...]alnesse and cruelty not only of his Countrey-men, but also of his father in law, and of his old ac­quaintance, slippery Courtiers, who sometime professed friend­ship. Whence learn, 1. No strangers are more strange then they who cast off the bands of civility and nature, wherein they were bound: false Countrey-men, false brethren, false friends, false alliance, are those of whom men may expect le [...]st in their need, for David findeth such men to be his greatest enemies; Strangers are risen up against me, saith he. 2. When they who should protect a man, do him most wrong, God will hear the p [...]ints put up against such men: oppressours seek after my soul or [...]e. 3. When the fear of God is laid aside, there is nothing to be [Page 24] expected of the godlesse man but the worst of evills which he is able to do, there is no aw band to restrain him, for they have not set God before them. 4. The lesse hope there be of mans mercy, the more hope is of Gods help, the more unkinde and cruel men be, who should be friends, the more may the Lords kindnesse and comfort be expected for supply of inlacks, as here the d [...]ist of Davids argument holdeth forth.

Ver. 4. Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.

5. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.

In the third place he is assured of help to himself, and to his friends and of vengeance to his enemies. Whence learn, 1. Fer­vent [...] hath readily a swift answer, and sometimes wonder­fully twist, even before a man have ended speech, as here David findeth in experience Behold (saith he) God is my helper, 2. The sight of faith is very clear, and piercing through all clouds, when God holds forth the light of his Spirit unto it, it can de­monstrate God present in an instant, ready to help in greatest straits: Behold, God is my helpe. 3. There is more joy in Gods felt presence, then grief, in felt trouble; for, Behold, God is my helper, is more comfort then his friends unkindnesse, and strangers malice was grievous. 4. Such as do comfort and help a man in time of his tentation, are not onely helpers unto him in the matter of his temporal life, but also instruments to save his soul, which by tentations is like to be drawn into sin, and so to destraction; for David saith of such men, they uphold my soul. 5. Such as take part with the persecuted Saints, God will take part with them: The Lord is with them that uphold my soul. 6. As God is a friend to the friends of his distressed chil­dren, so is he a s [...] to their [...] and their foes shall smart for their enmity in due time: He shall reward evil to my enemies. 7. The doome of the wicked enemies of Gods children, is set down in Gods word, his truth is the wicked mans terror, and the godly [...] strength: Cut them off in thy truth. 8. Albeit we may not without cl [...] warrant pray against particular persons, yet we may subscribe to Gods Word set down in Scripture a­gainst his obstinate enemies, and our enemies for his cause: Cut them off in thy truth.

Ver. 6. I will freely sacrifice unto thee, I [...] praise thy Name (O LORD) for it is good

[Page 25] 7. For he hath delivered me out of all trouble; and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

In the last place he promiseth praise to God for the certaily he had of his deliverance, whereof he was no lesse assured, the [...] if he had seen it with his eyes. Whence learn [...]. Promised and hoped for deliverance is able to affect the [...], as a mercy present and already past, as here it doth David: I will sacrifice to thee, and praise thee. 2. Readinesse of heart to glorifie God, and liberty of spirit, with occasion granted to praise him for a benefit, is another [...] benefit super­added, and greatly to be esteemed of, as David doth account of it: I will freely sacrifice unto thee and praise thy Name, for it is good; tha [...] [...]s, not only is thy name good, but to have a heart sincerely to [...] [...]hee, and liberty to expresse thy praise before others is [...]. Then is an action good, when it is done, because it is a good [...]on, and is not gone about for by-ends; I will praise his name for it is good, saith he. 4. In one experience of one delivery man [...] foresight of ful delvery out of every evil or trou­ble wherein he can fall, as here David speaketh of hopes for full delivery, he hath delivered me out of all troubles. 5. The same light of Gods Word, made lively by Gods Spirit, is able to shew a man, both the destruction of his wicked enemies, and his own deliverance from them; and as a man may rejoyce in Gods mercy towards himself, so also may he rejoyce in Gods justice against his enemies, provided he be free of pri­vate revenge: mine eye hath scene thy judgements upon mine enemies.

PSAL. I. V. To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil. A Psalme of David.

THis Psalme containeth this doctrine, That albeit Christ and his followers may be in great straits by the [...] of their pretended friends, yet through Gods favour they shall be delivered, as David felt in experience. The use of which Do­ctrine is subjoyned in the end of the Psalme, which well agree­eth with the Psalmists condition in the time of Absaloms and A­chitophels conspiracie.

The parts of the Psalme we may make these three. In the [...]st is set down his sorrowful supplication to ver. 16. In the next, his comforting of himself in the Lord his deliverer, to ver 22. [Page 26] In the third, the use of this experience, in the two last verses.

In his supplication he prayeth in the first place for a gracious hearing, because of the calumnies and cruelty of his enemies, ver. 1, 2, 3. In the next place he setteth down his pitiful condi­tion of minde, ver 4, 5. making him to wish to be faire from the company of these conspirators, which were combined against him, ver. 6, 7, 8. In the third place, he prayeth to God to con­found their counsels, because the whole City was in an uproare against him, seeking how to execute their mischievous plot, ver. 9, 10, 11. In the fourth place h [...] condescends upon a more par­ticular reason of his prayer for confounding their counsels, be­cause the plotter of the conspiracy had been most intimate in his familiarity, and deep upon his counsel, ver. 12, 13, 14. Whereupon in the last place by way of prayer he prophesieth of the curse of God to come upon them, ver. 15.

In the second part of the Psalme he comforteth himself in God; First, by his resolution constantly to depend upon God, and hopefully to pray, ver. 16, [...]7. Seondly, by his former ex­periences of deliverances granted to him before, ver. 18. Thirdly, because he was assured God should take order with his enemies for their treacherous breach of Covenant, and pla [...] ­ing of their malicious designes with fair pretences, and deep dissimulation, ver. 19, 20, 21.

In the third part of the Psalme are the uses of this ex­perience, ver. 22, 23.

Ver. 1. GIve eare to my prayer, O God, and hide not thy self from my supplication.

2. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourne in my complaint, and make a noise.

3. Because of the voice of the enemies, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.

From his addresse unto God for relief in this, as in his other sad conditions; Learn, 1. Many grievances are the godly subject unto, but in none of them all is there any ease for them, till they go to God and lay out their case before him: Give care to my prayer, O God. 2. As it is ease of heart to supplicants to have any signe of the acceptance of their supplication; So not to [Page 27] finde accesse in prayer doth adde much weight to their trouble. hide not (saith he) thy self from my supplication. 3. When a sad heart is fixed on God, and findeth what to say to him, it may expect that its words shall not be misregarded of God, but punctually taken knowledge of: attend unto me, and hear me. 4. Though a childe of God were never so stout-hearted natu­rally, yet when God exerciseth his spirit with trouble, he shall be made to weep before God as a childe, and must not be ashamed to be thus humbled before him: I mourn in my complaint, (saith he) and make a noise. 5. A mourning supplicant shall neither [...] his prayers nor his teares, for I mourne, is brought for a rea­son of his hope, that God shall attend and hear him. 6. When the godly fall into persecution and trouble from men, their lives, their estate, and their good name, readily come altogether to be in danger at once; as it befell David when the conspirators made head against him, they traduced his former government, as if he had been a wicked man, and sought to bear him down, and to have his life; because of the voice of the enemy, there is their railing; because of the oppression of the wicked, there is their violence robbing him of his estate; they cast iniquity upon me, there are their slanderous traducings of him, and charging him with faults falsely; In wrath they hate me, there is their cruell seeking to kill him.

Ver. 4. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrours of death are fallen upon me.

5. Fearfulnesse and trembling are come upon me, and borrour hath overwhelmed me.

In this pitiful condition of minde; Learn, 1. It is not a thing inconsistent with godlinesse to be much moved with fear in time of danger; natural affections are not taken away in con­version, but sanctified and moderated: My heart is sore pained within me. 2. Natural wit, and courage are not sufficient to bear a man out in a great stresse, for they will fail him, and if a man have not stronger supporters then his natural parts, he is undone, for here the terrours of death are fallen upon me, and borrour hath overwhelmed me. 3. The godly have an advantage above all natural men: for when natural strength and courage doth fail them, they have nothing behinde, but the godly have faith in God, to open a fountain of fresh supply of wisdome, courage and strength to them, when parts natural do sail them; for Da­vid being now emptied of natural furniture, hath wisdome and [Page 28] strength to go to God, and hope of heart to be helped by him.

Ver. 6. And I said, O that I had wings like a Dove; for then would I flee away, and be at rest.

7. Lo, then would I wander farre off, and re­maine in the wildernesse. Selah.

8. I would hasten my escape from the windy storme and tempest.

Where is he wished to have been out of the reach and soci­ety of such wicked enemies; Learn 1. When a man may escape a present hazard of [...], with a good conscience, he may lawfully flie and eschew the danger, as David here wished he could have escaped; O if I had wings, then would I flie away. 2. A god­ly man may be in such peril as it seems to him he cannot with­out a miracle be delivered, as David saw no way to escape the conspiracie, [...] this way: O that I had the wings of a Dove; and yet God may so dispose, as he may be delivered in an ordinary way, as here David was. 3. It is better to be in the Wilder­nesse in some cases, then to be in the company of the wicked: Lo, I would wander farre off, and remaine in the wildernesse. 4. The way to eschew the fury of a sudden insurrection of a tumultuous multitude, is not to come forth and appease them with words, but to decline their present furie by going out of the way, if God offer occasion: I would hasten my escape from the windy storme and tempest.

Ver. 9. Destroy, O LORD, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

10. Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.

11. Wickednesse is in the midst thereof, deceit and guile depart not from her streets.

In the third place he prayeth to confound the counsel of the enemies because they had put the whole City in a confusion, and set the citizens upon a course of [...] and violence. Whence learn, 1. A visible Church may at some time be in so sinful a condition, as a godly man shall not know what to do, or to whom he may have [...] where to hide him; as here the condition of the holy City, the City of Ierusalem is described. 2 The prayers of the godly are more able to disappoint the [Page 29] plots of cruel enemies, then all humane policy: Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues. 3. The beleever should make use of such courses as God hath taken before for disappointing wicked enterprises, for supporting of his faith in his need, as here David maketh use of Gods dissolving the conspiracy of Cora [...], Dathan and Abiram, and of the proud enterprise of the wicked in building Babel; Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues. 4. A man should be very sure, that such as he doth pray against, and complaineth of unto God, are in a wicked condition, and upon a mischievous course; for David giveth for a reason of his imprecation, that he had seen violence and strife in the city. The Rulers of the city diligently watching for his [...] to do mischief; day and night going about the walls, mis­chief, so [...]row, wickednesse, [...] in the midst of it, and openly [...] in the streets.

Ver. 12. For it was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have borne it; neither was it he that bated me that did magnifie himself against me, then I would have hid my self from him.

13. But it was thou, a man, mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

14. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

In [...] place he condescendeth upon a more special [...] of his [...] Achitophel and other like [...], ( [...]) had [...] abused their trust and familiarity which they had with him, whose ingrati­tude [...]ieved him [...] then the [...]; Whence learn, 1. It is [...] thing for [...] to [...] as [...] their [...] to become [...] specially in a good cause; this doth Davids experience make evident. 2. The worst that a professed enemy can do against the godly in a good cause, is more tolerable then treachery against us, or the forsa­king of us by a professed friend; for that importeth a reproach in the Party forsaken, as having an evil [...], or being un­worthy to be assisted; It was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have borne it. 3. The injuries of a respected e­nemy, are not so [...] [...]ble before they [...] done, nor so pier­cing when they are done, as the injuries of one whom a man suspecteth not, or as the injuries done to us by a professed and [Page 30] trusted friend; Neither was it he that hated me, then I could have hid my self from him. 4. The disappointing of us by a friend in a good cause, much more the open opposition, and most of all the treachery of a trusted friend against us in a good cause, doth carry with it a vilifying and despising of our per­son and cause; and importeth our ill deserving at their hand, our ill carriage in the cause, and our deserving to be forsaken, and saith in effect, that the false friend or traitor hath reason to be avenged on us, and to oppose us in that cause; and what can be heavier to a godly persecuted person? for this is a very exalting of the Traitor against us: Neither was it he that hated me that did magnifie himself against me. 5. Amongst many friendly neighbours, it hath been the custom of godly and wise men to chuse out some to be their most intimate friends, whom they would use most familiarly and freely, whose coun­sel they would take, and most readily follow; It was thou, O man, mine equal, my guide, and my acquaintance. 6. To finde a godly and wise man, with whom we may be free in all cases of minde or conscience, wherein we may fall, to whom we may freely open our minde, and be strengthened by him in the service of God, it is a notable refreshment, and part of happi­nesse and contentment: We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. 7. A godly and wise man may be deceived in his choice by the close carriage of an hypocrite, who because he hath no sound principles of stedfastnesse in a good cause, may both disappoint his friend, and deceive himself also, and so do that which he did not at first intend to do. This disappointment to the godly is a very heavy affliction: But it was thou, a man, mine equal, my guide.

Ver. 15. Let death seise upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickednesse is in their dwel­lings, and among them.

From his Prophetical imprecation against his enemies, such as Achitophel was to David, and Iudas to Christ, and such like, together with their followers and complices; Learn, 1. Swift destruction is the reward of the enemies of Gods servants, and specially of treacherous Apostates from a good cause, as A­chitophel's and Iudaas's latter end gave example: Let death seise upon them, and let them go down quick into hell. 2. Such as give entertainment and lodging to wickednesse, shall have hell for [Page 31] their lodging, where wickednesse lodgeth; for here it is given for a reason why the wicked shall go down to hell, Because wickednesse is in their dwellings, and among them. 3. What the Lord hath revealed to be his righteous decree, the godly may warrantably subscribe unto it; Let death seise on them, &c.

Ver. 16. As for me, I will call upon God: and the Lord shall save me.

17. Evening and morning, and at noon will I pray and cry aloud, and he shall heare my voice.

In the second part of the Psalme, he comforteth himself in his resolution, constantly to depend on God, and his confi­dence to finde accesse in worship. Whence learn, 1. The right use of Gods judgements on the wicked, for their wickednesse is to draw near to God, to worship him and depend upon him, as David here resolved; As for me, I will call upon God. 2. A man may be sure to be saved in drawing near to the Lord what­soever shall befall the wicked, I will call on God, and the Lord shall save me. 3. He who resolveth to live upon Gods good will and furniture, and hopeth to be saved at last, must resolve also to be constant, servent and importunate in his daily worship and attendance on God; Evening and morning will I pray and cry aloud. 4. As it is needful upon all occasions to watch unto Prayer, and to entertain a frame of Spirit fit for supplication: so is it fit for giving of our selves more specially and fully to this work, to have (albeit not fixed canoni [...]k houres,) yet set times every day, at or about which we may follow religious worship, such as are morning, evening and noon, or any other time most fitting for the work; all circumstances being compared, as here Davids resolution and example doth teach us.

Ver. 18. He hath delivered my soule in peace from the battel that was against me: for there were many with me.

His next encouragement is taken from the experiences of for­mer deliveries given to him by God. Whence learn, 1. Then do we make good use of experiences, when we stir up our selves, thereby to beleeve the more for them in God, and to call on him in all conditions, as David here giveth this, He hath deli­vered my soul, as a reason of his former resolution. 2. In the midst of war the Lord can keep a man as safe as in the time of [Page 32] peace, and in extreme perils preserve him from danger; He hath deliverd my soul in peace from the battel that [...]as against me. 3 He that depends upon God in the time of trouble, albeit he had an hoste against him, yet hath he more with him when God is with him, then can be against him: He hath delivered my soul, for there are many with me.

Ver. 19. God shall heare and afflict them, even he that abideth of old▪ Selah: because they have no changes, therefore they feare not God.

20. He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his Cove­nant.

21. The words of his mouth were smoother then butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer then oile, yet were they drawn swords.

His third encouragement is taken from assurance, that God should punish his enemies for their godlesse security, b [...]each of Covenant, and deep di [...]mulation. Whence learn, 1. Upon the complaint of the opp [...] servants of God, not only a [...]e they delivered them [...]lves, but also their enemies are punished; God shall [...]ear and afflict th [...]. 2. Gods eternity and immutability is a sufficient gro [...]d of the mani [...]station of his mercy to his own people, and [...] against their enemies from generation to generation; God shall hear me, and afflict them, even he th [...] abideth of old. S [...]h 3. The more gently the Lord: deales with the wicked in not ex [...]cising them with so many cresses, outward and inward, as he doth his own, the more godless are they, the more se [...] a [...]e they; and the more godless and se­cure they are, the more certain is their vexation coming; He will afflict them sore, because they have no changes; therefore they feare not God. This is one reason of the Lords pursu­ing the wicked. 4. Whoever he be that maketh a breach in the peace between himself and others, shall have God for his P [...]ty, who shall not faile to afflict the Peace-breaker, he shall afflict them, and namely the chief Ring leaders; Who have put forth their hands against such as be at peace with them: and this is another reason of the Lords punishing of the enemies of his People. 5. The Lord will make a quarrel, and pursue for the breach of Covenant in special, because this is a most solemn confirmation of peace, and wherein God hath specially interest [Page 33] to s [...]e it performed, or the breach of it punished; He hath broken his Covenant; and this is the third reason of Gods pu­nishing false brethren, pretended friends to Gods people, but in effect most pernicious foes. 6. The bosome-enemies of the Church, and underminers of the Lords people, and of his work in their hands, do make fairest pretences; when their vilest plots are in hand, then they are at Haile Master, and at offer­ing of kisses, when they are about to be [...]ay; The words of his mouth were smoother then butter, but warre was in his heart: his words were softer then oile, yet were they drawn swords: and this vile dissimulation is the fourth reason of the Lords a­venging the persecution of false brethren.

Ver. 22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

23. But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their dayes; but I will trust in thee.

The use of this experience he setteth forth; first, by giving counsel to the oppressed, to cast their burden upon the Lord, when they are over-burdened, and by making promises for en­couraging them thereto. Secondly, by giving assurance of the perdition of the treacherous enemies of the Church. Thirdly, by setting forth his own resolution to keep confidence in God. Whence learn, 1. The use of the experience which godly per­sons have had, of comfort in, and deliverie out of trouble, is the encouragement of us to take the same course, which the godly followed before us in seeking our relief in God only; Cast thy burden on the Lord. 2. Whos [...]ever do roll over them­selves upon God in their weighty troubles, shall never sink un­der them; Cast thy burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee. 3. Though the godly be troubled and tossed, yet because they continue to seek God, and to walk in the way of righteousnesse, they shall never be driven from their anchor-hold, they shall not be loosed at the root, their building shall be found still in its own place, upon the rock; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. 4. As on the one hand the Lord shall hold up the be­liever, how low soever he shall be brought, that he perish not; so shall the Lord still bring down the wicked to perdition, how [Page 34] high soever, how fixed soever his stare appear, beleeve this who will: God will not suffer the righteous to be moved, but thou, O God, shall bring them down into the pit of destruction. 5. Trea­cherous and cruel adversaries of the Lords people shall be cut off, before they accomplish their bloody plots, they shall never die full of dayes, but wrath shall take them away, when they would least; Bl [...]y and de [...]itful men shall not live half their dayes. 6. Wherher such as do trouble the godly live longer or shorter, they will breed exercise to the godly, so long as they live; and the only [...]st that godly hearts can have against all the trouble they feel or fear from their en [...]mies, or other wayes, is to stay themselves on the Lord; for so resolveth the Psalmist, But I will trust in th [...], saith he, and so closeth.

PSAL. LVI. To the [...], [...]im, [...] of David, when the [...] him in G [...]

DAvid flying from Saul to the countrey of the Philistines, (as w [...] [...], 1 S [...]. [...]. 13.) is apprehended, he praveth to God, and is delivered. There are two parts of the Psalm [...] In the [...] part the [...] are three conflicts of Davids saith with his trouble and [...]ation, and three victories. The first con­flict is in prayer, laying forth his enemies carriage against him, ver. 1, 2. And his [...]st victory by saith, ver. 3, 4. The se­cond conslict is in his complaint he maketh against his enemies, ver. 5, 6. And his second victory by faith, ver. 7. His third conflict is by laying forth his mournful condition before God, with hope to be regarded, ver. 8. And his third and greatest victory by faith, ver. 9, 10, 11. In the latter part of the Psalm is Davids obligation, thankfully to acknowledge his merciful delivery, with a petition for grace to persevere in the course of obedience, under Gods protection, ver. 12, 13.

From the Inscription; Learn, 1. When once Gods children are entered on their trials, they meet with new and unexpected difficulties, as David here flying from one enemy, falls in the hands of another enemy. 2. These means of safety which Gods children do devise themselves, readily prove snares; David flying out of the holy land, doth fall in the hands of his adver­saries: The Philistines take him in Gath.

Ver. 1. BE merciful unto me, O God, for man would swallow me up, he fighting dai­ly oppresseth me.

2. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up; for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.

His first wrastling in prayer is with the check of his consci­ence, whether for his daily [...]ns, or in particular for casting him­self in so apparent danger, as to have ventured without probable security had, to seek shelter among the enemies of the people of God, whose blood he himself had shed abundantly; for this [...] or other sins he beggeth mercy, and layeth out before God, the pressing tentation from Saul and his Countrey mens cruelty, which d [...]ave him to this p [...]or shift. Whence learn, 1. There is no fence for challenges of conscience for by-gone sins meeting with trouble drawn on by ou [...] folly, but flying to the mercy and rich grace and pity of God, as David doth here: Be merciful to m [...], O God. 2. When all men and means do fail us, and we see none but w [...]lves and lions re [...]dy to devour us, there is hope of help in Gods mercy; Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow [...] up. 3. Continued tentations and renewed dangers, do over-set the strength of a f [...]ail man, till he go to God to have relief from the tentation, or new strength; He fighting daily oppresseth me. 4. Whatsoever in­conveniences the godly do fall into by flying from persecution, they are all charged justly upon the Persecutor, and the chief Authors of their [...]ouble: He fighting daily oppresseth m [...]; [...]aith David of Saul, who d [...]ave him to these straits. 5. Bloody persecutors follow hard after the chase of Gods servants, with­out intermission, as dogs o [...] lions do their prey, with as great desire to have their blood, as hungry beasts have after their food; Mine enemies would daily swallow m [...] up. 6. One ring­leader in the persecution of the godly, will [...]inde a multitude to run with him; Many are they th [...] fight against me. 7. There is one above all, who can and will take order with all the ene­mies of his people, who only can ca [...] their hearts, when they do complain of their foes: Many are they that fight against me, O thou most High.

Ver. 3. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

4. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust, I will not feare what flesh can do unto me.

Here faith gets the victory, by setting Gods Word against all difficulties, within or without him, whereupon he desi [...]th what man can do unto him. Whence learn, 1. Albeit the godly be not so stout in their trials, as not to feel their own infirmity, or not to be afraid, yet they are kept from fainting in their fear, by faith in God; What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 2. Albeit faith doth not alwayes put forth it self, yet when feare doth assault most, then faith in God doth most evi­dently manifest its force; for then especially by directing of t [...]e mans eye towards God, it setleth a troubled minde, strengtheneth weak courage, and [...]elieveth the [...]ppressed he [...]rt; What time I am a­fraid, I will trust in the [...]. 3. The experience of the sweet fruit of faith endeareth th [...] Lord [...]o a soul, and strengtheneth a man to the employing of faith come what can come, as Da [...]ids affectionate resolution here teacheth us: What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 4. [...]aith groweth valian [...] in fight; albeit it begin like a coward, and stagger in the first conflict, yet it groweth stout, incontinent, and pulls its adversa [...]ies under [...]oot; In God I have put my trust, I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. 5. When fai [...]h prevaileth, fear ceaseth, and all opposition of ene­mies is de [...]pised; I will not [...]ear what fl [...]sh can do unto me. 6. The best hold that faith can have of God, is to take him by his Word, however his dispensation seem to be, this will give satisfa­ction at length, for, In God I will praise his Word, is as much as, albeit he withhold comfort and deliverance from me, that I cannot finde what I would, yet let me have his Word, and I will give him the glory of all his attributes.

Ver. 5. Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.

6. They gather themselves together: they hide them­selves, they mark my steps when they waite for my soule.

[Page 37] His second conflict is with the malice of his crafty and cruel enemies: of whom he complaineth that they misconstrued his actions, words and deeds, as smelling only of t [...]eason and re­bellion, whether he stayed in the countrey, or [...]led out of it, and whatsoever expressions [...]ell from him at any time for his own clearing, all was wrested to another meaning. 2. They devised each of them how to b [...]ing mischief upon him. 3. What they could not make out severally, they sought to ripen by con­sulting one with another. 4. They covered all their plots with faire pretences, and dissembled their intentio [...]s. 5. They ob­served narrowly every one of his steps, to make out something against him by their observations, for which it might seem ju­stice to kill him. 6. They thought to double out their course, by more and more iniquity against him, for which he prayeth the Lord to execute justice against them Whence lea [...]n, 1. Le [...] the godly say or do whatsoever they can, how justly, how inno­cently soever they carry themselves, yet their adversari [...]s will pu [...] another [...]ace upon their words and deeds, then what is right; E [...]ry day they wrest my words. 2. The [...] of Gods people do spend their wits in devising some h [...]me or other a­gainst them; All their thoughts are against me for [...]il. 3. What the wicked cannot make out against the godly by themselves se­verally, they labour to make out by mutual counsel and concur­rence; They gather themsel [...]s together. 4 Though the wicked [...]veal themselves one to another in their pl [...]ts and designes a­gainst the godly, yet before others they use to put [...] v [...]ile over their malice, and some fai [...]e pretence what they minde to do; They hide themsel [...]es. 5. [...]he wicked take occasion of forging their [...] from observation of some passage of the carriage of the godly, that they may make them odious, and cut them off▪ They mark my steps, they wait for my soul.

Ver. 7. Shall they escape by iniqui [...]y? in thine anger cast down the people, O God?

The second victory of faith, is in his f [...]ht of the pu­nishment of his enemies [...], [...] they f [...]ared no such thing. When [...] learn, [...]. Sinn [...]s see no way to hide the mischief of their actions, save by [...]ing more mischief, [...]nd in special by colou [...]ing their [...] with calumni [...] against the persons whom th [...]y inju [...]e, and by p [...]etending law for what they [Page 38] do; They think [...]o es [...]pe by iniquity. 2. Howsoever the wicked may by their [...] p [...]etences deceive their own eyes, & others like themselves, and so escape mans punishment, yet shall they not eschew the vengea [...]e of God, but rather be so much the more liable unto it, as they d [...] multiply iniquity, to hide i [...]iquity; Shall th [...] es [...]ape b [...] their iniquity▪ cast them down. 3 Nei [...]her high place, nor in [...] o [...] people following wicked men in an evil course against Gods se [...]vants, shall save them f [...]om the wrath of God▪ I [...] t [...]ine ang [...]r cast d [...]wn the peopl [...], O [...]od.

Ver. 8. Thou tellest my wanderings, put thou my teares into thy [...]ottle: are they not in thy book?

The third Conflict, wh [...] [...] lay [...]th ou [...] his [...] con­dition before [...] hope to [...] p [...]y [...] l [...]rn, 1. When saith h [...]th g [...]tten victo [...]y▪ [...] will finde n [...]w assaults: though [...] ove [...]om a ten [...]ation, the I [...] will make he [...]d a gain; though faith overcame one [...] another wi [...] ente [...] the lists, & set [...]n, as conflict [...] conflict her [...] m [...]keth evident. 2. Many a tear may the g [...]ly sh [...]d before their trial be ended, when once it is begun, and many un [...]uth pathes may they [...], who are forced to flie the cruelty of [...], befo [...]e they sin [...]e r [...]st; multitude of wandering [...] had David, and large measure of teares shed he, before he was delive [...]ed. 3. The looking back upon many and long continued troubles, being lai [...] together in a heap, or put in order one after another, do muster terribly, and make a great assault against [...] mans faith and patience, as he [...]e the multitude of Davids wande [...]ings and [...] did sh [...]w th [...]mselves together before him. 4. God hath so great comp [...]ssion on his servants in trouble, that he doth [...] [...]ven the st [...]ps of [...] wande [...]ing and pilgrim [...] [...]d do [...] number all their teare [...], and keep the count thereof, as it were in a registe [...], and the [...]fore every [...] of G [...], when they l [...]k upon their sufferings, should look up [...]n God al [...]o, taking as particular notice of their [...], a [...] [...] themselve [...] [...]n do: Thou t [...]llest my wanderings, put th [...]u [...] [...]to [...]y [...]ottle, are [...] no [...] in thy book▪

Ver. 9. Wh [...] I [...]ry unto thee, then shall mine e­nemies turn back: this I know, for God is for me

[Page 39] 10. In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word.

11. In God have I put my trust: I will not be a­fraid what man can do unto me.

The third and compleat victory of faith. Now he is confi­dent to [...]ut all his enemies by prayer, and t [...] [...] all [...] by faith in Gods W [...]d. Wh [...]nce learn, 1. [...] fo [...]th our c [...]s and [...] G [...]d in p [...]ye, is a way t [...] g [...] [...] satisfa­ctory delivery by faith, before the bo [...]ly [...] d [...] [...]me; When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemi [...] turn back. 2. [...]aith g [...]eth upon solid grounds▪ and is not a fallible [...]: but a sure knowledge; This I know▪ saith he. 3 A [...]ciled m [...]n praying to God in a goo [...] cause, fo [...] victo [...]y ov [...] his [...], may be a slu [...] that God will own his quarrel [...] and give him the victory; This I know, because God is for me. 4. The spe­cial att [...]ibute of God, wherewith faith doth meet, and whereby it attaineth un [...]o rest and contentment in God, is his truth and fid [...]lity in his promi [...]s: In God I will praise his W [...]d; albeit there be no appearance of pe [...]ormance, Gods Word is sure e­nough to [...]ix upon. 5. The grounds of [...] a [...]e the more sweet and satisfactory, the more they be examined and looked upon, and compared with their effect [...]; for David is not con­tent once to say, In God I will praise his Word; but with com­fort and confiden [...]e reneweth the [...] of Gods Word, and the benefit he hath by it; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. 6. As it is necessary for our justifi [...]tion to beleeve in God; so is it necessary fo [...] our [...] to [...]b­serve that we have beleeved; for then may we promi [...]e to ou [...] selvs all the blessednesse whi [...]h b [...]longs to the beleever: In God I ha [...]e put my trust, I will not be af [...]aid; f [...]r when we thus r [...]so­lutely do set to ou [...] [...]eal to G [...]ds t [...]uth, [...] ▪ and [...] our beleeving: then he [...] his seal [...] to [...], in com [...]t­ing and relieving us.

Ver. 12. Thy vowes are upon me, O God: I will render praise unto thee.

13. For th [...] hast delivered m [...] soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my f [...]t [...]om [...]lling? that I may walk before God in the light of the li [...]ing.

[Page 40] In the latter part of the Psalme, having now obtained deli­very in his spirit by faith, he obliges himself to thankfulnesse, wishing to be preserved and enabled of God for that end. Whence learn, 1. As God pu [...] the duty of glorifying him upon the supplicant, when he promiseth delivery to him: so may the supplicant put the obligation of glorifying God upon himself, when he is praying for delivery out of his trouble, as David gi­veth us to understand he did, while he saith, Thy vowes are upon me. 2. An honest heart is no l [...]e de [...]rous to per­form the duty of praise to God alter delivery, then he was ready to make his vow and promise before his delivery, yea the conscience of the twofold obligation, is a burden up­on his spirit, till he go about the payment of his twi [...] due d [...]bt; Thy [...] are upon me, O God I will render praise [...] to thee. 3. As deep dangers do serve to discover our weaknesse, and our need of Gods help: so a well-seen danger maketh clear the greatnesse of the delivery; and the greatnesse of the delivery deciphers the wisdom, power and goodnesse of God to us, and of our obligation unto him; I will render praises unto thee, for thou hast delivered my soul from death. 4. The right use of by-past dangers and deliveries, is to prepare for new dangers and difficulties, (for when one danger is past, all perils are n [...] past,) and to [...]enounce our own wisdom and strength as insuffi­cient to preserve us from ruine either of soul or body, and to give up our selves to Gods guiding and presrvation, and to depend upon God, and stedfastly to hope to be directed and preserved by him, all this is imported in Davids words; Thou hast delivered my soul from death, wilt thou not preserve my feet from falling? 5. The end of our desires to have deliveries and be­n [...]its from God, should be, that we may spend our life, and the gifts bestowed upon us sincerely in the service of God, for the e­dification of his people; Wilt thou not preserve my feet from falling? that I may walk before God in the light of the li­ving.

PSAL. LVII. To the chief Musician Al-taschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the [...]ve.

THis Psalme of David, as many other his Psalmes, doth re­present the condition of his spirit, both in the time of his trouble, and after the delivery: what was his exercise in the Cave, and what was his condition after he was delivered out of that danger, whereof we read, 1 Sam. 24. There are two parts of the Psalme, the first containeth his prayer for deliver­ance, which is pressed by six arguments, all serving to strength­en his faith; the first, because he trusted in God, ver. 1. The second, because he resolved to insist in prayer till he were heard, ver. 2. The third, because he hoped certainly to finde notable delivery from this extraordinary danger, ver. 3. The fourth, because his enemies were beastly cruel, ver. 4. The fifth, be­cause this mercy might contribute much to the glorifying of God, ver. 5. The sixth is, from the low condition whereunto his spirit is brought, by their crafty and cruel pursuit of him, ver. 6. In the rest of the Psalme is his thanksgiving, consisting of five parts; The first is the acknowlegement of the mercy and delivery granted, ver. 6. The next is his fixed re [...]olution to praise God for it, ver. 7. The third is the upsti [...]ring of tongue and hand, and the whole man to praise God, ver. 8. The fourth is a promise to transmit the knowledge of Gods mercy unto o­ther Nations, ver. 9. The fifth is the acknowledgement of the glory of this mercy, with a wish that it might be more and more seen and acknowledged by giving new experience of it, ver. 10, 11.

From the Inscription, Learn, The godly may be involved in a deadly danger (as David was when he [...]led from Saul in the Cave) and yet not perish. Now he was as a man ready to be buried quick; for the Cave was as a g [...]ave, and the army o [...] Saul at the mouth of the Cave, was as the grave-stone; let then the army of Saul know only that he is there, and keep him in, and he is gone; yet God blinded them, brought David out, and so delivered him.

Ver. 1. BE merciful unto me, O God, be mer­ciful unto me, for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, untill these calamities be overpast.

From his prayer for deliverance, and first argument taken from his trusting in God, [...], 1. The onely refuge of a man in trouble, is the mercy of the Lord; be it sin, be it misery, be it peril or pressing evil; in mercy onely is the relief of one and all sad conditions: and in this case must a soul double its petition in the Lords bosome; Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me. 2. As it is not trouble simply which maketh prayer to be fervent, but solid faith pressed with trouble, which doubleth petitions unto God: so where faith in trouble flieth unto God, it cannot but speed; [...]e merciful, O God, for I trust in thee. The [...] o [...] the reason is, the Lord cannot for­sake the soul which hath committed it self to him. 3. The Lord offe [...]eth relief and protection in Christ to miserable sinners, in as warme a manner as the similitude of a hen gathering her chickens, or the type of the stretching of the wings of the Che­rubims about the Mercy-seat could expresse; and saith doth creep no less wa [...]y in unto this offer in time of straits, then this similitude doth impor [...]; yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge. 4. The use of Gods protection and warme love, is best known in time of trouble, and faith also is best set on work, to make use of Gods love and protection in time of troubles: In the s [...]a [...]ow of thy wings will I make my refuge, untill th [...]se calamities be overpast.

ver. 2. I will cry unto God most High: unto God that performeth all things for me.

From the second argument which he useth for strengthening his faith; Learn. 1. Faith in God and invocation of his name, are g [...]s inseparable; and resolution to persevere in beleeving is unseparable from resolution to persevere in praying unto God: and he that findeth in his heart such resolutions, may also be confident to speed in his requests made to God: for the Psalmist, as he did resolve to beleeve in the former verse: so here he addeth, I will cry unto God: and hereby expecteth that God shall be merciful [...] him. 2. It is needfull for the sup­plicant in his st [...]aits, to keep in his fight the Lords Supremacy [Page 43] and Omnipotency, for incomaging himself in hope to speed; I will cry to God most High, saith he 3. The considera­tion of the Lords constant going on in the perfecting of the work of grace, which once he beginneth graciously in us or for us, doth serve much to strengthen our faith in prayer: I will cry to God who performeth all things for me.

Ver. 3. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

From the third argument and prop of his prayer, taken from his hope to be helped; Learn, 1. Albeit faith be no help on earth, yet it looketh for help in heaven; and if ordinary means do fail, it assureth it self of Gods working wonders, for perfecting of his promises; He shall send from heaven, and save me. 2. The godly mans making God his refuge, is a matter of m [...]king to the wicked; which mocking God will certa [...]nly re­fute, by making the godly finde the fruit of their flying to him; he will s [...]e me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. 3. The mercy and truth of God, whereupon faith doth six it self, do remove all impediments, and s [...] on w [...]k all the m [...]ans of the salvation of the beleev [...], and that [...]tually: God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

Ver. 4. My soul is among lions, and I li [...] even among them that are set on fire: even the sons of men: whose teeth are speares and arrowes, and their tongue a sharp sword

From the fourth reason of his prayer taken from the beastly cruely of his enemies; Learn, 1. The condition of the people of the Lord in this world may be o [...]-times like sheep in pe [...]l of their lives, compassed about with [...]nous beasts; My soul is among [...]ions. 2. Yet, they may be so desolate, as having no as­sistance from without themselves to flie or fight, they shall be forced like d [...]rned birds, chased by the hawke; or like bound sheep, to clap close down to the ground: I lie, saith he, among them. 3. The desolate condition of the godly, doth not move their persecu [...]s to pity: deadly malice is most ready then to break forth, and to devour; I lie even among them that are set on fire. 4. G [...]acelesse men destitute of the [...]e of God, are sit enough instruments for the persecution of Gods children, and his [...] [Page 44] servants; if they be no more, but yet in nature, even the chil­dren of men. 5. The slanders, mockings, lies, calumnies, re­proaches and aspersions cast upon the godly by godlesse men, are no little part of their cruel persecution, of cutting and piercing the Lords people very deeply: whose teeth are spears and arrowes, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Ver. 5. Be thou exalted, O God, above the hea­vens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

From the fifth reason of his pe [...]ition; Learn, 1. When the god­ly are born down, and the wicked do ca [...]y all matters before them, the glory of the Lord is obscured and eclipsed in some sort among men, therefore saith he; Be thou exalted, O God. 2. In what measure Gods children are helped by him, and his enemies are born down; in that measure is be gloriously manifest­ed to be the ruler of heaven and earth; Be thou exalted abo [...] the heavens, and t [...]y glory above all the earth. 3. However the wick­ed do obscure the glory of the Lord, and how little evidence so­ever Gods children do see of his appearing for their relief, yet they ought to glorifie him in their heart, and not onely beleeve his sovereigne power, able to set all things in order; but also to professe their hope, that he shall manifest himself from heaven, to be Lord over all his enemies and adversary powers of the world; Be thou exalted above the heavens, and thy glory abo [...] all the earth.

Ver. 6. They have prepared a net for my steps, my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

From the last reason of his! supplication, Learn, 1. Great slight and subtilty do the wicked use to overtake the godly in some sna [...]e, one or other; They have prepared a net for my steps. 2. The godly mans strength will soone [...]ail him in time of straits if the Lord do not give supply; yea, the Lord for the clearer manifestation of his glory, both before the godly and before the wicked also, doth suffer his children to come to so low a condi­tion of spirit, that they are ready to succumbe, if he do not help; My soul [...] bowed down. 3. When the enemies are at the highest of thei [...] plots, and the godly at the lowest step of their humiliation, then is the Lords time to turne the chase, and to fall upon his enemies, and that oft times by that same very means wherby they [Page 45] were about to make all fast for their own power, and the oppressi­on of the godly; They have digged a pit before me, in the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. And this last sentence is the first part of his thanksgiving, in acknowledging the Lords won­derful mercy and justice, in changing up-side down the seales of his low condition, and the enemies lofty persecution on a sudden.

Ver. 7. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise,

In the rest of the Psalme he prosecureth his thanksgiving, and this is the second put of it, wherein he professeth his fixed pur­po [...]e to praise the Lord for his delivery: Whence learn, 1. Re­newed sense of Gods favour, and fresh experience of his mercy towards his children, and of his justice against his and their ene­mies, doth much refresh, quiet, and settle the hearts of his peo­ple, and confirme their faith; My heart is fixed. 2. It is a part of our thanksgiving unto God, to acknowledge the fruit of his gra­cious working for us, felt upon our spirits, whensoever our hearts are cheared up by him, after any sad exercise My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed. 3. As it is needful to labour on the heart, that it may be fitted and prepared, fixed and bended for Gods worship: so in special, for the work of praise, whereunto natu­rally we are most dull and indisposed; then shall the work go on more chearfully: My heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise.

Ver. 8. Awake up, my glory: awake, psaltery and harp; I my self will awake early.

From the third part of this thanksgiving, wherein he stirs up himself by all means within and without himself, to set forth his sense of Gods mercy, and of Gods glory in bestowing of it; Learn, 1. A well-imployed tongue for praising of God, and edifying o­thers, is indeed a mans commendation, and glory above other creatures: Therefore David directing his speech toward his tongue, after the manner of Orators affectionate speaking, saith, Awake, my glory. 2. Albeit the abolition of the Ceremonial Law hath taken away the roome, which musical instruments once had in the stately, publick, instituted worship of God in the congregation, yet neither is the natural private use thereof taken away, nor the signification of that typical ordinance to be for­gotten, to wit, that we of our selves a [...] dull and unapt to holy [Page 46] things and that the Lords praises are above our power to reach unto them or expresse them: and that we should stir up all the faculties of our soul unto this holy service, as David here insi­nuatech to be the moral signification thereof; for after he hath said, Awake, Psaltery and Harp, he subjoyneth, I my self will a­wake. 3. As he who in earnest is wakened up to glorifie and praise God, will finde himself short in abilities to discharge this work of praise: so will he finde the choicest time of the day, when the body is best refreshed, most deservedly bestowed upon this exercise: I my self will awake early.

Ver. 9. I will praise thee, O LORD, among the People; I will sing unto thee among the nations.

From the fourth part of his thanksgiving, wherein he pro­miseth to let all the world know the mercy bestowed upon him; Learne, 1. The Spirit of God, who indited this Scripture, made his Pen-man know, that the Gentiles should have the use of his Psalmes, I will praise thee amongst the People. 2 David was a type of Christ in sufferings, exercises spiritual, and in recei­ving of deliveries; for this promise is fulfilled in Christ, and this undertaking is applied unto Christ, Rom 15. 9. 3. Then do we seriously minde the praise of God, when according to our place we labour to make others also know God, as we know him: I will praise thee among the People.

Ver. 10. For thy mercy is great unto the Heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11. Be thou exalted, O God, above the Heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

From the last part of his thanksgiving, wherein he confesseth that the excellency of the glory of God doth transcend his reach and capacity, and that he can follow it no further then by wish­ing the Lord to glorifie himself; Learne, 1. The matter of the joy of the Saints, and of their sweettst Songs, is the goodnesse of God, which appointed and promised such and such mercies unto them: and the faithfulnesse of God, which doth bring to passe his gracious purpose and promises made unto them; For thy mer­cy is great, and thy truth, saith he. 2. There is no possibility of taking up the greatnesse of Gods mercy and truth, they reach so farre as our sight cannot overtake them; Thy mercy is great un­to the Heavens, where mortal eyes cannot come to see what is there: And thy truth unto the clouds, through which mans eye [Page 47] cannot pierce. 3. Seeing the Lords glory is greater then hea­ven or earth can contain, and God himself only can manifest his own glory; it is our part when we have said all we can, for glo­rifying of God, to pray him to glorifie himself, and to make it appear to all that his glory is greater then heaven or earth can comprehend; Be thou exalted above the Heavens, and let thy glory be above all the earth.

PSAL. LVIII. To the chief Musician Al- [...], Michtam of David.

TH [...] Psalmist being opp essed by the calumnies of the Cour­tiers [...]t King Saul, and by the Sen [...]tors of the Courts of Justice, who should have provided against the oppression of the subjects, chargeth them in the first part of this Psalm, as must guilty of injustice done to him, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. In the second part, he prayeth against them, that God would execute judgement upon them, ver. 6, 7, 8. And in the third part, he pronounceth the sentence of their deserved destruction, ver. 9, 10, 11. From this experience of the Propher, we may see what strong Parties, and hard opposition the godly may meet with in the defence of a good cause, and how necessary it is in such trials to exercise our faith, and to exalt God above all opposite powers, that we may be borne out, and get consolation and victory in the Lord.

Ver. 1. DO ye indeed speak righteousnesse, O Congregation? do ye judge uprightly, Oye sonnes of men.

2. Yes, in heart you work wickednesse: you weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

3. The wicked are estranged from the wombe, they go astray assoone as they be borne, speaking lies.

4. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent, [Page 48] they are like the deaf Adder, that stoppeth her eare.

5. Which will not hearken to the voice of Charmers, charme never so wisely.

In the fi [...]st part he ch [...]rgeth the Councel and Senate, or Con­gregation of the Judges; first, for not giving out righteous de­crees or sentences, ver. 1. Secondly, for their resolved, violent, oppressing decrees, ver. 2. Thirdly, for their inveterate wick­ednesse, and falshood from the wombe, ver. 3. Fourthly, for their incorrigible wickednesse, which they will not for any ad­monition or advertisement amend, ver. 4, 5. Whence learn, 1. There is a Congregation of Rulers, whose office it is to admi­nister justice to the people; who presuppose they be the supreme Court in authority and place, above the body of the people; yet are they subject to Gods challenge, which he doth send unto them by the hand of his messengers, when they do wrong, as here we see; Do ye indeed speak righteousnesse, O Congregation? 2. When the just cause of the righteous cometh before the Judge, whosoever be pursuer, were he as great a Party as King Saul pursuing David, the Judge should defend the righteous and absolve him, without fearing mans face: and if he do not, he shall be called to a reckoning for it before God: Do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? 3. The Lord locketh to the affections, purposes and conclusions of a mans he [...]tt, and what ill turn a man is resolved to do, for that is a done work before God: and the man is so much the more guilty, as his sin is deliberate: [...], in heart you work wickednesse. 4. A wicked Judge doth not stand to give out a decree for as much opp [...]ession as he is able to put in execution: You weigh the violence of your hands in the earth; and when he is thus oppressing men, he will labour to seem to make his decree no lesse agreeable to the law, then the equall scales of the Merchants balance do in a just weight answer one to another; You weigh the violence of your hands. 5. An un­renewed man is a born stranger to God, to good men, and all goodnesse; The wicked are estranged from the wombe. 6. Men [...] wicked actions do prove the wickednesse of nature, or mens ori­ginal sin doth augment the ditty and condemnation of unrenew­ed men for their actual sins: They are estranged from the wombe, is made here a part of their challenge. 7. Errour, falshood and lies are kindly sinnes to men, they break out early, and continue [Page 49] long, and do draw on guiltinesse the longer, the more; They go astray assoon as they be borne, speaking lies. 8. There is as great natural enmity in the wicked against the godly, as there is in serpents against mankinde, and they are as ready to vent their deadly hatred against them, as serpents are to spue forth their deadly venome: Their poison is like the poison of a serpent. 9. That which filleth up the measure of the sins of the wicked is this, they are obdured in their sins, they are incorrigible, and will not receive instruction, admonition or correction from the Word of God: They are like the deaf Adder that stoppeth her eare. 10. Albeit holy Scripture useth to compare the best things in some points unto the worst things, for clear­ing the purpose in hand by a similitude, yet doth it not there­fore justifie the wicked thing, by borrowing a similitude from it, as here the admonition and reproof of sinners is compared to charming of an Adder, and yet for that comparison the damnable sin of charming is not the lesse damnable; nor is the duty of reproof and admonition of sinners the worse, or lesse laud [...]ble for the comparison, for it is a challenge: They are like the deaf Adder that stoppeth her eare, whi [...]h will not hearken un­to the charmer, charming never so wis [...]ly.

Ver. 6. Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.

7. Let them melt away as waters which run continually: When he bendeth his bowe to shoot his arrowes, let them be as cut in pieces.

8. As a snaile which melteth, let every one of them passe away: like the untimely birth of a woman that they may not see the Sun.

In the second part of the Psalme he maketh imprecation a­gainst them, by special warrant of the Spirit of God, who endited this Psalme unto him, that judgement might be execu­ted against them unto destruction. Whence learn, 1. The Lord shall in due time disable the wicked from doing the harme they intend to do against Gods people; for this prayer is a prophecie and promise to the Churches comfort: Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth. 2. Were the wicked never so potent and [Page 50] resolute to execute their cruelty, God shall break their power in pieces: Break out the great teeth of the young Lions, O Lord. 3. When once God entereth in judgement with the enemies of his people, he shall bring upon them a constant daily consumpti­on and wasting of their power and abilities till they be abo­lished: Let them melt away like water that runs continn [...]lly. 4. The chief plots of the wicked shall miscar [...]y in the very point of their putting them in execution: When he bendeth his bowe to shoot his arrowes, let them be as cut in pie [...]es. 5. How strong soever the foundation of the enterprises of the wicked a­gainst the godly seem to themselves to be, yet the event shall prove them to be weak, seeble and effectlesse devices: As a snaile which melteth let them passe away, at the untimely birth of a wo­man, that they may not see the Sun.

Ver. 9. Before your pots can feele the thornes, he shall take them away as with a whirlwinde, both living and in his wrath.

10. The righteous shall rejoyce when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a re­ward for the righteous: Verily he is a God that judg­eth in the earth.

In the last part of the Psalme he pronounceth the sentence of dese [...]ved destruction upon the wicked and unrighteous Poten­tates, oppressors of the godly, as an answer from God to the [...] imprecation against them, and that for the consolation of the godly, and clea [...]ing of Gods justice among men. Whence learn, 1 Howsoever the ungodly do hope to make themselves good cheer by their works of iniquity, and do rejoyce a while in their [...]opes, yet before they finde any ripe satisfaction by their ill deeds, suddenly are they destroyed, and as it were swallow­ed up quick, and taken away by the fierce wrath of God against them: Before your pots can feel the thornes, he shall take them away as with a whirlewinde, both living and in his wrath. 2. It is lawful for the godly to rejoyce in Gods justice against the obstinate enemies of his people: provided their joy be indeed in Gods justice, not in the destruction of the creature; but in the [Page 51] manifestation of Gods just avenging hand: The righteous shall rejoyce when he seeth the vengeance. 3. The punishment of the wicked should reach the Lo [...]ds people to be more holy in all their wayes, for this is one of the ends of Gods punishing the wicked in their sight; The righteous shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. 4. When the Lord executeth judgement against the wicked, then men who knew not what to think of Gods providence, when they saw the godly oppressed, and the wicked high in power shall come to a [...]ight judging of matters: So that a man s [...]all say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous. 5. No man serveth God for nought, in following the course of friend­ship with G [...]d, and walking in obedience unto him, fruit cer­tainly will be found. Verily there is a reward for the righteous, 6. Albeit the Lord doth not set down his Court for executing [...] [...]o soon as men would, yet he failes not to sh [...]w himself Ru [...] of the affairs of m [...]n; and a right [...]ous Judge, as to relieve the opp [...]d, so also to take order with oppressors: Verily he is [...] God that judgeth in the earth.

PSAL. LIX. [...] the chief Musi [...]n Al [...], [...] of David: when Saul sent, and [...] watch't the house to kill him.

DAvid in present [...] of his life by Saul, (who having Da [...] inclos [...]d within [...] City and within his own house, t [...]ht surely to have killed him, as we read, 1 Sam. 19. 11.) he p [...]ayeth to God for deliv [...]rance, ver. 1, 2. and for a [...]eason of his praye [...], make [...]h a [...]mplaint against his enemies, ver. 3, 4. In the next place, [...]e prayeth the second time for delivery to himself, and judgement against his enemies, ver. 5. and com­plaineth of them the second time, ver. 6, 7. In the third place, he decl [...]eth his confidence to be delivered, ver. 8, 9, 10. In the fourth place, he maketh imprecation ag [...]inst his enemies for thei [...] wickednesse, ver. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. And in the last place, he promi [...]eth thanks to God for his delivery, whereof he was assu [...]ed before it came, ver. 16, 17.

From the Inscription, Learn, 1. No common bands of na­ture or civil relations can secure the godly from the pe [...]secution [Page 52] of the wicked; for Saul, Davids father in law sendeth to kill David. 2. Gods children cannot be in so great straits, nor the diligence of the wicked be so great to overtake the godly in a strait, but God can deliver a supplicant; They watched the house to kill him, yet he escaped and did write this Psalme: by what meanes he escaped he doth not tell here, for he att [...]i­buteth the delivery to God, from whom he did seek it by prayer.

Ver. 1. DEliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against. me.

2. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.

From his prayer; Learne, 1. Whatsoever means God shall offer for escaping out of a trouble, Prayer is our best weapon against our enemies, and the best of all meanes, and [...]st of all to be used for a delivery; Deliver me from mine enemies. 2. Time of trouble and difficulty doth put beleevers to make use of the Covenant of grace, and of Gods friendship and power for their deliverance; O my God, defend me from them that rise up a­gainst me. 3. When wicked, and powerful, and blood-thirsty men do turn Persecutors of the godly, no power but divine can be looked unto for a relief; Deliver me from the workers of ini­quity, and save me from bloody men.

Ver. 3. For [...]o, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me, not for my transgres­sion, nor for my sinne, O Lord.

4. They runne and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.

From his complaint against his enemies, and reason of his prayer; Learne, 1. Desperate-like dangers arising from the pow­er and craftinesse of enemies, must not discourage the godly, but sharpen their prayer to God, with whom is power and wisdome to deliver them: For [...]o, they lie in wait for my soul. 2. It is no new thing, to see them who are in greatest power, to be the chief in the persecution of Gods children; The mighty are ga­thered [Page 53] together against me. 3. A good conscience, especially in the particular for which a man is pursued, giveth greatest com­fort in the time of trouble; Not for my transgression, nor my sin, O Lord. 4. Albeit the Persecutors of the godly cannot finde a fault in them, for which they may pursue them. yet will they de­vise some challenge, and make a great businesse to accomplish their designe; They run and prepare themselves, not for my fault. 5. The Lord will let the plot go on, and the danger of the god­ly grow, as if he minded not to take notice of it, that he may first put his children to prayer, and then appear in the fit time: Awake to help me, and behold.

Ver. 5. Thou therefore, O LORD God of hostes, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the hea­then: be not merciful to any wicked transgressours. Selah.

6. They return at evening, they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the City.

7. Behold, they belch out with their mouth, swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth heare?

From his repeated prayer and complaint presented the second time; Learne, 1. In time of straits we should set our eyes most upon those stiles of God, which most serve to strengthen our faith, especially such as hold forth his power and good will to employ his power for us; Thou therefore, O Lord God of hostes, the God of Israel, awake. 2. Counterfeit Professors, and pro­fessed Pagans are all one before God in effect, and the counter­feit Professor will be as ready an instrument to persecute the godly as a professed enemy; for so is Saul and his followers na­med here; Awake to visit all the Heathen. 3 Although the Lord beare with the wicked a while, he will at last take order with hypocrites, and obstinately malicious transgressors; A­wake to visit all the Heathen, be not merciful to any wicked trans­gressor. 4. From the time that Persecutors have once resolved cruelty, they cease not to pursue their purpose, but like bloody dogs they run to and fro till they catch their prey; they are busie all the day, and set watches in the night to hurt the man they would have; They return at evening, they make a noise [Page 54] like a dog, and go round about the City. 5. Resolved obstinacy in sinne taketh away all remorse of conscience, all feare of God, and shame before men, and maketh men openly avow their wickednesse; yea and their cruel hearts will vent their bloody purpose, when they think they are sure to accomplish their de­signe; Behold, they bel [...]h out with their mouth, swords are in their lips; for who (say they) doth heare?

Ver. 8. But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them: thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

9. Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.

10. The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine ene­mies.

In the third place, he declare [...]h his considence to be delivered, and doth make sweet use of his saith for keeping up his heart under his trouble. Whence learn, 1. The first f [...]it of an humble Prayer, is a spiritual delivery of a mans oppressed spirit, grant­ed to him by faith and ass [...]ance of an outgate, as here, and ma­ny times elsewhere appeareth. 2. When faith seeth God to be a friend, it scorneth all opposition of whatsoever enemies, few or many, all is one to the clear-sighted beleever; But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them, thou shalt have all the heathen in de­rision. 3. How weak soever the beleever finde himself, and how powerful soever he perceive his enemie to be, it is all one to him he hath no more to do, but to put faith on work, and to wait till God work; because of his (that is, the enemies) strength, I will wait upon thee, saith he to the Lord, for God is my de­fence 4 When faith gets up the head, it seeth its own deliver­ance, and the overthrow of the enemy, both at once in the pro­per cause there [...], to wit, the fountain of over-running mercy, engaged unto it by Covenant; The God of my mercy. There is the [...] of [...]rlasting mercy, whereof God is called God, because he is the beleevers God for ever, and therefore the God of all mercy, consolation and salvation to the beleever; He (saith he) shall prevent me; that is, he shall give manifest deliverance before I succumb: it sh [...]ll come soon [...] then I could set it a time. Then, for his enemies, he saith, God shall let me see upon mine [Page 55] enemies; to wit, what I could lawfully desire, or what should satisfie me.

Ver. 11. Slay them not, lest my people forget: Scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.

12. For the sinne of their mouth, and the words of their lips, let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.

13. Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Iacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

14. And at evening let them returne, and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the City.

15. Let them wander up and down for meat: and grudge if they be not satisfied.

In the fourth place, he prayeth to God to glorifie himself in the manner and measure of his just judgement on his obstinate enemies; which in effect is a Prophecy of the punishment of Persecutors of the righteous, and of the wrath to come upon the enemies of Christ, of whom David in his trouble and unjust sufferings was a type. Whence learn, 1. Sometime the Lord will delay the cutting off of wicked enemies of his people, for a curse to them, and a benefit to his people: Slay them not, left my people forget. 2. The Lords people are subject to forget the Lords do­ing for them, and punishing of their enemies, except the Lord did renew the evidence of his care he hath of them, by often re­newed, or long continued judgement on their enemies, whose misery is made more to them, by lingring judgements in the sight of men, then if they were cut off more suddenly; Slay them not, left my people forget; 3. In praying against our wick­ed enemies that persecute us, we must take heed that we be found pleading, not our own particular revenge, but the common cause of the Church, and the Lords quarrel; Slay them not, left my people forget; scatter and bring them down, O Lord, our shield. [Page 56] It is the good of the Lords people, and the glorifying of God which is in his eyes. 4. Albeit the Lord do not at first cut off the troublers of his Church, but do suffer them to live for the exercise of his people; yet it is mercy worthy to be prayed for, if God disable them, and break their power, that they prevaile not over the righteous; Scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield. 5. Albeit the Persecutors do not accomplish their purpose against the righteous; yet their pride, their brags, their lies, their slanders, their curses against the godly, are a sufficient ditty for damnation, and wrath to come upon them; For the sin of their mouth, and the words of their lips, let them even be taken in their pride, and for cursing and lying which they speak. 6. After the keeping alive of the wicked for a time, to the encreasing of their misery, at length utter destruction cometh upon them; Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be. 7. By the judgements of God upon the adversaries of his people, the knowledge of his sovereignty over, and Kingly care for his Church is made more known to the world, the encrease of which glory of the Lord should be the scope of the prayers of the Saints against their foes; And let them know that God ruleth in Iacob unto the ends of the earth. 8. It is suitable to Gods justice, and no strange thing to see such as have been messengers, servants, officers of persecuting powers, or searchers out of the godly, as beagles or blood hounds, to be made beggars, vagabonds, and miserable spectacles of Gods wrath before they die, roving to and fro [...] like hungry and masterlesse dogs; At evening let them return, and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the City; let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satis­fied.

Ver. 16. But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning; for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

17. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing; for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

In the last place, he promiseth thanksgiving for the mercy whith he felt in the day of his trouble, and sixeth his faith on God, as his merciful Protector, and only strength, whereon he [Page 57] was to lean in every condition where in he could fall. Whence learn, 1. Whatsoever mischief fall upon the wicked, the Lords children whom they maligne, shall have reason to rejoyce and to praise God for supporting them in their trials, and delivering of them out of toubles: But I will sing of thy power. 2. When the godly do compare the Lords putting difference between them and the rest of the wicked world, pitying them and pardoning their sins, when he justly pursueth the sins of others, they cannot but rejoyce and proclaim Gods mercy with earnest affection; Yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning. 3. The shi­ning light of one late experience of Gods care of a man, serveth to bring to remembrance, and to illuminate the whole course of Gods by past care, and kindnesse to him, and to raise a song of joy and praise to God for altogether; For thou hist been my re­fuge and defence in the day of trouble. 4. What God hath been unto us (being looked on rightly) may serve to certifie us, what God is unto us, and what he shall be to us, and what we may expect of him: For from, thou hast been my defence and my refuge, he inferreth hope of joyful experience of the same mercy for time to come; Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing. 5 When a man is sure of God engaged to him by good will and Covenant, and proof given for letting out to him protection and mercy, as his soul needeth, he cannot choose but have a heart full of joy, and a mouth full of joyful praises unto God: Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing, for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

PSAL. LX. To the chief Musician upon Shushan-Eduth Michtam of David, to teach. When he strove with Aram Naharaim, and with Aram Zobah, when Ioab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt, twelve thousand

THis Psalme is a prayer for the victory of Israel over their enemies indited unto the Prophet when Israel was fight­ing with the Syrians and Edomites. It may be divided into three parts; in the first whereof the Psalmist prayeth for help more largely, v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 In the second part David is made confident of the victory, ver. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. In the third part he repeateth his [Page 58] prayer more briefly, and his confidence of having the victory, ver. 11, 12.

From the Inscription; Learne, 1. The children of God must not think it strange, to be put to wrastling, striving and fight­ing for a promised Kingdome, before they be setled in possessi­on, as David was; yea, the Church of Christ must resolve for such like exercises; for this Psalm is given to the publike Mini­sters of the Church for use in all ages. 2. The Church must make use of her prayers, as well when she is furnished with a regular army, as when she wanteth bodily armes, as David teacheth the Church here. 3. There is hope of victory, when God by prayer is more relied upon, then the army in the fields; for with the Psalme the mention of the victory of the Lords hoste is set down, and the slaughter of the enemy recorded; That Ioab smote of Edom twelve thousand.

Ver. 1. O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased, O turne thy self to us again.

Of the larger prayer there are three branches; the first is for reconciliation with God, ver. 1. The second for reparation of the decayed state of the Kingdom, ver. 2, 3. The third for de­livery and victory in the conflict with the enemy, ver. 4, 5.

In the first branch of his prayer he acknowledgeth by-gone judgements, as the fruit of Gods displeasure, and of the peoples provocation of God to wrath, and so he prayeth that God would turn again and be reconciled to his people. Whence learn, 1. Ter­rible evils may befall the Lords people, or the visible Church, when they by their sinne do provoke him to wrath, as was seen in the time of the Judges, and in Sauls time; O God thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us. 2. When God doth plague a whole Kingdome, or the body of the visible Church, it is not a matter of simple exercise or trial (as when he bringeth trouble on some of his dear servants, in the time of their upright carri­age,) but it is for their sins, and provocation of the eyes of his glory; Thou hast been displeased. 3. Such as would have plagues removed, must acknowledge their sin, and seek to be reconciled with God, and in this way may they expect to finde favour; O [Page 59] turn thy self to us again. 4. Whatsoever sins the vi [...]ble Church and incorporation of Professors have done against God, or whatsoever injuries they have done against the godly, in assist­ing of persecuting powers against them; yet the godly must not only not separate from them, but also be ready to receive them into favour, be reconciled with them, forgive their former inju­ries, joyne in Church and Camp-fellowship with them being reconciled, share with them by compassion in calamities, in­tercede with God for them, as for themselves, as being all of one incorporation, as David, the type of Christs moderate and merciful governing, and a patern to all the godly, did forgive those that persecuted him, fought against him under King Saul, and stood longest out against him, when Saul was dead, for Da­vid here doth say with, and for the people; O God, thou hast scat­tered us: O turn thy self again to us.

Ver. 2. Thou hast made the earth to tremble, thou hast broken it: heale the breaches thereof, for it shaketh.

3. Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonish­ment.

When Saul did reigne, all things went wrong, the wicked a­bounded, and vile men were exalted, and God plagued the land; therefore in the second branch of his prayer, he praye [...]h for restauration of the dejected state of the Kingdome: the ca­lamities whereof he layeth forth, both before and after the pe­tition. Whence learn, 1. When people will not stand in awe of God, and fear him, he will strike them with the fear of his wrath, and sense of sore judgements; Thou hast made the earth to tremble. 2. Warre, and in speciall civil and intestine war, is most able to ruine a Kingdom, and like an earthquake to make ruptures and breaches in it, to the renting of it in pieces: Thou hast made the earth to tremble, thou hast broken it. 3. It is a Christian and royal vertue, to seek the union of the subjects a­mong themselves, and to remove divisions of the Kingdom, without the removing whereof the State can never be setled: But it is a divine power to work this union effectually: there­fore doth he pray to God for it: Heal the breaches thereof, for it shaketh. 4. When people will not see nor take knowledge of [Page 60] their sins against God, and their obliged duties to him, he will let them see sad spectacles of bloody warres, forreign and intest­ine: Thou hast shew [...]d thy people hard things. 5. When people have besotted themselves in their sin, and have not beleeved what God hath threatened against them, no wonder they know not what hand to turn them unto, and be stricken with astonish­ment in the execution of his judgements, which when they fall upon a people, either suddenly or more heavily then they could have expected, they put mens mindes in a confusion, as if they were drunk; for sudden, sore and lasting judgements confound the thoughts of secure sinners, so as they can make little use of the Word of God, or of their wit, or any other means of relief, more then a drunken man overcharged with wine; Thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.

Ver. 4. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee: that it may be displayed, because of the truth. Selah.

5. That thy beloved may be delivered, save with thy right hand, and heare me.

In the third branch of his prayer, he seeketh delivery and vi­ctory over the enemy, and that because God had begun to give some hope of changing the face of affairs, by raising a banner in Davids hand for the Lords cause and people; Whence learn, 1. When the godly are oppressed, the truth of Religion, and of Gods promises do lie at under, like a fallen Standard; and when God raiseth up instruments of their protection and comfort, as here he did in bringing David to the Kingdome, it is like the lifting up of an Ensign in the hand of a valiant standard bearer; Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee. 2. It is for the godlies cause that mercy is shewn to a whole land, Thou hast gi­ven a banner to them that fear thee. 3. When the godly get up their head, all their endeavour, according to the utmost of their power, should be to advance true Religion and the practice of it: Thou hast given a banner, that it may be displayed, because of the truth. 4. As nothing is respected by God in a land so much as his Elect that fear him: so nothing can encourage us to seek and hope for me [...]cy to a land, so much as the Lords love to them that fear him in it: that thy beloved may be delivered, save. 5. When God hath begun to appear for his Church, then in special should [Page 61] we follow a begun blessing with prayer, that God would work out the benefit; Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that thy beloved may be delivered, save. 6. Whatsoever difficulties appear in the way of the Churches delivery, we must oppose the omnipotency of God to them all, and sustaine our faith in pray­er by looking to his love toward his Church, and power to do for her; That thy beloved may be delivered, save with thy right hand, and hear me.

Ver. 6. God hath spoken in his holinesse, I will re­joyce: I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.

7. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine: Ephra­im also is the strength of mine head; Iudah is my Law—giver.

In the second part of the Psalme is set down Davids confi­dence to have the victory over his enemies, and to have his King­dome both setled at home, ver. 6, 7. and enlarged abroad, ver. 8, 9, 10.

By Davids prayer, the word of promise that he should be esta­blished King, is made lively unto him, whereupon he is com­forted, and made confident of the accomplishment thereof in all points; Whence learn, 1. As faith helpeth up prayer, so by prayer faith is setled and strengthened, as here is evidenced. 2. The word of promise is a more sure evidence then begun pos­session, for David was not so sure of the Kingdome now, because he had begun to reigne, as because God had spoken. 3. Then is the Word of God rested on, and rejoyced in, when it is received [...] his Word, when his holinesse is taken as a pawn for perform­ [...]nce; God hath spoken in his holinesse, I will rejoyce. 4. What­soever resteth unperfected, of what is promised to us by God, shall be fully put in our possession, as David here assureth him­self, to exercise the supreme government in those parts of his Kingdome, on the one, or other side of Iordan, which yet were not brought unto subjection, or setled under him; I will divide Sh [...]hem, and mete out the valley of Succoth, &c. 5. Whatso­ever strength or encrease of number the Kingdome of Israel was to have from the plurality of Tribes, and their strength, yet the union of the sonnes of Abraham, and stability of the Kingdome of Israel, consisted in their joynt subjection to the Law-giver, and government of Iudah, out of which Tribe Christ came, who [Page 62] is the true Law-giver and King of Israel, towards whom the Church of old was to direct their eye, through their typical go­vernours, Iudah is my Law giver.

Ver. 8. Moab is my Washpot, over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia triumph thou because of me.

9. Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?

10. Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?

Here he is assured by the Lords word, not onely of the esta­blishment of his Kingdome at home, but also of the enlarging of it abroad, by the subduing of such as had been enemies to Israel before. Whence learn, 1. When the Lord doth unite his people under the government of Iudah, and giveth them grace to take the true Ruler of the Tribe of Iudah for their Law-giver, then shall the enemies of Israel be brought low, and either used contemptibly, as they did sometimes use the Lords people, or else sh [...]ll professe themselves happy in their subjection to the King of Israel; for after that David, as the type of Christ, had endited a Song to the Church, wherein they should acknowledge Iudah their Law-giver, then he as the type of Christ, doth give them to sing this also; Moab is my washpot, that is, Moab shall serve me in the basest service I shall put them unto; Over Edom will I cast out my shoe, that is, I shall subdue them, and trample them under my feet as I passe through them; Philistia triumpb thou, because of me; that is, instead of thy triumphing over my people; thou shalt be made to professe thy joy, to be under my government. 2. The beleever when he promiseth to himself great things, must neither be senselesse of the difficulties of oppo­sition which he is to meet with, nor of his own inability to over­come difficulties, but being sensible of both must look to God for assistance, and furniture to overcome; for when David con­sidered the strength of the senced royal Cities of the enemy, he saith, Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me in [...]o Edom? Wilt not thou O God? 3. It is Gods absence from, or gracious presence with a people, which maketh the suc­cesse of the warres of his people against their enemies worse or better, and their bad successe in former time, or by-past judge­ments on them; for sinne must be so farre from marring the [Page 63] confidence of a people turning home to God, and seeking to finde help from him, that on the contrary, the judgements inflicted upon them in their impenitency, serving for confirmation of the threatnings of Gods Word, and evidence of his ju­stice, must be made arguments of confirmation of faith in Gods promises, of merciful assistance, when they are turned towards God; for so reasoneth David, Who will bring me into Edom? Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off, and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?

Ver. 11. Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

12. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall pull down our enemies.

In the last part he briefly resumeth his prayer, and confidence to be heard; Whence learn, 1. The certainty of hope should not make us the more slack, but rather the more earnest and ser­vent in prayer, for after this professed assurance, David insisteth in prayer; Give us help from trouble. 2. Seeing God onely is the strength and furniture of his people, and he cannot endure that they should relie upon any means, which they may and must use, but upon himself onely; Therefore the lesse confidence we put in the creature, the more may we be confident of help from God; Give us help from trouble, for vaine is the help of man. 3. A self-denying and humbled beleever may go with courage and hope of successe to the use of the meanes, and may encoun­ter with whatsoever opposition of enemies; Through God we shall do valiantly. 4. The praise of valour and gallant [...]y of victo­rious souldiers must not be parted betwixt God and the victour: but whatsoever God doth in us, or by us, must be no lesse wholly ascribed unto God, then if he had done all the work without us; for both the valour of the instrument, and the victory are the works of the Lord, the motions of body and soul of the victor are the work and upstirring of God within him, and the operation and effects wrought by the instrument, are the works of God, without the victor; for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

PSAL. LXI. To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of Devid.

DAvid now in his exile maketh his addresse to God in [...] sad condition, ver. 1, 2, 3. And is comforted in the Lord, and perswaded of his present and future happinesse, ver. 4, 5. And of the perpetuity of the Kingdome of Christ, represented by him, to the comfort of all Christs subjects in all ages, ver. 6, 7, 8.

Ver. 1. HEar my cry, O God: attend unto my prayer.

2. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher then I.

3. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

[...] In his sad supplicication he prayeth for a comfortable recei­ving of his request, and for a comfortable rest of his soul on God himself through Christ, hoping to be heard, because he was re­solved to look toward God, and to continue praying, whatsoever condition of spirit he should be in, and in whatsoever part he should be; and also because he had experience of Gods help in his straits in former times; Whence learn, 1. The best expe­dient for a sad soul, is to run to God by prayer for comfort, and to insist earnestly, albeit God should seeme not to attend; Hear my cry, O God, attend unto my prayer. 3 When the godly are driven from their countrey, and fellowship with the Saints, and from exercise of the publike ordinances, no wonder they fall in perplexity of spirit, for David forced to flee to the ends of the land, finds his heart overwhelmed within him. 4. It is exile indeed to be secluded from the liberty of publike ordinances, and it is our home, to be where God is publikely worshipped, for David counteth himself cast out unto the ends of the earth; when he is debarred from the Temple of the Lord. 5. Albeit a man were never so farre banished from the free society of the Church, and [Page 65] communion with Gods people in ordinances, yet he is still with­in cry unto God: from the ends of the earth will I cry unto thee. 6. There is a rock of refuge for safety and comfort to the exiled and perplexed Saint, which is able to supply all wants, and to sweeten all sorrows, and this is the Rock of Gods felt friendship in Christ from heaven, represented by the visible rock of Sion, where the Tabernacle and mercy-seat was situate, the appointed trusting place, where God did receive the prayers of his people, and did answer them from heaven; when David could not come to the typical mount o [...] rock, he prayeth to have accesse to the thing signified: lead me to the Rock that is higher then I 7. Sensible and comfortable communion with [...]od, is a mystery spiritual, which mans wisdome o [...] power cannot discover, nor bring unto him: but God himself must reveal, and must renew the reveal­ing of himself to a soul in trouble, and must make a mans soul to apply it selt to him powerfully, else a man cannot feel this com­fortable fellowship with God, more then a blinde man can sinde out what is removed from him or a weak childe can go not being led, or a man can reach up to a steep high place, not being lifted up unto it; Therefore must the Lord himself draw us near to himself, and lift us up to himself: lead me to the rock that is higher then I. 8. This spiritual felt communion with God is able to put a man farre from the reach of any enemy, [...] doth make a soul quietly to rest it self from fear of trouble, how great soever the external danger can be, [...]s David many times felt by experience: for thou hast been a shelter unto me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 9. A beleevers resolution for depending on God, and praying to him in hardest conditions, and his present use making of former experiences, as they do serve much for strengthening of his faith in prayer: so they are the nearest means that can be for coming by a renewed sensible comfort, as he [...] we see: for David resolveth, from the end, of the earth I will cry and prayeth, lead me to the rock, and saith, Thou hast been a strong tower to me, and so comfort doth follow quickly after this pre­paration, as the next verse doth shew.

Ver. 4. I will abide in thy Tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

5. For thou, O God, hast heard my vowes: thou hast given me the heritage of those that feare thy Name.

Here he is comforted in his exile, and made to be at home in [Page 66] his spirit, by reason of the present sense of Gods favour to him, and of his confirmed hope of the performances of the promises made unto him; Whence learn, 1. The Lord can give such satisfaction to a sad heart in the time of its trouble, that the trouble may turne to be no trouble, even while it lieth on still, as here is to be seen in Davids comfort, who speaketh as if he were restored, while he is yet in exile. 2. Spiritual consolations in temporal troubles, do both give satisfaction to a soul for the present, and for time to come, for everlasting happinesse; I will abide in thy Tabernacle for ever: his hope is, that not only he shall be restored to the fellowship of the Saints, at the Tabernacle in Ierusalem, but also that he shall be in Gods company, in heaven, represeted by the Tabernacle, and that for ever 3. True con­solation standeth not in earthly things, but in things heavenly, and things having nearest relation thereto for Davids comfort was no [...] so much that he should be brought to the Kingdome, as that he should be brought to the Tabernacle, and to heaven by that means; I will abide in thy Tabernacle. 4. Sincerity setteth no term-day to Gods service, or to the seeking of communion with him: I will abide in thy Tabernacle for ever. 5. The ground of all spiritual consolations is in the mercy and grace of God offered to us in Christ, represented by the wings of the Cherubims stretched out over the mercy-seat; There f [...]ith findeth a rest and solid ground, able to furnish comfort abundantly; I will trust in the covert of thy wings. 6 Accesse to God in prayer, and approbation of the conscience and the sincere pouring forth of the heart, mel [...]ing with present felt sense o [...] Gods love, do strengthening early the assurance of everlasting communi­on with God; for thou, O God, hast heard my vowe. 7. As spiritual comfort in time of trouble granted to a beleeve, is in­deed the earnest of everlasting life, so should they to whom so­ever the earnest is given, make reckoning that by this earnest the inheritance is confirmed unto them by way of possession begun; thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy Name. 8. The inheritance of the chief of Gods servants, and of the meane [...] and weakest of them, is one; the right of every beleever is alik [...] good, albeit the hold laid upon the right by all, is not ali [...] strong, and what the strongest of the godly do beleeve for their own consolation and salvation, the weakest may beleeve the same to belong to every beleever that feareth God, as David doth here; Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy Name.

Ver. 6. Thou wilt prolong the Kingslife: and his [...]ares as many generations.

7. He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

8. So will I sing praise unto thy Name for ever, that I may daily perform my vowes.

In the third place, he prophesieth not simply of the stability of the Kingdom in his own person and posterity, bu [...] under the type namely he speaketh of the perpetuity of the Kingdome of Christ, the true King of Israel, for which end he prayeth that mercy and truth may be forth-coming to the subjects [...] Christ, that his Kingdom may be prolonged, and so David in his [...]e, and all the Saints in their time, may joyfully praise God conti­nually. Whence, learn 1. It is not unusual with [...], together with present consolation, and the light of [...] [...]tion In Christ, to reveal also and give assurance of great things con­cerning Christs Kingdome, as here and elsewhere in [...] Scri­pture is to be seen: Thou wilt prolong the Kings life, and his years, as many generations. 2. The glory o [...] Christ, and perpetuity of his Kingdome is every subject, good and comfort for this is comfort to David, that Christ shall live for eve [...], that he shalt abide before God for ever. 3. The Kingdome of Christ and government of his subjects; in his Church shall be allow­ed of God, and be protected [...]f God, [...] blessed of God for ever however it be opposed by men in the world: he shall abide before God for ever. 4. The perpetuity of Christs Kingdom, and preservation of the subjects in this life, till they be possessed of heaven, is by the merciful remedying the misery, and removing of the sin which they are subject unto, and by performing of what he hath promised and prepared through Christ to bestow upon them; O prepare mercy and truth, which [...] preserve him. 5. The best retreat that can be made after wrestling and victory over troubles, is prayer and praises as here David after his exercise prayeth, O prepare mercy and truth; and then saith unto thee will I sing. 6 As the main matter of our vowes is the moral duty of rejoycing in God, and hearty prai­sing of him: so [...]wed experience of Gods mercy and truth towards has people in Christ, is the main matter of our joy in him and praise unto him; O prepare mercy and truth, &c. so will I sing praise unto thy Name, that I may daily perform my vowes.

PSAL. LXII. To the chief Musician, to Ieduthun. A Psalm of David.

THis Psalme is the issue of a sore conflict, and inward com­bate, which David felt from the strong opposition of his ir­reconcileable adversaries, and from the lasting troubles which he sustaine by their persecution and by his friends for saking of him, whereby he was put hard to it what to think or what to do: at length faith in God giveth him victory, and maketh him first to break forth in avowing of his faith, and hope in God, ver. 1. 2. Next, to insult over his enemies as dead men, because of their sinful course, ver. 3, 4. Thirdly, to strengthen himselfe in his faith and hope, ver. 5, 6, 7. Fourthly, to exhort all men to trust in God, and to depend on him, for reasons set down, ver. 8, 9. And not to trust in oppression and robbery, for reasons set down. ver. 10, 11, 12.

Ver. 1. TRuly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

2. He on'y is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence, I shall not be greatly moved.

From this abrupt beginning of the Psalm, declaring that he hath had a sore disputation and wrestling with tentations within him, and out of which this is the first coming forth; Learn, 1. Albeit strong faith be put to a conflict, when trouble and tenta­tions do set on, yet when it looketh on God and his promises, it gets the victory, and putteth the soul to a submissive attend­ance on God, and a quiet hope of compleat deliverance: Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. 2. Then is faith well tried, and approved, when being stript of all supporters except God, it doth content it self with him alone, as all-suffici­ent, he onely is my rock and my salvation. 3. Faith findeth as many answers in Gods sufficiency, as temptations can make objections against it: he is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence. 4. As a man resolveth to believe and follow the course of sound faith, so he [Page 69] may assure himselfe of establishment and victory over all tem­ptations, notwithstanding his own weaknesse: I shall not greatly be moved, doth David conclude from his resolution to rest on God.

Ver. 3. How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.

4. They onely consult to cast him down from his ex­cellency, they delight in lies: they blesse with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

In the second place, he insulteth over his enemies, and layeth before them the danger of their wicked wayes. W [...]ence learn, 1. So soon as a man hath fastened himselfe on God, he may rec­kon with all adversary powers, and insult over them; for the seeing of Gods help discovers to the Believer the vanity of all opposition; how long will ye imagine mischief against a man? 2. As the godly when they fall under persecution, may lie long under it, and must resolve patience al the while on the one hand; so on the other hand, persecutors are unreasonably carried on in the course of persecu­tion, like madmen, who cannot give over the pursuit, albeit they see God against themselves, and with the godly whom they pur­sue; how long will ye imagine mischief against a man? 3. Persecu­tors shall not have their will against the godly, but by their per­secution shall draw upon themselves compleat sudden and irre­coverable destruction: ye shall be slain all of you, as a bowing wall, and a tottering fence; that is, you shall perish suddenly, as when a bowing wall and tottering fence rusheth to the ground in a moment. 4. As the standing fast in the faith and service of God in a good cause, is the excellency of the Believer; so is it the eye-sore of his adversaries, which they of all things can least endure in the godly, and therefore do bend all their wit and for­ces most unto, to break them off their holy carriage and course; They onely consult to cast him down from his excellency. 5. Not truth and light, but darknesse, error, falshood and deceit, is the pleasure of the wicked; They delight in lies. 6. When the wick­ed do minde their worst against the godly, then will they speak fairest words unto them, to see whether by falshood or force they can prevail most, to draw them off their good course: they blesse with their mouth, but they curse inwardly.

Ver. 5. My soul, wait thou onely upon God: for my expectation is from him

6. He onely is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence, I shall not be moved.

7. In God is m [...] salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God.

In the third place, he strengtheneth his faith and his hope, that he may be able to endure trouble till the sin of the wicked be ripe, and their judgement be executed; Whence learn, 1. Our resolution patiently to keep silence, in waiting on God, and our putting o [...] resolution to practice, do differ: our practising is so short of our resolution, that we had need to be stirred up, and to sti [...]re u [...] our selves to our duty. And as Satan is still moving new pertu [...]bations; so have we need of, and must study to have new confirmations; My soul, wait thou onely upon God 2. They that do expect their help from [...]od, must not expect help from any other art, no not when th [...]y shall use all means lawful for th [...]it delivery, but the successe must be without haste making, patiently waited for from God alone; Wait thou onely on God, for my [...]xpectation is from him. 3 The grounds of confidence are able to abide new as [...]aults, and must be brought forth and averred, so o [...]t as they a [...]e opposed: for he eunto the new stirrings of the same tentations, he opposeth this over gain: He only it my rock: he is my defence and my salvation. And wh [...]eas he [...]aid before I shall not greatly be moved; n [...]w he saith more confidently: I shall not be moved: an [...] yet more, he riumphs in the Lord: he is my sal­vation and glory; whic [...] he speaketh in regard of hope to have all good which he ne [...]ed. And lastly in regard or supply in whatsoever wants, and delive [...]y from all evill: he saith, He is the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God: and so his fai [...]h doth set [...]e it [...] and tentations are overcome.

Ver. 8. Trust in him at all times, ye people, poure out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

9. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they ar [...] altogether lighter then vanity.

In the fourth place, he exhorteth all men to place confidence [Page 71] upon God, partly because God is able to give deliverance, as a place of refuge; and partly because men whether great or small, few or many, cannot but deceive, and disappoint the man that trusteth in them. Whence learn, 1. The duty of the comforted and victorious believers, is to communi are the fruit of their ex­perience, for st [...]gthening their b [...]ethren, and edification of others, as their calling permitteth them, as David doth here: Trust in him at all times, ye people. 2. Whatsoever condition, how hard soever, we fall into, the g [...]ace of God, and grounds of confidence in God must not be lost, but alwayes made use of; Trust in him at all times. 3. As a guil [...]y conscience, h [...]avy trouble, mis­beliefe and suspicion of Gods good will, do lock up the heart in sorrow: so any measure of faith in God, going to him by prayer, doth ease the heart and layeth the burden of grief down before the Lord; ye people, poure out your heart before him: God is a re­fuge to us. 5. The way to place our confidence in God, is to lift our confidence off all creatures, and in special off men of supe­rior or inferior ranks: and the way to lift our confidence off the creature, is to con [...]der the inability of men to help us, except God make them do it; and that without God they are nothing worth to us: men of low degree are vanity. 6. Whosoever do trust on men higher or lower, are su [...]e to be deceived of their ex­pectation, and of whatsoever mans help can promise: and if we will not be deceived, the voice of God, and experience of his Saints may give us certainty of the truth of the doct [...]ine; for out of experience David saith, Surely r [...]en of low degree are vanity, &c. 7. Carnal confidence is not onely unable to help a man, when he hath most need, but also bringeth damage unto him, and makes him to finde God in his jealousie [...] an adversary and just Judge to plague and to curse him; and so if the matter be well weighed, creature-help, and creature-comfort, when it is relied upon, is worse then no help; Being laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter then vanity.

Ver. 10. Trust not in oppression, become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.

11. God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God.

12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

[Page 72] The other part of the exhortation doth forbid to trust in op­pression▪ or riches, or power, or greatnesse of place, because God disposeth of all things is he pleaseth, shewing mercy to such as do trust in him, and rendering to every man according to his work, Whence learn. 1. There a [...]e many more idols then one to draw a­way a mans heart from God so▪ when trusting in men of high de­gree and low degree is cast down, then oppression, robbery, riches stand up, and take Gods room in the hea [...]t, as here we see. 2. It is more hard to divert a man from confidence in himselfe, and what is in his own power, then to draw him from confidence in men of bighe [...] or lower degree. Therefore after c [...]sting down of carnal co [...]fidence in men, high or low; he [...] confidence in whatsoever a man is able to do by himselfe, as might, and riches, [...]nd [...] of high plac [...]: Trust not in oppression; if riches increase &c. 3. Wh [...]soever is confiden [...], by his own strength and might to [...] his businesse against any man, and to do his adversa [...]y two wrongs for one, shall find [...] himselfe to have diso­beyed G [...]d, and to [...]ve been pron [...] i [...] a matter of no [...]hing: Trust not in oppression, become not vain in robbery. 4. It may stand with godlinesse and trusting in God, to be rich; but not to h [...]ve our heart set upon riches, ei [...]her to gather or keep them, either to rejoyce in them, or to be proud bec [...]use of them; If riches in­crease, set not thy heart thereon. 5. N [...]hing is able to settle mans confidence in God, and to keep his h [...]art from id [...]ls, or carnal con­fidence in creatures, or to bear in upon others this two fold duty, save the powerful imp [...]ession of the [...] Word of God; therefore sai [...]h he, God hath spoken once. 6. Albeit one testimony of Scripture for a ground o [...] faith, or [...]ule of life, rightly conside­red be abundantly sufficient, to settle our faith in that point, and to warrant our obedience; yet God will inculc [...] that truth oft­ner, and have us to receive it oftner, and more firmly; and as it is the Lords kindnesse to us, and care of us to cau [...]e his once [...]poken Word, to be oftne repeated unto us, oftner cleared, and con­firmed unto us by repeated experimental evidence of the cer­tainty thereof: so it is our duty, to receive it more and more heartily, so oft as it is repeated and inculcated, and to meditate and consider o [...] it▪ and to take a deeper and a deeper impression of it: God hath spoken once, twice have I heard it. 7. The propri­ty of authority and power to do all and everything, is the Lords onely: and as [...] the power of the creature, it is but lent, and de­rived to it, at Gods pleasure. The creature can neither hurt us, nor help it selfe or us, but as God is pleased to use it as an in­strument; [Page 73] Twice have I heard this, that power belongeth to God. 8. To induce a soul to trust in God only, it is necessary, that [...]t so look to his power. as it also look to his mercy, and lay hold on both; faith [...]ath nee [...] of b [...]th, as of two wings, to carry it up to God above all vain enticements, and terrours, and ten­tations, and as props whereon to settle and fix it self joyntly; Also unto thee O [...]ord, belongeth mercy. 10. As the man that puts his trust in God, and studieth to obey his Word, shall finde Gods mercy to pardon his transgression, and Gods power to su­stain him in all his difficulties, and to pe [...]orm all the promises made to his servants: so the man that trusts not in God, but in himself, or in some creature without him el [...] thinking to work his own happinesse by his own wayes, sh [...]ll finde the fruit of his wicked course, according as God hath forewarned: For thou renderest to every man according to his works.

PSAL. LXIII. A Psalme of David, when he was in the wildernesse of Iudah.

WE have in this Psalme Davids exercise in his banish­ment, when he was hiding himself from Saul in the wil­dernesse of Iudah; wherein is set down his lingring and prayer, after the benefit of the publike ordinances, ver. 1, 2. And the fruits of a gracious and comfortable answer given to his prayer, in number foure. The first, is a resolution to follow spiritual duties, and in special to praise God, ver. 3. and to be a constant supplicant depending on God, ver. 4. and to take his content­ment in God, and in his praises, ver. 5, 6. and joyfully to trust in Gods mercy, ver. 7. The second fruit is the acknowledge­ment of Gods power, sustaining him in his adherence unto God, practised by him for time past, and pu [...]posed for time to come, ver. 8. The third fruit, is confidence of the destruction of his enemies, ver. 9, 10. The fourth, is assurance that he shall receive the Kingdome promised unto him, to the confusion of all such as did slander him as a traitor.

From the Inscription; Learne, 1. Su [...]h of Gods children as dwell most st [...]tely and commodiously among their neighbours, may be driven sometimes to hide themselves in a wildernesse, as [Page 74] David was. 2. Banishment from among friends cannot banish a man from God, but may serve rather to drive him toward God. 3. Troubles are grievous when they are present, but may prove a matter of a joyful song, when called to remem­brance: A Psalme of David, when he was in the wildernesse of Judah.

Ver. 1. O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee: my soule thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee, in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.

2. To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in thy sanctuary.

From his prayer; Learne, 1. The Lord is the only ease of a distressed minde, and there is no speedier relief then to go to God in prayer, as the Psalmist did, saying, O God. 2. When we would speak unto God to purpose, we should fasten our hold on the Covenant; O God, thou art my God. 3. Troubles will sharpen a man in the use of the means, and rouse him out of nasty security; Early will I seek thee. 4. It is good to fasten duties on our selves by resolution, and to strengthen our reso­lution by shewing it to the Lord; Early will I seek thee. 5. A lively soul will be no lesse de [...]rous of spiritual comfort from God, then the b [...]dy for natural food after long fasting; My soul thirsteth fo [...] thee. 6 Spiritual affections, when they are strong, will [...] [...]e b [...]dy with impressions answerable thereto; My flesh longeth [...]fter thee. 7. It is a barren place to a godly soul, where t [...]e publik [...] exercises of Religion cannot be h [...]: for this cause mainly did God c [...]ll the wildernesse, A dry and [...]hirsty land, where no water is. 8. [...] the power and glo [...]y of God is no wh [...]e so clearly seen▪ as in publike ordinances, therefore should t [...] ordinances be loved, sought after, and haunted, that we may finde communion with God in them; My soule thirsteth to see thy power and thy glory. 9. The more good a man hath found in the publike exerci [...]s of Religion, the more will he esteem of them, and in [...]cial when he is deprived of them; My soule thirsts to see thy power and glory: so as I have seen thee in thy sanctuary.

Ver. 3. Because thy loving kindnesse is better the [...] life: my li [...]s shall [...]raise thee.

[Page 75] 4. Thus will I blesse thee while I live: I will lift up [...]ine hands in thy Name.

5. My soule shall be satisfied as with marrow and [...]: and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.

6. When I remember thee upon my bed, and medi­tate on thee in the night-watches.

7. Because thou hast been my help; therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoyce.

Here the Lord giveth to his servant a gracious answer, and [...] is condition in the wildernesse, m [...]king him no lesse glad then eve [...] he was in the publike exerci [...]e of Religion, by granting him the comfort of his holy Spirit, [...]s the fruits of the answer of his prayer do make manifest. The first wh [...]eof is shewen in sundry holy resolutions, to prais [...] the kindnes of God, to blesse God, and to call on his Name in all conditions, to take contentment in God, and to trust in him. Whence learn, 1. When a man, who loveth the publick ordinances is debarrrd from them, and maketh use of private exercises of Religion, God can and will supply unto him what he wanteth, and be a little sanctuary unto him, as here appeareth. 2. The felt kind­nesse of God, and shedding abroad of his love in the heart of a believer, is joy unspeakable and glorious, able to supply all wants unto him, and to sweeten all troubles unto him, and to give him more com [...]ort, then what is most comfortable in this world, yea, to make life it self without the feeling, or hope of feeling [...]his love to be little w [...]th to h [...]m; Thy lo [...]g kindnesse is better then life. 3. Rich experiences of the felt love of God in the use of the meanes, deserve to be brought forth to the praise of God, when it may glorifie him; Because thy loving kindnesse is better then life, my lips shall praise thee. 4. One proof of Gods loving kindnesse towards us, is reason abundant for us to blesse God for ever thereafter, and to acknowledge him the fountain of blessings, even to our selves, whatseever change of dispensations we shall meet with; Thus will I blesse thee while I live 5. As our assurance of Gods love unto us, and of hi [...] purp [...]e to blesse us, doth serve to prepare us for straits and difficulties hereafter: so also for praying to God with confidence to be helped, in what­soever change of condition we may fall into afterwards; Thus [Page 76] will I blesse thee while I live, I will lift up my hands in thy Name; to wit, as a man engaged to depend upon thee, to call upon thee as my need requireth, and a man particularly encou­raged by thee, and confirmed by experience from thy former helping of me, that I shall have a good answer from thee, who hast manifested thy self unto me by Word and works. 6. The spiritual life of the soul hath its own food, as well as the bodily life of nature: and the life of the godly is not so barren, so sad and uncomfortable as the world doth beleeve: They have their hid Manna, and the water of life, solid and satisfactory conso­lations, and joy in the holy Spirit, wherewith strangers do not intermeddle, of which joyes the sweetest morsels of delicate banquets are but shadowes; My soule shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatnesse. 7. Such as do hunger and thirst after communion with God in Christ, and do resolve to spend their life in Gods service, may promise to themselves that they shall feel sweet satisfaction in this course, and with David say, My soule shall be sati [...]fied as with marrow. 8. Spiritual joyes are not like carnal joyes, which end in sadnesse, but they re­solve in glorifying, and do make the very outward man parta­ker of the benefit; therefore doth the Psalm [...]st adde: And my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips. 9. The way to finde re­freshment spiritual, is beside publike ordinances, to give our selves to spiritual exercises in secret, at such times as our neces­sities civil and natural may best spa [...]e, and then and there to re­call to minde what we have heard, seen or felt of Gods Word or working, and to keep up our thoughts upon this holy subject, by prayer, soliloquie and meditation, as David sheweth to us the example: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night-watches. 10. As one experience should call another to remembrance, so the calling of experiences to our memory should oblige and encourage us in all conditions, joy­fully to make use by faith, of Gods standing offer of grace to us in Christ, shadowed forth by the wings of the cherubims stretched out alwayes over the mercy-seat; Because thou hast been my helper, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I re­joyce; for here, and here only is the remedy of all sinne and mi­sery.

Ver. 8. My soule followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

[Page 77] From the second fruit of the gracious answer given to Davids prayer, that is, from his giving the glory of the acts of grace which he did unto God the furnisher thereof; Learne, 1. The Lord useth to exercise the soules of his own children with sense of desertion, and withdrawing of his presence one way or other. This is presupposed in Davids following after the Lord, when he felt him retiring himself, as it were. 2. A believer in God cannot endure a thought of separation from God, nor forbear to seek after God, when he misseth his presence, but will use all meanes to recover the sense of his presence which he hath felt before; My soule followeth hard after thee. 3. It is our wisdom to reflect upon, and acknowledge the grace of God in us, and upon the acts of our saith and love toward God, for our own strengthening, as David doth here, saying, My soul followeth hard after thee. 4. Although the exercise of graci­ous habits be our acts, yet the enabling of us to bring these acts forth, is the Lords work, who giveth us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure; and as it is our duty to acknow­ledge this, so is it the fruit of our feelings of Gods help to professe it; My soul followeth hard after thee, but by what power, strength and furniture doth he this? Thy right hand upholdeth me.

9. But those that seek my soul to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

10. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

The third fruit of the answer of his prayer, is assurance given that his enemies shall be destroyed, for it is revealed to him, that Saul should be slain by the sword; he knew by reve­lation that his carcasse should lie in the fields, a prey for foxes and wilde beasts. Whence learn, 1. The deadly and unreconcile­able enemies of Gods people, hating them for a good cause, do draw destruction on themselves; Those that seek my soule to de­stroy it, shall go down to the lower parts of the earth. 2. It is agreeable with Gods justice, that bloody enemies of Gods people be punished by their bloody enemies; God can stirre up the wicked against the wicked, to avenge the wrongs done to his children: They shall fall by the sword, they shall be a portion for the foxes. 3. The Lord, to ease the hearts of his oppressed chil­dren, doth sometimes before hand make them foresee the destru­ction [Page 78] of their adversaries, whether by teaching them in an or­dinary way to apply the general sentences of the Scripture unto them, or in a more special way revealing his minde, as he seeth fit, as here: They shall fall by the sword, &c.

11. But the King shall rejoyce in God: every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

The last fruit of his prayer, is assurance that he shall be King, and that all the godly shall be comforted by this means, and that his righteousnesse shall be cleared against all the ca­lumnies of the wicked. Whence learn, 1. Howsoever it may go hard with the righteous, and their enemies may prosper for a time, yet their lot shall be changed to the better at length: and when he [...] enemies are born down, their head shall be lifted up, and whatsoeve [...] is p [...]omised unto them, they may be as sure of it as if they had p [...]ssion of it, yea they may stile themselves by the title whi [...]h Gods [...]ord hath given unto them, as David doth in his particular, calling him el [...] King, now when he was a bani [...]ed man in the wildernesse of Iudah. The King shall rejoyce, saith he. 2. The t [...]ue ground of a beleevers joy, is not the gift he receiveth from God, how great soever it may be, but the good will of the giver, even God himself The King shall rejoyce in God. 3 Every true worshipper of [...]od, (whose pro­perty is t [...]uly to feare the t [...]ue God, and the cogni [...]ance of whose sin [...]y is his on cienc [...] king of an oath shall have matter o [...] glo [...]iation, after while p [...]nt suffering in time of trial: Every one that sweareth [...]y him [...] all glory. 4. The born­down righteousnesse of h [...]dly, a [...]o their cause, by the lies, slanders and calum [...]ies o [...] the wicked, shall be brought to light in due time, and the wicked m [...]e ash med of their lies; The mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

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

THis Psalme hath two parts: In the former is Davids heavy complaint unto God against his deadly enemies, laid forth before God in sundry particular evidences of their malice, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. And in the latter part is the Lords comfortable answer unto him, by giving him assurance of Gods judgement coming on them, to their own and others astonishment, and to the comfort of the godly, ver 7. 8, 9, 10.

Ver. 1. Heare my voice, O God, in my prayer: pre­serve my life from feare of the enemy.

2. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked: from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity.

In his prayer he requesteth first in general, for delivery of his life from the secret plotting and often­practising of his enemies against him Whence learn, 1. Present danger is able to force out cryes to God, and such earnest prayers poured out in extreme ne­cessity, shall not want an answer; [...]eare my voice, O God, in my prayer. 2. The danger cannot be so great, wherein help may not be had from God; he is so near to a supplicant, so powerful, and so ready to save the man who hath made God [...]is e [...]ge; Pre­serve my life from feare of the enemy. 3 God can so overrule and outwit the devices of our enemies, that they sh [...]ll either not light upon the meane whereby they might overtake us, or shall make them misse of their intent in case thei [...] device be probable; Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked. 4. What the wicked cannot do against the righteous by craft, they will pursue with open violence, but God, as he is wiser in counsel and able to be fool them, so is he st [...]onger in power, and able to break them: Hide me from their insurrection. 5. That we may have the greater confidence to be delivered from our enemies, we had need to be sure we are in a good cause, and that our ad­versaries have a wrong cause: Hide me from the workers of ini­quity.

Ver. 3. Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bowes to shoot their arrowes, even bitter words:

4. That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: sud­denly do they shoot at him, and fear not.

5. They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily, they say, Who shall see them?

6. They search out iniquities, they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart is deep.

Here he complaineth of his enemies, and layeth forth several degrees of their desperate wickednesse before God, as so many ar­guments to strengthen his saith, and hope for delivery from them. Whence learne, 1. The benefit of a good cause, and of a good conscience appea [...]eth b [...]st in a strait, when nothing can help a man against his enemies, save God alone, as here appear­eth in Davids case. 2. Calumnies and slanders against the godly are very cruel weapons: for not only hurt they the esti­mation of their good cau [...]e, and personal good behaviour, but also do stirre up all men to take their lives. They whet their tongue as a sword, and bend bend their bows to shoot their arrows, bitter words. 3. There is no fear against a privy slander, a man is wounded ere he is aware, and no mans innocency or integrity of life can be a guard against the shot of a calumniators tongue, they shoot in secret at the perfect, suddenly do they shoot at him. 4. Be­cause only God can heal the wound of a slander, and sustaine the man in the conscience of his good cause and carriage, till he clear him, the righteous must content himself to referre the matter to God, as David doth here. 5. G [...]dlesse men are dan­gerous enemies, for they fear not God, and so have no powerful restraint within them from doing any mischief, and the more they sinne, they take the greater boldnesse to sinne more; they en­courage themselves in an evil atter 6. The wit and wicked­nesse which is wi [...]hin themselves, will not suffice their devillish intention, therefore they seek all help they can finde from with­out; They commune of laying snares privily 7. They seek how they may overtake the mans person, after they have killed his good name and cause with calumnies and bitter aspersions. Yea [Page 81] Satan so blindeth them, that they neither look to God the aven­ger of such plots and practises, nor do they consider that God seeth them, and they think their pretences before men are so thick [...] covering, that no man can see through them; They say, Who shall see them? 8. If there hath been any slander of the upright mans misdemeanour in any former time, which for the falshood of it is evanished, they make search after it, to waken it up a­gain: and if there be any possibility to devise new inventions, with any probability, they go about it busily, yea they search hell it self▪ to finde out how to bring a mischief upon the upright; They search out iniquities, they accomplish a diligent search. 9. Last of all, their wickednesse is unsearchable, the uncontrol­led bent of their wicked wit and will assisted with what Satan can suggest, furnish and stirre up, all is imployed, and it is hard to say whether their wit or will be most wicked, and do draw nearest to hell; but it is sure to say of both, Both the thoughts of every one of them, and the heart is deep.

Ver. 7. But God shall shoot at them: with an ar­row suddenly shall they be wounded.

8. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them, shall flee away.

9. And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

10 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

In the latter part of the Psalm is set down his prayer and con­fidence of justice to be executed against his enemies, and mercy to be shewn to him, and to all the godly. Whence learn, 1. The godly want not a friend to avenge their quarrel: God will shoot against wicked archers, and not misse the mark, [...]ut God shall shoot at them; with an arrow shall they [...]e wounded. 2. Where desperate malice is seen, there sudden mischief may be foreseen, that it shall light upon the malicious: sudde [...]ly shall they be wounded. 3. The wicked adversaries of Gods people are de­stroyers of themselves, by their opposition unto them; for as they thought to do unto Gods children, God doth to them; So they shall make their own tongue fall upon themselves. 4. Some­times [Page 82] God will make the wicked spectacles of his judgement to the affrightment of all that knew them, and do see their plague; All that see them shall flee away. 5. The judgement of the wick­ed should be all mens lesson, and all sorts of people shall learn by their plagues to know Gods justice and terrour; And all men shal [...] feare and declare the works of God. 6. Not every specta­tor of Gods work giveth glory to God, but they only, who com­pare his Word with his works, and through the vaile of means and instruments do look to God the righteous Judge of the world; They shall declare the work of God, for they shall consider wisely of his doing. 7. When wo and wrack doth come upon the wicked, then doth joy and comfort come to the godly, not so much for the dammage of the wicked, as for the manifestati­on of the glory of God: The righteous shall be glad in the Lord. 8 As the Lords mercies do confirm the faith of the righteous, so also do the works of his justice; They shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust i [...] him. 9. The delivery of one of the godly, is a pledge of the like delivery to [...]ll in the like case: and as one so all and every one of the righteous and upright in heart shall triumph at length over all enemies, and make their boast of God: All the upright in heart shall glory.

PSAL. LXV. To the chief Musician. A Psalme and Song of David.

THis Psalme is all of Gods praises. The Proposition, that he is to be praised, is set down, ver. 1. The reasons of his praise unto the end, are nine. The first whereof is, because he heare h prayer, ver. 2. The second, because he mercifully par­doneth sins, ver. 3. The third, because of his gracious purpose, and powerful prosecution of the decree of election of his own re­deemed on [...]s, ver 4. The fourth, because of his defending of his Ch [...]rch in all places, ver. 5. The fifth, is from his strength ma­nifested in the framing and setling of the mountains, ver. 6. The sixth, from his wise and powerful over-ruling of all unruly and raging creatures, ver. 7. The seventh, is from his preventing of troubles, which are coming to his Church, by terrifying all Nations at the beholding of the tokens of his displeasure a­gainst the enemies of his people, ver. 8. The eighth argument is taken from the joyful peace, granted sometime to his people, [Page 83] ver. 8. The ninth Argument of Gods praise, is from the rich plenty of all necessary food from year to year, which God pro­videth for maintenance of man and beast, and specially of his people Israel in their land, ver. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

Ver. 1. PRaise waiteth for thee, O God, in Si­on: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.

From the Proposition, concerning his purpose to spend this Psalm only in praising of God; Learne, 1. Although prayer and praises do alwayes agree well, yet some time may call for prai­ses, and for the work of praise only, and may take up the whole man for a time, as here. 2. How mournful a condition soever the Lords people may be in, yet God is preparing thereby mat­ter for his own glory; Praise waiteth for thee. And whatsoever matter of praise be seen, or whatsoever measure of praise be given unto God by his people, more is due to him, and more is making ready for him; Praise waiteth for thee. 3. Although the rest of the world be senselesse of Gods benefits, yet his Church must set about the work of his praises, and shall be en­abled to give him praise; Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion. 4. As it is the duty of every man, who doth seek deli­verance from trouble, or any other benefit from God, to oblige himself, to praise God for it: so it is the Lords manner to gaine to himself praise by granting prayers, and to purchase the per­formance of praises promised unto him; Unto thee shall the vow be performed.

Ver. 2. O thou that hearest prayer! unto thee shall all flesh come.

From the first reason of the Lords praise; Learn, 1. The hearing and granting of prayer is the Lords property, and his usual pra­ctice, and his pleasure, and his nature, and his glory; O thou that hearest prayer! 2. The readinesse of the Lord to hear prayer, doth open the door of accesse to all sorts of people, who are sensible of their own frailty and necessities, and do know his readinesse to relieve them, Gentiles as well as Jewes shall come unto him; O thou that hearest prayer! all flesh shall come unto thee.

Ver. 3. Iniquities prevaile against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them a­way.

From the second reason of the Lords praise; Learn, 1. Sin is a sore adversary, and many times prevails over us, and drawes on troubles on us, which makes us know the ill of it better, then we knew before the committing of it; Iniquities prevaile against me. 2. Whatsoever be the sins of the people we live amongst, let us make special accompt of our own guiltiness in the point of confession, as David doth here, when he saith, Iniquities prevaile against me. 3. Our sins should be looked up­on, not to chase us from God, but to humble us, and drive us to seek pardon and purgation from the Lord, whose free grace only can take sins away; Iniquity prevails over me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. 4. The holy Pro­phets and Pen men of Scripture have no grounds of hope for pardon of sin, save those which are common to the meanest of Gods people; for David in his confession cometh in by himself alone aggravating his own sins most; Iniquities prevail against me, saith he. But in the hope of pardon, he joyneth with the rest of Gods people, saying, As for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.

Ver. 4. Blessed is the man whom thou choo­sest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy Courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodnesse of▪ thy house, even of thy holy Temple.

From the third reason of the Lords praise; Learne, 1. God hath made election of some out of the rest of mankinde, on whom he doth effectually bestow blessednesse; Blessed is the man whom thou choosest. 2. All those whom God doth effectu­ally call, and reconcile to himself, and draweth into communi­on and society with himself, are elected and blessed persons; Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee. 3. It is the free good will of God, which putteth the difference among men, and maketh some to be partakers of blessednesse, and not other some; Blessed is the man whom thou choosest. 4. The power and glory of the work of conversion, reconciliation, and drawing near to God, for communion with [Page 85] him, of so many as are converted, is the Lords power and glory, no lesse then election is his free choice and glory; Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and whom, thou causest to approach unto thee. 5. The man elected, effectually called, reconciled and drawn in society with God, is a true member of his Church, a constant member thereof in this life, and one who shall be a member of the Church triumphant▪ in the life to come, and so effectually bles­sed; He shall dwell in thy Courts, saith the text in the original. 6. Whatsoever is sufficient for begetting and entertaining the life of grace, and of true blessednesse in Gods elect, is to be found by the meanes of publick ordinances in the Church of God; We shall be satisfied with the goodnesse of thy house, even of thy holy Temple. 7. Whosoever do finde in themselves the proper effects or consequents of election, in special, a powerful drawing of them to the Covenant with God, and unto a nearer and nearer approaching unto God, in the way of obedience unto the publick ordinances of his house, may be assured of their ele­ction, of their effectual calling, of the blessednesse, and of their interest in all the goodnesse of Gods house to their full con­tentment, for after the general doctrine, he applieth, We shall be satisfied with the goodnes of thy house, even of thy holy Temple.

Ver. 5. By terrible things in righteousnesse wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation, who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea.

The fourth reason of the Lords praise is taken from the de­fending of his Church in all ages and places: and saving of his people by giving terrible answers to their prayers against their e­nemies, for the performance of his own word, and confirmati­on of the faith of his own people, in whatsoever part of the earth, unto the end of the world. Whence learn, 1. As the love of God to his people doth not exempt them from the molestation of ene­mies, because the Lord will have the faith of his people by this means exercised, and them put to pray unto him, and complain of the injuries done unto them; so his love to them will not suf­fer their prayers to want an answer in their troubles, to the a­mozement of their adversaries; By terrible things wilt thou an­swer us. 2. In the Lords relieving of his people, and destroying their enemies, he will have the work looked upon as the perform­ance of his Word, wherein he hath promised to be a friend to the [Page 86] friends of his people, and a foe to their foes; By terrible things in righteousnesse, wilt thou answer us. 3. The reason of particu­lar deliveries of Gods people from their enemies, is, because these deliveries are appendices of the Covenant of grace, established for giving to them everlasting life; Thou wilt answer us O God of our salvation. 4. What the Lord hath promised and done to his Church of old, is a sufficient ground of confidence to the people of God, in all times and places, to expect and finde the like mercy, unto that which they of old did expect and finde; O God of our salvation, the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off, upon the sea: that is, thy people, whether dwelling in the Continent, or in Isles; or sailing on the sea.

Ver. 6. Which by his strength setteth fast the mountaines, being girded with power.

The fifth reason of the Lords praise is, from his strong power, whereby he is able to do all things, as appeareth by his framing and setling the mountains; Whence learn, 1. The power of God manifested in the work of Creation, is a prop to the saith of his people to believe the promises, and a pledge of the perfor­mance thereof unto them; By his strength he setteth fast the mountaines. 2. Whatsoever great work the Lord hath done, he is able and ready to do a greater work, if need, be for his people; He is girded with power.

Ver. 8. Which stillest the noise of the seas: the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.

From the sixth reason taken from his wise and powerful over­ruling all commotions of unruly creatures of whatsoever sort; Learn, 1. There is nothing so turbulent and raging, and rea­sonlesse in the whole world, which God doth not rule and bridle, and make quiet as he pleaseth: He stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waters. 2. As the commotions of people, their seditions, their insurrections and conspiracies against Gods people, within and without the visible Church, are no l [...]sse rage­ing and reasonlesse then are the commotions of the sea: so God hath the ruling of them, as well as of the seas, and by his stilling the noise of the seas, the noise of the waters thereof, he giveth an evidence of his power and purpose to bridle the sury and rage of reasonlesse men, who threaten trouble and destruction to his people; He stilleth their waves, and the tumult of the people.

Ver. 8. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts, [Page 87] are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoyce.

From the seventh reason of Gods praise, taken from the affright ing of all the world by his judgements against the enemies of his people, lest they should attempt the like; Learn, 1. As the Lord can still the tumults of the people, when they rage most; so he can by his terror prevent their commotions against his Church, by shewing them his terrible judgements executed on others, which are the tokens of the power of his displeasure against all who shall dare to be adversaries to his people; They also that dwell in the uttermost parts, are afraid at thy tokens.

The eight reason of Gods praise is, from the joyful tranquilli­ty and peace, which he when he pleaseth, giveth to his people, after he hath setled their enemies rage and power against them▪ Whence learn, As the Lord doth sometime exercise his people, with trouble and persecution from their enemies; so also he can, and doth give them some breathing times, some comfortable seasons, as it were fair dayes from morning to evening; yea sun­dry [...]ull fair dayes, one after another, so that his people are made to rejoyce before him from day to day; Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoyce.

Ver. 9. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.

10. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou setlest the furrowes thereof: thou makest it soft with showres, thou blessest the springing thereof.

11. Thou crownest the yeer with thy goodnesse, and thy paths drop fatnesse.

12. They drop upon the pastures of the wildernesse: and the little hills rejoyce on every side.

13. The pastures are clothed with [...]ocks; the valleyes also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also ring.

The ninth reason of the Lords praise is, from his plentiful fur­nishing of food yearly for man and beast, but in special for his [Page 88] making the promised land fruitful unto his people Israel, when he shall give them rest from their enemies, and peace therein, af­ter their being exercised with troubles. What may be propheti­cal, in this whole Psalme, as touching the Israelites, we will not here enquire; nor how far the Prophet did look beyond his own and Solomons time, when he said, Praise waiteth for thee in Sion, &c. Only, Hence learn general doctrines, 1. The Lords bles­sing of the ground, and making it fruitful, is his coming as it were to visit it; Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it▪ 2. Gods providence is then best seen▪ when particular parts are looked up­on one after another; Thou waterest it, thou enrichest it, tho [...] [...] ­parest them corn, &c. 3. The sending of timely rain, and plent [...] of it, and after that abundance of victual, should not be slightly passed over, but well and carefully marked; for the husbandry is all the Lords: Thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provi­ded for it. 4. Second causes, and the natural course of convey­ing benefits unto us, are not rightly seen, except when God, the first and prime cause, is seen to be nearest unto the actual dispo­sing of them for producing the effect: Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly, &c. Thou [...]ssest the springing thereof. 5. From the one end of the year to the other God hath continual work about the bringing forth of the [...]ruits of the ground, and glo [...]iously doth perfect it once a year; Thou crownest the year by thy goodnesse. 6. Every one of the footsteps of Gods providence, for the p [...]ovision of his peoples food,, hath its own blessing [...], as appeareth in the profitable use of the straw and stubble and chaffe, and multiplication of the seed; Thy paths drop fatnesse. 7. The Lord hath a care to provide food, not only for man, but also [...] beasts; and not only for [...]ame beasts, which are most use­ful for man, but also for wilde beasts in the wildernesse, making his rain to fall on all parts of the ground: They drop upon the pa­stures of the wildernesse, and the little hills rejoyce on every side. 8. Albeit temporal benefits be inferior to spiritual, yet because unto Gods children they be appendices of the spiritual, they are worthy to be taken notice of, and that God should be praised for them; as here the Paslmist sheweth, praising God for spiritual blessings, in the beginning of the Psalm; and here in the end, for temporal benefits. 9. The plurality of Gods creatures, and the comparison of Gods benefits set before our eyes, are the scale, mu­sick book, and noted lessons of the harmony and melody which we ought to have in our hearts, in praising him: yea these bene­fits do begin and take up the song in their own kinde, that we may [Page 89] follow them in our kinde; The pastures are clothed with flocks, the valleyes also are covered over with corn, they shout for joy, they also sing.

PSAL. LVI. To the chief Musician, A song or Psalme.

THis Psalm being all of praises, may be divided into three parts In the first, the Psalmist exhorteth all the earth to praise God, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. and that because of the works which God did of old for his people, ver. 5, 6. and because he is able to do the like when he pleaseth, ver. 7. In the second part, he exhorts the Church of Israel living with him in that age, to praise God for the late experience of Gods goodnesse towards them, in the delivery granted to them out of their late trials, troubles, and sore vevations, ver. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. In the third place, the Prophet expresseth his own purpose of thankfulnesse unto God for the large experience which he had in particular of Gods mercies to himselfe, from ver. 13. to the end.

Ver. 1. MAke a joyful noise unto God, all yee lands.

2. Sing forth the honour of his Name: make his praise glorious.

From this urgent exhortation to praise God; Learn, 1. As the duty of praise is most necessary, and most spiritual: so are we more dull, and indisposed thereto, then to any other exercise spiritual, and had need to be stirred up thereunto; therefore saith he, Make a noise, sing forth, &c 2. The Prophets of old had it revealed unto them, that the Gentiles should be brought to the knowledge of God, and made to worship him; as, Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands, importeth. 3. The praise of the Lord is a task for all the world to be imployed about, and a duty whereunto all are bound, seeing they all do see his works, and all do hold what they have of him; but specially those that hear of him by his Word to whom most specially the Word doth speak; Make a joyful noise all ye lands. 4. Men ought to go about the work of praising God so cheerfully so wisely and so avowedly, as they who do hear his praise spoken of, may understand his Majesty, [Page 90] magnificence, goodnesse, power, and mercy: Make a noise unto God, sing forth the honour of his Name; make his praise glorious.

Ver. 3. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works? through the greatnesse of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

4. All the earth shall worship thee; and shall sing unto thee, they shall sing to thy Name. Selab.

Here the Psalmist, as the Lords pen-man, doth furnish matter and words of praising God unto the hearers, and prophesieth that the fulnesse of the Gentiles shall concurre in his worship, and take part in the song of his praise; Whence learn, 1. Be­cause we can do nothing of our selves in this work of the Lords praise, God must furnish to us matter & words; Say unto God, How terrible, &c. 2. As the work of the praise of God should be done in love and confidence, and sincerity, and in his own strength: so may it be directed to him immediately, and that without flattery; (otherwayes then men are praised) for praise properly is due to God only, and no man can speak of him, except in his own au­dience; Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works? 3. The works of the Lord, every one of them being rightly stu­died, are able to affright us, by discovering the incomparable, dreadful, and omnipotent Majesty of the worker thereof; How terrible art thou in thy works? 4. When the Lord is pleased to let forth his judgements on his adversaries, and to let them see what he can do, none of them dare stand out against him; but if they be not converted, yet will they be forced to feign submission unto him; Through the greatnesse of thy power shall thy enemies submit themselves to them? 5. Over and above what is already accomplished of this prophecie concerning the conversion of the Gentiles, a higher measure is yet to be expected in the bringing in of that number of them, which the Scripture calleth the ful­nesse of the Gentiles; and the making all the Kingdomes of the earth to become the Lords, and his Sonne Christs; for this word in a greater measure then yet is come to passe, must be fulfilled; All the earth shall worship thee, they shall sing unto thee; they shall sing unto thy Name: Which word doth import the revealing of the glad tidings of Jesus Christ unto them, and their joyful ac­ceptation of the Gospel, and glorifying of God for it. 6. As [Page 91] it is the Lords glory to have many praising him: so should it be the joy of all that love him, now to foresee the successe of Christs Kingdome, as well as it was of old, when it was the Churches song; All the earth shall worship thee.

Ver. 5. Come let us see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

6. He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot, there did we rejoyce in him.

7. He ruleth by his power for ever, his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

He pointeth out in special the Lords works, already wrought for his people; Whence learn, 1. Albeit the Lord doth work for the delivery of the Church, and his own glory, yet men are so carelesse, to observe his works, that they can neither make use thereof for their own profit, nor for Gods praise; so that there is much need to stirre up our dulnesse, to observe them and make right use thereof; Come and see the works of God. 2. Whosoever do observe the works of God, which he hath wrought for his peo­ple, they shall be forced to fear and admire his wonderful Acts for them, and his respect unto them; He is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. 3. The work of redemption of his Church out of Egypt, is a work one for all worthy to be made use of to the end of the world; and sufficient to shew, that if need be, God will invert the course of nature for the good of his people, and for their delivery out of difficulties; He turn­ed the sea into dry land. 4. As the Lord will work wonders for the delivery of his people out of misery: so will he work wonders for performing of promises to them, and for bringing them to the possession of what he hath given them right unto; for the drying of the river Iordan, that his people might go in to possesse the pro­mised land, was a pawn and evidence of this his purpose for all time coming; They went through the flood on foot. 5. As all the people of God are one body, and that which is done in one age to one generation doth concern all and every one to make use of it in their generation: so every one in after-ages should reckon themselves one body with the Lords people in former ages, and make use of Gods dealing with them, as if they had been pre­sent [Page 92] then with them, as here the Church in the Psalmists time joyneth it selfe with the Church in Ioshuahs time, rejoycing in God with them, at their entring into Canaan; There did we rejoyce in him, say they. 6. Whatsoever the Lord hath done for his people in any time by-past, he is able and ready to do the like for his people in any time to come; He ruleth by his pouer for ever, and for this cause his former Acts, are perpetual evidences and pledges of like Acts to be done hereafter, as need is. 7. No­thing is done in any place, which the Lord is not witnesse un­to; no plot or motion against his people, which he seeth not: His eyes behold the Nations. 8. Albeit there will be from time to time a generation, who will not submit themselves to this so­vereign Ruler, but will stand out against him, and maligne his Church, yet shall they not long prosper, nor have cause of glori­ation in their rebellion; Let not the rebellious exalt themselves.

ver. 8. O blesse our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard.

9. Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

10. For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

11. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou layedst af­fliction upon our loines.

12. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads, we went through fire, and through water: but thou, broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

In the second part of the Psalm, the Psalmist exhorts the Church in his time, to praise God for preserving them from ex­tirpation in the time of their fiery trial, and sore affliction un­der the tyranny and oppression of their enemies. Whence learn, 1. The Lords people in every age, besides all the reasons they have to praise God for his former works, want not their own particular reasons for his care, providence, and kindnesse to themselves in their own time to stirre up one another to blesse his Majesty; O blesse our God, ye people. 2. It is the Churches proper priviledge, and her glory, above all other incorporations and societies beside, to have special interest in God, as her own; O blesse our God. 3. It is not sufficient that the Lords people [Page 93] acknowledge inwardly the mercies of God to themselves; but it is their duty in an orderly way to bring others on to the knowledge of God, and to shew to others how praise-worthy he is: make the voice of his praise to be heard. 4. Albeit the Lord takes many things away from his people, when he is pleased to exercise them, yet he keeps life in their soul; some sweet communion of spirit between himself and them: and doth not suffer all his people to be extirpate, and rooted out from the earth; Which boldeth our soul in life. 5. It is great mercy to be kept from desperate courses in the time of sad calamities, and to be supported under burdens, that we sink not; and to be prevented from denying of God, or of his truth in time of persecution: He suffereth not our feet to be moved. 6. One end of the troubles of the Church, among others is, the trial of the graces of his people, and purging them from their corruptions: for which cause the Lord useth to bring on one trouble after another, as mettal is put in the fire oftner then once; For thou, O God, hast proved us, thou hast tried [...], as silver is tried. 7. When God doth bring his Church into trial, there is no escaping; we must look for afflicti­on, and not dream of declining it by our own wit or skill; Thou broughtest us into the net, thou layedst affliction upon our [...]ines. 8. It is wisdome and justice and goodnesse in God, to make his people know some time, whether his service or mens ser­vice be most easie; Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads. 9. When Gods service and mens service are compared, the ser­vice of men is a beastly bondage in comparison: for the enemies of the Church will abuse Gods people like beasts, when they fall under their power; Thou hast made men ride over our heads. 10. There is no sort of affliction, nor extremity of affliction, from which the godly may secure themselves, after the time of their entring into their trials, till Gods time come, wherein their triall is to end; We went through fire, and through waters. 11. Af­ter troubles and trials, the Lord giveth ever an event, and a graci­ous delivery to his own, which bringeth as much comfort with it, as their triall had grief in it; But thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

Ver. 13. I will go into thy house with burnt-offer­ings: I will pay thee my vowe [...].

14. Whichmy lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

[Page 94] 15. I will offer unto thee burnt-sacrifices of fat­lings, with the incense of rams: I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

In the third and last part of the Psalme, the Psalmist shew­eth forth his thankfulnesse for the favours shewed to himselfe in particular: and first, he promiseth to acknowledge his obligation to God in the place of publick worship, as the Lord had required in the ceremonial law, ver. 13, 14, 15. Secondly, he declareth his particular experience of Gods mercy, testifying his hearing of his prayer by his acceptance of it, ver. 18, 19. And last of all, he blesseth the Lord for the gracious answer of his prayer, ver. 20.

From the promise, which he maketh of publick acknowledge­ment of the mercy according to the prescript of the Lords ap­pointment; Learn, 1. In common favours and deliveries grant­ed to the visible Church, each true member have their own spe­cial mercies bestowed upon them, beside the common: for which in particular, and for the common mercies also, they ought pub­lickly to be thankful, as the Psalmist is here, saying, I will go into thy house with burnt-offerings. 2. As it is a token of lively faith in desperate troubles to trust in God, and to hope for his deliverance, and to promise him praise before the delivery come: so is it a token of an upright heart, to be as willing to perform promises after the benefit received, as it was ready to make pro­mises, before the benefit received; I will pay thee my vowes which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken when I was in trouble. 3. As our persons and best service are polluted, except they be cleansed by the sacrifice of Christ: so in our approaches unto God we should acknowledge the sinfulnesse of our persons and performances, and the need we stand in of Christs medi­ation, and the riches of grace bestowed upon us through him, who perfumeth our persons, and prayers, and praises, as was sha­dowed forth in the ceremonies of the law; for this was the Pro­phets meaning, when he said, I will offer unto thee burnt-sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams: I will offer bullucks with goats, which were appointed in the law to be offered, partly for sin, and partly by way of thanksgiving.

Ver. 16. Come and hear all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soule.

[Page 95] 17. I cried unto him with my mouth: and he was extolled with my tongue.

From his declaration of his lately felt experience of Gods mer­cy to him; Learn, 1. A spiritual man, as he will not neglect out­ward rites of commanded publick worship: so will he not rest on them, but will go about the real glorifying of God before others, as the Psalmist doth here; Come and hear what the Lord hath done for my soul. 2. The true disciples of Gods grace, who can best discern of Gods works, and of the experience of others, and who will be most ready to praise God with us, are those that fear God; Come and hear, all ye that fear God; I will declare what he hath done for my soul. 3. It is no lesse needful for the glorifying of God, and edification of others, to make the way of our coming by a benefit manifest to others, that it was by the use of holy ordinances, then to make mention of the benefit it selfe; I cried [...]nto him, saith he; that is, I was instant in prayer for the benefit. 4. There are cases wherein the uttering of words in prayer, do serve much, not only for our own up-stirring, and fixing of our mindes, and for others edification; but also concerneth Gods glo­ry, on whom we professe dependance, and in whom we acknow­ledge power and goodnesse to dwell; And he was extolled with my tongue.

Ver. 18. If I regard iniquity in my heart: the Lord will not hear me.

19. But verily God hath heard me: he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

From the clearing of his sincerity in prayer; Learn, 1. Since­rl [...]y of heart should be joyned with the supplication of the mouth, and with selfe examination, that we may be sure we pray sin­cerely: for, If I regard iniquity in my heart, imports so much in the Psalmists practice. 2. He is an upright man in Gods ac­compt, who doth not entertain affection to any known sin, but doth oppose it sincerely in Gods sight; for this the Psalmist bring­eth for the proof of his sincerity, that he did not regard sin in his heart. 3. Those onely are the s [...]nners, whose prayer God will not hear; who live in the love of known sins, and pray for having satisfaction to their corrupt lusts. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. 4. The lawful prayer of the [Page 96] upright heart, shall be granted in substance, and it may be just a [...] it was desired; which as it is no small mercy, so should it be well marked, as the return of our prayer; But verily God hath heard me, he hath attended to the voice of my supplication.

Ver. 20. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Her closeth with thanksgiving for this particular experience, as an evidence of the running of the fountain of Gods mercy toward him. Whence learn, 1. As it is no small mercy, that our pray­ers are not rejected of God; albeit he should delay to answer us for a long time; so when he delayeth not to answer us, the mercy is the greater, and ought to be acknowledged in both respects Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer. 2. Th [...] gracious answer of an upright supplication, evidenceth ready ac­cesse prepared yet mo [...]e for the supplicant, to the fountain o [...] Gods mercy; and this is yet more mercy: He hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

PSAL. LXVII. To the chief Mufician on Neginoth. A Ps [...]lm or song.

THis Psalm is a prophetical prayer for a blessing upon the Church of the ewes, for the good of the Gentiles, and en­larging of the Kingdom of Christ among them. The petition is propounded, ver. 1, 2 In the next place, is an acclamation with the Gentiles, glorifying of God at their in-bringing, now foreseen that it should come most certainly, ver. 3, 4. In the third place, the Church of the Jewes do applaud the second time the conversion of the Gentiles, and their praising of God, promising to them­selves that by that meanes the increase of Gods blessing on them shall follow, and the enlarging of the Kingdom of God; through all the world, ver. 5, 6, 7.

Ver. 1. GOD be merciful unto us, and blesse u [...] and cause his face to shine upon us. Sela [...]

[Page 97] 2. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy s [...] ­ving health among all nations.

This is the blessing which the Lord commanded the children of Aaron to pronounce upon the people of Israel, Numb. 6. 22, 23. [...]hich here the people do turn into a prayer, for the drawing in [...]f the Gentiles unto Gods service. Whence learn, 1. It is safe turning of Gods offers, promises, and forms of blessing of his people into prayers; we are sure so to pray according to Gods will, as the Church doth here. 2. It is the duty of every citizen of the Church, as lively members of that body, to pray for the blessing of God upon all his people; God be merciful unto us, and cause his face to shine upon us. 3. Then are the Lords people blessed, when God doth make them instrumental to enlarge his King­dome, and to propagate the true Religion, that is, the doctrine of mans salvation, and Gods service: and this should be the aim we should shoot at▪ in seeking any blessing to his people, That the Lord may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all the na­tions 4. The world is ignorant of true Religion, till God by his own instruments reveale it; and no way of Religion will please God, nor profit men, save Gods way only, wherein he will have men to walk in the course of faith and obedience, and wherein he revealeth how he will deal with us, and how we must behave our selves toward him; Therefore say they, That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

Ver. 3. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

4. O let the nations be glad, and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selab.

The Psalmist foreseeth by the revelation of Gods Spirit, that the Gentiles shall be converted, and shall rejoyce in God, and praise him, and therefore will have the Church of the Jewes to welcome them, and to joyn in acclamation of praise to God with them, because of Christs reigning among them, and ruling them by his most holy lawes. Whence learn. 1. The manifestation of Gods freely gifted salvation in Christ, and the revealing of his manner of dealing with people, and how he will have people deal with him, and one with another, is a matter of unspeak [...]ble praise [Page 98] to God, and joy to men, to whom this grace is revealed, that thy saving health may be known among all nations: let the people praise thee, O God. 2. True converts unto Christ, besides the joy they have of their own salvation, have also daily new accession of joy at the conversion of others, as they come in and ought to blesse and praise God heartily with them, when they behold their conver­sion; Let all the people praise thee: do they say twice, and here­after also the third time. 3. The conversion of the Gentiles was not a thing only wished for by the Church of the Jewes, but also prophesied of unto them clearly: O let the nations be glad, and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, &c. 4. The Spirit which did endite the Psalmes, did not degrade the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ from his Godhead, for his future incarnation; but speaketh of him, and to him, as God blessed for ever; that is, the true God, to the Jewish Church before his coming: and true God, to the converted Gentiles after his coming in the flesh, one with the Father and holy Spirit; for sixe times in this Psalm he is called God, and acknowledged here to be the fountain of mercy, and blessing to men, and of manifested reconciliation with men; and the object of all divine ho­nour and praise, and God the Lord, and Law-giver of the con­verted Gentiles; Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and go­vern the nations upon earth. 5. The doctrine and discipline of Christ, whereby he judgeth and governeth his Church, is most holy and righteous, and in as far as particular Churches and Christians submit themselves to his Lawes, Doctrine, and Government, they are his true subjects, and shall finde the fruit of his governing and judging; For these shall he judge righ­teously, unto these shall he do the part of a Governour, even on earth; He shall govern the nations upon earth.

Ver. 5. Let the people praise thee, O God, let a [...] the people praise thee.

6. Then shall the earth yield her increase, and God, even our own God shall blesse us.

7. God shall blesse us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

In the last place, the Jewish Church giveth a second accla­mation to the incoming of the Gentiles, and do promise to themselves by that meanes Gods blessing more abun­dantly [Page 99] upon themselves, as now being one body with the Gentiles, in the same Covenant of grace with them. Whence learn, 1. As the conversion of the Gentiles was esteemed by the Jewes, a matter worthy to be oftner presented to God, and prayed for, and earnestly pursued by all that lo­ved God; so was it foreseen to bee a matter of grow­ing and lasting joy to men, and growing and lasting praise to God, and to Christ, who is God, the Con­verter of them, and the Governour and Teacher of them effectually, to know his Name and salvation; Let all the people praise thee, O God, let all the people praise thee. 2. The Spirit of God gave the Church of the Jewes to understand, that the conversion of the Gentiles, especially the conversion of the fulnesse of the Gentiles, (which here is prayed for, when he saith, Let all the people praise thee) was to be a means or a mercy antecedent unto, or nearly joyned with the bringing in and blessing of the Jewish Church, and possibly in their own land; Then shall the earth yield her increase, and God even our own God shall blesse us: for by the earth he meaneth the promised land of Ca­naan, which hath been, and is accursed, during the time of their ejection out of it. 3. When God shall be gracious to the Jewes, after the conversion and bringing in of the Gentiles, and shall renew the Covenant with them in Christ, it shall fare the better with true Religion, and with the Christian Churches among the Gentiles; it shall be to them as a resurrection from the dead, in regard both of the purity of Doctrine and Worship, and of the multiplica­tion of persons converted unto Christ in all places; God shall blesse us (saith he then,) and what more? And all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

PSAL. LXVIII. To the chief Musician. A Psalm or song of David.

THis Psalm is very suitable to that time, when David having gotten the victory over his enemies round about, did assemble all Israel, and carried the A [...]k of God, now returned from the land of the Philistines, triumphantly out of the house of Obed-Edom, into the City of David, as a type of Christs ascen­sion after the work of Redemption in the world. In which P [...]lm after the manner that Moses prayed unto God, or to Christ who was to be incarnate, when the Ark did march; Da­vid prayeth here first against the Lords enemies, ver. 1, 2. And then for the Lords people, ver. 3. In the next place, he exhort­eth all the Lords people to praise God, ver. 4. and giveth twelve or thirteen reasons for it; First, because of his mercy to the deso­late and afflicted, ver. 5, 6. Secondly, because of his wonderful­nesse and terriblenesse in delivering of his people out of bondage, as appeared in his bringing of his people out of Egypt, and through the wildernesse, ver. 7, 8. Thirdly, because of his fatherly care to entertain his redeemed people; as did appear in his nourishing of his Church in Canaan, ver. 9, 10. Fourthly, because of the victories which he giveth usually to his people, when their ene­mies do invade them, ver. 11, 12. Fifthly, because of the deli­very which he will give to his people out of their most sad cala­mities, as he hath oftentimes given proof, ver. 13, 14. Sixthly, because his Church is the most glorious Kingdome in the world, being compared therewith, ver. 15, 16. Seventhly, because Christ the King of the Church, hath all the Angels at his com­mand to serve him: and having ended the work of Redemption, was to ascend gloriously, for sending down gifts to his Church, and ruling of it, ver. 17, 18. Eightly, because of Gods bounty to his people, in daily renewed mercies, till he perfect the work of their salvation. ver. 19, 20. Ninethly, because of his avenging of himself upon all his enemies, ver. 21. Tenthly, because God hath undertaken to work over again in effect, as need shall re­quire, what he hath done in bringing his people out of Egypt, and in giving them victory over the Canaanites, ver. 22, 23. [Page 101] whereof the experience of his power, already manifested for Israel, was a proof and pledge sufficient, ver. 24, 25, 26, 27. Eleventhly, because it was decreed by God, to establish his Church, and to make her strong, by making Kings to become converts, ver. 28, 29. and that partly by treading down some of her enemies, ver. 30. and partly by making others, even some of her greatest enemies, to seek reconciliation with God, even her God. ver. 31. Twelfthly, he exhorteth to praise God, because of his omnipotent power, in conversion of Kingdomes, ready to be let forth for the defence of his people, ver. 31, 32, 33, 34. and ready to overthrow their enemier, and all for the strengthen­ing of his Church: for all which he exhorteeh all to blesse the Lord, ver. 35.

Ver. 1. LEt God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him, flee before him.

2. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as waxe melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

3. But let the righteous be glad: let them rejoyce before God; yea let them exceedingly rejoyce.

In Davids prayer against his enemies, and for Gods people▪ Learn, 1. Such prayers as the Spirit hath endited unto the Saints, in Scripture, it is lawful and expedient for strengthening of our faith, to use the same or the like words in the like case; for David prayeth here, as Moses prayed at the marching of the Ark, Numb. 10. 35. Let God arise, &c. 2. As the Ark was amongst the Israelites, so is Christ amongst his people: and what ground of confidence the Church had, because of that pledge of Gods presence at t [...]e Ark; we have the same, and a more sure ground of confidence in Christs incarnation, represented there­by; that upon every appearance of his beginning to stirre against the enemies of his work, we may say, Let God arise. 3. The enemie; of the Church are the enemies of God, and esteemed haters of him, because they are haters of his people; with whom, albeit the Lord doth be [...]r for a while, yet will he take order, when he pleaseth; it will not cost him much labour: on [...]y, Let God arise and let his enemies b [...] scattered 4. Although all the enemies of God make head against his people, yet will they not [Page 102] prevaile, when God appeareth, they will turn back; Let them al­so that hate him, flee before him. 5. Whatsoever strength of for­ces or number the enemies of Gods people have in appearance, it is nothing before God, but like smoak before the winde, and waxe before the fire; As smoak is driven away [...]s waxe melteth before the fire: so let the wicked, perish at the presence of God. 6. Albeit the Lord exercise his people with affliction, and with grief for a while, yet he alloweth unto them comfort and joy, whatsoever become of their enemies: But let the righteou [...] be glad. 7. The only true matter of the Saints joy is God him­selfe, and his manifested presence; and he will not be pleased, except his children lift up their hearts, and comfort themselves in him above and against all grief and sense of whatsoever ene­mies opposition; Let them rejoyce before God, yea let them ex­ceedingly rejoyce.

Ver. 4. Sing unto God, sing praises to his Name: extoll him that rideth upon the heavens, by his Name JAH, and rejoyce before him.

From his exhortation of the Church to praise God with the joyful voice of singing; Learn. 1. Vocal singing of praises unto God, is a moral duty, and a part of his holy worship, frequently called for in Scripture; Sing unto God, sing praises to his Name. 2. Our thoughts of God should not be base, but high and hea­venly, lifting his Name up above the most glorious creatures; all they bei [...] but his servants▪ as he pleaseth to make use of them: Extoll him that rideth upon the heavens. 3. The Lord is onely and properly wo [...]thy of praise▪ because he onely hath his being of himself, and giveth be [...] to all things, which are beside him­selfe; His Name is JAH. 4. The Lords praises are his peoples advantage▪ and the true matter of their confidence and joy; Sing praises to him, and rejoyce before him.

Ver. 5. A Father of the fatherlesse, and a Iudge of the widowes is God in his holy habitation.

6. God setteth the solitary in families: he bring­eth out those that are bound with chaines; but the rebelli­ous dwell in a dry land.

[Page 103] From the first r [...]on of the exhortation to praise God; Learn, 1. The Lords highnesse above the heavens doth not hinder him from taking notice of the lowest of his poor people; yea the most helplesse and desolate among men, are the first objects of his warmest love; A Father of the fatherlesse, and a Iudge of the widows is God. 2. Albeit the Lord be infinite and incompre­hensible by any place, yet hath he appointed a trusting place where his people shall finde him by his own ordinance, to wit, the assembly of his Saints, his holy Temple, shadowing forth Christ to be incarnate, who now is in heaven, now is incarnate, and sitting at the right hand of God, in whom dwells the God­head, here, here is God to be found: God in his holy habitation. 3. It is the Lords nature, pleasure, and ordinary practise, to make up the wants, and to change to the better the disconsolate condition of his own humbled and emptied children; God setteth the solitary in families. 4. The souls that are most sensible of bonds and bondage, do lie nearest the seeking of the fruit of his redemption; yea, none in bonds have made or shall make use of God the Redeemer, but his bonds and [...]etters hindering him from freedome of Gods service, and from attaining of felicity, have been and shall be loosed off him: he bringeth out those which are bound in chaines. 5. Such as will not be ruled by his Word, according as they are disloyal rebels to him, so shall they be dealt with as rebels; that is, they shall neither have Gods blessing joyned with any benefit which they seem to possesse, nor any spiritual comfort in their afflictions, when their calamity com­eth upon them: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

Ver. 7. O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou diddest march through the wildernesse. Selah.

8. The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God, even Sinai it self was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

From the second reason of praising God, Learn, 1. It is ex­pedient for our up-stirring unto thankfulnesse, to cast our eye upon some particulars wherein the Lords goodnesse to us, and our obligation to his love, may appear, as here the P [...]almist doth lead us by the hand unto the Lords particular work of redempti­on of Israel out of Egypt. 2. That one work of the Churches delivery out of Egypt, representing the redemption of his people [Page 104] from the misery of sin, and Satans bondage, [...] a sufficient proof for ever of the Lords love, care power, and faithfulnesse, to deliver his own out of all their misery; which the Church, and every mem­ber thereof should alwayes make use of unto the end of the world, whether we look upon that work in the type singly, or as it is a representation or pawne of the spiritual delivery of his peo­ple, this work should we often look upon, and still hold it up un­to God; O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didde [...] march through the wildernesse. 3. In the wo [...]ke of the Lord it is needful not only to look upon that which may foster saith in God, and love toward him, but also to set before us, what may serve to keep our hearts in fear and awe of his dreadful Majesty; The earth shook, the heavens dropped at the presence of God, even Sinai it self was moved at the presence of God, even the God of Israel.

Ver. 9. Thou. O God, didst send a plentiful raine, whereby thou didst confirme thine inheritance, when it was weary.

10. Thy Congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodnesse for the poor.

From the third reason of Gods praise: Learne, 1. The or­dinary sustaining of Gods people bodily and spiritually in the possession of any benefit temporal or spiritual given unto them, should be observed, as well as the bestowing of any be­nefit in an extraordinary way, as here the ordinary sustaining of Israel in Canaan, is made a part of the song of praise, no lesse then their miraculous delivery out of Egypt; Thou, O Lord, didst send a plentiful rain whereby thou didst confirme thine inhe­ritance, when it was we [...]ry. 2. The people who are in Cove­nant with God externally, are the Lords own peculiar, more nearly and properly then any other society in the world; there­fore Israel here is called by the Prophet speaking to God, Thy Congregation. 3. It is for the Churches cause, that the land wherein his people dwelleth, is blessed at any time by God; Thy Congregation hath dwelt in it. 4. The blessing bestowed upon the Church or the place wherein they dwell, is not given for a­ny goodnesse in his people, but for the goodnesse, grace and good will of God to them; Thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodnesse for the poor.

Ver. 11. Th [...] Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

12. Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that [...]rried at home divided the spoile.

From the fourth reason of praise; Learn, 1. The Lord will sometime exercise his Church with warres, afflictions and trials, when he doth not intend to punish them, but to give them the victory over their enemies, and that for his own glory, as in Io­shuahs time and Davids, whereunto the text doth relate. The matter of joyful newes, or the word of the Churches victory o­ver her [...]oes, whensoever it is, proceeds from the Lord, who furnisheth matter for, and words, and utterance of joy to his people, and praise to himself: The Lord gave the word. 2. When God will glorifie himself by comforting his Church, he shall not want Heraulds of his praise; Great was the company of those that published it. 3. Were the enemies of the Church never so powerful, and Gods people never so far [...]e inferiour unto their enemies in power, yet shall the enemy not be able to stand, when God begins to fight for his people: Kings of armies did flee apacc. 4. It is easie for the Lord to make them a prey to the weakest of his people, who do set themselves to make ha­vock of the Church, yea and to inrich his people with the spoil of such adversaries: She that tarried at home, divided the spoile.

Ver. 13. Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a Dove, covered with sil­ver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

14. When the Almighty scattered Kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.

From the fifth reason of praise; Learn, 1. As the Lord some­times doth beautifie his people with victories and wealth: so also at other times for just reasons, he will darken all their outward glory, and make them look as blacked scullions in the kitchin; Though ye have lien among the pots, &c. 2. The Lord after the trial and hard exercises of his people for a time, will give them so glorious an event and delivery, as shall take off all the igno­miny of their former affliction, and make up all their losses, yea [Page 106] he will cause their formerly deforming affl [...]ions, to serve for washing-balls of sope, to make them so much more beautiful; Though ye have lien among the pots, ye shall be as the wings of a Dove, covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. 3. Experiences of mercies shewen to the Lords people, are pawns and evidences of like mercies in time to come, as here, When the Almighty scattered Kings in the land, it was made white, is made a proof of the Promise made, ver. 13. 4. As a dark, duskie mountain, whereupon groweth no green thing, but black h [...]th, is made white, when covered with snow: so is a disgra­ced, shamed, impoverished, inslaved land made glorious a­gain by a merciful manner of delivery manifesting the Lords kinde respects unto it; When the Almighty scattered Kings in Iudea, it was made white as snow in Salmon.

Ver. 15. The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan, an high hill as the hill of Bashan.

16. Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in: yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever.

From the sixth reason of praise; Learne, 1. The Kingdomes of this world, especially some of them of more eminent sort, do seem very rich and glorious in comparison of the outward appearance of the Kingdome of Christ in his Church, as the great, high, and fruitful hill of Bashan seemed to be more glori­ous then the hill of Sion; yet all things being compared, in speci­all the spiritual priviledges of the one with the tempor [...]l privi­ledges of the other, the Church of God will outreach the most glorious Kingdom on the earth: The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan, an high hill as the hill of Bashan. 2. Although the Kingdomes of the world rejoyce in their Prerogatives, and despise the Kingdom of Christ in his Church, yet have they no cause to exalt themselves: Why leap ye, ye high hills? 3. This one priviledge of the Church, that it is the place of Gods resi­dence, wherein he will manifest himself familiarly and com­fortably to his own, may oversway all the excellency of all the Kingdomes of the world; no Kingdom which hath not Gods Church in it, can say the like; This is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever.

Ver. 17. [...]he chariots of God are twenty thou­sand, even th [...]usands of Angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

Ver. 18. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men: yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.

From the seventh reason of praise, Learn, 1. No Kingdome hath such defence, so potent and so numerous armies to fight their battels as the Church hath; The chariots of God are twen­ty thousand, even thousands of Angels. 2. The defence of An­gels is made fast to his Church, and their power made sure to be for her, because God is in his Church, even the Lord whom all Angels do serve and attend upon, is in his Church, as at his giving of the law upon Mount Sinai did appear; The Lord is among them, as in Sinai. 3. The Lord is no lesse ter­rible against his foes in Sion, then in Sinai; and whatsoever terrour the Lord did shew to his Church in Sinai against the violaters of his law, he will manifest it for the comfort and de­fence of his people, who heartily embrace his Gospel: The Lord is among them, to wit, these chariots and Angels, as in Sinai, so in the holy place. 4. The Ark was not more gloriously convey­ed from the house of O [...]ed-edom unto the city of David, then God, that is, Christ, who is God, who descended to assume hu­mane nature, that he might therein perfect the work of Re­demption, did gloriously ascend into heaven, after the price of Redemption was paid by him; Thou hast ascended on high, Eph. 4. 8, 9, 10. 5. The praises of God, and joy of the Church are perfected in Christ; no satisfaction in the shadows, till Christ the substance be looked unto; therefore here the Lords Spirit led his people to look through the shadow of the ascending of the Ark toward the city of David, unto the a­scending of God incarnate (represented by the Ark) into hea­ven: Thou hast ascended on high. 6. Christ did not enter into his glory without a battel going before, and that with strong and many enemies: and in his fighting he carried the victory, and after his victory he did triumph, first in the Crosse, and then in his Ascension, over sin, Satan, the world, hell, grave and all: He led captivity captive. 7. Christ as Mediatour and King of his Church, was fully furnished with all things need­ful, [Page 108] for gathering his Church, for edifying, governing and per­fecting of it: Thou hast received gifts for men; even those gifts which the Apostle speaketh of, for the gathering and edifying of the body of the Saints, Eph. 4. 11, 13. 8. The gifts which Christ hath received and given forth, are not for the Jewes on­ly, or Gentiles only; for the poore only, or rich only; but for men indefinitely: Thou hast received gifts for men. 9 As he hath received gifts for bringing on to life those that are recon­ciled: so also to conquer, subdue and bring in rebels, and to reconcile enemies: Thou hast received gifts for men, yea and for the rebellious also. 10. The end of Christs Ascension, and re­ceiving and sending down gifts among men, is to gather and preserve, and establish unto God a Church in the world, where­in he may make himself manifest, and dwell and rule in the midst of his enemies: Thou hast received gifts for men, that the Lord might dwell among them. 11. Yea what [...]oever gifts are bestowed upon unregenerate men within the visible Church or without it, which may any way be serviceable to the Church, they are all bestowed on them in favour of the Church, that God may dwell in his visible Church, which by those gifts is edified; Thou hast received gifts for men, yea for the rebellious also, tha [...] the Lord God might dwell among them.

Ver. 19. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

20. He that is our God, is the God of salva­tion: and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

From the eighth reason of praise; Learne, 1. Where the Lord will be merciful, he will be merciful, and not weary in doing good to his people in a current course of bounty; the ob­servation whereof should stirre up our hearts to thankfulnesse: Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits. 2. The favours and benefits which God doth bestow upon his people, do come in greater number and measure unto them, then they are able to acknowledge, make use of, or be thankful for, and so in a sort do burden the spirits of the truly godly: Blessed b [...] God, who daily loadeth us with benefits. 3. As all benefits do flow unto Gods children from the covenanted kindnesse of [Page 109] God for giving unto them eternal salvation; so should all be­nefits confirm their faith in the Covenant, and lead them to the hope of receiving after all other benefits, salvation also; Blessed be the lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. 4. Albeit the Covenant of salvation be sure and solid in it self, yet are we slow to beleeve it, & weak in our laying hold of it; and have need to have the stamp and impression of it set deep upon our hearts, as here the Psalmist teacheth the Church by inculcating this point: He that is our God, is the God of salvation. 5. Temporal things which men do idolize, may serve a man in this life; but at death, in death, and after death he can have no good by them; It is God only who can deliver from death, and give an issue out of it: Unto God the Lord belong the issues of death. 6. Let a man be once setled in the faith of his salvation, then he shall be comforted against all the troubles and dangers wherein he can fall, yea even against death it self; if he can say, He that is our God, is the God of sal­vation, he may also say with confidence and application to him­self, and comfort, Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.

Ver. 21. But God will wound the head of his ene­mies: and the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses.

From the ninth reason of Gods praise; Learne, 1. How great soever be the majesty of God, and the riches of bounty and grace offered in Christ, yet will men be found even within the visible Church, who will wickedly refuse his grace, and oppose his Kingdom, but all to their own shame and damage; But God shall wou [...]d the head of his enemies. 2. The character of Gods irreconcileable enemies is, that they cease not to follow the course of sin: He goeth on still in his trespasses. 3. Though God spare his enemies long, and suffer them to grow old in the course of enmity against him, yet shall shameful, sudden and irrecoverable judgements overtake them in their old dayes; But God shall wound the hoary scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses.

Ver. 22. The Lord said, I will bring again fro [...] Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depth [...] of the sea.

23. That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.

[Page 110] From the tenth reason of praise, wherein the Prophet promi­seth in the Lo [...]ds Name, that God shall work over again such works of delivery to his people, and such works▪ of victory o­ver their enemies, as he had wrought before; Learn, 1. The Lords Word is certainly sufficient for performance of his pro­mises, and ground of comfort and confidence, and thanksgi­ving and praise to God even before the work be wrought; The Lord said, I will bring again, &c. 3. As the Lord will have the memory of former dangers and delive [...]ies of his Church kept in remembrance for his own glory: so will he have former dan­gers for his peoples good to be looked upon as advertisements of what straits his Church may be cast into, and his former merciful deliveries looked upon as pledges and pawns of the promises of like mercies in time to come, as need shall require: I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea, doth import thus much. 3. As the Lord will give as great deliverances to his Church, when they are in straits as ever he did before▪ so wil he give as terrible blows to his adver­saries as ever he did, according as the Churches need or good shal require; I will bring again from Bashan, &c. that thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thy enemies. 4. Albeit neither the Lord nor his people do delight in bloodshed, yet will he let his people and all men see, in the bloodshed of their enemies, how terrible he is in justice, especially against the enemies of his Church, and how dear his people are to him, and that rather then they should be overthrown, he will destroy Nations for their safety; and give unto his people in their own defence against their op­pressors, notable victories; So that thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies. 5 When the Lord thinks it fit, not to make his own people instrumental in their own delivery, then can he yoke the enemies among themselves, or raise up pro [...]ane dogs like themselves to avenge the quarrel of the Lords people upon their enemies: That the tongue of thy dogs may be dipped in th [...] [...]ame; that is, in the blood of thine enemies.

Ver. 24. They have [...] thy goings. O God, even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

25. The singers went before, the players on instru­ments followed after; amongst them were the damo­s [...]ls playing with timbrels.

To confirme what is promised, he bringeth forth old experi­ences acknowledged by the enemies, registred in the Word of the Lord, and read in the Temple. Whence learn, 1. The Lord useth to work so evidently for his people, and against his ene­mies, that both his people and their enemies are made witnes­ses, and are forced to acknowledge the Lords work; They have seen thy goings, O God. 2. It is the glory of a people, when God so worketh, as he is seen to be their God, their leader, their de­fender, and all as in Covenant with them: They have seen thy goings, O God, even the goings of my God, saith he. 3. That Gods honour may be seen, mans honour should be laid down at his feet; and put case a man were the greatest King, yet is it greater glory and matter of contentment to have God for his King, then to be a King without God; They have seen thy go­ings, O my God, my King, (saith David, now setled in the King­dom.) 4. The most clear, sure and profitable sight of the Lord [...] work and wayes, is to be had in the use of publick ordinances, where his Name, Nature, Covenant and course he keepeth with all men, together with the causes, use and ends of his works are to be seen; They have seen the goings of my God in the san­ctuary. 5. Where all the people receive a benefit, it becometh all the people publickly and solemnly, and with their best ex­pression of affection, as God doth appoint, to praise God, and in his worship to see that all things may be done orderly, as Israel did, when they came through the red sea, and at other times as the Lord gave occasion: The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after, amongst them, in the middle-ward, the Damo [...] playing with timbrels. 6. All the powers of our soul [...] and bodies should concurre each of them in their own order with the best harmony of knowledge, affections and expressions, which can be attained unto, for setting forth the Lords praises, and our obligation to him for his goodnesse of his people, and so should [...] [...]rch on all the dayes of our pilgrimage and war­fare, till we come to the promised rest: for this did the external ceremonies used under the pedagogie of the Law, teach. Which [Page 112] ceremonies although they be abolished now, yet the sub [...] and intended duties pointed at in them, being moral, do sti [...] remain; The fingers went before, players on instruments follw­ed a [...]ter, &c.

Ver. 26. Blesse ye God in the Congregations: even the Lord from the fountain of Israel.

27. There is little Benjamin with their Ruler, the Princes of Iudah, and their Councel, the Princes of Zebulun, and the Princes of Naphtali.

As the Psalmist did clear the doctrine of Gods dealing for his Church, and against their enemies by experiences of ol [...] so he points here at experience later, as was to be seen by all, at the glorious triumphing of Israel over all their enemies, when they were now assembled in their several tribes, the least as well as the greatest, the most remote tribes, as well as those that were nearest hand; all of them conveying the Ark of God unto the City of David, which was the type of Christ, God incarnate, ascending after his victories into heaven. Whence learn, 1. The mercies of God to his people, in special the great work of Re­demption, and victory over all enemies obtained by Christ in favour of his people, are abundant matter and cause to praise God, and to blesse him in all the assemblies of the Church; for here it is a commanded duty: Blesse ye God in the Congregati­ons. 2. Whatsoever be the part of others in discharging of this duty, it is expected most at the hands of every kindly Israelite, who draw their original from the fountain of Israel, whether they be of the natural stock of Iacob, descended of him, as wa­ter out of a fountain, or have their descent of the same Spirit of regeneration with him: Blesse ye God, even the Lord from the fountain of Israel. 3. Examples and practices of Gods children at any time, are the encouragements of his people at all time [...] thereafter: There is little Benjamin with their Rulers, &c. set forth here for example. 4. The Piety of Governors, and their precedencie before, or joyning with others in the Lords service, is more honourable unto them then their places of dig­nity, or their gifts of wisdom and power: There were the Princes of Judah. with their Councel, the Princes of Zebulun, and the Princes of Naphtali. 5. In the exercise of Gods worship, and in priviledges spiritual, the Lord doth joyne the smallest with [Page] the greatest, the lowest with the highest, that the lo [...] [...] [...]n their exaltation, and the highest in their hum [...] [...] [...]s little Benjamin with Iudah, the people with thei [...] [...] [...]d Rulers.

Ver. 28. Thy God hath commanded thy strength: [...]rengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.

29. Because of thy temple at Ierusalem, shall kings. bring presents unto thee.

From the eleventh reason of Gods praise; Learn, 1. Not in Kings, or Rulers, or any thing else, but in the Lord and from the Lord, is the strength of his Church, which she may expect alwayes to be furnished with by vertue of the Covenant; Thy God hath commanded thy strength, saith Da­vid to the Church. 2. As the Lord hath dec [...]eed to esta­blish his Church: so hath he meanes and instruments in every age and place prepared for this pu [...]pose, and hath gi­ven out order by actual providence; which is alwayes going about the work in all ages; Thy God hath com [...]anded thy stren [...]th. 3. The Lords decree and the order given forth to accomplish it, consisteth well with the Churches using of all lawful meanes to further that end, and in spe [...]ial should be joyned with thankful acknowledging of what [...]he Lord hath begun to do, or done already for it, and with earnest prayer for accomplishing of what is to be further done: so teach­eth Davids example and prayer here: Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us. 4. The Lords knowne presence in his Chuch, maintaining and blessing of his publick Ordinances, shall move kings at last to do homage to God in­carnate; that is, to Christ represented by his dwelling in the Temple of Ierusalem: Because of thy temple at Ierusalem, shalt kings bring presents unto thee.

Ver. 30. Rebuke the company of spearmen, the [...]ltitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in warre.

31. Princes shall come out of Egypt, Ethiopia shall s [...]n stretch out her hands unto God.

[Page 114] How this shall come to passe, he sheweth; to wit, partly by breaking the power of some of them, when they make opposition; partly by powerful conversion of other some. Whence learn, 1. It is not against the precept of love, to pray against publick enemies of the Church, when private spleen is not the motive, but zeal to the glory of God; Rebuke the company of spearmen. 2. The leaders of armies, parties, and factions against Gods Church and cause, and the followers of such leaders, are all of them a company of beasts; Rebuke the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people. 3. God is adversary to all who do oppose his people, and his cause in their hand, and can as easily repulse them really, and overturn them, as reprove them verbally: Re­buko the spearmen, &c. 4. The end of the Churches prayer against her enemies, is, that God m [...]y be glorified, and people at least brought to outward obedience unto God, which may be a means to real conversion in Gods time; Rebuke them, &c. till every one of them submit themselves, with pieces of silver; that is, till they offer to contribute to Gods service 5. The punish­ing of some of Gods enemies, may be a meanes to move others to offer obedience, and submit to God, when people that delight in warre are scattered; For Princes shall come out of Egypt. 6. God will draw into subjection unto himself, some of his most open and inveterate enemies; Princes shall come out of Egypt, Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto thee.

Ver. 32. Sing unto God, ye kingdomes of the earth: O sing praises unto the Lord. Selah.

33. To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old: lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.

34. A [...]cribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.

35. O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength anll power unto his people: blessed be God.

From the l [...]st reason of praising of God, taken from his Al­mighty power, in conversion of Kingdomes of Gentiles, ready to be put forth for the preservation of his Church gathered, and for the overthrow of his enemies. Learn, 1. The ti [...] [Page 115] shall come, when the kingdomes of the earth shall turn Chri­stians in profession, in a greater measure then yet hath been seen, for, Sing unto God, ye kingdomes of the earth: is not a sim­ple telling of their duty, but a prophecie of their joyful joyning in the worship of God; and that they shall have cause of joy within themselves to praise him; O sing praises to the Lord. 2. True Converts will renounce Idols and false gods, and reve­rently worship the omnipotent Creato [...] and Governour of hea­ven, the eternal God: Sing praises to God that rideth upon the heaven of heavens, that were of old. 3. As the glorious govern­ment of heaven doth shew the Lords power; so the thunder also doth shew his power and terror, the consideration where­of is needful to dispose our stupid mindes to praise him; Lo, he doth send forth his voice, even a mighty voice. 4. The right use of Gods great, and sensible, and daily seen works, is to make us to glorify the power of God, who is able to work whatsoever he pleaseth; Ascribe strength unto the Lord. 5. The Lords glory in his Church is more excellent then all that is to be seen in the works of Creation: His excellency is over Israel. 6. The true worshipper must study the power and all other properties of God, both by what he hears in the society of the Church, and by what he seeth in his visible works; as well dai­ly transient works; such as the clouds are, as constantly enduring works, such as the heavens are: His excel [...]ency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds. And surely it is no small power, which doth bear up such weight of mountaines of snow, and seas of water, and doth make them saile as it were, and flee with wings in the aire, which God doth dissolve by sittle and little, as we daily behold. 7. Wheresoever God sheweth his presence, whe­ther in heaven, or in his Church, in any place of the earth, there and from thence doth he shew himself a d [...]eadful God to such as fear him not; O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places. 8. Albeit there were no man to hear us glorifie God, or no man to take his praise of our hand, we should acknowledge his great­nesse in our heart, and before himself, who will take true worship of our hand; for David here turneth his speech to God in the end of the Psalme, saying to him, O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places. 9. The Lord hath an everlasting interest in the people of [...]srael, and they in him, for the elections cause; and every true Israelite hath an everlasting interest in God, he is the God of Israel. 10. What the Lord hath, is forth-coming to his peoples furniture, as they have need: The God of Israel is be [Page 116] that giveth strength and power to his pe [...]le. 11. It is reason that at all the several remembrances of Gods mercy to us, we should acknowledge his blessednesse, and his blessing of us, and this is all we can do, and that also can we not do, except he strengthen and enable us for praise; for, blessed be God, saith the Prophet, for this very reason, after he hath spoken of his giving power to his people.

PSAL. LXIX To the chief musician upon Shoshannim. A Psalm of David.

DAvid, as a type of Christ, earnestly dealeth with God for a delivery from his perplexed condition, and from the ma­lice of his adversaries; and doth finde a comfortable event. There are three parts of the Psalm. In the first, is his prayer, six times presented, and strengthened with new reasons, to ver. 22. In the second part of the Psalm, is his imprecation of ten plagues against his enemies, with some reasons added for the justice of the inflicting the plagues, mentioned to ver. 29. In the third part, are four evidences of his victory, from ver. 29. to the end. In all which, whatsoever is proper to the type, is to be referred to the type only; and whatsoever is fit also to be applied unto Christ the Antitype, must be referred to him only, in that sense which is suitable to his Majesty.

His prayer at first, is propounded in few words; Save me: the reasons are foure. The first, from the danger he was in, ver. 1, 2. The next from his long and patient waiting for an answer to his prayer, ver 3. The third from the multitude, and malice, and iniquity of his enemies, ver. 4. The fourth is by way of attesta­tion of God, that he was innocent of that whereof he was char­ged by his enemies, joyned in with his humble acknowledging of whatsover other sins justice could charge upon him in any other respect, ver. 5.

Ver. 1. SAve me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.

2. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

[Page 117] His first Petition is to be saved, and the first reason of it is, because of the danger he was in; Whence learn, 1. A childe of God may in his own sense be very near to perishing, and yet must not in the most desperate condition cease to pray, nor cease to hope for delivery prayed for: Save me, O God. 2. With danger of bodily death, a childe of God may have in his spirit a sore conflict with the sense of wrath, like to swallow up his soul, as deep waters do a drowning man; The waters are come in unto my soul. 3, The condition of a soul exercised with the sense of wrath, threateneth no lesse then perdition, certain, inevitable, without any event, and endlesse; whereof the bodily danger of a drowning man is but a shadow: I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

Ver. 3. I am weary of my crying, my throat is dried: mine eyes faile while I wait for my God.

The second reason of the first Petition is, because he had long and patiently waited on God. Whence learn, 1. Faith in hard exi­gences doth not give over for appearances of perdition, knowing that what is impossible to mans appearance, is not impossible to God; for David, as a believer, and a type of Christ, prayeth still for all this, although he finde no delivery: I am weary of my crying. 2. Prayer put up in faith to God, keepeth in life, and is like a mans drawing breath in the water when the head is lift­ed up above the floods; for here, although the floods over­flowed the Psalmist, yet he is able to shew this to God, and to cry till he be weary of crying. 3. For exercising of faith, and making patience to have the perfect work, it is no strange thing for God to delay relief unto an earnest supplicant, till he be like to give over, till his case seem desperate, and his relief hopelesse; Mine eyes faile, while I wait for my God. 4. Though the flesh of the regenerate man be weak, yet the spirit is ready, and will never give over calling on God, depending on him, holding fast the Covenant, and the hope of deliverance; for it will make this a new ground of speech unto God, that it is no [...] able to speak any thing, and a new ground of laying hold on God, and hoping for help from him, because its hope is failing, as here: I am weary of my crying, my throat is dried; mine eyes faile, while I wait for my God.

Ver. 4. They that hate me without a cause, are moe [Page 118] then the haires of my head: they that would destroy [...], being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I re­stored that which I took not away.

The third reason of the first Petition is, because his enemies were many, mighty, and malicious. Whence learn, 1. Holiness, and integri [...]y cannot ward off the en [...] of a wicked world: for the enemies of David, who was a well-deserving man, and Christ (whose type he was) much more beneficial to men, had foes in­nu [...]ble; They that hate me without cause, are moe then the haire [...] of my head. 1. Albei [...] many do aggravate their own griefe foolishly, when they suffer hurt of them whom they did not in­jure or provoke; yet the conscience of harmlesnesse toward such as wish harm to them, is a great suppo [...] [...] confidence, when they [...] [...]uriously dealt with; They hate me without a cause. 3. It is no st [...]nge m [...]tter to see truly godly men to be out of credit and affection with men who a [...]e in power and authority in the world; They that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrong­fully are mighty. 4. He that is most just, may be troubled and hated without a cause, and may be deal [...] with as a thief, being verily an honest man; Then I restored that which I took not away.

Ver. 5. O God, thou knowest my foolishnesse, and my sins are not hid from thee.

The fourth reason of the first Petition is, because God was wit­nesse to his disposition and carriage. Whence learn, When we are condemned of men unjustly, we have God to appeale unto; and although there may be sins upon us in our private reckoning with God, yet being free of what men do lay to our charge, we may appeal to God in the controversy betwixt our enemies and us, and when we have acknowledged what sinnes are in reckon­ing twixt God and us, our supplication to God shall not be cast back for our sins; fo [...] this is the force of the Psalmists reasoning, for the strengthening of his own faith in prayer, saying, O God, thou knowest my foolishnesse, and my sins are not hid from thee; that is, whether I be so foolish and injurious to my persecutors, as they say, or not, thou Lord knowest; and whatsoever other sinnes may be imputed unto me upon any other score, I refuse not to reckon for them, but I am free, thou knowest, of what I am char­ged with: and this is applicable also in some sort unto Christ, who was most free of what men did lay to his charge, although in [Page 119] another reckoning all the iniquities of the elect were charged upon him by imputation, according to his transaction with the Father about our debt.

Ver. 6. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hostes, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee, be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.

The second Petition is, that the godly may not be hurt by his manner of exercise, which he strengthens by four reasons; Frst, because his sufferings were for Gods cause, ver. 7. Secondly, be­cause he was cast off by his friends, ver. 8. Thirdly, because he did take Gods honour deeply to heart, ver. 9. Fourthly, be­cause his holy and religious carriage was mocked: and both by high and low, by honourable and base rascals he was opposed and persecu [...]ed, ver. 10, 11, 12.

From the second Petition learn, 1. The property of the god­ly is to seek communion with God, and patiently to attend his answer for the time, manner, and measure of it; for they a [...]e here described, They that wait on thee, O Lord, those that seek thee. 2. When one of Gods children is persecuted for righteousnesse, all the rest are waiting to see the event, and it c [...]nnot chuse but be a great dash to them, to see the righteous lie under, or a good cause to lie long oppressed; which inconvenience we should request the Lord to prevent; Let not them that wait on thee, be ashamed; let not those thet seek thee, be ashamed. 3. It is a kindely mark and property of a godly person to be a lover of the good of all Gods children, and to be careful that no cause or oc­casion of stumbling be furnished unto them by him; Let them not be ashamed for my sake; let them not be confounded for my sake. 4. Faith sets its eyes in prayer upon those titles of God, which do serve most for its purpose; as here the Psalmist hath to do with enemies, O Lord God of Hosts, will do his turn against them; he is praying for the good of Gods children, and, O God of Israel, speaketh to that point.

Ver. 7. Because for thy sake I have borne re­proach: shame hath covered my face.

The first reason of the second Petition is, because his suffer­ings were for Gods cause. When [...] learn, 1. Though suffering [Page 120] for Gods cause in maintenance of his truth, be a glorious sort of suffering, wherein a man may go unto God confidently; yet it may be accompanied with shame from men of this world, and the godly for a time may be so delayed in the point of relief, that they know not what to say to their scorners; but may be forced to hang the head for a while; For thy cause I have borne reproach. 2. He that suffers shame for Gods cause, shall neither have cause at length to be ashamed of his suffering, nor shall any other have cause [...]o be ashamed for him; Let them not be confounded for my sake because for thy sake I have borne reproach.

Ver. 8. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an al [...]n unto my mothers children.

The second reason of the [...]econd Petition is, because his friends had [...] him off; Whence learn, 1. In affliction fo [...] Gods cause friends will more readily for [...]ake a suffere: then in his afflicti­on for a civil cause; I am become a stranger to my brethren▪ 2. The power of R [...]ligion in the godly, is stronger then the bonds of blood with their kinsmen, and it will make them cleave to God, when their kindred do cast them off: I am an alien unto my mothers children.

Ver. 9. For the zeale of thine house hath eaten me up: and the reproaches of them that reproached thee, are fallen upon mee.

The thi [...]d reason of the second Petition is, because he was deeply affected with the dishonor done to God. Whence learn, 1. It is not enough to love God, and his ordinces, and kingdom [...] [...]and his peoples good; but it is required also that we be zealous here: The zeale of thy house hath eaten me up. 2. Spiritual affections and passions will no lesse affect and trouble the body, then natu­ral [...]ffections and passion [...]; The zeale of thy house hath eaten me up. 3. Inju [...]ies done t [...] God and Religion, and to the godly, should affect us no lesse nearly, and be laid to heart, then injuries personally concerning us: The reproaches of them that reproached thee, have fallen upon me.

Ver. 10. When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.

11. I made sackcloth also my garment: and I be­came a proverb to them.

12. They that sit in the gate, speak against me, and I was a song to the drunkards.

[Page 121] The fourth reason of the second Petition is, because he was greatly mocked of all sorts for his holy carriage. Whence learn, 1. True zeale is ruled with knowledge, joyned with humility in the mans self, and tempered with the love to men, even toward persecutors; such was Davids zeale: but Christs zeale was per­fectly such. I wept and chastened my so [...]le. 2. Fasting in earnest is not so much the abstinence from meat, as it is the afflicting the soule; When I chastened my soul with fasting. 3. The godly behaviour of the righteous, is subject to horrible miscon­struction yet must they not desist from duties for all this, Fasting was to my reproach I made sackcloth also my garment, and I be­came a proverb to them. 4. I [...] is a sore affliction to the godly, to be condemned by Magist [...]ates an [...] Judges, and yet the truly reli­gious, even Christ [...]nd his followers were, and are subject to this exercise; They that sit in the gate (or in the Courts of Justice, which were erected at the entry of the parts of Cities) do speak against me. 5. Righteousnesse and truth is not the worse by it [...] being condemned by civil Judges; God will not disclaime his own cause for that, but will hear such complaints as this is, in this case: they that sit in the gate, speak against me. 6. When Magistrates do discountenance true Religion, then it becometh a matte [...] of derision to rascals, and to every base villain without controlment, and a table talk to every [...] tipler; I was a song of th [...] drunkards. 7. The shame of the Crosse is more grievous then the rest of the trouble of it: This is the fourth time that the shame of the Crosse is presented unto God, in these soure last verses; I was a song of the drunkards: after complaining of his being reproached, and being made a proverb.

Ver. 13. But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multi­tude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy sal­vation.

This is the third petition for deliverance, or for granting his prayer, or the third time he presen [...]eth it; whereunto he addeth reasons taken from the time of presenting of it, and multitude of Gods mercy and truth of his promises or Covenant of salvation. Whence learn, 1. The best way to [...] out the persecution of the mighty, and the mockage of the b [...]se multitude, is to be frequent in prayer to God for our part; But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord. 2. So long as God doth offer a gracious eare to [Page 122] supplicants, a man may be confident that petitions of grace shall have ready accesse and answer; my prayer is unto thee in an ac­ceptable time. 3. The largenesse of Gods mercy is a sufficient encouragement for the afflicted to come and take the benefit thereof; In the multitude of thy mercies hear thou me. 4. When besides the mercifulnesse of God, we have also his Covenant and promise of salvation, we may upon these two pillars leane and roll over, and rest our faith: hear me in the truth of thy sal­vation.

Ver. 14. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

15. Let not the water-floods over-flow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and l [...]t not the pit shut her mouth upon me.

The fourth petition for delivery, or fourth time he presenteth it, whereunto he addeth reasons taken from the danger he was in. Whence learn, 1. Faith useth to correct the expressions of sense; and as faith doth gather strength, a mans condition groweth clearer; It was the expression of sense, ver. 2 I sink in deep mire, and here the fear is something lessened, because faith is something more cleared; deliver me out of the mire, let me not sink. 2. The man who loveth truth better then worldly prospe­rity, and maketh the Lord his refuge, shall not faint under per­secution, but shall be borne through all troubles, and be deliver­ed; let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. 3. Faith in God giveth hope to be helped, and is half a delivery, before the full delivery come; for the Psalmist is now with his head above the water, and not so feared as when he began the Psalme; for here he saith, Let not the water floods over-flow me, neither let the deep swallow me up. 4. As the sense of danger sharpens prayer, so the greatnesse of it is a ground of hope, that the evil which is feared shall not prevaile over us; for albeit the Lord suffer the danger to be great, yet will he not leave us in a case desperate: l [...]t not the pit shut her mouth upon me.

Ver. 16. Hear me, O LORD, for thy loving kindnesse is good: turne unto me according to the mul­titude of thy tender mercies.

[Page 123] 17. And hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.

The fifth petition for delivery, or fifth time he presenteth it, whereunto he addeth reasons taken from the multitude of Gods mercies, conscience of his uprightnesse, and greatnesse of his trouble. Whence learn, 1. Albeit God should give no answer for a time, faith will still presse for an answer, for it knoweth it hath to do with the hearer of prayer: hear me, said he before, and hear over again, Hear me, O LOR [...]. 2. Faith seeth what is in Gods heart, whatsoeuer it doth finde or misse in his hand, it fastens on love, and draweth hope and life from that: hear me, for thy loving kindnesse is good. 3. Though a beleeving soul finde it self deserted of God in some respects; yet while it holds fast on his merciful nature, it may be sure to meet with a change of dispensation more comfortable; turne unto me ac­cording to the multitude of thy tender mercies. 4. When a be­leever is persecuted by man for righteousnesse, and friends and fa­miliars do turne their backs upon him; it is not strange that God for the mans trial, should seeme to hide his countenance from him also, which exercise the beleever counteth more heavie then all the rest, and can be content to want all the creatures kindnesse, so he may finde the Lords kindnesse; for he cannot endure long to want Gods presence: Hide not thy face from thy servant. 5. The conscience of endeavour to serve God, giveth hope of comfort in time of trouble, and that so much the sooner, that the trouble be great, and perdition apparently near; Hide not thy face from try servant, for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. 6. An upright servant, albeit he be troubled for Gods cause, and do misse comfort from God, yet will he not change his Master, nor despaire of his favour; Hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble. 7. It is no limitation of God, to presse his hasting to help, when trouble presseth us so sore as we seeme near to perish: if he speedily prevent not: hear me speedily.

Ver. 18. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeeme it: deliver me because of mine enemies.

19. Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.

20. Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full [Page 124] of heavinesse: and I looked for some to take pitie, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

21. They gave me alse gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vineger to drink.

In the sixth petition, or sixth time he prayeth for obtaining de­livery: whereunto he addeth reasons taken from the inhumani­ty, and cruelty of his enemies, and desertion of his friends, and want of comfort from all men. Whence learn, 1. As straits do serve to drive the godly more and more neer-hand to God: so do they serve to prepare men for renewed sense of communion with God, or for Gods sensible drawing more neer-hand to them; draw neer unto my soul, saith he. 2. A new manifestation of Gods love to a soul, is present relief and delivery, whatsoever be the trouble; draw neer to my soul, and redeem me. 3. In the delivery of Gods children from the hand of persecutors, the Lord doth look not onely to the necessity of his children, but also to the insolent pride of the enemies, in case they should pre­vaile; deliver me, because of mine enemies. 4. The considera­tion of Gods being witnesse to all the sufferings of the Saints, is a ground of patience under trouble, and of hope to be deliv [...]r­ed; Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. 5 Before a beleever once entered in sufferings, and put upon his trialls, be delivered, he shall be made very sensible of the weight of [...]rouble, specially of reproaches, and of his own weaknesse to bear the burden of the crosse alone; Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heavinesse. 6. As a persecuted Saint may possibly be deprived of all common comfort, pity and help from men; so the lesse their comfort be on earth, they may look for the more and readier comfort from God; I looked for some to take pity, and there was non [...]; and for comforters, but I found none. 7. As the wicked are ready to adde affliction to affliction unto the godly: so must the godly ever look for it: yea, they must not think it strange to finde the meanes of natural life, and ordi [...]ary refreshments of the body, made bitter to them by persecution: They gave me gall for my meat; [...]hat is, they made my natural refreshments tastelesse, yea and bitter to me: they gave me ca [...]se of grief, instead of com­forting me 8. As all the sufferings of the Saints are but shadowes of the sufferings of Christ: so are they all mitigated and sancti­fied [Page 125] in the sufferings of Christ, upon whom all the suffering [...] mentioned in this Psalme, were foretold that they should fall, for expiation of the sin, and sanctifying the crosses of all his follow­ers; In my thirst they gave me vineger to drink, was a Prophecy of Christs suffering on the Crosse.

Ver. 22. Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.

23. Let their eyes be darkend that they see not: and make their loines continually to shake.

24. Pour out thine indignatian upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them,

25. Let their habitation be desolate, and let none dwell in their tents.

This is the second part of the Psalme, wherein the Prophet, as a type of Christ, by way of imprecation against his malicious e­nemies prophesieth of the vengeance of God against all obsti­nate adversaries, and malicious persecutors of him, whether in his own person, or in his members; and denounceth ten plagues, or effects of Gods wrath to come upon them for their wickedness. The first whereof is this, God shall curse all the comforts of this life unto the obstinate adversaries of Christ, and of his follow­ers: all these comforts shall serve to harden their hearts in sinne, and lengthen their life therein, till they fill up the measure of their iniquities; Let thei [...] table become a snare before them. The se­cond plague, all the meanes appointed for mens conversion and salvation shall turne for the aggravating of their sinne and just damnation: and as all things work together for the good of those that love God, so shall all things work for the wo and wrack of Gods enemies; That which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. The third plague, they shall not perceive the true intent of Gods work, nor consider the day of their visi­tation; Let their e [...]es be darkened, that they see not. The fourth plague, there shall be no peace to the wicked, but as even in laughter their heart shall be sorrowful; so also their conscience for fear shall never dare to abide the light of the Lords Word, to be examined by it; and even in their greatest prosperity they shall have perpetual secret fear, smother it as they will: make their [Page 126] loines continually to shake. The fifth plague, the threatened wrath of God shall be fully executed against them, and never depart from them when it is once poured out; Poure out thy in­dignation on them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. The sixth plague is, the curse of God shall be on their houses and posterity, and the place they have dwelt in shall be abhorred: Let their habitation be desolate, and let none dwell in their tents.

Ver. 26. For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten, and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.

He giveth a reason of those fearful imprecations on Christs adversaries, because they are cruel in their persecution of him, and of the godly, even in the time of their affliction otherwayes sent by God. Whence learn, 1. It consisteth well with the love of God to his children, (even his only begotten Sonne Jesus Christ not being excepted) to exercise them with sad calami­ties, for bringing to passe the work of mans Redemption by Christ, and for perfecting of the sanctification and salvation of the redeemed by Christ; of all of whom now and then it may be said to God, Thou hast smitten him, and they are those whom thou hast wounded. 2. Whatsoever may be the reason of the Lords smiting and wounding his own children, yet their wicked enemies have no just reason to maligne them, or to trouble them, and therefore their troubling of Gods children is persecution; They persecute him whom thou hast smitten. 3. The very talking and venting of ill speeches, to the prejudice of Christs cause and truth, and true holines in his Saints, espe­cially when they are under sufferings & afflictions whatsoever, is a high provocation of Gods wrath: They talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. 4. The persecution of Gods children for righteousnesse, is a sufficient ditty for all the forenamed dam­nation in the preceding verses; this is the reason of the justice of the imprecation: For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten. 5. The Church without breach of duty to men, may sing and rejoyce in these fearful imprecations against the mali­cious enemies of Christ and his Church; first, as lovers of God more then of men: secondly, as followers, not of their own quarrel, but of the controversie of the Lord of hostes, whose souldiers they are against all his enemies whatsoever: thirdly, [Page 127] as subscribers to the justice of God, who will not suffer malici­ous cruelty to be unpunished: and fourthly, as rejoycers in Gods love to his people, who ownes the wrongs done to his Church and servants therein, as done to himself, and will be a­venged upon their adversaries, and having decreed doom a­gainst the adversaries of his Church, will have his children to be ministers under the great Judge, to pronounce the sentence a­gainst his and their enemies; and as it were, to give out order for execution of the sentence, saying, Let their table, let their e [...]s, let their habitation be so and so disposed of.

Ver. 27. Adde iniquity unto their iniquity, and let them not come into thy righteousnesse.

28. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

The seventh plague of the enemies of Christ and his Church, is this: howsoever igno [...]ant Zelots, some of them may finde mercy; ye [...] malicious persecutors of truth and piety grow worse and worse, and being entered in the course of persecution, can­not go off, but do draw deeper and deeper in guiltinesse, and that in Gods righteous judgement, punishing sin by sin: Adde iniquity unto their iniquity. The eigth plague is, they are gi­ven over to a reprobate sense, so as they cannot lay their owne sins to heart, and so cannot see the necessity of the remission of sin, nor put a price upon the purchase of Justification unto sin­ners by Christ the Redeemer, nor be found among the persons justified by faith in him: Let them not come into thy righteous­nesse. The ninth plague is this: albeit the enemies of Christ and his people may pretend to be among the number of his friends, and to have their names written in great letters, in the Catalogue of the visible Church; yet God shall disclaim them one day as none of his, and thrust them from him as workers of iniquity: Let them be blotted out of the book of the living. The tenth plague is this: as the visible Church hath an open book, wherein all within the external Covenant are written, as Saints by calling, and Covenantets with God for life and salvation, out of which book God dashes out the names of his wicked enemies: so God hath a secret book & roll as it were, wherin he enrolleth all the regenerate, all the justified; and among the names of this sort, or among the names of the true members of the invisible [Page 128] Church of the regenerate, none of the names of Christs malici­ous enemies shall be written; Let them not be written with the righteous.

Ver. 29. But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy sal­vation (O God) set me up on high.

The third and last part of the Psalme, wherein is set down the glorious event of this sad exercise in foure evidences of vi­ctory of his saith over this assault. The first whereof is in his confident prayer, not only to be delivered, but also to be ex­alted, ver. 29. The second evidence is, in his hearty promise of thanksgiving, ver. 30, 31. The third evidence is, in a pro­phecie of the fruit of this exercise, which the beleevers shall have by it, ver. 32, 33. The fourth is a thanksgiving for mer­cies foreseen, which shall come to the Church, and in special to the Church of Israel, ver. 34, 35, 36. All which, in as farre as they concern David the type, are but little in comparison of Christ the Antitype. From the first evidence of the victory of his faith, appearing in his confident prayer; Learne, 1. It is no strange thing to see poverty of spirit and sad afflictions joyn­ed, the one to help and season the other; But I'am poor and sor­rowful. 2. There is as sure ground of hope of an event out of every trouble wherein the children of God can fall, as there is ground of hope of the overturning of the most setled world­ly prosperity of their enemies; for the fore-named curses shall come on the enemies of the godly, but the childe of God in the mean time may expect salvation, and to be set on high, which he confidently prayeth for; But I am poor and sorrowful, let thy salvation, O God, set me up. 3. The conscience of humiliation under Gods hand, is a great evidence of delivery out of what­soever trouble, if a man in a righteous cause be emptied of self­conceit and carnal confidence, and brought down to poverty of spirit, and affected with the sense of sins and misery following up­on it, and withal go to God in this condition, he may be sure to be helped, the poor in spirit are freed from the curse; But I am poor and sorrowful, saith the Psalmist here, let thy salvation set me up on high. 4 The man afflicted and persecuted for righ­teousnesse, humbled in himself, and drawn to God for relief, shall not only be delivered, but also shall be as much exalted after his delivery, as ever he was cast down; Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. 5. The kindly sufferer of righteousnesse, will [Page 129] have no deliverance, but such as God will allow him, as God shall bring unto him: and as he doth not look for delivery an­other way, so he doth look for a glorious delivery this way; Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.

Ver. 30. I will praise the Name of God with a song, and will magnifie him with thanksgiving

31. This also shall please the Lord better then an oxe or bullock that hath hornes and hoofes.

From the second evidence of his victory of faith in his pro­mised thanksgiving; Learne, 1. When the Lord comforts the heart of a sufferer for his cause, he can make him glad before the delivery come, by giving him the assurance that it shall come, and can engage his heart to solemn thanksgiving in the midst of trouble; for poverty of spirit will esteem the farre sore­sight of delivery at last, as a rich mercy, and matter of a song; I will praise the Name of God with a song. 2. The Lord in the delivering of his children out of their troubles, will give evidence of his greatnesse, as well as of his goodnesse: of his power, as well as of his mercy to them, that he may have the more glo­ry & thanks for his work: I will magnifie him with thanksgiving. 3. Moral worship offered in Spirit and truth, in the meanest de­gree of sincerity, is more acceptable to God, then the most pom­pous ceremonial service, which can be done to him without Spirit and truth; This also shall please the Lord better then an oxe and bullock, that hath bornes and hooses; that is, which is perfect and wanteth nothing in the external part of commanded ser­vice. 4. That which we know shall be most acceptable to God, we ought to study and follow that most, that we may walk be­fore God unto all well-pleasing, in special to praise him in af­fliction, and to praise him from a contrite spirit: This also shall please the Lord better then, &c.

Ver. 32. The humble shall see this and be glad: and your hearts shall live that seek God.

33. For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.

From the third evidence of the victory of his faith, in the pro­phecy of the fruits of his sufferings, mainly as he was a type of [Page 130] Christ, who here is most intended; Learn, 1. The exercise of the Saints, set down in Scripture, and namely the exercise of David, and of Christ represented by him, was foretold, that it should be of great use to the Church of God in after-times, as now we see it in effect: The humble shall see this and be glad. 2. The humble soul is most capable of divine knowledge and comfort; The humble shall see this. 3. The escape of our Lord Jesus out of his sufferings for us, and the escape of his afflicted children out of their sufferings through faith in him, is a matter of instruction, comfort and joy to every humbled beleever: The humble shall see this and be glad. 4. As such who are pure in spirit and truly humbled, do live upon Gods almes, and are daily at his doores for relief of their necessities; and for commu­nion with his gracious goodnesse: so shall they thrive well in this trade; Your heart shall live that seek God. 5. The Lord [...] children have a life beyond the children of men▪ which is able to quicken them in their deepest troubles, and to make them bles­sed in their delivery out of troubles; a life moral and spiritual, whereby their conscience is comforted; Your heart shall live that seek God. 6. The right way for the godly afflicted to have the benefit of the troubles and events which Christ and his follow­ers have had experience of, is to comfort themselves in hope of the like event and successe in seeking God as they did: The humble shall see this and be glad, and your heart shall live that seek God. 7. As the Lords poor men are much in prayer, so shall they be rich in good answers; For the Lord heareth the poor. 8. Whoever in defence of any point of Gods truth are put to trouble, either in body or minde, by men, or Satan, or both▪ they are all sufferers for God; they are all prisoners, who how­soever they be misregarded by men, shall be of much price in Gods eyes: He despiseth not his prisoners.

Ver. 34. Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.

35. For God will save Sion, and will build the Cities of Iudah, that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.

36. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it, and they that love his Name shall dwell therein.

From the last evidence of the victory of faith, set down in a [Page 131] prophetical thanksgiving for the foreseen mercies which were to come to the Church by Christs procurement, and specially to the Jewes; Learne, 1. Large sense of troubles maketh way for large observation, and sense answerable of mercies; The evil of deepest afflictions the Lord can recompense with highest con­solation, as the beginning and ending of this Psalm giveth evi­dence. 2. The soul that seeth the mercy of God toward it self, doth see also the mercy of God upon the same grounds to all o­thers, his people in Sion, his Church in every place and time; and he seeth the benefits of Christs sufferings to be matter of praise unto God, able to fill the whole world; and he seeth his own insufficiency for the praising of God also, and that all the creatures are all few enough, when they all concurre in this Song; Let the heaven and the earth praise him, and the seas and every thing that moveth therein. 3. Whatsoever condition of Gods people can be represented by the various condition, moti­on, settlement or commotion of heaven, earth and seas, and things therein, cannot but furnish matter of joyful praise to God, and come up to contribute to Gods praises; Let the hea­ven and earth, the seas and every thing that moveth therein, praise him. 4. Every delivery of every beleever, and above all the de­livery of Christ as man from his expi [...]tory sufferings, is ear­nests and pledges of the delivery of the Church militant out of all its troubles; For God will save Sion, saith the Psalmist, be­ing now delivered out of his trouble. 5. As the Lord will e­ver maintain his Church, his Sion and his Iudah; so hath he a purpose to give a special evidence of this his care among the Jewes, how farre soever they may at some times be from all ap­pearance of his respect to them; for in the promise he keepeth in expressely the Name of Iudah: He will build the Cities of Iudah. 6. What outward testimonies of Gods respect to the Jewes for Christs sake shall be given unto them, after the de­struction of their Cities, here presupposed, we must leave it to God, to be in due time by his own works interpreted, and to be made out according to what here is said; That the Cities of Judah shall be builded, that they may dwell there and have it, (to wit, the promised land,) in possession, the seed also of his ser­vants shall inherit it, and they that love his Name shall dwell therein. Only let us observe, that the duty of the true Citi­zens of the Church is, to transmit true Religion to their poste­rity, and that this is the best and only way to transmit also the blessing of God, and the constant possession thereof unto them: [Page 132] The seed also of his servants shall inherit it, and they that love his Name, &c.

PSAL. LXX. To the chief Musician. A Psalme of David, to bring to re­membrance.

THis Psalm is almost one in words with the latter end of Psalm 40. wherein David being in present danger of his life by his enemies, prayeth first, for speedy delivery, ver. 1. next, for shameful disappointment to his enemies, ver. 2, 3. and thirdly, for a comfortable life to all the godly, ver. 4. from which condition albeit he himself was very farre for the present, yet he professeth he doth relie on God by faith, and prayeth for a timous delivery, ver. 5.

From the Inscription; Learn, 1. Our most notable dangers and deliveries should most carefully be observed and remem­bered, and made use of; This is a Psalm to bring to remembrance. 2. What hard condition we have been in before, we may fall into the like again; and the same gracious means we have used before, in seeking our relief of God, we should use again; and what words of prayer we have used before, we may use again, without any either needlesse affectation of other words, or super­stitious tying of our selves to the same words, as the example of David teacheth us, when we compare the end of the 40. Psalm with this Psalm.

Ver. 1. MAke haste, O God, to deliver me: make haste, to helpe me, O LORD.

From the first petition; Learn, 1. Though death or danger of it were never so near, God can come quickly and prevent it; and prayer is a swift messenger, which in the twinkling of an eye can go and return with an answer from heaven, as this abrupt beginning of his prayer doth teach us; O Lord, to deliver me. These words, make haste; are not expressed in the Origi­nal; [Page 133] for the haste was so great as he could not expresse it, till he drew his breath. 2. As we have need of help, God will make haste unto our help; Make haste to help me, O LORD.

Ver. 2. Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soule: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.

3. Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.

From the second petition; Learn, 1. The more that the ene­mies of Gods people do promise to themselves certainly to destroy such of the Saints as they do pitch upon when their plot shall be ripe and fixed, when God doth disappoint them they are the more confounded and ashamed; Let them be asha­med and confounded, who seek after my soule, or my life. 2. All the enemies of Gods children, shall at last think shame of their injuries done to them, and evils which they have wished unto them, to wit, when they shall know whose children they are, and what interest God hath in them, then at last shall they flee, and hide themselvs for shame; Let them he turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt. 3. The damage of the godly is the delight of the wicked; and an enemy to the godly, is he that laughs and scorns at the misery of the godly; They say, when they see them in trouble, Aha, aha. 4. Albeit what shame the wicked do put upon the godly for righteousnesse, or for their sufferings for righteousness, is not the shame of the godly, but the shame of the enemies, who do what they can to expose the godly to shame, yet shall the enemies have shame yet more for their pains, and the terrible wrath of God shall chase them out of Gods presence; Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame, that say, Aha, aha.

Ver. 4. Let all those that seek thee, rejoyce and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation, say continually, Let God be magnified.

From the third petition; Learn, 1. Whatsoever be our own hard condition at any time, we should seek the welfare and pros­perity of the rest of Gods children, and it is the property of [Page 134] each of the godly in their trouble, to wish all the rest to be par­takers of the blessednesse which their own soul doth seek after, but not to be like to them in trouble or bonds; Let all those that seek thee, rejoyce and be glad in thee. 2. If one of the godly be delivered out of his troubles, all the rest, who did pray for the delivery should rejoyce in God also, as for a benefit given to themselves; Let all those that seek thee, rejoyce and be glad in thee. 3. The godly do not desire deliverance to themselves or their fellows except in Gods way, in a cleanly and holy way: and the more of God is seen in the delivery of his servants, the more are they glad in the Lord; They are those that love Gods salvation. 4. It is a most suitable service for the Saints, to be alwayes praising God; Let those that love thy salvation, say con­tinually, The Lord be magnified.

Ver. 5. But I am poor and needy, make haste un­to me, O God: Thou art my help and my deliverer, O LORD make no tarrying.

From the fifth petition; Learn, 1. Albeit we be not in such a condition, as we wish all the godly were in, yet let us lay out that condition before a pitiful God, and submit our selves to him in the condition wherein we are; But I am poor and needy, 2. The sense of a hard condition, is a preparation and a ground of hope to be brought out of it to a better; I am poor and needy, make haste unto me, O God. 3. Whatsoever dispensation we shall meet with, we should hold fast the claim of faith, and of our interest in God; Thou art my help, and my deliverer. 4. Ha­ving setled our dependance upon God, we may without being mistaken of God, speak all our desires to him; and having done so, should leave our supplication and case at his feet with con­fidence: O Lord, make no tarrying.

PSAL. LXXI.

THis Psalm is a Prayer of David in his old age, requesting for delivery from the conspiracy of Absalom, wherin he wrestleth with the Lord by servent supplication [...] in seven petitions, all [Page 135] tending to this purpose, that he may delivered, to ver. 14. and from ver. 14. to the end, we have his confidence to be de­livered, set forth in foure evidences thereof. Absalom here is not named, nor is the particular case set down, otherwise then in ge­neral expressions, that so it may serve the better for the larger use of the Church of God, and of the particular members there­of, in their afflictions.

Ver. 1. IN thee, O LORD, do I put my trust, let me never be put to confusion.

The first petition is general, wherein he professeth his con­fidence in God, and prayeth that he be not put to confusion. Whence learn, 1. As long as a childe of God doth live in the world, he must look for new afflictions, as here the experience of the Psalmist, tossed in his old age, doth warne us. 2. Look how many new troubles do befall Gods servants, so many new messengers are sent of God to call them to him; so many new er­rands are furnished unto them; so many new petitions are put in their mouth; and so many pressing necessities are sent to make them earnest in their supplication, and frugal in making use of their interest in God by faith, as here and elsewhere doth appear. 3. He that cometh to God must beleeve in him, and fasten his faith on God, and avow it, how weak soever he finde it to be; In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. 4. Albeit such as beleeve in God, may have many tentations to mistrust God, and great feares that they shall be disappointed of their hopes, and for a time may seem to be disappointed and put to confusion, yet it shall not be for ever; if they do not take shame unto them by distrust, they shall never have cause to be asha­med; Let me never be put to confusion.

Ver. 2. Deliver me in thy righteousnesse, and cause me to escape: incline thine eare unto me and save me.

The second petition is more special, for safety and delivery from his enemies. Whence learn, 1. The righteousnesse of God is a pawne unto the godly, that their lawful petitions shall be granted, and specially when they seek delivery from their un­godly adversaries; Deliver me in thy righteousnesse, and cause me [Page 136] to escape. 2. When the Lord giveth a heart to a beleever to pray, he will also grant him audience, and a good answer; In­cline thine eare unto me and save me.

Ver. 3. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given command­ment to save me, for thou art my rock, and my for­tresse.

The third petition is, that the Lord would shew himself to him in effect, what he hath engaged himself to be unto belee­vers according to the Covenant. Whence learn, 1 What the Lord is to his people by Covenant, he will be to them the same effectually and in deed, as their need shall require; and as they shall imploy him; Be thou my strong habitation. 2. The good­nesse of God covenanted to his people, is not for one good turn, but for every good which they need; not for one day, but for daily use making, and constant enjoying of it; Be thou my strong habitation, where [...]to continually I may resort. 3. As the Lord hath all means, all second causes, all creatures at his com­mand, being Lord of hostes, to execute whatever he doth give order for to be done; so hath he really set his active providence on work, to accomplish what he hath covenanted to every be­liever; Thou hast given commandment to save me, for thou art my rock and fortresse: he giveth his believing in God, who is his rock, as a reason of his saying, that God was about to save him.

Ver. 4. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

5. For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

6. By thee have I been holden up from the wombe: thou art he that took me out of my mothers bowels, my praise shall be continually of thee.

The fourth petition for delivery is strengthened by reason, taken from the wickednesse of the enemy, ver. 4. from his own [Page 137] confidence in God, ver. 5: and from his long experience o [...] Gods kindnesse unto him in time past, ver. 6. Whence learn, 1. It is a great advantage to be a Confederate with God, when we have to deal with his enemies and ours in any debate; Deliver me, O my God, (saith he) out of the hand of the wicked. 2. The integrity of the beleever in a good cause, and the iniqui­ty of their adversaries in their ill cause, are good tokens of the beleevers victory over them; Deliver me out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. 3. Confidence in God, avowed a­gainst all tentations in Gods presence, and specially when it is of long standing, is so strong an argument of being heard in a lawful petition, that it may perswade the beleever he shall speed; Deliver me, for thou art my hope, O Lord God, thou art my trust from my youth. 4. True thankfulnesse will not passe by common benefits, and true faith will reade special love in common and ordinary favours, and make use thereof amon [...] other experiences for strengthening of faith; By thee have I been holden up from the wombe, thou art he that took me out of my mothers bowels. 5. The forming of us in the belly, and the common benefit of birth and bringing forth quick into the world, is a smothered wonder, and so glorious a work of God, that he deserveth perpetual praise from us for that one work; Thou art he that cook me out of my mothers belly.

Ver. 7. I am as a wonder unto many, but thou art my strong refuge.

8. Let my mouth he filled with thy praise, and with thy honour all the day.

The fifth petition is strengthened with reasons taken from his hard condition, and from the opportunity of Gods having glory by his delivery out of it. Whence learn, 1. The exer­cise of the Lords children is sometimes so strange to the be­holder, as the world doth wonder at them; I am as a wonder un­to many. 2. Knowledge of Gods Word and wayes, and faith in his Name maketh a believer not think strange, whatsoever fiery trial come upon him, but to rest on Gods will whatsoever befall him; I am as a wonder unto many, but thou art my strong refuge: For faith doth not judge of it self, as the world judg­eth, but as God hath judged and spoken of it in his Word. 3. The more strange the exercise of the godly be, the more glo­rious [Page 138] is the Lords upholding of them in it, and delivering of them out of i [...], and for the hope of the glory which shall re­dound to God by such exercises, the hardship should be the more patiently born, and the delivery sought and expected more confidently, that it shall come when it may be most for Gods praise; I am a wonder unto many, let my mouth be filled with thy praise, and with thy honour all the day.

Ver. 9. Cast me not off in the time of old age, for­sake me not when my strength faileth:

10. For mine enemies speak against me, and they that lay wait for my soule, take counsel toge­ther:

11. Saying, God hath forsaken him, persecute and take him, for there is none to deliver him.

The sixth petition is strengthened with reasons taken from his own old age and weaknesse, and from his enemies malice. Whence learn, 1. Such as have been the Lords servants in their youth, may be sure to find God a good and kind Master to them in their old age; Cast me not off in the time of old age. 2. Infirmities in Gods children shall not move loathing and casting off, but pi­tying and cherishing of them, that they may be supported in their weaknesse; Forsake me not when my strength faileth. 3. The world conceiveth that God doth cast off his children, when he doth bring them under any sad calamity, and by this means do think that they have not to do with Gods children, when they persecute his dearest servants; yea, and they encourage them­selves to persecute them the more that God doth afflict them; Mine enemies speak against me, and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together: saying, God hath forsaken him, persecute and take him, for there is none to deliver him. 4. The miscon­structions of the world, their plots and conspiracies against the godly, their evil speeches of them, their resolved cruelty to un­do them, are so many arguments of good hope that God shall deliver them; Forsake me not, for mine enemies speak against me, &c.

Ver. 12. O God, be not farre from me: O my God, make haste for my help.

[Page 139] 13. Let them be confounded and consumed, that are adversaries to my soule: let them be covered with re­proach and dishonour, that seek my hurt.

The seventh Petition for delivery and disappointing of his ene­mies, is strengthened with reasons taken from the Covenant between God and him, and from the glory which God shall have by shaming his enemies. Whence learn, 1. When tenta­tions are most, dangers are greatest, and the assault is strongest, then doth the believer draw nearest unto God, and hold him most closely; O God, be not farre from me, &c. 2. Relying upon, and avowing of the Covenant between God and the soul of a Belie­ver, is able to bear the greatest stresse, whereunto tentations and troubles can drive him; O my God, make haste for my help. 3. God for the glory of his justice against the wicked, and the glory of his grace to his own, shall pour confusion, consumption, reproach, and dishonour upon persecutors of righteousnesse, and adversaries of his suffering servants; Let them be confounded and consumed, that are adversaries to my soul: let them be covered with reproach and dishonour, that seek my hurt.

Ver. 14. But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

15. My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousnesse, and thy salvation all the day: for I know not the num­bers thereof.

16. I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousnesse, even of thine onely.

In the latter part of the Psalm, is the Psalmists confidence to be delivered, set forth in four evidences thereof. The first is his resolution to persevere in hope to be helped, and in praising of God, and relying only on the Lords power and righteousnesse, and not on his own strength. Whence learn, 1. He that is re­solved to persevere in hope, may be sure of a gracious event out of his trouble: But I will hope continually. 2. Resolute hope comforteth, enlargeth, and stirreth up the heart unto more and more praising and thanksgiving; I will hope continually, and I will yet praise thee more and more. 3. The matter of the con­tinual [Page 140] praise of God, is partly his righteousnesse, whereby he keepeth his promise, not only according, but also above conditi­on, and giveth also remission of sins, which did deserve wrath, and partly his deliverances, which he giveth to his children, out of danger of body and soul; My mouth shall shew forth thy righ­teousnesse, and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the num­bers thereof. 5. Because in troubles a mans own strength will fail him, and fail him also in commanded duties, therefore the believer must renounce confidence in his own ability in both ca­ses, and lean to the furniture of God; I will go in the strength of the Lord God. 6. Because the conscience of sins and sinfulness still doth stare the Believer in the face, and all to discourage him; the Believer must renounce all confidence in his own holinesse, and relie upon the imputed righteousnesse of Christ onely, which is called the righteousnesse of God by saith, being witnessed un­to both by the Law and Prophets, Rom. 3. 21. I will make mention of thy righteousnesse, even of thine onely; for in the point of justification, and absolving of us from sin, this righte­ousesse of God only hath place.

Ve [...]. 17. O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wonderou [...] works.

18. Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not: untill I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

The second evidence of the Prophets confidence to be deliver­ed, is the experience of Gods kindnesse for time past, ma­king him with comfortable assurance of being heard to pray for the continuance of that same kindnesse for time to come. Whence learn, 1. We are all of us ignorant of God and his wayes, till he teach us by his Word, and by his Spirit, and by his giving to us experimental knowledge thereof; O God, thou hast taught me from my youth. 2. The conscience of sincere endeavour to make use of Gods gifts to us for the glory of God, and edificati­on of others, according to our place; is very sweet and comforta­ble in the day of trouble, and giveth much encouragement in approaching to God; Hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. 3. He that hath had long experience of Gods mercy to himselfe, and thankfully doth acknowledge the same; may assure [Page 141] himselfe that the course of Gods kindnesse to him shall not be broken off: O God, thou hast taught me from my youth, now also when I am ol [...] and gray-headed, forsake me not, O Lord. 4. It is a noble designe for a man who hath received gifts, whereby he may glorify God and edify his people, to destinate all the dayes he hath to live, to serve his own generation, and the posterity, in the communicating to them what he knoweth of the Lords all­sufficiency, and not to love to live in this world, except for this end; Forsake me not untill I have shewed thy strength to this gene­ration, and thy pow [...]r to every one that is to come.

Ver. 19. Thy righteousnesse also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like un­to thee?

20. Thou which hast shewed me great and sore trou­bles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

21. Thou shalt increase my greatnesse, and comfort me on every side.

The third evidence of his confidence to be delivered, is his looking to the unsearchable fountain of Gods wisdom, faithful­nesse, and omnipotency, and his expecting from this well-spring, that as large consolation shall come forth to him, as he hath had a large measure of troubles. Whence learn, 1. Albeit the effects of Gods wisdome, faithfulnesse, and omnipotency, be neer unto us, and do fall under our sense in his daily operations, yet the fountain thereof, which is Gods own perfect on, is unsearchable, incomprehensible, and incomparably great; Thy righteousnesse, O God, is very high, who hast done great th [...]ngs: O God, who is like unto thee? 2. That which we see of the Lords works, may lead us up to know what is not seen in relation to difficulties, and power of men, and to see what he is able to do; and when we see the invisible God, we cannot choose but admire his Majesty, and exalt him as Sovereign over all, and then, and not till then that we give him the honour of omnipotency and faithfulnesse, can the heart rest and be quiet: Thy righteousnesse, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: who is like to thee? 3. He tha acknowledgeth Gods justice and wisdome in his troubles, may look to see Gods power and grace no lesse evident in his de­livery [Page 142] and consolation: and he who in trouble hath seen his own infirmity, emptinesse, and death, may look to see Gods power and life in raising of him out of the grave of his trouble; Thou which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 4 As trou­ble humbleth and abaseth a man before the world: so the Lords delivering of him, and shewing his respect to him, honoureth the man again, and exalteth him before men; Thou shalt increase my greatnesse. 5. As no trouble doth come alone, but multitudes of troubles joyned together, when the Lord will humble and try a man; so no comfort cometh single or alone, when the Lord will change the mans exercise, but a multitude of comforts joyned to­gether; Thou wilt comfort me on every side. 6. Losses are made lighter, and comforts weightier, when God is seen and acknow­ledged in them: Thou which hast shewed me sore troubles, (it is but a view of trouble what we have felt when troubles are seen to come from Gods hand,) thou shalt increase my greatnesse, and comfort me on every side.

Ver. 22. I will also praise thee with the Psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the Harp, O thou holy One of Israel.

23. My lips shall greatly rejoyce when I sing unto thee: and my soule, which thou hast redeemed.

24. My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousnesse all the day long: for they are confounded; for they are brought unto shame that seek my hurt.

The fourth and last evidence of his confidence, is his promise of joyful thanksgiving, by way of a begun song, and that for the foresight of his own delivery, and of his enemies overthrow. Whence learn, 1. Faith is so satisfied with Gods promise, that it can praise heartily for what is promised, before it finde perform­ance: I will praise thee with the Psaltery, even thy truth. 2. It is our interest in the Covenant, which makes us to have interest in particular promises; I will praise thy truth, O my God. 3. A soul sensible of Gods kindnesse, and sure by faith of the perform­ance of his faithful promises, cannot satisfy it selfe in praising of God, it hath so high estimation of his fidelity, power, and love: Therefore after he hath said, I will praise thee, he addeth, [Page 143] unto thee will I sing with the Harp. 4. How hardly soever a soul hath been exercised with troubles for a while, so soon as it seeth by faith the Lords prepared event; It will justify all the passages of Gods providence, as just, and wise, and good, and in a word, as holy in all respects. To thee will I sing, O holy One of Israel. 5. Singing with our voice unto the Lord, is a part of moral worship, as well as prayer with the voice, when his honour, and our upstirring, and others edifying calleth for it; My lips shall greatly rejoyce when I sing unto thee. 6. As the work of praising God requireth sincerity, earnestnesse, and cheerful­nesse; so the work thus done, becometh not onely honourable to God, but also refreshful to the worshipper; My lips shall great­ly rejoyce when I sing unto thee, 7. Dangers and distres­ses, how grievous soever they be for the time, yet do they furnish matter of praise to God, and joy to the party troubled afterward when the delivery cometh: My lips shall rejoyce, and my so [...]'e which thou hast redeemed. 8. Beside, singing of Psalmes unto God, speaking of his praise in all companies, and upon all occasi­ons, is a part of our bounden duty of thankfulnesse, for making his word good to us in the overthrow of our enemies, and delivering of us: My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousnesse all the day long. 9. The overthrow of the enemies of the godly is as cer­tain to come, as if we saw it with our eyes already come to passe. The same Word of God, the same light and perswasion of spi­rit, manifesteth the delivery of the godly, and the destruction of their enemies: For they are confounded, for they are brought to shame, that seek my hurt.

PSAL. LXXII. A Psalm for Solomon.

IN this Psalm under the shadow of King Solomons reigne, Christs gracious government is praised; and first, the Church is taught to pray for a blessing on King David and his sonnes government, including Christs, ver. 1. Next, the answer is given by the spirit of the Lord in a prophecie of the blessednesse of the Reign, and Kingdome of Christ the Sonne of David, from ver. 2. to ver. 18. Thirdly, the use hereof is [...]et down in thanks­giving [Page 144] unto God, ver. 18, 19. and herein is the accomplish­ment of all the desires of David, obtained by this satisfactory an­swer, ver. 20.

From the inscription and prayer; Learn, A King may com­mand within his kingdom many things, but he cannot com­mand a blessing on his own government; he must make suit for this to God: He may leave a kingdome to his childe; but because a kingdom is nothing without Gods blessing, he must pray for this blessing, and seek the assistance of the prayers of the Church for this intent: and this duty Kings may crave of the Church, and Gods people should not refuse it; A Psalm for Solomon.

Ver. 1. GIve the king thy judgements, O God, and thy righteousnesse unto the kings son.

From the prayer of the Church; Learn, 1▪ Gifts from God are necessary to fit a man for an office; and it is n [...]t every gift, which doth make fit for a particular office, but such gifts special­ly as are for the discharge of the place a man hath, and those must be asked from, and granted by God, and by this meanes sancti­fied; Give the King thy judgements, O God. 2. Nothing is more conducible to make a Kings government prosperous and blessed, then equity and justice, according to the revealed will of God; Give the King thy judgements, and thy righteousnesse to the Kings son.

Ver. 2. He shall judge thy people with righteous­nesse, and thy poor with judgement.

3. The mountaines shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills by rightoousnesse.

4. He shall judge the poore of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressour.

5. They shall fear thee as long as the Sun and Moon endure, throughout all generations.

6. He shall come down like raine upon the mowen grasse: as showers that water the earth.

7. In his dayes shall the righteous flourish, and abun­dance of peace so l [...]ng as the Moon endureth.

[Page 145] 8. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river, unto the ends of the [...]arth.

9. They that dwell in the wil [...]ernesse shall bow be­fore him, and his enemies shall lick the d [...]st.

10. The kings of Tarshish and of the Is [...]es shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

11. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all na­tions shall serve him.

12. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth, the poor also, and him that hath no helper.

13. He shall spare the poore and needy, and shall [...]ve the soules of the needy.

14. He shall redeem their soule from deceit and vio­lence, and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

15. And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba, prayer also shall be made for him con­tinually, and daily shall he be praised.

16. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountaines; the fruit thereo [...] shall shake like Lebanon, and they of the city shall flourish like grasse of the earth.

17. His Name shall endure for ever: his Name shall be continued as long as the Sun: and men shall be blessed in him, all nations shall call him blessed.

The Propheti [...]al answer given here to the Churches prayer, promiseth above twenty benefits of Christs government▪ all of them tending to the glory of the King, and good of the subjects; the shadow whereof was to be seen in David, and Solomons reign, [...]oyned with many imperfections; but the real accomplish­ment is onely in Christ. The first is, Christs subjects shall have good rules how to carry themselves in all duties, how to behave themselves righteously, and how to be made righteous, by his di­rection and conduct; He shall judge thy people with righteousnesse. The second benefit or commendation is, Christ will see the ne­c [...]ssities of his subjects, his humble ones, his afflicted ones, to be [Page 146] supplied most discreetly, and the wrongs done unto them re­paired; He shall judge thy poor with judgement, ver. 3. The third benefit is, Christ is not to take away civil Governours, nor Potentates places, nor the several orders and ranks of greatnesse of superiour and inferiour powers, Rulers and Judges; all these are to be fixed rather by him, for the good of the people: The superiour as mountains, and the inferiour as little hills, shall stand in their place for him. The fourth benefit is, Christ sha [...]l make such Magistrates as do embrace him, for their Lord and Gover­nour, a blessing to the people under them; for by their righteous government the people shall live quier and safe in Gods service under them: The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills; but how shall the mountaines and little hills do this? By righteousnesse, ver. 4 The fifth benefit is, albeit Christ do suffer his subjects to be brought low in the sense of their own weaknesse, and in danger of being swallowed up by their perse­cutors, yet shall he take their controversie to his cognition, and deliver his people out of the hands of their adversaries: He shall judge the poor of the people: he shall save the children of the needy; he shall break in pieces the oppressors, ver. 5. The sixth benefit, Christ the true King of Israel, shall never want a kingdome, he shall never want subjects, but shall alwayes have a Church of such as shall worship and fear him, and do homage unto him, so long as the world doth stand, amidst all changes and revolu­tions that can come: They shall fear thee as long as the Sunne and Moon endure, throughout all generations. ver. 6. The seventh benefit, whatsoever sad condition his people shall be in, how farre soever spoiled of their lust [...]e and glory in the world, or in any other respects whatsoever, they shall be made as a mowen down medow possibly; yet Christ by his Word, Spirit, and effectu­al blessing shall revive and recover them: as grasse cut down being watered by rain, is made to grow again: He shall come down like rain upon the mowen grasse, as showers that water the earth, ver. 7. The eight benefit, all the true subjects of Christ are justified persons, and devoted in their hearts to righteousnesse, in the obedience of Gods will, and such as do endeavour to abound in the fruits of righteousnesse: The righteous shall flourish in his dayes. The ninth benefit, Christs justified subjects and students of holi­nes, shal have peace with God, peace abounding and passing all un­derstanding, lasting peace, without end, in all revolution of conditi­ons, The righteous s [...]al flourish, & have abundant peace, so long as the world endureth. v. 1. The tenth benefit of Christs government, is [Page 147] the enlargement of the Church, and number of his subjects, ac­cording to the length and breadth of Gods promises made to his people Israel, whether Israel in the letter, or in the Spirit: He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth, ver. 9. The eleventh benefit of Christs go­vernment is more special; whomsoever he pleaseth to make sub­jects unto himselfe, how wilde and savage soever they be, yea how great enemies soever they have been to his Kingdome, he shall tame them, bring them in subjection to himselfe, and to most humble submission unto his commands: They that dwell in the wildernesse shall bow before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust, ver. 10. The twelfth benefit is yet more special; The Kings and Rulers of the Gentiles shall finde it a blessing to themselves, and to their dominions, to be under Christs go­vernment, and shall effectually contribute their riches, power, and authority, to advance the Kingdome of Christ, their sove­reign Lord and protector: The kings of Tarshish, and of the Isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts, ver 11. The thirteenth benefit. of Christs government, is so great an enlargement of his Kingdome, by bringing of all King­domes and Nations someway under his Scepter, that the Prophe­cie of Iohn the Divine, Rev. 11. 15. shall be acknowledged to be fulfilled; All the kingdomes of the earth are become the Lords and his Sonne Christs, how improbable soever this may seem: for answerably hereunto is it said here, Yea all kings shall f [...]ll down before him, all nations shall serve him, ver. 12. The fourteenth benefit serving for the commendation of his government, is by way of giving a reason of the marvellous enlargement of his Kingdome, from his care of the meanest of his subjects, from his effectual pity toward them, love and estimation of them. The care Christ hath of his subjects is such, that the [...]e is not one so mean in all his Kingdome, of whom, and whose necessities, and of whose particular petitions he doth not take most particular and exact knowledge, whose petitions being presented in the sense of their need, he doth not grant: He shall deliver the needy, when he crieth. There needeth no Mediator be [...]ween him and his sub­jects; He heareth the needy when they cry. The man that hath nothing within him or without him to commend him to Christ, to assist, help, relieve, or comfort him in heaven or earth, is not despised by Christ, but delivered from that which he fe [...]reth: He shall deliver the poor also, and him that hath no helper; and this he doth by teaching his subjects to bear troubles, by strengthen­ing [Page 148] them for the burden; by comforting them in their grief; by gi­ving a delivery to their spirits by faith, and a full delivery at last, v 13. The fifteenth benefit and commendation of Christs govern­ment, he doth not exact any thing of his subjects, but that which he offereth to furnish and enable them to discharge: he lets none be tempted above his strength; he taketh small be­ginnings in good part, he spareth the rod in a great measure, mi­tigates the correction, and in midst of wrath he remembereth mer­cy: He shall spare the poor and needy; whatsoever hard exercise he put them to, he will give them their soul for a prey: They shall not perish, who in the sense of their need depend upon him: He shall save the souls of the needy, ver. 14. The sixteenth be­nefit and commendation of Christs Kingdome, albeit the Lord suffer his subjects to be tried with heresies and seducers, by op­pressors and persecutors, yet he will assist them in the trial and bring them out of it: He shall redeem their soule from deceit and violence, and if for his own glory he put any of them to lay down their life for his cause, it shall be a point of special ho­nouring of them, as of precious sonnes, whom he esteemeth much of, both living and dead; Precious shall their blood be in his sight, v. 15. The seventeenth benefit and commendation of Christs go­vernment is from his everlasting indurance; albeit other Kings die, and leave their kingdom to their successor, yet it is not so with Christ, he indureth for ever: his death for paying the ran­som of our sins, did not interrupt his reign, but made way for his more glorious reigning, after his resurrection; he hath life in himselfe, as in the fountain; He shall live, he shall live conquer­ing, and bringing in moe subjects, who shall pay tribute unto him; To him shall be given of the gold of Sheba. The eighteenth benefit and commendation of Christs Kingdom is this, Christ shall be well beloved of all his subjects, whose exercise it shall be to wish and pray for the prosperity of his Kingdome, Church, and mystical body, and who shall commend and praise his glorious and lovely Majesty; Prayer also shalll be made for him continually, and daily shall he be praised, v. 16. The nineteenth benefit & commen­dation of Christs government is, that a little seed of his preci­ous Word sowen among men, of whose conversion there might be least hope, like a handful of corn sowen upon the mountaines or most barren ground, shall have a glorious increase of the con­version of many notable Saints, like as corn in a barren place should grow up like Cedar-trees; There shall be an handful of [...] in the earth, on the top of mountains, the fruit thereof shall shake [Page 149] like Lebanon: and this blessing of the Gospel he can make it to be without prejudice of the manured land of Churches al­ready planted, which are as cities inhabited; those he can blesse and will blesse at his pleasure, with the abundant growth of grace amongst them; And they of the City shall flourish as the grasse of the earth, ver. 17. The last commendation and bene­fit of Christs government, summeth up all that can be said in these foure generals; 1. That Christs Name, fame and honour, shall be perpetuated from one generation to another, for the run­ning of his benefits to his subjects, and for the course of his judgements on his enemies: His name shall endure for ever; his Name shall be continued as long as the Sun. 2. His Gospel shall spread further and further among men, to deliver his own from the curse due for sin, to make them partakers of the bles­sing of full felicity; Men s [...]all be blessed in him. 3 It shall be in vain to seek blessednesse any where, except in him only, who is the procurer, applier and maintainer of true blessednesse; the way whereunto is, to come to God in and through Christ: In him men shall be blessed. And 4. Such a fulnesse of converted Gentiles at length shall be brought in, that the blessednesse of the Gospel of Christ, and of spiritual communion with him, and the riches of his goodnesse and grace shall generally be ac­knowledged in all the world; All Nations shall call him blessed.

Ver. 18. Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doth wonderous things.

19. And blessed be his glorious Name for ever, and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.

After this gracious answer of the Churches prayer in so glo­rious a prophecie of Christ, thanksgiving and praise is endited unto the Church, to be offered up to God for this mercy. Whence learn, 1. When the heart hath beleeved what the eare hath heard of the blessedness to be found in Christ, the mouth should be opened to praise and blesse God; Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel. 2. As the keeping of the race of David till the coming of Christ, distinct from other families, in so many revo­lutions of affairs, as were between Davids reigne and Christs coming, is very wonderful: so the enlarging of the Kingdome [Page 150] of Christ, since he came, is full of wonder also, whether we look to the King, o [...] to the subjects converted, or the way of convert­ing them, by the preaching of his Word, or the preservation or continuing of Christs Kingdome in the world amongst so many Devils and wicked adversaries, all his subjects being so weak and sinful as they are; It is a matter of great wonder indeed: Bles­sed be the God of Israel, who onely doth wondrous things. There are no wonders like the wonders done in the Redemption of men by Christ, [...] yea there is no other who can work any wonders, but Christ alone. 3. As the blessings of Christ are everlasting, so should the thanksgiving for them be; and no lesse can content the heart of a true beleever, who, the more he thinks of Christ, the more glory seeth he in him; and blessed be his glorous Name for ever, saith he. 4. Before Christ do put an end to his work, and give up the Kingdome to the Father, his glory shall shine in all the parts of the world, for the prayers endited to the Church, are not vanishing wishes, but reall promises, and certaine pro­phecies; [...]et the whole earth be filled with his glory. 5. As faith sets so its seal unto the truth of Gods Word, in special what concerneth the salvation of men, and the glory of God in Christ; so love to both the glory of God and salvation of souls se [...]s to its seal also; or both faith and love do subscribe the same truth of God in both respects, again and againe:

Amen and Amen

Ver. 20. The prayers of David the sonne of Iesse, are ended.

This clos [...]e of the Psalm is added by the Psalmist David him­self, and is a part of the text; serving first, to shew that this was the last of the Psalmes, endited by the Spirit to him a little before his death, when Solomon was now reigning; howsoever in the order of providence it be not in the hindmost place of this book of the Psalmes. And next, it serveth to shew, that in this answer made to his prayer set down in this Psalme, all his desires were granted, both concerning himself and his house; for he could wish no more. And thirdly, it serveth to shew his mean esti­mation of himself, notwithstanding of the Lords lifting of him up so high, that so the grace of God in him may be the more conspicuous; for which causes he calleth himself, The sonne of Jesse. Whence learn, 1. As a man liveth, so readily he dieth: David was a worshipper of God all his life, and now when he hath given over the Kingdom to his Son, and is go­ing [Page 151] his way, he is upon the same work of praying and singing Psalmes, for Gods glory and edification of his Church. 2. The meditation of Christ, contemplation of his glory, seeking af­ter and foreseeing the inlargement of Christs Kingdom, is a noble and comfortable closing of a mans life, as here we see it. 3. It is the note of true humility and sincere love to God, to abase our selves, and acknowledge our low condition, wherein God did finde us when he did let forth his love to us, that there­by we may commend the riches of Gods goodnesse and grace un­to us, as appeareth here in David.

PSAL. LXXIII. A Psalme of Asaph.

THe Psalmist setteth down here the doctrine of Gods goodnesse to the faithful, however he seem to deal with them, ver. 1. and cleareth it by his own experience: Wherein first, after he had stumbled to see the wicked prosper in the world, comparing his own calamities with their prosperity, ver. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. he was like to be overcome with the tentation, and to forsake the course of godlinesse, ver. 13, 14. Next, with this tentation he wrestles, ver. 15, 16. And thirdly he getteth the victory, by consulting the Word of God, ver. 17, 18, 19, 20. In the last place, he maketh a fourefold use of this experience; the first whereof is, the acknowledging of his own weaknesse under the tentation, ver. 21, 22. The next is, the confessing of Gods kindnesse to him in the time of ten­tation, ver. 23. The third is, the confirming of his own faith for time to come, ver. 24, 25, 26. The fourth is, his resolution to draw more near to God hereafter, ver. 27, 28.

Ver. 1. TRuly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

The doctrine set down in this verse, is the result of his sad exercise, after he had gotten the victory of the tentation, which did call in question the blessedness of believers, whensoever their outward condition should be found more miserable then the condition of the wicked. Whence learn, 1. As the tentations of Satan do aim at the weakening of our believing of saving [Page 152] doctrine, so our exercises, our experiences of conflicts against the tentation, and our victories over it, should strengthen our faith so much the more, to hold fast that truth which the tenta­tion did oppose; After this experience the Prophet not only holds sorth this doctrine, That God is good; but also prefixeth unto it, truly, yet, or notwithstanding. 2. However the Lord seem to deal more hardly with humble beleevers, and worship­pers of him, then with the wicked, yet is his dispensation to­ward them alwayes for their welfare: Truly God is good to Is­rael. 3. Those persons are true Israelites, who not only do cleanse their conscience by the blood of the Lamb of God, but also study to be holy in soul and body in the sincerity of their heart: This is the cleannesse of heart which the Scripture teach­eth; God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Ver. But at as for me, my feet were almost gone: my steps had well nigh slipt.

3. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

The Psalmist compareth his late carriage under a tentation un­to the rule of this doctrine, and doth acknowledge that he did not hold it so firmly as he should have done, but was almost driven from the maintaining of it. Whence learn, 1. In the time of adversity a beleever may prove weak in the faith of that truth, which was not questioned by him in prosperity, and be neer-hand unto the quitting and renouncing of it; But as for me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipt. 2. Al­beit the Lord so farre decipher the weakness of his own chil­dren, as to let them be brought to the very brink of misbelieving of a necessary and saving truth, yet he preventeth their quitting of it altogether; they may be very near the fall, and not sall altogether: My feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipt. 3. The godly will not stand to confess to their owne shame their own weakness, when it may serve to strengthen o­thers, and give warning to prevent the fall of others, or any way prove profitable to others, as in this example we see. 4. The measure of our faith or love to God and to Religion, the mea­sure of our faith to obey known truth, is best known in time of tentation, when the object is in our eye, and the tempter is ma­king [Page 153] use of it to insnare us: I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 5. If the prosperity of the wicked, and trouble of the godly be looked upon, in respect of their outward worldly estate only, it cannot chose but trouble a mans thoughts; I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Ver. 4. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firme.

5. They are not in trouble as other men: neither are they plagued like other men.

6. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chaine: violence covereth them as a garment.

7. Their eyes stand out with fatnesse: they have more then heart could wish.

8. They are corrupt and speak wickedly concerning oppression, they speak loftily.

9. They set their mouth against the heavens: and their tongue walketh through the earth.

10. Therefore his people return hither, and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.

What was the prosperity of the wicked, which stumbled him, he setteth down in particular inthese verses, Whence learn, 1. Al­beit the great multitude of the wicked are subject to such out­ward miseries, as others are, yet to some of them, yea and to some of the worst of them, God for his own holy ends useth to give health of body, long life, little sicknesse, and a quiet death, when the time of it is come, and in their death to keep them from many troubles, which others are subject unto: and yet God doth not love them, nor approve any whit more of them for this: There are no bands in their death, but their strength is firme; they are not in trouble as other men, &c. 2. The more liberally the Lord deals with the wicked, they are the more insolent and proud, and vain-glorious; they are the more unjust and violent oppressors of others: their prosperity doth blinde them, and serveth to encrease their wickednesse; Therefore pride compasseth them as a chaine; violence covereth [Page 154] them as a garment. They glory in their oppression. 3. Albeit God bestow riches on the wicked, and more then they could rea­sonably wish, and do give them health of bodies to make use of their riches as they please, so as they swell for fatnesse, (which a­bundance should oblige a man to serve the Lord more heartily) yet the recompence they render to God is this, they become more and more vicious in their own persons, and do threaten more and more injuries to their neighbours; They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: They stand in awe neither of God nor man, but openly in their, speeches they despise all authority over them; They speak loftily: They scoffe and mock religion, and speak blasphemously of God and his providence: They set their mouth against the Heavens: They speak as they please of all things, and all men, not caring against whom they speak, or what they speak to any mans pre­judice; Their tongue walketh through the earth: not caring whom it tread upon, or whom it abuse. 4. The prosperity of the wicked, and their thriving in an ill course, doth ensnare ma­ny inconsiderate people, even members of the visible Church, and moveth them to follow the evil wayes of the openly wicked, and to make defection from their own professed duties; There­fore his people return hither, saith he. 5. When men stumble at righteousness because of trouble, and follow the course of the wicked for love of worldly advantage; it is righteousness with God, to give both the bait for a while to such changelings, and the hook also, for hardening them in their own wicked choice; And waters of a full Cup (saith he) are wrung out unto them: that is, they finde some worldly commodity by their defection. 6. There is a threefold tentation to draw a man from the course of holiness unto looseness and profanity; one, when the wicked [...] observed to prosper in the world; another, when multitudes [...] off a good course, and follow the example of the wicked: and a third, when those backsliders also seem to prosper after their defection, as here. 1. The wicked do calumniate every good course, and they prosper. 2. Gods people return hither for love of prosperity. 3. Then waters of a full Cup are wrung out unto them. All these things may concurre, and the way mean time is most damnable notwithstanding.

Ver. 11. And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?

[Page 155] 12. Behold, these are the ungodly: who prosper in the world, they increase in riches.

Here he bringeth in the poor deluded people defending their defection, and their following the example of the ungodly, and hardening themselves in their evil course, saying in substance, that if God disliked the ungodly, he would not let them pros­per so in the world, and heap riches upon them as he doth: and this is in substance to blaspheme God as an ignorant Gover­nour of the world, or a misregarder how men do carry them­selves. Whence learne, 1. When men are once insnared in an ill course, they will seek reasons to justifie themselves; those thoughts which did insnare them, do also hold them; for they to whom waters of a full Cup are wrung out, do say, How doth God know? 2. Men are ready to reproach the Lord, if he do not guide the world to their fancy, yea and to blaspheme God, ra­ther then blame themselves for their faults, as these words do import: How doth God know? that is, how can it be, that God taketh notice of such mens wayes as wrong, seeing he doth prosper them? 3. To think that God is well-pleased with the way of the wicked, because they prosper; and that he respects not his Saints, because he doth afflict them more then the wick­ed, is as much as in effect to say, The Lord is not wise that doth so well to his foes, and dealeth so hardly with his friends; for so here is it interpreted by the Lord: Is there knowledge in the most High? 4. It seemeth very reasonable to carnal reason, that if God hate ungodlinesse, he should not suffer the ungodly to prosper in the world: and if he will suffer them to prosper, then he doth not hate ungodlinesse; and therefore when it is clear to all men that the ungodly do prosper, they conclude that God knoweth not; taketh no notice of ungodlinesse, or is not dis­pleased with it, for here is their proof; Behold, (say they) these are the ungodly who prosper in the world, they increase in riches. 5. The thing that deceiveth the ungodly and the misbelieving world about Gods dispensation, is, that they look only to [...] which is done by God in this world; no punishment after death, or felicity after death do they think upon: These are the ungod­ly (say they) who prosper in the world. 6. In the very tentation whereby the wicked is insnared, the worme of their gourd, and the staine of their felicity is discovered: their felicity is but in riches, and their prosperity is but in this present world; They prosper in the world, say they.

Ver. 13. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

14. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

Here is the well near slipping of the Psalmists feet, set down, in his begun yielding unto the devils tentation, forcibly born in upon him, and repeated over by him, after the manner of a re­solute conclusion, condemning all his former course of godli­nesse upon this one poor pretence, because he seemed to him­self more miserable then the wicked were. Whence learn, 1. A tentation sometime may be so powerfully born in upon the spi­rit of a childe of God, as it may seem to be admitted, yielded unto, and subscribed unto as truth, as here we see; Verily I have cleansed in vaine, &c. 2. The true course of sanctification con­sists in the study of cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body, or in cleansing the heart and the hands, as here is set down: The heart is cleansed by the blood of the expiatory sacri­fice laid hold on by faith, and by the begun works of the Lords Spirit manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose and study of holinesse the hands are cleansed by a blameless and harmless con­versation or course of life and actions: I have cleansed my heart and hands in innocency. 3. When a man is under a tentation, or in a fleshly temper of spirit, for the present he putteth a high price upon any good he hath done, and forgetteth by what strength he did it; he forgetteth Gods part, and his glory in it; for the Psalmists part, was the consenters part, the instruments part, and he was in the point of action only a subordinate a­gent and co-worker at the best by a borrowed strength; and yet as if all the work had been his work alone; In vain (saith he) have I cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocency. 4 That which is the break-neck of the wicked, may readily be a stum­bling-stone for a time to the godly: that which is the irreco­verable deadly sickness of the wicked, may be the hot fever or distemper of the godly for a season. In special, as the wicked man at all times doth look only to this present world, and to what may make him prosperous or miserable in this present life: so it may befal the godly man also in a fit, at a time, to look only upon temporal prosperity and trouble, as here we see the Psalmist looketh only to his present troubles; For all the day long I have been plagued; never a word here of his sweet consolations and [Page 157] man fold benefits bestowed on him. 5. To finde some new crosse daily, either from Godimmediately, or from the world, or from Sa­tan, or from our own corruption, is no strange thing to the god­ly; All the day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morn­ing, saith the Psalmist: even while he was daily cleansing his heart, and washing his hands: so doth divine wisdom see it fit for the good of his children, and glorifying of his own Name.

Ver. 15. If I say, I will speak thus: behold, I should offend against the generation of thy chil­dren.

Thus have we seen his tentation. In the next place, we have his wrestling with it, by bringing this conclusion suggested by Satan to a further examination: and first, of humane reason, wherby he perceiveth, that if this conclusion should be maintain­ed, then the Church of God in all ages, and all the godly from the beginning of the world should be condemned as miserable souls: which consequence he thinketh to be a rash condemning of the constant resolution of the godly wise in all ages past. Whe [...]ce learn, 1. Tentations driving at the subversion of faith in Christ, and holinesse of life, do finde resistance in the heart of a renewed man, how farre soever they seem to prevail at first: The seed of God remaineth in him, the principles of spiritual life, the infused habits of saving graces, the new creature by Gods up-stirring do make opposition, as in this example we see. 2. The way to take up and decipher Satans tentations, is to con­sider what they aim at, tend unto, drive at, what may be the con­sequence thereof; If I say, I will speak thus, then such a thing will follow. 3. So long as a tentation remaineth under dis­pute, and is not come to a setled decree and resolved practice, it hath not obtained full victory; it is with the Psalmist here, for all that was suggested and seemingly yielded, no more yet, but, If I say I will speak thus. 4. Whosoever doth condemn piety and holy conversation, because the world doth so, or be­cause trouble doth follow such a course, he doth a high injury to all the Saints from the beginning of the world, and to God the Author of all holinesse; If I should speak thus, behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 5. The godly are not the authors of their own spiritual being, the making them new creatures is the work of God, they are the children of God, [Page 158] begotten of him, by his Word and Spirit, and do resemble their Father in wisdom and righteousnesse; so doth the Psalmist stile them, in the time of his hard exercise here, The generation of Gods children. 6. In our disputing with tentations by the wea­pons of reason, we shall do well to make God Moderator of the disputants, and to look to God in our reasoning, that we may by his testimonies rectifie every thing, lest we reason amisse, as here the Psalmist doth; I should offend against the generation of thy children. 6. We ought to reverence the judgement of the godly, and the more universally their judgment is one, and agreeing to­gether in a point of controversie, the more fear should we have to dissent from them, as the Psalmists example teacheth us.

Ver. 16. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me.

17. Until I went into the Sanctuary of God, then understood I their end.

18. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places, thou castedst them down into destruction.

19. How are they brought into desolation as in a moment? they are utterly consumed with ter­rors.

20. As a dream when one awaketh: so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their i­mage.

In the third place, finding himself not yet satisfied, he con­sulteth the Oracle of God, revealed in his Scripture and ordi­nances of his house, and so he findeth his doubt resolved, and vi­ctory over his bitter tentation granted unto him. Whence learn, 1. When a man doth see himself in a mist, and out of the Lords way, he is not able by himself to finde it again; for the strongest of humane testimonies will not settle him and make him quiet; When I thought to know this, it was too painful. 2. The last refuge of brangled faith, is God himself manifesting his will in his Word and Ordinances; no setling or satisfaction of doubts in Divinity, but by the Scriptures; It was too painful for me, until I went into the Sanctuary of God; that is, till I consulted the Scriptures, and considered what God had revealed [Page 159] in his Church by his Ordinances; this did satisfie and settle him. 3. The Lord hath revealed in Scripture what shall be the end and close of mens course, who studie not to walk according to his direction, how prosperous soever they may seem to be: and because the felicity of men is not to be known by Gods outward dispensation of worldly comforts or crosses, therefore the mans end must put the difference; Then understood I their end. 4. Whatsoever alterations and changes the godly man be subject unto in his temporal condition, bodily or spiritual, yet his felicitie is setled unto him on the rock but [...] felicity of the wicked is builded on the sand; the [...] are lifted up in that felicity earthly, which only they do affect, the more near are they to a fall and fearful ruine: Thou hast set them up­on slippery places. 5. Whatsoever may seem to the wicked them­selves, or to the world, or to the godly who look upon the wick­ed, how little appearance soever there be of their fall; yet it is decreed it shall be; for notwithstanding of all appearance it is said, Surely thou hast set them in slippery places. 6. As the wicked do not arise unto any greatnesse or power in the world by themselves, but the Lord is he that setteth them up for his own glory; so they do not fall of their own accord, but the Lord doth cast them down: beside their own weight, they have the throw of the right hand of the Lord, who sheweth his power in their overthrow, and doth drive them to more deaths then one; Thou castest them down into destruction. 7. The wicked perish suddenly, when neither they themselves nor others are looking for their ruine, in a way much more wonderful then their lifting up was; They are destroyed, how are they brought in­to desolation, as in a moment? 8. The destruction of the wicked is full of terror; how senselesly soever some of them go away, all their riches, honour and prosperity is pulled from them, and in great wrath they are sent out of the world, never to see any token of favour again; they are adjudged to irrecoverable per­dition of soul and body for ever: They are utterly consumed with terrors. 9. When the wicked are flourishing in wealth, ease and honour, men do think that God is as it were sleeping; but the truth is, both the wicked themselves, and all who look upon them, and do judge them to be happy, are in a dream, as they shall see when the Lords time is come to execute judgement on them; for then all their riches, honour, pleasure and content­ment shall be found nothing but a despicable picture of these things; As a dream when one awaketh: so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

Ver. 21. Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reines.

22. So foolish was I and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

In the fourth place, he maketh a six-fold use of this experi­ence. The first is this, that by it he is taught how weak and foo­lish he is in himself, and how unable so stand in time of trial and tentation. Whence learn, 1. Hardly will a man discern a pow­erful tentat [...] [...] is under it. The best sight to be had of the danger o [...] [...] is, when it is overcome and gone and look how well p [...]ed a man is, when the tentation is beautified with specious col [...] of carnal reason, so much will he be displea­sed with it, when it is seen, and discerned by spiritual light, as here we see in the Psalmists experience. 2, Much trouble do we bring to our own spirits, when we examine Gods dispensations by carnal reason, and not by the Scripture; and we may thank our selves for the misery which we draw upon our selves, as here the Psalmist doth; Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 3. So soon as the godly can perceive rheir own error, they will no longer maintain it, and no man will more shatply censure them for their fault then they will do themselves: This is a part of their up rightnesse, and ingenuous honesty of heart; So foo­lish was I and ignorant. 4. The sin of envy, and male-content with Gods afflicting of us, and sparing of the wicked, hath its own judgement bound upon the back of it: for as a soure-lea­vened vessel, turneth all things put into it unto sournesse, so doth envy of the prosperity of others make all the good that the Lord doth to our selves, uncomfortable, and unpleasant un­to us: for the Word My heart was grieved; is in the force of the original, My heart was imbittered, made soure, and leavened. 5. Perplexity of minde, rising upon the mi­staking of Gods providence, is like the pain of the gravel in the reines, very troublesome till we be rid of it; I was pricked in my reines, is a similitude borrowed from the bodily pain of the gra­vel. 6. Carnal reason not corrected by Gods Word, is beastly ignorance: it may bear some shew of reason among foolish men, but indeed it is nothing before God, but brutish folly; I was as a beast before thee.

Ver. 23. Neverthelesse, I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

[Page 161] The second use of thi [...] exercise, is the acknowledgmen [...] that hi [...] [...]nding in grace, and Gods obedience, depended only upon the Lord, by whose powerful susteining of him he was kept from being utterly overcome by the tentations of Satan, and from fal­ling from the way of God by the tentation. Whence learn, 1. The [...]verance of the Saints is not of themselves, but of the Lord, who doth not forsake them, when they of themselves are ready to forsake him, but by his power secretly uphold them, and keep them fast to himselfe: This doth the Psalmist here acknowledge; Neverthelesse I am continually with thee. 2. [...]hen we have gotten proof of our own folly, and weakn [...] [...] deserving, then do we most clearly see and confes [...] [...] [...]e and power in preserving of us: Thou hast holden me by [...] hand.

Ver. 24. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

The third use is the confirmation of his faith and hope in God for time to come. Whence learn, 1. The Believer, how sensible soever he be of his own weaknesse, may be perswaded of his own perseverance, by looking on Gods constancy, and felt ex­perience of his work of grace in him in time past; Thou wilt g [...] me with thy counsel, &c. 2. There is an unseparable connexion between walking by Gods direction in the time of this life, and our receiving into heaven after this life: and he who is resolved to walk by the rule of Gods direction, may promise to himselfe to be received into glory immediately after his journey in this life is ended; Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 3. Albeit the Believer may meet with many doubts and disficulties in his way, yet hath he a guide to direct him, and a rule to walk by, to wit, the Word of God revealed in the Church or Sanctuary, whereby he may be advised effe­ctually how to walk on his way to heaven: Thou wilt guide me with [...]hy counsel.

Ver. 25. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.

26. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

The fourth use of this exercise is, the setling of his affection [Page] and confidence on God, as the matter of his satisfactory cont [...]nt­ment, and upholding, when all creatures failed him. Whence learn, 1. As nothing can give true contentment, excep [...] God: so God will have us to loose our heart from all creatures, and ex­pect no contentment in any of them, but in himselfe; Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none on earth whom I desir [...] besides thee. 2. He that seeth Gods sufficiency, seeth also t [...] emptinesse of the creatures, and nothing to be in them, but wh [...] they have of God. A Believer may see that he needeth nothing in heaven or [...]th, but communion with God, to make him ful­ly blessed; [...] I in heaven but thee, and there is none [...] earth that I d [...] [...] thee. 3. As to finde all things to fai [...] us, except God, in the time of trial, doth serve to loose our affe­ctions and confide [...]e off them: so to finde help in God when all things do faile, serveth to tic the heare of a Believer strongly to the Lord; My heart and my flesh faileth me, but God is the strength of my hea [...]t. [...] 4. When the Believer hath seen his own strength fail him, and yet not the lesse doth believe in God, he shall finde his sailing heart and fainting courage upholden, and his own exhausted strength supplied with a greater strength from God: My heart and my flesh fail me, but God is the strength of [...]y heart. 5. Every man seeketh something for his portion▪ some one thing in the creature, some another, but the believers portion is the Lord himselfe, and no lesse will content him: The Lord is the strength of my heart, and my portion. 6. This is the Believers advantage above all that do seek their blessednesse in the creature; for his portion is the eternal God, and he is made an everlasting enjoyer of him: God is my portion for ever.

Ver. 27. For lo, they that are farre from thee, shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

The fifth use, is his resolution to draw nearer unto God: the reasons of which resolution are two; one, because they perish, who do not draw near to God: ver. 27. The other is great advant [...]ge is to be had by drawing near to him, ver. 28. Whence lea [...]n, 1. The Lords childe doth profit by hardest exercises, and h [...] tentations being resisted by faith, do leave him in better case then they did finde him: his knowledge of Gods ways, his faith, his love to God, and hatred of wicked courses are augmented, as in [Page 163] this example is to be seen. 2. They whose confidence, [...]ffecti­ons, course of life and actions do run toward, and cleave un­to the creature, do depar [...] from God more and more; for here they are said to be f [...]rre from God: and they that depart from God, do draw near to eternal perdition: They that are farre from thee, shall p [...]rish. And howsoever this truth be not believed, yet it is as sure and certain, as if it were seen with our eyes; For [...]o, they that are farre from thee, shall perish. 3. A chaste soule [...]ath no choice, no love, to delight it selfe in contentedly, ex­cept God: no confidence to rest it selfe upon, but God. And whosoever do seek their delight and satisfaction in the creature, especially if they be members of the visible Church, in Cove­ [...]ant with God, they are adulterers: They go a whoring from God: and they shall not finde felicity in the creatures; but perdition no lesse certainly, then if it were already past: Thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

Ver. 28. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

In this verse, he giveth the other reason of his adherence unto God, from the advantage he findeth by so doing, and closeth the Psalm with the sixth use of his experience, which is the fixing of his faith on God, that his experiences may be more and more frequent, and he may be a fitter instrument to glorify God. Whence learn, 1. The right use of the perishing of the wicked, is to be more holy, and to seek nearer communion with God, as our on­ly blessednesse, how many soever depart from him: They shall perish who are farre from thee, but it is good for me to draw near to God. 2. No man is so near in communion with God in this life, but there is a further degree to be aimed at, and possibly to be found; as there are degrees of departing from God, so also degrees of coming near unto him; and the better for us, the near­er we draw: It is good for me to draw ne [...] to God. 3. The use of all assaults against our faith, is more and more to fixe our [...]ith and confidence on God; for this is the use the Psalmist do [...]h make of the assault spoken of in this Psalm: I have put my trust in the Lord God. 4. None but a Believer can discern the Lord▪ working, it is only faith that giveth a right construction unto all the Lords works, only faith makes men fit instruments to glorify God; I [...] put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy [Page 164] works. 5. As the Believer is the best observer of Gods work [...] and sittest to set them forth before others; so he is the man of greatest experience; and he of all men is filled with most matter of Gods praise: for the Lord never disappoints the believer, but makes him [...]ave new proofs of his wonderful wisdome, power, and goodnesse; so doth the Psalmist lay his reckoning: I have put [...] trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

PSAL. LXXIV. Maschil of Asaph.

OF this Psalm there are three parts. In the first the pitiful la­mentation of the Church presented unto God, because of the destruction of Ierusalem, and burning of the Temple by the Chaldeans, to ver. 11. In the next is the strengthening of the saith and hope of Gods people, that God would send a delivery, to ver. 18. In the third, there are sundry petitions for relief of his people, restitution of his own work, and suppression of his enemies, to the end of the Psalm.

Ver. 1. O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoak against the sheep of thy pasture?

2. Remember thy congregation which thou hast purchased of old, the rod of thine inheritance which thou hast redeemed, this monnt Sion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

In the first part of the Psalm there is a lamentation and prayer for reliefe in general, ver. 1, 2. Secondly, a complaint against the enemy, laying forth before God the desolation which the Chalde­ans had made, especially in destroying the Temple, ver. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. And thirdly, a prayer unto God for vengeance upon them for their paines, ver. 10, 11.

From the lamentation and prayer for relief in general, Lear [...], 1. In all judgements inflicted by whatsoever instruments, the Lords people must look first to God; and albeit wrath, and f [...]r [Page 165] of utter wrath do stare them in the face, as hardly it can be other­wayes when God putteth hand in his own Temple, and taketh away all the tokens of his presence from among a people, and seemeth to cast them utterly oft; yet must they make their address to God, how angry soever he seem to be; as here the Church un­der this sad judgement doth, saying, O God, why hast thou cast u [...]. off? 2. In the point of casting off, and fear of casting off for ever, the Lord craveth no yielding or submission to the pressing thoughts thereof, but will allow us to call in question every ap­pearance of any such purpose of God, and to debate that point with him, and not to endure utter casting off, yea and to say, Why hast thou cast us off for ever? whether it be our own parti­cular case, or the case of the visible Church, ours and others case with us, who cannot endure to be separate from God, 3. When the wrath of the Lord is kindled against his people, all that they do see, doth seem to be but the beginning of more wrath, as smoak is but the beginning of burning: Why doth thine anger smoak against thy sheep? 4. Albeit we by our sins have pro­voked the Lord to fall upon us, as [...] enemies; yet must we not quit the least relation, no not of [...] external Covenant, between God and us, but make use of it for supporting of our faith in him, as here; Why doth thine anger smoake against the sheep of thy pasture? that is, thy Church and people, the care of whom, thou hast taken, as a shepherd over his flock. 5. The Believers asking, Why? is no quarrelling; nor is any speech of the Saint [...] unto God, a quarrelling, which endeth or resolveth in petition and supplication, as this doth wherein after their asking, Why? they turn themselves to supplication, and do pray, Remember thy congregation. 6. Let the Lord do to his people what he plea­seth, they must pray unto him, and make use of all the b [...]nds be­tween him and them, as here the Church doth, pleading, 1. That they are by outward Covenant his Church, consecrated un­to him; Remember thy congregation. And 2. That they are his purchase by paying price, and conquest: Thy congregation which thou hast purchased. And 3. That they have been in his posses­sion for a long time; Which thou hast purchased of old. And 4. That the Lord had taken them into manuring, as a piece of land measured out by line or rod, and his inheritance not to dis­pose, or put away: The rod of thine inheritance. And 5. That he had granted deliverances out of straits before; The inheritance which thou hast redeemed. And 6. That he had taken up house amongst them in his publick ordinances: This mount Sio [...] where­in thou hast dwelt.

Ver. 3. Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desola­tions: even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.

4. Thine enemies roare in the midst of thy congrega­tions: they set up their ensignes for signes.

5. A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.

6. But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.

7. They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy Name to the ground.

8. They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them to­gether: they have burnt up all the synagogues of God in the land.

9. We see no [...] our signes, there is no more any pro­phet, neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.

In the complaint he desireth the Lord to come and see, and to take order with the desolation made by the enemies in his land, and specially in the Temple, ver. 3. What insolent domi­neering of them was over his people, yea over God himselfe, so farre as their listed up banner against him could do, ver. 4. Each of them thinking it as great matter of commendation to them, to throw down the Temple, as ever it was for any man to build it, or prepare materials for it, ver. 5, 6. How they had burnt and de­molished the Lords house, ver. 7. with a resolution to root out his people, according as they had burnt all their Synagogues in the land, ver. 8. And how there was no appearance of comfort or delivery from this calamity, ver. 9. Whence learn, 1. All the evils which the enemy doth unto Gods Church, proceed from the Lords desertion of, and departing from his peo­ple, who have provoked him to wrath; for this prayer, Lift up thy feet, or come and see, doth import his departure, and leaving his people naked without his protection. 2. Albeit the Lord doth seem to turn his back, & depart far away from his own people, when they do provoke him to anger, and to let their ene­mies do unto them, what they please; yet will he be entreated by [Page 167] his people to come again, and see, and pity the desolation brought upon them, and punish the instruments of it; Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations: that is, Lord, come speedily, and see what desolations thy enemies have made amongst us, and pity and relieve us by thy manifested presence. 3. Among all the calamities of Gods people, nothing doth afflict them so much, as the [...]nsolent profa [...]ation of the worship and Name of God among them; for here in the first petition, they lament the abusing of the Temple, Even all that the enemies have done wickedly in the San­ctuary; and then do insist most upon this. 4. When the wicked are le [...] loose upon Gods people, they are most insolent, cruel and savage in their carriage toward them; Thy enemies roare in the midst of thy congregations. 5. It will not suffice the enemies of the Church to insult over Gods people, but they will insult over their way of religion, and over God whom they worship; They set up their ensignes for signes; they display their banner upon the ruines of the Temple, as signes of their victory over that re­ligion which is professed there, and over Gods worship there▪ 6. When Gods people do abuse religion, and do mock God in their profession of worship, and do dishonour him by their carriage and conversation; it is justice with God to give over his people, and all the meanes of religion into the hands of his enemies, to be abused by them, rather then to suffer his own people to mock him continually, as in this example is to be seen. 7. It is a matter of a mans commendation, to contribute any way to the setting up of Gods worship and ordinances in a land; A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees: that is, as he had cut down timber out of Lebanon Wood, to build the Lords Temple withall. 8. When the Lord is provoked by his peoples evil carriage towards him, no wonder he let the work of edification or reformation of religion go as fast down amongst them, as ever it rose up, as the Church of the Jewes did feel by experience, when now the enemies did break down the carved work of the Temple at once, with axes and hammers, much more speedily then it was builded; They have cast fire into the Sanctua [...]y, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy Name to the ground. This the Lord chused to permit, rather then to suffer his people still to mock religion, and still to abuse the Temple, and make it a shelter for them to trust in against all Gods threatnings, so long as it did stand. 9. Albeit the Lords minde be onely to correct his people, by letting them see their provocation in the judgements brought upon them: yet the [Page 168] enemies whom he useth as instruments in their correction, do minde their utter destruction, and the rooting of them out of the world: They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them. 10. When the enemies of religion cannot kill all the worshippers of God, yet will they labour to mar the means of their assembling for publick worship, so farre as they can: for after they have said, Let us destroy them together, it is subjoyned, They have burnt up all the Syna­gogues of God in the land: that is, all the houses built for the weekly assembling of the people unto publick worship, in their several divisions, through the land. 11. Houses built for meet­ing of the Lords people to publick worship, albeit they be not ty­pically holy, as the Temple of Ierusalem was; yet do they belong to God, as meanes dedicate for maintaining his service, and when they are marred, it is a wrong done to God, and a cause of complaint to God against the sacrilegious spoilers thereof, as here we see. 12. External troubles are much lighter, when the publick ordinances and signes of Gods presence in a land may be had for spiritual comfort; but when those are removed, every trouble is the more heavy: We see not our fignes, there is no more any Prophet, ne [...]ther any among us, that knoweth how long: that is, publick meanes, ordinary and extraordinary, which may give us comfort, do now cease. If it be asked, how can this be applied unto the time of the captivity, seeing Ieremy, Eze­kiel, Daniel, and the Prophet who did write this Psalme by in­spiration, were living at the beginning of the captivity, and after the burning of the Temple? It may be answered, that Ieremy was carried away [...]o Egypt, and the people could not have use of his ministery; Ezekiel and Daniel were carried away to Baby­lon, and the poor which remained in the land had none of the Prophets to comfort them; yea Ezekiel and Daniel were but now and then imployed of God to utter their prophecies, and the multi­tude of the captives, who were to make use of this Psalm, were scat­tered in sundry places, and could not have the benefit of their or of any others ministery, as they were wont to have; and this in spe­ciall maketh the Iamentation to have a ground, that the table was drawn from the children: the people had not that accesse, which they enjoyed before▪ unto meanes either extraordinary or ordinary; they had not their former allowance; and howsoever in the copies of Ieremiahs prophecie, 70. yeares was determined for the peoples captivity, yet none of the Prophets at the time of writing this, told, or could tell them, how long time should passe before their desolution should be repaired; how long it should [Page 169] be ere the Temple should be builded again; and the Prophet, by whom this Psalm was endited, had no further commission then he speaketh of; and so these foresaid expressions, may stand with the time of the beginning of the captivity of Babylon.

Ver. 10. O God, how long shall the adversary re­proach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy Name for ever?

11. Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right band? pluck it out of thy bosome.

After the lamentation is subjoyned an imprecation against the enemies, that God would not deferre to punish them. Whence learn, 1. Mens patience is much short of Gods long-suffering and forbearance; for here it is the speech of a suffering people: O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? when with God it is not yet time to fall upon them. 2. The Lords long-suffering patience doth greatly harden the adversaries in their insolent mocking of Gods people; for instead of saying, Lord, how long wilt thou bear with them? he saith, O God, how long shall the adversaries reproach? 3. The truly godly can endure their own troubles better then they can bear the open dishonouring and blaspheming of God, by occasion of their trouble: Therr­fore this expression, from the deepest sense of his heart, doth break forth, Shall the enemy blaspheme thy Name for ever? 4. Al­beit tentations from carnal sense do represent God as if he were idle when he suffers his enemies to trample on his people, and on his glorious Name; yet faith will not admit of such a thought, but dealeth with God by prayer, to let his strength and power be so manifest, that the world may not think his hand is in his bosome; Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right band? pluck it out of thy bosome. This he believeth the Lord shall do, and giveth reasons for his hope, in that which followeth.

Ver. 12. For God is my King of old, working sal­vation in the midst of the earth.

13. Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the Dragons in the waters.

14. Thou brakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, [Page 170] and gavest him to be meat to the [...]ople inhabiting the wildernesse.

15. Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers.

16. The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.

17. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth, thou hast made summer and winter.

In the second part of the Psalme, the Psalmist doth confirme his own and other believers saith that God would undoubtedly deliver his people, and take order with their enemies; First, from the interest they have in God, and God in them. Secondly, from the experience of sensible deliveries past of his people, ver. 12. Thirdly, from the great work of redemption of his people from Pharaohs tyranny. ver. 13, 14. Fourthly, from the Lords seeding his people in the wildernesse, ver. 15. Fifthly, from the Lords sovereignty, and disposing of all creatures in the world, ver. 16, 17. Whence learn, 1. Relations between God and his Church, and in special this, that he hath made himselfe King thereof, are pawnes of Gods defending his Kingdom and injured subjects, and punishing of his enemies; for here the Church giveth it for a reason of their hope of delivery; God is my King. 2. The more time is past since God did avow himselfe King of his Church, the more confident may later generations of the Church be to finde new evidences of his royal actions for them, and against their enemies; God is my King of old. 3. New troubles must not make us forget old mercies, but rather call them to memory, to be made use of afresh as pledges that what he hath done before, he will do the like again; God is my King of old, working salva­tion in the earth: that is, such deliverances of his Church, as all the earth was witnesse of. 4. The delivery of Israel out of Egypt, and the destruction of the Egyptians, is a pawn unto the Church in every age after, that God will destroy their enemies how strong and terrible soever they be, and will deliver his Church: Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength, thou brakest the heads of the Dragons in the waters. 5. As all the enemies of the Church are no lesse cruel and savage against the Lords peo­ple, then unreasonable Sea-beasts, and Sea-monsters: so can he make their carcases a prey to unreasonable beasts, as he made Pha­raoh [Page 171] and his Captaines to become food to the beasts of the wildernesse, when the Sea did cast up their carcases on the sho [...]e, like sea-wrackt; Thou brakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wildernesse. 6. The Lord will not fail to provide consolation to his Church in her necessity, though no probable means do appear, as he fur­nished his people drink from the flinty rock in the wildernesse: Thou didst cleave the fountain. 7. The Lord can and will re­move all difficulties and impediments out of the way of his peo­ple, which may hinder them from the possession of promises, as he did to Israel: Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood, thou driedst up mighty rivers. 8. Faith is so thrifty, as not to let the works of creation, and common providence passe by, without use­making thereof: The day is thine, the night also is thine, &c. 9. As God hath appointed vicissitudes of day and night, light and darknesse, summer and winter; so hath he no lesse resolvedly, wisely, and graciously appointed vicissitudes of dangers and deli­verances, of grief and consolation to his people, for their good: The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the Sun. 10. As the Lord hath set bounds to the sea, bounds and borders to every Kingdome, to summers heat, and to win­ters cold: so can he do, and so hath he done, and so will he do unto all the troubles of his owne, to all the rage, power, plots and purposes of their enemies: Thou hast set all the borders of the earth, thou hast made summer and winter,

Ver. 18. Remember this, that the enemy hath re­proached, O Lord, and that the foolish people have blas­phemed thy Name.

19. O deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congrega­tion of thy poor for ever.

20. Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.

21. O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy Name.

22. Arise, O God, plead thine owne cause: remember bow the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.

[Page 172] 23. Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tu­mult of those that rise up against thee, increaseth continally.

In the third part of the Psalm, he returneth to prayer, and re­doubleth his requests for delivery to the Church, taking argu­ments; Frst, from the injuries done to God by the enemy, ver. 18. Secondly, from the danger and weaknesse of Gods people, ver. 19. Thirdly, from covenanted help in time of need, ver. 20. Fourthly, from the Lords interest in his own quarrel against the growing insolency of his despightful enemies, ver. 22, 23. Whence learn, 1. Although sins, especially persecution of Gods people, and blasphemy against God, be not presently punished, yet shall they not be forgiven: Remember this, that the enemy hath reproach­ed, O Lord. 2. All sins, but in special blasphemy of Gods Name, are aggravated by the naughtiness of the sinner, and excel­lency of God: The foolish people have blasphemed thy Name. 3. The Church of God, in comparison of her many and strong enemies, is like a solitary, weak, desolate turtle-dove, harmlesse, meek, lowly, patient in desolation, and easing her griefe by sighing, and exposed to a multitude of ravenous birds; O deliver not the soule of thy turtle-dove. 4. How weak soever the Church be, and how ma­ny and strong soever the enemies be, yet cannot they all devoure the Church, except the Lord should deliver his Church over into their hands, against which evill the Church hath ground of confidence to pray, O deliver not the soule of thy turtle-love unto the multitude of the wicked; for he hath given his Church wings, and a hiding place too, as the comparison importeth, if he please to give her the use thereof also. 5. The Church is the Lords hospital, where his poor ones are sustained upon his provision and furniture, and he will not neglect them; O forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. 6. Albeit the Lords people deserve to be secl [...]d many times from the Covenant of grace, yet the Lord will never debare them from their right unto it, when they in their need draw near to him, and plead for the benefit of it: Have respect, (saith he) to the Covenant. 7. Such places as want the light of the Lords presence in his Ordinan­ces, are but dark and uncomfortable places, where there is no lesse hazard for the people of God to remaine, then for sheep to be in the midst of the dennes of cruel lions and ravenous beasts: And when it pleaseth God to cast his peo­ple [Page 173] by captivity or exile in such places, there is much need to make use of Gods Covenant for preservation: Have re­spect unto the Covenant; for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. 8. The emptied supplicant coming to God, especially when over-loaden with troubles, shall finde comfort, and shall not bee disappointed of his hope; O let not the oppressed return ashamed. 9. The sense of need and emptinesse, is the best disposition for prayer, and best preparation for praises also: and such as are poore in their prayers, shall be rich in their praises; Let the poor and needy praise thy Name. 10. The Churches cause is the Lords cause; for the wicked do not maligne the godly for their sinnes, but for righteousnesse, and so the quarrel is the Lords, which he will and must maintain, though he seem to sit still a while: Arise, O Lord, plead thine owne cause. 11. The Lords enemies are all foolish men; for they beat out their braines upon the Churches bulwark; be­cause the Lord forbeareth for a time, they go on to blaspheme him daily to his face, but shall finde at length that God hath all their reproaches upon record: Remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily. 12. Every sinne, and in spe­cial enmity against God and his Church is fearful; but open gloriation therein is worse, which God will take know­ledge of, and punish: for so much is imported in this pray­er, forget not the voice of thine enemies. 13. Sinne, and in special persecution gloried in, doth grow daily more and more; and the growing of sinne, and in special of persecution, doth hasten the delivery of the godly, and the destruction of the enemies: The tumult of those that arise against thee, increaseth continually.

PSAL. LXXV. To the chief Musician Al-taschith. A Psalme or Song of Asaph.

THis Psalm doth well agree with the time of Davids entry in­to the Kingdom after Sauls death, before he was establish­ed King over all the tribes, wherein he with the Church; First, doth thank God for bringing him wonderfully to a begun possession of a part of the Kingdome, ver. 1. Secondly, he pro­miseth, that when the Lord shall give him the rest of the King­dom in possession, to imploy his power for righteous governing and setling of it, after it shall be put once in a right frame, ver. 2, 3. Thirdly, he begins to triumph over the wicked that followed Saul, bringing to their minde the advertisement he had given them, not to be proud in their places, ver. 4, 5. partly, be­cause God had the disposing of preferments in his own hand, ver. 6, 7. and partly, because albeit God gave to all his own chil­dren a taste of troubles, as he saw fit, yet the dregs of wrath were reserved for the wicked, ver 8. Fourthly, he promiseth to praise God continually, for casting down the wicked, and exalt­ing of the godly, ver. 9, 10.

Ver. 1. VNto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks; for that thy Name is neare, thy wonderous works de­clare.

From his thanksgiving; Learne, 1. The Church of God should take out of his hand every beginning of mercies and deli­verances with affectionate and frequent thanksgiving: Unto thee, O Lord, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks. 2. As the Lord is described in his Word; so will he be found in his works, to wit, near at hand, and ready to help his people as they stand in need; We do give thanks, because thy Name is near; for this is the neernesse of Gods Name, when his powerful, gracious selt presence is answerable to what is said of him in his Word. 3. Whensoever the Lord doth shew himself for his [Page 175] Churches comfort, he doth it in some wonderful means, in one respect or other, that is, a farre other way then any could have expected; That thy Name is near, thy wondrous works de­clare.

Ver. 2. When I shall receive the congregation, I will judge uprightly.

3. The earth, and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved; I be are up the pillars of it. Selah.

From Davids undertaking to govern the Kingdom well, when it came all in his power; Learne, 1. Possession in part of pro­mises made to us, doth give good hope to have the whole of what is promised in possession also; for, When I shall receive the Congregation, presupposeth his certain hope and expectati­on to have it. 2. He that is advanced to a civil Kingdom, con­sisting of people in Covenant with God, he hath gotten charge to nourish the Church, and to procure whatsoever a King ci­villy can procure to a Church, that his subjects may be all of them Gods Church; therefore David saith not, When I receive the Kingdome, but when I receive the Congregation, or the Church. 3. Foresight of a charge, whereunto a man is likely to be called, should make him prepare himself, and resolve be­fore-hand for doing the duties of that calling, as David did be­fore he was possessed in the Kingdome, When I shall receive the Congregation, I shall judge uprightly. 4. When a land is de­stitute of godly and gracious Governours, the whole countrey is left loose, both in the matter of Religion, and of civil Justice, as was seen in Sauls time before David was setled; The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved. 5. Kingdomes and Common-wealths have their pillars whereupon they should stand, to wit, religious and righteous government; for, I will judge uprightly, in the second verse, is as good as, I will heare up the pillars thereof, in the third verse. 6. Those that minde the reformation of a land, should be sensible of the desolation of it, and have not only will, but also skill and place of power to [...] matters in a right frame, as here the Psalmist, after saying, The land and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved, addeth, I bear up, or shall beare up the pillars of it. And here, whatsoever Da­vid speaketh or could say, was but a shadow of what is to be found in Christ, of whom he is a type: For the Kingdom and [Page] Countrey is ill guided, where Christ doth not reign; but wh [...] people do subject themselves to him, he sets the Kingdom o [...] Countrey upon true pillars, and sustaineth all by his power.

Ver. 4. I said unto the fooles, Deal not foolishly and to the wicked, Lift not up the horne.

5. Lift not up your horne on high: speak not with a stiffe neck.

In the third place, he calleth to minde his own prophecy of the change of affairs, and advertisement given by him before to his adversaries, not to behave themselves so insolently as they did. Whence learn, 1. Even in time of trouble, the godly, by the light of Gods Word, may be enabled to foresee and prophecie of the o­verturning of the wicked from the top of their preserment. I said unto the fools, Deal not so foolishly, saith the Psalmi. 2. When the prophecie u [...]ed according to Gods Word, is like to take effect, it is no small comfort for beleevers to call to re­membrance acts of their beleeving before-hand, what they do see in their own time; I said to the foolish, Deal not so foolishly, is a sort of triumph over his enemies here. 3. Such as are acquaint­ [...]d with true wisdom, do justly account all wicked men to be fooles, forsakers of Gods teaching, and followers of their owne wit and will, to the ruine of their own bodies, soules, houses and same; I said unto the fooles. 4. The fruit of a wicked mans prosperity is pride, vain-glory, audacious boasting against the godly, wherein they grow more and more insolent against all warnings of Gods Word, as this reproof importeth; Deal n [...] foolishly, lift not up the horn: list it not on high, speak not with a stiffe neck.

Ver. 6. For promotion cometh neither from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South.

7. But God is the Iudge, he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

From the first reason of his admonition unto the wicked, Learne, 1. As the cause of mens pride in a wicked course, is t [...] forgetting of God, and of his government in the world on the [Page] one hand, and a strong con [...] of their own ability, to co [...] [...] designes by their own w [...], power and industry o [...] the [...] the [...] hand: so the way of wisdom to remedy the evil, is to con­sider that God doth govern the world, and that men are nothing but what he pleaseth to make of them; Promotion cometh neither from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South: that is, howsoever, or from whence soever preferment to places of pow­er in the world seemeth to come, yet the disposing of places is from a higher hand. 2. Places of power and preferment are dis­posed of only by the wise and righteous pleasure, and determi­nation of the supreme Ruler of the world; But God is Iudge. He opposeth God the Judge his determination unto all the ap­pearances from second causes. 3. As God hath a minde for the glory of his grace, to try, or to correct, or to comfort and im­ploy some men in his service, so he putteth them down, or setteth them up, and as he hath a minde to have the glory of his justice on other some, so he setteth them up, or putteth them down; God is Iudge, he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

Ver. 8. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red: it is full of mixture, and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

From the second reason of the admonition given to the wick­ed; Learn, 1. As the Lord doth wisely distribute his benefits and temporal comforts among men, to testifie his goodnesse to his creatures: so also afflictions and calamities are measured our by him unto men, to restifie his justice and indignation a­gainst sin; For in the hand of the Lord is a Cup; that i [...] a measure of affliction proportioned unto them, for whom it is prepared. 2. This measure of affliction ordained for each man, is prepared for the time appointed, like drink, ready for the mouth of him to whose head the cup shall be put; it is a cup with wine in it, in Gods hand, ready to be set to any mans head be pleaseth. 3. The affliction is like strong wine, quietly pier­cing through all the mans veines who drinketh it, and cleaving fast unto him; The wine is red. 4. The Lord hath as it were [...]oth hot and cooling waters, whereby he doth mitigate the Cup [...] calamities to some, and increaseth the sense of his fiery in [...] ­nation [Page 178] unto others; It is full of mixture: or it is perfectly mixed, as the case requireth. 5. What is each mans measure of calamities, how mixed when it is executed, all is in Gods dis­pensation; He poureth forth of the same into the mouth and [...]lly of every person, as he pleaseth. 6. The calamities of the wick­ed, do follow oft­times alter that the godly have drunk the first draughts of the Lords Cup; It is toward the bottom and dr [...]ga when the wicked drink; the hottest wrath, and heaviest indig­nation is reserved for them, and none of them shall escape, how long soever their judgement shall be delayed; But the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall drink. 7. The wicked shall be no lesse accessory to the drawing on of their own cala­mities, then he that wringeth the dregs, to draw out more li­quor for himself to drink, is accessory to his own drunkennesse and damage; The dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them; their vanity, pride, greedinesse, lust, ambition, envie, and pleasant courses of sinning, wherein they delight themselves, while they are drinking in iniquity as an oxe doth water, shall be their destruction, as in the point of merit, so also in the point of meanes of their owne over­throw.

Ver. 9. But I will declare for ever, I will sing praises to the God of Iacob.

10. All the hornes of the wicked also will I cut off, but the hornes of the righteous shall be exalted.

In the last place, he promiseth to make this holy and wise dis­pensation of justice upon the wicked, and mercy toward the godly, the matter of his song in Gods praise. Whence learn, 1. However matters seem to go, how deep soever the godly drink of the cup of calamities, yet the beleevers in God shall ever have matter of joy in God, and praising of him: But I will declare for ever, (saith the Psalmist) I will sing praises to the God of Iacob; yea sanctified affliction shall be a part of their joy and their praising of God. 2. It doth delight the god­ly to be in the same Covenanr, and of the same faith with those that are commended by God in the Scripture; I will sing prai­ses, (saith he) to the God of Jacob. 3. As a sincere heart doth resolve, never to weary in Gods service, so may it be assured never to want matter of great joy in Gods service, for [...] he [Page 179] hath said; I will declare for ever: then he addeth, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 4. It is the Magistrates part, as they have authority in their supreme or subordinate places, to cut short the power of wicked men; All the hornes of the wick­ed also will I cut off, saith David; which promise he did not cease to execute, by turning every man indifferently, whom he did not judge to be regenerate, out of his place; but by taking course how every man, whom he found in place, should be bound to apply his power for the good of Religion and Justice, as the history of Scripture doth shew; and by this meanes espe­cially did David reform the Church of Israel; and this was the way of his true policy, to cut off all the hornes of the wicked, not to kill, or banish, or forfeit, or put from all place of power and trust, all those leading men, who did oppose and maligne him under King Saul; but by causing them all to concurre with him to set up true Religion, and bring up the Ark to Mount Si­on, and to administer justice unto the subjects in their several places. Thus by binding all men to Religion and Justice, and ordaining that wickednesse should have no horne or power for it, but all bound to be against it; He cut off all the hornes of the wicked; And because the civil Magistrate or Ecclesiastical Governours are able to do in their Courts externally not so much as were need, the real effecting of what here is under­taken by David belongeth to the Antitype Christ; for he only can say, and make his words good; All the hornes of the wicked will I cut off. 5. The godly shall be victorious over all their wicked opposers, and righteousnesse shall bear them better out, and shall purchase more help and power unto them, then any course the wicked do take to have their power established against them; The hornes of the righteous shall be exalted.

PSAL. LXXVI. To the chief Musician on Neginoth. A Psalme or Song of Asaph.

THis is a Psalme of praise, given forth upon occasion of some great deliverance of the Church, such as was that when Sennacheribs hoste was destroyed, or some other like overthrow given to the enemy.

[Page 180] The summe of the Psalme is this, the Lord is glorious in hi [...] Church, and greatly to be praised by his people, set down, ver. 1, 2. The reasons given for this are six; the first, ver. 3. the second, ver. 4. the third, ver. 5, 6. the fourth, ver. 7. the fi [...] ver. 8, 9. the sixth, ver. 10. the use whereof, with a reason for it, is set down, ver. 11, 12.

From the Inscription; Learne, 1. The visible Church ha [...] need to be stir [...]ed up to the work of thanksgiving unto, and prai­sing of God, no lesse then to any other duty; for this duty is [...] lesse needful, no lesse spiritual, no lesse difficult and disagreei [...] with our carn [...]l and corrupt natural inclination, then any oth [...] duty, an [...] usually is more neglected and more slighted then [...] point of worship, although frequent occasion and cause be giv [...] unto It▪ therefore it is oftenest called for of any. If we comp [...] this title w [...]th others, this is a Song, [...] Psalme, taught to [...] Church, to stir her up to the praising of Go [...]. 2. God had [...] Psalmists, more sweet Singers in Israel then one; Davids [...] is not prefixed here, and the matter is most suitable to a la [...] time then his. 3. We are not to be curious about the Pen [...] of Canonick Scripture. The first Author is he, to whom [...] must look most and rest upon him: For concerning all [...] Hebrew [...]ible, we are taught by Christ and his Apostles th [...] [...] was all given by inspiration, and that the holy Writers spok [...] [...] they were moved by the holy Spirit; for here it is not cer [...] whether Asaph was the name of the Writer of it, or whe [...] Asaph be the name of the order of such of Aarons posterity, [...] were [...] unto the Church▪ and had the charge [...] the Musick, to whom this Psalme was committed for [...] Churches use, as many more Psalmes in Davids time, and [...] ­ter it also were; A Psalme or Song of Asaph or to Asaph: [...] words may beare both alike.

Ver. 1. IN Iudah God is known: his Na [...] great in Israel.

2. In Salem also is his Tabernacle: and his dw [...] ­ling place in Sion.

From the summe and scope of the Psalme s [...] down [...] Learne, 1. Albeit God be in some sort known in all the [...] because of the works of Creation, manifesting some way t [...] [Page 181] visible excellencies of God, yet is he most of all made manifest to his visible Church, where his Word doth sound, and his Works are best interpreted; In Iudah God is known. 2. Where the knowledge of Gods Name is most revealed, there should he of duty be most glorified: for albeit Israel many times did not understand, did not acknowledge him, but were more ignorant and neglective of him, then the oxe or asse were of their Own­ers and Masters crib, yet daily among them he manifested his great majesty, and sometime he made them all acknowledge it, and of duty alwayes they should have magnified his majesty, and so his Name is great in Israel. 3. The Lord doth provide al­wayes a place, where his Church may visibly professe his Name, and worship him: he will not want a place, where he hath a people in Covenant-bond unto him; In Salem is his Tabernacle. 4. It is a great glory to the place where God is worshipped, for there also doth he make his residence: In Salem also, or Ierusa­lem is his Tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Sion. 5. It is not for the worthinesse of any people or place, that the Lord is among them, or manifested there; but it is his own free choice, among whom and where he will reside. The place where the vile Canaanite had been, and the place longest possessed and a­bused by the Canaanite, will he choose for his chief dwelling; he will turn the Canaanites Salem to be Ierusalem: and the strong hold of the Jebusites to be the place of his Temple; therefore, saith he, In Salem, (rather then Ierusalem) is his Tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Sion.

Ver. 3. There brake he the arrowes of the bow [...], the shield, and the sword, and the battel. Selah.

The first reason of Gods praise is taken from the Lord▪ fighting at Ierusalem against the enemies of the Church, and discomfiting of them. Whence learn, 1. The greatest overthrow given to armies, will be found in their fighting against God; Church: There (in special manner) brake he the arrowes of the bowe, &c. 2. In the deliverance of the Church the Lord will be seen to do all the work; There brake he the arrowes. 3. As there is no meanes or instrument fit to destroy men which the enemie will not make use of against the Church▪ so there is no weapon formed against her which shall prosper, when she doth reli [...] on her Lord: There brake be the arrowes of the bowe, the sh [...]ld, and the sword, and the battel.

Ver. 4. Thou art more glorious and excellent th [...] the mountains of prey.

The second reason of Gods praise is, because he is more glo­rious then all the Kings and Kingdomes of the world, wherein the cruel and beastly raging enemies of his Church have their strength and strong h [...]los. Whence learn, [...]. Those Kingdomes and Powers which do not subject themselves to God or Christ the King of Saints, are to be esteemed of as mountains where wilde and ravenous beasts do lie, every one of them according as they are more mighty, oppressing the weaker; for they are called here, Mountains of prey or Powers maintaining all oppressi­on, as mountains give shelter to ravenous beasts which live up­on prey. 2. Whatsoever excellency is to be found in the King­domes of the world, wherein men do glory, as wisdom, riches, strength, multitude, courage, or what else can be imagined, is all nothing to the matter of gloriation, which the Church hath in God; Thou (saith the Psalmist unto God) art more glo­rious then the mountains of prey.

Ver. 5. The stout-hearted are spoiled, they have [...] their sleep, and none of the men of might have found their hands.

6. At thy rebuke, O God of Iacob, both the cha­riot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.

The third reason of Gods praise is, because he did evacuate, and make of no use unto the enemie, whatsoever they did put their confidence in. Whence learn, 1. Whatsoever strength, cou­rage, wit, or any other point of perfection any man hath, God who gave it, can take it away when he pleaseth; yea, can make it a meanes of hardening his heart in carnal confidence, to engage him in a businesse for a mischief to him, that he may lose all whereunto he leaned; The stout-hearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep, and none of the men of might have found their hands; that is, God hath made the couragious and strong to be found feeble and weak, and unable to save their own goods or lives. 2. Albeit the Church hath no strength in her self, yet the Lord can with a word of his mouth do all her work, and de­feat her enemier; At thy rebuke, O God of Iacob, they are ca [...] [Page 183] in a deep sleep. 3. The more powerful, wise and stout the ene­mies of Gods Church be, the more should the Church relie up­on God, and the more glory doth the Lord get in overthrowing them; Therefore the stout-heartedmen of might, ch [...]ariots and horse are here mentioned.

Ver. 7. Thou▪ even thou art to be seared; and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?

The fourth reason of Gods praise is, because he is so ter­rible that none can stand before him when he is angry. Whence learn, 1. When the Lord doth smite the wicked▪ he doth wa [...]n his own people to stand in awe; therefore doth the Church make use of what is set down before; Thou, [...]ven th [...] art to be feared. 2. Only God is to be feared lest we offend him, and no mans anger is to be feared in comparison of provoking God to anger; Thou, even thou art to be feared; and no regard unto, nor men­tion of any other to be feared in comparison of him. 3. Man a­gainst man may stand, and wicked men in the time of Gods patience may stand: but when the time cometh of Gods judging and letting forth his wrath upon his enemies, none can escape his hand; Who may stand in thy sight, when on [...]e thou art angry? 4. The terror of the Lord against his [...]oes, is the com­fort of his people, and the matter, as of his praise, so of their singing and rejoycing, as here is to be seen.

Ver. 8. Thou didst cause judgement to be heard from heaven: the earth feared and was still,

9. When God arose to judgement, to save all the m [...]ek of the earth. Sel [...]b.

The fifth reason of Gods praise is, from the experience of fearful judgements on Gods enemies, when he was about to de­liver his people from their oppression. Whence lear [...], 1. Late mercies and deliverances given to the Church, should renew the thankful memory of old deliveries, as here is done 2. When or­dinary meanes and advertisements do not make the Persecutors of the Church to cease, God hath extraordinary judgements from heaven, whereby he will speak unto his adversaries; Thou [Page 184] didst cause judgements to be heard from heaven. 3. If by one sor [...] of more milde advertisement or rebuke men cannot be brought in order; by another, and more terrible rebuke they shall be made quiet: Thou didst cause judgement to be heard from hea­ven; the earth feared and was still. 4. The property of the Lords people is to be so acquainted with afflictions, and so sensible of their own sinfulnesse; that they do not impatiently fret at Gods dispensation, even when they are oppressed by men; but do stu­dy submission unto God, and commit their cause to him; there­fore are they called The meek of the earth. 5. When the Lords meek ones are in danger to be swallowed [...]p, and destroyed by their oppressors, the Lord, who is the sovereign Judge to de­cide controversies, and to determine who is in the wrong, albeit he be silent for a while, yet will arise in due time, and speak from heaven by judgements, to the terrifying and silencing of proud oppressors; The earth feared and was still, when God arose to judgement to save all the meek of the earth. 6. When the Lord ariseth to save the meek in one place, and of one generation, it is an evidence and earnest, that he shall arise to save at length all and every one of the meek in every place, in all times after; for his arising for his people, which was now past, is sai [...] here to be for to save all the meek of the earth.

Ver. 10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee, the remainder of wrath shalt thou restraine.

The sixth reason of Gods praise is, that he shall make the malice of the adversaries of his people to contribute to his glory. Whence learn, 1. Albeit the rage and cruelty of men against the Lords meek ones, may seem for the present to obscure Gods glory, and to tend to his dishonour; yet when he hath hu [...]bled, tried, purified his own, and done his work in Mount Sion, all the rage of persecutors shall turn to Gods glory un­doubtedly; Surely the [...]rath of man shall praise thee. 2. When God hath glorified himsel [...] in the purging of his Saints, and pu­nishing their pe [...]secutors, yet the enmity of the wicked world a­gainst Gods people will not cease, there will be still, as here is presupposed, a remainder of wrath 3. Let the wrath of the wicked against the godly be never so great, inveterate, lasting and unquenchable, yet it shall vent it self only as the Lord sees fitting: he shall madera [...]e the out-letting of it, as he seeth expe­dient for his pe [...]ples good; it shall not break out to the destru­ction [Page 185] of his people; The remainder of wra [...]h sha [...]t thou re­strain.

Ver. 11. Vow and pay unto the LORD your God, let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to he feared.

12. He shall cut off the spirit of Princes: he is ter­rible to the Kings of the earth.

The use of the former doctrine is, to teach Gods people to give unto God that respect and praise which is due to him from them; and to exhort all Nations without the compasse of the visible Church to submit themselves unto him, lest he cut off fearfully the chiefest of them. Whence learn, 1. The use of the Lords deliverances of his Church, which the people of God should make, is to call on God in their troubles, engage them­selves to glorifie him in word and deed for his mercies, and to entertain the conscience of their obligation; Vow and pay unto the Lord. 2. It is not enough to discharge a promised duty to God in outw [...]rd formality, as the Philistines made their offer­ing to the Ark of God, but the godly must do what service they do to God, as to their God, reconciled unto them, and in Covenant with them; Vow and pay unto the Lord your God. 3. The Lord is to be feared and honoured of all that are nea [...] to him in Covenant or Profession, yea or in vicinity of place un­to his people and Church, where the Lord manifesteth himself in his ordinances; Let all that be round about him, bring pre­sents unto him that ought to be feared. 4. How terrible soever the power of Princes and great men seem unto the Lords peo­ple, when they engage themselves and their subjects against the Church; yet ere they bring forth the ripe grapes of their de­signes and plots against Gods people, God can and will cut off their wisdome, courage and lise, as easily as the branches of a Vine-tree; He shall cut off the spirit of Princes. 5. There is greater cause why Princes should be afraid of God, then why Gods people should be afraid of Princes: Princes cannot do so much to any one of Gods people, as God can do to the highest Princes on earth: God can make their fall great according to the height of their place; he can root them out and their po­steriry, not only from all place of power, but also from all be­ing on the earth; he can make them a terrour to themselves; [Page 186] he can destroy them soul and body; yea, he useth to do this t [...] his adversaries: He is terrible to the Kings of the earth.

PSAL. LXXVII. To the chief Musician, to Ieduthun. A Psalme of Asaph.

THis Psalme doth expresse the deep exercise of the Psal­mist troubled with the sense of Gods displeasure, and how he wrestled under this condition, and had deliverance from it, which is summarily propounded, ver. 1. and made plain more particularly in the rest of the Psalm; for first, he setteth down his trouble of minde, ver. 2, 3, 4. Secondly, his wrastling with the sense of felt wrath, ver. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Third­ly, his begun victory by faith, ver. 10, 11, 12. Fourthly, the setling of his minde by consideration of Gods manner of deal­ing with his Church of old, to the end of the Psalm.

Ver. 1. I Cried unto God with my voice: even unto God with my voice, and he gave eare unto me.

In this summary Proposition of his sad exercise of spirit, and of his delivery out of that condition; Leorne, That as there are many troubles whereunto Gods children are subject (where­of this is one of the most heavie, to be under the sense of the wrath of God, and feare of final cutting off:) so God hath set down examples of this exercise in some of his dear children, for preparation of those who have not yet been acquainted with the like, and to teach patience, and furnish consolation to those who are under such exercises; for here is one of the Saints telling us, 1. That his own trouble in this kinde was so pres­sing, as it made him cry. 2. And shewing the course he took; He cried to God, and did put the whole powers of soul and bo­dy to a bensal, in his seeking of God; I cried to God with my voice. And, 3. That he saw there was no remedy for this evil, save God above, to whom he made his addresse with resolution to hold unto God only; Even unto God with my voice I cried, And, 4. Th [...]t at length he did prevaile and receive his request, graciously granted unto him; And he gave eare to me: and so he was relieved.

Ver. 2. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

3. I remembred God, and was troubled: I com­plained and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

4. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so trou­bled that I cannot speak.

He declareth this his sad exercise more specially; and first, how great his trouble was. Whence learn, 1. The fearing and feeling of the sense of Gods wrath and displeasure, is of all troubles the chief, and doth challenge to it sel [...] most deservedly the name of trouble, or straitening affliction, as if the Psal­mist had never known any trouble in c [...]mparison of this. 2. Al­beit the sense of Gods wrath and displeasure while it doth last, doth seem a sort of eternity, as, Shall I never be remembred? and such like expressions do declare; yet when the trouble is gone, it is counted but a short time, but a day; In the day of my trouble, saith he, now being relieved. 3. As in this trouble most of any Gods face or comfortable presence is withdrawn: so nothing in this case can content a godly soul, till he finde the Lord reconciled, and his gracious fac [...] to shine again toward him; In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord. The wicked in such a case they will either not seek God at all, but some earth­ly comfort; or but take an essay what they can have by calling on God, they will not make it their work to seek him. 4. The sense of wrath giveth a sore wound unto a mans spirit, like to a wound in the body, which is like to bleed unto death; My sore ran in the night. 5. Trouble of conscience, as it is like a deadly wound; so is it also like a filthy boile, venting rotten issue; for many are the sins which the conscience doth cast up in this case, which do cause pain and loathing to look upon: My sore, or my plague, my stroke by a hand, ran in the night. 6. There is no healing of this wound, no easing of this sore, no cleansing of the conscience, no quieting of a mans spirit, till God whom the soul seeketh, shew himself Physician; the evil continueth still and groweth; My sore ran in the night and cea­sed not. 7. Where misery seemeth remedilesse, there the sad soul fitteth it selfe to endlesse sorrow: and as it is hopelesse of relief, so it is heartlesse to seek comfort, yea what earthly com­forts [Page 188] are offered for the reliefe of a spiritual wound, are but a bur­den to a broken spirit; My soule refased to be comforted. No­thing can satisfy a soul which is sensible of Gods displeasure, save the sense of Gods favour. 8. A troubled spirit hath many thoughts; for it runs out in meditation, calleth for the records of the memory, but can finde nothing to fixe upon, save God himselfe; I remembred God. 9. It is possible that the matter of most comfort at some time may give no ease; the sweet promises of grace, when a soul is not able to apply them; yea the thought of God himselfe, and his goodnesse, may augment grief, when the conscience doth present his abused savours, as the c [...]use of Gods present felt wrath: I remembred God, and was troubled. 10. Lamentation and complaints, when vented and not eased with following comfort, do but double the grief; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. 11. Redoubled thoughts of a perplexed soule, do cast it over in a confusion, and a sort of swound; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. 12. A wounded spirit is able to bereave a man of the nights rest, and af­fect the body with a share of its miserable condition; Thou hold­est mine eyes waking. 13. When a soul could possibly de sire to case its grief with a little forgetting of it, and seek a sleep when the body is now weary; it may fall out, that even thus much ease, may be refused to a Saint for a time, which must be looked on as Gods hand, for the further exercise of the Lords sick childe; Thou holdest mine eyes waking. 14. Trouble not lenified, not miti­gated, groweth to such a height, as it stops the use of natural pow­ers: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. The sorrowes of a soul sensible of Gods wrath, are unspeakable, neither can the tongue utter them, nor the minde endite to the tongue, what it feeleth.

Ver. 5. I have considered the dayes of old, the yeers of ancient times.

6. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search.

7. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?

8. Is his mercy clean gone for ever? and doth his promise faile for evermore?

[Page 189] 9. Hath God forgotten to be gracious, hath he in an­ger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

In the second place, he setteth down his wrestling, and how af­ter he was overwhelmed, he fell again about the using of all means to be relieved, considering the Lords work of old with others his children, and his own experience, and what could be the cause of the change, ver. 6. and how the Lords unchangeable­nesse in his loving kindnesse towards his own, might help him, ver. 7, 8, 9. Whence learn, 1. Were our case never so despe­rate, yet must we not give over, but gather strength after swouning, and use all meanes of [...]elief, as the Psalmist here doth. 2. It is one chief means of comforting a troubled sinner, and of strengthening the faith of a weak wrestler, to cast an eye upon the Lords manner of dealing with his Saints, mentioned in Scrip [...]ure, as the [...]salmist did, who had the books of Moses and Iob, at least to make use of; I have considered the dayes of old, and the yeares of ancient times. 5. It is also a good means for gathering strength and comfort for a soul under the sense of w [...]ath, to call to minde his own experiences of deliveries and consolations received after trouble, and his own observations made upon his own experiences: I call to remembrance my song in the night. 4. It is a third holy meanes for deliverance from the straits of a troubled conscience, to search our wayes, and to seek out diligently, what cause in us we can finde, which might pro­cure such a de sertion and sense of wrath, as we do lie under; I communed with my own heart, and my spirit made diligent search. 5. Albeit it be possible when all the former meanes are used, and diligent search is made by our conscience, what may be the rea­son of our hard exercise, that for all that, we finde no consolati­on, no ease, nor event; yet the use of these meanes will wit­nesse for our wise and upright dealing, and be evidences of our endeavour and diligence in duties, as here we see the Prophet to make mention of his diligence for this end. 6. Albeit it be no strange thing for a wounded spirit to have suggestions cast in for overthrow of saith, yea to have sense of wrath, speaking no lesse then what the tentation unto desperation doth alledge; yet the nature of faith is such, that it cannot yield, but must fight against the tentation, as a thing which cannot be true, cannot be admitted, as this disputation of the Psalmist doth give evidence; Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? 7. The Lord may seem to cast a m [...]n off, and to stop the [Page 190] course of his wonted favour toward him, but this exercise is only for a time: It is not possible that God should cast off for ever the soul that cannot endure to be thrust from him: It is not pos­sible that God should not be favourable to such as have had expe­rience of his favour, and do long to have new proofes thereof: Wil the Lord cast off for ever? will he be favourable no more? Which question, Will he do so and so? is thus much in effect, as if he had said, it is not possible that the Lord should do so, albeit it seem he will do so. 8. When the conscience of sin doth make obje­ction against faith, then faith makes its defence in Gods mercy, and the constancy of the course of mercy, where grace is begun to runne; yea faith will not yield to a contrary thought: Is his mercy clean gone for ever. 9. The troubled conscience hungering af­ter the sense of mercy, hath not onely Gods merciful nature: and Gods constancy in his good will, but also his promises to lean unto, for supporting of it selfe. Therefore after mentio [...] made of Gods favour and mercy, he mentioneth here his promise also. 10 It is possible, that for a time no promise do occurre to a wounded spirit, which is fit for its present condition; or at least, no promise, which it dare or is able to apply, yea it is possible that the conditional frame of the promises being made to such as are so and so qualified, may seem to pertain nothing to the troubled conscience, yet faith will not quit its interest in the pro­promise, but will expect good according to the promise at last; Doth his promise faile for evermore? 11. As it is the Lords nature to be gracious to such as come to him in the sense of their unworthinesse; so faith layeth hold on him, as gracious, and will never, admit a suggestion of any change in him, whatsoever seem to be in his dispensation; Hath God forgotten to be gracious? this is to faith an absurdity and impossibility. 12. The compassions of God toward the miserable when they come before him, are like a running fountain, that cannot restrain it selfe, yet may it seem to be shut up, and wrath and displeasure to run in the place there­of, when God is pleased to exercise his childe with the sense of wrath against sin; but faith will not admit this seeming for a certainty: Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? This is a saying which a Believer must abhorre to give way unto, and yet may be assaulted with, and brangled, and weakened by the tentation of it.

Ver. 10. And I said, This is mine infirmity: but I will remember the yeers of the right hand of the most High.

[Page 191] 11. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

12. I will meditate also of all thy works, and talk of thy doings.

In the third place is set down the begun victory of faith, where­in the believer checketh himselfe for hearkening so much unto sense, for admitting the suggestions of misbelief to come unto a disputation, and resolveth to make use of the grounds of faith, and of his former comfortable experiences, ver. 10. and of the wonderful dealing of God with others his Saints before, ver. 11. and to settle his saith on Gods Word, confirmed by his works, and to set himselfe to give glory unto God, ver. 12. Whence lear [...], 1. In the inward exercise of Gods children, after a whiles dark­nesse, cometh light; after grief, comfort; and after wrestling, cometh victory, as here we see. 2. The trouble and disquiet­nesse which cometh from fear of utter rejection from God, is from the root of natural unbelief, and in lack of the strength of faith; This is my infirmity, saith he, as being now assured, that matters were nor as they seemed to him, concerning Gods mer­ciful affection to him 3. Weaknesse of saith, and fear of utter wrath, is a sicknesse whereunto Gods children are subject; but a sicknesse whereof they will certainly recover: a sicknesse not unto death: This is my infirmity. 4. Our event from inward trouble, and our victory over it, doth begin at a right sight of our own weaknesse, of our own faults, and of a right judging of our selves for them: And I said, This is my infirmity. 5. The re­membrance of the experience of former changes, which we have found wrought by Gods great power, doth serve to make us both patient under a sad condition, and hopeful to come out of it: I will remember the yeers of the right hand of God. 6. Albei [...] we do not see how our comfort delivery and event, from trouble shall come, yet may we finde solid ground to expect that it shall come, if we consider aright Gods sovereignty over all creatures, that he is most High, and the omnipoteney of his right hand; and his continuance, being the eternal, unchangeable one, and the same from year to year, from age to age; I will remember the yeares of the right hand of the most High; From this ground he doth ex­pect, that he shall have experience yet again of the omnipotency of a Sovereign and constant God, working for his consolation. 7. When faith begin [...]th to recover after its infirmty o [...] [Page 192] sicknesse, it will make use of memory, med [...]tation; judgement [...] speech, which were all bound up before; I will remember, [...], and talk. 8. We must not think to come out of perplexi­ty, out of sense of wrath, out of trouble of conscience, out of hard exercises of faith, by having great consolations, high and ravishing joyes of the Spirit at the first hand; but must be content to come creeping out of our trouble by litle and litle; for here the Psalmist, under the deepest sense of Gods displeasure, must use all ordina­ry meanes, and wrestle with bitter tentations, till he come to suc [...] height as is expressed, ver. 7, 8, 9. and for an event, must begin and reprove his owne misbelief, dispute for the help of his faith▪ taking arguments from his experience from Gods power and good will, and Gods dealing with others before him. 9. Th [...] works of God, when they are looked on cursorily, or lightly p [...]st by, cannot be discerned, but when they are well conside ed, they will be found wonderfull; I will remember the works of the Lord, surely I will remember thy wonders of old. 10. It is good for a soul in a hard exercise, to raise it self from thinking of God and of his works, unto speaking unto God directly; no ease or reliefe will be found, till addresse be made unto himselfe, till we turn our face toward him, and direct our speech unto him, as here the Psa [...]mist doth, from the midst of the eleventh verse to the en [...] of the Psalm. 11. Estimation of any of Gods works, and good gotten by meditation on some of his works, is able to engage the heart to a deeper consideration of all his works; I will medit [...] also of all thy works, saith he. 12. He that would have pro [...] by Gods works, must bridle the levity of his own minde, which cannot stay fixed in the consideration, till it be tied in medita­tion; I will meditate of all thy works. 13. When we have [...]d our own souls upon Gods works, we should study to make use of what we have learned thereby to the good of others, and glo­ry of God: I will meditate of all thy works, and t [...]lk of all thy doings.

Ver. 13. Thy way, O God, is in thy sanctuary: who is so great a God at our God?

14. Thou art the God that doest wonders, thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

In tke last place, he confirmeth his faith, and setleth his minde by consideration of the Lords dealing with his people, recorded [Page] in [...] Scripture, whereof h [...] speaketh▪ first, in general▪ v [...]. [...] ▪ Then more specially, of the bringing of his people out [...] [...] through the wildernesse, terribly discomfiting their ene­mies, and tenderly leading them, as his own flock, by weak and [...] instruments. Whence [...], 1. When the heart of a man is turned toward the Lord, then the vaile of darknesse, confusi­on, and misbelief is removed; he can justify the Lord in all that he doth, as most holy and [...]ust▪ as here we see in the Ps [...]ist, who since he began to direct himselfe toward God, can now [...]y [...], Thy way, O God▪ is in the Sanctuary. 2. There is no understanding of Gods dealing with us, nor can any right con­struction be made of his exercising of us, except we come to the Lords Ordinances, where his Word, his Oracles of Script [...]e do [...] his works per [...]ectly▪ Thy w [...]y, O God, is in the Sanctuary▪ 3. When the works and wayes of God are looked upon by the [...]ght of the Word, in his Sanctuary, or Church; and God is looked [...]o, through his works and Word, then is a soul forced to admire his holines, and wisdom, and justice and power, and goodnes, above, all comparison, Who is so great a [...]od as our God? 4. The exercise of the believers conscience with fears and suspicions o [...] Gods affecti­on unto him, endeth in admiration of God in exaltation of God, [...]n believing more firmly in God, in magnifying the grace of his [...]ing in Covenant with God, in acknowled [...]ing his own blessed­nesse, and the blessednesse of all other believers, for having God for their God; Who is so great a God as our God? 5. So much in general▪ may be seen of Gods dealing with his people, as may [...] a man in his own particular, who is troubled about Gods [...]sation toward him: for when Israel in Egypt was put to [...] straits, as they saw nothing but rooting of them out with [...] and oppression, God did work so well, so wisely, so pow­erfully, and so graciously for them, as all their hard exercise was [...]rned to their greater comfort, an [...] Gods greater glory. This in general is the use that the Psalmist maketh of Gods dealing with his people, and doth finde it applicable to h [...]s own conditio [...]; T [...]u art the God that doth wonders. 6. When we cannot see how it is likely or possible we can be extricated out of the difficul­ties we are cast into, especially in our spiritual condition, we are [...]ged to give unto God the glory of doing above all things we can conceive, for the good of those that des [...]e to be his subjects▪ Thou [...]t the God that do [...]st wonders. 7. What God hath con­ [...]ed the world of already, concerning what he can do for his [...] [...]ay satisfie eve [...]y par [...]icular soul of his wisdom, power▪ [Page 194] and goodnesse toward it selfe, when it doth draw in toward him, [...] one of his people, for this use doth the Psalmist make of Gods do­ing for his people; Thou hast declared thy strength among thy people.

Ver. 15. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sonnes of Iacob and Ioseph. Selah.

16. The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee: they were afraid, the depths also were troubled.

17. The clouds poured out water, the skies sent out a sound, thine arrowes also went abroad.

18. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightned the world, the earth trembled and shooke.

He descendeth more specially to the consideration of the Re­demption of Israel out of Egypt, (which is a representation of the spiritual Redemption of his people) whom at the time when they were in the deepest misery, and least able to help themselves; were most oppressed by the enemies: and for their own disposi­tion, were in a most sinful condition, and in a desperate mood against the means and instruments of their delivery; God did deliver and remove all the difficulties which might hinder their event and escaping from misery: from whence the Psalmist might strongly reason for his own comfort, that God would not faile to deal graciously with his soul, who was seeking favour from God, and a renewed sense of reconciliation with him. Hence learn, 1. That no soul can be under such sense of wrath and desolation, but he may draw comfort from the great work of Re­demption of lost sinners: for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Sonne, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved from wrath by his life. And this spiritual Redemption was figured by the bodily delivery of Israel out of Egypt; Thou hast with thine arme redeemed thy people, the sonnes of Iacob and Ioseph. 2. It is by reason of the Cove­nant that people receive deliverances, and consolations, and proofs of Gods power working for them: Therefore doth he stile the sonnes of Iacob from their interest in God, and Gods inte­rest in them by Covenant: Thou hast redeemed thy people. 3. No obstacle how great soever, can stand in the way of the delivery and comfort o [...] Gods people, but God can and will remove it; [Page 195] were it as the red sea, so soon as he manifests himselfe, it will get out of the way as affrighted at his Majesty; The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee, they were afraid, the depths also wre troubled. 4. The commotions which God hath made in hea­ven by rain, hailstone, thunder, fire, and lightning, when he would shew himselfe for his people, and against their enemies, do testify sufficiently what God can and will do for his own chil­dren, who draw near unto him, and how he will rebuke every adversary power which is against them; The clouds poured out water, the skies sent out a sound; thine arrowes went abroad, the voice of thy thunder was in heaven; the lightnings lightened the world, the earth trembled and shook. Whether we referre these words to what God did in plaguing Egypt, before he brought out his people, or after when he shewed his anger in pursuing the Egyptians in their flight, when they were seeking to escape out of the red sea: or to what the Lord did in fighting for his people against the Canaanites, they teach the same doctrine to us.

ver. 19. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters: and thy footsteps are not known.

20. Thou leddest thy people like a flock: by the land of Moses and Aaron.

He closeth his meditation with two observations; one is, that the Lords wayes are past finding out, and this he insinuateth by making a way through the red sea, where never one went before, and never one could follow after. The other observation is, that God can save his people by how few and weak instruments he plea­seth. Whence learn, 1. The Lord draweth deep in the working out of the delivery and salvation of his own people, bringing them first unto extremity of danger, and then making a plain and clear escape from all their straits; Thy way is in the sea, where no man can wade, except God go before him, and where any man may walk, if God take him by the hand; and lead him through. 2. What God is in working, when he engages his children in dangers, and which way he is going, when he leads them into over­flowing troubles and deep waters; they cannot understand, till he hath done his work: Thy path is in the great waters. 3. A particular reason of every thing which God doth, can no man find out: for the which cause the Lord craveth submission of all his children in their exercises, as he did of Iob; Thy footsteps are [Page 196] not known. 4. Whether men do see reasons of Gods dealing with them or not, the Lord hath a care of his weak and witlesse people, as a shepherd hath of his flock, and is a gracious leader of his peo­ple that follow him; Thou leddest thy people as a flock. 5. The Lord hath his meanes and instruments of whose ministery he maketh use: and those, albeit they be few and weak, yet shall he do his greatest works by them, according as he doth imploy them; Thou leddest thy people as a flock, by the hand of Mo­ses and Aaron.

PSAL. LXXVIII. Maschil of Asaph.

IN this Psalm, the Lords Spirit doth stirre up his people to make a right use of the Lords works of justice and mercy set down in holy Scripture, and to this end he giveth account of Gods dealing very mercifully with his people, and never in ju­stice, but when mercy was abused; and he sheweth also the peo­ples dealing with God unthankfully, deceitfully, whether he dealt mercifully or in justice with them.

The Psalm may be divided thus: After a Preface to prepare the hearer for attention and observation of what he was to deliver, ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. he bringeth forth; first, the evidence of Gods graci­ous care he had of his people, in giving them his blessed Word, to teach unto them faith and obedience, ver. 5, 6, 7, 8. Secondly, the evidence of Gods judgement against his people, who were put to flight before their foes, when they did not believe the Lord, and did not make use of his works among them, ver. 9, 10, 11. Third­ly, he setteth down how great things God did for them in Egypt, and in the wildernesse, ver. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Fourthly, how they made no better use of these mercies, then to tempt God, and provoke him to wrath, ver. 17, 18, 19, 20. Fifthly, how for their tempting of God, he was angry at them for their unbelief, and notconsidering of the miraculous feeding of them with Manna, v. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. and how in wrath he satisfied their lust by sending quailes for them, to eat flesh their fill, ver. 26, 27, 28, 29. Sixthly, how because they repented not of their provocation, the Lord did plague them, and they went on in their misbeliefe and [Page 197] disobedience [...] and God went on in the course of multiplying judgements on them, and cutting off multitudes of them, ver. 30, 31, 32, 33. Seventhly, how they at last made a fashi­on of repenting and seeking of God, but proved in effect no­thing but flattering dissemblers and hypocrites, unconstant in the Covenant, ver. 34, 35, 36, 37. Eighthly, how the Lord in mercy pitied and spared them many a time, notwithstanding all their provocations of his justice against them, ver. 38, 39, 40, 41. Ninthly, he setteth down the prime cause of all this their sinne and misery, because they marked not, or made no use of the difference that God put between the Egyptians and them; nor how for their cause he had plagued the Egyptians with plague after plague, ver. 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51. And brought their fathers safely out of Egypt, when their enemies were drowned before their eyes, ver. 52, 53. Tenthly, he setteth down how the Lord perfected their jour­ney to Canaan, and brought them to the possession of it, thrust­ing our the Canaa [...]ites, that they might have place, ver. 54, 55. Eleventhly, how they for all this provoked God to anger with their idolatry and superstition, ver. 56, 57, 58. Twelfthly, how the Lord for this their oft repeated provocation did miserably vex them in the dayes of Eli and Samuel, giving o­ver his Ark into the Philistines hand, and plaguing their coun­trey with variety of plagues, ver. 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64. Thir­teenthly, how God of his free mercy put his enemies to shame, and restored Religion and Liberties to Church and Kingdom, ver. 65, 66. And last of all, how he brought them to a setled condition under David, who was a type of Christ, ver. 67, 6 [...], 69, 70, 71, 72.

Ver. 1. GIve eare, O my people, to my Law; incline your eares to the words of my mouth.

2. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

3. Which we have heard and known; and our fathers have told us.

4. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generations to come the praises of the LORD: and his strength, and his wonderful work▪ that he hath done

[Page 198] In the Preface, the Spirit of the Lord calleth for attention un­to the doctrine which he is to deliver, for foure reasons. The first, because it was his law and words of his mouth directed to his covenanted people, ver. 1. The next, because this do­ctrine was mysterious and full of [...]id wisdom, ver. 2. The third, because it is an ancient doctrine delivered to the Church of old, and transmitted unto them that succeeded, ver. 3. The fourth, because it must be known and transmitted to the succeeding posterity, and following generations of the Church, for the glory of Gods wonderful working for his Church, v. [...]. Whence learn, 1. Such is our dulnesse and slownesse of heart, to understand and beleeve what the Lord doth say unto us, that we have gre [...] need to be admonished▪ and stirred up to attention and hearing with [...]aith; Give eare, O my people, saith the Spirit by his Pro­phet. 2. The authority of divine doctrine should tie ou [...] cares to hear it reverently, beleevingly and obediently: it is the Lords law, and the words of his mouth, speaking by his Pro­phet to us: Give eare, O my People, to my law, incline your [...]ares to the words of my mouth. 3. Albeit the Word of the Lord be plain to the attentive beleever, yet to the unattentive misbeleever it is a hid mystery, and for this reason we have need to hear at­tentively and beleevingly; I will open my mouth in a parable, I will utter dark sayings. 4. The Word of the Lord hath true an­tiquity with it; divine doctrine is no new doctrine: and for this reason should we hear it attentively and beleevingly; I will utter dark sayings of old. 5. Albeit the Word of the Lord be a mystery, and dark sayings to the misbeleeving multitude of the world, yet it is understood, received and beleeved by the true members of the Church from age to age; therefore the Pro­phet, speaking of himself, and of the godly in his time, saith of their parables and dark speeches, Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 6. Those are worthy of the name of Fathers in the Church, in relation to posterity, who transmit to posterity the truth of God contained in Scripture, such as is here set down in this Psalme: and this is the only in­fallible sort of tradition, which delivereth to posterity what God delivered to the Prophets, or their Predecessors by Scri­pture, such as is the doctrine delivered in this Psalme; Which we (saith he) have heard [...]d known, and our fathers have told us, we will not hide them from their children. 7. The godly in every age ought to have the same care to transmit the Word of truth to their posterity, which their ancestors had to transmit it [Page 199] unto them, and to pay the debt they owe to their faithful An­cestors unto succeeding generations; We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generations to come &c. 8. The subject matter of sound and saving doctrine, is the setting forth of the glory of God in his attributes, and wonderful operations for his people: Shewing to the generations to come the praises of the Lord, and his wonderful works that he bath done.

Ver. 5. For he established a Testimony in Iacob, and appointed a Law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers: that they should make them known to their children.

6. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be borne: who should arise and declare them to their children:

7. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God: but keep his Command­ments.

8. And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright: and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

After the Preface, he bringeth forth a notable evidence of the Lords care of his Church, in giving them his Scriptures and re­vealed rule of faith and obedience, to be transmitted from one generation to another, ver. 5, 6. that they might have faith and hope in God, and obey his commands, ver. 7. and not be like such of their Predecessors, as were rebellious hypocrites, and backsliders from their covenanted duties, v. 8. Whencelearn, 1. One of the chiefest mercies that can be bestowed on a people, is the giving of the holy Scripture [...] unto them, and revealing unto them the way of salvation, and of Gods service which he requi­reth; this is put in the first room here: For he established a Te­stimony in Iacob, and appointed a Law in Israel. 2. Gods words and ordinances appointed in Scripture, are witnesses for him, of his wisdom, power, holinesse, mercy, and justice against such as do not make use thereof, and a fixed rule for mens faith and obedience; therefore is it said, He established a testimony in Ia­cob, [Page 200] and appointed a Law in Israel. 3. The Scriptures were not appointed for a rule only to those to whom they were first di­rected, but for the use also of the Church in all ages follow­ing, which every man must both study to understand and obey himself, and also teach his children, and those under his charge to understand and obey, according to his place; he gave a testi­mony and a law to the fathers, That they should make them known to their children, th [...]t the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be borne, who should arise, and declare them to their children. 4. The end of revealing and teaching of Gods Word, is to beget and increase mens faith in God, and dependance upon him, as here is set down: the Word was to be declared to their children, That they might se [...] their hope in God. 5. The way to foster saith and hope in God, is to mark and consider and keep in a sanctified memory, how God hath al [...]eady confirmed his Word by his works, and by pawnes and pledges, both of his power and purpose to perform what he hath said; therefore doth he joyne unto the duty of set­ting their hope in God, the duty of not forgetting his works; intimating that if his works were forgotten, his Word would not be beleeved, and faith and hope in God would not remain constantly fixed on God. 6. The faith and hope which God craves of his people to be fixed on him, is such as may bring forth obedience to his precepts: therefore unto hoping in God, and not forgetting his works, he addeth, But keep his Command­ments: So this is the summe of true religion, to have faith in God, upon the termes of grace offered unto us through a Re­deemer, and to hope for and expect the accomplishment of all his promises, and to foster our faith and hope by the considerati­on of what he hath done for his people, and uprightly to set our selves to keep his Commandments,. 7. The example of fathers is not to be followed, except wherein they followed the Lord: where their practice is not conformable to Gods Word we must not be like them; therefore saith he, And might not be as their fa­thers were, stubborn. 8. This is the natural inclination of cor­rupt mankinde, to go on in our finful course obstinately, how­soever God discharge us: to come contrary to his commands, and flatly to refuse to obey him; and if we at any time seem to do him service, to do it from corrupt principles and for corrupt ends, still remaining unreconciled to him: and whatsoever we tie our elves unto by Covenant, as double-hearted persons, to deal deceitfully therein, and turn back from it: such were all [Page 201] the unrenewed Israelites: A stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. 9. Nothing is able to bring us off this our natural course and sinful inclination. except faith and hope in God, and obedience to his commands be begun and entertain­ed in us by the Word of God, as the connexion of these duties here, and order they are set down in doth teach. 10. The Lord will have his people obediently to hearken to his reproofs, and not reject his yoke, and meekly to submit to his govern­ment, and not rebell; to study sincerity of affection toward God, and stedfastnesse in his Covenant, as his condemning these carnal Israelites for the contrary faults doth teach us.

Ver. 9. The children of Ephraim being armed, and carrying bowes, turned back in the day of battel.

10. They kept not the Covenant of God: and refu­sed to walk in his Law.

11. And forgate his works: and his wonders that he had shewed them.

In the second place under the name of Ephraim, as the most mighty and numerous tribe of all the rest, he understandeth all Israel, and shewes that the reason of the Lords many a time deserting of Israel from age to age in the day of battel, was their carnal confidence in their own strength, and their not beleeving in God, their not regarding the Covenant they were entered into with God, their disobedience to his commands, and their not making use of his wonderful works amongst them. Whence learn, 1. When men are under greatest guiltinesse, and at greatest distance from God, they are least sensible of their sin! least afraid of Gods wrath, and most confiden [...] of their own abilities. Ephraim and Isral many a time lying under breach of Covenant and rebellion against God, being armed and carrying bowes, do think themselves sufficient to encounter with their enemies. 2 Multitude of men and arms will not avail a people in the day of battel, when God is against them: God can take wisdom, and courage, and strength, and good successe from them; The children of Epbraim being armed, and carrying bowes, turned back in the day of ba [...]l. 3. The cause of general cala­mities coming upon Gods people, will be found in their sins, [Page 202] which have provoked the Lord against them, whereof God will convince them by judgements, when they will not be con­vinced otherwayes; They turned back in the day of battel; how came this? They kept not the Covenant of God. 4. The Lord useth by his Word in the mouth of his messengers to convince his backsliding people of their defection, and to presse upon them to return to the rule, and walk in his obedience, but when this admonition and offer is refused, then no wonder judge­ment come: for here, They turn back in the day of battel; when, and wherefore? They refused to walk in his Law. 5. As the san­ctified and thankful remembrance of Gods dealing with his people, is the way to keep the heart in the love, faith and obe­dience of God: so the letting of his works, and specially the most remarkable and wonderful works, to slide out of their me­mory and affection, is the fountain of defection from God, and cause of falling unto carnal courses and confidences, and draw­ing on of Gods judgements on themselves; They forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.

Ver. 12. Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers: in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

13. He divided the sea, and caused them to passe thorow, and he made the waters to stand as an heap.

14. In the day-time also he led them with a cloud: and all the night with a light of fire.

15. He clave the rocks in the wildernesse, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.

16. He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

In the third place, he setteth down some of these wonderful works done for his people, which should have tied their faith, love and obedience unto the Lord: in special the great work of Redemption and delivery of his people out of Egypt, represent­ing the spiritual Redemption and delivery of his own out of the bonds of sin, Satan and wrath,) how God plagued the Egy­ptians with wonderful plagues, in the sight of their King and [Page 203] Princes in Z [...]an, the most famous City of Egypt, ver. 11. How he dried the red sea, and made his people go through between mountains of liquid water on both hands, ver. 13. How he directed them, and refreshed them by a pillar of fire by night, and by a cooling cloud by day, ver. 14. How he fur­nished them drink out of the flinty rock in the wildernesse, ver. 15, 16. Whence learn, 1. The great work of bodily redempti­on of Gods people out of Egypt, and the spiritual Redemption of his People from the bondage of sin and misery by Christ represented thereby, should be as inducements unto, and props of faith in God, to all who seek life in him, and a sufficient mo­tive unto love and obedience unto him, to the worlds end; for to this end did he declare his love, care and power to save them who enter in Covenant with him to be his people; Marvellous things did he, &c. 2. The works of God done for his people in any former age, do oblige those of that age, and all the succeeding ages to make use thereof, for the increase of faith in God, and of love and obedience to God, and do answerably aggravate the contrary sins, when they are not so made use of; for, Mar­lous things did he in the sight of their fathers; is the ground of challenging of the posterity for their defection. 3. The plagues of Egypt, should serve for the comfort of Gods op­pressed people; and for terrour to their enemies in all ages; Mar­vellous things did be in the sight of their fathers in the land of E­gypt. 4. As the Lord avoweth his people, and owns their quarrel most openly in the sight of Kings Courts and royal Cities; so should his people avow their loyalty to God before all men: otherwayes, the more evidently God hath appeared for his people, the more heavy is the challenge of unthankful diso­bedience; as here it is made the challenge of back-sliding Is­rael, that God in the most open theatre of the Kingdom of E­gypt, (whereby the fame of his works might go into all the world) did work for them and their fathers; Marvellous things did God for them in the field of Zoan; from whence passage was to many countreys. 5. The Lords making of a way through the red sea for his peoples delivery, is an evidence and pawn once for aye, of his power and purpose to make a way for his owne to escape, how great soever their straits shall be; He di­vided the red sea, and caused them to p [...]sse through. 6. The Lords causing the liquid waters to stand as a wall, heaped up contrary to the nature therof, is a pawn of his power and purpose to make the creatures, which by nature should deyoure, to be not only harm­lesse; [Page 204] but helpful also to this people, as need requireth; He made the waters to stand as an heap. 7. The Lords bringing of his people, both out of Egypt and out of the sea, is a pawne of his power and purpose to bring his people through all hazards what­soever, wherein others shall perish; He caused his people to passe through. 8. The Lords leading on of his people night and day, is a pawn of his constant love to his own people, and of his power and purpose never to leave nor forsake such as love to have his guiding and conduct; In the day-time also he led them. 9 The Lords covering of the hoste of his people with a coole and comfortable cloud all the day long, to keep them from the scorching heat of the Sun in the dry and hot wildernesse, is a pawne of his kinde care of his people, and constant purpose to give refreshment in the time of persecution, or whatsoever trou­bles they shall be exercised with▪ In the day-time also he led them with a cloud. 10. The Lords making of a pillar of fire to burn and shine all night, for tempe [...]ing the cold of the night, and directing of Israels steps, when they were to march in the night, is a pledge of his love, power and purpose to furnish the light of direction and consolation unto his own people, as they have need; He led them all the night with a light of fire. 11. As the Lords people wanting of water in the wildernesse, through which their way did lie, doth teach us that we may be redacted to great straits in this life, both bodily and spiritual; so the Lords furnishing unto them drink, doth teach, that the Lord both can and will furnish his people in their necessities, bodily and spiritual; He clave the rocks in the wildernesse, and gave them drink, as out of the great depths; he brought streames also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

Ver. 17. And they sinned yet more against him: by provoking the most High in the wildernesse.

18. And they tempted God in their heart: by asking meat for their lust.

19. Yea, they spake against God: they said, Can God furnish a table in the wildernesse?

20. Behold, be smote the rock, that the waters gush­ed out, and the streams overflowed: can be give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?

[Page 205] In the fourth place, he setteth down how the people made no better use of the foresaid mercies, then to tempt God, and to provoke him to wrath, by seeking satisfaction to their carnal lusts, and questioning whether or no God was able to satisfie their desires. Whence learn, 1. Unrenewed nature is strongly inclined to meet the Lords goodnesse with more and more ingra­titude, and to sin over and over again the same sins, when new benefits and old faults being well considered, might teach more wisdom and thankfulnesse; They sinned yet more against him. 2. We are so foolish in our sinning, that we do not consider what we our selves are, how great a majesty we offend, and what may be the consequents thereof; They sinned yet more by provoking the most High. O how unreasonable, uncircumspect, undiscreet and blinde fools are men in their sinning! 3. Albeit we have no outward enticements, albeit the place of our so­journing here should warne us as strangers and pilgrims to ab­stain from fleshly lusts, albeit we have the Word & works of God, as witnesses of God, and evidences of his beholding of us, yet so pregnant are we in wickednesse, so beastly passionate in our carnal affections, and so grosse in Atheisme, that naturally we run on in our own wayes, as the horse rusheth into the bat­tell; They provoked the most High in the wildernesse. 4. When God giveth sufficiently to supply necessities, and we seek to satisfie our lusts; when God hath said and done abundantly al­ready for evidencing his power, justice, truth and care of our welfare, and we will not rest on him, except he give such other new and extraordinary proofs of his properties, as we do pre­scribe, then do we tempt God, and highly provoke him, by seeking thus to subject him to our direction, will and carnal affections; And they tempted God in their heart, by asking meat for their lust. 5. When the sinful motions of the minde and heart are not controlled, the sin will break forth openly to outward acts tending to Gods dishonour, and to the evil ex­ample of others; They tempted God in their heart, and then they spake against God. 6. Words of misbelief, not disputing a­gainst tentations, but in effect calling in question Gods truth, power, care of us, or his good will to us, are in effect slandering of God, and bearing false witnesse against him; They spake a­gainst God: they said, Can God furnish, &c? 7. The carnal un­godly man hath no estimation of God, or any of his spiritual benefits, but doth set him a task of satisfying of his fleshly con­ceits and affections, which if God do not answer, he misregard­eth [Page 206] God; They said, Can God furnish a table in the wilder­nesse? 8. Albeit the unbeleever be convinced of Gods power and goodnesse to his people by his works for time past, yet [...] he not the wiser afterward, when it cometh to the giving cre­dit unto God in another work: yea, the work which God hath wrought, is esteemed by him as nothing, except God do fa­ther as the unbeliever shall prescribe; Behold, (say they) be, [...] the rock, that waters gushed out: but can he give brea [...] [...] so? can he provide flesh for his people?

Ver. 21. Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Iacob, and anger also came up against Israel.

22. Because they beleeved not in God: and trusted not in his salvation.

23. Though he had commanded the clouds from a­bove: and opened the doores of heaven.

24. And had rained down Manna upon them to eate, and had given them of the corne of hea­ven.

25. Man did eate Angels food: he sent them meat to the full.

In the fifth place, he setteth down how God was wroth for their unbelief, & for their not having a due estimation of the miracu­lous feeding of them with Manna. Whence learn, 1. Sins continued in, and in special expressions to the dishonouring of God flow­ing from misbeleef, have a loud cry in Gods eares, and he ta­keth notice of them for executing of judgement; Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth. 2. When God is openly disho­noured, the Lord by open judgement will sanctifie his own Name on the sinner, whatsoever be his priviledge, and though he were never so neer to God in external priviledges; So a fire was kindled against Iacob, and anger also came up against Israel. 3. Misbelief is a more grievous sin then men do esteem of it; for it calleth Gods truth, mercy, goodnesse, power, constancy, and all in question, and even his justice amongst the rest, which if the misbeleever did consider, he would not provoke justice against himself by this sin; Wrath came up against Israel, because they be­lieved [Page 207] not in God. 4. They do not believe in God, who study not to depend upon him for salvation, and for what­soever is necessary to them for salvation: yea they who do not believe that the Lord shall bring them out of every strait, in a way most serving to their welfare, and for his own honour; do not believe in him for salvation, so solidly as he requireth of them: They believed not in God, (saith he) and trusted not in Gods salvation. 5. The more meanes, encouragements, helps and props to support a mans faith are furnished of God, the greater is the sinne of un­beliefe in him: As the Israelites misbelief was the greater, for Gods miraculous bringing of water out of the rock, and Manna from the clouds, as here the Israelites misbe­lief is aggravated thus; They trusted not in his salvation, though he had commanded the clouds, and rained down Manna. 6. Man liveth not by bread, but by the efficacious Word of God. It is so easie for God to rain down victuals out of the clouds, as to make them grow out of the ground; let him say the Word, and it is done: He commanded the clouds, and opened the doores of heaven, and rained down Manna on them to eat. 7. The Lord doth provide well for his own redeem­ed people; what the earth doth not yield unto them, he ma­keth the heaven one way or other furnish unto them: as when the Israelites wanted the corne of the earth, the Lord gave them of the corne of heaven, so that man did eat An­gels food; not that there is corne in heaven, or that Angels do eat any corporal food, but manna is so called for the excellency of the food, that it might have served for food to Angels, if they had any need of food. 8. The more ex­cellent the benefit is which God giveth, the greater is the ingratitude of him who doth not esteem of it, and make use of it as becometh; as we see in Israels sinne, who did not esteem of Manna, as they should have done: had the Lord sed them with dust of the earth, or roots of grasse, be any other m [...]n thing, they should have had no reason to complain: but when he giveth them a new food, crea­ted every morning for their cause, sent down from heaven as fresh furniture every day, of such excellent colour, taste, smell and wholesomenesse: what a provocation of God was it, not to be content now; in special, when he gave them abun­dantly of it? He sent them meat to the full.

Ver. 26. He caused an East-win [...] to blow i [...] [...] heaven, and by his power he brought in the So [...] winde.

27. He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and fea­thered fowles like as the sand of the sea.

28. And he let it fall in the midst of their cam [...] round about their habitations.

29. So they did eat and were well filled: for he ga [...] them their own desire.

Here the Lord being tempted by a murmuting and unthank­full people, to refute their suspicion of his power, sendeth the [...] the most delicate flesh that could be found in the world, quail [...] in abundance, till they were all filled. Whence learn, 1. T [...] Lord, that he may shew what regard he hath to satisfy good and lawful desires, doth sometime grant unto men their unlawfull and unreasonable desires, that holy desires may be the better enter­tained, and constantly followed till they be granted; as appear­eth by the Lords granting of the unreasonable desire of the Israe­lites after flesh. 2. The Lord hath the Commandement of the windes to make them blow from what aire and in what measure he pleaseth: He caused an East-winde to blow in the heaven, and by his power he brought in the South-winde. 3. The Lord can ga­ther so many creatures as he mindeth to make use of at his plea­sure, he can gather birds and fowles, and make their flight longer or shorter as he pleaseth, and make them light and fall where he pleaseth, and can bring near to mans hand, what he hath a mind to give unto him: He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea; and he let them fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. 4. As the Lord doth grant lawful desires in mercy, so also doth he grant sinful desires in wrath; So they did eat and were filled, for he gave them their own desire. 5. When the carnal heart doth meet with the object of his lust, he falleth upon it as a beast doth without fear of God, or moderation of affection: They did eat and were well filled, for be gave them their own desire.

Ver. 30. They were not estranged from their lust [...] but while their meat was yet in their mouthes,

[Page] 31. The wrath of God came upon them, and sle [...] the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen m [...] of Israel.

32. For all this they sinned still: and believed not for his wondrous works.

33. Therefore their dayes did he consume in vanity, and their yeares in trouble.

In the sixth place, he setteth down their impenitency continu­ed in, and the Lords judgements poured out one after another upon them. Whence learn, 1. Sinful lust is unsatiable, even when the body is overcharged with the service of it; To lust sin­fully is a snare, but to continue in the slavery of lust, is a felling of a mans selfe, and a wedding of him unto that lust: such was the sin of the carnal Israelites; They continued in their lusting and repented not, albeit they [...]t time to repent, they and their lust did not discord; They were not estranged from their lust. 2. When men will not be enemies to their own sinful lusts, they do pro­voke the Lord to become enemy to them, and to poure wrath on them in the very act of their sinning; While their meat was yet in their mouthes, the wrath of God came upon them. 3. Such as are most head-strong in sinne, and take to themselves most li­berty to sin, and do give example most unto others to sin, shall be most notoriously punished. High places and eminency in power, as it doth not lessen sin, but aggravate it; so doth it not exempt from judgment, but procu [...]eth that it should be augment­ed rather, as is to be seen here in the punishment of the Nobles and great men in the camp of Israel; The wrath of God came up­on them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. 4. Such is the perversenesse of our natural incli­nation, that neither by Gods gentle dealing with us, nor by his sad judgements on others or on out selves, can we be amended, as is to be seen in unrenewed Israelites: For all this, they sinned still. 5. Neither extraordinary works of mercy, nor judge­ment, nor miracles, are able to convert men, or turn them from their evil wayes, or beget saving faith in them, with whom or­dinary means do not prevaile; For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous work. 6. When all meanes are [...]ssayed, and none do prevaile to bring men to repentance and reconciliation with God through faith, no wonder God in his righteous judgement should cut off the impeuitent as an un [...] ­ful [Page 210] and evill tree is cut down and cast away; They sinned [...] therefore their dayes did he consume in vanity, and their ye [...] [...] trouble. 7. By following of lusts, and not seeking felicity [...] God, men do both misse the good they hoped to have by sinning, and finde nothing in their way but vanity; and also meet with trouble and torment, which they did not fear; They sinned st [...], and believed not, therefore their dayes did God consume in vanity, and their yeares in trouble.

Ver. 34. When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned, and enquired early af­ter God.

35. And they remembred that God was their Rock, and the High God their Redeemer.

36. Neverthesse, they did flatter him with their mouth: and they lied unto him with their tongues:

37. For their heart was not right with him: nei­ther were they sleòfast in his covenant.

In the seventh place, he describeth some fits of their temporary faith and repentance, ver. 34, 35. which in effect proved to be but flattery or hypocrisy, and did resolve in back-sliding and apo­stasie, ver. 36, 37. Whence learn, 1. When men neither by the Lords liberality, nor lighter chastisements can be moved to re­pent, it is righteousnesse with God, by fearfull judgements to cut off a number, and to put the rest in fear of present cutting off, and so to waken them out of security; as here, when the carnal Is­raelites went on in their provocations, The Lord slew them. 2. The sense of present devouring wrath, and the [...]error of an angry God, may drive men to a temporary repentance, and to f [...]king of friendship and favour with God, for sparing them from wrath and present plagues, and all this may be without seri­ous repenting of sin, without flying to a Mediator by saving faith, without minding hearty and solid reconciliation: and may proceed onely from the natural principle of fear of death, and love of selfe-preservation; as here, When he slew them, then they sought him. 3. Temporary repentance, may make a temporary change of a mans course of li [...]e and carriage, from the worse to the bet­ter; may make him leave off his way of provocation, and seek af­ter God for a time with some diligence in the outward forms [...] [Page] Religion; as here, They returned, and enquired after God [...] As there is a temporary Repentance, moving from sin op [...] temporary grounds, so there is a temporary faith in many, moving toward God upon temporary considerations, that is, drawing toward God, to obtain of him sparing of their life and temporal benefits, and making use of Gods goodnesse and bounty, as much as serveth to a mans purpose: as here, They remembred that God was their Rock. 5. Temporary faith may make use of Redem­ption, so farre as may serve for deliverance from, or recovery out of temporal trouble, and present danger of wrath, and plagues; as here, They remembred that the High God was their Redeemer. 6. Acts of faith and repentance, extracted by sore judgements, fear of wrath, and desire of temporal deliverance, may be found to be the fruits of flattery, and not of saving faith; Neverthelesse they flattered him with their lips. 7. Profession of faith and re­pentance, which doth for sake sin and seek God onely for tempo­ral reasons, is but a lying unto God in effect, howsoever the tem­porary believer and repenter may judge himselfe sound enough; as here, And they lied unto him with their tongues. 8. When the heart or affections of a man are not set sincerely against sin, and for God, or toward God; all the outward profession is but hy­pocrisy in effect, and a lie; as here, They lied unto him with their tongues, for their heart was not right with him. 9. Temporary faith can produce no stedfastnesse in the Covenant, or covenant­ed duties, but make a man onely a temporizer therein, as out­ward motives do lead him toward duties, or from them: Their heart was not right with God, neither were they stedfast in the Covenant.

Ver. 38. But he being full of compassion for gave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stirre up all his wrath.

39. For he remembred that they were but flesh, a winde that passeth away, and cometh not againe.

40. How oft did they provoke him in the wilder­nesse: and grieve him in the desert?

41. Yea, they turned back, and tempted God: and li­mited the holy One of Israel.

[Page 212] In the eighth place, he sheweth the Lords mercifull sparing of his people many a time, and pitying of their natural frailty, be­cause if he should have killed them, they were not to live again in this world, ver. 38, 39. notwithstanding of their frequent provocations in the wildernesse, their limiting of God, and ta­king upon them to direct God what he should do unto them, ver. 40, 41. Whence learn, 1. There is a remission of sin, in re­gard onely of temporal judgement, Lev. 4. 20. which is in effect onely the not inflicting temporall punishment upon the sinner, or the not destroying of the sinner presently, the persons remain­ing the same impenitent sinners, such as was Gods pardoning here of impenitent Israel, flattering and false-hearted Israel: But he forgave their iniquity. 2. It is not any good in the sinner, but pity in God, which is the cause of sparing sinners from present perdition, when they provoke the Lord; But he being full of compassion forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not. 3 The Lord doth evidence his mercy and pity toward sinners, partly by his often sparing to strike, and turning away of his wrath ready to break out against them; and partly by his mitigating his anger, and not suffering it to break out in full force; Many a time he turned his anger away, and did not stirre up all his wrath. 4. Let men conceit of their own naturall strength as they list, yet the truth is, their frailty is great; They are but flesh, and a vapour that passeth away, and cometh not again. 5. When no good at all is found in man for which God should spare him, he taketh oc­casion of his frailty and misery, whereunto man is subject, to pity him: For he remembred that they were flesh, a wi [...]e that passeth away, and cometh not again. 6. The oftner sin be repeated, the greater is the provocation; and the greater is the mercy, that so often doth forbear to destroy: and when the frequency of sinning, and frequency of sparing are numbred the reckoning will not be easily ended, nor the number condescended upon; How oft did they provoke him in the wildernesse? 7. The sinnes of Gods people do greatly displease him, and that so much the more, as they are oftner repeated and committed contrary to what Gods kindnesse and care requireth of them: How oft did they provoke him in the wildernesse? and grieve him in the desert? where God gave his daily presence led them, sed them, and protected them miraculously. 8. Amongst other aggravations of sin, this is not the least, after conviction, and correction, and promise of amend­ment, resolutely to go back again to their vomit; yea, they urned back, and tempted God, 9. The Lord cannot endure [Page 213] that his people who, ought wholly to depend upon, submit unto him, and be ruled by him, should prescribe, as they please, how and when he should help them, or set bounds unto his pow­er, truth, wisdom, or mercy; as if he could do no more then they conceive to be probable. Therefore is it put amongst the highest aggravations of their sins: They tempted and limited the holy One of Israel,

Ver. 42. They remembred not his hand: nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.

43. How he had wrought his signes in Egypt: and his wonders in the field of Zoan:

In the ninth place, from this to ver. 54. he setteth down the prime cause of all their sin and misery, which followed upon it; to wit, they marked not, nor made use of the difference which God did put between them and the Egyptians, whom he did plague for their cause, while he delivered them. Whence learn, 1. When the merciful proofes of Gods respect unto us, do not confirm our faith in God, and tie us to love and obedience unto him; these experiences will soon wear out, if not out of common memory, yet out of estimative and affectionate memory: as here, They remembred not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. 2. As the right remembrance of former mer­cies may be a bridle from all sinne, and a confirmation of faith against all doubtings and suspicions of Gods good will to us: so the not rightly remembring of experiences of Gods respect shewed unto us, doth prove an inlet to many wicked mastakings of God, and disobediences to him: for here the cause of the former sins and plagues, is rendered to be this; They remembred not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. 3. Not remembring the Lords Word and Works affectionately, and with purpose, and endevour to make right use thereof, is in the Lords accompt no remembrance of him in effect: for of this people, who could well tell the story of their coming out of Egypt, and so had a common remembrance thereof, the Lord saith, They re­membred not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. 4 Signes and wonders once done for confirmation of the doctrine of the true God and his Covenant and true Religion, should su [...]e in all times and ages after for that end: and it is not lawful to tempt God still, to do moe wonders for confirmati­on [Page] of that truth; They remembred not, how he had wrought his signes in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan. 5. The Lords plagues on the enemies of the Church, being rightly re­membred, should warne Gods people to stand in awe of him, de­pend upon him, submit unto him, and to be wary to contend with him, which use, when it is not made it giveth a ground of chal­lenge: They remembred not how he had wrought his signes in Egyt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan.

Ver. 4. And had turned their rivers into blood: and their floods that they could not drinke.

45. He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them: and frogs, which destroy­ed them.

46. He gave also their increase unto the caterpil­ler: and their labour unto the locust.

47. He destroyed their vines with haile, and their Sycamore-trees with frost.

48. He gave up their cattell also to the haile: and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.

49. He cast upon them the fiercenesse of his anger, wrath and indignation, and trouble, by sending evill angels among them.

50. He made a way to his anger, he spared not their soul from death: but gave their life over to the pestilence

51. And smote all the first-borne in Egypt: the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham.

He numbereth out sundry plagues poured out upon the Egypti­ans, whereby the Israelites should have been wise. From ver. 44. Learn, 1. The means of mens life comfort, wealth, and defence can stand them in no stead, when God hath a controversie against them: The Lord can deprive them of the benefit thereof, and turn benefits into the meanes of their grief and vexation, as he did the waters of Egypt, which were the meanes of life and wealth unto them: He turned their rivers into blood, and their floods, that they could not drink. 2. By what means people do sin and [Page] provoke the Lord to wrath, he can by the same meanes punish them. As the Egyptians had defiled their rivers with the blood of the infants of Israel, so God did make their river speak their sin, and threaten their death; He turned their rivers into blood, and their floods, that they could not drink.

From ver 45 Learn 1. The meanest and basest of the crea­tures do declare the power of the Lord, and are so farre from be­ing uselesse, that they lie as it were in garison among men, to be sent out in parties upon service, as the God of hosts is plea­sed to give orders; He sent divers sorts of flies among them, and frogs. 2. Flies and frogs, and every meanest vermine, are too sore for man, when God doth arm them to avenge his quarrel; He sent out flies which devoured them, and frogs which destroyed them; that is, which were about to destroy them, and were able enough for the work, and were acknowledged to be so by the Egyptians, who did reckon themselves lost men, if these armies should not be taken off them.

From ver. 46, 47, 48. Learn, 1. When God is not acknow­ledged to be the giver of corn and cattel, and fruits of the ground, by a right using of them, he will be known to be the giver there­of, by removing of them; He destroyed their increase, labour, vines, and cattell. 2. The Lord hath meanes how to destroy and take away the fruits of the ground, and other serviceable crea­tures at his pleasure; The caterpiller, the locusts, quail, frost, and thunderbolts.

From ver. 49. Learn, 1. The plagues of Gods enemies are out of meer justice, and not from fatherly love, as the strokes of his own chosen are; He cast upon the Egyptians the fiercenesse of his anger. 2. Trouble of it selfe is not so heavy, as when indigna­tion and wrath is joyned with it, or sendeth it forth; He cast up­on them the fiercenesse of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble. 3. As the Lord hath good Angels, by whom he can work his own will: so hath he also evill angels, whose service he can use holily to his own purpose; He cast the fiercenesse of his wrath upon them, by sending evill angels among them.

From ver. 50, 51. Learn, 1. When the Lords judgements lighting upon mens houses, cornes cattel, and fruit-trees, do not humble men, the Lord doth make his judgement light upon their own persons; and when lighter judgements on their persons do not yet humble them, then God will destroy their lives, and their last plagues shall be heavier then the first; as here, when for­mer plagues did not the turn, the Lord laid aside former pitying [Page 216] and long-suffering, and so he made a way for his anger, he [...] [...]ed not their soul from [...]eath, but gave their life over to the pesti­len e. 2. As the persecutors of Gods people do smi [...]e that whic [...] God loveth best, so doth God smite that which persecutors love best; He smote all the first-borne in Egypt. 3. The curse of God coming upon the Egyptians, the posterity of Ch [...]m, com­mendeth the grace of God toward the Israelites, the posterity of Sem his brother: Therefore in opposition to the tabernacles of the Israelites in the land of Goshen, it is said, He smote the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Cham.

Ver. 52. But made his owne people to go forth like sheep: and guided them in the wildernesse like a flock.

53. And he led them on safely, so that they fear­ed not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

This was the Lords dealing with the enemies of Isr [...], whereof the Israelites made no right use. Now hee setteth down the Lords different dealing with Israel, whereof al­so they made no right use; when hee hath plagued and drowned the Egyptians, hee gave Israel safe passage and conduct through the sea; Whence learn, 1. Whatsoever be the unworthinesse of Gods confederate people, yet the Lord putteth a difference between them and their enemies and testifieth his respect to the one above the other: the Egyp­tians he did diverse wayes plague; But he made his owne people go forth like sheep. 2. Though the Lords people be both weak and witlesse, yet God ca [...]eth for them, as a shepherd doth for his flock; He made his own people to go forth as sheep, and guided them in the wildernesse as a flock. 3. Albeit the Lord doth put difference between such as [...]re in Covenant with him in the letter onely, and those that are in Covenant with him in the spirit also, when he compareth the sheep with the goats: yet when he compareth the whole bulk of his people with the rest of the world, and in special with their enemies, he putteth a peculiar respect upon them all, and avoweth his interest in them all above all people in the world, and doth for them, as for his owne; he [...] his owne people to go forth. 4. Whatsoever [...]ear may possibly fall upon Gods people when they are following his directi­ons, [Page 217] yet their course is safe and without just cause of fear, and if at some time fear do surprise them, yet the Lord so cleareth their way after that, that they are out of fear; He l [...]d them on safely, so that they feared not. 5. The perdi­tion of the world and the wicked enemies maketh the safe­ty of those that are saved so much the greater benefit: [...] people feared not, but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

Ver. 54. And he brought them to the border of his Sanctuary, even to this mountain which his right hand had purchased.

55. He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line: and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.

In the tenth place, he pointeth at the perfecting of their jour­ney through the wildernesse, and possessing them in Canaan, with the casting out of the Canaanites. Whence learn, 1. Whatso­ever become of particular persons in the visible Church, the Lord doth follow on the course of his care and kindnesse unto the Church, and encreaseth the obligation of the incorporation in the succeeding ages, partly by what he doth for their predeces­sors, and partly by what he doth for themselves, as we see in the Church of Israel: whatsoever became of misbelievers in the wildernesse, he brought his own people to the border of his San­ctuary. 2. Albeit we should fight for the liberty of a place, where Gods ordinances may be publickly celebrated, and shed our blood in coming by it; yet is the commodity not our purchase, but the Lords purchase, and the Lords gift to us; He brought them to this m [...]untain which his right band hath purchased. 3. Successe in warre is the Lords work, and such as are dispossessed of their inheritance, have God to crave for it; He cast out the he [...]then al­so before them. It is neither the stoutnesse of the one, nor the [...]eeblenesse of the other, but Gods hand or power which doth the businesse. 4. The setling of a people in a peaceable possessi­on, so as every man may without contention enjoy what is allow­ed him of God, is no small benefit and obligation of a people so dealt with by God: He divided them an inheritance by lot, and made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.

Ver. 56. Yet they tempted [...]d provoked the [...] High God, and kept not his testi [...]onies▪

57. But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a decei [...]ful [...]owe.

58. For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousie with their grav [...] images.

In the eleventh place, he setteth down, how this people yet again provoked the Lord to anger with their idolatry and su­perstition; [...]eir high places and their graven images: for when God had appointed one place for their solemn worship, to wit, his Tabernacle▪ where his Ark and Mercy-seat was, signifying the necessity of worshipping him through the promised Medi­atour Jesus Christ, in whom alone he would be sought and [...]ound, and in whom he would have all his people agreeing, and attending his appointment, and not to devise wayes of pleasing of God by themselves; they would have a place o [...] their own [...] publick worship, high places, or hills and groves, which plea­sed them better then Mount Sion, or the place where the Ta­bernacle was pitched. They would have representations of their own devising, and loved them better then the A [...]k of the Co­venant, to wit, graven images, which God had forbideen in the moral law. and so they provoked him to anger. Whe [...] learne, 1. Such is the wickednesse of natural men, that neither for judgements nor for favour shewen to them, will they sub­ject themselves to Gods direction, but will take upon them to set rules unto God one way or other: This the Pr [...]phet shew­eth in the example of the Israelites: Yet th [...]y tempted and pro [...] ­ked the most High God. 2. When God giveth his Word and Ordinances for his worship to a people, and they will cast away this rule, and make another to themselves, it is a tempting of God, and a striving with the most High God, whether he shall direct them, or they shall direct him in the meanes of his wor­ship; They provoked the most High God▪ How? They kept [...] his testimonie [...]. 3. Altering or changing the [...]orme of worship which God h [...]th appointed, is a relinquishing of God and his way, a point of treache [...]y against him, and a notable b [...]each of [Page 219] Covenant; They kept not his testimonies, but turned back and dealt unfaithfully. 4. Following of antiquity in an errour is so farre from the excusing of sinne, that it makes the children liable to their fathers debt and deserved punishment, because they approve their fathers and their deeds, above God and Gods te­stimonies; They dealt unfaithfully like their fathers. 5. The service of the wicked is like a bowe; they will do nothing com­manded, but by compulsion; and like a deceitful bowe, which [...] it hath a cast or throw in it, and doth shift the arrow as [...]de from the mark, whereunto it is directed: so they will aim at another m [...]k then God doth direct them unto; They were turned aside like a deceitful bowe. 6. The alteration of the rule of worship prescribed by God, is a provocation of God to anger, were it but in a circumstance; They provoked him to ang [...] with their high places. 7. Such as take libe [...]ty to themselves to depart from the ordinances of God in the lesse, will depart also from him in the greater: They provoked God to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousie with their graven images. 8 Howsoever men do dream that they may make good use of pi­ctures & graven images, to further them in devotion and the ser­vice of God, who is represented thereby, and that they minde not to communicate any of his worship to the images, yet the Lord doth count that religious use of images no lesse then adul­tery, and matter of bitter provocation; as the word imports: Partly, because it is impossible not to communicate divine wor­ship to the images, before whi [...]h a man doth bow himself, of purpose to be stirred up by it, to wors [...]p God represented by it; Partly, because the deviser and user of this sort of relative wor­ship, ha [...]h thrust himself in the Lords place, to whom only it belongeth to prescribe how he will be worshipped; or at least he hath admitted another Lord then God, in the appointing of the means of Religion; And partly, because the Lord expressely de­clareth, that by graven images he is provoked justly to jealousie; Therefore (saith he) they moved him to jealousie with their gr [...] ­ven images.

Ver. 59. When God heard this, he was wrath, and greatly a [...]horred Israel.

60. So that he forsook the Tabernacle of Shiloh: the tent which he placed among men.

61. And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemies han [...].

[Page 220] 62. He gave his people over also unto the sword: and was wroth with his inheritance.

63. The fire consumed their young men: and their maidens were not given to marriage.

64. Their Priests fell by the sword: and their wi­dowes made no lamentation.

In the twelfth place, he declareth how the Lords wrath was kindled, v. 59. and how he took his Ark from Shiloh, where it was abused in Elies time, ver. 60. and gave his [...]rk (the signe of his strength or powerful presence among them,) into the Philistines hands, ver. 61. made his people fall in battel, ver. 62. the young men died in battel, and so maids wanted matches, ver. 63. their Priests were slain, and their wives made no lamentation for them, 1 Sam. 4. 22. in comparison of greater losses, ver. 64. Whence learn, 1. Corrupting of Gods worship and ordinances, is a sinne crying so judgement, which voice God will answer; When God heard this he was wroth. 2. The Lord goeth not rashly to judgement; but as it were after perfect understanding of the cause: When God heard this, he was wroth. 3. Were a people or person never so deare to God, superstition and imagerie, and abusing of his publick worship, will provoke him to jealousie a­gainst them, and drew forth such judgements as will speak the Lords abhorring them for that sinne; And he greatly ab­horred Israel.

From ver 60. Learne, 1 When the publike ordinances, the tokens of the Lords presence, are removed from any place, the Lord removeth, and forsaketh that place; So that he forsook the Tabernacle of Shiloh; where the Ark had been till Elies death. 2. It is in vain for any to boast of Gods presence in any place, when once his publick ordinances are polluted; He forsook Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men.

From ver. 61. Learne, 1. When Gods people abuse Religion, and pollute his ordinances, no wonder he make their open ene­mies to deprive them therof as here we see. 2. The Lords people cannot promise unto themselves the continuance of the manife­station of the Lords strength and the Lords glory among them, longer then they do esteem of him, and advance him as their glo­ry and their strength; for when Israel tempted God kept not his testimonies, and moved him to jealousie, he delivered over his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemies hands.

[Page 221] From ver. 62. Learn, When enemies get advantage against Gods people by reason of their provocation of God, and when the enemies of Religion get power over Gods people, so farre as to deprive them of the meanes of Religion, the Lords anger will be more against his people who were the causes of this wrath, then against the enemies who were the instru­ments of the execution of the wrath; and therefore beside the taking away of his ordinances from his people, he will send his vengeance upon them also; He gave his people over also unto the sword, and was wroth with his inheritance.

From ver. 63. Learne, 1. When the Lord sendeth the sword on a land, he can soon consume the flower of the youth as with a fire; The fire c [...]nsumed the young men. 2. When Religion is overthrown among Gods people, let not the Common-wealth think to stand; when God gave his glory into the enemies hand, he [...]ave his people over also unto the sword, and the fire consumed their young men. 3: When Gods people by abusing of Religion do provoke God against them, it shall be no wonder if God give them such sad blowes by their enemies, that there shall be no hope for one age at least to recover their estate; and no wonder if there be fearful appearance also of cutting off the po­sterity: The fire consumed their young men, and their maidens were not given to marriage.

From ver. 64. Learn, 1. It is amongst the fearfullest tokens of Gods displeasure against a land, when he removeth his Mi­nisters from them, especially when the good are taken away with the bad; Their Priests fell by the sword. 2. When the Mini­sters are the abusers of Religion, and chief in the provocation, no wonder to see them also exemplarily punished; for as Hophni and [...]hinehas made the sacrifice to be snuffed at, so God made their carcases fall in the battel; Their Priests fell by the sword. 3. When Gods wrath breaks forth against his own people for their provocations, he can make publike calamities so great, as they shall swallow up domestick miseries: yea he can make those that live, and are reserved from the sword, so weary of their lives, as they shall reckon the dead to be more happy then the living. Their Priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.

Ver. 65. Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep: and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of [...]e.

[Page 222] 66. And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts [...] put them to a perpetual reproach.

In the thirteenth place, he sheweth how notwithstanding of all the former provocations and sore judgements, the Lord of his own free grace, by taking vengeance upon his enemies; re­stored his people to the priviledges of Church and Kingdom. Whence learn, 1. Howsoever the Lords people draw on judge­ments upon themselves, and deserve to be left in their miseries; yet God of his free and constant love to them, sendeth relief when they least expect, as here is to be seen; when his people is in a most desperate condition, Then the Lord awaketh. 2. As people do sleep securely in their sin, when God doth call them to repentance: so it is justice with God to misken them in their calamity, and to be unto them as one asleep, as here he is descri­bed. 3. God doth not so farre wink at the troubles of his own people, but the cry of their misery, and the insolency of the e­nemy against them, will awake him. When Israel is now as a lost people, and their enemies have taken Gods Ark, Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleepe, and like a mighty man that shouted because of wine. 4. Whatsoever weak similitude the Scripture useth to make us conceive somewhat of the Lords operations, yet must we alwayes think of him, as beseemeth the glory of his majesty, leaving the imperfection of the creature, (from which the similitude is borrowed) as the dregs of the comparison, to rest with the creature it self, as here we are led to do, except we should think blasphemous thoughts of God. 5. Albeit the enemies of Gods people may be at ease, when his people are in trouble, and lying under their feet, yet God will arise in due time and punish them; The Lord awaked, and smote his enemies in the hinder parts. 6. The dishonour done to God, and to Gods people, is but for a time, and is shortly removed; but the recompence of the enemie which do dishonour God, is perpetual and everlasting; He smote his enemies in the hinder parts; to wit, with Emerods and a bloody flux; And so he p [...] [...]hom to a perpetual reproach.

Ver. 67. Moreover, he refused the Tabernacle of Ioseph: and chose not the tribe of Ephraim.

[Page 223] 68. But chose the tribe of Iudah: the Mount Sion which he loved.

69. And he built his Sanctuary like high palaces: like the earth which he hath established for ever.

70. He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:

71. From following the ewes great with young: he brought him to feed Iacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

72. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart: and guided them by the faithfulnesse of his hands.

In the last place is set down, how albeit the Lord did not return to Shiloh with his Ark ver. 67. yet he stayed in the land among his people, and placed his Ark in Ierusalem, and built himself a glorious Temple and Sanctuary on Sion, ver. 68, 69. and setled his people under the government of David, a type of Christ, exalted from an humble and low condition, to be King of Israel, ver 70, 71. by whom the people were well go­verned, ver. 72.

From, ver. 67, 68. Learne, 1. The Lord can so temper his justice and mercy in his dealing with his people as the effects of both shall be manifest: Because he was so dishonoured in Shi­loh, he will have his justice seen, in not suffering his Ark to come there again any more; Moreover, he refused the Tabernacle of Ioseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim; to wit, for the tribe that he would most respect, or where he would have the resi­dence of his Ark to be; there is his justice. Again, he will not forsake the land, or the people of Israel altogether, but will dwell in some other part of the land, and will take another tribe to have the chief evidence of his respect shewen unto them; But he chose the tribe of Iudah: there is his mercy, with an in­sinuation of the main means of the mercy, which is the coming of Christ in the flesh, out of the tribe of Iudah; Thus God will not depart from Israel, and yet he will no [...] be found save in the tribe of Iudah, out of which came Christ, the root and fountain of mercy, to all Israel, who shall seek unto God through him. 2. Whatsoever be the priviledge of the Church univer­sal, yet no particular place is to priviledged, but God will leave [Page 224] it, and take another to dwell in, when he is provoked in [...] particular place to forsake it: for the dishonour done to his Maje­sty in Shiloh, he resused the Tabernacle of Ioseph; he refused th [...] his Ark, the chief signe of his presence, should have its resi­dence any more in the bounds of Ephraim or Manasseh, the sons of Ioseph. 3. The cause why God chuseth unto any pri­viledge, one tribe more then another, or one person rather then another, or one place rather then another, is only his own free will, grace and love; He chose the tribe of Iudah, the Mount Siou which he loved.

From ver. 69. Learn, 1. In the type of the building of the Temple on mount Sion, we are taught that the Church of God is his own edifice, who ever be the workmen, whom he in his pro­vidence doth imploy to build it. Therefore is it said, He built his sanctuary like high Palaces. 2. Albeit the Lords Church, may have many troubles and commotions in it, yet shall it en­dure and not be overthrown utterly for ever; He built his san­ctuary as the earth, which he hath established for ever.

From, Ver. 70, 71. Learn, 1. The Church shall not want a King to defend, and protect her; for God hath his own cho­sen servant appointed for the purpose. As for the typical King­dome of Israel he had David: so for the Church universal, re­presented by the type, he hath appointed Christ the eternal Sonne of God, who took his humane nature of the lineage of David, to be King mysticall in Sion for ever; to be a type of whom, he did choose David his servant. 2. The Lord to the intent he may not onely shew his sovereigne power, whereby he can raise the mean­est of men, and exalt them how high soever he pleaseth, but al­so to represent from how low a degree of humiliation Christ in­carnate was to be raised to the government of his Church and Kingdome, he setteth down the mean condition of life, where­from David was raised to the royal dignity of governing Israel: He took him from the sheep solds, from following the ewes great with young; he brought him to feed Iacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

From, Ver. 72. Learn, The duties and properties of a good King are these. First, He must resolve to be Gods servant in his charge, as David was. Seconly, All his subjects, and in special the Lords people, must be cared for by him in a civil way, as a flock of sheep is cared for by the Pastour: David fed them. Thirdly, A Kings heart must be set uprightly for Gods honour, and for the subjects welfare in the whole course of his government; He fed [Page] them according [...]. [...], [...] King [...]st de [...] prudently with his subjects, accomodating the whole [...]se of his dealing with them, as their several conditions do re­ [...]ire: He guided them by the skilfulnesse of his hands. And whatsoever measure David had of those properties, were but a shadow of the perfections of Christ in his Government. Fifthly, neither lawes, nor teaching, nor miracles, nor benefits, nor judgments can avail unto the salvation of a people or person, till they be put under the hand and guiding of Christ; as we are taught here in the example and representation of the Lords dealing with Israel in this Psalme, wherein when God hath tried his people with oft repeated mercies and judgements, they come to no setled estate, till they be put under the Government of David, who in this is [...] type of Christ. For he closeth with this, he guided them by the skilfulnesse of his hands.

PSAL. LXXIX. A Psalme of Asaph.

THe scattered and captive people of God, after the de­struction of Ierusalem and of the Temple, do put up a pitiful complaint unto God, to ver. 6. and do pray for a merciful reliefe to his Church, and for avenging their blood upon their enemies. As for the complaint, in it they la­ment four things. First, the profanation and desolation of the Lords inheritance and Temple by the heathen their enemies, ver. 1. Secondly, the barbarous cruelty and inhumanity used a­gainst them, ver, 2, 3. Thirdly, the contempt and mocking of their wicked neighbours in their misery, ver. 4. Fourthly [...]as they acknowledge this to proceed from Gods displeasure, so they lament that it is like to be everlasting, ver. 5.

In their prayer, in the latter part of the Psalme, they crave: First, justice upon their enemies, ver. 6. 7. Secondly, pardon of their own sins, and deliverance out of their misery, for sundry reasons, ver, 8, 9, 10, 11. Thirdly, that God wol [...]d reward their inhumane neighbours who mocked at their misery, ver. 12. And do close their petition with a promise of praise and thanks unto God by the Church in all succeed­ing ages. Whence learn in general. 1. The Church of God may be brought so low, as here we see once it was 2 So many [Page 226] of Gods people as live to see such publike calamities and misery, must not despaire of a recovery, but should and may run to God and pray for the Church in affliction, expecting order after con­susion, and after dissipation, to see a gathering of Gods people again, and after apparent overthrow of Religion a restoring of Gods publick worship, as the example of the Psalmist in this Psalm doth teach, whose courage and confidence in God for relief of the Lords people is wonderful, as the condition of the Church at that time seemed to be desperate. As the holy Ghost, the enditer of this Psalm, doth give warning here to all Churches in all ages, to beware to provoke the Lord unto wrath, lest he deal with them, as he dealt with those Israelites: so doth he give warrant to all afflicted Churches, to follow the example of this afflicted Church, to run to God for help: for which cause he hath given this Psalme to be made use of by the Church, A Psalme of Asaph.

Ver. 1. O God the heathen are come into thine inheritance, thy holy people have they defiled, they have laid Ierusalem on heapes.

In the first part of this Lamentation; Learn, 1. Albeit there be no place nor person, how near and dear soever unto God, exempted from judgement when they are polluted, yet the wicked instruments of the judgement poured out upon the place and persons consecrated to God, may justly be complained of, as here we see; O God, the heathen are come into thine inherit­ance. 2. When Gods people, who should be holy, defile them­selves and Gods Ordinances, it is no wonder that by prophane persons they be punished, and their holy things polluted; Thy holy Temple have they defiled; that is, they have abused it, dealt with it, as a vile and pro [...]ane thing. 3. Albeit people in Covenant with God have disgraced their holy profession, and polluted his ordinances, and be justly plagued by seeing holy ordinances put over in the hands of profane men for their cause, yet neither will the Lord disclaime his interest in his own ordinances, nor do his people lose right and interest in God and in his ordinances, when they take with their punishment, and do make their addresse to God for reliefe; Thy holy Temple have they defiled. 4. When God giveth over religious ordinances in the hands of profane men to be abused, no wonder if they that [Page 227] are the cause of this, do suffer in their civil state also; no won­der the City suffer with the Temple: Ierusalem have they laid on heaps.

Ver. 2. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowles of the hea­ven: the flesh of thy Saints unto the beasts of the earth.

3. Their blood have they shed like water round about Ierusalem, and there was none to bury them.

From the second part of the lamentation and complaint [...] Learn, 1. Falling in battel before the enemies may prove that God hath a just cause against the party overcome, but cannot prove that the victors cause is good, presuppose both parties had appealed to God: for there the heathen do overcome, and the Lords servants and Saints are slaine, and they who are lest a­live do complaine of the victors, and take with their punish­ment at Gods hand, who doth follow his own quarrel as he pleaseth, and will not at mens pleasure sit down and decide appellations, when they call to him, or stand unto [...] time set down by men to him, to determine their controversie: O God, the [...] are come into thine inheritance, &c. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat to the fowles. a [...]. Heavy and fearful are the judgements temporal, which may come upon Gods people, when they have provoked God to wrath against them for their sinnes, even such as are here set down, to wit, overturning of the outward face of Religion, destruction of their lands, cities and estate, killing of them in abundance, and want of burial when they are dead. 3. As not by outward prosperitie, so also not by outward calamities, is the love of hatred of God to be known; the same sort of out­ward dispensation may befall both; The dead bodies of thy ser­vants they have given to be meat to the fon [...]es of heaven. 4. No tempered wrath hot calamities whatsoever can separate the Lords children from Gods love and estimation of them, nor untie the re­lations between God and them: for here, albeit their carcases fall, & be devoured with the fowls of the heaven and beasts of the earth, yet remaine they the Lords servants and Saints under these sufferings. The dead bodies of thy servants &c. the flesh of thy Saints. 5. The slaughter of the Lords people, and the scattering of such [Page 228] as escape of them may be so great, when his anger is kindled against them, that none may be found to bury the slaine, but the dead may lie unburied; Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them. 6. Nothing is to be expected of Gods enemies towards Gods people when they fall in their hands, but savage cruelty and bar­barous inhumanity, for which they are to answer unto God, to whom the complaint of the living and the cry of the blood of the slaine doth call for vengeance, as the experience of the Lords people in this place doth teach.

Ver. 4. We are become a reproach to our neigh­bours: a scorne and derision to them that are round about us.

From the third part of the complaint and lamentation; Learn, 1. In the day of Gods displeasure against his people, yea in the day of the trial of the faith and patience of his people, no wonder that such as should most pity our calamity, and be com­fortable unto us, rejoyce to see us in misery, yea and make our calamity a matter of reproach to us, a matter of scorne and de­rision of us; for here it is said, We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorne and derision to them that are round about [...]. 2. When God doth afflict his people, all their priviledges, and the Religion which they professe, do become contemptible and ridiculous to the ungodly, who do not esteem either of Gods ordinances or of his people, but when they are adorned with outward prosperity. The Lords people were seared and honour­ed by them that were about them, when God did fight for them, and countenanced them; but now they lament, We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorne and derision to them that are round about us. 3. To be mocked in misery, and specially of them by whom we should be comforted, is amongst the saddest passages of our affliction: Therefore here, is this part of their lamentation set down, after the formerly mentioned misery, as a load above a burden, and that which did imbitter their sorrow most of all, because it did reflect upon their Religi­on, their faith, their interest in God, as if all had been ridiculous.

Ver. 5. How long, LORD, wilt thou be [...] gry, for ever? shall thy jealousie burne like fire?

[Page 229] From the fourth part of the lamentation; Learn, 1. The Lords displeasure and anger against his people, is more heavy to them then all the calamities which have lighted on them; How long wilt thou be angry? putteth the capstone on their prison­house. 2. Guilty consciences cannot but apprehend wrath, when their plagues are heavy, yea they cannot escape a conflict with the fear of everlasting wrath, when his hand doth lie long upon them. How long, Lord? Wilt thou be angry for ever? 3. When Gods people do fall from their matrimonial Covenant with God, and their heart and eyes do go a whoring after idols, no wonder the Lord be jealous, and his wrath for this be most hot, and be like to devour unto utter destruction: Shall thy jea­lousie burne like fire? 4. Whatsoever hath been our calamity, whosoever have been the instruments of our misery, yea how great soever our provocation of Gods anger hath been: it is wisdome, as to expound all the malice and cruelty of men to be the effects of Gods anger and jealousie, and that his anger and jealousie is kinled by our sinnes: so to runne to God, and lament the whole matter before him, and deprecate his wrath, as the Church doth here; How long, Lord? Wilt thou be angry for ever?

Ver. 6. Poure cut thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdomes that have not called upon thy Name.

7. For they have devoured Iacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.

In the latter part of the Psalme is their prayer; and first, for justice and vengeance on their enemies. Whence learn, 1. Albeit it be not lawful for us in our own quarrel to pray against our enemies, yet in the Churches quarrel, in the Lords quarrel it is lawful to pray in general against the incorri­gible and desperate enemies of God and his people, as here the Church is taught. 2. Albeit temporal judgements may overtake Gods visible Church, when the open enemies of Gods people and of his true worship are spared, yet at length the fulnesse of wrath is reserved for the ungodly, one and all: Poure out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee. 3 Prayer to God, and invocation of his Name upon all occasions, as Gods [Page 230] honour and mens necessities and duties publick, private, and secret do call them to come before him, is a mark differencing Gods people from the ungodly, whether professed or real hea­thens, and a mark of such as shall finde mercy distinguishing them from the object of Gods wrath: Poure out thy wrath upon the Kingdomes that have not called on thy Name. 4. Unto the tight worshipping of God the true knowledge of God is requi­red: for how shall men call upon God in whom they believe not, whom they know not, or whom to know they care not? Therefore such as are strangers from God here, are described by this They have not known thee, they have not called on thy Name. 5. The members of a visible Church may be scattered one from another, that they cannot in one place joyntly and professedly enjoy publick Ordinances; as here, Iacob is devoured, and his dwelling place laid waste. 6. The heaviest article in the ditty of the ungodly is their being either accessory to, or active in the overthrow of Gods people; Poure out thy wrath on them; for they have devoured Iacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.

Ver. 8. O remember not against us former iniqui­ties: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.

9. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the the glory of thy Name: and deliver us, and purge away our sinnes for thy Names sake.

10. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be knowne among the heathen in our sight, by the revenging of the blood of thy ser­vants which is shed.

11. Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee, according to the greatnesse of thy power: preserve thou those that are appointed to die.

Secondly they pray for pardon of their sins, and delivery from the misery which their sins had procured; unto which Petitions sundry reasons are added for strengthening of the faith of the Church. Whence learne, 1. The sense of sin maketh the afflicted to be patient, and submissive unto God without murmuration, and [Page 231] their lamentation for their misery doth resolve in prayer, and in a prayer for remission of sin; O remember not against us former iniquities. 2. The onely right way to remedy a miserable con­dition, is to sue for remission of sins, and for the renewed evi­dence of reconciliation: for before the Church here do ask any thing for their outward delivery, they pray, O remember not against us former iniquities. 3. A peoples long continuance in sin doth furnish ground of fear of the long continuing of begun wrath and judgement upon them, and therefore they pray for the forgetting of their sin, that the quarrel being the judgement may be removed; O remember not against us our former iniquities. 4. When warth and justice are like to consume us, and quickly make an end of us, a refuge is open to us in Gods tender mercies, who cannot destroy utterly a sinner fleeing to his mercy; Let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us, for we are brought very low. 5. When the Lords people are brought low, let them not look for a lifting up or reliefe, except from God onely, therefore say they, here, Help us, O Lord. 6. Such as have laid hold on God for salvation promised in the Covenant, may also look for particular deliveries out of particular troubles, as appendices of the main benefit of salvation; Therefore, Help, us, O God of our salvation, say they. 7. When men do ask any thing, the granting whereof may glorify God, they may confidently expect to have it; and in speciall, when God may be so glorified, as his people may also be preserved and comforted: Help us (say they) for the glory of thy Name, and deliver us. 8. As the consci­ence of sin useth to step in oftner between us and mercy, so must we call oftner for remission of sinne; for earnest affection can double and treble the same Petition without babling: Deliver us, and purge away our sins. 9. It is the glory of the Lord to for­get sin, and when remission of sinnes is prayed for according to Gods promise, the Lords glory is engaged for the helping of faith to obtain; Purge away our sin for thy Names sake. 10. Ido­laters are ready to insult over Gods people and their religion, and over God also, when the Church is afflicted, and this disho­nour of God true Saints cannot endure; Wherefore should the hea­then say, Where is their God? 11. Howsoever the Lord will pu­nish his own people for their sins in the sight of the heathen, yet will he not suffer the heathen long to insult over his people, or over the true religion; but by shewing kindnesse to his people, will have the heathen to know that he is their God, who will an­swer for himself, and for his people, and their religion also; Where­fore [Page 232] should the heathen say, Where is their God? 12. As it doth belong [...]o Gods honour to deliver his people in their distresse, so also to punish the persecutors of his Church and blasphemers of his Name; Let him be known among the heathen in our sight, by avenging the blood of thy servants. 13. It is a comfort and en­couragement of living Saints, to see God avenge the blood of dead Saints slain by their enemies; Let him be knowne in our sight, by avenging the blood of thy servants. 14. As it is no wonder to see griefe and sighing to be the cheer of Gods people when the Lord hath scattered them, and they are captive priso­ners under their oppressors; so may we be sure their tears and sighing shall not be misregarded by God: Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee. 15. Albeit it seem impossible to deliver Gods people, when they are as condemned prisoners, destinated by their enemies unto destruction, yet saith seeth delivery very possi­ble to Gods omnipotency: According to the greatnes of thy power, preserve thou those that are appointed to die.

Ver. 12. And render unto our neighbours seven­fold into their bosome, their reproach where with they have reproached thee, O Lord.

13. So we thy people, and sheep of thy pasture, will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

In the last place, they pray for vengeance on their wicked neighbours, who mocked them and their Religion in the time of their calamity: and thus they close their prayer with a promise to praise God for the granting of their petitions. Whence learn, 1. Such as rejoyce at the calamity of Gods people, and mock them in their misery, especially neighbours who should be most comfortable, as they are in some respect more guilty then open oppressors; so shall they be most severely plagued of God for their cruelty: Render unto our neighbours seven-fold into their besom their reproach. 2. The mocking of Gods people in their mise­ry, especially for their Relgion, is the mocking of God, and re­proaching of him whose servants they are; Render them the re­proach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord. 3. When God taketh vengeance on the enemies of the Church, then is it seen what interest God hath in that despised company: for the Church here is confident, that then their relations unto God, and [Page 233] Gods care of them, shall be evident; So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture shall give thee thanks: that is, we shall come out of distresse, and gather our selves together, and professe our selves to be thy people, and chosen flock, and shall praise thee. 4. The troubles of the Lords people, and their mourning, are but tempo­ral, and of short endurance: but their deliverance and comfort, when their troubles are ended, is everlasting, and no lesse then everlasting duration can suffice them to praise God and thank him for his kindnesse; So we thy people shall give thee thanks for ever. 5. As the Lords work for his distressed people calleth for thanks at their hands, so also doth it call for praise at their hands, who shall hear of it; and they whose duty it is to give thanks, ought also according to their power, to stirre up others to praise God with themselves, and to stirre up also the posterity in all succeeding ages, as the Church here promiseth: We will shew forth thy praise to all generations.

PSAL. LXXX. To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim Eduth. A Psalm of Asaph.

THis Psalm given to the Church to be made use of, is of the like sad subject with the former, and may be applied to the time of carrying away the ten tribes out of the holy land, while Iudah was yet in possession of it, and the Temple was yet standing, and the Lord was dwelling between the Cherubims in the Sanctuary, where the Ark and Mercy-seat was yet remaining; or to the time of the begun desolation of the land by Nebuchad­nezzar, or to any other desolation which did threaten their final rooting out. The summe of the Psalm is a lamenting of the mi­serable condition of the Israelites, and an earnest entreating of the Lord to give them repentance and a delivery. In the first place, the Church maketh her addresse to God, and propoundeth the main Petition, ver, 1, 2, 3. In the second place, they la­ment their misery, and repeat the same Petition; ver. 4, 5 6, 7. In the third place, they call to minde the Lords care to plant his people in the land as a vine-tree, and do lament the dole­ful change of their happy condition into that of their present mi­sery, ver. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. In the fourth place, they pray [Page 234] for Gods mercy and pity toward his desolate people, ver. 14, 15, 16. In the last place, th [...]y pray for the standing of the tribe of Iudah, and that [...]or Christs cause, who was to take his hu­mane nature of this tribe; and do close the Psalme with repearing the third time their special Petition for repentance and delivery to be granted unto them, ver. 17, 18, 19.

Ver. 1. Glve eare, O shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Ioseph like a flock, thou that dwellest between the Cherubims, shine forth.

Many sweet fruits hath the Lord drawn forth from the bitter afflictions of his people, and this Psalme amongst the rest; where­in first, the Church beggeth from God audience, for the relati­ons between God and them, ver. 1. and then prayeth for salva­tion, ver. 2. and to this end doth make request for the graci­ous gift of Repentance to his people, that they might be sa­ved, ver. 3.

From the fi [...]st verse; Learn, 1. When our heart is full of grief, or of any holy affection, which we desire to lay sorth before the Lord, we may call for, and expect audience at the Lords hands, as the Church doth here, saying to the Lord, Give car. 2. He that would speak to God in the d [...]y of calamity, had need to fasten faith on God, and should go about it, how grievous so­ever his rod seem, as here the Church is taught by the Psalmist to do. 3. Albeit faith will finde small strength from anything in the supplicant, yet on Gods part it cannot misse solid ground to fixe upon, according to the tenour of the Covenant of grace, such as is Christs Prophetical and Kingly office, whereby the Lord taketh on him to lead and feed his people; to govern and protect them, as a shepherd doth his flock: as here the Church doth, O shepherd of Israel. This is one consideration. Another is, the constant experiment and proof given of his actual exercising of this office; Thou that leadest Iacob as a flock: and unto the former they [...]oyn the free offer of grace to all that do seck for mercy from God [...]hrough the Mediator Christ; Thou that dw [...]l­lest between the Cherubims. 4. Albeit sin doth overcloud the manifesting of Gods favour and loving kindesse towards his peo­ple, yet the prayer of faith upon the grounds of the Covenant may expect the clearing up of his countenance again: O shep­herd of Israel, shine forth.

Ver. 2. Before Ephraim, and Benjamin, and Manasseh, stirre up thy strength, and come and save us.

For understanding of the second verse, we must remember, that when the A [...]k of the Covenant rested, or marched in the wil­dernesse, these three Tribes, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manas­sc [...], were in the teareward of the host of Israel, or on the West­side thereof, as is set down, Numb. 2. 18, 19, &c. when the host marched, and the Art set forward, Moses said to the Lord, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee, flee before thee: answerable to this, doth the sixty [...]ight Psalme begin, when the A [...]k removed and was carried up to mount Sion, now the people of God being in distresse here, do call those dayes to remembrance, and do request the Lord, that as he had in the eye sight of those three tribes here mentioned, ma­ [...]isisted himself many a time to be the leader and defender of his people: so he would now also in this their lamentable condition stirre up himselfe for th [...]ir reliefe and safety. Whence learne, 1. The remembrance of the Lords humbling himselfe to be fa­familiar with his people, and how sweet and glorious communi­on his people have had with him, may and should encourage be­lievers in him to seek and expect new experience of the like mercy in their need, as here the Israelit [...]s do pray for new proof of that favour, which their ancesters did finde sometime; Be­fore Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh stirre up thy strength, and come and save us. 2. The posterity of those who have been in fellowship with God, should pray for themselves, and be prayed for by the Church, that they may have room in the Lords host, and have God their leader, as their godly fathers had before them; Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh stirre up thy strength.

Ver. 3. Turn us again, O God: and cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.

This is the special Petition most insisted upon, that God by giving of Repentance would reclaim his people from their apo­stasie, and grant the evidence of his former favour unto them, and so deliver and save them. Whene learne, 1. As the apostasie of Gods people f [...]om God, is the fountain of all their calamity: so their repentance and returning unto God, is the first step unto [Page 236] their reliefe, and delivery from procured misery of captivity, or any other calamity, as the prayer here importeth: Turn us again, O Lord. 2. Conversion of people from their sin unto God, and leading of them back from the misery drawne on by sin, is the work of God, which no man can work of himselfe, or in himself, or in others, till God begin and enable them to return, and lead them on in their turning; Therefore saith the Psalmist, Turn us again, O Lord: thus they say as unable to turn again of them­selves. 3. When a people or person do turn unto God, repent­ing their sin or back-sliding from him, they may expect the Lord shall shew unto them evidences of his reconciliation and favour toward them; Turn us again, and cause thy face to shine upon us. 4. It is to Gods children very salvation to be in favour with God, and to be assured of reconciliation with him: Turn us again, cause thy face to shine, and so shall we be saved.

Ver. 4. O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people:

5. Thou feedest them with the bread of teares: and givest them teares to drink in great measure.

6, Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.

7. Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.

In the second place, the Church lamenteth the Lords wrath, manifested first, in answering their prayers with indignation, ver. 4. Secondly, by increasing of their woful misery without consolation, ver. 5. And thirdly, by making them the matter of their enemies strife among themselves (which of them should have meanest Hebrewes to be their slaves,) and the object of their enemies sport, when they had parted the prey among them, ver. 6. After which he repeateth the former prayer for Repent­ance, and for delivery, ver. 7.

From the first part of their complaint and lamentation, set down, ver. 4. Learne, 1. The people of God may in their afflicti­on put up prayers to God, which he will not accept, to wit, prayers for removing of judgement, when they have not repent­ed the sins which drew on the judgement; yea they may pray long, and be instant in such prayers, and not receive a comforta­ble [Page 237] answer; yea they may finde their prayers answered with evi­dencing of Gods displeasing such prayers; How long wilt thou be angry against the prayers of thy people? 2. When God doth not answer the prayers of his people in their affliction, the affli­ed must not cease to pray on still, neither may the truly godly among them cease to deal with God for his afflicted people, joyned in external Covenant with them, but must continue and be still instant with God, as here they do; For how long wilt thou be angry against the prayers of thy people? is a part of their prayer, notwithstanding that God seemeth angry at their prayers. 3. As Gods supremacy over all the hosts of the creatures maketh his wrath more terrible to the supplicant, so should it make the supplicant more instant in prayer, and more loath to take a refusal to his supplication, as here it doth; O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayers of thy people? 4. We are not alwayes to look after a pre­sent answer to our prayers, but must wait on so long as God pleaseth not to answer: yea it is possible, that after a believer hath begun to humble himselfe, God may send messenger after messenger of more and more appearance of wrath; but we must resolve, as to wrestle with all difficulties, so also with the sense of Gods anger against us, yea, and that against our prayers: How long wilt thou be angry against the prayers of thy people?

From the second part of the lamentation, ver. 5. Learne, 1. When Gods people will not mourne for sinne in time, as pe­nitents, no wonder he drive them to mourne for the fruit of their sinne in sad affliction: Thou feedest them with the bread of teares. 2. We are more sensible of the evill of trouble, then of the evill of sinne; the tears of Repentance are very rare, and soon d [...]ied up, but the teares of sorrow for affliction do easily flow, as affliction increaseth or continueth, and that in Gods wise dispensation, that worldly sorrow for afflictions, may drive us to godly sorrow for offending of God; Thou feedest them with the bread of teares. 3. The comfort of the creatures, yea of ne­cessary food, may be overcome and swallowed up by trouble and worldly sorrow, and that in Gods wise dispensation, that men may learn to hunger and thi [...]st for heavenly and strong consola­tion: as it befell this people, who were taken up so with weep­ing, as they forgot their ordinary meales, and when they did eat and drink, did drench their food with teares; Thou feedest them with the bread of teares, and givest them teares to drink in great measure.

[Page 238] From the third part of their lamentation, ver. 6. Learne, 1. It is righteousnesse for God to make his people finde the bit­ternesse of mens hatred and enmity, when they have slighted his friendship and favour; as here, he gave Israel over [...]to the hands of their enemies, when they had provoked him: Thou makest [...] a strife to our neighbours, and our enemies laugh. 2. When the Lord lets the wicked world loose upon his people, they finde as many neighbours, as enemies, who make havock of them, and strive amongst themselves who shall do them most harm, and serve themselves most of their persons [...]nd goods; and this is the Lords wise despensation, to let hi [...] own know, what his protection is worth; Thou makest us a strife unto our neigh­bours. 3. The grief and trouble of the Lords people, is the joy of the wicked, and it is the property of an enemy to rejoyce at their calamity; and God in his most wise dispensation will give his people a taste of this, that they may know the fruit of their re­joycing in that which offended God, and what they may expect of the world, if they fall out of his favour; Thou makest us a strife to our neighbours, and our en [...]mies laugh among themselves.

From the repetition of the same prayer for giving them repent­ance, reconciliation, and salvation, ver. 7. Learne, 1. Ardency of affection maketh the repetition of the same prayer not to be babling; Turn us again, O God, is now the second time propounded. 2. The way to remedy all the evill [...]oth of sin and punishment lying upon Gods people, is to repent their sins, and to seek recon­ciliation with God; if his people would repent, then would not the Lord be angry with their prayers; then affliction should ei­ther be removed; or made light to them: for to remedy all the la­mented evils, they pray, Turn us again, O God. 3. A praying peo­ples case cannot be so dark and desperate, but looking to Gods power shall give light and hope of relief; Turn us again, O God of hosts, saith he; nothing is too hard for him to do. 4. Gods peo­ple cannot dispense with the want of his manifested good will to them; Turn us, and cause thy face to shine upon us, is their fixed Pe­tition. 5. Salvation may be certainly expected in Gods order [...] and if we labour to be sure of our turning to God, and living in the sense of communion with him, we need not make question of salvation; for that shall follow infallibly on the former two: Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine upon u [...], so shall we be saved. The last is not put up by way of prayer here, but p [...]omised to themselves, and put out of question, that it sh [...]ll follow; Turn us, so shall we be saved, say they.

Ver. 8. Thou hast brought a Vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.

9. Thou preparedst room before-hand: and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

10. The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughes thereof were like the goodly Ce­dars.

11. She sent out her boughes unto the sea: and her branches unto the river.

In the third place, they renew their Lamentation, by compa­ring the sometime blessed condition of the Church of Israel with the present miserable estate they are now in. In former times Israel was as a fruitful vineyard, v. 8 9, 10, 11. but now the Lords protection is removed, and they are made a prey to every beastly enemy, ver. 12, 13. Whence learn, 1. Adversity bring­eth to minde neglected prosperity in time past, and the distresse of a Church deprived of former favours putteth a price upon, and giveth lustre unto abused mercies looked back upon: as here, the calamity of the ten tribes, or of the whole twelve tribes cast out of their land, doth make their delivery out of Egypt, their planting in Canaan, and the mercies which they felt in that land to appear very glorious; and setteth up that their sometime condition in the similtude of a fruitful vineyard. 2. There is no fitter similitude then of a vine-tree and of a vine­yard, to represent the weaknesse of Gods Church and people, and Gods care of them, to have fruits of faith and obedience from them: therefore here and elsewhere is this comparison made use of. 3. It serveth much to help the faith of Gods people in their calamity, to call to minde Gods begun work among them, and in them, and for them: for when his people do claim to wont­ed kindnesse, the Lord is ready to make his mercy run in the former channel. This is the ground of the: Churches reason­ing here, in her supplication to God. 4. It is not enough light­ly to mention a course of kindnesse shewen to us of God, but every part and passage of it is worthy to be marked and prized highly; as here, 1. Israels bringing out of Egypt is observed, and compared to the bringing of a noble plant out of a farre countrey in the Lords own hand; Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt. 2. The casting out of the Canaanites, is compa­red to the purging of the ground from stones, and thorne [...], [Page] and blocks in comparison of Israel, to be planted there; Thou hast cast but the heathen, and planted it. 3. They observe the benefit of enlarging their dwelling for commodious habitation: Thou preparedst room for it. 4. And their setling in the land; Thou causedst it to take deep root. 5. And their multiplying in it; It filled the land. 6. And their riches, and power, and glory in the land, comparable to a wood of Cedars; The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the bought thereof were like the goodly Cedars. 7. And the spreading of their authority and government, according to the bounds [...] to their promised pos­session, Gen. 15. 18. from the Mediterranean sea westward, to the river Eupbrates eastward; She sent out her boughes to the s [...], and her branches to the river. Thus a well ordered Church is like [...] pleasant and fruitful vineyard.

Ver. 12. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges: so that all they which passe by the way do pluck her?

13. The boare out out of the wood doth waste it: and the wilde beast of the field doth devoure it.

After calling to minde this glorious condition they were in, they in a weeping and lamentable manner do compare their pre­sent misery with what happinesse once they had, and do lay it forth before the pitiful eyes of the Lord. Whence learn, 1. As present felt misery commendeth prosperity past, so past prosperi­ty doth augment present misery, when the two conditions are compared, as in this comparison is held forth. 2. The most glo­rious and best planted Church may for its unfruitfulnesse and provocation of God by its ill fruits, be plucked up again, and the hedge of discipline, the hedge of civil government, and the hedge of Gods protection may all be removed suddenly from it, as here we see; Why hast thou broken down the hedges? 3. It is a wonderful and astonishing judgement, to see the Lord cast­ing down the work of Reformation once begun by him, and plucking up the plantation of his Church once made by him; and yet the provocation of a wicked generation may procure this evil, which hardly can be beleeved till it come; and even then it is wonderful, and should send men unto God, to make them see rightly the causes thereof, as this interrogation importeth; Why best thou broken down her hedges? 4. When God remo­veth [Page 241] his hedges from about his people, for their provocation of him, then any body that pleaseth may make a prey of them; So that all they who passe by the way do [...]ck her. 5. If God remove the hedge of his protection from about his people, no wonder they call into the hands of the most savage, cruel and beastly sort of men, as did besal Israel; The boare out of the wood doth waste it, and the wilde beast out of the field doth devoure it. 6. When the Lords Church is in the worst condition, she is not so wast­ed and destroyed, but a remnant is left to present by prayer her condition unto God, to deal with him for her restauration, as the case in hand here and elsewhere doth shew.

Ver. 14. Return we beseech thee, O God of hostes: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this Vine.

15. And the Vineyard which thy right hand hath planted: and the branch that thou madest strong for thy self.

16. It is burnt with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

In the fourth place, they pray that God who was departed from them, would return and have compassion on the desolate condition of his Church. Whence learn, 1 Although the Lord seem to depart from his Church, yet he is within cry, and may be recalled by prayer, and may by his power set all right again: Return, we beseech thee, O God of hostes. 2. Although no hope of help or possibility of relief can be seen on earth, yet there is hope of help from heaven; Look down from heaven. 3. In the least degree of Gods respect and kindnesse to a desolate Church, begun to be manifested after pouring out judgements on it, faith will reade hope; of relief and restauration of it; Behold and vi­sit this Vine: for to come and see, is all to them which they crave. 4. The labour and care which God hath bestowed on his Church, for setting up, and setling of it in any place, may give hope to those who pray for it, that albeit the Lord afflict it heavily, yet he will not lose his labour; Visit this Vine, and the Vineyard which thy right band hath planted. 5. There was a branch to come of the stock of Israel, for whose cause the Na­tion of the Israelites could not be utterly forsaken and destroyed, [Page 242] and this was the Messiah, Christ Jesus (promised to come of Ab­raham, Isaac, Iacob, Iudah, David,) of whose coming, because God had a special care that the stock should be underpropped and up­held and made strong till this branch came forth, the Church of Israel might be confident not to be utterly cast off, and therefore in their prayer they make mention of him; Visit the Vineyard and the Branch (to wit, of the house of David,) that thou madest strong for thy self: In the Hebrew, it is the Son whom thou madest strong, even Christ, who is the true Sonne of God, the true Vine-tree, Iohn 15. 1. whereabout the Fathers husban­dry is in a special way imployed. 6. The visible Church or people of God by Covenant, at some time may be so farre from a glorious and flourishing condition of prosperity, that on the contrary in outward appearance she may be almost destroyed, and like to perish utterly, as here of the Lords Vineyard, or the whole visible Church we read, It is burnt with fire, it is cut down: he meaneth Gods people; They perish (saith the Psalmist,) at the rebuke of thy countenance. 7. We are to look, not so much to instruments of the Churches desolation, as to the peoples sinnes procuring it, and to Gods wrath causing it? They perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

Ver. 17. Let thy band be upon the man of thy right hand: upon the Sonne of man, whom thou madest strong for thy self.

18. So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, ana we will call upon thy Name.

19. Turn us again, O LORD God of hostes, cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.

In the last place, they put up three requests. In the first, they insist upon that point of their prayer, v. [...]5. which concerneth the Branch of the Vineyard of Israel, the promised Messiah, Christ the Redeemer: and do make request over again, that the stock and lineage of David, whereof Christ was to come, might be kept to the fore, till he should assume humane nature and be­come the Sonne of man, according to the solid grounds which God had laid down to bring this promise to passe: For the substance of the prayer is this: Seeing thou hast made one branch of this Vine, which thou broughtest out of Egypt, [Page 243] strong for thy self, or for thy own purpose, namely, the man of thy right hand, the Sonne of man, the promised Messiah, God to be incarnate: Let thy hand or power be imployed for bring­ing this to passe, that he who is at thy right hand, thy equal, may be made man, the man of thy right hand, the Sonne of man: So will not we go back from thee; that is, by him we thy redeemed shall be preserved from apostasie and separation from thee. In the second request, they pray for the pouring forth of the Spirit upon his dead people, that having spiritual life communicated unto them, they may worship God in Spirit and truth: Quicken us, and we will call upon thy Name, say they. In the third request, they repeat the third time that pray­ed for repentance and reconciliation, to be manifested to his people.

From the first request, ver. 17. Learn, 1. The refuge, rest, consolation and confidence of a distressed Church or person is Christ: and toward him must the afflicted cast their eye for relief, as here the Church in her deepest desolation doth. 2. Christ is alwayes at the right hand of the Father, in regard of power and glory; and it is for him no robbery to be equal with God the Father, Phil. 2. 16. and his humane nature assumed doth not degrade him from the glory which he had with the Fa­ther before the world began, Iohn 17. 5. [...] is the man of Gods right hand, in a singular manner. 3. Christ and his Kingdom are established before God for ever, for bringing to passe the purpose and service of God in the Redemption of his elect; He is the man whom the Father hath made strong for him­selfe: for his humane nature is united with his divine nature in one person; his incarnation was made sure by the eternal and immurable decree of the Covenant of Redemption, wherein the elect were given over to Christ, and grace was granted and given to them in Christ Jesus before the world began, 2 Tim. 1. 9. And as his incarnation was made [...] by decree, so also made sure by many times repeated Promises in the Law and Prophets, beginning at Gen. 3. 15. where it is promised, that the seed of the woman should tread down the head of the serpent; all along the Scripture unto, Malachi 3. [...]. where it is revealed, that Christs messenger, to wit, Iohn Baptist in the power of Elias should come before him: and straightway, after he him­self should shew himself, as did come to passe; This is the Sonne of man (saith he,) whom thou hast made strong for thy self. 4. To bring this promise to effect and accomplishment, the Al­mighty [Page 244] power of God shall set on work: and never drew back from operation, till his purpose was brought to passe; for after the time that the man Abraham was designed, of whose seed he was to take flesh, the Scripture sheweth what care the Lord had of Isaac and Iacob, and the Patriarchs in Egypt: and about the bringing of their posterity out of it to Canaan, till Davids family is designed for his sto [...]k: and when the ten tribes were scattered abroad, he preserved Iudah to the foxe: and when that tribe also was thrust out into captivity, he brought it back again, and preserved Davids race, and the tribe of Iudah under civil Government till Christ came; and this the prayer here propounded did make request for: Let thy hand be up­on the man of thy right hand. 5. Neither the Church, nor any member thereof needeth any more security for their stability and perpetuation, but Christ: for now when the Vineyard is burnt, and the visible Church defaced, the remnant are cotent to rest satisfied with this, which also they take for granted, and do subscribe unto it; Let thy hand he upon the man of thy right hand; upon the Sonne of man, whom thou hast made strong for thy self. 6. The consanguinity of Christ with the beleever, and his humiliation in his humane nature, are strong supporters of the faith and comfort of his people that do seek salvation through him; therefore do the faithful here fixe themselves on this, that as he is Gods Sonne, so he is a branch of their Vine­yard also; that as he is at the right hand of the Father as God, so he is the man of his right hand also: the Son of man, or of A­dam, partaker of flesh and blood with us, of the same stock that we are of, in all things like to us, except sin: for the Son of man is the stile, whereby Christ stiled himself in his humiliation. 7. The perpetuity of the Church, and the perseverance of the Saints, is founded upon the suffici­ency of Christ: and the unseigned beleever may assure him­self, as of the continuance of the Church, so of his own perseverance and constant communion with God through him: Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, &c. so will not we go back from thee.

From the second request, v. 18. Learn, [...] As there is a death of alienation from the life of God in the unregenerate, and a death of disability, discomfort and discouragement found in the regenerate in Scripture: so there is a quickening which giveth spiritual life to those that a e [...]t dead in their sinnes and tres­passes; and a quickening which giveth strength and comfort to [Page 245] the weak, disconsola [...]e and discouraged souls of Gods children: for the first sort of quickening every regenerate man should pray in behalf of all the elect in the visible Church, who are not as yet converted; and for quickening in other respects they should pray in behalf of themselves and other afflicted spirits of the godly, as here the beleevers do pray; Quicken us. 2. The ho­nouring of God in spiritual worship should be the end of our petitions which we do make for any good to our selves; Quicken us, and we shall call upon thy Name. 3. Albeit the work of calling on Gods Name, and worshipping of God in Spirit and tr [...]h, be the work of the regenerate man; yet the spiritual life, and the motion or stirring up of the regenerate man unto this work, the enabling of the man unto it, and in it, and the cheering up of his heart to do it affectionately, is the work of the Lord: for these doth the P [...]lmist here distinguish; first, he sets down Gods part: Quicken thou us; and then o [...]r part: And we shall call upon thy Name.

From the third request, ver. 19. repeated now the third time; Learn, 1. In what respects soever the Church of the Jewish Nati­on may seem to be alienated from God, yet the [...]e is hope of their repentance and returning and reconciliation unto God; for there is a petition of the Lords enditing standing he e, thrice repeat­ed in their favour to be granted in due time by God, to whom nothing is hard: and here in this third repetition of this prayer, the Name of God Jehovah, whereby he told Israel that he would be known to them to be the performer of promises, is added ex­pressely; Turn us again, O Iehovah, God of hostes. 2, Albeit we our selves do breed the mist and clouds, which do hide from us the shining of Gods favour towards us, and we do build the partition walls, we do raise up mountains of transgressions, which separate between God and us; vet it is the Lord himself only, who of his own free grace, and by his own power doth dissolve these clouds, and remove these impediments out of his own way towards us; Turn us again, and cause thy face to shine. 3. So oft as we are burdened with the same pressure, and straiten­ed with the same necessity, as oft we may and should have re­course to God for relief by prayer: for this staffe hath God put in faiths hand, to help the believer in every stop of his journey, till he come home to the Lord, and be past all perill; Turne [...] a­gain, cause thy face to shine. 4. As the sight of our distance from God, and sense of his displeasure, and fear of perdition, do serve to be a spurre to our prayer: so desire of reconciliation, [Page 246] desire and purpose of repenting, and hope of salvation [...]o serve to encourage us to persevere in prayer, till we have what we ask perfected to us: Turn us again, cause thy face to shine, so shall we be saved.

PSAL. LXXXI. To the chief Musician upon Gittith. A Psalme of Asaph.

THis Psalm was appointed to be sung in their solemn seasts, new moones, and feast of tabernacles, in special for a testi­mony of Gods gracious and bountiful dealing with his people on the one hand, and of their provocation of God on the other hand, moving him to change his dispensation toward them, and to withhold many benefits from them, which otherwayes they might have had, if they had not rejected Gods counsel, and had chosen their own wayes: that by this Psalme his people might learn to be wiser.

The parts of the Psalme are three. The first is a Preface, wherein there is a mutual stirring up of the Church-members, to keep the solemn feasts, and blowing of trumpets, ver. 1, 2, 3. and a reason or this mutual exho [...]tation, taken from Gods institu­tion of this ordinance when he brought his people out of Egypt from the service of strangers, ver. 4, 5.

In the second part is set down, how God delivered them from bondage in Egypt, and from troubles in their journey, ver. 6, 7. and how reasonable commands the Lord did give unto them: which commands are all summed up in this one: That God should be their God alone, ver. 8, 9, 10.

In the third part is set down: First, how they rejected God and his counsel, ver. 11. Next, how therefore they were plagued, by being given over to their own lusts, ver. 12. Thirdly, how they deprived themselves of Gods benefits, which by following Gods counsel, they might have enjoyed, ver. 13, 14, 15.

Ver. 1. SIng aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Iacob.

2. Take a Psalm, and bring hither the timbrel: the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

3. Blow up the trumpet in the new Moon; in the time appointed on our solemn feast-day.

From their mutual stirring up of one another to rejoyce in God, commanded here by the Psalmist in the Lords Name; Learn, 1. That whatsoever may be our own private condition, it is our duty ever, and in all things to give glory to God to rejoyce in him, to professe and avow his Name; Sing aloud unto God. 2. The Lords people have the fulfilling, supplying and support­ing of their emptinesse, wants and weaknesse in God, whose suf­ficiency they ought to make use of, and rejoyce therein; Sing unto God our strength. 3. It is the Covenant of grace, whereby God becometh our God, which doth intitle us, and giveth us in­terest in, and right unto his all-sufficiency, which we should en­tertain joyfully in our communion with God, praising him, and thanking him for it, and delighting in his presence, because of it; Make a joyful noise unto the God of Iacob, for God was Iacobs God, because God was by Covenant Abrahams, and his childrens God, whose children also we are, who are Christs, Gal. 3. 29.

From the use and variety of musical instruments called for, Ver. 2, 3. Learn, 1. Albeit the external melody of musical. in­struments in the Lords publike worship, with the rest of the pae­dagogie, and shadowing dark figures of the Ceremonial Law be abolished now when the Lord, the Sunne of righteous­nesse, is come; yet the moral duties represented by them are still to be acknowledged and followed by us, to wit, that the praises of the Lord are unexpressible by us, and that we are unsuffici­ent of our selves to set forth the same, that we have matter of unspeakable joy in God our Redeemer, and should stir up all the powers of our soul, to this part of his spiritual service; for this did those musical instruments teach: Take a Psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the Psaltery. 2. We ought to acknowledge the stately magnificence of our ex­alted Lord, and our dulnesse and slownesse to praise him: and [Page 248] what need we had to be stirred up, and to stirre up one another to this duty: for this was pointed at in the use of the trumpets; Blow up the trumpet. 3. We ought to acknowledge that we are subject to various changes, and alteration of conditions in this life, and that all these changes are sanctified unto the Lords people, and that new consolations may be expected from God, one after another, to season the darknesse and nights of our af­fliction: and we should consecrate our selves anew from time to time to God, and give him the first part and flower of our time; yea, should study, that all our time, in all changes what­soever may be spent in his service: for thus much did the so­lemnities in their new Moones hold forth; Blow up the Trum­pet in the new Moon. 4. We ought to acknowledge that we are strangers here in the world, and we have no certain dwelling­place, but that we are in our sojourning depending upon Gods provision for us, and protection of us, expecting the time when we shall appear before him, and shall be put in possession of those mansion-places p [...]epared for us, wherein we shall have fulnesse of joy, and God constantly present with us, and that in the mean time we should study to rejoyce in the tiches of the Lords goodnesse to us in our Redeemer; for this in substance was h [...]ld forth in those solemn feasts, and in special, in the feast of Tabernacles: Blow the Trumpet in the time appointed, on our solemn feast-day.

Ver. 4. For this was a statute for Israel: and a law of the God of Iacob.

5. This he ordained in Ioseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language, that I understood not.

The Church giveth two reasons of the exhortation, cheerful­ly to glorifie God in the observation of his appointed ordinances, and solemn convocations: One is, because God did institute and command this solemn rejoycing in him, ver. 4. The other is, because he appointed it after the bestowing on them of a great [...] out of Egypt from their bondage under stran­gers, and people of an uncouth language, ver. 5. From the first reason; Learn, 1. It is a sufficient motive for observation of any religious action, that God hath ordained it; and no lesse autho­rity then divine can warrant a man in the matters of Religion. [Page 249] therefore it is said here, For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Iacob. As none may appoint acts of religi­ous worship, but God: so also none may alter nor abrogate them, except God himself only: For they are statutes and lawes of the God of Iacob. 2. The Ordinances of Religion appointed of God, as they are witnesses of his will, how he shall be served, and witnesses of his good will toward us, and care of us to have us saved: so a so are they witnesses of our faith and obedience, to testifie for us or against us, as we m [...]ke use of them; This he ordained in Ioseph for a testimony. 3. The greatnesse of the work of Redemption, the powerful manner of bringing it to passe, and the misery wherein we were before we were delivered, should augment our joy and thankfulnesse to God, and [...] our tie to his worship and service, as the force of the Churches reasoning here doth teach: for the Lord went through the Egy­ptians, and over their belly as a mighty Conquerour, when he re [...]emed his people and delivered them from the servitude of a people of a strange language, therefore they were bound joy­fully to keep his solemn Ordinances; He ordained this for a te­stimony (saith the Church) when he went through the land of E­gypt, where I heard a language, which I understood not.

Ver. 6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.

7. Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder, I pro­ved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

In the second part the Lord speaketh, and putteth his people in minde of his kindnesse to them in their delivery from E­gypt, ver. 6. and of his wife care of them in the wildernesse, ver. 7. And how he c [...]aved nothing of them, but that they should keep close to him, and not go after idols, ver. 8. 9. First, because he is God all sufficient. Next, because he had entered in Covenant to be their God. Thirdly, because he had given proof what he could do for them by their delivery out of Egypt. And lastly, because he was ready to make them fully blessed upon their willingnesse to receive his offered goodnesse, ver. 10. And then he shewes what an evil meeting they gave him.

From the renewing the memory of their delivery out of E­gypt, [Page 251] ver. 6. Learn, 1. For right taking up of the benefit of our Redemption, whether spiritual or bodily, the heavinesse of our yoke and basenesse of our slavery must be called to minde; I removed his shoulder from the burden, and his hands were deli­vered from the pots; for Israel were as pioneers and scullions in Egypt, basely employed in carrying straw and morter to make brick, as most abject slaves: and this resembleth the condi­tion we are in by nature; under the slavery and burden of sin and misery; 2. God only is the Redeemer of men from what­soever evil condition; no instruments which God doth use, must intercept his glory: none can ease our burden nor cleanse our hands, but God only: I (saith the Lord) removed his shoulder from the burden, and hands from the pots.

From the Lords wise care of them, when they were come out of Egypt, ver. 7. Learn, 1. After delivery of us out of the state of misery, other particular troublesome passages may meet us, as did meet Israel at the red sea, when they came out of Egypt, and we may fall into new troubles for a little, as they did. 2. God who delivereth us from the state of misery, must also deliver us from particular miserable cases, or miserable conditions; yea, and being called upon by us in our misery, he will deliver us as he did Israel; Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee. 3. It is Gods wise disposing, that n [...]w trouble should bring to minde our former delivery, and our deliverer, and should presse us to pray to God, and make way for a new experience of deli­very, as here we see. 4. The more the Lord doth manifest him­self from heaven for us, and against our enemies, the greater is our obligation, as Israels obligation was augmented, when at their prayer in the red set, the Lord by thunder out of the black cloud against the Egyptians following them, did declare him­self for Israel: I answered thee in the secret place of thunder. 5. It is an evidence of the Lords care of his people to put them to the trial of their faith and sincerity of affection to God, that so they may either finde their former profession and opinion of themselves solid and upright, or finding it other­wayes may be humbled and repent, and become more sincere; therefore is the trial of Israel after their coming out of the red sea numbered among the evidences of Gods care of them; I proved thee at the waters of Moribah. 6 Calling to minde our misbelief made manifest unto us in the day of our trial, should make us more humble and way to depart from God thereafter; for this is the lesson, which Israels striving with God at the wa­ters [Page 250] of Meribah, should have taught them; I proved thee at the waters of Meribah, or waters of strise.

Ver. 8. Heare, O my people, and I will testifie unto thee; O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me.

9. There shall no strange God be in thee: neither shalt thou worship any strange God.

10. I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

We have heard of Gods gracious dealing with Israel, in the point of doing for them; Now the Lord declareth, what thank­fulnesse he required of them, and how reasonable and equitable his demands were: unto the consideration whereof he waken­eth them up, ver. 8. Summeth up all in the first command of the moral Law, ver. 9. Giveth reasons io move them to this, ver. 10.

From his awaking them to hear, ver. 8. Learne, 1. When the Lords Word is to be delivered unto us, we should have our mindes gathered in, and humbled, and fixed unto a reverent at­tention, hearty belief, and humbled obedience; therefore, saith he, Hear, O Israel, and I will testifie unto thee. 2. When the Lord doth speak, whether for conviction of duty to be done, or duty not discharged, there needeth no other witnesse beside himself, to convince the conscience, his speech is so clear, so full of truth and authority: Hear, and I will testifie unto thee. 3. Both the Lord and we our selves have just reason to question our willingnesse to hear Gods Word inclulca [...]ed unto us: because it will be found that we have proved misbelieving and rebellious hearers before, and because it is our natural dis­position to be averse from all Gods commands; therefore, saith the Lord, O Israel, if thou will hearken unto me. 4. The Lord requireth his people to be a willing people, and nothing can be more forcible to make us willing and obedient to God, then to understand that God is willing to te [...]h, direct and blesse us; Hear, O Israel, if thou will, or shalt hearken unto me.

From the summe of that service which God requireth of us, ver. 9. Learne, 1. The summe of Gods Law is comprised in [Page 252] the first command: for as God is feared, delighted in, submitted unto, and made our God in effect: so are all the Command­ments kept: There shall be no strange God in thee. 2. As sound­nesse in Religion, and cleaving close to our only one God, (as he hath revealed himself to be the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, of whom, and through whom, and for whom are all things is the fountain of all obedience, and keeping commu­nion with God: so the corrupting of Religion, and departing from this ground in any sort, is the fountain of all following misbehaviour, and discommunion with God; There shall no strange god be in thee, neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

From the reasons of this duty set down, ver. 10. Learn, 1. The consideration of having our life, and motion, and being of God, and that he will give to all his promises and threatenings certain performance, should move us to beleeve in him, adhere unto him, and serve him only; I am the Lord, I am Iehovah. 2. The Co­venant of grace, wherein the Lord hath drawn us, who pro­fesse our selves to be his in Christ, should move us to depend on him for righteousness and life, and to study in his strength to please him; I am the Lord thy God. 3. The great work of our Redemption, and all the benefits bestowed upon us, in re­lation to our bringing out of the slavery of idolatry and Egy­ptian darknesse, to the beholding of the marvellous light, and Kingdom of his dear Sonne, represented by the delivery of his people out of Egypt, should move us to adhere to our Redeemer, and to aime at his service singly; I am thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt. 4. The faire allowance which God bestoweth upon his servants, to wit, Ask and have, should tie our hearts to su [...]h a potent, all-sufficient and gracious God; Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. 5. It is the narrowness of our saith, and of our spiritual desire, which hindereth our fe­licity; we are not straitened in God, but in our selves: for his offer is, Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. The Lord will give g [...]e and glory and will withhold no good thing from them that w [...]e up [...]ightly: and for this end he calleth for the enlar­ging of our desires, and of our belief to receive satisfaction, that we may have in him full contentment, and not be allured from him to vanities which cannot profit us.

Ver. 11. But my people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of me.

[Page 253] In the third part of the Psalm is set down, how Israel to their own detriment and depriving of themselves of great happiness, did reject the Lords com [...]and, and the offer of his grace. Whence learn, 1. The people, to whom the Lord is most libe­ral, are not alwayes most thankful: his people by external Co­venant are not alwayes obedient to him, but readily do give him the worst meeting; But my people would not bearken unto my voice. 2. The cause of not hearkening to, and obeying of Gods commands, is our not believing in God, not taking sa­tisfaction, pleasure and delight in God: for how came it, that Gods people by Covenant did not obey his voice? It may serve for an answer; And Israel would none of me, or rested not on me, or had no pleasure in me.

Ver. 12. So I gave them up unto their own hearts lust: and they walked in their own coun­sels.

Here is shewen how fearful was Israels plague for their not delighting in God, they were given over to follow their own will unto their own perdition. Whence learn, 1. The idols which come in competition with God, are a mans own car­nal lusts and affections, as here appeareth. 2. If these idols be adhered unto, when God doth offer himself for giving a man contentment, it is justice with God to take a refuse at the mans hands, and to cease to deal with his heart any more, but to give him over to the service of his idol; They would none of me, so I gave them up unto their own hearts lust. 3. Whosoever do re­fuse to serve God, shall not eschew to serve a worse Master, to wit, their own beastly affections, and Satan, who ruleth men by their lusts; They would have none of me, so I gave them up to their own hearts lust; and this of all judgements is the heavi­est. 4. When God leaveth a man to himself, there is no re­straint to keep him from going to a mischief, and to perdition, as here we see; I gave them up, and they walked in the counsel of their own hearts.

Ver. 13. O that my people had hearkened unto me: and Israel had walked in my wayes!

[Page 254] Last of all, is set down by way of Gods lamenting for his people, what felicity they did lose by this their refusing to make God their delight, and his voice their rule to walk by. First, if they had obeyed God, their enemies should not have been their Ma­ster, but they should have been made victorious over their ad­versaries, ver. 13, 14, 15. Next, they should have been satis­fied with all contentments abundantly, set forth under the terms of feeding them with fine wheat and honey. This lamenting of God for his peoples misery, is borrowed from the manner of men, lamenting the misery which their disobedient children have brought upon themselves, and is not to be taken so, as if there were in God any passion or perturbation, or miserable la­mentation, but this speech is to be conceived, as other like speeches in Scripture, which are borrowed from the affections of men, and are [...]med to move some holy affection in men, suitable to that affection, from which the Lord taketh the simi­litude; and so, O that my people had hearkened unto me, serveth to move his people, (who should hear this expressi [...]n) to repent and lament their not hearkening unto God; and to studie in all time to come to be more obedient unto him, even as they would eschew the curse which came upon misbelieving and diso­bedient Israel; and as they desire to obtain the blessings, where­of carnal Israelites did come short, and did deprive themselves, and if it be asked, what may be imported by this speech pro­perly? We answer, O that my people had hearkened unto me, &c. sheweth these six things; First, what order the Lord hath set in giving blessings to his visible Church; namely, that they begin and beleeve in him, and study to obey him, and that they by means appointed by him, should look to have such blessings, as he hath promised to beleevers, and to obedient people. Next, this manner of speech sheweth, how acceptable and pleasant un­to God it is to see the saith, obedience and welfare of his peo­ple, all joyned together in his appointed order. Thirdly, that the meritorious and culpable cause of mens miserie, is not in God, but in man, who by his sin deserveth it, and draweth it on himself. Fourthly, that God delighteth not in the death or de­struction of his people, but that they should repent and live. Fifthly, that this is his will, that whosoever shall hear of the evil meeting, which the Israelites did give unto God, and of the judgement which they did draw upon themselves, may be made wise by this lamentation made by God for Israels destruction, and so may rather chuse to hearken to God, as they did not, then [Page 255] to be given over in his wrath to their own lusts, and to perish in his indignation as befell them, Sixthly, that God requireth a suitable meeting of his people to his dispensations, that is, that they may be so willing to hearken to his voice, and so loath to of­fend him, as he doth manifest by word and works his willing­nesse to save them, and his loathnesse to destroy them.

From the Lords lamenting, Learn further, 1. As on the one hand the miscarriage and misery of others before us, should make us wise to eschew the evil which befell them, & to obtain the good whereof they by their disobedience were deprived: So on the other hand, the willingnesse of God to blesse those who do follow his direction, should make us diligent to understand what course God hath prescribed, and should make us confident to obtain bles­sednesse in our endevour to follow it; for, O that my people had hearkened unto me, &c. doth teach us so much. 2. They may be in the number and estimation of Gods people, by vertue of Church-Covenant, who for their refusing to follow Gods coun­sell may come short of Gods blessings; for, O that my people had hearkened unto me, &c. maketh this evident 3. He who heareth God uttering his wishes for the conversion of his people, and la­menting that his Word is not believed, and that his offer of grace is not received, doth give God an evill meeting, and nei­ther believeth Gods goodnesse, nor careth for his own salvation, except he joyn with God, lamenting his own misbelief in time past, and do wish heartily the same wish with God for his own conversion for time to come; for this speech, O that my people had hearkened unto me, &c. is framed to this very end, to make the hearer willing, and so to convert him, or else to convict him, if he take not hold of the offer. 4. Whatsoever be the Lords se­cret decrees concerning the salvation of some, and condemnation of other some in the visible Church; yet the meanes of executi­on of those decrees, are so holy and just, and wisely carried on, as those decrees shall not be particularly revealed to the stum­bling of any man, but the offer of grace and declaration of Gods goodnesse is so laid out in common, that whosoever doth not embrace the same, is made inexcusable; for when God saith, O that my people had harkened unto me, he that doth not answer the Lord, with O that thou wouldst frame this heart of mine, to the obedience of faith, hath nothing to say if he be damned, for his slighting of the offer so freely held forth unto him, and pres­sed upon him.

Ver. 14. I should soon have [...]bdued their enemie [...] and turned my hand against their adversaries.

15. The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have en­dured for ever.

16. He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey but of the rock, should I have satisfied thee.

From the good which should have come to his people, set downs ver. 14, 15, 6. Learn, 1. Gods blessings are not to be looked after, except in the wayes of God; and i [...] any man come short of Gods blessing, he beareth the blame himselfe: O that Israel had walked in my wayes, I should soon have subdued their enemies, &c. 2. If the Lords people have provoked him to let loose their ene­mies upon them, and to prevaile over them; the onely way to have affaires changed, is to turn to God, and to walk in his wayes; If Israel had walked in my wayes, I should have turned my hand against their adversaries. 3. They that are enemies to the Lords people, are haters of the Lord: and where the profession of true religion and righteousnesse is hated, there the quarrell is common to God with his people; for their enemies are here called Haters of God. 4. It is a benefit to Gods people, and a point of glory to God, when Gods enemies and theirs do sub­mit themselves to God, albeit but feignedly; which good Gods people do hinder, when they walk not in his wayes: If Israel had walked in my wayes, the haters of the Lord should have submit­ted themselves, or lied unto him; as the Word will bear. 5. There is no means to perpetuate a visible Church in any place, but to walk in the Lords wayes: If Israel had walked in my wayes, &c. their time should have endured for ever. 6. Obeying the voice of God, that is, the embracing of the offer of grace and reconci­liation with God through the sacrifice of the Messiah Christ, and studying to walk holily as persons reconciled, is the only way of coming by true felicity, the only way of being furnished with all things necessary for life and salvation, the onely way of ha­ving large allowance from God of sweet and satisfactory food, for entertaining of spiritual life and communion with God, pro­mised here under the similitude of earthly food; He should have sed them with the finest of the wheat: and with the honey out of the Rock should I have satisfied thee.

PSAL. LXXXII. A Psalme of Asaph.

THis Psalme agreeth with the time of Davids persecution by Saul and his Counsellors, the Peeres of the land, wherein the Psalmist comforteth himselfe in Gods supremacy, and his Judging of all Judges on the earth; for exercising whereof God cometh unto their meeting, ver. 1. Then challengeth them for their injustice and oppression, ver 2. Thirdly, readeth the law and rule of their duty unto them, ver. 3. 4. Fourthly, con­demneth them as guilty ver. 5. Fifthly, pronounceth sentence of doom upon them, ver. 6, 7. And then the Psalmist closeth the Psalm with prayer, ver. 8.

Ver. 1. GOd standeth in the congregation of the mighty: he judgeth among the gods.

From the Lords presence in the Assembly of Judges; Learn▪ 1. The name of a Congregation or Church, is given in Scripture in the orderly meeting of Rulers and Governours, met for the execution of their office; as here, God standeth in the Congre­gation or Church of the mighty. 2. No Judge is absolute Lord over a people, but in subordination to God, who is Judge above all Judges, and will judge of all the decrees of Judges under him. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty: he judgeth. 3. God doth put his Name upon civil Magistrates, and hath clothed them with honour; that as their eminency is a part of his image, so their decrees should be such as God will owne; He judgeth among the gods.

Ver. 2. How long will ye judge unjustly: and ac­cept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

From the Lords challenging of them for their partiality and injustice, Learne, 1. Men in honour and power, readily do forget God their Master and Sovereign Lord; and do neglect to do justice according to their office: the splendour of their power doth make them forget their duty to God above them, and to [Page 258] their subjects under them, as the instance of the Rulers of I [...] sheweth, who had Gods expresse law in stead of Acts of Pa [...] ment: and God dwelling in the midst of them in a wonde [...] manner, for direction in extraordinary cases, even they [...] judge unjustly. 2. Corrupt Judges are inclined to shew [...] only to the wicked, and are partiall when the cause of the wicked cometh before them: Ye accept the persons of the wick [...]. 3. Albeit the Lord keep peace for a while, yet will he no al [...] be silent, but at length will call them to an accompt; How [...] will ye judge unjustly?

Ver. 3. Defend the poor and fatherlesse: do ju­stice to the afflicted and needy.

4. Deliver the poor and needy: ridde them out of the hand of the wicked.

From the rule of justice which is set to Magistrates; Le [...], 1. The touchstone of Magistrates justice is in the causes and cases of the poor, fatherles, afflicted and needy, who are not able to attend long their suits of law, have no friends nor money to deal for them; to whom therefore the mighty should be eyes to direct them, and a staffe to their weaknesse, to support and helpe them to their right; Defend the poore and fatherlesse; is justice to the afflicted and needy. 2. As the poor and afflic [...] have need of the Judges help, to clear their right, when they seek justice: so also when they are unjustly drawn to the [...], or any way oppressed, the mighty or Judges should interpose for their reliefe, and rescue the oppressed from the oppressour: De­liver the poore and needy, rid [...] them out of the hand of the wicked.

Ver. 5. They know not, neither will they under­stand, they walke on in darknesse: all the foundatio [...] ▪ of the earth are out of course.

From the condemnatory sentence for their guiltinesse; L [...], 1. It is a great fault in a Judge, not to know the duty of his office, or not to acquaint himself with the solid rules of justice, for upon this ground are they here pronounced g [...] ­ty: They know not: 2. It is a great fault when a [...] [Page] [...], to refuse instruction, information, and direction [...]ed from the Lords Word, as here: Neither will they under­ [...]. 3. It is yet most culpable of all, for any man, but to [...]ges in special, to go on still in a sinful course; They walk on [...] darknesse. 4. When justice, and judgement-seats are cor­rpted, and Judges do not mind justice in their places, then the [...]ars of that land or kingdome must stagger, and all matters [...] to ruine or a perillous alteration: All the foundations of the [...] (or of the land) are out of course, saith the Lord, where the foresaid injustice or faults in Governours are found.

Ver. 6. I have said, Ye are gods: and all of you are children of the most High.

7. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

From the sentence of doome pronounced against them; Learn, 1. Princes, Magistrates, chief Rulers and Judges, have allow­ance from God, of honour, power, and strength, tribute and revenues, for the better discharge of their office under him: I have said, Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the most High; that is, I have put the image of my superiority on you, and given you preheminence of place, power, and gifts over others in my Name. 2. Great places among men do not exempt any man from Gods power, justice and judgement; but all men, great men no lesse then others, must die and come to judgement, as hath befallen others before them. A Prince among Gods people, who doth not execute justice, as becometh Gods servant, shall be punished, as profane persons are who rule without the pale of Gods Church; But ye shall die like men, and fall as one of the Princes. 3. The meditation of death and judgement following on it, is a pressing motive unto amendment of life: for this is [...] before men of high place, who do not stand in fear of their sub­jects: Ye shall die like men, and fall as one of the Princes.

Ver. 8. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou [...]lt inhert all nations.

From the close of the Psalme by this short prayer, wherein the oppressed servant of God prayeth that God would put order un­to the government of his people, and redresse the wrongs done to [Page 260] them; Learn, 1 Albeit the oppressed servants of God cannot finde justice at mens hands, yet there is help to be had from God, and prayer, shorter or longer; as the Lord furnisheth unto them, must they seek their ease of minde and comfort; Arise, O God, judge the earth. 3. When Magistrates or Rulers do oppresse Gods people, private persons may not go beyond their bounds, but must have their recourse to God, that he may set matters that are wrong in a better condition, as here the Psalmist doth. 4. As the Church of God among the Jewes was acquainted with the prophecies of the enlargement of the Church and Kingdom of God among the Gentiles, and upon this ground prayed that he would not suffer his interest in his people then to decay by the malice of men: so may the Lords Church in any place or time upon the same ground pray for the like mercy; for still the rea­son holdeth, that God who is about to enlarge his Kingdome, will not lose what he hath already; and so to pray: Arise O Lord, judge the earth; for thou shalt inherit all nations.

Amen.

PSAL. LXXXIII. A song or Psalme of Asaph.

THis Psalme agreeth with such a condition of the Church, as we read of in the dayes of Iehosaphat, 2 Chron. 20. and ser­veth to comfort the Church in the greatest conspiracies of her enemies against her. The Psalm hath two parts. In the former, the Church doth cry to God to shew himselfe for his people, ver. 1. and complaineth of their conspiracy and preparation to come against her, ver. 2, 3. and of their purpose to root out the Lords people, ver. 4, 5. specifying a number of nations, who were upon the plot, ver. 6. 7, 8. In the latter part, they pray that judgment may so befall them, as befell other such their ene­mies before, who enterprised the same enterprise, ver. 9, 10, 11, 12. In particular, that the whole host may be over­turned and consumed, ver. 13, 14. and the remnant may bee chased and scattered, ver. 15. and ashamed and con­founded for ever, ver. 16, 17, that so God may have the m [...] glory among them, ver. 18.

Ver. 1. KEep not thou silence, O, God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.

From his cry to God to let forth a word for his people in this strait; Learn, 1. The Church may be in such a strait, as if God do not speedily interpose himselfe, she cannot but be swal­lowed up of her enemies quickly, as here we see. 2. Sense of danger putteth an edge on prayer, and kindleth affection in it; Keep not silence, O God, hold not thy peace; and again, O God, be not still. 3. The Lords uttering a word of comfort to his peo­ple, and of terror to his enemies in the extremity of danger, will satisfy his Church, and do all her work; Be not silent, hold not thy peace, be not still, is the summe of all she craveth: for let him speak, and it shall be done.

Ver. 2. For lo thine enemies make a tumult, and they that hate thee, have lift up the head.

3. They have taken crafty counsell against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.

From their complaint of their enemies preparation to come against them; Learne, 1. The enemies of Gods Church are the enemies of God, bearing the same affection to God and to them that are reconciled to him; For lo, thine enemies that hate thee, make a tumult. 2. The more din the enemy makes, the more insolent he is; the higher he lifteth his head, he is the more near to be knockt down by Gods appearing for his people against him: Keep not silence, for thine enemies make a tumult, they have lifted up the head. 3. The chief enemies of the Church are not the silly and simple sort of people, but the most subtile politicians usually, whose heads are most fit for Satans devices against Gods people; They have taken crafty counsell against thy people. 4. The true children of God, his secret ones, who in the sense of their own weaknesse do shelter themselves under Gods wings, and do glory in him, are the special object of the malice of Sa­tan, and of his wicked servants; They have consulted against thy hidden ones. 5. Against the craft and policy of enemies the Church hath nothing in her selfe to oppose, but doth run to God, who can easily disappoint all the enemies plots, as here we see, ver. 4, 5.

Ver. 4. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation: that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.

5. For they have consulted together with one consents they are confederate against thee.

From their purpose to root out Gods people; Learn, 1. No lesse will satisfy the enemies of Gods Church, then extirpation and abolishing of the Church; Let us cut them off from being a na­tion, that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. 2. When the Church is least [...], and least able to defend her self, the wicked encourage and strengthen one another in an evill course against he [...]; They have said, one to another, Come, let us cut them off. 3. Although the wicked be at enmity one against another, yet they will all agree together to overthrow the Church; They have consulted together with one consent, (saith he) they are con­sederate against thee. 4. This consideration, that the conspiracy against the Church, is a conspiracy against God, whose people the Church is, is very comfortable in the Churches extremity; They are confederate against thee.

Ver. 6. The tabernacles of Edom and the Ishmael­ites, of Moab, and the Hagarens.

7. Gebal and Ammon and Amelek: the Philistines, with the inhabitants of Tyre. c

8. Ashur also is joyned with them; they have holp [...]n the children of Lot. Selah.

In the reckoning up of the several nations conspired against Israel; Learn, 1. When the Church looketh upon the multi­tude of her enemies, and their confederacy, and their resolution to destroy her, she should gather grounds of hope, to be helped so much the more, and so much the sooner; for this is the Chur­ches argument of hope to be helped here. 2. In the persecution of the Church, no wonder to see false brethren to be the chiefe leaders whoever be followers and assistants; for here the Church complaineth of it: They have helped the children of Lot, and im­porteth, that Moab and Ammon (their bastard-brethren) were first in the enmity. 3. It is no wonder, nor strange thing, to see many nations on all hands to invade the Lords people [Page 263] at once: for here are ten nations coming all together against Israel.

Ver. 9. Do unto them as unto the Midianites: as to Sisera, as to Iabin at the brook of Kishon.

10. Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.

11. Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea all their princes, as Zebah and as Zalmunna:

12. Who said, Let us take to our selves the houses of God in possession.

In the latter part of the Psalm, is the Churches prayer to God, that he would be party against her enemies, and plague them. There are sundry branches of the malediction, which the Church doth imprecate against the enemies. The first is, that God would destroy them, as he destroyed others before them, who were upon such a wicked plot of roo [...]ing out Gods people. Whence learn, 1. When the Church hath to do with her ene­mies, she should look what in Scripture the Lord did for her in times past; for so doth the Church look here to what the Lord did to his enemies, Iudg. 7. 22. and 4. 15, 24. and 7. 25. and 8. [...]. 2. It is lawful to pray for judgements upon the enemies of the Church, provided it be out of a publick spirit, and not out of pri­vate malice or revenge; in which case the prayers of the Church are more forcible for the overthrow of their enemies, then all her external force is: Do unto them, as unto the Midianites, is a hard charge against them. 3. Former plagues poured out upon the Churches enemies, are pledges of the Lords bringing like judgements on her enemies afterward, and of giving like preser­vation unto the Church, as before; Do unto them as to the Midi­anites in Gideons time, and to Sisera and Iabin in Deborah time, when small meanes were sufficient for a great overthrow of the enemy. 4. The dead bodies of Gods enemies shall not only be contemptible before men, which is incident to the bodies of the Saints sometimes, but also contemptible before God, as here we see; Their enemies perished at Endor, and became as dung for the earth. 5. The Nobles, leaders, & chief amongst Gods enemies, may look for most eminent judgement: Make their Nobles, like Orch and Zeeb, yea all their Princes like Zebah and Zalmunna. 6. It is all one for enemies to resolve to spoile Gods Church, and to rob God of [Page] his habitation specially; so long as Gods people love: to have God dwelling among them, for the injuries done to the Church redound to the contumely of God, who hath taken the mainte­nance of [...]. They say, Let us take to our selves the houses of God in possession.

Ver. 13. O my God, make them like a wheel: as the stubble before the winde.

14. As the fire burneth a wood: and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire:

15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storme.

16. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy Neme, O LORD.

17. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever: yea let them be put to shame and perish:

From the rest of the branches of the imprecation, wherein sundry similitudes are looked unto, for shewing forth the effects of Gods wrath upon the enemies of the Church; Learn. 1. Use is to be made of our Covenant with God, so well against our enemies, as for our selves; for, O my God, saith he no, wwhen he is about to curse the enemy. 2. The enemies of Gods Church have many a mischief waiting on them, of which if they escape one, another shall overtake them; yea, no one similitude can set forth what misery is prepared for them: no peace, no rest for them, no standing in any stablished prosperity, but they shall be rolled as a bowle turned upside-down, or as a wheel; Make them like a wheel. 3. They shall have no strength to resist the blast of Gods wrath; Make them as stubble, or chaffe, before the winde. 4. The Lords indignation against them shall burn them as a flame doth a For­rest; let them be cons [...]med, as fire that burneth a wood, which is the greatest flame we can easily conceive; or when a mountain of sulphur or coales is kindled, as the flame sets the mountains on fire, where f [...] above the earth and under it do meet together. 5. If they escape for a while, yet judgements shall follow them, and overtake them, and [...] them, and turn them in a circle, till they be giddy; So persecute them with thy tempest, or whire­winde. 6. Beside what torment their present plague shall bring unto them, horror and fear of worse to come shall vexe them; [Page 265] Make them afraid with thy storme. 7. At last they shall be asha­med, when both they shall be disappointed of what they intended against the godly, and also meet with the misery which they least feared: Fill their faces with shame. 8. If any of the enemies of Gods people do belong to Gods election, the Churches prayer against them giveth way to their conversion, and doth not seek more then that the judgement should follow them only, till they acknowledge their sinne, and do turn and seek God: Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy Name, O Lord. 9. For the rest of the wicked irreconcileable adversaries, when shame of disappointment and temporal judgements are come upon them, the worst of all doth yet follow, even everlasting perdition: Let them be confounded and troubled for ever: yea let them be put to shame and perish.

Ver. 18. That men may know, that thou, whose Name alone is IEHOVAH, art the most High over all the earth.

He closeth the Psalme with shewing the end of all this com­plaint and imprecation. Whence learne, 1. The end of all cursing of the wicked enemies of the Church, is not to satisfy pri­vate revenge, but that God may be glorified; Let them perish, that men may know, that thou art he whose Name is IEHOVAH. 2. The Name Iehovah signifying Gods being of himself, and the cause of the being of all things created, is incommunicable to any creature (and in Scripture is given only unto the three per­sons of the Godhead, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, whose essence is one) as here is taught; Th [...] men may know, that thou whose Name alone is Iehovah. 3. If men will not acknow­ledge the true God to be the supreme and only Governour of all the world, they shall by his heavy [...]ements, either upon others, or upon thgmselves, be made to show it: for the Church doth here declare, that they do use this heavy imprecation against, Gods enemies, that men may know (say they) that thou whose Name alone is Iehovah, art the most High over all the earth.

PSAL. LXXXIV. To the chief Musician upon Gittith. A Psalme for the sonnes of Korah.

THis Psalme is of the same subject with Psalm 42. and Psalm 63. Wherein the Psalmist lamenteth his banishment from the Temple and the publick Ordinances of Religion, to ver. 8. and then prayeth for his restoring to that priviledge in the rest of the Psalme. This Psalme agreeth well with the time of Davids parting with the Ark, when he fled from Absalom.

In his lamentation; First, he commendeth the place of pub­lick worship, ver. 1. Then sheweth his longing after it, ver. 2. Thirdly, he wisheth to be as a sparrow, in the meanest condition partaker of that priviledge, ver. 3. Fourthly, he proclaimeth the blessednesse of all the Lords Ministers, who may alwayes be there, ver. 4. Fifthly, he calleth them blessed who have liberty to come on foot from any part of the country, to keep at least the solemn feasts, ver. 5, 6, 7. In his prayer he requests in generall terms, to be restored to the Lords worship, ver. 8, 9 for two reasons; one is, because he preferreth the meanest officers condition in Gods house to the most quiet dwelling among the wicked, ver. 10, Ano­ther reason, because felicity is to be found in God, by the means of his Ordinances, ver. 11. and mean time while his p [...]ayer should be granted, he resteth by faith on God, in whom belie­vers are made blessed whereever they be.

Ver. 1. HOW amiable are thy tabernables, O LORD of hostes!

The Psalmist being now in exile, casteth his eyes upon his own countrey, wherein throughout all the land the Lord was wor­shipped in their several Synagogues, but most solemnly in Sion, the place where the Ark and the Tabernacle were; and putting a difference between the holy Ordinances of Gods worship, and the multitude of profane mixed among the godly, who did joyn in the worship, he beholdeth the glorious beauty of the holy ser­vice, and places where the occasion thereof was offered, and so breaketh out in commendation and admiration of the lovelinesse thereof. Whence learn, 1. As God is glorious in all his hosts, [Page 267] which all are very ready as souldiers to fight for him at his com­ [...]d: so is he most glorious in the campe of the visible Church [...]ilitant: for here his authori [...] justice, mercy, grace, wisdom, and power is most of all manifested, for the overthrowing of the kingdom of sin and Satan; therefore saith he, How [...]iable are thy Tabernacles, O Lord of hostes?

[...]. This beauty of the Lords Churches and places of his resi­dence, as it is not discerned by the blind world, but only by such as are illuminated with heavenly light: so is it highly prized, loved and admired by them only: for it is the sweet singer of Israel, who saith, How amiable are thy Tabernacles, O Lord of hosts? 3. Al­beit the world will not believe what here is said, nor take this praising of the lovelines of Gods publick worship from the hand of the godly, yet the Lord will receive this testimony unto the beauty of his Ordinances from such as do present it before him; there­fore doth the Psalmist most confidently direct his speech to God himselfe here; How amiable are thy Tabernacles, O Lord?

Ver. 2. My soule longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

In the next place, he professeth his longing after liberty to enjoy the priviledges of the publick Ordinances, albeit he was to have it no wayes, but in the societe of such people, as were then in the visible Church, of whose wickednesse he had sufficient expe­rience, they being now in armes against him, following Absalom. Whence learne, 1. The beauty and lovelinesse of Gods publick Ordinances, is best discerned, and love and longing after th [...] most stirred up, when a man is deprived of them for a time, [...]y soule longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the Lord. 2. Bodily affliction sharpeneth the sense of spiritual wants, and the sense of wan [...] of spiritual meanes of comfort augmenteth bodily affliction: My soul fainteth, my heart and my flesh cryeth out. 3. It is not the publick Ordinances alone, to be enjoyed in an outward formality, which Saints do seek after, but it is to finde God in, and by the meanes; it is to finde the Lords lively operation on their hearts, which they long after; My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Ver. 3. Yea the sparrow hath found an house, [...] the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay [...] young; even thine Altars, O LORD of hostes, my King and my God.

In the third place, he wisheth to be partaker of the publick wor­ship, were it in never so mean and despicable a condition; so he may enjoy Gods presence in his ordinances, he is content to creep into any corner of Gods house, and go out and seek his meat, and return like a sparrow or swallow. Whence learn, 1. A soul which loveth communion with God indeed, will choose any temporal condition of life, how poor soever, how despised so­ever, rather then be deprived of what may make better for his spi­ritual condition, as appeareth in the Psalmist, who wished to have the place of a Sparrow, or of a Swallow; any residence near Gods Altar. 2. The soul which craveth lively commu­nion with God, should cleave close unto the title and interest which he h [...]th in God by Covenant; as the Psalmist doth here: Thine Altar (saith he) my King and my God.

Ver. 4. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house they will be still praising thee. Selah.

In the fourth place, he proclaimeth the Priests and Levites, the Lords Ministers to be blessed men, for their priviledge and op­portunity to serve the Lord. Whence learn, 1. Albeit, many who have the means and opportunity of profiting by publike or­dinances, do not consider the day of their visitation, to make use of the means while they have them: yet the godly who are deprived of the means and do behold the faire occasions of grace offered by them, do count them blessed, as here: Blessed are they [...] dwell in thy house. 2. It is a blessed thing indeed to have the occasion of communion with God in publick ordinances, and to make use thereof in setting forth the Lords glory; and in this respect there are no men in the world more blessed then faithful Ministers; Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will be still praising thee.

Ver. 5. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee: in whose heart are the wayes of them.

[Page 269] 6. Who passing through the valley of Baca, make [...] Well: the raine also filleth the pooles.

7. They go from strength to strength: every one, of them in Sion appeareth before God.

In the fifth place, he looketh upon their condition who dwell farre o [...] from the Tabernacle, who might at least thrice a year come front the farthest corner of the land, to keep the solemni­ties appointed of God; and he counteth them blessed, albeit in their voyage they should endure never so much toile in travel­ling, and should with difficulty drink their water, either rained down from the clouds, or drawn from a well or cistern digged with much labour: for albeit they should sustain toile and drought in their way, yet having refreshments one after another, and renewed strength for their journey, they should all come at last to the place of publick ordinances in Sion; and here he de­scribeth the true and blessed Israelites, whether Proselytes or borne Jewes, resolved to come and appear before the Lord in the appointed solemnities, by these six properties: First, they encou­rage themselves for the journey, by hope in God to be furnished with strength: Blessed is the man, (saith he) whose strength is in thee. Next, they are resolved in their heart for all the incon­veniences they may meet with in the journey, to hold on their course; In whose heart are the wayes of them. Thirdly, they do hold on their course through dry and comfortlesse places, which may be called places of Ba [...]a, or weeping; They passe through the valley of Baca. Fourthly, they overcome this difficulty of want­ing water, either by digging a Well, where they may finde wa­ter, or by finding some already digged cistern, wherein Gods providence had reserved some quantity of rain-water for them▪ Who passing through the valley of Baca, make it a Well: the raine also filleth the pooles. Fifthly, after refreshment found in their journey they are encouraged to go on their way, till they need and finde some new refreshment, and reparation of their strength; They go from strength to strength Sixthly, these godly travellers all come at length to the place they aimed at, to Sion, where they appear before God in the holy Feast, chearful and joyful souls; Every one of them in Sion appeareth before God. And therefore doth he call them blessed, because at length they come through all difficulties to have sweet communion with God.

[Page] These two degrees of blessed Israelites, are so painted [...] figurative termes, as they may most easily lead the spiritual [...] [...]o the blessednesse which the figure is fit to represent, so that the typical words cannot well be understood, except the spiri­tual blessedness be taken along: for there are two degrees of re­ally blessed persons; some are at home already dwelling with God, of whom it may be most solidly said: Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will be still praising thee, which is their perpetual exercise. Others are travellers, who are in their way toward heaven, the Lords house; who indeed despair of their own strength to make out their journey, but their confi­dence is in Gods strength, and their encouragement to set for­ward is this, that of them it may be well said, Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee: such mens journey doth take up their heart, the stream of their affections run [...] thitherward; I [...] whose heart are the wayes of them. Those travellers have a wil­dernesse to go through, a comfortlesse valley wherein they do fi [...]e matter of mourning, and no solid consolation, save that which God doth provide, beyond the nature of the place, which God one way or other doth furnish unto them, that they shall not fail to have a timous consolation: Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a Well: the raine also filleth the pooles. So that albeit God suffer them to thirst, yet he suffereth them not to want a sufficient measure for bringing them on their ways a strengthening them to go torward: if they misse a Well, they shall have a Cistern filled with rain from heaven; the measure furnished unto them, reneweth their strength after wearinesse, and sufficeth them till they need, and meet with another reno­vation of their strength; They go from strength to strength. Not one of those resolute travellers, or self-denying persons, relying on Gods strength and furniture do perish by the way, all are up­held, and brought forward, till they come where they would be, to enjoy Gods presence in Sion which is above; Every one of them, without exception, in Sion appeareth before God.

Ver. 8. O Lord God of hostes, hear my prayer: give [...]are, O God of Iacob. Selah.

9. Behold, O God, our shield: and look upon the face of thine anointed.

In the latter part of the Psalme is his prayer, wherein he maketh [Page] request for communion with God, both in the [...] type, and in the spiritual truth. Whence learn, 1. The godly mans holy wishes and desires do not vanish and die, but are re­commended to God in prayer. What the Psalmist longed for in the former part of the Psalm, in the latter part he prayeth for. 2. The earnest supplicant hath no will to be refused, but fasten­eth his hope to speed on Gods power and Covenant, and doubleth his petitions in the Lords bosome; O Lord of hostes, hear my prayer: give eare, O God of Iacob. 3. Albeit the be­leever be separate in place from the communion of Saints in publike worship, yet he will finde a conjunction with them in affection and prayer at the throne of Gods grace, and claim the same interest with them in God for protection and com­fort; Behold, O God, (saith he) our shield. 4. How little ap­pearance soever of possession, or performance of promises the be­leever hath, yet must he claim his right and titles, which shall bring him to possession; Look upon the face of thine anoint­ed. He counteth himself King in regard of his right to the Crown, because God had caused Samuel to anoint him to be King. 5 He who hath right to a principal mercy, may pray and look for every accessory mercy, which is presupposed in the principal, or annexed unto it; as here upon the promise of the Kingdom, David prayeth for the liberty of the Temple, which behooved to follow upon his repossession in the Kingdom, and here also he looks through his own anointing unto the Mes­siah Christ, of whom he knew himself to be a type: and for the Messiah Christ, he seeketh to have his petition granted, through whom alone every good thing is purchased, and must be con­veyed unto us: Look (saith he) upon the face of thine an­ointed.

Ver. 10. For a day in thy courts is better then a thousand: I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, then to dwell in the tents of wicked­nesse.

This is the first reason, why he desireth to have the priviledg­es of the publick ordinances restored unto him. Whence learn, 1. Whatsoever may be a means to bring us to the [...]ition of God, is incomparably better then any earthly thing; and one hour [...] spent in the means of eternal felicity, is worth a thousand spent [Page] [...] [...]. The lowest and most painful condition of life, joyned [...] any measure of communion with God, is better then the [...] quiet, easie, and plentiful condition of life▪ without commu [...] on with God; To be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord, better then to dwell in the tents of wickednesse. 3. The god man whose judgement is rectified about things spiritual, is [...] only right estimator of estates and conditions of life in th [...] world, for that is best to him (if he may choose) wherein he may be most serviceable to God, and best helped to heaven. He for his part had rather have the meanest condition of life, joyn­ed with the benefit of the publick ordinances, then live with­out them more plentifully among the wicked; I had rather (saith the Psalmist) be a door-keeper in the house of my God, then to dwell in the tents of wickednesse.

11. For the LORD God is a sunne and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will be withhold from them that walk uprightly.

The second reason why he so loveth the publike ordinances is, because by this means he getteth accesse to the fountain of all felicity, who doth ward off all evil from the upright beleever, and giveth unto him whatsoever is good for his soule or body i [...] this life and in the life to come. Whence learn, 1. The g [...] have need of light and direction, life, vigour, strength and con [...] folation; and all this is in God, or what more can be imported in the similitude taken from the Sunne, in relation to earthly creatures; For the Lord God is a Sunne. 2. The godly are sub­ject to dangers and perils from without, especially from enemies bodily and spiritual, and have need of preservation and defence from all adversarie power, malice and craftinesse: and this protection only God is able to give: The Lord is a Sunne and [...] shield. 3. The beleever is burdened with the body of sin, and born down frequently with the sense of his own unworthinesse, witlesseness and weakness, and in God is the perfect remedy of all those evils; The Lord will give grace. 4. Albeit the beauty of godliness be much obscured in this life, with crosses and af­flictions from God, with calumnies and persecutions from men, and the godly must lie in grave, and suffer corruption of the [...] [...], as others; yet the remedy of this also shall be, found God [Page] to the beleever; He will give grace and glory: grace in [...] life, and glory after it without fail. 5. Albeit the Lord [...]n to keep the godly in great scarcity sometimes of things com­ [...]table in this life, and of spiritual consolations also for a time, [...]et doth he so dispose of their entertainment in all respects, as every thing shall work together for their good; For no good thing will be withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Ver. 12. O LORD of hostes: blessed is the man that trusteth in thee

When the Psalmist hath lamented his exile from the publick ordinances, and prayed to be restored to that priviledge; he com­forteth himself in the mean time, by the consideration of Gods grace and power to supply all wants, even that of publick ordi­ [...]nces, when it cannot without hazard of life be had by the be­leever. Whence larn, 1. How hard soever the Lords dispensati­on be to his own children, yet must we ever continue to trust in God, as the Psalmists example here doth teach. 2. God can supply the want of the publike ordinances, and be a little San­ctuary to his children, and make them quiet; yea, and blessed in beleeving in him: O Lord of hostes, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee: for in the beginning of the Psalm his heart [...]eth for the longing after the publike ordinances; he count­ [...] the Ministers of Gods house blessed, he counteth every man who may be in any corner of Gods house happy; he counteth the travelling Israelite coming to the ordinances blessed; and at length pronounceth every beleever blessed, and so himself to be blessed also.

PSAL. LXXXV. To the chief Musician. A Psalme for the sonnes of Korah.

THis Psalm agreeth well with the condition of the Church of the Jewes, now fallen into new troubles, after their re­ [...] from the captivity of Babylon. In the former part where­ [...] they pray for a new proof and experience of Gods mercy, to [...]. [...]. In the latte: part is set down a comfortable answer to [Page 274] their prayer, and for the help of their faith in their prayer. Fi [...] they make mention of their gracious delivery from the captivi­ty, ver. 1, 2, 3. Next, they pray for repentance, and removing of the tokens of Gods wrath, ver. 4, 5. Thirdly, they pray for restauration of their miserable and dead condition wherein they were lying, by some merciful deliverance, ver. 6, 7.

As for the answer in the latter part, he prepareth himself to re­ceive it from the Lord, and by inspiration receiveth indeed a comfortable prophecy of five notable fruits of mercy: The first is, of peace to Gods people, ver. 8. The next is, of deliveranes and salvation to his servants, ver. 9. The third is, of the grace of Christ unto justification, and the fruits of it, ver. 10, 11. The fourth is, of temporal blessings, upon the place where the Lords people do dwell, and that for his peoples comfort, ver. 12. The fifth is, of the grace of Christ unto sanctification, ver. 13.

Ver. 1. LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Iacob.

2. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

3. Toou hast taken away all thy wrath; thou hast turned thy selfe from the fiercenesse of thine anger.

After the Church of the Jewes had been delivered from cap­tivity, they fall into new troubles, because of their sins and their new provocations of God; and in this Psalme they cry to God for mercy, and for strengthening of their faith: They acknow­ledge the Lords favour in loosing their captivity, ver. 1. and in forgiving their sinnes, ver. 2. and in removing all the tokens of his wrath from them, ver. 3. Whence learn, 1. After great mercies shewn to Gods people, new provocations do draw on new judgements, as appeareth in the change of the condition of the Church here represented. 2. Neither old sinnes [...]or late, neither old judgements nor presently lying on wrath, must keep back Gods people from running unto God by prayer, for obtaining favour of God again, as the example of the Church [Page] here doth teach. 3. As no sins can make the Lord so forget his Covenant with his people, as mercy should not be let forth to [...]ent sinners suing for grace; so no wrath is so great, as [...]ll debarre poor supplicants from accesse unto God, when they come to seek mercy. 4. As new necessities do call to minde old supplies received from God; so they who would have any new benefit from the Lord, should thankfully remember the old, and take encouragement from those to hope for further; Lord, thou hast been favourable to thy land; thou hast brought back the captivity of Iacob. 5. As grace is the only ground of Gods bounty to his people, so is it the only ground of his peo­ples prayer for new experiences of his grace; as here, Gods favour is acknowledged to be the cause of bringing back the people from captivity, and the ground whereupon the Psalmist foundeth his prayer; Thou hast been favourable to thy land. 6. As that is a benefit indeed which is given with remission of sins; so every one who seeketh a benefit, should desire to have the be­nefit which they come to seek, joyned with remission of their sin: as the Psalmist here maketh the bringing back from captivity a compleat favour, because joyned with remission of sinnes: with­out which it had been the lesse comfortable; Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people. 7. The way of Gods forgiving of sins is, by not imputing of them, not bringing of them forth to be reckoned, but hiding them from justices view, and covering them with the imputation of the righteousnesse of the Redeemer; Thou hast covered all their sinne. 8. As while sin unrepented and unforgiven remaineth, wrath also remaineth; so when sinne it taken away, Gods wrath also is taken away, when God forgi­veth sin, he takes away the punishment of sin; for after he hath said, Thou hast covered all their sin: he subjoyneth, Thou hast taken away all thy wrath; thou hast turned from the [...]nesse of thine anger. 9. As the conscience of sin, and feeling of wrath lying on, and fearing the growth of it, do much hinder the guilty from confident approach unto God: so the seen experi­ences of Gods drawing of those barres in form [...] times, do open the door to afflicted sinners, confidently to come and seek mercy, as here the Psalmist doth teach us, in his making of this preface to his following prayer.

Ver. 4. Turn us, O God of our salvation: and cause thine anger towards us to cease.

[Page 276] 5. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt th [...] draw out thine anger to all generations?

In the next place, upon the foresaid grounds, the Church af­flicted prayeth for grace to repent, that so remission of si [...], and removing of wrath may follow. Whence learn, 1. Whoso­ever in a Church afflicted are sensible of their own and th [...] Churches sinnes, should deal with God for giving repentance to his back-sliding people, and to encrease their own repentance, before they seek removal of the tokens of wrath, as here the godly do pray in the first place, Turn us, O God. 2. The Lords Covenant with his people for everlasting salvation, is a ground to pray and hope for temporal deliverance from God, who hath power and wayes of his own, how to save, when we see no event, Turn us, (saith he) O God of our salvation. 3. When God gi­veth grace to a people, to repent and turn to him, the tokens of his wrath will be removed also: or be so changed, as they shall be no more effects of wrath; therefore joyneth he with, Turn [...], this petition also, And cause thine anger toward us to cease. 4. The anger of the Lord toward his people, is but temporal and for a moment in comparison of deservings, albeit it seem to en­dure long: and the beleever may be perswaded, that it shall not continue against supplicants long; for, Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? doth import so much, that his anger could not be perpetual.

Ver. 6. Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoyce in thee?

7. Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.

In the third place, he prayeth for some relief from the distress wherein they were for the time, and putteth his petition out of question, by this interrogation, because Gods purpose and plea­sure was that his people should have joy in their God, and thereupon he requesteth for new tokens of mercy, from the ground of his Covenant with them for salvation. Whence learn, 1. As it is a death to be deprived so much as of the evidence and sense of Gods favour, so it is life to be clear that we are in favour with God: and as such who have had the sense of Gods [Page 277] favour, cannot endure to want it; so shall they have it resto­red; Wilt thou not revive us again? 2. Because plagues and wrath upon Gods people are temporal, they may look certainly for a change to the better; and after they have smarted for their sins for a while, yet may expect to be restored to joy and com­fort again: Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may re­joyce in thee? 3. When God changeth the chear of his peo­ple, their joy should not be in the gift, but in the Giver; That thy people may rejoyce in thee. 4. Albeit the dear children of God, for whom mercy and salvation is appointed, may be desti­tute of the sight and evidence of both, yet must they beleeve both, claim both, and hope for the manifestation of both unto them: shew [...] thy mercy, O Lord, &c. grant us thy salvation. 5. As mercy is the cause of salvation temporal and eternal, and no merit in us; so must he who looks for salvation of either sort, make mercy his plea, and no good in himself; Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.

Ver. 8. I will heare what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his Saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

In the latter part of the Psalm is the answer of this prayer, which the Psalmist doth expect and receive by way of prophecy, of five sweet effects of Gods mercy to his people: whereof the first is, peace and reconciliation, and removing the tokens of his wrath. Whence learn, 1. The prayer of a beleever put up to our everliving Lord, is not a vain work of pouring out words in the aire, but a profitable exercise of faith, grounded upon Gods Word and goodnesse, whereof he may expect certainly a return: I will hear what the Lord will say. 2. Comfortable promises will suffice the beleever, who if he know what the Lord doth say, he will be clear also what the Lord will do; I will hear what the Lord will say. 3. Albeit Gods people be under the sense of wrath, yet the Lord will comfort them after seeking grace of him: he will speak peace to his people. 4. Those who indeed do minde true holinesse, are Gods people, to whom the Lord will speak peace; and for whose cause the society wherein they are, shall partake of the fruits of Gods favour to them: he will speake peace to his people, and to his Saints. 5. As the interruption of our peace with God is procured by our folly, or foolish follow­ing [Page 278] of the vanities which allure unto sin, and divert us from co [...] ­munion with God, so the restoring of us to peace must come [...] our forsaking of those sinful and foolish courses which ha [...] procured wrath; and the way to keep us in that peace, is not [...] return to these courses again; and this is the very end both of God [...] correcting of us, and of his restoring of us to peace, that we sinne not as before: He will speak peace to his Saints, but let them [...] return again to folly.

Ver. 9. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.

The second effect of mercy to his Saints, is the nearnesse of free salvation in Christ, who is the glory of the land of Iud [...], where he was borne, and the glory of that land whatsoever it is, wherein his Saints, and he amongst his Saints do dwell. Whence learn, 1. The heires of the promises are only such as do study to please God, and to eschew provoking of him: for the answer of the former prayer, and the word of Promise and Prophecie here, is made in favour only of them that fear him. 2. There is no satisfactory deliverance to the afflicted beleever, labouring un­der the sense of wrath, except Christ Jesus, who is really the on­ly compleat salvation of God: only able to answer fully to that name, & who was known to the Church before his coming in the flesh by that name, as we may understand, Luke 2. from the words of Simeon, who was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and had a promise that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lords Christ, ver. 25, 26. And when he had Christ in his armes, he saith: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, ver. 30. There is the name whereby Christ was of old known to the Church among many other titles, he is Gods salvation; as he is called here. 3 Consolation, and deliverance, and sal­vation in Christ, is neer-hand to every upright afflicted be­leever, whether the afflicted do see it comfortably for the time or not; Surely Gods salvation is near them that fear him. 4. What land the true Church of Christ, the Saints and they that feare God do dwell in, there doth glory dwell: there God, there Christ by his Spirit bringing righteousness and salvation to such a society is glorious: and for his presence the people are glori­ous: and the land glorious above all other lands whatsoev [...] [...] [Page 279] Surely his salvation is [...] them that fear him, that glory may [...] in our land; This commendation for many reasons the [...]d of Iudea might claim, farre above all other.

Ver. 10. Mercy and truth are met together: righ­teousnesse and peace have kissed each other.

11. Truth shall spring out of the earth: and righ­teousnesse shall look down from heaven.

The third effect of mercy, is the grace of Christ unto justifi­cation, and the fruits thereof bestowed upon them that are ju­stified by faith. There are here three conjunctions or couples sweetly agreeing together; one is, of mercy and truth; another it, of righteousnesse and peace: and the third is, of truth and righteousnesse For the first couple, mercy and truth, may be either referred to God, bestowing something on his people: and so Gods mercy doth pity, spare and pardon his sinful people; and his truth doth perform all the good things which in his Word he promised: and this couple indeed did most eminently meet, when Christ the salvation of God, came in the flesh: for Christs coming is the highest manifestation of mercy that ever was heard tell o [...], when God out of love, and pity, and mercy, did give his Sonne to redeem sinners; and this also was the most glorious performance of the richest and the noblest pro­mises that ever was made to man: for in the sending of Christ promised, all the promises are made Yea, and Amen; for the way is made sure now to perform all the rest of the promises: or mercy and truth may be referred, the one (namely mercy) to God; and the o [...]her, to wit truth, may be referred to men, to whom God will shew mercy; and in this consideration we are given to under­stand, that as a merciful God, and misbeleeving sinners are sepa­rated, & do stand at a great distance, he one departing more and more from the other: so a merciful God and a beleever are surely reconciled, and do quickly meet together; for God in Christ hold­eth forth mercy to the sinner, and mercy doth bestow faith upon the redeemed, and faith layeth hold on mercy, and so mercy and truth are met together: mercy calleth for faith, and createth it: and saith calleth for mercie, and so this couple do meete to­gether.

As for the second couple, of righteousnesse and peace, they are both of them the effects of the meeting of mercy and truth to­gether: [Page 280] or of mercy and of faith, saying Amen to mercies offer: for faith laying hold on mercy, bringeth down from God rig [...] ­teousnesse or justification by faith; and we being justified by faith, have both peace with God and our own consciences, at least in the point of right and priviledge: albeit sense, and pos­session of the sense of this peace may be interrupted. Whence learn, In whomsoever mercy, or the offer of grace, and faith recei­ving the offer do meet, justification also, or imputed righteous­nesse and peace with God do meet: Then righteousnesse and peace have kissed each other.

The third couple is of truth, or true faith in man on earth, and righteousnesse from God in heaven; faith springing out of the earth, (as the plantation of mercy,) in the sensible fruits thereof, that is, in the true effects of sincere love to God and man; and the righteousnesse of God from heaven shining down as the Sun, for nourishing and protecting his own plantation, and performing all promises to the beleever. Whence learn, As mercie in God, and true faith in man meeting together, are fol­lowed with righteousnesse of justification and peace with God; so true faith in man is followed with fruits: for it cannot be idle, but must be operative in bringing forth the effects of faith or truth; Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousnesse from heaven is followed with active influence upon springing faith, for defending, and encreasing, and blessing of it, as the Sunne fostereth and refresheth the fruits of the ground; Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousnesse shall look down from heaven.

Ver. 12. Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good, and our land shall yield her increase.

The fourth fruit of mercy, is of giving temporal benefits to the beleever, and blessing the land where beleevers do dwell. Whence learn, 1. The things of this life are Appendices of the chief mercies of the Gospel, which reconciled people may ex­pect to receive of God, as their need and good doth require; Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good. 2. As the place or land where the Lords people do dwell, beareth the tokens of Gods displeasure, when they provoke God: so shall the land be sensibly blessed, when his people are reconciled unto him; And our land shall yield her increase.

Ver. 13. Righteousnesse shall go before him: and set us in the way of his steps.

The fifth fruit of mercy is, the grace of Christ for directing and furthering of Believers in the way of sanctification; Christ shall bee their leader, and righteousnesse imparted unto Believers from Christ (in the grace of conversion or holy inclination, and of perfect direction by his Word and Spirit) shall make Believers to follow Christs wayes and go on in the paths of his obedience. Whence learn, 1. Christ is the Captain of his redeemed and reconciled people, or the shepherd of his purchased flock: for he and his people here are walking in one way, wherein he goeth before his people, that they may follow his steps, and behinde them also, to bring them up, and set them forward in the way that none do fall off; as the similitude doth import. 2. As Christ is the leader of his people, so righteousnesse is the preparer of his people to follow him; First, in the work of conversion or re­generation, wherein the minde is illuminated to behold, and the heart inclined to follow righteousnesse. Secondly, in the work of daily direction, by his Word and Spirit; Righteous­nesse shall go before him. 3. As the way that the Believer must walk in, is that which is prescribed by the Lord his leader: so the effectual mover of the Believer unto sanctification, is the grace of righteousnesse or sanctification, which Christ the leader doth send forth into his peoples heart, to make them follow the di­rection given unto them: For, Righteousnesse shall go before him, and set us in the way of his steps.

PSAL. LXXXVI. A Prayer of David.

THis Psalme agreeth well with the time when David was in trouble, being persecuted by Saul. The summe of it is a prayer for reliefe, consisting of 7. Petitions; some of them more ge­nerally; some of them more particularly expressing his trouble and his desire of relief: all which Petitions have reasons joyned unto them, serving to strengthen the faith of the supplicant.

Ver. 1. BOw down thine eare, O LORD, heare me: for I am poore and needy.

The first Petition is for audience, and the reason of his hope to be heard, is, because of his necessity to be helped. Whenc [...] learn, 1. When a believer hath any Petition to present unto God, he may expect accesse unto God, and audience, and accep­tation of his person and prayer: O Lord, hear me. 2. Albeit the supplicant be on earth, and God to be found in heaven; albeit the supplicant be mean and base, both in his own eyes and in ef­fect, and God be the high and lofty one, that inhabi [...]h eternity, yet will he humble himselfe to take notice of the supplica [...]ion of [...] believing supplicant; Bow down thine ear, O Lord. 3. Of that whereof misbelief would make use unto discouragement and de­speration, faith maketh a ground of hope to be helped: for affliction, and weaknesse, and want of all help and comfort from man, is the Lords forerunner to advertise the believer, that the Lord is coming: O Lord, hear me; for I am poor and needy.

Ver. 2. Preserve my soul, for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.

The second Petition is for protection of his life, and the rea­sons of his hope are taken from the qualities of such a person as hath right to expect Gods protection. Whence learne, 1. The bodies and soules of Gods children have snares l [...]id for them by enemies, bodily and spiritual, from which they cannot deliver themselves, except they do commit the custody thereof u [...]o God, as the Prophet doth, saying, Preserve my soul: our wit, our prudence our power, our fighting, our fleeing, or whatsoever means we can use under heaven, are litle worth, if God do not preserve us. 2. That man hath a ground of hope to be preserved by God, who being pursued for his life by malicious persecutors, for falsely alledged wrongs done by him, can attest God for his innocency, in the par­ticular whereof he is charged; as here David doth; Preserve my soule, for I am holy; that is, free from the fault whereof I am charged; or I am a favourite of thine, or a man who hath been bountifull in doing good, to him that pursueth me: for thus much also will the word bear. 3. The conscience of studying to please God, is very sweet in time of trouble, and especially when [Page 283] trouble falleth on for Gods service; O my God, save thy servant. 4. Innocency in a particular cause is not sufficient to bear us out, not yet the conscience of out good service done to God, but we must make use of the Covenant, and put our trust in Gods goodnesse, whensoever we do expect any good from God: O my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.

Ver. 3 Be mercifull unto me, O Lord; for I cry unto thee daily.

The third Petition is for mercy and forgivenesse of sin, and the reason of hope is, because he is a daily supplicant. Whence learn, 1. Innocency in our carriage toward men, and the goodnesse of the cause which we defend, may leave us in the mire in time of trouble, because of our sinnes, whereof we are guilty in other respects, except we flee to Gods mercy: Therefore when sin is objected, mercy must be our refuge and plea; Be mercifull to my, O Lord. 2. Assiduity and instance in prayer doth pro­mise certainly a good answer after asking, seeking, and knock­ing: Be mercifull to me, for I cry unto thee daily.

Ver. 4. Rejoyce the soule of thy servant: for un­to thee (O Lord) do I lift up my soule.

5. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive: and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

The fourth Petition is for comfort; the reasons of his hope are, because he seeketh his comfort no where else but in God. Next, because God is gracious to all supplicants. When [...]e learne, 1. As the Lord doth burden his own children sometime with affli­ction and sorrow, for their humiliation and trial of faith: so will he also comfort them in due time, and give them cause of joy in himselfe, for the strengthening of their faith, and they may pray for this and expect it; Rejoyce the soule of thy servant. 2. He that would have comfort from God, must set himselfe to seek it in him onely, and not look after it elsewhere under the heaven▪ and in this way he may oray for it, and expect it, as the Psalmist doth here; For I lift up my soul unto thee, O Lord. 3. The knowledge of Gods goodnesse and mercy, is the [...]ife of [...]aith, the fountain of consolation and ground of prayer, Rejoyce t [...]e [...] [...]f thy servant; for thou, O Lord, art good. 4. Whatsoever evill the sinner [Page 284] doth finde in himselfe, there is a remedy in God for it: if he [...] any good thing, God hath it, and is ready to communicate it; For thou, Lord, art good; If the sinner be smitten with the consci­ence of sin, and deserving of wrath: The Lord is ready to for­give; If a mans sins do seem so many and heinous, as he dare not approach; The Lord is plenteous in mercy. 5 He who desireth to partake of Gods goodnesse and mercy, must resolve to worship the Lord, to believe in him, and to pray unto him; and who­soever taketh this course, whatsoever he be, without exception he shall finde the Lord, to be good, and ready to forgive, and plente­ous in mercy to all them that call upon him.

Ver. 6. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer, and attend unto the voice of my supplications.

7. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee, for thou wilt answer me.

8. Among the gods there is none like unto thee (O Lord:) neither are there any worke like unto thy works.

9. All nations whom thou hast made, shall come and worship thee, O Lord: and shall glorifie thy Name.

10. For thou art great, and dost Wondrous things: thou art God alone.

The fifth Petition is for reliefe and deliverance out of his pre­sent distresse, propounded in the general termes of granting his supplication. The first reason of his hope to be heard, is, because he is resolved to make use of the Lords promise, that he will an­swer when one calleth on him in trouble, ver. 7. The next reason is, because there is not a God beside God; and he alone [...] able to work wonders, ver. 8. The third, is, because the Lord is to let all nations know him; and to gain them in to his wor­ship, by his great power and wonderful working, as the onely true God, ver. 9, 10. And therefore able and willing to give him a new experience of his power. Whence learne, 1. When God delayeth to answer supplicants, they must not faint in prayer, but continue instantly, and be importunate; Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer, saith he now over again. 2. Albeit the supplicant do meet with doubts whether his Petition be regarded or not, ye [...] [Page 285] must he not yield to them, but pray directly against them, as here we are taught; Attend unto the voice of my supplication. 3. Eve­ry man should so make use of, and apply to himselfe the general command of God, to call upon him in trouble, w [...] a promise of deliverance, as his faith may be most strengthened by it; for so the Psalmist doth here: In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee; for thou wilt answer me. And this relateth to that which is said, Psal. 50. 15. Call upon me in the day of thy trouble. 4. He that hath found the fruit of true Religion, and hath experience of the gracious work of God upon his own spirit, will set at nought all Idolatry and false Religion▪ Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O God. 5. The works of God working according to his Word, are such as may prove him to be the true God; with whose works, no creatures works can be compared. Where is such a work of power as the crea­tion of the world, and preservation of it? Where is there such a work of grace as the work of Redemption? And who can work any thing like unto the least of the works of the Lord, in his ma­king and upholding of the meanest creature? Neither are there any works like thy works. 6. The consideration of the large­nesse of Gods grace and power, which he hath manifested in the conversion of Nations, and is to manifest yet more and more in his own due time, may encourage any man to come and worship God, and expect grace from him for his own particular: he will not refuse almes to any begger, who is about to gather all poor beg­gers to receive of his almes: All nations shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and glorify thy Name. Whatsoever is alrea­dy done for accomplishing of this prophecie, more is to be done ere the Lord close the course of time; and whatsoever shall be done by way of conversion, before the last day, we are sure that at least by way of conviction and extorted acknowledge­ment, all this shall be done at the last day, for the Lord hath sworne that every knee shall bow to him, and every tongue shall confesse to his Name. 7. It is the cognizance of a kindly sub­ject of Gods Kingdome, to delight in the increase and glory of it: and he that findeth in his heart to love the enlargement of Gods glory, may expect the benefit of a kindly subject, as the Psalmist doth here. 8. The omnipotency of God, and the wondrous works which God hath already done, may loose all doubts about the accomplishment of all his promises how great soever; All nations shall come and worship before thee: for thou art great (saith he) and doest wondrous things. 9. All Idols and Idolatry must [Page 286] at length be defaced, and he found to be vanity, and God [...] length must be known to be the onely true God: All N [...] shall glorifie thy Name, for thou art God alone.

Ver. 11. Teach me thy way, O LORD, I [...] walk in thy truth: unite my heart to feare thy N [...].

The sixth petition is, to be kept from following any sinfull course, specially now in this his triall and tentation, [...] 11. And this he hopeth shall be granted to Gods glory, ver. 1 [...] First, because he had experience of Gods mercy before, ver. 1 [...]. Next, because he had to do with proud and godlesse enemies, ver. 14. Thirdly, because God was exceeding gracious and merciful, ver. 15.

As for the petition to be saved from all sinfull courses, it hath two branches: one is, to be instructed in Gods way; the other, that his heart may be made to follow that way, and to stand [...] awe to offend. Whence learn. 1. The Lords children under trouble and persecution, are in danger to be driven by rentation to some sinfull course, and this they should pray against, and be no lesse feared for it, then for any bodily trouble, as heare the ex­ample of David teacheth us. 2. It is necessary for eschewing sinne, to know how God useth to deale with his own children, lest we think that some strange thing hath befallen us, when we fall into trouble; and it is necessary to know also how we ought to carry our selves in every passage of our trouble and triall, le [...] we neglect our duty, or do contrary to it: Teach me thy way, O God. 3. Beside the information of the minde concerning the duty in generall, which God giveth by the ministery of his Word, and common operation of his Spirit, there is a more spe­ciall, lively, efficacious teaching of a man, whereby he is fitted to make particular practicall application of the generall rule [...] particular circumstances of time and place; and for this we must pray to God also, after we are taught to know the duty in gene­rall, Teach me thy way, O Lord. 4. No man must count [...] way to be of Gods teaching, but that which is warranted by his Word; and no man can walke safely, except he that followeth the Lords truth: Teach me, and I will walk in thy truth. 5. Who­soever would have God to informe them of his will, must first resolve sincerely to follow his will when he hath shewn it; for so doth David: Teach me thy way, and I will walke in thy [...] [Page 287] 6. To make instruction effectuall, not onely must the minde [...] informed, but the heart also must be wrought upon, and framed [...]to obedience: Unite my heart. 7. It is the naturall disease of sinfull mens hearts, to be loosed from God, and scattered and di­stracted about variety of vaine objects, which are offered unto it to follow; and this disease onely God can cure: Unite my heart. 8. It is not sufficient for a man once to resigne over his heart [...]nto God in his conversion, but this resignation of the heart must be renewed upon all occasions into Gods hand, that he may [...] the affections to himself, and to his holy Law, and reclaime the heart from ranging and going a whoring from him after sin­full objects: for this prayer for uniting the heart is Davids pray­er, who long before was converted. 9. Then is the heart united and fixed, when the fear of God doth rule it; that is, when after it is informed of Gods will, it feareth to omit what he command­eth, and to do what he forbiddeth: Unite my heart to feare thy Name.

Ver. 12. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorifie thy Name for ever­more.

13. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Here David hopeth to be heard, and promiseth praise to God, both for his by-past, and also for his fore-seene deliverance, flow­ing from the greatnesse of Gods mercy to him. Whence learn, 1. He who prayeth according to Gods will, may promise to himself satisfaction, and unto God thanks for granting his re­quests: I will praise thee, O Lord my God. 2. The thanksgi­ving of the godly, especially when the heart is enlarged, is very hearty, joyned with great delight, and constant purpose of glo­rifying of God constantly: I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorifie thy Name for evermore. 3. When a man seeth his sinnes great, his deserving great, his danger and delivery great, he must also see Gods mercy toward him great, and his obligation to thanks­giving great: I will glorifie thy Name for evermore: for great [...] thy mercy toward me. 4. Preventing mercy keeping us from the evill we were in danger to fall into, is to be esteemed of by [...]s as delivering mercy, bringing us out of the evill wherein we were lying. The Lords keeping of us from falling into hell, should [Page 288] he accounted by us no lesse mercie, then if we had been [...] and had been brought back out of it by him: Thou hast de [...] [...] my soul from the lowest hell. The same may be said of [...] particulars: and when our eyes are open to see the evils [...] which the Lord hath kept us; when we were in danger of them, [...] shall be forced so to judge.

Ver. 14. O God, the proud are risen against [...] and the assemblies of violent men have sought af [...] my soul; and have not set thee before them.

15. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious: long-suffering; and plenteous in mercy and truth.

Here are other reasons of his hope to be delivered, taken [...] the pride and oppression of the godlesse enemy, and from [...] pity and compassion. Whence learn, 1. Proud, violent, cruell, and godlesse men, are the readiest instruments which can be found unto Satan for persecuting Gods children: Such were the enemies of David a type of Christ, and an example of his perse­cuted followers: The proud are risen against me. 2. Whatso­ever wicked man pleaseth to make head against the godly, he will readily finde multitudes to follow him: The proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul. 3. When men do reject the fear of God, there is no, wickednesse so great, which they will not commit: They have sought after my soul, and have not set thee, O God, before th [...] that is, they neither fear thy judgements, nor care for what may please thee. 4. The more violent, cruell, prophane and ungod­ly our persecutors are the more hope is of Gods pity towards us, as the Psalmist reasoneth: But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion. 5. Whatsoever objections may arise from our un­worthinesse, from our former sinful provocations of God, and the multitude and greatnesse of our former sins, to hinder our hope that God shall pity us in our affliction; they are all answered and taken away by consideration of the unspeakable, greatnesse of Gods goodnesse: for in God is compassion, he is full of compassion, a God full of compassion; that is, infinitely compassionate, and as it were affected wi [...]h our misery; he is gracious, though we be unworthy; he is long-suffering, although we be given to strife and provocation of him; and how great soever our misdefer­rings [Page 289] have been, he is plenteous, in mercy; and howsoever we have forfeited our interest in his promises, yet he will not follow the forfeiture, but will keep up our right unto his promises still; he is plenteous in truth, great is his faithfulnesse, who keepeth promises, albeit he might justly reject them.

Ver. 16. O turne unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant: and save the son of thine handmaid.

17. Shew me a token for good, that ther which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast helpen me, and comforted me.

The seventh pe [...]ition is, for strength to stand out, till such a clear delivery should come to him from God, as might put his enemies to confusion, when they should see it. Whence learn, [...] Whosoever do consider well the riches of Gods grace and goodnesse, may confidently pray for a proof of it in the chang­ing of a miserable condition into a better, even when God seemeth angry and [...]erse: Thou art plenteous in mercy and truth. O turne unto me, and have mercy upon me. 2. It is no small mercy to have strength from God to subsist under troubles, till the delive­ry come; and for this strength the man emp [...]ied of self-confi­dence may call, and should be content with supporting strength till the Lords time of deliverance come. Give thy strength unto thy servent. 3. The longer course the kindnesse of the Lord hath had toward us, and the more relations are between God and us, we may expect the more confidently for further effects and fruit of his kindnesse for our deliverance: for David here rec­koneth from his being born within the Covenant, borne as a domestick, as a childe of the Church, who belonged to Gods, protection and care, as the son of the handmaid belonged to the care of the master of the family: Save the son of thy handmaid. 4. As the wicked delight to see the godly in misery, that they may insult over godlinesse; so the go [...]ly desire deliverance, that in their person godlinesse may not suffer, nor wicked men be heartened in their insolenci [...]: Shew me a token for good, that they, who hate me, may see it. 5. The good successe and delivery of some of the Saints out of their troubles and [...] is a good to­ken both to themselves, and to all other godly persons, of a bles­sed event unto them from all their troubles. Therefore David prayeth for it, Shew me a [...]oken for good. 6. As the good event of the godly from their troubles, is a matter of [...], [Page 290] and gloriation unto the godly, so is it also the matter of shame and confusion to the wicked, who do hate them: Shew me a t [...]ken for good, that they who hate me may see it, and be ashamed, be­cause thou, Lord hast holpen me, and comforted me.

PSAL. LXXXVII. A Psalme or song for the sonnes of Korah.

WHen God loosed the captivity of the Jewes by Cyrus, son of them did returne from Babylon: the work of repu­ration of Church and S [...]ate, Temple and City had few to as­sist it: their enemies were many, they were straitned with po­verty and famine; and the hearts and hands of the Godly were weakened; they were like to faint and despaire, that either Church or State should flourish any more amongst them; for comfort in such a time was this Psalme fitted, leading the Lords people to live by faith, and to work on in the building of the Lords house, and reparation of the City, looking to God the Builder of his Church, and maintainer of his people. To which purpose the Psalmist giveth them seven consolations opposite to so many tentations unto discouragement. The first is, that they should look to God who had founded his owne Temple so­lidly, and so not saint for the weaknesse and fewnesse of the builders, ver. 1. The second, that they should look to Gods love and good will, and not be troubled for want of externall power and riches, ver. 2. The third is, that they should look to the prophecies concerning the Church, and not be troubled for what present outward appearance and carnall reason did repre­sent, ver. 3. The fourth is, that they should not be troubled for the multitude of their foes for the present time, but look to the multitude of friends and converts which they should have here­after, ver. 4, 5. The fifth is, that they should not be troubled with the feare of the ruine of the Church, but look to Almighty God, who would establish her so, that no power should overturn her, ver. 5. The sixth is, that they should not be troubled with the present contempt under which they did lie, but look to the glory and estimation which God should put in his owne time upon the Church and her children, ver. 6. The seventh is, that they should not be troubled with their present grief they were in, [Page 291] but should look to the spiritual joy and causes thereof, which the Lord was to furnish to his people, ver. 7.

Ver. 1. HIs foundation is in the holy mount­aines.

The first comfort of the afflicted Jewes, troubled for the hin­dering of the building of Gods Temple is, that God had by his decree and promise made the mountains of Sion and Moriah the place of his rest amongst his people, till the Messiah should come, in whom these types were to be accomplished, and for whose cause they were to be preserved till he came, who is the only solid rock whereupon the Church is builded. Whence learn, 1. When the builders of the Lords Church are few and weak, his people had need to be comforted against their feares and doubts, as here we see: and the way to be comforted in such hard times, is to look by faith to God, as the builder of his own house, who hath laid the foundation upon solid grounds, that every believer that trusteth in him, may be as Mount Sion, which cannot be removed; His foundation is on the holy mount­aines.

Ver. 2. The LORD loveth the gates of Sion: more then all the dwellings of Iacob.

The second comfort is, that God had chosen Sion above all o­ther places to be his rest, and did love there to dwell rather then elsewhere. Whence learn, 1. The dignity of any place, person or society, proceedeth not from any thing in the place or society, but from the Lords election and free love; The Lord loveth the gates of Sion, more then all the dwellings of Iacob. 2. The love of the Lord to his chosen Church, is a solid ground of assurance of her continuance: as here in the figure we are taught.

Ver. 3. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O City of God. Selah.

The third comfort is, from the prophecies past about the Church; and promises made unto [...]her in figurative termes. [Page 292] Whence learn, 1. The Church is the incorporation, in which the Lord reigneth, ruleth and resideth; It is the City of God. 2. The priviledges of the Church are very glorious; the glo­ry of Kings, Crowns and Diadems is nothing to them, but bo­dily and temporal shadows of what is spiritually and everlast­ingly bestowed on the Church; Glorious things are sp [...]ken of thee. 3 Albeit glorious things are bestowed on the Church, yet it is not so much any thing already done, as what is to be done, which maketh the Church blessed: it is not present pos­session, but hope; not sight, but faith, which maketh the Church blessed: and the Scriptures are a sufficient right to us for all blessings which are to come: Glorious things are spoken of thee, O City of God.

Ver. 4. I will make mention of Rahab and Baby­lon, to them that know me: Behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia: this man was borne there.

5. And of Sion it shall be said, This and that man was borne in her: and the highest himself shall esta­blish her.

The fourth comfort is, that the Churches chief enemies should be converted to the faith, and should count it their great­est honour so to be Whence learn, 1. It is among the troubles of the Church that she ha [...]h so many enemies, and those so migh­ty and potent as the Egyptians and Babylonians; I will make mention of Rahab; that is, Egypt, and Babylon, and Palestina, and Tyre, and Ethiopia, which are here named as the most emi­nent oppressors of the Church, among all other Kingdomes. 2. It should comfort the Church, that God is able to make her chiefest enemies to become Converts, and that he hath done it sundry times, and will yet do it more; and that he can take order with those enemies which shall not be converted, as he did with Rahab and Babylon; for, I will make menti [...]n of Ra­hab and Babylon to them that know me, signifieth a mention-ma­king of them; viz. to the edification of the Churches chil­dren, both concerning what God had done to those Nations in justice, and what he would do to them in mercy, or unto other enemies like unto them. 3. As it is the glory and comfort of the Church, to have her enemies made Converts: so is it ho­nourable [Page 293] to the enemies, were they never so potent in the world to be Citizens of the City of God; I will make menti­on of them, that this man was born there; that is, in the City of God. 4. The conversion of men from Paganism and Idolatry unto fel­lowship in the Covenant with the Church is a sort of new birth to the externally converted, f [...]om which their new birth and n [...]w being is to be reckoned; This man was borne there. 5. As whatso­ever honour men have in the world, it is not to be compared with the honour of regeneration, and being born Citizens of the Church, so whatsoever contempt the members of the Church do suffer of the world, it's made up by the honour of being bo [...]n in the Church: for, of Sion it shall be said, This and that man were born in her. 6. I here is no reason to feare the ruine of the Church, or the not continuing of her from age to age, to be a mother and receptacle of Converts; For the highest himself shall establish her, and this is the fif [...]h comfort of the favoure [...]s of the Chu [...]ch in the time of trouble.

Ver. 6. The LORD shall count when he wri­teth up the people: that this man was borne there. Selah.

The sixth comfort is, from Gods estimation which he hath of every one of the true Citizens of his Church. Whence learn, 1. As all the elect all the regenerate are taken notice of by God, no lesse particularly, then if their names were all written up in a book one by one: so there is a time when he manifeste [...]h his enrolling of them; partly to themselves by his witnessing unto them that they are his children; par [...]ly to the world, by sustain­ing them in their trials and troubles; and [...] by a full deli­very of them, and confessing their names before men and An­gels at the great day; The Lord shall count when he writeth up the people; that is, in his owntime when he seeth it fit to ma­nifest his respect to his own. 2. The Converts among the Na­tions shall be reckoned up among the C [...]nverts of the Lords people of the Jewes; The Lord shall count when [...] [...]riteth up the people, that this man was born there, that is, whatsoever man he be, who is converted out of any countrey, tongue or language, he shall be counted a member of the Church of Israel.

Ver. 7. As well the singers as the players on [Page 294] instruments shall be there: all my springs are [...] thee.

The last comfort is, from the joy spiritual, and the everlast­ing springs, fountains and causes of joy, which God doth fur­nish, and will furnish to his Church. Whence learn, 1. As the Church is subject to her own griefs in the world, so also is s [...] sure of ahundant consolations to be had and laid up in store for her, expressed here in the termes of typical joy, appointed in so­lemn festivals; As well the fingers as the players on instruments shall be there. 2. The causes of the joy of the Saints are ever­lasting, comparable to wells and springs of living water; All my springs shall be in thee. 3. Such Saints as have had their senses exercised, are able to subscribe the truth of promises by their own experience, and in special, that there is no joy or comfort, no gift nor grace, no refreshment nor delectation wor­thy to be named, except that which they have by Church-privi­ledges, and communion of Saints, as here the Psalmist doth confesse; All my springs are in thee, saith he: speaking to the Church, or to God dwelling in his Church.

PSAL. LXXXVIII. A Song or Psalme for the sonnes of Korah. To the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.

THis Heman the Ezrahite, was one of those foure wisest men in all Israel, next after Solomon, who is preferred a­bove them all, 1 Kings 4. 31. The exercise of this wise and ho­ly man is set down here under the heaviest condition of a wound­ed spirit, of any that we read of; wherein first, he prayeth for comfort to his soul, now afflicted under the sense of sad wrath and long desertion, ver. 1, 2. In the second place, he poureth out his soul to God, and layeth before him a most pitiful la­mentation of his distressed condition, ver. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. In the third place, he wrestleth by faith in his prayer to God for comfort, ver. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. And lastly, finding no comfort, he reneweth his lamentation, leaveth his prayer before the Lord, and writeth it for the edification of the Church in all time coming, as the matter of a joyful Song.

[Page 295] From the Inscription; Learn, 1. David was not the only man acquainted with sad exercise and affliction of spirit, for here is another, to wit, Heman the Ezrahite, as deep in trouble of spi­rit, as he or any other beside. 2. They are not all men of [...]eak mindes and shallow wits, who are acquainted with trouble of spirit, and borne down with the sense of Gods wrath; for here is Heman, one amongst the wisest in all Israel, and inferiour to none for wisdom, except to Solomon alone, under the heaviest ex­ercise we can imagine possible for a Saint. 3. When it pleaseth God to exercise a man of parts, of great gifts and graces, he can make his burden proportionable to his strength, and give him as much to do with the difficulties he puts him to, as a weaker man shall finde in his exercise, as appeareth in the ex­perience of Heman. 4 Wise men in their trouble must take the same course with the simpler sort of men, that is, they must run to God as others do, and seek relief only in his grace, who as [...]e distributeth the measures of trouble, can also give comfort, [...]se and deliverance from them, as the practice of Heman doth [...]h us. 5. What trouble of a wounded spirit some of Gods children have felt in former times, others dear to God may finde the like in after ages, and all men ought to prepare for the like, and should not think the exercise strange when it cometh, but must comfort themselves in this, that other Saints, whose names are recorded in Scripture, have been under like affliction; for the Psalm is appointed to give instruction; it is Maschil of He­man. 6. What is at one time matter of mourning to one of Gods children, may become matter of joy and singing afterward, both to himself and to others, as this sad anguish of spirit in Heman is made a song of joy, unto Gods glory and the com­fort of all afflicted souls, labouring under the sense of sin and felt wrath of God to the worlds end; It is a Song, a Psalm for the sons of Korah. 7. Such as are most heavily afflicted in spirit, and do flee to God for reconciliation and consolation through Christ, have no reason to suspect themselves, that they are not esteemed of and loved as dear children, because they feele so much of Gods wrath: For here is a Saint who hath drunken of that Cup, (as deep as any, who shall read this Psalm here is one so much loved and honoured of God, as to be a Pen-man of holy Scripture, and a patern of faith and patience unto o­thers; even Heman the Ezrahite.

Ver. 1. O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee.

2. Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine eare unto my cry.

In the first place, he fasteneth his faith and resolution to pray constantly to God, till he receive answer, and requesteth for com­fort now at last. Whence learn, 1. Whosoever have fled to God for grace, and have received the offer of reconciliation made to the Church in the Messiah, are entered in Covenant with God for their everlasting salvation, and ought to stand fast in the holding of this Covenant, whatsoever hard condition they may fall into, as Heman doth here, saying to God, O Lord God of my salvation. 2. When'a soul hath received the offer of grace made to the Church, in the common tender of the Covenant of grace, he is entered into Covenant with God so particularly, as if the Indenture were past between God and that soul by name, so that the beleever may reade his own name in Gods everlasting stiles and titles, and may reade in himself the mark of Gods in­terest unto him, and the mark of his interest in God for ever­more; for, O God of my salvation, importeth no lesse. 3. When a beleever hath laid hold on eternal life, he may by the same right ask and expect comfort in, and deliverance out of every trouble, as an Appendix of the great salvation, which is com­ing unto him, as here Heman doth. 4 God can love a man, and keep him in faith and exercise of prayer a long time, with­out a comfortable answer, and all in love, wise love: I have cried day and night before thee, saith Heman, and the answer is not come yet. 5. There is a difference of the lamentation of the worldly man, and of the beleever: The worldly man sighes and cries, and he knows not to whom, but the godly do present themselves in their lamentations to God; I have cried day and night before thee; as his d [...]lour did cleave unto him, or was renewed upon him, so he had his recourse to God at all times. 6. Albeit our prayer being presented before God, do seem to us [...]ot to have been admitted, yet must our bill lie still, and be put up to God again and again, till it be received to our sense and knowledge; Let my prayer come before thee 7. The beleevd may be sure to have a good answer at length, but he must be in­stant, and deal still with God for it, and presse it hard, and pa­tiently [Page 297] wait for it, as Heman here doth; Incline thine eare unto my cry.

Ver. 3. For my soule is full of troubles, and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.

In the second place, he layeth out his trouble before God in nine degrees thereof each of them superadding something to the former: under which he is not only wonderfully upheld, but also he maketh use of this lamentation and long catalogue of mi­series, as a ground of his hope, to have a gracious answer at last, which came to passe, as the turning of this lamentation into a Song, to the comfort of others in the Church, that should feel the like in any measure thereafter, doth shew; for his condition, he setteth it down under the name of trouble, soul-trouble: more troubles then one or two: and the first degree thereof is, that his soul is ful [...] of troubles, replenished so as it can hold no more. Whence [...]. [...]. Albeit we h [...]d nothing to bring before God but our grief and miserie, we want not matter of confidence to finde favour from our pitiful God, as this example teacheth us; Incline thine eare, for my soul is full of trouble [...]. 2. If the godly should sm [...]ther their grief, and not go to God with it, then sorrow were able to ch [...]ke them; but this is no small ease to them that they have God to go unto, to whom they may freely vent their minde, as here we see. 3. Soul troubles are the most pressing troubles, and with those readily will the Lord exercise his children, when he mindeth to trie their faith, ma­king their spirits to smart with trouble after trouble, with a number of troubles, which they are neither able to reckon nor to beare; My soul is full of troubles. 4. The dolours of the minde are able to waste away the body, which cannot but shrink and pine away when the soul is sick with anguish; My life draweth near to the grave, saith he; and this is the second degree of his trouble.

Ver. 4. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength.

The third degree of his trouble is, that in the judgement of them who knew his condition, and possibly lamented i [...], he was [Page 298] counted a lost man: yea and he himself did finde no strength to beare out, or to recover himself. Whence learn, 1. It is no small tentation and vexation of spirit to the godly beleever, to be in the judgement of beholders a lost man, because of the seeming desperate condition of his soul, and yet it may befall a dear childe of God; I am counted with them that go down in the pit. 2. Albeit God hath by grace severed death from hell unto the believer, yet the connexion of these two, if justice were not satisfied in the Redeemer, should never be forgotten, as the Scri­ptures giving the same name to death, grave and hell, may teach us; I am counted with them that go down to the pit, or grave, or hell. 3. Whatsoever strength of soul or body a man hath in his possession, shall be soon emptied when God putteth him in di­stresse, except new furniture be supplied unto him, and that no losse then unto the weakest; I am as a man that hath no strength.

Ver. 5. Free among the dead, like the slaine that lie in the grave, whom thou remembrest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

The fourth degree of his trouble is, that he is like the Le­per in the law, shut out from the living, and put among the dead, and no more fit for any duty of the living; which teach­eth us, that the beleever in God may at some time be so burden­ed with trouble of spirit, as he can neither think, nor speak, nor go about any duty of the living for a time; I am, or I am counted (saith he,) as one free among the dead, or shut out, and separate among the dead.

The fifth degree of his trouble, he is a man whose life is violently pluckt from him; who gets not liberty to die at lea­sure or in peace, but is thrust out of the world suddenly with a deadly wound; and such may the condition of a soul dear to God, seem to it self to be: I am like the slaine that lie in the grave.

The sixth degree of his trouble is, he seemeth to be deprived of the comfortable vicissitude of the common benefits of life, and of those changes which ordinarily Gods visitations do make, as if he were left under the power of death, there to lie without a change of that condition for ever: and such may the case of a beloved Saint seem to be, both to himself and to others; I am as one in grave, whom thou remembrest no more; yea, the [Page 299] beleever at a time may lose the sight of everlasting promises, and seem to himself to be rejected of God; I am as they that are cut off from thy hand.

Ver. 6. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit: in darknesse, in the deepes.

The seventh degree of his trouble: he seemeth as a man alrea­dy condemned and possessed of the torment of hell, in the ex­tricable misery of the damned, deprived of all light of conso­lation, in the gulfe of desparation, wherein a man cannot finde ground, nor deliverance from it. Whence learn, 1 That this al­so may be the case of a beleever in his own sense; Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit: in darknesse, in the deepes. 2. Whatsoever trouble we are in, or how great danger soever we seem to our selves to be in; it is the beleevers wisdom still to look to God, as our party with whom we have to do, and to lay it forth be­fore him: for albeit this may augment grief and fear on the one hand, yet it prepareth way for the remedy, and keepeth the be­leever in termes with God on the other hand, as this example doth teach us; Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit: in darknesse, in the depths.

Ver. 7. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

The eighth degree of his trouble is, the felt wrath of God pursuing him, overtaking him, lying heavie upon him, tossing him with new affrightments and assaults, as the waves of the sea do, when they come one after another, and do beat with end­lesse dashing upon what they finde in their way; and such may be the case of a beloved soul in its own sense, which when we consider, we may say, How gentle is the ordinary exercise of weak beleevers, when this exercise is looked upon? Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves.

Ver. 8. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance farre from me: thou hast made me an abomination un­to them: I am shut up, and cannot come forth.

[Page 300] The ninth degree of his trouble is, that beside all the burden of the foresaid vexation, the Lord deprived him of all comfort, and did not bestow upon him so much as any consolation from his friends, or from the fellowship of the godly wise; but by Gods providence they did leave him as a man desperate, yea as a man whose condition they were afraid to look upon; yea they abhor­red his case and forsook him: and he being thus in appearance shut out from heaven, and followed with wrath from God, was not onely left comfortlesse among men, but also was looked upon by his friends as a damned and abominable reprobate; dealt with as a man shut up for the plague of pestilence, so that he kept his chamber and could not come abroad to look any man in the face: and this also may be the case of a soul precious in Gods eyes, beloved and accepted of him in the very mean time of all this hard exercise: Thou hast put aw [...]y my acquaintan [...]e farre from me, tho [...]ast m [...]de me an abomination to them: I am shut up, and cannot come forth.

Ver. 9. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction, LORD, I have called daily upon thee: I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

In the third place, he wrestleth by prayer with God for com­fort, using for this end four reasons to st [...]engthen his faith, and hope to be comforted. The first is, from the conscience of his earnest seeking his comfort and [...]elief from this his trouble onely in God. Whence learne, 1. G [...]dlinesse doth not make men senselesse of griefe, nor doth it hinder te [...]re, or mourning, or any other effects of sorrow to be seen in thei [...] body; Mine eye mourneth because of affliction. 2. Sorrow should neither hind [...] the godly to seek God, nor move them to seek their consol [...] elsewhere: Lord, I have called daily upon thee. 3. It is possible that a go [...]ly man may be instant daily with God, praying with teares for comfort, and yet not obtain for a long time, as this example doth [...]each. 4. As in serious prayer, specially in secret, the affections of the heart do utter themselves in the answerable gestures of the body, as well as in the voice and words of the mouth: so those gestures have their own speech unto God, no lesse then the words o [...] the mouth have; as here, I have stretched out my hands unto thee, is brought forth to expresse his submissive rende [...]ing up of himself unto God, and his dependance upon him.

Ver. 10. Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the deadrise and praise thee? Selah.

11. Shall thy loving kindnesse be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulnesse in destruction?

12. Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousnesse in the land of forgetfulnesse?

The second reason is because if God do not shortly answer him, (as he thinks) he cannot choose but die, and then it wil [...] not be time to give an answer to his prayer, for the edification of others, and glorifying of his Name among men in this world, by re­lieving of a poor supplicant, such as he was, except he would raise him up again after he is dead extraordinarily and miraculously, which he cannot look for, and therefore he hopeth and prayeth to be comforted in time; wherein he puts it out of question, that he cannot but die quickly, if the Lord comfort him not shortly. Here he speaketh his own sense, and hasteth a little to be comforted, and doth somewhat indirectly set a time to the Lords manifesting of himselfe, and sheweth some humane infirmity, yet such as the Lord useth not to quarrel for with his children in their lamentations, mean time in this he sheweth himselfe a noble wrestler; First, that he assureth himselfe God would not faile so comfort him before he died; and again that the Lord would rather miraculously raise him from the dead, then not glorify himselfe in his deliverance: and in this also he taketh a safe course to seek for what he might expect, rat [...]er in an ordinary way, then to look for miracles. Whence learn, 1. When the Lord delayeth to comfort a believing supplicant, he doth call him to wrestle in prayer, and to exercise his faith so much the more, as here we finde this Saint to do, expounding Gods dispensation, and bending his sp [...]rit in his supplication to w [...]estle for comfort, as those often interrogations do make evident. 2 When faith is fixed upon the Covenant, and p [...]omises and power, and goodnesse of God; it will expect miracles, rather then sea breach of Gods Promise: as, wilt thou shew wonde [...]s to the dead? doth import. 3. A t [...]ue believer should love to be comfored, yea and to live in the wo [...]ld, not so mu [...]h for his own satisfaction, as [...]hat he may glorify God in his life: as, shall the dead rise and praise thee? doth import. 4. It will not content a believer to have the use of any benefit unto himselfe alone, but resolveth to make it forth­coming, as to the glory of God; so also to the edification of [Page 302] others: and therefore loveth to have the benefit which he seeketh, mainly for that end; as, Shall thy loving kindnesse be declared in the grave? doth import. 5. The onely time to glorify God, so as others may be edified, is this present life; after death a man may praise God in heaven, but shall not instruct any ignorant person there by his example or counsel; as, Shall thy faithfulnesse be declared in destruction? doth import: and that which follow­eth also sheweth the same; Shall thy wonders be known in the dark, and thy righteousnesse in the land of forgetfulnesse? 6. There is no commerce between the living and the dead, the dead do not know what men are doing on the earth, for death is the land of forgetfulnesse, wherein the living and dead so part and go asun­der, as those do who forget one another. 7. A soul acquainted with God, hath no will to die, till the sense of wrath be removed; and the feeling of the sense of reconciliation be granted, as this example doth shew; and no wonder in this; for it is a fearful thing to have the terror both of temporal and eternal death to set on at once.

Ver. 13. But unto thee have I cried, O LORD: and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

The third reason of his hope to have his request granted is, from his resolution never to give over praying, but as he had done before, so to continue still in his supplication. Whence learn, 1. Instancy in prayer, and resolution never to give over, as it argueth solid and strong faith: so doth it give good ground of hope to be heard, as in this example of the Prophet may be see [...] 2. Albeit we do not finde an answer to our warrantable prayers so soon as we would, yet we must not conclude that our by-past prayer hath been amisse, but rather must avow our by-past ex­ercise, and resolve to continue as the Psalmist doth here: But unto thee have I cried, O Lord, and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

Ver. 14. LORD, why castest thou off my soule? why hidest thou thy face from me?

The fourth reason is, from the impossibility of his being a cast­away, albeit it seemed so or that God should alwayes hide his face from him, albeit it seemed so, as his asking Why, in the rea­soning of faith against sense and outward appearance, doth shew [Page 303] to be his meaning, especially if these words be compared with the [...]ceding ver. Whence learne, 1. As the faith of Gods dear children [...]y be assaulted with suggestions moving them to suspect their [...]ection from God; so is it the nature of faith, and the duty of [...]ievers to reject those thoughts, to lay them out before God, [...]d to dispute against them; Lord, why castest thou off my soul? [...]. When God doth hide the sensible signes of his favour toward [...]s, we are allowed to deal with God to remove the vaile; Why hidest thou thy face from me? 3. A glimpse of Gods face, or of his sensible manifested love may mitigate the sorest trouble of [...] s [...]d soule, and satisfy the afflicted, as the Petition involved in this speech, Why hidest thou thy face from me? doth im­port: for if he could have found any glimpse of favour, he would not have so complained.

Ver. 15. I am afflicted and ready to die, from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.

In the last part of the Psalm, the Prophet finding no consela­tion, returneth to his lamentation, by which he made way to his wrestling in prayer, from ver. 3. to the 9. and layeth down his misery at the Lords feet, as the object of the bowels of his pity: in which misery he is perswaded, that he could not but finde the effects of the Lords compassion in due time. The parts of the lamentation are three. The first is, for the long continuance of his sad exercise, even from his youth up, wherein he sheweth first, that he was afflicted, that is, put to great strait [...] by calamities. Secondly, that he was ready to die, as a man over­set and able to bear no more. Thirdly, that he was as much vex­ed with what he feared to come, as he was troubled with what he felt; He suffered the terrors of the Lord. Fourthly, that he was exercised frequently, and of a long time this way; From his youth [...]p. Fifthly, that by the hard exercise, and returning terrors of God upon him, he was so rent and perplexed, that oft-times he could not; make use of his natural reason; as he did reckon. Whence learn, 1. When we have assayed all meanes for having comfort of God, it is safest for us to lay our griefe before God, till he be pleased to shew pity: The childe of God hath no oratory but mourn­ing to his Father, as here we see. 2. A grieved minde can reckon all its afflictions, and call to remembrance those troubles that are long since past, as here we see. 3. It is an ordinary doctrine, but hardly believed, when it cometh to application, [Page 304] that God loveth them whom he chastiseth, as the Proph [...] [...] mentation and wrestlings do teach us. 4. In a through [...] the Lord bringeth the soul to the b [...]ink of death. I am ready [...] die. 5. The weight of present troubles, is accompanied readily wi [...]h the fear of worse to come, and the fear of evill to come dot [...] ▪ double the weight of evill that is present; for the Lords terrors here are reckoned as his saddest sufferings. 6. Some of Gods children are more exercised in their consciences then other some, yea some soules may all their dayes be frequented with the terrors of the Lord and fears of his wrath; as this example of Heman ex­ercised from his youth up, doth shew. 7. Sore trials may put fait [...] sometimes to stagger with doubting, and by perplexity put a mans reason to a stand, and make him many times like a man beside himselfe; I am distracted. 8. Albeit the godly may be p [...] to doubt, yet are they not driven to despaire; Albeit they be cast down, yet they are not destroyed, as he [...]e we see.

Ver. 16. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me: thy ter­rors havo cut me off.

17. They came round about me daily like water: they compassed me about together.

The second part of the lamentation, is for the feeling of the apparent effects of Gods wrath; fierce wrath, overwhelming wrath going over him, fears and terrors of more & heavier wrath coming: affrighting wrath in appearance, surrounding wrath and terror compassing about, like deep waters, from which no event can be seen. Whence learn, 1. Trouble hath its own weight, but wrath maketh it unsupportable; the wrath of a Father, when it is seen, is terrible; but fierce wrath of a Judge, when it appeareth, is unspeakable: it ove wh [...]lm­eth, swalloweth up, and yet this may be the exercise of a childe of God; Thy fierce wrath goeth over me. 2. Albeit the exercise of a childe of God may seem to himselfe to be the very case of 2 damned reprobate, yet in the midst of it the footsteps of gr [...]e and evidence of faith may be seen by a beholder, as in the expe­rience of [...], who in his deepest trouble adhered to God, may be seen: For first, the sea [...] which set upon him, is called the terror of God, which importeth not only wrath, present wrath, but also unresistible wrath: yea and growing of Gods wrath, comi [...]g▪ apace upon him, for terror importeth this. 2. The terrors of God in the plural number are upon him, that is, frequent terrors, and multiplied terrors. 3. The effect of those terrors as th [...] [Page 305] seemed; they were aff [...]ighting terrors, which did threaten to se­parate his soul from God utterly, altogether, and for ever to his [...]ense and likelihood; they sp [...]ke no lesse then that he was to be sound a cast [...]way: Thy terrors (saith he) have cut me off. 4. L [...]st of all, for the manner of the assault made by those terrors upon his poor soul, they are compared to wate [...]s inclosing a man be­fore he be aware, compassing him so about that he can finde no event; and like the returning of the tide, compassing him daily; yea like contrary tides one of them thrusting another, and setting upon him on all hands together; whereby the inexpressible trouble of a soul under the sense of Gods wrath is described, bu [...] so as none can understand it, except he, who either in lesser or greater measure hath felt i [...]; and all this may b [...]all a chil [...]e of light: Thy fierce wrath goeth over m [...], thy terrors have cut me off, they came round about me daily like wa [...]er, they compassed me abo [...]t together.

Ver. 18. Lover and friend hast thou put farre from me: and mine acquaintance into darknesse.

The third and last part of the lamentation is repeated from ver. 8. that there was no man compassionate towerd him▪ [...] ▪ none to pity him, none to counsel or comfort him, none to whom he might imp [...]rt his minde fully for easing of him; b [...]t his ol [...] friends, and such as loved him before, did faile him and forsake him: and God m [...]de it manifest, that he did thrust them away from him; none were to be [...]r him company, but he demea [...]ed him­selfe to sit solitary in darknesse. So then L [...]rn, 1. A [...]beit a friend be made for the day of trouble; and a [...]beit it would have been an ease to have had any friends company, [...]or means of c [...] ­fort, yet he could finde none: God withheld them all for the triall of his servant he [...]e: and such a heavy and comfor [...]lesse co [...]di i­on may be the lot of a beloved childe; Lover and frien [...] h [...]st thou put fa [...]re from me, and mine acquaintance into [...]. 2. In that he endeth the P [...]alme wi [...]hout any comfort fo [...] the time, it ma­keth this Psalme no lesse comfortable, then any other▪ Psalme; because it sheweth that he was suppo [...]ted insensibly for the [...]ime, and had comfort given to him the [...]after, so much as to make this sad complaint to be turned into a song both to hims [...]lfe, an [...] [...]o the Church. and it teacheth, that seeing God can sustain a [...], secret supporting of a mans faith, without comfortable sense; yea and that under the sadd [...]st [...]ense of wrath; therefore a believ [...][Page 306] in G [...]d must lay hold on [...] goodnesse, Promise, a [...]d Co­venant, and must trust still in the Lor [...]; a [...]beit he should seem to s [...]ay him, as the example of Heman the Ezrahite here doth teach us.

PSAL. LXXXIX. Maschil of Ethan the Ezr [...]ite.

THis Psalme is intit [...]led Maschil, or a Psalme written for in­struction by Ethan the Ezra [...]ite, who af [...]er Solomon was ano­ther of the [...]our w [...]st men in Israel: [...]is man survivi [...]; the glo­ry of Solomons Kingdome, and beholding the diminishing o [...] the glory of Davids house, lamenteth the desolation thereof unto God.

The Psalme hath three parts. In the fi [...]st he sette [...]h his saith upon God, and laboureth to strengthen it against the te [...]ation which was boyling in his breast, to ve [...]. 9. In the second part he expoundeth the [...]umme of the Covenant of Grace, made be­tween God and Christ, typi [...]ied by David: wherein indeed, alb [...]it David hath his own interest, yet the substa [...]ce was t [...] be found only in Christ, who came of David according to th [...] [...]esh, from ver. [...]9, to 38. In the thi [...]d part is a lamentatio [...] of the appa­rent dissolving of this Covenant with Davids [...], and a prayer for repairing the ruines of ha [...] ▪ Kingdome, [...] the glory of God: which prayer he [...] himselfe shall be granted.

From the inscription; Learn, 1. Wisdome do [...]h not exempt a man from grief and anguish from tentation of fai [...]h and hard exercise of minde: for here is another ex [...]mple beside Heman; to wit, Ethan the Ezrahite, a man of the [...]ame family with He­man. 2. The Lord d [...]th [...] unto men their in [...]ard exer­cises, that one may have his trouble fo [...] one [...]ause, and another have it [...]or [...]th [...] cau [...]e as it ple [...]seth him to measure out in his wisdome; [...] He [...]ans [...]ouble is made abou [...] his own p [...]ivate con­dition, but Ethans trouble is about the publi [...]k calamity of Church, an Kingdome Not tha [...] we think [...]eman [...]as insensi­ble of the publick▪ or Ethan not acquainted with trouble for his own pa [...]ticular also, but bec [...]use the Lord will have the one exemplary in the one sort of exercise, and the other [...]xemplary in the other sort of exercise, and will have the exercise of both [Page 307] to be the instruction of his people: Maschil of Heman, and Ethan both.

Ver. 1. I Will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulnesse to all generations.

Before he utter his tentation, or bring forth his lamentation for the apparently dissolved Covenant between God and David, he obligeth himselfe to maintain the glory of the mercy and faith­fulnesse of God, ver. 1, [...]. in relation to the stability of the Co­venant made with David particularly, ver. 3, 4. and to this end he strengtheneth his faith by a numbor of reasons to ver. 19 The fi [...]st is, from his resolution to hold fast the b [...]liefe of Gods mercy and faithfulnesse, notwithstanding it did at this time seem th [...]t God had dissolved the Covenant with Davids house. Whence learn, 1. Whatso [...]ver promises the Lord hath made to his peo­ple, they must not wonder, albeit sometime he makes it very improbable to carnall sense and reason, that ever they shall be per­formed: for this is needful for the exercise of faith, as in this ex­ample we see. 2. In the conflict of faith with misbelief, it is wisdome for the believer to suppresse the suggestions of unbe­lief, to take part with saith, to break through the throng of de­sperate thoughts, and without disputation close with the mercy of Good, and with the faithfulnesse of his Word, and to avow faith, and to engage hims [...]lfe to maintain faith, before he utter his tentation unto misbelief▪ or suffer it to vent it selfe; as here the Psalmist doth re [...]ch by his example, saying, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever, &c. 3. The mercy of God, and the faithfulnesse of God, are two strong pillars of confidence in God: mercy to take away sin and mi [...]ery, and faithfulnesse to perform all the promises of every good unto the believer: I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulnesse to all generations.

Ver. 2. For I have said▪ Mercy shall be built up for [...]ver: thy faithfulnesse shalt thou establish in the very heavens.

He addeth a reason of his resolution to give the glory of mercy [Page 308] and truth unto God, because he was pe swaded the work of Gods mercy promised to David in the Messiah, should go on and be perfected and settled for ever, and that the evidence of Gods faithfull promise should bee manifested from heaven, albeit sometime it should disappear in the earth. Whence learn, 1 It is believing with the heart which sealeth Gods truth, and ma­keth the mouth to consesse unto God: With my mouth will I make known thy faith fulnesse, for I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever. 2. The sure mercies promied to David in special con­cerning the Redeemers taking flesh of his stock, is like a building which hath a foundation already laid by a wise and powerful builder, and shall come up certainly to perfection, and endure for ever; I have said that mercy shall be built up for ever. 3. When the effect of Gods truth disappeareth on earth, it is to be found in heaven in Gods decree, good will, power, and faithfulnesse, whence it will not faile to manifest it selfe in due time: Thy faithfulnesse shalt thou establish in the very heavens.

Ver. 3. I have made a covenant with my chosen: I have sworne unto David my servant.

4. Thy seed will I establish for ever: and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

That which he meaneth by the Lords truth and faithfulnesse in general, he expoundeth in particular to be in relation to the Lords promise made to David concerning the perpetuity of the Kingdom in his posterity for the good of the Church; which promise hath accomplishment in Christ the Sonne of David ac­cording to the flesh Whence learne, 1. As all the Lords pro­mises, so especially these which concern Christ, and all saving graces in him (which are called the sure mercies of David) should be narrowly looked upon, that nothing be passed by, whereof faith may take advantage: for what is promised concerning Christ, doth concern all believers in him to the worlds end; and this the example of the Psalmist here doth teach us: for he observeth the promise-maker, I the Lord; and the qualification of the receiver of the promise, clothed with the stiles of Christ, whom David represented, and in whose favour chiefly the promise is made: Thy chosen servant; and the nature of the pro­mise by way of solemn [...]ovenant; and the consirmation of it by an [...]ath; I have sworne; and the substance of the promise, that [Page 309] one should come of David who should be of everlasting conti­nuance, stablished by divine power for ever; to wit, Christ the Lord: and that the kingdom of Israel called Davids throne, which was erected for governing the people of God, as it was now well founded upon the decrce of God, and begun to be builded al­ready, should be builded up, and grow unto a perspicuous perfecti­on, from one generation to another; and be perpetuated for ever: Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. When disappearance of hoped good things doth brangle faith, then the Word of God and his promises must be called to memory, upon which faith must fixe it selfe, as this ex­ample teacheth. 3▪ The mercy and faithfulnesse of God, which are the common grounds of the stability of all he Lords promi­ses, being believed in the generall, should be applied particularly to every promise, as we have need thereof, that we may strengthen our faith by reasoning from this ground thus; Gods mercy and faithfulnesse do make all his promises fast, and therefore do make fast this particular promise also, whereupon I do row pitch, as the example of the Psalmist doth teach us. 4. As all the pro­mises of God are worthy to be taken notice of; so in speciall these promises that are made to Christ in favour of Believers, who are the subjects of his Kingdome, in whom all the promises are made Yea and Amen, to the benefit of the subjects: for this are we taught to do by the example of the Psalmist, who when desolation was like to swallow up both Church and Kingdome, doth make fast to his own faith the promise of Ch [...]lst, and of the stability of his Kingdome; which promise being sure of necessity, the tribe of Iudah, and the posterity of David behooved to be preser­ved, and continued till Christ came.

Ver. 5. And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulnesse also in the congregation of the saints.

He laboureth to strengthen his faith in this promise by ten reasons further. The first whereof is this, The heavens are an evidence both of Gods power to work wonders for his people, and of his faithfulnesse to perform promises unto the Church; therefore will he say, I have reason for me to believe this promise made to David concerning Christ▪ Kingdom. Whence learne, 1. The consideration of the power of God manifested in the [Page 310] works of creation, to be able to perform whatsoever he promi­seth, were it never so wonderful, may and should confirm our faith in his promise, how improbable soever it appeare: For the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord. 2. As the heavens are a pawne of Gods power, in respect of their first framing them out of nothing: so are they a patern of Gods faithfulnesse, in their constant and orderly motion according to his Word since their framing; The heavens shall praise thy faithful­nesse also. 3. However the power and faithfulnesse of God may be seen and heard in the work and speech of the hea­vens by all men, yet are they not observed and hearkened unto, except in the Church by Gods children; Therefore saith he, They shall praise thy faithfulnesse also in the Con­gregation of the Saints.

Ver. 6. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who amongst the sonnes of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?

The second reason to confirme his faith is this, God is above all Angels in heaven and men on earth, and hath them all under him to perfect by them what work he pleaseth; and presuppose they had a minde to hindet any pur­pose of God concerning performance of his promise, they could not hinder him, they being infinitely inferiour in all excellencies unto God, and no way to be compared with him: Therefore will he say, I have reason to believe his promise concerning the stability of Christs Kingdome. Whence learne, 1. The height of Gods excellency is above the reach of our thoughts, and we cannot take him up otherwayes then by climbing up upon the shoulders and tops of all created eminency, and there to proclaime God to be greater then them all: for Who in heaven can be compa­red unto the Lo [...]d? Who among the sonnes of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? 2. God hath given power natural, most of all to Angels; and power accessory, most of all to Princes and Magistrates and Potentates in the earth, whom here he calleth the sonnes of the mighty; in whose power and authority we may see somewhat of God, if they bee for God; and may see Princes to bee nothing, [Page 311] if they be against God; for, Who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sonnes of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?

Ver. 7. God is greatly to bee feared in the assembly of the Saints: and to bee had in reve­rence of all them that are about him.

A third reason to confirme his faith, is this; God is terrible, and to be stood in awe of by all his people, and it were a fearfull injury for his Saints not to give him the glory of his power and sidelity; Therefore will he say, I have reason to believe what he hath promised con­cerning the Kingdome of Christ. Whence learne, 1. Ho­ly Angels and sanctified men, of all creatures have nearest accesse unto God, and are most like to the dome­sticks and Courtiers of a King, who attend him daily, and wait upon him; for they are here said to bee about him. 2. The feare and reverence of God imprinted on Angels and Saints, doth evidence the greatnesse of Gods power, excellency, and majesty; God is greatly to be fear­ed in the Assembly of the Saints. 3. The terriblenesse of Gods holy Majesty, and the reverence due to him from all his Saints, should make us afraid to misbelieve his Word and Promises; for this is made a reason of the Psal­mists believing the Lords Word: God is greatly to be fear­ed in the Assembly of the Saints, and to be had in reverence by all them that are about him.

Ver. 8. O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulnesse round about thee?

A fourth reason to confirme his faith, is this; GOD is LORD of Hosts, and incomparable in strength and faithful­nesse, whereby he is compassed on all hands round about; therefore will he say, I have reason to believe his promise concerning Christs Kingdome. Whence learn, 1. As the [Page 312] Lord only knoweth persectly his owne Omnipotency, and his own Excellency in all perfections; so we know GOD b [...]st when we come to him, and acknowledge that he only knoweth himself fully, and do give unto him this glory, as the Psalmist di [...]ecting his speech to GOD immediately doth t [...]ach us: O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? 2 The same power which serveth to humble a man by afflicting of him, serveth also to comfort him, and strengthen his faith in affliction, when he doth draw neare unto God: for the Psalmist maketh use of the same stile here, both to direct his saith, and to keep down his pride, his s [...]etting and repining against God, saying, O LORD God of hosts. 3. As the Lord is (as it were) compassed about on all hands with power, and is incomparably strong in all difference of time past, pre­sent, and to come, above all his creatures; so also first and l [...]st, in all difference of time, he is incomparably faithfull above all his creatures: O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulnesse round about thee?

Ver. 9. Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.

A fifth reason to strengthen his faith, is; The LORD who doth rule the raging Sea, is able to suppresse and compose all tumults and troubles, whatsoever are raised, or shall be raisd against his Church; Therefore I have cause, will he say, to believe his promise concerning Christs Kingdome. Whence learn, That the power of GOD in ruling and calm­ing the raging Sea, may strengthen the faith of his chil­dren, amidst all the tumults of people against Christs Kingdome.

Ver. 10. Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slaine: thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arme.

[Page 313] The sixth reason, is this; GOD hath done as much already for delivering his Church, by destroying Rahab, or the Egypti­ans, and scattering of his enemies from time to time, as may assure me both what he can, and what he will do for his people, therefore I may be quiet. Whence learne, 1. Faith may, and should make use of every example of GODS working for his people in all times after, and in speciall the overthrow of the Egyptians, as a perpetual pawne of GODS promise to tread down and destroy all the enemies of his Church and Kingdome: for Thou hast b [...]oken Rahab in pieces, is here and else-where fre­quently called to rememb [...]ance for this end. 2. It is as easie for GOD to dest [...]oy a Nation of enemies, were they never so ma­ny or powerful, as to wound or kill one man: Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine ene­mies with thy strong hand.

Ver. 11. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulnesse thereof, thou hast founded theu.

Ver. 12 The North and the South, thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoyce in thy Name.

The seventh reason for confirmation of his faith, is: Heaven and earth, and all creatures in all corners of the world, are the LORDS work sustained by him, and cared for by him, and there is not a mountaine or hill greater or lesser, such as Tabor or Hermon, which do bear grasse, or corne, or herbs, or trees, or whatsoever may make them look as it were chearfully and re­joyce, but it is by the power of GODS Name: Therefore I may be sure, GOD will much more care for his Church, and for the stability of the Kingdome of Christ. Whence learn 1. The heaven and earth, and fulnesse thereof, belongeth to the LORD by due right, and are cared for by him as his own pos­session: The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and fulnesse thereof, thou h [...] [...] sounded them. 2. The ma­king and governing of the world, which was made and is govern­ed for the use of man, may give assurance that his Church and people, (for whose cause especially all was made,) shall be con­tinued from age to age, to long as heaven and▪ earth do remaine; and shall be more particularly cared for, then any other part or [Page 314] piece of his workmanship: for to this end doth the Psalmist make mention of other creatures appointed to serve man. 3. Seeing the Lord maketh the hills and mountaines, after Win­ter-blasts of frost and snow, to change their countenance, and as it were look joyfully and rejoyce; we may be perswaded that his Church after troubles shall much more change its counte­nance,, and reioyce in Gods Name: For to this end is it said, that these mountaines Tabor and Hermon shall rejoyce in thy Name.

Ver. 13. Thou hast a mighty arme: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.

The eight reason is taken from the exceeding great power of GOD, to do more then ever he hath done for his Church. Whence learne, If a greater work then the making and uphold­ing of the world; or if a greater work then any thing which is done by GOD hitherto, were needful to be done for the good of the Church, there is power enough, infinite power in GOD to effect it; Thou hast a mighty arme: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.

Ver. 14. Iustice and judgement are the habitation of thy throne; mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

The ninth reason for strengthening his faith, taken from the properties and attendants of GODS Kingdome, is this: Justice and judgemet are the supporters of his throne; and mercy and truth are his officers, preparing way for the LORD, when he is about to do justice in favour of his people: therefore I need not fear that the promise of Christs Kingdome shall faile. Whence learn, 1. Whatsoever oppression or desolation the Lords people may be under, the unalterable tighseousnesse of GOD cannot f [...]ile to execute justice and judgement for punishing of the oppressour, and relieving of his people: for Iustice and judgement are the habitation of his throne: or the base whereupon his throne is setled. 2. Albeit the sinnes of the Lords people might stop the way of relief coming to them, or prejudice them of having any benefit from justice; yet mercy and truth are rea­dy [Page 315] at hand, to prepare the way by pardon of their sins, and per­forming all promises unto them: Mercy and truth shall go before his face.

Ver. 15. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.

16. In thy Name shall they rejoyce all the d [...]y: and in thy righteousnesse shall they be exalted.

17. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horne shall be exalted.

18 For the Lord is our defence: and the holy One of Israel is our King.

The tenth reason for strengthening of his faith, is taken from the blessednesse of Believers in GOD, whose properties and priviledges are set [...]own in order, six: all of them proving GODS people to be blessed. Whence learn. 1. Whatsoever are the afflictions of the LORDS people, and in what danger and difficulty soever they be in, yet are they certainly blessed: Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound. 2. Those are to be accounted GODS people, who with a good heart joyne with others at GODS command in the worship and service of GOD; Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: for the joyful sound was the sound of the silver trumpets, which were blowne at the joyning in battel in their warres, or for their jour­neys, or gathering of Assemblies, or intimation of solemne feasts, and at the offering of the sacrifices of Israel, Psal. 81. Numb. 10. Ioel 2. And the knowing of this joyful sound sig­nifieth the alacritie of Gods people to serve and obey the Lord, as he in his Ordinances should warne, direct and guide them. 3. The properties and priviledges of B [...]lievers in GOD, make sure proof of their blessednesse; for they live in grace and favour with GOD, whether they do sensibly feell it or not: as their persons, so also their carriage in faith, and upright endeavour to please GOD, are alwayes acceptable to GOD: And this is the first priviledge of GODS people, They shall walke, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 4. Believers have mat­ter and just cause to rejoyce in GOD for their interest in him, what soever be their present condition; In thy Name shall they [Page 316] rejoyce all the day. This is another priviledge of Gods people. 5. The joy of Believers is underpropped and enlarged, when they consider that Gods righteousnesse (which is by faith in Christ,) is imputed unto them, and Gods righteousnesse in performing his promises is set on work for their direction, encouragement, reformation and defence; And in thy righteousnesse shall they be exalted. This is the third priviledge of Believers. 6. Albeit the godly finde no power in themselves, either to do or suffer, no power either to defend themselves, or oppose their enemies; yet they want not strength, either imployed for them, or furnished (as they need) unto them, by God in a glorious manner, as they will see, if his helping them be rightly looked upon; For thou, Lord, (saith he) art the glory of their strength, wherein they may glory in their weakest condition. And this is the fourth priviledge of GODS people. 7. The free grace and love of GOD graciously tendered to Believers, is the ground of their strength, comfort, confidence and gloriation, because it is the fountaine of all their felicity, and well-spring of life to them, to look unto this, that they are in favour with GOD; And in thy favour our horne shall be exalted. And this is the fifth pri­viledge of the LORDS people. 8. Albeit B [...]lievers be destitute of help from men; yet they are neither left without protection, nor without government, because God or Christ who is God, is the Churches King, to protect, guide and governe her; for The Lord is our defence or shield; and the holy One of Israel is our King: the O [...]iginal also will bear of and to, The Lord is our defence of and to, the holy One of Israel is our King; whereby what may be said of the typical King, David, and of the true King, Christ, considered as man, may give assurance that God would be their defence and King, because David, ann Christ as man, were Gods Kings, and Kings for Gods service and ho­nour, authorized of God, and devoted to him. And this is the sixth priviledge of GODS people. All which priviledges are so many proofes of the blessednesse of the Believers, in whatsoever condition they are. 9. It is wisdome for every Believer, when he is about to reckon the riches of GODS people; and to set forth their priviledges, to make application thereof to himself in amongst the rest of that number, as the example of the Psalmist here doth teach us, who in the later part of this computa [...]ion doth so: In thy favour our horne shall be exalted, the Lord is our defence, our King.

Ver. 19, Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy One: and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty: I have exalted one chosen out of the people.

20. I have found David my servant, with my holy oile have I anointed him.

In the second part of the Psalmist, for the further comfort of the Church in her saddest condition, and to strengthen yet more the godly in their troubles. 1. He expoundeth the Covenant of Grace made with Christ, represented typically by David, be­cause he must be looked upon only as the shadow, but Christ as the chief party and as he in whom the reall substance is accom­plished perfectly. Therefore shall we speak of both, as the word doth relate unto the one, or unto the other, or to both in severall respects. And first of the circumstances of the Covenant, and then of the several Articles thereof: for the Psalmist marketh, 1. The time of revealing of the Covenant; They, to wit, when it pleased God to let it be known, that he purposed to take a course for the comfortable governing of his Church and People. 2. He observeth the way of revealing it, which he sheweth to be by vision; he spake to his holy servant, to wit, Samuel or Nathan. 3 He commendeth the man who was to rule, as fit and able to be helpful to his people; I have laid help upon one that is mighty. 4. He sheweth the cause of his prese [...]ment, to be his owne free love and good will; I have exalted one chosen o [...]t of the people. 5. He nameth him and his offi [...]e: I have found David my ser­vant. 6. He telleth of his spiritual furniture, figured sorth by anointing; With my holy Oile have I anointed him. Whence learn, 1. Albeit the Lord hath alwayes a special care of the go­verning of his people, yet doth he not at all times alike clearly make manifest this care, by giving comfortable Governours he hath his own times, as to hide his face in this particular, so his own then also, when to shew his love; Then thou spakest. 2. The Lords minde is not to be found by conjectures, but by his Word revealed to his holy Prophets; Then thou spakest to thy holy One in vision and said. 3. As the Lo [...]ds people stand in need of a good King, a man of power, able and willing to be helpful to the subjects, and not hurtful: so God must be the in­abler of him, and designer of him after the way he pleaseth, and the maker of him to be effectually helpful: I have laid help upon [Page 318] one that is mighty. 4. It is conducible, to the intent a Ruler may be helpful to the subjects, that there be some natu­rall tie between him and them: for this God did provide for in the appointing comfortable Governours over his own peo­ple; I have exalted one, chosen out of the people. 5. That one is preferred before another, or advanced to any place of power or trust over others in mercy, it is of Gods grace, free choice and good will; I have exalted one, chosen out of the people. 6. The man who must in his government do good to Gods people, must be a man for God, Gods servant, not by office and duty onely, but of a set purpose also: I have sound David my servant. 7. The man whom God imployeth in Government for his people, must be furnished with gifts and graces of his Spirit, figured by holy oyle; With my holy oyle have I anointed him. 8. As David was in type, so Christ is in truth, and in all respects more eminently then David [...] strong helper, mighty to save, appointed of the Father to help us in all cases; and to whom we are directed to go, that we may finde helpe, on whom helpe doth lie, in whom we sha [...] surely finde help; he is one of our kinde, taken out from among the people, acquainted with the meanest condition his subjects can be in, exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, chosen and predestinated (as man) for the office before the world was, devo­ted to the service of the Redemption, sanctification, government, and salvation of his people; and filled, as man, with the holy Ghost above measure, that out of his fulnesse we may all re­ceive grace for grace: of whom it is most really true, With my holy oyle have I anointed him.

Ver. 21. With Whom my hand shall be established: mine arme also shall strengthen him.

From this ver. to the 38. he bringeth forth tenne promises, as so many heads and articles of this Covenant, whereof this is the first, concerning assistance to be given to David in type, and to Christ more substantially, and in more eminent effects. Whence learn, [...]. As to David in his Kingdome: so to Christ as man in his Kingdom, God hath engaged his outwardly assist­ing power constantly: With whom my hand shall be established. 2. As to David: so to Christ full furniture of power for all the parts [...]f government is p [...]omised in favour of all the subjects of his Kingdom [...]: Mine arme also shall strengthen him; as the [Page 319] work is great or difficult, divine strength shall enable him to go about it and do it.

Ver. 22. The enemy shall not exact upon him: nor the sonne of wickednesse afflict me.

The second promise is, that as Davids subjects, albeit they had many battels, yet were they not subdued in his time, nor made tributaries to their enemies, nor made miserable by them: so shall Christs subjects and kindly converts unto him, be sound during his time, which is from generation to generation, and for ever; albeit troubled by the spiritual enemies of his King­dome, yet they shall not be made tributaries, voluntary servants, or miserable slaves to them: for sinne shall not have dominion over them, nor shall Satan or persecuters have such power, as to drive them away from their liege Lord Jesus Christ, the true David, the true King of the I [...]rael of God: The enemy shall not exact upon him, nor the sonne of wickednesse afflict him, or make him really miserable: for all things shall work together for their good.

Ver. 23. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.

The third promise, is of the destroying the enemies of Davids and Christs Kingdome, which albeit they should not want e­nemies, both open enemies, openly envading the Kingdome, or opposing it to their power, and also inward secret enemies, who in heart should wish the hurt and harm of their Kingdom, yet God should dest [...]oy as Davids enemies, so far as might serve the type, so Christs enemies more eminently, and in a more com­pleat manner and measure: I will beat down his enemies before his face, this is for open enemies: I will plague them that bate him, this is for secret intestine enemies in special: both these sorts shall be permitted to exercise Christs subjects, but shall at length be fully destroyed.

Ver. 24. But my faithfulnesse and my mercy shall be with him: and in my Name shall his horne be exalted.

[Page 320] The fourth promise is, for removing all difficulties and im­pediments which might hinder the growing of Christs-King­dom, and of his subjects unto full glory: for here the promi [...]e, as it relates unto the type, hath not the accomplishment clear­ly and fully. Whence learn, 1. There are two things which do oppugne and assault faith: the one is, the greatnesse of the work and benefit promised: the other is, the sinnes of these to whose behoof the promise is made; but Gods faithfulnesse and mercy promised to be with Christ for the benefit of his subjects, doth answer both those obstacles: for Gods promise must be ac­complished; how great things soever he hath promised, there is nothing too hard for him: and Gods mercy taketh away the ob­stacle of unworthiness and ill-deserving by reason of sin: Mercy holdeth truth on upon the course thereof toward us, when justice otherways might break it off from us; But my faithfulnesse and my mercy shall [...]e with him. 2. The subjects of Christs King­dom want not matter of gloriation, albeit they have nothing in themselves to boast of: Gods power, misdom, goodnesse and mercy manifested in the Word, is the only ground of their glo­riation: In my Name shall his horne be exalted; for when Christs subjects glory in God through him, Christs glory is exahed in Gods Name.

Ver. 25. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.

The fifth promise made to David in the shadow, but to Christ in the most real substance, is the inlarging of his King­dom through the world by sea and land, continent and is [...]es: and so Christs Kingdom must not be confined to more narrow bounds then his charter doth beare him unto, but must be stretched out to the due length and breadth, even to whither so­ever he sendeth out his Gospel: and doth extend his hand to subdue and conquer subjects unto himself, and to bring them within the visible Church; for, I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers: sheweth, that the King­dom must reach beyond the bounds of Canaan, whether we look to David the type, or to Christ the Antitype; we are led by this speech to the largenesse of this Kingdom.

26. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father: my God, and the rock of my salvation.

The sixth promise, properly belonging to Christ, according as it is declared by the Apostle, Heb. 1. 4. from this place, and from a Sam 17. 19. For albeit David and Solomon were God; sonnes by adoption, office of Government, and chosen types, yet Christ who came of David according to the flesh was Gods Sonne by personal union of the humane nature with the Word or second Person of the Trinity. And here he is promised as Head and Prince of the Covenant of salvation, made in favour of the elect, only Mediatour and Intercessor for all the redeemed. Whence learn, 1. The Covenant of grace is consolidated in Christ our Head: and he hath the first right as man, to say un­to the Father, that which is here said as Intercessor and Media­tour for the elect; He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father: my God, and the rock of my salvation. 2. Hereby it is intimated al­so, that both Christ in his own person, and the persons of his redeemed ones also, (in whose name Christ taketh the right of what is promised to his subjects) was to be exercised with trouble, and was to be put to it, to make use of the Covenant, and of the priviledges and promises of it for sustentation and salvation; Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

Ver. 27. Also I will make him my first-borne, high­er then the Kings of the earth.

The seventh promise most proper also to Christ, who in re­spect of his humane nature personally united with the divine nature of the eternal only begotten Sonne, is made and de­clared to be the Fathers first-born, and more excellent then all the Kings of the earth, how despicable soever his Kingdom doth seem; for all ear [...]hly Kings are under his foo [...]stool, and of them none can make or preserve the life of one of his sub­jects, nor his own; Also I will make him my first-borne, high­er then the Kings of the earth. Davids prerogative above other Kings, was but a shadow of this, and of short continuance.

Ver. 28. My mercy will I keep for him for ever­more: and my covenant shall stand fact with him.

The eighth promise is of everlasting mercy to Christs sub­jects, [Page 322] to be kept in store for Christs dispensing forth thereof; My mercy will I keep for him for ever; and this is the ground of the Cov [...]nant, and the sweetest consolation of the Covenant, which shall never he disannulled, because established in Christ, and to him for our behoof; My Covenant shall stand fast with him.

Ver. 29. His seed also will I make to endure for ever: and his throne as the dayes of Heaven.

The ninth promise is, of the continuance and increase of his off spring and Kingdome, while the world standeth, which cannot be fulfilled but in Christ. Whence learn, 1. Christ hath from age to age a succession of children, whom he by his Word and Spirit begetteth unto a spiritual life; and this succession shall not be cut off, but one generation shall follow another: His seed also will I make to endure for ever. 2. As Christ shall not want subjects in any age to shall he not cease to govern his people in any age; His throne shall be as the dayes of Heaven.

Ver. 30. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgements:

31. If they break my statutes, and keep not my Commandments:

32. Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquitie with stripes.

33. Neverthelesse, my loving kindnesse will I not utterly take from him: nor suffer my faithfulnesse to faile.

The tenth promise is of a merciful manner of dealing with Christs subjects, (that is, with persons regenerate and reconci­led with God, by correcting them with temporal rods, when they break forth into offences, and do turn back or go aside from obedience to Gods law, that being corrected they may repent, and so be saved. Whence learn, 1. The Covenant here made with David in type, and with Christ the Antitype, is for the [Page 323] behoof and benefit of the children, as this article maketh evident; If his children forsake my law. 2. There is a provision in the Covenant, against the sins which may fall out in the persons covenanted, and might marre all our comfort if remission were not covenanted; If his children forsake my law. 3. If the Lords children watch not over their own corrupt nature, and a­gainst tentations, they are in danger of falling, and certainly will fall into fits of fearful sinning against Gods revealed will, both by way of commission and omission, so as they may seem not renewed, as here is presupposed; If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments: if they break my statutes, and keep not my Commandments. 4. The Lord doth not allow sin in his own children more then in others, but will testifie his indignation against the sins of his own children with [...]ad judgements; If they keep not my commandments, then w [...]ll I visit their transgres­sions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 5. The sharp­est rods and forest stripes, wherewith God doth visit the chil­dren of Christ, may stand, and do stand with loving kindnesse unto them; for they are fatherly corrections, medicinal pre [...]er­vatives against sinning afterward, and tokens of Gods hating of sinne, and not of rejection of their persons, but rather ef­fects of his love to the persons corrected; Neverthelesse, my lo­ving kindnesse will I not utterly take from him. 6. The mercy shewen to the children, is with respect to the Father with whom the Covenant is made in favour of the children: My lo­ving kindnesse will I not utterly take from him: that is, from David as type, and Christ as Antitype, for whose sake the kindnesse is derived to the children. 7. Except the Covenant of grace had this article in it, for remission of sinne, and for fa­therly correction, to drive unto repentance, that the penitent person coming to God by faith, might have sinne forgiven him, and loving kindnesse shewen to him; this Covenant should faile us no lesse then the Covenant of works: My loving kindnesse I will not take from him, nor suffer my faithfulnesse to faile.

Ver. 34. My covenant will I not break: nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.

35. Once have I sworn by my holinesse, that I will not lie unto David.

36. His seed shall endure for ever; and his throne as the Sunne before me.

[Page 324] 37. It shall be established for ever as the Moone: and as a faithful witnesse in heaven. Selah.

After the articles of the Covenant, he subjoyneth the confir­mation of it; first, by the subscribed Peomise of God, [...]or e­videncing of the immutability of it, ver. 34 Secondly, by ra­tification of his oath formerly made for the stabili [...]y of it, ver. 35. Thirdly, by witnesses and pledges o [...] the indu [...]ance of it, to wit, the Sunne and the Moone, ver. 36. 37. Whence learn, 1. Albeit the sinnes of Gods children do b [...]eak the Cove­nant on their pa [...]t, ve [...] do they not dissolve the Covenant on Gods part, or make God to break his part of the Covenant, which is to correct and chastise the sinner, and bring him back by repentance, and not take away his loving kindness [...] from the sinner; My Covenant will I not break. 2. Th [...] Covenant of grace is that which is revealed in the Gosp [...]l for [...]emedy of sin, and relief from wrath; and what is revealed we may be sure shall not be altered: My Covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my mouth. 3. As we are [...] to be naturally averse from beleeving God, who do stand [...]n need of confirmation by his [...]ath: so God by ratification of his promise by oath doth declare his will to the uttermost, that we should beleeve in him, and rest upon this Covenant, and so make an end of controverting with him any more by [...]r misbeli [...]f in this matter; Once have I sworn. 4. There can be no [...], eater secu­rity, then the true Ch [...]istian hath for his sal [...]tion; for God hath laid in pawn his t [...]uth and his holinesse whi [...]h is the glory of all his attributes, that he will not take his loving kindnesse away from any of Ch [...]ist, children: Once have I sworne by my holinesse, that I will not lie unto David. 5. The stability of Davids seed which is Christ; and the pe [...]petuity of his king­dome for the comfort of all his subjects, as it is confirmed by an oath, and by pledges laid down for assurance thereof: so hath the Lord taken the Sunne an [...] Moone to be witnesse, of this Cove­nant of grace, as the r [...]inebow is wi [...]nesse of that Covenant for not destroying the worl [...] wi [...]h a flood: [...]is seed shall endure for ever; and his throne as the Sunne before me. 6. As the witnesses of the Covenant, the Sunne and the Moon, do remaine in hea­ven whatsoever change do seeme in them, and howsoever both of them do disappear every day once, and the Moon every day and every moneth seemeth to change something in the measure [Page 325] of her light, yet is the [...]e no question made about them, but they shall appear again in due season. so the Covenant of grace made with us in Christ, (whatsoever alterations do seem to come therin, and howsoever it doth disappear at some times) should not be called in question, but esteemed faithful as the witnesses of [...]; It shall be established for ever as the Moon, and as a faithful witnesse in heaven.

Ver. 38. But thou hast cast off and abhorred: thou hast been wroth with thine anointed.

In the third part of the Psalme he falleth upon a sad lamen­tation, and representeth the affaires and Kingdome of David, as in appearance close contrary to the Covenant, to v. 46 where be taketh up himself, and prayeth to God [...]or remedy o [...] all those evils, and closeth the Psalme with thanksgiving and prai [...]e.

In his lamentation he b [...]oaneth fi [...]st, as it seemed to him, that David and his house we [...]e rejected of God, and that in wrath, v. 38. Next, that the Covenant was dissolved and the King­dome and Crown ruined [...]ogether, ver. 39. Thirdly, that all [...]ences and strong holds were removed and thrown down, ver. 40. Fourthly, that he was made a prey to any that pleased to spoile him, and a reproach to his neighbou [...]s, ver. 4. Fifth­ly, that his enemies were assisted of [...]od, and he being [...] in b [...]ttel was put to flight, ver. 42, 43. Six [...]hly, that all th [...] pri­viledges and prerogatives of his Kingdome were abolished, ver. [...]4. Seventhly, that the happinesse of his Kingdom had last­ed a very short time, and that [...]ll expectation of hoped for bles­sings were blasted, and turned to matter of sh [...]me and confu­sion, ver. 45. Whence learn, 1. From the order and place of the lamentation; It is not time for us to enter the lists with [...]en­tations and doubts, till first we have fixed our heart [...] by faith in the Lords promises against all tentations, and doubts, and feares, and appearances of evil, as the P [...]almist doth here. 2. The esta [...]e of Christs Kingdom, no l [...]sse then of Davids Kingdom, may at some times seem to humane sense in a condition qui [...]e contrary to what is promised concerning it' as this lamenta [...]ion, wherein the hopes of Christs Kingdom is questioned by the Psalmists tentation, doth m [...]ke evident. 3. The only relief of Gods distressed people at such a time, is to follow the ex [...]mple of the Psalmist, that is, to st [...]engthen their faith, contrary to [Page 326] what appeareth outwardly to sense, and then lay out the doubts, feares and tentations before God, to be answered by him, as here the Prophet doth. 4. All those calamities might come upon Davids civil Kingdhm, and yet this Covenant made with him as the type of Christ not be dissolved, as experience hath pro­ved, because the Covenant was not made to exempt him, or his family, or Kingdome from the rods of men, in case by their miscarriage and transgressions they should provoke the Lord; for the last article in the Covenant, in ver. 30, 31, 32. expresly holdeth out the contrary. Secondly, because the Covenant in the main scope belonged to Christ and his spiritual Kingdom; to David and his children and Kingdom, as to a type and shadow of Christ and his Kingdom, or as they were members of Christs Kingdome for their spiritual good. 5. Sense and carnal reason may misrepresent the Lords dispensation, as if it were contrary to his Covenant and Promise, and contrary to what the godly do beleeve according to Gods Word; as here we see, comparing this lamentation with the former part of the Psalme. 6. If the godly do hold fast to the Word of God, and beleeve what the Lord hath promised, whatsoever appear in the contrary, then may they with great freedom, (yea, and they should of duty and wisdom) lay forth all their tentations, and what carnal rea­son and sense speaketh to them before the Lord, who is able to solve all doubts, and satisfie faith, without feare of being mis­taken, as this lamentation compared with what precedeth, ma­keth manifest. 7. Whatsoever calamity shall crosse the be­leevers hope, God still must be esteemed and held the sender out of the calamity, as well as the Author of the Promise, which the dispensation seemeth to crosse: that the glory, both of justice wounding his childe, and of mercy healing him, may be given to the Lord, as the example of the Psalmist doth teach, who in all the complaint fasteneth all the branches of the calamity upon Gods doing.

Ver. 46. How long, LORD, wilt thou hide thy self, for ever? shall thy wrath burne like fire?

47. Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?

48. What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.

[Page 327] 49. Lord, where are thy former loving kindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth?

50. Remember (Lord) the reproach of thy ser­vants: how I do beare in my bosome the reproach of all the mighty people.

51. Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD: Wherewith they have reproached the footstops of thine anointed.

52. Blessed be the LORD for evermore; Amen, and Amen.

Here he turneth his complaint into prayer for remedy, to shew that he did not fre [...]; but beleeve, that the Lord both could and would give relief. The reasons for strengthening of his faith are foure. First, because the wrath of God against his people cannot be everlasting, ver. 46. The second, because the Lords afflicted people were of a short life, and did expect comfort be­fore they died, ver. 47, 48. The third, because former experi­ence, and Gods sworn Covenant behooved to have evident com­fortable effects, ver. 49. The fourth, because the mockerie of the enemie against Gods people, and Christs Kindom was in­supportable, ver. 50, 51. After which, as being assured of a good answer, he closeth the Psalme with p [...]ayer and thanksgi­ving. Whence learn, 1. From the first [...]eason; The children of God are more affected with Gods displeasure, then with the t [...]ouble they a [...]e put unto; How long, Lord, wilt thou hide thy face? This sheweth their chief wound. 2. Whatsoever be the Lords purpose in afflicting, yet sore trouble doth alwayes speak the wrath of God, to the apprehension of the afflicted; Shall thy wrath burne like fire? 3. As God cannot be angry for ever with his people; so his people cannot endure any appearance of ever­lasting wrath, and utter destruction; How long, Lord, wilt thou hide thy face, for ever? shall thy w [...]ath burne like fire?

From the second reason, to confirm his hope to be heard, set down, ver. 47, 48. Learn, 1. As our life is short, and the short­nesse of it should be a spu [...]e to seek the sense of Gods good will to us while we are in this life: so may all Gods children expect, how short soever their life be, to finde sensible proofs in this life of Gods love to them, and care of them; for, Remember how short my time is: doth import so much in the Psalmists [Page 328] reasoning. 2. Albeit God hath created no man in vaine, but for his own glory one way or other, yet Gods children have little or no estimation of this life, except that they therein may finde God reconciled, and have communion with him in this life; for this passionate expression, Wherefore hast thou made all men in vaine? doth import as much; as we count our life in vaine, and nothing worth to us, if thou shalt not be reconciled unto us. 3. Albeit our words in prayer should be well weighed, yet in sad affliction and grief of heart, words sometime may escape a Saint, which cannot be justified, as here this speech giveth us an instance: for this is a limiting of God to crave comfort in this life to the afflicted, at the time when they shall prescribe, or else to make all their formerly received comforts, and life it self to be in vaine given unto them: for presuppose a man should suffer Gods terror from his youth up, as Heman did, and be as a distracted man, because of the terrour of God, and should end his life, as Heman doth the preceding Psalm without comfort; yet life eternal might make up the troubles of the wrestling of such a mans [...]aith, and soon recompense the losse of comfort in this life: and yet such is the weaknesse even of Champions like Ethan; as to vent some passionate expressions in their trouble: Why hast thou made all men in vain? 4. Mortality and shortnesse of life is common to all men: but to be stirred up thereby to the more earnest seeking of spiritual comfort, and preparation for e­ternal life, is the propertie of a childe of God only; such as the Psalmist is, who for this very end, that he might have spiritual comfort, draweth an [...] from mortality; What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?

From the third reason set down, ver. 49. taken from the ex­perience of mercies, and sworn promises made to David; Learn, 1. Albeit a man were in never so hard a condition for his own case, or the case of other godly persons, yet that which God hath done and promised to do unto any beleever, may sustain him when he misseth all comfort or appearance of it; Lord, where are thy former loving kindnesses unto David? 2. When the beleever doth misse the comfort which he or any other hath got [...] of God, he should go to the same fountain to have some new experience thereof, as the Palmists example doth teach. 3. The beleever taketh Gods part against all doubts, and disap­pearances of the performing of his promises, as we see in the Psalmist, who when he is missing Gods former loving kindnesse, the continuance whereof was promised and sworn; [Page 329] he asserteth the truth of the promise, saying, Which thou swa­rest unto David in thy truth.

From the fourth reason of his hope to have a gracious answer to his prayer, taken from the reproaching of the enemies, as it is set down, ver. 50, 51. Learn, 1. Beside inward tentations unto misbelief in the day of trouble, the Lords people use to meet with the mockings of the wicked, insolently scorning their faith in God, which as it vexeth the godly, so is it taken notice of by God: Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants. 2. The mocking of Religion in the day of the Churches calamity, is so much the more a terrible tentation, as the adversaries who do in­sult over Religion, are many and powerful to annoy Gods people, and tread down Religion; Remember the reproach of all the migh­ty people. 3. The reproach of Religion and of the godly doth lie near, and should lie near the heart of every lively member of the Church: Remember the reproach which I do beare in my bosome. 4. Such as do reproach Religion and the godly in their calamity, are Gods enemies, and against them God is engaged; Remember the reproaches, wherewith the enemies have reproached, O Lord. 5. The blasphemies which do strike against Gods pro­mised salvation in Christ, and the progresse of his Kingdom, are of all tentations most heavie, and are resented of God most deep­ly; Remember the reproaches, wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed; for as Davids posterity and succession went on one generation after another, so Christ made his approaches nearer to his incarnation; and when the family of David seemed to grow weak, the godly were assaulted with feares and doubts about the coming of the Messiah: and the un­godly mocked the matter of Chris [...]s coming altogether, and re­proached the promise of his progresse.

From the close of the Psalm, ver. 52. Learn, 1. Presuppose a beleever should not finde present comfort in his sad condition, yet it is an ease to have poured out his complaint before the Lord: and this liberty of speech is a gift worthy of thanksgi­ving; for, Blessed be the Lord, doth the Prophet adde, when he hath said all he would say. 2. We should close and leave our prayer before God in good termes, however he shall answer us, or seem to dispose of matters towards us: and we should blesse him, do what he pleaseth as the Psalmist doth here: Bles­sed be the Lord for evermore. 3. The beleever may be sure to have his lawful requests granted unto him, and may [...] to his seal to Gods promises without feare, as the Psalmist teacheth us in his [Page 330] saying, Amen. Yea the more tentation doth drive us unto mis­belief, the more should faith look for a deliverance, and ad­here to the truth of Gods Covenant, as here the Prophet doth by doubling his seale, say,

Amen, and Amen.

PSAL. XC. A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

THis Psalm agreeth well with the latter end of Moses's life, when he being now to remove, did present this prayer to God, and delivered it unto the Church, for their comfort and direction, how to carry themselves towards God in their short and sorrowful life.

The Psalme may be divided into three parts. In the first, is the Churches fourfold comfort against temporal troubles and miseries in this world. The first is taken from the Lords kind­nesse to his people in all ages, ver. 1. The second is taken from the decree of their election, ver. 2. The third from the hope of their resurrection, ver. 3. The fourth from the shortnesse of time unto it, ver 4. In the second part, the shortnesse and mi­series of life procured by sinne, are lamentably set forth before the Lord, who is full of pity, ver. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. In the last part are six petitions, some whereof are for the right use of the shortnesse and sorrowes of this life, and some of them for a gracious deliverance from them, ver. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.

From the Inscription; Learn, 1. A teacher of Gods people should earnestly intercede by prayer for Gods people, as Moses did; This is a prayer of Moses. 2. He that sitteth in Moses his chaire should be furnished with gifts for the Ministery, called of God, consecrated unto God in his heart for this purpose, and altogether set for God in his practice, for so Moses was, A man of God. 3. As the conscience of being, A man of God, is a singular comfort and encouragement to a Minister in his life-time: so is it a singular honour to him, living and dead, before God and men, to be in effect, A man of God, as here it [Page 331] is to Moses, who is called, A man of God; [...]o his commenda­tion, because he was faithful in all the house of God.

Ver. 1. LOrd, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

The first comfort of the Lords people, against the miseries of this life is, from the Lords kindnesse to his people in all ages. Whence learn, 1. There is no dealing with God in prayer, ex­cept we lay hold on the offer of Gods kindnesse, according to the Covenant of grace, and do look upon God as gracious to us in Christ; Therefore here and elsewhere, supplicants do begin with renewed acts and expressions of saving faith. 2. Gods people in every place and age, is one incorporation with Gods people in all ages preceding and following and may lay claim to all the priviledges of Gods people before them, as here the Church in Moses time joyneth it selfe with all the Lords people in former times, for the use of suc­ceeding ages which were to come; Lord, thou hast beene our dwelling place in all generations. 3. Albeit the Lords people be strangers in the earth; partly, because they have no certain residence in this world; partly, because they are evil entertained by men of this world, but specially, because in their affections they are pilgrims in this world; yet they want not a resting place, and a dwelling in hea­ven, even God himself, in whom they dwell by faith, and finde in him rest, and food, and protection, and comfort; yea, and in his heart they have had a lodging in all ge­nerations; Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 4. Troubles and miseries of this life do make the godly to search out their interest in God, and in another life, as here and elsewhere we may perceive in the exercise of Gods children: their straits on earth, do make them seek inlargement in heaven.

Ver. 2. Before the mountaines were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world: even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.

[Page 332] The second comfort of the Believer against the miseries of this short life, is taken from the decree of their Election, and the eternal Covenant of Redemption of them setled in the purpose and counsel of the blessed Trinity for their behoof, wherein it was agreed before the world was, that the Word to be incarnate, should be the Saviout of the Elect: for here the asserting of the eternity of God, is with relation to his own chosen people; for, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations, and thou art God from everlasting to everlasting, is in substance thus much. Thou art from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God in purpose and affection toward us thy people, and so thou art our God from everlasting, in regard of thy eternall purpose of love, Electing us; and in regard of thy appointing Redemption for us by the Redeemer. Whence learn, 1. From Gods good will to us in time, we may arise to Gods good will to us before time; and from grace shewed to us in time, we may conclude grace and good will purposed toward us, and ordained for us before time: Thus doth the Psalmist teach us to climb; for after he hath said, From generation to generation, thou hast been our dwelling place, that is, in all time past thou hast been our God; he subjoyneth, Before the mountaines were brought forth, cre ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, thou art God: That is, the same God unchangeably in thy purpose and love toward us before time from everlasting. 2. From speciall love shewen to us in time, we may conclude love to­ward us, not onely before time from everlasting, but also that it shall continue toward us after time for ever; Even from ever­lasting to everlasting thou art God, saith he; that is, the same strong God immutable in thy purpose and love toward us first and last: and indeed faith cannot fix it self, till by the warrant of Gods Word, and feeling of his gracious working [...] us in time, it joyne Gods wo [...]k of grace, and his purpose of g [...] together. Therefore the Apostle, Ephes. 1. d [...]h lead the Believer in Christ, to election in Christ before the world was, and to pre­destination unto Adoption by Jesus Christ, [...]ccording [...] the good pleasure of his will before the world was, ver. 3, [...], 5. And 2 Tim. 1. 9. he leadeth us to a compleated Covenant before the world was made, between God the Fa [...]her and God the Son, according whereunto all conditions required of the Redeemer are setled; and all the Elect, all the redeemed are delivered over to the Son, the Word to be incarnat [...], designed Redeemer; and all saving grace is given over into Christs hand, to the behoof of the Elect, [Page 333] to be let forth unto them in due time: for there it is said, That grace was given to us in Christ Iesus, before the world began. 3. The nature of God which is to be one and the same, un­changeable from everlasting to everlasting, is the solid ground of the reasoning of faith after this manner, as here we are taught; From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 4. The know­ledge of Gods eternal goodwill to us, is a sufficient cordiall to soften and sweeten all our grief and affliction in this life: for the very end why this Doctrine is prefixed unto what is follow­ing about temporal misery, is to comfort the Lords people against all the troubles of this life.

Ver. Thou turnest man to destruction: and sayest, Returne, ye children of men.

A third comfort, is from the resurrection of the dead. Whence learn, 1. Albeit God doth execute the decree, which hath appointed all men once to die, yet he hath appointed also a resurrection, whereby he is powerfully to recall and make re­turne from death all the posterity of Adam; Thou turnest man to destruction: and so all men must die, and sayest, Returne, ye children of men, and so all men must rise againe. 2. It will cost the Lord but a word to make the dead to rise againe, or to make them that are destroyed, to returne againe; Thou sayest, Returne, ye children of men. His Word is already past forth in the Doctrine of the Resurrection, and is altogether operative, shall prove fully effectual at length.

Ver. 4. For a thousand yeares in thy sight, are but as yesterday, when it is past: and as a watch in the night.

The fourth comfort, is from the shortnesse of the time be­tween a mans death and his returning from it in the Re [...]urrecti­on, set down by way of answering an objection, which might be moved concerning the long time sinc