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Blessedness of the man


whose sins are forgirer.

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23 io love the LORD, all ye his 24 k Be of good courage, and he shall A. M. 2962.

saints: for the LORD preserveth the strengthen your heart, all ye that hope faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. | in the LORD.

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presently after his deliverance in and from the strong ever, 783 D'Iox, may be rendered, who keepeth city of Keilah. Or the Hebrew, ona, bechaphzi, faithfulness, or faithfulnesses, that is, is faithful in may be rendered, in my fear, or trembling, when fulfilling his promises; and plentifully rewardeth my passion took away my consideration, and weak- |-Hebrew, vi by, gnal jether, rewardeth with ened my faith, I am cut off from before thine eyes abundance, the proud doer–The enemies and per

– That is, cast out of thy sight, and out of the care secutors of God's faithful ones, before mentioned, of thy gracious providence; my case is desperate: are here intended. These he terms proud doers, or cut off while thou lookest on, and dost not pity because of their rebellion against God's will, and nor help me. Nerertheless, thou heardest, &c.—My their contempt of his threatenings and judgments, fears were quickly confuted by thy gracious answer and their most insolent and contemptuous conduct to my prayers.

toward his people; all which proceeded from the Verse 23. O love the Lord, all ye his saints- | pride of their hearts, Psa. X. 4. Those that have their own hearts full of love to God, Verse 24. Be of good courage-Or, be strong, cannot but desire that others also should love him: namely, in the Lord, and through confidence in his for in his love there is no need to fear a rival. It is promises, which will not fail you, as I have found by the character of all the saints, that they love God; experience. And he shall strengthen your heartand yet they must still be called upon to love him; The God you put your trust in, will, by that trust, to love him more, and to give better proofs of their impart fortitude and strength to you; all ye that love. For the Lord preserveth the faithfulWho hope in the LordThat rely on him for grace and receive and walk in the truth, who are steady and glory, and the supply of all your wants. They that constant in their attachment to God and his cause, hope in the Lord have reason to be of good courage, and are faithful to every trust reposed in them by and to be strengthened; for as nothing truly evil can God and man. They are opposed to the proud doer befall them, so nothing truly good for them shall be mentioned in the next clause. The words, how- withheld from them.


This Psalm is properly entitled Maschil, which signifies, giving instruction. For it gives us clear and satisfactory

information concerning the most important of all subjects, the nature of true blessedness, and the way that leads to it. Some other Psalms have this title, and most or all of them are of a moral nature, and are designed to convey some salutary advice, and to dispose the mind of the reader to attention and reflection. But this is peculiarly instructive and interesting. The LXX. entitle it, OVVEGEWS TW Aavid, of the understanding of David, or his return to a right understanding of himself. And it is thought that being awakened 10 a fresh sense of his sin, in the affair of Uriah, by his son Absalom's rebellion, he in this Psalm expresses his deep repentance for having so heinously offended God. The Arabic lille asserts, that David spoke this prophetically of the redemption of mankind ; and the Syriac informs us, that it treats of the sin and fall of Adam, and contains a prophecy of Christ, by whom we are delivered from hell. And St. Paul gives great support to this assertion by his quotation, Rom. iv. 8. Though composed on a particular occasion, the Psalm was afterward adapted to public use by the Jewish Church, and was solemnly repeated on the great day of expiation, when the whole nation made a general confession of their sins.Dodd. We have here, (1,) The happiness of them whose sins are forgiven, 1, 2. (2,) The necessity of confessing our sins, and of prayer, 3–6. (3) God's promise to them that trust in him, 7–10. (4,) An exhortation to rejoice in God, 11. !A Psalm of David, Maschil.

2 Blessed is the man unto whom A. M. 2962.

B. C. 1042. B. X. 2042. BLESSED is he whose “transgres- the Lord • imputeth not iniquity,

sion is forgiven, whosesin is covered. | and in whose spirit there is no guile. * Or, A Psalm of David giving instruction.-a Psa. Ixxxv. 2;|| Rom. iv. 6, 7, 8. b 2 Cor. v. 19.-- John i. 47.


possession of the wealth or honours of the world, or Verse 1. Blessed is the man, &c.—We are here in the enjoyment of its pleasures, but in those spitaught wherein true happiness consists, and what is ritual blessings which flow from the favour and the cause and foundation of it. It consists not in the grace of God; whose transgression is forgiven-He David's confession


before God.

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3 When I kept silence, my bones | the drought of summer. Selah. A. M. 2962.

waxed old through my roaring all the 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, day long.

and mine iniquity have I not hid. •I said, I will 4 For day and night thy d hand was heavy confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and upon my moisture is turned into | thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.


di Sam. v. 6, 11; Job xxxiii. 7; Psa. xxxviii. 2.

e Prov. xxviii. 13; Isa. Ixv. 24 ; Luke xv. 18, 21; 1 John i. 9.

does not say, Blessed is the man who never trans- Dr. Dodd thinks, is taken from writers who obliterate gressed. For he knew no such man could be found ; || what is faulty in their writing. all having sinned and come short of the glory of Verse 2. Unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniGod, and consequently of that happiness conferred | quity-Whom God doth not charge with the guilt on man at his first creation. But he lays the found- | of his sins, as he justly might, but pardons and acation of fallen and sinful man's happiness on the cepts him in Christ. And in whose spirit there is only foundation on which it can be laid, and that is no guile-Who freely confesses all his sins, without on the pardon of sin. For as all our misery came in dissembling, is truly sorry for, and sincerely hates by sin, so it is not likely, nay, it is not possible, it them, and turns from sin to God with all his heart. should be removed, or even alleviated, without the Verses 3–5. When I kept silence-Namely, from forgiveness of sin. It is true that, in the first Psalm, | a full and open confession of my sins, and from David pronounces the man blessed who walks not in pouring out my soul to God in serious and fervent the counsel of the ungodly, &c., but delights in, and prayers for pardon and peace. My bones uaxed old meditates on, God's law: and that, Psalm cxix. 1, he -My spirits failed, and the strength of my body determs the undefiled in the way blessed who walk in cayed; through my roaring all the day long-Bethe law of the Lord. But it must be observed that cause of the continual horrors of my conscience, and in these and such like passages he is describing the sense of God's wrath, wherewith I was, as yet, racharacter of the truly blessed man, and it is certain ther oppressed and overwhelmed than brought to a he that has not that character cannot be happy. But thorough repentance. For thy hand was heary here he is showing the ground of the righteous man's upon me–Thy afflicting hand, bringing my sins to blessedness, the fundamental privilege from which remembrance, and filling me with thy terrors for all the other ingredients of this blessedness flow. Sin them. My moisture is turned, &c.—My very radiis here termed transgression, for it is the transgres- cal moisture is, in a manner, dried up and wasted sion of the law, 1 John iii. 4, and when it is forgiven, through excessive fears and sorrows. I said, I will the obligation to punishment which we lay under, confess my transgressions, &c.—At last I took up a by virtue of the sentence of the law, is vacated and full resolution that I would no longer vainly seek to cancelled. It is lifted off, as 'W), nasui, may be hide my sins from the all-seeing eye of God, but that rendered; so that the pardoned sinner is eased of a I would openly and candidly confess and bewail all burden, a heavy burden which lay on his conscience, my sins, with all their aggravations, and humbly imand of the weight of which he began to be sensible || plore the pardon of them. Observe, reader, this is when he began to be awakened out of his spiritual the true and only way to find peace of conscience. lethargy, and to be truly convinced of his sinfulness Those that would have the comfort of the pardon of and guilt, and of the sentence of condemnation gone their sins must, like David, take shame to themselves out against him. The remission of his sins gives by a penitent confession of them. And we must be rest and relief to his weary and heavy-laden soul, particular in our confessions, Thus and thus hare I Matt. xi. 28. Whose sin is covered - Namely, by done ; and, in so doing, I have done very wickedly. God, and not by man; who ought to confess, and not And we must confess the justice of the punishment, to hide it, verse 5. Sin makes us loathsome, filthy, or correction, we have been under for sin, saying, and abominable in the sight of God, and utterly unfit | The Lord is just in all that he hath brought upon for communion with him; and when our consciences | us, and we deserve much severer chastisement. I am are truly enlightened and awakened, it makes us no more worthy to be called thy son. We must conloathsome and abominable in our own sight. But fess our sins with shame and holy blushing, with when it is pardoned, it is covered, as it were, by the fear and holy trembling. And if we bring forth fruit mantle of the divine mercy, in and through the worthy of this repentance, we shall surely, like sacrifice and intercession of Him who is made of David, obtain forgiveness. And thou forgarest the God to believers righteousness; who is the true pro- || iniquity of my sin—That is, the guilt of my sin, or pitiatory, or mercy-seat, where mercy may be found my exceeding sinful sin ; two words, signifying the in a way consistent with justice, Rom. iii. 24. Our same thing, (iniquity and sin,) being here put togesins, when forgiven, are covered, not from ourselves, ther by way of aggravation, according to the manno: my sin, says David, is ever before me : not from ner of the Hebrews. Observe again, reader: David God's omniscience, but from his vindictive justice ; | speaks with confidence that the Lord had forgiven when he pardons sin he remembers it no more; he him. He received a sense of pardon, the knowledge casts it behind his back, it shall be sought for, and of salvation, by the forgiveness of his sins, and so not found. And the sinner, being reconciled to God, mayest thou: see Luke i. 77. O seek this blessing begins to be reconciled to himself. The metaphor, ll with all thy heart!

Safety and comfort


of trust in God.

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6 'For this shall' every one that is || preserve me from trouble ; thou shalt A. M. 2962.

godly 8 pray unto thee 2 in a time when compass me about with i songs of dethou mayest be found : surely in the floods of liverance. Selah. great waters they shall not come nigh unto 8 I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the him.

way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee 7 h Thou art my hiding-place; thou shalt with mine eye.

11 Tim. i. 16.—-3 Isa. lv. 6 ; John vii. 34. -2 Heb. in a time

of finding. th Psa. ix. 9; xxvii. 5; xxxi. 20; cxix. 114.

i Exod. xv.l; Judg. v. 1; 2 Sam. xxii. 1. - 3 Heb. I will counsel

thee, mine

shall be



Verse 6. For thisThat is, upon the encourage- soon relapse into sin, and contract fresh guilt, and ment of my example, and of thy great mercy | thereby plunge ourselves again into the same gulf vouchsafed to me, in answer to my humble con- of distress and misery; therefore, when we have fession and supplication; shall every one that is received the comfort of our remission, we must have godly-That is, truly penitent, and dreads thy wrath recourse to the grace of God to be preserved from on account of his past sins, resolving to serve returning to folly again, and having our hearts again thee for the future; pray unto thee-Namely, for hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

God keeps the forgiveness of his sins, and for a testimony by his people from trouble, by keeping them from sin. thy Spirit in his heart, that thou hast forgiven him, Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverRom. viii. 16. In a time when thou mayest be found ance—With such great deliverances on all sides as

- Hebrew, 233 nys, legneth metzo, in the time of will give just occasion to sing thy praise. And my finding, namely, of finding thee; while there is friends, also, shall compass me about in the great room for repentance and reconciliation with thee. congregation, to join with me in songs of praise: The Chaldee renders it, In an acceptable time, the they shall join their songs of deliverance with mine. Arabic, In a time of hearing. Thus Isaiah, Seek Verse 8. I will instruct thee-Whoever thou art ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon that desirest instruction; and teach thee in the way him while he is near. The meaning is, in a season- which thou shalt go–That is, in which thou oughtable time, while God continues to offer grace and est to walk. Thus, in another of his penitential mercy to sinners. By this clause the psalmist Psalms, he resolves that when God should restore to seems to intimate the difference between the truly him the joy of his salvation, he would teach transpenitent or godly, who pray and cry earnestly to gressors his ways, and do what he could to convert God for mercy in its season; and the wicked and sinners to God, as well as comfort those that were impenitent, who will not do so till it be too late, and converted, Psa. 12. Those are best able to teach the season be lost. Mark this well, O reader, and others the grace of God who have themselves had see that thou lose no time, but seek the Lord speedily, the experience of it. And those who are themZech. viii. 21, lest death cut thee off, and then it will selves taught of God ought to tell others what he be too late to seek him. Remember, Now is the ac- || hath done for their souls, and so to teach them. I cepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation. I will guide thee with mine eye- This may be underSurely in the floods of great waters—That is, in stood of God's conduct toward, and direction of, his the time of great calamities, which are frequently people. He guides them with his eye, by his clear compared to great waters; they shall not come nigh sight and discernment of the way in which they unto him-So as to overwhelm or hurt him. Or, ought to go, giving them information in his word, God will set him on a high and safe place, out of and secret intimations of his will and their duty, by the reach of them; as he provided an ark for Noah | his Spirit and the turns of his providence, which he when the deluge came, to which perhaps he here al- | enables his people to understand and take directions ludes. Those that have God nigh unto them, which | from, as a master makes a servant know his mind all upright, penitent, praying people have, are so by the look or motion of his eye. But the words guarded, so advanced, that no waters, no, not great are rather to be considered as David's declaration or waters, no, not floods of them, can come nigh them promise to those who were willing to be directed by to hurt them. As the temptations of the wicked him. Poole paraphrases them, “I will lend thee one touch them not, 1 John v. 18, so neither do the eyes of my mind: or I will be to thee instead the troubles of this evil world; these fiery darts of of eyes, (see Num. x. 31,) to advise, direct, and cauboth kinds drop short of them.

tion thee. - I will guide thee, as the rider doth his Verse 7. Thou art my hiding-place-When by horse, (to which the person guided is compared faith I have recourse to thee, I see all the reason in verse 9,) or as a master doth his scholar, or as a the world to be easy, and to think myself out of the guide doth him who knows not the right way.” Or reach of any real evil. Thou shalt preserve me

the words may be rendered, I will give thee counfrom trouble-From the sting of it, and from the sel, mine eye shall be upon thee : see Gen. xliv. 21; strokes of it, as far as is good for me. Thou shalt Jer. xxiv. 6, and xl. 4. I will instruct, admonish, and preserve me from such trouble as I was in while I watch over thee. I will give thee the best counsel I kept silence, and did not confess my sins, and pray can, and then observe whether thou takest it or not. for forgiveness, verse 3. If, when God has pardoned" Those that are taught in the word,” says Henry, our sins, he were to leave us to ourselves, we should Il" should be under the constant inspection of those

An exhortation


to praise God.

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9 k be ye not as the horse, or as the but " he that trusteth in the LORD, A. M. 2962.

mule, which have no understanding : mercy shall compass him about. whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, || 11 °Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye lest they come near unto thee.

righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are 10 m Many sorrows shall be to the wicked upright in heart.


* Prov. xxvi. 3 ; James iii. 3.- Job xxxv. 11.

21; Rom. i. 9.

Psa. xxxiv. 8; lxxxiv. 12; Prov. xvi. 20; Jeremiah xvii. 7.

Psalm lxiv. 10; lxviii. 3.

that teach them; spiritual guides must be over- Verse 10. Many sorrows shall be to the wickedseers."

This is an argument to enforce the preceding admoVerse 9. Be not as the horse, or as the mule- nition; as if he had said, If any will be resractory God hath endowed you with reason, both to inform or unruly, God hath many ways to curb and chasyou what you ought to do, and to check you when tise them, and bring them to be subject to his will. you do amiss, and hath made you capable also of “They,” says Dr. Horne, “who are not to be rereceiving good admonitions from others; do not formed by gentler methods, must learn righteoustherefore follow your own unbridled lusts and ap- ness under the rod of affliction, in the school of the petites; much less be refractory and untractable, cross; and happy are they if their sorrows may so when God would reduce you from the error of turn to their advantage. But happier are those who, your ways; as if you were not men, but headstrong led by the goodness of God to repentance and faith, horses and mules, which can by no means be curbed enjoy the light and protection of mercy.” For, He or governed, without bit and bridle. Houbigant ren- that trusteth in the Lord, &c.—Who relies upon his ders the last clause, very properly, Or they will not providence and promise, for his preservation and decome near thee; for, as horses and mules are not liverance, and commits himself to God's care and dangerous beasts, whose common practice it is to conduct, waiting upon him in his way, and not turnkick or bite, the word lest is extremely improper. | ing aside to crooked or sinful paths for safety or Nor is it the proper use of a bit, or bridle, to keep comfort; mercy shall compass him aboutNamely, them from so doing, but rather to bring them nearer on every side, and preserve him from departing from to the rider, for his use, and to keep them under his God on the one hand, and shall prevent any real power and management.

evil from assaulting him on the other.

PSALM XXXIII. On what particular occasion this Psalm was composed, or whether on any, is not known. It seems probable, however,

that it was written by David in commemoration of the great deliverance of their forefathers, when God orerthrero the chariots and horses of Pharaoh in the sea, and afterward led his people in the wilderness. Be this, however, as it will, it is an excellent Psalm in celebration of the praises of God, for his great and glorious works, both of crea. tion and providence. The psalmist exhorts the righteous to praise God, for his truth, justice, and goodness, 1-5. For creating the world, 6–9. For his providence in governing it, 10–17. For his peculiar fatour to his people,

encouraging them to trust in him, 18-22. 8. M: 2062. REJOICE •in the LORD, O ye | with the psaltery • and an instrument A M. 2962.

righteous : for praise is comely of ten strings. for the upright.

3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully 2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with a loud noise.

* Psa. xxxii. 11 ; xcvii. 12. Psa. cxlvii. 1. - Psa. xcii. 3.

d Psa, xcvi. 1 ; xcviii. 1; cxliv. 9 ; cxlix. I; Isa. xlii. 10; Rev, v.9.


and pollute the holy name of God while they preVerse 1. Rejoice in the LordLet his excellence, || tend to praise it; and therefore God rejects their discovered in his works, be the matter of your praises and prayers. praise. Praise is comely for the upright-It well Verses 2, 3. Praise the Lord with the harp, &c. becomes them to be employed in this work of prais- ! -He mentions these instruments, because they were ing God, partly, because they are under great and used in the public worship of God in the tabernacle. singular obligations to him, and have abundant occa- || Sing unto him a new song–Either, lst, A song sions to do so; and partly, they will praise him sin- | newly composed: as if he had said, As God gives cerely, affectionately, and with due reverence and you fresh occasions to praise him, so do not content thankfulness, as he requires and deserves to be yourselves with the old songs or psalms made by praised; whereas ungodly men do indeed disparage | former holy men of God, but make new ones suited

The power of God


displayed in his works.

he com

A. M. 2962. 4. For the word of the Lord is 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: A. M. 2962. B. C. 1042.

B. C. 1042. right; and all his works are done in let all the inhabitants of the world truth.

stand in awe of him. 5. He loveth righteousness and judgment : 9 For 'he spake, and it was done ; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. manded, and it stood fast. 6 By the word of the LORD were the hea- 10 m The LORD bringeth the counsel of the vens made ; and all the host of them by the heathen to naught: he maketh the devices of breath of his mouth.

the people of none effect. 7 He gathereth the waters of the sea to n The counsel of the Lord standeth for gether as a heap: he layeth up the depth in ever, the thoughts of his heart * to all generastore-houses.



e Psa. xi. 7; xlv. 7.-Psa. cxix. 64.

-10r, mercy,

-5 Gen. 1. 6, 7; Heb. xi. 3 ; 2 Pet. iu. 5. ch Gen. ii. 1. i Job xxvi. 13. — klien. i. 9; Job xxvi. 10; xxxviii. 8. - Gen. i. 3; Psa.

cxlviii. 5.- um Isa. viii. 10; xix. 3. — * Heb. maketh frustrate.
n Job xxvi. 13; Prov. xix. 21 ; Isa. xlvi. 10.-
ration and generation.

_3 Heb. to gene.

to these occasions. Or, 2d, Songs renewed, or re- of which this work of creation is elsewhere ascripeated and continued from day to day.

bed: see note on Gen. i. 26. Or this phrase, the Verses 4, 5. The word of the Lord is right-All breath of his mouth, may be merely a repetition of God's counsels and commands, whether contained the former clause, as, the rod of his mouth, Isaiah in the Scriptures, or given forth in his providence, | xi. 4; or his word, and the breath of his lips, mean for the government of the world, are wise, and just, the same thing: see also 2 Thess. ii. 8. and good, without deceit or defect. All his works Verse 7. He gathereth the waters-Or, gathered, are done in truth-All his dispensations of provi- for he seems to speak of the first creation when this dence agree with his word, and are no other than was done, Gen. i. Or, he alludes to the passage of the accomplishment of his promises, or threaten- | the Israelites through the Red sea, when the waters ings, or other declarations of his mind and will in were as a wall unto them on the right hand and on his word; although sometimes, for a season, they the left. As a heap-By which expression he leads may seem contrary to it. He loveth righteousness our thoughts to that great work of God by which and judgment—That is, just judgment: or right- the sea, which is specifically lighter than the earth, eousness may relate to the sentence, and judgment and by the common laws of gravitation, should rise to the execution of it. He not only doth justice above and overflow it, is yet kept within proper to all men, but, which is more, he loves and delights bounds; which is often mentioned in Scripture as an in it. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord immediate effect of God's overruling power and -He not only doth no man wrong, but he is very providence. To this may be added that the adjustkind and merciful to all men in the world, on whoming the proportion of the tides, so that they rise no he bestows many favours, and to whom he gives higher to the prejudice of the lower grounds, is many invitations to his love and service.

another remarkable instance of God's especial proVerse 6. By the word of the Lord were the hea- vidence. He layeth up the depth in store-housesrens made-Either 1st, By Christ who is often called That is, either in the clouds, or in the bowels of the God's word, even by the Chaldee paraphrast; as earth, whence he can draw them forth when he sees also John i. 1-3, where he is said to be that Word fit. Dr. Waterland renders this clause, He layeth by whom all things were made, declaring more them up in the store-houses of the deep. clearly (as is also done in other parts of the New Verses 8, 9. Let the earth fear the Lord— All the Testament) what is here only obscurely intimated people of the earth, as the next clause expounds Or, 2d, By his will or command, as this phrase seems this; not only Jews, but also Gentiles, who equally to be explained, verse 9. And so understood the ex- enjoy the benefit of this great and glorious work of pression hath a great emphasis in it; namely, that God. For he spake, and it was done—The work God made this admirable structure of the heavens, | mentioned verses 6, 7. He commanded, and it stood with the sun and moon, and all its glorious stars, not fastHebrew 73}", jagnamad, it stood forth, as a with great pains and time, and the help of many servant at his master's command, prepared to do his artists and instruments, as men do for meaner works; || will, and to execute his pleasure. but with one single word, or, with as much ease as men Verses 10, 11. The Lord bringeth the counsel of speak a word, merely by commanding them to be: the heathen, or, of the nations to naughtThough a consideration this, which wonderfully illustrates nations combine themselves and their counsels tothe power and glory of the Creator. For what can- gether, yet he defeats them when he pleases. Thus not that power do which with a word made a world ? he passes from the work of creation to the works of And all the host of them— The angels or the stars, | providence, and from the instances of his power, in by the breath, nn) beruach, by the spirit of his senseless and irrational creatures, to his power in noith-By the Holy Ghost, so called Job xxxiii. 4. overruling the thoughts, and wills, and actions of Thus all the persons of the Trinity are referred to men, whether single or united. The counsel of the here, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, to each || Lord standeth for ever-All his purposes and de

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