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standing is infinite, and more merciful than the Father of mercies, who is full of compassion, and delighteth in mercy, Moreover, as these external enemies, devoted to destruction, were in some sense emblematie of our spiritual enemies, within or without us, the passages may be sung with application to ourselves, as directed against thefe principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickednefjes, in high places, with whom we have to wrestle, while on earth, Eph. vi. 10,-- 19. 1 Pet. v. 8, 9. Rom. viii. 13. Gal. v, 17, 24.
The book of Psalms is one of the inost extensive and useful in holy Seripture, as it is every where suited to the cale of the Saints, It is at first much mixed with com. plaints and supplications, and at last islues in pure and lasting praise. That Heman composed Psalm lxxxviii. Ethan Ixxxix. and Mofes xc, is certain. Whether these under the name of Asaph were mostly penned by him, or only alligned to be sung by him as a master of the TempleMusick, as others were to Jeduthun, or to the sons of Korah, or other chief Musicians, we eannot determine. Some, as Psalın lxxiv. Ixxix. cxxvi. and exxxvii. appear to have been composed after the begun Captivity to Babylon; but by whom we know not. The rest, including these two marked with the name of Solomon, might be composed by David the sweet Psalmist of Israel *.
Twenty-five of the Psalms have no title at all; and whether the titles of the rest are of Divine authority is not altogether agreed. But when it is considered that these titles
* That the Hebrew originals are composed in a metrical form, hath been almost univertaily agreed'
. But the laws and measures of the Poetry have not yet been clearly ascertained. It is not even reasonable to infift, they should correspond with these of the Greeks or Romans, and other nations of the Weit, whose idioms and manner of language are lo reniarkably different..... It is certain, they as little agree with those of the dull and inlipid rhymes composed by the Jewish Rabbins.' Some of the Pfalms, no doubt, for the more easy retention thereof in the memory, are copiposed of verses or sentences beginning accord. ing to the order of the Hebrew alphabet. In this order every fentence of the 11th and 12th Psalms, begins with a new letter. Almost every verse of the 25th, 34th, and 145th, begins in the fame order. But in the 119th, every eight verses begin with the fame Hebrew letter in the like alphabetical order.
every where appear in the Hebrew originals, and how often , they serve as a key to the psalm, and are sometimes conected thcfewith by the accentuating points, there is no real ground to suspect the anthentieity thereof. Nor are interpreters agreed with respect to the signification of some of the Hebrew words standing in these titles. We think that MASCHIL always fignifies that the plaln is designed for infruction, Pfalins xxxii. xlii. xliii. xlv. li. liii. liv. lv. lxxiv. Ixxviii: lxxxviii. lxxxix. MICHTAM denotes the precious or golden nature of the psalm, as xvi. Ivi. -'Ix. ALTAE CHITH, that the scope of the plalm is to deprecate defiruction, lvii.lix. MUTHL ARBEN,
that the pra'ın was composed on the occasion of the death of his for, or of Goliath the duellift, Psalm ix. AIJELETH SHAHAR, that its subject is Jesus Christ, the Hind of the morning, Píalm xxii. JONATH-ELEM-RECHOKIM, that David is therein represented as a mute dove among foreigne' ers, Psalm lvi. SHOSHANNIM; SHOSHANNIM-EDUTH; or ŞTIUSHAN-EDUTH; may either signify, that Christ and his people, who are lilies, or lilies of the corigregation or testimony, are the subject of it; or that it was sung on an in. ftrument of fix strings, Psalın xlv. lx. Ixix. Ixxx. as SheMNITH denotes an instrument of eight strings Plal. vi. xii. Mahalath may cither signify the disease, and MaHALATH LEAN TH the afflicting disease, or MahalAtH may signify a wind-instrument of musiek, Pfalm-liji. lxxxviii. NEGI NATH and NEGINOTH denote stringed inftruments of musick, Psalms iv.lxi, &c. Neniloth wind-ones, Psalm v. Git. TITH, a musical instrument or tune invented at Gath, Psalıns vii. lxxxi. lxxxiv. ALAMOTH the virginals, or a fong to be sung by the virgins, Psalm xlvi. SHIGGAION, or SHIGIONOTH, may denote the diversified matter or tune of the psalın, Pfalm vil.. The cxxth, and fourteen next following, are called Songs of DEGREES, perhaps because they were fung on the different steps of the Temple-stairs ; or were sung at certain' balts made by David and the Israelites, when they brought up the Ark of God from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem; or were sung by the Hebrews at their different refts,when they came up from the country to their three solemn feasts; or were partly sung by the Jews at their different halts in their return from Babylon,
The Hebrew's divided this book into five, ending with Psalmxli. lxxii. lxxxix. cvi. (and cl. the tirit four of which are con. cluded with ANEN. Interpreters have atteinpied to arrang; or class the Psalms into a variety of diferent forms: To me ii ap. pears, not improper, to distinguish ibeni into, I Instructive, which are either (1) Hrs TORICAL, relating what God had done for ihe Pfalmift, or for the Jewili nation, &c. as Pfalms xviii. Ixviii. lxxviii. civ. cv. cvis cxiv. cxxxv. cxxxvi: Most of which are allo EUCHARISTIC. Or (2) DOCTRINAL, declaring and: *explaining the principles and duties of religion, as Paalms 1. xiv. xv. xix. xxxvi. xxxvii. xlix. l. liii. Ixiv. Lxxvi. lxxvii. lxxviii. Ixxxi. Ixxxii. xc. ci. cxii. cxix. cxxvii. cxxxi. cxxxiii. cxxxix. H. PROPHETIC; forotelling evenis relative to Christ- or his Church, as Pialms ii. vii. xvi. xxi. xxil, xxiv. xxix. xl. xlver alvii. xlviii. Ixvii. Ixviii. Ixix. Ixxii. Ixxxvii. Ixxxix xciii. XCV... xcvi. xcvii. xcvii. c. cx. cxvii cxxxi. cxlix, not a few of which are allo EUCHARISTIC. III. CONSOLATORY, in which the Psalmiit comforts himself and others in the promises, perfe&ions or works of God, as Píalms iv. xi. xxii. xxvii. xxxi;. xxxvii. xlvi. lviii. lxxiii. xci. cxxi. cxxv. cxxviii. cxxix - IV. PETI. Tory, in which he bewa's his own; or the Church's condition, and fupplicates deliverance, as Psalms üi: v. vi. vii. x. xii. xiii. xvii. xx. xxv. xxvi. xxvii. xxviii. xxxv. xxxvii. xli. xlii. xliii. xliv. li. liv. Iv. Ivii, lix. lx. Ixi. Ixii. Ixiv. lxx. lxxi. lxxiv. Ixxix. Ixxx, lxxxii. lxx.sv. Ixxxvi. lxxxviii. cii cix: cxx. cxxiii, cxxx, cxxxii cxxxvii. exl cxli cxlii cxliii. Seven of these, in which the Psalmiit makes confeflion of his fin, viz. Psalins vi. xxxii, xxxviii. li cii cxxx. cxliii. are called PENITENTIAL.----V. EUCHARISTIC, in which he stirs up himself and others to praise and thank the Lerd, for his favours. As Pfalms ix. xviii. XXX. xxxiii. xxxv. Ix. ixv.,------Lxviii, xcix, ciii. civ. cv. cvi, cvii, cvjii, cxi. cxiii. cxv, cxvi cxvii. cxviii. cxxii. cxxiv, cxxvi cxxxiv. cxxxv. cxxxvi. axxxvii cxliv. cxlv, cxlvi, cxlvii. cxlviii. cxlix. c). But indeed historical narratives, doc. trinal instructions, propheties, consolations, fupplications, praises, and thank givings are often fo plealantly and profitably con nected, in the same psalm, that it is difficult to allign it to one clals, rather than to another. And, what is HISTORICAL, as it relates to David and the Jewish Church, is often TYPICAL, and fo PROPHETIC as it relates to Jelus Christ and the Gospel Church or heavenly state: Many too, of the suPPLICATION refpecting deliverances from, or the destruction of enemies, are to be cons. fidered as real. PREDICTIONS of the events; they being dictated by the inspiration of Hin who cao declare the end from the beginning,
· PSALMS OF DAVID,
PSALM 1.Perhaps this Psålm was added by Ezra, or whoever elle was the colle&tor of the axhers into one book. We bave represented to us in ir, (1; The character of the godly; bow holy they are, abltaining from every temptation ro, or appearance of evil; anik with pleasure meditating on; and endeavouring to fulfil, the whole law of God, ver. 1; 2. and how happy, planted in the neareft fellowship with Jesus, the River of life, they profper in their lawful attempts : They never fall from their grace or pros? fession; and they ihall stand with approvation at the judgmenta feat of God, ver 3. (2) The finfulness and misery of the wicked: How different from, and contrary to the godly, in their inclination, companions, exercises and ends ! How light and und fubitantial; as chaff, and ready to be harfed, by the forms of intinite wrath, into the depths of hell, as caít and condemned in the righteous judgment of God! ver. 4, 5. (3) The great reason of the happiness of saints, and of the misery of finners. The Lord loveth the righreous, and obferves and approves their inclinations and behaviour ;-but, as an enemy; he brings destructive vengtance upon the wicked ver 66- * While I ling these important lines, let iny soul lifi up her eyes to chat great pattern of perfection, Jusus, the man of God's right hand, who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from linners ; and who fulfilled all righteousnels, magnified-tlie law, and made it honourable for nien...for ME. United to his person, cloathed' with his righteousness, and all inflammed and anima.ed with his redeeming love, thed abroad in my heart, lét sne examine myself as in lus iìght fet nie walk in him as my way, and follow him as my Pattertrand Guide :-- Let me, with solemn awe, loak to, and prepare for his läít, his eternal judgment !
HAT man hath perfe& blessedness,
who walketh not astray In counsel of ungodly men,
nor stands in finner's way;
Norisitteth in the scorner's chairs
on his law day and nicht,
3 He shall be like a tree that grows
near planted by a river, Which in his season yields his fruit,
and his leaf fadeth never : And all he doth shall prosper well.
4 The wicked are not so: But like they are unto the chaff
which wind drives to and fro, 5 In judginent therefore shall not stand
such as ungodly are; Nor in th' assembly of the just
fhall wicked men appear. 6 For why? the way of godly men
unto the Lord is known: Whereas the way of wicked men
shall quite be overthrown, .
PSALM 11. Perhaps this psalm relates partly to David's instalment on his throne and the victories over his enemies which attended it. Compare Psalin xviii. 2 Sam. iii. v. viii X. xviii. xx. But the whole of it respects Jefus our Redeemer. Behold (1.) The vidłent and harmonious, but unsuccessful; opposition, which Jews and Gentiles of all ranks make to the person and redemption - work of the great God my Saviour. Behold what ruin and wo, they draw upon themselves by their attempts! ver, 1.-5.9. (2.) Behold'how, notwithstanding all their raging malice and furious opposition, JEHOVAH instals our Redeemer King in his Church, aná infallibly fixeth him on his throne ; avows him his only begotten Son, and gives unto him the Gentiles for his people ! ver. 68. (3.) Be. hold Jehovah's demand of serious consideration and fear of, joy in, and trust, obedience and love to his exalted Son, ver, 9,-12.-- While I fing, let me remark the horrid naa Eure of fin ; let me, with broken heart, bewailmy neglect of, and opposition to Jesus Christ
with wonder, bless his nanie, that I have not already perished in mine iniquity, !. me, wirli earnesinets, accept that once debased' Redeemer, as my Saviour, my Sovereign, my Proprietor, niy God, and my ALL. Let me learn to kı' w him, rejoice in-him, and, with: holy awe, commir my whole salvation, and the salvation of my country, nay, of all the ends of the earth, to him.