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and poison of the intellectual world. And whereas
there are some kinds even of serpents, which, by
musical sounds, may, for a time, as it is said, be dis-
armed of their rage, and rendered so tame as to be
handled without danger;* yet the evil dispositions
of some men, like those of one particular species of
the serpentine race, are often invincible. The enmi-
ty of a Saul, was proof against the heavenly strains
of the son of Jesse ; and He, who spake as " never
man spake," was stung to death by " a generation
of vipers."

" 6. Break, or, thou wilt break, their teeth, O

* Bochart quotes several ancient authors, who mention this
effect of music, and among them Virgil, ^neid, vii. v. 753.

" Vipereo generi, et graviter spirantibus hydris
Spargere quisoranos cantuque manuque solebat."

The elder Scaliger, as quoted by the same learned critic, WTites
thus: '* Nos aliquando vidimus cantationibus e cavernis exciri
serpentes:" and Mr. Boyle, in his Essay on the Great Effects
of Languid Motion, p. 71, ed. 1685, gives us the following pas-
sage, from Sir H. Blunt's Voyage into the Levant, p. 81, edit.
5. " Many rarities of living creatures I saw in Grand Cauo ; but
the most ingenious was a nest of four-legged serpents, of two feet
long, black and ugly, kept by a Frenchman ; who, when he came
to handle them, they would not endure him, but ran and hid in
their hole; then would he take his cittern, and play upon it;
they, hearing his music, came all crawling to his feet, and began to
climb up him, till he gave over playing; then away they ran."
The " deaf" adder may either be a serpent of a species naturally
deaf (for several such kinds are mentioned by Avicenne, as quoted
by Bochart) or one deaf by accident r in either case, she may be
said, in the language of poetry, to " stop her ear," from her be-
ing proof to all the efforts of the charmer. Merrick.

P«. 58.] 71

God, in their mouths ; break, or, thou wilt break5
out the great teeth of the young Hons, O Lord/*

The destruction of the wicked is represented un-
der six simiHtudes. The first is that of breaking
the teeth of lions, being the most terrible weapons of
the most terrible animals. But what is human
power, at its highest exaltation, if compared to that
of God ? The mountains of Gilboa can tell us, the
desolated Zion can inform us, how the mighty are
fallen, and the weapons of war perished ! because
the mighty had exalted themselves, and the weapons
of war had been lifted up against truth and inno-
cence, protected by the decrees of heaven.

" 7. Let them, or, they shall, melt away as wa-
ters, *wliich run continually, or, pass away ; nsohen he
bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them, or, they
shall, be as cut in pieces.'*

The second similitude used to illustrate the de-
struction of the wicked, is that of torrents and inun-
dations, which descend with great noise from the
mountains, and cover the face of a country; but their
cause soon ceasing to act, they run off and appear no
more ; herein affording a fine emblem of the weak-
ness and instability of earthly power. The impotence
of human efforts against divine counsels is compared,
thirdly, to a man drawing a bow, when the arrow on
the string is broken in two ; and therefore, instead
of flying to the mark, falls useless at his feet.

'' 8. As a snail which melteth, let evety one of
them pass away; like the untimely birth of a woman,
that they may not see the sun. Or, As a melting

7^ [Ps.58.

snail, he shall pass away; as an abortion, they see
not the sun."

A snail, which, coming forth of his shell, marks
his path with slime, continually losing some part of
his substance in his progress; and an abortion, which
consumes away in the like manner : these are the
fourth and fifth images, selected to represent the
transient nature of worldly greatness, still wasting,
till it comes to nothing; and the miserable fate of
those who perish, with their half-formed devices, nor
ever behold the Sun of Righteousness.

" 9. Before your pots can feel the thorns, he
shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both liv-
ing, and in his wrath ; or, he shall take them away
alive, as with a whirlwind in his wrath."

Wicked men have, in common with others, that
tendency to decay, which is entailed on the world,
and on all things therein; but they are warned, by
this sixth and last similitude, to prevent the judg-
ments of the Almighty. These often break forth
like a whirlwind, or a thunder-storm, and sweep away
at once, in the flower of their strength, and the
height of their prosperity, the tyrannical oppressors
of the people of God ; whose short-lived glory, and
sudden extinction, are aptly resembled to that crack-
ling and momentary blaze which is produced by a
fire, kindled among thorns, under a pot.

" 10. The righteous shall rejoice, when he seeth
the vengeance ; he shall wash his feet in the blood
of the wicked: 11. So that a man shall say, Verily,

Ps.59.] 73

tliere is a reward for the righteous: verily, he is,
or, there is, a God that judgeth in the earth.'*

The victories of that Just One, gained in his own
person, and in those of his faithful servants, over the
enemies of man's salvation, are productive of a joy,
which springeth not from love of revenge, but is inspir-
ed by a view of the divine mercy, justice, and truth,
displayed in the redemption of the elect, the punish-
ment of the ungodly, and the accomplishment of
the promises. Whoever duly weigheth and con-
sidereth these things, will diligently seek after the
reward of righteousness, and humbly adore the pro-
vidence, which ordereth all things aright, in heaven
and earth.


Eleventh Day. — Evening Prayer.

ARGUMENT. — This Psalm is said to have been composed on
occasion of David's escape, when Saul sent, and they watched
the house to kill him. See 1 Sam. xix. 1 1 — 1 8. David in
these, as in many other circumstances of his life, may be con-
sidered as the representative of Messiah, 1, 2. praying to be
delivered from the power of his blood-thirsty enemies, whose
indefatigable malice, he, 3 — 7. describes : but, 8 — 10. predicts
his own enlargement through the tender mercy and mighty power
of God; as also, 11—15. the singular vengeance to be pour*
ed out upon his enemies, for their punishment, and the admo-
nition of others. The Psalm concludes with a strain of exul-
tation and thanksgiving.

" 1. Deliver me from mine enemies, Omy God;
defend me, Heb. exalt me, from them that rise up

7^ [Ps. 59.

affainst me. 2, Deliver me from the workers of ini-


quity, and save me from bloody men."

In these words, we hear the voice of David, when
a prisoner in his own house ; the voice of Christ,
when surrounded by his merciless enemies; the voice
of the church, when under bondage in the world ;
and the voice of the Christian, when under tempta-
tion, affliction, and persecution.

" 3. For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul ; the
mighty are gathered against me ; notj^r my trans-
gression, nor JoT' my sin, O Lord. 4. They run
and prepare themselves without rm/ fault ; awake to
help me, and behold."

The mighty men of Saul were gathered against
David, who had been guilty of no offence against the
king, and therefore was, so far, innocent. The
Jews and Romans were gathered against Jesus
Christ, who had committed no sin at all, and was
perfectly innocent. And the world is oftentimes in
arms against the children of God, only for doing
what it is their duty to do. In all such cases, God
is to be applied to, as the helper and avenger of those
who suffer unjustly.

" 5. Thou, therefore, O Lord God of hosts,
the God of Israel, awake, or, thou shalt awake,
to visit all the heathen: be not merciful, o?',
thou wilt not be merciful, to any wicked trans-

The prophet, in this verse, seemeth to respect
that great day of final retribution, which is to sue-

Ps. 59.] 75

ceed the day of grace, the accepted time of repent-
ance and pardon. For then it is that Jehovah shall
awake, to judge the nations ; to reward every man
according to his deeds ; and to banish for ever, from
his presence, the impenitent workers of iniquity.
The malicious adversaries of David, and those of
the Son of David, may not then find the mercy so
often by them rejected, in the days of their flesh.

*' 6. They return at evening ; they make a noise
like a dog, and go round about the city."

The emissaries of Saul, coming after David in the
" evening," besetting his house, and blocking up
the avenues, are compared to a set of hungry blood-
hounds in quest of their prey. But the picture is
drawn likewise for that herd of evening wolves who
thirsted after the blood of the Lamb of God, on
whom their mouths were opened, crying, " Crucify
him ! crucify him !"

" 7. Behold, they belch, or^ spout, out with their
mouth ; swords are in their lips, for who, say ihey^
doth hear ?"

Out of the abundance of malice in the heart, the
mouth will speak, like the cutting of a sword ; and
the wicked take counsel against the just, as if there
were no one above who heard and regarded.

" 8. But thou, O Lord, shall laugh at them;
thou shalt have all the heathen in derision."

These very expressions are used in the 4th verse
of the 2d Psalm, to denote the futility of all the
counsels entered into, by Jew and Gentile, against

76 [Ps. 59.

Messiah and his church. The Psalm before us
seems evidently to relate to the same counsels,
against the same blessed Person, whatever part of
king David's history might be the occasion of its
being composed.

" 9. Because of his strength will I wait upon
thee ; for God is my defence, or^ exaltation. 10.
The God of my mercy shall prevent me; God shall
let me see my desh^e, Heb. look, upon mine ene-

To the strength of the adversary, the Psalmist
opposeth that of God, which he foresaw would res-
cue him, and avenge his cause. In all our troubles
let us do likewise; and then, he who exalted David,
and a greater than David, will in due time exalt us,
and we shall look, without fear, upon our spiritual

" 11. Slay them not, lest my people forget; scatter
them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord,
our shield. Or, Thou wilt not slay them — thou
wilt scatter them," &c.

The prophet, in the person of Messiah, predicteth
the singular fate of the Jews; who, for their sins,
were not extirpated, lest the Gentile Christians should
" forget" their punishment, but were " scattered"
among all nations, and degraded from the glorious
privileges of that high rank in which they once
stood.* Thus doth that people remain, at this day,

* Prophetice, Christiani divince ultionis oblivisci non possunt,
dum Judaei, excidio suo superstites, et ubique vagi, poenam suam,
et pariter, in testimonium, eloqiiia divina circumferunt. Bossuet.

Ps. 59.] 77

a monument of God's vengeance against apostacy; a
beacon, set up, and kindled by the hand of heaven,
as a warning to all Christian churches, that they split
not on the same fatal rock.

" 12. For the sin of their mouth, and the words
of their lips, let them, o;-, they shall even be taken
in their pride: and for cursing and lying "which they

The causes of the Jews' dispersion are here as-
signed, namely, " the sin of their mouth" in the
" words of their lips," or their " hard speeches,"
spoken against the Son of God ; their slanders, ly-
ing accusations, and outrageous blasphemies, together
with that horrid imprecation in which they involved
their descendants; who have groaned under the
weight of it for near these 1700 years, and yet still
continue to justify the deeds of their fathers, retain-
ing that " pride" in their name, and long-since for-
feited privileges, which provoked the Romans to
destroy their city and country.

'' 13. Consume them in thy wrath, consume
them^ or, thou shalt consume them, &c. that they
may not, or, shall not, be ,• and let them, or, they
shall, know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends
of the earth."

This prediction was accomplished in the total sub-
version of Jerusalem by Titus, when the Jews hav-
ing no longer any city, temple, or civil polity, ceased
to " be," as a nation. And they have seen enough
to have convinced them, that God is the God " not
of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also." The

78 [Ps, 59.

Gospel hath been preached, idolatry hath been over-
thrown, the nations have been converted to the faith
of Abraham, and that of David, whose Psalms are
used throughout the world; and God, who " ruled
in Jacob, and was known in Jewry,'' now is known
and ruleth " unto the ends of the earth;" for they
have " seen the salvation," and submitted to the scep-
tre of king Messiah.

'' 14. And at evening let them, or, they shall,
return ; and, let them, or, they shall, make a noise
like a dog, and go round about the city. 15. Let
them, or, they shall, wander up and -down for meat,
and grudge, or, howl, if they be not satisfied."

The punishment inflicted on the wicked often car-
ries the mark of their crime. It is just that they
who have thirsted after the blood of the righteous,
should want a drop of water to cool their tongues ;
and the hunger of a dog is deservedly their plague,
of whom a resemblance of that unclean animal's dis-
position hath been the sin. Such is the present
condition of the Jews, excluded from the church,
and suffering all the calamities of a spiritual famine;
and such will be the condition of all those who are
to wail and lament in vain, without the holy city, for
evermore. Rev. xxii. 15.

"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

ps. 60.] 79

While the wicked murmur and repine at the dis-
pensations of Heaven, the righteous are employed
in giving thanks and praises for the same ; and the
" morning" which is to consign the former to the
habitations of despair, where no sounds are heard
but those of hideous wailings and horrid blasphemies,
shall transport the latter to the mansions of felicity,
resounding with incessant hallelujahs.


ARGUMENT.— This Psalm is thought to have been composed
by David, when after his coming to the tlu-one, the tribes of
Israel had submitted to his sceptre, and he was engaged in the
reduction of the adjacent countries. See the histoiy, 2 Sam.
chap. V. and viii. 1 — 3. He describes what Israel had lately
suffered from foreign enemies, and domestic feuds ; 4, 5, 6. he
declareth himself appointed to conduct his people to victory
and triumph, according to a divine prediction ; 6, 7. he rejoiceth
in the accession of the other tribes to that of Judah, and 8—
12. sees Edom, Moab, and Philistia, already subdued by the
mighty power of God. All this is now to be spiritually ap-
plied, in the Christian church, to the establishment and en-
largement of Messiah's kingdom, prefigured by that of David.

" 1. O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scat-
tered us, thou hast been displeased ; O turn thyself
to us again."

When the church, by her sins, hath rejected God,
she is rejected by him ; she is delivered into the
hands of her enemies, and suffers persecution : when,
by repentance and supplication, she returneth to him,
he is ready to meet and receive her. The history of


[Ps. 60*

Israel is one continued exemplification of these most
interesting truths. It should be the care and endea-
vour of every church, and every individual, to profit

" 2. Thou hast made the earth, or, the land, to
tremble; thou hast broken it; heal the breaches
thereof, for it shaketh."

The persecutions of the Israelitish church often
shook the " land" of promise ; the persecutions of
the Christian church have frequently moved the whole
earth. Afflictions of this kind may be likened to
wounds sometimes made in a diseased body, by skil-
ful surgeons, to be healed again, when, by a discharge
of the corrupt humours, they have answered the end
for which they were intended.

" 3. Thou hast showed thy people hard things ;
thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonish-
ment, cr, intoxication."

The Israelites had not only suffered "hard things"
from their professed enemies the Philistines, by the
overthrow of Saul and his army, but their civil dis-
sensions at home showed that they had drunk deep of
the bitter cup of infatuation. See 1 Sam. xxxi. and
2 Sam. ii. and iii. From these two sources flow the
calamities of churches and of kingdoms in all ages,
whensoever it pleaseth God to visit their transgres-
sions upon them by the instrumentality of men.


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

Ps. 60.]


For the temporal salvation of Israel, God raised
up David, according to his promise ; to whose stand-
ard, as a centre of unit^ the worshippers of the true
God might resort. For the spiritual and eternal sal-
vation of the church, God raised up his Son Jesus, ac-
cording to his promise, and " displayed the banner
of the cross," under which believers are enlisted,
and led on to triumph, " because of the truth." Re-
markable to this purpose are the words of Isaiah ;
" In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which
shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall
the Gentiles seek, and his rest," after the battle is
over, and the victory gained, " shall be glorious."
Isaiah xi. 10.

" 5. That thy beloved may be delivered, save
*with thy right hand, and hear me."

This prayer, which king David preferred for Is-
rael, the great Intercessor prefers continually for his
church; and all ought to prefer for themselves and
for others.

" 6. God hath spoken in his holiness, or, by his
Holy One; I will rejoice, or, exult, that is, as a
conqueror: I will divide Shechem, and mete out the
valley of Succoth."

As a ground of hope and confidence, David here
declares, that God, by the mouth of a holy pro-
phet, had spoken and promised him the successes for
which he prayed in the foregoing verse. And that
this was known among the people, appears from a
speech of Abner to the elders of Israel, 2 Sam. iii,
18. " The Lord hath spoken of David, saying,

8S [Ps. 60.

By the hand of my servant David I will save my
people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and
out of the hand of all their enemies." Having,
therefore, mentioned this prediction, much of which
was already accomplished, he exults as a conqueror,
resolving to divide into districts, and portion out un-
der proper officers, the country about Samaria, now
become his own.

" 7. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine ;
Ephraim also is the strength of my head ; Judah is
my lawgiver."

" Gilead, Manasseh, Ephraim,"' and the other
tribes of Israel, upon the death of Ishbosheth
the son of Saul, whom Abner had set over them,
joined the royal tribe of Judah, and came in, with
one accord, to the house of David. See 2 Sam. ii.
8. and v. 1. '' Ephraim," as a tribe abounding in
valiant men, is styled by its prince, " the strength
of his head," or the support of his life and kingdom;
and " Judah," as the seat of empire, replenished
with men of wisdom and understanding, qualified
to assist the throne by their salutary counsels, is
dignified with the title of " lawgiver." Thus are
the tribes of the spiritual " Israel" subject to Mes-
siah, and serve him in various capacities, as the Spi-
rit furnishes different men with different powers :
some being endued with zeal and fortitude, to labour
and suffer; others with knowledge and discretion, to
instruct and govern.

'' 8. Moab is my wash-pot; over Edom will I cast
out, or, extend, my shoe; Philistia, triumph thou

Ps. 60.1


because of me ; Heh, over Philistia give a shout of
triumph. The parallel passage^ Ps. cviii. 9. has
it — Over Philistia I will give a shout of triumph."

After having mentioned the submission of the Is-
raelitish tribes to his sceptre, David predicts the ex-
tension of his kingdom over the neighbouring na-
tions, those inveterate enemies of the people of God;
such as the Moabites, the Edomites, and, above all,
the Philistines. The absolute reduction of these
nations under his dominion, is expressed metaphori-
cally, by the phrases of " making them his wash-
pot, and extending his shoe, that is, setting his foot,"
upon them. The Son of David also must "reign, till
he hath put all enemies under his feet." 1 Cor. xv. 25.
And the Christian, in these words, now declareth his
hope of being enabled to do the same; to conquer
through his Lord, and to triumph with him.

*' 9. Who will bring me i7ito the strong city?
Who will lead me into Edom ?"

Bozrah, the capital of Idumea, or, " Edom,"
was a fortified town, situated on a rock, deemed im-
pregnable. See Obad. ver. 3. Considering there-
fore the strength of the adversary, David, by this
question, acknowledgeth his own impotency, and the
need he had of superior aid, in order to achieve this
important conquest. How great need, then, have
we of an Almighty Saviour, who may enable us to
overcome our last and strongest enemy, death ?
And it is very remarkable, that Christ's victory over
this very enemy is set forth, by the prophet Isaiah,
under the striking image of a king of Israel, re-

B4f [Ps. 60.

turning in triumph from the reduction of Idumea.
" Who is this that cometh " from Edom," with
dyed garments from Bozrah ?" &c. Isa. Ixiii. 1. The
reader will be no less entertained than instructed,
by a discourse of Bishop Andrews on this subject,
being the seventeenth of his Sermons on Easter-


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

The question in the last verse, " Who will bring
me into Edom ?" is here answered hy another ques-
tion, *' Wilt not thou, O God," &c. that is, To
whom can we have recourse, for assistance, but to
thee, O God ? Deserted by thee, we fall ; but do
thou go forth with us, and we shall again rise supe-
rior to every enemy. So saith the Christian soldier:
" Lord, to whom shall we go ? Thou hast the words
of eternal life :" " Thou hast overcome the sharp-
ness of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven
to all believers."

"11. Give us help from trouble; for vain is the
help of man. 12. Through God we shall do val-
iantly ; for he it is that shall tread down our ene-

David, like a wise and pious prince, acknowledg-
eth the weakness of the fleshly arm, and strength-
ened himself in the Lord his God. Much more
ought we to confess the impotence of nature, and
to implore the succours of grace ; that so we may
happily accomplish our spiritual warfare, tread Satan

Ps. 61.]


under our feet, and triumph finally over the last
enemy, death himself.


ARGUMENT. — In the person of David, for a while driven into
exile, and then restored to his kingdom, we here behold the
church, or any member thereof, 1, 2, 3. preferring a petition
for deliverance from the troubles and temptations of this mor-
tal state ; 4. 5. expressing faith and hope in God ; 6, 7.
praying for the prosperity and perpetuity of Messiah's king-
dom ; and, 8. resolving to praise God evermore for the same.

" 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 than I."

The church, extended far and wide amonsr the
nations, crieth aloud unto God, by the prayers of its
members, even " from the end," or utmost parts,
*' of the earth." The world is to Christians a sea
of troubles and temptations, from which they daily
beseech God to deliver them, and to place them on
the " rock" of their salvation; which rock is Christ.
Grounded on him, by faith in his sufferings, and ex-
altation, we may defy all the storms and tempests
that can be raised against us by the adversary, while,
as from the top of a lofty mountain on the shore,
we behold the waves dashing themselves in pieces
beneath us.

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


LPs. 61.

Meditation on God our Saviour, as set forth in
the Scriptures, will ever prove, to the believer, " a
stroncp tower" or fortress, in which he will be safe
from the darts of the enemy, and will be furnished
with impregnable arguments, wherewith to oppose
and blunt the force of every temptation which Satan

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