Verse 7. "The righteous Lord loveth righteousness " - He loves that which resembles himself. His countenance-his face-is ever open and unclouded to the upright. They always enjoy his salvation, and know that he is pleased with them.
"The preceding verse my old MS. translates and paraphrases thus: " - "He sal rayne on synful, snares, fyre, brimstane, and gost of stormis." Par. - He Sal rayne on synful in this werld, snares, that es wiked Lare: fyre is covatyse: brunstane, that es stynk of il werkes: and post of stormis, that es a stormy though that es withoutyn rest in Ihesu Crist, and ay es traveld with the wynd of the devel. Or the past of stormys, es the last depertyng of synful fra ryghtwis men, and there fyre, brunston, storm, er part of the chalyie of thaim: that es, thai ar thair part in pyne. He cals thair pyne a "Cop", for ilk dampned man sal drynk of the sorow of Hel, eftir the mesure of hys Syn. Behald the pynes of wikid men: fyrst, God raynes upon thaim snares, that es qwen he suffers fals prophetes that comes in clathing of mekenes; and withinnen er wers than wolves, to desayf thaim thurgh errour. Sythen the fyre of lychery, and covatys wastes al the gude that thai haf done: eftirward for stynk of il werkes that er castyn fra Crist, and al his Halows, and then er in sentence of dome; as in a grete storme, dryven in til a pitte of Hel, to bryn in fyre withoutyn ende. This es the entent of this wers.
"Ver. 7. "For ryghtwis es Lord; and he lufes ryghtwisnes; evennes saw the face of hym" " - Yf ge ask qwy oure lorde yelded pyne to synful? lo here an answere; for he es rightwis. Als so if ge wil witt qwy he gifes ioy til gude men? Lo here an answere; for he lufed ryghtwisnes: that es, ryghtwis men, in the qwilk er many ryghtwisneses: thof ane be the ryghtwisnes of God, in the qwilk al ryghtwise men or parcenel. Evenes saw his face: that es, evenes es sene in his knawyng inence, both the partys of gud and il.
This es ogayne wryches at sais, If God saf me noght, I dar say he es unryghtwis: bot thof thai say it now, qwen he suffris wryched men errour in thought, and worde and dede; thai sal noght be so hardy to speke a worde qwen he comes to dampne thaire errour. Bot who so lufes here and haldes that na unevenes may be in hym, qwam so he dampnes, or qwam so he saves, he sal have thaire myght to stand and to speke gude space. Now er swilk in a wonderful wodenes, that wenes for grete wordes to get ought of God.
The former part of this Psalm, Flee as a bird, &c., this ancient author considers as the voice of heresy inviting the true Church to go away into error; and intimates that those who were separating from haly kyrk were very pure, and unblameable in all their conduct; and that mountain or hill, as he translates it, signifies eminent virtues, of which they had an apparently good stock. So it appears that those called heretics lived then a holier life than those called halows or saints.
ANALYSIS OF THE ELEVENTH PSALM
This Psalms is composed dialoguewise, betwixt David and those of his counsellors that persuaded him to fly to some place of safety from Saul's fury; which, if he did not, he was in a desperate condition. The Psalm has two parts.
I. He relates his counsellors' words ver. 1-3.
II. To which he returns his answer, ver. 1, and confirms it, ver. 4-7.
I. You, my counsellors, whether of good or bad will I know not, tempt me, that, giving up all hope of the kingdom, I go into perpetual banishment.
Such, you say, is Saul's fury against me. Thus, then, ye advise, "Flee as a bird to your mountain:" and your arguments are, 1. The greatness of the danger I am in: "For lo, the wicked bend their bow." 2. The want of aid; there is no hope of help. For the foundations are cast down. Saul has broken all the leagues and covenants he has made with you. He has slain the priests with the sword, has taken thy fortresses, laws subverted. If thou stay, perish thou must: some righteous men, it is true, are left; but what can the righteous do? II. To these their arguments and counsel, David returns his answer in a sharp reprehension. I tell you, 1. "I trust in God: how say you then to my soul." And he gives his reasons for it from the sufficiency and efficiency of God.
1. You say the foundations are cast down; yet I despair not, for God is sufficient.
1. Present in his holy temple; he can defend.
2. He is a great King, and his throne is in heaven.
3. Nothing is hidden from him: "His eyes behold, and his eyelids," &c.
4. He is a just God, and this is seen in his proceedings both to the just and unjust. 1. Be trieth the righteous, by a fatherly and gentle correction. 2. "But the wicked, and him that loveth violence, his soul hateth." These two last propositions he expounds severally, and begins with the wicked.
1. "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone," &c. 1. He shall rain upon them when they least think of it, even in the midst of their jollity, as rain falls on a fair day. 2. Or, he shall rain down the vengeance when he sees good, for it rains not always. Though he defer it, yet it will rain. 3. The punishment shall come to their utter subversion, as the fire on Sodom, &c. 4. This is the portion of their cup, that which they must expect from him.
2. But he does good to the just: "For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright." He bears him good will, and is careful to defend him.
On the whole the Psalm shows, 1. That David had the strongest conviction of his own uprightness. 2. That he had the fullest persuasion that God would protect him from all his enemies, and give him a happy issue out of all his distresses.