Verse 6. "I will sing unto the Lord " - That heart is turned to God's praise which has a clear sense of God's favour.
"Because he hath dealt bountifully with me. " - yl[ lmg yk ki gamel alai, because he hath recompensed me. My sorrows were deep, long continued, and oppressive, but in thy favour is life. A moment of this spiritual joy is worth a year of sorrow! O, to what blessedness has this godly sorrow led! He has given me the oil of joy for the spirit of heaviness, and the garments of praise for mourning.
The old MS. Psalter, which I have so frequen,tly mentioned and quoted, was written at least four hundred years ago, and written probably in Scotland, as it is in the Scottish dialect. That the writer was not merely a commentator, but a truly religious man, who was well acquainted with the travail of the soul, and that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ which brings peace to the troubled heart, is manifested from various portions of his comment. To prove this I shall, I think I may say, favour the reader with another extract from this Psalm on the words, "How long wilt thou forget me," &c., ver. 1. I have only to observe that with this commentator a true penitent, one who is deeply in earnest for his salvation, is called a "perfyte man"; i.e., one wholly given up to God.
"How lang lord for getes thu me in the endyng?" How lang o way turnes thou thi face fro me? The voice of haly men that covaytes and yernes the comyng of Iehu Crist, that thai might lyf with hym in ioy; and pleynaund tham of delaying. And sais, Lord how lang for getes the me in the endyng? That I covayte to haf and hald. That es how lang delayes thu me fra the syght of Iehu Crist, that es ryght endyng of myn entent. And how lang turnes thu thi face fra me? that es, qwen wil thu gif me perfyte Knawing of the? This wordes may nane say sothly, bot a perfyte man or woman, that has gedyrd to gydir al the desyres of thair Saule, and with the nayle of luf fested tham in Iehu Crist. Sa tham thynk one hour of the day war our lang to dwel fra hym; for tham langes ay til hym; bot tha that lufs noght so, has no langyng that he come: for thair conscience sais thaim, that thai haf noght lufed hym als that suld have done.
The language of true Christian experience has been the same in all times and nations. "But he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love;" and to such this is strange language.
ANALYSIS OF THE THIRTEENTH PSALM
"This Psalm," says Bishop Nicolson, "is a fit prayer for a soul that is sensible of God's desertion." It has three parts: ] I. A heavy and bitter complaint of God's absence, ver. 1, 2.
II. An earnest petition for God's return, ver. 3. The reason, ver. 4.
III. A profession of faith and confidence, with joy in God, accompanied with thanksgiving, ver. 5, 6.
I. He bitterly complains, and aggravates it.
1. That God had forgotten him: "Wilt thou forget me?" 2. That he hid his face from him: "Wilt thou hide thy face?" 3. That he was distracted with many cares, what way to take, and what counsel to follow, to recover God's favour: "I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart." 4. In the meantime, his enemy was exalted, triumphed and insulted over him.
5. And, lastly, he complains of the delay, which is quickened by the erotesis, (interrogation,) and anaphora, (beginning several sentences with the same words,) How long? How long? How long? What! for ever? II. His petition, ver. 3. Of which there are three degrees opposed to the parts of his complaint, ver. 1, 2.
1. Look upon me, or consider me. Thou hast hitherto seemed to turn away thy face; but once behold me, and give me a proof of thy love.
2. Hear me. Thou hast seemed to have forgotten; but now, I pray thee, remember me; and show that thou dost not neglect my prayer.
3. Lighten my eyes. I have been vexed in my soul, and agitated various counsels to recover thy favour; but do thou instruct me, and illuminate me, as to what course I shall take.
"That his petition might be the sooner heard, he urges many arguments: " - 1. From that relation that was between him and God: "O Lord my God, hear me!" 2. From a bitter event that was likely to follow, if God heard him not: "Lest I sleep the sleep of death." 3. From another afflictive consequence-the boasting and insult of his adversaries: "Lest my enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved." But although the answer was delayed, yet he does not despair-for, III. In the conclusion, he professes faith, joy, and thankfulness: ] 1. His faith: "I have trusted in thy mercy." 2. His joy: "My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation." 3. His thankfulness: "I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me." According to this scale, this Psalmcan neither be read nor paraphrased without profit.
The sentiments of atheists and deists, who deny the doctrine of a Divine providence. Their character: they are corrupt, foolish, abominable, and cruel, 1-4. God fills them with terror, 5; reproaches them for their oppression of the poor, 6. The psalmist prays for the restoration of Israel, 7.