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10 For one day in thy courts : 3 Thou hast taken away all is better than a thousand.

thy displeasure : and turned thy11 I had rather be a door. self from thy wrathful indignakeeper (s) in the house of my tion. God : than to dwell in the tents 4 Turn us then, O God our of ungodliness.

Saviour : and let thine anger 12 For the Lord God is a light cease (x) from us. and defence : the Lord will give 5 Wilt thou be displeased at grace and worship; and no good us for ever : and wilt thou stretch thing shall he withhold from them out thy wrath from one generathat live a godly life.

tion to another? 13 O Lord God of hosts : 6 Wilt thou not turn again, blessed is the man that putteth and quicken us : that thy people his trust in thee.

may rejoice in thee?

7 Shew us thy mercy, O Lord : Psalm lxxxv. (t)

and grant us thy salvation. Lord, thou art become graci- 8 I will hearken, what the ous (u) unto thy land : thou hast Lord God will say concerning turned away the captivity of Jacob. me : for he shall speak peace

2 Thou hast forgiven the of. unto his people and to his saints, fence of thy people : and covered that they turn not (y) again. all their sins.

9 For his salvation is nigh


vance, till at length they appear before "the God of gods in Sion."

(9) "A door-keeper," &c. A contrast is perhaps intended between the words “door-keeper” and “ dwell :" and the meaning may be, “ I had rather " fill the lowest office in God's house, " than have my dwelling, and live in ease and luxury, in the tents of ungodliness." W A thankful remembrance of some great deliverance, and an anxious prayer for a continuance of God's favour. It was probably written in Ezra's time, after the return from the Babylonish captivity, about 536 years before the birth of Christ,

some of the oppositions to their rebuilding the temple. According to Ezra iv. 4. the people of the land weakened their hands, and troubled them in building; and the work was put an end to, by an order of Artaxerxes, for about nine years ; it might be during this interval, whilst their release from Babylon was fresh in their minds, and whilst the full completion of their hopes, by the rebuilding of the temple, was still interrupted, thai this Psalm was written. In commenting on Isaiah xlv. 8. Bishop

« the 85th Psalm is a very

“ elegant ode on the same subject with
" this part of Isaiah's prophecies, the
“i restoration of Judah from captivity,
“ and is, in the most beautiful part of
“ it,”. (from verse 9 to the end), “ a
" manifest imitation of this passage,"
(i.e. Isaiah xlv. 8. &c.) He adds also,
that in both passages the coincidence of
mercy and truth must look forward to
the blessings of the great redemption by
the Messiah. This is one of the proper
Psalms for Christmas Day.

(u) Gracious." Jeremiah had fore. v. I.
told distinctly, that they should “
" the king of Babylon seventy years.”
Jer. xxv. I. and xxix. 10. “ Thus saith
“ the Lord, that after seventy years be
“ accomplished at Babylon, I will visit

you, and perform my good word to“ ward you, in causing you to return to “ this place,” &c. The completion of this promise would have convinced them that God still had them in his thoughts, and would make them still more importunate for a further proof of his favour, in overcoming the resistances they still experienced.

(a) “ Cease," i.e. entirely cease.

(y) “ Turn not,” i. e. (perhaps) rebel, v. 8. fall off.



Lowth says,


them that fear him : that glory servant that putteth his trust in may dwell() in our land.

thee. 10 Mercy and truth (a) are


3 Be merciful unto me, O met together : righteousness and

Lord : for I will call daily upon peace have kissed each other. thee.

11 Truth shall flourish out of 4 Comfort the soul of thy the earth : and righteousness servant : for unto thee, O Lord, hath looked down from heaven. do I lift up my soul. 12 Yea, the Lord shall shew

5 For thou, Lord, art good loving-kindness : and our land

and gracious : and of great mercy shall give her increase.

unto all them that call upon 13 Righteousness shall

be- thee.

6. ,

6 Give ear, Lord, unto my fore him : and he shall direct (6) his going in the way. It

prayer : and ponder the voice of my

humble desires.

7 In the time of my trouble MORNING PRAYER.

I will call upon thee : for thou

hearest me. Psalm lxxxvi. (c)

3 Among the gods (1) there is Bow (d) down thine ear, O Lord, none like ụnto thee, O Lord : and hear me : for I am poor and there is not one that can do as in misery

thou doest. 2 Preserve thou my soul, for 9 All nations (8) whom thou I am holy (e) : my God, save thy hast made shall come and wor

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(2) That glory may dwell,'' &c. i.e. (probably) that our land may again be in a state of glory:

(a) “ Truth,"i. e. justice, “ peace," i.e.forgiveness. The meaning probably is,

mercy is made consistent with justice." Though God has at length pardoned their offences, he has first attended to the demands of justice. It has been remarked of the Christian dispensation, that though it is a system of the utmost mercy, yet, by requiring such a sacrifice as our 'Saviour Jesus Christ, God has satisfied what justice would require. He might have pardoned upon repentance without a Mediator, or without such a one as Christ; but the claims of justice would not have been so well satisfied, nor would God's abhorrence of sin have been so strongly marked. See i Clarke's Attrib. 309.

(6) For “ he shall direct,” &c. the
Bible translation is, " shall set us in the

of his steps.”
(c) An anxious prayer to God in time
of danger. It is supposed to have been
written by David, and to have been
used and perhaps altered by Hezekiah,
when Sennacherib king of Assyria

threatened Jerusalem, about 710 years
before Christ.
(d) “ Bow," &c. In the


of Hezekiah, recorded 2 Kings xix. a similar passage;

Lord, bow dort “ thine ear, and hear, open Lord thise

eyes, and see," &c.

(e) " Holy," i. e. (perhaps) one of thy worshippers.

(f) “The gods,” i. e. (probably) the objects of heathen worship; or it may be put for “ the greatest powers.". Part of the insulting message from Rabshakeh to Hezekiah, 2 Kings xix. 12. was,

share " the gods of the nations delivered them " which my fathers have destroyed;" and Hezekiah observes, verse 17, 18. that " of a truth the kings of Assyria had cast “ their gods into the fire, for they were

no gods.” In Ps. Ixxxi. 1. God is said to be “ a judge among gods;" and Ps. lxxxix. 7.

the question is put, “ What is he among the gods, that shall 66 be like unto the Lord ?

(8) “ All nations," &c. So in the prophetic Psalm, xxii. 27.

« All the 16 ends of the world shall remember “ themselves, and be turned unto the

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ship thee, O Lord : and shall and have mercy upon me : give glorify thy Name.

thy strength unto thy servant, and 10 For (b) thou art great, and help the son of thine handmaid. doest wondrous things : thou art 17 Shew some token upon me God alone.


good, that they who hate me II

Teach me thy way, O may see it and be ashamed : beLord, and I will walk in thy cause (1) thou, Lord, hast holpen truth : O knit my heart unto

me and comforted me. thee, that I may fear thy Name. 12 I will thank thee, O Lord

Psalm lxxxvii.(m) my God, with all my heart (i) : Her foundations (n) are upon and will praise thy Name for the holy hills : the Lord loveth evermore.

the gates of Sion more than all 13 For great is thy mercy to- the dwellings () of Jacob. ward me : and thou hast deli- 2 Very excellent things are vered my soul from the nether- spoken of thee : thou city of God. most hell.

3 I will think upon (P) Ra14 O God, the proud are risen hab (9) and Babylon : with (r) against me : and the congrega.

them that know me. tions of naughty men have sought 4



the Philistines after my soul, and have not set also : and they of Tyre, with the thee (k) before their eyes.

Morians (s) ; lo, there was he 15 But thou, O Lord God,

born (t). art full of compassion and mercy: 5 And (u) of Sion it shall be long-suffering, plenteous in good- reported, that he was born (x) in ness and truth.

her : and the Most High shall 16 O turn thee then unto me, stablish her (y).

com- v. 3.


pare her with.

“ Lord, and all the kindreds of the na“tions shall worship before him.” See the note there.

(b) For," &c. Hezekiah uses a similar argument, 2 Kings xix. 19. “ Now

therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech " thee, save thou us out of his hand, " that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even

(6) “ All the dwellings,” i. e. all the v. I. other dwellings. (o)"

“ I will think upon," i. e. (9)“ Rahab," i. e. Egypt.

· 3 (r) For “ with them that know v. 3. 6 me," Street reads “ for men of know


“ ledge.”

thou only.'

V.4. v. 4.


12, (i) " With all my heart” not with the lips only

(4) “ Not set thee," have not been restrained by any fear of thee. 7. (1) “ Because," &c. i.e. that the help

I receive from thee may put them to shame who have impeached thy power.

(m) An hymn in praise of Jerusalem, from its situation, from God's attachment to it, and from the number of eminent persons it had produced.

(n) “ Her foundations," i. e, the foundations of Jerusalem.

(s) “ Morians,” ie. the Arabians.

(t) “ He born,” i. e. some one two great men.

The meaning is sup-
posed to be that in looking to Egypt, to
Babylon, &c. some few great men will
be found to have been born there, but
that abundantly more have been born in
Jerusalem : for every one that Rahab,
&c. could reckon, Jerusalem might

(u) For“ and” read “ but.”

(a) For “ he was born,” the Bible v. 5.
translation is “ this and that man was
“ born,” to signify numbers.

(y) For “ and the Most High shall v. 5.

v. 5



6 The Lord shall rehearse it, upon me : and thou hast vexed when he writeth up the peo

me with all thy storms. ple (z) : that he was born (a) 7 Thou hast put away mine there.

acquaintance far from me : and 7 The singers also and trum- made me to be abhorred of them. -peters shall he (6) rehearse : all 8 I am so fast in prison : that my fresh springs (c) shall be in I cannot get forth. thee.

9 My sight faileth for very

trouble : Lord, I have called dail Psalm lxxxviii.(d)

upon thee, I have stretched fort

my hands unto thee. O Lord God of my salvation, , 10 Dost thou shew wonder I have cried day and night be- among the dead : or shall the dea fore thee : 0 let my prayer enter rise up again, and praise thee? into thy presence ; incline thine u Shall ihy loving-kindnes ear unto my calling.

be shewed in the grave : or th 2 For my soul is full of trou- faithfulness in destruction? ble : and my life draweth nigh 12 Shall thy wondrous work unto hell (e).

be known in the dark : and thi 3 I am counted as one of them righteousness in the land wher that go down into the pit : and I all things are forgotten? have been even as a man that 13 Unto thee have I cried, hath no strength;

Lord : and early shall my praya 4 Free among (f) the dead, come before thee. like unto them that are wounded, 14 Lord, why abhorrest thou and lie in the grave : who are my soul : and hidest thou thy out of remembrance, and are cut face from me? away from thy hand.

15 I am in misery, and like 5 Thou hast laid me in the unto him that is at the point to lowest pit : in a place of dark- die : even from my youth up ness, and in the deep.

terrors (8) have I suffered with a 6 Thine indignation lieth hard troubled mind.


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* stablish her,” another reading is, that prison, or was shut up for the leproty " the Most High did lay her found. By the Levitical law a leper was tu “ ations."

“'dwell alone,” Levit. xiii. 46. and when « Writeth up the people," i. e. God smote Azariah the king of Judak registers the nations : alluding to what so that he was a leper unto the day of bi was the practice in those times, the in- death, he dwelt from thenceforth in rolling or taking an account of all the several house. See 2 Kings xv. 5. 1: people.

one of the proper Psalms for Good Fri (a) “ He was born,” &c. i. e. that day, probably selected, because some o such and such persons were born there. its passages were applicable

(6) Perhaps“ he' should be omitted, viour at his death, and during his conti and then “ all my fresh springs," &c. is nuance in the

grave. what the singers, &c. should rehearse. (e) “ Hell," i. e. death, the grave

(c) “ Fresh springs,” i. e. ablest (f) “ Free among,” i, e. perhaps, men.

it were of fellowship with, of the (d, A Psalm of lamentation, perhaps || community. written by some person who was either in

(8) “ Thy terrors,” &c. i. e."]

to our Sa



16 Thy wrathful displeasure || passed me together on every goeth over me : and the fear of side. thee hath undone me.

18 (i)My lovers and friends hast 17 They came round about me thou put away from me: and hid daily like water (b) : and com- mine acquaintance out of my sight.

Lessons for the Seventeenth Day of the Month throughout the rear.

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September 17. Morn. Zeph. iii.

Matt. xviii. (8) Even. Hag. i.

Morn. Wisd. ix. Morn. Ecclus. xlvii. Morn. Isaiah xlvii.
Luke iii.
John ix.

Acts xvii.
Even. Wisd. x. Even. Ecclus. xlviii. Even. Isaiah xlviii.
Gal. iii (9)
i Tim, vi.

i Pet. v.


i Cor. ii.

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have had afflictions from thee to trouble my mind.

(b) “ Like water,'' i. e. (perhaps) pressing as closely upon me as water

upon a man that is in it. (i) See Ps. xxxi. 13.-xxxviii. 11.

(6) A memorial, in some period of great distress, of God's power, of his former favours, and of one of his great promises, and an anxious prayer for deliverance. The first 36 verses are in a

triumphant strain, and were perliaps written in prosperity, and it is not unlikely that in some period of great national calamity, the spirited composition of happier times might be called to mind, to shew how dreadfully their situation was altered. It is one of the proper Psalms for Christmas Day, prboably because the promises it mentions had reference to the Messiah.

(1) This is the truth referred to in v.3. verse 2.

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