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HE design of the Holy Ghost in this psalm is to express, in the experience of the psalmist,
and the working of his faith, the state and condition of a soul greatly in itself perplexed, relieved on the account of grace, and acting itself towards God and his faints, suitably to the discovery of that grace unto him: A great design, and full of great instruktion.
And this general prospcet gives us the parts and scope of the whole psalm: For,
1. We have the state and condition of the soul there. in represented with his deportment in and under that state and condition, in ver. 1, 2. Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice, let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my fupplications.
2. His enquiry after relief : And therein are two things that present themselves unto him; the one whereof, which first offers the confideration of itself to him in his distress, he deprecates, ver. 3. If thou, Lord, faculds mark iniquity, O'Lord, who fall stand? The other he closeth withal, and finds relief in it, and supportment by it, ver. 5. But there is forgiveness with thee: ihat thou mayest be feared.
Upon this his discovery, and fixing on relief, there is the actiog of his faith, and the deportment of his whole person;
1. Towards God, ver. 5. 6. I wait for the Lord, my foul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My foul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning, I lay more than they that watch for the morning.
2. Towards the saints, ver. 7, 8. Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Ifrael from all his iniquities.
All which parts, and the various concernments of them, must be opened severally.
And this also gives an account of what is my design from, and upon, the words of this psalm ; namely, to declare the perplexed intanglements which may befal a gracious foul, such an one as this psalmist was ; with the nature and proper workings of faith in such a condition : Principally aiming at what it is that gives a soul relief and supportment in, and afterward deliverance from, such a perplexed estate.
The Lord in mercy, dispose of these meditations in such a way and manner, as that both he that writes, and shey that read, may be made partakers of the benefit, relief, and consolation, intended for his faints, in this psalm by the Holy Ghost, The state and condition of the soul represented in the
pfalm. The two first verses opened. The state and condition of the soul here represented, as the basis on which the process of the psalm is built ; with its deportment, or the general acting of its faith in that state, is expressed in the two first verses
Out of the depths hare I cried unto thee, O Lord.
Lord hear my voice; let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my fupplications.
1. The present state of the foul under consideration is included in that expression, Out of the depths.
Some of the ancients, as Chrysostom, suppose this expression to relate unto the depths of the heart of the psalmist; nu isor in Pabiav; not from the mouth or tongue only, αλλ' απο καρδιας βαθυτάτης, but from the depth and bottom of the heart: iš aulõv ens Ssavoias Twv Bábpaw, from the deepest recefles of the mind. And indeed the work is used to express the depth of
the hearts of men, but utterly in another sense, Psal. Ixiv. 6. The heart is deep.
But the obvious sense of the place, and the constant use of the word in the Hebrew will not adnit of this interpretation : e profundis from the depths, from profundus fuit, is in the plural number profunditates, or depths. It is commonly used for vallies, or any deep place whatever, but especially of waters. Vallies and deep places, because of their darkness and solitariness, are accounted places of horror, helplesness and trouble, Psal. xxiii. 4. When I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, ihat is, in the extremity of danger and trouble.
The moral use of the word, as expressing the flate and condition of the souls of men, is metaphorical. These depths then are difficulties, or pressures, attended with fear, horror, danger, and trouble.
And they are of two forts,
1. Providential; in respect of outward distresses, calamities, and am Etions, Pfal. Ixix. 1. Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul; (I stick in the mire of the deep, and there is no standing ; I am come, (in the Heb.) into the depths of waters, and the flood overflows me.) It is trouble, and the extremity of it, that the psalmist complains of, and which he thus expresseth. He was brought by it into a condition like uato a man ready to be drowned; being cast into the bottom of deep and miry waters; where he had no ficın foundation to stand upon, nor ability to come out; as he farther explains himself, ver. 15.
2. There are internal depths; depths of conscience upon the account of fin, Pfal. lxxxviii. 6. Thou hast l'aid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. What he intends by this expression, the psalmist declares in the next words, ver. 7. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me. Sense of God's wrath upon his conscience, upon the account of fin, was the deep he was cast into; so, ver. 15. fpeaking of the same matter, faith he, I suffer thy terrors, and ver. 16. thy fierce wrath goeth over me, Which he calls
water, waves, and deeps : according to the metaphor before opened.
And these are the deeps that are here principally intended, clamat fub molibus & fluctibus iniquitatem suarum fays Anstin on the place. “ He cries out under the “ weight and waves of his sins.”
This the ensuing psalm makes evident, desiring to be delivered from these depths out of which he cried, he deals with God, wholly about mercy and forgiveness; and it is Gn alone from which forgiveness is a deliverance. The doctrine allo that he preacheth upon his delivery, is that of mercy, grace, and redemption, as is manifest from the close of the psalm; and what we have deliverance by, is most upon our hearts when we are delivered.
It is true, indeed, that these deeps do oftentimes concur ; as David speaks, Deep calleth upon deep, Psal. xlii. 7. The deeps of affliction awaken the conscience to a deep sense of sin. But sin is the disease, affliction only a fymptom of it; and in attending a cure, the discase it. self is principally to be heeded, the symptom will follow, or depart of itself.
Many interpreters think that this was now David's condition; by great trouble and distress, he was greatly minded of fin; and we must not therefore wholly pass over that intendment of the word, though we are chiefly to respect that, which he himself, in this address un. to God, did principally regard.
This in general is the state and condition of the soul managed in this pfalm, and is as the key to the ensuing discourse, or the hinge on which it turns. intendment from the psalm, that which ariseth from hence, may be comprized in these two propositions.
}. Gracious souls, after much communion with God, may be brought into inextricable depths and intanglements on the account of Gn. For such the pfalmist here expreffeth his own condition to have been, and such
As to my
2. The inward root of ourward distresses, is princi
Depths of Trouble on account of Sin. 5 pally to be attended to in alt pressing trials, fin, in afflic
Gracious souls may be brought into depths on the account of fin.' What those depths are.
Before I proceed at all in the further opening of the words, chey have all of them respect unto the proposition first laid down, I shall explain and confirm the truth obtained in is; that so it may be understood, what we say, and whereof we do affirm, in the whole process of our discourfe.
It is a fad truth that we have proposed unto consideration : He that hears it ought to tremble in himself, that he may rest in the day of trouble; it speaks out the apostles advice, Rom. ix. 20. Be not bigh-minded, but fear; and that also, i Cor. x. 12. Let him that thinketh be fandeth, take heed left he fall. When Peter had learned this truth by woful experience, after all bis boldness and forwardness, he gives this counsel to all faiots, that they would pass the time of their sojourning here in fear, 1 Pet. i. 14. Knowing how near, in our greatest peace apd serenity, evil and danger may ly at the door.
Some few instances of the many that are left on record, wherein this truth is exemplified, may be mentioned, Gen. vi. 9. Noah was a jus man, perfect in his generation, and Noah walked with God. He did so a long season, and that in an evil time, amidst all sorts of temptations, when all flejbs had corrupted their way upon earth, ver. 12. This put an eminency upon his obedience ; and doubtless readered the communion which he had with God, in walking before him, most sweet and precious to him. He was a gracious soul upon the redoubled testimony of God himself. But we know what befel this holy person. He that lhall read the story that is recorded of him, Gen. ix. 21. will easily grant, that he was brought into inextricable distress on the account of fin. His own drunkennefs, ver. 21. with the consequence of it, gives fcandal unto, and provokes the uona