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SE R M O N I.
PS A L. XLII. 6, 7.
According to the Translation of our Liturgy. Why art thou so full of Heaviness, O my Soul ?
And why art thou so disquieted within me ? Put tbý Trust in God, for I will yet give him Thanks for the Help of his Countenance.
AVID, tho' a Man after God's
own Heart, and dearly beloved D
by him, was as much exercised all his Life with Troubles and
Afflictions of several Kinds, as almost any we read of. When he composed this Psalm, and that which followeth it, it sufficiently appears, that he was under great Perplexity and Confternation of Mind, which makes him three times speak to himself, Why art thou cast down, O my Soul? And why art thou disquieted within me ?
What the particular Occafion was, is not expressed in the Psalm : But it is generally believed, and it is very probably, that it was upon the Rebellion of his Son Absalom ; by Occasion of which he was driven from JeruVOL. III.
Jalem, Salem, and so banished from the House of God in Mount Sion, where he had lately fix'd the Ark; And this Banishment of his is that which he is here so much concerned for, and fo passionately bewails. Taking this key, we are easily let into the Sense of both these Psalms : The former of which, so far as is needful for the right understanding this Text, I shall give you a brief Account of.
Thys he begins; As the hunted Deer panteth after the Brooks of Water, fo panteth my Soul after thee, O God: My Soul thirsteth for God, yea, even for the living God: When shall I come and appear before God ? that is, when shall I be so happy as to have Access again to thy Tabernacle, where thou dost manifest thy Presence, and from whence I am now driven by them that seek my Life? And then he goes on in the third Verse, My Tears have been my Meat Day and Night; while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?'
, that is to say, I am wholly given over to Grief and Sorrow, whilst I hear the continual Reproaches of my Enemies, saying unto me, What is become of thy God, in whom thou wast wont to repose so much Confidence? When I remember these Things, ( as he goes on in the 4th Verse ) I pour out my Soul in me : For I had gone with the Multitude: I went with them to the House of God with the Voice of Joy and Praise, with a Multitude that kept Holy-Days; that is, it even breaks my Heart to call to Mind those happy
Days, Days, when I brought thine Ark to Mount Sion, accompanied with the joyful Acclamations of all thy People, and to think of all the other blessed Times, when, before this Banishment, we met together at thy House to worship and praise thy Name. And then follow in the next Verse the Words of
my Text; Why art thori caft down, O my Soul? why art thou fo difquieted within me? As if he had faid, Be not for all this discouraged, tho' it be as fad a Calamity as is poffible, to be thus deprived of the Opportunity of worshipping God in publick, yet there is no Reafon thou should it be utterly dejected, and abandon thyself to Despair: 'No, pat thy Truft in God; for I fhall yet give him Thanks for the Help of his Countenance : That is, A Time, I hope, will come, when I fhall again go to his Houfe, and praise him ftill for his Favours towards me, in delivering me from this, as well as my former Afflictions.
- This is the natural Account and Meaning of the Words, as they lie in the Pfalm, and as they were spoken by the Pfalmift. But in the Discourse which I defign upon this Text, I mean not to confine myfelf to the particular Case, upon Occasion of which these Words were fpoken, but to take a larger Compafs, and to treat of Trouble of Mind in general, as far as it is upon a Religious Account.