[Comm vol11] Thml template 00



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4. They pour forth, they speak hard things. fd15 He shows in still clearer terms, how their fierceness in persecution was such that they did not scruple to glory in their guilt. The Hebrew verb [bn, nabang, means more than to speak. Literally it signifies to rush or boil forth, and comes to denote figuratively the uttering of reckless or rash words. We see how wicked men are instigated by pride and vain-glory, to demean and disgrace themselves so far as to boast vain-gloriously of their power, breathing forth threatenings of bloodshed, violence, and monstrous cruelty. It is to such ebullitions that the Psalmist refers, when men who are lost to all sense of shame and modesty boast of the wickedness which they can perpetrate at will. This is what he means by their speaking hard things, uttering discourse which is under no restraint of fear, or prudential consideration, but which launches into the most unbridled license. As the Lord’s people had formerly to endure the heavy trial of seeing the Church subjected to this wild tyranny and misrule, we should account it no strange thing to see the Church suffering still under miserable misgovernment, or positive oppression, but should pray for help from God, who, though he connives at wickedness for a time, eventually comes to the deliverance of his children.

5. They break in pieces thy people, O Jehovah! Having spoken of their discourse or language as vain-glorious and shameless, he proceeds to speak of their deeds, in cruelly persecuting the Church. It is hard that even the subjects of heathen princes should be subjected to unjust persecution, but a more intolerable thing still, that those who are God’s own people, his peculiar inheritance, should be trampled under the foot of tyranny. The prayer before us is one which, as I have already remarked, is given with the intention that we should prefer it ourselves, when we or others may be persecuted by wicked men, and especially intestine enemies. Our safety is dear to the Lord, not only as we are men, the workmanship of his hand, but as we are his peculiar heritage; and this should lead us, when wronged at any time, to betake ourselves to God with the more confidence. It is farther added — that they spare not the widow, and the orphan, and murder the stranger. God, while he has commanded us in general to cultivate equity and justice in our common intercourse, has commended the orphan, widow, and stranger, to our peculiar care, as being more exposed to injury, and therefore more entitled to humanity and compassion. To treat such objects with cruelty argues a singular degree of impiety, and contempt of divine authority, and is not only an outrage of common justice, but the infraction of a privilege of special protection which God has condescended to cast around them. fd16 They who are chargeable with such conduct, particularly provoke the divine anger. As to little children especially, their helplessness and tender age will even protect them from being attacked by dogs and wild beasts. And what shall we think of the monstrous inhumanity of men, who would make them the objects of their assault? We have here a specimen of the dreadful state of matters which must then have prevailed in the Church of God. The law was there, and the ordinances of divine appointment, yet we see to what an awful extent every species of wickedness abounded. Let us beware lest we fall into a similar state of corruption, and should it so happen under our own observation that men persecute the stranger, seize the widow, and rob the fatherless, let us, in imitation of the Psalmist, who would have us alleviate their misfortunes, pray God to undertake their defense.






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