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THAT thou wouldst rend the heavens, and wouldst come down: the mountains would melt away at thy presence.

Ver. 1.  Presence, as at Sinai.  Ex. xix. 16.  Judg. v. 4.  Judas continues to pray.  C.

 

--- The faithful sigh for Christ's coming.  H.

 

--- All good people desired it most fervently.  W.


2 They would melt as at the burning of fire, the waters would burn with fire, that thy name might be made known to thy enemies: that the nations might tremble at thy presence.

Ver. 2.  They.  Sept. "As wax melts before the fire, so also fire will burn the adversaries, and thy," &c.  H.

 

--- Burn.  Sparks of fire seem to proceed from it.


3 When thou shalt do wonderful things, we shall not bear them: thou didst come down, and at thy presence the mountains melted away.

Ver. 3.  Bear.  Ex. xx. 18.  Heb. "expect."  Judas appeared victorious, when the nation was prostrate.


4 From the beginning of the world they have not heard, nor perceived with the ears: the eye hath not seen, O God, besides thee, what things thou hast prepared for them that wait for thee.

Ver. 4.  Thee.  Never was deliverance more unexpected or miraculous.  S. Paul quotes this passage, to shew the wisdom manifested in the incarnation.  1 Cor. ii. 9.  It is commonly applied to the glory of heaven.



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5 Thou hast met him that rejoiceth, and doth justice: in thy ways they shall remember thee: behold thou art angry, and we have sinned: in them we have been always, and we shall be saved.

Ver. 5.  Thee.  The little band of Judas was sincerely attached to the Lord.  2 Mac. i. 3.

 

--- Sinned.  This excited thy anger.  Yet thou wilt shew mercy.  Sin is often put for punishment.  C.

 

--- Vau means also, "for, and, yet."  Prot. "for we have sinned."  But we follow S. Jer. and the Vulg. W.


6 And we are all become as one unclean, and all our justices as the rag of a menstruous woman: and we have all fallen as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Ver. 6.  Unclean: leper.  Grot.  Lev. xiii. 45.

 

--- Justices.  That is, the works by which we pretended to make ourselves just.  This is spoken particularly of the sacrifices, sacraments, and ceremonies of the Jews, after the death of Christ, and the promulgation of the new law.  Ch.

 

--- The justice which is under the law is stated uncleanness, when compared with evangelical purity.  Phil. iii. 8.

 

--- "If any one after the gospel...would observe the ceremonies of the law, let him hear the people confessing that all that justice is compared to a most filthy rag."  S. Jer.

 

--- The good works which are done by grace, and not by man alone, cannot be said to be of this description.  They constitute the internal glory of man, and God will one day crown these his gifts.  Of ourselves indeed we can do nothing, and the works of the Mosaic law will not avail, as S. Paul inculcates; but those works, point out the saint, which are preformed by charity with faith in Christ.  This justice is not imputed only, but real; and shews where true faith exists, according to S. James.  Thus the apostles explain each other.  H.

 

--- Woman.  Sept. "of one sitting down;" like Rachel.  Gen. xxxi. 35.  Sym. "lying-in."  Aq. "of proofs."  Grot. "like a plaster on a sore, which is thrown away."  Such were Alcimus, &c.  C.

 

--- To practise (H.) the Jewish rites would now be sinful.  M.


7 There is none that calleth upon thy name: that riseth up, and taketh hold of thee: thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us in the hand of our iniquity.

Ver. 7.  Of thee; to remove thy indignation, like Moses, Jeremias, (vii. 15.) &c.  See Ezec. xiii. 5.


8 And now, O Lord, thou art our father, and we are clay: and thou art our maker, and we all are the works of thy hands. 9 Be not very angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity: behold, see we are all thy people.

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10 The city of thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert, Jerusalem is desolate.

Ver. 10.  Desolate, under Antiochus Epiphanes.  1 Mac. i. 31. and iv. 38.  C.




11 The house of our holiness, and of our glory, where our fathers praised thee, is burnt with fire, and all our lovely things are turned into ruins. 12 Wilt thou refrain thyself, O Lord, upon these things, wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us vehemently?
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