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29

Put false ways far from me;

and graciously teach me your law.


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29. Take away from me the way of falsehood. Knowing how prone the nature of man is to vanity and falsehood, he first asks the sanctification of his thoughts, lest, being entangled by the snares of Satan, he fall into error. Next, that he may be kept from falsehood, he prays to be fortified with the doctrine of the law. The second clause of the verse is interpreted variously. Some render it, make thy law pleasant to me. And as the law is disagreeable to the flesh, which it subdues and keeps under, there is good cause why God should be asked to render it acceptable and pleasant to us. Some expound it, have mercy upon me according to thy law as if the prophet should draw pity from the fountain-head itself, because God in his law promised it to the faithful. Both of these meanings appear to me forced; and, therefore, I am more disposed to adopt another, freely grant to me thy law. The original term, חנני channeni, cannot be translated otherwise in Latin than, gratify thou me; an uncouth and barbarous expression I admit, yet that will give me: little concern, provided my readers comprehend the prophet’s meaning. 411411     “On pourroit dire en francois, Donne moy gratuitement.” — Fr. “One can say in French, Give me gratuitously.” The amount is, that being full of blindness, nothing is more easy than for us to be greatly deceived by error. And, therefor unless God teach us by the Spirit of wisdom, we will presently be hurried away into various errors. The means of our being preserved from error are stated to consist in his instructing us in his law. He makes use of the term to gratify. “It is indeed an incomparable kindness that men are directed by thy law, but in consequence of thy kindness being unmerited, I have no hesitation in asking of thee to admit me as a participator of this thy kindness.” If the prophet, who for some time previous served God, in now aspiring after farther attainments, does not ask for a larger measure of grace to be communicated to him meritoriously, but confesses it to be the free gift of God, then that impious tenet, which obtains in the papacy, that an increase of grace is awarded to merit as deserving of it, must fall to the ground.




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