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34. Psalm 34

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

3O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

5They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

6This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

7The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

8O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

9O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

10The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

11Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

13Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

15The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

16The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

18The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

21Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

22The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

11. Come, children, 696696     By this affectionate appellation, Hebrew teachers were wont to address their scholars. hearken unto me. The Psalmist continues, with increased earnestness, to exhort the faithful, that they may know that nothing can be more profitable for them than to conduct themselves justly and harmlessly towards all men. As the greater part of men imagine that the best and the shortest way to attain a life of happiness and ease consists in striving to surpass other men in violence, fraud, injustice, and other means of mischief, it is necessary frequently to repeat this doctrine. Moreover, as it is necessary that the minds of men should be brought to a chastened and humble state, by calling them his children, he endeavors, by this gentle and courteous appellation, to allay all froward affections. None will stand unmoved amidst so many assaults, but those who have been endued by the Spirit of meekness with the greatest modesty. The prophet, therefore, tells them at the outset, that the rule of life which he prescribes can be observed and obeyed by those only who are meek and submissive. To the same purpose is the word come, and the command to hearken; and they imply, that men laying aside all wilfulness of spirit, and having subdued the ardor and impetuosity of their minds, should become docile and meek. He has put the fear of the Lord for the rule of a pious and holy life: as if he had said, Whilst virtue and righteousness are in every man’s mouth, there are few who lead a holy life, and live as they ought; because they know not what it is to serve God.


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