The Psalms of David in Metre

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Psalm 39

Here we have, (1.) Violent struggling in the psalmist’s own breast between grace and corruption; between passion and patience, ver. 1-3, 11. (2.) Serious views of human frailty, shortness of life, and self-emptiness, ver. 4-6. (3.) Strong cries to God, for pardon of sin, preservation from reproach, and for removal of trouble; for hearing and answering of prayer, and for lengthening out of life, till further preparation for death should be attained, ver. 7-13.

While I sing, let my soul blush deep, for the untenderness and want of circumspection, in my life, and for my want of resignation to God’s disposing will. Let me be suitably affected with the shortness, vanity, and uncertainty of my temporal life. Let me be always exercised in earnest prayer to, and believing dependence on God, as my companion and friend.

To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthan, A Psalm of David.

1 I said, I will look to my ways,
lest with my tongue I sin:
In sight of wicked men my mouth
with bridle I’ll keep in.

2 With silence I as dumb became,
I did myself restrain
From speaking good; but then the more
increased was my pain.

3 My heart within me waxed hot;
and, while I musing was,
The fire did burn; and from my tongue
these words I did let pass:

4 Mine end, and measure of my days,
O Lord, unto me show
What is the same; that I thereby
my frailty well may know.

5 Lo, thou my days an handbreadth mad’st;
mine age is in thine eye
As nothing: sure each man at best
is wholly vanity.

6 Sure each man walks in a vain show;
they vex themselves in vain:
He heaps up wealth, and doth not know
to whom it shall pertain.

7 And now, O Lord, what wait I for?
my hope is fix’d on thee.
8 Free me from all my trespasses,
the fool’s scorn make not me.

9 Dumb was I, op’ning not my mouth,
because this work was thine.
10 Thy stroke take from me; by the blow
of thine hand I do pine.

11 When with rebukes thou dost correct
man for iniquity,
Thou wastes his beauty like a moth:
sure each man’s vanity.

12 Attend my cry, Lord, at my tears
and pray’rs not silent be:
I sojourn as my fathers all,
and stranger am with thee.

13 O spare thou me, that I my strength
recover may again,
Before from hence I do depart,
and here no more remain.