The Psalms of David in Metre

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Psalm 50

This psalm may be considered as a rebuke to the carnal Jews who rested in, and boasted of their external ceremonies in worship, to the neglect of the weightier matters of the law ­ mercy, judgment, and faith; or as a prediction of the coming of Christ, to abolish the ceremonial worship, eject the Jews from his church, and establish a more pure and spiritual form of worship under the gospel: or, in fine, as a representation of the last judgment; in which Christ shall come, to render to every man according to his deeds. Observe, (1.) The awful appearance of God our Redeemer, in the flesh, in power, or in the clouds; with the gathering of the people to him, ver. 1-6. (2.) An engaging admonition to improve God’s new-covenant grant of himself to be our God, as an excitement to exchange legal ceremonies into prayer, thanksgiving and holy obedience; or, at least, to give a remarkable preference to the latter, ver. 7-15. (3.) A terrible charge of hypocrisy, slander, contempt of God’s word, and of atheistical imaginations concerning God, laid against the wicked, with a fearful sentence of condemnation founded thereon, ver. 16-22. (4.) An alarming warning of danger to the forgetters of God, and an encouraging promise to such as study to glorify him by a holy conversation, ver. 22-23.

Sing this, my soul, with solemn awe, assisted before the great Searcher of hearts, and as by faith beholding Jesus in my nature, sitting on his great white throne, gathering the nations to his bar, opening the books, and judging mankind out of the things found written therein.

A Psalm of Asaph.

First Version – S.M.

1 The mighty God, the Lord,
hath spoken, and did call
The earth, from rising of the sun,
to where he hath his fall.

2 From out of Zion hill,
which of excellency
And beauty the perfection is,
God shined gloriously.

3 Our God shall surely come,
keep silence shall not he:
Before him fire shall waste, great storms
shall round about him be.

4 Unto the heavens clear
he from above shall call,
And to the earth likewise, that he
may judge his people all.

5 Together let my saints
unto me gathered be,
Those that by sacrifice have made
a covenant with me.

6 And then the heavens shall
his righteousness declare:
Because the Lord himself is he
by whom men judged are.

7 My people Isr’el hear,
speak will I from on high,
Against thee I will testify;
God, ev’n thy God, am I.

8 I for thy sacrifice
no blame will on thee lay,
Nor for burnt-off ‘rings, which to me
thou offer’dst ev’ry day.

9 I’ll take no calf nor goats
from house or fold of thine:
10 For beasts of forests, cattle all
on thousand hills, are mine.

11 The fowls on mountains high
are all to me well known;
Wild beasts which in the fields do lie,
ev’n they are all mine own.

12 Then, if I hungry were,
I would not tell it thee;
Because the world, and fullness all
thereof, belongs to me.

13 Will I eat flesh of bulls?
or goats’ blood drink will I?
14 Thanks offer thou to God, and pay
thy vows to the most High.

15 And call upon me when
in trouble thou shalt be;
I will deliver thee, and thou
my name shalt glorify.

16 But to the wicked man
God saith, My laws and truth
Should’st thou declare? how dar’st thou take
my cov’nant in thy mouth?

17 Since thou instruction hat’st,
which should thy ways direct;
And since my words behind thy back
thou cast’st, and dost reject.

18 When thou a thief didst see,
with him thou didst consent;
And with the vile adulterers
partaker on thou went.

19 Thou giv’st thy mouth to ill,
thy tongue deceit doth frame;
20 Thou sitt’st, and ‘gainst thy brother speak’st,
thy mother’s son dost shame.

21 Because I silence kept,
while thou these things hast wrought;
That I was altogether like
thyself, hath been thy thought;

Yet I will thee reprove,
and set before thine eyes,
In order ranked, thy misdeeds
and thine iniquities.

22 Now, ye that God forget,
this carefully consider;
Lest I in pieces tear you all,
and none can you deliver.

23 Whoso doth offer praise
me glorifies; and I
Will show him God’s salvation,
that orders right his way.

A Psalm of Asaph.
Second Version – C.M.

1 The mighty God, the Lord, hath spoke,
and called the earth upon,
Ev’n from the rising of the sun
unto his going down.

2 From out of Zion, his own hill,
where the perfection high
Of beauty is, from thence the Lord
hath shined gloriously.

3 Our God shall come, and shall no more
be silent, but speak out:
Before him fire shall waste, great storms
shall compass him about.

4 He to the heavens from above,
and to the earth below,
Shall call, that he his judgments may
before his people show.

5 Let all my saints together be
unto me gathered;
Those that by sacrifice with me
a covenant have made.

6 And then the heavens shall declare
his righteousness abroad:
Because the Lord himself doth come;
none else is judge but God.

7 Hear, O my people, and I’ll speak;
O Israel by name,
Against thee I will testify;
God, ev’n thy God, I am.

8 I for thy sacrifices few
reprove thee never will,
Nor for burnt-off ‘rings to have been
before me offered still.

9 I’ll take no bullock nor he-goats
from house nor folds of thine:
10 For beasts of forests, cattle all
on thousand hills, are mine.

11 The fowls are all to me well known
that mountains high do yield;
And I do challenge as mine own
the wild beasts of the field.

12 If I were hungry, I would not
to thee for need complain;
For earth, and all its fullness, doth
to me of right pertain.

13 That I to eat the flesh of bulls
take pleasure dost thou think?
Or that I need, to quench my thirst,
the blood of goats to drink?

14 Nay, rather unto me, thy God,
thanksgiving offer thou:
To the most High perform thy word,
and fully pay thy vow:

15 And in the day of trouble great
see that thou call on me;
I will deliver thee, and thou
my name shalt glorify.

16 But God unto the wicked saith,
Why should’st thou mention make
Of my commands? how dar’st thou in
thy mouth my cov’nant take?

17 Since it is so that thou dost hate
all good instruction;
And since thou cast’st behind thy back,
and slight’st my words each one.

18 When thou a thief didst see, then straight
thou join’dst with him in sin,
And with the vile adulterers
thou hast partaker been.

19 Thy mouth to evil thou dost give,
thy tongue deceit doth frame.
20 Thou sitt’st, and ‘gainst thy brother speak’st,
thy mother’s son to shame.

21 These things thou wickedly hast done,
and I have silent been:
Thou thought’st that I was like thyself,
and did approve thy sin:

But I will sharply thee reprove,
and I will order right
Thy sins and thy transgressions
in presence of thy sight.

22 Consider this, and be afraid,
ye that forget the Lord,
Lest I in pieces tear you all,
when none can help afford.

23 Who off’reth praise me glorifies:
I will shew God’s salvation
To him that ordereth aright
his life and conversation.