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such, they would appear to be any thing but such cha


Ver. 2. They speak vain things; every one to his neighbour deceitful lips; they speak with a heart and a


The punctuation is in the Hebrew put thus, after "deceitful lips" (labia dolosa.) Wherefore, the question must be asked, what grammatical construction can we make out of the expression "deceitful lips?" For the labia dolosa cannot agree with " they speak or have spoken," (locuti sunt) it must have been locuta sunt, if we would keep to the text of our translator. Unless you would say, that the labia dolosa is put in the accusative figuratively; that is, they speak deceitful words coming forth from their lips. But it might be rendered "they speak with deceitful lips." This ambiguity, I think, gives us the liberty of dividing the verse into three members or clauses, and rendering the Hebrew thus, 'They speak vanity; there is a flattering lip in every man to his neighbour; they speak with a heart and a heart.' That is, every teacher teaches vanity, every man has a flattering lip towards his neighbour, and they all speak with a double heart.

First, then, we have here, "They speak vain things," or vanity that is things to no purpose, and which profit nothing unto salvation: which things, however, as we have frequently observed, appear to them to be most useful and most profitable. And that David is not here speaking of private conversations and vain talk, but concerning the ministry of the Word, is manifest from that which follows, where he contrasts the Word of the Lord with these vain-speaking deceivers of minds. And that expression," Every man to his neighbour deceitful lips," is spoken after the Hebrew figurative manner of speech: like that Song iii. 9. 10. Behold his bed which is Solomon's: threescore valiant men are about it: a man, his sword upon his thigh:' where we say, "every man with his sword upon his thigh." And so also, it is said here, They speak vanity, every man to his neighbour deceit

ful lips; where we should say, and every one has a deceitful lip towards his neighbour: that is, every one flattereth his neighbour when he does not speak the Word of the cross truly: for they would not persuade men to their vanities if they did not speak flattering and pleasing things. For what is here translated deceitful, and Psalmv. 'they acted deceitfully,' Hieronymus in the latter place renders, and 'they speak lightly with their tongue:' that is, lightly, softly, and flatteringly.

These are they who tickle men's itching ears. And Paul says, after the manner of this Psalm, that there should not be some only of such a description, but that they should be 'heaped: that is, multiplied, and that the saints should fail: concerning whom enough has been said, Psalm v. and ix. But yet, enough cannot be said, this depravity of nature is so deep and profound, and especially as concerned in these spiritual things, and in all things which pertain unto God: for the wisdom of the flesh is not subject unto God, nor indeed can be, Rom. vi.

And this "heart and a heart," may be referred to the same person: for he is said to speak with a double heart, who thinks one thing and feignedly says another and it is in this way that I would have the present passage understood. But I would also refer it to different persons. For, as by the pure Word of God, Christ makes us to be of one mind in a house, Psalm lxviii. and brethren to dwell together in unity, Psalm cxxxiii. and as the heart and soul of them that believe on the Lord are one, Acts iv. (for there is but one faith, and one Lord, Ephes. iv. :) so, on the contrary, with the wicked, as the one true faith is the great thing wanting, it is impossible that they should be of one heart; they must necessarily abound in party dissensions and pursuits among each other for there never arose any one sect, but many more arose out of it. Thus in the time of Christ, the synagogue had pharisees, sadducees, and esseeans: the Arians gave rise to the Eunomians, and Macedonians: the Donatists gave birth to the Maximinians. And at this day, Aristotle has given existence to the different followers of Scotus, Thomas, and Occan. Hence it was

that the Apostle said, Heb. xiii. 9, "Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines." And such he describes in another place as being "driven to and fro by every wind of doctrine," and, as "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.". In all such there is never one heart; though they all agree in this, to speak vain things; and every one flatters his own party, and endeavours to confirm his own opinions and dogmas. Hence, I consider that this division of sects is distinguished by this division of heart as we have it Daniel xi. 27, where he describes the heart of two kings speaking lies at the same table.


And therefore David uses the plural number that he might not be thought to speak of any one particular sect: for in the 10th Psalm, which respects ANTICHRIST, he speaks almost wholly in the plural number.And here the force lies in these words, "with a heart and a heart;" because as to outward appearance they seem to unite together; that is, against the truth. So Psalm ii. we have it, "The kings of the earth stood up and the elders took counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed:" which characters, nevertheless were the most opposed to each other in their different sects; that is, pharisees and sadduces, Romans, gentiles, and others.

This, Sampson prefigured in his foxes, whose tails he tied together while their faces were turned a different way. For the faces of these foxes represent the state of the wicked as they are in the sight of God and of the Holy Spirit; before whom they are most factious and contentious. And their tails, which are their extremities, represent their appearance in the sight of men ; where they all take counsel and unite together in the fire of persecution to destroy the standing corn of the earth; that is, to destroy the doctrine and works of faith, or of the Spirit. And it is concerning these that Hosea speaks x. 2, "Their heart is divided; now shall they perish :' where he had just before said, ver. 1, "According to the multitude of his fruit, Israel hath increased the altars :" that is, he is divided into sects. And this it is that causes the prophet to exclaim, 'That the saint is failed:"


because there are so many sects, and all set against the truth and devouring the people of God. And who can resist all, when resistance is scarcely to be made against one? And thus it is with the church at this day, which is continually divided and lacerated by new-found sects, and by the old ones being increased into innumerable parts; while, in the mean time, the unity of love is utterly disregarded.

Ver. 3.-Let the Lord destroy all deceitful lips; and the tongue that speaketh proud things.

For, unless God destroy these locusts, palmer-worms, and canker-worms, as Joel i. 4, calls them, all the labour of the saints in such an attempt would be in vain. And it would have been more appropriate if our translator had rendered it, (which the Hebrew would allow him to do,) ff The Lord shall cut off:" for the lips and tongue are sometimes cut off; because otherwise, as James says, no one of men can tame the tongue. But David here prays for a spiritural cutting off: which is, that the wicked being changed, (or removed from their office,) might teach something else; that is, the true wisdom of the cross.

But why was it not enough for him to say "deceitful lips," (that is, vain and flattering lips?) Why does he add "all" Why does he add this, but because he wished to have respect unto the multitude of these factions? And therefore he prays, that not the lips of one only, but of all these factions, and their flatteries might be cut off, because they all speak vain things. And our translator has rightly added the conjunction "and," which is not in the Hebrew. And he has put also linguam magniloquam; which in the Hebrew is expressed by two words, speaker of proud things,' locutricem magnorum: which we are to understand, not only of great things, (as the wicked are wont to boast much,) but concerning pride, whereby they despise and oppress the doctrine of godliness, and boastingly establish their own. And you may in this way interpret the fox's tail, which is large and bushey, but yet has very little real flesh and substance, and is larger almost than the whole body, especially the head: so


the ungodly man is greater in his external pomp and appearance than he is in reality. And this animal, which is so remarkable for its cunning and craft, is not vainly used by the scriptures to represent the all-cunning and crafty wisdom of the flesh, which, when engaged in divine things and in the ministry, perpetrates all those enormities which are recorded in the scriptures.

Ver. 4.-Who have said, We will magnify our tongues: our lips are from ourselves. Who is our Lord?

David here explains what the proud-speaking tongue is, and what it says: that is, it speaks most proudly and contemptuously against the doctrine of the righteous. First, we have 'Let us magnify:' that is, Let us strengthen, establish, and confirm our doctrines: and on the other hand, (say they,) 'Let us break their bands in sunder, and cast away their cords from us:' let us destroy all that the godly build up, let us cast away their yoke from us: let us weaken and restrain their tongue : and let us draw over to our side the people, and the priests of the people. Not that they think that they are acting against the godly; for they imagine that they are doing God service, when they strengthen and confirm their proud-speaking tongue, and causing it to be heard by many, as being humble and sincere: so that God must here be left to have and execute judgment.


Then we have, "Our lips are from ourselves." Which Hieronymus has rendered are with ourselves.' And Augustine, in our own power.' But I would rather render it 'Our lips are our own:' that there might be an emphasis in the latter pronounour own: whereby we are to understand them boasting of their power, and of having the key of knowledge. As if they said, Let no one hear any one besides us. We are the leaders and teachers of the people. They ought to listen to us, and, (as the Bulls of our proud popes now swell in the church,) we are the proper interpreters of the scriptures. It belongs to us to frame laws. It is our province to approve and to condemn every man's sayings and writings. The power of the Key is with us

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