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A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord. This psalm relates to some grievous distress; wherein are observable, (1.) Bitter complaints of divine hidings and wrath; of sore bodily troubles; of inward griefs and perplexities; of calumnious reproaches; of sudden changes of condition, and of apparent nearness to death, ver. 1-11. (2.) Seasonable comforts against these grievances, arising from the eternity and unchangeableness of God, ver. 13, 24, 27; and from the deliverances, spread, and establishment he will grant to his church, in answer to the prayers, and for the comfort of his afflicted people, ver. 13-28. While I sing, think, my soul, if I am exercised by my troubles; if these of the inner man bear heaviest on my heart; and if I am a cordial partaker with Zion in her joys and griefs. First Version (C.M.) 1 O Lord, unto my pray'r give ear, my cry let come to thee; 2 And in the day of my distress hide not thy face from me. Give ear to me; what time I call, to answer me make haste: 3 For, as an hearth, my bones are burnt, my days, like smoke, do waste. 4 My heart within me smitten is, and it is withered Like very grass; so that I do forget to eat my bread. 5 By reason of my groaning voice my bones cleave to my skin. 6 Like pelican in wilderness forsaken I have been: I like an owl in desert am, that nightly there doth moan; 7 I watch, and like a sparrow am on the house-top alone. 8 My bitter en'mies all the day reproaches cast on me; And, being mad at me, with rage against me sworn they be. 9 For why? I ashes eaten have like bread, in sorrows deep; My drink I also mingled have with tears that I did weep. 10 Thy wrath and indignation did cause this grief and pain; For thou hast lift me up on high, and cast me down again. 11 My days are like unto a shade, which doth declining pass; And I am dry'd and withered, ev'n like unto the grass. 12 But thou, Lord, everlasting art, and thy remembrance shall Continually endure, and be to generations all. 13 Thou shalt arise, and mercy have upon thy Sion yet; The time to favour her is come, the time that thou hast set. 14 For in her rubbish and her stones thy servants pleasure take; Yea, they the very dust thereof do favour for her sake. 15 So shall the heathen people fear the Lord's most holy name; And all the kings on earth shall dread thy glory and thy fame. 16 When Sion by the mighty Lord built up again shall be, In glory then and majesty to men appear shall he. 17 The prayer of the destitute he surely will regard; Their prayer will he not despise, by him it shall be heard. 18 For generations yet to come this shall be on record: So shall the people that shall be created praise the Lord. 19 He from his sanctuary's height hath downward cast his eye; And from his glorious throne in heav'n the Lord the earth did spy; 20 That of the mournful prisoner the groanings he might hear, To set them free that unto death by men appointed are: 21 That they in Sion may declare the Lord's most holy name, And publish in Jerusalem the praises of the same; 22 When as the people gather shall in troops with one accord, When kingdoms shall assembled be to serve the highest Lord. 23 My wonted strength and force he hath abated in the way, And he my days hath shortened: 24 Thus therefore did I say, My God, in mid-time of my days take thou me not away: From age to age eternally thy years endure and stay. 25 The firm foundation of the earth of old time thou hast laid; The heavens also are the work which thine own hands have made. 26 Thou shalt for evermore endure, but they shall perish all; Yea, ev'ry one of them wax old, like to a garment, shall: Thou, as a vesture, shalt them change, and they shall changed be: 27 But thou the same art, and thy years are to eternity. 28 The children of thy servants shall continually endure; And in thy sight, O Lord, their seed shall be establish'd sure. Second Version (L.M.) 1 Lord, hear my pray'r, and let my cry Have speedy access unto thee; 2 In day of my calamity O hide not thou thy face from me. Hear when I call to thee; that day An answer speedily return: 3 My days, like smoke, consume away, And, as an hearth, my bones do burn. 4 My heart is wounded very sore, And withered, like grass doth fade: I am forgetful grown therefore To take and eat my daily bread. 5 By reason of my smart within, And voice of my most grievous groans, My flesh consumed is, my skin, All parch'd, doth cleave unto my bones. 6 The pelican of wilderness, The owl in desert, I do match; 7 And, sparrow-like, companionless, Upon the house's top, I watch. 8 I all day long am made a scorn, Reproach'd by my malicious foes: The madmen are against me sworn, The men against me that arose. 9 For I have ashes eaten up, To me as if they had been bread; And with my drink I in my cup Of bitter tears a mixture made. 10 Because thy wrath was not appeas'd, And dreadful indignation: Therefore it was that thou me rais'd, And thou again didst cast me down. 11 My days are like a shade alway, Which doth declining swiftly pass; And I am withered away, Much like unto the fading grass. 12 But thou, O Lord, shalt still endure, From change and all mutation free, And to all generations sure Shall thy remembrance ever be. 13 Thou shalt arise, and mercy yet Thou to mount Sion shalt extend: Her time for favour which was set, Behold, is now come to an end. 14 Thy saints take pleasure in her stones, Her very dust to them is dear. 15 All heathen lands and kingly thrones On earth thy glorious name shall fear. 16 God in his glory shall appear, When Sion he builds and repairs. 17 He shall regard and lend his ear Unto the needy's humble pray'rs: Th' afflicted's pray'r he will not scorn. 18 All times this shall be on record: And generations yet unborn Shall praise and magnify the Lord. 19 He from his holy place look'd down, The earth he view'd from heav'n on high; 20 To hear the pris'ner's mourning groan, And free them that are doom'd to die; 21 That Sion, and Jerus'lem too, His name and praise may well record, 22 When people and the kingdoms do Assemble all to praise the Lord. 23 My strength he weaken'd in the way, My days of life he shortened. 24 My God, O take me not away In mid-time of my days, I said: Thy years throughout all ages last. 25 Of old thou hast established The earth's foundation firm and fast: Thy mighty hands the heav'ns have made. 26 They perish shall, as garments do, But thou shalt evermore endure; As vestures, thou shalt change them so; And they shall all be changed sure: 27 But from all changes thou art free; Thy endless years do last for aye. 28 Thy servants, and their seed who be, Establish'd shall before thee stay.

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