The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

St Augustne’s Notes on Psalm 25

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 5, 2012

Christ speaks, but in the person of the Church: for what is said has reference rather to the Christian People turned unto God.

Psa 25:1 To thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul.
Psa 25:2  In thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed.

“To Thee, O Lord, have I lift up my soul” (verse 1): with spiritual longing have I lift up the soul, that was trodden down on the earth with carnal longings. “In thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed” (verse 2). O my God, from trusting in myself I was brought even to this weakness of the flesh; and I who on abandoning God wished to be as God, fearing death from the smallest insect, was in derision ashamed for my pride ; now, therefore, “in Thee,O my God, I put my trust, let me  not be ashamed.”

Psa 25:3  Neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on thee shall be confounded.

“Neither let my enemies laugh at me.” And let them not mock me, who by ensnaring me with serpent-like and secret suggestions, and prompting me with “Well done, well done,” have brought me down to this. “For none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded”.

Psa 25:4  Let all them be confounded that act unjust things without cause. Shew, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me thy paths.

“Let all them be confounded that act unjust things.” Let them be confounded who act unrighteously for the acquiring things that pass away. “Shew, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me thy paths.”  Not those which are broad, and lead the many to destruction (Matt 7:13-14; but Thy paths, narrow, and known to few, teach Thou me.

Psa 25:5  Direct me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou art God my Saviour; and on thee have I waited all the day long.

“Direct me in thy truth:” avoiding error. “And teach me:” for by myself I know nothing, but falsehood. “For thou art God my Saviour; and on thee have I waited all the day long”. For dismissed by Thee from Paradise, and having taken my journey into a far country? I cannot by myself return, unless Thou meetest the wanderer: for my return hath throughout the whole tract of this world’s time waited for Thy mercy.

Psa 25:6  Remember, O Lord, thy bowels of compassion; and thy mercies that are from the beginning of the world.

“Remember, O Lord, thy bowels of compassion” . Remember the works of Thy mercy, O Lord; for men deem of Thee as though Thou hadst forgotten. “And thy mercies that are from the beginning of the world.” And remember this, that Thy mercies are from eternity. For Thou never wast without them, who hast subjected even sinful man to vanity indeed, but in hope (Gen 3:13); and not deprived him of so many and great consolations of Thy creation.

Psa 25:7  The sins of my youth and my ignorances do not remember. According to thy mercy remember thou me: for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.

“The sins of my youth and my ignorances do not remember”. The offences of my presumptuous boldness and of my ignorance reserve not for vengeance, but let them be as if forgotten by Thee. “According to Thy mercy remember thou me.” Be mindful indeed of me, not according to the anger of which I am worthy, but according to Thy mercy which is worthy of Thee. “For Thy goodness sake, O Lord.” Not for my deservings, but for Thy goodness, O Lord.

Psa 25:8  The Lord is sweet and righteous: therefore he will give a law to sinners in the way.

“the Lord is sweet and righteous”. The Lord is gracious, since even sinners and the ungodly He so pitied, as to forgive all that is past; but the Lord is upright too, who after the mercy of vocation and pardon, which is of grace without merit, will require merits meet for the last judgment. “Therefore he will give a law to sinners in the way.” For He hath first bestowed mercy to bring them into the way.

Psa 25:9  He will guide the mild in judgment: he will teach the meek his ways.

“He will guide the mild in judgment.” He will guide the mild (i.e., meek), and will not confound in the judgment those that follow His will, and do not, in withstanding It, prefer their own. “He will teach the meek his ways”. He will teach His ways, not to those that desire to run before, as if they were better able to rule themselves;but to those who do not exalt the neck, nor lift the heel, when the easy yoke and the light burden is laid upon them (see Matt 11:30).

Psa 25:10  All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, to them that seek after his covenant and his testimonies.

“All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth” (verse 10). And what ways will He teach them, but mercy wherein He is placable, and truth wherein He is incorrupt? Whereof He hath exhibited the one in forgiving sins, the other in judging deserts. And therefore “all the ways of the Lord” are the two advents of the Son of God, the one in mercy, the other in judgment. He then attaineth unto Him holding on His ways, who seeing himself freed by no deserts of his own, lays pride aside, and henceforward bewares of the severity of His trial, having experienced the clemency of His help. “To them that seek His covenant and His testimonies.” For they understand the Lord as merciful at His first advent, and as the Judge at His second, who in meekness and gentleness seek His covenant (testament), when with His Own Blood He redeemed us to a new life; and in the Prophets and Evangelists, His testimonies.

Psa 25:11  For thy name’s sake, O Lord, thou wilt pardon my sin: for it is great.

“For Thy Name’s sake, O Lord, Thou wilt pardon my sin: for it is great”. Thou hast not only forgiven my sins, which I committed before I believed; but also to my sin, which is manifold, since even in the way there is no lack of stumbling, Thou wilt be made favourable by the sacrifice of a troubled spirit (Ps 51:17).

Psa 25:12  Who is the man that feareth the Lord? He hath appointed him a law in the way he hath chosen.

“Who is the man that feareth the Lord?” from which fear he begins to come to wisdom. “He hath appointed him a law in the way he hath chosen” (verse 12). He shall establish a law for him in the way, which in his freedom he has taken, that he may not sin now with impunity.

Psa 25:13  His soul shall dwell in good things: and his seed shall inherit the land.

And his work shall possess the stable inheritance of a renewed body.

Psa 25:14  The Lord is a firmament to them that fear him: and his covenant shall be made manifest to them.

“The Lord is a firmament to them that fear Him” (verse 14). Fear seems to belong to the weak, but the Lord is the stay of them that fear Him. And the Name of the Lord, which hath been glorified throughout the whole world, is a stay to them that fear Him. “And His covenant shall be made manifest to them.” And He maketh His testament to be manifested unto them, for the Gentiles and the bounds of the earth are Christ’s inheritance.

Psa 25:15  My eyes are ever towards the Lord: for he shall pluck my feet out of the snare.

Nor would I fear the dangers of earth, while I look not upon the earth: for He upon whom Look, will pluck my feet out of the snare.

Psa 25:16  Look thou upon me, and have mercy on me; for I am alone and poor.

“For I am alone and poor”.  For I am a single people, keeping the lowliness of Thy single Church, which no schisms or heresies possess.

Psa 25:17  The troubles of my heart are multiplied: deliver me from my necessities.

“The troubles of my heart are multiplied” (verse 17). The troubles of my heart have been multiplied by the abounding of iniquity and the waxing cold of love (see Matt 24:12).  “Deliver me from my necessities.” Since I must needs bear this, that by enduring unto the end I may be saved, bring Thou me out of my necessities.

Psa 25:18  See my abjection and my labour; and forgive me all my sins.

“See my abjection and labour” (verse 18). See my abjection (humility), whereby I never, in the boast of righteousness, break off from unity; and my labour, wherein I bear with the unruly ones that are mingled with me. “And forgive me all my sins.” And, propitiated by these sacrifices, forgive all my sins, not those only of youth and my ignorance before I believed, but those also which, living now by faith, I commit through infirmity, or the darkness of this life.

Psa 25:19  Consider my enemies for they are multiplied, and have hated me with an unjust hatred.

“Consider mine enemies for they are multiplied” (verse 19). For not only without, but even within, in the Church’s very communion, they are not wanting. “And have hated me with an unjust hatred.” And they hate me who love them.

Psa 25:20  Keep thou my soul, and deliver me: I shall not be ashamed, for I have hoped in thee.

“Keep thou my soul, and deliver me.” Keep my soul, that I turn not aside to imitate them; and draw me out from the confusion wherein they are mingled with me. “I shall not be ashamed, for I have hoped in Thee” (verse 20). Let me not be confounded, if haply they rise up against me: for not in myself, but in Thee have I put my trust.

Psa 25:21  The innocent and the upright have adhered to me: because I have waited on thee.

“The innocent and the upright have adhered to me: because I have waited on Thee” (verse 21). The innocent and the upright, not in bodily presence only, as the evil, are mingled with me, but in the agreement of the heart in the same innocence and uprightness cleave to me: for I have not fallen away to imitate the evil; but I have waited for Thee, expecting the winnowing of Thy last harvest (See Matt 3:12).

Psa 25:22  Deliver Israel, O God, from all his tribulations.

Deliver Thy people, O God, whom Thou hast prepared to see Thee, out of his troubles, not those only which he bears without, but those also which he bears within.

2 Responses to “St Augustne’s Notes on Psalm 25”

  1. […] St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 25. […]

  2. […] St Augustine on Psalm 25. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: