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Whom do we count a good man? Whom but he
Who keeps the laws and statutes of the senate,
Who judges in great suits and controversies,
Whose witness and opinion wins the cause ?
But his own house, and the whole neighbourhood,
Sees his foul inside through his whited skin.
This is true liberty, when freeborn men,
Having to advise the publick, may speak free;
Which he who can, and will, deserves high praise ;
Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace;
What can be juster in a state than this?
PSALM 1. Done into Verse, 1653.
Bless'p is the man who hath not walk'd astray
In counsel of the wicked, and i' the way
Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat
Of scorners hath not sat.
But in the great
Jehovah's law is ever his delight,
And in his law he studies day and night.
He shall be as a tree which planted grows
By watery streams, and in his season knows
To yield his fruit, and his leaf shall not fall,
And what he takes in hand shall
Not so the wicked, but as chaff which fann'd
The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand
In judgement, or abide their trial then,
Nor sinners in the assembly of just men.
For the Lord knows the upright way of the just,
And the way of bad men to ruin must.
PSALM II. Done Aug. 8, 1653. TERZETTI.
Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the Nations
Muse a vain thing, the kings of the earth upstand
With power, and princes in their congregations
Lay deep their plots together through each land
Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?
Let us break off, say they, by strength of haud
Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear,
Their twisted cords: He, who in heaven doth dwell,
Shall laugh ; the Lord shall scoff them ; then, severe,
Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell
And fierce ire trouble them ; but I, saith he,
Anointed have my King (though ye rebel)
On Sion my holy hill. A firm decree
I will declare: The Lord to me hath said,
Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee
This day; ask of me, and the grant is made ;
As thy possession I on thee bestow
The Heathen ; and, as thy conquest to be sway’d,
Earth's utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full low
With iron scepter bruis'd, and them disperse
Like to a potter's vessel shiver'd so.
And now be wise at length, ye kings averse;
Be taught, ye Judges of the earth; with fear
Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse
With trembling; kiss the Son, lest he appear
In anger, and ye perish in the way,
If once his wrath take fire, like fuel sere.
Happy all those who have in him their stay!
PSALM III. Aug. 9, 1653.
WHEN HE FLED FROM ABSALOM.
LORD, how many are my foes!
How many those,
That in arms against me rise !
Many are they,
That of my life distrustfully thus say;
No help for him in God there lies.
But thou, Lord, art my shield, my glory,
Thee, through my story,
The exalter of my head I count :
Aloud I cried
Unto Jehovah, he full soon replied,
And heard me from his holy mount.
I lay and slept; I wak'd again;
For my sustain
Was the Lord. Of many millions
The populous rout
I fear not, though, encamping round about,
They pitch against me their pavilions.
Rise, Lord ; save me, my God; for thou
Hast smote ere now
On the cheek-bone all my foes,
Of men abhorr'd
Hast broke the teeth. This help was from the Lord;
Thy blessing on thy people flows.
ANSWER me when I call,
God of my righteousness;
In straits, and in distress,
Thou didst me disenthrall
And set at large ; now spare,
Now pity me, and hear my earnest prayer.
Great ones, how long will ye
My glory have in scorn ?
How long be thus forborn
Still to love vanity ?
To love, to seek, to prize,
Things false and vain, and nothing else but lies ?
Yet know the Lord hath chose,
Chose to himself apart,
The good and meek of heart;
(For whom to choose He knows)
Jehovah from on high
Will hear my voice, what time to him I cry.
Be aw'd, and do not sin;
Speak to your hearts alone,
Upon your beds, each one,
And be at peace within.
Offer the offerings just
Of righteousness, and in Jehovah trust.
Many there be that say,
Who yet will show us good ?
Talking like this world's brood;
But, Lord, thus let me pray;
On us lift up the light,
Lift up the favour of thy countenance bright.
Into my heart more joy
And gladness thou hast put,
Than when a year of glut
Their stores doth over-cloy,
And from their plenteous grounds
With vast encrease their corn and wine abounds. In
peace at once will I
Both lay me down and sleep;
For thou alone dost keep
Me safe where'er I lie.
As in a rocky cell
Thou, Lord, alone, in safety mak’st me dwell.