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NPNF1-08. St. Augustine: Exposition on the Book of Psalms
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Psalm XXIX.663663     Lat. XXVIII.

A psalm of David himself, of the consummation of the tabernacle.

1. A Psalm of the Mediator Himself, strong of hand, of the perfection of the Church in this world, where she wars in time against the devil.

2. The Prophet speaks, “Bring unto the Lord, O ye Sons of God, bring unto the Lord the young of rams” (ver. 1). Bring unto the Lord yourselves, whom the Apostles, the leaders of the flocks, have begotten by the Gospel.664664     1 Cor. iv. 15. “Bring unto the Lord glory and honour” (ver. 2). By your works let the Lord be glorified and honoured. “Bring unto the Lord glory to His name.” Let Him be made known gloriously throughout the world. “Worship the Lord in His holy court.” Worship the Lord in your heart enlarged and sanctified. For ye are His regal holy habitation.

3. “The Voice of the Lord is upon the waters” (ver. 3). The Voice of Christ is upon the peoples. “The God of majesty hath thundered.” The God of majesty, from the cloud of the flesh, hath awfully preached repentance. “The Lord is upon many waters.” The Lord Jesus Himself, after that He sent forth His Voice upon the peoples, and struck them with awe, converted them to Himself, and dwelt in them.

4. “The Voice of the Lord is in power” (ver. 4). The Voice of the Lord now in them themselves, making them powerful. “The Voice of the Lord is in great might.” The Voice of the Lord working great things in them.

5. “The Voice of the Lord breaking the cedars” (ver. 5). The Voice of the Lord humbling the proud in brokenness of heart. “The Lord shall break the cedars of Libanus.” The Lord by repentance shall break them that are lifted on high by the splendour of earthly nobility, when to confound them He shall have “chosen the base things of this world,”665665     1 Cor. i. 28. in the which to display His Divinity.

6. “And shall bruise them as the calf of Libanus” (ver. 6). And when their proud exaltation hath been cut off, He will lay them low after the imitation of His Own humility, who like a calf was led to slaughter666666     Isa. liii. 7. by the nobility of this world. “For the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers agreed together against the Lord, and against His Christ.”667667     Ps. ii. 2. “And the Beloved is as the young of the unicorns.” For even He the Beloved, and the Only One of the Father, “emptied Himself” of His glory; and was made man,668668     Phil. ii. 7. like a child of the Jews, that were “ignorant of God’s righteousness,”669669     Rom. x. 3. and proudly boasting of their own righteousness as peculiarly theirs.

7. “The Voice of the Lord cutting short the flame of fire” (ver. 7). The Voice of the Lord, without any harm to Himself, passing through all the excited ardour of them that persecute Him, or dividing the furious rage of His persecutors, so that some should say, “Is not this haply the very Christ;” others, “Nay; but He deceiveth the people:”670670     John vii. 41, 12. and so cutting short their mad tumult, as to pass some over into His love, and leave others in their malice.

8. “The Voice of the Lord moving the wilderness” (ver. 8). The Voice of the Lord moving to the faith the Gentiles once “without hope, and without God in the world;”671671     Eph. ii. 12. where no prophet, no preacher of God’s word, as it were, no man had dwelt. “And the Lord will move the desert of Cades.” And then the Lord will cause the holy word of His Scriptures to be fully known, which was abandoned by the Jews who understood it not.

9. “The Voice of the Lord perfecting the stags”672672     [Jerome’s Hebraic version reads, Vox Domini obstetricans cervas, which the Authorized English follows.—C.] (ver. 9). For the Voice of the Lord hath first perfected them that overcame and repelled the envenomed tongues.673673     Plin. Hist. Nat. viii. 32 and xxviii. 9 says, that they bring serpents out of their holes with their breath, and kill and eat them. See S. Greg. Mor. xxx. 36. “And will reveal the woods.” And then will He reveal to them the darknesses of the Divine books, and the shadowy depths of the mysteries, where they feed with freedom. “And in His temple doth every man speak of His glory.” And in His Church all born again to an eternal hope praise God, each for His own gift, which He hath received from the Holy Spirit.

10. “The Lord inhabiteth the deluge” (ver. 10). The Lord therefore first inhabiteth the deluge of this world in His Saints, kept safely in the Church, as in the ark. “And the Lord shall sit a King for ever.” And afterward He will sit reigning in them for ever.

11. “The Lord will give strength to His people”674674     [This Psalm was referred to Pentecost by the Jews, and to the giving of the law. Heb. xii. 18–21.—C.] (ver. 11). For the Lord will give strength to His people fighting against the storms and whirlwinds of this world, for peace in this world He hath not promised them.675675     John xvi. 33. “The Lord will bless His people in peace.” And the same Lord will bless His people, affording them peace in Himself; for, saith He, “My peace I give unto you, My peace I leave with you.”676676     John xiv. 27.


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