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NPNF1-08. St. Augustine: Exposition on the Book of Psalms
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Psalm XXX.677677     Lat. XXIX.

To the end, the psalm of the canticle678678     [A shir, or “song.” So Psalm xviii.=shirah, the only two instances in the first division of the Psalter, forty-one Psalms.—C.] of the dedication of the house, of David himself.

1. To the end, a Psalm of the joy of the Resurrection, and the change, the renewing of the body to an immortal state, and not only of the Lord, but also of the whole Church. For in the former Psalm the tabernacle was finished, wherein we dwell in the time of war: but now the house is dedicated, which will abide in peace everlasting.

2. It is then whole Christ who speaketh. “I will exalt Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast taken Me up” (ver. 1). I will praise Thy high Majesty, O Lord, for Thou hast taken Me up. “Thou hast not made Mine enemies to rejoice over Me.” And those, who have so often endeavoured to oppress Me with various persecutions throughout the world, Thou hast not made to rejoice over Me.

3. “O Lord, My God, I have cried unto Thee, and Thou hast healed Me” (ver. 2). O Lord, My God, I have cried unto Thee, and I no longer bear about a body enfeebled and sick by mortality.

4. “O Lord, Thou hast brought back My Soul from hell, and Thou hast saved Me from them that go down into the pit” (ver. 3). Thou hast saved Me from the condition of profound darkness, and the lowest slough of corruptible flesh.

5. “Sing to the Lord, O ye saints of His.” The prophet seeing these future things, rejoiceth, and saith, “Sing to the Lord, O ye saints of His. And make confession of the remembrance of His holiness” (ver. 4). And make confession to Him, that He hath not forgotten the sanctification, wherewith He hath sanctified you, although all this intermediate period belong to your desires.

6. “For in His indignation is wrath” (ver. 5). For He hath avenged against you the first sin, for which you have paid by death. “And life in His will.” And life eternal, whereunto you could not return by any strength of your own, hath He given, because He so would. “In the evening weeping will tarry.” Evening began, when the light of wisdom withdrew from sinful man, when he was condemned to death: from this evening weeping will tarry, as long as God’s people are, amid labours and temptations, awaiting the day of the Lord. “And exultation in the morning.” Even to the morning, when there will be the exultation of the resurrection, which hath shone forth by anticipation in the morning resurrection of the Lord.

7. “But I said in my abundance, I shall not be moved for ever” (ver. 6). But I, that people which was speaking from the first, said in mine abundance, suffering now no more any want, “I shall not be moved for ever.”

8. “O Lord, in Thy will Thou hast afforded strength unto my beauty” (ver. 7). But that this my abundance, O Lord, is not of myself, but that in Thy will Thou hast afforded strength unto my beauty, I have learnt from this, “Thou turnedst away Thy Face from me, and I became troubled;” for Thou hast sometimes turned away Thy Face from the sinner, and I became troubled, when the illumination of Thy knowledge withdrew from me.

9. “Unto Thee, O Lord, will I cry, and unto my God will I pray” (ver. 8). And bringing to mind that time of my trouble and misery, and as it were established therein, I hear the voice of Thy First-Begotten, my Head, about to die for me, and saying “Unto Thee, O Lord, will I cry, and unto My God will I pray.”

10. “What profit” is there in the shedding of My blood, whilst I go down to corruption? “Shall dust confess unto Thee?” For if I shall not rise immediately, and My body shall become corrupt, “shall dust confess unto Thee?” that is, the crowd of the ungodly, whom I shall justify by My resurrection? “Or declare Thy truth?” Or for the salvation of the rest declare Thy truth?

11. “The Lord hath heard, and had mercy on Me, the Lord hath become My helper.” Nor did “He suffer His holy One to see corruption”679679     Ps. xvi. 10. (ver. 10).

12. “Thou hast turned My mourning into joy to Me” (ver. 11). Whom I, the Church, having received, the First-Begotten from the dead,680680     Rev. i. 5. now in the dedication of Thine house, say, “Thou hast turned my mourning into joy to me. Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” Thou hast torn off the veil of my sins, the sadness of my mortality; and hast girded me with the first robe, with immortal gladness.

13. “That my glory should sing unto Thee, and I should not be pricked” (ver. 12). That now, not my humiliation, but my glory should not lament, but should sing unto Thee, for that now out of humiliation Thou hast exalted me; and that I should not be pricked with the consciousness of sin, with the fear of death, with the fear of judgment. “O Lord, my God, I will confess unto Thee for ever.” And this is my glory, O Lord, my God, that I should confess unto Thee for ever, that I have nothing of myself, but that all my good is of Thee, who art “God, All in all.”681681     1 Cor. xv. 28. [This Psalm was used at Easter and Pentecost. Compare Cyprian, vol. v. p. 525, A.N.F.—C.]


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