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king david“As for those psalms which contain DENUNCIATIONS of divine vengeance upon the enemies of God and his church, we are to consider, that these expressions were dictated by the infallible Spirit of God; that the objects of them were foreseen to be irreconcilable enemies of Christ and his church; that those who sing them, only applaud the equity of the doom which God hath justly pronounced upon such offenders; and that they are to be sung with a full persuasion of the event, as a certain, awful and just display of the glory and tremendous justice ofJEHOVAH.  Though we ought, therefore, never to apply them to particular parties or persons who have injured us, yet to decline using them, out of a pretence of charity, is to suppose ourselves wiser than him whose understanding is infinite, and more merciful than the Father of mercies, who is full of compassion, and delighteth in mercy.  Moreover, as these external enemies, devoted to destruction, were in some sense emblematic of our spiritual enemies, within or without the passages may be sung with application to ourselves, as directed against these principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness, in high places, with whom we have to wrestle, while on earth, Eph. vi. 10-19. I Pet. v. 8, 9, Rom. viii. 13, Gal. v. 17-24.”

John Brown of Haddington, The Psalms of David, in metre: allowed by the authority of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and of the Presbyterian Churches in America.  With notes exhibiting the connexion, explaining the sense, and for directing and animating devotion (Pittsburgh, 1812), v-vi.

A big thank you to http://reformedcovenanter.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/john-brown-of-haddington-on-the-imprecatory-psalms/ who, I’m sure, always satisfies his readers!