Just a Bit O’ History… Psalm 71: The ‘My Psalm’ of the Persecuted

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The 7 1st Psalm

The 71st Psalm was asked for on his death-bed by Philip de Morny, known as Plessis de Morny, a man of illustrious rank, chivalrous spirit, and sincere piety, who cast in his lot with the Huguenots, and stood by them in every extremity.

Philip escaped the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre by the aid of a Catholic friend, taking refuge in England. Returning to France towards the end of 1573, he participated during the next two years with in the campaigns of the future Henry IV of France, then only King of Navarre. He was taken prisoner by the Duke of Guise but was ransomed for a small sum, paid by Charlotte Arbaleste, whom he married shortly afterwards at Sedan.

His last years were saddened by the loss of his only son and his devoted wife in 1606, but he spent them in strengthening the Huguenot organization and was chosen as a deputy in 1618 to represent the French Protestants at the Synod of Dort. Prohibited from attending by Louis XIII he contributed materially to its deliberations by written communications. He died in retirement on his estate of La Forêt-sur-Sèvre, Deux-Sèvres.

There on his deathbed, with prayer being ended, Morny desired they would read unto him the 71st Psalm, giving testimony of the infinite pleasure which he took in it, and of his experience of it for his own consolation. He said he was persuaded of an eternal life by the demonstration of the Holy Spirit, more powerful, more clear, and more certain than all the demonstrations of Euclid, repeating two or three times the words of the Psalmist, 116:10, ‘I believed, therefore have I spoken.’

The 7 1st Psalm

In thee, O Lord, I trust: let me never be ashamed.

Rescue me and deliver me in thy righteousness: incline thine ear unto me and save me.

Be thou my strong rock, whereunto I may always resort: thou hast given commandment to save me: for thou art my rock, and my fortress.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked: out of the hand of the evil and cruel man.

For thou art mine hope, O Lord God, even my trust from my youth.

Upon thee have I been stayed from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be always of thee.

I am become as it were a monster unto many: but thou art my sure trust.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise, and with thy glory every day.

Cast me not off in the time of age: forsake me not when my strength faileth.

For mine enemies speak of me, and they that lay wait for my soul, take their counsel together,

Saying, God hath forsaken him: pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.

Go not far from me, O God: my God haste thee to help me.

Let them be confounded and consumed that are against my soul: let them be covered with reproof and confusion, that seek mine hurt.

But I will wait continually, and will praise thee more and more.

My mouth shall daily rehearse thy righteousness, and thy salvation: for I know not the number.

I will go forward in the strength of the Lord God, and will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth even until now: therefore will I tell of thy wondrous works,

Yea even unto mine old age and gray head, O God: forsake me not, until I have declared thine arm unto this generation, and thy power to all them that shall come.

And thy righteousness, O God, I will exalt on high: for thou hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!

Which hast showed me great troubles and adversities, but thou wilt return and revive me, and wilt come again, and take me up from the depth of the earth.

Thou wilt increase mine honor, and return and comfort me.

Therefore will I praise thee for thy faithfulness, O God, upon instrument and viol: unto thee will I sing upon the harp, O Holy one of Israel.

My lips will rejoice when I sing unto thee, and my soul which thou hast delivered.

My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness daily: for they are confounded and brought unto shame, that seek mine hurt.

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Written by John Ker, D. D.
Taken from, “The Psalms in History and Biography,”
Wikipedia, and other sources.
Edited for thought and sense.

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