Imprecatory Psalms

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timfost

Puritan Board Senior
As I was planning instruction for our youth catechism class on the subject of the third commandment, I was very encouraged by Ursinus's treatment of imprecatory Psalms in relation to the third commandment. I hope it is a help to you as well.

"To curse is to ask and desire evil to any one from God. All cursing, now, which proceeds from hatred, and from a desire of private revenge leading to the destruction of our neighbor, is unbecoming and wicked; because it desires that God should be made the executioner of our corrupt wishes and passions. Certain imprecations of the saints against their enemies are, indeed, found in the Psalms and elsewhere; but these are not to be positively condemned, because they are in a great measure prophetical denunciations of punishment against the enemies of God. From these examples we may infer that execrations are at particular times lawful, but with these conditions, 1. If we desire evil things to come upon those upon whom God denounces them, viz., his enemies. 2. If it is done on account of God, without any private hatred, or desire of revenge. 3. If we ask it upon the condition that these things come upon them only in case they remain incorrigible. 4. If we so desire these things, as not to rejoice in their destruction, but merely to desire that the divine glory be vindicated, and the church delivered."
 
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