their posterity gains correction! It would be much preferable if those who came first in time also led the way in faith.
This psalm begins from the depths, but like the advancing sun mounts to a great height, enabling us to realise how beneficial is the repentance which we see residing at such a lofty eminence. So let us ponder how harmful is that pride which is unceasingly confronted by an abundant remedy. We do not apply a single cure to a severe illness, but confront it with manifold treatment. The tree which grows luxuriantly with great freedom through the thin air is the one most often cut down with axes. This evil of pride is struck with the sixth axe of repentance, and the nodding arms which are its branches are agitated; but at the ensuing seventh axe's blow it is cut down and at once dashed to earth and shattered. I come back to the individuals who disdain to repent at the close of their lives. Nowhere in the law is there an embargo against what wicked men are said to hold cheap; on the contrary, we are always warned never to depart from the law through the effects of idleness. So let us regard with loathing the pride which expelled the angel from the grace of celestial sweetness. Let us love the humility which has raised the faithful to heaven. Let us swiftly confess our evil deeds so that we may not meet our deserts.
A canticle of steps. When the diligent farmer has broken up the heavy soil of his rich plains with the curved plough, and has consigned fertile seeds to the cultivated fields, he climbs a treetop with joyful songs of relief, and feeds his oxen with the leaves of branches which he lops off, thus refreshing with abundant food the beasts which he had assigned to the task of continual sowing. In the same way the prophet, now that he has completed the toils of repentance, mounts the spiritual steps, and bestows on us the sweet food of songs. The whole of this psalm is concerned with gentleness and humility, with