Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Col, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
Augustine, considering Psalm 26, attributes it to David, not so much as the type of Christ, but as the representative of the Church (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320741). In verse one the plea is to judge me according to my innocence. Though of ourselves we have none, after we receive the Lord’s mercy we can be said to be innocent. This is a feature of our trust in the Lord. In verse two, Augustine concedes that we do have sin which needs to be purged. However, in verse three it is God’s mercy which protects us and keeps us from being consumed by God’s burning presence.
Verse four begins to describe the life of the innocent, who have not given themselves over to transitory pleasures or gathered with the pleasure-seekers (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320754). Rather, in verse six, God’s people embrace the things of His altar. This is where we learn of God’s works and, in verse seven, learn to speak of them. Augustine finds this a very natural transition to speak of the goodness of the Church, the place God is revealed as present.
In verse nine, the Psalmist again relies on the Lord’s mercy to avoid being destroyed with the wicked (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320766). They are the people who seek after the world’s gifts (verse 10) as opposed to trusting God’s righteousness. This is a tremendous contrast. “Let so great a price of my Lord’s Blood avail for my complete deliverance; and in the dangers of this life let not Thy mercy leave me” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320771). The faithful join together in love for God.