Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at sacred-texts.com
Psalm 26 is especially the pleading of integrity and trust in Jehovah. Having trusted Him, the godly would surely not slide. He invites Jehovah to search his inmost heart, as Peter did even though fallen. Here, still the goodness of Jehovah was his first motive. Then the separation of the godly from the ungodly body of the nation is fully brought out and taken as a plea that they might not have their souls gathered with the ungodly. Still, though integrity was pleaded, redemption is sought, and mercy. The end would be blessing. Their foot stood in an even place. They would, in the full assembly, bless Jehovah. This is substantially the entire separation of the godly from the nation, and the former becoming the congregation of God.
Thus in these two psalms we have the confession of sins and the pleading of integrity, both marking the real renewal of mind. Though the possibility of government in forgiveness and mercy is founded on the atonement which has been presented in Psalm 22, and is owned fully in Isaiah 53 by Israel subsequent to the period of these psalms; yet the aspect in which all is viewed by the remnant in these two psalms is the known character and government of Jehovah in Israel; and the feelings of a renewed heart are expressed in reference to that government to Jehovah's ways. His name is the key to their thoughts, and awakens their best and truest affections. It is the faith of a godly Israelite in the last days. The moral state of the remnant is especially brought out in all this part, and more especially their own with Jehovah, circumstances comparatively little; though the enemies without and the transgressors around form necessarily the occasion of those feelings in respect of deliverance and redemption. The heart of the godly one has the key to all Israel's history and Jehovah's dealings with them, because grace is looked to, and sin confessed. This it is that ever gives understanding. And so it is here. Jehovah's ways have been are perfect. He is called upon to remember His own mercies, and not the early sins of His people. The enemies of His people are presented to Him. The hope of forgiveness is founded on Jehovah's name (it is, as we have seen, connected with His government; they have not yet looked on Christ, and understood atonement); the faithful looks to be guided in the way, and Jehovah's faithfulness to him is reckoned on. His sins, sorrows, and enemies are all presented to Him with an open heart. Covenant mercies can be seen, looked to, because Jehovah is, in truth by an upright confessing sinner.