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and/iublic assemblies. This is a/ifilied by Saint Paul to Chrís(t
23 Неб. ii. 12. Ye that fear the Lord, praise him, for the berußte received by the Messiah; all ye the seed of Jacob) glorify him;
24 and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of thé afflicted ; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he
25 heard, and su/ifiorted him. My praise [shall be] of thee in the great congregation, in the temfile: I will pay my vows before them that ¿ear him, and thus devote my recovered life to his hon
26 our. The meek shall eat and be satisfied ,• humble souls shall fiar take of spiritual firwisions with joy: they shall praise the Lord that seek him : yonr heart shall live for ever; be su/ifiori
27 cd and comforted with everlasting consolations. AH the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord : and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee; the gospel
28 shall have a •wide s/iread, and become an -universal blessing. For the kingdom [is] the Lord's: and he [is] the governor among the nations, Gentiles an well as Jews, and therefore he shall set ufi
29 his sfnritual kingdom among them also. All [they that be] fat upon earth, shall eat and wofship ; many rich and great men shall embrace tlte goxfiel and fiaría/ce of sfiiritual blessings: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul; the floor also, vihtj are in great distrtss, and can scarce sufiftort life, shall submit to Christ : and this shall
30 not be the hafifiinese of »ne age only, but A seed shall serve him; there shall be a succession of Christians in every age j it shall be accounted to the Loi D for a generation ; shall be enrolled and
31 reckoned as a chosen generation, and be esteemed his fteofile. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be barn, shall flro/iagaie the remembrance of thin great mercy to them who come after them, that, or, because, he hath done [this,] end shall ¿five God the glory of thit wonder/til salvation.
T. /~\U R kith in Christ should be strengthened by this remarkV_y able prophecy of him. Scarce any thing could be more plain, particular, and full. Several passages are quoted from it in the New Testament; many of them are by no means applicable to David, but all suit the circumstances of our blessed Lord. Let us then reverence that divine inspiration which guided the mind of David to foretell the sufferings and glory of Christ, in langnage so remarkably fulfilled, and which leaves the Jews inexcusable; who by viickfd hands crucified and slew the Lord of life.
2. We are instructed from this psalm how to behave under the afflictions and distresses of life. Good men should not think it strange, if they suspect themselves to be forsaken of God; if he hides his face from' them, and seems to shut out their prayer, and suffers Sutaji or wicked mtH to distress or tempt them. The servant is not 'above hi.t master. Let them therefore learn to make prayer their refuge, as Christ did; to plead their past experience'of the divine goodness, and to hope in God amidst the darkest scenes of life.
3. Our love to Christ should be increased bv this account of his sufferings, which -were so exactly fulfilled. He knew beforehand what he should suffer, what assaults he should meet with from men and devils, what reproaches, insults, and torments; yet he cheerfully came down from heaven to endure them all, and endure them for our sakes too. Surely such love should constrain us to love him, and make us willing to suffer any thing for his sake.
4. Let us rejoice in the glory which followed Christ's sufferings, and the extensive kingdom which he hath established; that the ends of the world are turned to the Lord, and that God is now become the God and king of the gentiles. Christ has still a seed to serve him, and will have through all generations; and at length all the kindreds of the nations shall lutrshift before Mm, and rich and poor shall alike partake of the blessings of his grace. In this we should rejoice, and long for the more full accomplishment of each delightful prediction. In the mean time,
5. Let us all be solicitous that we and ours may be a seed to serve Christ; and so answer to this prediction, that we and our children may be reckoned among the generation of his fieople. Let us therefore dedicate ourselves to him as I.is loyal subjects and obedient servants, declaring his righteousness and grace to our children, and frequently celebrating what his power and love have done. Then shall we and they partake of the benefits of his kingdom of grace here, and be abundantly refreshed by them; yea, and our hearts shall live for ever.
A Psalm of David.
This is a short bul beautiful composition ¡ and ha* often afforded great sufi/wri and encouragement to fiions minds. It was firobably varillen by David after the fieaccable settlement of the ark in its /ilace'i when he began to enjoy tranquillity^ and had frequent opftirtunitief of waiting ufto^n God in his tabernacle. David haiintf been a shefiherd himselfi these lliouglila mere familiar to his mindy and he would enter with peculiar relish into these descriptions.
1 r l"1* И E Lord [is] my shepherd; not only the »hcfiherd nf Ii,
\ rael, but mine; therefore I shall not want any thing that i.t
2 truly good for me. Ifyf maketh me to lie down to refloat- at noon in green pastures, not tn jiarchcd ground: he leadeth me besirle the still waters, pure and quiet; these are uftfioised tu ¡¿reat vir
era, winch by their noise might terrify the thee/:, or by the rapidity of their current, endanger their being carried away. The meaning is, he hath brought me into a safe and happy condition, made plentiful provision both for my body and soul, for the supports and
3 pleasures of the natural and spiritual life. He restoreth my soul; revives me when dejected, and recovers me when J go astray: be leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake, to
4> manifest his power, love, and mercy. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; this nay refer to any gloomy or distressing scene through w/uch he might be called to pass, and mere especially to death itself; but even then he would fear no evil: for thou [art] with me, to sup/iort and aru
5 mate me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.* Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; intimating the plenty and elegance of Iris provisions, notwithstanding the envy and rage of his enemies: thcu anointest my head with oil ; alluding to an eastern custom of anointing the head of their guests with fragrant ointment, to cheer and, refresh their spirits. Psalm xcii. 10. my cup runneth over; / have a superfluity tf all good things, and am distinguished by thy firox'idential blessings. He (hen draws a comfortable conclusion from the divine bounty;
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ; the favour of God and the effects of it, shall attend me wherever I am: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever; I shall aliuays have access to his tabernacle, and pay my homage there; and after the days of my life are ended, I shall be brought to God's house and presence above, and Iilvc an everlasting hafipy abode there.
1. "\T7"E 'earn hence, to adore the condescension of God, in V V sustaining this endearing relation. How kind and gracious is he to represent himself under this amiable image, as taking all good men under his pastoral care; the weakest and meanest of them are not below his notice. He extends this favour to us, who might have seen him armed with the sword of an offended sovereign, instead of the rod of a tender shepherd. Let us acknowledge and adore this condescension; for thus he himself expresseth it, £zek.,xxxiv. 31. Ye, the flock of my pasture, are men, and lam your God, stilh the Lord God.
2. Let us be solicitous that we may be of the number of his sheep; solemnly commit ourselves to his care, as be invites us to do; particularly by yielding ourselves to the management of Christ, whom God hath constituted the shepherd of the sheep. Let us hear his voice, and follow him; and be like sheep, innocent, gentie, and useful. Let us remember, that no -wolf in sheep's clothing can deceive his eye, and thai there is a day coming when there will be an awful distinction, and an everlasting separation made between the sheep and the goats.
* This I* an allnston to 3 «wm among rh* rttfw shepherds, who had two staffs, one which they used in counting the sheep, called th« rid, Lm axvii. 3.'. the other a </.i_fl> tike oir hhrpherd's crook, with which'they drrw them bacfr'when Ro'uig-nstrav, or catchef them wh*Ti indatujfr of falling down aprecipiee. Ttausthr psalmist was comjortcd uod^r a tr: 1? 01 Cod's care aud the itmrotrjenu he mai!e use of for his deliverance.
3. We are here taught, thankfully to own the pastosa! care of God in all our mercies. Let us think, when we see our table spread with what is necessary for our sustenance and conducive to our pleasure, it is God who spreads it f if our cup runneth over, it is God who fills it. Our lot is of God's choosing ; therefore, if we are denied some of the comforts of life, it is because he sees that they are not good for us. He knows that a rich, luxuriant pasture« would often hurt his sheep, and therefore he sometimes keeps them from it. Let us especially thank him for spiritual blessings, for his word and ordinances, those green pastures and still waters, by which he nourishes and refreshes our souls.
4. Under his guidance and care, let us rejoice in the views of life, and death, and the eternal state; conñdent that he will fulfil all his gracious engagements. The experience we have had of his care, should teach us to draw David's comfortable conclusion, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Let us hope that he will protect us from our adversary the devil, who goeth about аа а rearing iion, seeking whom he may devour. These delightful .yiews of God should reconcile good men to the thoughts of passing through the valley of death. God will be with them, and comfort them, so that^ all its terrors shall vanish ; they need fear no evil. The dark valley leads us to God's house above, where his servants shall dwell for ever; for thus saith the good shepherd, I give unto my sherp eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.
A Psalm of David.
This psalm "¡vqs composed when the ark ivas brought uf¡ to mount Ziwi; icing conducted in sol mn procession from the t;ouae of Obededom, David, and all Israel loi'h him, flaying upon all manner of instruments^ as the historian tells us. We cannot enter into the beauty and ffiirit of this /¡salm, without considering it as set to music, and sung in different parts by different fier sons, according to the manner of the Jews, The two Jirst verses viere probably sung by the -whole company during the /¡recession.
1 ППНЕ earth [is] the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,
JL every thing it contains; the world, and they that dwell
therein; all are his creatures and property; he is not a local
deity, confined to one spot, nor the tutelar deity of Israel only; but
the God of all the earl/i. This i» designed to illustrate Ait condesceniion in taking ufi his peculiar residence among the Israelites, at
2 their Gad and /cinc. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods; the waters in the cavern» and towels of the earth are like a foundation for it* and all the beating of the seas cannot overthrow it.— When this solemn procession reached the foot of mount Zion, David himself perhaps puts this
3 important question to the attending Lévites, Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? and who shall stand in his holy place? who shall be an acceptable wore/tipper at his tabernacle, and be honoured as hin faithful servant? To which the Lévites in
4 chorus answer, He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully; not he who offers the most costly sacrifice, or addressee the matt harmonious songi, but he who has clean hands, free from blood, unrighteous gain», and all other works of iniqiaty ¡ mho hath a heart free from hypocrisy and inward pollution; whose soul hath •not been lifitl nfi to idols, or been inordinately fond of the -vanities and pleasures of the morid, and who is faithful to all flit engage
5 ments both to God and man. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, nut only from t fie priests, but from Jehovah; he shall
"• have temporal and spiritual prosperity; and righteousness from the God of his salvation, he shall be accepted of God"as righteous, shall receive the fruits and rewards of righteousness now, and sal
6 -Dation from him who is the God of salvation. This [is] the generation of them that seek him, these he will reckon acceptable
7 worshippers, that seek thy face, О God of Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, О ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. When this grand cavalcade came to the gates of the city of David, those who carried the ark address this beautiful apostrophe. It is not said, Open the doom, or often yourselves, О ye doors; but Lift up your heads; as if they had said, Let inanimate nature be struck at the appearance of this glorious Being; let the entrance grow wider and higher to receive this sacred guest. They are called everlasting doors, on account of their strength, and their cheerful hopes that God mould defend them. Then the porters or Lévites, who attended the gate,
8 ask, Who [is] this King of glory? The miniver is made by those who bore and accompanied the ark; The Lord strong and mighty, able to destroy his enemies and defend his subject*, The Lord mighty in battle. The procession going on to the gate of the court of the tabernacle, the king and his attendants again cry
9 out, Lift up your heads, О ye gates; even lift [them] up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. The
10 priests and Lévites that attend there, auk; Who is this King of glory? And then the king and all the people in t fie procession, at a chorus, cry out with the loudest acclamation, in which they are joined by the priests йпЛ Levitee about the tabernacle, The Lord of hosts, he [is] the King of glory.» Sclah.
• !f fach of ihf sc porting of thf рчг!т are considered as SM to mntic, imd rf pe*r*d rbm alterna'fty liy a vast multitud.1, aecnrnpanied with hiitrumems ofm uic, I beliryr it v. ill Le allowed to be a) grand, u iqlenuí, and м celestial a scene a> can possibly be conceived.