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shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not exact upon him ; nor the son of wicked.
23 ness afflict him, so as to overpower him. And I will beat down
24 his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulnes and my mercy [shall be] with him: and in my
25 name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in tha sea, on the Philistines, and his right hand in the rivers, on the
26 Syrians. He shall cry unto me, Thou [ait] my father, my God,
27 and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him [my] Erstborn, higher than the kings of the earth; chief among those o*o
28 are called children of the most High. My mercy will 1 keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shull stand fast with lnm.
39 His seed also will I make [to endure] for ever, and his throne as 30 the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and w»ik S1 not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not .32 my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression frith
33 the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my
34 faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the 85 thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my
36 holiness that 1 will not lie unto David. His seed shall entiure
37 forever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the inoon, and [as] a faithful witness in heaven ( like tltc moony which faithfully and regularly measures out our time. All these declarations intimate, that no other-family ^ '*', of David shuuld rule while Judah wets a kingdom : that that tube should still subsist, and have flower in it, and the family «/ Dox'i
•38 be honourable among them till Christ should come. Selah. But thou hast cast off, and abhorred, thou hast been wroth \vith throe
39 anointed. Thou hast made void the covenant of thy scrrart, thou seemest not to regard it: thou hast profaned his crown [hf
40 casting it] to the ground. Thou hast broken down, all •"'
41 hedges; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. AH"1*1 pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours.
42 Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou bast
43 made all his enemies to rejoice. Thoju hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battif.
44 Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to
45 the ground. The days of his youth hast thou shortened : *l«* hast covered him with shame; the royal family is weakened, •:» the two last kings carried captive in their youth. Selah. Thtt-V"*' tit then pleads for this family, that it might be restored, aid notp< tr> d/ath, nor spend those lives in misery which could be but »« ^
46 ut the best. How long, Lord ? wilt thou hide thyself for e«r
47 shall thy wrath burn like fire ? Remember how short my time 43 is t wherefore hast thou made all men in vaTi? What man
[is he that] liveth, and shall not see death ? shall he deliver U' 4) soul from the hand of the grave? Selah. Lord, where [a«J
thy former loving kindnesses, [which] thou swearest unto $0 vid in thy truth i Remember, Loud, the reproach of thy *' Vatits; [how] I do bear in my bosom, or lay to heart, [the re*
51 proacli of] all the mighty people ; Wherewith thine enemies
have reproached, О Lord ; wherewith they have reproached
the footsteps of thine anointed, •nfio arc inmilicd, as ifthrre wo»
an end of David's family, and Israel's dominion and firos/ifxi/y.
Nevertheless, with a cheerful fiofic thai the case will be or/ieririsr,
tn I will say, Blessed [be] the Lord for evermore. Amen, and
1. IT ET us learn in times of the greatest trouble and afflic* i A tion to abound in praise. The psalmist is in deep distress, and utters many mournful complaints of the low state to which the house and kingdom of David was reduced, yet he begins and ends with praise: he largely celebrates God's power, faithfulness, and mercy, though he found it hard to reconcile their present distresses with them. This is a good example to us, to give God the glory of his excellency and his ancient wonders, in our most afflicted state: this will be honourable to God, and a great relief to our own mind. The brighter discoveries we have of his mercy, faithfulness, and wonderful works under the gospel, call upon us in every thing to give thanks.
2. Let all our religious services be performed with the highest reverence of God. The inhabitants of heaven adore his wonders; and it becomes his saints when they draw near to him, especially in their public assemblies, to think of his unparalleled glory and perfections; to have their minds abound with the profoundest veneration, and to maintain all the external marks of it. If we would serve God acceptably, it must Ьг done m'th reverence and godly Jear.
3. Let us be thankful for the joyful sound of the gospel, and careful to attend to it. If the Jewish people were blessd, who had a jubilee proclaimed among them once in fiftv years, when their debts were cancelled, their inheritances restored, and slaves set at liberty, how happy are we, who so often hear the gospel ! and what я joyful sound is that, which proclaims liberty to the captives of Satan, cancels our debt to divine justice, and proclaims admission to the heavenly inheritance, which by sin we had forfeited. Let us attend to this sound, and.comply with the terms on which these privileges are granted; then shall we walk in the light of God's countenance, possess his favour and love, under a comfortable sense of being accepted of him ; and shall have reason to rejoice, notwithstanding all our sufferings and all our fear*.
4. We should often contemplate with pleasure the covenant which God hath made with his Son, and with us through him. What is here said of the covenant of royalty made with David and his seed, is very applicable to the covenant of grace made with believers, who are the spiritual seed oi Christ. He is therefore called the soil of David, and the mercies of the gospel are styled, ¡lie mrr 'mcrcjee of David. God hath laid Aeffl on vnt vho i* »tighty^ and promised him a glorious and everlasting throne. ТЫ» afford« us great encouragement ; thank* be to God, who cauteth us always (• triumph in Christ l Hin covenant -will he not break, nor aller the thing that is cone out of hi« lifte.
'S. Let us remember the frailty and mortality of human nature; this will moderate our joys, lighten our sorrows, and quicken us in our preparations for eternity. Death is the end of all men ; of kings, as well as others; yet God hath not made man in vain. There is time enough here, if we improve it well ; and especially as there is another world beyond this. In the hope and prospect of this we should rejoice, and say, Blensed be the Lord for evermore. , and Amefn.
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.
Occasioned by the sentence which was pronounced ufion Israel fot their murmuring' and other /invocations, ¡hat all ioho were above twenty years old when they came out of Egypt, should die in the wilderness, and never enter Canaan, except Caleb and Jos/iua, see Numb, xiv. 29, 30.
l T O R D, thou hast been oui dwelling place in all genera
I -t tions; thou hast been a refuge and fir otee t i on to our fathers
in Canaan, and to us in £gyfit and in the wilderness, and this it
3 an encouragement to hofie that thou wilt not quite forsake us. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting
3 thou [art] God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men; referring to the sentence of death paused on all the human race, ' dust thou art, and unto dust thou
4 shall return.' For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and its shortness is more sensible, and [as] a watch in the night, about three hours, the night being
5 divided into four watches. Thou earnest them away as with я flood ; hastily and irresistibly; they are [as] a sleep; they vanish like a dream when a man awakes: in the morning [they are]
6 like grass [which] groweth up. In the morning it floiirishctb, and groweih up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled i the source of (his destruction is the anger of God
8 against us for our sins. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret [sins] in the light of thy countenance ; by the sentence which is passed upon us, it appears that thou hast brought into the account not only our open, but our secret sins ; those which
9 we have forgotten. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath; under the tokens efthy displeasure: we spend our year»
K) as a tale [that is told.»] The days of our years [are] three score years and ten ; and if Ly reason of strength [they be] four score years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow ; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Some understand this of those Israelites., who came out of Egypt, and died about this age in the wilderness; but it rather refers to the fieriod of human life in general; as if he had said, We do not arrive to the age of our forefathers; and therefore, being doomed to spend our lives in this wil
11 derness, is peculiarly grievous. Who knoweth, or seriously considers, the power of thine anger ? even according to thy fear, [so is] thy wrath; that is, as some unders'and it, It is greater or les* to particular persons, in proportion as they fear thee. But it rather intimates, that God's wrath is equal to a man's fear ,• the busy imagination of man cannot produce an idea more terrible.f
12 So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom; that we may not repeat the provocations of our fathers, but, seriously considering the vanity of life, may be
13 come truly religious. Return, O Lord, how long? and let it
14 repent thee concerning thy servants.f O satisfy us early with thy mercy ; give us some token of thy favour, which may be as acceptable and fileasant as the light of the morning after a dark night s that we may rejoice and be glad all our days, though we
15 spend them in the wilderness. Make us glad according to the days [wherein] thou hast afflicted us, [and] the years [wherein] we have seen evil; let our joy in a sense of thy favour, overbalance all the sufferings we endured in Egypt, and what we now
IS endure in the wilderness. Let thy work appear unto thy ser» vants ; work for us still in a favourable manner; do for us the >great things thou hast promised, and let us have eyes to see and hearts to own thy goodness; and thy glory unto their children, in bringing them into the land which thou hast promised; and so
17 make it appear that thou hast not entirely forsaken us. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; shine forth favourably upon us, and let us see as much prosperity cs may be a token for good: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it ; prosper our labour, make our arms victorious, and especially let our minds be softened and improved by this awful dispensation of thy providence.
M hence we are taught to reverence and adore the eter-
• The word tdlt sometimes Minifies a [roan, a breath, or * thought! and It intimates the brevity, vanity, and misery of human life ; but may here particularly rrfertoihr uncomfortable and seemingly unprofitable manner in which the Israelites lived for so many years in the wilderness.
t Herein Moses teems to lament the little impression this sentence had nnde ctpon the people, notwithstanding they taw their brettuen dying, and knew they must soon die, there* fore he prays M in *j. i J. ff
\ The sentence was pronounced so solemnly, and confirmed by an oath, t hit Mose« could not entreat that God would revoke, that; he must therefore refer to some particular chastisemenr they were then under ; that God would mitigate the severity of it; or at least turn it into kindness, by nuking it promote their seriousness and repentance.
Vol. IV. Ccc
It is a most sublime idea which Moses here gives uâ of God, and" Л delightful idea of the happiness of his people. He is without beginning of days and end of life; a thousand years, yea, a thousand ages, bear no proportion to his eternal duration. The human mind fe lost in the thought of God's eternity ; but it is a noble support under the loss of our friends, and the changes and alterations of the •world, that he will be our dwelling place amidst all our toils and sufferings, and we shall find in him a sure and a delightful abode. • 2. Let us seriously lay to heart the shoriness and vanity of human Kfe. Upon this subject we need line upon line, and precept upon precept; which Providence and scripture both afford, in erder that we may not forget it amidst the cares and amusements of life. Let us remember, that all ßesh га grasa; that time, like an irresistible flood, is carrying us all away into the ocean ot eternity; that the period of human life is short, and much of it labour and sorrow, The young, as well as the old, the strong and gay, as well as the sickly and sorrowful, should consider this; that they may not spend their years in vanity, and hurry them on by excesses, as if they did »ot move fast enough ; and murder them in sin, as if there was no future account to be given of them.
3. We should endeavour to improve this view of life to the purposes of practical religion. It is a most important prayer which Moses offers in the twelfth verse, so teach us to number our davs, ihat we may afifily our hearts unto 4visdom: so to number them, that we may consider our fi-atlty; consider what our work is, and what our duty; and apply our hearts to wisdom, to good ends and proper means, or, to true religion. This lesson requires close application of mind; and though it is so plain and important, we shall not learn it without divine teaching. Let us therefore pray for it ; remembering that there isa day coming, when God -will judge us lor all our sins, open and secret; then careless, trifling sinners shall fali under his wrath: and we may be assured, that his word does not represent that wrath, nor can the human imagination paint it more dreadful than it will prove.
4. We should commit ourselves to the divine protection and favour for the residue of our days, be they more or Itss. Nothing can satisfy a pious soul but the mercy and favour of God; that i» the only source of solid joy. It is our duty to work ivith c,ur hai'da t!ie thing ilia, is good, and ю be diligent in business; but, without hi* blessing, we shall labour in vain ; and, without his favour, the greatest success will afford us no real satisfaction. Let us then offer up this important prayer, that he would establish the mark of our hands, and that his favour may be upon us and our enjoyments, and his glory afi/tear to our children. Then will our minds be easily reconciled to the vanity and shortness of life, and we shall be conducted to that world, which is not subject to these changes; to lhat world, where he will make his servants glad according to the day*, in iv/uch he haa afflicted. theatt and the years wherein they have »ten evil.