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those countries which are under the directions of the Roman church. Let us bless God for the free use of the scriptures, and that we are engaged in spiritual and rational worship. All our capacities and advantages, our victories over temporal and spiritual enemies, and every deliverance which contributes to our happiness, are owing to (iod. Let boasting then be for ever excluded, and let the subject of every song be, A'bt unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be the glory.'
2. Observe the happiness of those who fear the Lord ; He is their helfi and their shield; but idols cannot save them. He will blest them, whether small or great, young or old, rich or poor; and if he that made heaven and earth blesseth them, they are blessed indeed. This should likewise be an encouragement to trust in him, that Ac h#th been mindful of us; has given us his gospel, heard our prayer, and granted us a variety of other favours. May his ministers be examples to others of a cheerful hope and trust in God. As the dead cannot praise God, let us praise him while we live, and do it "with that seriousness and fervour which his greatness and goodness jde serve..
This fisalm was probably composed by David. It is an acknowledgment of God'» mercy in delivering him, when he was reduced to very great extremities, and doubted of God's promises; and when his enemies also insulted him on account of his sickness.
X T LOVE the Lord, because he hath heard my voice [and]
2 JL my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto
3 me, therefore will I call upon [him] as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow ; such pains and liorrors as dy->
4 ing persons use to feel. Then called L upon the name of the
5 Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious [is]
6 the Lord, and righteous ; yea, our God [is] merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple ; sincere and plain hearted persons, who dare not use those crafty contrivances to save themselves,
7 which some do: I was brought lgw, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, to God, as thy rest, trust and rejoice in
8 him ; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, [and]
9 my feet from falling. I. will walk before the Lord in the land of the living: / will employ my strength and cheerfulness in thy ser
10 vice. I believed, therefore have I spoken; / firmly believe the divine promises, and therefore express my confidence in them :*
.".The aDnstle in 3 Cor. iv. 13. applies this to himself and his fellow labourers in. th» christian ministry, dedtriiigchat their frith iu the promises of Christ carried ibem tlnough tKeir work with comfort.
11 I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men, that it, Samuel who jiromised me the kingdom, and my friend* who emotr
12 aged me, [are] liars. What shall I render unto the Lord [for]
13 all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, Iet)
14 call upon the name of the Lord.* I will pay my Tows unto the
15 Lord, now in the presenceof all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord [is] the death of his saints ; he will guard their lives, and make inquisition for their blood, when he permits then to
16 be slain. O Lord, truly I [am] thy servant; I [am] thy servant, [and] the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my
17 bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will
18 call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the
19 Lord now in the presence of all his people. In the courts ef the Lord's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lore .
This fisalm is quoted by the afiostle, Rom. xv. 11. as a ftrojihety that the Gentiles should be brought into the church of God, and finite Mm with the Jews.
1 f~\ PRAISE the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all re
2 V/ people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord [cndureth] for ever. Praise ye the Lord.
REFLECTIONS on Psalm Cxvi, Cxvii.
3. T E T us labour to increase in love to God, as his favours are _Li multiplied upon us: his daily mercies demand our praise and love. But we should particularly recollect the instances in which he has granted us near escapes from death ; and love God and prayer the better, for all his kind appearances for us, in answer to our applications to him.
2. God's mercies to us should engage us to devote ourselves to his service, and walk before him continually. His bounty should lead us to seek our rest and happiness in him, to fly to him in euij time of danger and difficulty, and seriously to inquire what «*• render to him for all his benefits. And let us walk before him, art sensible of his presence, act as under his eye continually, and employ all our strength and ability in his service, with all fidelity w cheerfulness.
3. Let us particularly recollect the solemn engagements we are under to be the Lord's. We are his by our birth, being his ere tures. Many of us are descended from his servants, who serm j
devoted us to God, and trained us up for him. As this is a g
* Wine wis pronto! to Cod with their meat offerings ; the person IT,**?^/1 * af </ drAtik r.ii'l poured the rest on the altar. So we reaJ in some heathen wrMn salvation being offered for their deliverance from captivity.
blessing, so it lays us under great obligations. We have many of us in a public manner taken the vows of God upon us ;• and it is our duty to remember them, to renew them, and to pay them in that method, and by the discharge of those duties, which God has enjoined; and while we offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, let us call upon his name for grace and strength, that we may be faithful even to the end.
4. We learn from the hundred and seventeenth psalm, earnestly to pray that this call may be sent to all the nations, and that God may be universally known and adored. Let us bless him that this word of salvation has been sent to us gentiles; that the wall of partition is taken down; and fervently wish and pray, that every nation may enjoy this privilege, and be led by the inestimable blessings of the gospel to adore and praise its divine author.
This psalm is a noble and sacred ode, which was comfiosed to be used in a solemn /irecession when David went up to the tabernacle after God had given him victory over his enemies, especially the Philistines and the neighbouring nations that were confederated with them. It seems to have been sung in several parts; and we cannot enter into the beauty and spirit of it, without supposing ourselves to make a part of the procession ; seeing the courts of the tabernacle crqivdcd with innumerable spectators; a great number of sacrifices ready to be offered; the priests and Leviles in their several habits, some playing on instruments, and others ringing, and the king, his officers and soldiers, with their arms and cnsigris of victory, marching up to the tabernacle. The whole assembly breaks out into this divine rapture, v. 1.
1 f~\ GIVE thanks unto the Lord ; for [he is] good: bcV-/ cause his mercy [endureth] for ever. The priests then
2 address the people, Let Israel now say, that his mercy [endureth]
3 for ever. The people reply to the priests, Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy [endureth] for ever ; for God hath set over us a prince that will not treat you like Saut, but secure your maintenance, and attend and direct your services. The
4 priests then say, Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy [endureth] for ever. Then the king begins an account of
6 God's wonderful dealings with him. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, [and set me] in a large place.
6 The Lord [is] on my side; I will not fear: what can man do
7 unto me? The Lord takcth my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see [my desire] upon them that hate me.
8 [It is] better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
9 [It is] better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in 10 princes. All nations compassed me-about, that is, all the neighbouring nations, the Philistines, the Moabites, the Jtmoritcs, and
11 others: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy "them. They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about : but'm
12 the name of the Lord I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns, •which blazes, and dies aiuay quickly: for in the name of the Lord
13 I will destroy them- Thou hast thrust sore at me that 1 might fall; thou, my most distinguished enemy, f/ierhafis re/erring to
14 Saul,} but the Lord helped me. The Lord [is] my strength
15 and song, and is become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation [is] in the tabernacles of the righteous ; of the pious Israelites, who always favoured my cause, and have not) great reason to rejoice: the right hand of the Lord doeth val
16 iantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted ; has appeared eminently, and wrought gloriously and power/idly on my behalf: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly, and appears to be far
17 superior to all his enemies. I shall not die, not Jail in battle, but
18 live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord hath chastened me sore, by a variety of enemies and afflictions: but be hath not given me over unto death ; he hath not suffered me tt be destroyed. He then addresses himself to the porters at the
19 gates of the tabernacle, Open to me the gates of righteousness; the gates into which the righteous enter to worship God: I will go into them, [and] I will praise tbe Lord: the porters then reply,
20 This w the gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall en
21 ter; they and no o'her shall be welcome here, David adds, I mil praise thee /or the liberty I have to come to thy house, from vilich I have bfen so long banished : for thou haat heard me, and art
22 become my salvation. The stone [which] the builders refused is become the head [stone] of the corner; though the p-Jiticians of the age i ked upon me with contempt and scorn, as builders do upon a stone which is wfit to be set in the building, yet God hath ma I me the foundation and support of the state. The people then
23 reply, This is the Lora's doing; it [is] marvellous in our eyes
24 This [is] the day, 'he famous, illustrious day, [which] the Loeo hath made remarkable by this marvellous work; and we will rejoice and be glad in it. Then David offers up his petition*for
25 continued mercy. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: 0 Losld T beseech thee, send now prosperity. Then the priests*
26 addressing David and his warriors, say, Blessed [be] he that Cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of tit house of the Lord ; we welcome you here, and as the ministers c/ God pray that your reign may be long, prosperous, and happyDavid thin gives orders fur offering up the sacrifices, and refiea
27 lus thankfulness, God [is] the Lord, which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, [even] unto the horns o
2S the altar.' Thou [an] my God, and I will praise thee: [»* art] my God, I will exalt thee. Then the king and his army.'«
29 priests and the people all join in the grand chorus; O give,nan" unto the Lord; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureUU for ever.
1. I/'ROM the example of David we should learn to cherish and
JO express a fervent gratitude for the past mercies of God to us. Behold this illustrious warrior marching up in solemn procession to the house of the Lord, laying as it were his sword and his crown at God's feet; and appearing infinitely greater and more majestic in this attitude, than When engaging or pursuing his enemies. Thus let us give God the glory of all his favours to us; especially those which have been extraordinary and remarkable; such as near escapes from death, and from overwhtlming enemies or calamities. Let us stir up ourselves to pray to him, and call upon our friends to join with us ; and while we live let us declare the works of the Lordt for his glory and trie encouragement of others.
2. Let us learn from David, to maintain a humble, cheerful confidence in God in all future dangers. Wiien they compass us about like bees, are many and troublesome, then let us trust in the name of the Lord; which is better than to trust in man, though ever so wise and good; yea, better than to trust in princes, be they ever so mighty: for their minds may change, their strength fail, or their lives end. Let us endeavour by faith and prayer, to engage him on our side, then we need not fear. What can man do? nothing but what God permits ; nothing but what he will overrule for good. The apostle applies this to all christians, Heb. xiii. 6. We may boldly say, the Lord is my helfier, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
3. Let us rejoice in the marvellous conduct of Providence, in the foundation he has laid for the hopes of his people in a Saviour so much despised. What David says of himself, v. 22. is expresslyapplied to Christ both by himself and his apostles, Matt. xxi. 42. / Pet. ii. 7. As David was despised, though chosen and anointed of God to be king, yet he was afterward raised to royal dignity, and so was Christ. The Jewish builders, the scribes and priests, who should have edified the church, rejected him, would not build upon him, or seek any union with him. But he was chosen of God; Was a foundation laid by him; he is become the head stone of the comer, which supports and cements the whole building, the church of believing Jews and Gentiles ; and he, as a living stone, gives spiritual, life to all who are united to him ; This is marvellous in our eyes. Let us celebrate this constitution on every Lord's day ; a day which he hath made and set apart for himself; and let us rejoice and te glad in it.
4. Let us cordially welcome Jesus Christ, who Cometh as the king of Zion. What was said of David, v. 2G. Bletsed be he that Cometh in the name nf the Lord, is in Mutt. xxi. 9. used by the multitude that followed Christ, when he entered in triumph into Jerusalem. If the priests thus welcomed David, how should we welcome his Son and Lord! He comrtli in the name of the Lord; with authority and commission from him ; and to promote his glory in