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throw of Heathenism, and the establishment of the Gospel; or to the destruction of the world, and the erection of Messiah's triumphant throne. Conquer, O Lord, all our perverse affections, and reign in us, that we may conquer, and reign with thee.

7. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge; Heb. an high place for us.

To the Lord of hosts all creatures in heaven and earth are subject; in the God of Jacob, the church acknowledges the Saviour of his chosen. If this person be IMMANUEL, GOD WITH US, of whom can we be afraid?

8. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. 9. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

The church, in these words, proposes to us the noblest subjects for contemplation; namely, the glorious victories of our Lord, partly gained already, and partly to be gained hereafter, in order to the final establishment of universal peace, righteousness, and bliss, in his heavenly kingdom. Then the mighty shall be fallen, and the weapons of war shall perish, for ever. Has. ten, O Lord, that blessed day; but first prepare us for it.

10. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

In this verse there is a change of person, and Jehovah himself is introduced, as commanding the world

to cease its opposition, to own his power, and to acknowledge his sovereignty over all the kingdoms of the nations. Let our rebellious passions hear this divine edict,tremble, and obey.

11. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

PSALM LI.

ARGUMENT.

In this Psalm, composed upon a sad occasion, but too

well known, we have a perfect model of penitential devotion. The royal supplicant, robed in sackcloth, and crowned with ashes, entreats for mercy, from a consideration of his own misery, and of the divine goodness ; from that of his confession, of God's sole right to judge him; laments the corruption of his nature ; but, without pleading it as an excuse ; prays for Gospel remission, in legal terms; for spiritual joy and comfort; for pardoning and cleansing grace; for strength and perseverance, that he may

instruct and convert others; deprecates the vengeance due to blood; beseeches God to accept an evangelical sacrifice; and concludes with a prayer for the church.

1. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

The penitent's first ground for hope of pardon, is his own misery, and the divine mercy, which rejoices to relieve that misery. The riches, the power, and the glory of a kingdom, can neither prevent nor remove the torment of sin, which puts the monarch and the beggar upon a level. Every transgression leaves behind it a guilt, and a stain: the account between God and the sinner is crossed by the blood of the great propitiatory sacrifice, which removes the former; and the soul is cleansed by the Holy Spirit, which takes out the latter.

2. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

The soul that is sensible of her pollution, fears she can never be sufficiently purified from it; and therefore prays, yet again and again, continually, for more abundant grace, to make and to keep her holy.

3. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

The penitent's second plea for mercy is, that he doth not deny, excuse, or palliate his fault, but confesses it openly and honestly, with all its aggravations, truly alleging, that it haunts him night and day, causing his conscience incessantly to reproach him with his base ingratitude to a good and gracious Father.

4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight ; that thou mightest, or, therefore thou wilt, be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

A third reason why the penitent sues for mercy at the hand of God is, because God alone certainly knows, and is always able to punish, the sins of men. David sinned against many; as against Uriah, whom he slew; against Bathsheba, whom he corrupted; and against all the people, to whom he became the cause of much offence and scandal, But the sin was committed in secret; and if it had not been so, he, as king, had no superior, or judge, in this matter, but God only; who, being able to convict the offender, as he did, by the prophet Nathan, would assuredly be justified in the sentence he should pronounce. And he will appear to be so in his determinations at the last day, when he will surprise the wretched unthinking sinner, with a declaration similar to that which he made, by his prophet, to the royal offender: “ Thou didst it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun."

5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

The divine mercy is implored by the penitent, fourthly, because that alone can dry up the fountain of original corruption, from which the streams of actual transgression derive themselves; and which is here only lamented as their cause, not alleged as their excuse; seeing, that the greater our danger is of falling, the greater should be our care to stand. David was the offspring of the marriage-bed, which is declared to be “honourable and undefiled.” No more, therefore, can be intended here, than that a creature begotten by a sinner, and formed in the womb of a sinner, cannot be without that taint which is hereditary to every son and daughter of Adam and Eve.

6. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make, or, hast made, me to know wisdom.

The force of “Behold,” is “It is too plain; I feel it but too sensibly; the punishment I suffer is evidence sufficient, that thou art not contented with a superficièl

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