Imágenes de páginas

tected by thy providence, supported by thy word, and refreshed by thy Spirit, lead us even where, and in what manner, it shall seem good to thee; only do not thou forsake us, and we ask no more. 42. For he remembered his holy promise, and -Abraham his servant. 43. And he brought forth his people with joy and his chosen with gladness. The same God hath since “remembered again his “ promise to Abraham;” he hath visited his people, and redeemed them from the bondage of sin, under the tyranny of Satan; which redemption they daily celebrate in the church, with “joy and gladness,” waiting for their final deliverance from death and the grave, when they are to sing in heaven “the song of “ Moses and of the Lamb.” Rev. xv. 3. 44. And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; 45. That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord. It was not, therefore, intended that the Israelites should regard Canaan as their paradise, and look no farther; but that, being rescued from their enemies, and settled in peace and plenty, they should improve the opportunity, thereby afforded them, of serving the Lord their God, and of securing to themselves, through the obedience of faith, an inheritance in “a better country, that is to say, an “heavenly.” And let all the children of faithful Abraham, whose lot hath fallen in “a land flowing “with milk and honey” upon earth, reflect, that God hath given them riches, and the leisure which riches procure, not for the purpose of indulging and corrupting themselves and others, but that they may glorify him, benefit their neighbours, and save their own souls; “that they may observe his statutes, and “keep his laws.” Israel was delivered by Moses, and the church redeemed by Christ, that God might

“purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good “ works.” Tit. ii. 14.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

The Psalmist here again commemorates the divine benefits, upbraiding withal the ingratitude of those who received them... 1, 2. He exhorteth men to the praise of Jehovah ; 3–5, proclaimeth the blessedness, and longeth for the felicity of the saints; 6. confesseth the sins of Israel, and giveth a detail of their rebellions; 7–12. at the Red Sea; 13–15, when they lusted for flesh in the wildermess; 16–18. in the matter of Korah ; 19—23. in that of the golden calf; 24–27. at the report of the spies; 28–31. in the affair of Baal-peor; 32, 33. at the waters of Meribah ; 34–39. in not destroying idolatry, but being seduced by it. 40—46. God's frequent judgements, and as frequent mercies, are related; 47. a prayer is made, that Jehovah would gather Israel from among the Heathen, which shows the Psalm to have been written during some captivity or dispersion. The last verse contains an act of blessing and praise.

1. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever. In the person of a penitent nation, the Prophet invites mankind to “give thanks unto Jehovah,” for that “goodness” which preventeth us with blessings, and for that “mercy” which forgiveth our transgressions; that mercy which was shown to our forefathers upon their repentance, and will “ever,” be shown, upon the same condition, to us and our posterity; that mercy which will bring sin and misery to an end, itself continuing eternal and unchangeable. 2. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord who can show forth all his praise 2 But who is sufficient for a work that demandeth the tongues and harps of angels 2 “ When you “glorify the Lord,” saith the Son of Sirach, “exalt “him as much as you can ; for even yet will he far “exceed; and when you exalt him, put forth all “your strength, and be not weary, for you can “never go far enough.” . Ecclus xliii. 30. 3. Blessed are they that keep judgement; and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Next to angels, they are blessed and qualified to praise God with the voice, who glorify him in their lives; who having experienced in themselves the “mighty acts” of mercy, pardoning the guilt, and breaking the power of sin, are become the servants of Jesus, and render to their Saviour “at all “times,” in adversity no less than in prosperity, the due tribute of unfeigned love and obedience. 4. Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation. 5. That I may see the good of thy chosen; that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation ; that I may glory with thine inheritance. The Psalmist offereth a prayer for himself, or rather for the church of Israel, that she, with himself, might partake of such blessedness. The words might have a reference to a temporal restoration and felicity; but they certainly extend much farther, and form the most spiritual and heavenly petition that the devoutest Christian can prefer to the throne of grace. “Remember me, O Lord, with the favour” which thou hast always shown to “thy people,” in whom thou hast delighted from the foundation of the world, and on whom it is thy good pleasure to confer a glorious kingdom. “O visit me with thy salvation,” with which so many patriarchs, prophets, and kings, have desired to be visited, the salvation of thy Christ, the justifier of all them that believe, and the rewarder of his saints: “that I may see the good of thy “chosen,” their felicity in beholding thy countenance, and living for ever in thy presence; “that I may re“joice in the gladness of thy nation,” the unspeakable gladness of those who enter into the joy of their Lord; “and glory with thine inheritance,” singing hallelujahs before thine everlasting throne, in the Jerusalem which is above. The Israelitish church, when in peace and tranquillity serving her God, and WOL. II. R

chanting the songs of Sion, afforded a very lively representation of this eternal felicity.

6. We have sinned with our fathers : we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedly.

They who have joined with the Prophet in his affectionate aspiration after the divine favour, may here learn the surest way to attain it; namely, by confessing their own sins, and those of their ancestors. “We have sinned with our fathers,” that is, after their example of unbelief and disobedience, of which an account immediately followeth. The fathers' sins are often reflected in their children, and each new reflection, instead of being weaker, is stronger than the foregoing; as in the case of the Jews.

7. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red Sea.

The Israelites did not profit, as they should have done, by the miracles wrought for them in Egypt;

they increased not in the wisdom and knowledge of · God their Saviour; but when they saw themselves

pursued by Pharaoh, their faith failed, they murmured against Moses, and wished themselves again in the bondage from which they were just delivered: Exod. xiv. 10, &c. Thus, when the penitent findeth himself beset with difficulties and dangers; when he seeth before him that death unto sin, through which he must pass to a life of righteousness, while the devil and the world follow hard after him, to destroy or bring him back to a more cruel bondage, how apt

« AnteriorContinuar »