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“caused them that hated them to rule over them I' How have “their enemies oppressed them ;” how have they been brought into subjection under their “hand Nevertheless, O Lord, regard their affliction, “when thou hearest their cry;” grant them repentance first, and then pardon; “remember for them “thy covenant;” let them change their mind, and do thou “ change thy purpose, according to the “multitude of thy mercies; make them also to be “pitied of all those that have carried them captives;” cause them, upon their conversion, to find favour in the eyes of the nations; and do Thou, who hast so long been “a light to lighten the Gentiles,” become once more “the glory of thy people Israel.” 47. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. It appears from this verse, that the Psalm was written at a time when Israel was in captivity “among the Heathen.” Such will be the petition of the Jews hereafter to him whom they crucified; and such is now the petition of the Christian church, that the elect may be finally gathered together, and united in one congregation, “to give thanks unto the name, “and triumph for ever in the praises, of JESUs.” 48. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting ; and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LoRD. At all times, in all places, and by all persons, on earth and in heaven, in prosperity and adversity, peace or persecution, “ the LoRD God of Israel,” the Saviour and Redeemer of his church, is to be “blessed;” nor can any situation exempt a believer from saying, “ Amen, Hallelujah,” that is, from blessing God, himself, and exciting others to do the same.
TWENTY-SECOND DAY. —MORNING PRAYER.
The redeemed of the Lord are exhorted in this Psalm, 1–3. to praise him for his goodness in redeeming, and gathering them from the four quarters of the world. Their danger and their deliverance are represented under the four striking images, 4–9, of travellers lost in a wilderness, but directed and conducted home; 10–16. of prisoners rescued from captivity; 17–22. of sick and dying men restored to health; 23–32. of mariners preserved in a storm at sea, and brought safe into port. 33–41. Some other instances of God's providence in the government of the world, and of the church, are adduced and insisted on, for, 42. the consolation of the righteous, and, 43. the instruction of all.
1. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever. 2. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy. 3. And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north and from the south. Eternal mercy is the theme here proposed; and they who have tasted its sweets, are invited to join in setting forth its praises. The members of the Christian church are now, in the most proper and emphatical sense of the words, “the redeemed of “of Jehovah, whom he hath redeemed from the hand “of the enemy, and gathered them,” by the Gospel, out of all lands, and from all the four quarters of the world, to form a church, and to supply the place of the apostate Jews; whose forefathers experienced, in type and shadow, the good things prepared for them and for us, in truth and substance. “Many,” saith our Lord to the Jews, “shall come from the “east and from the west, and from the north, and “from the south, and shall sit down in the king“dom of God—and ye yourselves shall be thrust “out:” Matt. viii. 11. Luke xiii. 29. We, converted Gentiles, are the happy people; and we are taught in this Psalm to celebrate that mercy which made us so. 4. They wandered in the wilderness, in a solitary way, they found no city to dwell in. 5. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6. Then they cried unto the LoRD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. 7. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. The spiritual blessings of redemption are represented by the Psalmist under four exquisitely beauti
ful and expressive images; which images are themselves four especial acts of God's providential care and love, shown toward the bodies of men in the world; corresponding with as many works of grace, wrought on the souls of believers, in the church. The first of these pictures exhibiteth to our view a set of travellers lost in a pathless desert, and well migh famished through want of mecessary provisions. They make their distresses known by prayer to Jehovah, and, lo, he appears, as their guard, and their guide; he supplies all their necessities upon the journey, and conducts them in safety to their place of abode. Thus he dwelt with Israel of old, in their passage, through the waste and howling wilderness, from Egypt to Canaan. And thus he is ready to deal with us all. “The world,” saith Lord Bolingbroke”, “ is a great wilderness, wherein mankind “ have wandered about from the creation—We are “ not only passengers, or sojourners, but absolute “strangers at the first steps we make in it.” We are so, indeed; and too often, through our own fault, continue such to the last; we find not the way which leads to heaven, nor, if we did find it, have we strength to travel in it, without the viaticum which cometh from thence, and which alone can bring us thither. Fervent and importunate prayer to the God of our salvation will procure, from above knowledge to dispel our ignorance, and grace to help our infirmities; the former will discover to us our
* Reflections on History, vol. i. p. 244, and 171.
road, the latter will enable us to walk in it, and both together will carry us, in due time, to “the city of “our eternal habitation.” 8. O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of ment 9. For he satisfieth the longing, or, thirsty, soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. The former of these two verses is a chorus, repeated after the celebration of each of the four mercies here related. Literally it is, “Let them acknow“ledge to Jehovah his mercy, and his wonders for “the children of Adam.” And what can better deserve our acknowledgement, than the provision made for the bodies and souls of Christian travellers, in their way to that heavenly country and city, “where “they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, “neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat; “for the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne “shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living “fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all “tears from their eyes.” Rev. vii. 16. 10. Such as sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron : 11. Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: 12. Therefore he brought down their heart with labour ; they fell down, and there was none to help. 13. Then , they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. 14. He brought them out of darkness, and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 15. O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for WOL. II. S w