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cumstances, therefore, should make us forget her, and the promises concerning her. 5. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. 6. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. The whole nation may be supposed in these words to declare, as one man, that neither the afflictions nor the allurements of Babylon should efface from their minds the remembrance of Jerusalem, or prevent their looking forward to her future glorious restoration. If any temptation should induce them to employ their tongues and their hands in the service of Babel rather than in that of Zion, they wish to lose the use of the former and skill of the latter. The thoughts and affections of true penitents, both in prosperity and adversity, are fixed upon their heavenly country and city; they had rather be deprived of their powers and faculties, than of the will to use them aright; and the hope of glory, hereafter to be revealed in the church, is the flower and crown of their joy. 7. Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof. The people of Godbeseech him to take their cause in hand, and to avenge them on their adversaries, particularly on the Edomites, who, though their brethren according to the flesh, being descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob, yet in the day of Jerusalem's affliction, when the Chaldeans came against it, were aiding and encouraging those pagans to destroy it utterly. Edom is charged with this unnatural behaviour, and threatened for it, by God himself, in the prophecy of Obadiah, ver, 10. &c. “For thy vio“lence against thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover “ thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. In the “day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day “that the strangers carried away captive his forces, “ and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots “upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. “But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy “brother in the day that he became a stranger: nei“ther shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children “of Judah in the day of their destruction—For the “day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen : as “ thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee, thy re“ward shall return upon thine own head—but upon “mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall “be holiness, and the house of Jacob shall possess “their possessions.” It may be observed, that the Jews afterwards acted the same part toward the Christian church, which the Edomites had acted to— ward them, encouraging and stirring up the Gentiles to persecute and destroy it from off the face of the earth. And God “ remembered” them for the Christians' sakes, as they prayed him to remember “Edom” for their sakes. Learn we hence, what a crime it is, for Christians to assist the common enemy, or call in the common enemy to assist them, against their brethren. 8. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee, as thou hast served us. 9. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. The subject of these two verses is the same with that of many chapters in Isaiah and Jeremiah, namely, the vengeance of heaven executed upon Babylon by Cyrus, raised up to be king of the Medes and Persians, united under him for that purpose. The meaning of the words, “happy shall he be,” is, He shall go on and prosper, for the Lord of hosts shall go with him, and fight his battles against the enemy and oppressor of his people, empowering him to recompense upon the Chaldeans the works of their hands, and to reward them as they served Israel. The slaughter of the very infants, mentioned in the last verse, is expressly predicted by Isaiah, ch. xiii. 16. “Their children also shall be dashed to pieces “before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, “ and their wives ravished.” The destruction was to be universal, sparing neithersex nor age. Terrible, but just, are thy judgements, O Lord! The fall of the mystical “Babylon” is described, Rev. xviii. in terms and phrases, borrowed from this and other prophecies, relating, primarily, to the ancient city called by that name. Whoever will carefully read over the chapter referred to, with the three subsequent ones concerning the triumph of Messiah, and the glory of the new Jerusalem, will be able to form proper ideas of the world and the church, and will know where to choose his portion.
PS A LM CXXXVIII.
This Psalm containeth, 1–3, a resolution to praise God for a deliverance vouchsafed; 4, 5, a prophecy that the kings of the earth should glorify Jehovah for his mercy, shown, 6. in exalting the humble, and abasing the proud; 7, 8, an act of faith and confidence in God.
1. I will praise thee with my whole heart; before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. 2. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praisethy name, for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast 2magnified thy word above all thy name; or, thou hast amagnified thy name, even thy word, above all. In these verses we evidently hear the voice of one whom God had delivered from a state of great affliction and danger, and who therefore determines to make the due acknowledgements in public; to give thanks “before the gods,” that is, before “kings” and “rulers” in the great congregation; to “wor“ship in the temple,” and there to set forth the “loving kindness” and “truth” of Jehovah, in having accomplished the promised salvation, and thereby “magnified” his holy “name” and his faithful “word” over every thing that opposeth itself against it. The Christian church cannot find stronger and more emphatical terms, in which to express her sense of the greatest of all mercies, the redemption WOL. II, I i
of the world by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and his exaltation “above every name that is “named in heaven and earth.” 3. In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. 4. All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth. 5. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord. From this part of the Psalm it appears to be a prophetical one. The deliverance which it celebrates is of such a nature, that, when the glad tidings of it should be published to the world, we are told, it should induce the nations, with their princes, to adore Jehovah, to walk in his ways, and to chant forth his praises. The call of the Gentiles to the Gospel is here foretold in words which cannot be mistaken; and the redemption of the church, in Christ her head, is spoken of as the subject of thanksgiving among the kings of the earth. “In the day “when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strength“enedst me with strength in my soul.” For this reason, “All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, “O Lord,” &c. 6. Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. Humility is the way to salvation and glory. It is said of our blessed Lord, that “because he humbled “himself, therefore God highly exalted him:” and the great potentates of the world must tread in his steps, if they would be exalted with him. As to the