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hate me may see it, and be ashamed ; because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.
Many outward signs and" tokens” of the divine favour were in old time vouchsafed to patriarchs, prophets, and kings of Israel. The law itself was a collection of external and sacramental figures of grace and mercy. All these centred and had their accomplishment in that grand and everlasting sign and token of God's love to man, the incarnation of Christ, which all faithful people from the beginning wished and prayed for.' On this sign; the Christian looks with joy, as the great proof that God has "holped him and comforted him ;'!while his faith in it doth not fail, he hath the witness in himself, and his actions declare as much to all around him; " that they which hate him may be “ ashamed” and converted, before that day come, when shame shall be fruitless, and conversioni im.
i PSALM LXXXVII.
The prophet, 1-3. celebrates the stability and fe
licity of Sion ; 4, 5, foretels the accession of the Gentiles to her, and, 6. their enrolment among her citizens; 7. extols her as the fountain of grace and salvation. The Psalm was probably penned, on a survey of the city of David, just after the buildings of it were finished.
1. His foundation is in the holy mountains : or, It is his, i. e. God's foundation in the mountains of holiness * ! 2. The Lord loveth the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
The Psalmist, after having meditated on the strength, the beauty, and the glory of Jerusalem, being smitten with the love of the holy city, and imagining the thoughts of his hearers, or readers, to have been employed on the same subject, breaks forth at once in this abrupt manner, “ It is his “ foundation on the holy mountains.” By“ the holy "mountains” are meant those hills of Judea, which Jehovah had chosen, and separated to himself from all others, whereon to construct the highly favoured city and temple. As the dwellings of Jacob, in the promised land, were beloved by him more than the dwellings of other nations, so he “ loved the gates “ of Sion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob.” Jerusalem was exalted and fortified by its situation; but much more so by the protection of the Almighty. What Jerusalem was, the Christian church is ; " built” by God“ on the foundation of the " apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being “ the chief corner stone; in whom all the building,
fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple " in the Lord :" Ephes. ii. 20. It is “ his founda“tion in the holy mountains ;" she is beloved of
* Some commentators suppose
this verse to be a part of the title, which will then run thus : “ For the sons of Korah, a “Psalm; a song, when he laid the foundation on the holy “ mountains."
God above the kingdoms and empires of the earth, which rise and fall only to fulfil the divine counsels concerning her. When those counsels shall be fulfilled, in the salvation of all believers, the world, which subsists only for their sake, will be at an end.
3. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.
As the Prophet began, in a rapture, to speak of the holy city, so now, in fresh transport, he changes the person, and suddenly addresses himself to it. The old Jerusalem was “ the city of God, and glo“rious things were therefore said of it” by the Spirit. Pleasant for situation, and magnificent in its buildings, it was the delight of nations, the joy of the whole earth; there was the royal residence of the kings of Judah ; there was the temple, and the ark, and the glory, and the King of heaven dwelling in the midst of her; her streets were honoured with the footsteps of the Redeemer of men ; there he preached, and wrought his miracles, lived, died, and rose again; thither he sent down the Spirit, and there he first laid the foundations of his church. To know what“ glorious things” are said of the New Jerusalem, the reader must peruse Isa. Ix. and Rev. xxi. xxii.
4. I will make mention of Rahab, or, Egypt, and Babylon, to them that know me : Behold, Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia, or, Arabia, this man was born there. 5. And of Sion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the Highest himself shall establish her. The accession of the nations to the church is
nerally supposed to be here predicted. God declares by his Prophet, “ I will make mention of,” or “cause “ to be remembered, Egypt and Babylon,” the old enemies of Israel, “ to" or "
among them " that know me,” that is, in the number of my worshippers ; “ Behold” also “ Philistia, and Tyre, " with Arabia ;" these are become mine; “this," or each of these, “ is born there,” i. e. in the city of God; they are become children of God, and citizens of Sion ; so that “ of Sion," or the church, “ it “shall be said, This and that man," Heb." a man "and a man *,” i. e. great numbers of men iu succession, “are born in her;" alluding to the multitudes of converts under the Gospel, the sons of that Jerusalem, " which is the mother of us all;" Gal. iv. 26." and the Highest himself shall establish her;' as he saith, “Upon this rock will I build my church, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. xvi. 18.
6. The LORD shall count when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there.
* Dr. Durell renders wi87 W'R, “ The man, even the man,"
“ The man of men ;" or, “ The greatest of all men." The reduplication, he thinks, according to the original phraseology, must mean the superlative, or highest degree. He adds-According to this interpretation, every one will see who this eminent personage was to be, from whose birth Zion (used by a synecdoche for Judea) was to acquire so much glory. The latter hemistic—“And the Highest himself shall establish her"-seems to me to have reference, not to God the Father, but to his Son; it appearing to be exegetical of the preceding one, and to describe his ne, as the other does his human nature. CRITICAL REMARKS, P. 167.
In the book of life, that register of heaven, kept by God himself, our names are entered, not as born of flesh and blood by the will of man, but as born of water and the Spirit by the will of God; of each person it is written, “ that he was born there,” in the church and city of God. That is the only birth which we ought to value ourselves upon, because that alone gives us our title to “ the inheritance of “ the saints in light. In Jesus Christ there is neither “Greek nor Jew, circumcision or uncircumcision, “barbarian, Scythian,” noble nor ignoble, “bond nor “ free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Col. iii. 11*.
7. As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there; all my springs are in thee.
The literal version of the words, as Dr. Chandler observes, seems to be--"Cantantes erunt, sicut cho“ream ducentes: omnes fontes mei in te.” “ They “shall sing like those that lead up the dance,” i. e. most joyfully; singing and dancing frequently accompanying one another. And the burden of the song thus joyfully sung in praise of Sion, was to be this, “ All my springs,” or fountains, “ are in thee.” And if such be indeed the incomparable excellence of the church, and such the benefits of her communion, as they have been set forth in the foregoing verses, what anthem better deserves to be performed by all her choirs ? In thee, O Sion, is the fountain of salva
* Dr. Durell thinks this verse relates to the pedigree of our Lord, recorded among the Jews, and given us by the evangelists _" The Lord will have this recorded, in registering the people, that he,” the willy wis mentioned above,
was born " there.”