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ARGUMENT.

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SEVENTH DAY.—MORNING PRAYER. The Jews, separated from the church and PSALM XXX V.

people of Christ, become useless and unprofitable to any good work, possessing only the

empty ceremonies and busks of their religion, The prophet, in this Psalm, as in the xxiid, and by the breath of the divine displeasure

which it resembles, personating Messiah, dispersed over the face of the earth, afford a in his state of humiliation and suffering, striking comment on this verse,

and as strik1-3, beseecheth Jehovah to interpose in ing an admonition to every opposer of the his behalf; 4–8, predicteth the confusion holy Jesus. See Psal. i. 4. of his enemies, and, 9, 10, his own tri- 6. Let their way, or, their way shall, be umph ; 11—16, describeth the malice of dark and slippery: and let the ungel of the his persecutors against him, and his love Lord, or, the angel of the Lord shall, persetowards them; 17-25, repeateth his sup-cute them. plications for deliverance, and enlargeth A traveller, benighted in a bad road, is an upon the cruel insults he met with ; 26, he expressive emblem of a sinner walking in his again foretelleth the destruction of the ad- slippery and dangerous ways of temptation, versary, and, 27, 28, the exultation of the without knowledge to direct his steps, to faithful.

show him the danger, or to extricate him

from it; while an enemy is in pursuit of 1. Plead my cause, O Lord, with them him, whom he can neither resist nor avoid. that strive with me: fight against them that Deliver us, O Lord, from all blindness, but, fight against me.

above all, from that which is judicial! David, in his afflictions; Christ, in his

7. For without cause have they hid for passion; the church, under persecution; and me their net in a pit, which vrithout caus? the Christian, in the hour of temptation, sup- they have digged for my soul. 8. Let destrucplicate the Almighty to appear in their be- tion, or, destruction shall come upon him at half, and to vindicate their cause.

unawares : and let his net that he hath hid, 2. Take hold of shield and buckler, and

or, the net that he hath hit, shall catch himstand up for mine help. 3. Draw out also self: into that very destruction -let him, or, the spear, and stop the way against them he shall fall. that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am

The causeless persecution raised against thy salvation.

David by Saul, and against our Lord by the Jehovah is here described, as a “man-of- Jews, reverted, through the righteous judgwar,” going forth to the battle against the ment of God, on the heads of the persecutors

. enemies of Messiah, and his church: the The innocent birds escaped ; and they who protection afforded by his mercy, is figured set the toils were themselves taken therein. by the shield of the warrior, covering his Saul lost the kingdom which he thought to body from the darts of the enemy; and the have secured, and his life also ; and the Jews vengeance of his uplifted arm, is represented who crucified Christ, “ lest the Romans should by the offensive weapons used among men, take away their place and nation,” had their such as the spear and the sword. “ If God

place and nation taken away by those Romans, be for us, who can be against us?” If he for that very reason. In these histories, all speaketh salvation, who shall threaten de- impenitent persecutors of the faith, the church, struction? see Deut. xxxii. 41. Wisdom, v, 20. and the servants of God, may read their doom. 4. Let them be confounded, or, they shall

9. And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: be confounded, and put to shame, that seek it shall rejoice in his sulvation. 10. All my after my soul : let them be, or, they shall be, bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee

, turned back and brought to confusion, that who deliverest the poor from him that is too hurt.

strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy The consequence of the omnipotent ap from him that spoileth him? pearing in arms against his adversaries, is

These verses, as they describe the joy here foretold. And the prediction has long which the soul and body of Christ were to since been verified in the confusion” of experience after the resurrection, so shall Saul, and of the Jews, as it will be finally they one day be sung by the mystical body fulfilled in that of Satan, and all his adherents

, of the Lord, when delivered from the power at the last day; for the manifestation of of the spoiler, and raised entire from the which day the church now waiteth, in faith dust. In the meantime, they may express and patience.

our graiitude for any temporal preservation 5. Let them be, or, they shall be, as chaff from enemies, from sad casualties, and danbefore the wind: and let the angel of the gerous temptations

. LORD, or, the angel of the Lord shall chase

11: False witnesses did rise up; they laid thein.

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to my charge, Heb. asked me, things that I with him, “ cast the same in his teeth.” knew not. 12. They rewarded me evil for Whosoever considers these things, will not be good, to the spoiling of my soul.

surprised at the expostulation of the following This was never more literally true of verse. David, than it was of the holy Jesus, when, 17. LORD, how long wilt thou look on? standing before Pontius Pilate, he received Rescue my soul from their destructions, my no other return from the Jews, for all the-gra- darling from the lions. cious words which he had spoken, and all the Christ prayeth, like David of old, for the merciful works which he had done among manifestation of the promised mercy : for the them, than that of being slandered, and put deliverance of the nature which he had to death.

assumed, and which he delighted in. Who 13. But as for me, when they were sick, does not behold in him, surrounded by his my clothing was sackcloth : I humbled, or, enraged and implacable enemies, a second afflicted, my soul with fasting: and my Daniel, praying in the den of “lions.” prayer returned into mine own bosom. 18. I wiil give thee thanks in the greut

If David prayed, fasting in sackcloth, for congregation : I will praise thecamong much Saul, and his associates, the son of David, to people, or, the strong prople. heal the souls of men, put on the veil of This verse is exactly parallel to Psal. xxii. mortal flesh, and appeared in the form and 25, wherein, after an enumeration of his sufhabit of a penitent, fasting forty days and ferings, our Lord predicteth the praise and forty nights, making continual intercession slory that should accrue to God in the church, for transgressors, and grieving to think that after his resurrection, from the preaching of any men, by their obstinacy, should deprive the apostles; which passage see, and compare ; themselves of the benefits thereof.

as also, Isa. xxv. 3, and Rev. vii. 9. 14. I behaved myself, Heb. I walked, as 19. Lt not them that are mine enemics though he had been my friend, or, brother ; wrong fully rejoice over me ; neither let them I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth wink with the eye that hate me without a caus. for his mother, or, as a mother that mourneth. The prophet, in the person of Christ,

He who so passionately lamented the nat- returneth again to make supplication, that an ural death of Saul, doubtless bewailed greatly end may be put to the insults, the scoffs, and his spiritual death of sin; and he who took the sneers, of the reprobate. O come that a comprehensive view of the sins and sorrows day, when they shall cease for evermore! of Jerusalem, wept over that wretched city, 20. For they sprak not peace: but they with the tender affection of a “friend," a devise deceitful matter against them that are s brother," and a “mother"_" O Jerusalem, quiet in the land. 21. Yea, they op: ned Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered their mouth wide against me and said, Aha, thy children together, even as a hen gathereth aha, our eye hath seen it. her chickens under her wings!”

David would have lived “ quietly” under 15. But in mine adversity they rejoiced, the government of Saul: our Lord did not and gathered themselves to fether : yea, the aim at temporal sovereignty over the Jews; abjects, or, smiters, gathered themselves nor did the primitive Christians desire to together against me, and I knew it not? they intermeddle with the politics of the world ; did tear me, and ceased not.

yet all were betrayed, mocked, and persecuted, When the blessed Jesus was suffering for as rebels and usurpers, and the pests of society, the sins of men, he was insulted by those 22. This thou hast seen, O Lord: keep not men for whose sins he suffered. He gave not silence : O Lord, be not far from me. 23. only his reputation to the revilers, but also Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, his back to the “ smiters,” though not con- even unto my cause, my God, and my Lord. scious of the crimes for which they pretended 24. Judge me, O Lord my God, according to to punish him.

thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice 16. With hypocritical mockers in feasts, over me. or, among the profligates the makers of mock, God “ seeth” and knoweth all things; yet gnashed upon me with their teeth.

he permitteth those who love him best, to be However this might be true in the case of often and long afflicted and oppressed, seeming David, it certainly had a literal accomplish- as one at a “ distance,” or “silent,” or ment in the scoffs and taunts of the chief asleep," that is, regardless of what passes. priests, and others, when Christ was banging At such times, we are not to remit, but to on the cross—“Ah, thou that destroyest the double our diligence in prayer, reiterating our temple,” &c. “ He trusted in God," &. cries" Lord save us! we

erish!" Then “Let him come down from the cross,” &c. will he “awake and arise, and rebuke the &c. &c., nay, one of the theives, crucified winds and the seas, and there shall be a calm.”

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25. L-t them not suy in their hearts, Ah, former is destitute of the true fear. of God. so would we have it : let them not say, We Bishop Lowth, by a slight alteration or two have swallowed him up.

in the text, renders it to this effect—" The Messiah prayeth for an end of his suffer- wicked man, according to the wickedness ings; that the enemies of mankind might not in his heart, saith, There is no fear of God triumph in his destruction; that death might before mine eyes."* The great truth which not finally “swallow him up,” but be itself the prophet here declareth himself to be con“swallowed up in victory.” The church vinced of, is, that all wickedness proceedeth daily maketh the same request.

from the absence of “the fear of God,” in the 25. Lt them, or, they shall, be ashamed person who commiteth it; that fear being a and brought to confusion together, that re-principle which, while it is predominant in joice at mine hurt: let them, or, they shall the man, will restrain him from transgression. be clothel with shame and dishonor, that Our laws suppose as much, when, in the form magnify themselves against me.

of indicting a criminal, they attribute the The accomplishment of this prediction, by commission of the offence to his “not having the resurrection of Jesus, and the destruction the fear of God before his eyes.” of Jerusalem, is well known. There are two 2. For he flattereth hims:lf in his own events to come parallel to those two which cyes, until his iniquity be found to be hatoare past, viz. the resurrection of the faithful, ful: or, when his sin is ready to be found and destruction of the world; when all who, out, and to be hated. like the Jews, have “rejoiced in the hurt” He who hath lost “the fear of God," is of Messiah, and have nagnified themselves first led into sin, and then detained in it: against him,” will, like the Jews, be covered because, having forgotten the great witness with everlasting confusion."

and judge of his actions, he vainly thinks his 27. Lit them, or, they shall, shout for joy, crimes may be concealed, or disguised, till a and be glad that favor my righteous ciuse : discovery breaks the charm, and disperses the y'a, let them, or, they shall, say continually, delusion. The last day will show strange L't the Lord be mignified, which hath pleas-instances of this folly. ure in the prosperity of his servant. 28. 3. The worils of his mouth are iniquity and And

ту shall speak of thy righteous- deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do ness, and of thy prais, all the day long. good : or, to und rstand, that he

may

do good. As the preceding verse foretold the sorrow If the fear of God be not in the heart, of the enemies, so these two describe the joy " inquity and deceit” will be under the of the friends to Messiah upon his victory tongue; and then, an apostasy from wisdom and exaltation, which have been, and shall and goodness, or the wisdom of goodness, continue to be, celebrated by the church in which is the only true wisdom, cannot be these divine hymns, indicted by the Holy far off. Spirit for that purpose, until the songs of 4. He deviseth the mischief upon his bed ; time shall end in the hallelujahs of eternity. he setteth himself in a way that is not good;

he abhorreth not evil. PSALM XXXVI.

From the actions and the words of him

who hath not the fear of God before his eyes, ARGUMENT.

the prophet goeth back to the thoughts and In the first four verses of this Psalm, the imaginations of his heart, which, even in

Prophet describeth the principles, the ac- retirement and solitude, are busily employed tions, the conversation, and the imagina- upɔn evil, as those of the righteous are, at tions of his wicked persecutors; and from those seasons, upon God and goodness. A thence raising his thoughts to heaven, 5—9, man may know the state of his mind, in celebrateth the mercy and loving kindness some measure, from his morning and evening of Jehovah; for a continuation of which, thoughts “upon his bed.” He who doth not to himself and the church, he fervently give diligence to “set himself in a good prayeth; 10, 11, and 12, foreseeth the way,” will soon be set in one that is not downfall of the ungodly.

good; and he who doth not “abhor” sin, 1. The transgression of the wicked saith

will, ere long, delight in it.

5. Thy m rcy, O Lord, is in the henvens ; within my heart, that there is no fear of God and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds, before his eyes. If the present reading in the original be great mountains; thy judgments are a great

or, skis. 6. Thy righteousness is like the the true

deep. transgressions of a bad man show plainly, in the apprehension of a good one, that the

* See Merrick's Annotations,

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ARGUMENT.

From the wickedness of the world, in upright in heart, that thy loving kindness which we live, we must lift up our eyes for and thy righteousness may be our portion for help and comfort, to the mercy and truth of ever. God, boundless, pure, and beneficial, as the 11. Lrt not the foot of pride come against heavens over our heads ; to his righteous- me; and let not the hand of the wicked reness, fixed and permanent as the everlasting move m.. hills; and to his judgments, stupendous and The Christian has reason enough to join the unfathomable as the waters of the great deep. prophet in this petition, whether we suppose Truth will engage mercy to accomplish the it to deprecate destruction from proud men promised salvation of the elect; and right- and sinners without us, or from pride and sin eousness will employ judgment in executing within us. upon the reprobate the vengeance that is due. 12. There are the workers of iniquity

7. O Lord, thou prescrvest min and beast. fallen : they are cast down, and shall not be How excelent is thy loving kindness, O God! a'le to rise. therefore the children of men put their trust Faith calleth things that be not, as though under the shadow of thy wings.

they were ; it carries us forward to the end The good providence of God extendeth of time: it show us the Lord, sitting on his over all creatures, nourishing and preserving throne of Judgment; the righteous caught up them, as well as man, for whose use they to meet him in the air; the world in flames were made. We can never enough value under his feet; and the empire of sin fallen and extol the “ loving kindness” of him, to rise no more. whose overshadowing “wings” protect and cherish us on earth, in order to bear us from SEVENTH DAY.-EVENING PRAYER. thence to heaven. See Matt. xxiii. 37. Deut. xxxii. 11.

PSALM XXXVII. 8. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house ; and thou shalt From the beginning to the end of this Psalm, make them drink of the river of thy pleasuris. the Holy Spirit, by the prophet, adminis

In heaven alone the thirst of an immortal tereth advice and consolation to the church soul after happiness can be satisfied. There and people of the Lord, oppressed and the streams of Eden will flow again. They afflicted in the world, by prosperous and who drink of them shall forget their earthly triumphant wickedness. Faith and papoverty, and remember the miseries of the

tience are, therefore, recommended, upon world no more. Some drops from the celes- the double consideration of that sure reward tial cup are sufficient, for a time, to make us which awaiteth the righteous, and that forget our sorrows, even while we are in the

certain punishment which shall be inflicted midst of them. What then may we not ex- on the wicked. These two events are set pect from full draughts of those pleasures before us in a variety of expressions, and which are at thy right hand, O Lord, for under many lively and affecting images. evermore?

As the Psalm is rather a collection of divine 9. For with thee is the fountain of life; aphorisms on the same subject, than a conin thy light we shall see light.

tinued and connected discourse, it admitThe rivers before mentioned flow from a eth of nothing farther in the way of “ fountain” which fetcheth not supplies from argument. without, but whose spring is within itsell, and therefore can never be exhausted. The 1. Fret not thysílf because of evil doers, “ water of life” proceeds from “ the throne neither be thou envious against the work rs of God and the Lamb:" Rev. xxii. 1. “ This of iniquity.

“ This of iniquity. 2. For they shall soon be cut is life eternal, to know thee the only true down like the grass, and wither as the green God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent :herb. John, xvii. 3. God, like the sun, cannot be The Holy Spirit here prescribeth a remedy seen, but by the light which himself emits. to a very common, and no less dangerous

10. O continu thy loving kindness unto disorder of the mind, namely, a distrust of them that know ther; and thy righteousnes God's providence, occasioned by frequently to the uprighi in heart.

beholding the prosperity of the wicked, in The prophet, groaning under the oppres- this present world. He who alloweth himsion of the wicked, who are described in the self time to consider, how soon the fairest first part of the Psalm, prayeth for a continu- spring must give place to a burning summer, ation of the mercies of God, which he has a blighting autumn, and a killing winter, celebrated in the second part. Give us, 0 will no longer envy, but pity, the fading verGod, the knowledge of thee, and make us dure of the grass, and the still more transient

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glories of the flowers of the field. Herbs fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9. and plants are medicinal in more senses than For evil doers shall be cut of; but those

that wait upon the Lord, they shall inhcrit 3. Trust in the Lord, and do good: so the earth. shalt thou dwell in the land, and vorily thou At the day of judgment, when "evil doers shalt be fed: or, dwell in the land, and feed shall be cut off,” by the flaming sword of on truth, or, faithfulness.

eternal vengeance, and when the saints of the The consideration of the speedy and tragical Most High shall “ inherit the new earth,” end of sinners, affordeth a powerful argument the latter will have no emotions of anger or for perseverance in faith and holiness; for envy against the former. Let them so medicontinuing in the church, and making our tate on that day, as to make it present to their abode in the pastures of truth; until, in the minds, and they will have no such emotions strength of that sacred viand, we come to now. the heavenly land of promise, and dwell 10. For yet a little while, and the wicked therein for ever.

shall not be : yea, thou shalt d ligently con4. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and sider his place, and it shall not be. he shall give thre the desires of thine heart. The whole duration of the world itself is

He who delighteth in the creature, hath but "a little while” in the sight of him, not always“ the desires of his heart” granted, whose hope is full of immortality. But the nor is iť fit that he should have them; but calamities and deaths of princes; the tragical he who delighteth in God, will desire what he fate of empires, swept with the besom of delighteth in, and obtain what he desireth. destruction; the overthrow of cities, whose

5. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust dimensions, towers, and palaces, once astonalso in him; and he shall bring it to pass. ished the earth, but whose“ place” is now 6. And he shall bring forth thy righteous- no where to be found by the most curious ness as the light, and thy judgment as the and diligent inquirer; and the desolations of noon day.

the chosen city, Jerusalem ; all these are Malice and calumny may, for a time, over- even now sufficient to draw forth the tear of shadow the splendor of an holy character; commiseration, and to extinguish the kindling but 'the sun will come forth, and the clouds spark of envy in every considerate mind. will fly away. This was most eminently 11. But the meck shall inherit the earth, true of the blessed Jesus, at his resurrection, and shall delight themselves in the abundance and will be verified in his saints, at the last of peace. day. The history of Susannah affordeth a The “meek” are they who bear their own remarkable instance of it in this life. “ Her adversities, and the prosperity of their eneheart trusted in the Lord, and he brought mies, without envy, anger, or complaint. forth her righteousness as the light; insomuch For these there is a possession in the kingdom that all the assembly cried out with a loud and city of the Prince of “Peace,” which voice, and praised God, who saveth them the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give that trust in him.” Ver. 35, 60.

them at that day.” “ Blessed are the meek," 7. Rest in, or, be silent to the Lord, and saith that Lord and judge himself, “ for they wait patiently for him: fret not thyself, shall inherit the earth.” Matt. v. 5. because of him who prospereth in the way, the meantime, they, and they only, possess because of the man who bringeth wicked the present earth, as they go towards the devices to pass.

kingdom of heaven, by being humble, and If the spotless Lamb of God was dumb, cheerful, and content, with what their good before those who were divesting him of his God has allotted them. They have no turbuhonors, and robbing him of his life, “ silent" lent, repining, vexatious thoughts that they resignation cannot but become one, who suf- deserve better ; nor are vexed when they fers for his sins. Israel was commanded to see others possessed of more honor, or more “ stand still, and see the salvation of God;" riches, than their wise God has allotted for but the people gazed upon the pomp and their share. But they possess what they have power of Pharaoh, who was in pursuit of with a meek and contented quietness; such a them, till their faith failed, and they began to quietness as makes their very dreams pleasing, murmur and despond. How often is this our both to God and themselves.” Walton's case, before we perceive it!

Complete Angler, p. 295. 8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath : 12. The wicked plottıth against the just,

and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 13. * See an elegant and beautiful discourse on “the The Lord shall laugh at him : for he seeth lilies of the field,” published among the Sermons of that his day is coming. the late learned, ingenious, and worthy Dr. Tottie. The original enmity between the Wicked

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