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piety and virtue surpass all external goods, no farther illustration of this just and affecting might here have seen them weighed against similitude; but will discern at once, the
proeach other, where all that gives motion to the priety of the reflection, which follows upon active, and elevation to the eminent; all that it :-“Surely every man is vanity!" sparkles in the eye of hope, and pants in the 12. Heur my prayer, O Lord, and give bosom of suspicion, at once became dust in eur unto my cry: hold not thy peace ut my the balance, without weight, and without tears ; for I am a stranger with thee, and a regard. Riches, authorsty, and praise, lose sojourner, as all my fathers were. all their influence, when they are considered Meditation should terminate in devotion ; as rtches, which to-morrow shall be bestowed and meditation on human vanity and misery, upon another; authority, which shall this if indulged as it deserves to be, certainly night expire for ever; and praise, which, will do so; it will bring us to our prayers," however merited, or however sincere, shall, our “cries,” and our “tears;” and teach us after a few moments, be heard no more.”* to address the throne of grace, as poor pil
8. Deliver me from all my transgressions; grims in a strange land, who have here no make me not the reproach of the foolish. abiding city, but are soon to strike our tents, Affliction hath then had its proper effect, and be gone for ever.
Such was David, when the sufferer is thereby convinced of though king of Israel; and such was the Son sin, and therefore prayeth for a removal of of David, in the body of his flesh, though the latter, as the only way to be delivered Lord of all things: both were “strangers and from the former. The “reproaches” of the sojourners, as all their fathers,” Abraham, foolish make no inconsiderable article in the Isaac, and Jacob, were before them, and as all account of a Christian's sufferings; and our their children have been, and shall be after Lord frequently complaineth of them, in the them, upon the earth. Psalms, as one of the bitter ingredients in his 13. O spare me, that I may recover strength, own cup.
before I go hence, and be no more. 9. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; Most fervently and affectionately, therefore, because thou didst it.
ought the Christian pilgrim to pray, that God Whatever materials compose the rod of would spare his life and respite the fatal affliction, and from whatsoever quarter the sentence, until all that hath been decayed, stroke cometi), let us remember, that the rod through the frailty of nature, be renewed by is grasped, and the stroke is inflicted by the the power of grace; that his perfect reconland of our heavenly Father. To revenge ciliation with the Almighty may be accomourselves on the instrument, is folly ; to mur- plished, and his plenary pardon sealed in mur against the agent, is something worse. heaven, before he taketh his last farewell of
10. Remove thy stroke away from me: I the world, and ceaseth to have an existence am consumed by the blow of thy hand. in these regions of vanity and sorrow.
The Christian, who knows from whence his troubles proceed, knows where to apply
PSALM XL. for relief; and having first "petitioned" for remission of sin, ver. 8, he then humbly supplicates for a mitigation of his sorrow. It is plain, from ver. 6—8, of this Psalm, Father,” saith the beloved Son of God, "if compared with Heb. x. 5, that the prophet
5 thou be willing remove this cup from me.” is speaking in the person of Christ, who, Luke, xxii. 42.
1-5, celebrateth the deliverance wrought 11. When thou with rebukes dost correct for his mystical body, the church, by his resman for iniquity, thou makest his beauty, or,
urrection from the grave, effecting that of all that is delightful, or, desirable in him, to his members from the guilt and dominion of consume away like a moth : surely every man
sin; for the abolition of which he declaris vanity.
eth, 6-8, the inefficacy of the legal sacriThe body of a man is as a “garment” to
fices, and mentioneth his own inclination the soul : in this garment sin hath lodged a
to do the will of his Father, and, 9, 10, “moth,” which, by degrees, fretteth and to preach righteousness to the world. 11weareth away, first, the beauty, then the
13, He representeth himself as praying, strength, and, finally, the contexture of its while under his sufferings, for his own, parts. Whoever has watched the progress and his people's salvation; he foretelleth, of a
consumption, or any other lingering dis- 14, 15, the confusion and desolation of temper, nay, the slow and silent devastations his enemies, and, 16, the joy and thankfulof time alone, in the human frame, will need ness of his disciples and servants; for the
speedy accomplishment of which, 17, he * Rambler, Vol. II. No. 54.
preferreth a petition.
1. I waited patiently for the Lord, and he empty parade, and fallacious promises, of the inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
latter. In this verse we hear the voice of the 5. Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonder. meek Lamb of God, who, though never sor- ful works which thou hast done, and thy row was like unto his sorrow, “waited pa- thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot tiently,” till the time appointed by the Father be reckoned up in order unto thee : if I would came, when that sorrow should be turned declare and speak of them, they are more than into joy. Let not his disciples expect to “in- can be numbered. herit the promises,” otherwise than “ through the counsels and works of the ever-blessed faith and patience.” Four thousand years, the Trinity, planned and executed for the benefit church, under the patriarchs, the law, and of man, in his creation and preservation, his the prophets, waited for the first advent of redemption and sanctification, in order to his Messiah; and, seventeen hundred years, the resurrection and glorification, through Christ, church, under the Gospel, hath waited for already risen and glorified, are subjects which the second. Jehovah, who inclined himself can never be exhausted, by the intellectual to the prayers of the former, will also hear powers of men or angels ; but will, to both, the cries of the latter.
afford matter of incessant meditation, and 2. He brought me up also out of an horri- endless praise. Yet, how little do we medible pit, Heb. a pit of confused tumultuous tate on them; how seldom, and how coldly, noise, out of the miry clay, aad set my feet do we praise God for them! upon a rock, and established my goings. 6. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not
The sufferings from which our Redeemer desire, mine ears hast thou opened: burnt was delivered, are here described under the offering and sin offering hast thou not reimage of a dark subterraneous cavern, from quired. 7. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the which there was no emerging, and where rolume of the book it is written of me, 8, I roaring cataracts of water broke in upon him, delight to do thy will
, O my God: yea, thy overwhelming him on every side; till, as it law is within my
heart. is expressed in the xviiith Psalm, “God sent These words, as the apostle informeth us, from above, and took him, and drew him out Heb. x. 5, are spoken by Christ, in his own of many waters.” Let us celebrate the de- person. In them he proclaims the inefficacy liverance of Christ, as a pledge and earnest of the legal sacrifices to take away sin, and of our own rescue from the troubles and the divine disapprobation of such sacrifices, temptations of life; from the power of death when relied on for that purpose. He sets and the grave; from the “horrible pit, and forth his own readiness to do, and to suffer, the miry clay;" when we shall be exalted the will of the Father, implied in the Psalm,
“the rock” of our salvation, and our by the words—“mine ears hast thou opened;" “goings” shall be “ established” for ever. but more plainly expressed in the apostle's
3. And he hath put a new song in my citation, by the paraphrase, “ a body hast mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall thou prepared me.”*
He refers to the presee it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.
* For the expression, “ Mine ears hast thou Every new deliverance requires “a new opened,” seems equivalent to—“Thou hast made song." . Christians sing their wonderful re- obedient." Thus, Isa. 1. 5, “The Lord God hath me demption, from sin and death, in these holy opened mine ears, and I was not rebellious, neither hymns, which God, by his Spirit, hath put &c. "The Xxx, perhaps, meant to interpret this
away back. I gave my back to the smiters,” into their mouths, and which, by their appli- symbolical expression, when they rendered it by cation to matters evangelical, are become owpa xarnprlow you, “ Thou hast prepared,” or, “new” 'songs, setting forth the praise and "fitted my body," that is, to be “obedient," and to glory of God, through Jesus Christ. And “ do thy will." See Dr. Jackson, vol. ji. p. 882. who can hear the church, singing the victory ing, and is well expressed by Mr. Merrick, in his
This seems to be the best sense of the present read. and triumph of her mighty and merciful poetical version : Saviour, without being incited to “ fear,"
Nor sacrifice thy love can win, and “ to believe?”
Nor offerings from the stain of sin 4. Blessed is that man that maketh the
Obnoxious man shall clear: Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud,
Thy hand my mortal frame prepares
(Thy hand, whose signature it bears,) nor such as turn aside to lies.
And opes my willing ear. He who is sensible how much God hath Mr. Pearce, of Exeter, proposed a conjectural alteradone, and how little the world can do fortion of the word D'UX, “ears,” into the two words, him, will earnestly and heartily pronounce 912 7x," then a body,” &c., in which case, a learned the blessedness of the man, who relies upon the friend suggests, nina, must likewise be altered to real power and goodness of the former, instead moba, "hast thou prepared, or finished.” Bishop of suffering himself to be deceived by the Lowth wishes to adopt Mr. Pierce's emendation,
dictions concerning Messiah, in the Scriptures they are more than the hairs of mine head: of the Old Testament, which is here styled—therefore my heart faileth me. “the volume, or, roll of the book.” He If these words, as well as the foregoing, declares the pleasure he had in doing the are supposed to be spoken by our Lord (and Father's will, or in accomplishing the law; indeed there doth not appear to be any change which had taken possession of all his powers of person,) they must be uttered by him, conand facculties; having been admitted by the sidering himself (for so the primitive writers understanding, retained in the memory, and suppose him in the Psalms frequently to con. rendered operative in the will. “I delight sider himself) as still suffering in his body to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is mystical, the church; and lamenting as head, within my heart.”
both the transgressions and the afflictions of 9. I have preached rightcousness in the the members, accomplishing their warfare great congregation : lo, I have not refrained in the world. Thus much at least we know, my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. 10. I have that, alter his ascension, when the inembers not hid thy righteousn ss within my heart; were persecuted on earth, the head complained I have declared thy faithfulness and thy sal- from heaven, as sensible of the pain, “Saul, vation: I have not concealed thy loving kind- Saul, why persecutest thou mE?” Some ness and thy truth from the great congrega- critics think the word "w, in the text, may tion.
be translated “ my punishment.”
But the As the preceding verses described the author of the anonymous notes, mentioned priestly office of our Lord, in the execution below, observes, that all “punishments, proof which he offered himself, and his all-per- perly speaking, pre-suppose sin; and espefect obedience, for us; so, in the passage now cially when they are represented, as here, to before us, he declares himself to have acted overtake and seize a person. Therefore, to up to the prophetical part of his character, by understand this of Christ, it must be inter“ preaching the doctrines of truth, right- preted of imputed sins, or punishments for eousness, and salvation, to the people, without them.”_ Merrick's Annotat. p. 295. concealing aught through negligence, fear, or 13. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: 0 favor. Happy the minister of Christ, who, LORD, make haste to help me. on his death-bed, is able to say the same! This short, but forcible prayer, for help and
11. Withhold not thou thy tender mercies deliverance, in God's good time, and accordfrom m?, O LORD: let thy loving kindness ing to his good pleasure, continues, and must and thy truth always preserve me.
continue, to be the prayer of the church, and The beloved Son of God here prayeth for of all her children, until the day of final the continuation of that mercy, and the redemption. accomplishment of those gracious promises, 14. Let them, or, they shall, be ashamed to his body, the church, which made the sub- and confounded together that seek after my jects of his heavenly discourses, in the days soul to destroy it ; let them, or, they shall, be of his flesh. Such ought to be the subjects of driven backward, and put to sham", thut wish our discourses, and of our prayers.
me evil. 15. Let th: m, or, they shall, be des12. For innumerable evils have compassed olute for a reward of their shame that say me about : mine iniquities have taken hold unto me, Aha, aha! upon me, so that I am not able to look up; The shame, confusion, and desolation to be
brought on the Jews by the resurrection, exin order to render the original conformable to St. altation, and power of him whose blood they Paul's citation from the LXX. And I must con- thirsted after, and whom they mocked and fesz, if the apostle's argument turned on the word insulted when in his last agonies on the cross,
such an emendation might seem necessary. It is true, cwuece Xpisy occurs in the succeeding verse; been punctually fulfilled.
are here foretold ; and the prophecy hath but I think it not essential to the argument, which I ble confusion and desolation awaiteth them,
But a more horri. seems to stand clear and full, whatever be the meaning of cwuce xatneTious Nor—“When he said, and all other impenitent sinners, at the future Sacrifice, &c., thou wouldst not-then he said, Lo, revelation of the righteous judgment of God; I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the when vengeance must destroy those, whom first, that he may establish the second." The author of the anonymous notes in Mr. Merrick's Annotar mercy cannot reclaim. And, to this ultimate tions, I find, is of this opinion. “It is not certain issue of things, the church directeth her that the apostle argues from the word owjo at all. views. He quotes the translation of the LXX, as he found 16. Let all those that seck thee, or, all those it in his copy ; lays a stress on what is in the He- that seek thee shall, rejoice and be glad in brew, but none on the rest ; either knowing it not thee : let such as love thy salvation, or, such to be there, or being restrained, by the Spirit of God, from making use of it.” See Appendix to Mr. Mer: as love thy sulvation shall, say continually, rick's Annotations, p. 294.
The LORD be magnified.
As the last verses predicted the calamities The compassionate and charitable disciple which should befall the enemies of Messiah, of the boly Jesus is often wonderfully “ prethis describeth the unfeigned joy and gladness, served,” and rendered prosperous, even in springing up in the hearts of such as love the this world ; but his greatest comfort is, that, salvation of Jesus, and evermore magnify his like his Master, he shall one day be “ revived," holy name in the church, for the blessings of to inherit the blessing,” in a better country, redemption, “ eating their meat,” as the first where no “enemy” can approach, to hurt or Christians are said to have done,“ with glad- molest him. ness and singleness of heart, praising God.” 3. The Lord will strengthen him upon the Acts ïi. 46.
bed of languishing : thou wilt make all his 17. But I am poor and needy; yet the bed in his sickness. Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help An exemption from sorrow and sickness and my deliverer; make no tarrying, o my is not promised to the children of God; but God.
strength and comfort are given unto them, The church, like her Redeemer, is often from above, to support and carry them through poor and afflicted in this world, but Jehovah their trials; and they who, in the days of their thinketh upon her, and is solicitous for her health, have, by their alms, given rest to the support; she is weak and defenceless, but bodies, or, by their counsels, restored peace to Jehovah is her help and her deliverer. With the consciences of others, shall have the bed such a Father, and such a Friend, poverty of pain made easy under them, by the hand of becometh rich, and weakness itself is strong. their heavenly Father. In the meantime, let us remember, that he
4. I said, Lord, be mcrciful unto me: heal who once came in great humility, shall come my soul; for I have sinned against thee. again in glorious majesty, “Make no tarry- Every son of Adam may, and ought, in ing, 0 our God; but Come, Lord Jesus, come these words, to acknowledge his sin, and to quickly.” Rev, xxii. 20.
entreat for mercy and grace, to heal the dis
orders of his nature. If we suppose Messiah EIGHTH DAY.-EVENING PRAYER.
ever to have uttered this verse in his devo
tions, as we krow he applied the 9th verse to PSALM XLI.
his own case, it is obvious, that he must be
understood to confess the sins, not of his own The application made of the ninth verse of righteous person, but of the nature he had
this Psalm, John xiii. 18, showeth, that the assumed, in order to cleanse and purify it by prophet is speaking in the person of Mes his sufferings. See above, Psal. xl. 12. siah. 1-3, he declareth the blessedness
5. Mine enemies speak evil of me, When of the man that considereth the poor ; 4, shall he die, and his name perish ? he prayeth for mercy and favor; 549, Here we may undoubtedly consider the describeth the behavior of his adversaries, poor and lowly Jesus, in the day of his humiland of one person in particular; 10, pe- iation, when he was daily and hourly calumtitioneih for deliverance; 11, 12, rejoiceth niated by his adversaries; when, restless and in hope ; and, 13, breaketh out into thanks- impatient at beholding him still alive, they giving.
said—“ What do we, for this man doth many
miracles? If we let him thus alone, all men 1. Blessed is he that considereth the poor : will believe on him. Perceive ye how ye the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble : prevail nothing? Behold the world is gone Heb. in the day of evil.
after him;" John, xi. 47, xii. 19: and when, As Christ considered us, in our state of grown more furious and clamorous, they cried, poverty, so ought we most attentively to con- Away with him, away with him, crucify
“ sider him, in his; to consider what he suffered him, crucify him.” How many, with the in his own person ; to discern him suffering same bitterness of spirit, speak evil” cunin his poor afflicted members; and to extend tinually of his docrines, his church, his ordito them the mercy which he extended to us. nances, and his ministers; in effect, saying, He, who was “ blessed” of Jehovah, and “ When shall he die, and his name perish ?” “delivered in the evil day,” by a glorious 6. And if he come to see me, he speakıth resurrection, will “bless " and deliver,” in vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself;
as, for his sake, love and when he goeth abroad, he t:lleth it. relieve their brethren.
Thus the enemies of Christ “sent out spies, 2. The Lord will preserve him, and keep who should feign themselves just men, that him alive, or, revive him : and he shall be they might take hold of his words, that so blessed
ироп the earth; and thou wilt not they might deliver him unto the power and deliver him unto the will of his enemies. authority of the governor :” Luke, xx. 20.
Thus Judas sat down at the last supper, all sorrow and tribulation, but he is not thereby the while meditating the destruction of his deprived of the “favor" of heaven ; his Master ; till at length, rising from table, and spiritual enemies, whatever trouble they may going abroad, he put his design in execution : give him, yet do not “ triumph ” over him; and thus the mystical body of Christ fre- he is preserved in his “integrity,” and his quently suffers, as his natural body once did, reward will be the vision” of God. For the by means of hypocrites and traitors. exaltation, therefore, of our Lord Jesus
7. All that hate me whisper together Christ, and of all believers, in, by, and through against me: against me do they devise my him, hurt. 8. An evil disease, say they, Heb. a 13. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel word, or, matter, of Beliai, nainely, the from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, crime charged upon him, cleaveth fast unto and Amen. him: and now that he lieth, he shall rise up no more.
ARGUMENT. sels of the Sanhedrim, and their taunts and David, by Absalom's rebellion, driven from scoffs at the blessed Jesus, when on the cross,
Jerusalem to the country beyond Jordan, is “ numbered with the trangressors,” nor ever
there supposed to have indited this Psalm; expected to “ arise" again from the dead, are
which, as it is applicable to the case of here most significantly and plainly pointed
our Lord, in his state of sojourning and out. The same weapons are frequently em
suffering on earth, for our sins; as also, ployed against the servants of Christ; but let
that of the church, under persecution, or them not be, on that account, discouraged
that of any member thereof, when deprived from following their Master.
of the opportunities of public worship; so 9. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in doth it, in the most beautiful and pathetic whom I trusted, which did cat of my bread,
strains, describe the vicissitudes of joy and hath lift up his heel against me.
sorrow, of hope and despondency, which “I speak not of you all,” saith our Lord to
succeed each other in the mind of the Chrishis disciples; “ I know whom I have chosen ;
tian pilgrim, while, exiled from the Jerubut that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He
salem above, he suffereth affliction and tribthat eateth bread with me, hath lift up his
ulation in this valley of tears. The last is heel against me: John, xü. 18. "The suf
the application chiefly made in the comferings of the church, like those of her Re
ment, as it is the most general and useful deemer, generally begin at home : her open
one; the others naturally offer themselves, enemies can do her no harm, until her pre
beinz coincident with, or subordinate to it. tended friends have delivered her into their hands : and, unnatural as it may seem, they, 1. As the hart panteth after the water who have waxed fat upon her bounty, are brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. sometimes the first to “ lift up the heel” The thirst, which the “hart” experienced, against her.
when chased, in sultry weather, over the 10. But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto dusty plains, is here set before us, as a repreme, and raise me up, that I may requite them, sentation of that ardent desire after the waters or, and I shall requite them.
of eternal comfort, which the temptations, The holy Jesus here maketh his prayer the cares, and the troubles of the world, prounto the Father, for the accomplishment of duce in the believing soul. Happy they who the promised resurrection, and foretelleth the feel this desire, and fly to the well of life, righteous judgment that would be executed on that it may be satisfied. “Blessed are they
“ his enemies, after their rejection of the gra- that thirst after righteousness, for they shall cious offers made them, by the apostles, in his be filled.” Matt. v. 6. name, notwithstanding all that they had said 2. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living and done against him. Then the kingdom God: when shall I come and appear before of God was taken from them, and their house Gon? was left unto them desolate. The hour is Whoever considers what it is to “appear coming when the church shall arise to glory, before God;" to behold the glorious face of and all her enemies shall be confounded.
Jesus ; to contemplate a beauty which never 11. By this I know that thou favorest mo, fadeth ; to be enriched by a beneficence because mine enemy doth not triumph over which can never be exhausted, and blessed in
12. And as for me, thou upholdest me a love unmerited and infinite; will find in mine integrity, and settest me before thy abundant reason to say, again and again,“ My face for ever.
soul thirsteth after God;" why is the time of The Christian, like his Master, must expect my banishment prolonged? when shall the