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from whence he is.” And again, “thou art The Son of God himself, in the midst of a Samaritan, and hast a devil. John, i. 11. sorrows and sufferings, has recourse to prayer, ix. 29. viii. 48. The ground of all this en- pleading for his church the “ mercies” of the mity was the “zeal” of Christ for the refor- Father, set forth in the promises, and his mation and purification of the church, which “ truth,” engaged to make those promises he manifested in his reproofs and exhortations, good, in the “salvation ” of his chosen, as also by the emblematical act of driving the through their head and representative. The buyers and sellers out of the temple. Upon " acceptable time," in which Christ prayed, this latter occasion, the evangelist tells us, was the time when he offered the great propi“his disciples remembered that it was tiatory sacrifice. Through the merit of that written,” that is, it was predicted of Messiah sacrifice it is, that we have an “acceptable in this Psalm, “ The zeal of thine house hath time, and a day of salvation," allowed us. eaten me up :” John ii. 17. Therefore, as Behold, now is that time, behold now is that he adds immediately,“ the reproaches of them day! Let us not delay one moment to use that reproached thee fell on me." In ca- and improve it aright. lumniating and blaspheming the works of 14. Deliver me out of the mire, and "let the Son of God, the Jews reproached both me not sink; let me be delivered from them the Father who gave him those works to do, that hate me, and out of the deep waters 15. and the Spirit by which he did them: all Let not the water-flood overflow me, neither which reproaches fell on the man Christ, as let the deep swallow me up, and let not the the visible instrument employed in the doing pit shut her mouth upon me. of them. This last passage is thus quoted and Messiah petitions for deliverance from applied by St. Paul—“ Even Christ pleased calamities, under the same images which not himself: but, as it is written, The were employed at the beginning of the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell Psalm, to describe those calamities. The on me :)
Rom. xv. 3. The usage our Lord purport of the petition is, that the sins of met with from his brethren, because of his the world, and the sufferings due to them, zeal for the house of God, should comfort may not finally overwhelm him, nor the those who meet with the same usage, on the grave “ shut her mouth upon him” for ever; same account.
but that the morning of his resurrection
may 10. Wh:n I wept and chastened my soul at length succeed the night of his passion. with fasting, that was to my r prouch. 11. Such is also the hope and the prayer of the I made sackcloth also my garment; and I church, and of the Christian, here below. became a proverb to them. 12. They that sit 16. Hrar me, OLORD, for thy loving kindin the gate speak against me: and I was the ness is good : turn unto me, according to the song of the drunkards.
multitude of thy tender mercies. 17. And To expiate the sins of his creatures, the hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am King of glory became a man of sorrows; in trouble; hear me speedily. 18. Draw he put on mortal flesh, as a penitential gar- nigh unto my soul, and redeem it; deliver ment; he fasted and prayed, and mourned, me because of mine enemies. 19. Thou and wept, and humbled himself to the dust, hast known my reproach, my shame, and as if he had been the offender, and we my dishonor : mine enemies are all before the righteous persons that needed no re-thee. pentance. And what return was made As allictions increase, the prayers are rehim? “ It was to his reproach, and he doubled. Christ pleads with the Father for rebecame a proverb to them,” for whom he suf-demption from death, on account of his divine fered. “They that sat in the gate,” or, on the loving kindness and mercy;" of his own “judgment-seat,” which used to be in the great “trouble ;” of his “enemies," that they gates of cities, even the senators and judges night be either converted or confounded; of of the land, the chief priests and elders, the" reproach, shame, and dishonor” under“ spake against him,” with cool and deliberate gone by him, that they might be wiped off, and malice; while he was “the song of the done away ; of the wrong he suffered from his drunken” and profligate, who more grossly adversaries, whose iniquitous proceedings were insulted and derided him. The true follow- “ all before God," and known unto him. Deers of the holy Jesus will often experience liverance from tribulation and persecution, is the like treatment, from an evil and adulter- prayed for by the church, and by her faithful ous generation.
children, upon the same grounds. 13. But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, 20. Reproach hath broken my heart, and I O Lord, in an acceptable time: 0 God, in am full of heaviness : and I looked for some the multitude of thy mercies hear me, in the to take pity, but there was none; and for truth of thy salvation.
comforters, but I found none. 21. They
gave me also gall for my meat, and in my to the earth. 6 The veil remaineth yet upon thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. their hearts,” in the reading the Old Testa
The argument urged by Christ, in these ment; nor can they see therein “ the things most affecting words, is, that in the extremi- which belong unto their peace.” These last ty of his passion, he was left alone, without a two verses are cited, as spoken of Israel, by comforter, a friend, or attendant; while all St. Paul, Rom. xi. 9, 10. Afflict us, blessed that were round about him studied to infuse Lord, if thou seest it good for us to be afflicted every bitter and acrimonious ingredient into only take not from us, in our affliction, the his cup of sorrows. This was literally as “light” of thy truth, and the “strength” of well as metaphorically true, when“ they gave thy grace. him to drink vinegar mingled with gall." 24. Tkou wilt pour out thine indignation See Matt. xxvii. 34. John, xix. 28. Such upon them, and thy wrathful anger will take are the comforts often administered, by the hold of them. world, to an afflicted and deserted soul. Never was "indignation so poured out,”
22. Their table* shall become a snare before never did “ wrath so take hold” on any them; and that which should have been for nation, as on that, which once was, beyond their welfare, Heb. their peace offerings, shall every other, beloved and favored. become a trap.
wrath,” says St. Paul, 1 Thess. ii. 16,“ is come At this verse beginneth a prediction of upon them to the uttermost, es tilos, to the those dreadful judgments which heaven has end,” to the very last dregs of the cup of fury. since inflicted upon the crucifiers of the Lord Let every church which boasteth of favors of Glory. By their “table becoming a snare, bestowed, and privileges conferred upon her, and their peace offerings a "trap," is pointed remember the consequences of their being out the consequences of the Jews adhering to abused by Jerusalem ; and let every individthe legal services, in opposition to him who ual do the same. is “ the end of the law, for righteousness.” 25. Their habitation shall be desolate, and After his suffering and exaltation, to continue none shall dwell in their tents. under the law, became not only unprofitable, Our Lord seems to have had this passage in but destructive, inasmuch as it implied a de- his view, when he said to the Jews, “Behold, nial of Messiah's advent, and a renunciation your house is left unto you desolate :" Matt. of every evangelical benefit and blessing. xxiii. 38. Jerusalem was by the Roman The religion of God's own appointment was armies destroyed from the foundations. It an abomination to him, when reduced to the hath been since indeed rebuilt, and inhabited form of godliness, deserted by its power. by Gentiles, by Christains, and by Saracens, Christians, who pride themselves in the one, but no more by the Jewish people. It is while they deny and deride the other, would remarkable, that this verse is applied, Acts, i. do well te consider this.
20, to Judas, considered as the head and rep23. Thou wilt darken their eyes that they resentative of that apostate nation, which shall not see ; and make their loins contin- rejected and delivered up its Prince and ually to shake.
Saviour to be crucified. «He was guide to They who loved darkness rather than light them that took Jesus :" Acts, i. 16. The by the righteous judgment of God, were per- punishment therefore, as well as the sin of mitted to walk on in darkness, while the blind Israel, is portrayed in his person, and the led the blind. And such still continues to same prophecy is applicable to him and to be the state of the Jews, notwithstanding that his countrymen.* intolerable weight of woe which made their 26. For they persecute him whom thou loins to shake," and bowed down their backs hast smitten, and they talk to the grief of namely, that, instead of mourning and sym-am poor and sorrowful ;" « poor,” for he was pathizing with Messiah, in the day when divested of his very garments ; " sorrowful,” Jehovah laid on him the iniquities of us all, for he was covered over with stripes and and afflicted him for our sakes, they, by wounds. But he knew the hour was coming reproaches and blasphemies, aggravated his when the salvation of God would raise him sufferings to the uttermost; and afterwards from the dead, and “set him up on high.” continued to use his disciples in the same Thus should a disciple of Jesus depart out of manner. It were to be wished that the sor- the world, joyfully relinquishing its goods, rows of the penitent, when wounded with a patiently bearing its evils
those whom thou hast wounded.t * I have taken the liberty to give a future render- The cause of the foregoing calamities, ing to the verbs in this and the following verses. inflicted on the Jews, is here assigned, That they are to be so understood, saith Dr. Hammond, i. e. in the future sense, by way of prediction, and not as an imprecation, see St. Aug. de Civ. I,
* “ Fiat habitatio eorum deserta”—De Juda proxvii. c 19.“ Hæc non optando sunt dicta, sed optan- ditore exponitur, Act. i. 20. Congruit etiam Judæis, di specie, pro phetando_These things are not said eversa Hierosolyma, quod Christus predixerat : by the way of wishing, but under the show or “ Ecce relinquetur vobis domus vestra deserta." scheme of wishing by prophecy.” And indeed the Luc. xiii. 35. Bossuet. Hebrew int is in the future, and is most fitly ren- † Dator his in verbis ratio longe maxima et gravisdered, “shall be.” Andso doth the Jewish Arab sima, propter quam Judæi terra sua essent ejiciendi, interpreter observe, that such seeming imprecations ac nomine et prerogativis populi Dei privandi, quia as here and elsewhere occur in this book of Psalms nimirum “ eum persequuntur, quem a Deo perare not so much by way of imprecation, as by way cussum” vident, hoc est, quem vident ira Divina of prophecy, or prediction of what in God's best maximopere pressum, et ad summa adnjoviav redacjudgments would certainly befall man. Ham in loc. tum. VITRINGA, Observat. Sacr. lib. i. cap. 9.
, and confidently sense of sin, never subject him to the scorn expecting a resurrection to glory. and contempt of those who would be thought 30. I will praise the name of God with a Christians.
song, and magnify him with thanksgiving. 27. Thou wilt add iniquity to their ini- Here, as in the xxiid, and many other quity; and they shall not come into thy Psalms, the scene changes from sorrow to righteousness.
joy; from a state of suffering to one of triAs they added affliction to the afflictions of umph; from the passion to the resurrection. Christ, so God permitted* them to go on, Jesus, risen from the dead, declares his resoblinded and deserted, in their wickedness, lution of praising and magnifying the Father, “adding sin to sin,” filling up the measure of for the salvation of the world, happily accomtheir fathers, still obstinately refusing to plishd by his labors and sufferings, which were come into the church, and partake of the now for ever at an end. The church does the “ righteousness” which is by faith. From same incessantly, on earth and in heaven. all thy judgments, good Lord, deliver us; 31. Thisalso shall please the Lord, better but, above all
, from that which punishes one than an ox or bullock that hath horns and sin with another, and seals up the reprobate hoofs. to destruction.
Å bullock was in its prime for sacrifice, 28. They shall be blotted out of the book under the law, when it began to put forth its of the living, and not be written with the “horns and hoofs.” The infinite distance, righteous.
therefore, in point of value, between the best By " the book of the living,” in which the legal sacrifices, and those of obedience, love, names of the righteous are written,” is to be and praise, as offered by Christ, and through him understood the register of the true servants by his church, under the Gospel, is pointed out and worshippers of God, of those who are in this verse. See Psal. xl. 6, &c. 1. 23. "justified," or made “righteous,” through 32. The humble shall see this, and be glad : faith. In this register, the names of Abra- and your heart shall live that seek God; or, ham, Isaac, and Jacob, the ancient fathers of Be seeking God, and your heart shall live. the Israelitish race, with their true children, It is foretold, that the “humble,” or the stand recorded; but the degenerate and apos- “poor in spirit,” i. e. the meek and lowly tate Jews have been long since “blotted out;" followers of the holy Jesus, should find everthey are no longer the peculium of heaven; lasting joy and comfort in the glad tidings of nor have they any part or portion in the salvation; all mankind are exhorted to " seek inheritance of the sons of God. Thus after God,” as manifested in the Gospel of his Ezekiel : “ They shall not be in the assembly Son ; and the reward promised is “ life” of my people, nor shall they be written in spiritual and eternal.* the writing of the house of Israel :” xiii. 9. 33. For the LORD heareth the
and And our Lord, in his conversations with the despiseth not his prisoners. Jews, took every opportunity to tell them, An argument for our “ seeking after God," that they, for their unbelief, should be “ cast is the experience of patriarchs, prophets, and out,” and that the Gentiles, obeying the call saints, who in all ages have sought, and found of the Gospel, should come from all quarters him, by repentance and faith: and that the of the world, and “ sit down with Abraham, LORD « despiseth not his prisoners,” is evident and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God.” from what he did and suffered, to deliver their
29. But I am poor and sorrowful : let thy souls from the bondage of sin, their bodies suving health, o God, or, thy salvation shall, from the prison of the grave, and both from or, can, set me up on high.
the dungeon of hell. Therefore, Messiah returns to the subject of his own 34. Let the heaven and earth praise him, sufferings, which were not a little enhanced the seas and every thing that moveth therein. by the consideration, that so many of his The mercies of God in Christ are such, that people would not be the better for them. “I
* Hæc et sequentia ad redemptionem per Chris. Deserendo, et permittendo, non operando ; ut tum, sub figura solutæ captivitatis, videntur pertinere, Theologi norunt. Bossuet,
they cannot worthily be praised by anything safed him from his birth; 7, 8, his being less than an universal chorus of the whole deserted and given up by man ; 9, his old old and new creation; and what should such age; 10, 11, the taunts and insults of his a chorus celebrate, but those mercies by which adversaries: 12, he repeateth his request; all things have been made, preserved, and re- 13, prophesieth the downfall of his enedeemed ?
mies; declareth, 14, his hope, 15, his grati35. For God will save Sion, and build the tude, 16, his faith ; 17, 18, wisheth to be cities of Judah, that they, i. e. men, may preserved, that he might show forth the dwell there, and have it in possession. power and glory of God, whose righteous
The salvation and edification of the church ness and marvellous acts, 19, he extolleth, followed the passion and resurrection of Christ. and thence, 20, 21, promiseth himself a “ God will save Sion,” that is, the church, final redemption from all his troubles, and which at first consisted of the apostles, who a restoration to honor and comfort; when, were Jews, and others of that nation by them 22—24, he shall sing and speak the praises converted to the faith. “ And build the cities of the Lord. of Judah," or cause churches to arise in all the world, which shall from thenceforth take 1. In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let the names, and inherit the privileges, of me never be put to confusion. 6 Israel and Judah ; that men,” even such as The promises of salvation are made to those God shall call from among the nations, “ may who, renouncing all confidence in the world dwell there," as citizens of the new Jerusalem, and themselves, “ trust” in God alone for it. “and,” instead of the rejected Jews, “have For this reason the Psalmist so often begins it in their possession.”
prayer with a declaration of his “faith,'' 36. The seed also of his servants shall in- which is to the soul in affliction, what an herit it, and they that love his name shall anchor is to a ship in distress. dwell therein.
2. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and The continuation of the church in the pos- cause me to escape : incline thy ear unto me, terity of the faithful, is here predicted. Ac- and save me. cordingly, the descendants of the proselyted A second argument, here used, is the Gentiles have been in possession of the Gospel" righteousness” of God, who cannot but be privileges, for above 1700 years. And thus faithful and just to his own gracious word. it will be, while they abide in the faith, and By that word, he had engaged to establish the « love the name” of Jesus. Should the Gen- temporal throne of David, and the eternal tiles apostatize as the Jews did, and the Jews throne of the Son of David. And, by the be converted as the Gentiles were, then the same word, he has engaged to bring those Gospel would go from the Gentiles to the who believe in him, through sufferings, to Jews, as before it went from the Jews to the glory. Gentiles; then would there “ come out of 3. Be thou my strong habitation, whereSion the Deliverer, to turn away ungodli- unto I may continually resort : thou hast given ness from Jacob.” Rom. xi. 26.
commandment to save me, for thou art my rock
and my fortress. PSALM LXX.
The protection of the Almighty, to which
the troubled soul “resorts” by faith and The words of this Psalm occur, without any prayer, is compared to that which a well for
material variations, in Ps. xl. verse 13, to tified castle, or town, affords to those within the end. The reader is therefore referred it, in time of war. And the plea, upon which thither for the exposition; as before, in this petition is enforced, is in a manner the the case of the liiid and xivth Psalms.
same with the former, namely, the declared
purpose of God to be the Saviour of his serFOURTEENTH DAY-MORNING vants ; “ Thou hast given commandment to PRAYER.
save me." PSALM LXXI.
4. Deliver me O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unright
eous and cruel man. The Psalmist, sorely distressed in his old age The divine assistance is implored by the
(see ver. 9, and 18.,) by the rebellion of Psalmist, thirdly, on the foot of the goodness Absalom, which was his great affliction at of his cause, and the iniquity of his enemies. that period of life, ver. 1, prayeth for the Such were Absalom, Ahithophel, &c. to divine assistance, pleading, 2, God's right- David ; Judas and the Jews to Christ; and eousness, 3, and promise ; 4, the iniquity such are the world, the flesh, and the devil, of his persecutors; 5, 6, the mercies vouch- to the Christian. Against them he is to
7. I am
pray and fight continually; ever remember- They who saw David ascending Mount ing that wickedness is at least as dangerous Olivet in tears, when Absalom had driven when it tempts, as when it persecutes; and him from Jerusalem, and they who beheld can smile, as well as frown, a man dead. Jesus led forth out of the same Jerusalem, to
5. For thou art my hope, O LORD God; be crucified on Mount Calvary, were tempted thou art my trust from my youth. 6. By to regard both the one and the other, as finally thee have I been holden up from the womb : deserted by God. They who view the church, thou art he that took me out of my mother's or any member thereof, under affliction and bowels; my praise shall be continually of persecution, are too frequently tempted to the..
think the same, and to act accordingly; Former mercies are urged, as a fifth motive though they are so plainly taught the confor the divine goodness to continue those trary, by the restoration of the king of Israel, mercies. The watchful care of heaven over and the resurrection of the Son of God. us, at an age when we are able to take no 12. O God, be not far from me: O my care of ourselves, deserves consideration. God, make haste to help. 13. Let them, or, The love of Jesus, shown in passing through a they shall, be confounded and consumed that state of childhood for us, deserves a still more are against my soul ; let them, or, they shall, deep and devout consideration.
be covered with reproach and dishonor that as a wonder unto muny : but seck my hurt. thou art my strong refuge.
As the insolence of his persecutors inDavid, banished from his kingdom, was creaseth, the distressed monarch crieth more regarded as a “wonder,” or a prodigy of earnestly unto God; and is so far from rewretchedness ; Christ, in his state of humilia- linquishing his hope, that, in the midst of his tion upon earth, was a “sign,” every where sorrows, he foreseeth and foretelleth the final “spoken against,” as Simeon foretold he would confusion of his enemies. The Christian, be: Luke, ii. 34. The Christian who lives who has faith in the promises, may do likeby faith, who quits possession for reversion, wise, in the worst of times, and the worst of and who chooses to suffer with his Saviour circumstances. For the day cometh, when here, that he may reign with him hereafter, all the workers of wickedness shall be deappears to the men of the world, as a monster stroyed, and “death and hell shall be cast of folly and enthusiasm. But God is the into the lake of fire.” Rev. xx. 14. “strong refuge” of all such.
14. But I will hope continually, and will 8. Let my mouth be filled with thy praise, yet praise thee more and more.
15. My and with thy honor, all the day.
mouth shall show forth thy righteousness and Whatever men say, or think of him, the thy salvation all the day long : for I know royal prophet desires still to strengthen, and not the numbers thereof. to delight himself, in doing the will, singing As there is no end to the loving kindness the praises, and setting forth the glory of God. of Jehovah, there should be none to our Such likewise was thy desire, O blessed Jesus! gratitude. The “hope” of a Christian “givin the days of thy flesh. Ever grant that it eth songs in the night,” and enableth him to may be ours.
be thankful, even in the dark season of afflic9. Cast me not off in the time of old age; tion. Paul and Silas not only prayed, but forsake me not when my strength fail th. also “sang praises to God, in a prison, at mid
David, mindful of the noble actions which, night.” Acts, xvi. 25. through God's assistance, he had achieved in 16. I will go in the strength of the Lord his youth, beseeches him not to desert his God : I will make mention of thy righteousservant, when persecuted by a rebellious son, ness, even of thine only. in his old age. The weaknesses and tempta- He who goeth to the battle against his tions peculiar to that time of life, render this spiritual enemies, should go, confiding, not in a petition necessary for us all to make, before his own“ strength,” but in that of the Lord we are overtaken by it. The church findeth God; not in his own “righteousness," but in but too much occasion to make the same, now that of his Redeemer. Such an one enthat she is sunk in years; when faith lan- sageth, with omnipotence on his side, and guisheth, charity waxeth cold, and the infirm- cannot but be victorious. ities of a spiritual old age are coming fast 17. O God, thou hast taught me from my
youth ; and hitherto have I declared thy won10. For mine enemies speak against me ; drous works. 18. Now also when I am old and they that lay wait for my soul, take and grey-headed, O God, forsake me not: counsel together, 11, Saying, God hath for- until I have showed thy strength unto this saken him, persecute and take him, for there generation, and thy power to every one that is none to deliver him.
is to come.