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feel themselves compensated and cord, that a considerable degree of honoured, and others encouraged kindness and co-operation prevails to associate together for similar among the different parties, who purposes.
hold the head, in promoting general In conclusion, far be it from the objects of religion and benevowriter to insinuate, that the work lence, and that a general stimulus of evangelizing the citizens of has been given to the exertions of York is, or should be, confined to all denominations of Christians in one denomination, and it affords York since the erection of Lendal him pleasure in being able to re- Chapel.
ORIGINAL ESSAYS, COMMUNICATIONS, &c.
the 23d Psalm from the 16th chapREMARKS ON THE 230 PSALM.
ter of the first book of Samuel, This Psalm contains sentiments which gives an account of the
rvent devotion, expressed in a anointing of David to be King manner at once beautiful and over Israel in the room of Saul. easily understood; and is, there- The Psalm seems to possess interfore, justly admired by Christians nal evidence of being a juvenile of every period and rank of life, composition; yet we cannot supand of every diversity of genius pose it to have been written earlier and education. An atteinpt to than the period of the Psalmist's illustrate its meaning would be endowment with the prophetic gift almost inadmissible; unless we of inspiration, which we are told, should succeed in giving some in- in the history, took place, when terest to the attempt, þy discover- Samuel anointed him. Before ing the situation of the Psalmist that period, he was a spiritual when he was led to compose it. worshipper, and, as such, was According to the usual character selected to be King, in preference of Lyric poetry, the allusions in to his brethren ; but it was only this Psalm are indirect and brief, from the time of his anointing, that and the transitions sudden and ob- he could say, “ the Spirit of the scure; so that nothing more than Lord spake by me, and his word conjecture can be pretended to, was in my tongue.” We may prein endeavouring to account for mise, further, that Samuel was them; yet there are some princi- directed to make a sacrifice to the ples of interpretation, not likely Lord on the occasion; that he into be disputed, which may contri- vited Jesse and his family to the bute to recommend our conjecture, sacrifice; that he desired David and to guide us in applying it. might be sent for from keeping the We may assume, for instance, that sheep; that he anointed and enterScripture poetry may be legiti- tained him in the presence of his mately illustrated from two sources brethren ; that the Spirit of the chiefly : the history of the past, Lord came upon him from that and the prediction of the future; day; that he returned, however, the occurrences which have lite- to his sheep till he was sent for by rally happened, and their import Saul; that during this temporary as symbols of the accomplishment retreat, he began to compose his of promises, received from God. inspired songs, of which this Psalm
On this assumption, I shall at- may have been one of the first; tempt to draw an illustration of and that the figures used in it are
his cares upon
all taken, either from his original But an abundant supply of our condition as a shepherd, or from wants is sometimes our greatest his recent ordination as the anoint- danger. “How hardly shall they ed of the Lord.
that have riches enter into the The figures of the Psalmist are kingdom of God!” Even “ the taken, first, from his original con- man after God's heart,” might be dition as a shepherd.
tempted to sin most grievously ; When he looked upon the flock, and, as one acquainted with the which he was now soon to leave, plague of his own heart, he may and thought of the unknown re- now be supposed to be aware of quisites for the new and exalted his danger. The thought of wanstation, to which he had been so dering from the Lord his Shepherd, unexpectedly appointed; he must was to him, as nothing less than have been distracted with anxiety, spirtual death. But it was his comhad he not been directed to cast fort to know the Lord, not only as
“ the Lord,” from the giver of repentance at first, but whom his appointment came. With also as able to renew again to rethe experimental knowledge of the pentance after a fall, to sanctify love of God, on the one hand; wholly, and to preserve to the end. and the consciousness of his own This he believed the Lord would insufficiency, on the other; how do, in such a way as to humble naturally did he express his hum- the penitent sinner to the dust, and ble confidence in the language of to glorify all the holy perfections the pastoral life: “ The Lord is of his own adorable name. my shepherd; I shall not want.” restoreth my soul: he leadeth me “What shall we eat? and what in the paths of righteousness for shall we drink? and wherewithal his name's sake.” shall we be clothed ?” are the Next to the danger of sinning questions of first necessity in the against God, is that of encounteresteem of the natural man. It is ing the hatred of the enemies of essential to the office of a King, God, which his people experience to be able to answer these ques- while pursuing the path of duty. tions, not only for himself, but for This danger must increase, in the people under his care. What portion as he calls them to duties a picture of distress is that in of importance, and to stations of Isa. iii. 6, 7. “ Thou hast cloth- honour. Such was the danger of ing, be thou our ruler.”—“ In my David from the jealousy of Saul, house is neither bread nor clothing: and from his wars with the Philismake me not a ruler of the people.” tines, and with many other enemies, Happily David felt no such diffi- both at home and abroad, and both culty. Looking up to the Lord before and after he was seated on for every thing, as his sheep did to the throne of Israel. It was the him, he anticipates such an abun- danger, not of a rare occasion, but dant and suitable supply, as those of the journey of his life. Now, creatures enjoyed, when, after eat-. in the hill country of Judea, and ing to the full, they “ lay down” according to the modes of warfare in pastures, verdant even in a warm which then prevailed, a mountain climate, and were led to drink of was a place of refuge, but a valley waters, not too rapid, nor too deep; was a place of straits, of intricacy, not muddy and turbulent, but of obstruction, of ambush, of surclear and tranquil, and perfectly prize, of circumvention, and of safe, as well as refreshing. " He
" He extermination. No wonder if the maketh me to lie down in green gloom of the vallies was associated, pastures: he leadeth me beside the in the minds of the shepherds, with still waters.”
the darkness of death. When
passing those narrow, rough, and fetch him; for we will not sit down winding defiles, filled with tor- till he come hither.” One cannot rents, overgrown with thickets, in- help suspecting, that David was fested with wild beasts, and hardly not merely overlooked by his Favisited by the rays of the sun; ther on account of his youth; but they would find it necessary to make hated by his brethren on account their flocks frequently pass under of his religion. That Eliab, whatthe guiding “ rod,” to keep them ever he might pretend, was not together, and to number them, that really of pious character, may be -none of them might be lost; and inferred from the reason given for constantly to use the defensive his rejection. “ Look not on his “ staff,” (1 Sam. xvii. 40.) that no countenance, or on the height of enemy might pluck any of them his stature; because I have reout of the Shepherd's hand. It fused him: for the Lord seeth not as was the happiness of David, in the man seeth; for man looketh on the prospect of the most formidable outward appearance, but the Lord difficulties, and emergencies, and looketh on the heart.” From all adversaries, to be taught to say, that we are told, the rest of the “ Yea, though I walk through the brothers of David were rejected valley of the shadow of death, I on the same ground. That Eliab will fear no evil, for thou art with is not injustly thought of, in this me; thy rod and thy staff, they opinion, is manifest from the recepcomfort me.”
tion he is said to have given to The figures of the Psalmist are David, when sent by his father to next taken from his recent ordina- visit his brethren in the camp, action as the anointed of the Lord. cording to the narrative in 1 Sam. And we now see the occasion of xvii. 28. “ Why camest thou down that “ Love, joy, and peace,” which hither? and with whom hast thou he is led so strongly to express. left these few sheep in the wilder
The only way in whicho Samuel ness? I know thy pride, and the could with safety perform the ser- naughtiness of thine heart; for vice assigned him, was to take an thou art come down that thou heifer with him to Bethlehem, as a mightest see the battle.” How sacrifice to the Lord. This gave proper for a man, in such circumhim an opportunity of inviting to stances, whose “ foes were those the sacrifice, not only the elders of his own house;" when he found of the city, but Jesse and his sons. that he had been invited and waited It was proved by the event, that for by a prophet of the Lord, on of all Jesse's numerous family, the the occasion of a sacred feast, feast was intended precisely for although his relatives had not so that individual, who was least much as told him of the invitation; thought of on the occasion. Even to ascribe so distinguished an Samuel himself, when he looked honour to a special interposition of on Eliab, said, “ Surely the Lord's the providence of God, and to anointed is before him." But he say, '“ Thou preparest a table found he was mistaken. “ Again, before me in the presence of mine Jesse made seven of his sons to enemies !” pass before Samuel. And Samuel But greater honour still had been said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not put upon David, “ in the presence chosen these. And Samuel said of his enemies.”“ And he sent unto Jesse, Are here all thy chil- and brought him in. Now, he was dren? And he said, There re- ruddy, and withal of a beautiful maineth yet the youngest, and, be- countenance, and goodly to look hold, he keepeth the sheep. And to. And the Lord said, Arise, Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and anoint him: for this is he. Then
Samuel took the horn of oil, and “ The Lord is the portion of mine anointed him in the midst of his inheritance, and of my cup: thou brethren.” This was not an ordi- maintainest my lot. The lines are nary, nor even merely an extraor- fallen unto me in pleasant places; dinary, token of respect, given by yea, I have a goodly heritage, I an entertainer to a principal guest. will bless the Lord, who hath given It was the execution of the com- me counsel; my reins also instruct mission, which the Prophet Samuel me in the night seasons.” Although had received of the Lord, in behalf with greater brevity, it seems to be of the church and kingdom, and in in the same sense, that he here behalf of David in particular, now makes the emphatic acknowledgtaken from the sheep-cote, and ment,
my cup runneth over." ordained to sit on the throne of From the experience of the past, Israel. “ And the Lord said unto he anticipates that of the future. Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn And now he exchanges his figurafor Saul, seeing I have rejected tive language for plain terms ; him from reigning over Israel? thereby furnishing a key to the Fill thine horn with oil, and go, meaning of all that had gone beI will send thee to Jesse the Beth fore. At this new era of his life, lehemite: for I have provided he deeply feels his weakness and me a King among his sons.” This sinfulness; but he draws ample high honour, surely, the Psalmist encouragement from the goodwas thinking of, when, besides the ness and mercy” of God, which circumstance of the prepared table, had been so wonderfully shown to he said,
“ Thou anointest my head him. And if the day of the anointwith oil.”
ing, and of the feast on the sacriAfterstating that Samuel anoint- fice at Bethlehem was so delighted David, the historian adds,“ And ful, what would be the triumph, the Spirit of the Lord came upon when in possession of the kingdom, David from that day forward.” he should be honoured to bring the This permanent prophetic inspira- ark of the Lord to Jerusalem! tion, which qualified the youngest Then, indeed, would his throne be son of Jesse to be, not only the established; the promises to his King, but “the sweet Psalmist family confirmed; the hopes of his of Israel," was undoubtedly, the enemies destroyed; and those of greatest of all the marks of the the Israel of God secured. In the Divine favour which he had re- hope of such glorious results, inceived. He failed not to appre- cluding the promise of the life ciate the sacred feast, and the which now is, and of that also anointing oil; but the abundant which is to come, he closes this inspiration which followed, con- beautiful devotional soliloquy: nected as it was with saving grace,
· Surely goodness and mercy was prized by him as his " exceed- shall folly me all the days of my ing joy.” Feasts and kingdoms, life: and I will dwell in the house were indeed splendid expressions of the Lord for ever.” of condescending regard to a shep- In his consolations, and in his herd boy; but this was the in- afflictions, David was not only a dwelling presence of God himself. prophetical, but a typical person. In the 16th Psalm, he enlarges on In many things, he was an ensamthis blessing, as the portion of his ple to believers, on the one hand; inheritance, and calls it his “ cup." and a figure of the Christ, on the He could not say, that the Spirit other. This must have already was given, “not by a measure" occurred to the intelligent reader, to him; but he celebrates his in- from some of the quotations which fluences as more than filling it. we have had occasion to produce, especially that one which was taken causes him to exclaim, in bitterness from the 16th Psalm. Although of soul, “ Behold, I am vile!”. the book of Psalms does not ap- Many things appear essential to pear to have any precise general humility, of which a low opinion arrangement, yet it is observable, of ourselves is but one. It is imthat parcels of the Psalms are, in impossible to experience this state various parts of the book, grouped of mind, until we have attained to together, from the similarity of some knowledge of the Divine their subjects. Agreeably to this nature and requisitions--and even observation, it may perhaps be then we cannot feel the humility affirmed, that, as the 22d Psalm inculcated by the Gospel, until we describes the sufferings of the know something of the “grace of Christ, and the glory that should our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though follow; and as the 24th Psalm' he was rich, yet for our sakes becelebrates his entrance into that came poor, that we through his glory; so the 23d Psalm repre- poverty might be rich.” It must sents him, notwithstanding his en- be a view of the infinite goodness gagement to lay down his life for of God, that shows us, in its true the sheep, as “ anointed with the light, our own depravity-this oil of gladness above his fellows." view alone, would be accompanied
ONESIMUS. by despair ; but when we can look
at the Divine goodness, engaged
to raise us from our depths, and REPLY TO A QUERY ON
finally to assimilate us to its own HUMILITY.
glorious likeness, a sacred hope (Gentlemen,- If you consider the following mingles with our feelings, that remurks at all calculated to elucidate the Query, (No. I.) proposed by Minimus in
enables us to believe “ we can do your February Number, you are at liberty to all things through Christ strengtheninsert them in your valuable miscellany. ing us,” while we are equally con
vinced, “ that in us, that is, in our QUERY." Does true Humility flesh, dwelleth no good thing." prevent us from discovering the Every Christian is supposed to real excellencies of our own cha- know more of his own heart, than racter; rather does it not teach us of his neighbour's. And, though to ascribe the glory of them to we believe the hearts of all manGod-and if so, how was it that kind are equally depraved, still Paul could call himself • less than there are sinful thoughts and dethe least of all saints,' when he sires in our own, which we cannot, must have been sensible that many we dare not attribute to another. were his inferiors in religious affec- Every one knows the mercies that tions and holy character?" have been individually bestowed
Among the Christian graces upon him, and he only who has which adorned the exemplary cha- been the recipient, can be aware racter of the great Apostle Paul, how far he has been the abuser, of it is generally admitted, and it them. That which is not metaappears pretty evident, that humi- physically, may be morally true, lity held a distinguished place, and therefore, in this view of the Not that strained caricature of subject, true humility would prompt humility, which disclaims the pos- every Christian to feel, if not to session of any good, in order to say, “ I am less than the least of procure the praise of all. Not that all saints.” But St. Paul appears dejection of spirit, which a new to have been actuated by a feeling convert not unfrequently feels on peculiar to himself, when he penned a survey of the unbounded de- the words alluded to by your pravity of his own heart, and which Querist. The expression occurs