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shall be established : mine arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not exact upon him ; nor the son of wicked, 23 ness afflict him, so as to overpower him. And I will beat down 24 his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But
my faithfulnes and my mercy (shall be] with him : and in my 25 name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the
sea, on the Philistines, and his right hand in the rivers, on the 26 Syrians. He shall cry unto me, Thou (art) my father, my God, 27 and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him (my] first:
born, higher than the kings of the earth ; chief among those who 28 are called children of the most High, My mercy will I keep for
bim for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him, 29 His seed also will I make [to endure) for ever, and his throne as 30 the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk 31 not in my judgments ; If they break my statutes, and keep not 32 my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with 33 the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my love · ing kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my 34 faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the 35 thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my 36 holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure 37 for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be estab,
lished for ever as the inoon, and (as) a faithful witness in heaven ;
like the moon, which faithfully and regularly measures out our in time. All these declarations intimate, that no other family but that
of David should rule while Judah was a kingdom : that that 11 ibe - should still subsist, and have power in it, and the family of David 38 be honourable among them till Christ should come. Selah. But
thou hast cast off, and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine 39 anointed. Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant,
thou seemest not to regard it : thou hast profaned his crown (ly 40 casting it] to the ground. Thou hast broken down all his 41 hedges ; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. All that
pass by the way spoil him : he is a reproach to his neighbours. 42 Thou hast set up the right hand of bis adversaries ; thou hast 43 made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast also turned the
edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battie. 44 Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to 45 the ground. The days of his youth hast thou shortened ; thou
hast covered him with shame ; the royal family is weakened, and the two last kings carried captive in their youth. Selah. The psalmi ist then pleads for this family, that it might be restored, and not put
to d’ath, nor send those lives in misery which could be but short 46 at the best. How long, LORD ? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? 47 shall thy wrath burn like fire ? Remember how short my time 48 is , wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? What man .. [is he that liveth, and shall not see death ? shall he deliver his 49 soul from the hand of the grave ? Selah. LORD, whcre (are}
thy former loving kindnesses, (which] thou swearest unto Da. 50 vid in thy truth ? Remeinber, LORD, the reproach of thy ser. vants ; Chow] I do bear in my bosom, or lay to heart, (the re51 proach of] all the mighty people ; Wherewith thine enemies
have reproached, O LORD ; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of ihine anointed, who are insulted, as if there was an end of David's family, and Israel's dominion and prosperity.
Nevertheless, with a cheerful hope that the case will be otherwise, 52 I will say, Blessed [be] the LORD for evermore. Amen, and
1. T ET us learn in times of the greatest trouble and affico
I tion to abound in praise. The psalmist is in deep distress, and utters many mournful complaints of the low state to which the house and kingdom of David was reduced, yet he begins and ends with praise : he largely celebrates God's power, faithfulness, and mercy, though he found it hard to reconcile their present distresses with them. This is a good example to us, to give God the glory of his excellency and his ancient wonders, in our most afflicted state : this will be honourable to God, and a great relief to our own mind. The brighter discoveries we have of his mercy, faithfulness, and wonderful works under the gospel, call upon us in every thing to give thanks.
2. Let all our religious services be performed with the highest reverence of God. The inhabitants of heaven adore his wonders ; and it becomes his saints when they draw near to him, especially in their public assemblies, to think of his unparalleled glory and perfections; to have their ininds abound with the profoundest venera. tion, and to maintain all the external marks of it. If we would serve God acceptably, it must be done with reverence and godly fear.
3. Let us be thankful for the joyful sound of the gospel, and careful to attend to it. If the Jewish people were blessd, who had a jubilee proclaimed among them once in fifty years, when their debts were cancelled, their inheritances restored, and slaves set at liberty, how happy are we, who so often hear the gospel ! and what a joyful sound is that, which proclaims liberty to the captives of Satan, cancels our debt to divine justice, and proclaims admission to the heavenly inheritance, which by sin we had forfeited. Let us attend to this sound, and comply with the terms on which these privileges are granted ; then shall we walk in the light of God's countenance, possess his favour and love, under a comfortable sense of being accepted of him; and shall have reason to rejoice, notwithstanding all our sufferings and all our fears.
4. We should often contemplate with pleasure the covenant which God hath made with his Son, and with us through him. What is here said of the covenant of royalty made with David and his seed, is very applicable to the covenant of grace made with be. lievers, who are the spiritual seed of Christ. He is therefore called the son of David, and the mercies of the gospel are styled, the sure mercies of David. God hath laid he! on one who is night, and
promised him a glorious and everlasting throre. This affords us great encouragement ; thanks be to God, who causeth us always to triumfih in Christ ! His covenant will he not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of his lips. • 5. Let us remember the frailty and mortality of human nature ; this will moderate our joys, lighten our sorrows, and quicken us in our preparations for eternity. Death is the end of all men ; of kings, as well as others ; yet God hath not made man in vain. There is time enough here, if we improve it well ; and especially as there is another world beyond this. In the hope and prospect of this we should rejoice, and say, Blessed be the Lord for evermore. Amen, and Amen.
.: PSALM XC.
Occasioned by the sentence which was pronounced upon Israel for
Their murmuring and other provocations, ihat all who were above twenty years old when they came out of Egypt, should die in the wilderness, and never enter Canaan, except Caleb and Joshua, see Numb. xiv, 29, 30.
TT ORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all genera.
La tions ; thou hast been å refuge and protection to our fathers in Canaan, and to us in Egypt and in the wilderness, and this is 2 an encouragement to hope that thou wilt not quite forsake us. Be
fore the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst form.
ed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting 3 thou (art] God. Thou turnest man to destruction ; and sayest,
Return, ye children of men ; referring to the sentence of death
passed on all the human race, dust thou art, and unto dust thou 4 shalt return.' For a thousand years in thy sight (are but] as
yesterday when it is past, and its shortness is more sensible, and
(as) a watch in the night, about three hours, the night being 5 divided into four watches. Thou carriest them away as with a
flood ; hastily and irresistibly ; they are [as] a sleep ; they van.
ish like a dream when a man awakes : in the morning (they are] 6 like grass (which] groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth
and groweth up ;, in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we
troubled ; the source of this destruction is the anger of God 8 against us for our sins. Thou hast set our iniquities before
thee, our secret (sins) in the light of thy countenance ; by the sentence which is passed upon us, it appears that thou hast brought
into the account not only our open, but our secret sins ; those which 9 we have forgolten. For all our days are passed away in thy
wrath ; under the tokens of thy displeasure : we spend our years
10 as a tale (that is told.*) The days of our years (are) three score
years and ten ; and if by reason of strength (they be] four score years, yet (is) their strength labour and sorrow ; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Some understand this of those Israel. iles, who came out of Egypt, and died about this age in the wil. derne88 ; but it rather refers to the period of human life in gener. al ; as if he had said, We do not arrive to the age of our forefa.
thers ; and therefore, being doomed to spend our lives in this wil. 11 derness, is peculiarly grievous. Who knoweth, or seriously consid.
ers, the power of thine anger ? even according to thy fear, (so is) thy wrath ; that is, as some unders and it, It is greater or less to particular persons, in proportion as they fear thee. But it rather intimates, that God's wrath is equal to a man's fear ; the
busy imagination of man cannot produce an idea more terrible.t 12 So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply (our)
hearts unto wisdom ; that we may not repeat the provocations of
our fathers, but, seriously considering the vanity of life, may be 13 come truly religious. Return, O LORD, how long ? and let it 14 repent thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with
thy mercy ; give us some token of thy favour, which may be as acceptable and pleasant as the light of the morning after a dark
night ; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days, though we 15 spend them in the wilderness. Make us glad according to the
days (wherein) thou hast afficted us, [and] the years (wherein) we have seen evil ; let our joy in a sense of thy favour, overbal
ance all the sufferings we endured in Egypt, and what we now 16 endure in the wilderness. Let thy work appear unto thy ser
vants ; work for us still in a favourable manner ; do for us the great things thou hast promised, and let us have eyes to see and hearts to own thy goodness ; and thy glory unto their children,
in bringing them into the land which thou hast promised ; and 80 17 make it appear that thou hast not entirely forsaken us. And let
the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us ; shine forth favour. ably upon us, and let us see as much prosperity 08 may be a token for good : and establish thou the work of our hands upon us ; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it ; prosper our labour, make our arms victorious, and especially let our minds be softened and improved by this awful dispensation of thy providence.
d. TROM hence we are taught to reverence and adore the eter.
T nal God, as the dwelling place of his people in all generations.
The word tule sometimes signifies a groan, a breath, nt a thought; and it intimates the brevity, vanity, and misery of human life ; but may here particularly refer to the uncomforta. ble and seemingly unprofitable manner in which the Israelites lived for so many years in the wilderness.
+ Herein Moses seems to lament the little impression this sentence had made upon the people, notwithstanding they saw their brethi en dying, and knew they must soon die, there. fore he prays as in v. 12.
I The sentence was pronounced so solemnly, and confirmed by an oath, thar Moses could not entreat that God would revoke that; he must therefore refer to some particular chastise. nient they were then under ; that God would mitigate the severity of it; or at least turn it into kindness, by araking it promote their seriousness and rep.ntance, Vol. IV.
It is a most sublimė idea which Moses here gives us of God, and a delightful idea of the happiness of his people. He is without beginning of days and end of life ; a thousand years, yea, a thousand ages, bear no proportion to his eternal duration. The human mind is lost in the thought of God's eternity ; but it is a noble support under the loss of our friends, and the changes and alterations of the world, that he will be our dwelling place amidst all our toils and sufferings, and we shall find in him a sure and a delightful abode.
2. Let us seriously lay to heart the shoriness and vanity of human life. Upon this subject we need line upon line, and precept upon precept ; which Providence and scripture both afford, in order that we may not forget it amidst the cares and amusements of life. Let Us remember, that all flesh is grass ; that time, like an irresistible flood, is carrying us all away into the ocean of eternity ; that the period of human life is short, and much of it labour and sorTOW, The young, as well as the old, the strong and gay, as well as the sickly and sorrowful, should consider this ; that they may not spend their years in vanity, and hurry them on by excesses, as if they did not move fast enough ; and murder them in sin, as if there was DO future account to be given of them.
3. We should endeavour to improve this view of life to the pure poses of practical religion. It is a most important prayer which Moses offers in the twelfth verse, 80 teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom : so to number them, that we may consider our frailty ; consider what our work is, and what our duty; and apply our hearts to wisdom, to good ends and proper means, or, to true religion. This lesson requires close application of mind; and though it is so plain and important, we shall not learn it without divine teaching. Let us therefore pray for it ; remem• bering that there is a day coming, when God will judge us for all our sins, open and secret ; then careless, trifting sinners shall fall under his wrath : and we inay be assured, that his word does not represent that wrath, nor can the human imagination paint it more dreadful than it will prove. • 4. We should commit ourselves to the divine protection and favour for the residue of our days, be they more or less. Nothing can satisfy a pious soul but the mercy and favour of God; that is the only source of solid joy. It is our duty to work with our hards the thing tha. is good, and 10 be diligent in business ; but, without his blessing, we shall labour in vain ; and, without his favour, the greatest success will afford us no real satisfaction. Let us then offer up this important prayer, that he would establish the work of our hands, and that his favour may be upon us and our enjoyments, and his glory appear to our children. Then will our minds be easily reconciled to the vanity and shortness of life, and we shall be conducted to that world, which is not subject to these changes ; to that world, where he will make his servants glad according to the day! in which he has afflicted them, and the years wherein they have seen evil.