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There are two things in general, as was before-mentioned, that the soul in that condition applies itself unto; whereof the first respects itself, and the other the whole Israel of God.
That which respects itself, is the description of that frame of heart and spirit that he was brought into, upon faith’s discovery of forgiveness in God; with the duties that he applied himself unto, the grounds of it, and the manner of its performance; ver. 5, 6.
"I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.'
Herein, I say, he describes both his frame of spirit, and the duty he applied himself to, both as to matter and manner.
I shall, as in the method hitherto observed, first consider the reading of the words, then their sense and importance, with the suitableness of the things mentioned in them, to the condition of the soul under consideration; all which yield us a foundation of the observations that are to be drawn from them.
The words rendered strictly, or word for word, lay thus :
I have earnestly expected Jehovah; my soul hath expected, and in his word have I tarried,' or waited.
My soul to the Lord, more than (or before) the watchmen in the morning; the watchmen in the morning;'or'unto the morning.'
“I have waited' or expected;' nup from 7póto expect,' 'to hope,''to wait.'•Verbum hoc est, magno animi desiderio, in aliquem intentum esse, et respicere adeum, ex eo pendere.' The word denotes to be intent on any one with great desire; to behold or regard him, and to depend upon him; and it also expresseth the earnest inclination and intention of the will and mind,
Paul seems to have expressed this word to the full, Rom. viii, 19. by ảrokapadokla; an intent or earnest expectation, expressing itself by putting forth the head, and looking round about with earnestness and diligence. And this is also signified expressly by this word, Psal.lxix. 20. 7933 TIPNI ' and I looked for some to take pity;' huc illuc anxie cir
cumspexi, siqui forte me commiseraturus esset.' I looked round about this way and that way diligently and solicitously, to see if any would pity me or lament with me.
Thus · I have waited,' is as much as, I have diligently, with intention of soul, mind, will, and affections, looked unto God, in earnest expectation of that from him that I stand in need of, and which must come forth from the forgiveness that is with him.
2. I have, saith he, waited for, or expected Jehovah; he uses the same name of God in his expectation, that he first fixed on in his application to him.
And it is not this or that means, not this or that assistance, but it is Jehovah himself that he expects and waits for. It is Jehovah himself that must satisfy the soul; his favour and loving-kindness, and what flows from them; if he come not himself, if he gives not himself, nothing else will relieve,
3. My soul doth wait,' or expect; ît is no outward duty that I am at, no lip-labour, no bodily work, no formal, cold, careless performance of a duty; no, my soul doth wait:' it is soul-work, heart-work I am at; I wait, I wait with my whole soul.
4. • In his word do I hope, or wait.' There is not any thing of difficulty in these words; the word used instrun is from 5mg, sunt qui quod affine sit verbo 5507 velint anxietatem et nisum includere, ut significet anxie, seu enixe expectare, sustinere, et sperare;' it signifies to hope, expect, endure, and sustain with care, solicitousness, and endeavours. Hence the LXX. have rendered the word by ÚMÉLELVEV, and the Vulgar Latin 'sustinui.' I have sustained and waited with patience,
And this on the word; or he sustained his soul with the word of promise that it should not utterly faint. Seeing he had made a discovery of grace and forgiveness, though yet at a great distance; he had a sight of land, though he was yet in a storm at sea; and therefore encourageth himself, or his soul, that it doth not despond.
But yet all this that we have spoken reaches not the intenseness of the soul of the psalmist, in this his expectation of Jehovah. The earnest engagement of his soul in this duty riseth up above what he can express. Therefore he proceeds,
ver. 6. My soul' saith he, "for the Lord,'(that is, expects him, looks for him, waits for him, waits for his coming to me in love and with forgiveness) 'more than the watchers for the morning, the watchers for the morning.'
These latter words are variously rendered, and variously expounded. The LXX. and Vulgar Latin render them from the morning watch, until night;' others, from those that keep the morning watch, unto those that keep the evening watch.' More than the watchers in the morning, more than the watchers in the morning.'
The words also are variously expounded. Austin would have it to signify, the placing of our hopes on the morning of Christ's resurrection, and continuing in them until the night of our own death.
Jerome, who renders the words, from the morning watch to the morning watch,' expounds them of continuing our hopes and expectations from the morning that we are called into the Lord's vineyard, to the morning when we shall receive our reward, as much to the sense of the place as the former: and so Chrysostom interprets it of our whole life.
It cannot be denied but that they were led into these mistakes by the translation of the LXX. and that of the Vulgar Latin, who both of them have divided these words, quite contrary to their proper dependance; and read them thus, ‘My soul expected the Lord. From the morning watch to the night watch, let Israel trust in the Lord ;' so making the words to belong to the following exhortation unto others, which are plainly a part of the expression of his own duty.
The words then are a comparison, and an allusion unto watchmen, and may be taken in one of these two senses :
1. In things civil; as those who keep the watch of the night, do look, and long for, and expect, the morning, when being dismissed from their guard they may take that sleep that they need and desire; which expresses a very earnest expectation, inquiry, and desire: or,
2. In things sacred; with the Chaldee paraphrast, which renders the words, more than they that look for the morning watch,' which they carefully observe, that they may offer the morning-sacrifice. In this sense, as saith he, the warders and watchers in the temple, do look diligently after the appearance of the morning, that they may with joy offer the morning-sacrifice in the appointed season; so, and with more diligence, doth my soul wait for Jehovah.
You see the reading of the words; and how far the sense of them opens itself unto us by that consideration.
Let us then next see briefly the several parts of them, as they stand in relation one to another. We have then,
1. The expression of the duty wherein he was exercised, and that is, earnest waiting for Jehovah.
2. The bottom and foundation of that his waiting and expectation, that is, the word of God, the word of promise ; he diligently hoped in the word.
3. The frame of his spirit in, and the manner of his performance of, this duty; expressed,
1. In the words themselves that he uses, according as we opened them before.
2. In the emphatical reduplication, yea triplication, of his expression of it; “I wait for God; my soul waiteth' for -God; my soul for the Lord.'
3. In the comparison instituted between his discharge of his duty, and others' performances of a corporal watch, with the greatest care and diligence; 'more than they that watch for the morning;' so that we have,
1. The duty he performed; earnest waiting and expectation.
2. The object of his waiting; Jehovah himself.
Let us then now consider the words, as they contain the frame and working of a sin-entangled soul.
Having been raised out of his depths by the discovery of forgiveness in God, as was before declared, yet not being immediately made partaker of that forgiveness, as to a comforting sense of it, he gathers up his soul from wandering from God, and supports it from sinking under his present condition.
It is, saith he, Jehovah alone with whom is forgiveness that can relieve and do me good ; his favour, his loving-kindness, his communication of mercy and grace from thence, is that which I stand in need of; on him therefore do
I with all heedfulness attend; on him do I wait, my soul is filled with expectation from him; surely he will come to me, he will come and refresh me; though he seem as yet to be afar off, and to leave me in these depths, yet I have his word of promise to support and stay my soul, on which I will lean until I obtain the enjoyment of him, and his kindness, which is better than life.
And this is the frame of a sin-entangled soul, who hath really by faith discovered forgiveness in God, but is not yet made partaker of a comforting refreshing sense of it. And we may represent it in the ensuing observations.
Obs. 1. The first proper fruit of faith's discovery of forgiveness in God, unto a sin-distressed soul, is waiting in patience and expectation.
Obs. 2. The proper object of a sin-distressed soul's waiting and expecting is God himself, as reconciled in Christ: I have waited for Jehovah.'
Obs. 3. The word of promise is the soul's great supportment in waiting for God : ‘in thy word do I hope.'.
Obs. 4. Sin-distressed souls wait for God with earnest intention of mind, diligence, and expectation ; from the redoubling of the expression.
Obs. 5. Continuance in waiting until God appears to the soul is necessary and prevailing; necessary, as that without which we cannot attain assistance ; and prevailing, as that wherein we shall never fail.
Obs. 6. Establishment in waiting where there is no present sense of forgiveness, yet gives the soul much secret rest and comfort; this observation ariseth from the influence that these verses have unto those that follow. The psalmist having attained thus far, can now look about him, and begin to deal with others, and exhort them to an expectation of grace and mercy.
And thus, though the soul be not absolutely in the haven of consolation where it would be, yet it hath cast out an anchor that gives it establishment and security. Though it be yet tossed, yet it is secured from shipwreck, and is rather sick than in danger; a waiting condition is a condition of safety.
Hence it is that he now turns himself to others, and upon the experience of the discovery that he had made of forgive