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and upon his appearing among men in the body of our flesh, he shewed himself possessed of power to relieve all the wants, corporeal and spiritual, of poor lost mankind. Horne.
Ps. iv. p. 6. David prayeth for audience ; he reproveth and exhorteth his enemies.
Man's happiness is in God's favour.
v. 4. Is. xxvi. 20. In times of trouble the Christian's safest retreat from danger is, first, the grave of Christ, that is, the meditation of his passion and sufferings. Then, secondly, to enter into his closet, yea, into his heart; that is, have recourse to prayer, and a strict repentance. These are the chambers we are here called upon to hide ourselves in, until the indignation be overpast. This is also the advice of the Psalmist, “Commune with your own hearts, and in your chambers, and be still.” To shut our doors about us, is to shut close the doors and avenues of our senses, and lock out all but God and his blessed Spirit. Wogan.
v. 5. The Jews are no longer to offer the shadowy sacrifices of their law, since He, who is the substance of them all, is come into the world. The Gentiles are no more to offer their idolatrous sacrifices, since their idols have fallen before the cross. But returning sinners, whether Jews or Gentiles, are to offer the same sacrifices of “evangelical righteousness," not “putting their trust” in them, but “in the Lord Jesus, through whose Spirit they are enabled to offer, and through whose blood their offerings are acceptable unto God.” Horne.
v. 8. Happy the Christian, who having nightly, with this verse, committed himself to his bed, as to his grave, shall at last, with the same words, resign himself to his grave, as to his bed, from which he expects in due time to arise, and sing a morning hymn with the children of the resurrection.
Ps. v. p. 7. David prayeth, and professeth his study in prayer.
This Psalm is the private prayer of a Priest or Levite, at the foot of the altar of burnt offering, when he comes to set things in order for the morning sacrifice. But in the character of this priest is typified, that of a true member of the Christian church, one taught in the mysteries of the gospel, and admitted to the privileges of the faithful, in opposition to idolaters and infidels. Horsley.
- v.3. He who is in good earnest, and hath his heart fully bent upon the work of salvation, like other skilful and diligent artificers, will be “early” in his application to it; he will get the start of the world, and take the advantage of the sweet hour of prime,” to “dispose,” and “set himself in order," for the day. What is a slothful sinner to think of himself, when he reads concerning the holy Jesus, that in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed !” Mark i. 35. Horne.
Ps. xxvi. p. 7. Prayer and resolution of amendment.
v. 6. David comforts himself with the future prospect of restoration to Jerusalem ; of attending the service of God in the tabernacle ; of performing the legal ablutions, in token of innocency thereby signified ; and of singing, before the holy altar, Psalms of praise for his deliverance. The believing soul, in like manner, may find perpetual consolation, while she looks forward towards her return home, from her exile in the world, to the Jerusalem above; her access to the fountain of life and purity ; her employment of serving God in the eternal temple, and chanting forth, with angels and archangels, the new songs of the celestial Sion for so great salvation.
The nearer we approach to God our Saviour, by a spiritual communion in prayers and sacraments, and all other holy ordinances, the better we shall know him; and the better we know him, the more we shall be sure to love him: and were that love entire, did he but reign in, and possess our hearts without a rival; we should then feel the best sense of that passage verified to the utmost, in a spiritual regard, and in our own particular case, that “ the work of righteousness is peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever.” Is. xxxü. 17. Stanhope.
Ps. xxxiii. p. 8. God is to be praised for his goodness, and
v. 18. his providence. This day being the Sunday immediately preceding the Nativity of our Lord, the church calls upon us to expect him with joy and to meet him with exultation. Hole.
v. 1. God and not the world, is the fountain of “joy;" which sinners talk of, but the righteous only possess. “ Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice.” Horne.
- v. 2. Music, both vocal and instrumental, is of eminent use in setting forth the praises of God; but there is no instrument like the rational soul, and no melody like that of well-tuned affections. When this music accompanies the other, the sacred harmony of the church is complete.
v. 3. “Old things are passed away,” and the ideas of a Christian are to be transferred from the old world, and the old dispensation, to the
new ;” since under the Gospel, “ all things are become new," and all men ought to become so. Rev. xxi. 1, 5. Abilities of every kind are never 80 well employed, as in the service of him who giveth them.
v. 18. The ever-waking eye of providence, which looketh on all, looketh with favour and loving-kindness on such as “ fear” God without despondency, and “hope” in him without presumption ; their bodies are often wonderfully preserved in times of danger and want; but what is of far greater