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heard by all the earth with an awful silence, as when he speaks to attentive nature in thunder. Such was the effect which this interposition in behalf of his people produced among the surviving Assyrians, and the neighbouring nations. Let us carry our thoughts on to the sensations which will be felt in the hearts of men, at that hour, when the last trump shall found in the heavens, and the earth shall shake from her foundations; when God all arise to execute judgment on the adversaries of his church, and to save, with an everlasting falvation, all the meek and afflicted of the earth.
10. Surely the wrath of man mall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
The wrath of man, and of Satan himself, against the church, turns, in the end, to the praise and glory of God, who repreffes it, when at its height; and at all times appoints those bounds which it cannot pass, any more than the raging waves of the ocean can overflow their appointed barrier of fand.
11. Vow and pay unto the LORD your God; let all that are round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared. 12. Ile shall cut off, or, restrain the Spirit of princes; he is terrible to the kings of the earth.
If such should have been the gratitude and devotion of Israelites, for a temporary deliverance from the fury of an earthly tyrant; how much higher ought that of Christians to rise, for eternal redemption from the great oppressor! How ought they to “ vow and pay their vows unto the Lord their ” God; to bring presents,” to offer all they have,
and all they are, to him who is so greatly to be
feared,” so highly to be loved ; to him who “ “ strains” the fury of evil angels, as well as “ the ss spirit of princes ;” and is “ terrible” to the powers of darkness, no less than to “ the kings of the $ earth!”
ARGU M E N T.
As the foregoing Psalm was evidently compo
sed, when the church had obtained deliverance from her enemies, this seems no less plainly to have been written at a time when she was in captivity under them. It contains 1-4. a complaint of sufferings; and 5—20. a description at large of the struggle between diftruft and faith ; which latter prevails, by having recourse to the consideration of ancient mercies ; particularly, that of redemption from Egypt. The Psalm is admirably calculated for the use and consolation of any church, or soul, when in affiction and distress.
1. I cried unto God with my“ voice ; even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me.
Uneasiness in the heart will utter itself hy the " voice;” and when the pain is intense, the “ cry" will be loud. Only let it take a right direction, and
ascend to heaven; let the application be made to
God," who will both “ hear,” and help ; not to the world, which will not do one, and cannot do the other. The cries of the Son of God alone were heard for his own fake; the cries of all other men are heard for his fake.
2. In the day of my trouble I fought the Lord; my fore ran in the night, and ceased not; Heb. my hand was stretched out in the night, and ceased not, or, without intermision'; my soul refused to be comforted.
To a foul deeply sensible of the world's vanity, and the unisery of fin, every day is a “ day of trouble," and the whole time of her pilgrimage is a long, dark, and wearifome «
night,” during which the seeks after her beloved by prayer; and for the sake of him, and those future joys which the expects in his presence, the pleasures of sense are put away from her, and the “ refuses to be comforted” by such comforters. An Ifraelite cannot enjoy himself in Babylon; a Christian cannot find perfect satisfaction in the world; a return to Jerusalem will employ the thoughts of both.
3. I remembered God, and was troubled : I complained, and my Spirit was overwhelmed.
Or, I remembered God, and made a noise, i. e. in prayer to him; I meditated, and my Spirit was obscured, or darkened, through grief and affliction.
This is a fine description of what pafles in an afflicted and dejected mind. Between the remembrance of God and his former mercies, and the meditation on a seeining desertion under present calamities, the affections are variously agitated, and the prayers dil
turbed, like the tumultuous waves of a troubled sea; while the fair light from above is intercepted, and the face of heaven overwhelmed with clouds and darkness.
4. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
Through grief and anxiety it is, that the eyes are made to keep all the watches of the night, and wait in vain for sleep to relieve them from duty, until the dawning of the morning. To a night so spent, may a season of captivity, or persecution, be compared. Thus the ancient church looked for the first advent of Christ, and thus doth the church, which now is, expect his second ; prolonging her vigils, even unto the dawning of that morning, which is at once to put a period to darkness and to forrow. In the mean time, she giveth herself to meditation and prayer.
5. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times: 6. I call to remembrance my song in the night, I commune with mine own heart, and my Spirit maketh diligent search.
Recollection of former mercies is the proper antidote against a temptation to despair, in the day of calamity: and as, in the divine dispensations, which are always uniform and like themselves, whatever has happened, happens again, when the circumstances are similar ; the experience of “ ancient times” is to be called in to our aid, and duly consulted. Nay, we may perhaps“ remember” the time, when we ourselves were led to compose and utter a song" of joy and triumph, on occasion of signal mercies
vouchsafed us. Upon these topics we should, « in “ the night of affliction, commune with our own “ hearts, and make diligent search,” as Daniel did in Babylon, into the cause, the nature, and the probable continuance of our troubles; with the proper methods of shortening, and bringing them to an end; by suffering them to have their intended and full effect, in a sincere repentance, and thorough reformation.
7. Will the Lord cuft off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? 8. Is his mercy clean gone for ever? Doth his promise fail for evermore? 9.
Hatli God forgotten to be gracious ? Hath he in anger Mut up his tender mercies?
The Psalmist now relates the process of his meditations, and of that controversy which arose in his heart between faith and distrust. While he viewed the distressful scene around him, he found himself strongly tempted to question God's love of the church; to think that he had finally rejected his people ; that the promised mercy of redemption would never be accomplished, and that indignation had constrained the bowels of our heavenly Father ; which no longer yearned towards his afflicted children. These were the thoughts suggested to a desponding soul by the desolations of Sion at that time ; and the state of things in the world may possibly be such, as to suggest the like thoughts to many in the Christian church, before our Lord shall appear again, for her final redemption. Imaginations of the same cast will offer themselves to the mind of the sinner, when the hand of God has lain long and heavy upon