Page images

borrowed a most tremendous image of the wrath and indignation of Almighty God. Calamity and sorrow, fear and trembling, infatuation and despair, the evils of the present life, and of that which is to come, are the bitter ingredients which compose this most hor.. rible cup of mixture. It is entirely iri the hand and disposal of God, who through every age, has been pouring out, and administering of it's contents, more or less, in proportion to the fins of men. But inuch of the strength and power of the liquor still remains behind, until the day of final vengeance. It will be then exhausted, even to the dregs, by unrepenting rebels; when“ burning coals, fire, and brimstone," and eternal “ tempeft,” shall be “the portion of their “ cup.” Pf. xi. 6.

9. But I will declare for ever; I will fing praises to the God of Jacob.

These dispensations of mercy and judgment the prophet resolves to “declare” to the world for ever, by thus “ singing" the works and the “ praises” of God, in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual fongs. And while we now sing them, we declare our resolution to be the same with his.

10. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off ; but the horns of the righteous Mall be exalted.

He determines likewise, as every good governor should do, to exert the authority with which he was entrusted ; to break the power of triumphant wickedness; and to exalt that righteousness which exalteth a nation; hereby rendering himself a fit image of Him, who hath since done away transgression, and brought in everlasting righteousness, who will one


A 3

day turn the wicked into hell, and exalt his faithful servants, to reign with him in heaven. Already he reigns in them upon earth : causing “ all carnal af“ fections to die in them, and all things belonging ff to the Spirit to live and grow in them,"

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

It is obvious, at first fight, to any one who

reads this Psalnı, that it was composed, as a thanksgiving hymn, on account of some great deliverance, wrought for his people, by the immediate hand of God. The iniraculous destruction of the Assyrian army, by the angel, in the days of king Hezekiah, is generally pitched upon, as the subject of it, and affiệmed to be so by the ancient Greek înscription prefixed to it in the LXX version. The prophet, 1, 2. declares the glory which God hath gotten him in Ifrael; 3-6. dcscribes the circumstances of the deliverance, with 7. a reflection thereupon; 8-10. he mentions the effects it had produced among the nations, and 11, 12. those which it ought to produce in Israelitish hearts. The ideas are to be tranfferred to the salvation of the church univerfal, by the destruction of fin and Satan, and the oveșthrow of the persecuting powers,

1. In Judah is God known, his Name is great in Israel. 2. In Salem also is his tubernacle, and his dwelling in Sion.

On occasion of some great deliverance, the prophet speaks in transport concerning that presence and protection of God, which the highly favoured Judah once enjoyed. She enjoyed them while she continued faithful, and really was, what she professed to be. But on account of her infidelity, and rejection of her Messiah, an alteration of circumstances has taken place. They are no longer Jews, who are such outwardly, nor is that circumcision, which is cutward in the flesh; but they are Jews, who believe in the Son of God; and they are of the circumcision, who are cleansed by him from all filthiness of felh and spirit. The Gentile Christian church hath succeeded to the privileges of the Israelitish. In her now “God “ is known” by the Gospel; and “ his Name is

great” in her, by reason of all the mighty wonders which he hath wrought for her ; she is the true “Sa“ lem," or city of peace; she is the true “ Sion,” the spiritual, holy, and beloved hill; and in her is the “ tabernacle” and “ dwelling place” of God her Saviour, by the spirit.

3. There brake he the arrows of the bow, the Field, the sword, and the battle.

When God appeared in the defence of his ancient people, the weapons of their enemies were at once · blunted and broken, and all the formidable apparatus of war became, in a moment, utterly useless. Such was the event, when the holy Jesus entered the A4


lists against our spiritual adversaries, " for” us; and such ever will be the eyent, when he engages them “in” us.

4. Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey. This may

be a beautiful apostrophe to mount Sion, (mentioned, ver. 2.) as appearing infinitely more glorious and excellent, through the favour and

protection of her God, than the arm of flesh and the instruments of war could render the kingdoms of the carth, which set themselves against her; and which, for their tyranny, and cruelty, and the ravages committed by them, are likened to those mountains, where beasts of prey, with similar dispositions, rove, and roar, and devour. The powers of the world • make war with the Lamb, whose station is upon $ mount Sion ;' but “ the Lamb shall overcome “ them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; “ and they that are with him are called, and chosen, “ and faithful.” Rev. xiv. 1. xvii. 14.

5 The stout hearted are spoiled, they have sept their peep: and none of the men of might have found their. hands. 6. At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot, or, sider, and horse, are cast into a dead Neep.

It must be acknowledged, that these two verses seem in a very particular manner to point at the miraculous destruction of Senacherib's army, when the “ ftout hearted,” who doubted not of taking and spoiling the holy city, were themselves suddenly

spoiled” of strength and life; they “ slept their “ Deep, and found not their hands;" they awaked


not again to the use of their powers and faculties; a rebuking blaft was sent from the God of Jacob, under which the flower of Affyria withered in the space of a night, and in the niorning was no more ; s the horse and his rider were cast into a dead

sleep;" they slept the seep of death. How, in a moment, were the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished ! How astonishing the downfal of the tyrant! How complete the triumph of the daughter of Sion! Such will be the destruction of the world; such the salvation of the people of God.

7. Thou, even thou art to be feared, and who may stand in thy fight, when once thou art angry?

Why are the miraculous exertions of omnipotence recorded in the book of life, but to suggest to us this reflection, that God, and God only, is the proper object of our fear : since neither the wisdom of the wise, nor the power of the mighty, no, not the world itself, can stand a single moment before him, when once he is angry?” Yet we continue to dread any frowns but those of heaven ; and one poor, vain, sinful man fhall,' through a course of sixty, or seventy years, incessantly and undauntedly tempt and provoke Him, who destroyed 185,000 in a night. What is this, but madness?

8. Thoų didst caufe judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was fill; 9. When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth, or, the afflicted of the land.

A destruction so far exceeding human power, was evidently the sentence of God's judgment, audibly pronounced from the eternal throne ; and it was


« PreviousContinue »