« AnteriorContinuar »
I answer, First, in the work of the Saviour, considered separately. When I contemplate him as God and Man, be my sin ever so aggravated, and to any extent, when my accusers reproach me, and when every guilty deed is marshalled before mine eyes—then, though it is true, I am deeply ashamed, and afflicted in my soul, when I view by faith the infinite work of Christ and its all-sufficiency; I see here a rich stream of merit, flowing from the wounds of Emmanuel, to wash away this load of guilt and sin, and bury it for ever. This truth kept David in peace. The grand secret of a life of faith is to keep guilt from the conscience perpetually. The Psalmist knew perfectly well his own weakness.
Again, and Secondly, I answer, the believer sees God as his Father, reconciled and forgiving.
And, Thirdly, in Christ the believer receives the Spirit, as his Comforter and support. Has he troubles? The Spirit consoles and strengthens him, and enables him to bear the conflict. Has he a journey to take through a dreary wilderness, surrounded with enemies? The Spirit leads him in safety through them all. In short, there is no benefit which God has to bestow, or which is revealed for the believer, which is not secured to him in Christ: there is no good thing which God will withhold, even in this
world; but you must wait for it. Primarily, pray to God to shew you your need of spiritual good, and he will supply all your need, “ My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.”] Peruse the experience of St. Paul and David, and you will find them correspond. May it be your prayer and mine, that God would lead us into the experience of the rich truth contained in the text. The present, my brethren, is a peculiar season? of public excitement. Pray for the King and the Queen; pray that God would avert all evil consequences from the nation. It is in prayer that the soul ascends above all earthly concerns, as the eagle soars above the earth, mounting with his powerful wings towards heaven and gazing upon the sun: so the Christian rises upon the wings of faith above the world, and loves to gaze upon the Sun of Righteousness. The Lord hath declared the security of his people upon every emergency; “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him." 3 David thus lived on Christ, perpetually receiving of his fulness supplies in every time of need; and in his Psalms we discover his varied experience, looking forward at different times to death, judgment, heaven, and eternity; and he says, “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”i May David's life of faith be ours here, and his glory above, ours for ever.
Phil. iv. 19. 2 Alluding to the trial of Queen Caroline.
3 Isaiah iii. 10.
THE PENITENCE OF DAVID.
My sin is ever before me.-Psalm 11. 3.
The history of David is very instructive: it has a direct tendency to alarm and warn the sinner. He was an eminently pious man, and had been eminently exalted in a temporal and spiritual point of view. He had been raised from the sheepfold to the throne; yet holy David fell, “ let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." We behold him rising from the depths of sin and approaching God as he was wont, “I acknowledge my transgressions ; and my sin is ever before me.” This Psalm, as you are well aware, was composed by David after Nathan had visited him, subsequently to his heinous sin with Bathsheba. The genuine effect of mercy is to lead the soul to God for forgiveness. I would request your attention
I. TO THE VIEW Which DAVID TOOK OF HIS Sins and then,
II. TO THE EFFECTS WHICH THIS VIEW PRODUCED. This consideration you will find a key to the whole Psalm.
I. THE VIEW Which DavID TOOK OF HIS SIN. He viewed it in all its evil-sin (to take the precepts of the gospel as our guide in our duty to God and man) is an evil-first, as committed against our neighbour; then as against ourselves; and thirdly, as against God. Sin ought to be viewed as the greatest evil which a moral agent can inflict upon himself. My view of religion is not that of those who would exclude self from it. It is God's express command that the creature should love himself; he commands him, “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The evil of self-love consists in excluding God and our neighbour; “He that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul:” “all they that hate me love death.” A third view of the evil of sin is as committed against God; we are never truly convinced of sin until this is taken into consideration. We find in the world much of what appears to be penitence; men are sorry they have injured their neighbour, their families; these considerations are not to be excluded, but it is the essence of true repentance, that it considers the sin as committed against God, “ Against thee, thee