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comparison of those heavy stripes which our sins have deserved.
11. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy towards them that fear him. 12. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he re. moved our transgressions from us. 13. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
We are here presented with three of the most beautiful, apposite, and comforting similitudes in the world. When we lift up our eyes, and behold around us the lofty and stupendous vault of heaven, encircling, protecting, enlightening, refreshing, and cherishing the earth, and all things that are therein, we are biuden to contemplate in this glass, the immeasurable height, the boundless extent, and the salutary influences of that mercy, which, as it were, embraces the creation, and is over all the works of God. Often as we view the sun arising in the east, and darkness flying away from before his face towards the opposite quarter of the heavens, we may see an image of that goodness of Jehovah, whereby we are placed in the regions of illumination, and our sins are removed and put far away out of his sight. And that our hearts may, at all times, have confidence towards God, he is represented as bearing towards us the fond and tender affection of a father, ever ready to defend, to nourish, and to provide for us, to bear with us, to forgive us, and to receive us in the parental arms of everlasting love.
14. For he knoweth cur frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 15. As for man, his days are as grass ;
as a flower of the field, 80 he flourisheth. 16. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
The consideration of man's frail and perishable estate weighs with the Almighty, and prevails upon him to spare his creature. And doth not the tear of compassion start in the eye of him, who reads the description which David has given of it in these verses? Man, fallen, mortal man-his days are as grass; like that he comes out of the earth, and continues but a short time upon it; as a flower of the field, fair but transient, so he unfolds his beauty in youth, and flourishes awhile in the vigour of manhood; but, lo, in a moment, the breath of Heaven's displeasure, as a blighting wind, passeth over him, and he is gone ; he bows his drooping head, and mingles again with his native dust; his friends and his companions look for him at the accustomed spot, which he once adorned-but in vain—the earth has opened her mouth to receive him, and “ his place shall know him no more.”
17. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him; and his righteousness unto children's children: 18. To such as keeft his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
Let not man presume, who withers like the green herb; but then, let not man despair, whose nature, with all its infirmities, the Son of God hath taken
upon him. The flower which faded in Adam blooms - anew in Christ, never to fade again. The mercy of
Jehovah, in his Messiah, is everlasting; and of that everlasting mercy, poor frail man is the object. It extends to all the generations of the faithful servants of God. Death shall not deprive them of its benefits, nor shall the grave hide them from the efficacious influence of its all-enlivening beams, which shall pierce even into those regions of desolation, and awaken the sleepers of six thousand years. Man must pay to justice the temporal penalty of his sins; but mercy shall raise him again, to receive the eternal reward, purchased by his Saviour's righteousness. A passage in the First Epistle of St. Peter doth most admirably illustrate this part of our Psalm : “ We are born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the WORD of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away ; but the word of the LORD endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.” 1,
19. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
The glorious Person who works all these wonders of mercy for his people, the word of God, and Saviour of the world, is triumphantly seated upon his throne in heaven, and is possessed of all power to accomplish his will, even until all things shall be subdued unto him. The glories of his throne, the brightness of his excellent majesty, and the might of his irresistible power, are described at large by St. John, Rev. iv. y. xix.
20. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. 21. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts ; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. 22. Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul!
Joy is observed to be of a diffusive and communicative nature. The heart of the Psalmist is full, and overflows with it. Unable worthily to praise Jehovah for his mercies vouchsafed to the church, he invites heaven and earth to join with him, and to celebrate, in full chorus, the redemption of man. St. John saw the throne of Messiah prepared; he beheld the universal band assembled ; and he heard when « all the angels round about the throne, ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, with every creature in heaven, earth, and sea,” lifted up their voices, and sang together, “ Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.”
ARGUMENT. This is an eucharistic hymn, full of majesty and
sweetness, addressed to Jehovah, as Creator of the world. It sets forth his glory, wisdom, goodness, and power, displayed in the formation of the heavens and earth; in the various provision made for beasts, and birds, and for man, the lord of all; in the revolutions of the celestial bodies, and the consequent interchanges of day and night, of labour and rest; in the sea, and every thing that moves in or upon the waters. The dependence of the whole creation upon God for its being and well being, is beautifully represented, with the glory which the Creator receives from his works, the pleasure which he takes in them, and the power which he has over them. The Psalmist declares his resolution ever to praise Jehovah, and predicts the destruction of those who refuse or neglect so to do. As there is a similitude between the natural and the spiritual creation, allusions of that sort are frequently made in the ensuing comment.
1. Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, thou art very great, thou art clothed with honour and majesty; Heb. with glory and beauty. 2. Who cover. est thyself with light as with a garment; who stretch