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must, at the same time, publish likewise his own heinous and horrid wickedness.
15. O LORD, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
The mouth which sin has closed, can only be opened by pardon: and to show this, he who came, conferring pardon, caused the tongue of the dumb to speak, and to sing praises to the Lord God of Israel. Our church, with great propriety, daily makes her prayer in the words of this verse, before she enters upon that part of her service, which consists of praise and thanksgiving.
16. For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it; thou delightest not in burnt offerings. 17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
David, in this Psalm, is so evangelical, and has his thoughts so fixed upon Gospel remission, that he considers the Levitical sacrifices as already abolished, for their insufficiency to take away sin; affirming them to be (as indeed they were) nothing, in the sight of God, if compared with the sacrifice of the body of sin, offered by contrition and mortification, through faith in Him who, in the fulness of time, was to die unto sin once, that we, together with him, might for ever live unto God.
18. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion : build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
The king forgets not to ask mercy for his people, as well as for himself; that so neither his own nor their sins might prevent either the building and flourishing
of the earthly Jerusalem, or, what was of infinitely greater importance, the promised blessing of MesSIAH, who was to descend from him, and to rear the walls of the new Jerusalem. And thus it ought to be the fervent prayer of 'every man, especially if he is placed in any exalted station, ecclesiastical or civil, that no sins by him committed, may any way prejudice others, or obstruct the edification of the church.
19. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering, and whole burnt offering ; then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
This had its literal accomplishment, when Jerusalem was finished; when the temple was erected on mount Sion; and when the Lord graciously vouchsafed to accept the sacrifices, there offered on his holy altars, by king Solomon, at the head of his faithful and devout people. It is spiritually true in the Christian church, where the substance of all the Mosaic types and shadows is offered and presented to the Father, by the Prince of Peace, at the head of the Israel of God. And it will be eternally verified in the kingdom of heaven, where the sacrifices of righteousness and love, of praise and thanksgiving, will never cease to be offered to him that sitteth on the throne, by the church triumphant in glory.
David, in the wilderness of Judah, expresses his long
ing desire after the presence of God, and the divine · pleasures of the sanctuary; he blesses and praises God both day and night, in the midst of affliction, and declares his faith to be immoveable; he predicts the fate of the wicked, with the exaltation, triumph, and glory of Messiah, to be exhibited in his own. The whole Psalm is applicable to the circumstances of Christ in the flesh, and to those of his people in the world.
1. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee, in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is: 2. To see thy power and thy glory, 80 as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
After the example of the persecuted David in the wilderness of Judah, and that of the afflicted Jesus upon earth, the true Christian dedicates to God « the sweet hour of prime;" he opens the eyes of his understanding, together with those of his body, and awakes, each morning, to righteousness. He arises, with an inextinguishable thirst after those comforts which the world cannot give; and has immediate recourse, by prayer, to the fountain of the water of life ; ever long
ing to behold the divine power and glory, in the sanctuary above, of which he has been favoured with some glimpse in the services of the church below.
3. Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Life is the greatest of earthly blessings, all others being included in it : « all that a man hath,” saith Satan, “ will he give for his life :" Not so the Psalmist. He knew a pearl of far greater price, namely, the loving kindness of Jehovah, on which is suspended not only the life which now is, but that which is to come. The sense of this loving kindness tuned the harp of the son of Jesse, and now tunes those of the spirits before the throne.
4. Thus, will I bless thee while I live ; I will lift up my hands in thy name.
While we live, however wretched our condition may be, we have an opportunity of obtaining pardon, grace, and glory's for which we ought, at all times, to bless God, lifting up pure hands in prayer, employing them in every good work, and all in the name of Jesus. Si
5. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 6. When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Solitude and stillness render the night watches a fit season for meditation on the so often experienced mercies of God; which, when thus called to remembrance, become a delicious repast to the spirit, filling it with all joy, and peace, and consolation; giving songs in the
night, and making darkness itself cheerful. How cheerful, then, will be that last morning, when the righteous, awaking up after the divine likeness, shall be satisfied with all the fulness of God, and praise him with joyful lips, in those eternal courts, where there is no night, and from whence sorrow and sighing fy far away!.
7. Because thou hast been my help, therefore under the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. 8. My soul followeth hard after thee : thy right hand upholdeth me.
Recollection of past mercies inclines the soul to put : herself under the wing of an all-shadowing Providence. Should her Redeemer, for a time, seem to be deserting her, faith constrains her to follow hard after him, as a child does after the father; and not to let go the hand which has so often upheld her from falling.
9. But those that seek my soul to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. 10. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
The enemies of Jehovah, and his Anointed, if they come not to a violent death, an early grave, or to have their carcasses devoured by the beasts of the field, (as hath sometimes been the case,) yet, in an after-state, their condition will certainly be deplorable. Their habitation must be in the pit; their punishment, the flaming sword of Almighty justice; and their companions, those crafty and malicious ones, who, having contributed to seduce, will help to torment them.
11. But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of theme that speak lies shall be stopped.