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forth my praise.” The prophet, the restored house of Israel, and the converted sinner in our own day, are all in turn witnesses of this. God not only sets their feet on a rock and orders their goings, but he also puts a new song into their mouth, even praise unto their God. He opens their lips, and their mouths show forth His praise. Jonah has learned two lessons. The one is his own badness, “ They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy:
The second is God's goodness: vation is of the Lord.” In giving utterance to this critical truth, Jonah seems to have touched the spring which made the doors of his prison-house fly open. For immediately after we read, “And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” I would mention one or two parallel cases in Scripture (2 Cor. iii). “When it (i.e. the heart of the Jews) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.” Another instance, as it seems to me, is afforded by the account of Zacharias as the representative of unbelieving Israel. He is dumb for a season, because he believed not the words of the angel. But at last he gives a striking proof of faith. He refuses, as we may say, to know his own child after the flesh, and though none of his kindred were so called, he gives him the name of John (i.e. the grace the Lord). “And his mouth was opened immediately and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God." May not the case of Zacharias, I would ask, lawfully remind us of the condition of Israel as described in the first verse of Psalm lxv. (marginal reading). “Praise is silent for thee, O God, in Zion"? Israel is dumb till they can speak of grace. Then shall the veil be taken away, and the tongue of the dumb sing.
But praise to God is testimony to man, and conversely we then honor God in this world, when we faithfully (i.e. obediently) testify for Him in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. This, Jonah, raised from the dead in a figure, is now prepared to do. Marvellous is the grace
of God in thus dealing with this rebellious one, b We must not forget that salvation is by faith and of the Lord. A believer's faith has no more merit than a believer's works or an unbeliever's either. So here Jonah believes, and with his mouth makes confession unto salvation, but he is not his own Saviour.
not only pardoning, but employing him in His service. And this is the privilege of all believers. To preach, i. e. bear testimony for God, was what Jonah was first commanded to do, he is not prepared to do it till he has been through the waters of death. He is God's missionary to Nineveh, the great gentile city, typical, we may suppose, of Israel in the latter day when they, or part of them, shall “call the people to the mountain.”
I would not pursue the history of Jonah farther, instructive as the two last chapters are, but conclude with a few thoughts suggested by the latter part of the 13th Psalm, in connection with that which has been our subject throughout. We have seen that resurrection must precede testimony, and of course death must precede resurrection; but there is a certain moral qualification which fits us for testimony, and which we only possess in virtue of our interest in Christ's death and resurrection. This is truth or truthfulness,
truthfulness, “Grace AND truth came by Jesus Christ.” And this truth or truthfulness, this honesty of soul, is the special subject of the concluding verses of the 139th Psalm, “ Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
A good conscience toward God is the great practical blessing of the new covenant. The leading thought of the New Testament, as regards God, we may say is grace, as regards man is conscience (see Hebrews, passim). And where the one is purged by the operation of the other, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. The word conscience does not appear in the Old Testament; and this very omission is not without significance, for the veil was not rent. But though the name of a good conscience does not occur in the vocabulary of the Old Testament, the nature of it is described in Ps. xxxii. 2. " Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” The light of the Gospel has a reciprocal effect. It enables us to see God, and makes us willing that God should see us. Then we are spiritually Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile. Then having beheld with unveiled face the glory of the
Lord, and having received mercy, we faint not, but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty. And thus the conscience being purged from dead works, we are prepared to serve the living God. Many know that faith without works is dead, who do not know that works without faith are dead also. And service to the living God rendered by a living soul is the essence of real good works, or usefulness, or testimony.
To recapitulate briefly what has been said, the beginning of the Psalm states the fact of the omnipresence of God, the latter part says Amen to it willingly. The first part gives us a doctrine, the last the experience of a soul capable of contemplating the doctrine without fear. Between the two, in a confessedly obscure passage, we may discern the secret formation of a predestinated body, described in one verse as a process of covering in the womb, in another as a curious operation in the lowest part of the earth. Viewing this Psalm in connection with other parts of Scripture, it is almost impossible not to perceive the same principle in action whether in the restoration of the Jews, the resurrection of the saints, or the conversion of a soul. The lowest parts of the earth clearly testify of burial and death, and generation is a type of regeneration. If any question the analogy between the raising of the dead and the restoration of Israel, that point seems to be settled by the divine authority of the 37th of Ezekiel, ver. 11, "Son of Man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.” There may be more room for doubt, though I confess I do not think there is much as to whether Dan. xii.2, does not at least allude to the restoration of Israel ; and still less reason do I perceive for questioning whether Isaiah xxvi. 19, refers to the same subject.
I would add a few words to prevent mistake on the subject of the body of Moses. To speak, as some have done, of Israel being the body of Moses in the sense in which the Church is the body of Christ is foolish, not to say profane, but to say there is a striking coincidence
c In the remarks that have been made on the 139th Psalm, it is not meant that the writer of it did not know grace at the beginning, but only that he does not express it till the end, and the order of his words may be that of another man's experience.
between what Scripture says of Israel and what it says of the body of Moses is only to state a fact of which any reader of the Bible may judge for himself. In Deut. xxxiv.5, 6, we read that the Lord buried Moses, and no man knows where his sepulchre is to this day. In Ezek. xx. 23, and elsewhere, the Lord threatens to scatter Israel. Ezek.xxxvii.21, Israel is scattered, of course by the Lord, and, referring to ver. 11, this seems to be the antitype of the figure of the resurrection of the dry bones. It is not unworthy of notice that both the burial of Moses and the vision of the dry bones are said to have taken place in a valley, (i. e. if the translation of Ezekiel is correct). Again, it will hardly be denied that in Zech.iii, whatever else may be meant, the brand plucked from the burning is Israel or some part of Israel. There we read, "And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee." In Jude, ver. 9, we read, “Michael the archangel when contending with the Devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”
2.- Ps. CXIX.
Let me not wander from Thy commands.
ver. 12 Teach me Thy statutes. By my lips have I declared
ver. 13 All the judgments of Thy mouth, * By the way, I have rejoiced in Thy
ver, 14 Tes nies as over all riches. By means of Thy precepts I will muse
ver. 15 And have respect to Thy paths. By thy statutes do I delight myself:
ver. 16 I will not forget Thy words. Query. Is the meaning “I being in the way,” etc. or as the English version " in the way of Thy testimonies!”
This first chapter, and, indeed, the Epistle to the Hebrews generally, remarkably sets forth to us the glories of the Son. We would desire, under the Lord's guidance, to dwell upon them : may He bless it to the profit of our souls !
He introduces it to us by the thought, that the God, who in times past spake "in many parts, and in many manners," hath, in these last days, spoken to us in one full, unbroken, complete revelation of Himself by His Son. “ The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." Meet person to do so! He only meet! How fully, then, does He unfold the glories of the Son. By Him He made the_worlds, or ages; and for Him, as Heir, he made them. For Him, I
, say, as heir ; for 1 Corinth. viii. 6 (where “in him” should be “ unto him” [każ nueis eis aŭtóv—Ed.]) shews us, I believe, the Father as the ultimate object. * To the glory of God the Father” (Philip. ii. 11).
And let us pause, to see with what distinctness the Son is spoken of in Scripture as the Creator (which, to many
us, of course, need not be written, as“ though we knew not the truth”). John says (i. 3), “ All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” With equal certainty does the apostle say—"By Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him.”
And as He is the Creator of all, so in the same undoubted certainty is He the Judge of all. John v. 26– “For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself [it is spoken,
apprehend, officially, as Head of His Church); and