Exposition - Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher - Works Upon This Psalm
TITLE. To the Chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of
Korah. There is no need to repeat our observations upon a title which is of so
frequent occurrence; the reader is referred to notes placed in the headings of
preceding psalms. Yet it may not be out of place to quote Ne 12:46. In the
days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs
of praise and thanksgiving unto God.
OBJECT AND OCCASION. It is the prayer of a patriot for his
afflicted country, in which he pleads the Lord's former mercies, and by faith
foresees brighter days. We believe that David wrote it, but many question that
assertion. Certain interpreters appear to grudge the psalmist David the
authorship of any of the psalms, and refer the sacred songs by wholesale to the
times of Hezekiah, Josiah, the Captivity, and the Maccabees. It is remarkable
that, as a rule, the more sceptical a writer is, the more resolute is he to have
done with David; while the purely evangelic annotators are for the most part
content to leave the royal poet in the chair of authorship. The charms of a new
theory also operate greatly upon writers who would have nothing at all to say if
they did not invent a novel hypothesis, and twist the language of the psalm in
order to justify it. The present psalm has of course been referred to the
Captivity, the critics could not resist the temptation to do that, though, for
our part we see no need to do so: it is true a captivity is mentioned in Ps
85:1, but that does not necessitate the nation's having been carried away into
exile, since Job's captivity was turned, and yet he had never left his native
land: moreover, the text speaks of the captivity of Jacob as brought
back, but had it referred to the Babylonian emigration, it would have spoken of
Judah; for Jacob or Israel, as such, did not return. The first verse in speaking
of "the land" proves that the author was not an exile. Our own belief is that
David penned this national hymn when the land was oppressed by the Philistines,
and in the spirit of prophecy he foretold the peaceful years of his own reign
and the repose of the rule of Solomon, the psalm having all along an inner sense
of which Jesus and his salvation are the key. The presence of Jesus the Saviour
reconciles earth and heaven, and secures to us the golden age, the balmy days of
DIVISION. In Ps 85:1-4 the poet sings of the Lord's former
mercies and begs him to remember his people; from Ps 85:5-7 he pleads the cause
of afflicted Israel; and then, having listened to the sacred oracle in Ps 85:8,
he publishes joyfully the tidings of future good, Ps 85:9-13.
Verse 1. LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land. The
self existent, all sufficient JEHOVAH is addressed: by that name he revealed
himself to Moses when his people were in bondage, by that name he is here
pleaded with. It is wise to dwell upon that view of the divine character which
arouses the sweetest memories of his love. Sweeter still is that dear name of
"Our Father, "with which Christians have learned to commence their prayers. The
psalmist speaks of Canaan as the Lord's land, for he chose it for his people,
conveyed it to them by covenant, conquered it by his power, and dwelt in it in
mercy; it was meet therefore that he should smile upon a land so peculiarly his
own. It is most wise to plead the Lord's union of interest with ourselves, to
lash our little boat as it were close to his great barque, and experience a
sacred community in the tossings of the storm. It is our land that is
devastated, but O Jehovah, it is also thy land. The psalmist dwells upon
the Lord's favour to the chosen land, which he had shewed in a thousand ways.
God's past doings are prophetic of what he will do; hence the encouraging
argument--"Thou hast been favourable unto thy land, "therefore deal graciously
with it again. Many a time had foes been baffled, pestilence stayed, famine
averted, and deliverance vouchsafed, because of the Lord's favour; that same
favourable regard is therefore again invoked. With an immutable God this is
powerful reasoning; it is because he changes not that we are not consumed, and
know we never shall be if he has once been favourable to us. From this example
of prayer let us learn how to order our cause before God. It is clear that
Israel was not in exile, or the prayer before us would not have referred to
the land but to the nation. Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. When down
trodden and oppressed through their sins, the Ever merciful One had looked upon
them, changed their sad condition, chased away the invaders, and given to his
people rest: this he had done not once, nor twice, but times without number.
Many a time have we also been brought into soul captivity by our backslidings,
but we have not been left therein; the God who brought Jacob back from Padanaram
to his father's house, has restored us to the enjoyment of holy fellowship;
--will he not do the like again? Let us appeal to him with Jacob like wrestlings,
beseeching him to be favourable, or sovereignly gracious to us notwithstanding
all our provocations of his love. Let declining churches remember their former
history, and with holy confidence plead with the Lord to turn their captivity
Verse 2. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people.
Often and often had he done this, pausing to pardon even when his sword was
bared to punish. Who is a pardoning God like thee, O Jehovah? Who is so slow to
anger, so ready for forgive? Every believer in Jesus enjoys the blessing of
pardoned sin, and he should regard this priceless boon as the pledge of all
other needful mercies. He should plead it with God--"Lord, hast thou pardoned me,
and wilt thou let me perish for lack of grace, or fall into mine enemies' hands
for want of help. Thou wilt not thus leave thy work unfinished." Thou hast covered all their sin. All of it, every spot, and
wrinkle, the veil of love has covered all. Sin has been divinely put out of
sight. Hiding it beneath the propitiatory, covering it with the sea of the
atonement, blotting it out, making it to cease to be, the Lord has put it so
completely away that even his omniscient eye sees it no more. What a miracle is
this! To cover up the sun would be easy work compared with the covering up of
sin. Not without a covering atonement is sin removed, but by means of the great
sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, it is most effectually put away by one act, for
ever. What a covering does his blood afford!
Verse 3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath. Having removed
the sin, the anger is removed also. How often did the longsuffering of God take
away from Israel the punishments which had been justly laid upon them! How often
also has the Lord's chastising hand been removed from us when our waywardness
called for heavier strokes! Thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine
anger. Even when judgments had been most severe, the Lord had in mercy
stayed his hand. In mid volley he had restrained his thunder. When ready to
destroy, he had averted his face from his purpose of judgment and allowed mercy
to interpose. The book of Judges is full of illustrations of this, and the
psalmist does well to quote them while he interceded. Is not our experience
equally studded with instances in which judgment has been stayed and tenderness
has ruled? What a difference between the fierce anger which is feared and
deprecated here, and the speaking of peace which is foretold in verse 8. There
are many changes in Christian experience, and therefore we must not despair when
we are undergoing the drearier portion of the spiritual life, for soon, very
soon, it may be transformed into gladness.
"The Lord can clear the darkest skies,
Can give us day for night.
Make drops of sacred sorrow rise
To rivers of delight."
Verse 4. Turn us, O God of our salvation. This was the main
business. Could the erring tribes be rendered penitent all would be well. It is
not that God needs turning from his anger so much as that we need turning from
our sin; here is the hinge of the whole matter. Our trials frequently arise out
of our sins, they will not go till the sins go. We need to be turned from our
sins, but only God can turn us: God the Saviour must put his hand to the work:
it is indeed a main part of our salvation. Conversion is the dawn of salvation.
To turn a heart to God is as difficult as to make the world revolve upon its
axis. Yet when a man learns to pray for conversion there is hope for him, he who
turns to prayer is beginning to turn from sin. It is a very blessed sight to see
a whole people turn unto their God; may the Lord so send forth his converting
grace on our land that we may live to see the people flocking to the loving
worship of God as the doves to their cotes. And cause thine anger toward us to cease. Make an end of
it. Let it no longer burn. When sinners cease to rebel, the Lord ceases to be
angry with them; when they return to him he returns to them; yea, he is first in
the reconciliation, and turns them when otherwise they would never turn of
themselves. May all those who are now enduring the hidings of Jehovah's face
seek with deep earnestness to be turned anew unto the Lord, for so shall all
their despondencies come to an end. Thus the sweet singer asks for his nation
priceless blessings, and quotes the best of arguments. Because the God of Israel
has been so rich in favour in bygone years, therefore he is entreated to reform
and restore his backsliding nation.
Verse 5. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? See how the
psalmist makes bold to plead. We are in time as yet and not in eternity, and
does not time come to an end, and therefore thy wrath! Wilt thou be angry always
as if it were eternity? Is there no boundary to thine indignation? Will thy
wrath never have done? And if for ever angry, yet wilt thou be angry with us, thy favoured people, the seed of Abraham, thy
friend? That our enemies should be always wroth is natural, but wilt thou,
our God, be always incensed against us? Every word is an argument. Men is
distress never waste words. Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Shall
sons suffer for their father's faults, and punishment become an entailed
inheritance? O merciful God, hast thou a mind to spin out thine anger, and make
it as long as the ages? Cease thou, as thou hast ceased aforetime, and let grace
reign as it has done in days of yore. When we are under spiritual desertion we
may beg in the like manner that the days of tribulation may be shortened, lest
our spirit should utterly fail beneath the trial.
Verse 6. Wilt thou not revive us again? Hope here grows
almost confident. She feels sure that the Lord will return in all his power to
save. We are dead or dying, faint and feeble, God alone can revive us, he has in
other times refreshed his people, he is still the same, he will repeat his love.
Will he not? Why should he not? We appeal to him--Wilt thou not? That thy people may rejoice in thee. Thou
lovest to see thy children happy with that best of happiness which centres in
thyself, therefore revive us, for revival will bring us the utmost joy. The
words before us teach us that gratitude has an eye to the giver, even beyond the
gift--thy people may rejoice in thee. Those who were
revived would rejoice not only in the new life but in the Lord who was the
author of it. Joy in the Lord is the ripest fruit of grace, all revivals and
renewals lead up to it. By our possession of it we may estimate our spiritual
condition, it is a sure gauge of inward prosperity. A genuine revival without
joy in the Lord is as impossible as spring without flowers, or daydawn without
light. If, either in our own souls or in the hearts of others, we see
declension, it becomes us to be much in the use of this prayer, and if on the
other hand we are enjoying visitations of the Spirit and bedewings of grace, let
us abound in holy joy and make it our constant delight to joy in God.
Verse 7. Shew us thy mercy, O LORD. Reveal it to our poor
half blinded eyes. We cannot see it or believe it by reason of our long woes,
but thou canst make it plain to us. Others have beheld it, Lord shew it to us.
We have seen thine anger, Lord let us see thy mercy. Thy prophets have told us
of it, but O Lord, do thou thyself display it in this our hour of need. And grant us thy salvation. This includes deliverance from
the sin as well as the chastisement, it reaches from the depth of their misery
to the height of divine love. God's salvation is perfect in kind, comprehensive
in extent, and eminent in degree; grant us this, O Lord, and we have all. Having offered earnest intercession for the afflicted but
penitent nation, the sacred poet in the true spirit of faith awaits a response
from the sacred oracle. He pauses in joyful confidence, and then in ecstatic
triumph he give utterance to his hopes in the richest form of song.
Verse 8. I will hear what God the LORD will speak. When we
believe that God hears us, it is but natural that we should be eager to hear
him. Only from him can come the word which can speak peace to troubled spirits;
the voices of men are feeble in such a case, a plaister far too narrow for the
sore; but God's voice is power, he speaks and it is done, and hence when we hear
him our distress is ended. Happy is the suppliant who has grace to lie patiently
at the Lord's door, and wait until his love shall act according to its old wont
and chase all sorrow far away. For he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints.
Even though for a while his voice is stern with merited rebuke, he will not
always chide, the Great Father will reassume his natural tone of gentleness and
pity. The speaking of peace is the peculiar prerogative of the Lord Jehovah, and
deep, lasting, ay, eternal, is the peace he thus creates. Yet not to all does
the divine word bring peace, but only to his own people, whom he means to make
saints, and those whom he has already made so. But let them not turn again to folly. For if they do so,
his rod will fall upon them again, and their peace will be invaded. Those who
would enjoy communion with God must be jealous of themselves, and avoid all that
would grieve the Holy Spirit; not only the grosser sins, but even the follies of
life must be guarded against by those who are favoured with the delights of
conscious fellowship. We serve a jealous God, and must needs therefore be
incessantly vigilant against evil. Backsliders should study this verse with the
utmost care, it will console them and yet warn them, draw the back to their
allegiance, and at the same time inspire them with a wholesome fear of going
further astray. To turn again to folly is worse than being foolish for once; it
argues wilfulness and obstinacy, and it involves the soul in sevenfold sin.
There is no fool like the man who will be a fool cost him what it may.
Verse 9. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him.
Faith knows that a saving God is always near at hand, but only (for such
is the true rendering) to those who fear the Lord, and worship him with holy
awe. In the gospel dispensation this truth is conspicuously illustrated. If to
seeking sinners salvation is nigh, it is assuredly very nigh to those who have
once enjoyed it, and have lost its present enjoyment by their folly; they have
but to turn unto the Lord and they shall enjoy it again. We have not to go about
by a long round of personal mortifications or spiritual preparations, we may
come to the Lord, through Jesus Christ, just as we did at the first, and he will
again receive us into his loving embrace. Whether it be a nation under
adversity, or a single individual under chastisement, the sweet truth before us
is rich with encouragement to repentance, and renewed holiness. That glory may dwell in our land. The object of the return
of grace will be a permanent establishment of a better state of things, so that
gloriously devout worship shall be rendered to God continuously, and a glorious
measure of prosperity shall be enjoyed in consequence. Israel was glorious
whenever she was faithful--her dishonour always followed her disloyalty;
believers also live glorious lives when they walk obediently, and they only lose
the true glory of their religion when they fall from their steadfastness. In
these two verses we have, beneath the veil of the letter, an intimation of the
coming of THE WORD OF GOD to the nations in times of deep apostacy and trouble,
when faithful hearts would be looking and longing for the promise which had so
long tarried. By his coming salvation is brought near, and glory, even the glory
of the presence of the Lord, tabernacles among men. Of this the succeeding
verses speak without obscurity.
Verse 10. Mercy and truth are met together. In answer to
prayer, the exulting psalmist sees the attributes of God confederating to bless
the once afflicted nation. Mercy comes hand in hand with Truth to fulfil the
faithful promise of their gracious God; the people recognise at once the grace
and the veracity of Jehovah, he is to them neither a tyrant nor a deceiver. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The Lord
whose just severity inflicted the smart, now in pity sends peace to bind up the
wound. The people being now made willing to forsake their sins, and to follow
after righteousness, find peace granted to them at once. "The war drum throbbed
no longer, and the battle flags were furled; " for idolatry was forsaken, and
Jehovah was adored. This appears to be the immediate and primary meaning of
these verses; but the inner sense is Christ Jesus, the reconciling Word. In him,
the attributes of God unite in glad unanimity in the salvation of guilty men,
they meet and embrace in such a manner as else were inconceivable either to our
just fears or to our enlightened hopes. God is as true as if he had fulfilled
every letter of his threatenings, as righteous as if he had never spoken peace
to a sinner's conscience; his love in undiminished splendour shines forth, but
no other of his ever blessed characteristics is eclipsed thereby. It is the
custom of modern thinkers(?) to make sport of this representation of the
result of our Lord's substitutionary atonement; but had they ever been
themselves made to feel the weight of sin upon a spiritually awakened
conscience, they would cease from their vain ridicule. Their doctrine of
atonement has well been described by Dr. Duncan as the admission "that the Lord
Jesus Christ did something or other, which somehow or other, was in some way or
other connected with man's salvation." This is their substitute for
substitution. Our facts are infinitely superior to their dreams, and yet they
sneer. It is but natural that natural men should do so. We cannot expect animals
to set much store by the discoveries of science, neither can we hope to see
unspiritual men rightly estimate the solution of spiritual problems--they are far
above and out of their sight. Meanwhile it remains for those who rejoice in the
great reconciliation to continue both to wonder and adore.
Verse 11. Truth shall spring out of the earth. Promises
which lie unfulfilled, like buried seeds, shall spring up and yield harvests of
joy; and men renewed by grace shall learn to be true to one another and their
God, and abhor the falsehood which they loved before. And righteousness shall look down from heaven,
as if it
threw up the windows and leaned out to gaze upon a penitent people, whom it
could not have looked upon before without an indignation which would have been
fatal to them. This is a delicious scene. Earth yielding flowers of truth, and
heaven shining with stars of holiness; the spheres echoing to each other, or
being mirrors of each other's beauties. "Earth carpeted with truth and canopied
with righteousness, "shall be a nether heaven. When God looks down in grace, man
sends his heart upward in obedience. The person of our adorable Lord Jesus
Christ explains this verse most sweetly. In Him truth is found in our humanity,
and his deity brings divine righteousness among us. His Spirit's work even now
creates a hallowed harmony between his church below, and the sovereign
righteousness above; and in the latter day, earth shall be universally adorned
with every precious virtue, and heaven shall hold intimate intercourse with it.
There is a world of meaning in these verses, only needing meditation to draw it
out. Reader, "the well is deep, "but if thou hast the Spirit, it cannot be said,
that "thou hast nothing to draw with."
Verse 12. Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good. Being
himself pure goodness, he will readily return from his wrath, and deal out good
things to his repenting people. Our evil brings evil upon us, but when we are
brought back to follow that which is good, the Lord abundantly enriches us with
good things. Material good will always be bestowed where it can be enjoyed in
consistency with spiritual good. And our land shall yield her increase. The curse of
barrenness will fly with the curse of sin. When the people yielded what was due
to God, the soil would recompense their husbandry. See at this day what sin has
done for Palestine, making her gardens a wilderness; her wastes are the scars of
her iniquities: nothing but repentance and divine forgiveness will reclaim her
desolations. The whole world also shall be bright with the same blessing in the
days yet to come, --
"Freed from the curse, the grateful garden gives
Its fruit in goodly revenue. Nor frost,
Nor blight, nor mildew fall, nor cankerworm,
Nor caterpillar, mar one ripening hope.
The clouds drop fatness. The very elements
Are subject to the prayerful will of those
Whose pleasure is in unison with God's."
Verse 13. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in
the way of his steps. God's march of right will leave a track wherein
his people will joyfully follow. He who smote in justice will also bless in
justice, and in both will make his righteousness manifest, so as to affect the
hearts and lives of all his people. Such are the blessings of our Lord's first
advent, and such shall be yet more conspicuously the result of his second
coming. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Whole Psalm. This beautiful psalm, like some others, has
come down to us without name or date; the production of some unknown poetic
genius, touched, purified, and exalted by the fire of celestial inspiration; a
precious relic of that golden age, when the Hebrew music was instinct with a
spirit such as never breathed on Greece or Rome. It is interesting to reflect on
the anonymous origin of some of the psalms; to remember how largely the church
of God is indebted to some nameless worthies who wrote for us hymns and
spiritual songs, full of richer strains than were ever poured forth by the most
illustrious of pagan name. These holy men are passed away, they have left no
record of their history; but they have bequeathed legacies of rich, varied, and
inspired sentiments, which will render the church debtors to them to the end of
time. John Stoughton. 1852.
Whole Psalm. This Psalm may be thus divided: Ps 85:1-3,
express the thanks of the people for their return from captivity; Ps 85:4-6,
their prayer for their own reformation; in Ps 85:7, they pray for the
coming of Messiah; Ps 85:8 contains the words of the High
priest, with God's Gracious answer; which answer is followed
by the grateful acclamation of the people, to the end of the
Psalm. To prepare for this interpretation, let us observe, how very strangely
the words are expressed at present--I will hear what God the Lord will
say: FOR he shall speak peace unto his people. But surely, God could
not be consulted, because it was unnecessary; nor could the High priest
possibly say, that he would ask of God, because he knew what God would
answer; especially, as we have now a question to God proposed, and
yet no answer from God given at all. Under these difficulties we are
happily relieved; since it appears, on satisfactory authorities, that, instead
of the particle rendered for, the word here originally signified
in or by me, which slight variation removes the obscurity, and
restores that very light which has long been wanted. The people having
prayed for the speedy arrival of their great salvation; the High
priest says, (as it should be here expressed), I will hear what the
Almighty sayeth. --Jehovah, BY ME sayeth, PEACE unto his
people, even unto his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
Whereupon, as the Jews understood peace to comprehend every
blessing, and of course their greatest blessing, they at once
acknowledged the certainty of this salvation, the glory of their
land--they proclaim it as nigh at hand--and then, in rapture truly
prophetical, they see this glory as actually arrived, as already dwelling
in Judea--they behold God in fulfilling most strictly what he had promised most
graciously--they see therefore the mercy of God, and the truth of
God met together--they see that scheme perfected, in which the righteousness
(i.e. the justice) of God harmonizes with the peace (i.e. the
happiness) of man; so that righteousness and peace salute each other with
the tenderest affection. In short, they see TRUTH flourishing out of
the earth; i.e. they see him, who is the way, the truth,
and the life, born here on earth; and they even see the
righteousness, or justice of God, looking down from heaven, as
being well pleased. Ps 85:12 is at present translated so unhappily, that it is
quite despoiled of all its genuine glory. For, could the prophet, after all the
rapturous things said before, coldly say here, that God would give what was
good and that Judea should have a plentiful harvest? No:
consistency and good sense forbid it; and truth confirms their protest against
it. The words here express the reasons of all the preceding energies, and
properly signify--Yea, Jehovah granteth THE BLESSING; and our land
granteth HER OFFSPRING. And what can be the blessing --what, amidst
these sublime images, can be Judea's offspring --but HE, and HE only, who
was the blessing of all lands in general, and the glory of Judea
in particular? And what says the verse following? Righteousness goeth
before HIM--certainly, not before the fruit of the earth --but
certainly before that illustrious person, even the MESSIAH. Righteousness
goeth before HIM, and directeth his goings in the way. As
to the word rendered the blessing, and applied to the redemption; the
same word is so used by Jeremiah, thus: Behold, the days come, that I will
perform that good thing (the blessing) which I have promised...
at that time will I cause to grow up unto David the Branch of
righteousness (Jer 33:14-15). And as to the Messiah being here described,
partly as springing up from the earth; so says Isaiah: "In that day shall the
branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious; and the fruits of the earth
shall be excellent and comely." But this evangelical prophet, in another place,
has the very same complication of images with that found in the psalm before us.
For Isaiah also has the heavens, with their righteousness; and
the earth, with its salvation: "Drop down, ye heavens from
above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and
let them bring forth salvation." But, "let them bring forth" --
who, or what can be here meant by them, but the heavens and the
earth? It is heaven and earth which are here represented as bringing
forth, and introducing the Saviour of the world. For what else can be here
meant as brought forth by them? What, but HE alone; who, deriving
his divine nature from heaven, and his human from the earth was
(what no other being ever was) both GOD and MAN. Benjamin Kennicott.
Verse 1. Thy land. The land of Jehovah the poet calls it, in
order to point out the close relation of God to it, and to the people thereof,
and so confirm the favour of God towards it. For this land God has chosen
as the dwelling place of his people, true religion, and his own presence; this
also in his own time He himself had trodden in the person of his Son, and in it
He first gathered and founded his Church. Venema.
Verse 1. The captivity of Jacob. All true believers are the
sons of Jacob, and the seed of Abraham; as well as the believing Gentiles, who
are the sons of Jacob according to the Spirit, as the believing Jews the sons of
Jacob according to the flesh; and the Church of these true Jacobins and
Israelites is the land of the Lord, and the captivity here mentioned is
bondage under sin. In this captivity Satan is the gaoler, the flesh is our
prison, ungodly lusts are the manacles, a bad conscience the tormentor, all of
them against us; only Christ is Emmanuel, God with us; he turneth away
the captivity of Jacob in forgiving all his offences, and in covering all his
sins. Abraham Wright.
Verse 2. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity. nvs tsn,
nasatha avon, Thou hast borne, or carried away, the
iniquity. An allusion to the ceremony of the scapegoat. Adam Clarke.
Verse 2. Thou hast covered all their sin. When God is said
to cover sin, he does so, not as one would cover a sore with a
plaster, thereby merely hiding it only; but he covers it with a plaster that
effectually cures and removes it altogether. Bellarmine.
Verse 2. Selah. Rabbi Kimchi regards it as a sign to elevate
the voice. The authors of the Septuagint translation appear to have regarded it
as a musical or rythmical note. Herder regarded it as indicating a change of
note; Mathewson as a musical note, equivalent, perhaps, to the word
repeat. According to Luther and others, it means silence. Gesenius
explains it to mean, "Let the instruments play and the singers stop." Wocher
regards it as equivalent to sursum corda --up, my soul! Sommer, after
examining all the seventy four passages in which the word occurs, recognises in
every case "an actual appeal or summons to Jehovah." They are calls for aid and
prayers to be heard, expressed either with entire directness, or if not in the
imperative, "Hear, Jehovah!" or Awake, Jehovah! and the like, still earnest
addresses to God that he would remember and hear, &c. The word itself he
regards as indicating a blast of the trumpets by the priests. Selah, itself, he
thinks an abridged expression, used for Higgaion Selah--Higgaion indicating the
sound of the stringed instruments and Selah a vigorous blast of trumpets.
From the "Bibliotheca Sacra, "quoted by Plumer.
Verse 3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath. Or
gathered it; sin occasions wrath, and the people of God are as deserving
of it as others; but the Lord has gathered it up, and poured it forth upon his
Son, and their Surety; hence nothing of this kind shall ever fall upon them,
either here or hereafter; and it is taken away from them, so as to have no
sense, apprehension, or conscience of it, which before the law had wrought in
them, when pardon is applied unto them, which is what is here meant. John
Verse 3. Thou hast turned thyself. Here are six hasts
drawing in the next turn, Ps 85:4. God hath, and therefore God will is a
strong medium of hope, if not a demonstration of Scripture logic. See 2Co 1:10.
Verse 4. Cause thine anger toward us to cease. The phrase,
break thine indignation towards us, (that is, wherewith thou art angry
with us, in order that it may cease of itself,)comprehends the abolition of the
signs and the effects of anger. The word drk, for this is the root to be
taken, properly denotes a breaking by means of notches and
gaps, as when the edge of anything is broken by many notches and
gaps, and it is made utterly worn and useless. Indignation, so long as it
is vigorous and spreads its effects, has an edge, which smites and
pierces; but it is considered blunt and broken, when it ceases to exert itself,
and produces evils no longer, this they affirm of the anger of God.
Verse 6. Wilt thou not revive us again? The Hebrew is,
Wilt thou not return and revive us? We translate the verb
return by the adverb again: Wilt thou not revive us again?
Thou hast given us many revives: when we were as dead men, and
like carcases rotting in the grave, thou didst revive us, wilt thou not revive
us once more, and act over those powerfully merciful works and strong salvations
once more, or again? Joseph Caryl.
Verse 6. That thy people may rejoice in thee. Bernard in his
15th Sermon on Canticles says Jesus is honey in the mouth, melody in the ear,
joy in the heart. Is any among us sad? Let Jesus enter the heart, and thence
spring to the countenance, and behold, before the rising brightness of his name,
every cloud is scattered, serenity returns. Origen in his 10th Hom on Genesis,
has the remark, Abraham rejoiced not in present things, neither in the riches of
the words, nor deeds of time. But do you wish to hear, whence he drew his joy?
Listen to the Lord speaking to the Jews, Joh 8:56: Your father,
Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad: hope
heaped up his joys. Le Blanc.
Verse 6. That thy people may rejoice in thee. When God
changeth the cheer of his people, their joy should not be in the gift, but in
the Giver. David Dickson.
Verse 6. It is the most natural thing, the most delightful
thing, for the people of God to rejoice in God. God is the fountain of joy, and
whom should he fill with it but his people? And whom should his people breathe
it into again but him? This posture God delights to have them in; this posture
they delight to be in; but this cannot be in that estate of death and captivity
wherein God for a long season shutteth them up. "The living, the living shall
praise thee, "but alas, the dead cannot. John Pennington, 1656.
Verse 6. Truly sin kills. Men are dead in trespasses and
sins, dead in law, dead in their affections, dead in a loss of comfortable
communion with God. Probably the greatest practical heresy of each age is a low
idea of our undone condition under the guilt and dominion of sin. While this
prevails we shall be slow to cry for reviving or quickening. What
sinners and churches need is quickening by the Holy Ghost. William S.
Verses 6-7. Wilt thou not revive us, by the first and
spiritual resurrection, and so thy people, quickened from a life of sin to a
life of grace, will rejoice in thee, not in themselves, presuming nothing on
their own power. And in order that these things may be fulfilled in us, Shew
us, O Lord, thy mercy, that is, Christ, through whom thou hast pitied the
human race, shew him to us after this exile that we may see him face to face.
Verse 7. Thy mercy. It is not merely of the Lord's mercies
that we are not consumed, but all is mercy, from first to last, --mercy that met
us by the way, --mercy that looked upon us in our misery, --mercy that washed us
from our sins in his own blood, --mercy that covered our nakedness and clad us in
his own robe of righteousness, --mercy that led and guided us by the way, --and
mercy that will never leave nor forsake us till mercy has wrought its perfect
work in the eternal salvation of our souls through Jesus Christ. Barton
Verse 8. I will hear, etc. The true attitude for a sinner to
take in the presence of divine revelation, is that of a listener. To
enter the place of a doer before you have occupied that of a listener,
is to reverse God's order, and throw everything into confusion. Adam tried
this plan, and found it a failure. He tried "works." He "sewed fig leaves
together, "but it was no use. He could not even satisfy his own conscience, or
remove his guilty fear. He had to listen to the voice of God--to hearken to
divine revelation. "Things New and Old." 1859.
Verse 8. I will hear, etc. The eye as a mere organ of sense
must give place to the ear. Therefore it is wittily observed, that our Saviour
commanding the abscession of the offending hand, foot, and eye, (Mr 9:43-47),
yet never spake of the ear. If thy hand, thy foot, or thine eye, cause thee to
offend, deprive thyself of them; but part not with thine ear, for that is an
organ to derive unto thy soul's salvation. As Christ says there, a man may enter
into heaven, lamed in his feet, as Mephibosheth, blind in his sight, as
Barzillai, maimed in his hand, as the dry handed man in the gospel; but if there
be not an ear to hear of the way, there will be no foot to enter into heaven. If
God be not first in the ear, he is neither sanctifiedly in the mouth, nor
comfortably in the heart. The Jews had eyes to see Christ's miracles, but
because they had no ears to hear his wisdom, therefore they had no feet to enter
into his kingdom. The way into the house is by the door, not by the window: the
eye is but the window of the heart, the ear is the door. Now Christ stands
knocking at the door, not at the window. Re 3:20. And he will not come in at the
window, but at the door. "He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the
sheep." Joh 10:2. He comes now in by his oracles, now by his miracles. "To him
the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice, "Joh 10:3. The way to open and
let him in is by the door; to hear his voice. There was a man in the gospel
blind and deaf; blind eyes is ill; but deaf ears, worse. It is bad to have the
eyes seeled (Seel, to close up: a term in falconry), but worse to have
the ears sealed up. Open your ears therefore to this heavenly voice. Bernard
hath this description of a good ear: Which willingly hears what is taught,
wisely understands what it heareth, and obediently practises what it
understandeth. O give me such an ear, and I will hang on it jewels of gold,
ornaments of praise. Thomas Adams.
Verse 8. I will hear, etc. My text carries in it a poetical
allusion to the consulting of the cloud of glory, which was between the
cherubims, and to the receiving answer from it, upon all critical occasions.
David turned his thoughts from all the other views he might have, to this, I
will hear what God the Lord will speak and that so he might depend wholly on
the assurances that he should receive of God's favour, upon the repentance and
prayers of the people; and in consideration of God's covenant with them, he knew
the answer would be peace; which being the form of salutation in those
ages, among friends, imported as entire reconciliation. So that by speaking
peace is to be understood as assurance of God's love and favour to his
people, and to his saints: that is, to the people that was sanctified,
and dedicated to the service of God by so many federal rites. Gilbert
Verse 8. I will hear what God the Lord will speak. Carnal
men speak peace to themselves on account of some supposed goodness in
themselves. And unsound professors steal peace from God's promises, such as Isa
55:7 Ho 14:4. But an upright heart will not be satisfied without hearing God
speak peace to his heart by his Spirit. And for this he will pray, and wait, and
hearken, and when God speaks peace, there comes such sweetness with it, and such
discovery of his love, as lays a powerful influence on the soul not to turn
again to folly. This peace is an humbling, melting peace, which brings
humiliation to the soul as well as joy; but this never happens when men speak
peace to themselves. John Berridge, 1716-1793.
Verse 8. I will hear what God the LORD will speak, etc. His
prayer being finished, and he having spoke, he now stands and listens, as you
used to do when you expect an echo, what echo he should have, what answer would
be returned from heaven, whether his prayer had already come: I will hear
what the Lord will speak; or, as some read it, I will hear what the Lord
doth speak: for sometimes there is a present echo, a speedy answer returned
to a man's heart, even ere the prayer is half finished. He will speak
peace. When the child of God wants peace, he can have no peace till God
speaks it... Let God's people be in never so great distress, yet it is an easy
thing for God to give peace to them. Mark the expression here used: it is but
speaking peace, that is, it is as easy for him to give peace as it is for
you to speak a word; it is no more to him. Then our comfort is, that as he only
must do it, so he easily can do it, even with a word. Thomas Goodwin.
Verse 8. He will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints,
etc. The voice of the Lord is comfortable, and his words are sweet to those
that fear him. It is a plain sign that all is not well with us, when the voice
of God doth cast us into fear, when we are afraid to hear the word preached,
when just reproofs of our sins are unwelcome to us, and anger us, and make us
think the less of our minister that chideth and threateneth us. A good life and
a well governed conversation doth not fear the voice of God; the word of God is
the light which God hath set up in his church, to guide her feet in the ways of
peace. They that do evil hate the light, and will not come near it, lest their
works should be reproved; the children of the light resort to it, and call upon
God: "Search my veins and my heart, and see if there be any way of wickedness in
me." Edward Marbury.
Verse 8. To his people and to his saints. He will give
prosperity to the people in general; and to his saints --
his followers, in particular. Adam Clarke.
Verse 8. To his saints. It is remarkable that we have the
suffrage of a celebrated Jewish writer, Kimchi, to understand the word rendered
saints in this place, of the godly among the Gentiles, as distinguished
from the Lord's people, the Jews. John Fry.
Verse 8. He will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints:
but let them not return again to folly. This imports that if his
saints turn again to folly, which by woeful experience we find too
frequently done, God may change his voice, and turn his peace, formerly
spoken, into a warlike defiance to their conscience. Thomas Fuller.
Verse 8. But let them not turn again to folly. If God did
not in the end speak peace, they would indeed return to folly. For his end of
speaking peace is, that they might not return to folly: Ps 125:3, "The rod of
the wicked shall not always be upon the righteous, lest they put forth their
hand to iniquity; "therefore, at the last verse, "peace shall be upon Israel."
As it is a rule in physic still to maintain nature, and
therefore when that shall be in hazard to be destroyed, they leave giving
purging physic, and give cordials; so doth God with his people: though with
purging physic he often brings their spirits very weak and low, yet he will
uphold and maintain their spirits, so as they shall not fail and be
extinguished, but then he will give cordials to raise them up again. Thomas
Verse 8. It is hard to know, in spiritual exercises, whether
is be more difficult to attain some good frame, or to keep and maintain it when
it is attained; whether more seriousness is required for making peace with God,
or for keeping of it when made; whether more diligence should be in preparing
for a communion, or more watchfulness after it: sure both are required; and it
was our blessed Lord's word, Mt 26:41, after the first celebration of his
supper, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." Here that saying
holds eminently: "Non minor est virtus, quam quaerere, parta
tueri:" no less virtue and valour is requisite to maintain, than to make a
purchase or conquest. In the words there are,
1. A great mercy promised from the Lord to his people, viz.,
He will speak peace to them.
2. A special caveat and advertisement given them, pointing at
their hazard: But let them not turn again to folly: that is, let
not his people and saints to whom he hath spoken peace, return to sin; let them
beware of bourding (Bourding--jesting), and dallying with God's mercy, and of
turning his grace into wantonness, of cooling in their affections to him, of
slipping back to their old way, and of embracing their old lovers and idols: for
that is folly, even in folio, to speak so. James Durham, in "The Unsearchable
Riches of Christ."
Verse 9. That glory may dwell in our land. What land the
true church of Christ, the saints and they that fear God, do dwell in; there
doth glory dwell: there God, there Christ by his Spirit bringing
righteousness and salvation to such a society, is glorious; and for his presence
the people are glorious; and the land glorious above all other lands whatsoever.
Verse 10. Mercy and truth; righteousness and peace. Note,
four virtues stand out prominently in the incarnation; namely, mercy, truth,
righteousness and peace, or love producing peace. These were like four steps of
the throne of Christ, or four princes standing near and accompanying Him.
1. On the right hand, is mercy presenting the olive.
2. On the left, truth holding the white lily.
3. Before Him walks justice bearing the balance.
4. Peace follows Him, having a cornucopiae full of
flowers, and scattering the flowers around. Le Blanc.
Verse 10. Mercy and truth; righteousness and peace. These
four divine attributes parted at the fall of Adam, and met again at the birth of
Christ. Mercy was ever inclined to save man, and Peace could not be his
enemy; but Truth extracted the performance of God's threat, --"The soul that
sinneth, it shall die; "and Righteousness could not but give to every one his
due, Jehovah must be true in all his ways, and righteous in all his works. Now
there is no religion on earth, except the Christian, which can satisfy the
demands of all these claimants, and restore an union between them; which can
show how God's word can be true, and his work just, and the sinner,
notwithstanding, find mercy, and obtain peace. George Horne.
Verse 10. This is a remarkable text, and much has been said
on it; but there is a beauty in it which, I think, has not been noticed.
Mercy and peace are on one side; truth and
righteousness on the other. Truth requires righteousness;
mercy calls for peace. They meet together on the way; one
going to make inquisition for sin, the other to plead for reconciliation. Having
met, their differences on certain considerations, not here particularly
mentioned, are adjusted; and their mutual claims blended together in one common
interest; on which peace and righteousness immediately embrace.
Thus, righteousness is given to truth, and peace is given
to mercy. Now, where did these meet? In Christ Jesus. When
were they reconciled? When he poured out his life on Calvary. Adam
Verse 10. Mercy and truth are met together.
1. They meet together in God; for all the paths
of the Lord are mercy and truth, Ps 25:9; mercy in making, and
truth in keeping his promise to his people. Paul saith, Jesus Christ was
a minister of the circumcision to the truth of God, to confirm the
promises made unto the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his
mercy. Ro 15:8. God promised his Son unto the Jews, and he gave him in
the fulness of time to be both a light to the Gentiles, and glory to his people
Israel; herein shewing his mercy more principally to the Gentiles, his
truth unto the Jews, and so his mercy and truth embraced each other so
that he made both people but one, to wit, one flock, in one sheepfold, under one
shepherd. If we take truth and righteousness for God's justice in
punishing, mercy and peace for his graciousness in pardoning; yet as they
meet together in all his ways unto such as keep his covenant and his
testimonies. For as the mercies of the wicked are full of cruelty, so the very
judgments of God upon his servants are full of mercy. In his wrath he remembers
pity; punishing a little, that he may pardon a great deal; destroying the flesh
only to save the spirit, 1Co 5:5. Misericordiae est aliquando subtrahere
misericordiam. It was good for Joseph that he was a captive; good for
Naaman that he was a leper; good for Bartimaeus that he was blind, and for David
that he was in trouble. Bradford thanked God more of his prison, than of any
parlour or pleasure. All things are for the best unto the faithful, and so God's
mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have
kissed each other, his mercy being just, and his justice being merciful;
but God in giving his only Son unto the world, more abundantly shewed his
mercy and justice kissing one another. His justice that
every soul that sins should die; but his mercy desires not the death of a
sinner. Eze 33:11...
2. Righteousness and peace meet together in man; so
Augustine expounds it: an unjust man is full of quarrels, like Ishmael, "every
man's hand is against him, and his hand against every man; "but he who is
righteous, and giveth every man his due, shall have peace, so much as is
possible with all men, especially with his own self and soul. Righteousness and
peace are so near, so dear, that thou canst not have the one without the other.
3. Righteousness and peace meet in Christ, God's man;
for by these two, some divines understand the Old Testament and the New. The Law
doth exact justice, requiring of a malefactor "eye for eye, tooth for
tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot; "but the Gospel is full of mercy and
peace, saying unto the sinner, who truly repenteth him of his sins, and
unfeignedly believes the word of promise, "Son, be of good comfort, thy sins are
forgiven thee; ""Daughter be of good cheer, thy faith hath made thee whole; ""Go
thy way, they belief hath saved thee; ""Behold, thou art now made whole, sin no
more." These two testaments meet together in Christ, as in their proper centre,
they kissed each other on this (Christmas) day, because the gospel
performed what the law promised. John Boys.
Verse 10. When our Lord spake that parable of the prodigal
son, and represented the Father as seeing his child afar off in his misery, and
how he had compassion on him, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him, one
cannot but feel what a touching and tender illustration he has given of this
most exquisite passage of his own word: Mercy and truth are met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Barton
Verses 10-11. Mercy and Peace if they had met, or Truth and
Righteousness, either of the two, it had not been strange. But for these that
seem to be in opposition to do it, that makes this meeting marvellous in our
eyes. Will you stay a little and take a view of the parties? Four they are.
1. Mercy, and
3. Righteousness, and
4. Peace. Which quaternion at the first sight divides itself
into two and two. Mercy and Peace, they two pair well; they be collectanae,
as Bernard saith of them in one place, `bed fellows, 'sleep together;
collectanae, as in another place, `sucked one milk, one breast' both. And
as these two, so the other two; Truth and Righteousness seem to be of one
complexion and disposition, and commonly take part together. Of these Mercy
seems to favour us; and Peace no enemy to us or to any (seeing we must speak of
them as of persons); mild and gentle persons both. For Righteousness I know not
well what to say: gestat gladium, (bears the sword), and I fear non
frustra (not in vain). Nor of Truth, who is vera and severa,
`severe' too otherwhile. These I doubt are not like affected. The reason of
my doubt. One of them, Righteousness, it is told here for great news, that she
but "looked down hitherwards from heaven." Before then she would not have done
that. A great sign it is of heart burning, when one will not do so much as look
at another--not endure his sight. We cannot promise ourselves much of her. No,
nor of Truth. One was so bold in a place to say, omnis homo mendax (Ro
3:4), and feared no challenge for it. By that it seems all stands not well with
her neither. So then two for us, two against us. For their order. Mercy is
first, and Peace last. With both ends we shall do well enough. God send us to do
but so with the midst! Yet this is not amiss that they which favour us less are
in the midst; hemmed in on both sides, closed about with those that wish us
well; and they between us and them. On the one side, Mercy before; on the other,
Peace behind another; that in this double meeting Mercy sorts not herself, goes
not to Righteousness; nor Righteousness to her, but to Peace. A kind of cross
meeting, as it were, there is--the better hope of accord. Mercy and Righteousness
have no symbolizing quality at all, no hope of them; but Truth with Mercy hath.
There is truth as well in the promise of Mercy as in the threat of justice.
Verse 11. Truth shall spring. The literal sense is, that the
promises which for a long time are not fulfilled, and seem like seeds or roots
hidden and concealed under ground, when they shall be fulfilled, shall be
considered to spring up, to grow, etc. Lorinus.
Verse 11. Spring. The Metaphor is taken from flowers and
trees. In the Greek the expression is aneile, that is, has sprung
like the morning, for anatllw and anatolh are properly said of the
rising of the sun and moon. Le Blanc.
Verse 11. Shall look down. This looking down,
rendered generally parakuptw in the Greek, implies such a look as in 1Pe 1:12,
angels give into the things of salvation, and such a look as the disciples gave
into the sepulchre. It is really the Righteous One who is resting over
them in complacent love, not as in Ps 14:2 53:2, but fulfilling Ps 102:19-20.
Andrew A. Bonar.
Verse 12. It has sometimes been objected that the Christian
doctrine of a Millennium cannot be true, for the earth could not support the
teeming millions that would naturally be found upon it, if wars and vice should
cease to waste its population. But omitting other and pertinent answers that
have been given, we find one here that covers the whole ground, the earth
shall yield her increase. Now and then the season is unusually propitious,
and we have a specimen of what God can do when he chooses. He can without any
miracle make it many times more fruitful than it has ever been. William S.
Verse 13. Righteousness shall go before him, etc. The
meaning of this difficult verse may probably be as follows: --Righteousness shall
go before Him (Jehovah), and shall make his footsteps a pathway for his servants
to walk in. --Ernest Hawkins.
Verse 13. Shall set us in the way of his steps. It is
reported in the Bohemian History, that St. Wenceslaus, their king, one winter
night going to his devotions, in a remote church, barefooted in the snow and
sharpness of unequal and pointed ice, his servant Podavivus, who waited upon his
master's piety, and endeavoured to imitate his affections, began to faint
through the violence of the snow and cold; till the king commanded him to follow
him, and set his feet in the same footsteps, which his feet should mark for him:
the servant did so, and either fancied a cure, or found one; for he followed his
prince, helped forward with shame and zeal to his imitation, and by the forming
footsteps for him in the snow. In the same manner does the blessed Jesus; for,
since our way is troublesome, obscure, full of objections and danger, apt to be
mistaken, and to affright our industry, he commands us to mark his footsteps, to
tread where his feet have stood, and not only invite us forward by the argument
of his example, but he hath trodden down much of the difficulty, and made the
way easier and fit for our feet. For he knows our infirmities, and himself hath
felt their experience in all things but in the neighbourhoods of sin; and
therefore he hath proportioned a way and a path to our strength and capacities,
and like Jacob, hath marched softly and in evenness with the children and the
cattle, to entertain us by the comforts of his company, and the influence of a
perpetual guide. Jeremy Taylor.
Verse 13. (last clause). The sinner who feels his
need of salvation, is set--in the way of his steps; as Bartimaeus sat by
the way side begging, by which way Jesus walked; and when he came where he was,
heard his prayer, and restored him his sight. Adam Clarke.
HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER
Verse 1. There is,
(a) Of the people of God.
(b) Although they are the people of God.
(c) Because they are the people of God. You only have
I known, etc.
2. Restoration from Captivity: Thou hast brought
(a) The fact.
(b) The Author: Thou: by thine own power; in thine own
manner; at thine own time.
3. The cause of the Restoration; the favour of God:
Thou hast been favourable.
(a) On account of favour past: "Thou hast."
(b) On account of favour in reserve.
1. The subjects of forgiveness: Thy people.
(a) By choice.
(b) By redemption.
(c) By effectual calling.
2. The time of forgiveness: Thou
hast forgiven, etc.
3. The method of forgiveness.
(a) Forgiven. Hebrew, borne, same word as in Le 16:22: "The goat
shall bear upon him all their iniquities."
(b) Covered; as the mercy seat covered the law that had been
broken. IV. The extent of forgiveness: all their sin.
1. The language of penitence. It is implied here that the wrath was,
(b) Just thy wrath.
2. The language of faith.
(a) In the grace of pardon: Thou hast turned away wrath. We could not, by anything we could do or
(b) In the method of pardon: Turned away. Turned it from us to our Surety.
3. The language of praise: Thou hast--thou hast.
1. In what salvation consists.
(a) In the removal of God's enmity from us.
(b) In the removal of our enmity to him.
2. By whom it is
accomplished. By the God of salvation.
(a) He causes his anger toward us to cease, and
(b) Our anger toward him.
3. How is it obtained? By prayer:
"Turn us, "etc.
1. Revivals imply decline.
(a) That there is grace to be revived.
(b) That this grace has declined.
2. Revivals are from God:
Wilt not thou, etc.: they cannot be got up by men.
3. Revivals are
frequently needed: Wilt not thou revive us again.
Revivals are in answer to prayer: Wilt thou not, etc.
5. Revivals are
occasions for great joy.
(a) To the saints.
(b) In God.
1. Salvation is God's work: Thy salvation.
(a) The plan is his.
(b) The provision is his.
(c) The condition is his.
(d) The application is his.
(e) The consummation is his.
2. Salvation is God's gift.
(a) Of his mercy: Show us thy mercy.
(b) Of his grace: Grant us, etc.
3. Salvation is God's
answer to prayer.
(a) It is the first object of prayer.
(b) It includes every other.
1. We should look for an answer to prayer. Having spoken to God, we should hear what he has to say to
us in reply.
(a) In his word.
(b) In his providence.
(c) By his Spirit in our own souls.
2. We should look for an
answer of peace: He will speak peace.
3. We should avoid
whatever might deprive us of that peace: But let them not turn, etc.
Verse 8. Thomas Goodwin has three sermons upon this
verse, (First clause), entitled The Return of Prayers. (Second
clause). --Tidings of Peace. (Last clause) --The Folly of Relapsing
after Peace spoken.
Verse 8. (last clause). They should not turn again to
1. Because it will be a greater aggravation in sinning. It is made the aggravation of Solomon's sin
(1Ki 11:9), that "God had appeared to him twice."
2. The second reason is intimated in the word folly: as if the Lord should have said, Set aside the
unkindness and wrong you do to me, yet therein you befool yourselves; you will have the worst of it. T.
1. The attributes displayed in man's salvation.
(a) Mercy in the promise.
(b) Truth in its fulfilment.
(c) Righteousness in the manner of its fulfilment.
(d) Peace in its results.
2. These attributes harmonized in
(a) How? Met together--kissed each other.
(b) Why? Each on its own account. All on each others' account.
(c) Where? Met and kissed--(1.) In the covenant. (2.) At the
incarnation. (3.) At the cross. (4.) At the conversion of every sinner. (5.) At
the completion of the saints in heaven. G. R.
Verse 10. The Pulpit, vol. 28, 1836, contains a sermon by R.
W. Sibthorpe, in which the preacher,
1. Considers the harmony of the divine perfections in the redemption of a sinner.
2. The wisdom of the divine dealings in the calling and guidance of the believer;
so that mercy, truth, etc., each becomes in turn conspicuous in our experience.
3. The completeness of the divine image in the sanctified soul, so that the perfected saint
abounds in mercy and truth, is filled with peace, and is conformed to his righteous Lord.
1. All spiritual good is from God: The Lord will give, etc.
(a) Is repentance a good thing? The Lord will give repentance.
(b) Is pardon? The Lord, etc.
(c) Is faith?
(d) Is justification?
(e) Is regeneration?
(f) Is growth in grace?
(g) Is preservation unto the end?
(h) Is eternal glory? The Lord will give, etc.
temporal good is from God. Our land, etc.
(a) In a lawful manner our land.
(b) In the use of appointed means: Shall yield her
(c) In dependence upon the divine blessing. "Who giveth fruitful
seasons, "etc. Spiritual good is not less given in the use of appointed means.
Verse 12. The fertility of our spheres of labour the gift of
1. The righteousness by which we are justified long precedes our justification: this righteousness is
gone before, etc.
2. Our justification by that righteousness precedes our sanctification.
3. The righteousness of sanctification invariably follows that of justification. G. R.
WORK UPON THE EIGHTY-FIFTH PSALM
In an old quarto volume of 788 pages, containing Expositions of
several passages of Scripture, is a short Exposition of this Psalm (pp. 452-64)
entitled "A Taste of the Breathings, Pantings, Waitings, and Hopes of
Israel after the true Saviour, and his effectual Redemption." There
is no Author's name, but some previous owner has written "John
Pennington" on the title page: date 1656.