« 이전계속 »
name of the Lord Jehovah. “ The Lord Jehovah is
water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb," Rev. xxii. 1. And O what endless streams flow from this mighty river, Jehovah in his Trinity of Persons, to make glad the city of God, when through divine teaching thirsty souls are led to draw water, in ordinances and means of grace, from this infinite, eternal, and never-ceasing spring! And how endless also the subject opened for prayer and praise in the everlasting love, council, purpose, will, and pleasure of God the Father ; the Person, work, grace, offices, character, and relations of the Lord Jesus Christ; the quickening, renewing, confirming, strengthening, comforting and soul-refreshing comforts and consolations of God the Holy Ghost! Where shall the child of God begin, or where end his prayer, and praise, and thanksgiving, who is made partaker of those unspeakable mercies, and hath his soul filled with such views of rich, free, unmerited, and everlasting salvation ?
“ And in that day.” Observe how the man of God, when taught of God, harps upon the sweet string of salvation, in the time of its being made known unto him. “ In that day!" That glorious, gracious, neverto-be-forgotten day, when the day-spring from on high first visits the soul; the day of light, of life, of grace, of mercy, of salvation! The day, as the apostle speaks, when it pleased God " who separated me from my mother's woa.b, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me,” Gal. i. 15, 16. When, as with the patriarch of old, the visions of God began, and when from all the after visits of his love, at every renewed remembrance, he saith to every child of God, as to him, “I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me," Gen. xxxi. 13. And doth not every child of God know somewhat of the same gracious manifestations in relation to that day, when God the Holy Ghost having quickened and regenerated him from the death of sin to a life of righteousness, opens to his view the glories of God the Father's love in the face of Jesus Christ ? Whatever exercises may arise, as in the case of Jacob, in the after stages of life, however dark the providences, yet in all these, be our forgetfulness of the Lord what it may, the Lord never forgets his people, but is speaking to them as to the patriarch in all, “I am the God of Bethel !” As if he had said, do you not remember my love-calls and what passed between us then? I am the same God of Bethel now ! Oh! what an infinite boundless subject for praise and prayer, is contained in the Lord's words, “And in that day!". First views of God in Christ have been with many of God's dear children, so inexpressibly precious, as all the after manifestations (though all alike gracious) have not so sensibly affected them. Yea, dying seasons, and the cold clammy sweat of death itself have been found not to abate the ardour, but the remembrance of them then hath called forth the love-song anew to the God of salvation. The regenerated child of God (and it is of such only I speak) will enter into an apprehension of these golden things, which, like the Michtams of David, form subjects for blessed songs in this house of our pilgrimage. And whether he can or cannot call to his remembrance the time when, or the place where, or the manner how, the God of all grace first began a work of grace upon his soul, yet while he hath in view “the wormwood and the gall” of his former state of nature, and can and doth say with him of old whose eyes the Lord Jesus opened, “ One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see,” John ix. 25. he will sing upon Alamoth (Ps. xlvi.) the song of salvation; and say with equal thanksgiving, and joy, “ Praise the Lord, call upon his name !" “ Praise the Lord, call upon his name! declare his doings among the people ; make mention that his name is exalted.
the Lord, for he hath done excellent things, that is known in all the earth.” Observe here what a beautiful transition is made in this hymn of praise, from the former part. It begins in the instance of one Person; “ () Lord, I will praise thee !" But here it is, “ Praise ye the Lord.” Most sweetly shewing, that God the Holy Ghost teacheth his children that they are not to eat their morsel alone, but call all the Lord's people to the Lord's feast. Hence, throughout the whole word of God, we find the children of God calling their brethren to the same delightful employment as themselves : “O bless our God, ye people, (said one of old) and make the voice of his praise be heard,” Ps. Ixvi. 8. Hence, let the regenerated child of God observe, (and it is of such only I speak) how God the Holy Ghost in this chapter (and more or less all the chapters in the bible teach the same) would have his people in all their drawings nigh to the throne, remember the church of God, both in prayer and praise. certain it is that all who love the Lord, love the people of the Lord. The beloved apostle John, makes this an infallible mark of regeneration.
“ We know (said he) that we are passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." 1 John iii. 14. And one of the old testament saints felt his soul so carried out in the love of God's church, from the love he had to the God of that church, that he cried out, “ If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning! If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth: If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy,” Ps. cxxxyii. 5, 6. And what endless subjects both for prayer and praise, are found in the contemplation of Jehovah's doings among the people, the exaltation of his name, in his Trinity of Persons, and for the excellent things manifested to his church, in all the earth. Surely while a single promise of the Lord to his Zion is left unfulfilled, there never will be
wanting subject for prayer; neither while a single soul remains to be translated from “ the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son;" and when done, can there be wanting matter for praise. And who that sets his heart, under the Spirit's influence, to praise the Lord in his Trinity of Persons, can want words to come before the Lord, while the bible is full of such blessed words, as the Lord himself hath provided for this purpose?
Cry out, and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion! for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee!” What a beautiful close this is to this divine song! Surely the Lord the Spirit meant it for perpetual use in his church, and by all his regenerated people, (and it is of such only I speak) in their constant approaches to the mercy-seat. There can be no tongue silent, nor heart unwarmed, as long as the Holy One of Israel is beheld by faith in the midst of his church and people. For let it be here again observed with the thankfulness it claims, that no one cause whatever is assigned wherefore the Holy One of Israel is in the midst of Zion, but for the love he bears to Zion. His greatness, and not her worth; his name, and not her deservings; are made the sole cause both for her confidence and joy. And this runs like a golden thread through all the bible; and like that decisive scripture, which the Lord delivered by the prophet Ezekiel on another occasion, traceth up the whole of the exercise of sovereign grace to its own source, in the Lord's pleasure, and not man's merit; “ Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, but for my holy name's sake,” Ezek. xxxvi. 22. And this swells the note of praise both in heaven and earth. His name's sake, is the all in all, of all the ways and works of God to his people. When he calls them by grace, when he saves them by his mercy, when he redeems them by his blood, when he justifieth them in his righteousness, when he sanctifieth