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teous or justified persons; but it is another word, and conveys another idea. It signifies to direct, to set right; and the righteous here mentioned are they who are directed in the right way, and walk, as Enoch did, with God in his way, and not in the way of the world. And these shall see the goodness and mercy of God's dealings with the fallen race of men. They shall have eyes to see the ways of his providence. The same grace, which set them right, will manifest to them the reasonableness of the plan of redemption. They shall see and admire, and be thankful for, the wonders of his redeeming love, which are recorded in this divine hymn. While they read it, their own hearts will bear testimony to its truth; for it is a lively picture of their own state and condition. They well remember the time, when sin misled them, held them in bondage, and subjected them to all its diseases and storms: but so soon as they had a deep sense of their misery, and were disposed to seek the Redeemer's mercy, he was at hand, a God to save. When they cried unto the Lord Jesus in their trouble, he delivered them out of their distresses, and gave them a free and full redemption. Find ing all this fulfilled in their own souls, have they not great reason to rejoice ? the righteous shall see it, and rejoice. It shall be to them a matter of solid lasting joy; not like the crackling of thorns under a potflashy transitory joy, which arises from a light vain mind, and which the world can give and take away; but the Christian joy is the fruit of the Spirit, produced by his gracious working upon the heart, shewing it the dangers which it has escaped, and the happy state into which it is brought, from whence springs what the scripture calls joy in the Holy Ghost : because it is entirely his gift. Nothing but his grace cau enable sin ners to rejoice in the Lord always, which we find they can : for this is the happy state of every pardoned sinner, that he can rejoice in God; so soon as he is admitted into Christ's kingdom, he is filled with peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. The sense of Christ's redeeme.
by his grafhich it has, from whenest ? becauseable
ing love administers to him joy unspeakable and full of glory: as he told his apostles, “ Ye shall be sorrow. “ ful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy, and 66 your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh “ from you.” Every believer has found the truth of this scripture. After they had seen their lost estate by nature, and their souls were filled with anguish and bitterness at the sight of their guilt and misery, they cried unto the Lord Jesus for deliverance, and he came. His infinite love brought him with haste to save them, and he turned their sorrow into joy, giving them reason to rejoice with a gladness of heart, which no man can take from them. O! may the love of the almighty Jesus bestow this joy upon every one of you, and he will not withhold it from you, if you seek it. If you can but desire it, you will find him more ready to give, than you are to ask it. He shed his blood to purchase it for you ; he bought it with an inestimable price, and the same love which disposed him to die, rather than you should be without this joy, still disposes him to bestow it. Go therefore to the throne of his grace. Ask, and ye shall have. And will you not go to him for it? Will you not receive it upon these easy terms ? Have you no desire to attain that joy, which Christ alone can give ? no desire to be pardoned, to be made just and holy, and to be filled with the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, and peace? If any one of you are in this wretched condition, stop-reflect a moment--and consider, what enemies you are to your own enjoyments, for you cannot live without joy. And what is your constant subject of rejoicing? If it be any thing in this world it is imperfect in its kind. You know it by experience. And it endures but a short time, and then it perishes, and you with it. And will you prefer this empty destructive joy, to that fulness and perfection of joy, which Jesus Christ has to give ? Be ye assured, there is no true cause of rejoicing, but in him; and nothing that deserves the name of joy, but in the knowledge of what he hath done for our
souls. And would to God I could inform you perfectly of this knowldge: for if you had clear ideas of it, you could not avoid seeking and praying for it; but it is indeed beyond description. Joy in the holy Ghost is an earnest and a foretaste of heaven. O! may you seek until you find it, and may the blessed Spirit bring you into the happy number of the righteous, who see the wonders which the Redeemer has done for their salvation, and therefore rejoice. And when their joy is full, then all iniquity shall stop her mouth: the ridiculer and the blasphemer shall be silent. They shall be struck dumb, and not able to open their mouths against the Lord and against his Christ. They will no longer be able to object to that gracious plan of redemption, by which our God decreed to bring many sons unto glory: but all iniquity-all-without exception-every infidel champion, every treasonable society, every congregation of rebels shall stop their mouths. Lord, when are we to see this much desired day! O when shall the blasphemers of Jesus be silent! when shall it be no longer said, that God our Saviour is not selfexistent, and equal in every perfection and attribute with the Father? When shall the infidel cease to tread under foot our most adorable God, and the wicked cease to crucify him afresh ? Not I fear till the end : for while there are evil men, there will be railing and blasphemy. But there will be a day, when iniquity shall stop her mouth, and it is not far off. When our Lord shall come again in all his glory, then they shall look, upon him whom they have pierced, and they shall see that the crucified Jesus is a God indeed; the lustre of his divine glory, infinitely beyond the brightness of the sun, will be to them insufferable, and confounded, abashed, silenced, they shall lay their hands upon their mouths. And when he pronounces the dreadful sentence upon them, never, never to be reversed, 56 go ve o cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and “ his angels," then they shall not have one word to object all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
Until this great day come, it is every Christian's part and duty to defend his Redeemer's cause : but it is more particularly incumbent upon us, who have taken his commission and are his ministers, to exert ourselves in his defence. Actuated by zeal for his honour, and by love to these precious souls, for whom he died, we should be unwearied in our labours. Every talent and gift, with which we are blessed, ought to be devoted to: the promoting of his interest, and we should strive to: bring as many as we possibly can over to it. And every person we gain is stopping one of the tongues of ini. quity. And if we gain but few, yet we may bring such arguments in defence of the plan of redemption, that we may silence many. I hope the arguments in this Psalm will silence some. If they were well considered, they would silence all. And therefore we must call upon men and press them to consider what is here said: for the holy Spirit in the last words requires it of us, “ Whoso is wise and will observe those things, even 66 they shall understand the loving kindness of the “ Lord.” “ Whoso is wise," has the true wisdom. that is from above, “ will observe those things,” will carefully note and remark what is here said of the fall and recovery of mankind, of our state by nature and by grace. "True wisdom consists in observing these two things, what we are in ourselves, and what we are. in Christ; in a deep sense of our misery by sin, stirring us up to seek our remedy in the Redeemer. This is wisdom. And whosoever is thus wise unto salvation « shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord," shall be able to apply what he understands of it to his own private use and benefit. The verb in the original rendered - shall understand," is, in the conjugation, called Hithpael, which signifies to act upon itself. Whoever observes those things properly, finds his own, interest in them. He makes the understanding of them useful to himself. He does not study them as a science or theory, but as interesting points in which he is nearly concerned, and which he therefore tries to bring
home for his own private advantage. When he hears of the mercies of the Lord Jesus recorded in this Psalm, he desires to partake of them. When he hears of the great deliverances vouchsafed to sinful ruined man, he studies to have his own share in them. What is said of these persons who wandered out of the way in the wilderness, and fell into the bondage of sin, and were afflicted with its diseases, and troubled like a stormy sea with its continual tempests; all this he knows was his own case, and therefore what follows of their flourishing state after Christ delivered them may be his also, if he cry unto the Lord, as they did, for help. And he never ceases praying and seeking, until the blessed Jesus bring him to the haven of the church, where he would be.' And if he find the church diminished and brought low, he is not discouraged ; but relies on the promises of his God, who will set him on high out of the reach of public calamity, when he comes to destroy an infidel church. He observes what is said in this Psalm concerning those things, and he knows it to be true, by his own experience. And therefore the loving kindness of the Lord here recorded is to him a subject of exceeding great joy, because he has tasted of it. Whoso is wise will bring his knowledge of this Psalm home to his own heart, and he shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord, he shall be able to apply what he understands to his own benefit, and shall therefore be continually praising the Lord for his goodness, and declaring the wonders which he hath done for the salvation of men.
And here the holy Spirit ends, recommending to us the observation of those things, as the only wisdom, and exhorting us to apply what we understand of them to our own particular benefit, as the only use we can make of them. And if we can but observe and understand, un til we find our interest in them, then his design in record. ing this Psalm will be answered, and we shall be thank. ful indeed : for thankfulness is only expressing with the mouth what the heart feels, and if the heart feels