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tions of God's providence increase our • love' of bis' word ;' because they give us sensible experience of its truth, they show us the justice of God in punishing others, together with his mercy in sparing us, and removing those who might have corrupted us and turned the silver itself into dross. In times of visitation, Christ sitteth among his people as a refiner and purifier of silver,' purging away all dross, that out of what remains may be made vessels of honour, meet for the Master's use,' to serve and to adorn the sanctuary. See Mal. iii. 3 ; Isa. i. 25 ; 2 Tim. ii. 21.
120. My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.
At the presence of Jehovah, when he appeareth in judgment, the earth trembleth and is still. His best servants are not exempted from an awful dread upon such occasions ; scenes of this kind, shown in vision to the prophets, caused their flesh to quiver, and all their bones to shake. Encompassed with a frail body, and a sinful world, we stand in need of every possible tie; and the affections both of fear and love must be employed to restrain us from transgression; we must, at the same time, love God's testimonies, and fear his judgments.
121. I have done judgment and justice : leave me not to mine oppressors.
He who is engaged in a righteous cause, and hath acted uprightly in the support of it, may so far, without incurring the censure of boasting, or
trusting to his own righteousness, make David's plea, 'I have done judgment and justice;' as if he had said, Thou, O my God, knowest I am innocent of the crimes whereof my implacable enemies accuse me, and that I have done no wrong to those who seek to take away my life; deliver not thine injured servant, therefore, into their hands; leave me not to mine oppressors.' The Son of David might use the words in their full and absolute sense, and plead for a glorious resurrection, on the foot of his having performed a perfect obedience to the law.
122. Be surety for thy servant for good : let not the proud oppress me.
The Psalmist finding himself ready to be seized by his insolent adversaries, like a helpless and insolvent debtor, entreateth the Almighty to appear in his defence, to take the matter into his own hands, to interpose and plead his cause, as his surety and advocate, in the day of trouble. Good Hezekiah uses the same word in the same sense, speaking of the time when death was about to make his claim upon the mortal part of him ; •O Lord, I am oppressed, -32 7y, undertake, be surety for me:' Isa. xxxviii. 14. Happy the creatures, whose Creator is their surety, and hath interposed to rescue them from those great oppressors, sin, death, and Satan!
123. Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.
Salvation, whether temporal or spiritual, may be delayed; the 'eyes' of the sufferer may · fail’ with looking upward, and his earnest expectation may
be ready to break forth, in the words of Sisera's mother, 'Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarry the wheels of bis chariot ?' But what saith God, by his prophets and apostles ? «Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come: Hab. ii. 3. “Yet a little while, and he that sball come, will come:' Heb. x. 37. The 'word' which hath promised it, is the word of truth, faithfulness, and righteousness;' the attributes of God are engaged for its accomplishment, and he cannot deny himself.
124. Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. 125. I am thy servant: give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.
The consideration that we are the servants' of God, if indeed we are so, will always be successfully urged to the best of masters, as an argument why he should deal with us according to his mercy,' in the pardoning of our offences ; 'teach us his statutes,' that we may know and do his will; and instruct us in his ' testimonies,' that we may believe aright concerning him.
126. It is time for thee, Lord, to work : for they have made void thy law.
The law of Godis made void' by those who deny its authority, or its obligation ; by those who render it of none effect through their traditions, or their lives. When a deluge of wickedness and impiety entering at these gates, hath overwhelmed a land, it is time for the Lord to work;' the great lawgiver will then exert his power, and vindicate his authority speedily. There is a certain measure of iniquity, which when communities, or individuals respectively, have filled up, the destroying angel comes forth, and executes his commission. How ought a man to fear, lest the next sin he commits should fill up his measure, and seal his eternal doom!
127. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold ; yea, above fine gold.
As the wickedness of those increaseth who 'make void the divine law,' the zeal and 'love' of believers should increase in proportion, to stem the torrent; and this may be done to a surprising degree, by a few persons, who, after the example of the first Christians, can forsake all, to follow their Master; who have the sense and the courage to prefer truth, wisdom, holiness, and heaven, to falsehood, folly, sin, and the world; who can resolutely reject the glittering temptation, and say, without hypocrisy, to their God, 'I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.'
128. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concern. ing all things to be right; or, Therefore all thy precepts, even all, have I approved ; and I hate every false way.
For the same reason that the children of God, in the worst of times, 'love his commandments,' they love them all,' not observing such only as they can observe without giving offence, but, regardless of the censures of the world, doing their duty in every particular; not 'hating' some evil ways, and at the same time walking in others, but extending and manifesting their aversion to all alike. Of such persons it is evident, that they make a con
science of their doings, and their conduct appears to be uniform; the adversary will have no evil thing to say of them; they will do real service to the cause which they maintain; and, after having honoured their Master before men, they will by him be honoured before men and angels.
129. Thy testimonies are wonderful : therefore doth my soul keep, or, observe, them.
The Scriptures are 'wonderful,' with respect to the matter which they contain, the manner in which they are written, and the effects which they produce. They contain the sublimest spiritual truths, veiled under external ceremonies and sacraments, figurative descriptions, typical histories, parables, similitudes, &c. When properly opened and enforced, they terrify and bumble, they convert and transform, they console and strengthen. Who but must delight to study and to observe' these 'testimonies' of the will and the wisdom, the love and the power, of God most high! While we have these holy writings, let us not waste our time, misemploy our thoughts, and prostitute our admiration, by doting on human follies, and wondering at human trifles.
130. The entrance of thy words giveth light ; it giveth understanding to the simple.
The Scriptures are the appointed means of enlightening the mind with true and saving knowledge. They show us what we were, what we are, and what we shall be; they show us what God hath done for us, and what he expecteth us to do