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and by such a method of providence as is never to be expected in any other nation; both with a view to shewing us the attributes of God Himself, his justice, mercy and truth, and also with a view to preparing us for understanding more clearly, and receiving more readily, the administration of his spiritual kingdom, as revealed in the books of the New Testament, for the government of all mankind. And this therefore is the chief usefulness of these histories to us; not as curious records of things which happened in old time, of which for the most part it could little concern us to know whether they happened in one way or the other; but as a manifestation of the deep interest, which He who made us takes, in all that concerns us; as a proof of his seeing in all things the end from the beginning; as an evidence of his ability to bring to pass, in all, that end which He designs; as an affecting instance of his designing always to make all things work together for good to them which love Him; as a fearful warning of his being fully purposed to make all things work together for harm, to those who persist in being his enemies; and above all, as an impressive argument of the supreme importance of that one great event to which all others are made subservient, the incarnation, or coming in the flesh, of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Abraham, the Son of David, the King of Israel, the Saviour of the world.

As far as all these purposes are concerned these histories are inspired. And they have been preserved by the overruling providence of God, in such a degree of integrity, and with such evidence of their genuine authority, as is amply sufficient to convince us, that we have in them the word of God. But for all this we need not be surprised to find, that no miraculous power has been exerted, to prevent variations in names, and dates, and numbers, in the order of facts, or in other like particulars, which have no bearing either way on the objects for which the books were inspired. Many such variations may have arisen in the course of ages through the oversight of those who copied the written records, and who are never supposed to have been inspired, though the first writers of the books were. And these first writers appear to have had recourse to the ordinary methods of ascertaining historical facts, by diligence, skill, and honesty, in the use of witnesses and of written records. And as if on purpose to help in rectifying any errors which might hence arise, a second concurrent history, that of the Books of Chronicles, is embodied in the same sacred volume with the Books of Samuel and of Kings, which would have been needless if one history were perfect and infallible, and in which there could be no variation if both were so. It is enough for us to feel assured, that both histories, yea all parts of God's most holy word, were written under the direction of his Holy Spirit. It is enough for us to experience, and God grant that we may experience abundantly, that all are profitable, with his blessing, to make us wise unto salvation.

A psalm of thanksgiving for great deliverances.

1 And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:

2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 5 When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;

6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

8 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.

9 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.

11 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.

12 And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies. 13 Through the brightness

before him were coals of fire kindled.

14 The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.

15 And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.

16 And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. 17 He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;

18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.

19 They prevented me in the day of my calamity; but the LORD was my stay.

20 He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

23 For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.

24 I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

25 Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.

26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.

27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself


28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.


The inspired writings shew the character of the writers. The Book of the Psalms of David is intimately connected with many of the chief events in David's history. They shew us, far better than any narrative of his actions, the secret working of his heart. They shew us more than the working of his heart, even the work of the Holy Spirit of God within him, purifying his heart, and enlightening his mind, and through his words ministering light and purity to us. The history relates his sufferings. The Psalms shew us his resignation. The history tells us of his grievous fall. The Psalms admit us to see the depth of his repentance. The history sets forth the recovery of his lost dominion, added to his many wonderful deliverances experienced in former times at the hand of God. The psalm before us, if there were no other, might convince us, that he was not insensible to those manifold tokens of the goodness of the Lord; that he delighted to ascribe his blessings to the God who gave them; yea, rather, that he was inspired to express thankfulness, in a strain fitted to teach us, how pleasant and good a thing it is to be thankful.

Now if we compare this psalm with the eighteenth in the Book of Psalms, we shall find considerable variation in the expression; sufficient to prove, that we should be mistaken in supposing each word throughout to be infallibly inspired, so as to be the very best and fittest that divine wisdom could select. For then there could be no variation at all. Whilst therefore we know it to be true beyond a doubt, that "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," 2 Pet. 1. 21, we ought to consider, that God vouchsafed to use the imperfect faculties of his creatures, and the imperfect instrument of their language, for the revelation of his will, without actually suggesting in every instance every word they were to write. Otherwise indeed there would be no traces in these heavenly writings of the personal character of the men who wrote them. And we should be no longer, for instance, justified in thinking, that this psalm expresses the devout thankfulness experienced in David's heart, as well as that, which the Holy Spirit, by his means, would teach us to feel in ours. we do think, and we have good reason for thinking, that it undoubtedly expresses both. Let us therefore magnify God for this example of devout gratitude in his faithful servant David. And let us at the same time give praise unto his name, for having here taught us, not only the words of David, but much more by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, the duty and the delight of thankfulness.

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The psalm of thanksgiving is concluded. 29 For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.

30 For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

32 For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?

33 God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

34 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet and setteth me upon my high places.

35 He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great. 37 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip.

38 I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.

39 And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet.

40 For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.

Imight destroy them that hate me. 42 They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. 43 Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad.

44 Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me.

45 Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.

46 Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.

47 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

48 It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,

49 And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

50 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.

51 He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore. LECTURE 543.

41 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that

The glory of being a type, or resemblance, of Christ. If the Psalms throw much light upon the personal character of David, they throw still more on another matter of deepest interest, namely on the fact, that David was an eminent type, or lively figure, and representative, of our Saviour Christ. For we find

very many passages of the Psalms, wherein David speaks things in his own person, which are applied in the New Testament to the Lord Jesus. And these lead us to apply other passages in like manner; with little risk of being mistaken. As for instance, in the psalm before us, how appropriate to the sufferings and death of Christ are these affecting words, "The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; in my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God!" Ver. 6, 7. Again, how much more applicable to what took place at the crucifixion of Christ, than to any event in the life of David, are the words which follow, "Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth!" Ver. 8. Again, how much more suitable in Christ than in David, is this profession of uprightness and innocency, "The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me!" Ver. 21. Again, how like to other passages, which apply only to the kingdom of our Saviour, are these words which David spake with thankfulness of his own extensive victories, "thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me!" See Is. 52. 15. 55. 5. And further, how expressly has St. Paul applied, to the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, these triumphant words of David, upon his own successes, "Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name!" See Rom. 15. 9.

David's words then foreshew the words of Christ. David's acts foreshew the acts of Christ. His being a man after God's own heart, is a figure of Christ's being the beloved Son, in whom the Father was well pleased. His being chosen out by the Lord, when thought the most unlikely of all his family, may remind us of what is elsewhere spoken of our Lord, "when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." Is. 53. 2. Even the enormity of David's sins may very suitably suggest to our thoughts the burden borne by that spotless Lamb, on whom God was pleased to lay the iniquity of us all. Whilst the fulness and freeness of the pardon which we have reason to think that God bestowed on David, are manifestly significant of that full and free forgiveness, which God is pleased to extend, for Christ's sake, to all truly penitent offenders. How does the other glory of the son of Jesse seem trifling, when compared with this, of being a type of the Lord Christ Jesus! How highly does this circumstance exalt the chosen king of Israel above all the kings of the other nations of the earth! God be praised, there is a way in which every one of us may share his glory! God be praised, that though we cannot be types of Christ, we may become conformed to his image; we may be so fashioned in the likeness of our Saviour, as to help by our resemblance to shew forth his truth and righteousness to all them which behold our godly conversation!

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