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David's prosperity.

1 Now Hiram king of Tyresent into thine hand. messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house. 2 And David perceived that the LORD had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted upon high, because of his people Israel.

3 And David took more wives at Jerusalem and David begat more sons and daughters.

4 Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon,

5 And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpalet,

6 And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,

7 And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphalet.

8 And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard of it, and went out against them.

9 And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.

10 And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them

11 So they came up to Baalperazim ; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters: therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim.

12 And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.

13 And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the valley.

14 Therefore David enquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.

15 And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.

16 David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer.

17 And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations. LECTURE 654.

How Christians best prosper.

The friendly help of Hiram was one of the tokens of prosperity, by which David was convinced "that the Lord had confirmed him king over Israel." And so long as David felt that it was not for his own sake that his kingdom was thus "lifted up on high," but "because of his people Israel," there was less risk of his being elated. The abundance of his offspring was another cause of thankfulness to God; though amongst these were found, after his gross transgression, some of the chief means of his chastise

ment. At present, however, all things went well with him. And to fare so well on earth was under the Law the usual consequence of serving God devotedly. So that we may think it probable, from his prospering thus largely, that David still continued to please the Lord as at the first. No such conclusion can safely be drawn at present, amongst ourselves, from the prosperity or adversity which we see happening to others. Houses of cedar, and the friendship of the great, as well as children after their desire, often fall to the lot of those who are furthest off from the kingdom of heaven. Whilst God's most devoted servants may be houseless, friendless, or childless here; and yet may be becoming more meet, by means of these very afflictions, for their eternal inheritance.

There was another point in which David was eminently prosperous, namely, in gaining two victories over the Philistines. And this also is a matter in which success is no longer to be taken for a sure token of God's favour, nor failure for a proof of his displeasure. Christians indeed ought to have no enemies, no strife, no fighting. Their controversy with the heathen is not, as of old, with the weapons of carnal warfare. They must exterminate the worshippers of false gods and of images, not by spear and sword, but by preaching and teaching the glorious gospel of God, the salvation which is by Jesus Christ. They are however still liable to be assailed by the enmity of those amongst themselves who ought to be as brethren, but who are disposed to revile or wrong them. And sometimes it may be their duty to contend with such as use them wrongfully, to seek redress by a peaceable appeal to the power of the magistrate, or to the sentence of the law. Let them not however in such a case suppose, that truth is always sure to prevail against falsehood, right against wrong. Let them not certainly expect, with David, to put their enemies to shame, because they have reason to think that God is on their side. In the present order of his providence, we know that falsehood may succeed, before the tribunal of man's opinion, better than truth. And perjury, in a court of human law, may make the worse cause appear the better one. The great thing now promised to those who love God, is that He will make all things work together for their good; not for their gain in worldly wealth, or worldly glory, but for the good of their souls both here and hereafter; for their growth in grace, for their advancement in a holy life, and in a heavenly mind, and for their final exaltation in heaven. The enemies then over whom God will surely give us victory, if we trust in Him, and follow his directions, are the enemies of our souls ; the powers of darkness, a kind of Philistines besetting all true Israelites. And the glory which He will make us to enjoy, is not that which goes out unto all lands on earth, but that with which earth and heaven will ring aloud, when we shall share with Christ in the triumph over Satan, and when with Him we shall rejoice for ever.

The solemnity of bringing the ark to its place.

1 And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.

2 Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him forever. 3 And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it.

4 And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites: 5 Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:

6 Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:

7 Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and thirty:

8 Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:

9 Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren four

score:

10 of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.

11 And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,

12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.

13 For because ye did it not

at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due

order.

14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.

15 And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.

16 And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.

17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;

18 And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, the porters. 19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;

20 And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;

21 And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to

excel.
22 And Chenaniah, chief of the
Levites, was for song: he in-
structed about the song, because
he was skilful.

23 And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.

24 And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.

25 So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obed-edom with joy.

bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.

27 And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.

28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet,andwith trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.

29 And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart. LECTURE 655.

26 And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that

The practices of the Jews no sure precedent to us.

In this solemnity we find amongst other things the use of instruments of music, and lifting up the voice with joy; as well as dancing, or steps taken to the sound of music, probably in a slow and sober manner. We cannot argue from these things having been done acceptably by David that they are suitable to be used in our public worship now. It proves no more than that there can be nothing absolutely wrong in the things themselves. And as our rule is to do things decently and in order, the church might rightly adopt one of these practices, and reject another, and leave a third indifferent. Singing we adopt not on the strength of this precedent, but by express injunction given us in the New Testament. For the use of instrumental music in our churches, this precedent, and David's practice and exhortation, as set forth repeatedly in the Psalms, are of considerable force. At least they warrant the church in allowing and encouraging the practice, if it be suitable, according to our habits and feelings, for promoting genuine devotion. Thus neither they who use it ought to be condemned, nor they who use it not; but only those who censure their brethren, for using or not using a thing indifferent in itself. May God grant, that whether we use instruments or not to sing with in our public worship, we may both lift up our voices with joy, and also make melody in our hearts unto Him, through Jesus Christ our Lord!

David's Psalm of thanksgiving.

1 So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.

2 And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.

3 And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.

4 And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:

5 Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-edom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals;

6 Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.

7 Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.

unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.

10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

13 O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

14 He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;

16 Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac ;

17 And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,

18 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;

19 When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it.

20 And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; 21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,

22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets

8 Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 9 Sing unto him, sing psalms no harm. LECTURE 656.

The force of sacred poetry.

Besides the other solemnities used on the occasion of establishing the ark at Jerusalem, David delivered into the hands of Asaph and his brethren, a psalm, expressing his thankfulness to God. This was in order to its being set to music, and sung

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