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*** hand, to remove his domestic distractions, to re. store his decayed health, and to pour the oil and wine of heavenly confolation into the wounds of his mind. He was raised up from the borders of the grave, and preserved from going down to the pit. He had been brought into the greatest dangers, as to his property, his kingdom, and his life; his soul, through oppressive terrors, horrid temptations, and deep despondency, had been near the pit of hell, to his own apprehension; but God, in answer to his cries, had mercifully delivered and restored him. “ O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.”
Hence the Psalmist, as might be supposed, was ' deeply affected with the manifestations of divine goodness in his favour. His heart was warm and full of gratitude. He invites others to assist him in praising his merciful Deliverer. “ Sing unto the Lord, O ye faints of his." We see here, that prayers, fervent and earneft prayers, shall in due time be turned into praises. The more we abound in prayer, the more shall we be furnished with matter of praise. And in this delightful employment, it is desirable to have the company of our fellow-saints, that we may join in holy concert, somewhat like the happy fociety above. In heaven, the blessed choir of saints
and angels sweetly unite in unceasing songs of gratitude and praise. Those whom David invites to aslift him in this joyful work, are the saints; who so proper as holy souls to give thanks at the remembrance of God's holiness ?
The Psalmist intimates, that he had tasted both of God's displeasure and of his love, in a short space of time. “ His anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” The peculiar manifestations of divine mercy are sometimes preceded by seasons of distress and discouragement; a storın is before a calm; the thundering terrors of the law before the joyful sound of the gospel; the strong wind, earthquake and fire, before the small still voice; that we may, by a night of darkness, be prepared for a morning of light, and know how to prize it.
David owns the strong disposition he had felt to security and carnal confidence in a prosperous state; “In my prosperity, I said, I shall never be moved. Thus I flattered myself, when my path was smooth, and I had the full enjoyment of health and tranquil. lity.” O deceitful heart! A healthy man thinks not of sickness. “God built me a house; I built myself a castle ; but it was a castle in the air, the baseless fabric of a vision, which had a sudden fall."
A deceitful imagination allures a man into a fool's paradise. When things go well, security kills us. When God shines on the mount of transfiguration, we dream of building tabernacles there; but a change foon takes place. “Thou didst hide thy face, and I am troubled; the withdrawing of the light of thy countenance deprived me of my coma forts.” The turning away of God's face overspreads the gracious soul with a heavy gloom, and beclouds its hopes and comforts. We ought to be perpetually dependent on him. Our inountain is supported by his hand, and when he withdraws it, we sink into a valley of despondency and dejection, if not to the very borders of despair.
In this case the Psalmist's voice was changed," from joyful praise to importunate supplication. “I cried unto thee, O Lord.” How often do God's children, in this imperfect state, change their notes! Singing and sighing are frequently in near connection. The skilful painter can, with a few strokes of his pencil, turn a smiling into a sorrowful countenance. We find David here, at one time fo full of joy, that he calls upon his fellow-saints to help him to praise his gracious Benefactor; and very foon the scene is so changed, that he can do nothing but mourn and cry for deliverance. “ Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me; Lord, be thou my Helper."
Again we find the cloud dispelled. The Psalmi experienced a happy deliverance. His darkness is turned into light, his forrow into joy, his hell into heaven. “ Thou hast turned for me my mourning intu dancing; thou hast put off my fackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” What wonderful effects do the restored joys of God's falvation produce, in minds fervently set on heavenly things! He that was proftrate on the earth, repenting and mourning in the dust, in sackcloth and ashes, is now so transported with divine delights, that he seems almost at a loss in what way to express his gratitude. He is like one set at liberty from the restraints, the fetters and the darkness of imprisonment. He puts off his fackcloth, and is clothed with the garments of joy and praise.
The result of all is expressed in the last verse : “To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be filent; O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.” By his glory, the Psalmist means the best thing he had. His tongue was the glory of his frame, and that should be employed in speaking forth the honours of his Saviour. If by his glory, as some think, he means his soul, he re. solved that that, with all its powers, shonld be en. gaged in the delightful work of praise. “I will: praise thee, O God, with my whole heart, I will
bo not be silent, I will not cease.” The more we praise his gracious name, the more occasions of praise he will minister to us. Let us therefore say, with this holy man in another place, “ I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more."
Through the whole of this psalm we see, to what changes the servants of God are subject in this life. Like mariners, they have sometimes a stormy, and sometimes a smooth sea; or like travellers by land, they have to pass over mountains of difficulty and danger, as well as through vallies of delights. And what a variety of affections are stirred up in their minds, upon several occasions ! Joy and sorrow, fear and fortitude, eager desire and pleasurable fatisfaction, take their turns, and act their several parts, in the breasts of those who are travelling to. wards the celestial country.
In the verse in which our text lies, we perceive both night and day; thunder and lightning, and the bright shining of the sun after rain ; the lightsome and the dark side of the pillar of the cloud; the law and the gospel; wrath and love; these are compared, and set in opposition to each other. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.