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ISRAEL WAITING UPON GOD IN ZION.

taken away; and the prayer continues: "Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name." And Israel being given, as was promised, one heart, this is the use which shall now be

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made of that unity. "I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me; and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell." He promised that ho would bring Israel out of their graves; and now he hath done so, and manifested unto them his marvellous love, as in the gospel of his Son. And along with this He hath blessed them with wondrous power of making known to all nations what He hath done. But the nations are stirred up to enmity; and medi tate mischief for those who would do them good. They combine their efforts for the ruin again of the Lord's cause and people: and so the prayer proceeds as supplicating aid in this last grand conflict. "O God, the proud arc risen against me; and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them." From this view of evil men, there is a turning unto the Lord, and there is a view of the God of Israel as he shewed himself unto Moses, when he passed by proclaiming the name of the Lord, the fulness of the blessing expressed in which is now to be expected: "But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." Now is He longed for in the salvation promised: "O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me. Give thy strength unto thy servant; and save the son of thine handmaid." Thus speaks Israel: for now he recognises his unity with Him who became a servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, even with the Son of Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, who shall take unto him his great power and reign, sitting upon the throne of his father David. A sign of the promised good is asked, the sign of his coming: as when the Lord ascended up on high,

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so now also will He give, even to the rebellious house of Israel, the power of the Spirit to testify of Jesus; preparatory to his coming to dwell among them: Shew me a token for good, that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed; because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me: which comforting shall be by the bestowment of his free Spirit in the fulness of the latter rain. O Lord, make haste.

Ps. lxxxvii. appears to contemplate Christ, Israel's foundation and chief corner-stone, as particularly connected with Judah, and as having a peculiar regard to the place of the throne of David. "His foundation," the same which the Lord hath laid in Zion for Israel to be built upon in his holy mountains, the only sure ground of her right to a repossession of the lost inheritance "His Foundation in the holy mountains. The Lord," for He is not only man, but Jehovah, the Lord who ever liveth, that became, by his death for sin, the sure Foundation upon which his people's faith might rest—He, the Lord, notwithstanding all the murderous malice of the Jews against him, "still loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob." He hath chosen it for his habitation, saying, "Here will I dwell; for I have desired it." It is to be the city of the great King. When he will come as the chief corner-stone, there to complete the great work of redemption, it is at Zion he will more especially manifest himself to the inhabitants of the earth. There will he fully overcome, and there will he establish his throne; and thither shall all the nations of the earth that remain go up, from year to year, to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. Well may be said of that city, the name of which shall be " The Lord is There," "Glorious things are spoken of thee, О city of God!" In order to this, the Lord must work a great and glorious restoration for Israel; the hope of which is not to be lost sight of, notwithstanding that it may ap

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FOUNDATION OF THE PROMISED DELIVERANCE.

pear to be long deferred: oven as was the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham. The Lord, to keep his promise in remembrance, hath not been backward in giving tokens of his will and power to deliver: and so it is said, "I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me." He will bring to their remembrance the release from Egyptian bondage. When he cut Rahab in pieces, and led them through the Red Sea, in which the Egyptians were drowned; and, turning from Egypt, which was towards the south of the land, he will point to Babylon, which was more in the northern direction, and speak of the release of the Jews from their seventy years' captivity there, a pledge of the restoration of all Israel. Such a deliverance is he yet to accomplish, from under the feet of that image of which Babylon was the head, as that even the deliverance from Egypt shall thereby be completely eclipsed. And he will call Philistia and Tyre, who had early taken possession of the sea coast of Israel's inheritance—He will call them, with Ethiopia, who also hath encroached upon their inheritance from the other side, to look to the birthplace of Him, who, although esteemed as a worm, and no man, one that might be crushed with impunity, was yet the rightful Heir of that inheritance upon which they had encroached,—the Saviour of the people whom Egypt and Babylon had enslaved. Behold, Bethlehem, though little among the thousands of Judah, "this was born there." But the birth of the Saviour of Israel was two-fold: and it is in reference to his birth from the grave, when raised in resurrection life and glory, that the Father said, as in the second Psalm, "This day have I begotten thee." And it is by his resurrection from the dead that we are begotten again unto a lively hope. That birth of the Husband of the outcast woman was at Zion; and accordingly it follows here, "And of Zion it shall be said, the man, even the Man, was born in her." So it may be rendered; and the word translated Man is the same which is

used, when, in Hosea, ch. ii. 16, it is said," And it shall come to pass in that day, that thou shalt call me Ishi"—my companion husband. He of whom Pilate said, "Behold the man," He who loved the church, and gave himself for it, He was born there, not indeed in humiliation into this mortal existence, as at Bethlehem, but in resurrection power and glory. He had given himself to sleep the sleep of death that his wife might have life in and from him. And that which was thus so richly begun in grace shall be consummated in glory: "The Highest himself shall establish her"shall build her up on that sure Foundation, so that she shall never he confounded any more. This Man shall be our peace. The merit of the work which He wrought, as coming in the flesh, will be reckoned to each of the people that shall be brought forth to enjoy the redemption of the purchased possession. And so it is said, "The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, This was born there." In the right of Him, the despised Jesus, who there was born, will possession be given of both the heavenly and the earthly inheritance.

The last verse of this Psalm appears not very clear in our translation. That proposed in Bate's Critica Hebræa appears to be much more ac cording to the scope of the passage. It requires not forcing of the original words: "And the princes as dead men shall be, all that have oppressed thee;" or, in other words, all the princes that have been using oppres sion in the midst of thee shall he as dead men having no more power to oppress. The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day and Israel, yea, and the creature itself, shall exult in the glorious liberty of the sons of God. The proud oppressor shall be as the dust of the summer threshingfloor; they shall be swept away, and be no more found, whilst Zion shall be established for ever.

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Ps. Ixxxviii. enters into sympathy with the lost children of Rachel, with the whole house of Israel, who were

ISRAEL'S PREVIOUSLY LOST CONDITION.

carried away into hopeless captivity by the Assyrians, and who are reported as saying, in their miserably broken condition, Ezek. xxxvii. 11, "Our bones are dried; our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts," which three sentences express the substance of the three parts of this Psalm. "Our bones are dried," is paraphrased, v. 1—7: as when it is said, v. 3, 4, " For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit. I am as a man that hath no strength."

2. "Our hope is lost," is the import of the second part of this Psalm, v. 8—10," Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them. I am shut up—I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction. Lord, I have called daily upon thee. I have stretched out my hands unto thee." And so hopeless was the prospect placed before them that thus was the cry of the true Israelite, whilst contemplating the promises made unto the fathers; but they saw no likelihood of their fulfilment. "Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee?"

3. "We are cut off for our parts," is enlarged upon, v. 11—18. The loving kindness, the faithfulness, the wonders, the righteousness of the God of Israel are recognised; but there seemed to be an utter separation from their enjoyment and manifestation in the case of the outcasts of Israel; from whom the very name of Israel was taken: they being cast out into the midst of heathen darkness; given to the teeth of the destroyer, and laid, as it were, in the grave. And thus their plaint was unto the Lord: "Lord, why easiest thou off my soul? Why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up. I suffer thy terrors. I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me. Thy terrors have out me off:" The waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of

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Assyria, and all his glory, had been allowed to come up, and sweep them away. "They came round about me all the day like waters. They compassed me about together. Lover and friend hast thou put far from memine acquaintance into darkness."Thus lost were the children of promise: who yet have grown, as was predicted, into a multitude of nations; and now are they found in the place and circumstances predicted, in the midst of the third thousand years' since their being lost as Israel. As entering into sympathy with their case, as described in this Psalm, our Lord was laid in the grave until the third day. Nor will the King appear, to take possession of the kingdom, until they are raised up, and are prepared to enjoy it with him.

Ps. lxxxix. is divided into five portions: the first two of which, v. 1—37, speak of the glory of Christ and his kingdom; and the last three, v. 38—51, as clearly intimate the apparent failure of the promises made with regard to the seed of David. He will not take possession of his kingdom until the people of promise, as made one with him who was made one with them, are prepared to, enjoy it with him. The subject is briefly stated in the first four verses. May Israel, as one man, soon be heard to say, "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations." The laying of the Foundation, as before noticed, is the security that the building shall proceed, until it is crowned with the glory promised. "Mercy shall be built up for ever; thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens." The throne of David shall be established in strength. For the Son of David, the covenant is sure: "Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations."

In the second part, the name of this promised Seed, who is also God over all, blessed for ever, is declared. He is first (see ver. 5—13), the "Wonderful," who hath dealt, and who will

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FIVEFOLD NAME OF ISRAEL'S REDEEMER.

deal, wondrously with his people: whose wonders, whose matchless majesty and power, the heavens shall praise; and whose unequalled right to possession, the earth shall at length acknowledge. His claim will at length be fully vindicated by his mighty arm. He will indeed give strength and power unto his people.

He is, secondly, v. 14-18, the "Counsellor" of the covenant of redemption. He hath counselled the harmony of the divine attributes in the bestowment of that covenant mercy, v. 14: "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne," represented by the two tables of the law, as being put in the inward part of the temple, in the ark covered by the mercy seat, the throne of the God of Israel. And the two witnesses," mercy and truth shall go before thy face." "Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound," the word of reconciliation—the testimony of Jesus: They shall be united unto their King in grace and in glory: "In thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted: for thou art the glory of their strength; and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our King." Such oneness, through redeeming love, will the Lord accomplish, as uniting his people to himself, according to his counsels of old, which will be found faithfulness and truth.

He is, thirdly, v. 19—25, spoken of as the Mighty One, upon whom our help is laid; it is He who bears creation up; and yet He is also one chosen out of the people. This is the Beloved, who was found in the form of a servant, the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed—of whom the two great witnesses speak, represented by the two pillars before the temple of Solomon, the meaning of whose names is, He shall establish, In strength. So it is here said, "With whom my hand shall be established; mine arm also shall strengthen Him." When he before appeared, it was as in weakness,

and not as taking to him his great power, so as to appear as the Mighty One. He then allowed the enemy to exact upon him, and the son of wickedness did afflict him. Yea, he poured out his soul unto the death, and was numbered with the transgressors: but so it shall not be when he has received for himself the kingdom; when the now scattered members of his body are complete, and gathered into oneness. This shall be fulfilled; "The

enemy shall not exact upon him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him,And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague all that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him; and in my name shall his horn be exalted." His hand is to be set in the sea, which is to the west of the land; and his right hand in the rivers—the Euphrates and its kindred streams, which are towards the east, as the sea is towards the west. This implies that the face is turned towards the north, in defending the inheritance, when his foes arc to be beaten down before his face.

Fourthly, v. 26—33, is shewn that He, whose children we are, knows what it is to be a son, so that, as the First-born of creation, as the Father of everlasting compassion, He may the more be prepared to deal in tenderness towards those who are, under him, placed in covenant mercy, which is to endure for ever. His seed is to be made to endure for ever; and if his children forsake the law of the Lord, they shall suffer the needful correction. "Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him; nor suffer my faithfulness to fail."

Fifthly, v. 34—37, He is recognised as the Prince of Peace—as He who was shadowed forth by Solomon, the son of David. Jesus was, according to the flesh, the son of David, the Prince appointed to sit upon his throne -anointed to be King in Zion: and the purpose of God shall not be frustrated. "Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever; and his throne as the sun before me."

CONCLUSION OF THE FOURTH THUNDER.

Does there seem to be a union of the heavenly with the earthly—of the city not made with hands, which shall descend out of heaven from God; with Jerusalem, built up on her own little bill, when it is said, "It shall be established for ever as the moon; and as a faithful witness in heaven." Then indeed there will be the sight of peace: "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen."

The apparent failure of this covenant in the mere natural seed of David is recognised, v. 38—45; so that we must look beyond and forward, for the accomplishment of the promise, which, whatever failure may have taken place as to the type, shall most surely be accomplished in the proper subjects and objects thereof. The long waiting for that which, as to the fulness, can only be enjoyed in resurrection life is then intimated, v. 46—48. The what, and what manner of time, to which the prophecy applies being ascertained, the Lord is then put in remembrance of his former loving-kindnesses, which have to be

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called to mind; and of the covenant with David, established in Him who is the Truth; and it is said, "Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants." The sympathy of the body, whereby they bear each the other's burdens—whereby they each, as did the high-priest, bear the people of the Lord on their heart before Him, after the example of Christ in whom they are gathered into oneness, is then expressed, when it is said, "I do bear in my bosom all the mighty people."— There is a sympathy with the reproach which hath been cast upon the name of Christ—with the shame to which his name hath been put in the place of his feet, which shall yet be made glorious. The united prayer of Christ and his people will be heard; and the cry of Christ in his members, ascending through their exalted head, will be heard on high; and they shall have occasion to say, "Blessed be the Lord for evermore." And the truth of the promise will he acknowledged on earth and in heaven. "Amen and Amen."

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