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to him in the parable that we all know, what he had done, and denounced upon him the punishment that awaited him from God.
And how did David bear the discovery? What was his behaviour when God set his sin before him—when Nathan's words went home-Thou art the man?
It was such as makes him our example for ever.Instantly and without an attempt at subterfuge or excuse, he recognised his guilt—and confessed it in its worst, most aggravated form-I have sinned against the Lord !
Mark the words, brethren, they are full of meaningDavid had sinned against Uriah-against Uriah's wifeagainst his own wife—against all laws of honesty and honour-against public morals—against truth and righteousness—but the head and crown of his guilt was this, he had sinned against the Lord. The Lord who had been so good to him ! so gracious to him! Who in all his danger had succoured him! Who had smitten down all his foes, and established him on the throne of IsraelWho had been heaping blessings on him all his life, and had not yet nearly exhausted His goodness-Who if the past had seemed too little would moreover, have given unto him such and such things !
This was the thought, which when conscience awoke, brought down David's soul into the very dust—this was the sharpest sting of his transgression. This served to bring it before him in all its baseness and immensityAgainst Thee have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight!
And mark this other thing in David-see how he sub
mitted himself to punishment-for punishment there was --punishment there always must be when God's holy law is broken. See then how David took his punishment.-When his child—the child of sin-died, and died for its parent's guilt, we hear no syllable of complaint from his lips. Quick and tender in his feelings as he surely was, earnestly as he had prayed, while yet it was alive that the child might recover, when all was over, David gave way to no immoderate grief. We do not hear him say, This is too much I cannot bear it-God is too hard with me! No, but he bows his head, and goes into the House of God and worships. He shews, most instructively for us, that whatever God laid on him he would take it patiently-bear it as if it was for his good, something needed for the work begun in his soul, needed for his purification, needed for the perfecting of his repentance.
And so it was in all that befell him-in all the sorrows of his later days-David never murmured-never sought to have the sentence reversed which God had passed upon
him. The Psalms which he wrote under this trial of affliction, open to us his inmost being. We see in reading them, what was most at David's heart—not relief from his outward trouble, but to be certified of God's forgiveness—to be once more at peace with Him; once clean in His sight-Have mercy upon me, O God, after Thy great goodness; according to the multitude of Thy mercies do away mine offences. Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness, ond cleanse me from my sin. . . Turn Thy face from my sins, and put out all my misdeeds. Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
-O give me the comfort of Thy help again, and stablish me with Thy free Spirit-Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou that art the God of my health, and my tongue shall sing of Thy righteousness !
Such was David's repentance—the pattern of all true repentance for ever-heart-rooted, self-condemning, bringing him back to God-not momentary, but life-lasting, not stopping at the single confession—I have sinned, but working in him to the purifying of the whole man, causing him to hate sin as he had not hated it beforeand to seek for safety against its attacks, as he had not sought before his fall.-Such, I say, was David's repentance. And in that repentance, in its depth, in its contrition, in the zeal that is wrought in him, in the view that it opened to him of God's holiness, and God's pity, we may see, I believe, fresh ground for what is said of David in the text, -we may be assured that with all its grievous faults, his was a character that peculiarly recommended itself to God—that he was a man after God's own heart.
One practical application of this subject to ourselves would seem to be this—to beware how we let fall too lightly, words of condemnation against David. Yes, and against others, great and good for the most part, who may yet have been betrayed, to their lasting sorrow, into some grievous sin. When such a man falls, we are not his judges. Best for us to cover the face and be silent. Or if we speak at all, let it be in charity; with the expressed hope which David's recovery warrants us in holding—Though he fall, he shall not be cast away, yea, he shall be holden up, for God is able to make him stand!
This we may learn with reference to others—and for ourselves brethren, the lesson will surely be this—to copy-God helping us—what is really admirable in His servant David-to follow him where he goes before us, in generosity, in forgiveness of injuries, in dealing kindly by an adversary-to follow him—and O, that we might only come near him! in the fervour of of his piety, in the trust and confidence that he had in God-lastly, to follow him, when we have fallen, in the path of repentance—to walk with David, when God afflicts us, in patience and a resigned will—to mourn for sin because it is sin—sin against God—and not only because its present wages are sorrow,—and yet withal, amid the very furnace to have hope of deliverance—to see in God one who does not willingly afflict—Who will not ever be chiding, nor keepeth His anger for ever—but a God, good and gracious, willing not our death, but that we should turn from our sin and be saved,Who spares us, when we deserve punishment, and in His wrath-wrath by us so wantonly provoked-thinketh upon mercy !
SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
ST. MATTHEW V. 16.
Let your light 80 shine before men, that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
THERE has lately been issued by our Sovereign Lady the Queen a proclamation, a copy of which has been affixed to every church door throughout the kingdom. And the object of that proclamation is, as stated at its head, “ The Encouragement of Piety and Virtue, and the Prevention of Vice, Profaneness, and Immorality.”
And why, think you, should our Queen put forth such a proclamation ? Because she has a due regard for her people's welfare, and a lively sense of her duty to God. Because, as she here tells us, she desires "above all things to preserve
and advance the honour and service of Al. mighty God, and to discourage and suppress vice and wickedness, which are so highly displeasing to God, and so great a reproach to our religion and government.” In other words, the proclamation is a public manifestation by our Queen of the principles by which she governsma