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ment so extensively attained as in Israel, under the reign of Solomon. It is in praise of his administration that the psalm before us was penned. Yet are there parts of the psalm which clearly shew that the inspired penman had respect to a greater King than Solomon, even to " Messiah the Prince,” the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” The reference of the psalm to Him being universally acknowledged, we will draw your attention to the two points which are unfolded in our text; namely, I. The interest which Christ takes in his people
The description here given of his people deserves especial notice
[In the former part of the psalm, they are repeatedly characterized as poor and needy. “He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressorb." In the text itself this description is given of them even to tautology: shall deliver the needy when he crieth, the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy." We are not to understand, from hence, that he reigns over no other; though it is certain that over them chiefly he has reigned hithertoc: but, as his reign is spiritual, so it is in a spiritual view that his subjects are here described ; and, truly, to this description do they all answer: and it is an unspeakable comfort to them that they are so described; for, if they had been designated by any nobler title, thousands of them would have doubted whether they might dare to number themselves amongst his subjects : but, under the character of the poor and needy, the very least, as well as the greatest of his subjects, can confidently assert their claim to that honour
It is here taken for granted, too, that his people will be exposed to heavy trials from an oppressive and ungodly world. And because the violence of persecution has in great measure ceased in the present day, we are ready to imagine the disposition to oppress them has ceased. But this is by no means
The laws of the land protect the godly from that measure of persecution which at different times and under different pretexts has raged against them: but the contempt in which the saints are held, solely and entirely on the ground of their sanctity, clearly shews that the enmity against them has not ceased, but is only restrained by legal enactments, and
ver. 2, 4. c 1 Cor. i. 26. Jam. ii. 5.
a more general diffusion of civil and religious liberty. It is still as true as at any period of the world, that " if we were of the world, the world would love its own; but because we are not of the world, but Christ has chosen us out of the world, therefore the world hateth us."]
But Jesus will suit his ministration to their necessities
[If he suffer them to be oppressed for a while, it is only that he may the more visibly and acceptably exert himself in their behalf. Let them only "cry” unto him, and he will shew himself strong in their behalf, and mighty to save. There are but two ways in which any one can gain an unjust dominion over his people; namely, by fraudulent enticement, or by overpowering force. But, though both of these be combined for the bringing of them into bondage, he will interpose for them, and “redeem them both from deceit and violence:"or, if he should permit an oppressor so far to prevail over them as to take away their life, he will vindicate their cause, and make their enemy to feel that “precious is their blood in his sight.” But over their souls ” shall none prevail.
Not even their great adversary, though as a subtle serpent he put forth all his devices to beguile theme, or as a roaring lion he make his utmost efforts to devour them', he shall not be able; for Jesus will effectually preserve them, and not suffer so much as “one of them to be plucked out of his hand 8.”. As it is his Father's will, so also is it his, that not one of his little ones should perish”. As for their poverty and helplessness, this shall operate with him rather as an inducement to afford them his succour, than as an obstacle to his gracious interference: indeed, the more they feel their utter dependence upon him, the more readily and effectually will he exert himself in their behalf .]
Nor shall they be insensible of his kindness towards them: for the text informs us of, II. The interest which his people take in him
In the life of such a king as Solomon, the whole nation is deeply interested. But he, however long he reign, must die at last: but the King of Zion shall live for ever. “He was indeed crucified through weakness; but he liveth by the power of Godk;" Now, as in earthly governments the people pay tribute to their king, and pray for the prosperity of his kingdom, and take all suitable occasions for displaying
« he is alive for evermore!.”
d John xv. 19.
e 2 Cor. xi. 3.
11 Pet. v. 8.
their loyalty, whether in a way of private commendation or public address; so the subjects of King Messiah approve themselves worthy of the relation in which they stand to him. 1. They pay him their tribute
[“ The silver and the gold are his :" and though he is able to carry on the affairs of his government without any contribution from man, yet he is pleased to make use of human instruments, and to give his people an opportunity of manifesting their zeal in his service: hence they bring him their willing offerings. As, at his first appearance in the world, the wise men presented to him gold and frankincense and myrrh; so now it is the joy of all his people to contribute, according to their power, to the enlargement and establishment of his kingdom. Gladly do they "give him of the gold of Sheba ;” and account it all as of no value, except as it is employed in subserviency to his will, and for the advancement of his glory. The very widow accounts it her honour and her happiness to cast her mite into his treasury; and he accepts it with the same pleasure as the richest contributions of the great and wealthy.] 2. They offer their prayers in his behalf
(Personally, he needs them not. In this respect he is unlike the kings of the earth. But for the prosperity of his kingdom he enjoins us to pray. One of the first petitions which, in his short and comprehensive prayer, he has taught us to pour forth, is, “Thy kingdom come.”
In this sense, prayer is made for him continually,” by every subject of his kingdom. It is a grief to his people to see so great a part of the world still ignorant of him, and persisting in a rejection of his light and easy yoke; and they long to behold both Jews and Gentiles prostrate at his feet. • They rest not day or night” in calling upon God to take to him his great power and reign among them; yea, they give him no rest, till he shall arise and “subdue all nations to the obedience of faith m."]
3. They render unto him their devoutest acknowledgments-
[A grateful people cannot but acknowledge with gratitude the blessings which they enjoy under the paternal government of a wise and pious king. But, great as earthly benefits are, they are not to be compared with those which we receive under the government of the Lord Jesus. What protection from enemies, what peaceful quiet, what abundance of all spiritual blessings does the very least and meanest of his subjects enjoy! enjoy, too, as the very result of his care over them, and of his bounty towards them. An earthly prince, however ardent his desires or laborious his efforts, could not drive away
m Isai. lxii. 6, 7.
distress from his dominions; nor, if it were possible for his subjects, all of them without exception, to have access to him, could he administer to them the relief which they solicited. But Jesus is accessible at all times to every creature in his vast empire; and can both listen to their requests without weariness, and fulfil them without delay. This, too, is a truth, of which every individual among them is sensible; all of them having been deeply oppressed with want, and having carried to him their respective trials, and having received relief at his hands. Every one of them, therefore, “praises him daily," as the one author of all his blessings, and the one ground of all his hopes".] Such, then, being the mutual regard subsisting be
tween the Lord Jesus Christ and his people, let
me, in conclusion, call you to contemplate, 1. The folly of casting off his yoke
[He has ascended up on high°, and is set down on the right hand of God, until all his enemies shall become his footstoolp. And do you suppose that any will be able successfully to hold out against him? No: his arrows shall be very sharp in the hearts of all his enemies; and the stoutest of them all shall lick the dust: yea, “all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him 9. Let none of you, then, continue in your stoutness of heart; but cast down the weapons of your rebellion, and implore mercy at his hands. Then shall you find, that in the mercy which he exercises, no less than in the justice he administers, “your blood shall be precious in his sight."] 2. The happiness of his faithful subjects
[This were great, if we considered only what is spoken respecting them in the text. But their happiness infinitely transcends any thing that earthly monarchs are able to bestow. They are themselves, all of them without exception, made kings, and have a kingdom given unto them by their Lord, similar to that which has been conferred on the Messiah himself by his heavenly Father". Hear ye this, ye poor and needy souls! Are ye not amazed, that ye should be "taken, as it were, from a dunghill, and set among princes, and made to inherit a throne of glory 8?" Yet be assured, that this is your portion, if only you approve yourselves faithful to your Lord and King. Yes: “ be ye faithful unto death, and you shall,
n See this done first in general terms, Ps. cxlv. 1—13; and then, for his more particular acts of grace, Ps. cxlv. 14—21, and Ps. cxlvi. 1, 2, 7—10.
• If this be a subject for the ASCENSION DAY, or the SUNDAY AFTER, this hint may be a little amplified. p Ps. cx. 1.
9 ver. 11.
a crown of life."]
8 1 Sam. ii. 8.
every one of
THE SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL.
Ps. lxxii. 16. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth
upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon : and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
IN many parts of Scripture the typical sense is more manifest than the literal. It is so in the psalm before us. This psalm is a description of the reign of Solomon, who was the first of the “ kings” that was also a “ king's son.” The extent, duration, and happiness of his government are predicted by David his father. But a greater than Solomon is here. There can be no doubt but that the glory of the Messiah's kingdom is here described. The extent of that is unbounded, and the blessedness of it is eternal. The words of the text, according to their literal meaning, declare the fruitfulness of the land, and the increase of population in the days of Solomon ; but they typically represent the spread of the Gospel under the Christian dispensation, and the multitudes of converts that shall become the subjects of Messiah's kingdom. They naturally lead us to consider, I. The representation here given of the preached
GospelThe Gospel is compared to seed cast upon the earth
[This is a frequent comparison in the Scriptures; nor can any other be more just. The seed is that from which the whole