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18 covered the company of Abiram. And a fire was kindled in
their company ; the flame burned up the wicked, Korah and 19 his company. They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the 20 molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the simili21 tude of an ox that eateth grass. They forgat God their saviour, 22 which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the 23 land of Ham, [and] terrible things by the Red sea. Therefore
he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen
stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he 24 should destroy (them.] Yea, they despised the pleasant land, 25 they believed not his word : But murmured in their tents, [and] 26 hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD. Therefore he lifted
up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness, 27 solemnly swearing they should die there : To overthrow their
seed 28 also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands. They
joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, in many impure and filthy
rites, and ate the sacrifices of the dead ; offered sacrifices to dead 29 men and deified heroes. Thus they provoked (him] to anger
with their inventions : and the plague brake in upon them. 30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and (so) the 31 plague was stayed. And that was counted unto him for right
eousness unto all generations for evermore ; it was considered
as an eminent act of piety, zeal, and justice, for which God entailed 32 the priesthood on his posterity. They angered [him) also at the
waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes : 33 Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly 34 with his lips. They did not destroy the nations, concerning 35 whom the Lord commanded them : But were mingled among 36 the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their. 37 idols : which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed
their sons and their daughters unto devils, to dæmons, or deified 38 men, And shed innocent blood, (even) the blood of their sons
and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of 39 Canaan : and the land was polluted with blood. Thụs were they
defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their 40 own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled
against his people, insomuch that be abhorred his own inhers. 41 itance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen ; and 42 they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also op
pressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their 43 hand. Many times did he deliver them ; but they provoked
[him) with their counsel ; and were brought low for their ini, 44 quity. Nevertheless he regarded their affiction, when he heard 45 their cry : And he remembered for them his covenant, and 46 repented according to the multitude of his mercies. He made
them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives. 47 Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the hea.
then, to give thanks unto thy holy name, [and] to triumph in 48 thy praise. Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel from ever.
Jasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord.
'HEN we are addressing ourselves to praise God, we should remember how unequal we are to the work, v.
v.2. Neither we, nor angels, are equal to his praise ; his mighty acts. are so many, that they cannot be numbered, and so great and glorious that we cannot fully celebrate their excellency. Let this thought engage us to be serious and lively in our praises, and to do the best we can ; while we acknowledge that his glorious name is exalted above all blessing and praise.
2. We may here see the advantage of steady, consistent piety, v, 3. It is not forming good resolutions, and doing righteousness now and then, that will be acceptable ; but being steady, at all times adhering to the rules of religion ; and being just to God and man, in every condition and circumstance of life, and persevering therein to the end. Then shall we not be ashamed when we have respect unto all his commandments.
3. Let us learn to retain a lasting sense of divine favours, and carefully improve them. Notice is often taken of the stupidity and ingratitude of Israel in this respect. Though they were at times much impressed by them, and sang God's praise, yet they soon forgat his works, and their promises and vows to be his. Let us charge them on our memory, and keep a sense of them alive on our hearts; and while we are grateful for past mercies, let us wait for his counsel, humbly receive and faithfully obey every intimation of his will.
4. Here is great encouragement to pray and labour for the salvation of a sinful nation, v. 23. Moses interposed as an advocate, and God was gracious. Phinehas was zealous for the honour of God, and in promoting reformation in an evil time; and God stayed the plague and rewarded his piety. This shows what prayer and zeal will do ; ļet us unite them together; then we may hope as in v., 5. to see the good of his chosen, to rejoice in the gladness of his nation; to glory with his inheritance,
5. Those who stir up the passions of others, and so provoke them to bad language, are accessary to their guilt. Moses spake unadvisedly with his lips. This is written for our caution, that we may rule our spirits, and bridle our tongues. But the guilt is charged upon the people; they made God angry because they provoked Moses' spirit. It is hard even for those who are eminent for meekness, not to speak amiss when provoked. If we provoke others, by profane or indecent language, to say or do that which is wrong, both we and they are guilty. Let this thought make men cautious how they talk to any who are drunk with strong liquors, or with passion. As we would keep clear of this guilt, let us study to be quiet, rule our own passions, and endeavour, by silence or soft words, to allay the passions of others.
6. We are also taught the danger of being corrupted by bad ex. amples, or company, and are reminded how the Israelites were corfupted by their heathen neighbours. They were first led to their
entertainments and assemblies, then into their most wicked, cruel, and detestable idolatries. These things, St. Paul tells us, were wris. ten for our admonition; and it is an admonition we peculiarly need in this untoward generation. Let us then have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them; lest we learn their ways, and be like them, and so get a snare to our souls.
This Nealm was probably written after the captivity, as seems to be in.
timated in the third verse ; and I think the several parts of it may be applied to the case of the Israelites about that time. It is an an. them to be sung in several parts, and the call to praise God is the chorus, The first part to the eighth verse, seems to refer to the de. hverance of Ezra and his company in their march from Babylon to Jerusalem. We find, Ezra viii. 21, that they had set apart a day of fasting and prayer at the river Ahava, because they were passing through great dangers, and had much ireasure about them : at last they arrived safe at Jerusalem, when, it is probable, this psalm waa composed ; though Dr. Watis applies it to the Israelites journey through the wilderness,
mercy (endureth] for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say [so,) whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the 3 enemy ; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, 4 and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They
wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way ; they found na 5 city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, [and] he delive 7 ered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by 8 the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh
that (men) would praise the LORD (før] his goodness, and (for) 9 his wonderful works to the children of men ; for he satisfieth
the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. 10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, [being] Il bound in affliction and iron ; Because they rebeiled against the
words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High : 12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour ; they fell 13 down, and (there was) none to help. Then they cried unto the
Lord in their trouble, [and] he saved them out of their dise 14 tresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of
death, and brake their bands in sunder. This part of the pisalm may refer to their state while captives : though some of their were comparatively in comfortable circumstances ; yet others were ime prisoned, as their princes, and those that were for keeping up the war against the Chaldeans ; some might be sold for slaves, and so beaien, abused and put in irons : but God had now delivered them,
and broken their bands in sunder. Therefore the chorus proceeds, 15 Oh that (men) would praise the LORD (for] his goodness, and 16 (for) bis wonderful works to the children of men ! For he hath
broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. From hence to the twenty first verse may refer to any affliction or
sorrow which God sends, and especially what the captives endured 17 through hardships, want, or confinement. Fools, because of their 18 transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their
soul abhorreth all manner of meat : and they draw near unto 19 the gates of death. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trou20 ble, [and] he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word,
and healed them, and delivered (them) from their destructions. 21 Oh that (men) would praise the LORD (for) his goodness, and 32 (for) his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them
sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing From hence to the thirtieth verse, refers to the appearance of Providence in favour of sailors. Many of the Jews during the devastation of their country by the Chaldeansy
fied 10 other nations, and some of them might return by sea when 23 their captivity was restored. They that go down to the sea in 24 ships, that do business in great waters ; These see the works 25 of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he command
eth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves 26 thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to 27 the depths : their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel
to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their 28 wit's end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and 29 he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm 30 a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad
because they be quiet ; so he bringeth them unto their desired 31 haven. Oh that (men) would praise the Lord (for) his good
ness, and (for) his wonderful works to the children of men ! 32 Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and
praise him in the assembly of the elders; when they give an account of their voyage and preservation, let them do it in a serious manner, acknowledging the hand of God therein. The remainder of the fisalm may refer to the state of their country while it lay un
cullivated during the captivity, and the different aspect it began to 33 wear now they were returned. He turneth rivers into a wilder34 ness, and the water springs into dry ground; A fruitful land
into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. 35 He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground 36 into water springs. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, 37 that they may prepare a city for habitation ; And sow the
fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. 58 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly ; and 89 suffereth not their cattle to decrease. Again, they are minish.
ed and brought low through oppression, afiction, and sorrow ; probably referring to the disturbance they had from their enemies in the time of Nehemiah, and the opposition thai was made 10 their
40 settlement. He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth 41 them to wander in the wilderness (where there is) no way. Yet
setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh (him] 42 families like a flock. The righteous shall see [it,) and rejoice : 43 and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. Whoso (is) wise, and
will observe those [things,] even they shall understand the lov. ing kindness of the Lord.
1. ET us diligently attend to these repeated calls to praise for all his wonderful works to us and to them ; for protection in our journies, and the care he takes of us in going out and coming in; for his goodness in raising us up, when we have been brought low ; and sending his word and healing us. If we have reason to hope that we are the redeemed of the Lord, rescued from the slavery of sin and Satan, it is our incumbent duty to give thanks to the Lord, and cheerfully commit ourselves to him, in all the remainder of our journey through life.
2. We learn hence, to avoid those sins which bring down the judgments of God on mankind; namely, rebelling against the words of God, and contemning the counsel of the most High. Fools, bco cause of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicka ed. The natural consequences of disobedience and transgression are sorrow and shame ; and the design of afflictive providences is to bring down the heart, to humble its pride, and promote its caution and watchfulness for the future.
3. Let us remember how much our nation depends upon the divine blessing, and earnestly pray for it. Ours is a fruitful land, but may soon by our iniquities be turned into barrenness. It is God's blessing that multiplies the people greatly, and suffers not their cattle to decrease. We should particularly remember the case of our seafaring men, who are the strength and bulwarks of our land, and the great means of our security and wealth ; and pray that they who behold the wonders of God in the deep, may fear and glorify him, and celebrate his praise.
4. We here see how good it to be careful observers of God's providence ; of his dispensations to us, to our country, to other nations, and to all mankind. We should observe and own his hand even where the train of events is most natural. Thus shall we see how God governs the world, and have full conviction of the folly and impiety of those who deny his providence. By observing these things, treasuring them up in our minds, and seriously reflecting upon them, we shall see the loving kindness of the Lord; how good he is to all his creatures, especially to those who serve and honour him : and how that saying is fulfilled, Those that honour me, I will honour ; but those that desnise me, shall be lightly esieemed.