CONSOLATION IN GOD
Psalms 65:3. Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.
FROM reading the experience of the saints, as recorded in the Holy Scriptures, we derive not only comfort and encouragement, but the most refined instruction that can be conveyed to the mind of man. As in light there is a combination of widely different rays, and it is that combination, together with their simultaneous action, which gives to light its peculiar sweetness; so it is a combination of widely different views and feelings that gives to the Christian his divinely-tempered experience in the things of God. In the passage before us, we behold the man after God’s own heart bewailing his sinfulness, yet not discouraged; and sweetly comforted in his soul, without any abatement of his contrition. It is this mixture of feeling which so greatly elevates the Christian character. His graces, by means of it, shine with a subdued lustre; and being thus tempered, they are “pleasing to the eyes both of God and man [Note: Ecclesiastes 11:7.].” Let us notice,
I. His complaint—
What are we to understand by this expression, “Iniquities prevail against me?”
[It cannot be meant that he indulged in sin of any kind; for “one who is born of God doth not commit sin; nor indeed can he commit sin (willingly and habitually), because he is born of God.” “Whoso committeth sin in this way, is of the devil [Note: 1 John 3:8-9.].” Indeed the very terms here used suppose a conflict. David hated and resisted sin in the daily habit of his mind: but he had within him a principle of evil as well as of good; “the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, so that he could not do the things that he would [Note: Galatians 5:17.].” He was in the same predicament with the Apostle Paul; who, though he delighted in the Law of God after the inward man, “found a law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin which was in his members.” And under a painful sense of his infirmities he cried, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death,” which I am constrained thus to drag along with me, as a putrid carcase, even to my dying hour [Note: Romans 7:22-24. Alluding to a punishment which some tyrants have inflicted on the objects of their displeasure.]? We understand, therefore, David as saying precisely what St. Paul also says: “To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not: for the good that I would, I do not; and the evil which I would not, that I do [Note: Romans 7:18-19.].”]
And who is there amongst us that has not reason to adopt this language in reference to his own soul?
[If we look at the workings of actual corruption, we shall all find occasion to confess, “Iniquities prevail against me.” All, it is true, are not guilty of gross sin: but who is free from indwelling corruption? “Who can say, I have made my heart clean [Note: Proverbs 20:9.]?” There is an abundance both of “spiritual and fleshly filthiness” in every child of man [Note: 2 Corinthians 7:1.]: the most eminent saint on earth is renewed but in part [Note: 1 Corinthians 13:9-10.]: it is in heaven alone that absolute perfection exists. He can know but little of himself who does not see occasion to mourn over many evil thoughts, and many corrupt propensities. Not to mention those which pertain to man in common with the beast, let us take a view of the workings of our hearts in relation to pride, envy, malice, and revenge: let us call to mind the motions of anger, fretfulness, impatience, of which our consciences must convict us: let us trace the influence of uncharitableness towards those who stand in competition with us, or have made themselves in any way obnoxious to our displeasure. We may soon discover how far any of us are from being perfect, and what need we all have to cry, “Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified [Note: Psalms 143:2.].”
But let us look at our short-comings and defects, and then we shall find no difficulty in adopting the complaint of David in our text. The true way to discover our real state before God, is to take his holy Law as the standard whereby to try our habits and attainments. How far are any of us from loving God with all our heart, and all our mind, and all our soul, and all our strength; and our neighbour as ourselves! Only let us notice the frame of our souls through the day, yea even in the exercises of devotion, and we shall have no need for any one to tell us how far we are still alienated from God, and how little we have attained of habitual communion with him. And though we may, on the whole, be kind towards our neighbour, let us only be brought by any circumstances into actual collision with him, and we shall discover to others at least, if not discern in ourselves, how very far short of the divine standard our love to him is, and how unlike we are to Christ, who “laid down his life for his enemies.” Let us go on to examine the state of our souls in reference to our blessed Lord and Saviour, who died for us. What admiring and adoring thoughts of him should we entertain from day to day, from hour to hour! What floods of tears should run down our cheeks from a sense of love and gratitude to him for all the wonders of his love; and what an influence should they produce on the whole of our life and conversation.
I need go no further to confirm the truth which I am inculcating, namely, that “iniquities do indeed prevail against us” to a fearful extent; and that all of us have need to “walk softly before God” in the remembrance of them [Note: Isaiah 38:15.].]
But, if we partake of David’s sorrows, we may also be partakers of,
II. His consolation—
As the Apostle, after his lamentation, found comfort in Christ, so David also found consolation in God through Christ. He derives comfort,
1. From the free grace and mercy of God—
[It is evident that he regards God as a gracious and merciful Being, who would “not be extreme to mark what was done amiss [Note: Psalms 130:3.] but would in judgment remember mercy. And this ground of hope is open to us all: for mercy is the darling attribute of the Deity, if I may so speak, the attribute “in which he delights [Note: Micah 7:18.];” whilst judgment is that strange work to which he is utterly averse [Note: Isaiah 28:21.]. See the description which Jehovah gives of his own character: “I am the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin [Note: Exodus 34:6-7.].” See also his marvellous displays of this attribute towards the children of men: to what an extent it could reach [Note: 2 Chronicles 33:19.], and with what rapidity it could fly to the discharge of its delightful office [Note: 2 Samuel 12:13.]. Hear the language in which God “reasons” with sinners: (O, blessed reasoning! I pray God it may convince us all, and not leave so much as a shadow of doubt upon our minds!) “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool [Note: Isaiah 1:18.].” Yes, Brethren, however discouraging your inward conflicts may be, ye may well “encourage yourselves in the Lord your God [Note: 1 Samuel 30:6.].”]
2. From the sufficiency of the means ordained by God—
[God had appointed sacrifices as an atonement for sin: and, though “they could never take away sin,” or “make a man perfect as pertaining to the conscience [Note: Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:4; Hebrews 10:14.],” they directed the offerers to that one great sacrifice which was in due time to be offered on the cross, and which was a sufficient “propitiation for the sins of the whole world [Note: 1 John 2:2.].” And, in the view of that sacrifice, David, with all his enormous guilt upon him, could say, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow [Note: Psalms 51:7.].” Who then amongst us shall despair of mercy, if only we seek it in the Saviour’s name? Indeed it is not mercy only, but justice also, that shall plead for us, if we approach our God in the name of Christ: for we are told that “if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [Note: 1 John 1:9.].” Here, then, let the drooping sinner take courage; and to his complaints, that “iniquities prevail against him,” add the consolatory truth, “As for my transgressions, O Lord, thou shalt purge them away.” Thou hast “opened a fountain for sin and for uncleanness [Note: Zechariah 13:1.];” and I believe that it shall be sufficient even for me; and that “the blood of Jesus Christ, thy Son, shall cleanse me from all sin [Note: 1 John 1:7.].”]
To all of you, then, I would SAY,
1. Acquaint yourselves with your own ways, that you may be truly humbled—
[There can be no humility without self-knowledge: nor must any one be satisfied with an examination of his outward conduct: (that, like St. Paul’s in his unconverted state, may be “blameless [Note: Philippians 3:6.]”). We must search our hearts, if we would know ourselves aright; yea, and “beg of God also to search and try us,” if we would attain that kind of self-knowledge which alone will be sufficient to humble our proud spirits [Note: Psalms 139:23-24.]. Mark, then, I pray you, your thoughts, your desires, your motives, your principles, and the entire habit of your minds before God. Mark all your tempers under the various circumstances that arise from day to day: and compare yourselves with the requirements of the Law, and with that great exemplar, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do this, and you will find no temptation to pride yourselves on your attainments, or to exalt yourselves above your less favoured brethren. You will find your place, where the Apostle found his, amongst the chief of sinners, and will vie with him in magnifying and adoring the grace of God — — —]
2. “Acquaint yourselves with God, that you may be at peace”—
[This was the advice which Eliphaz gave to Job [Note: Job 22:21.], and which I would give to every one of you. It is self-knowledge which alone can humble us: but it is the knowledge of God alone that can afford us any comfort. Indeed, the more we know of our indwelling corruptions, the more shall we despair, if we do not proportionably grow in the knowledge of God and of his Son Jesus Christ. But if we bear in mind what we have already stated respecting the character of God, and the sufficiency of that sacrifice which Christ has offered for us, we shall attain that precise frame of mind, that just admixture of hope and fear, of joy and sorrow, of confidence and abasement, which constitutes the perfection of Christian experience, and leads to the highest possible attainments in the divine life. Go then, every one of you, my Brethren, to God in Christ Jesus. Carry nothing with you but your sins. Think not of purging them away by any thing that you yourselves can do; but cast yourselves upon the mercy of God in Christ Jesus; and expect from him the mercy which you need for the pardon of your sins, and the grace which you need for the maintenance of your future conflicts. Only go with Paul, crying, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me?” and you shall be enabled to add with him, “I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord [Note: Romans 7:25.].”]
THE BLESSEDNESS OF WAITING UPON GOD
Psalms 65:4. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
THE connexion between duty and happiness, though not seen by the generality of men, is certain. It may not presently appear: but it will approve itself, at last, to all who will wait for the issue of passing events. To the ungodly man it seems a drudgery to wait upon God: but to every humble and believing suppliant it will be found a source of unbounded bliss; so at least the Psalmist affirms in the words before us; from which we shall take occasion to notice,
I. The habit of God’s chosen people—
It is the delight of every true Christian to approach unto his God—
[He feels, like the Psalmist, that “iniquity has prevailed against him” to a very fearful extent: but he sees that an all-sufficient atonement has been offered for him; and that, through the blood of Christ once shed on Calvary, “every transgression that he has ever committed may be purged away [Note: ver. 3.].” Hence he approaches God with all humility as a sinner, and with all earnestness, as one that desires mercy at his hands — — — Nor is it on some particular occasions only that his people draw nigh to him. They resemble the priests of old, whose apartments were in the temple, round about the sanctuary; and who therefore “dwelt in his courts:” for, in the habit of their minds at least, “they dwell in God” by meditation and prayer; and “God dwells in them” by the abiding influence of his Spirit and grace — — —]
And to this is he brought by the mighty working of the power of God—
[It is not by any natural power that the saints draw nigh unto God. Of themselves, they would flee from God, even as our first parents did in Paradise. It is “God himself who draws them [Note: John 6:44.],” and who from all eternity “chose them” to this high honour. They are unto the Lord “an holy priesthood [Note: 1 Peter 2:9.];” and what God said to Eli may, in a spiritual sense, be applied to them; “Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt, in Pharaoh’s house? and did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? Yes, I did [Note: 1 Samuel 2:27-28.]:” and in like manner has God chosen from eternity, and “set apart for himself” in time, all those who by “a spirit of grace and of supplication” approach unto him [Note: Psalms 4:3. Zechariah 12:10.]. Hence it is, and hence alone, that they are “a people near unto him [Note: Psalms 148:14.].”]
And it is not without reason that David declares,
II. Their blessedness resulting from it.
The terms in which he states this, convey the idea most richly to our minds—
[The priests, whilst serving at the altar, “partook of the altar,” and “lived of the altar.” See the particular account, as stated by Moses. “The Lord spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave-offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them, by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever. This shall be thine of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every oblation of theirs, every meat-offering of theirs, and every sin-offering of theirs, and every trespass-offering of theirs, which they shall render unto me, shall be most holy for thee, and for thy sons. In the most holy place shalt thou eat it; every male shall eat it: it shall be holy unto thee. And this is thine: the heave-offering of their gift, with all the wave-offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons, and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever; every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the first-fruits of them, which they shall offer unto the Lord, them have I given thee. And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the Lord, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it. Every thing devoted in Israel shall be thine [Note: Numbers 18:8-14.].” Let this be noticed; and it will be seen that the priests of old were richly provided for, and well sustained by the fatness of God’s house.]
And here we see indeed the blessedness of waiting upon God—
[God’s people, now, are “priests unto their God [Note: Revelation 1:6.].” And this is the sustenance which, in a spiritual sense, is provided for them. Mark the wonderful correspondence between the Prophet Jeremiah, when describing the times of the Gospel, and Moses, in the fore-cited passage, declaring the ordinances of the Law: “They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow any more at all …. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness; and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord [Note: Jeremiah 31:12; Jeremiah 31:14.].” Who does not see in this the accomplishment of my text? In communion with God, the souls of men are filled as with marrow and fatness, whilst their mouth praiseth him with joyful lips [Note: Psalms 63:5.]. “And in the communications which they receive from him, they are abundantly satisfied with the fatness of his house; and he makes them to drink of the river of his pleasures [Note: Psalms 36:7-8.].” In truth, no tongue can declare, no imagination can conceive, the full extent of those benefits which men obtain by waiting upon God: for “the riches that they obtain are unsearchable;” their “peace passeth all understanding;” and their “joy is unspeakable and glorified.”]
See, then, I pray you, Brethren,
1. How different is the issue of men’s different pursuits!—
[Is the worldling ever thus replenished to satiety? Never. He grasps a shadow: and “in the midst of his sufficiency he is in straits [Note: Job 20:22.]” — — — But the true Christian finds in his God all that his soul can desire: and “drinking of the water that Christ gives him, he never thirsts again” for any thing that this vain world can afford [Note: John 4:14.] — — —]
2. What a preparation for heaven is the Christian’s employment upon earth!
[It is the delight of the Christian to draw nigh to God, and to offer to him the sacrifices of prayer and praise. And what, I pray you, are they doing in heaven? The only difference is, that here they pour forth their prayers under the influence of hope; but there, their one sacrifice is praise, called forth without ceasing, under a sense of complete, uninterrupted fruition.
Let, then, every soul amongst you adopt the habit of holy David: “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple [Note: Psalms 27:4.].”]
GOD’S WORKS OF PROVIDENCE AND GRACE
Psalms 65:9-13. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water; thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers; thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness: they drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks: the valleys also are covered over with corn: they shout for joy; they also sing.
ON what occasion this psalm was written is not certainly known: but it is probable that the inspired penman wrote it on the removal of the famine which God sent to punish the cruelty of Saul and of his bloody house towards the Gibeonites, whom he was bound by covenant to protect. This famine lasted three years: but at last, David having inquired of the Lord on what account this heavy judgment had been sent, and how the removal of it might be obtained, he was informed, that it was sent as a punishment of Saul’s treachery, in which the people, no doubt, had too willingly concurred; and that he must execute on Saul’s posterity such a judgment as the Gibeonites themselves should award to them. The Gibeonites demanded that seven of Saul’s sons should be put to death. Seven of his sons were accordingly delivered into their hands, and were hanged up by them, as an atonement for their father’s sin [Note: 2 Samuel 21:1-9.]. The Gibeonites being now satisfied with this act of retributive justice, the favour of God was restored to the land, and the whole nation was gladdened with the return of plenty. Under this great calamity, David and all the pious of the land had humbled themselves before God; and in this psalm they acknowledge God as the merciful Answerer of prayer to his penitent people, whilst he was the just Punisher of sin to those who continued impenitent. “He had lately answered them by terrible things in righteousness” for their transgressions: and now he had mercifully “heard their prayer,” and “purged away their transgressions.”
The words before us give a lively and beautiful description of the change wrought upon the earth through the rich showers with which God, in his mercy, had watered it. Of course our attention therefore must, in the first place, be fixed on those blessings of providence with which we also are favoured: yet, as throughout all the inspired writings there will be found a reference to spiritual blessings, under those terms which at first sight appear to have only a literal and carnal import, it will be proper to notice, also, what we conceive to be mystically contained in this passage. Agreeably to this view, we shall consider the text,
I. As literally fulfilled in the blessings of God’s Providence—
God is, in reality, “the giver of every good and perfect gift”—
[Because God, in the first creation of the world, assigned to every thing its proper place and office, we are apt to overlook his agency in the things of daily occurrence, and to ascribe them to what are called the laws of nature. But the hand of God is as necessary to uphold the universe, as ever it was to create it at first. The heavenly bodies, it is true, have had their motions given them from the beginning; and have, for the most part, continued to obey the laws of their creation, But they have occasionally had those laws suspended; as when the sun stood still upon Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon, for the space of a whole day: and from hence it appears, that they move in subserviency to the will of their Creator, and execute his righteous purposes of vengeance or of love, according to his command. The same may be said respecting the elements of this terraqueous globe. Fire and water have their properties; according to which, for the most part, they act: but at God’s command the waters stood like a wall, to form a passage and a rampart for his chosen people; and the fire lost its power even to singe the clothes of his faithful servants, who were cast into it for their fidelity to him. In like manner, the earth produces fruits of different kinds; and the rains at certain seasons descend to call forth into activity its vegetative powers. But the agency both of the heavens and the earth depends altogether upon God, who, when he sees fit, “makes the heavens as brass,” and the earth as iron. In a climate like ours, where the rains are frequent and occasional, God’s agency is but little seen: but in countries where the rains are periodical, the want of them is so severely felt, that the goodness of God in sending them is more sensibly perceived, and more readily acknowledged. But in one place as well as in another, the influences both of heaven and earth are alike dependent upon him, and must be referred to Him as their true, and only, and continual source.]
His bounty and goodness should be gratefully acknowledged by us at this time—
[Extremely beautiful is the description here given of the progress of vegetation, in consequence of a seasonable supply of rain [Note: Here repeat the text.] — — — To attempt an illustration of these words would weaken their force, and reduce their sublimity. But, if a poetical taste alone can qualify us to appreciate their beauty, and to enter into them with a becoming zest, a spiritual taste also is necessary, to lead us to a due improvement of them, and to enable us to realize their full import. However, whether gifted with a poetical imagination or not, let me entreat all to survey the face of the earth; to see the change that has been wrought on every thing around him: methinks, without any poetic fancy, he may see the smiles of universal nature, and hear the songs and shoutings of a grateful world. And let our hearts respond to the voice of nature, and ascend up in praises and thanksgivings to our bounteous God.]
But let us further view the text,
II. As emblematically describing the yet richer blessings of his grace—
Besides the primary sense of Scripture, there is frequently a secondary and subordinate meaning, which ought not to be overlooked. In relation to this matter, the New Testament affords us the fullest information, in that it cites many passages in which we should have had no conception of any thing beyond the literal meaning, if a further sense had not been unfolded to us by Him whose wisdom cannot err, and whose authority cannot be questioned. The whole 104th Psalm, in appearance, relates to the works of creation and providence; but towards the close of it we are led, though but cursorily and obscurely, to the contemplation of God’s spiritualgovernment; in which view, the psalm is appointed by our Church to be read on the day whereon the out-pouring of the Spirit is more especially commemorated. The psalm before us may with equal propriety be viewed in the same light; and the rather, because the images used in our text are frequently applied to that very subject, to represent the influence of God’s Spirit on the soul; “His doctrine dropping as the rain, and distilling as the dew; as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass [Note: Deuteronomy 32:2.].”
Let us notice, then, the influence of the Gospel,
1. Upon the world at large—
[Verily, the whole world is one great wilderness; some few spots only giving any just evidence of cultivation. It is not above one-sixth part of mankind that has even so much as heard of the name of Jesus: and where his Gospel is not preached, sin reigns without control: even religion itself is nothing but a blind and bloody superstition, involving its votaries in every thing that is cruel and detestable. But see where the Gospel has gained an ascendant: look at Britain, for instance, and compare its state at this time with its state previous to the introduction of Christianity: once it was a dreary desert; but now it blossoms as the rose, and is as the garden of Eden. True it is that the name of Christianity effects but little: it civilizes, indeed, and raises the standard of morals; but it produces nothing corresponding with the description before us. But when “the word comes, not in word only, but in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance,” then a great and mighty change is effected: “the Spirit being poured out from on high, the wilderness becomes a fruitful field; and the fruitful field is so abundant, that it is even counted for a forest [Note: Isaiah 32:15.].” Could we but inspect the various settlements where zealous ministers have established churches amongst the savages of different climes, and see the difference between them and their yet uninstructed countrymen, we should have a far juster notion of the power of the Gospel than we can acquire in the midst of civilized society, where little remains to be added to the external deportment, and where the change effected by the Gospel is chiefly of a spiritual and internal nature. But the whole subject will be more fully open to us, if we view the Gospel as operating—]
2. Upon the souls of individual believers—
[What were any of us in our unconverted state, but, like a barren heath, bringing forth briars and thorns, without any of those fruits of righteousness in which God delights? As for humiliation before God, and a simple life of faith in the Lord Jesus, and a delight in spiritual exercises, and an entire devotedness of soul to God, we were as much strangers to it all as the heathen themselves. But, when the word of the Gospel came with power to our souls, it wrought a change upon our whole man, and made us altogether new creatures: “Old things passed away; and, behold, all things became new.” The obdurate surface of our hearts was softened; and the unproductive soil put forth a vital energy; by means of which all the fruits of the Spirit sprang up in rich abundance, and gave a hopeful prospect of a luxuriant harvest. Would we see this realized in a way that cannot be misunderstood, let us look at the converts on the day of Pentecost. It is not possible to conceive persons more destitute of all good, or more filled with every hateful quality, than were the crucifiers and murderers of the Lord of Glory: yet in one hour how changed! so that they remain to this day the most exalted patterns of piety to the whole world. Thus it is at this day, also, amongst ourselves: the work, indeed, is not so sudden, nor so general; but, where the grace of the Gospel is received in truth, it operates precisely in the same way: “instead of the brier, there grows up the fir-tree; and instead of the thorn, there grows up the myrtle-tree; and even the tenderest plants rise in stately magnificence into “trees of righteousness, whereby the Lord is glorified.”]
Let me now call you,
1. To adore your God for the blessings you have already received—
[I would not that you should overlook the blessings of Providence. Even in this country we have often known the sad effects of scarcity: and we may well, therefore, bless our God for the prospects of abundance. To every one of you I would say, with David, “Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God; who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry [Note: Psalms 147:7-9.].”
And will you not much more adore him for the blessings of his grace? Surely, if you do not, the very stones will cry out against you — — — Yet rest not in mere acknowledgments, however grateful they may be: but seek to abound in fruits of righteousness: which, whilst they are the necessary evidences of his work upon your souls, are the only effectual means of bringing honour to his name.]
2. To look to him continually for fresh and more abundant communications—
[The fertilising showers which we have received will be of little avail, if they be not renewed from time to time: and all the grace that any of us have received, will be ineffectual for any permanent good, if we be not favoured with fresh “supplies of the Holy Spirit” from day to day. The grace which has been imparted to our souls this day, will no more suffice for our spiritual wants to-morrow, than will the light which has been communicated to our bodies. We must receive out of Christ’s fulness from day to day, as the branch of the vine receives from its stem and root. Let your daily prayer, then, be like that of David: “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is [Note: Psalms 63:1.].” In reading the word, and in the public ordinances, look up for the blessing of God upon your soul; and plead with him that gracious promise, “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring; and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses [Note: Isaiah 44:3-4.].” Yes, Beloved, look unto God with increasing earnestness and confidence; and he will pour out upon you “showers of blessings:” and you shall be “beauteous as the olive, and fruitful as the vine, and fragrant as the woods of Lebanon [Note: Hosea 14:4-7.].”]
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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 65". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week after Epiphany