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13. It is thou that arisest, and hast compassion on Zion, When it is time to favour her, then the appointed time is
come; 14. When thy servants take pleasure in her stones,
And regard her dust with favour: 15. And the nations shall fear the name of Jehovah,
And all the kings of the earth thy glory; 16. When Jehovah shall have built Zion,
And his glory shall be seen, &c. *
But, again, the despairing sufferer, in the twenty-third and twenty-fourth verses, is made to pour out his complaint:
He hath depressed my strength in my journey,
He hath shortened my days.
In the midst of my days.
The oracle replies, and the apostle Paul has expressly quoted the words as an address to the Son of God:—
24. Thy years are for all generations.
And the heavens are the work of thine hands : 26. These perish, but thou remainest;
Ay, all these become old like a garment,
Thou changest them as a vesture : 27. They are changed, but thou art the same;
And thy years never end. 28. The children of thy servants remain,
And their seed is established in thy presence.
The hundred-and-fourth psalm, though its general
* Psalm cii.
subject is creation and providence, ends not without anticipating a time when
35. The sinners are extirpated from the earth,
And the wicked, till they are no more.
But, before that shall come to pass, as we read in a verse above
32. He looked on the earth, and it trembled;
He touched the mountains, and they smoked.
I should refer, also, to the hundred-and-seventh psalm, as containing a very minute prophecy of the restoration of the Israelitish nation; “ from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south.” What befals four different parties of them on their journey, seems to be particularly detailed : and next their settlement in the land of Canaan. That land had undergone, indeed, a wonderful change; once it was a “good”.land, “ flowing with milk and honey;" but it had become a desolation :
33. He turneth rivers into a desert,
And springs of water into a dry soil; 34. A fruitful land into a salt waste,
For the wickedness of them that inhabit it.
The time, however, is now come, when he will begin to have mercy on his land, and on his people :
35. He turneth the desert into a lake of waters,
And a parched land into water-springs : 36. And he establisheth there the famished,
And they build a city for their habitation: 37. And they sow fields, and plant vineyards,
And they gather the fruits of increase.
This appears not to be the final restoration of Zion, though it seems to lead to it; nor does it say that they are absolutely dispossessed of their country and city; only:
39. But again they are reduced in number, and bowed down,
Through oppression, injury, and grief.
Vengeance, however, awaits their adversaries :
40. He poured contempt upon princes,
And let them wander in a trackless waste.
We have every reason to suppose this to be descriptive of the fate of the last enemy of Israel, of which we have read so much before: and who can tell but that Israel, on its first restoration, or those parts of it first restored, as to the main body of the people, may answer to the prophetical description of the fiftieth psalm : and that this is the visitation of Providence, that produces in their hearts the last most effectual prayer :
41. And he raiseth on high the destitute out of misery,
And maketh him families like a flock of sheep, &c.
In pursuit of the inquiry, for which we are now searching the Scriptures, the hundred-and-tenth psalm will much fix our attention :
1. Thus spake Jehovah to my Lord,
“ Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thine enemies
The stool for thy feet."
Our Lord, we shall all remember, has applied this passage to himself, as the Messiah or Christ : and, keeping“ whole
and undefiled the doctrine of the Saviour's divinity," we shall not be at a loss with the Pharisees to explain the reason, " why David in spirit calleth him Lord,” although he is “his son.” We have had also fully explained to us, how he, who is hereafter to be manifested as the King of glory, was for a season to be removed from earth; and after he had by himself purged our sins, was to sit down “ at the right hand of the majesty on high”—“ whom the heavens must receive, until the times of restitution of all things.” This risen Saviour is addressed in this wonderful psalm :
2. Jehovah will send forth the sceptre of thy power from Zion,
Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Is the dew of thy progeny.
This divine oracle certainly seems to predict, that we must look to Zion, and the holy hills of Jerusalem, for the spot from whence the glorious Redeemer, at his second coming, is to be first manifested. And who is this people, whose "rich overflowings” shall cover with their gladly thronging multitudes, the holy hills, on this occasion, in numbers compared to the drops of dew, that the opening morning discovers on the earth? Surely these are none other than “ the holy myriads,” which the Lord when he cometh brings with him — “ the myriads,” from the midst of whom Moses saw “ the Holy One come forth;” or, as we read in the sixty-eighth psalm, “ Elohim rideth on amid myriads, thousands of thousands; the Lord is with them, as in Sinai, in the sanctuary.” It follows:
4. Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent:
“ Thou art a priest for ever :" 5. After the order of Melchizedec,
* Is’ my Lord at thy right hand.
The perpetual priesthood of Christ, which we are now to consider him as exercising, on behalf of his redeemed people, in heaven above, the apostle has explained to us in his epistle to the Hebrews; we are now to observe, that this priesthood is of a particular order— that of Melchizedec; that is to say, the risen Saviour unites in his person the two offices of Priest and King. He is “ a priest upon his throne :” he not only is “ appointed for men to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin,” but “ he bears” also “ the sword” of justice, as “ God's great minister," “ to execute vengeance upon the evil-doers :” to be “ the captain of the Lord's people,” “ under whose hand the Lord will give his people rest.”
The enemies of his people will one day feel this. The last conflict is again foreboded :
Kings hath he smitten in the day of his wrath, 6. He contendeth with the nations, filling all with dead
bodies; He hath smitten the head of a great country : 7. HE drinketh of the Nile on the way,
Therefore he lifteth high his head.
The same prophetic event, no doubt, as that before predicted in the sixty-eighth psalm; “ Chiefs come out of Egypt, his hand urges Ethiopia against God,” &c. &c.
The hundred-and-thirteenth psalm will also much illustrate the prophecy of Hannah's prayer, that stands at the head of the prophecies of this era :-.