« PreviousContinue »
ON WEDNESDAY, THE ELEVENTH OF MARCH, A.D. MDLXXXIX.
expositors, being the latter end of the long dissension between prior. the Houses of David and Saul, evident it is, the estate of the
Psalm lxxv. 3.
will establish the pillars of it.
the pillars of it. Engl. Trans.]
It was Moses, the Man of God, that by special direction from God first began, and brought up this order, to make conveyer
of men's duties into their minds. And Deu.31.19. David sithence hath continued it, and brought it to perfection in this book, as having a special grace and felicity in this kind; he for Songs, and his son Solomon for Proverbs. By which two, that is, by the unhappy adage, and by a wanton song, Satan hath ever breathed most of his infection and poison into the mind of man.
In which holy and Heavenly use of his harp, he doth, by his tunes of music, teach men how to set themselves Ps. 15. in tune. How not only to tune themselves, but how to tune
[passim.) their households. And not only there, but here in this Ps. 101.
(passim.) Psalm, how to preserve harmony, or, as he termeth it, how to sing ne perdas, to a commonwealth. So saith the inscription, [Vid. S. which St. Augustine very fitly calleth the key of every En. in Ps. For the time of setting this song, by general consent of all 27. de Tit.
139. (140.) 1. et Serm.
SERM. land was very near to a perdas, and needed ne perdas to be
sung unto it.
For, besides the great overthrow in the mountains of
Gilboa, given by the enemy, wherein the King and three 1Sam. 31.7. of his sons were slain, and a great part of the country
surprised by the Philistine, the desolation of a divided
kingdom was come upon them too. For within themselves 2 Sam.3.12. they were at Cujus est terra ? even at civil wars. At the 2 Sam.2.14. beginning but “a play”—so Abner termeth it, but “bitterness 2Sam. 2. 26. at the end," as the same Abner confesseth. Surely, it
a weak state and low brought: so much doth David imply in the fore part of the verse, that he found the land a weak land, by means the strength and pillars of it were all out of course by the misgovernment of Saul. But then withal in the latter part of the verse he professeth, he will leave it a land of strength, by re-establishing the pillars, and re-edifying the state new again. “The earth,” &c.
The style whereof runneth in the terms of Architecture, very aptly resembling the government to a frame of building ; the same set upon and borne up by certain bases and pillars, the strength whereof assureth, or the weakness endangereth the whole ; and David himself to a skilful builder, surveying the pillars, and searching into the decays; repairing their
ruins, and setting them into course again. The Whereout ariseth naturally the entreaty of these four
That the weakness or strength of a land, is a point of important consideration.
That the strength of a land is in the pillars; and what they are.
That the upholding of those pillars appertaineth to David.
How, and in what sort, Saul weakened them in his time; and David in his made them fast.
First, David had read that, among the instructions Num.13.19. delivered by Moses to the spies, the very first and chief of all
was, Whether the land were weak or strong. So he had read, and so he believed it to be; and so it is. For sure,
in such lands where this is their song, “The earth is weak," their music is all out of tune. For the note is such as affecteth the inhabitants with fear. 1. Fear, in the inhabitant, for these
two, 1. Virtus testacea, and 2. Cor cereum, “strength like P3. 22. 14, a potsherd,” and “ a heart like wax;" a weak land, and a fearful inhabitant, go together. 2. Courage, in the enemy: for where Rabshakeh knoweth but so much, that the land is Isa. 36. 12. weak, you shall not entreat him to speak any thing but Hebrew.
This music is heavy, and therefore David saw the song must be new set. And so he doth set it new, changing it into a more pleasant note, “ But I will strengthen it.” And when the note is so changed, “ in that day shall this song be sung Isa. 26. 1. in the land of Judah, We have a strong city; salvation hath God set for the walls and bulwarks of it.”
This music hath life in it, and hearteneth the inhabitant afresh; quaileth the enemy and resolveth the neighbour to say, “ Thine are we, O David, and on thy side, thou son 1Chr.12.18. of Jesse.” When a prince may say of his land, as Moses did of Judah, “His own hands are sufficient for him” (if the Deu. 33. 7. Lord help him) “ against all his enemies;" and the land may say of the Prince that which Solomon setteth down as the high commendation of a Prince, that he is Rex Alkum, that is, ne surgito, “rise not;" no rising against him, Pro. 30.31. for that they which have risen had better have sat still. And they both may send word to the enemy, if he threaten to come and visit them, the word that Joash sent; “ Tarry at 2 Kings 14. home, and provoke not evil against thyself.” This music is blessed, and such hath hitherto been the song of our nation.
What Samuel said, when he pitched the stone of help, we 1 Sam.7.12. cannot deny, but we may say
« Thus far hath God holpen us;" Whose arm is not shortened though Pharaoh's heart be hardened. Ilitherto, “Salvation hath God set for our walls and bulwarks,” and our prince, Prince Alkum; and our enemy hath not " boasted himself at the putting off his 1 Kings 2. armour, as at the buckling it on;" and our neighbours glad to “ lay hold of our skirts and say, We will be yours,
for we Zach.8. 22. see God is with you :" the great blessing of God having been upon us, “ Thou shalt lend to many nations, but shalt borrow Deu.28. 12. of none.” Such hath hitherto been our song; and such may it long be-yea, ever, O Lord! And that it may so be, David teacheth the way of keeping it so still, namely, by setting fast