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« the more is my admiration of the words “which the Holy Ghost those divine compositions increased teacheth," much care is necessary, and I feel deeply the wish of that we may pray in the spirit and good Bishop Horne, that whenever with the understanding also. If death comes, it may find my mind we do not properly know the mean. adapted to the perusal and relish of ing of the petitions offered, and of them. As my long-continued pros- the pleas urged ; if we do not feel perity has made gratitude the pre- their suitableness to our own chavailing sentiment of my heart, the racter and circumstances, how can 103rd and the 145th are most fre. our prayers be acceptable and proquently in my mouth, especially fitable ? In making use of the since I read somewhere that the rich treasure of devotional sentiancient Hebrews had a tradition ment and feeling, we have so grathat a man could not fail to secure ciously provided for us in the Book a place in heaven, if he would re- of Psalms, we need the spirit of all peat to himself the latter part of grace to enlighten the understandthese Psalms every day. You, who ing, and apply the truth to our are, perhaps, better able to judge own business and bosom :than I am, will, I daresay, agree Thus shall we prove the power of prayer, with me that nothing in ancient To strengthen faith, and sweeten care; literature is at all comparable to
To teach our faint desires to rise, the Psalms, even as human compo
And bring all heaven before our eyes. sitions ;--what is Pindar to the When the Psalmist
prays" pre139th among others ?”
serve my soul; for I am holy," the The petitions recorded in the propriety of such a plea, to some Psalms, and the manner in which persons, may not be at first sight they are urged, are the dictates of apparent. It may seem, percbance, the Divine Spirit who “helpeth somewhat strange that David our infirmities,” and “maketh in- should urge his holiness as a reason tercession for the saints according why his petition should be heard to the will of God.”. Some are and answered. Some of God's stumbled at the repetitions found saints, from a deep consciousness in these inspired prayers; but these of indwelling corruption, have are not “ vain repetitions;" it is been unable to urge this scriptural, the language of the heart full pertinent, and availing argument, fraught with the vehemency of holy which has power with God, and affection. There is nothing to be will prevail. But, why so ? the condemned in the longest prayer plea is as powerful as the petition where the heart speaks every word, is important. May the spirit of though it be repeated over and over God teach us its import and appliagain. Says one, who enjoyed in a
cation ! pre-eminent degree the spirit of What a mercy it is, distinguish. prayer-"I had rather share with ing and undeserved, to be converted the publican in his own words, and to God; to be born again; to be say it often over as if I had no- brought, by rich, free, sovereign thing else to say, 'God be merciful
grace, out of the kingdom of darkto me a sinner,' saying it with such ness, and translated into the kinga heart, than the most excellent dom of God's dear son! To have prayer where the outside is the
our guilty, condemned, lost soul, better half.” Still, in using the pardoned, justified, saved, what a language of others in prayer, even privilege! But this, though indis.
pensable, is not all that is neces- the gins and snares on his right sary. We need to be the pre- hand and his left, “and pierce served in Christ Jesus," as well as themselves through with many the “called.” We are not only sorrows." The paths that lead begotten again by God's abundant astray are numerous; the entrance mercy“ to an inheritance incorrup- into these paths is deceitful ; our tible, and undefiled, and that fadeth weakness and waywardness are pronot away,” but we need to be verbial; the sad consequences of "kept by the power of God through our stumbling or falling are so faith' unto salvation.” Hence the serious to ourselves and others to petition—“preserve my soul.” the Church and the world--that
Here is something implied--a none should be high-minded, but sense of danger; hence the cry for fear. The warnings of God's word, Divine protection. In many ways, the melancholy wrecks that are we all, and always, need that preser- seen around us, and the woeful exvation, which God only can afford. perience of our own deceitful heart, God alone can preserve our life, should lead us all to cherish a conhealth, faculties, friends. Where- stant sense of continual danger. ever we are, at home or abroad, on How needful the petition-0 God, land or sea, we need His protecting "preserve my soul!" arm to be over us and ours. In Here is something requested all circumstances, we need to pre- Divine help; God's persevering aid sent the prayer of the Psalmist in every stage and step of our pil"Preserve me, O God; for in thee grimage. “Preserve my soul ;”. do I put my trust."
from the snares of the world ; from But it is our “sonl” that is most the wiles of the devil ; from the precious, and most in peril'; this is workings of depravity withinwhat gives David most concern. those traitors ever ready to betray. True, we are taught in God's word, " Preserve my soul;" in the fear of that when the soul is really com- God; in the faith of Jesus ; in the mitted to Christ, it can never perish. comforts of the Holy Spirit; that I The Saviour's sheep are the pur- may continue stedfast to the end, chase of His blood; their salvation and have at length an abundant is the reward of his obedience unto entrance into eternal glory. God death; of them he says—“My only can thus preserve our souls. sheep hear my voice, and I know The youngest and the oldest saints them, and they follow me. And I are all ever and equally dependent give unto them eternal life; and
We cannot keep our they shall never perish; neither selves; we cannot keep each other. shall any one pluck them out of Our faith, prayers, holy resolves, my hand."
diligent watchfulness, will all be in His honour is engaged to save
vain, unless He who keepeth Israel, The meanest of his sheep ;
and who never slumbers nor sleeps, All that his heavenly Father gave, keep underneath and about us His His hands securely keep. ;
everlasting arms. He who is the But many profess to be His, who Redeemer is also the Preserver of are not. Many seem for' a time to His people ; hence the oft-repeated follow Him, and then fall away. petition of David--Oh, my God! And the true child of God may fall preserve my soul." into sin ; enter into temptation ; But what of the argument here fall from his own steadfastness into used ?" for I am holy.” Is David indulging a self-righteous spirit ? lofty opinion of himself; he styles Is he pleading his own merits? himself in this Psalm,
poor Does he ask, and expect to be and needy," and makes his spiriheard and answered, because of tual poverty his plea, v. 1. He the cleanness of his hands and the cries for “mercy,” which is compurity of his heart ? No, verily. passion to the unworthy, v. 3. He David knew much of the depravity makes mention of the Divine beof his nature; and all the proofs of nignity, and grounds his plea on this depravity in his spirit, speech, God's character and grace - - But and behaviour, in these Psalms, he thou, O Lord, art a God full of often confesses and deplores. No compassion, and gracious, longone could enter more deeply than suffering, and plenteous in mercy he into the words of Daniel—"0, and truth," v. 15. He exalts the my God, incline thine ear, and hear; Lord, and lays himself in the dust. open thine eyes, and behold our Why, then,, plead—"for I am holy ?" desolations, and the city which is His meaning is—“I am thine ; called by that name; for we do not devoted to thee; set apart; consepresent our supplications before crated ; 'holy to the Lord' (Lev. thee for our righteousness, but for 27, 21). I am thy servant; the thy great mercies.” Hence his plead- son of thine handmaid ; thy proing in the day of his deep distress perty; save me, therefore, for thy “Have mercy upon me, O God, mercy's sake.” This plea is of the according to thy loving kindness : same import as his appeal in Ps. according to the multitude of thy 119, 94.-"I am thine, save me," tender mercies, blot out my trans- He says, Ps. 116. 16.-"O Lord, gressions.” Yet, here he prays— truly I am thy servant; I am thy Preserve my soul; for I am holy.” servant, and the son of thine handHow is this?
maid ; thou hast loosed my bonds." Holiness sometimes signifies in It is explained in the latter clause of Scripture sanctity, moral purity, the verse—“O thou, my God, save conformity to the will and image thy servant that trusteth in thee." of God, “Be ye holy, for I am This plea every child of God may holy.” In other parts of God's urge at the Throne of Grace" word, it means something conse- Lord, I am not mine own, but thine. crated, set apart, dedicated to God. I am thine, blessed Saviour, by the The first fruits were separated from Father's donation, when he gave me common use, and set apart, or to thee as my covenant-head and consecrated to God; and thus they representative, to seek and to save. are called "holy.” Thus the Sab- I am thine by thine own purchase, bath is called "holy;" and the when, as my Redeemer, thou didst sacred vestments, and vessels, and pay the price of my redemption. sacrifices under the law were thus I am thine by actual possession denominated, because they were when thou didst come, in sovereign separated from common use, and grace, and call and take me into set apart for God's service. It is in sweet and blessed union with thythis latter sense that David here self. I am thine by profession, cses the word "holy." He does by
by personal, public surrender ; not refer to his personal sanctity by hearty, hallowed, unreserved —this he could never make a dedication of myself to thee, to plea with God that his petition be thine, only, wholly, and for might be heard.
He had no
ever. I have given myself first
to the Lord, and then to his people, through the rivers, they shall not by the will of God."
overflow thee: when thou walkest Be all my heart, be all my days
through the fire, thou shalt not be Devoted to Thy single praise ;
burned; neither shall the flamo And let my glad obedience prove kindle upon thee.” “ The Lord How much I owe, how much I love.
shall preserve thee from all evil. God says to his people, “What! He shall preserve thy soul.” Know ye not that your body is What an encouragement it is to the temple of the Holy Ghost prayer when our conscience tells us which is in you, which ye have of we are the Lord's ! “Beloved, if our God, and ye are not your own?
heart condemn us not; then have For ye are bought with a price : we confidence towards God. And therefore, glorify God in your body, whatsoever we ask, we receive of and in your spirit, which are God's. Him, because we keep His comDavid's language is the response of mandments, and do those things the renewed soul to this touching that are pleasing in His sight.” appeal. It acknowledges God's Let God's saints, young and old, claim, and grounds a plea on this realize their dignified position, and blessed relationship, that the soul make the most of it. Cleave to may be preserved in faith, fidelity, the Lord; hold fast the beginning and fruitfulness to the very end. of your confidence firm unto thj “Preserve my soul; for I am holy." end. Wherever you rove, where
This plea is both pertinent and ever you rest, let this be your powerful. It is laying hold of petition, and this your plea—“ ProGod's strength; connecting our serve my soul; for I am holy. O perseverance with His purpose, thou, my God, save thy servant that promise, and power; pleading for trusteth in thee." our good, because it secures His
“Lord by profession we are thine, glory; urging our petition at the Devoted to Thy will ; Throne, because an answer of peace
Oh, may we every law divine
With constant zeal fulfil ! will redound to His eternal praise. And how does God respect such a
From common and inferior things,
We now divided stand; petition, and such a plea? Mark
Domestics of the King of Kings, His words :-“ But now thus saith
We wait at His command. the Lord that created thee, O
Sacred to Thee, we would no more Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Thine holy things profane ; Israel, Fear not, for I have re- We wouid the form of sin abhor,
And shun the slightest stain. deemed thee; I have called thee by thy name;
Nay, we would still in zeal improve,
Grow more devoted still, When thou passest through the
Feel more the force of holy love, waters, I will be with thee; and
And better do Thy will.”
THE HEAVENLY CITY.
(Lines suggested by a Recent Paper.)
O City Beautiful! from heaven descending,
Through the rent clouds our gaze is fixed on thee; All wistfully her suppliant glance extending,
Creation travails sore her Lord to see.
Thy battlements, with endless sunlight glowing;
Thy gates of jewelry no breath can dim;
Its every ripple musical of Him;
the least a palace--and thy street Of shining gold-fit walk for shining feet.
Oft have we seemed thy crystal pavement treading,
Where through all space they wander, or bow low; Oft have we thought of orbs of glory shedding
Their lustré, where no night is, and no woe; Stars of the day, not darkness; each a soul Lit with the light that blazés on the whole.
Thy harp-notes-they have come to us soft-stealing
O’er the rapt spirit to high musings strung; Evoking from the heart fresh bursts of feeling,
And a new song from the rejoicing tongue, Harp-notes, whose memories still hold peaceful sway, Amid the turmoil of life's stormiest day.
Type-art thou not ?--of that Divine election,
Mysterious body of mysterious mould,
Risen erewhile in far-off years of old,
I pause ; a loftier vision has come o'er me ;
A holier light attracts my dazzled eye: The type outshone, with white-robed train before me,
The bride herself, in nuptial pomp, sweeps by. "Lift up your heads, ye gates,” no more to close; Eternal life eternal access knows,