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Having thus illustrated the verses composing this Psalm, we shall next briefly proceed to a. practical improvement of them.
Did the tabernacles of God appear so amiable and so desirable to David? and how amiable and desirable ought they to appear to us ? Under the imperfect dispensation of the Jews, worshippers were permitted to enter only into the courts of the tabernacle ; but we, under the perfect dispensation of the gospel, are required “ to enter with “ boldness into the holiest of all, by the “ blood of Jesus, by a new and living way “ which he hath consecrated for us through “ the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” If, therefore, as the Apostle to the Colossians argues, “ the ministration of death, written " and engraven on stone, was glorious, “ how shall not the ministration of the
spirit be rather glorious !” And if David pronounced the man blessed, who under the law dwelt in the house of God, and was still praising him, how great must be the blessedness of the man who, under the gospel, delights to dwell in the house of God, and with how much greater reason will he be still praising him ? In those
Old Testament times, they were only blessed with the shadow of good things to come; we are blest with the substance. They had their sacrifices, and types, and shadows; but we have Him in whom they all centered. They had the Prophets who foretold, we have the Evangelists who record, the life of Jesus. They knew that Christ would establish a glorious kingdom in this world; we see that kingdom established, and enjoy its blessings. With respect to light and spiritual advantages, he that is least in the kingdom of God, i. e. in the church of Christ, is greater than all the Old Testament prophets.
But, brethren, are you profiting under the means of grace? Does your fruit in any measure correspond with the superior advantages which you enjoy ? When
read of the lively devotion of David and other Old Testament saints, are you not ashamed of your cold lifeless services ? How compasatively languid and dead is the worship of many Christians, and how far do even the most spiritual fall short of what they know to be their duty ! How many in this highly favoured land, instead of being glad when it is said to them, “ Let us go up to the house of the Lord,” say of the worship of God, “ Behold what a weariness is
itand when will the Sabbáth be gone ? How many, instead of finding the duties of religion pleasant and delightful, account them an irksome and burdensome task! O that such persons would consider how they could bear to spend an eternity in the service and worship of God, when a few hours spent in these employments are felt so painfully tiresome!
Let a sense then of your manifold sins and imperfections, fellow Christians, keep you ever humble before God, and stir you up in future to the utmost activity and diligence in his work and service, and to a devout, strict, and regular attendance on his house of prayer. Prize, highly prize the ordinances of our holy religion. In the sanctuary below, you prepare yourself for, and anticipate the work of the sanctuary above. You join yourself beforehand to the society of angels and blessed spirits on high ; you already enter on the delightful employment of eternity, and begin the song
which is heard for ever around the throne of God. And while you meet together in this place, remember that many
he had lately taken from the sheepfold and anointed king of his people Israel.
But David, being in many respects an eminent type of Christ, the word may well be considered as having a very different and a far more important signification assigned to it, -as having an immediate reference to the Messiah, who is often styled, by way of eminence, “ the Lord's Anoint« ed.” In this view of the phrase, the Psalmist may be considered as acknowledging his unworthiness and guilt, and the justice of the divine procedure in having banished him from his ordinances, on account of his trangressions, but praying that God would look upon him in mercy, thro ' the merits of the great Mediator, who was to make a complete satisfaction for sin, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. Thus exercising a firm and lively faith in the promised Messiah, David prayed and hoped that his person and services might be accepted in the Beloved, that God might again lift up on him the cheering light of his reconciled countenance, visit him with the joy of his salvation, and again restore him to sweet communion with his Maker in the sacred services of the sanctuary.
VERSE 10. Por a day in thy courts is beta ter than a thousand: I had rather be a door. keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
We at last see the reason for longing so ardently for the courts of the Lord. A day spent there was better than a thousand any
where else. The meanest office there was more honourable than the most dignified in the tents of sin. These, my friends, are the sentiments of a man after God's own heart: these are the sentiments of a man worthy to sit on a throne. · What a happy world would this be, if such sentiments as these always reigned in the breasts of the great; if they were sufficiently wise to understand this, that a day in God's courts was better than a thousand spent amidst the joys and pleasures of this world ; that the lowest station, when accompanied with religion and virtue, was more honourable than the most exalted when degraded by vice! Though David was raised from the humblest situation to the throne of Israel, his mind was not intoxicated by his greatness: he still retained a relish for the simple and sublime pleasures of religion and virtue, to which