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prince and peasant have equal access, and
In this fleeting scene, my brethren,
may be our lot to exercise, is in itself mean or degrading. Whatever be our rank, and whatever be our employment, let us still be honest, and virtuous, and pious"; there all the honour lies : let us avoid vice and folly ; these are the only sources of disgrace. Is the poor man contented, honest, industrious, and resigned to the arrangements of his heavenly Father ? he is als noble, as great, perhaps more so, than the proudest monarch upon earth. He exercises and improves the talents God hath given him; and what can the greatest do more ? He walks in the path of the just, which, “ like the shin“ing light, shineth more and more unto " the perfect day;" and where is the man that can appear in a situation more honour
able ? He is co-operating with the Divine Spirit, in carrying forward his immortal soul to perfection; and who can boast of an employment more important and dignified ? He holds fellowship in the exercises
and praise with the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and where is the man that enjoys a society more noble or more delightful? He aspires to those glories, and to those joys, which are as exalted as heaven, and as eternal as the soul; and who can entertain an ambition and a hope more ravishing and more transporting ?
VERSE 11. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
It is, my brethren, what makes the courts of the Lord so amiable and so desirable, that they are the courts of Him who is a " sun and shield." God is a 6 sun,” because he is to the soul what the natural sun is to the world. As the sun enlightens the world by his beams, so does God enlighten the soul of his servants by his word and spirit. He dispels the
clouds of ignorance and of depravity, and discloses to them scenes of which they had once no conception. He unfolds to them a world of wickedness in themselves, and a world of grace in him and in his Son. He discloses to them all the dangers with which the path of vice is crowded, and all the pleasures with which the path of righteousness is fraught. And like the natural sun, he not only enlightens, but warms and fertilizes; he fills the cold breast with the warmth of devotion and love; he inspires the bosom that had been frozen, as it were, by idleness and sin, with the vigour and the life of spring; he makes all the tender plants of religion and virtue, which had long been concealed, to disclose their beauty; and while, with the genial influences of his Spirit, he cherishes and strengthens them, he at the same time shields them from the blasting influence of bad example,—from the storms of unsubdued passions,—from the depredation of every foe. As a shield he defends them from every danger; as the sun he invigorates them with every joy: As a shield he protects from all the evils, the real evils of life; as a sun he communicates the gracious influences of heaven.
" And God will not only give grace but 5 glory.” He will not only be a sun and shield on earth, but an exceeding great reward in heaven. He will not only lead his creatures through all the dangers and perils of life; he will not only give them grace to defend, and comfort, and guide them through this wilderness; but he will crown them with joy unspeakable in the heavenly mansions. But why, my friends, should I pretend to enumerate all that God will do, and all that he will bestow on them that love him ? His goodness is infinite and inexhaustible.
“ No good thing will he withhold from ☆ them that walk uprightly!”
This is an important clause. In vain do we lift up our eyes to heaven; in vain do we frequent the house of God; in vain do we implore the protection and favour of that Being " who is a sun and shield,” 66 who will give both grace and glory,” if we do not walk uprightly before him. “ Lord who shall abide in thy tabernacle? • Who shall dwell in thy holy hill ? He " that walketh uprightly, and worketh “ righteousness, and speaketh the truth in ç his heart."
VERSE 12. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. This prayer
of David had relieved his mind from the load of sorrow with which he was oppressed. It had revived in his soul a sense of the divine goodness and mercy, and he concludes by reposing his confidence on the providence of that heavenly Father, who had protected him thro' life, who had distinguished him by many blessings, who had rescued him from the power of the lion and the bear, who had enabled him to triumph over the champion of the Philistines, who had delivered him from the persecutions of Saul, and the machinations of all his enemies, and who, he hoped, would now deliver him from the wicked and unnatural conspiracy that had been formed against him, and permit him again to appear before his God in Zion, with songs of thanksgiving and of praise. This assurance calms his troubled breast, fills his soul with a pure and elevating joy, and makes him conclude his prayer in these words, so consolatory to every afflicted and pious Christian, “ O “ Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that 66 trusteth in thee.”