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banished ! Let none imagine that a superiority of rank or station at all lessens their responsibility to God, or absolves them from the smallest measure of obedience to Christ- --] This is also our truest wisdom and happinessIf we say to any,

“ Serve the Lord,” we say, in effect, “ Be wise:” for “ the fear of the Lord is the very beginning of wisdom.Those only who have never tasted of true piety, deride it as folly : and they only do it, because they do not like to confess their own folly in neglecting it: in their serious moments, and when their conscience is permitted to speak, the very despisers of godliness are constrained to say in their hearts, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his !”

Moreover, it is the only true path of happiness: for, what happiness can they have who are obnoxious to the wrath of God ? “ If his wrath be kindled, yea, but a little,” can they endure the thought of meeting his displeasure ? stronger than he,” that they can feel themselves at ease, when they “ have provoked him to jealousy?” No: the most careless of mankind, if he reflect at all, must be sensible, that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” We say then, “ Blessed are all they that put their trust in him : they shall be protected by his power; they shall be preserved

grace; they shall be enriched by his bounty; they shall be blessed by him with all spiritual blessings; and in the last day they shall be seated with him on his throne, and be partakers of his glory for evermore.]

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by his

CCCCXCVI.

REGARD TO CHRIST ENFORCED.

Ps. ii. 12. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way,

when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

TO so great a degree do the Psalms abound with prophecies relating to Christ, that all the most important circumstances of his life and death, his resurrection and glory, might be narrated from them with almost as much precision as in the Gospels themselves. The psalm before us has but a partial reference to David. It may be considered indeed as a triumphant proclamation of his establishment on his throne, notwithstanding all the opposition that

had been made to him by Saul and by the Jews themselves. But it principally points to the exaltation of Jesus to his throne of glory: and it concludes with an address to all the monarchs of the earth to submit themselves to his

government. In considering the words of the text, we shall call your attention to, I. The injunction

Who “ the Son” is, we are at no loss to determine; since an inspired commentator has expressly declared him to be Christ“. By “kissing” him, we are to understand, 1. Submission to his authority

[Samuel having anointed Saul to be king of Israel, kissed him, in token of his submission to the power that was now vested in him b. Now Jesus is “ seated as King upon God's holy hill in Zion;" and he demands that all should acknowledge him as their supreme Lord and only Saviour d. His yoke in every view is hateful to us by nature; but most of all are we averse to “ submit to his righteousness." But this we must do, renouncing every other ground of dependence', and trusting in him as “The Lord our Righteousness &."] 2. Love to his person

[When Mary desired to express her love to Jesus, she “ kissed his feet h:” and we also must feel in our hearts, and express, in every possible way, a fervent attachment to him. The characteristic mark of his disciples is, to “ love him in sincerityi.” Destitute of this mark, we have nothing to expect but speedy and everlasting destructionk. We must therefore account him precious to our souls', yea,

“ fairer than ten thousand, and altogether lovely.” We must delight ourselves in contemplating his beauty, and maintaining fellowship with him m.] 3. Devotion to his service

[Idolaters used, in worshipping their gods, to kiss their images", or to kiss their hands in token of their devout regard to them'. In this sense also we are to “ kiss the Son,"

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ver.

a Compare ver. 7. with Heb. i. 5.

b 1 Sam. x. 1.

6. d Compare Isai. xlv. 23, 24. with Rom. xiv. 11. e Rom. x. 3. f Phil. iii. 9.

8 Jer. xxiii. 6. h Luke vii. 38.

Eph. vi. 24.

1 Cor. xvi. 22. 11 Pet. ii. 7.

m 1 John i. 3. n Hos. xiii. 2. 1 Kings xix. 18.

o Job xxxi. 26, 27.

i

exercising the same faith in him that we do in the Most High God, and honouring him in every respect as we honour the Father --- To kiss him, like Judas, and betray him, will fearfully aggravate our condemnation.]

The vast importance of this injunction will appear, if we consider, II. The arguments with which it is enforced

And here we notice,
1. The danger of disobeying it-

[Gracious and loving as the Saviour is, he is susceptible of anger on just occasions, and feels a holy indignation against those who slight his love. And “ if once his wrath be kindled, yea, but a little,” it will utterly destroy us'. It will be but little consolation for us to see others suffering under his heavier displeasure: the person who feels the smallest portion of his wrath in hell, will be inexpressibly and eternally miserable: and therefore it becomes us to offer him the sincerest tribute of our affection without delay. Nothing but this can prevent our ruin. In whatever “way” we are walking, we shall “perish from it,” if we do not embrace him with the arms of faith, and “cleave to him with full purpose of heart s."] 2. The benefit arising from obedience to it

[What was before metaphorically represented by “kissing the Son," is here more simply expressed by “ trusting in him.” In fact, a cordial and entire confidence in him, as wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," comprehends all the duties which we are capable of performing towards him in this world.

Now such a trust in him renders a man inconceivably blessed. It brings peace into his soul : it obtains for him the forgiveness of all his sins; it secures grace

sufficient for him," and strength according to his day.” It makes him “ blessed” in every state; in health or sickness, in wealth or poverty, in life or death. It entitles him to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance in heaven. No creature that possessed it, ever perished. Glory and honour and immortality are the portion of "all that trust in Christ.” Whatever may have been their past conduct, or however they may doubt their own acceptance with God, they “ are" blessed, and shall be blessed for evermore.) APPLICATION

[Here then is the direction which in God's name we give to all; “Kiss the Son.” If

you
have
any

desire to escape the p Acts ix. 6. John xiv. 1.

9 John v. 23. r Rev. vi. 15–17.

8 Acts xi. 23.

our

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wrath to come, or to lay hold on eternal life, this is the sure, the only way of attaining your end. Neglect Christ; and, whatever else you either have or do, it will avail you nothing: you must "perish" everlastinglyt Love the Lord Jesus Christ, and give yourselves up unto him; and, notwithstanding your past sins, or present infirmities, " you shall never perish, but shall have everlasting life"."]

t Luke xiv. 24. and John iii. 36.

u John iii. 15, 16.

CCCCXCVII.

THE PRIVILEGES OF THE GODLY. Ps. iv. 3. Know that the Lord hath set apart him that is

godly for himself. RELIGION has in all ages been an object of derision to an ungodly world. There never have been wanting those who resembled Cain and Ishmael". God however has far other thoughts of those who serve him : the recollection of this is a comfort to the godly under their persecutions; the consideration of it too might be of great advantage to the ungodly. The Psalmist seems to be reproving the wicked for their contempt of God, and their injurious treatment of his people: he therefore, in a way of triumphant exultation, suggests the thought in the text.

We shall, I. Shew who are the objects of the divine favour

The world is divided into two descriptions of men, godly, and ungodly. The godly are to be distinguished by a great variety of marksThey fear God[The generality sin without any shame or remorseb.

But the godly can no longer proceed in such an evil course. They humble themselves before God for their past offences. They guard against offending him, even in thought d.] They love God

[They are not actuated by a merely slavish fear. They have the spirit of adoption given to them. They unfeignedly

b

c 1 Pet. iv. 2, 3.

a Gal. iv. 29. d 2 Cor. x. 5.

Eph. iv. 18, 19. e Gal. is. 5.

delight to do their Father's will?. They account the enjoyment of his favour to be their highest happiness &.] They serve God

[Their religion does not consist in mere inefficacious feelings. They make it appear to the world that they are God's servants. They perform even their civil and social duties with a reference to him. They do every thing with a view to his glory'.]

They are despised indeed by the world, but approved by their God This will

appear

while we, II. Declare the peculiar honour conferred upon

them God has testified, in the strongest terms, his approbation of the godly. He has moreover “ set them apart,” as distinct from those that perishThis he did secretly in his eternal purpose

[His regard for them did not commence after they became godly. Their godliness is the fruit and not the cause of his lovek. He loved them, and set his heart upon them, from eternity!:)

He did it also openly, when he called them by his grace

[These two periods of their separation are mentioned by St. Paulm. In conversion, God sets apart sinners for himself. He inclines and enables them to come out from the world". He causes them to devote themselves entirely to his service) He has set them apart too “ for himself”—

[He makes their souls his own habitation P. He sheds abroad his love in their hearts by his Holy Spirit. He preserves them as living monuments of his power and grace. He regards them as his own peculiar treasure ]

This being a point wherein all are deeply interested, we shall, III. Commend the subject to your solemn attention

This is not a matter of doubtful disputation

f Rom. vii. 22.

& Ps. iv. 6,

7. h Rom. xüïi. 5, 6. i 1 Cor. x. 31. k Jer. xxxi. 3. See also 2 Tim. i. 9. and Rom. viii. 29, 30. 1 Eph. i. 4.

m Gal. i. 15. n 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18. 01 Pet. ii. 9.

P 2 Cor. vi. 16. q Ps. cxxxv. 4.

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