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was yet sufficient to transport David with such joy! Remember that this God-man has actually appeared among us; if ye regard Him with indifference and lukewarmness, how the saints of old will condemn you! -they, whose hearts were kindled with the flames of love, when they only beheld him indistinctly and faintly.
Yes! those ancient patriarchs could not contain their astonishment and emotion when merely an obscure shadow of the promised One was traced before their eyes in feeble characters; while ye who have seen him, gaze on his appearance and his divine form as coldly as though ye only beheld a marble statue. They were carried upwards on the wings of joy as often as a transient glance into the mysteries of redemption was vouchsafed to them; and ye, before whom the secrets of Godhead have been unveiled on every side, scarcely deem them worthy of earnest consideration. Ye grudge even one tear of joy and thankfulness! And yet, would you not be displeased with us were we to accuse you of indifference, and call your heart worldly and stony? Now, for a certainty, we know your thoughts! Ye think,
“ That which the ancients beheld in Christ, we cannot see in him. We behold the Man; but not him who is God in the highest!” Thus ye seek to excuse your dulness of perception by attributing it to unbelief: Alas! the lies which you utter will not excuse the icy coldness of your heart. Ye say, “I cannot discern God in Christ!” So ye might speak if ye only beheld the Man of Nazareth in the house of the carpenter, or at the table of Martha; but do ye not meet him coming from the grave of Lazarus, and do ye not see him on
the stormy waves of the Sea of Tiberias? “The Godman is veiled from my eyes in the form of the son of Mary!” Thus ye might excuse the poverty of your love towards him, had the sacred histories been unknowre to you: but ye have read enough to hear distinctly the rustling of the feet of Him, who, though he lay on the bosom of an earthly mother, yet sat from eternity on the throne of majesty and glory.--"His unity with the Father seems to me doubtful!" Perhaps ye are induced to say this, because ye look for the proofs of his divine power in the narrow limits of your own circle ; but ye know nothing of those new creatures who daily spring into life by the wonderworking efficacy of his word and Spirit all over the world ; and even in the desert wastes of heathenism, “I cannot realize how he still lives and acts !" Yes ; so would your indifference strive to justify itself before him, did there exist no other proof of his lively influence than the cold and worldly aspects of our Christians; but ye surely know what is taking place amongst the children of nature in uncivilized life : lions and bears they were but yesterday, while to-day they are lambs and gentle doves : for He is the Ruler of the earth who said, “Behold I make all things new;" “ the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;" and "the solitary place shall be glad !" Verily, verily, it is most wonderful folly, and a proof of the soul being dry and withered, when one can hear and see these things, and not be constrained to cry out with Manoah,
“What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass : we may do thee honour ?”
III. The inexpressibly touching words in which the blessed seer pour out his soul in prayer before Jehovah, show us how he was inspired by the intelligence of the future kingdom, and by the presence of the Man who is God the Lord in the highest. What moved him to make this prayer, is explained in the twentyseventh verse : “ For thou, O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house; therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.” How true and how beautiful is this! “ As soon as I understood the joyful prophetic intelligence, I took courage : it sounded in my ears like bells on a feast-day, and it appeared to my eyes like a vessel richly laden with encouragement and hope.” Thus David relates the history of his prayer; and thus it always happens : there first falls a gentle voice upon the heart, a salutation from above, a sound of promise, and a renewed assurance of grace; at this blessed sight the thoughts which have been scattered, quick as lightning rush together, in order to step into the presence of the Lord; the whole soul, like a beautiful church, is suddenly filled with melodious singing, and the sweet tones of the organ; and like caressing children round the lap of their mother, the desires are directed in love and confidence towards the good Shepherd, and like ivy, clinging to him with their tendrils, remain for ever hanging upon him in tranquillity and peace.
What is now the prayer of the deeply-moved king? Bowed to the dust, and like a lamp about to be extin. guished from excess of oil, he cries out, “Who am I
O Lord God ?—and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ?” In countless multitudes, the proofs of divine mercy and compassion which have been showered on him from his childhood now pass through his soul. He sees in spirit those bears from whom Jehovah delivered him, and the lions that he tore in pieces by the aid of divine power.
Those lovely songs sound in his ears which the Lord taught him on Bethlehem's hills; and he thinks upon the pebble in the sling, which became in his hands like the death-bearing thunder-bolt. He calls to mind the lance of Saul, which would have transfixed him had not Jehovah been his shield and his defence;—his penetrating into the camp of the Philistines, when the Almighty protected him as the apple of his eye ;-the assassins who lurked around his house, but whose designs were brought to shame ;-the persecutions with which he had been harassed by the envy and hatred of the courtiers and the unjust displeasure of his sovereign, but which could not harm even a hair of his head. He remembers, when in the days of his outlawry, he had often been unable to find a place where to lay his head ; how he often suffered want and hunger even unto death, and was exposed to the rage
of wild beasts in in hospitable wildernesses ;-how he fell as a prisoner into the hands of the heathen, was be. trayed by false friends, and was a hundred times on the brink of destruction ;-how, his Lord and God had not merely drawn him out of every peril in a wonderful and glorious manner, but had also spoken to him in the midst of those dangers and perplexities, comforted
and raised up his soul, assured him again and again of his grace and assistance, and at last had exalted him, the poor shepherd-boy, and the frail sinner, to sit crowned with glory and honour upon the throne. All this passes rapidly in characters of light before his inmost soul; and well might he then with shame cover his face: " Who am I, O Lord God,” he cries, - and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ? And yet this was a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come.”
It is this futurity which David now sees in spirit. “ See !" cries out the happy dreamer, " the form of a man who is God the Lord in the highest!" An eternal King of peace! An Incarnate God! And yet this wonderful and glorious One is to be my seed!
The enraptured saint here stops ; for tears of joy, of humility, and thankfulness, choke his utterance. Then with broken voice he continues, " And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant. Thou seest his heart, and knowest all that is therein. Scarcely has he spoken these words when a new thought darts into his mind : “ The Lord is so good and gracious, and does all those great things for me, not because I am worthy, but that his name my be praised upon earth; for this glorious future has long ago been predicted!". While he is thus thinking, his prayer becomes more ardent and more joyful. thy word's sake," he continues, “and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.”—According to thine own heart.