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sent, choose to be the companion of their closet hours. Not only David's Lord, but the literal, historical son of Jesse is, of God, made“
a leader and commander to the people.”
III.—And may there not be very profound and tender reasons, why David should be, not only our high pattern of a Godlike life, but why also he should share with us so largely in the temptations and sins of our fallen nature ? His great life of trust in God is a royal example to us; but he would not be to us, what he is, had he been a perfect man. Sense and nature, the flesh and the world were very strong in this man. And on this very account he is nearer to us. His groans and confessions fit us, his prayers and praises fit us. All our passions are in him. He is a sinner like ourselves. The Gospel is the grace of God to every creature ; and are not the Psalms of David, Psalms of God, to every creature ?
IV.-It is of God, and not of men, that we have, gathered together in the same Book, the Divine Psalms, and faithful records of the dark and darkest features, of this man's life. Men would have said : His Psalms are beautiful, but if every thing is told about him, it will spoil the effect of his Hymns. But God is bold, and will have the man's real life to stand side by side with his hours of devotion. There, both stand in the Book, faithful but affecting pictures of the piety and of the impiety of our own hearts.
The flesh was very mighty in David, the world was at times his master, and the devil he did not always resist ; and yet this man is inspired of God to be prophet and psalmist to His Church. The history of David is pregnant with solemn warning for us all; but also full of comfort. It teaches us that the man who puts his trust in God, may, in the hour of temptation, be overmastered by his lusts and brought into fearful bondage, but that God will surely overmaster sin, world and Hell, in every soul that cleaves to Him.
V.-Is Abraham a father in faith? David is a king in faith. As a sheep-boy, he believes that God is with him to defend his sheep. He makes the lion and the bear feel the authority and power of his faith in God. “Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine: for thou art but a youth. And David said, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock; and I went out after him and smote him, and delivered
him out of his mouth : and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him and slew him. Thy servant smote both the lion and the bear." If such unhesitating daring, such majesty of character shews itself in the boy, what may we not expect from the man? Boy as he is, there seems to be no vanity associated with his valour. He will not allow it to be attributed either to his muscular power or animal courage. “David said, The Lord delivered me out of the
paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, and He will deliver me out of the hand of the Philistine.” There is here every element both of a great soldier and a great saint. The Philistine looked upon him and “ disdained him, for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance." Outwardly, there was a maidenliness about him; but his youth and beauty were a veil hiding the quietness of absolute prowess. "Power belongeth unto God ;" but “it is the glory of God to conceal a thing.' In this world of disguises, there is even an improbability about the forms in which, and the methods according to which, God works. Hear this sheepboy once more. A right royal grandeur of faith breaks through his words.
A divine contagion abides in them which is most invigorating and refreshing. The Philistine is boiling with contempt:
“Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves ? Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield : but I come to thee in the Name of the Lord of hosts.
This day the Lord will deliver thee into my hand ; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear : for the battle is the Lord's."
God was no respecter of persons in raising this youth to distinction. The distinction to which he was raised was in him. He was not holier than other men, but he laid hold
God as other did not. He could not dissociate any thing from God. He as much believed that God would help him to sling stones, as to govern a nation, to take a kid from the lion's mouth, as to write Psalms for temple-worship. If he was in difficulty, he knew that God was the master of the difficulty. He saw nature to be in God and from God. All beauty and joy were God's praise. His own happiness flowed forth from his soul, a poem unto God. All his miseries too he brought unto God, and they were turned into divine
prayers for all broken hearts. Lions, bears, Goliaths, and his own Goliathan sins, alike led him to God.
And think you, did he not play his harp by God, and, in a certain sense, in God? Its tones must have opened Heaven, for Hell fled away before his playing His soul was essentially musical, divinely musical. He speaks in poetry, it flows forth from an unknown depth : God indorses his poetry. All poetry is not God-inspired, but Inspiration is poetic. For Love and Truth, depth of meaning and fulness of sentiment are equally present in the Inspiration of God.
VI.- And strange to say, as indeed we have already hinted, if there were not another side to his character, a dark, an awful side, his Psalms would not be of the universal interest which they are. What could he have known of the deep, dark depths into which sin plunges the child of God, had he not sinned? Psalms for sinners can only be written by a sinner. They must be written as with the
. burning tears of a soul racked with wild misery, and as it were in the depth of Hell through sin ; and yet they must be written by the Inspiration of God. Oh the depth! That the Inspiration of God should come to us through such a soul! It does come through such a soul. But the very Psalms which reveal the dreadful depravity of the writer have no tendency to kindle the depravity of the reader. The very contrary, they breathe a holy