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“ Jehovah, 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 his heart.
Psalm xv. 1, 2; see also Psalm xxiv. 3-5. Jehovah is just and faithful:
“ For the righteous Jehovah loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.”—Psalm xi. 7.
“ For the word of Jehovah is right, and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment.”
Psalm xxxiii. 4, 5. “Good and upright is Jehovah: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.”—Psalm xxv. 8. Jehovah is merciful and forgiveth the sins of those who repent and amend.
“Remember, O Jehovah, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions : according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O Jehovah.”—
Psalm xxv. 6, 7. “I acknowledge my sin unto thee and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto Jehovah ; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found : surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.”—Psalm xxxii. 5, 6.
But thou, O Jehovah, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”.
Psalm lxxxvi. 15. “ Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness : according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”—Psalm li. 1-4.*
Numerous quotations might be brought forward in which the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of God, are vividly set forth ; for these attributes form the principal subjects of a large portion of the Book of the Psalms. There are entire Psalms which are songs of praise, extolling the greatness, majesty, and righteousness of Jehovah. For instance, Psalm xcvi., which was probably composed and sung on the occasion of the solemn erection of the ark upon Mount Zion:
* See the whole of this Psalm.
" Jehovah reigneth; let the earth rejoice ; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his
throne,” &c.-- Psalm xcvii, 1, 2. Jehovah is also represented as a God of vengeance. David does not feel the impropriety of ascribing the passions of anger and vengeance to God. Among the warmtempered Orientalists, the smallest trifles often provoked the deadliest hatred and revenge ; and it was difficult for them to believe it possible that the infliction of punishment could be unaccompanied by angry feelings. Therefore it is that David entreats Jehovah not to punish him in his hot displeasure.
“O Jehovah, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.”—Psalm vi. 1, and also xxxviii. 1.
“ Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.”—Psalm xc. 11.
“O Jehovah God, to whom vengeance belongeth ; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.”—
Psalm xciv. 1, 2. “ Consume them in wrath, consume them that they may not be.”—Psalm lix. 13.
“ Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.”
“ Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.”
Psalm lxxix. 6 and 10. “ Thou answeredst them, O Jehovah our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.”—Psalm xcix. 8. Jehovah is a jealous God :
For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.”
Psalm lxxviii. 58. “ How long, Jehovah? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire ?”—Psalm lxxix. 5. David does not hesitate to implore God's vengeance on the heathen. Many of the Psalms contain the most dreadful imprecations upon the enemies of Israel. David does
not for a moment doubt that such prayers are approved and heard by Jehovah. Thus it is, that a man's notions of the object of his worship will ever be in unison with his views of morality.
Government and Providence of God. Jehovah is not merely the Creator of the universe, but he is its Governor and Preserver. His wise, merciful, and continual Providence rules over all things and all people, “ even to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens : thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers : thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness : and the little hills rejoice on every side.”—Psalm Ixv. 8–12.
“ But Jehovah shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment: and he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. Jehovah also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Jehovah, hast not forsaken them that
seek thee."--Psalm ix. 7-10.. The belief in a Theocracy is combined with these not very distinct views of a universal Providence. If Jehovah be the Maker and Governor of the world, he is also the King of Israel. Saul and David are his representatives, whom he places on the throne, and whom he guides and directs respecting the government of his people.
Sing praises to God, sing praises : sing praises unto our
“ And let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends
“ For Jehovah is our defence, and the Holy One of Israel is our King.”—Psalm lxxxix. 18. The enemies of Israel with whom the Israelites wage war are consequently the enemies of Jehovah : his anger is kindled against them, and he desires their destruction.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine à vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Jehovah and against his anointed.”—Psalm ii. 1, 2.
“ Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies : thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger : Jehovah shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.”—Psalm xxi. 8-10.
“ Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered : let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish in the presence of God."-Psalm lxviii. 1, 2. Jehovah fights for Israel. He wills the decision of the battle, and he awards the victory to those who have the right on their side.
Arise, O Jehovah, in thine anger! Lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies, and awake for me to the judgment which thou hast commanded."-Psalni vii. 6.
“ When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.
For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.”—Psalm ix. 3-5.
Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.”—Psalm lix. 12. Jehovah's throne is in heaven:
“ He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh."-Psalm ii. 4. But he has also his dwelling upon the holy hill of Zion. The hill of Zion is the abode of Jehovah's invisible presence, because the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant rested there. Mount Zion is to be approached with profound reverence, and by none but clean and holy men. There prayers are offered to Jehovah, and from thence he imparts his blessing and protection. He who dwells in the tabernacle of the Most High, dwells with God, and is sheltered and preserved by his presence.
In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel. In
Psalm lxxvi. 1, 2.
“ Jehovah, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.”—Psalm xxvi. 8.
“O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy' hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.”—
Psalm xliii. 3, 4. • Jehovah, who shall abide in thy tabernacle ? who shall dwell in thy holy hill ?”—Psalm xv. 1.
“ Jehovah said unto my Lord (David), Sit thou at my right hand (remain in thy strong hold in God's tabernacle), until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”—Psalm cx, 1. Jehovah employs angels, or messengers, as the servants of his Providence. It is not certain who these angels were. The notion that good genii stood round the throne of Jehovah in Heaven, ready to serve him and execute his designs, existed before the time of David, and it is probable that David refers to these subordinate spirits.
“ The angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”—Psalm xxxiv. 7.
“Let them be as chaff before the wind, and let the angel of Jehovah chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of Jehovah persecute them.”—Psalm xxxv. 5, 6.
“ The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.”—Psalm Ixviii, 17. But the Psalms in which angels are mostly introduced, and in which the natural and inanimate physical agents of God's providence, such as lightning, fire, hail, tempests, &c., are called God's messengers, or angels, were not written by David, but belong to a much later time than that which we are now considering.
The plague which broke out among the people, during the reign of David, is said to be inflicted by the hand of an angel. When many had died, Jehovah says to the angel, “ It is enough, stay now thine hand.” David is described as seeing the angel who smote the people. The narration is not given by David, but by the unknown author of the second book of Samuel.
“And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, Jehovah repented him of the evil, and said to the Angel that destroyed the people, It is enough; stay now thine hand. And the angel of Jehovah was by the threshing