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REFLECTIONS.

Rulers are especially under the eye of God; He observes all their proceedings. It is particularly required of them, that they do not pervert equity and respect persons, and that they carefully maintain the just cause of the helpless. When they do not act thus, it may be justly said that the foundations of society are shaken. It is our duty to revere our rulers: but they should remember that they are mortal men. Amidst all the disorder which is in the world, it is our duty to call upon God in prayer, beseeching Him to rule in all nations, and to establish truth and piety, justice and holiness, in the world.

PRAYER.

Grant, O Lord, that all rulers may be endued with Thy heavenly grace, that, fearing Thee and hating covetousness, they may execute justice and maintain truth: and may it please Thee to bless and keep them, and to prosper them in all their counsels and endeavours to promote Thy glory and the good of mankind; for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

PSALM LXXXIII.

Prayer, as Psalm xliv. Some refer this Psalm to David; others to the days of Jehoshaphat.

(I. The Church complains of her enemies.)

1 Keep not Thou silence, O God:

Hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God.

2 For, lo, Thine enemies make a tumult:

And they that hate Thee have lifted up the head.

3 They have taken crafty counsel against Thy people, And consulted against Thy hidden ones.

4 They have said,

Come, let us cut them off from being a nation; That the name of Israel may be no more

in remembrance.

5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They are confederate against Thee:

6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; Of Moab, and the Hagarenes;

7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek;

The Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;

8 Assur is also joined with them;

They have holpen the children of Lot.

(II. She prays against her oppressors.)

9 Do unto them as unto the Midianites;

As to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: 10 Which perished at Endor:

They became as dung for the earth.

11 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: Yea, all their princes as Zeba, and as Zalmunna: 12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves

The houses of God in possession. 13 O my God, make them like a wheel;

As the stubble before the wind.

14 As the fire burneth a wood,

And as a flame setteth the mountains on fire; 15 So persecute them with Thy tempest, And make them afraid with Thy storm.

16 Fill their faces with shame;

That they may seek Thy Name, O Lord.

17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever;

Yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:

18 That men may know that Thou,

Whose Name alone is Jehovah,

Art the most high over all the earth.

REFLECTIONS.

1. Such as was the condition of Israel in the world; such is that of the Church through all ages. She is often plotted against, and persecuted, by violent and confederated enemies, who have nothing in common but enmity to her. In this we see the impiety and pride, the injustice and folly of ungodly men. In this also the Church, and each of her members, may see the power, wisdom, and goodness of God, who defends the righteous, tries them, prepares them for the Church above, and will soon raise them from sorrow, conflict, and depression, to joy, peace, and exaltation.

2. As the foes of Israel were vanquished, so shall likewise the foes of the Church. In vain shall they combine and counsel together. When God has accomplished His purposes by them, He will annul their schemes, unnerve their strength, and cover them with confusion and trouble.

PRAYER.

Bless, O Lord, and defend Thy Church. Frustrate the designs and efforts of her enemies. In all her troubles may she look to Thee, and rejoice in Thy protection. Purify her more and more by all her afflictions, and make her a blessing to the whole world, for the glory of Thy Name, through Jesus Christ our only Saviour. Amen.

PSALM LXXXIV.

Prayer, as Psalm xlii. Perhaps written by David during the rebellion of Absalom.

(I. Desire after the house and presence of God.) 1 How amiable are Thy tabernacles,

O Lord of hosts!

2 My soul longeth,

Yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:

My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living
God.

3 Yea, the sparrow hath found a house,

And the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may lay her young,

Even Thine altars,

O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

(II. Blessedness of His ministers and servants.) 4 Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: They will be still praising Thee.

5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; In whose heart are the ways of them.

6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well;

The rain also filleth the pools.

7 They go from strength to strength,

Every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

(III. Prayer for the participation of it.)

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer:

Give ear,

O God of Jacob.

9 Behold, O God, our shield,

And look upon the face of Thine anointed.

10 For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand.

I had rather be a door-keeper in the house
of my God,

Than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
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.

12 O Lord of hosts,

Blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee.

REFLECTIONS.

1. We ought highly to esteem and earnestly to desire the ordinances of the Church. In these we have a respite from worldly care and anxiety, and are fitted for this world, and for that which is to come.

2. True worshippers are blessed: they praise God; He is their strength; they meditate on their way heavenwards; they pass through this vale of tears, refreshed with the waters from the wells of salvation; and they increase in strength, and grow in grace, until they appear before God.

3. A true Christian rightly estimates this blessedness, and prays to be a partaker of it.

to holy ordinances are our best days;

Days devoted

and the lowest

upon us.

God is our

place in God's Church is infinitely preferable to any thing that the world can confer light and defence; the giver of grace here and of glory hereafter; the giver of every good thing really needful for us. We must therefore say with the Psalmist, "O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee."

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