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dependents, he looks upon them with complacency, and converses with them with a placid and smiling countenance. This gladdens their hearts, and in- , spires them with chearfulness and pleasure. The light of the king's countenance is life, and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain. Solomon oba ferved this in his courtiers; and it serves to illustrate the assertion of his father David here, In his favour is life. When God manifests his love to his children, it turns their mourning into joy, it exhilarates and revives their drooping fpirits, and gives them new life and vigour. While the men of the world are saying, “ Who'will shew us“ any good?" their language is, “ Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us; thou hast put gladness into our hearts, more than in the time that their corn and wine increased." Their joy on this occasion is « far fuperior to the gladness which men feel in the time of vintage, or that of harvest; it is a joy bright and pure, as the regions whence it descends.
In the words, “ Lift thou up the light of thy countenance, the Psalmist alludes to the lifting up of a banner : inftead of the defence of an army with banners, he requests for his comfort and security amidst many enemies and dangers, the manifestation of the divine favour. Ans if he had said, “ Men have their friends and confederates to afford them help in
time of need; but, Lord, I defire no other comfort than thy favour; assure me of that and I shall be happy; give me but a consolatory sense of thy love, let me behold the brightness of thy reconciled face, and every threatening cloud will be dispelled. Then will my
soul rejoice, with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
The joy which arises from a sense of God's favour, is indeed such as cannot be described. It is hearty and sincere; it is full, intimate and satisfying. It is so reviving to the fainting spirits of a poor finner, who was before perhaps in a state of despondency, that it restores him, as it were, from death to life. Reader, if you have known this by your own experience, you will better understand the doctrine of our text, than others can by all that we can say upon it. A sense of God's displeasure is killing to him who puts such a value on the divine favour, as to look for all his felicity from it. But the sweet beams of his love, in the returning manifestations and assured tokens of it, give new life to the difconfolate foul. A child is deeply affected by the frowns of its earthly parent, but animated and cheered by his reconciled father's favourable smiles. It is even fo with a child of
grace. The favour of God gives him a new life of divine joy, elevated pleasure, and heart-felt satisfaction.
Reader, this is the life of heaven; it is feasting on the grapes of Canaan; it is living in paradise; it is feeding on the tree of life; it is leaning on the bosom of Jesus, having the kisses of his mouth, and tafting the joys of his salvation.
It must be owned, this is not a privilege to be enjoyed without interruption, in the present state. But it is the good pleasure of the God of all consolation, at some seasons to indulge his children with these foretastes of celestial felicity. When that eminent Scotch divine, Mr. Robert Bruce, was asked by his friends, in his languishing moments, how it was with him, he answered to this effect, " When I was young and in health, I was enabled to be diligent, and lived by faith in the Son of God; but now I am old and feeble, and it is his good pleasure to feed me with sensible comforts."
The Psalmist thus describes the felicity of gracious fouls. “ Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness fhall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength; and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted."
The two last particulars relating to the divine favour, I apprehend, are principally intended in our text. The favour of God which bestows fpiri.
tual life, and his favour as manifested to the soul, which animates it with a life of joy and comfort. From the context it appears, that David had the latter chiefly in view when he said, In his favour is life.
Should it be asked, " But whose favour is here intended ? I answer, the favour of Jehovah, the fountain of life. The favour of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; for these three are one. The benediction prescribed for the priests to pronounce, under the former dispensation, is very remarkable, and may be thus paraphrased. " The Lord, the Father and fountain of blessings, the Preserver of his creatures, bless thee with spiritual blessings, give thee grace and keep thee in his fear. The Lord Jesus Chrift, the Sun of righteousness, irradiate thy soul with beams of gospel light and love, make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Spirit of the Lord, the Comforter of his people, give thee an assured interest in the divine favour, and thus lift his countenance upon
thee, and give thee peace! Even that peace which passeth all un, derstanding, that it may keep thy heart and mind through Christ Jesus.” See Numb. vi. 24, 25, 26. The New Testament benediction answers to that of the Old, and serves to explain it. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and
the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all." The works of the blessed Three-One, are undivided. Hence creation is fometimes ascribed to the Son, sometimes redemption to the Father; and sanctifi€ation is sometimes represented as the work of the Father, and of the Son, as well as that of the Holy Ghost. He whose favour is here fpoken of, is the one Jehovah.
It is necessary, however, to observe, before we elose this chapter, that the favour of God is manifested to sinners only through Jesus, the Mediator of the covenant. It is only in him that God is reconciled to us. He is the great propitiation, by whom full atonement was made for our offences, through which God is pacified, and shews himself friendly and favourable to every one that believeth. ** This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafed." This is not to be interpreted simply of the person of Christ, but of what he did and what he suffered in the capacity of a Mediator and Redeemer. Through him God is reconciled, and to the praise of the glory of his grace, he hath made us accepted in the Beloved; that is to say, in Jesus, the Son of his love. The streams of grace issue out to sinners since the fall, through the channel of redeeming blood. The beams of divine favour which quicken the dead finner, and which enlighten, enliven, and