Psalm 110:7

"He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall he lift up the head." - Ps. cx. 7.

The brook of Kedron was a black brook (for so the word Kedron signifies) into which all the filth from the sacrifices was thrown; it was the brook over which the Son of God passed in the night that he entered the garden of Gethsemane. Now, as the whole Psalm from which this portion is taken, refers to the person of Jesus, nothing can be more plain than that David, by the spirit of prophecy, is here describing the deep sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. By the expression, drinking of this black brook, it is intended to convey an idea of the "cup of trembling" put into the Lord Jesus's hands, when he sustained all the sins and filth of his people, and in consequence as their surety, all the Father's wrath against sin. Hence the Lord said, "The cup that my Father giveth me, shall I not drink it?" My soul! pause, and ask thyself, doth not this sweet but solemn verse give thee precious instruction, when thou considerest that all thy filth, and all thy defilements, were imputed, by the Father himself, unto the person of thy glorious surety? Is it not blessed thus to see, that by Christ's drinking "of the brook in the way," he took all thy transgressions, and was made both "sin and a curse for thee, that thou mightest be made the righteousness of God in him?" And though, in himself, he was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens," yet, as the surety of his people, he was made black with sin and suffering; "his visage was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." Precious Jesus! may I never lose sight of Gethsemane, the mount of Olives, and the brook Kedron! Here, by faith, let my soul frequently take her evening station, and behold thee "pouring out thy soul unto death, numbered with the transgressors," drinking "of the brook in the way," that thy sacred head might be lifted up, first on the cross in suffering, and then with thy crown in glory!

Genesis 22:14

"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-j ireh; as it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." - Gen. xxii. 14.

My soul! how many Jehovah-jirehs hast thou erected? At least, how many occasions hath thy bountiful Lord afforded thee for erecting them? Oh what cause have I to blush in the recollection! Had I done by my God, as Abraham did by his, what blessed helps would they have afforded me, in the same moment that they became monuments to the Lord's praise! Surely I know all this, in theory, very plainly and fully: but how do I fall short in the practice of it! To set up the Jehovah-jireh for all that is past, is the best help to a soul in exercises for all that is to come. When I can, and do put down, after any sharp trial, any Jehovah-jireh, and say, here it was "the Lord did provide;" will it not, in any future exercise, enable me to say, ‘If the Lord helped me then, may I not hope that he will help me now?' It would be a very sad requital for past mercies, in the moment of receiving them, to say, ‘Alas! the Lord did once help, but he will not. I fear, do it again.' This would be to read the inscription of the Jehovah-jireh backward. Whereas the very sight of our Jehovah-jirehs should teach us to say, "Here the Lord helped me: here he manifested his free unmerited grace to me: and will he not again? Is he less Jehovah than he was? Is he not God all-sufficient, all-gracious still?" O it is blessed to have such stones set up as Abraham's Jehovah-jireh. There was nothing in the patriarch's of his own providing. His was simply an act of faith; and neither the result of his asking by prayer, or providing by his wisdom. And, my soul, do not overlook a most interesting mark which the Holy Ghost hath put upon Abraham's Jehovah-jireh, in adding, "As it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." As if he had said, ‘ all the ages and generations yet to come shall profit by the great father of the faithful's testimony to this place; and they shall see it to the latest day of Jesus's church upon earth? Oh! how blessed, when our personal experience bears an exact correspondence to that of the faithful gone before; when we can and do set up the same. All blessings, all provisions are in Jesus. He is the Lamb, which, from everlasting, Jehovah hath provided, and whom his people shall see in all their wants, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. And let their extremities be what they may, yea, though the exercises of their faith abound, yet let them wait but the Lord's time, which is always the best time, and they shall most assuredly, like Abraham, find cause to call the name of every place of trial, Jehovah-j ireh; concerning which, in proof and in reality it shall be said, every day and to the last day," In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen!"

1 Corinthians 11:26

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." - I Cor. xi. 26.

An evening or two since, my mind was led out to the contemplation of the supper of the Lord, as a heart affecting ordinance, to make the Lord's table a Bochim. I hope, my soul, that in this view, thou didst find it profitable. Here is another proposed to thy meditation, which, under grace, will prove equally so, in which it comes home to thy affections as a subject of holy joy. Look at it in this light, and remark what the apostle saith upon it. The Lord's death, which is thy life, is set forth by every renewed celebration. And what a delightful thought is that. As the body needs its constant regular meals, so doth the soul. And as Jesus is the whole of life, and strength, and happiness to his people; as oft as we receive the holy supper, we testify to the world of men and angels, that he is all this; and we glory in setting him forth as such at his table. And what a blessed addition is that little phrase at the end of this verse; "till he come:" yea, that "when he comes," he may find his people at his table, and in their death celebrating his. Oh the blessedness of being so found! Surely every lover of Jesus would desire to be found there, when the master comes, and calleth personally for each, to take him home: to be, in one and the same moment, in the valley of vision, and the valley of the shadow of death! My soul! from henceforth, among the other glories of the ordinance, do not forget this. The oftener it is attended, the more delightful it will be. For the service keeps the remembrance of Jesus alive in the soul, until he comes to take the soul home to the everlasting enjoyment of himself in glory. And as there, all his redeemed, who feast their souls with the view of his person, unceasingly behold some new glories in him, and, after millions of ages, will find him still increasingly lovely, and increasingly precious; so here below, the more we see him, and know him, and enjoy him by faith, the more we shall long to see him, and know him, and enjoy him by sight: and the glories of his person, and the wonders of his blood and righteousness, will be unfolding more and more to our ravished souls. And while every other object lessens in its value by time and use, and all created excellencies, like the planet under which they are found, have their growing and their waning seasons; Jesus is the same, "yesterday, and to-day, and forever." Yea, though in reality always the same, yet from the increasing manifestations of love and glory which he makes of himself to us, as our capacities are capable of bearing, he will be in our view more and more blessed, from day to day, from one ordinance to another, and through all the unknown periods of eternity! Oh! the blessedness of setting forth Jesus, "in breaking bread and in prayer!"

Psalm 4:8

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety." - Ps. iv. 8.

My soul! it is blessed, indeed, to lie down, or arise, when Jesus is thy rest and refreshment! But, void of security and safety in him, both the day-light and the darkness have their horrors. And how unsatisfying is everything where Jesus is not? This is strikingly exemplified, day by day, among all carnal characters. "There be many," saith the Psalmist (in this divine psalm), "there be many that say, who will shew us any good?" Yea, the whole world, who know not the blessedness of Jesus, will thus say! What a busy life some men make of it? And what is it for? Be their pursuits what they may; let them be ever so much diversified, one object is the aim of all. The apostle hath said what it is;" to make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof," Rom. xiii. 14. My soul! what is the first and last, the greatest and most momentous desire of thine affections? Canst thou, and dost thou, adopt the words of the Psalmist, in this sweet psalm: "Lord! lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me: and it shall put more gladness in my heart than in the time that corn and wine increase?" Oh! the blessedness of such a state! May it be mine! Dearest Lord Jesus! grant it me, day by day; and in the evening and night watches, let thy sweet visits be unceasingly renewing: and then will I take this precious portion for my song, both when undressing for the bed of sleep, and the bed of death: "I will lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety!"

Judges 2:5

"And they called the name of that place Bochim. " - Judges ii. 5.

Surely it was enough to induce such an effect, when the preaching of an angel informed the people, that the Lord, for their sins, would not drive out their enemies before them. The place might well be called Bochim, and they themselves might hear the name Bochim, weepers. But, my soul, thou hast lately been to a place which is yet more calculated to make it memorable, by weeping, when thou didst attend Jesus at the ordinance of his supper. For there Jesus himself was, and is, the everlasting preacher, who sheweth thee his hands and his side, pierced and streaming with blood, for thy sins. Didst thou not hear him speak to thee himself, in his own words, "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced: and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born?" Zech. xii. 10. Didst thou not weep in beholding such a sight, in hearing such words, and in meditating on such things? Alas! Lord, my heart is harder than the adamant. But if the eye wept not; say, was not my heart broken? Did I not desire to feel, to mourn, and, with the prophet, to cry out: "Oh! that mine head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night," in the recollection of my Redeemer's sufferings, and my sins, the dreadful cause of them? Did Jesus die for me! Did the Son of God offer up his precious soul and offering for me? Was his body broken, and his blood shed for me? For me! a poor, wretched, polluted, hell-deserving sinner? Oh! for grace to make every place a Bochim in the recollection; and especially at the table of Jesus, may my soul always find these ordinance- seasons heart-melting seasons. Here would I frequently attend, to have my soul thoroughly awakened, and my stony heart made flesh. Here would I go, to gather a holy hatred to my sins, which brought Jesus to the cross. Here would I be found waiting, that when any new temptation may arise, I may cry out, with a vehement indignation, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" How can I "crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame?" Precious Lord Jesus! do thou help me to keep the eye of my soul stedfastly fixed on thee, and all the affections of my soul to be going out in desires after thee; to be "always bearing about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of the Lord Jesus may he made manifest in my body!"

Psalm 68:9

"Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance when it was weary." - Ps. lxviii. 9.

How truly grateful are the falling showers upon the thirsty earth, after a hot summer's day, such as this season of the year abounds with! Such, my soul, (and thou knowest it, I hope, in the many refreshments thou hast had) is Jesus, in the visits of his grace! "He shall come like rain," was the sweet promise given to old testament saints, "upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth," Ps. lxxii. 6. And every new testament believer hath, more or less, a real personal enjoyment of it. Sometimes the Lord comes as the tender dew, for he saith himself," I will be as the dew unto Israel," Hosea xiv. 5. And hast thou not found thy Lord, not unfrequently, so to come? silent and unperceived for a while; yea, at times, when wholly unlooked for, unasked, unsought! Yes! thou dearest Jesus, thou tarriest not for man's desert, neither waitest thou for their prepared state to receive thee! Micah v. 7. And sometimes, as this blessed portion for the evening expresseth it, the Lord comes in a "plentiful rain;" even showers of his love, washing away "the filth of the daughter of Zion," and cleansing everything that is polluted; as the natural clouds pour their fullness, which wash off the insects from the vegetable creation, and purify the air from noxious vapours. And when my God and Saviour thus comes to his people, how doth he make the wilderness- frames of their dry and languishing minds to blossom as the rose! So come, Lord Jesus, I beseech thee, on my soul, and not on mine only, but on thy churches, thy ministers, thy people! But, my soul, do not dismiss this charming scripture, until thou hast first gathered another blessed instruction from it, for it is most blessed. The words say, that Jehovah sends this plentiful rain, whereby he "confirmed his inheritance when it was weary." And doth not this most abundantly prove, that Christ, with all his fullness, and all his graces, is the sent of God the Father? "We have seen and do testify (said John, the beloved apostle)that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world," 1 John iv. 14. Oh! precious, precious scripture! Do I not read in it the grace, and love, and mercy of all the persons of the Godhead? Surely, Almighty Father! thou dost confirm all thy covenant faithfulness, when thou dost send thy dear Son to the souls of thy people! Thou dost, indeed, both confirm thy truth, and refresh their weary, dry, and thirsty souls, when Jesus comes to bless them, in the dew of his grace, and in the showers of his love and mercy!

Song of Solomon 7:6

"How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!" - Song vii. 6.

My soul! thou hast been refreshed, many an evening, through grace, in beholding thy Lord, both in his person, and in his comprehensive fullness for his redeemed; nor wilt thou be without refreshment this evening, if thy Lord, in his sweet influences, be with thee, to make what is said in this lovely scripture, life and spirit in thine heart. They are the words of Jesus; and they express the love and complacency of delight which Jesus takes in his church. Surely nothing can be more blessed, than to see the high value the Son of God puts upon the church, which the Father gave him, endeared as it is yet more in being the purchase of his blood! But what astonishment is it to the soul of a poor sinner, to be told, and by the lip of truth, that sinners are fair in Jesus's eyes! "Thou art fair, O love, yea, pleasant." Now remember, my soul, and in that remembrance let Jesus have all the glory, that this loveliness and beauty in the sinner, of every degree, that is regenerated, and made anew in Christ, is from Jesus. It is wholly from his righteousness, in which he beholds her clothed: "I washed thee with water, (saith the Lord) and I decked thee also with ornaments; and thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God," Ezek. xvi. 5-14. My soul! bow down under the conviction of all that remains of indwelling inbred sin; and, in language like that of the astonished apostle, cry out, ‘Lord! how is it that thou hast set thy love upon creatures so polluted and unworthy; and dost "manifest thyself to them otherwise than thou dost to the world?"‘

Hebrews 11:31

"By faith, the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace." - Heb. xi. 31.

It were a pity to disconnect what. the Holy Ghost hath joined; and as the relation of the destruction accomplished by faith on the walls of Jericho, is followed in the scripture history, with an account of a deliverance, from the same principle, in this wonderful woman, who was an harlot, do thou, my soul, let thy last evening's meditation on the one, he followed up in this, by the exercise of thy devout thoughts on the other; for both are expressly intended to one and the same purpose, which is to encourage the Lord's people to be "followers of them, who now, through faith and patience, inherit the promises." What extraordinary events are there in the scripture account of Rahab, the harlot; that such a woman, and an harlot, should be distinguished with such grace! That in such a city, even an accursed city, the Lord should have so illustrious an instance of faith! That faith so illustrious should be found in the heart of an harlot! And that the eminency and greatness of it should be such, that God the Holy Ghost hath thought proper to have it recorded, both in its principle and effects, by the apostle Paul, in one epistle, and by the apostle James in another. Yea, and what is more marvelous still, that our Lord, after the flesh, should arise out of such a stock! Oh! what a world of wonders is folded up in the great plan of salvation! But while thou art beholding the wonders of grace in the instance of this woman, and admiring the triumph of faith wrought in her, do not fail to connect with it the still more blessed view of Him who is the author and finisher of faith, and from whom, and in whom, and by whom, the whole is accomplished. Precious Jesus! it is all by thee, and thy glorious undertaking, that Rahab, the gentile, found faith to believe, while the spies of Israel doubted. It was thou, and thy grace, O Lord, that wrought so effectually, and therefore be thou eternally loved and adored in this rich dispensation of thy mercy, that Rahab the harlot perished not with them that believed not. Oh! thou bountiful Lord! publicans and harlots, thou hast said, go into the kingdom of God, before the self- righteous Pharisees!

Hebrews 12:30

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days." - Heb. xii. 30.

Never, in the annals of mankind, in the history of all wars, is there a parallel instance to be found, of exploits like what the Holy Ghost hath recorded here, of faith. The walls of a city actually fell down at the blasting of rams' horns; and yet not from the blasting of horns, but from faith in the almighty power of Goal. My soul! let thy meditation, this evening, be directed to the subject, to see whether it will or not, under divine teaching, give strength to the exercise's of thy faith? We find, in the relation given of this memorable siege, that no ramparts were thrown up, no mounds raised, nothing of any human attempt made, either to sap the foundations, or to harass the enemy. The simple process adopted to intimate to the besieged the appearance of war, was an army marching round the walls, once every day, for seven days together. I have often thought how the despisers of God and his army, in the city of Jericho, ridiculed the Israelites in their daily exercise. And what an apt resemblance were they of the despisers, in the present day, of God and his Christ! But what an effect must have been induced, when on the seventh day, and after seven times marching round (perhaps in honour of the Sabbath) at the shout of Joshua and his army, the whole of the walls fell flat to the ground! My soul! such, but in an infinitely higher degree, will be the consternation of all the enemies of Jesus, when "he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all that believe!" Do not overlook the testimony the Holy Ghost hath given to this memorable event, that it was wrought" by faith!" And what cannot faith in Jesus accomplish? Hadst thou been present at this siege, and beheld the stupendous event, when, at the command of Joshua, the Israelites shouted, and the walls fell, thou wouldest have seen a sight not more wonderful and supernatural, than when, at the command of our new testament Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ, the weapons of sin fall out of the hands of the sinner, and the strong holds of Satan give way in the heart, to the victorious grace of the Spirit. Lord! I would say, in the review of this subject, increase my faith, and make my soul strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus!

John 11:35

"Jesus wept." - John xi. 35.

My soul! look at thy Redeemer in this account of him. Was there ever a more interesting portrait than what the evangelist hath here drawn of the Son of God? If the imagination were to be employed forever in forming an interesting scene of the miseries of human nature, what could furnish so complete a picture as these two words give of Christ, at the sight of them? "Jesus wept." Here we have at once the evidence how much the miseries of our nature affected the heart of Jesus; and here we have the most convincing testimony, that he partook of all the sinless infirmities of our nature, and was truly, and in all points, man, as well as God. We are told by one of the ancient writers (as well as I recollect, it was St. Chrysostom) that some weak but injudicious Christians in his days, were so rash as to strike this verse out of their bibles, from an idea, that it was unsuitable and unbecoming in the Son of God to weep. But we have cause to bless the over-ruling providence of God, that though they struck it out from their bibles, they did it not from ours. It is blessed to us to have it preserved, for it affords one of the most delightful views we can possibly have of the affectionate heart of Jesus, in feeling for the sorrows of his people. And methinks, had they judged aright, they would have thought, that if it were unsuitable or unbecoming in Jesus to weep, it would have been more so to put on the appearance of it. And why those groans at the grave of Lazarus, if tears were improper? Precious Lord! how refreshing is it to my soul the consideration, that, "Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, thou likewise didst take part of the same; that in all things it behoved thee to be made like to thy brethren!" Hence, when my poor heart is afflicted, when Satan storms, or the world frowns, when sickness in myself, or when under bereaving providences for my friends, "all thy waves and storms seem to go over me;" Oh, what relief is it, to know that Jesus looks on, and sympathizes! Then do I say to myself, will not Jesus, who wept at the grave of Lazarus, feel for me? Shah I look up to him, and look up in vain? Did Jesus, when upon earth, know what those exercises were; and was his precious soul made sensible of distresses even to tears; and will he be regardless of what! feel, and the sorrows under which I groan? Oh no! the sigh that bursts in secret from my heart, is not secret to him; the tear that on my night couch, drops unperceived and unknown to the world, is known and numbered by him. Though now exalted at the right hand of power, where he hath wiped away all tears from off all faces, yet he himself still retains the feelings and the character of "the man of sorrows, and of one well acquainted with grief." Help me, Lord, thus to look up to thee, and thus to remember thee! Oh! that blessed scripture; "In all their afflictions, he was afflicted; and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old," Isa. lxiii. 9.