James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 6) online

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memorable sieges, the last of which occurred in the years 1 027 and
1628, when, after a noble resistance, it finally surrendered to the
besiegers, who demoUshed its fortifications, and confiscated its
municipal rights. During this siege, which was endured with
unexampled bravery, patience, and fortitude, and was protracted
to nearly fifteen months, the inhabitants were reduced by famine
r to the misery of being obhged to have recourse to the flesh of
horses, asses, mules, dogs, cats, rats, and mice : and a single peck
of corn is said to have been sold for a sum equivalent to about
tAventy-five pounds sterling of our money in the present day.
To add to the hoiTors of this famine, which daily carried more
than two hundred of the besieged into eternity, there were many j
instances of cruelty. There were also numerous examples of j
great and liberal generosity among the inhabitants ; of whom '
a merchant, named Thinault, and the Sieur Du Prat, distributed
gratuitously a very large store of wheat to their suffering fellow-
citizens, trusting to the hope of being repaid when better times
should an-ive. There were others who disj^ensed their charity so
secretly that their names were never discovered : and among the
rest, the following example is narrated : " The Sieur De la Goute.
an honorary king's advocate, had a sister, the widow of a mer-
chant named Prosni, who, being a very religious and benevolent
•woman, at the time when the famine became more severe than !
it had before been, freely assisted the poor with her present sur-
plus. Her sister-in-law, the wife of her brother De la Gout«, ;
being differently inclined, reproved her for her conduct, asking i
her in anger, ' ^Vhat she would do when her all should be ex-
pended ? ' Her reply was, ' My sister, the Lord wiU provide for I


a Ps. xsiii. 2, 3,
sxxi. 3.

I 6 "The climax
I appears to be,—
i tlieir iuuer parts
I are a very place
; of destruction,
I their throat is a
I yawuiug sepul-
I chral passage to
it, their tongue
is a smootli and
easy entrance." —
Jennings & Lowt.
c 2 Sa. XT. 31,
xvii. 14, 23.

d C H. Spurgeon.

There is a pecu-
liar manifesta-

that believe. All
creatures niaui-
i test His creative
j pcwer. Devils
! felt His power
■ to punish. An-
'• gels display His
I power to govern
and uphold in un-
sullied holiness.
But only tliose
who believe
i know the ex-
j ceeding great-
ness and mighty
working of His
I power to recover
; from a fallen
, state, and then
I t o maintain.
Here is at once
a display of tlie
po\\-er of His
gi-ace and the
riclies of His

A poor ■widow
was weeping in
the room where
lay the body of
Ker husband.
Tlieir only child
came in, and
s.'aid, " Why do
you weep so,
mother ?" The
motlier told him
of their loss, and
especially re-
ferred to their
poverty. Look-
ing into her face,
the Uttle fellow
said, " Is God
dead, mother ?"
" The greates*



[Cap. vl. 1-10.

wrong you can
do to God is to
doubt His love.
It is right to
cherish great
self-distnist, to
realise your
weakness and
helplessness, but
do not stop here.
Confide as much
more in God as
you hope less
from yourself." — j
Madame Guyon.

" Pantheism and I
idolatry natu- '
rally end in eacli
other ; for all
extremes meet.
The Judaic re- |
lifrion is the
exact medium,
the true com-
promise."— CuU-


The first of the
penilenlial Pss.
C'omp. prnb. in
lime nf severe sick-
ness. Many think
it should be con-
nected tcith Absa-
lom's rebellion.

Sheminith. -—yfith
a bass accom-
a Kay.

b Matt, xxvii. 46.
e Compare Isaiah
xxxriii. 18, 19.
d Dr. Thomas.

a Job xrii. 7 ; Ts.
xxxi. 9.

A priest, by the
name of John, is
mentioned as
having been re-
jected from the
bishopric of Ra-
venna for ina-
bility to repeat
the Psalms with-
out a book.
How often is the

me.' The sieg'e was continued, and the famine increased its
fearful ravages, and poor widow Prosni, who had four chiklren,
found herself in a great strait — all her store of provisions being'
exhausted. She applied to her sister for relief, who, in the stead
of comforting, reproached her for her improvidence ; tauntinjj^ly
adding that as she had done mighty well to be so reduced under
all her great faith and fine words that ' the Lord would provide
for her," so in good time He might provide for her. Wounded to
the heart by these words, poor willo^v Prosni returned to her
house in sad distress, resolving, uu vertheless, to meet death
patiently. On reaching her home, her children met her with
gladdened hearts and joyous faces, and told her that a man. to
them an entire stranger, had knocked at the door, it being late,
and, on its being opened, he threw in a sack of about two bushels
of wheat, and then, without saying a word, suddenlj' departed.
The widow Prosni, scarcely able to believe her own eyes, ■n-ith
an overflowing grateful heart towards her gracious benefactor,
immediately ran to her sister-in-law as quickly as her famished
condition would allow, and upon seeing her exclaimed aloud,
' My sister, the Lord hath provided for me,' and saj-ing no more
returned home again. By means of this unexpected relief, con-
veyed to her so opportunely, she was enabled to support herself
and family until the end of the siege, and she never knew to
whom she was instrumentally indebted for this timely and mer-
ciful assistance."


1—6. (1) O Lord, Heb. Jehovah, rebuke . . anger, the

Psalmist asks the entire removal of God"s chastisement. Some
comp. with Jer. x. 24." (2) weak, exhausted, drooping as a
blighted plant, vexed, perturbed, shaken. (I?) sore vexed,
John xii. 27. (4) return, to my relief. In suffering God seema
to be absent, but is not.' (5) death, the climax of sickness.*
The state after death was generally regarded by the Heb. as one
of utter inactivity, grave, Sheol, the unseen world.

A revengeful God the creation of ngvUty conscience (v. 1). — We
make two remarks on David's idea of God's hot displeasure. I.
It was generated in a guilty conscience by great suffering. Ob-
serve two facts. 1. That he was conscious of having wronged his
Maker ; 2. He was conscious of having deserved God's displeasure.
II. It was removed from his guilty conscience by earnest jirayer.
True prayer does two things. 1. It modifies for the better the
mind of the suppliant ; 2. It secures the necessary assistance of
the God of love. <<

6—10. (6) all the night, or every night, bed to swim, a
strong fig. for his constant weeping, water, drench, or flood.
( 7 ) consumed," " as a garment fretted by moths." (8) workers,
etc., Ps. V. 5. hath heard, this change of tense indicates a
nuicwal of confidence and hoi)e. (9) will receive, the Psalmist
felt sura that hearing pledged acceptance. Heceive means favour-
ably accept and regard. (10) let all, or better, I hnotv that all,
etc. return, or be turned back. Certain that his prayer is
heard, he no longer fears his enemies.

A man of pratjcr. — Of Mr. Thomas Hooker, of New England,
his biographer says, " He wae a man of prayer ;" which, indeed,

Cap.vii. 1— 9.]


■was a ready way to become a man of God. He would say, " tliat
prayer was the principal part of a minister's work : it was by this
that he ■9\'as to carry on the rest." Accordingly, he devoted one
day in a month to prayer, with fasting, before the Lord, besides
the public fasts, which often occurred. He would say, " that such
extraordinary favours as the life of religion and the power of
godliness, must be preserved by the frequent use of such extra-
ordinary means as prayer, with fasting ; and that if professors
grew negligent of these means, iniquity would abound, and the
love of many wax cold." WTien he lay djdng, a friend standing
by his bed said, " Yoi-i are going to receive the reward of all your
labours." He replied, '■ Brother, I am going to receive mercy."*


1 — 6. (1) persecute me, an expression connecting the Ps.
with the time of the enmity of Saul. (2) lest he,« one person
stood out prominently as lt>ader among his enemies Prob. Saul
is meant, but Dav. respectfully avoids naming him. like a lion,
whose habits Dav. knew, 1 Sa. xvii. 34— .37. (3) done this,*
Bome specific charge was brought against him ; prob. treason
against Saul. (4) rewarded, or retaliated : better, " if I have
injured my friend." delivered, with historical reference to 1
Sa. xxiv. 4 — 7, xxvi. 9.« (5) let, etc., if indeed a xinncr he was
willing to .wffer. mine honour,'' personal and otBcial dignity.

Excmplari/ conduct binder great .social trial. — David's conduct i
here includes three things. I. Earnest application. In which
we see — 1. Strong confidence in God ; 2. Atenible sense of danger ;
3. A deep consciousness of innocence ; 4. An earnest invocation
for help. II. Devout meditations. 1. On the character of God —
(«) As a friend of the just ; (b) As an enemy of the wicked. 2.
On the condition of sinners — (a) As painfully laborious ; {b) Abor-
tively laborious. III. Reverent adoration. 1. The character in
which he worships the Almighty, (a) As righteous ; ( b) As su-
preme. 2. The spirit with which he worships the Almighty/

6 — 9. (6) arise, etc., I appeal fr. their slanders to Thee, as
Judge.<» because of, or agaimt. awake, etc.. render " Awake
for me. Thou hast commanded judgment."* (7) SO shall, in
that case, the case of granting me public vindication, compass
thee, coming round Thee to acknowledge Thy righteousness.
return . . high, - to Thy judgment-throne. (8) judge me, only
conscious integrity could make such an appeal. Dav. refers to
the crime with wli. he was charged, not to any absolute sinless-
ness.'i (9) wickedness, of slander and plotting. trieth,< in
Bpecific sense of testing, assaying.

A prayer for the ces.mtio?i of sin (v. 9). — I. Make a few observa-
tions on the wickedness of the wicked. 1. It is the genuine fruit
of a depraved nature ; 2. It displays itself in various forms ; 3.
It presses into its service the whole man ; 4. It has abounded in
all ages of the world. II. AVhen may it be said that this vsdcked-
ness comes to an end ? 1. In the individual conversion of sinners
to God : 2. It will come to an end generally, by the conversion of
the world to God. III. That this is a most desirable object. 1.
It IS desirable on God's account ; 2. On our own account ; 3. For
aiao sake of the wicked. IV. What means can be adopted to this

body in a pos-
ture of prayer
when the spirit
is absent ! " This
people drawfth
nigh unto Me
with their
mouth, and ho-
nouretli Me with
their hps ; Ijut
their heart is far
from Me."



Ps. of appeal to
the Righteous
Judge. Composed
when suffering
under slander.

a Ps. XXXV. 15.
b 1 Sa. xxtv. 12,
13, xxTi. 18.
Comp. 2 Sa. xvl.

c " And if I have
phmdared him
who is without
cause my enemy."
— Belitzsch.
d " The phrases
' tread down,'
'lay in the dust,'
refer to a death
of ignominy."^
e Dr. Thomat.

a Ps. xciv. 2 ; It.
xxxiii. 10.
'' Hitherto Dav.
has protested his
innocence ; now
in the full con-
sciousness of that
innocence he
comes before the
very judgment-
seat of God, and
demands the
fullest and most
public vindi-
cation." — Pe-

b Revised Eng.

"And awake for
me : Thou hast
indeed enjoined
the luaintaining
of right."— i?««j>-



[Cap. vli. 10-13.

• "Vindicate Thy
dipnity hy no
lonpTPr allowinsr
it to appear as
though tlie
wickeil were to
liave the upppr
hand."— Jennings
and Lowe.
"When Thou
hast ilelivereii
Tliy jmlicial sen-
tence, return on
liigli above the
patliering of Thy
people, to Thy
throne." - ?Ko;<is-

d Ps. xviii. 20, 24,
xxvi 1 ; Job xydx.

e Heart is seat of
thoughts, reins
of emotion.
/ Be(a, in 400

a " He bears my
shield, has under-
taken to defend
me." — Jennings.

Vs. Lxii. 7.

6 "The word
means not merely
that God feels,
but that He
manifests, wrath,
not by occasional
outbursts, but by
continuous indi-
cations of His
intent to punish
those who con-
tinually provoke
mm."-Spk: Com.
c De. vi. 7, marg.,
xxxii. 41.
d C. Simeon, U.A.

When Grepory
IV as ordained
bishop, the cele-
brat.ed Jerome's
inquiry respoct-
inp liis canonical
qualification was
wliether he knew
the I'salms by

end ? 1. Give no countenance to wickedness ; 2. Warn the wicked
of their danger ; 3. Pray that their wickedness may come to an

CJirisfian integrity. — An interesting instance of Christian in-
tegrity is recorded in the life of the late Rev. John Cooke, of
Maidenhead. The circumstance has reference to property which
had originally belonged to Mr. Cooke's mother, but had been
illegally alienated from him by his father : — " A gentleman of
very respectable appearance called at his house rather early one
morning, and requested to see the Rev. Mr. Cooke. As soon as
]Mr. Cooke entered the room, he said, ' Sir, I am an entire stranger
to you ; and it is business of no verj' pleasant or ordinarj' kind
that has brought me to ilaideuhead. Some years ago, an estate
was purchased by my father, for which an jidequate value waa
given at the time ; but,' continued the gentleman, ' I find on
looking over the deeds, that, although it has been in the posses-
sion of my family for many years, the sale is not valid, nor my
title good, until it is signed by one John Cooke, who was, at the
time of the sale, a minor. After much search, by the aid of my
legal ailvisers, I have ascertained that you are that John Cooke :
and now it depends on you, whether what my father honourably
purchased, biat your father dishonestly sold, shall continue in the
possession of my family or not.' The gentleman then most frankly
opened and exposed to Mr. Cooke a bundle of parchments con-
taining all the particulai-a of the sale, with the deeds that had
been executed. It is believed that the estate had greatly increased
in value, and at the time of his ajiplication was worth between
three and four hundred pounds per annum.

10—13. (10) my defence, lit. "my buckler is upon God."«
(11 ) judge th the righteous, better as marg. '• God is a righteous
judge." angry, or wrathful, wh. is right feeling towards the
wicked. Angry, or " violently moved with indignation."* (12)
turtf not, in penitent submission, whet, sharpen."^ ready,
standing it up in act of shooting. (13) instruments of death,
military weapons, his arrows, trans. " He maketh his arrows
burning ones : " or lightning bolts.

God'ii infVujnatinn ngain.^t the n-ielied (rr. 11 — 13). — TVe see
the conduct of God — I. In His moral government here. 1. The
! righteous are the objects of His tender care : 2. l"he wicked are
I the objects of His merited displeasure. II. In His judicial pro-
[ceedings at the last day. 1. Then He "nnll approve and reward
i the righteotis : 2. He will consign the wicked to merited shame
and punishment. Learn — (1) The importance of ascertaining
your real character ; (2) The blessedness of having God for your

A sure drfcncr (r. 10). — During the seventeenth century, while
the Rev. John Cotton was minister of Boston, in America, intel-
ligence reached that town of the distress of the poor Christians
1 at Sigatea. where a small church existed, the members of which
1 were reduced to great extremity by persecution. Mr. Cotton im-
j mediately began to collect for them, and sent the sum of £7(M)
I for their' relief. It is remarkable, that this relief arrived the very
' day after they had divided their last portion of meal, without any
! other prospect but that of dying a lingering death : and imme-
diately after their pastor, Mr. White, had preached to them from
Psalm xxLii. 1^" The Lord is my Shepherd ; I shall not want."




14 — 17. (14) travaileth, etc., fig. indie, that the bad resolves
of the wicked man's heart, he was at this time trying to work
out in mischievous acts, falsehood, '• Heb. word includes the
meanings of emptiness and failure.'" (1.5) digged it, or
hollowed it out. is fallen, etc., historically illus. in Saul's per-
sonal peril in the cave (1 Sa. xxvi. 7 — 12), and in case of Haman.
(Itj) return, etc., the very scoopings out of the pit shall tumble
down on him as he lies in the pit. pate, top of the head.* (17)
righteousness, shown in his vindication.

The saint's safety in evil times {v. 14). — The words express the
conception, birth, carriage, and miscarriage of a plot against
David, in which you may consider— I. What his eneijiies did.
II. What God did. III. WThat we should all do. His enemies'
intention, God's prevention, and our duty. His enemies' inten-
tion, — he travaileth with iniquity, and conceiveth falsehood.
God's intention, — prevention. He brought forth a lie. Our
duty,— behold.'

Retribution Qv. 15). — The end of this pope was a meet sequel to
his life. Cffisar Borgia and the pope had plotted to poison a rich
cardinal, that they might lay hands on his wealth. The whole
body of cardinals were therefore invited to a banquet, and among
the wines provided was one bottle of poison, carefully prepared
and set apart. But the pope and his son coming in before suj^per,
called for some wine, and a servant presented them, by mistake,
with the bottle containing the poison. Borgia had largely diluted
his wine, and being young and vigorous, he recovered under the
use of proper antidotes ; but Alexander died the same evening ;
a remarkable example of Divine retribution.'*


1, 2. (1) our Lord, the Psalmist speaks in the name of the
Church, excellent, lit. bright, glorious : like the stars, who . .
heavens, lit. " set Thy glory upon the heavens." Who hast covered
the heavens with Thy glory." (2) babes, child, able to play.*
sucklings, unweaned infants."^ Heb. weaned at three years old.
ordained, or founded. " Thou hast built up a bulwark, a defence."'*
enemy, etc., the opponents of the Div. sovereignty, avenger,
" one who thirsts or breathes revenge." *

The murder of the innocents (v. 2).— I. Examine the occasion
of the death of these innocents, with a few incidental remarks on
the narrative. Describe the circumstances and scene. 1. How
was it that such a destruction was pemaitted .' For the punishment
of the people of Bethlehem for their treatment of the infant
Saviour. 2. Supposing this to be correct, does it not show the
mercy of God as well as the justice ? 3. However sin appears to
prosper, it will not go unpunished even in this world. II. Make
Bome practical observations on what has been said. 1. Gods
moral government is perfectly just ; 2. And perfectly merciful ;
3. Sin brings punishment./

Infant jJi'ai-ses (v. 2). — "A few Sabbaths since," says one, "a
little boy, about six years of age, just after entering the school,
came and asked me for the charity-box. I inquired what he
wanted vrith it. ' I want to put a halfpenny into it,' said he.
To examine his motives, and his knowledge of Divine things more i

a "He conceives

trouble or mis-
chief, and when
it is brought
forth it turns out
to be but a de-
ception which
does but mock its
wouiii-be perpe-
tmtuT."- Jennings
and Loice.
b Etymology un-
certain. Possibij
Sanscrit pairi
top of a vessel.
c Br. Ji. Sibbes.
Crregory, in the
fifth century,
writiug to a wo-
mau by the iuuii&
I of Eustochiuni,
I concerning her
; deceased mother,
i Paula, says:
" The Moly Scrip-
tures she knew
by heart. Indeed,
I uuifet say more,
what perhaps to
every one seems
incredible, she
also understood
the Hebrew lan-
guage so well
tliat she sang thf
I Psalms in He
brew, even as wt
find it to be the
case with her
daughter Eus-
I d Liies of Popet
(R. T. S.).
' David

j A Ps. of praise to
Jehovah, suggested
by the sight of the

I starry skies.

j Comp. by David,
prob. during hit
shepherd life.

Giltith, a musica
instrument from
Gath : it was used
for ps. of a Jubi-
lant character.
Comp. Ps. Ixixi.,

a " Thou hast set
Thy glory, i.e.
hast stamped the
j image of Thine
I infinite majesty,
1 upon the heavens
I and yet dost con-
descend to reveal
Tliyself to man
by near and. to
some, less sigaifl*



[Cap. vllt. 3-0.

cant tokens." —
Spt. Com.
b Jer. vi. 11, ix.
21 ; La. iv. 4.
e " So manifest
are God's perfec-
tions that by
very weak instru-
ments He con-
clusively sets
forth His praise."
— Faussel.
Ma. xii. 16.
d I'erowne.
e Uendelssohn.
/ W. Alexander,
curate of Lon-
donderry Catli.
g WJiitecross.

a "The term
points to the im-
potence and mor-
tality of the
creature wlio has
been thus
honoured."— /f/i-
ni)U/s and Lowe.
Ps. cxliv. 3—9.
b " Modern inter-
preters are gene-
rally in favour of
translating the
words thus : —
' Thou madest
him httle less
than God.'" —

c Ge. i. 28.

d Delta, in 400


"^Vho fights -ivith

passions and o'er-

comes, that man

is arm'd with the

best virtue, — pft.s-

Bive fortitude."

— Webster.

4 Sir J. Daviti.

a 1 Cor. xiv. 24—
27 ; Eph. i. 22.
b Ge. i. 20-25.
St. Basil directs
that such as
neglect to com-
mit the Psalms
to memory shall
be shut up in
solitude, or kept
fasting, till they
do. Another
writer deolare.s
thuf'noone wlio
Uie uuuo

particularly, I asked him what good he supposed it would do to
put his money into the charity- box. ' I want to send it to the
heathen,' he replied. ' Do you know,' said I, ' who the heathens
are .' ' ' They are folks who have not got any Bible, and live a
great way off.' • What is the Bible .' ' ' The Word of God.' ' Of
what use would it be to the heathen, if they had it .' ' ' It would
tell them to love God, and be good.' ' AMiere did the Bible come
from ? ' ' From heaven.' ' Was it written in heaven .' ' ' No. the
prophets and good men wrote it.' ' If good men wrote it, how
then is it the Word of God, and came from heaven .' ' ' ^Mly, the
Holy Ghost told them how to write it.' ' Did they see the Holy
Ghost, and did He speak to them .' ' ' No, but He made them
think it.' This was enough. I presented to him the charity-
box ; he dropped in his money ; a smile of joy glowed upon his
countenance : and he returned to his seat filled with the luxury
of doing good."'

3 — 5. (3) when, or as often as. moon and stars, absence
of reference to the sun fixes this as a nhiht meditation. (4)
man, lit. f mil man." (5) lower than "the angels, Heb.
Elohtm,'' wh. is never used in the sense of angels, glory and
honour, the attributes of royal dignity ; man being placed in
authority over God's creation.'

The Divine regard to man (rv. 3, 4). — I. Take a summary survey
of God's regard to man, and the visits with which He indulges
1 him. 1. By visible manifestations of His presence ; 2. By the
: incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ : 3. By the influences of
J His Spiiit ; 4. By the dispensations of His providence. II. In-
I quire on what ground we may justify this profusion of bounty
: and regard t<') man. 1. What is man, viewed as a material being,
and an inhabitant of this world only .' 2. ANTiat is man, considered
as an intelligent being and destined to be the inhabitant of an
eternal world .' 3. What is man, considered as a moral agent and
a sinner ? Expostulate with those who trifle with their souls ;
console those who enter into the designs of God.**
llie virtue of man (r. 4). —

O what is man. great IMaker of mankind !
That 'ITiou to him so great respect dost bear ;
That Thou adornest him with so bright a mind,
llak'st him a king — and even an angel's peer?
O what a lively life, what heavenly power,
What spreading virtue, what a sparkling fire,
How great, how plentiful, how rich a dower,
Dost Thou within the dying flesh inspire 1 '

6 — 9. (0) works . . hands, those summed up in the earthly
si)here of creation." (7) all sheep, etc., rend, as marg. '• Flocks
and oxen all of them." The reference is to man's original estate.
(S) passeth . . seas,* creatures of the deep not clas.^od with
fish. All are subject to man. (!») O Lord, etc., repetition ot
V. 1, as the impression wh. the mtnlitation had left.

3/ode.t of fi.'ih in g.— There is fishing with the hand-net. The net
is in shape "like the top of a tent, with a long cord fa.'steued to the
apex. This is tied to his arm. and the net so foldwl that when it

Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 6) → online text (page 3 of 67)