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

. (page 48 of 67)
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 48 of 67)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Pharaoh with signs. (<■) Warns before He strikes, giving the
believing a chance to escape, Ex. ix. LS — 21. {d) Listens to
every prayer for reprieve, Ex. viii. 8 — 25, ix. 27, x. 16. Orderly ;
advance in severity, (a) Instructs them. (Ji) Touches their j

"What is th«
human mincj,
however en-
riched with ac-
quisition or
strengthened by-
exercise, unac-
companied by aa
ardent and sensi-
tive heart? Its
light may illu-
mine, but it can-
not inspire. It
may slied a cold
and moonlight
radiance upon
the path of life,
but it warms no
flower into
bloom ; it sets



" How mighty ia
the human hearty
with all its com-
plicated ener-
gies ! This living
source of all that
moves tlie world I
Tliis temple of
liberty, this
kingdom of liea-
ven. this altar of
God, tliis throne
of gooilness, so
beautiful in holi-
ness, so generous
in \0Ye."-H. Giles.
" A good heart is
the sun and
moon, or, rather,
the sun, and not
the moon , for it
shines bright and
never changes,
but keeps its
course truly." —
" Nemesis is one
of God's hand-
maids."— Jr. A

FeebU, r. 37, lit.
" stumbling,"
used fig. for
"poor." They
should be all
wealthy in the
full "sense of
wealthiness, in
person and purse.
In Isa. xvi. 14,
"small and
feeble " of the
remnant of Moab



[Cap. cv. 41—45.

comfort in the first th^ee plagues, (c) Their food and support
in the second three, {d) ITieir health and safety in the others.
Darkness preceding' death (plasfue nine, preceding ten) typifies

God is not con-

deal that just
on the self-con-
demnofl he deals
ou his own soul."
— Byron.

^i.e. scant in
numbers, not

n^'him' ^littl^ I the moral" darkness of the persistently wicked,
avail."— £/(nd I fined to any set of agencies: for example, uses Moses or Aaron,
Hurry's Wallace. \ or both — the rod or not. Human helps fail in the i^roblem of
"There is no ! sin : the magicians soon give up. helpless. God's treatment, mis-
future pang cau i used^ hardens: for example, Pharaoh: also Ileb. xii. 11. God
can use the weakest instruments : for example, frogs, flies, lice,
etc. Also 1 Cor. i. 27, 28. The plagues were ordered, to enthrone
Jehovah as God and Lord. Ex. vii. 17, ix. 14. (a) Superiority
of Moses over the magicians, (b) Struck the idols of 'Egypt,
for example. The lice unfitted the priest for sacrifice ; the Nile,
the frog, the fly, the bull, the ram. the goat, and the sun were
all worshipped. (<?) He spared Israel, (d) Gave them confi-
dence. Gcd will punish His enemies and deliver His friends.

41 — 45. (41) opened the rock, at Rephidim. Ex. xvii. 1. 2.
At Kadesh, Nu. xx. 11." (42) remembered, etc.. Ex. ii. 24.
(43) gladness, poss. alluding to the song sung- after crossing
the Red Sea.** (44) labour, put for the fruits of labour, their
cities, vineyards, treasures, etc. (45) they, etc., i.e. the people
of Israel.'

Curious facts alout water. — The extent to which water mingles
with bodies apparently the most solid is very wonderful. Tlie
;:littering opal, which beauty wears as an ornament, is only flint
and water. Of every 1,200 tons of earth which a landlord has on
his estate, 400 ai-e water. The snow-capped summits of Snowdon
and Ben Nevis have many million tons of water in a solidified
form. In every placer of Paris statue which an Italian carries
through oui" streets for sale there is one pound of water to four
pounds of chalk. The air we breathe contains five grains of
w^ater to each cubic foot of its bulk. The potatoes and turnips
which are boiled for our dinner have, in their raw state, the one
seventy-five per cent, and the other ninety per cent, of water.
If a man weighing ten stone were squeezed in an hydraulic press,
seven and a half stone of water would run out. and only two and
a half of dry residue remain. A man is, chemically speaking,
forty-five pounds of carbon and nitrogen, diffused though five
j and a half pailfuls of water. In plants w.^ find water thus
mingling no less wonderfully. A sunflower evaporates one and
a quarter pints of water a day, and a cabbage about the same
quantity. A wheat plant exliales in 17.") days, about l(M).(»i)0
grains of water. An acre of growing- wlieat. ou this calciilation.

a Ps. Ixxviii. 15,
16.20; 1 Co. X.4.
6 Is. .\.xxv. 10.
c"'Thls was
God's puriwse,
that Israel
should be a holy
nation in t!ie
iiiiilst of other
nations, a priest-
hood n^present-
ing the world,
and claiming it
for God as His
v.W. C. Bradley,

r I).' 44,45. Dr.H.
Killigrcw, 2(i7.
r. 45. G. White-
field. V. 79.
"As freely as the
firraament em-
braces the
world, so mercy
must encircle
friend and foe.
Tlie sun pours
forth impartially
his beams
tlirongh all the
regions of in-
finity ; heavt'U
bestows the ilew
equally on every |
thirsty plant.
Whatever is gooil
and comes from
on high is uni-
versal and with-

draws and passes out ten tons of water per day. The sap of tlie
plant is the medium through which the mass of flnid is conveyed.
It forms a delicate pump, up which it flows with the rajiiility of
a swift stream. By the action of the sa]i various properties may
out reserve; but | ]rje assimilated to the growing plant. Timber in France is, for
recesses darkness i"^'^"^°' *^^J''''^ ^y "^^^"^"^"^ colours being mixed with water, and
dwcUs."-.*Ai7/'T. sprinkled over the roots of the trees. Dahlias are also coloured

d Teaeher's Trea- by a similar process."

rap. cvi. 1-9.]



1 — 5. (1) praise, Heb. ImUelnjah. From this beginning- the
Ps. is classed as the first of the Hallelujah Psalms.a gOOd, in
His gracious dealing with men. mercy, or graciousness, loving-
kindness, for ever, in generation after generation. (2; utter,
i.e. sufficiently and worthily. (;-i; keep judgment, better,
" keep the right.'"* (4) rem.ember me, a personal plea to be
permitted to share in Gods blessings to His people, favour . .
people, lit. '• in the favour of Thy people," or " in the time of
Thy showing favour to Thy people. ' (5) chosen, plural,
" chosen ones."

God' .^ facour to H'ls j)€oj)Je (r. 4). — I. "VMiat this prayer implies.

I. That God is the hearer and the answerer of prayer ; 2. That He
has a peculiar people ; B. That He regards His people with a
special love. II. What this prayer expresses. 1. A real parti-
cipation of God's love to His own people ; 2. A full participation
of God's love to His own people ; 3. A personal participation of
God's love to His own people.'^

God rliiit'uuj and aaiiiuj His iieople (v. 4).— Dr. Doddridge was
riding on horseback down a steep, rocky pathway, when his
horse suddenly stumbled and fell, throwing the doctor violently
from the saddle. The place was so dangerous, and the fall so
violent, that his escape ( for he was scarcely hurt at all) seemed
positively miraculous. Some time after the doctor had a dream.
He thought he died and went to heaven, where he was first con-
ducted to a lofty and spacious hall, the walls of which were
covered with paintings and inscriptions. On examining these
more closely, he was astonished to find that they comprised a
complete history of his own life. Among the scenes depicted
was the one just referred to, and he now saw the reason of his
apparently miraculous escape ; just as he fell from his horse an
angel caught him in his arms. It was only a dream, but it
illusti'ates the point.

6 — 9. (6) we have sinned, this is the key-note of the Ps..
which is one of coxfcwion." with our fathers, so the Psalmist
" regards the nation as a whole, one in guilt, and one in punish-
ment. "* (7) wonders, miracles of judgment and deliverance,
provoked him, Ex. xiv. 11, 12. (8) name's sake, Ex. xiv.
18. (9) rebuked, comp. Ps. civ. 7 ; Is. 1. 2. depths, left
exposed by the retreating sea. God's way through the oifean
depths was as safe for them as thi'ough the wilderness.*^

U'Ji!/ are men .^arcd? (v. 8) — I. Here is a glorious Saviour.

II. The favoured persons. These people were — 1. Stupid ; 2.
Ungrateful : 3. Provoking. III. The reason of salvation. I. To
manifest His nature ; 2. To vindicate His name. I'V. The
obstacles overcome in saving them. 1. The claims of law; 2.
The demands of conscience ; 3. The great accuser.'

,-<alrafion ilhitttrated (v. 8). — Aboiit the time when the Gospel
was beginning to make its way in Raiatea, one of the South Sea
Islands, a canoe, with four- men in it, was upset at sea, and the
people were thrown into the water. Two of the men, having
embraced Christianity, immediately cried, " Let us pray to
Jehovah ; for He can save us." " Why did you not pray to Him
r VOL. VI. O.T. S

author, —
unknown :
date, alter
the return
from cap-

^uh., Israel's im-
\fuilhfulaess and
1 God's faitk-


a Ps. cxi. - cxiii.,
c X T i i ., cxxxv.,

] cxlvi — cl.

j b Delitzsch.
" If any distinc-
! tion is to be made
j between keeping
•Judgment and
I doing righteous-
! Jiess.the first may
i describe inward
rectitude, the
second its out-
ward e.xLibition
in act." — ISpk.

V. 4. Dr. W. Wil-
.ion. 45 ; E. Cooper,
V. 345 ; A. Ro-

a Comp. 1 Ki. viiL
47; Da. ix. 5.

b Perowne.
" Israel was
bearing at this
time the punish-
ment of its sins,
by which it had
made itself Uke
its forefathers."
c Is. li. 10, Lxiii.
13, Jfa. i. 4.
V. 7. Dr. R. South,
ix. 98.

V. 8. Jf. Homes,
577; W. Bridge,
iv. 373 ; R. Er-
skine, v. 167.

d C. H. Spurgeon,
"The sun is the
eye of the world.


and lie is indif-
foiviit to the
HP pro or tlie '
cold Kussian, to j
ttu'ui tliat dwell
under the line, I
and tlieni that j
stand near the j
tropics, the ]
scaMed Indian i
or the poor bov
that shakes at
the foot of the I
Kiphian hills ; so j
is the mercy of
God." — Jeremy

« Sfik. Com.
"Si X distinct
cases of rebellion
are enumerated
as occurring be-
tween the time
of the passage of
the Ked Sea, and
tliat of the entry
Into Canaan." —
Jennings and

b "This may
refer to the
loathing of food,
followed by great
mortality, the
soul being here
used only in a
I)hysi2al sense of
the life. But the
fig. sense is
equally true, and
equally perti-
nent. The very
lieart and spirit
of a man, when
bent only or su-
premely on the
satisfaction of its
earthly desires
and appetites, is
always dried up
and withered." —
c Dr. Thomas.
d F. Jacox.

V. IG. lip. G. Wil-
luim.i, 185.
" Envy is the
daughter of
pride, tlie author
of murder and
revenge, the bo-
giainpr of secret
sedition, and the
perpetual tor-
mentor of virtue.
Knvy is the
fdthy slime of
tbe soul : a ve-

PSALM3. [Cap. CVi. 10 la

sooner ?" replied their pagan comrades ; " here we are in the
water, and it is useless to pray now." The Christians, however,
did cry mightily nnto their God, while all four were clinging for
life to the broken canoe. In this situation a sh;irk suddenly
rushed towards them, and seizcnl one of the two idolaters. His
companions held him as fast and as long as they could ; but the
monster prevailed, and hurried the unfortunate victim into the
abyss, marking the track with his blood. After some time, the
tide bore the surviving three to the reef, when, just as they were
cast upon it. a second shark snatched the other idolater in his
jaws, and carried off his prey, shrieking in vain for a-ssistance,
which the two Christians, themselves stniggiing with the
breakers, could not afford him. This circumstance made a great
impression on the minds of their countrymen, and powerftdly
recommended to them " the God that heareth prayer.''

10—15. (10) him that hated, the Eg^^ptian Pharaoh.
(11) -waters covered, Ex. xiv. 28. (12) sang his praise,
Ex. XV. (13) soon forgat, Ex. xv. 24, xvi. 2. llrb. "they
mat^le haste, they forgat." (14) lusted exceedingly, lit.
" lusted for themselves a lust," Nu. xi. 4. tempted, " tried to
constrain God with their importunate, eager desire.'"" (15)
leanness,* LXX. trans, .latiety. The Heb. term is used to
describe the effects of the plague, or withering sickness.

Soiil-lmnnrs.f (v. 15). — The text leads us to consider soul-lean-
ness in two aspects. I. As existing in connection with material
prosperity. 1. This combination is general : 2. It is deplorable.
II. As existing because of material prosperity. 1. Not because
it is Divinely designed to do so ; 2. Not because there is any
inherent tendency to do so.""

Praijcv for n-rong f/tiHf/.<! (v. 15). — Chactas, the blind old sachem
in Chateaubriand's Wertherion romance, is made to bring the story
to an end by relating a parable to his woe-fraught young listener.
It tells how the Meschacebe, soon after leaving its source among
the hills, began to feel weary of being a simple brook, and so
asked for snows from the mountains, water from the torrents,
rain from the tempests, until, its ])etitions granted, it burst its
bounds and ravaged its hitherto delightsome banks. At first the
proud stream exulted in its force, but seeing ere long that it
carried desolation in its flow, that its progress was now doomed
to solitude, and that its waters were for ever tirrbid, it came to
regret the huml)le bed hollowed out for it by nature, the birds, the
flowers, the trees, and the brooks, hitherto the modest com-
panions of its tranquil course*

16—18. (10) envied Moses, Nu. xvi., xvii. saint, the Heb.
term denotes official sanctity — that derived from a Divine con-
secration. (17) opened, Nu. xvi. 30,32, xxvi. 10. covered,
Nu. xvi. 35. (IS) fire, Nu. xvi. 2. 35. "wicked, Nu. xvi. 2(1

Min'n^tcrlal inry (v. IC). — 'Will a7iy workman malign auother
because he helpeth him to do his ]\Iaster"s work .' Yet. alas, how
common is this heinous crime amidst men of parts and emiuency
in the Church ! They can secretly blot the reputation of such
as stand cross to their own ; and what they cannot for sham(> do
in plain and open terms, lest they be proved palpable liars and
slanderers, they will do in general and malicious intentions,
I raising suspicions where they cannot fasten accusations. And

Cap. cvi. 19-27.]



BO far are some gone in this satanical vice that it is their common
practice, and a considerable jiart of their business, to keep do\%Ti
the estimation of those they dislike, and defame, others in the
slyest and most plausible way ; and some go so far that they are
unwilling that any that are abler than themselves should come
into their pulpits, lest they should be applauded above them-
selves. A fearful thing that any man who hath the least of the
fear of God should so envy at God's gifts, and had rather that
his carnal hearers were unconverted, and the drowsy not
awakened, than that it should be done by another, who may be
preferred before him. Yea, so far does this cnrsed vice prevail,
that in great congregations, that have need of the help of many
teachers, we can scarcely get two in equality to live together in
love and quietness, and unanimously to carry on the work of
God ! But unless one of them be quite below the other in parts,
and content to be so esteemed, or unless one be a cui-ate to the
other and ruled by him, they are contending for precedency, and
envying each other's interest, and walking with strangeness and
jealousy towards each other, to the shame of the profession, and
the great wi-ong of the congregation."

19—23. (19) made a calf, Ex. xsxii. 4. (20) their glory,
Him who was their glory : Jehovah, their glorious God."^ (21)
forgat God, against this they had been duly warned, see De.
iv. 10—18. (22) land of Ham, Ps. Ixxviii. 51, cv. 23, 27.
(23) destroy them, Ex. xxxii. 10.*

Till' golden calf {r. 19). — I. The circumstances of the Israelites
at Horeb were strikingly analogous to those of a large portion of
mankind at the present day. 1. They had witnessed a terrible
display of the Divine character ; 2. They had just given a solemn
response to God's covenant. II. Consider their conduct as ana-
logous to much that is passing in the world around us. III.
There is a further analogy in the enhancement of guilt in both
cases. IV. God did not suffer this sin of the Israelites to go
unpunished; neither can those who are guilty of a similar sin
at the present day expect to escape punishment."

Forgotten mercies (v. 21). — God accounts those mercies for-
gotten which are not written with legible characters in our lives
(Ps. cvi. 21), " They forgat God their Saviour." That of Joshua is
observable (chap. viii. 32). Upon their victory over the city Ai,
an altar is built as a monument of that signal mercy ; now
mark, what doth God command to be writ or engraved upon the
stones thereof ! One would have thought the history of that
day's work should have been the sculpture : but it is the " copy
of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the
childi'en of Israel" {v. 32) ; whereby He plainly showed the best
way of remembering the mercy was n'bt to forget to keep the

24—27. (24) despised, efe.," Nu. xiii., xiv. The occasion
referred to is the visit and report of the spies, his word, of
assurance and promise that they should possess it. (2.5) mur-
mured, Nu. xiv. 2. (26) lifted . . hand, the attitude of one
taking an oath, Nu. xiv. 30.* (27) overthrow, make to fall.''

A rehelhoHs heart subdued. — When almost all at'^he court of
Bt. Petersburg were agitated with the threatened invasion by
French troops, Prince Galitzin maintained calmness. His com-
S 2

I nom, a poison, or
[which c o n-
I sunieth the flesh,
I anil (Irieth up the
j marrow of the
I boues." -ftocrales.
" Diouysius the
I tyrant," says
j Plutarch, "out of
i envy, punished
I Phiioxenius, the
I musician, be-
I cause he could
t sing, and Plato,
I the philosopher,
I because he could
ili spute, better
than himself."—
/. Whitecrost,
a Baxter.

aComp. Je.ii. IL


y, like

light, is

used in

Scrip, to denote

the Divine per-


n s."—Pe-


b "Ha

d not

Jloses His chosen

stood before Him

in the

gap, as a

valiant soldier


ng His


when a


is made

in the

wall, and


Him by


and en-


lest Ha






V. 21.

Dr. W.



c Dr.

W. B,

d Gurnall

a Je. iil. 19 ; Zee.

b Ge. xiT. 22;
Ex. vi. 8; De.
xxxii. 40.

" There are many
people the brU-


[Cap. cvl. 28—31.

llancy of whose
mi7iils only <\o-
penfl npon the
heart. When
they open tliat
it is hanlly pos-
sible for it not to
throw out some
fire." — Desmahh.
" How easy it is
foi oce henevo-
1 e 11 t beinpT to
diffuse pleasure
around him; ami
how truly is a
kind heart a
fountain of gooil-
ness, making
everything in its
vicinity to
freshen into
■ milesl"— W.

" There is no
greater punish-
ment than that
of being aban-
doned to one-
self." — Pasquicr

m "Called Kn-
fftosh." — Heng-
h 1 Co. viii. 4.
e Ex. xi.x. 24.
d " The act of
Phinehas was
counted a right-
eous act for ever
memorable, ami
rewarded by Ood
with a perpetual
priesthood." —
S}ik. Com.
" It appears that
the high priest-
hood was con-
fined to the line
of Phinehas from
Lis own time to
the fall of Jerusa-
lem, if we except
the high priest-
hood of Eli, the
d escendnnt of
Ishamar, uncle of
Pliinehas."— ycn-
ningsand Love.
V. 28. H. Moore,

t'!!. 20, 30. lip.
Andrews, v. 223 ;
Bp. Sanderson,
133; Dr.M.UoU,

panions were astonished. Had he become a traitor ? It could

! not be : his loyalty was undoubted. At this crisis he thought it

} his duty to acijuaint the Emperor Alexander with the rock on

I which he rested. He asked an interview. The invasion was

I naturally first introduced, and next, as closely connected with it,

I the prince's conduct. The emperor demanded upon what prin-

I ciple he remained calm in the midst of universal alarm. The

' j)rince drew from his pocket a small Bible, and held it towards the

1 6!mperor, As the latter put out his hand to receive the book, it

j fell, and opened at Psalm xci. " Oh, that your majesty would

I seek this retreat !"' said the prince, as he read the words of the

I Psalm. A day was appointed for public prayer. Tlie minister

j who preached took for his subject the ninety-first Psalm. Alex-

I ander inquired of the prince, with surjirise, if he had mentioned

j the circumstances that had occurred at their interview. He

assured him that he had not. A short time after, the emperor,

' having a few minutes to spare, sent for his chaplain to read the

Bible to him in his tent. He came, and commenced reading the

ninety-first Psalm. " Hold !" said the czar ; " who told you to

read that ?" '' God," replied the chaplain. " How .'"' exclaimed

Alexander. " Surprised at your sending for me,'" continued the

chaplain. " I fell upon my knees before God, and besought Him

to teach my weak lijis what to speak. I felt that part of the

holy Word which I have begun to read jclearly pointed out to me.

AMiy your majesty inteiTupted me I know not."' The result was

a great change in the emperor's conduct, and he showed much

zeal in the circulation of God's Word.

28—31, (28) Baal-peor, Nu, xxv, 3. "The IMoabite idol"
worshipped on the summit of Peor." of the dead, offered to
the dead, or lifeless objects of heathen worship.'' (2D) inven-
tions, Ps. xcix. 8. brake in, or made a breach. The image
is that of a river wh. has bui-st its barriers," (30) Phinehas,
Nu. xxv. 7, 8. (31) counted, etc.^^ comp. the similar expres-
sion, Ge. XV. 6.

Firh'lUy ilhi.'<f rated (v. 30). — The celebrated Theodore Beza waa
deeply wrought upon in his younger years by Psalm xci., at the
church of Charenton. Listening to an exposition of it, he fouud
these inspired words singularly sweet to him, and was enabled to
appropriate the jtromises to himself with a comfortable assurance
that the Lord would make good to him all that is here pledged.
■\Mien past fourscore years of age, he bore witness to the faith-
fulness of the ]\Iost liigh. These engagements, he declared, had
been verified. He set his seal to the testimony that as, at the
early jaeriod referred to, he had been graciously helped to adopt
the second verse as his own, taking the Lord for his God, his
refuge and fortress, he had found Him to be wonderfully such in
all the after changes of life : that He had delivered him from
the snare of the fowler, and the noisome pestilence, when his life
had often been in danger from the lying-in-wait of enemies, and
sometimes from a sweeping epidemic ; that amidst the fierce
civil wars of France, he had had many singular deliverances
from danger, while attending Protestant princes on the battle-
fields where thousands fell around him. Not long before his
death he went through all the promises of this Psalm, dwelling
on their fulfilment in his behalf, saying how he had found the
Lord did give His angels charge over him ; how the Lord had

Cap. cvl. 32-39.]



answered when he called upon Him in his trouble, yea, had
satisfied him with long- life. '• And now," said he, '• I have no
more to wait for but the last, ' I will show him my salvation,'
and for the fulfilment of that I am now waiting."

32—35. (32) waters of strife, Nu. xx. 13. went ill,
De. 1. 37, iii. 26, xxxii. 50, 51. (33) spake tinadvisedly,
Nu. XX. 10—12. (34) not destroy, rfc, see Ex. xxiii. 31 — 33,
xxxiv. 12, 13 ; Jos. xxiii. 12, 13 ; Ju. i., ii. 1—3. (35) mingled,
mixed themselves with them by intermarriage." works, bad
works ; their immoralities.

Unadcised words (i: 33). — Colonel Montgomery was shot in a
duel about a dog ; Captain Ramsay in one about a servant ; Mr.
Fetherstone in one about a recruit ; Sterne's father in one about
a goose ; and another gentleman in one about " an acre of
anchovies." One ofiicer was challenged for merely asking his
opponent to enjoy the second goblet ; another was compelled to
fight about a pinch of snuff. General Barry was challenged by
a Captain Smith for declining a glass of wine with him at a
dinner in a steam-boat, although the General had pleaded as an
excuse that wine invariably made his stomach sick at sea ; and
Lieut. Crowther lost his life in a duel, because he was refused
admission to a club of pigeon-shooters ! What contemptible
folly in men it is to risk their lives in order to settle such trivial

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 48 of 67)