Psalm 48:14

In this psalm, which is both song and psalm, and is one of those "for the sons of Korah," there is a general theme, illustrated by a reference to some historic event. The general theme is the loving-kindness and care of God over his Church. The specific historic illustration it is not possible to fix with certainty, although the preponderance of opinion, and also the largest amount of probability, seems to incline towards the wondrous repulse of Edom, Ammon, Moab, and ethers, in answer to Jehoshaphat's prayer, without Israel having to fight in the battle (see 2 Chronicles 20.). We see from the narrative of the Chronicles that the children of the Korahites sang a song of praise on the occasion of that signal interposition of God, although it is not likely that the song then sang was the forty-eighth psalm; for the reference in ver. 7 is against that; and at first it is not easy to see how "ships of Tarshish" should come to be mentioned in this song, if prepared with reference to the event of which we have made mention. Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:25, 26) makes mention of ships of Tarshish which belonged to Tyro, being "broken" by the east wind; and it is possible that the psalm may have an allusion thereto. But, singularly enough, the chapter that records Jehoshaphat's prayer and deliverance records also his defection and its punishment; and we are told that his ships were broken so that they were not able to go to Tarshish (2 Chronicles 20:35-37). If this be the reference in the song before us, its significance would be very striking; in that case, it would mean that Jehovah, Israel's God, who put the heathen to flight for Israel's sake, put even Israel to shame when her people or her kings left the straight path of reliance on and obedience to God alone; and that this was among the "judgments" of him whose right hand is full of righteousness; showing us that God's care for his Church is just as marked when he rebukes her for her sins as when he delivers her from her foes; and that both for his faithful chastisement as for his mighty interposition, his loving-kindness is rehearsed in his temple with gratitude and song. And there is a holy pride in rehearsing the privileges of Zion as far outweighing those of the nations around - a pride, however, which refers all the honour and glory of Zion to God, and to God alone. Interesting, however, as these historic allusions are to the student, the higher spiritual bearing of the psalm is far more interesting, and far more important, as it sets before us this theme - the privilege and honour of the Church of God. We need not here argue the point that the Christian Church is the successor to the honours and privileges of the Jewish Church. A comparison of Exodus 19:6 with 1 Peter 2:9 will show this. The Christian Church, in its largest sense, is made up of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. The organization of distinct and definite communities as Churches is a necessity for the time now present, but no such organizations include all believers; many believers, moreover, are in no such organization at all; only "the Lord knoweth them that are his;" and over all such his care is exercised: in their totality as including all regenerated souls, they make up the Church of God. Of this Church as a unity we have now to speak.

I. GOD'S DWELLING-PLACE IS IN HIS CHURCH, (Vers. 1, 2.) It is quite possible that, after what we have just said about the Church in its entirety and vastness, and about the impossibility of its being scanned by any human eye, that it may be said, "But if the Church is thus undefinable by us as to its limits, we cannot conceive of it as a dwelling-place." This we can easily understand. But the demur has, in reality, no force. For it is quite clear from the New Testament that as there is "the Church" in the highest spiritual sense, so there are local and organized Churches in the geographical sense. Of this the epistles to the seven Churches of Asia are immediate and sufficient proof. And wherever a Church is faithful to its Lord, since whatever is true of the whole Church is true of any part of it, the believers in Jesus who belong to any local and faithful Church may apply to themselves that which Paul declared of the Ephesian converts when he wrote, "Ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." Thus no Christian need hesitate to apply the words to the fellowship of believers to which he belongs; he may say," God is known in our palaces for a Refuge. This Church is a city of the great King. And the real presence of a living Saviour among us is our honour, our joy, our life (Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:20).

II. GOD HIMSELF IS THE REFUGE OF THE CHURCH. (Ver. 3.) It is the privilege of the individual believer, in all times of trial, sorrow, and care, to betake himself to his God and Saviour as to an unfailing Friend. But this privilege rises to sublimity when a whole company of believers, encompassed with peril and threatened by foes from without, can all rush to their Saviour in faith and prayer, as to a Refuge from the gathering storm!

III. GOD'S LOVING-KINDNESS IS THE THEME OF THE CHURCH. (Ver. 9.) How much fuller and sweeter is this theme for meditation now than of old! Then it was gained through prophets; now from him before whose presence lawgiver and prophet retire, as stars are concealed in the brightness of the sun! How incomparably does Romans 8. surpass aught in the Old Testament! And what was there in the olden time so tender as Luke 15.? Verily such a theme lifts the soul heavenward, tunes the lips to song, and speeds the feet to run the race set before us.

IV. GOD'S DELIVERANCES MARK THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. (Vers. 4-8.) The effect of this vivid description is pictorial. We can almost see the kings eyeing Jerusalem with envy, plotting her capture, seized with panic and hurrying away as for very life. The psalmist says that he had heard of such deliverances in times past, and now had seen them. And any student of Church history who has been withal for fifty years a close observer of Church life, can say the same. That God is the perpetual Deliverer of his Church is the story of the past and the testimony of the present. Nor may we forget the double kind of deliverance:

(1) from foes without;

(2) from mischief within.

If the view given above of ver. 7 is correct, the verse suggests that the Church owes quite as much to God's chastening love in correcting her for her sins, as to his rescuing power in spoiling her foes. That he will do this is part of the covenant (Psalm 89:28-33).

V. THE HONOUR OF GOD'S NAME IS HIS OWN PLEDGE TO THE CHURCH. (Vers. 10,11.) In the attribute of God's righteousness is the Church's repose and glory. Through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, faithfulness, justice, righteousness, can be the supports of sinful men. This is the supreme wonder of redeeming grace. Think of it! Sinful people rejoicing that God's right hand is full of righteousness!

VI. GOD'S GRACIOUS RELATIONS ARE THE GUARANTEE OF THE PERPETUITY OF THE CHURCH. (Vers. 12-14.) We omit the italic "it in ver. 13 (Authorized Version), and translate the first word in ver. 14 that." The psalmist incites to a study of Zion's towers, bulwarks, palaces, privileges, that it may be declared to the generation following, that "this God is our God for ever and ever." And when we study the redemption in Christ which has founded the Church, the spiritual power which is building up the Church, the watchful providence which has for eighteen centuries guarded the Church, the story which we have to hand down to the coming generation is the same, but told with vaster emphasis, surer faith, and more rapturous joy. "This God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our Guide above death, and beyond it!" "Happy is the people that is in such a case! yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord!" - C.

This God is our God for ever and ever.
He is so. Nothing else is so as He is. Our time, wealth, children, bodies, souls are not, strictly speaking, our own. But God is. And we may know and claim this. David was ever making such claim. Oh Lord, he says, my strength, my rock, my fortress, etc. And this relationship is not of our making but of His. We choose and give ourselves to Him, but it is by His grace. And the relationship is permanent — for ever and ever. Every other relation breaks up; but this, never. And the soul exults in this relationship.

(W. Jay.)

It is the unspeakable privilege of believers that God in Christ is their own God, and will be so for ever. In the Old Testament it was the joy of the devout Jew that God was his God. And the believer in Christ has the like joy. But only through Christ, who is called Immanuel, that is, "God with us." Eminent believers are represented as having a special interest in God. The patriarchs; Moses; the psalmists; David. And we may well rejoice in our relation to God, for He is almighty, wise, holy, just, omnipresent, patient, sovereign, good, merciful, love, faithful. Then, can we say, "This God is our God"?

(G. Burder.)

Great and awful is the subject which this Sunday brings before us — the greatest and most awful of any. It is not a simple historical fact, like those which we commemorate on other great days of our Church; like the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on Christmas Day, or His death on Good Friday, or His resurrection on Easter Day, or the descent of the Holy Ghost on Whit-Sunday, that we have to do with now. It is the revealed truth respecting God Himself; the unfolding to us, as far as we can receive it, of the name and nature of the Almighty. But this mystery has its practical side. Take —

I. THE NAME OF FATHER. What word could more truly convey the love of God to us?

II. THE NAME OF THE SON. What a revelation this is; how it brings heaven very near to us and clears the way for sinners to draw nigh to the holy God.

III. THE NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST. He it is who makes us holy, raises us from the death of sin to the life of righteousness and so fits us for the eternal inheritance. He is our Instructor; the Spirit of counsel, of knowledge and true godliness; the Spirit of God's holy fear.

(R. D. B. Rawnsley, M. A.)

There are three ideas in the text.

1. In the words "This God," we have a bold and unanswerable assertion.

2. In the statement that "This God is our God" we have a personal possession.

3. As He is our God for ever and ever we have an eternal joy.

(W. Birch.)

The English word God is an Anglo-Saxon word, which gave not only the name, but told the character of God. For it means also "good." God did not show the glory of His face to Moses, but He blessed him with a revelation of His name. In the name Jehovah there are eleven different meanings, each of which describes the character of our God. Let me mention them in their order. The ever-existing Being whose nature and disposition are eternally the same; the strong God who can do all things; the merciful Being who is full of tenderness and compassion; the gracious One whose heart is goodness, humility and love; the long-suffering Friend who is never irritated with His people, and who suffers long and is kind even unto the unthankful and the evil; the bountiful Provider who overflows with beneficence; the true One who never deceives nor can be deceived, and who is the fountain of truth ever pouring wisdom and knowledge unto men; the Keeper of compassion for the suffering, the erring, and the penitent to all generations; the unselfish Being who himself bears the pain of iniquity, and who pardons transgression and washes away sin; the impartial Ruler who acts rightly to every creature; and the faithful Judge whose wise laws pour blessings on the righteous and inflict punishment on the wicked, and from whose just sentence the impenitent sinner cannot escape. Let this God be our God for ever and ever.

I. OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE. I was taught as a child to dread God. He was said to love me only when I was obedient, and to make a place for me in hell when I was not a good child. Feeling conscious that I was more bad than good, I dreaded God; and had a great fear of going to sleep lest I should die and see Him before morning. It was teaching as unwise as it was untrue. What a revelation when I read in the New Testament that Jesus was God! And when I felt He loved me, and listened to my prayer, and smiled upon me, I went forth to tell a little playmate who, like me, had lost his mother, that Jesus would be a gentle mother to him.

II. OUR GOD IS ALSO A PRACTICAL GOD. He teaches men the science of self-government. His intention is that His people shall be conformed to His likeness; and in order that they may copy Him, He gives the Divine nature to all who ask. God would have us run willingly in the path of His commandments. Some parents never let their children out of their sight, and so protect them from evil; but it would be better to teach them the fear of the Lord, so that they may be able to resist temptation and practise goodness. It is good to be saved from sin by any means, but it is best when our own principle holds us back from it. And so God does not hold us from temptation by outward force, but by the inbreathing of His Spirit; He would have us obedient children who love to do His will. God also deals practically with nations as with individuals. He is teaching nations the art of self-government, and is training men to see that war is not only a blunder, but a crime.

III. I should like to have shown that OUR GOD IS A PERSONAL GOD. He knows you, He loves you, and He is now present with you! Speak to Him in prayer; He hears you. Seek His Holy Spirit; He gives it to you. Trust Him.

(W. Birch.)

The revelation of the Deity to mankind may be represented as a twofold revelation. It has pleased God to disclose Himself to us in His works; that is, in the facts and the phenomena of the material and the intellectual universe. And it has pleased God furthermore to disclose Himself in His Word; that is, in the writings of holy men of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. To each of these communications it becomes us to give reverent and earnest heed. We have, then, two sources of information concerning God. We have — let us call it so, according to the ordinary phraseology — natural religion; and we have revealed religion. Not contradictory, remember, at any point; not contradictory in any measure whatever, No, they are not at variance with each other; they are not independent of each other; they are not indifferent to each other. Truth cannot be opposed to truth. I have been led to say this in consequence of the particular cast and the phraseology of my text — "This God is our God." The question comes immediately, what God? what God is your God? All nature comes and proffers its answer, and all Scripture comes and proffers its answer. They do not contradict one another, but they beautifully combine to give us an answer in which we may all rejoice. Who is your God? you may say to the good man in the hour of his rejoicing, who is your God? He that treated the heavens and the earth, and who loved the world so as to "give His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life." "This God is our God for ever and ever, and He will be our guide even unto death." .Now, my business is to speak of the blessedness of the man who is able to appreciate this great truth, and my hope is that I may prevail upon many of you to ask whether that privilege may not become your own. It may, if you will. Do you, as I go on from point to point affirming that "this God is our God," do you say, "May He be mine too"? "This God." What God? Think —

I. OF HIS INFINITE POWER. In creation, by a word; the earth and man, his body and soul. What power is here. This is my God, this God that has done all things that can be conceived of, whether "in heaven above, in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth." "Comes there before you now dangers, jeopardy, adversaries? Comes there before you now something that you are anticipating, of which you stand in dread? and you feel, would to God I had defence and protection for ever? Say to Him, "Who is our God? Thou art my portion saith my soul." Before you say it, He will answer. Who is our God? He it is who created the heavens and the earth by His mere commandment, and who could unmake them all to-morrow by a similar commandment, again upholding all things by the word of His power. He is our Father, and we are His sons and daughters, according to His promise.

II. THE INFINITE WISDOM OF GOD. DO you not know what marks of consummate sagacity are meeting us at every step? There is that great and wide sea of which I spoke; possessed of an ingredient that maintains it in its purity, and yet getting discharged of that ingredient naturally and advantageously day after day! The great wide seal The source of the fertilizing shower, the great receptacle to which those fertilizing showers return! Mark the wisdom there! There is the sun placed just in the position necessary for the beautiful diffusion of its light and heat; and here is our earth in its relation to the sun, so revolving as to obtain the benefit of its sunshine and of its warmth, and so related to it as to give us all the seasons in their turn. Wisdom again!

III. THE UNSPEAKABLE MERCY OF GOD. For this see how righteousness and love, justice and mercy were harmonized.

IV. HIS UNCHANGEABLENESS. And He waits to be yours. To reject Him is to perish.

(W. Brock.)

It is all important that we should worship the right God. now, in our text the psalmist made —

I. A BLESSED SELECTION. "This God," amongst all other gods, shall be our God. For there were many gods of different name and nature. Some for one country and others for another. But in our day all Christian nations profess, whatever be their sect or denomination, to worship the same God. There are many Churches. Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Mormon and others. Now, which is the true Church, and what God is the right God? And we must each one make our choice. It is a responsibility that we cannot transfer. It is said that every man makes his own god. And it is true that a man will of necessity ascribe to God those faculties and attributes which he himself possesses and values most highly. "To the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful." Every rightly educated man in a Christian country must, after studying the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, believe in God our Father. If he be a man of balanced judgment, that is, if his mind be formed mentally "on the square," in my opinion, he must admit that the highest ideal, the noblest character, the most beautiful disposition that can possibly be described in human language is that of the Divine Being, our heavenly Father, as revealed by Jesus Christ. What a beautiful name is that of Father! And He is the Father of our spirits which, though the body may perish, are indestructible. And God is revealed as a pardoning God, freely forgiving our sins.

II. THE BLESSED DECISION. "This God is our God." Believe in God's power and willingness to save us. Trust Him utterly, and through Jesus Christ He will save us.

(W. Birch.)

It was an old Athenian custom to celebrate at the public expense the funeral of those citizens who had honourably fallen in war. At the close of the first year of the war between Athens and Sparta, Pericles was chosen to deliver the funeral oration. His eloquent words have been preserved for us in the pages of a Greek historian. He calls upon his fellow-citizens to fix their eyes on the present greatness of their city, and he continues, "When you are impressed by the spectacle of her glory, reflect that this Empire has been acquired by men who knew their duty, and had the courage to do it. The sacrifice which they made was repaid to them; for they received, each one for himself, a praise which grows not old, and the noblest of all sepulchres. Make them your examples. Congratulate yourselves that you have been happy during the greater part of your days; remember that your life of sorrow will net last long, and be comforted by the glory of those who are gone; for the love of honour alone is ever young, and not riches but honour is the delight of men when they are old and useless." How striking is the contrast of this utterance with our psalm. This, too, has a national character. It records the defeat of the enemy, and, like the speech of the Athenian, points to the unimpaired glory of the national centre. Zion stands unharmed. No hostile army lies at her gates. Behold her in her beauty! Thy lovingkindness, O God, is in the midst of Thy temple. Our future is in Thy hands. "This God is our God for ever and ever. He will be our Guide even unto death." The contrast is instructive. There can be no question as to which member of it appeals to us — it is the Hebrew net the Greek standpoint that is ours. Not great statesmen, generals or scholars do we regard as the ground of our hope, whether national or individual, but God. If we have cause for congratulation, the cause is the Lord.

I. THE PSALMIST MAKES THE PAST THROW LIGHT ON THE FUTURE. He notes how God has interposed for His people, and upon such facts he bases his assurances for the future. Such is God — so mighty and so careful for His people. Our God, who has made our cause His own; for ever, for He is always the same. And as He has been, so He will be even unto death. And certainly, if the psalmist had been the most learned of historians, if he could have anticipated the large and minute knowledge and the elaborate philosophies of history which mark the present, he could not have reached a wiser conclusion. For if, in our studies, we leave God out of history or of personal experience, these give us no ground of hope for successful guidance in the future. If any one is satisfied to believe that he has reached his present success, or that the world has attained its present point of progress through human wisdom alone, I wish him joy of his conclusion, and should be interested to know how he reconciles it with the facts. The administration of the world has clearly proved itself to be altogether too large a thing for either the individual or the collective wisdom of mankind.

II. AND GOD IS OUR GOD. He is not merely an abstract fact, but a personal possession. "This God is our God." This permission to appropriate God is one of the most precious revelations of Scripture. God gives Himself to us. God's giving Himself in Christ is no new gift. He had done that long before Christ came. The psalmist had said, "Thou art my God, O God." That little word "my" represents the eternal relation of God to His people. And if God is ours, then, whatever is in God is available for us, is ours. A good many of you do not practically believe that. If you did, you would not worry and fret as you do. You will not accept God's large meaning. If a rich and wise man in whom you have perfect trust should come to you this morning and say, "For the rest of your life you shall absolutely command my purse, ray knowledge, my experience," you would appreciate that, and would believe it, and would get substantial help and comfort from it. And yet God says to you nothing less than this. I am your God. All that you can receive as a man I put at your disposal. That is your new-year's gift if you will believe it. Some things God will net give you because they would hurt you. Other things He will not give you because you could not use them if you had them. In giving you Himself God gives you more than all His gifts combined.

III. THIS POSSESSION IS FOR EVER AND EVER. More than this year's future is assured. No king, no capitalist can say what you can. They cannot say of their crown, their gold, "This is mine for ever." The head that wears the crown must be laid low, and the rich man's gold pass into other hands. But God is ours for ever and ever.

IV. The thought is made specific — GOD IS OUR GOD AS OUR GUIDE. This idea of guidance is frequent in the Scriptures. See Israel in the wilderness. And our Lord, in the beautiful figure of the good shepherd — "He goeth before them." And in heaven, "the Lamb shall lead them to fountains of living waters." Such is God, our God, our Guide, an approved Guide. The history of His guidance, the map of the tracks by which He has led His people, is before us. The first instance has yet to be shown of one who has fared other than well by following God as a guide. Do you cite me the great army of the sorrowing, the persecuted, the martyrs? They have not fared ill if their own testimony is worth anything. They have had their choice. They could have forsaken God if they would, but they chose to follow Him through suffering to death. On their own testimony they fared better with God and with tribulation than with the world and without God. And our Guide has unerring wisdom (Psalm 73.). "Thou shelf guide me with Thy counsel." Is it not worth trying? Suppose that for this year you literally accept it as the law of your life, to let God take care of you. Keep your hand in God's, your eye upon His face; do what He tells you; do your best, and believe with all your heart that God will do the best for you. I care not how many troubles and disappointments you shall meet — if you do not say at the close of the year that it has been the happiest, or rather the most blessed, year of your life, come to me and tell me I have misread God's promises. And what is this blessed promise but that which we find in Christ's words, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

(M. R. Vincent, D. D.)

He will be our guide even unto death
How perfectly qualified God is for this office. In a journey it is unnecessary for the traveller to know the road; but the guide ought to know it; and when he is well acquainted with it and we have full confidence in him, we shall feel satisfaction notwithstanding our ignorance. Abraham went out not knowing whither he went; but he knew with whom. And so Job, amid all his perplexities, comforts himself with the thought, "He knoweth the way that I take." And our Guide indulges us with constant intercourse, and is equal to all our exigencies. He defends us, and is patient under all our provocations. And He continues with us all the way, even unto death, yea, and through it, "through the valley of the shadow of death."

(W. Jay.)

1. If we were going to ascend Mont Blanc, we should seek for a guide in whom we could feel confidence; he must be a man of experience, one who had travelled that way many times, who knew every danger and how to avoid them; he must be a strong man, and one who would be able to render aid in case of accident, one who would not desert us in the hour of need, but stand by us even unto death; and many a guide has lost his life in these perilous ascents in the effort to save the traveller in his care. The guide would expect us to follow him, and to obey him, and no one would neglect to do this. So in our journey through life, One has offered to be our Guide and lead us safely to the heavenly Jerusalem. There are many dangers by the way, many pitfalls for the unwary and ignorant, and those who insist on going alone are sure to get lost; let us choose this Guide, for He has experience, He has travelled this way before, and He knows every step. He is a guide we can have such confidence in, we need never doubt Him for a moment, but He must be obeyed, we must follow Him just as He tells us.

2. Into what paths will He guide us? He led the children of Israel through the desert, but into a land flowing with milk and honey. And sometimes He leads His people through darkness, but the way leads up to light, through sorrow up to joy, through tears up to happiness; separations will end in reunions, weakness in strength, sickness in health. He will lead us into that land where shall be no more hunger nor thirst, where the sun shall not light on us, nor any heat. For He shall lead us unto fountains of living water, and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes; and there shall be no night there. What a glorious Guide and Leader!

(L. Shorey.)

Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: both low and high, rich and poor, together.
Impressive and instructive that scene in the wood of Senart, when a luxurious Louis, royally caparisoned for hunting, met a wretched peasant with a coffin. "For whom? .... For a poor brother slave, whom your majesty has sometimes noticed slaving in those quarters." "What did he die of? .... Of hunger." The king gave his steed the spur. Sad is it that such a contrast was ever possible on earth, and sadder still that it may yet be witnessed even in this enlightened and philanthropic land. There are other inequalities. I read, not long since, that a Glasgow bank director, convicted of having appropriated half a million sterling, was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment; and that on the same day a little half-starved boy, charged with stealing cake worth a halfpenny, was sentenced to fourteen days' hard labour and four years in a reformatory. "One law for the rich, and another for the poor." These social inequalities have led to much disturbance. Christian divines have abandoned the subject to philosophers, agitators, and would-be reformers. It always has seemed to me that Christianity must have something to say that the world has a right to know; and unless this is done, there never will be a complete mastery of the problem. Social inequality must have arisen from some other kind of inequality. Social inequalities sprang out of the irregularities of human nature. No two men are made alike. Social inequalities are not without relief and compensation in some other kind of inequality. "Uneasy is the head that wears a crown," and uneasy the heart of him who owns millions of dollars. The Saviour did not devote His attention to surface measures of reform, but to a new heart, confident that the regeneration of man means the regeneration of society.

(G. C. Lorimer, D. D.)

Korah, Psalmist, Tarshish
49, Chief, Death, Eternally, Forever, Guide, Korah, Lead, Musician, Psalm, Sons
1. The ornaments and privileges of the church

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Psalm 48:14

     1140   God, the eternal
     8125   guidance, promise
     8412   decisions

Psalm 48:1-14

     7271   Zion, as symbol

A Song of Deliverance
'Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. 2. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. 3. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. 4. For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. 5. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. 6. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 7. Thou breakest
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Mystery
Of the Two Witnesses prophesying in Sackcloth. Two witnesses or prophets sent by God, clothed in sackcloth, are to preach, while the Gentiles are treading under foot the court of the people of God, or the holy city. These are the interpreters and assertors of Divine truth, who should deplore that foul and lamentable contamination of the Church of Christ, by continual complaints, and whom God would raise up as unceasing monitors to the Christian world, committing whoredom with the Gentiles, and as
Joseph Mede—A Key to the Apocalypse

Sermon on the Mount Continued Its Woes in Strict Agreement with the Creator's Disposition. Many Quotations Out of the Old Testament in Proof of This.
"In the like manner," says He, [3982] "did their fathers unto the prophets." What a turncoat [3983] is Marcion's Christ! Now the destroyer, now the advocate of the prophets! He destroyed them as their rival, by converting their disciples; he took up their cause as their friend, by stigmatizing [3984] their persecutors. But, [3985] in as far as the defence of the prophets could not be consistent in the Christ of Marcion, who came to destroy them; in so far is it becoming to the Creator's Christ that
Tertullian—The Five Books Against Marcion

But I Marvel, If, as it is Allowed to Put Away a Wife Who...
7. But I marvel, if, as it is allowed to put away a wife who is an adulteress, so it be allowed, having put her away, to marry another. For holy Scripture causes a hard knot in this matter, in that the Apostle says, that, by commandment of the Lord, the wife ought not to depart from her husband, but, in case she shall have departed, to remain unmarried, or to be reconciled to her husband; [1950] whereas surely she ought not to depart and remain unmarried, save from an husband that is an adulterer,
St. Augustine—On the Good of Marriage

St. Malachy's Apostolic Labours, Praises and Miracles.
[Sidenote: 1140, October] 42. (23). Malachy embarked in a ship, and after a prosperous voyage landed at his monastery of Bangor,[576] so that his first sons might receive the first benefit.[577] In what state of mind do you suppose they were when they received their father--and such a father--in good health from so long a journey? No wonder if their whole heart gave itself over to joy at his return, when swift rumour soon brought incredible gladness even to the tribes[578] outside round about them.
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

Departure from Ireland. Death and Burial at Clairvaux.
[Sidenote: 1148, May (?)] 67. (30). Being asked once, in what place, if a choice were given him, he would prefer to spend his last day--for on this subject the brothers used to ask one another what place each would select for himself--he hesitated, and made no reply. But when they insisted, he said, "If I take my departure hence[821] I shall do so nowhere more gladly than whence I may rise together with our Apostle"[822]--he referred to St. Patrick; "but if it behoves me to make a pilgrimage, and
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

'He Uttered his Voice, the Earth Melted'
'Then Isaiah the son of Amos sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. 21. This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. 22. Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of Love to God
I proceed to the second general branch of the text. The persons interested in this privilege. They are lovers of God. "All things work together for good, to them that love God." Despisers and haters of God have no lot or part in this privilege. It is children's bread, it belongs only to them that love God. Because love is the very heart and spirit of religion, I shall the more fully treat upon this; and for the further discussion of it, let us notice these five things concerning love to God. 1. The
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

The Eternity of Heaven's Happiness.
Having endeavored, in the foregoing pages, to form to ourselves some idea of the glorious happiness reserved for us in heaven, there still remains to say something of its crowning glory--the eternity of its duration. This is not only its crowning glory, but it is, moreover, an essential constituent of that unspeakable joy which now inebriates the souls of the blessed. A moment's reflection will make this evident. Let us suppose, for the sake of illustration, that on the last day, God should thus
F. J. Boudreaux—The Happiness of Heaven

Epistle ii. To Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch.
To Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch. Gregory to Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch. I have received the letters of your most sweet Blessedness, which flowed with tears for words. For I saw in them a cloud flying aloft as clouds do; but, though it carried with it a darkness of sorrow, I could not easily discover at its commencement whence it came or whither it was going, since by reason of the darkness I speak of I did not fully understand its origin. Yet it becomes you, most holy ones, ever to recall
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Notes on the Third Century
Page 161. Line 1. He must be born again, &c. This is a compound citation from John iii. 3, and Mark x. 15, in the order named. Page 182. Line 17. For all things should work together, &c. See Romans viii. 28. Page 184. Lines 10-11. Being Satan is able, &c. 2 Corinthians xi. 14. Page 184. Last line. Like a sparrow, &c. Psalm cii. Page 187. Line 1. Mechanisms. This word is, in the original MS., mechanicismes.' Page 187. Line 7. Like the King's daughter, &c. Psalm xlv. 14. Page 188. Med. 39. The best
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations

The piety of the Old Testament Church is reflected with more clearness and variety in the Psalter than in any other book of the Old Testament. It constitutes the response of the Church to the divine demands of prophecy, and, in a less degree, of law; or, rather, it expresses those emotions and aspirations of the universal heart which lie deeper than any formal demand. It is the speech of the soul face to face with God. Its words are as simple and unaffected as human words can be, for it is the genius
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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