John We must seek him in truth. Jeremiah , John , Psalms We must seek him in holiness. We must seek him above all things and for himself. We must seek him by the light of his own word. We must seek him diligently and with perseverance, never resting till we find him, with the spouse in the Canticles. They also do no iniquity. Blessed indeed would those men be of whom this could be asserted without reserve and without explanation: we shall have reached the region of pure blessedness when we altogether cease from sin.
Those who follow the word of God do no iniquity, the rule is perfect, and if it be constantly followed no fault will arise. Life, to the outward observer, at any rate, lies much in doing, and he who in his doings never swerves from equity, both towards God and man, has hit upon the way of perfection, and we may be sure that his heart is right.
See how a whole heart leads to the avoidance of evil, for the Psalmist says, "That seek him with the whole heart. Grace keeps the life righteous as to act even when the Christian has to bemoan the transgressions of the heart. Judged as men should be judged by their fellows, according to such just rules as men make for men, the true people of God do no iniquity: they are honest, upright, and chaste, and touching justice and morality they are blameless. Therefore are they happy.
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They walk in his ways. They attend not only to the great main highway of the law, but to the smaller paths of the particular precepts. As they will perpetrate no sin of commission, so do they labour to be free from every sin of omission. It is not enough to them to be blameless, they wish also to be actively righteous. A hermit may escape into solitude that he may do no iniquity, but a saint lives in society that he may serve his God by walking in his ways. We must be positively as well as negatively right: we shall not long keep the second unless we attend to the first, for men will be walking one way or another, and if they do not follow the path of God's law they will soon do iniquity.
The surest way to abstain from evil is to be fully occupied in doing good. This verse describes believers as they exist among us: although they have their faults and infirmities, yet they hate evil, and will not permit themselves to do it; they love the ways of truth, right and true godliness, and habitually they walk therein. They do not claim to be absolutely perfect except in their desires, and there they are pure indeed, for they pant to be kept from all sin, and to be led into all holiness.
If it be demanded here, How is it that they who walk in God's ways work no iniquity? Is there any man who lives, and sins not? And if they be not without sin, how then are they to be blessed? The answer is, as the apostle says of our knowledge, "We know but in part": so is it true of our felicity on earth, we are blessed but in a part. It is the happiness of angels that they never sinned; it is the happiness of triumphant saints, that albeit they have been sinners, yet now they sin no more; but the happiness of saints militant is, that our sins are forgiven us; and that albeit sin remains in us, yet it reigns not over us; it is done in us, but not by our allowance: "I do the evil which I would not.
To the doing of iniquity , these three things must concur; first, a purpose to do it; next, a delight in doing it; thirdly, a continuance in it; which three in God's children never concur; for in sins done in them by the old man, the new man makes his exceptions and protestations against them. It is not I, says he; and so far is he from delighting in them, that rather his soul is grieved with them; even as Lot, dwelling among the Sodomites, was vexed by hearing and seeing their unrighteous deeds.
In a word, the children of God are rather sufferers of sin against their wills than actors of it with their wills: like men spiritually oppressed by the power of their enemy; for which they sigh and cry unto God. Throughout the Psalm it may be noticed that sometimes the present tense is employed indicating present action: sometimes the perfect to indicate past and present time: Psalms ; Psalms ; Psalms ; Psalms ; Psalms ; Psalms ; Psalms ; Psalms The Speaker's Commentary, That is, they make not a trade and common practice thereof.
Slip they do, through the infirmity of the flesh, and subtlety of Satan, and the allurements of the world; but they do not ordinarily and customably go forward in unlawful and sinful courses. In that the Psalmist setteth down this as a part and not the least part neither of blessedness, that they work none iniquity, which walk in his ways :the doctrine to be learned here is this, that it is a marvellous great prerogative to be freed from the bondage of sin.
Richard Greenham. They do no iniquity. All such as are renewed by grace, and reconciled to God by Christ Jesus; to these God imputeth no sin to condemnation, and in his account they do no iniquity. Notable is that which is said of David, "He kept my commandments, and followed me with all his heart, and did that only which was right in mine eyes" 1 Kings How can that be? We may trace David by his failings, they are upon record everywhere in the word; yet here a veil is drawn upon them; God laid them not to his charge.
There is a double reason why their failings are not laid to their charge. Partly, because of their general state , they are in Christ, taken into favour through him, and "there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ" Romans , therefore particular errors and escapes do not alter their condition; which is not to be understood as if a man should not be humbled, and ask God pardon for his infirmities; no, for then they prove iniquities and they will lie upon record against him. It was a gross fancy of the Valentinians, who held that they were not defiled with sin, whatsoever they committed; though base and obscene persons, yet still they were as gold in the dirt.
No, no, we are to recover ourselves by repentance, to sue out the favour of God. When David humbled himself, and had repented, then saith Nathan, "The Lord hath put away thy sin" 2 Samuel Partly, too, because their bent and habitual inclination is to do otherwise. They set themselves to comply with God's will, to seek and serve the Lord, though they are clogged with many infirmities.
A wicked man sinneth with deliberation and delight, his bent is to do evil, he makes "provision for lusts" Romans , and "serves" them by a voluntary subjection Titus But those that are renewed by grace are not "debtors" to the flesh, they have taken another debt and obligation, which is to serve the Lord Romans Partly, too, because their general course and way is to do otherwise. Everything works according to its form; the constant actions of nature are according to the kind. So the new creature, his constant operations are according to grace.
A man is known by his custom, and the course of his endeavours shows what is his business. If a man be constantly, easily, frequently carried away to sin, it discovers the habit of his soul, and the temper of his heart. Meadows may be overflowed, but marsh ground is drowned with every return of the tide. A child of God may be occasionally carried away, and act contrary to the inclination of the new nature; but when men are drowned and overcome by the return of every temptation, it argues a habit of sin. And partly, because sin never carries sway completely, but it is opposed by dislikes and resistances of the new nature.
The children of God make it their business to avoid all sin, by watching, praying, mortifying: "I said I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue" Psalms , and thus there is a resistance of the sin.
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God hath planted graces in their hearts, the fear of his Majesty, that works a resistance; and therefore there is not a full allowance of what they do. This resistance sometimes is more strong, then the temptation is overcome: "How can I do this wickedness, and sin against God? Sometimes it is more weak, and then sin carries it, though against the will of the holy man: "The evil which I hate, that do I" Romans ; Romans It is the evil which they hate; they protest against it; they are like men which are oppressed by the power of the enemy.
And then there is a remorse after the sin: David's heart smote him. It grieves and shames them that they do evil. Tenderness goes with the new nature: Peter sinned foully, but he went out and wept bitterly. They that have mortified their sins live in the contrary graces. Hence it is that the Psalmist saith, that they work no iniquity, but walk in thy paths.
First, they crucify all their sins, "they do no iniquity" : secondly, as they do no iniquity, so they follow all the ways of God, contrary to that iniquity: as they give up all the ways of sin, so they take up all the ways of grace. It is a rule in divinity, that grace takes not away nature that is, grace comes not to take away a man's affections, but to take them up. William Fenner, It reproves those that rest in negatives. As it was said of a certain emperor, he was rather not vicious than virtuous.
Many men, all their religion runs upon nots :"I am not as this publican" Lu That ground is naught, though it brings not forth briars and thorns, if it yields not good increase. Not only the unruly servant is cast into hell, that beat his fellow servant, that ate and drank with the drunken; but the idle servant that wrapped up his talent in a napkin.
Meroz is cursed, not for opposing and fighting, but for not helping Jude Dives did not take away food from Lazarus, but he did not give him of his crumbs. Many will say, I set up no other gods; aye, but dost thou love, reverence, and obey the true God?
Charles Spurgeon on the Song of Solomon
For if not, thou dost fail in the first commandment. As to the second, thou sayest, I abhor idols; but dost thou delight in ordinances? I do not swear and rend the name of God by cursed oaths; aye, but dost thou glorify God, and honour him? I do not profane the Sabbath; but dost thou sanctify it? Thou dost not plough and dance; but thou art idle, and toyest away the Sabbath. Thou dost not wrong thy parents; but dost thou reverence them?
Thou dost not murder; but dost thou do good to thy neighbour? Thou art no adulterer; but dost thou study temperance and a holy sobriety in all things? Thou art no slanderer; but art thou tender of thy neighbour's honour and credit, as of thy own? Usually men cut off half their bill, as the unjust steward bade his lord's debtor set down fifty when he owed a hundred.
We do not think of sins of omission. If we are not drunkards, adulterers, and profane persons, we do not think what it is to omit respect to God, and reverence for his holy Majesty. Not in those of his enemies, nor even in their own. Joseph Addison Alexander, Habitually, constantly, characteristically. They are not merely honest, upright, and just in their dealings with men; but they walk in the ways of God; they are religious.
Albert Barnes, They work no iniquity. Nor at all when heart is fully sanctified unto God; Christ dwelling in it by faith casting out sin. Or with God the best preventive of iniquity. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. So that when we have done all we are unprofitable servants, we have done only that which it was our duty to have done, seeing we have our Lord's command for it.
God's precepts require careful obedience: there is no keeping them by accident. Some give to God a careless service, a sort of hit or miss obedience, but the Lord has not commanded such service, nor will he accept it. His law demands the love of all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and a careless religion has none of these. We are also called to zealous obedience. We are to keep the precepts abundantly: the vessels of obedience should be filled to the brim, and the command carried out to the full of its meaning. As a man diligent in business arouses himself to do as much trade as he can, so must we be eager to serve the Lord as much as possible.
Nor must we spare pains to do so, for a diligent obedience will also be laborious and self denying. Those who are diligent in business rise up early and sit up late, and deny themselves much of comfort and repose. They are not soon tired, or if they are they persevere even with aching brow and weary eye. So should we serve the Lord. Such a Master deserves diligent servants; such service he demands, and will be content with nothing less.
How seldom do men render it, and hence many through their negligence miss the double blessing spoken of in this Psalm. Some are diligent in superstition and will worship; be it ours to be diligent in keeping God's precepts. It is of no use travelling fast if we are not in the right road. Men have been diligent in a losing business, and the more they have traded the more they have lost: this is bad enough in commerce, we cannot afford to have it so in our religion. God has not commanded us to be diligent in making precepts, but in keeping them. Some bind yokes upon their own necks, and make bonds and rules for others: but the wise course is to be satisfied with the rules of holy Scripture, and to strive to keep them all, in all places, towards all men, and in all respects.
If we do not this, we may become eminent in our own religion, but we shall not have kept the command of God; nor shall we be accepted of him. The Psalmist began with the third person: he is now coming near home, and has already reached the first person plural, according to our version; we shall soon hear him crying out personally and for himself. As the heart glows with love to holiness, we long to have a personal interest in it. The word of God is a heart affecting book, and when we begin to sing its praises it soon comes home to us, and sets us praying to be ourselves conformed to its teachings.
It is not a matter adiaforov, and left to the discretion of men, either to hear, or to neglect sacred discourses, theological readings, and expositions of the Sacred Book; but God has commanded, and not commanded cursorily when speaking of another matter, but dam, earnestly and greatly he has commanded us to keep his precepts.
There should be infixed in our mind the words found in De , "My words shall be in thy heart:" in Matthew , "Hear ye him. Thou hast commanded us, etc. Hath God enjoined us to observe his precepts so exceedingly carefully and diligently? Then let nothing draw us therefrom, no, not in the least circumstance; let us esteem nothing needless, frivolous, or superfluous, that we have a warrant for out of his word; nor count those too wise or precise that will stand resolutely upon the same: if the Lord require anything, though the world should gainsay it, and we be derided and abused for the doing of it, yet let us proceed still in the course of our obedience.
For three causes should we keep the commandments of the Lord with diligence: first, because our adversary that seeks to snare us by the transgression of them is diligent in tempting, for he goes about, night and day, seeking to devour us; next, because we ourselves are weak and infirm, by the greater diligence have we need to take heed to ourselves; thirdly, because of the great loss we sustain by every vantage Satan gets over us; for we find by experience, that as a wound is sooner made than it is healed, so guiltiness of conscience is easily contracted, but not so easily done away.
In this verse he reminds the reader how well he knew that this study of the divine law must necessarily be severe, earnest , since God has commanded that it should be observed diligently; that is, with the profoundest study; as that which alone is good, and as everything is good which it commands. Antonio Brucioli, The word translated "diligently, "doth signify in the original tongue wonderful much , so that the words go thus: "Thou hast commanded to keep thy precepts wonderful much. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently, Psalms ; this is God's imperative.
O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Thomas Adams, It is very observable concerning David, that when he prayeth so earnestly, O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes, he premises this as the reason, Thou hast commanded us to keep thy statutes diligently, thereby intimating that the ground of his obedience to God's precepts was the stamp of divine authority enjoining him. To this purpose it is that he saith in Psalms , I have sought thy precepts, thereby implying that what he sought in his obedience was the fulfilling of God's will. Indeed, that only and properly is obedience which is done intuitu voluntatis divinae , with a respect to and eye upon the divine will.
As that is only a divine faith which believeth a truth, not because of human reason but divine revelation, so that only is a true obedience which conforms to the command, not because it may consist with any selfish ends, but because it carrieth in it an impression of Christ's authority. Nathanael Hardy. Take notice of the law giver: "Thou. He hath interposed authority: "hast commanded.
The nature of this obedience, or thing commanded: "To keep thy precepts. God having ordained moral law, supplements it with a commandment prescribing the manner keeping it. When observed, discriminates the spirit of its observance, whether slavish, partial, or diligent. There is but one spirit of obedience which satisfies requirement.
Does our obedience come up to this standard? Heartiess, care, perseverance required, because without these it will not be uniform, or victorious over difficulty. Not fitfully, but regularly. An ardent as Psalms A happy consequence Psalms Divine commands should direct us in the subject of our prayers. We cannot of ourselves keep God's statutes as he would have them kept, and yet we long to do so: what resort have we but prayer?
We must ask the Lord to work our works in us, or we shall never work out his commandments. This verse is a sigh of regret because the Psalmist feels that he has not kept the precepts diligently, it is a cry of weakness appealing for help to one who can aid, it is a request of bewilderment from one who has lost his way and would fain be directed in it, and it is a petition of faith from one who loves God and trusts in him for grace. Our ways are by nature opposed to the way of God, and must be turned by the Lord's direction in another direction from that which they originally take or they will lead us down to destruction.
God can direct the mind and will without violating our free agency, and he will do so in answer to prayer; in fact, he has begun the work already in those who are heartily praying after the fashion of this verse. It is for present holiness that the desire arises in the heart. O that it were so now with me: but future persevering holiness is also meant, for he longs for grace to keep henceforth and for ever the statutes of the Lord.
The sigh of the text is really a prayer, though it does not exactly take that form. Desires and longings are of the essence of supplication, and it little matters what shape they take. One would hardly have expected a prayer for direction; rather should we have looked for a petition for enabling.
Can we not direct ourselves? What if we cannot row, we can steer. The Psalmist herein confesses that even for the smallest part of his duty he felt unable without grace. He longed for the Lord to influence his will, as well as to strengthen his hands. We want a rod to point out the way as much as a staff to support us in it. The longing of the text is prompted by admiration of the blessedness of holiness, by a contemplation of the righteous man's beauty of character, and by a reverent awe of the command of God.
It is a personal application to the writer's own case of the truths which he had been considering. It were well if all who hear and read the word would copy this example and turn all that they hear into prayer. We should have more keepers of the statutes if we had more who sighed and cried after the grace to do so. In tracing the connection of this verse with the preceding, we cannot forbear to remark how accurately the middle path is preserved, as keeping us at an equal: distance from the idea of self sufficiency to keep the Lord's statutes, and self justification in neglecting them.
The first attempt to render spiritual obedience will quickly convince us of our utter helplessness. We might as soon create a world as create m our hearts one pulse of spiritual life. And yet our inability does not cancel our obligation. It is the weakness of a heart that "cannot be subject to the law of God, "for no other reason than because it is "carnal, "and therefore "enmity against God.
Thus our obligation remains in full force. We are bound to obey the commands of God, whether we can or not. What, then, remains for us, but to return the mandate to heaven, accompanied with an earnest prayer, that the Lord would write upon our hearts those statutes to which he requires obedience in his word? Thou hast commanded us to keep thy statutes diligently. We acknowledge, Lord, our obligation, but we feel our impotency. Lord, help us; we look unto thee. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes. Charles Bridges, O that, etc. In the former verse the prophet David observes the charge which God gives, and that is, that his commandments be diligently kept: here, then, he observes his own weakness and insufficiency to discharge that great duty, and therefore, as one by the spirit desirous to discharge it, and yet by the flesh not able to discharge it, he breaketh out into these words, O that my ways were directed, etc.
Much like unto a child that being commanded to take up some great weight from the ground, is willing to do it, though not able to do it: or a sick patient advised to walk many turns in his chamber, finds a desire in his heart, though inability in his body to do that which he is directed unto. O that my ways, etc. It is the use and duty of the people of God to turn precepts into prayers.
That this is the practice of God's children appeareth: "Turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God" Jeremiah God had said, "Turn you, and you shall live, "and they ask it of God, "Turn us, "as he required it of them. It was Austin's prayer, Da quod jubes, et jube quod vis, "Give what thou requirest, and require what thou wilt.
They are not conditions of the covenant only, but a part of it. What God hath required at our hands, that we may desire at his hands. God is no Pharaoh, to require brick where he giveth no straw. Lex jubet, gracia juvat. The articles of the new covenant are not only put into the form of precepts, but promises. The law giveth no strength to perform anything, but the Gospel offereth grace. Secondly, Because, by this means, the ends of God are fulfilled. Why doth God require what we cannot perform by our own strength? He doth it, 1. To keep up his right. To convince us of our impotency, and that, upon a trial, without his grace we cannot do his work.
That the creature may express his readiness to obey. To bring us to lie at his feet for grace. The whole life of a good Christian is an holy desire , saith Augustine; and this is always seconded with endeavour, without the which, affection is like Rachel, beautiful, but barren. John Trapp. O that my ways were directed, etc. The original word Nwk, kun , is sometimes rendered to establish , and, accordingly, it may seem as if the prophet were soliciting for himself the virtue of perseverance. I am rather inclined to understand it as signifying to direct for, although God is plainly instructing us in his law, the obtuseness of our understanding and the perversity of our hearts constantly need the direction of his Spirit.
John Calvin. Suggested by each preceding clause of blessing. The end desired: "To keep thy statutes. It is a noble aspiration. There is nothing grander than the desire to do this except the doing of it. It is a spiritual aspiration. Not the offspring of our carnal nature. It is the heart of God in the new creature. It is a practicable aspiration. We sometimes sigh for the impossible.
But this may be attained by divine grace. It is an intense aspiration. It is the "Oh! It is an influential aspiration. It does not evaporate in sighs. It is a mighty incentive implanted by grace which will not let us rest without holiness. Then shall I not be ashamed. He had known shame, and here he rejoices in the prospect of being freed from it.
Sin brings shame, and when sin is gone, the reason for being ashamed is banished. What a deliverance this is, for to some men death is preferable to shame! When I have respect unto all thy commandments. When he respects God he shall respect himself and be respected. Whenever we err we prepare ourselves for confusion of face and sinking of heart: if no one else is ashamed of me I shall be ashamed of myself if I do iniquity. Our first parents never knew shame till they made the acquaintance of the old serpent, and it never left them till their gracious God had covered them with sacrificial skins.
Disobedience made them naked and ashamed. We, ourselves, will always have cause for shame till every sin is vanquished, and every duty is observed. When we pay a continual and universal respect to the will of the Lord, then we shall be able to look ourselves in the face in the looking glass of the law, and we shall not blush at the sight of men or devils, however eager their malice may be to lay somewhat to our charge.
Many suffer from excessive diffidence, and this verse suggests a cure. An abiding sense of duty will make us bold, we shall be afraid to be afraid. No shame in the presence of man will hinder us when the fear of God has taken full possession of our minds. When we are on the king's highway by daylight, and are engaged upon royal business, we need ask no man's leave. It would be a dishonour to a king to be ashamed of his livery and his service; no such shame should ever crimson the cheek of a Christian, nor will it if he has due reverence for the Lord his God.
There is nothing to be ashamed of in a holy life; a man may be ashamed of his pride, ashamed of his wealth, ashamed of his own children, but he will never be ashamed of having in all things regarded the will of the Lord his God. It is worthy of remark that David promises himself no immunity from shame till he has carefully paid homage to all the precepts. Mind that word "all, " and leave not one command out of your respect.
Partial obedience still leaves us liable to be called to account for those commands which we have neglected. A man may have a thousand virtues, and yet a single failing may cover him with shame. To a poor sinner who is buried in despair, it may seem a very unlikely thing that he should ever be delivered from shame. He blushes, and is confounded, and feels that he can never lift up his face again. Let him read these words: "Then shall I not be ashamed. Be assured, dear friend, that the Holy Spirit can renew in you the image of God, so that you shall yet look up without fear. O for sanctification to direct us in God's way, for then shall we have boldness both towards God and his people, and shall no more crimson with confusion.
No one likes to be ashamed or to blush :therefore all things which bring shame after them must be avoided: Ezra , Jeremiah , Daniel ; Daniel As the workman keeps his eye fixed on his pattern, and the scholar on the copy of his writing master; so the godly man ever and anon turns his eyes to the word of his God. Martin Geier. There is a twofold shame; the shame of a guilty conscience; and the shame of a tender conscience. The one is the merit and fruit of sin; the other is an act of grace. This which is here spoken of is to be understood not of a holy self loathing, but a confounding shame.
Then shall I not be ashamed, etc. Then shall I have confidence both towards God and man, and mine own soul, when I can pronounce of myself that my obedience is impartial, and uniform, and universal, no secret sin reserved for my favour, no least commandment knowingly or willingly neglected by me. Henry Hammond. You ask, Why is he not ashamed who has respect unto all the commandments of God? I answer, the sense is, as if he had said, The commandments of God are so pure and excellent, that though thou shouldest regard the whole and each one of them most attentively, thou wouldest not find anything that would cause thee to blush.
The laws of Lycurgus are praised; but they permitted theft. The statutes of Plato are praised; but they commended the community of wives. It is a mirror, reflecting the beautiful light of the stars on him who looks into it. Thomas Le Blanc. The blessing here spoken of is freedom from shame in looking unto all the commandments.
If God hear prayer, and establish the soul in this habit of keeping the commandments, there will be yet this further blessing of being able to look unto every precept without shame. Many men can look at some commandments without shame. Turning to the ten commandments, the honest man feels no shame as he gazes on the eighth, the pure man is free from reproach as he reads the seventh, he who is reverent and hates blasphemy is not rebuked by the thought that he has violated the third, while the filial spirit rather delights in than shuns the fifth.
So on with the remainder. Most men perhaps can look at some of the precepts with comparative freedom from reproof. But who can so look unto them all? Yet this, also, the godly heart aspires to. In this verse we find the Psalmist consciously anticipating the truth of a word in the New Testament: "He that offends in one point is guilty of all.
I can bear scorpion's stings, tread fields of fire,. But cannot live in shame. Joanna Baillie, Literally, "In my looking at all thy commandments. There can be no true piety except where a man intends to keep ALL the commands of God. If he makes a selection among them, keeping this one or that one, as may be most convenient for him, or as may be most for his interest, or as may be most popular, it is full proof that he knows nothing of the nature of true religion.
A child has no proper respect for a parent if he obeys him only as shall suit his whim or his convenience; and no man can be a pious man who does not purpose, in all honesty, to keep ALL, the commandments of God; to submit to his will in everything. Albert Barnes.
All thy commandments. Edward Veal , in "The Morning Exercises. A partial obedience will never satisfy a child of God. The exclusion of any commandment from its supreme regard in the heart is the brand of hypocrisy. Even Herod could "do many things, "and yet one evil way cherished, and therefore unforsaken, was sufficient to show the sovereign power of sin undisturbed within. Saul slew all the Amalekites but one; and that single exception in the path of universal obedience marked the unsoundness of his profession, cost him the loss of his throne, and brought him under the awful displeasure of his God.
And thus the foot, or the hand, or the right eye, the corrupt unmortified members, bring the whole body to hell. Reserves are the canker of Christian sincerity. Charles Bridges. Unto all thy commandments. Allow that any of God's commandments may be transgressed, and we shall soon have the whole decalogue set aside. Adam Clarke, Many will do some good, but are defective in other things, and usually in those which are most necessary. They cull out the easiest and cheapest parts of religion, such as do not contradict their lusts and interests.
We can never have sound peace till we regard all. Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy commandments. Shame is fear of a just reproof. This reproof is either from the supreme or the deputy judge. The supreme judge of all our actions is God. This should be our principal care, that we may not be ashamed before him at his coming, nor disapproved in the judgment.
But there is a deputy judge which every man has in his own bosom. Our consciences do acquit or condemn us as we are partial or sincere in our duty to God, and much depends on that. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. Alas, otherwise you will never have evidence of your sincerity. Such is the mercy of God in Christ to his children, that lie accepts their weak endeavours, joined with sincerity and perseverance in his service, as if they were a full obedience O, who would not serve such a Lord?
You hear servants sometimes complain of their masters as so rigid and strict, that they can never please them; no, not when they do their utmost: but this cannot be charged upon God. Be but so faithful as to do thy best, and God is so gracious that he will pardon thy worst. David knew this gospel indulgence when he said, Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments, when my eye is to all thy commandments. The traveller hath his eye on or towards the place he is going to, though he be as yet short of it; there he would be, and he is putting on all he can to reach it: so stands the saint's heart to all the commands of God; he presseth on to come nearer and nearer to full obedience; such a soul shall never be put to shame.
William Gurnall, But our obedience is far from universal, and leaves us open to. Then let us by faith wrap ourselves in the perfect righteousness of Christ. Our answer to the world's cavil. We are not faultless, and for salvation we rest wholly on another. I will praise thee. From prayer to praise is here, a long or a difficult journey.
Be sure that he who prays for holiness will one day praise for happiness. Shame having vanished, silence is broken, and the formerly silent man declares, "I will praise thee. Mark how well he knows upon what head to set the crown. By the sorrow and shame of sin he measures his obligations to the Lord who would teach him the art of living so that he should clean escape from his former misery.
With up righteous of heart. His heart would be upright if the Lord would teach him, and then it should praise its teacher. There is such a thing as false and feigned praise, and this the Lord abhors; but there is no music like that which comes from a pure soul which standeth in its integrity. Heart praise is required, uprightness in that heart, and teaching to make the heart upright. An upright heart is sure to bless the Lord, for grateful adoration is a part of its uprightness; no man can be right unless he is upright towards God, and this involves the rendering to him the praise which is his due.
When I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. We must learn to praise, learn that we may praise, and praise when we have learned. If we are ever to learn, the Lord must teach us, and especially upon such a subject as his judgments, for they are a great deep. While these are passing before our eyes, and we are learning from them, we ought to praise God, for the original is not, "when I have learned, "but, "in my learning.
God's providence is a book full of teaching, and to those whose hearts are right it is a music book, out of which they chant to Jehovah's praise. God's word is full of the record of his righteous providence, and as we read it we feel compelled to burst forth into expressions of holy delight and ardent praise. I will praise thee There is no way to please God entirely and sincerely until we have learned both to know and do his will. Practical praise is the praise God looks after.
What is the matter for which he praises God? It is that he has been taught something of him and by him amongst men. To have learned any tongue, or science, from some school of philosophy, bindeth us to our alma mater. We praise those who can teach a dog, a horse, this or that; but for us ass colts to learn the will of God, how to walk pleasing before him, this should be acknowledged of us as a great mercy from God. Praise thee But when doth David say that he will be thankful? Even when God shall teach him. Both the matter and the grace of thankfulness are from God.
As he did with Abraham, he commanded him to worship by sacrifice, and at the same time gave him the sacrifice: so doth he with all his children; for he gives not only good things, for which they should thank him, but in like manner grace by which they are able to thank him. When, I shall have learned. By learning he means his attaining not only to the knowledge of the word, but the practice of it. It is not a speculative light, or a bare notion of things: "Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" John It is such a learning as the effect will necessarily follow, such a light and illumination as doth convert the soul, and frame our hearts and ways according to the will of God.
For otherwise, if we get understanding of the word, nay, if we get it imprinted in our memories, it will do us no good without practice. The best of God's servants are but scholars and students in the knowledge and obedience of his word. For saith David, "When I shall have learned. Learned thy righteous judgments. We see here what David especially desired to learn, namely, the word and will of God: he would ever be a scholar in this school, and sought daily to ascend to the highest form; that learning to know, he might remember; remembering, might believe; believing, might delight; delighting might admire; admiring, might adore; adoring, might practise; and practising, might continue in the way of God's statutes.
This learning is the old and true learning indeed, and he is best learned in this art, who turneth God's word into good works. Judgments of thy righteousness are the decisions concerning right and wrong which give expression to and put in execution the righteousness of God. Franz Delitzsch.
The professor of sacred music: "I will praise. The subject of his song: "Thee. The instrument tuned: "Uprightness of heart. The musician's training academy: "Judgments. They are two spiritual exercises. It is possible for learners and singers to be carnal and sensual; but in this case they are employed about the righteous ends, works, and ways of the Lord.
They are two appropriate exercises. What can be more seemly than to learn of God and to praise him? They are two profitable exercises. The expectations of the most utilitarian are surpassed. The pleasure and the profit yield abundant reward. Heart, head, life are all benefited. They are two mutually assisting exercises.
In the one we are receptive, and in the other communicative. By the one we are fitted to do the other. By the former we are stimulated to do the latter. How wonderfully the lesson is turned into a song, and the learner into a singer. Deficiency confessed: "When I shall have learned. It is an admission all can truly make. Progress anticipated. He gave his heart to the work of learning. He sought divine help. Praise promised. He promised it to God alone. He vowed it should be sincere: "with upright heart. Williams, of Lambeth, I will keep thy statutes.
A calm resolve. When praise calms down into solid resolution it is well with the soul. Zeal which spends itself in singing, and leaves no practical residuum of holy living, is little worth: "I will praise" should be coupled with "I will keep. Feeling his own incapacity, he trembles lest he should be left to himself, and this fear is increased by the horror which he has of falling into sin.
The "I will keep" sounds lightly enough now that the humble cry is heard with it. This is a happy amalgam: resolution and dependence. We meet with those who to all appearance humbly pray, but there is no force of character, no decision in them, and consequently the pleading of the closet is not embodied in the life: on the other band, we meet with abundance of resolve attended with an entire absence of dependence upon God, and this makes as poor a character as the former. The Lord grant us to have such a blending of excellences that we may be "perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
This prayer is one which is certain to be heard, for assuredly it must be highly pleasing to God to see a man set upon obeying his will, and therefore it must be most agreeable to him to be present with such a person, and to help him in his endeavours. How can he forsake one who does not forsake his law? The peculiar dread which tinges this prayer with a sombre hue is the fear of utter forsaking.
Well may the soul cry out against such a calamity. To be left, that we may discover our weakness, is a sufficient trial: To be altogether forsaken would be ruin and death. Hiding the face in a little wrath for a moment brings us very low: an absolute desertion would land us ultimately in the lowest hell. But the Lord never has utterly forsaken his servants, and he never will, blessed be his name. If we long to keep his statutes he will keep us; yea, his grace will keep us keeping his law.
There is rather a descent from the mount of benediction with which the first verse began to the almost wail of this eighth verse, yet this is spiritually a growth, for from admiration of goodness we have come to a burning longing after God and communion with him, and an intense horror lest it should not be enjoyed. The sigh of Psalms is now supplanted by an actual prayer from the depths of a heart conscious of its undesert, and its entire dependence upon divine love.
The two, "I wills" needed to be seasoned with some such lowly petition, or it might have been thought that the good man's dependence was in some degree fixed upon his own determination. He presents his resolutions like a sacrifice, but he cries to heaven for the fire. This verse, being the last of this portion, is the result of his meditation concerning the utility and necessity of the keeping the law of God there take notice:.
Of his resolution, I will keep thy statutes. Of his prayer, O forsake me not utterly. It is his purpose to keep the law; yet because he is conscious to himself of many infirmities, he prays against desertion. In the prayer more is intended than is expressed. Four points we may observe hence:. That it is a great advantage to come to a resolution as to a course of godliness.
Those that resolve upon a course of obedience have need to fly to God's help. Though we fly to God's help, yet sometimes God may withdraw, and seem to forsake us. Though God seem to forsake us, and really doth so in part; yet we should pray that it may not be a total and utter desertion. I will keep thy statutes, etc. The resolution to "keep the Lord's statutes" is the natural result of having "learned his righteous judgments.
Instantly upon forming his resolution, he recollects that the performance of it is beyond the power of human strength, and therefore the next moment he follows it with prayer: I will keep thy statutes; O forsake me not utterly. I will. David setteth a personal example of holiness. If the king of Israel keep God's statutes, the people of Israel wilt be ashamed to neglect them. Caesar was wont to say, Princes must not say, Ite , go ye, without me; but, Venite, come ye, along with me.
So said Gideon Jude : "As ye see me do, so do ye. Forsake me not utterly. There is a total and a partial desertion. Those who are bent to obey God may for a while, and in some degree, be left to themselves. We cannot promise ourselves an utter immunity from desertion; but it is not total. We shall find for his great name's sake, "The Lord will not forsake his people" 1 Samuel , and, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" Hebrews Not utterly, yet in part they may be forsaken. Elijah was forsaken, but not as Ahab: Peter was forsaken in part, but not as Judas, who was utterly forsaken, and made a prey to the Devil.
David was forsaken to be humbled and bettered; but Saul was forsaken utterly to be destroyed. Saith Theophylact, God may forsake his people so as to shut out their prayers, Psalms , so as to interrupt the peace and joy of their heart, and abate their strength, so that their spiritual life may be much at a stand, and sin may break out, and they may fall foully; but they are not utterly forsaken. One way or other, God is still present; present in light sometimes when he is not present in strength, when he manifests the evil of their present condition, so as to make them mourn under it; and present in awakening their desires, though not in giving them enjoyment.
As long as there is any esteem of God, he is not yet gone; there is some light and love yet left, manifested by our desires of communion with him. The desertions of God's elect are first of all partial , that is, such as wherein God doth not wholly forsake them, but in some part. Secondly, temporary , that is, for some space of time, and never beyond the compass of this present life. David continued in his dangerous fall about the space of a whole year before he was recovered.
Luther confesseth of himself, that, after his conversion, he lay three years in desperation. Common observation in such like cases hath made record of even longer times of spiritual forsaking. This prayer reads like the startled cry of one who was half afraid that he had been presumptuous in expressing the foregoing resolve.
He desired to keep the divine statutes, and like Peter he vowed that he would do so; but remembering his own weakness, he recoils from his own venturesomeness, and feels that he must pray. I have made a solemn vow, but what if I have uttered it in my own strength? What if God should leave me to myself? He is filled with terror at the thought. He breaks out with an "O.
To be forsaken of God is the worst ill that the most melancholy saint ever dreams of. Thank God, it will never fall to our lot; for no promise can be more express than that which saith, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Because God will not forsake his own, therefore do we cry to him in the agony of our feebleness, "O forsake me not utterly.
A series of considerations removing the fear. The resolution: "I will keep, "etc. The position: "O forsake me not utterly. The connection between the two. Obedience without prayer and prayer without obedience are equally in vain. To make headway both oars must be applied. God cannot abide lazy beggars, who while they can get anything by asking will not work. Divine desertion deprecated.
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The anguished prayer. Sovereignty is not arbitrariness. David, Jonah, and Peter. Like one trembling on the very verge of hell, he. Like belated traveller, in vast wood and surrounded. Like the watch. Its doctrinal foundation. Where he condescends to dwell, his abode is perpetual. He can only utterly forsake us because he was deceived in us. He can only utterly forsake because baffled. Both imply blasphemy. Thou who hatest putting away thou who hast never yet utterly forsaken any saint, make not me the solitary exception.
Historical certainty of answer. The saint and the church in all time delivered. It may tarry till "eventide, "as in Cowper's case. His face bore after death an expression of delighted surprise. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? How shall he become and remain practically holy? He is but a young man, full of hot passions, and poor in knowledge and experience; how shall he get right, and keep right? Charles Wannamaker states this clearly in his commentary on the Thessalonian epistles: Those who meet the Lord in the air the space between the earth and the heavens in Jewish cosmology are caught up in a heavenly ascent by the clouds without any indication that they then return to earth.
Apart from the possible connotation that ajpavnthsi" might have for a return to earth, the rest of the imagery the clouds and being caught up with the Lord are indicative of an assumption to heaven of the people who belong to Christ. While the terminology for amillennialism has been altered slightly since the time of Spurgeon, the essential features have remained the same. Those Spurgeon identified as "Preterist" 97 would fit into the amillennial scheme. Again the "Preterist" position holds that the prophecies of Revelation, are not really all that prophetic, since the "fulfillment of the apocalyptic taking place roughly contemporaneously with the Scriptural account of it.
The chart below presents what can be called the sine qua non of the amillennial system. Essential Features of Amillennialism Satan has been defeated and is currently bound. The Millennium is the current Church Age. There is no sense in which the millennium has reference to a material, earthly kingdom. The Church is the succession of Israel in God's plans. Section B: An Overview of Postmillennialism The eschatological position on the millennium known as "postmillennialism" teaches that Christ will return at the end of the 1, kingdom. Clouse describes postmillennialism in the following manner: The postmillennialists emphasize the present aspects of God's kingdom which will reach fruition in the future.
They believe that the millennium will come through Christian preaching and teaching. Such activity will result in a more godly, peaceful, and prosperous world. The new age will not be essentially different from the present, and it will come about as more people are converted to Christ. Evil will not be totally eliminated during the millennium, but it will be reduced to a minimum as the moral and spiritual influence of Christians is increased. During the new age the church will assume greater importance and many economic, social, educational problems can be solved.
This period is not necessarily limited to a thousand years because the number can be used symbolically. The millennium closes with the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the last judgment. It was born out of an optimistic view of Christianity's growing impact on society and the legacy of Puritan theology. Hodge, whose Systematic Theology remains a standard work in America, was also highly respected in England and particularly by Spurgeon.
Hodge on several occasions. In reviewing A. Hodge's Outlines in Theology Spurgeon stated: We commend the Outlines of Theology to all who would be well instructed in the faith. It is the standard text-book of our college. We differ from its teachings upon baptism, but in almost everything else we endorse Hodge to the letter. Spurgeon asked for and had received both a portrait of the elder Hodge and a sample of the manuscript of this classic, which he greatly prized. Hodge traveled to London more than once and participated in a conference with Spurgeon at The Pastor's College on August 7th, However, this was not a point of overwhelming concern for Spurgeon, nor a reason for a departure from with the works of the Hodge's.
Although other millennial schemes had their adherents, postmillennialism held the day in the 19th Century mainly because, "the great Princeton school of theology of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, represented by Hodge and Benjamin B. Warfield, staunchly defended this system. Secondly, that the events which are to proceeded that advent are: 1. The universal diffusion of the Gospel; or, as our Lord expresses it, the ingathering of the elect; this is the vocation of the Christian Church.
The conversion of the Jews, which is to be national. As their casting away was national, although a remnant was saved; so their conversion may be national although some may remain obdurate. The coming of Antichrist. Thirdly, that the events which are to attend to the second advent are: 1. The resurrection of the dead, of the just and the unjust. The general judgment 3. The end of the world. And, 4. The consummation of Christ's kingdom. He called this the "universal diffusion," or more specifically, "the ingathering of the elect.
In the Systematic Theology he quotes Hosea " He summarizes his position as follows: That is, [commenting on Isaiah ] the true religion shall prevail over the whole earth. Jehovah shall everywhere be recognized and worshipped as the only true God. It is to be remembered that these and many other passages of like import are quoted and applied by the Apostle to the Gospel dispensation. However, even with this, Hodge states that God is not yet finished with the Gentiles, All that can be safely inferred from this language is, that the Gentiles, as a body, the mass of the Gentile world, will be converted before the restoration of the Jews, as a nation.
Much will remain to be accomplished after that event; and in the accomplishment of what shall remain to be done, the Jews are to have a prominent agency. It is only within the last fifty years that the church has been brought to feel that its great duty is the conversion of the nations. More probably, has been done in this direction during the last half century than during the preceding five hundred years.
It is to be hoped that a new effusion of the Spirit like that of the Day of Pentecost may be granted to the Church whose fruits shall far exceed those of the first effusion as the millions of Christians now alive exceed in number the one hundred and twenty souls then gathered in Jerusalem. It is to dishonour the Gospel, and the power of the Holy Spirit, to suppose that they are inadequate to the accomplishment of this work.
That message was to have progressively increasing success as the church again recaptured the zeal of the apostles and the early church. Since God has, "furnished it with all the means necessary for its accomplishment; He revealed the truth which is the power of God unto salvation; He instituted the ministry to be perpetuated to the end of the world, and promised to endow men from age to age with the gifts and graces necessary for the discharge of its duties, and to grant them constant presence and assistance. Brown, had himself formerly been a premillennialist, and once was an assistant to Edward Irving in London.
The theologians of Spurgeon's day understood Postmillennialism to be the eschatological view which "looks forward to a golden age of spiritual prosperity during this present dispensation, that is, during the Church Age. Postmillennial eschatology, while once dominate in evangelical circles has been relegated to a lesser role today. With the conclusion of the two World Wars, the Korean War, the Cold War and threat of atomic confrontation; postmillennialism, as a system, was thought to be dead or at least dying.
In Charles L. Feinberg declared, "current events now make it impossible to hold to a postmillennial view, soon it will be abandoned completely. Loraine Boettner. In his presentation of the subject in his work, The Millennium, Boettner states: The Millennium to which the Postmillennialist looks forward is thus a golden age of spiritual prosperity during this present dispensation, that is, during the Church age, and is to be brought about through forces now active in the world. It is an indefinitely long period of time, perhaps longer than the literal one thousand years.
The changed character of individuals will be reflected in an uplifted social economic, political, and cultural life of mankind. The world at large will then enjoy a state of righteousness such as at the present time has been seen only in relatively small and isolated groups. The chart below presents the sine qua non of the postmillennial system. Essential Features of Postmillennialism The Gospel will ultimately be successful and the majority of the world will be converted. The millennium is a period of 1, years although some would view this number as symbolic in which the Church is triumphant in the world.
Christ will return after this millennium and usher in the eternal state. Because of the steady advance of Christianity, the societal structures will continue get better and better. The Church has replaced Israel as the chosen people of God although many postmillennialists teach that there will be a national or racial conversion of Israel. Virtually all historians acknowledge that a premillennial faith was the dominant eschatological belief in the church from "the apostolic age until the time of Augustine.
Wilbur Smith called, "the most important history of the premillennial doctrine that exists in the literature of that generation. The essential chronology between the Dispensational and Historic schools is the same with the exception of the timing of the rapture, which in the historical scheme is post-tribulational. However, the nature of the millennium is completely different.
As Ryrie states: The covenant premillennialism holds to the concept of the covenant of grace and the central soteriological purpose of God. He retains the idea of the kingdom, though he finds little support for it in the Old Testament prophecies since he generally assigns them to the church. The kingdom in his view is markedly different from that which is taught by the dispensationalist since it loses much of its Jewish character to the slighting of the Old Testament promises concerning the kingdom.
Dispensationalism forms its eschatology by a literal interpretation of the Old Testament and then fits the New Testament into it. A nondispensational eschatology forms its theology from the explicit teachings of the New Testament. It confesses that it cannot be sure how the Old Testament prophecies of the end are to be fulfilled, for a the first coming of Christ was accomplished in terms not foreseen by a literal interpretation of the Old Testament, and b there are unavoidable indications that the Old Testament promises to Israel are fulfilled in the Christian Church.
While the New Testament clearly affirms the salvation of literal Israel, it does not give any details about the day of salvation. This, however, must be said: Israel's salvation must occur in the same terms as Gentile salvation, by faith in Jesus as their crucified Messiah.
As we have pointed out, New Testament exegesis Hebrews 8 makes it difficult to believe that Old Testament prophecies about the "millennial temple" will be fulfilled literally. They are to be fulfilled in the New Covenant established in the blood of Jesus. It may well be that Israel's conversion will take place in connection with the millennium.
It may be that in the millennium, for the first time in human history, we will witness a truly Christian nation. The distinction still obtains, however, between the glorified church gathered around her Lord, in her glorified place on earth, and the outer unglorified humanity still liable to sin and death, yet freed from Satanic dominion, and subject to the dominion of Christ and his Church.
However, it remains true that the position of "Historic Premillennialism" was widespread and growing in influence in Victorian England. Bishop J. Ryle , the outstanding Anglican churchman and expositor, adhered to this premillennial scheme. In a work entitled, Coming Events and Present Duties , he detailed a several point statement of his premillennial position, in which he stated in part: 1.
I believe that the world will never be completely converted to Christianity, by any existing agency, before the end comes. In spite of all that can be done by ministers, members, and churches, the wheat and tares will grow together until the Harvest; and when the end comes, it will find the earth in much the same state that it was when the flood came in the days of Noah. I believe that the widespread unbelief, indifference, formalism, and wickedness, which are to be seen throughout Christendom, are only what we are taught to expect in God's word. Troublous times, departures from the faith, evil men waxing worse and worse, love waxing cold, are things directly predicted.
So far from making me doubt the truth of Christianity, they help to confirm my faith. Melancholy and sorrowful as the sight is, if I did not see it I should think the Bible was not true. I believe that the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ will be a real, literal, personal, bodily coming; that as He went away in the clouds of heaven with His body, before the eyes of man, so in like manner, will He return.
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I believe that, after our Lord Jesus Christ comes again, the earth shall be renewed, and the curse removed; the devil shall be bound, the godly shall be rewarded, the wicked shall be punished; and that, before He comes, there shall be neither resurrection, judgment, no Millennium; and that not till after He comes shall the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.
I believe that the Jews shall be ultimately gathered again, as a separate nation, restored to their own land, and converted to the faith of Christ. I believe, finally, that it is for the safety, happiness, and comfort, of all true believers to expect as little as possible from churches, or governments, under the present dispensation, to hold themselves ready for tremendous conversions and changes of all things established, and to expect their good things only from Christ's Second Advent.
They are diffuse, but not more so than family reading requires. Ryle has evidently studied all previous writers on the gospels, and has given forth an individual utterance of considerable value. In recent times that is no longer quite the case, with several prominent dispensational theologians identifying themselves as post-tribulational in their view of the rapture. The historic position holds that the church will be protected "in the tribulation", not "taken out of the tribulation. The pretribulational view that the prophecies concerning national Israel will be fulfilled apart from the church and that, accordingly the millennium will have a decidedly Jewish character cannot be easily reconciled with the biblical depiction of the fundamental changes which have taken place with the introduction of the new convenant.
The general tenor of biblical teaching fits better the posttribulational view. For example, the Bible is replete with warnings about trials and testings which believers will undergo. It does not promise removal from the adversities, but ability to endure and overcome them.
While the millennium expected by the postmillennialist may begin so gradually that its beginning will be virtually imperceptible, there will be no doubt about the beginning of the millennium as premillennialists envision it. Although Israel will experience a national repentance and salvation through Christ, its place in the kingdom is only in relation to the church; Israel is simply a continuation of the "single-people of God.
This system, which Spurgeon identified as "Continuists" or "Simple Futurists" was well known and actively taught in Victorian England. In fact, as Bebbington testified, this brand of premillennialism was the dominant view among premillennarians in Spurgeon's lifetime. The Millennial Kingdom is a literal 1, year earthly and physical reign of Christ over the world with the Church being the focal point of His reign.
The Jews will be converted nationally and restored to their land. They will occupy a special place in a national sense, but spiritually will be part of the Church. The Two Resurrections of Rev 20 are separated by the 1, year kingdom. At the end of the 1, years Satan will be released from his bondage, lead a rebellion of those who have been born during the kingdom era, but are yet unsaved. Christ will destroy the rebellion, and after the judgments the Church will enter the eternal state of heaven.
Section D: An Overview of Dispensational Premillennialism Premillennialism, as the prefix indicates, states that Christ will return to the earth personally and visibly, before the beginning of the millennium. Since about there have been two main branches of premillennial interpretation; Dispensational Premillennialism and Historic Premillennialism. Remembering that all Dispensationalists are Premillennial, but not all Premillennialists are Dispensational. Dispensational Premillennialism was popularized and propagated in Spurgeon's own era by the work of the Plymouth Brethren.
He wrote and preached against some of the doctrines within Brethrenism on many occasions. However, is was generally the ecclesiology of the Brethren and not their eschatology that brought his ire. Darby's ministry was used to the advance of the church there and under his ministry, "Roman Catholics were passing over to Protestantism many hundreds in the week. Under the leadership of Darby and others the Plymouth or Christian Brethren began to grow rapidly.
According to Hoffecker this system:. The first, an invisible "secret rapture" of true believers, could happen at any moment, ending the great "parenthesis" or church age which began when the Jews rejected Christ.
Then literal fulfillment would resume OT prophecy concerning Israel, which had been suspended, and fulfillment of prophecy in Revelation would begin the great tribulation. Christ's return would be completed when he established a literal thousand-year kingdom of God on earth, manifest in a restored Israel. Schuyler English states: While some trace the roots of dispensational concepts to the patristic period most theologians credit J.
Darby, a Plymouth Brethren scholar, with the first systematizing dispensationalist theology in the middle of the 19th century. During his own lifetime he was often misunderstood and in modern times Cruthfield states, "only the most intrepid of scholars deliberately choose to tackle Darby's works. The Lord hath declared that He will come and receive us unto Himself; and now the apostle, by the revelation given unto him, explains, how it will be.
He will come to call us to meet the Lord in the air. There were two principles operative in the history of the Jewish people. On the one hand, unconditional promises had been made to Abraham Gen. Israel's failure, however, did not abrogate the unconditional covenantal promises made to Abraham some four hundred years before, for they rest solely upon the faithfulness of God.
While the unconditional promises to Abraham included both earthly and spiritual elements, prominent among them the an absolute gift of the country. Two early Brethren leaders, B. Newton and S. Tregelles, rejected the idea of pretribulationalism and a sharp distinction between Israel and the Church. This particular issue was one of the key reasons for the division between Darby and Newton in the early years of the Brethren movement. In his commentary on the Book of Revelation William Kelly lays out a clear and detailed dispensational view of the millennium in his comments on Revelation While there are adherents in all millennial schemes who teach that there will be a large scale conversion of the Jews in the end times in accordance with Romans ; all but the dispensationalist see the millennial kingdom as some type of extension of the church, since, as Erickson points out: He [the historic premillennialist] believes that the church has become the spiritual Israel and that many of the prophecies and promises relating to Israel are now fulfilled in the church.
The Old Testament sacrificial system has forever passed away because Christ, the reality, has come. Nonetheless he believes that literal or national Israel is yet to be saved. He bases this primarily upon Romans In the future Israel will turn to Christ and be saved. For the dispensationalist the kingdom is not a culmination of the church age before the eternal state; but rather, a fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies given to Israel.
Again Erickson's evaluation is helpful: Finally, in dispensationalism the millennium is more than merely a thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth. It has a clear, definite place in the plan of God; the restoration of national Israel to its favored place in God's program and the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel. The millennium therefore has a very Jewish tone. It is the time when Israel really comes into her own. Whereas in some other forms of premillennialism the purpose of the millennium is rather unclear, in dispensationalism it is an integral part of one's theology and of one's understanding of the Bible.
Large portions of prophecy are still unfulfilled, and the millennium provides a time for their fulfillment. A man who fails to distinguish between Israel and the Church will inevitably not hold to dispensational distinctions; and one who does, will. However, in the present age, bounded as it is by the two advents of Christ, all progress in the national and earthly program for Israel is in abeyance and individual Jews are given the same privilege as individual gentiles of the exercise of personal faith in Christ as Savior and out of those thus redeemed, both Jews and Gentiles, the heavenly people are being called.
It is clearly indicated throughout the prophetic scriptures that when the present purpose is accomplished God will, in all faithfulness, return to the full completion of His earthly promises in Israel Acts ; Rom. The Jewish nature of the kingdom is seen in the fact that God is dealing with Israel in a national sense, apart from the church; which by means of the rapture has been removed from the earthly scene. Even the Old Testament sacrifices are seen as being reinstituted, but instead of being utilized for the forgiveness of sin, the sacrifices are instead a memorial to what Christ has already done on the Cross.
Christ will put down the rebellion, and the final judgment will ensue with the wicked dead being resurrected and Satan, the fallen angels and all the unbelievers being cast into Hell for all eternity; 6 the eternal state commences in the New Heavens and New Earth. All of these features of Dispensational Premillennialism would have been well- circulated and equally well-known by the time of Spurgeon's ministry.
Again, particular nomenclature may not have been widely used or even coined in Spurgeon's day; since the system has been more clearly defined in recent times. Also some of the terminology, such as "secret rapture," while widely used in the 19th Century Dispensationalism, is an almost unknown term today.
Darby traveled around the world, especially to the United States, New Zealand and Australia, spreading his Dispensational teaching. In the process of this spread Dispensationalism became virtually synonymous with Fundamentalism. As Erickson states: Because the rise of dispensationalism roughly paralleled that of the fundamentalist movement, it became virtually the official theology of fundamentalism.
Some commentators have practically identified the two. Dixon , an active and vocal dispensationalist and popular speaker in the Bible and prophetic conferences of the late 's, was a frequent guest preacher in The Metropolitan Tabernacle pulpit during Spurgeon's illnesses and was actually the pastor of the church from Dixon and Spurgeon's son Thomas Spurgeon, were contributors to The Fundamentals , a famous collection of essays defending the "fundamentals of the Christian faith. Clouse points out: Premillennialism, because it was a well-articulated theology with considerable structure and defined leadership, was equipped to last and develop as one of the main ingredients of the Fundamentalist movement.
The kingdom is a fulfillment of the OT promises to Israel. Christ will destroy the rebellion, and after the judgments Israel and the Church will enter the eternal state of heaven. Summary In summary, it is clear that all of the millennial schemes which are understood in the present day, were both well-known and well-taught during the lifetime of Charles H.
Spurgeon himself has shown his familiarity with all of these systems in terms of both their key features and their leading proponents. While some of the nomenclature of the present day would have been either unknown or unclear in Spurgeon's, it is certain that the basic features of the various systems would be well understood. To review, the chart below is prepared to examine the four positions in question. Four key issues in the millennial question Timing of the Second Coming, Timing of the Rapture, The Resurrection s , and the Nature of the Millennium are highlighted in terms of the four millennial positions in question.
Equated with saints meeting Christ at His return One Resurrection of the just and unjust at the 2nd coming. No earthly millennium; the millennium is to be equated with the church age. The 1, yrs may or may not be literally understood. Historic Pre- millennial- ism Prior to the start of the millennial kingdom At the end of the tribulation period 2 Resurrections: the just at Christ's return; the unjust at the end of the millennium Culmination of the church age.
Christ will rule and reign over the world thru the agency of the church. Israel will be nationally converted and be a part of the church. Dispen- sational Premillen- nialism Prior to the start of the millennial kingdom Just prior to the beginning of the tribulation period although in modern times some, such as Moo, have opted for a post-tribulational rapture; but this was unknown in Spurgeon's day. The Unjust at the end of the millennium Culmination of God's promises to Israel. The millennium will see Christ reign over the world thru the agency of Israel.
Modified OT worship will resume in the rebuilt Temple. The task at hand is now to seek to identify which one of these millennial theories best corresponds with that presented by Spurgeon throughout his ministry. This will be accomplished through an examination of Spurgeon's own works as they relate to this question. Spurgeon, certainly did not find its center in the arena of eschatology. The entire idea of using prophecy or "prophetic conferences" as an evangelistic tool, would not have received much of a hearing with him. He also did not see the particular value of extended preaching on prophetic themes as a regular part of the Lord's day services.
Salvation is a theme for which I would fain enlist every holy tongue. I am greedy after witnesses for the glorious gospel of the blessed God. O that Christ crucified were the universal burden of men of God. Blessed are they who read and hear the words of the prophecy of the Revelation, but the like blessing has evidently not fallen on those who pretend to expound it, for generation after generation of them have been proven to be in error by the mere lapse of time, and the present race will follow to the same inglorious sepulcher.
Again his own testimony on this matter is sufficient: You will bear me witness, my friends, that it is exceedingly seldom I ever intrude into the mysteries of the future with regard either to the second advent, the millennial reign, or the first and second resurrection. As often as we come about it in our expositions, we do not turn aside from the point, but if guilty at all on this point, it is rather in being too silent than saying too much. Spurgeon clearly understood all of the features of eschatology as presented in the Scripture, although he did not give a great deal of his time to their "chronological arrangement.
I believe that many of them will only be explained as the events occur which they foretell. Yet there are some things which are plain even to the most superficial reader. It is plain, for instance, that it is certainly foretold that the power of Antichrist shall be utterly and eternally destroyed, and that Babylon, that is to say, the Papal system, with all its abominations, shall be cast like a millstone into the flood, to rise no more for ever.
It is also certain that the Jews, as a people, will yet own Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David, as their King, and that they will return to their own land, "and they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the old cities, the desolations of many generations. It is also certain that there will be a great and general judgment, when all nations shall be gathered before the Son of man sitting upon the throne of his glory; and his final award concerning those upon his left hand will be, "These shall go away into everlasting punishment;" and concerning those upon his right hand, "but the righteous into eternal life.
This tendency of Spurgeon, to reject tightly knit chronological sequences of eschatological events, remained with him his entire life. Drummond gives a good summary of Spurgeon's attitude on the subject: He refused to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing, for example the relationship of the rapture to the tribulation period, or like points of eschatological nuance. An elaborate dispensational chart would have little or no appeal to Spurgeon.
Any dispensational framework that has a tendency to divide the Scriptures into segments, some applicable to contemporary life and some not, did not get his attention at all. He probably would have rejected any such scheme. He kept to the basics of future things. The purpose of this chapter is to examine Spurgeon's statements relating directly and sometimes indirectly to the area of the millennial kingdom and the events surrounding it. As already demonstrated, the vast majority of Spurgeon's statement on this matter are to be found in his sermons; however, his other writings must be consulted as well.
In this endeavor this author does not pretend to have read the totality of the Spurgeonic corpus. That legacy took him a lifetime to produce and would take longer to digest and assimilate. An extensive examination of Spurgeon's works has been made; sufficiently thorough, it is hoped, that the contents of this chapter will demonstrate a level of interaction with the Spurgeonic literary legacy sufficient to present a valid conclusion as to his thoughts on this matter. The danger always exists of basing a conclusion on too few passages.
Peter Masters, the current pastor of Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle and an ardent amillennialist, criticized two writers for just this by drawing conclusions based on too few references. The conclusions offered here are presented decisively, yet with a tentative spirit for as previously stated, there is always room for additional scholarly work and interaction in this area.
Since Spurgeon did not attempt to systematize his views on eschatology, the investigator into this area must cull out data from all sources. He must also be careful not to put words into the mouth of Spurgeon or go beyond his thoughts. The critical issue becomes most clearly not only the volume of material interacted with; but also how that material is assimilated and interpreted. His preaching style was normally a topical or textual approach, although as one visitor to his home and study remarked about Spurgeon's work: I was at first surprised to find Mr.
Spurgeon consulting both the Hebrew and Greek texts. Well let them say it; and in everything, by my ignorance, and by my knowledge, let God be glorified. He spared no pains to be sure of the exact meaning of his text. He was also a great systematizer of thought and theology; and delivered his messages in clear, forthright English. In this section Spurgeon's own statements, as quoted in the introduction, will be utilized and those statements will be examined in three eschatological areas: 1 The Second Advent, 2 The Millennial Reign, and 3 The First and Second Resurrections.
That Spurgeon believed in the personal and literal return of Christ to the earth is a fact which cannot be disputed. He looked forward to this great event with anticipation and announced it to his congregation with regularity. We know that Christ was really, personally, and physically here on earth. But it is not quite so clear to some persons that he is to come, really, personally, and literally the second time. Now, we believe that the Christ who shall sit on the throne of his father David, and whose feet shall stand upon Mount Olivet, is as much a personal Christ as the Christ who came to Bethlehem and wept in the manger.
To-morrow Christ may be upon this earth, "for such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. On December 28, , he presented to his congregation: Our great Captain is still heading the conflict; he has ridden into another part of the field, but he will be back again, perhaps in the twinkling of an eye. He went up not in spirit, but in person; he will come down again in person. He will descend in clouds even as he went up in clouds; and "he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth" even as he stood beforehand.
Brethren, do not let anybody spiritualize away all this from you. Jesus is coming as a matter of fact, therefore go down to your sphere of service as a matter of fact. At the Lord's Supper, there is no discerning the Lord's body unless you discern his first coming; but there is no drinking into his cup to its fullness, unless you hear him say, "Until I come. So must it be with all our ministries; they must look to him on the cross and on the throne. We must vividly realize that he,. We shall make lame work of preaching and teaching if we leave out either advent. But what did he have to say regarding this thesis' main topic, the Millennial Reign?
It was not a topic that he gave a great deal of attention to, but when he did speak of it he spoke with a consistent view. In he stated this: If I read the word aright, and it is honest to admit that there is much room for difference of opinion here, the day will come, when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God. I cannot think so. I conceive that the advent will be pre-millennial; that he will come first; and then will come the millennium as the result of his personal reign upon earth [emphasis ours].
This comment not only seems to clearly demonstrate Spurgeon's position on the subject, but makes it clear that he was conversant with other millennial positions and their key features. In the same sermon Spurgeon also spoke of the millennial reign in these terms: Now, while speaking of glory, I think I must divide the glory which God gives to the justified into three parts.
There is, first of all, the glory which disembodied spirits are enjoying even now; there is, secondly, the resurrection glory, which they will enjoy when the soul and body shall be re-united, and when, through the millennium, they shall be "for ever with the Lord;" and then there is "the eternal weight of glory," which is to be revealed both in body and soul, in the never-ending state of bliss which God has prepared for his people.
We are looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. I shall not go into any details about when he will come: I will not espouse the cause of the pre-millennial or the post-millennial advent; it will suffice me just now to observe that the Redeemer's coming is the desire of the entire church; and "unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. The Lord cometh quickly: O sinner come quickly to the Lord, or it may be too late for you to come.
We who call you may soon be silenced by his advent, and mercy may have no more to say to you. Stand in a Popish country and see them altogether given to their idols, and worshipping crosses and relics, and you will soon cry, "Come Lord Jesus. Let antichrist be hurled like a millstone into the flood, never to rise again. I cannot read the Scriptures without perceiving that there is to be a millennial reign, as I believe, upon the earth, and that there shall be new heavens and new earth wherein dwell righteousness.
He clearly made a distinction between the two. Beginning a sermon on the text, "Throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it" Revelation , he stated, "We shall take these words as referring to heaven. Certainly it is most true of the celestial city, as well as of the millennial city , that the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it" [emphasis ours].
Discussing the relation of the timing of the Return of Christ to the millennium; and its necessity to commence that millennium, Spurgeon was certainly clear as he said: Paul does not paint the future with rose-colour: he is no smooth-tongued prophet of a golden age, into which this dull earth may be imagined to be glowing. There are sanguine brethren who are looking forward to everything growing better and better and better, until, at the last this present age ripens into a millennium.
They will not be able to sustain their hopes, for Scripture give them no solid basis to rest upon. We who believe that there will be no millennial reign without the King, and who expect no rule of righteousness except from the appearing of the righteous Lord, are nearer the mark. Apart from the second Advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into pandemonium than to rise into a millennium. A divine interposition seems to me the hope set before us in Scripture, and, indeed, to be the only hope adequate to the situation. We look to the darkening down of things; the state of mankind, however improved politically, may yet grow worse and worse spiritually.
They think they perceive in the future a great progress of civilization, and they expect to see the spread of the gospel; they expect to hear of great agencies employed, of multitudes of ministers going forth to preach the Word, and a gradual conversion of the world to the religion of Christ; but he who understands the prophets, and has seen Elias, believes not in the immediate conversion of the world, nor in universal peace; he believes in "Jesus Only;" he expects that Jesus will first come; and, to him, the great hope of the future is the coming of the Son of man.
While he apparently never commented directly on the literalness of the 1, year duration of the millennium, his emphasis on the literal interpretation of Revelation would indicate that he would view the 1, as actual and not simply symbolic years. Finally, Spurgeon, in keeping with his normal attitude towards things eschatological, presented a clear perspective on the practical nature of the Second Advent as he said: Jesus is not coming in a sort of mythical, misty, hazy way, he is literally and actually coming, and he will literally and actually call upon you to give an account of your stewardship.
Therefore, now, to-day, literally not symbolically, personally and not by deputy, go out through that portion of the world which you can reach, and preach the gospel to every creature according as you have opportunity. Section C: Spurgeon's Sermons Discussing "The First and Second Resurrections" A foundational concept in Spurgeon's eschatology was his belief in the resurrection of believers and unbelievers.
Throughout his ministry he presented the truth that there would be separate resurrections of the just and unjust. It has already been noted that he makes a distinction between "the first and second resurrection. Notice that this reaping comes first, and I think it comes first in order of time. If I read the Scriptures aright, there are to be two resurrections, and the first will be the resurrection of the righteous; for it is written, "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.
This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power. We anticipate a first and second resurrection; a first resurrection of the righteous, and a second resurrection of the ungodly, who shall be judged, condemned, and punished for ever by the sentence of the great King.
He preached on Revelation ,12 skipping over the verses that one might have wished him to comment upon in an sermon and Revelation in He also never preached from any portion of Daniel 12, where one might have wished to see his interpretation of the first two verses. In this respect he very much followed in the steps of Calvin, who also largely ignored these passages. In he told his congregation this: You have perhaps imagined that all men will rise at the same moment; that the trump of the archangel will break open every grave at the same instant, and sound in the ear of every sleeper at the identical moment.
Such I do not think is the testimony of the Word of God. I think that the Word of God teaches, and teaches indisputably, that the saints shall rise first. He attacks the position of the famous American Presbyterian commentator, Albert Barnes , who was amillennial in his eschatology, as he states: I must remark that two modes of understanding of this verse [Revelation , 12] have been proposed, both of which I think are untenable. I have been reading carefully through Albert Barnes. He says these great principles have been forgotten, and, as it were, buried; and that during the spiritual reign of Christ which is to come, these great principles will have a resurrection.
Now I appeal to you, would you, in reading that passage, think this to be the meaning? Would any man believe that to be its meaning, if he had not some thesis to defend? The fact is, we sometimes read Scripture, thinking of what it ought to say, rather that what it does say. I do not hesitate to affirm that any simple-minded person, who was intent upon discovering the mind of the Spirit, and not upon finding a method by which the words could be compelled to express his own mind, would say that the resurrection of principles, or the resurrection of doctrines, does not give the fair meaning of the words here stated.
C. H. Spurgeon :: The Incomparable Bridegroom and His Bride
But another interpretation has been proposed. I once had the misfortune to listen to an excellent friend of mine who was preaching upon this text, and I must confess, I did not attend with very great patience to his exposition.
He said it meant blessed and holy is he who has been born again, who has been regenerated, and so has had a resurrection from dead works by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the while he was preaching, I could not help wishing that I could propose to him the difficulty, how he would make this metaphorical interpretation agree with the literal fact, that the rest of the dead lived not till the thousand years were finished?
For if the first resurrection here spoken of is a metaphorical, or spiritual, or typical resurrection, why the next where it speaks of the resurrection of the dead must be spiritual, and mystical, and metaphorical too. Here is a final example of his statements on this subject: Now we believe and hold that Christ shall come a second time suddenly, to raise his saints at the first resurrection; this shall be the commencement of the grand judgment, and they shall reign with him afterwards. The rest of the dead live not till the thousand years are finished.
Then they shall rise from their tombs and they shall receive the deeds which they have done in the body [emphasis ours]. There is one other prophetic theme which requires some attention. Spurgeon's view on the future of Israel as a people and as a nation bears some attention in this discussion. It has already mentioned that he believed that: It is also certain that the Jews, as a people, will yet own Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David, as their King, and that they will return to their own land, "and they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the old cities, the desolations of many generations.
In this sermon he laid out several important statements about the future of the Jewish people. First of all he believed that the Jews would physically and literally return to inhabit and have political control over their ancient land. He stated: There will be a native government again; there will again be the form of a body politic; a state shall be incorporated, and a king shall reign. Israel has now become alienated from her own land.
Her sons, though they can never forget the sacred dust of Palestine, yet die at a hopeless distance from her consecrated shores. But it shall not be so for ever, for her sons shall again rejoice in her: her land shall be called Beulah, for as a young man marrieth a virgin so shall her sons marry her. They are to have a national prosperity which shall make them famous; nay, so glorious shall they be that Egypt, and Tyre, and Greece, and Rome, shall all forget their glory in the greater splendour of the throne of David.
First of all, he believed that the "Return of Christ" would be literal, personal and it would be to the earth. While he taught that the Second Advent would precede the millennium; he also taught that the exact timing of this return was completely unknowable to human speculation; that it was foolish at best, and wicked at worst, to delve into such speculation.
Secondly, in relation to the "Millennial Reign," Spurgeon believed again that it was Christ's return that would mark the beginning of the Millennium. The Millennium was to be a period of Christ's personal rule on earth, and that it was not to be equated with the eternal state.
Finally he believed it was only the "divine interposition," which is the Coming of Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom, that would bring to a culmination the Church Age. Again, while the main source of information on Spurgeon's theological views are his sermons, there is also a large and often ignored body of literature in his other writings. Any examination of his theology must also include a thorough examination of his non-sermonic material: his commentaries, his writings in the journal he edited for over 25 years, The Sword and Trowel , and the many other literary outlets he made use of in his ministry.
Part Two: Spurgeon's Writings Charles Spurgeon had many other literary endeavors in his life, besides his sermons. He wrote many books, edited a monthly magazine, and a regular almanac. In fact, the listing of his literary endeavors, other than his sermons, take up over 15 columns in the London Museum Union Serial Catalogue. Section A: Spurgeon in his Biblical Commentaries Despite his long preaching and literary career, Charles Spurgeon only wrote two works that could be called commentaries. The primary of the two was his monumental commentary on the Psalms, The Treasury of David.
It was seven volumes and Spurgeon spent nearly 15 years in its completion, and next to his sermons it is his most widely distributed work. By , a year after Spurgeon's death, the Treasury had sold over , copies in England, had been released in the United States and was in the process of being translated into German and Dutch. In The Treasury of David , Spurgeon sets as his hope, "that these volumes will be as useful to other hearts in reading as to mine in the writing.
Spurgeon was not a great Hebraist, but he did possess a working knowledge of the Hebrew text. The purpose and usefulness of the Treasury is well defined by James Rosscup who states: In this very detailed exposition, the London pulpit master dealt with each verse, giving a wealth of illustration, practical comment, and preaching hints. Spurgeon shows that he read widely in the best literature of his day, gleaning out rich quotes.
On any given verse one can expect to find exposition or quotes looking at it from various angles. The devotional flavor is excellent. Here is a suggestive source for the preacher or teacher and much wealth for general readers, though readers must go elsewhere for word studies and exegesis to supplement their own personal exegetical study. Spurgeon does touch on the subject of eschatology on a few occasions within the Treasury.
One such excursion is his comments on Psalm where he states: The coming of Messiah was the desire of the godly in all ages, and though he has already come with a sin-offering to purge away iniquity, we look for him to come a second time, to come without a sin-offering unto salvation. O that these weary years would come to an end! Why tarries he so long? He knows that sin abounds and that his people are down-trodden; why does he not come to the rescue?
His glorious advent will restore his ancient people from literal captivity, and his spiritual seed from spiritual sorrow. Wrestling Jacob and prevailing Israel shall alike rejoice before him when he is revealed as their salvation. O that he were come! What happy, holy, halcyon, heavenly days should we see! But let us not count him slack, for behold, he comes, he comes quickly.
Blessed are they that wait for him. Commenting on Psalm Spurgeon states, "his unsuffering kingdom yet shall come when he shall take unto himself his great power, and reign from the river unto the ends of the earth" [emphasis ours]. From Pacific to Atlantic, and from Atlantic to Pacific, he shall be Lord, and the oceans which surround each pole shall be beneath his sway.
All other power shall be subordinate to his; no rival nor antagonist shall he know. As Solomon's realm embraced all the land of promise, and left no unconquered margin; so shall the Son of David rule all lands given him in the better covenant, and leave no nation to pine beneath the tyranny of the prince of darkness. We are encouraged by such a passage as this to look for the Saviour's universal reign; whether before or after his personal advent we leave for the discussion of others. In this Psalm, at least, we see a personal monarch, and he is the central figure, the focus of all glory; not his servant, but himself do we see possessing the dominion and dispensing the government.
His comment on the advent of Christ is certainly seen to be refuting a Postmillennial view as well as the amillennial position , which reject a personal reign of Christ on earth during the millennium. Later commenting on verse 11 in the same Psalm, he states: "Yea, all kings shall fall down before him. No matter how high their state, how ancient their dynasty, or far-off their realms, they shall willingly accept him as their Imperial Lord.
The extent of the mediatorial rule is set forth by the two far-reaching alls , all kings and all nations: we see not as yet all things put under him, but since we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour in heaven, we are altogether without doubt as to his universal monarchy on earth. He will lead the final charge in person; his own right hand and his holy arm shall get unto him the victory. Those statements were perhaps not as often in coming as some other commentators on the Psalms have been, but they are thoroughly consistent with his sermons and other writings.
Spurgeon's only other commentary was also the final book that he completed. He finished the first draft only days prior to his death. Actually all of the notations were complete, but it was put into its final form by his wife Susannah. This was Matthew: The Gospel of the Kingdom. Again this was not designed as a critical commentary, and because of his death, he was not able to edit the manuscript or even put it into the form that he may have intended.
In the comments in the pivotal chapter of Matthew 24, he states that "Our Lord appears to have purposely mingled the prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and his own second coming. He understood that many Christians were in Jerusalem at the time prior to its destruction and the main thrust of the prophecies of Jesus were to warn them as to when to flee the city. Of Matthew and the "abomination of desolation," he states this: This portion of our Saviour's words appears to relate solely to the destruction of Jerusalem.
As soon as Christ's disciples saw "the abomination of desolation," that is, the Roman ensigns, with their idolatrous, "stand in the holy place," they knew that the time for their escape had arrived; and they did flee to the mountains. When he comes, we shall know who he is, and why he has come.