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The Prosperity of the Righteous.

The Prosperity of the Righteous.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

REV. W. JAY.



The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree ; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shew
that the Lord is upright ; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." —
Psalm, xcii. 12 — 15.

REV. W. JAY.



The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree ; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shew
that the Lord is upright ; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." —
Psalm, xcii. 12 — 15.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 04, 2013
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THE PROSPERITY OF THE RIGHTEOUS.REV. W. JAY.
The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree ; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shewthat the Lord is upright ; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." — Psalm, xcii. 12 — 15.
The title of this Psalm is, " A Psalra or sung for the Sabbath-day." Manyfoolish writers believe that it was written by Adam himself. If this were true,it would be an immense curiosity indeed : for of all he did, nothing else hascome down to us but the sad consequences of his eating the forbidden fruit." In Adam all died." " By one man sin entered into the world." Thissupposition is groundless : it is contradicted by the internal evidence of thesong itself; for there were then no musical instruments ; then, there were noadversaries — there were no wicked men to rise up against him. " But theleaders of this people have always caused them to err ; they destroyed the wayof their fathers." The Jews are a lamentable proof that infidelity does notarise from want of evidence : they could always believe any thing, unless thatHe who opened the eyes of the blind, and who raised the dead, and who wasraised again the third day, was the Son of God. We have every reason toconclude that it was composed by D^vid, who was more distinguished by anattachment to the sanctuary of God, than by anything else. He could say, " Ihave loved the habitaion of thy house, and the place where thy honour dwelleth."" One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwellin the house of the Lord for ever."It consists of praise ; the materials of which are sketched from the works of Jehovah, and especially his dealings with the wicked, and above all, with therighteous. The case is this : the Lord loves his people infinitely ; " he takespleasure in them that fear him, in them that hope in his mercy." And it isof this that David here speaks.Let us interrogate this tei(t, and obtain from it, if possible, answers to thesesix questions : first, Who shall flourish ? The righteous. " He shall flourishlike the palm-tree." Secondly, How shall they flourish? " He shall flourishlike the palm-tree : they shall grow like cedars in Lebanon." Thirdly, Whereshall they flourish ? " In the house of our Lord, in the courts of our God."Fourthly, When shall they flourish? " They shall still bring forth fruit in oldage." Fifthly, Why shall they flourish ? " To shew that the Lord is upright,"&c. Si.xthly, Who can come forward and bear his testimony to this ? " I," saysthe Psalmist; " he is my rock."
 
358 THE PROSPERITY OF TIIK RIGHTliOUS.Who shall flourish? 'J'he righteous. "There is none righteous, no,not one." Such was tlie testimony of God liiinself, when he lookeil down (rotaheaven on the children of men. ot when he looked down hefore tiie flood,when it is said, '• the wickedness of man was great," and that " every imagina-tion of their hearts was only evil continually ;" but after so many means hadbeen employed to reform tlie world. We may be imposed upon ; we are oftenled to erroneous conclusions ; but His judgment is always according to trutli.You may entertain a hundred good opinions of your fellow creatures ; but voucannot suppose that any one of them hath ever " continued in all things writtenin the law, to do them." Vou may have a flattering opinion of yourself, andespecTally compared with some who are grossly vile ; but surely you cannotimagine that you are naturally innocent before God. But if you are trans-gressors, you are under the law and under the curse. Does not universalobservation and experience accord with this testimony of God, tliat " there isnone righteous, no, not one?" Yet the Scripture is perpetually speaking of the righteous : and if there were no such characters to be found, nothing couldbe said concerning them.The case is this : there are none righteous by nature, but there are some whoare righteous by grace. There are none who are righteous by a righteousnessof their own — that is, a righteousness derived from themselves ; but there arethose who are righteous by a righteousness derived from God. Of this theApostle speaks ; " That I may be found in him, not having mine own," &c.He tells us, that " Israel, which followed after .the law of rigiiteousness, didnot attain to the law of righteousness; and wherefore?" says he, " Becausethey sought it not by faith ; as it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion," &c.And yet they were distinguished by innumerable privileges, and were veryzealous ; but their zeal was in a wrong cause, and therefore carried them astray :•' for they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about," &c.There is a two-fold righteousness, however, spoken of in the Scriptures : therighteousness of justification, and the righteousness of sanctification. Tiieseare very distinguishable from each other; and unless it is clearly discriminated,a confusion will pervade the whole of the religious system. 'I'he one is thechange of our state; the other of our nature. 'I'he one is a relative change ;the other personal. The one entitles us to glory ; the other is a meetness forthe inheritance of the saints in light. The one is an instantaneous operation,and applies at once ; the other is gradual and progressive. Yet they are alwaysInseparable, though distinguishable. " If any man be in Christ he is a newcreature. Old things are passed, behold all things are become new."With regard to this righteousness of sanctification, you will observe, that
 
this at present is not complete. So far from it, " there is not a man thatliveth and sinneth not." We are taught, by our Saviour himself, to pray forour daily pardon, as well as for our daily bread. This rigiiteousness is so pre-vailing in the subject of it as to discriminate even to character : and when aChristian falls, he is acting out of character. In due time it will be complete ;complete as the righteousness of justification. ow, as he has a new righteous-ness, he has new and right views, new and right feelings, new and right hopes.But all these righteousnesses have a mi.xture, but soon they will be withoutmixture before the throne for ever. Oh, Christian, it is a thing worth dvingfor — is it not ? 'I\) drop this body of sin and death ; to feel no n)ore " a lawin the members warring against the law of tlie mind ;" no more to say, "WhenHL PKOSPERITY OF THE RIGHTEOUS. 3591 would do good, evil is present, with me" — to shake yourselves from yo'.ir moraldeath to put on vour beautiful garment of holiness to meet the Lord in theair, and be " presented faultless before the throne with exceeding joy."How SHALL THEY FLOURISH ? " Tlic rigliteous shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon." The image is sometimes takenfrom human life: we read in the family of God of little children, young men,and fathers: we read of our coming to " tlie measure of the stature of perfectmen in Christ." Sometimes the image is taken from animal life : it is said thatthose " upon whom the Sun of Righteousrtess shall arise with healing in hiswings, shall go forth like calves of the stall." Sometimes the image is takenfrom vegetable life, and very frequently indeed : " They shall grow as a vine ;""they shall revive as the corn ;" " they shall spring up as willows by the water-courses ;" " they shall flourish like the palm-tree, they shall grow like a cedarin Lebanon." it is unnecessary to inquire why the palm-tree and the cedar arcselected ; it is suflicient to know that these trees are beautiful in their growthand form, and very fruitful ; and both of them are evergreens ; the cedar givesstrong and sweet timber; and, in addition to this, the palm-tree yields anabundance of fruit — dates — sometimes a hundred weight is found upon onetree.But just notice the contrast mentioned in the former verse of this Psalm;" Wlien the wicked spring as the grass,, and when all the workers of iniquitydo flourish ; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever." " They flourish asthe grass, which to-day is, ami to-morrow is cast into the fire." But therighteous flourish as the cedars and palm-trees. We have the same contrastin another Psalm, and in reference to another image. " 'I'he man," saysDavid, " whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in whose law he dothmeditate day and night, is like a trse planted by tlie rivers of water," &c. " Theungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. There-fore the ungodly shall not stand," &c.

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