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Voice of David Under Anticipated Judgments

Voice of David Under Anticipated Judgments

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY HENRY KOLLOCK, D. D,


1 Chronicles xxi. 13.

Lct me fall now into the hand of the Lord^for very great
are his mercies ; but let me not fall into the hand of
man.
BY HENRY KOLLOCK, D. D,


1 Chronicles xxi. 13.

Lct me fall now into the hand of the Lord^for very great
are his mercies ; but let me not fall into the hand of
man.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 22, 2013
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VOICE OF DAVID UDER ATICIPATED JUDGMETSBY HERY KOLLOCK, D. D,1 Chronicles xxi. 13.Lct me fall now into the hand of the Lord^for very greatare his mercies ; but let me not fall into the hand of man." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of theliving God." We cannot, my brethren, have thisdeclaration of the apostle too deeply impressed uponour mind whenever we are called to decide whetherwe shall obey God or man, whether we shall incUrthe anger of the Eternal or of the world. If lookingbeyond the present life, we think of the great day of retribution, in which the Judge of all the earth willavenge upon impenitent sinners his outraged justiceand mercy; if we put in the balance the power of God and that of man, we cannot hesitate a momenton the choice that we ought to make. Ah, rather athousand times fall into the hands of men than intothose of this Almighty Judge! Rather a thousandtimes be the victims of their anger, than expose our-selves to his ! Rather have the whole world, than GodMISCELLAEOUS. 241alone for our enemy ! What comparison is there be-tween the evils that mortal creatures can inflict uponus, and those which we have to fear from a God im-mortal and omnipotent ? What comparison betweenthose who kill the body, and after that have nothingelse that they can do, and him who can cast both bodyand soul into hell ? But, my brethren, if changing ourpoint of view, we consider not everlasting mise-
 
ries, but the woes of the present life, if we comparethe compassions of God with those of men, his good-ness with their wickedness, the wisdom and equity of his ways with the injustice and irregularity of theirs,then we must change our language, and the penitentsinner, even at the moment when he sees heavenangry for his crimes, will exclaim, " Let me fall intothe hands of the Lord, for very great are his mercies,but let me not fall into the hands of men." Theseare implacable in their hatred ; their vengeanceknows no bounds; their weak goodness is soon ex-hausted. But God, though angry with us, is yet ourfather; his mercy is felt through his severest chas-tisements ; and " though he cause grief, yet will hehave compassion." It was the deep conviction of this truth that led David to adopt the words of thetextLet us, in order to feel the force of his expressions,rapidly review those circumstances which inducedthe king of Israel to adopt them. David, distrustingthe promises of God, or actuated by secret pride andambition, ordered Joab to take an exact accountof the number of all his subjects. This act wasprobably connected with some circumstances of which we are ignorant, which marked it as mani-festly criminal, since Joab strongly remonstratedagainst it. His remonstrar^ces, however, were vain.VOL. IV. 31242 &ERMO. cxxxv,and the prince persisted in his design. His con-science being at hi?t aroused, he felt and confessedhis guilt, and importunately deprecated tlie divinewrath. While thus hunabled, the prophet Gad wentto him by revelation, to inform him of the Lord's
 
anger, and determination to punish him ; at thesame time referring it to his choice whether he andhis people should sutler hy famine, by war, or bypestilence. In the meek and submissive languageof the text, David chooses the last, because it pro-ceeds more immediately from the hand of God.But, you ask, did David reason justly ? W hen weare suffering under war, or any other calamity what-ever, are we not in the hands of God ? Are not thedifferent agents of the universe, men, angels, ele-ments, equally the ministers, of ^w justice, or oi' hismercy? Yes; and no one more fully or explicitlyacknowledged this universality of Providence thandid David. He always, without justifying the wick-edness of the instruments, bowed submissively to thedisposals of God in all his persecutions. When Shi-mei breathed out his execrations against him,. Davidmeekly replied, " The Lord hath said unto him,Curse David ;*' that is, the Most High, in the adora-ble course of his providence, has permitted it.But still, my brethren, there is a wide ditrerencebetween those afflictions which come to us directlyfrom the hand of God, and those which come by theintervention of men. Ah, how sensibly does thepious heart feel this difference ! When men are theimmediate authors of our sorrows, though it is al-ways true that it is God who permits them; that itdepends oidy upon his pleasure to arrest them : stillin the sufferings which they cause us to endure, it isihev whom we first behold ; it is their unkjndness orMISCELLAEOUS. 243enmity which first strikes us ; and this view irritatesthe wounds of our souls, and agitates our afflictedhearts. It is often with difficulty that we elevate our

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