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Published by glennpease

Isaiah xxxviii. 9-20.

Isaiah xxxviii. 9-20.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 10, 2013
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THE PSALM OF HEZEKIAH.BY SAMUEL COX" The writing of Hezekiah, king of Judah, when he had beensick, and was recovered of his sickness.10. I said, in the noontide of my days I must depart into the-gates of Hades ;I have been mulcted of the residue of my years.11. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living :I shall behold man no more, with the inhabitants of the world..12. My habitation is plucked up and carried off from me like ashepherd's tent ;I have rolled up, like a weaver, my life : He will cut me of?'from the loom :In a day and a night Thou wilt make an end of me.13. I thought until morning, As a lion so will He break all ni}^bones ;In a day and a night Thou wilt make an end of me.14. Like a swallow, like a crane, did I scream ;I did moan as a dove ; mine eyes looked hopelessly toward'the height :Lord, I am hard pressed ; be Thou my surety.1 5. What shall I say ? He hath both promised me, and performed :.
1 shall walk as in state through all my years in spite of the:bitterness of my soul.16. O Lord, by such things as these men live.And in them is the whole life of my spirit :So wilt Thou recover me and make me to live.6o THE PSALM OF HEZEKIAH.17. Behold, it was for my peace that I had great bitterness :And Thou hast loved back my soul from the pit of destruc-tion :For Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.18. For Hades cannot give thanks to Thee, Death cannot praiseThee ;They that go down to the grave cannot hope to see thyfaithfulness.19. The living, the living, he can praise Thee, as I do this day ;The father to the children shall make known thy faithfulness.20. The Lord is ready to save me ; and my stringed instrumentswill we strikeAll the days of our life in the house of the Lord."Isaiah xxxviii. 9-20.Hezekiah was a good man. Good thoughts stirred-within him as he lay on his bed with his face turned tothe wall. He was a good man ; the approach of deathforced him to look on life in its highest aspects, under
its more solemn and spiritual hues. He may have beenmoved, though we are not told that he was moved, bythe Divine Spirit, no less than by his own cultivatedtaste, to express his thoughts in a poetic form. Andthe Bible, which finds room for so much that we couldhardly have expected to read in it, has found a place forhis " writing," or song, — " a song in the night " we maywell call it, since very obviously the night has got intohis s6ng.Hezekiah was a good man ; he had good thoughts ;these thoughts are in the Bible. But does it thereforefollow that his song is, in the highest sense, inspired ?that it is a revelation of essential and eternal truth ?Must we listen to it as to the voice of God ? The Bibledoes not tell us that it is the voice of God which we hearTHE PSALM OF HEZEKIAH. 6rin this plaintive song ; but that it is the voice of Heze«kiah. It does not affirm it to be a scripture of theDivine Wisdom, but the " writing " of a sick man. Allthat it professes to do is to give us the very words whichHezekiah wrote, the very thoughts that passed throughhis mind when he was in bondage to the fear of death.And we must be careful not to claim for this writing:more than the Bible claims for it, not to attribute an>rgreater weight to it than the Bible attributes : for, thoughit helps us to understand Hezekiah's character and tocomprehend his range of spiritual thought and emotion,it would be simply a fatal mistake were we to takehim for our spiritual teacher and guide, or to accept his.words as an adequate expression of our faith and hope.He saw no light of life and promise in the Hadean;world. He could hear no song of praise in the regionbeyond the grave. He had no hope of finding Jehovahexcept " in the land of the living." " Hades cannot ^\vqthanks," he cries ; " Death cannot praise Thee ; they that

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