This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.
Ps. xxxi. 19, 20. Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast
laid up for them that foar thee; ivhich thou hast wrought
for them that trust in thee, before the sons of men ! Thou
shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride
of man : thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the
strife of tongues.
THE salvation of the Gospel is a present salva-
tion : the '* godliness which it inspires, is profitable
unto all things, having the promise of the life which
now is, as well as that which is to come." It is
needless to say that the trials of life are great ; and
that men in every situation of life need the supports
and consolations of religion to carry them through
the difficulties which they have to encounter. But
of the extent to which these supports and consola-
tions are administered to God's chosen people, very
little idea can be formed by those who have never
experienced a communication of them to their souls.
351.T god's goodness to his believing people. 89
David was highly favoured in this respect. He
lived in a state of near and habitual fellowship with
God ; spreading before him all his wants, and re-
ceiving from him such supplies of grace and peace
as his daily necessities required. Hence with devout
rapture he expresses his admiration of God's good-
ness to his believing people.
This is the subject which we propose for our pre-
sent meditation ; and which, in correspondence with
the words of our text, we shall consider,
I. In a general view — •
The terms by which the Lord's people are charac-
terized sufficiently distinguish them from all others,
since none but they do truly " fear God," or un-
feignedly " put their trust in him." They are the
true Israel ; in reference to whom it is said, " God
is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean
In speaking of his goodness to them, we shall
1. That which is ** laid up for them** —
[In the time of David the great truths of the Gospel were
but indistinctly known ; the fuller manifestation of them being
reserved for the Apostolic age : as St. Paul, quoting a remarkable
passage from the prophet Isaiah, says; " Eye hath not seen, nor
ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the thing8
which God hath prepared for them that love him ;" and then
adds, " But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit''.**
To the Jewish Church therefore these things are only " laid up," as
it were, in types and prophecies : and though made known in
the Gospel, they are still but imperfectly viewed by the Christian
world ; and may be considered as " laid up" for the Church at
this time, no less than in former ages : for it is only by slow
degrees that any one attains to the knowledge of them ; and
whatever attainments any one may have made, he sees only " as
in a glass darkly," and knows only in part ; there being in it a
length and breadth and depth and height utterly beyond the
power of any finite intelligence to explore*^. The " riches"
that are stored up for us in Christ even in this world are altoge-
ther " unsearchable '^ :" what then must the glories be which
are " reserved in heaven for us !" The more we contemplate the
* Ps. Ixxiii. 1. '' Isai. Ixiv. 4. with 1 Cor, ii, g, 10.
" Eph. iii. 18, Ip. * ib. ver. 8.
90 PSALMS, XXXI. ig, 20. [351.
blessings which God has treasured up for us in the Son of his
love , the more shall we exclaim with David, " O how
great is his goodness !"]
1. That which God has actually " wrought for
[Every Believer was once ^^ dead in trespasses and sins,"
even as others. But he has been quickened by the mighty
energy of God's Spirit, and been raised up to newness of life.
He is " a new creature in Christ Jesus ;" all his views, his
desires, his purposes, being altogether changed He has
the heart of stone taken from him, and an heart of flesh substi-
tuted in its place. He has been "; made a partaker of the
Divine nature," and " been renewed after God's image ; and
that, not in knowledge only, but in righteousness also and true
holiness." He is brought altogether into a new state, having
been " translated from the kingdom of darkness into the king-
dom of God's dear Son," and been made '' an heir of God, and
a joint-heir with Christ." In a word, he is " begotten to an
inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled and never-fading,
reserved in heaven for him ;" and for the full possession of which
he also is reserved by the power of God, through the simple ex-
ercise of faith^ All this he has wrought for them
*' before the sons of men." They are evidently " a seed which
the Lord has blessed :" they are " lights in a dark world,"
" epistles of Christ, known and read of all men " '\
But in the latter part of our text, we are called to
consider the goodness of God towards his people,
II. With a particular reference to their intercourse
with the ungodly world —
Exceeding bitter are those pains which men inflict
on each other by calumnies and reproaches —
[To speak good one of another affords no particular plea-
sure ; but to hear and circulate some evil report affords to the
carnal mind the highest gratification : and in such employment
all the corruptions of our fallen nature find ample scope for
exercise and indulgence. Who can estimate the evils arising
from ''pride," and "the strife of tongues?" Some little idea
may be formed from the description given of the tongue by an
inspired Apostle: '' Behold," says he, " how great a matter a
little fire kindleth ! The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity : so
is the tongue amongst our members, that it defileth the whole
body, and settetVi on fire the course of nature ; and it is set
on fire of hell ^," How exceedingly strong are these terms !
Yet it is by no means an exaggerated statement of the evils
" 2 Pet. i. 4. f Jam. iii. 5, G.
351.] god's goodness to his believing people. 01
proceeding from calumny in the world at large : but as repre-
senting the virulence and malignity with which men calumniate
the people of God, they come yet nearer to the truth. In the
very words preceding my text, David faintly portrays the conduct
of the ungodly in relation to this matter : " Let the lying lips he
put to silence, which speak grievous things proudly and con-
temptuously against the righteous." In another psalm he speaks
in far stronger terms: " My soul," says he, " is among lions :
and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of
men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a
sharp sword ^." The truth is, that men can inflict, and often do
inflict, far deeper wounds with their tongue than they could with
the most powerful weapon. With a sword they can only wound
the body : but with bitter and cruel words they wound the
inmost soul. Under the former we may easily support ourselves j
but "a wounded spirit who can bear?"]
But against these does God provide for his people
an effectual antidote —
[Though more exposed than others to the venomous as-
saults of slander, they have a refuge which the worldling knows
not of. They carry their trials to the Lord, and spread them
before him ; and from him they receive such supports and con-
solations as more than counterbalance the evils they sustain.
'* In the secret of God's presence they are hid." When nigh
to him in prayer, they are hid as in a pavilion, or a royal tent,
protected by armed hosts, and furnished with the richest viands''.
But the full import of these terms cannot adequately be ex-
pressed. Who shall say what is implied in those words, " The
secret of God's presence?" who shall declare what a fulness
of joy is there possessed by the believing suppliant ? How
powerless are the fiery darts which are hurled at him by the
most envenomed foes, whilst God himself is a wall of fire round
about him, and the glory of God irradiates his soul, inspiring it
with a foretaste of heaven itself ! Some little idea of his en-
joyment may be formed from the history of Hezekiah at the
time of Sennacherib's invasion. It was " a day of trouble, and
of rebuke and blasphemy;" and the feelings excited in the
bosom of Hezekiah were most distressing : but scarcely had
he spread before the Lord the letter which the blaspheming
Rabshakeh had sent him, than he was encouraged by God to
return this triumphant answer ; " The virgin, the daughter
of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn ;
the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee'."
Thus, like one who saw " the heavens filled with horses of
"fire and chariots of fire" for his protection, he set at nought
the vain boasts of his enemies, and anticipated a certain triumph.
» Ps. Ivii, 4. '' Ps. xxvii. 5, 6. ' Isai. xxxvii. 3, 14, 1\, 22.
92 PSALMS, XXXII. 1—6. [352^v
Thus, how malignant soever the Believer's enemies may be, he
is bid from them as in an impregnable fortress, and looks down
on their fruitless efforts with pity and contempt.]
1 . Let us seek to attain the character here drawn —
[To fear God is the duty, and to trust in him the privilege,
of every child of man Learn then to tremble for fear of
his judgments, and to rely on his mercy as revealed to you in his
Gospel for then only can you experience the blessings of
his goodness, when you surrender up yourselves to him to be
saved by his g'-ace '\
1. Let US enjoy the privileges conferred upon us —
[For a fuller discovery of the Believer's privileges, we may
consult the declarations of David in the Psalms "^ Let lis
not rest in any thing short of them. Let us get such a sense of
them as shall overwhelm us with wonder, and gratitude, and
" Ps. xci. 1—4, 9 — 16, & Iv. 21, 22.
1. MY TOPICAL IDEX OF 39 THOUSAD SERMOS
2. 68 FREE BOOKS
3. ALL WRITIGS
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.