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BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.
Ps. xlv. 7. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness :
therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of
gladness above thy fellows.
THIS psalm is a nuptial song; wherein Christ, as
the heavenly Bridegroom, is celebrated by his Bride,
the Church ; and she also is commended by him as
worthy of the union proposed between them. In the
former part, the glory and excellency of Jesus are
set forth in a variety of views. In the verse before the
text, he is addressed as the supreme " God, whose
throne is for ev^er and ever ;" while, as man, he is ac-
knowledged to have received his glory and felicity
from the Father, as the reward of his unparalleled
virtues. This is undoubtedly the primary sense of
the words before us. But they may also be consi-
dered as containing a general truth, expressive of
God's regard for holiness, and of those testimonies
of his approbation which all godly people shall
Let us then turn our attention to them,
I. As applicable to Christ —
That they refer to him there can be no doubt ;
S60^1 BEEFITS ATTEDAT O HOLIESS. 155
because in the Epistle to the Hebrews it is expressly
affirmed that they were addressed to him".
To him the character transcendently belongs —
[/« his doctrine, he removed the false glosses with which
the Jewish Doctors had obscured the law, and established its
authority over the motions of the heart as well as the actions of
the life'*. He laid the axe at the very root of sin ; and gave a
system of morality more pure and perfect than the united wisdom
of the whole world had been ever able to devise.
In his life, " he was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate
from sinners." either his friends who were most intimate with
him, nor his enemies who were most inveterate against him,
could ever find the smallest flaw or blemish in his conduct. God
himself repeatedly attests that " in him was no sin."
But most of all in his death did our blessed Lord approve
himself a lover of righteousness and a hater of inicjuity : for
he died in order to expiate the guilt of sin : yea, he came down
from heaven on purpose to atone for it by his blood ; and to
mark in indelible characters its malignity, by the very means
which he used to deliver us from its curse.
In the whole scope of the economy ichich he introduced, he
manifested the same righteous disposition : for at the same time
that he commissioned his A))ostIes to go forth and evangelize all
nations, he bade them " teach their proselytes to observe and do
whatsoever he had commanded." His Gospel, while it ^' brings
salvation to men, teaches them to deny ungodliness and worldly
lusts, and to live righteously, soberly, and godly in this present
world :" and the Ministers who are sent forth to proclaim it, are
*' sent to bless men, in turning away every one of them from his
On this account God in a super-eminent degree
" anointed him with the oil of gladness" —
[The Father " gave not the Spirit by measure unto him,"
even during the time of his ministration upon earth*^. But
though he was anointed in this world in an infinitely more abun-
dant measure than all who were partakers of the same Divine
unction, yet it was rather after his death that the Spirit was
given to him as " the oil of gladness." At his ascension the
words before us received their full accomplishment. Then was
" the joy given him, in the expectation of which he had endured
the cross and despised the shame." Then was he " made full
of joy by the light of his Father's countenance'*," and was
^ Heb. i. 8, 9.
'' He shewed that the laws prohibiting murder and adultery were
violated by an angry word or impure desire. Matt. xxv. 21, 22, 2/, 28.
' See Isai. xi.2. &: Ixi. 1.
¦¦ Compare ?s. xvi. 10, 11. & xxi. 6. with Acts ii. 27, 28.
156 PSALMS, xLv. 7. [365*
invested with a glory as much transcending that of the highest
archangel, as the brightness of the sun exceeds the lustre of a
glimmering star. This was given him as the reward of his
righteousness : " he loved righteousness ;" " therefore the Lord
anointed him with this oil of gladness^."]
Though this is the primary sense of the words, we
shall not pervert them, if we consider them,
II. As applicable to us —
The character of the true Christian is here most
fitly drawn —
[There are many Unbelievers whose moral characters are
unexceptionable : they abstain from open iniquity, and they
pejform many acts of righteousness. But the distinctive mark
of the Believer is, that *' he loves righteousness and hates
iniquitv." He looks upon sin as the worst enemy of his soul.
ot contented with suppressing the outward acts of it, he strives
to mortify its inward motions. The existence of sin within him
is his pain, his burthen, his grief. He abhors it ; he lothes
himself on account of it : he often cries with anguish of heart,
" O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me ? As for
righteousness, he considers it as the health and felicity of his
soul. It is the very element in which he desires to live. Were
he possessed of it in ever so high a degree, he would not be
satisfied, as long as there were any measure of it which he had
not attained. He would be " holy as God is holy," and " per-
fect as God is perfect." We repeat it, that this is the distinctive
character of a true Believer. Others, whatever their conduct be,
have no real hatred of secret sin, no unfeigned delight in the
secret exercises of religion : but in the Believer these dispositions
radically and abidingly exist.]
On this account God vouchsafes him the richest
[Who amongst the sons of pleasure can be compared with
the Christian in respect to real happiness ? The happiness of the
carnal man is only as " tlie crackling of thorns under a pot;" it
blazes for a little time, and then expires in smoke. Let a true
Christian be bereft of all that the world holds most dear, and be
reduced to a condition the most calamitous in the eyes of carnal
men, yet would he not exchange states with the happiest world-
ling upon earth : he would spurn at the proposal with contemp-
But it is not merely over the ungodly world that a lively Chris-
tian has this advantage : " he is anointed with the oil of gladness
above his fellows," above those who in an inferior degree parti-
^ Phil. ii. 8, 9.
365.] BEEFITS ATTEDAT O HOLIESS. 15/
cipate the same heavenly calling. Occasional circumstances of
temptation or of darkness may indeed for a time reduce the most
eminent Christian below the standard of his weaker brother : but
in the general it will be found, that the more we have of the
Divine image, the more we shall abound in heavenly consolation :
they will have most of heaven in their souls, who have the
greatest meetness for it in their hearts and lives.
And though these holy joys are not bestowed on account of the
Believer's merits, yet are they strictly and properly a reward for
his piety : they are a reward of grace, though not a payment of
a debt. God has in numberless places assured his people, that
" he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him," and that
*' it shall be well with the righteous, who shall eat the fruit of
1 . What a mercy is it to have such an example
[If we entertain any doubt how we ought to walk, or
what shall be the issue of a godly life, we need only look to the
Lord Jesus Christ : in him we see precisely " how we ought to
walk and to please God," and what shall be the termination of
a life spent in the service of our God. In him we shall find an
answer to the cavils of the world on the one hand, and to the
suggestions of Satan on the other. In those things which Christ
did as a Prophet, or as the Mediator, he is not an example to
us J but in all other things he is : and as surely as we tread in
his steps in this world, we shall be seated with him on his throne
in the world to come.]
2. How vain are the expectations of those who
are not conformed to it !
[Holiness and happiness are inseparable. It is in vain to hope
for the oil of gladness, if we be not lovers of righteousness, and
haters of iniquity. We may applaud and canonize those who
conform to the world's standard of perfection ; but God will not
ratify our sentence. The precepts of the Gospel are the infal-
lible, the only rule of duty. They were exhibited in all their
perfection by our blessed Lord, who gave us in his own life a
comment on them. If we labour to imitate him, and to walk
in all things as he walked, our short-comings and defects will be
forgiven us for his sake : but if we make any reserves in our
obedience, we shall be regarded as despisers of his law, and take
our portion with hypocrites and unbelievers. '^ Herein the chil-
dren of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; he that
doelh not righteousness is not of God."]
' Isai. iii. 10.
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