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BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.
Ps. cxix. 165. Great peace have they who love thy law; and no-
thing shall offend them.
THE force of principle is exceeding great, even
where the principle itself is erroneous and vicious,
but much more where it is founded upon the unerring
word of God. It produces in our conduct, prompti-
tude, uniformity, decision : and, whilst it stimulates
to action, it supports the mind in case of failure and
disappointment. ow of all principles, that of love
to God and to his revealed will is the strongest. We
see in the saints of every age what wonders it is able
to effect --In the words before us, David in-
forms us what peace it will bring into the soul, amidst
the heaviest trials, and what stability amidst the
greatest difficulties. But for the more full elucida-
tion of his words, we will consider,
I. The character here described —
** The law of God " generally throughout the Psalms
means the whole revealed will of God. It is not to
be confined to the moral, or the ceremonial law ; it
comprehends the Gospel also : it is ** the law which
should go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord
from Jerusalem ;" even, as St. Paul calls it, " the law
To " love" this law is a strong expression, import-
ing much more than a mere obedience to it : for we
may conceive persons to obey it through fear; whereas
those who love it, see an excellency in it, and corr
dially approve of it in all its parts. They love it,
1 . As a mirrour of truth —
[In this view it is spoken of by an inspired Apostle*; and it
is Justly so represented, because it reflects with perfect fidelity
every feature of the human heart. It never flatters, never dis-
torts ; but shews, to every one who will look into it, precisely
what character he bears in the sight of the heart-searching God.
An insincere person does not like it ; he turns away from it : he
will not come to it, because it presents to his view his own defor-
' Jam. i, 23 — 25.
429.] BLESSEDESS I LOVIG GOd's LAW. 445
mities. But the true Christian loves it on this very account. He
desires to know the worst of himself. He sees that it will be to
no purpose for him to deceive iiis own soul : he is assured, that
God will not form his estimate according to the partial views
which he himself may take : and therefore he desires to see him-
self just as God sees him. True it is, that he never looks into
this glass without finding deeper and deeper cause for humiliation
but still he loves it; yea, he loves it on this very account ;
even as David did, when he said, " Thy word is very pure ;
therefore thy servant loveth it."]
2, As a revelation of mercy —
[In this view it is particularly delightful to him. The plan
of salvation which it unfolds is so grand, so wonderful, so suit-
able in all its parts, and so sufficient for all his necessities, that he
can never sufficiently admire it It is his meditation, and
his song, all the day. The Scripture represents the Gospel as
*^ a feast of fat things, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on
the lees well refined :" and such indeed he finds it to his soul.
In comparison of it, and of the knowledge of it, he " counts all
things in the universe but dross and dung" ]
3. As a rule of life —
[From the moment of his having found the way of salvation
by a crucified Redeemer, the one desire of his soul has been to
" live to Him who died for us and rose again." *- What wilt thou
have me to do ?" has been his constant inquiry at the throne of
grace : and he delights exceedingly in this word as a sure direc-
tory under every situation and circumstance of life. From dav ta
day he reads it with this particular view, that he may know " how
to walk and to please God." He perceives that men are always
endeavouring to lower the requisitions of this law : but he strives
rather to have his attainments raised to that perfect standard.
ot one of all its commandments is regarded by him as grievous.
othing is grievous, but his own want of conformity to them.
Could he have his heart's desire, it would be to " walk in all
things as Christ walked," and to " stand perfect and complete in-
all the will of God" ]
In proportion as this character exists in any, is,-
II. The blessedness of those in whom it is found — ¦
This, as might well be expected, is exceeding:
great. We notice it in two respects ;
1. The happiness of their minds —
[*' Peace," in the Scripture use of the term, is not a mere
absence of trouble, but an actual state of very sublime enjoyment.
The person ** who loves God's law," in the way before described,
PSALMS, CXIX, 165. [429.
has, as the very first-fruits of his faitli in Christ, a sense of re-
concilialion w'ltli God : '• beinj^ justified by faith, he has peace
with God : God has said to him, both by his vvord and :>pirit,
" Peace, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee." Com-
bined with this he has the testimony of a good conscience. Though
he sees nothing in himself but what furnishes him with grounds
for humiliation and self-abasement, he cannot be insensible of the
change that has been wrought in him : he dares not deny the
work of God in his soul. He has the vvitness of the Holy Spirit,
and the testimony of his own sphit, concurring to assure him,
that " old things have passed away within him, and all things l>e-
come new :" and though he cannot attain that measure of per-
fection that he aspires after, he is conscious that if he could, he
would be " pure as God is pure," and " perfect as God is per-
fect." His daily and hourly employment brings in an abundance
of peace to his soul. He is engaged in doing what he believes to
be the will of God ; and he finds by sweet experience the truth of
that saying, " The work of righteousness is peace, and the effect
of righteousness is quietness and assurance for cver^." or has
lie Ip'ss comfort in looking forward to the eternal state. He is
not left to be a prey to fears and appiehensions about his future
destiny. He knows in whom he has believed, and that his God
and Saviour is able to keep him unto that great and awful day.
He sees also, that he has in Christ a right and title to the hea-
venly inheritance ; and that, " when the earthly house of this
tabernacle shall be dissolved, he h^s a house not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens." Hence, instead of dreading the
approach of death, he looks forward to it as the consummation
of all his wishes, and the completion of all his happiness ; and
" desires to depart, that he may be with Clirist." Such is the
peace which it fs the privilege of all who love the Gospel to en-
joy, and which Christ himself has left them as a most invaluable
legacy, saying, " Peace I leave with you ; my peace I give unto
you r" and verily it is " a peace which passeth all understanding."]
2. The stability of their goings —
[Those who have not this divine principle within them, are
liable to be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, and to
be '^ moved from their stedfastness" by every temptation. But
not so the true Christian, in whose heart the law of God is en-
graved. He, though still assaulted with manifold temptations,
ig enabled to withstand them all. At the very moment of the
assault, he says, with Joseph, " How shall 1 do this wickedness,,
and sin against God ?" And throughout the whole course of
his life he experiences, on the whole, the t'rth of tVir pro-
mise, " G kI is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted
above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also male
'' Isal, xxxii, 17. See also Ps. xix. 11. & Prov. iii. 17.
429.] BLESSEDESS I JLOVIG GOD's LAW. 447
a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it*^." If he be
tried with the most formidable persecutions, he does not, like the
stouy-grouiul hearers, presently desist from following the Lord,
but takes up his cross manfully, and makes up his mind to suffer
the loss even of life itself, rather than dishonour and- deliv his
Lordv Be his trials ever so numerous, he says concerning them,
*' one of these things move me, neither count 1 my hie dear
untx) me :" " I am ready, not to be bound only, but also to die,
for the Lord's sake," Perhaps one of the greatest stumbling-
blocks which lie in the way of the sincere, is the fait of mtiny
ivho once appeared to rim well. 'I'hese in their fall sweep away,'
as it were with their tail, many, very many, of the stars of hea-'
ven'*. But those who truly love God's law are fixed as the sun in-
the firmament''. They know that the truth and excellence of re-
ligion does not depend un those who profess it : and therefore,-
whatever be the conduct of others, he determines, through GodV
assistance, to hold it fast even to the end. Thus does he sur-
mount the obstacles which sin and Satan place in his way; and is
finally " made more than CHDuqueror through Hinr that loved'
1. To those who possess not this character — ¦
[It is indeed a great thing to love God's law. Let not any
imagine, that a general approbation of it is that which vvill either
satisfy God, or bring peace into the soul. We love it not airight,
if we do not love it vn'iversally^ in every thing that it requires,
and ¦supremely, above all that the world can give or take away.
or let any one who does not thus love it, expect peace to his
soul ; for God has said that there is no peace unto him^: nor can
he have stabihty, seeing that he is in darkness even until now^.
You must inquire for the good old way, and walk therein, if ever
you would taste this inestimable blessing''--^ ]
2> To those who, whilst they profess to have at--
tained this character, enjoy not the blessings con-
nected with it —
[God's word is true j nor shall any who trust in it be disap-'
pointed of tlieir hope. Hear his sayings' — and, if you-
experience not the accomplishment of them in your own souls^.
know that the fault is in yourselves alone. As sure as ever the
character is yours, so most assuredly shall the bles>edness also be.
"' H^ will keep his saints" in peace and holiness, even to the
* 1 Cor. X. 13. ^ Rev. xii 4. ^ Ps. Ixxii. 5.
'"Isai Ivii. 20, 21. » | John ii. 10, 1 1. '' Jer. vi, 16.
* Ps, xxiii. I, 2. Jer. xxxi. 9. " I&ai. xxvi. 3. 1 Sam. ii. 9.-
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