Prov. xviii. 10. The name of the Lord is a strong tower: tJie
righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
I the Proverbs of Solomon we must not expect
to find long and accurate statements of Divine truth,
nor elevated strains of devotion founded upon it :
the scope of the book is rather by brief sentences to
fix upon the mind truths already acknowledged, and
to shew the excellency of them in their effects. The
passage before us is very instructive in this view,
namely, as illustrating the blessedness attendant on
true piety. But it commends itself to us yet more
forcibly, by exhibiting a contrast between the dispo-
sitions and habits which religion inspires, and those
which are indulged by the whole ungodly world.
The text ini'orms us what "the righteous man"
does : the verse following our text informs us what
the v/orldling does : the one makes God his refuge ;
the other trusts 4^i his wealth, or some other idol
equally vain : the one founds all his hopes on God,
as made known to us in the Scriptures ofTruth ; the
other, on some vanity, that has no title to confidence
but " in his own conceit."
It was to mark this contrast that the blessedness
mentioned in our text was confined to " the right-
eous." Solomon did not mean to intimate, that an
unrighteous man, if he would flee to this tower,
should be shut out : for the most unrighteous man
in the universe is invited to come to it ; and, like
the cities of refuge, its gates stand open day and
night for the admission of all who desire to flee to it
for refuge. But the truth is, that none but the
righteous will run to it : none but they who are sen-
sible of their guilt and danger, and are fleeing in
earnest from the wrath to come, will enter in. All
others deny the necessity of submitting to so hu-
miliating a measure : they think they are safe enough
without it. The believing penitent, on the contrary,
is thankful for such a refuge, and is in the habit of
running to it on every occasion : and therefore to
him, and to him alone, is the security confined.
To elucidate the passage, we will endeavour to
I. The character of God —
By " the name of the Lord" we are not to under-
stand the mere word, Jehovah, as though that would
aflbrd us any security. This is a vain and foohsh
superstition, that has no foundation whatever in the
Oracles of God. But, by " the name of the Lord" we
must understand his character; as we learn from
that expression of David, " They that know thy
name," i.e. thy character, " will put their trust m
thee \" Consider then the character of Jehovah,
1. As described by himself—
[God, in infinite condescension, was pleased to make
known himself to Moses, and by an audible voice to " pm-
claim his name":" " The Lord passed by and proclamied, The
Lord, the Lord God, mercifid and gracious, long-suftenng,
and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for
* Ps.ix.lO. *" Exod. xxxiv. 5.
104 PROVERBS, XVITI. 10. [461.
thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and that
will by no means clear the guilty*^." ow we would ask the
trembling sinner, What character he would wish Jehovah to
bear? Would lie wish God in no instance to testify his dis-
pleasure against sin, but to treat all men alike, putting no
diflterence between " the guilty " who are going on in all man-
ner of wickedness, and the penitent, who are tvu'ning from all
iniquity? o: there is not a penitent in the universe that
would wish God to act in a Avay so unworthy of his divine
majesty. But if he desire to be assured of mercy to return-
ing penitents, it is not possible that any words he could devise
could more richly portray this attribute, than those which
God himself has used. Consider them distinctly and sepa-
rately, and see how constantly they have been veri-
fied towards you hitherto, and how abundantly they contain
all that you can desire.]
2. As revealed to us in Christ Jesus —
[The Lord Jesus Christ is " Emmanuel, God with us;"
and he is particularly called, " The image of the invisible
God," because in him the whole character of the Deity is
made, as it were, visible to mortal men. He is " the bright-
ness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his per-
son ;" and his whole character is marked in the name given
him before he was conceived in the womb*^. The name
"Jesus" is the same with Joshua, or " Jehoshua," that is,
Jah Osea, Divine Saviour. What a glorious and comprehen-
sive name is this ! All that he has done and suftbred for us,
and all that he has promised to us, is contained in it ; together
with his perfect sufficiency for all that he has undertaken to
eiFect. The trembling sinner finds in the very name of Jesus
a pledge of all that he wants. Besides, whilst we contem-
plate him in the whole of his work and offices, we are ex-
pressly authorized to apply to ourselves the benefit of them
all, and to call him, " The Lord our Righteousness*." Follow
this idea in all its bearings, and what unsearchable mysteries
of love and mercy will it unfold to our view !]
Such being the name and character of God, let
us contemplate,
II. The interest we have in it —
It is indeed " a strong tower" —
[Consider every perfection of the Deity: there is not one
which is not "a chamber where we may hide ourselves till
every calamity be overpast ^" The wisdom, the goodness, the
love, the power, the faithfulness of Jehovah; who that is en-
* Exod.xxxiv. 6, 7. * Matt, i, 21, 23. * Jer, xxiii. d.
" Isai. xxvi. 20.
compassed by them does not feel himself in an impregnable
fortress? Truly they are not merely a wall, but "a wall of
fire " roimd about the righteous ; of fire, which whilst it pro-
tects the fugitive, will devour the assailant. What a
tower too is the Lord Jesus Christ in the whole of his work
and offices ! Well is he said to be " a strength to the poor,
a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the
storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible
ones is as a storm against the wall'," Yes, " the man" Christ
Jesus, in his Mediatorial character, is such *' a hiding-place V'
where no adversary shall " ever penetrate."]
All who run to it shall " be safe " —
[Who shall ever approach " to harm" those who are thus
protected ' ? Surely *' they shall be kept in perfect peace."
They are " safe :" safe from the curses of the broken law ; for
*' there is no condemnation to them that are in Clirist Jesus^^*
They are safe too from the assaults of Satan ; for " their
lives are hid with Christ in God," where Satan can never
come ^ In a word, they are safe from every kind of evil ;
for God has said of those who make the Most High their
habitation, that "no evil shall befall them'"" The
persecutor may touch their body, but cannot reach their soul°:
they shall sooner be fed with ravens, than be suffered to
" want any manner of thing that is good"." And if any
thing occur that has the semblance of evil, they may be as-
sured that it shall work for their present and eternal good p.
Like Elisha, they are surrounded with horses of fire and
chariots of fire '^ ; and any assaults made upon them shall only
terminate, as in Elijah's case, with the confusion and ruin of
their enemies ^]
Suffer now a word of exhortation —
1. Study much the character of God —
[" To know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent,
is," as our Lord informs us, " eternal life." All other know-
ledge is mere vanity in comparison of this. Without this we
have nothing to warrant our hopes or to dissipate our fears
— "Acquaint then yourselves with God, and be at
peace" ]
1. Maintain constant and intimate communion with
him —
[You know how a child runs to his parent on every
occasion ;
^ Isai. xxvi. 4. *" Isai. xxxii. 2. • 1 Pet. iii. 13.
*Rom. viii. 1. ' Col. iii. 3, 4. "" Ps» xci. p, 10.
" Luke xii. 4,5. * Ps. xxxiv. g, 10.
P Rom. viii. 28. 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18. *» 2 Kin. vi. 14^—17.
« 2 Kin.i. 9— 14.
106 PROVERBS, XVIII. 14. [462.
occasion : do ye in like manner run unto your God. This is the
very character of the true Christian ; " The righteous runneth
mito God as his strong tower." Get to him imder every fear,
and every want, and every distress: and " cast your care on
Him who careth for you" ]
3. Assure yourselves of the safety which you are
privileged to enjoy —
[Well may you say, " If God be for me, who can be
against me ?" See how David exulted in his security "^ !
and learn like him to glory in your God : for it is God's de-
sire that you should enjoy all possible consolation'. Your
Saviour has assured you, that " none shall pluck you out of liis
hands:" lie there then in peace and safety, "knowing in whom
you have believed, and that he is able to keep that which you
have committed to him" When he has lost his power to
save, then, and not till then, shall any enemy prevail against
• Ps. xvili. 1, 2, & xxvii. 1. ' Heb. vi, 18.

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