"Then went king David in, and sat before the Lord. And he said, Who am I, O Lord God; and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ?

"And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God: but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while yet to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord God?

"And what can David say more unto thee? For thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant." (2 Sam. vii. 18-20.)


THIS Scripture brings before the church the patriarch David in a season peculiarly interesting. The man after God's own heart, so called, brought under manifestations of divine grace and mercy. (2 Sam. vii. 1.) The former part of the chapter states the time when this most gracious communion took place between the Lord and his servant. It is said, that it was "when the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies." And the subject, by the wonderful communication from the Lord, shews the infinite graciousness of it, in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.

This man, who stands forth in the Scripture record, as among the noblest monuments of free sovereign grace, had it in contemplation to build an house for the Lord. During the earlier part of his life, so great was his ardour for the honour of the Lord, that he declared, "that he would not give sleep to his eyes, nor slumber to his eye-lids, until he had found out a place for the

ark of the Lord; and an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob." (Psalm cxxxii. 4, 5.) And now, towards the close of his days, he determined to build a more suited and permanent tabernacle for the reception of the ark, a well known type of the Lord Jesus Christ. "See, (said he to the prophet Nathan) I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains." It is very blessed to behold the workings of grace in gracious souls. There certainly is felt and enjoyed at certain seasons, by every redeemed and regenerated child of God, a oneness and union in Christ; so as to take interest and concern in all that belongs to Christ. And we have Scripture authority, that the Lord takes it kind from his people. Solomon, after the death of David, when he had built the temple, was instructed to say as much: "The Lord said unto David my father, whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name; thou didst well that it was in thine heart." (1 Kings viii. 18.) And let men say what they will, amidst all the workings of corruption in the unrenewed part of our nature, in flesh and blood, the regenerated man, in those ascensions of grace in the spiritual mind, when wound up to the contemplation of God's own blessedness, and God's own glory, loses sight of self; and values nothing in comparison, so that God be but glorified.

The prophet Nathan, unacquainted at that time of the Lord's purposes concerning David, from these workings of grace in his soul, but drawing conclusions from general promises, that the thing was from the Lord," said unto the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart, for the Lord is with thee." But not so: the Lord designed the ministry of David to be called forth another way. The Lord had indeed stirred up his servant's mind to manifest his love, in this desire, to the Lord's glory; but not in the accomplishment would the Lord have it shewn. Therefore, without

loss of time, the self same night, "the word of the Lord came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord: Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent, and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel, spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, why build ye not me an house? Now therefore, (said the Lord by the prophet,) so shalt thou say unto my servant David, thus saith the Lord of Hosts: I took thee from the sheep-cote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel. And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more as before time, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee, that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up my seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his Father, and he shall be my Son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men. But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And

thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.”

Then follows the relation of the effect which this message from the Lord wrought on the mind of David. "Then went king David in and sat before the Lord."

Let the reader now attend to some of the very blessed things contained in these most gracious promises of the Lord; and first, and which is indeed the highest and the best, and comprehensive of every other blessing, is of what is contained in the glorious covenant of the ever-blessed God, in his Trinity of persons, as manifested to the church in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. That the patriarch David understood the whole as relating to this, and to be fulfilled in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, is evident from what he said soon after. "For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, O Lord God, hast thou done all these great things;" (ver. 21.) that is, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, the uncreated word. For there had been nothing of the kind spoken to David before. And of the written word, there were no Scriptures then extant which predicted the person of Christ under the similitude of an house. And all that followed on this subject, in this descriptive way, in after Scriptures was borrowed from this. With David, in this vision, the subject opened. And hence, in that precious Scripture, the 89th Psalm, we have the great features more particularly marked. If the reader will consult it, he will discover the very words themselves, similar to this vision, recorded. The Psalm opens in these words: "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, mercy

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shall be built up for ever; thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens." Then observe what follows: "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant. Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne unto all generations. Selah." (Psalm lxxxix. 1-4.) And of this oath, God the Holy Ghost is graciously pleased to tell the church by the mouth of Peter, on the day of Pentecost; when we read, that "David being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ, to sit upon his throne." (Acts ii. 30.) So that here is at once the most palpable and decided proof, that not David's son Solomon, nor any of the seed of Adam, after the flesh, but to Christ this Scripture expressly alludes; and David perfectly understood it so; that it was of Christ, and him alone, the promise referred. And no doubt it was this which overwhelmed the patriarch's mind, and caused the expression to burst forth with such humbleness from his heart, when he said, "Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God, for thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house, for a great while to come."

I beg the reader to pause over this view of the subject, for it is most blessed. From the comparative statement of these Scriptures, nothing can be more satisfactory, in confirmation of that precious doctrine; that all the patriarchs and saints of the Old Testament, lived, and died in the faith of Christ; "not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Hence by faith, with an eye to Christ, Abel offered a more ac

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