PRC Archives – Seminary History (2)

Semfront-May2014-2With the PRC Seminary beginning its 90th year of instruction this week, it makes sense to delve a bit into the history of our Seminary on this PRC archives day. We have posted things before on this subject, but recently I discovered that our Acts of Synod used to carry in the back a yearly summary of Seminary activities, including  a brief history of the institution.

We could go back to the beginning, but today I want to have us remember from where the impetus for a separate Seminary building came.  Because, you will remember that for years the Seminary met in the basement of First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI. How did the idea for a new and different facility get started? Who prompted the churches to consider this?

Would you believe in an overture from the Grand Haven (MI) PRC Consistory?! According to the 1946 PRC Acts of Synod it did. The overture came through Classis East, at its April 3, 1946 meeting. This was the overture, which according to Arts.23 and 24 was “accepted for information” and then adopted by motion.

Esteemed Brethren:

Believing that the time has come for our Prot.Ref.Churches to look forward to acquiring building and grounds for our Theological School, the Consistory of Grand Haven Prot.Ref. Church hereby requests Classis to overture Synod to institute a program that will realize this goal.

Further, that such program include the following suggestions:

  1. That a fund be established for this purpose, by means of either assessments or special offerings from all our churches.
  2. That a committee be appointed for the purpose of acquiring lots.
  3. That the Theological School faculty shall be advisors on that committee.

Done in Consistory this 26th day of March, 1946.

Signed:
N.J. Yonker, Vice Pres.
A.Peterson, Clerk

It would take a few years for this to materialize, and the PRC Seminary would meet in other places in the meantime. How long did it take for this project to truly “take off”? And do you know where else Seminary met until then? Some things to ponder until next time.

Word Wednesday – Patristics

Yes, I know it is Thursday. But I didn’t get to any blog posts yesterday and really wanted to get in a “new” word this week. A word I came across last week while cataloging some more books for the Seminary library. A word that ties in nicely with some of the courses taught here at the PRC Seminary.

St.AugustineThat word is “patristics”, or as it is also sometimes called “patrology”. The word is derived from the Latin word for “father” (pater), and refers to the study of the persons, writings, and theology of the early fathers of the church. If you visit the link to Wikipedia here, you will find a helpful listing of these church fathers, with links to web pages with information on each one. Some of these will be familiar names to you (Athanasius, Augustine, Tertullian), while others may not be. But they should be, which is why I wanted to call attention to this special word and field of study. You might also find this section on Monergism’s website to be of interest and use.

You see, while we have a series of church history courses taught here at Seminary (early, medieval and modern – and, I might add, the history of dogma!), with the first one covering what is traditionally known as patristics, all of church history (even our modern age) covers the history of the church’s fathers. For God raises up such godly, courageous and faithful servants in every age of His church, to lead her deeper into the truth of Scripture, to defend her against the wily wolves who seek to devour her, and to call her to steady commitment to Christ her Head.

I hope you are interested in the fathers of the church. In every age – early, medieval and modern. And I encourage you, then, to make patristics a part of your reading diet. The Seminary library has plenty of books for you to use! Come and find out! :)

The Ordinary Christian Church – Sean Michael Lucas

The Ordinary Christian Church by Sean Michael Lucas | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

TT-August 2014The above-linked article is the final main feature one on the August theme of “The Ordinary Christian Life”, an article I was able to get to yesterday. This article on our “ordinary” life in the church is written by PCA pastor Sean Michael Lucas and describes how vital a consistent life in a faithful, local Reformed church is.

Read it and be encouraged to continue in this part of the “ordinary” Christian life.

One of the key contributions of the Reformation—and of Protestantism generally—has been its emphasis upon the ordinariness of the church. To be sure, John Calvin would approve of Cyprian’s observation that the church is our mother and “away from her bosom one cannot hope for any forgiveness of sins or any salvation,” or as the Westminster Confession of Faith teaches, “The visible church … is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation” (25.2). The church is God’s normal place of grace. However, God’s grace does not come through an extraordinary display; rather, God uses His ordinary church to sustain and nourish believers through ordinary ministry, people, and means.

…As this ordinary church gathers—ordinary men and women served by an ordinary ministry—it finds God working through ordinary means. The Westminster Shorter Catechism refers to the “ordinary means of grace” as the Word, sacraments, and prayer. Though these ordinary means look simple and even foolish to some, God uses them in powerful ways, for He makes them “effectual to the elect for salvation” (Q&A 88; see 1 Cor. 1:18-31).

In the reading and especially the preaching of the Bible, God works to convict and convert sinners and to convict and comfort the saints, that is, all believers. In the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, God works to confirm His Word and assure our hearts through the work of His Spirit and the response of our faith. In our prayers, God works in our hearts and lives as we offer up our desires to God. Through His working, God makes these ordinary means effectual for our salvation (WSC 89-91). That is, they confirm and sanctify us in Christ as we await our glorification.

The ordinary Christian church does not need the latest fads to draw sinners or seekers. Instead, it needs these ordinary means along with faith in the God who uses these means. Surely one of the great crises in our own day is the crisis of confidence and faith in the ordinary means of grace. God is calling us to remember once again that He does not need extraordinary experiences or events; rather, He delights to use these ordinary means to do His work in people’s lives.

Rev.H.Hoeksema and the Flag Controversy during WWI

As promised – though later than I intended – I point you to the story of Rev.Herman Hoeksema and the U.S. “flag controversy” which occured during the WWI years and stirred up quite a public outcry in West Michigan and beyond. This controversy occured when Hoeksema was pastor of Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church in 1918.

I mention this because an article on this just reappeared in the latest issue of Leben magazine (German for “Life”, with the sub-title A Journal of Reformation Life), published quarterly by the City Seminary of Sacramento, CA (July 2014 issue, vol.10, #3). The article, “Herman Hoeksema and the ‘Flag in Church’ Controversy” is penned by Dr.Robert Swierenga, research professor of history at the A.C.Van Raalte Institute for Historical Studies at Hope College in Holland, MI.

I say this article “reappeared” in Leben because it is actually a reprint of an article which Swierenga wrote for Calvin College’s Origins magazine (CRC archives) back in 2007 (vol.25, No.2, pp.28-25). In its original publication the article was titled “Disloyal Dutch? Herman Hoeksema and the Flag in Church Controversy During World War I”. Below is an image of the title page.

Fall07_25_2_Page_28

You can actually find this full issue and the article at that page link above (scroll down to the issue #). It makes for fascinating reading, as I never fully understood the intense reaction in the congregation and in the community, nor the full reasons for Hoeksema’s position. Swierenga does an excellent job of laying out the case and Hoeksema’s reasons for not wanting the U.S. flag in his church during worship services – and that, by the way is what his position was – not opposition to the flag in the church per se. It was a principled matter with him and he stuck to his position, though the war had created a passionate patriotic atmosphere and it cost him reputation personally and ecclesiastically.

This is how Swierenga begins his description of the controversy:

In nearby Holland, Michigan Reverend Herman Hoeksema of the Fourteenth Stree CRC ‘stirred up a hornet’s nest’ in 1918 when he barred the American flag from his church sanctuary. The congregation was the first English-speaking body of that denomination in town and proud of its Americanizing ways. But, according to Hoeksema’s logical mind, unfurling the nation’s banner in church was conceding too much to Caesar’s realm.

Later he adds these details:

The growing practice of linking God and country and blessing the American flag was too much for a strict Calvinist like Rev.Hoeksema. To honor the nation more than God smacked of a civil religion, not Christianity. The issue was joined for Hoeksema on Sunday morning, 10 February 1918, when he entered his pulpit and saw a flag on a staff in the front corner of the sanctuary. He said nothing until after the service, when he asked the consistory to have it removed before the evening service. They complied and that evening in the course of his sermon Hoeksema explained to the congregation that the flag ‘had no place in a church and that the national anthem should not be sung there.’ Some congregants did not agree with their dominee and they broadcast his views far and wide. In the charged atmosphere of the war, this brought an immediate public outcry” (Leben, p.17).

If you wish to obtain the article as it appears in Leben magazine, contact them through their website.

Koinonia: Why Study Biblical Hebrew? Neglect the Languages, Lose the Gospel, Says Luther!

Koinonia: Why Study Biblical Hebrew? Neglect the Languages, Lose the Gospel, Says Luther!.

MLutherPicWith the opening of Seminary classes less than a week away now (next Monday, August 25 for registration and Tuesday, August 26 for actual classes) and students returning for grueling Greek and Hebrew sessions, I found this article on the Koinonia website interesting (other than its lousy reference to “common” grace!).

Jeremy Bouma – turning to the wisdom of Martin Luther – highlights why it is necessary for students to learn the original languges. The quote from Luther is worth the look (see below), but the rest is profitable too.

Here’s the opening part with some vintage Luther; find the rest at the “Koinonia” link above (or below):

In a week Hebrew and Greek professors will be confronted with that perennial one word question:

Why?

Why study the original biblical languages?

The Reformation reminds us why. “Ad fontes!”—To the fountains, or sources!—was their battle cry for a reason. For it was when Reformation Europe rediscovered the ancient languages that the Bible’s impact as a shaping force accelerated.

In fact, after his conversion, Martin Luther was convinced that “we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages.” He goes on:

The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is contained; they are the casket in which this jewel is enshrined; they are the vessel in which this wine is held; they are the larder in which this food is stored; and, as the gospel itself points out, they are the baskets in which are kept these loaves and fishes and fragments. If through our neglect we let the languages go (which God forbid!), we shall…lose the gospel… (emphasis added, 120)

Gary Pratico and Miles Van Pelt highlight Luther’s convictions in Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar. In addition to teaching the language itself, they provide inspiring insights in the importance of studying the biblical language.

I often need to be reminded how crucial this is for my vocation. Today brother Luther provides five insights into why the languages are vital, not only for our profession, but for the gospel itself.

- See more at: http://www.koinoniablog.net/2014/08/why-study-biblical-hebrew-neglect-the-languages-lose-the-gospel-says-luther.html?

In a week Hebrew and Greek professors will be confronted with that perennial one word question:

Why?

Why study the original biblical languages?

The Reformation reminds us why. “Ad fontes!”—To the fountains, or sources!—was their battle cry for a reason. For it was when Reformation Europe rediscovered the ancient languages that the Bible’s impact as a shaping force accelerated.

In fact, after his conversion, Martin Luther was convinced that “we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages.” He goes on:

The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is contained; they are the casket in which this jewel is enshrined; they are the vessel in which this wine is held; they are the larder in which this food is stored; and, as the gospel itself points out, they are the baskets in which are kept these loaves and fishes and fragments. If through our neglect we let the languages go (which God forbid!), we shall…lose the gospel… (emphasis added, 120)

Gary Pratico and Miles Van Pelt highlight Luther’s convictions in Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar. In addition to teaching the language itself, they provide inspiring insights in the importance of studying the biblical language.

I often need to be reminded how crucial this is for my vocation. Today brother Luther provides five insights into why the languages are vital, not only for our profession, but for the gospel itself.

- See more at: http://www.koinoniablog.net/2014/08/why-study-biblical-hebrew-neglect-the-languages-lose-the-gospel-says-luther.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FpQHu+%28Koinonia%29#sthash.O3I0sGt2.dpuf

In a week Hebrew and Greek professors will be confronted with that perennial one word question:

Why?

Why study the original biblical languages?

The Reformation reminds us why. “Ad fontes!”—To the fountains, or sources!—was their battle cry for a reason. For it was when Reformation Europe rediscovered the ancient languages that the Bible’s impact as a shaping force accelerated.

In fact, after his conversion, Martin Luther was convinced that “we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages.” He goes on:

The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is contained; they are the casket in which this jewel is enshrined; they are the vessel in which this wine is held; they are the larder in which this food is stored; and, as the gospel itself points out, they are the baskets in which are kept these loaves and fishes and fragments. If through our neglect we let the languages go (which God forbid!), we shall…lose the gospel… (emphasis added, 120)

Gary Pratico and Miles Van Pelt highlight Luther’s convictions in Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar. In addition to teaching the language itself, they provide inspiring insights in the importance of studying the biblical language.

I often need to be reminded how crucial this is for my vocation. Today brother Luther provides five insights into why the languages are vital, not only for our profession, but for the gospel itself.

- See more at: http://www.koinoniablog.net/2014/08/why-study-biblical-hebrew-neglect-the-languages-lose-the-gospel-says-luther.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FpQHu+%28Koinonia%29#sthash.O3I0sGt2.dpuf

Reading Parents and Ready (Seminary) Sons

As you may know, the Beacon Lights magazine (for PR Young People – and adults!) is currently doing a series of articles from our ministers (mainly our newer and younger ones) under the title “Called to the Ministry”. But did you know that such articles were also written in the past in the “BL”?

Rev_KorteringWhile continuing to sort through Rev.Gise Van Baren’s folders for the PRC archives yesterday, we found an old “BL” article (Vol.36, #9 – January, 1978) with the title “Called to the Ministry” written by Rev. Jason Kortering (pastor of Hope PRC, Redlands, CA at the time and now an emeritus minister in the PRC). In it he tells his story of how he was led into the ministry.

And what struck me was what he said not only about how his godly parents encouraged him and prayed for him with regard to the ministry, but also and especially how the enthusiastic reading of his father served as a powerful example and impetus for him to enter the ministry of the Word.

Here are a couple of portions from the article, the full version of which you may find here. I pray that this will inspire other godly fathers to show such zeal for the truth by reading, that it would spur your sons to consider the call to the ministry. Fathers and mothers, may you see what fruit your godly reading may have by the purpose and providence of God.

After a ten year absence they (Rev.Kortering’s parents) finally moved to Holland, Michigan and there settled down. The Lord provided a job at the Artic (sic) Ice Cream Co. While working there he met a fellow employee who was full of heavenly zeal. She had read a copy of the Standard Bearer and was impressed and wanted my father to read it. This initial contact with Revs. Hoeksema and Ophoff started my father to think and read. He purchased a subscription to the Standard Bearer and read all the literature he could get his hands on. It fell like water from heaven upon his parched soul.

…Seeing the truth was like a conversion experience for my father. He saw for the first time the real meaning of the sovereignty of God. It was more than a doctrine, it was a way of life! God owned everything and required obedience in all areas of life. This became the governing principle of his life: God was sovereign, grace was absolute. He couldn’t read enough and he was always reading. He sent to England for sovereign grace material. It came by the crates full. He sorted it out, saving the good Reformed material, burning the rest.

Through it all my father had one inner desire, that the Lord would call his son to the ministry. He could envision nothing more glorious than seeing his own son preach the gospel of the sovereign God….

If there ever is an example of a minister being influenced by parents to enter the ministry, it is in my life. Both parents earnestly desired this, encouraged me to study for it, prayed about it.

The Lord used my parents, especially my father, as the means to confront me with the serious consideration to become a minister.

…May the accounting of this remind us that God does use parents in influencing their children. It was not of them, it was of God. His will prevailed.

For that I give Him thanks.

J.Calvin on Psalm 145: “…We only praise God aright when we are filled and overwhelmed with an ecstatic admiration of the immensity of his power.”

JCalvinPicAs we meditate on the glory of God revealed in Psalm 145 today, we may also benefit from these thoughts of the Reformer and Biblical scholar-servant, John Calvin. Here he reflects on the opening verse, showing us the main purpose of this portion of God’s Word, namely, that we be moved by gratitude to magnify our great and gracious God.

May his words also serve to stir us up to humble thanks and praise to our wondrous God, this day and all our days.

1. I will extol thee, my God and my king.

David does not so much tell what he would do himself, as stir up and urge all others to this religious service of offering to God the praises due to his name. The design with which he declares God to be beneficent to the children of men is, to induce them to cultivate a pious gratitude, he insists upon the necessity of persevering in the exercise; for since God is constant in extending mercies, it would be highly improper in us to faint in his praises. As he thus gives his people new ground for praising him, so he stimulates them to gratitude, and to exercise it throughout the whole course of their life.

In using the term daily, he denotes perseverance in the exercise. Afterwards he adds, that should he live through a succession of ages he would never cease to act in this manner. The repetitions used tend very considerably to give emphasis to his language. As it is probable that the Psalm was written at a time when the kingdom of David was in a flourishing condition, the circumstances deserves notice, that in calling God his king he gives both himself and other earthly princes their proper place, and does not allow any earthly distinctions to interfere with the glory due to God.

This is made still more manifest in the verse which follows, where, in speaking of the greatness of God as unmeasurable, he intimates that we only praise God aright when we are filled and overwhelmed with an ecstatic admiration of the immensity of his power. This admiration will form the fountain from which our just praises of him will proceed, according the measure of our capacity.

Sunday Worship Preparation – Psalm 145

Psalm 145On this Lord’s Day we are called once again to gather publicly in the name of Jesus Christ to worship our Triune God and Father. As we do so, in congregations large and small, we may gladly and profitably take Psalm 145 as our guide.

The heading to this psalm states that is it “David’s Psalm of praise”, and truly it is that, for God is praised in His glorious attributes and in His wondrous works from start to finish. Of special significance is the fact that David praises God especially as the sovereign King of all the universe, so that the outstanding attribute of God is His absolute sovereignty and with that the “glorious majesty of his kingdom” (vss.1, 3, 11-12).

And yet, as great and high and holy as this sovereign King is, notice too that this Jehovah God is the One Who upholds all that fall (v.14), opens His hand to provide for all (v.16), is near to all that call on Him (v.18), and preserves those who love Him (v.20). No wonder David’s heart and mouth bursts forth in praise to God: “I will extol thee, my God, O king!”

As you read through and meditate on this psalm carefully, take note of and perhaps even list the attributes of God that are mentioned by David. And then, pay attention to how God displays these virtues in His works, as the psalmist  describes them. And finally, ask yourself how God has revealed these same attributes through His works in your own life, and praise God for them.

Psalm 145

I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

6 And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.

7 They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

9 The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

10 All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.

11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;

12 To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

14 The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

15 The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.

16 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.

20 The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

If you desire to meditate on Psalm 145 through music, I encourage you to listen to a versification of this psalm at the PRC Psalter page. Here is one such versification, titled “The Greatness and Grace of God”, to get you started (Visit the link to hear piano accompaniment and sing along.):

1. O Lord, Thou art my God and King,
And I will ever bless Thy Name;
I will extol Thee every day,
And evermore Thy praise proclaim.

2. The Lord is greatly to be praised,
His greatness is beyond our thought;
From age to age the sons of men
Shall tell the wonders God has wrought.

3. Upon Thy glorious majesty
And wondrous works my mind shall dwell;
Thy deeds shall fill the world with awe,
And of Thy greatness I will tell.

4. Thy matchless goodness and Thy grace
Thy people shall commemorate,
And all Thy truth and righteousness
My joyful song shall celebrate.

5. The Lord our God is rich in grace,
Most tender and compassionate;
His anger is most slow to rise,
His lovingkindness is most great.

6. The Lord is good in all His ways,
His creatures know His constant care;
To all His works His love extends,
All men His tender mercies share.

7. Thy works shall give Thee thanks, O Lord,
Thy saints Thy mighty acts shall show,
Till o’er the earth the sons of men
Thy kingdom, power, and glory know.

8. Eternal is Thy kingdom, Lord,
Forever strong and ever sure;
While generations rise and die
Shall Thy dominion still endure.

The Ordinary – Yet Radically Different – Christian Life – August “Tabletalk”

Radically Ordinary by Burk Parsons | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

TT-August 2014The August issue of Tabletalk is out, and with it we switch to a new theme – that of the Christian life. Only the exact title for this theme is hardly startling and attention-grabbing. Instead, it is rather ordinary. Intentionally so, since this is what the editors want to communicate in this issue: “The Ordinary Christian Life.” 

The main articles all have this theme as well: the ordinary Christian life,  ordinary Christian work, the ordinary Christian family, and the ordinary Christian church.

Lest we think that this Christian life is unexciting and unemotional, editor Burk Parsons introduces it with the above-linked article. This is what he has to say about this important subject:

The ordinary Christian life is not the opposite of the radical Christian life. The ordinary Christian life is a radical life. The ordinary Christian life is a life of daily trusting Christ; daily repenting of our sins; daily abiding in Christ; daily loving Christ; daily dying to self; daily taking up our crosses and following Christ; daily loving God and neighbor; and daily proclaiming the gospel to ourselves, our families, our friends, and our communities. Every Christian is an ordinary Christian, and every ordinary Christian is a radical Christian. The ordinary Christian is not a complacent, passionless, nominal, or casual Christian. On the contrary, every ordinary Christian person—child, teenager, college student, father, mother, husband, wife, single man, single woman, retired man, and retired woman—every Christian is radical because every Christian is united to Christ by faith and will bear radical, life-giving fruit.

Yesterday I also read the opening article on this theme by Dr.Michael Horton of Westminster Theological Seminary (west). His article, titled “The Ordinary Christian Life”, contains many good thoughts on what this life is not as well as what it truly is. I submit to you a short excerpt from this too, encouraging you as always to follow up and read the rest at the link provided.

If gradual growth in Christ is exchanged for a radical experience, it is not surprising that many begin looking for the Next Big Thing as the latest crisis experience wears off. Even in my own lifetime, I’ve witnessed—and participated in—a parade of radical movements. And now, according to Timemagazine, the “new Calvinism” is one of the top trends changing the world. This movement has also been identified as “Young, Restless, Reformed.” But as long as it is defined by youthful restlessness, it may tend to warp what it means to be Reformed.

…To be young is to be restless. We’re lost in impatient wonder and selfish impulses. But we are called repeatedly in the New Testament to grow up, to mature, to put away our childish ways. We are called to submit to our elders, to appreciate the wisdom that spans not only years but generations, and to realize that we do not have all the answers. We are not the stars in our own movie. If the whole apparatus of church life is designed by and for a youth culture, then we never grow up.

J.Calvin on Psalm 144: “The accumulation of terms…, tends greatly to strengthen faith.”

JCalvinPic1As we reflect on the “worshiping warrior” psalm, Psalm 144, it is also profitable to receive these words of John Calvin on v.2. May they also inspire us to worship our sovereign Lord, Who is our Strength, Goodness, Fortress, High Tower, Deliverer, and Shield.

2. My goodness, etc.

…Elsewhere (Psalm 18:50) he calls himself “God’s king,” not in the sense of his having dominion over God, but being made and appointed king by him. Having experienced God’s kindness in so many ways, he calls him “his goodness,” meaning that whatever good he possessed flowed from him. The accumulation of terms, one upon another, which follows, may appear unnecessary, yet it tends greatly to strengthen faith.

We know how unstable men’s minds are, and especially how soon faith wavers, when they are assailed by some trial of more than usual severity. It is not enough, if God would sustain us under such weakness, to promise us his help in individual or single expressions; and, even however many aids he supplies us with, we are subject to very great vacillations, and a forgetfulness of his mercy creeps in upon us which almost overwhelms our minds.

We are to remember that it is not merely in token of his gratitude that David heaps together so many terms in declaring the goodness of God, but to fortify God’s people against all attacks of the world, and of the evil one.

…David accordingly having ascribed the victories he had gained over foreign enemies to God, thanks him at the same time for the settled state of the kingdom. Raised indeed as he was from an obscure station, and exposed to hatred from calumnious charges, it was scarcely to have been believed that he would ever obtain a peaceable reign. The people had suddenly and beyond expectation submitted to him, and so surprising a change was eminently God’s work.

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