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"Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." — Psalm 16:10, 11.

Our Lord tells us of many things concerning himself, not only in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, but in the Psalms. Some have contended, that he is immediately regarded in every passage in them. This error, arising from a noble truth carried too far, has led the holders of it to take liberties with the translation, and with the original too. We may safely follow the applications of the Holy Ghost; and we are sure, from the language of Peter in the Acts of the Apostles, that in the words before us, David speaks of the Messiah, or rather introduces the Messiah himself as the speaker.

Jesus knew that he was to suffer, and die but he knew, also, that death could not feed upon him. He knew he should be laid in the grave, but he knew, also, that he should not remain there: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." Hell, here, does not mean the place of the miserable, but the abode of the dead. This he entered; but continued not long enough there for dissolution to commence: "Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."

The path of life was his passage from the sepulchre to glory, from the tomb of Joseph to the palace of the Great King. This path no one had yet trodden. Enoch, and Elias,had entered heaven, but did not go thither from the grave. Thousands had entered heaven, but left their bodies behind. But He did not leave his body. He is therefore called, the first-born from the dead, because he was the first that entered heaven after lying ill the grave. He was the first-born, too, in the dignity and influence of the life he realized. Lazarus, and the widow of Nain's son, and others, though they were revived, died again. But he, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. He lives as no one else ever lived, or ever will live. He lives, having the keys of hell and of death. He lives in the possession of all power in heaven and in earth. He lives as our Head and Representative, as the source of all spiritual influence; as the Father of the everlasting age; and he shall see his seed, and shall prolong his days; and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

And because he lives, we shall live also. His resurrection is the model, the cause, the proof, and the earnest, of our own; for there is a union between Christ and Christians, by which they are federally and vitally one. When, therefore, he died, they were crucified with him; and when he arose and ascended, they were quickened together with him, and raised up, and made to sit with him in the heavenly places. And though their bodies return to the dust, they will not see corruption for ever, for this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality.

The believer, therefore, can also say, "Thou wilt show me the path of life. This life means the blessedness reserved in heaven for the people of God, after the resurrection. David here describes it: "In thy presence is fulness of joy : at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." It has three characters. The first regards its source: it flows from "his presence." He is the fountain of life, and the supreme good of the mind.

The second regards its plenitude: it is fulness of joy. In this vale of tears every pleasure has its pain, and every comfort its cross. We pursue satisfaction, but we grasp vanity and vexation. We look to Jesus, and find him the consolation of Israel. But consolation supposes trouble. His followers are described, not only by their rejoicing, but their mourning; without they have fightings, and within they have fears. They have blessed frames, and, in some religious exercises, they seem to be partakers of the glory that shall be revealed. And so they are; but it is by a glimpse, a taste, a drop: the fulness is above.

The third regards its permanency: the pleasures are for evermore. Uncertainty, as well as deficiency, attaches to every thing here. We embrace our connexions, and, lo, they are gone. We set our hearts on that which is not.

If there was a possibility of the destruction, or loss of the blessedness above, we should be miserable in proportion to its greatness. From the moment of knowing it, the thought would poison all the joy. But it is a crown of glory that fadeth not away. It is everlasting: life!

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

 
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