Psalms 103

* An exhortation to bless God for his mercy. (1-5) And to the

church and to all men. (6-14) For the constancy of his mercy.

(15-18) For the government of the world. (19-22)1-5 By the pardon of sin, that is taken away which kept good

things from us, and we are restored to the favor of God, who

bestows good things on us. Think of the provocation; it was sin,

and yet pardoned: how many the provocations, yet all pardoned!

God is still forgiving, as we are still sinning and repenting.

The body finds the melancholy consequences of Adam's offence, it

is subject to many infirmities, and the soul also. Christ alone

forgives all our sins; it is he alone who heals all our

infirmities. And the person who finds his sin cured, has a

well-grounded assurance that it is forgiven. When God, by the

graces and comforts of his Spirit, recovers his people from

their decays, and fills them with new life and joy, which is to

them an earnest of eternal life and joy, they may then be said

to return to the days of their youth, #Job 33:25|.
6-14 Truly God is good to all: he is in a special manner good

to Israel. He has revealed himself and his grace to them. By his

ways we may understand his precepts, the ways he requires us to

walk in; and his promises and purposes. He always has been full

of compassion. How unlike are those to God, who take every

occasion to chide, and never know when to cease! What would

become of us, if God should deal so with us? The Scripture says

a great deal of the mercy of God, and we all have experienced

it. The father pities his children that are weak in knowledge,

and teaches them; pities them when they are froward, and bears

with them; pities them when they are sick, and comforts them;

pities them when they are fallen, and helps them to rise; pities

them when they have offended, and, upon their submission,

forgives them; pities them when wronged, and rights them: thus

the Lord pities those that fear him. See why he pities. He

considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls,

how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his

compassion appears.
15-18 How short is man's life, and uncertain! The flower of the

garden is commonly more choice, and will last the longer, for

being sheltered by the garden-wall, and the gardener's care; but

the flower of the field, to which life is here compared, is not

only withering in itself, but exposed to the cold blasts, and

liable to be cropt and trod on by the beasts of the field. Such

is man. God considers this, and pities him; let him consider it

himself. God's mercy is better than life, for it will outlive

it. His righteousness, the truth of his promise, shall be unto

children's children, who tread in the footsteps of their

forefathers' piety. Then shall mercy be preserved to them.
19-22 He who made all, rules all, and both by a word of power.

He disposes all persons and things to his own glory. There is a

world of holy angels who are ever praising him. Let all his

works praise him. Such would have been our constant delight, if

we had not been fallen creatures. Such it will in a measure

become, if we are born of God. Such it will be for ever in

heaven; nor can we be perfectly happy till we can take unwearied

pleasure in perfect obedience to the will of our God. And let

the feeling of each redeemed heart be, Bless the Lord, O my

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