Awake, my heart, arise, my tongue,
Prepare a tuneful voice,
In God, the life of all my joys,
Aloud will I rejoice.
'Tis he adorn'd my naked soul,
And made salvation mine;
Upon a poor polluted worm
He makes his graces shine.
And lest the shadow of a spot
Should on my soul be found,
He took the robe the Saviour wrought,
And cast it all around.
How far the heavenly robe exceeds
What earthly princes wear!
These ornaments how bright they shine!
How white their garments are!
The Spirit wrought my faith and love,
And hope, and every grace;
But Jesus spent his life to work
The robe of righteousness.
Strangely, my soul, art thou array'd
By the great Sacred Three:
In sweetest harmony of praise
Let all thy powers agree.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. Psalms 89:15-16
.....Now, God's Israel are a happy people upon several accounts. 1. Because they are privileged to know the joyful sound, in the beginning of the 15th verse. The gospel has a joyful sound; a sound of peace, a sound of life, a sound of liberty and salvation. You are all privileged to hear this sound with your bodily ears; but the great question is, do you know it, understand it, and give faith's entertainment to it? Alas! Isaiah's lamentation may but too justly be continued, with respect to the greatest part of the hearers of the gospel, "Who hath believed our report?" 2. God's Israel are a happy people, because they "walk in the light of his countenance," in the close of the 15th verse. They are privileged with the special intimations of his love, which puts more gladness in their hearts, than when corn, wine and oil abound. 3. Whatever discouragement they may meet with from the world, yet still they have ground of rejoicing in their God: "In thy name shall they rejoice all the day;" and, "Thanks be unto God," says the apostle, "who always causeth us to triumph in Christ." 4. Their happiness is evident from this, that they are dignified and exalted above others, by the immaculate robe of a Surety's righteousness; as you see in the words of my text, In thy righteousness shall they be exalted.
In which words briefly we may notice, 1. The believer's promotion; he is exalted. In the first Adam we were debased to the lowest hell, the crown having fallen from our heads: but in Christ, the second Adam, we are again exalted; yea, exalted as high as heaven, for we "sit together with him in heavenly places," says the apostle. This is an increble paradox to a blind world, that the believer, who is sitting at
this moment upon the dunghill of this earth, should at the same time be
sitting in heaven in Christ, his glorious head and representative; and
yet it is indisputably true, that we "sit together with him in heavenly
places," Eph. 2:6. Yea, in him he "rules the nations with a rod of
iron," and triumphs over, and treadeth upon all the powers of hell. 2.
We have the ground of the believer's preferment and exaltation; It is in thy righteousness. It is not in any righteousness of his own; no; this he utterly disclaims, reckoning it but dung and loss, filthy rags, dogs' meat: but it is in thy righteousness; that is, the righteousness of God, as the apostle calls it, Rom. 1:17: "The righteousness which is of God by faith," Phil. 3:9.....