by Thomas Manton
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.—Ps. 19:13.
IN this psalm David first admireth the brightness of the sun, and then the purity of the law. The joining of both these meditations showeth that man can as ill be without the word of God as without the light of the sun. What would this inferior world be without the sun, but a great cave or obscure dungeon, wherein men would live like worms in a pit. Now the light of the word is as necessary for the blessedness of our souls as the sun's light is comfortable to our bodies. Again, the comparing of both these showeth that there are two books wherein we shall do well to study, and both made by God himself—the book of nature and the book of scripture; and both discover God to us, as everything that hath passed his hand discovereth the author. You cannot look well upon the book of the creatures, but in every page and line of it you will find this truth presented to your eyes, that there is an infinite eternal power that made all things; this is enough to leave the world without excuse. But in the book of the word you may see more of God, and the way how to enjoy him. This doth more powerfully convince man of his misery, and show him his remedy. The use which the psalmist maketh of these two books is notable; of the first, to admire the glory of God by the beauty of the heavens; of the second, to humble man by the purity and strictness of the law; as all religion lieth in the knowledge of God and ourselves. The text is a branch of the latter use, namely, that which ariseth from this consideration of the power and purity of the law, as converting the soul, and reaching to the very thoughts and inward workings of the heart. The holy man of God maketh a double use of it—for humiliation and caution. Humiliation and desire of pardon of what is past: 'Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.' And then grace to prevent future enormities.
Table of Contents
Sermon I. "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgressions,"
Sermon II. "Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins,"
Sermon III. "Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins,"
Sermon IV. "Let them not have dominion over me,"
Sermon V. "Then shall I be upright,"
Sermon VI. "And innocent from the great transgressions,"