Adams on Psalm 109:10-13, 16

10-13 Many penurious fathers are so scraping for their children, that they ravish the poor children of God; but the hand of the Lord shall be against their young lions. Na 2:13. They join house to house and field to field but their children shall be "vagabonds and beg", "seeking their bread out of their desolate places." How many a covetous mole is now digging a house in the earth for his posterity, and never dreams of this sequel, that God should make those children beggars, for whose sake their fathers had made so many beggars! This is a quittance which the sire will not believe, but as sure as God is just the son shall feel. Now if he had but leave to come out of hell for an hour, and see this, how should he curse his folly! Sure, if possible, it would double the pain of his infernal torture. Be moderate, then, ye that so insatiately devour, as if you had an infinite capacity: you overload your stomachs, it is fit they should be disburdened in shameful spewing. How quickly doth a worldly minded man grow a defrauder, from a defrauder to a usurer, from a usurer to an oppressor, from an oppressor to an extortioner! If his eyes do but tell his heart of a booty, his heart will charge his hand, and he must have it, Mic 2:2. They do but see it, like it, and take it. Observe their due payment. Let the extortioner catch all that he hath: they got all by extortion, they shall lose all by extortion. They spoiled their neighbours, strangers shall spoil them. How often hath the poor widow and orphan cried, wept, groaned to them for mercy, and found none! They have taught God how to deal with themselves; let there be none to extend mercy to them. They have advanced houses for a memorial, and dedicated lands to their own names, Ps 49:11; all to get them a name; and even in this they shall be crossed: In the next generation their name shall be quite put out.
16 But persecuted the poor If any man will practice subtraction against the poor, God will use it against him, and take his name out of the book of life. If he be damned that gives not his own, what shall become of him that takes away another man's? (Augustine) If judgment without mercy shall be to him that shows no mercy (Jas 2:13) where shall subtraction and rapine appear?
Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let strangers spoil his labour, Ps 109:11: there is one subtraction, his estate.
Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out, Ps 109:13: there is another subtraction, his memory.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children, Ps 109:12: there is another subtraction, a denial of all pity to him and his.
Let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin, Ps 109:7: there is another subtraction, no audience from heaven.
Let another take his office; there is a subtraction of his place: let his days be few, Ps 109:8: there is a subtraction of his life.
Let him be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous, Ps 69:28; there is the last, the subtraction of his soul.
This is a fearful arithmetic: if the wicked add sins, God will add plagues. If they subtract from others their rights, God shall subtract from them his mercies.
As quoted in Spurgeon's Treasury of David.


Adams on Psalm 106:6,13,15

6 We have sinned with our fathers. Let us look a little further back, to find the age of sin; even as far as the original, from whence comes all the copy of imitation. Be they never so new in act, they are old in example: "We have sinned with our fathers." God tells them they had rebelled of old; "As your fathers did, so do ye" (Acts 8:51). Antiquity is no infallible argument of goodness: though Tertullian says the first things were the best things; and the less they distanced from the beginning, the poorer they were; but he must be understood only of holy customs. For iniquity can plead antiquity: he that commits a new act of murder finds it old in the example of Cain; drunkenness may be fetched from Noah; contempt of parents from Ham; women's lightness from the daughters of Lot. There is no sin but hath white hairs upon it, and is exceeding old. But let us look further back yet, even to Adam; there is the age of sin. This is that St Paul calls the old man; it is almost as old as the root, but older than all the branches. Therefore our restitution by Christ to grace is called the new man.
13 They soon forgat his works They forgat, yea, "soon"; they made haste to forget, so the original is: "They made haste, they forgat." Like men that in sleep shake Death by the hand, but when they are awake they will not know him.
15 And he gave them their request, etc The throat's pleasure did shut up paradise, sold the birthright, beheaded the Baptist and it was the chief of the cooks, Nebuzaradan, that first set fire to the temple, and razed the city. These effects are,
1. Grossness; which takes away agility to any good work; which makes a man more like a tun upon two pottle pots. Caesar said he mistrusted not Antony and Dolabella for any practices, because they were fat; but Casca and Cassius, lean, hollow fellows, who did think too much. The other are the devil's crammed fowls, too fat to lay. Indeed, what need they travel far, whose felicity is at home; placing paradise in their throats, and heaven in their food?
2. Macilency (leanness) of grace; for as it puts fatness into their bodies, so leanness into their souls. God fatted the Israelites with quails, but withal sent leanness into their soul. The flesh is blown up, the spirit doth languish. They are worse than man eaters, for they are self eaters: they put a pleurisy into their bloods, and an apoplexy into their souls.
As quoted in Spurgeon's Treasury of David.

Adams on conversion as a miracle

"Yea, even still God works miracles, though we take no notice of them. That our hearts should be converted by preaching, this is a miracle. That our faith should believe above reason, this is a miracle. If he does not fetch water out of a rock, yet he fetcheth repentance out of sin, and makes the stony heart gush out tears; this is a greater miracle. If he does not turn water into wine, yet he turns our sorrow into joy; as great a miracle. If he does not feed five thousand bodies with a few loaves, yet he feeds five thousand souls with one sermon; as great a miracle."
"It is a great miracle to convert a wicked man, greater than rending of rocks. Moses' rod struck a rock thrice, and did it. Ministers have struck men's rocky hearts three hundred times, and cannot."


Adams on Psalm 105:17

Joseph may be a fit type to us of our spiritual deliverance. Consider him sold into Egypt, not without the determinate counsel of God, who preordained this to good; "God did send me before you to preserve life," Gen 45:5. Here is the difference, the brethren sold Joseph, we sold ourselves. Consider us thus sold unto sin and death; God had a purpose to redeem us; there is election. Joseph was delivered out of prison, and we ransomed out of the house of bondage; there was redemption. Joseph's cause was made known, and himself acquitted; we could not be found innocent ourselves, but were acquitted in Christ; wherein consists our justification. Lastly, Joseph was clothed in glorious apparel, and adorned with golden chains, and made to ride in the second chariot of Egypt: so our last step is to be advanced to high honour, even the glory of the celestial court; "This honour have all the saints, " Ps 149:9.
As quoted in Spurgeon's Treasury of David.


Adams on Psalm 103:13, 14, 19

13, 14. The good father doth not turn off the child for being weak and sickly; but is so much the more indulgent as his necessity requires succour. If his stomach refuse meat, or cannot answer it with digestion, will he put him out of doors? No; when the Shunamite's son complains of his head, she lays him in her bosom. A mother is good to all the fruit of her womb, most kind to the sick infant: when it lies with its eyes fixed on her, not able to declare its grief, or to call for what it desires, this doubles her compassion: "So the Lord doth pity us, remembering our frame, considering that we are but dust"; that our soul works by a lame instrument; and therefore he requires not that of an elemental composition, which he doth of angelical spirits. The son is commanded to write out such a copy fairly; he doth his best, far short of the original; yet the father doth not chide, but encourage him. Or he gives him a bow and arrows, bids him shoot to such a mark; he draws his utmost strength, lets go cheerfully: the arrow drops far short, yet the son is praised, the father pleased. Temptation assaults us, lust buffets us, secular business diverts us, manifold is our weakness, but not beyond our Father's forgiveness: "He will spare us, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him," Mal 3:17.
19 His kingdom ruleth over all. His Lordship is universal.
First, over all time: other lords die, but he is eternal. Eternity is properly the duration of an uncreated Ens. It is improperly taken, either for things that have both beginning and end, as everlasting mountains; divers such phrases in Scripture; or for things that have a beginning but shall have no end; so are angels and men's souls eternal; so, eternal life, eternal fire. But God calls himself, "I AM," Ex 3:14: I am what I have been, I have been what I am, what I am and have been I shall be. This attribute is incommunicable: all other things had a non esse preceding their esse;and they have a mutation tending to nothing. "They that war against thee shall be as nothing," Isa 41:12: all come to nothing unless they be upheld by the manutency (maintenance) of God: but "Thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end," Ps 102:27. Thou turnest man to destruction, and again sayest, Return: "even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God," Ps 90:2; the sole umpire and measurer of beginning and ending.
Secondly, over all places, heaven, earth, hell, Ps 135:6. Kings are limited, and cannot do many things they desire: they cannot command the sun to stand still, nor the wind to blow which way they would: in the lofty air, in the depths of the sea no king reigns. They fondly flatter the pope with his long arms that they reach to purgatory; (but indeed both power and place are alike imaginary;) it is Christ alone that hath the keys of all places.
Thirdly, over all creatures; binding the influences of Pleiades, and loosing the bands of Orion, Job 38:31; commanding the fire against the nature of it, to descend, 2 Kings 1:12; creating and ruling the stars, Am 5:8; overruling the lions, Dan 6:22, sending the meteors, Ps 148:8, hedging in the sea, lapping it up like a child in swaddling-clothes, Job 38:8, dividing, diverting, filling it. In both fire and water, those two raging elements that have no mercy, he shows mercy; delivers us from both in both. He calls the fowls, and they come; the beasts, and they hear: the trees, and they spring to obey him. He hath a raven for Elijah, a gourd for Jonah, a dog for Lazarus. Makes the leviathan, the hugest living creature, preserve his prophet. That a terrible lion should be killed, as was by Samson; or not kill, as they forbore Daniel; or kill and not eat, as that prophet, 1 Kings 13:1-29: here was the Lord. Over metals; he makes iron to swim, stones to cleave asunder. Over the devils; they must obey him though unwillingly. But they continually rebel against him, and break his will? They do indeed against his complacency, not against his permission. There is then no time, not the hour of death; no place, not the sorest torment; no creature, not the devil; but the Lord can deliver us from them. Therefore at all times, in all places, and against all creatures, let us trust in him for deliverance.
As quoted in Spurgeon's Treasury of David.


Adams on Psalm 99:1 & 102:26

99:1 Holy arm. The creation was the work of God's fingers: "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers," Ps 8:3; redemption a work of his arm, "His holy arm hath gotten him the victory"; yea, it was a work of his heart, even that bled to death to accomplish it.

102: 26 They shall perish. The greater the corruption, the vaster the destruction. Some think that the fiery deluge shall ascend no higher than did the watery. It may be the earth shall be burned, that is the worst guest at the table, the common sewer of all other creatures, but shall the heavens pass away? It may be the airy heaven; but shall the starry heaven where God hath printed such figures of his glory? Yes, caelum, elementurn, terra, when ignis ubique ferox ruptis regnabit habenis. The former deluge is called the world's winter, the next the world's summer. The one was with a cold and moist element, the other shall be with an element hot and dry. But what then shall become of the saints? They shall be delivered out of all; walking like those three servants in the midst of that great furnace, the burning world, and not be scorched, because there is one among them to deliver them, "the Son of God," Dan 3:25, their Redeemer. But shall all quite perish? No, there is rather a mutation than an abolition of their substance. Thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed, not abolished. The concupiscence shall pass, not the essence; the form, not the nature. In the altering of an old garment, we destroy it not, but trim it, refresh it, and make it seem new. They pass, they do not perish; the dross is purged, the metal stays. The corrupt quality shall be renewed, and all things restored to that original beauty wherein they were created. "The end of all things is at hand," 1 Pet 4:7: an end of us, an end of our days, an end of our ways, and end of our thoughts. If a man could say as Job's messenger, I alone am escaped, it were somewhat; or might find an ark with Noah. But there is no ark to defend them from that heat, but only the bosom of Jesus Christ.
As quoted in Spurgeon's Treasury of David.


Works of Adams available

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Adams on Psalm 94:19

19 Thy comforts Troubles may be of our own begetting; but true comforts come only from that infinite fountain, the God of consolation; for so he hath styled himself.
Because the malignant host is first entered into the ground of my text, consider with me:
1. The rebels, or mutineers, "thoughts."
2. The number of them, no less than a "multitude."
3. The captain whose colours they bear; a disquieted mind; "my thoughts."
4. The field where the battle is fought; in the heart; apud me, "within me."
In the other army we find,
1. Quanta, how puissant they are; comforts.
2. Quota, how many they are; indefinitely set down; abundant comfort.
3. Cujus, whose they are; the Lord's, he is their general; thy comforts.
4. Quid operantur, what they do; they delight the soul. In the nature of them being comforts, there is tranquillity; in the number of them, being many comforts, there is sufficiency; in the owner of them, being thy comforts, there is omnipotence; and in the effect of them, delighting the soul, there is security.
As quoted in Spurgeon's Treasury of David.


Adams on Psalm 91:11

11 To keep thee in all thy ways How should those heavenly spirits bear that man in their arms, like nurses, upon earth living; or bear up his soul to heaven, like winged porters, when he dies, that refuseth the right way? They shall keep us in all our ways. Out of the way it is their charge to oppose us, as to preserve us in the way. Nor is this more a terror to the ungodly, than to the righteous a comfort. For if an angel would keep even a Balaam from sinning, how much more careful are all those glorious powers to prevent the miscarriages of God's children! From how many falls and bruises have they saved us! In how many inclinations to evil have they turned us, either by removing occasions, or by casting in secretly good motions! We sin too often, and should catch many more falls, if those holy guardians did not uphold us. Satan is ready to divert us, when we endeavour to do well; when to do ill, angels are as ready to prevent us. We are in Joshua the high priest's ease, with Satan on the one hand, on the other an angel, Zec 3:1: without this, our danger were greater than our defence, and we could neither stand nor rise.
... We have the safeguard of the empire; not only the protection of the King, from which the wicked as outlaws are secluded; but also the keeping of angels, to whom he hath given a charge over us, to keep us in all his ways. So nearly we participate of his Divine things, that we have his own guard royal to attend us.
As quoted in Spurgeon's Treasury of David.