Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
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Augustine of Hippo
5. "Who redeemeth thy life from corruption" (ver. 4). Behold, "the body which is corrupted, weigheth down the soul." The soul then hath life in a corruptible body. What sort of life? It suffereth burdens, it beareth weights. How great obstacles are there to thinking of God Himself, as it is right that men should think of God, as if interrupting us from the necessity of human corruption? how many influences recall us, how many interrupt, how many withdraw the mind when fixed on high? what a crowd of illusions, what tribes of suggestions? All this in the human heart, as it were, teemeth with the worms of human corruption. We have set forth the greatness of the disease, let us also praise the Physician. Shall not He then heal thee, who made thee such as to be in health, hadst thou chosen to keep the law of health which thou hadst received? ...First think of thine own health. Sometimes a man is stricken in his own house, on his bed, with a more than usually manifest disorder; although this disorder too, which men dislike to contemplate, be plain; yet each man may be attacked with that sickness for which human physicians are sought, and may gasp with fever in his bed; perhaps he may wish to consider of his domestic affairs, to make some order or disposition relating to his estate or his house; at once he is recalled from such cares by the anxiety of his friends, plainly expressed around him, and he is advised to dismiss these subjects, and first to take thought for his health. This then is addressed unto thee, and to all men: if thou art not sick, think of other things: if thy very infirmity prove thee sick, first take heed of thy health. Christ is thy health: think therefore of Christ. Receive the cup of His saving Health, "who healeth all thine infirmities;" if thou shall choose, thou shall gain this Health. ...For thy life hath been redeemed from corruption: rest secure now: the contract of good faith hath been entered upon; no man deceives, no man circumvents, no man oppresses, thy Redeemer. He hath here made a barter, He hath already paid the price, He hath poured forth His blood. The only Son of God, I say, hath shed His blood for us: O soul, raise thyself, thou art of so great price. ..."He redeemeth thy life from corruption."
6. "Who crowneth thee with mercy and loving-kindness." Thou hadst perhaps begun to be in a manner proud, when thou didst hear the words, "He crowneth thee." I am then great, I have then wrestled. By whose strength? By thine, but supplied by Him. ...He crowneth thee, because He is crowning His own gifts, not thy deservings. "I laboured more abundantly than they all," said the Apostle; but see what he addeth: "yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." ...It is then by His mercy that thou art crowned; in nothing be proud; ever praise the Lord; forget not all His rewards. It is a reward when thou, a sinner and an ungodly man, hast been called, that thou mayest be justified. It is a reward, when thou art raised up and guided, that thou mayest not fall. It is a reward, when strength is given thee, that thou mayest persevere unto the end. It is a reward, that even that flesh of thine by which thou wast oppressed riseth again and that not even a hair of thy head perisheth. It is a reward, that after thy resurrection thou art crowned. It is a reward, that thou mayest praise God Himself for evermore without ceasing. ...