You have called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD's anger none escaped nor remained…
At Dunkeld there is a high rock, forming a conspicuous feature in the landscape, It is covered at the top with pine trees, which stand out like spears against the skyline, and only here and there can you see the grey face of the rock itself, showing how steep and dangerous it is. At one time the rock was perfectly bare; and one of the Dukes of Athole, who had a perfect passion for planting trees everywhere, wished to cover it like the other heights around with wood. But it was found impossible to climb up to the crevices and ledges of the huge rock, in order to plant the young trees. One day, Alexander Naismith, the father of the great engineer, paid a visit to the duke's grounds; and when told about his grace's wish to adorn the rock with trees, he suggested a plan by which this might be accomplished. In front of the duke's castle he noticed an old cannon, which had been used for firing salutes on great occasions. He got this cannon removed to a convenient point near the rock; and then putting a large quantity of the seeds of pine and fir trees into a round tin canister, he rammed it into the mouth of the cannon with a charge of gunpowder, and fired it at the top of the rock. The canister, when it struck the rock, broke into bits and scattered the seeds in every direction. A great many of them fell into the nooks and crannies of the rock, where a little moss or soil had gathered; and with the first showers they began to sprout and send up their tiny shoots, which took firm hold of the rock. After years of slow and steadfast growth, for they had exceedingly little soil, they became trees which completely clothed the naked rock and made it one of the most picturesque parts of the landscape. Now, this was a very strange use to make of a cannon, and a very strange way of sowing seed. A cannon is usually employed to cause death and destruction. But on this occasion it was used to do good, to clothe a naked rock with beauty and fertility, to bring life out of death. It made a loud terrifying noise; it broke the rock in splinters, it burst the canister into fragments, but it scattered the seeds of life where they were wanted. Never was gunpowder employed in a more beneficent work! Now, God sometimes sows his seeds of eternal life by means of a cannon; He persuades men by terror. He says, indeed, of Himself, "Fury is not in Me." It is contrary to His nature; for He is love. And yet He is sometimes obliged to do things that terrify for His people's good. There are proud, lofty natures, full of conceit and self-sufficiency, that rise above their fellows in their own esteem, and lord it over them, and yet are bare and barren of any spiritual good thing, neither profitable to God nor man. If the seed of eternal life is to be sown at all in such lofty, inaccessible natures, it must be by means of a cannon. They must be persuaded by terror. God must thunder forth to them His warnings and invitations.
(H. Macmillan, D. D.).
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD'S anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.
WEB: You have called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side; There was none that escaped or remained in the day of Yahweh's anger: Those that I have dandled and brought up has my enemy consumed.