« السابقةمتابعة »
of enemies, nor going out to give them battle ; that (there be] no
complaining in our streets of tyranny, oppression, or famine. 15 Happy (is that) people, that is in such a case : [yea,) happy [is
that] people, whose God [is] the LORD ; or rather, more hapny the people who have Jehovah for their God; who worship him alone, and are under his special protection.
W Er should be led from hence to adore the condescension
of God to mankind. tion, when we consider his infinite greatness and majesty, and what a weak, helpless creature man is, of what limited power, and short duration ; that God should make account of him, as if he were something great and considerable. Let us join then in this thankful admiration of the divine condescension and grace ; especially in Christ Jesus, that unspeakable gift of God to men.
2. Let us be thankful for the temporal prosperity of our nation. God has hitherto delivered us from the hands of our enemies ; of whom we may justly say, their hands are the hands of falsehood. He hath preserved our king from the hurtful sword; hath blessed us with plenty, so that our garners are full ; he hath not suffered the enemy to invade us. We should be thankful to God if there are no complainings of oppression or famine ; that our oxen are strong ; and our sheep fruitful; which is a great blessing to a country whose prosperity depends so much on their wool. Let us see the hand of God in these mercies, and praise his name who dealeth wonderfully with us.
3. Let us learn that a covenant interest in God, is better than all temporal prosperity. Happy is the people who are in the case just described, but more happy the people whose God is the Lord; who know him and serve him, and enjoy his favour and love. This we should seek as the greatest of blessings for ourselves and our country ; choosing the Lord for our God, devoting ourselves to his service, and living to his glory: then shall we have all good things, be hid in the day of trouble, and find deliverance and happiness where others find destruction.
David's (Psalm] of Praise.* This is called so perhaps to intimate, that he not only composed it, but
sung it often, and took great pleasure in it. 1
WILL extol thee, my God, O king ; and I will bless thy 2 name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee ; and 3 I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great [is] the LORD,
and greatly to be praised ; and his greatness [is] unsearchable. 4. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall de5 clare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of 6 tly diajesty, and of thy wondrous works. And (men) shall
speak of the might of thy terrible acts : and I will declare thy greatness ; I will praise God while here, and instruct others to
carry on the work to succeeding generations ; and while they are ý doing it on earth, I shall be doing it in heaven. They shall abun
dantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, it shall flow forth freely, without constraint, and shall sing of thy righteousness. 8 The Lord, [is] gracious, and full of compassion ; slow to an. 9 ger, and of great mercy.
The LORD [is] good to all : and 10 his tender mercies (are) over all his works. All thy works
shall furnish matter for men to praise thee, O LORD ; and thy saints shall bless thee, according to their capacity : some
of thy creatures indeed are enemies to thee ; but this little dis. 11 cord is not heard among the general harmony. They shall speak 12 of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power ; To
make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glo13 rious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom [is] an everlasting
kingdom, and thy dominion (endureth) throughout all genera
tions. Then the ancient versions add, « faithful is the Lord in his 14 sayings, and holy in all his works.' The Lord upholdeth all 15 that fall, and raiseth up all (those that be] bowed down. The
eyes of all wait upon thee ; and thou givest them their meat in
due season; a suitable surply of food for various orders of creatures, 16 especially for man. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the 17 desire of every living thing. The Lord [is] righteous in all 18 his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord [is] nigh unto
all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth ;
though he is so great a king, he does not keep out the humble pe19 titioner, but allends to every sincere prayer. He will fulfil the
desire of them that fear him : he also will hear their cry, and 80 will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love him :
but all the wicked will he destroy ; though he is so good, he will 21 destroy the wicked. My mouth shall speak the praise of the
LORD : and let all fesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
This noble composition is written in alphabetical order, each verse beginning with the successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet ; only between the thirteenth and fourteenth verses one is wanting, beginning with the letter Non to compl-te the order, and is to te found in so:ne of the ancient versions ; but Bp. Patrick says, it is so much like the seventeenth verse, that he can hardly think it is the true vue.
ET us learn to form ourselves by this model of praise. It
pacity, and yet full of sentiments truly devout, sublime, and philosophical. Let us cultivate these sentiments, and make this language familiar. Praise should be our daily work ; though we are ever so busy, or ever so sorrowful, still let us praise God, and abundantly utter his great goodness, as what our hearts are full of, and greatly affected with. Let us continue it through life, and consign the work to our children ; dying with praise on our lips, and with a cheerful hope, that it will be the delightful employment of eternity.
2. To stir ourselves up to praise God we should observe the conduct of providence in the natural and moral world, the marks of his providential government, care, and goodness; his provision for all his creatures, especially that which he hath made for man, which js both so agreeable and plentiful. Let us think of the glory of his kingdom ; the justice, wisdom, and goodness of his government; his care of his people, and tender pity under their afflictions, as arguments to praise him; and learn the advantage of studying the works of nature and observing the conduct of Providence, that we may give due honour to the preserver and governor of the universe.
3. Let us take the greatest care that we do not make this God our enemy, by such a conduct as even his goodness shall require him to punish, v. 20. The Lord preserveih all them that love him : but all ihe wicked will he destroy. Nothing can be conceived more dreadful than destruction from so good a Being. That the hand opened daily to relieve the necessities of millions, and so often opened to supply us, should be listed up to destroy us, is a thought which should fill us with terror. Let us therefore fear the Lord and his goodness, and we shall then have nothing to fear from his wrath.
Both the author, and the occasion upon which this fisalm is written, are
uncertain. 1 RAISE ye the
the Lord, O my soul. 2 3 unto my God while I have any being. Put not your trust in
princes, (nor) in the son of man, the greatest monarch, in whom 4 (there is] no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his 5 earth ; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy (is he]
that Chath] the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope [is] in the 6 Lord his God : Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and
all that therein [is,] and can dispose of all things in them as he pleases : which keepeth truth for ever, is ever faithful to his
7 promises : Which executeth judgment for the oppressed : which 8 giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners,
those who are carried captive. · The LORD openeth (the eyes of}
the blind : the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down : the 9 Lord loveth the righteous : The Lord preserveth the stran
gers ; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the
wicked he turneth upside down, overthrows their counsels, and io defcats their designs.' The LORD shall reign for ever, [even)
thy God, o Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
'ROM hence we are taught the vanity of creatures. We
expose ourselves to many snares and sorrows. Even princes are feeble, insufficient helps, both as fickle and as mortal creatures. Our dearest relatives and friends are not too much to be depended on; their affections may alter, their circumstances change, or their lives end. Let us therefore learn to cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils ; for wherein is he to be accounted of.
2. Itis our wisdom to form and pursue such thoughts and schemes as will not perish. Man was made for action, and his appetites and desires were placed within him to spur him on to form schemes and purposes for futurity : but men's folly is, that their schemes are formed only or chiefly for this world ; to aggrandize themselves and their families, and to enjoy earthly good. May all our schemes therefore be laid with a due sense of the uncertainty of human life, and our main purpose be, to secure a happy eternity. If so, changes will not affect them, and death, instead of defeating, will accomplish them.
3. We need not fear the greatest' affictions of life while God is our support. He knows how to deliver the oppressed, to enlighten the blind, to raise them that are bowed down ; to help the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. In every affliction we may find an antidote in faith ; and under every burden, support and comfort in God. Let us then in every time of trouble rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of our salvation.
4. Let us comfort ourselves with the thought of God's universal and everlasting dominion, amidst all the changes of life. Our friends die, princes die, and we must die ; but the Lord shall reign for ever. He will take care of our families, govern the world, and guard the church, when we are gone ; and he will make all his people completely and eternally happy. He is the blessed and only potentate, who hath immortality. Happy is he who hath the God of. Jecob for his help, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.
This sisalm, with the preceding and following ones, are called in the
Greek version, psalms of Haggai and Zechariah.? They were probably composed after the captivity, to be sung at the dedication of the second temple, RAISE ye the LORD : for (it is) good to sing praises unto
for (it is) pleasant ; (and) praise is comely, de. 2 cent, and reasonable. The Lord doth build up Jerusalem, in
spite of the opposition of its enemies : he gathereth together the
outcasts of Israel, from the country where they were carried capa 3 tive. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their 4 wounds. He telleth the number of the stars ; he calleth them
all by (their) names, though they are so many, and seemingly die.
posed in such confusion ; therefore he is certainly able to gaiher 5 the captives wherever they are dispersed. Great [is] our LORD, 6 and of great power: his understanding [is] infinite. The LORD
lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. 7 Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving ; sing praise upon the 8 harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds,
who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow 9 upon the mountains.* He giveth to the beast his food, (and) to 10 the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength
of the horse : be taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man ; he would not have his people dtscouraged thoug's they had no horses, and but feco font soldiers in their armies ; God could casily
succour and deliver without them, if they reverenced and trusled 11 in him ; for The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, 12 in those that hope in his mercy. Praise the LORD, O Jerusa13 lem ; praise thy God, o Zion. For he hath strengthened the
bars of thy gates, made the despised city so strong that no enemy
dares to attempt il, Nih. vi. 15, 16.) he hath blessed thy chil14 dren within thee, greatly increased their number. He maketh
peace [in] thy borders, [and] filleth thee with the finest of the -15 wheat. He sendeth forth his commandment (upon) earth : his 16 word runneth very swiftly, is immedia?ely executed. He giveth
snow like wool, so that the vegetables are covered during the in
tense cold, as with a woolen garment : he scattereth the hoar frost 17 like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels, in violeni hail
storms : who can stand before his cold? Neither man nor beast 18 are able to bear the extremities of it. He sendeth out his word,
and melteth them :. he causeth his wind to blow, [and] the
waters flow; in these things the whole world see his power and 19 goodness ; but tye hare peculiar reason for thankfulness, for He
showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments 20 unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation : and (as for
his) judgments they have not known them.' Praise ye the LORD.
Showers harl been withheld to punish them for their negligence in building the temple, but upon their return to their work rain was given.