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ourselves with what we find in the original Hebrew, and in the Chaldee, without inserting the verse which is now read in the LXX. and other translations. Bishop Patrick mentions a saying of the ancient Hebrews, taken notice of by Valentine Schindler, that “ He could not fail to be a child of the world to come, who would say this Psalm three times every day.“ Perhaps they who, while they chant it in full choir, entering thoroughly into the spirit of it, do experience as lively a foretaste of the next world, as can be experienced in this.
1. I will extol thee, my God, O King ; and will bless thy name for ever and ever. 2. Every day will I bless thee; and I mill praise thy name for ever and ever.
The same divine person, who was in a peculiar manner the God and King of Israel, now standeth in those relations to the Gentile Christian church, and by her is extolled in the words of this Psalm, originally composed and used for that purpose among the Israelites. Christ is our God, who hath saved us, according to his covenant and promise; he is our King, who hath set up the universal and everlasting kingdom, foretold by Daniel, and the other prophets; who hath all power in heaven and earth; and who “ must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet, and swallowed up death in victory." In the mean time it is the daily employment of us, his redeemed subjects and servants, to chant forth the praises of his saving and glorious name, with which the church, on earth, and in heaven, will resound for ever and ever.
3. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised ; anid his grealness is unsearchable. 4. One generation shall praise thy works unto another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
The greatness of Jehovah, whether we consider it as relating to his essence, or his works, is never to be fully comprehended by his saints, whose delight it is to contemplate the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; Ephes. iii. 18. the extent and duration of his being and his kingdom, the profundity of his counsels, and the sublimity of his power and glory. These are the inexhaustible subjects of divine meditation, transmitted from age to age. And as the greatness of God our Saviour hath no bounds, so his praises shall have no end, nor should the voice of thanksgiving ever cease in the church.
As one generation drops it, another should take it up, and prolong the delightful strain, till the sun and the moon shall withdraw their light, and the stars fall extinguished from their orbs.
5. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. 6. And men shall speak of the might of
thy terrible acts : 'and I will declare thy greatness. 7. They shall abunaantly ulter the memory of thy great goodness.
Those works of God, which demand to be celebrated by the tongues of men, are here divided into three kinds. First, such as declare his glory, and excite our admiration, whenever we behold them. Of this sort are the shining frame of the heavens, and all the bodies which move therein; the earth, with its furniture without, and its contents within; the magnificent and stupendous ocean, which fows around it; the different tribes of animals inhabiting both the one and the other; and above all, the construction of man, the lord of this lower world. Under the second class of God's works, are ranged all those which the Psalmist styleth his terrible acts, or the exertions of his power against his enemies, such as, the destruction of the old world by water; of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire; of Pharaoh and his kost in the Red Sea; of the Canaanitish nations by the sword; and the victory gained over sin and death by the resurrection of Christ. In the third rank stand those works which have proceeded from the goodness of God, and his righteousness in the performance of his promises. And among these we may reckon all the different species of provision, which have been made by Providence for the bodies of men in the world, and by grace for their gouls in the church. On any of these subjects meditation cannot be long employed, without breaking forth into wonder, gratitude, and praise.
8. The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion ; slow to anger and of great mercy. 9. The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works.
Mercy hath misery for its object, and is that attribute, towards which the eye of a fallen world must naturally be turned. The Psalmist hath, accordingly, introduced her last, with great pomp and splendour, seated in her triumphal chariot, and invested with a supremacy over all the works of God. She is above the heavens, and over all the earth, so that the whole creation findeth that refuge under the shadow of her wings, of which, by reason of man's transgression, it standeth in need. The original word for his tender mercies, is 1'007 the singular of which, 77 signifies the womb. The mercies of God towards man are, therefore, represented by this word, to be like those of a mother towards the child of her womb. And this is the very similitude which he himself hath made use of in that most affecting and comforting passage of the prophecy of Isaiah; Chap. xlix. 15.“ Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." And now, what follows ? Are such tender mercies in God? And are they over all his works ? Why then,
10. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. 11. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power ; 12. To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. 13. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
As all the works of God, in their several ways, make a due return for the mercy vouchsafed unto them, and set forth his glory; so more especially ought this to be done by man, who is the principal party concerned in the fall and redemption. The saints are the subjects of Messiah's kingdom; and of that kingdom it is their duty to publish to the world the blessings and the glories, to the end that when these are made known, the nations may be thereby induced to submit their hearts to so gracious a sceptre, and the dominion of Christ may become as universal in its extent, as it is everlasting in its duration.
14. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
After having proclaimed the glory and eternity of the kingdom, the prophet draws a character of the King, who, in the execution of his regal and pastoral office, is ever mindful of the necessities of his subjects. To those who, like Peter on the water, are sinking under temptation, he stretcheth out his saving arm, supporting and upholding them by his grace; and to those who, like the woman in the gospel, have long been bowed down with sin or sorrow, he holdeth forth a pardon, raising and setting them upright again by bis mercy. The case is the same with regard to outward distresses, from which God either preserves or delivers his people, as he sees best for them.
15. The eyes of all wait upon thee : and thou givest them their meat in due season. 16. Thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
What a just and beautiful picture is here presented to view! We see the whole animal world assembled before us, with their eyes fixed on the great King and Father of all things, like those of a flock on their shepherd, when he enters the field, in time of dearth, with provender for them. From the same divine person, as the Saviour of men, as the King, Father, and Pastor, of tha church, do believers, with earnest expectation, wait for the food of eternal life. And neither one nor the other look and wait in vain. To both be giveth their meat in due season; he openeth bis hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.
17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy, or, good, merciful in all his works.
Thus in all his ways, or dispensations towards his creatures, whether in nature or in grace, Jehovah is righteous, faithful and just, in extending his promised care, by making due provision for their wants; and all bis works, which, from the beginning of the world, he hath wrought in behalf of the sons of men, are full of mercy and loving-kindness.
18. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon
him in truth. 19. He will fuifil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
It is our happiness to have a King, who is pot, like earthly princes, difficult of access, but one of whom the meanest subject may at any time obtain an audience, and be certain of having his request granted, if it be made in truth, without watering, and without hy. pocrisy, with humble confidence, and with unwearied constancy, expecting salvation from God, from none but him, and from him only in the way of duty and obedience; he will fulfil the de. sire of them that fear him.
20. The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
To protect his subjects, and destroy their enemies, is the finishing part of the regal character, as here drawn from its great original in the King of saints. By bis grace he now preserveth us from innumerable dangers and temptations, and gradually destroyeth sin in us: and by his power he will hereafter execute, in the fullest and most extensive sense, this part of his office, 65 when the wicked shall be consumed with the spirit of his mouth, and destroyed with the brightness of his coming.” Then the bodies of the righteous, preserved to a joyful resurrection, shall be reunited to their souls, and both together, perfected and glorified, shall reign and shine with him for ever. Thus the Lord Jesus Christ preserveth all that love him, and maketh good his promise. • There shall not an hair of your head perish,” Luke xxi. 18.
21. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
The Psalmist, having now given the reasons why he had resolved to extol his God and King, and to bless his name for ever and ever, concludes with repeating his resolution, and exhorts all the world to follow his example, in time and eternity.
A R G U M E N T. In this Psalm, the church is taught, 1, 2. to prolong the praises
of Jehovah, as her God and King; 3-6. to beware of trusting in the powers of the world, and to rely on the world's Creator and Redeemer, whose miracles of love and mercy, wrought for the children of men, 1-9. are enumerated, and the eternity of whose kingdom, 10. is proclaimed. -1, Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. 2. While I live I will praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God, while I have any being.
No sooner is one hallelujah ended, but another begias; and the prophet, in imitation of those who rest not day or night, stirs himself up afresh to praise the King of glory, the Creator and Redeemer of men, declaring himself resolved to employ the powers and saculties of his soul in the service of that God, who gave and preserved them.
3. Put nol your frust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. 4. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very duy his thoughts perish. 5. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacol for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his Gol: 6. Ilhich made heaven and carth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepreth truth for ever.
From Him who is the Prince of the kings of the earth, Sion looks for deliverance, and by Him, her true sons espect to be exalted. He keepetl truth for ever; he is able and willing to perform his promises, and never disappoints those who rely on him. There are no changes in the politics of heaven. The faithful servant of luis master is by that master infallibly approved and reWarde:l. Earthly princes, if they have the will, often want the power, even to protect their friends. And should they want neither will nor power to advance them, yet still all depends upon the breath in their nostrils, which, perhaps, at the very critical moment, goeth forth; they return to their earth; their thoughts, and all the thoughts of those who had hoped to rise by their means, fall into the same grave, and are buried with them for ever. “ Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of? But trust ye in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength," Isa. ii. 22. xxvi. 4.
7. IT'hich cxecutath judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners : 8. The LORD opencth the eyes of the blind: The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: The Lorn loveth the righteous : 9. The LORD preserveth the strangers: he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
That the Lord, of whom all these things are spoken, is the Messiah, or Jehovah incarnate, appears, as Dr. Hammond hath justly observed, from what is said of him in verse 8. “ The Lord