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Happiness of]



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[divine protection.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the LORD which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against

a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.


ness displays our impurity. Job long justified himself, and skilfully parried the charges of his friends; this was false, and that was aggravated;' but when he saw the divine glory beaming around him, then he cried, in a mixture of astonishmeat and confusion, Behold, I am vile! I abhor myself in dust and ashes.'" (Job xl. 4.-xlii. 6.) See Hist. Def. of Exper. Relig. N. Ed. p. 89, 90.

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According to thy fear, so is thy wrath;" that is, thy wrath is to be dreaded in proportion to thine awful majesty. And most excellent and important is the moral instruction to be derived from these premises, which is here summed up into a prayer "So teach us to number"-estimate and calculate our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom!" Moral truth is never properly applied till it is wrought into humble and earnest prayer.

“O satisfy us early with thy goodness!" On these words Bp. Horne remarks

"The church prayeth for the dawning of that glorious morning, when every cloud shall vanish at the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and night and darkness shall be no more. Then only shall we be satished (or saturated) with the mercy of Jehovah; then only shall we rejoice and be glad all our days.' The time of our pilgrimage upon earth is a time of sorrow;


we grieve for our departed friends; and our surviving friends must soon grieve for us these are the days wherein God af. flicteth us; these the years wherein we see evil: but he will hereafter make us glad according to them; in proportion to our sufferings (if rightly we bear those sufferings) will be our reward: nay, 'these light afflictions which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' Then shall our joy be increased, and receive an additional relish from the remembrance of our former sorrow: then shall we bless the days and the years which exercised our faith, and perfected our patience; and then shall we bless God, who chastised us for a season, that he might save us for ever."

This psalm concludes with another pe tition, no less excellent and important: "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us," &c. When God impresses any part of his own beauty or glory upon his creatures, it is by impressing upon them a portion of his own image; just as the sun communicates its splendour to terrestrial objects, by shining on them.


PSALM XCI. Ver. 1. Abide-Heb. "Lodge." Ver.9 Thy habitation-See Exposition of ver. 1. and compare Ps. Ixi. 2.

"What image does my spirit bear? Is Jesus formed, and living there? Say, do his lineaments divine

In thought, and word, and action shine?" Davies.

Ver. 13. Adder-Marg. "Asp." See Ps. Iviii. 5. Ver. 14. Because, &c.-Here is a change of person; but David, or Messiah, is still meant.

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[the sabbath.

2 To shew forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hand.

5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. 6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:


(T) The happiness of living under the divine protection.-No name is prefixed to this psalm; but we think, from its style and character, there is great probability in the suggestion of the learned Mr. Peters, that this psalm was composed by Moses as well as the preceding, and perhaps on the same occasion. Others, however, as Dr. Boothroyd, on the authority of some of the ancient versions, ascribe it to the patriarch David; and some have thought it addressed by him to Solomon. But these questions are of small importance: the style is eminently sublime and beautiful; and the doctrine highly instructive and consolitary.

The Hebrews frequently compared Jehovah to a rock; and to abide in the cleft of such a rock, with them conveyed the ideas both of security and shade. In the third verse, the imagery is changed, and the believing Israelite is compared to the young eagle, under the wings of the royal parent bird, whose nest no fowler dare approach. (Comp. Obad. i. 3, 4.)

"In these verses, as they now stand, (says Bp. Horne) there is much obscurity and confusion. Bp. Lowth (in his xxvith Lecture) seemeth to have given their true construction: "He who dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High; who abideth under the shadow of the Almighty; who saith of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I will trust:' leaving the sentence thus imperfect, the psalmist makes a beautiful apostrophe to that person whom he has been describing. "Surely he shall deliver THEE from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence." The description is eminently applicable to the man Christ Jesus, but

it is also applicable to all who place their trust in God, through him.

Supposing this psalm, as well as the preceding, to have reference to the affairs of Israel in the wilderness, (as Mr. Peters thinks) the promises here added, of protection from the evils brought on that murmuring generation for their unbelief, may refer to exemption from the plagues and judgments, the serpents and wild beasts, the pestilence and tempest, by which those were not annoyed who put their trust in God, and relied on his protection.

It is remarkable, that one of these promises is quoted by the tempter, to induce our Lord to run into circumstances of danger, to which he had no call in provi dence; namely, " He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (ver. 11.) And the manner in which that temptation was repelled, shows that we should be very cautious in apply ing promises, in any way contrary to their original design, which is, to lead us to confide in God, only while we remain within the path of duty. (See Matt. iv. 5.)

If the promise of long life, in the close of this psalm, be applied to our Saviour, it must be in reference to the future state, as in Ps. xxi. 4. "He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever." Jesus, indeed, speaking of him as a man, was cut off in the midst of his days; for he scarcely attained half the usual limit of human life. Bet the reign of death was short; and on the very commencement of the third day, he arose from the grave, and asked in triumph, "O death, where is thy sting? and O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. xv. 55.)

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8 But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.

9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.

12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;


[and glory of God.

15 To show that the LORD is upright he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (U)


THE LORD reigneth, he is clothed

with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. 3 The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.

4 The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever. (X)


(U) A Psalm or Song for the Sabbathday-The Jews have a silly tradition preserved in the Chaldee paraphrase, that Adam composed this psalm for the Sabbath-day-perhaps on its institution; forgetting that "Jubal was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ." (Gen. iv. 21.) Though no name is prefixed, it is far more likely to have been composed by David in his old age, as the latter part of the psalm intimates. It contemplates

praise as the delight and enjoyment of a good man, as well as his duty; and considers those as silly and brutish who are insensible of this truth.

The latter verses (particularly 12 and 13,) have been supposed to allude to planting trees in the courts of the tabernacle; but this we apprehend was not allowed, and

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PSALM XCII. Ver. 2. Every night-Heb. "In

the night.

Ver. 3. With a solemn sound-Heb. Higgaion; perhaps with deep meditation." See Note on Ps. ix. 6. The LXX here render it "a song;" meaning, perhaps, an extemporaneous effusion, accompanied with the soft warblings of the harp, which the moderns call Arpeggiats.

Ver. 10. An unicorn.-See Note on Num. xxiii. Anointed with fresh oil-Heb. "Green oil." i made from green or unripe olives, which is preferred. See Orient. Lat. No. 792.

Ver. 11. "My desire," which twice occurs, is not in the original; and Bp. Horne better supplies the ellipsis, thus, Mine eye shall see (the fall) of

mine enemies; and mine ear shall hear (the destruction) of the wicked."

Ver. 14. Old age-Heb. "hoary (or grey) age." Fat and flourishing-Alluding to the olive tree, which probably bore to a considerable- age, as we know that vines do.

PSALM XCIII. Ver. 1. It cannot be movedThat is, out of the sphere in which God himself bath placed it. It cannot be moved by man.

Ver. 2. Of old-Heb. " From then." Ver. 4. The Lord, &c.-Bp. Lowth reads this more poetically, thus:

"The glorious waves of the sea! Jehoval on high is more glorious." Ver. 5. For ever-Heb. " To length of days."

An appeal to the



LORD God, to whoni vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.

2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth render a reward to the proud. 3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

5 They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.

6 They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. 7 Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.

8 Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?

9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

10 He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?

11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. 12 Blessed is the man whom thou

[divine majesty chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

14 For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.

15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the evil doers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

17 Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.

19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?

21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.

22 But the LORD is my defence and my God is the rock of my refuge

23 And he shall bring upon then their own iniquity, and shall cut them

EXPOSITION-Psalm XCIII. Continued.

all around him; but he encourages himself with the consideration that his God is "mightier than the noise of many waters," and able to protect him both from seas and storms. The imagery is similar to that in the second psalm, "Why do the heathen rage," &c.; and the Jews acknowledge, (according to Bishop Horne,) that this and the seven following psalms have

all a reference to the kingdom of Messia

The concluding verse, "Holiness b cometh thine house, O Lord, for ever," e fords not only an admonition to trifli worshippers, but a sharp reproof to hyp crites, who, like the Jews in our Lord's tim changed the house of prayer not only in "a house of merchandise," but also i "a den of thieves." (Matt: xxi. 12, 13.)


PSALM XCIV. Ver. 1. To whom vengeance belongeth-Heb. "Of revenges.”. Shew thyself Heb. "Shine forth;" alluding, undoubtedly, to the Shechinah, which, on some occasions, showed a burning glory. Exod. xxiv. 17.

Ver. 2. Lift up thyself-Boothroyd, "Ascend on high;" i. e. to the judgment seat. See Ps. vii. 7, 8. Ver. 10. Chastiseth the heathen-That is, all the nations.

Ver. 13. Until the pit, &c.-That is, he takes care of his people, till their enemies are put out of the

way. So Jesus, when a child, was preserve Egypt till the death of Herod. Matt. ii. 13, &c. Ver. 15. Shall follow it-Heb. "Shall be after i. e. follow after righteousness 1 Thes. v. 15.

Ver. 17. Had almost Heb. "Quickly," short time. Dwelt in silence- That is, i silent grave.

Ver. 21. They gather themselves together — A worth, They run by troops against the soul c just." How exactly does this mark the rage o Jews against our Saviour! See Matt. xxvi. 59

Exhortations to]


off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off. (Y)


COME, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is his also.

5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 6 0 come, let us worship and bow

[praise God. down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. (Z)



An appeal to the Almighty on behalf of the poor and the afflicted. JEHOVAH is here appealed to as the God of vengeance; from which we may learn, that neither publie vengeance, nor private revenge, is within our department. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I will repay it." (Rom. xii. 19.) He alone is capable of executing jast judgment, for he alone can read the hearts of men he alone has the right, for "God is judge himself," (Psalm 1. 6.) and will allow no creature to interfere, either in the government of the world, or in its final judgment." He sitteth upon the throne judging righteously." (Psalm ix. 4.) Infinitely important and consoling is the truth, that this God is the friend of "the widow and the stranger, the fatherless and the oppressed." That on such, though he may lay his chastising hand, it is in the way only of parental correction, that he may "teach him out of his law;" but he "will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance." In the midst, therefore, of all his troubles, in the multitude of his conflicting thoughts, "Thy comforts (says he, addressing himself to God,) delight my soul."

"While multitudes of mournful thoughts,
Within my bosom roll,

Thy boundless love forgives my faults,
Thy comforts cheer my soul,'



(Z) A general exhortation to worship and to praise God.-All Christian worship is founded on the salvation of Christ. It is not merely the submission of creatures to their Creator, or of subjects to the univer sal Sovereign. It is, indeed, all this, but more. We are "the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand :" his chosen, his purchased flock; for whom the Good Shepherd laid down his life, (John x, 11, &c.) We come to his temple not only to bow down before him, but to hear what God the Lord will say unto us. And what does he say? "To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts;" that is, as Israel did of old, who refused to hear or to obey. On this passage, the apostle to the Hebrews gives us an inspired comment, which supersedes the necessity of any other. Read Heb. iii. 12—19; iv. 1-11.

We may here add, that though this psalm bears no name, it is quoted as David's in the chapter last referred to, which leads us to suppose (as both Jews and Christians generally do,) that most of these short psalms without a name were

his also.


PSALM XCV, Ver. 2. Come before his presence -Heb. "Prevent his face."

Ver. 4. In his-Heb. "Whose" hand is.-The strength-Heb. "Height;" ie. the strong, inac

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