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17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
18 The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever. (G) PSALM CXLVI. RAISE ye the LORD. LORD, O my soul.
2 While I live will I praise the LORD I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
[of the righteous.
(G) David praises God for what he is in himself, and to his people.-This and the following Psalms contain pure unmingled praises, without any alloy of complaint or mourning.
"The greatness' of Jehovah, whether we consider it as relating to his essence or his works, is never to be fully compre hended 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 should 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 orbits." (Bp. Horne.)
The tender mercies" of God, "are
over all his works," and especially every species of intelligent and even sentient creatures; for "he openeth his hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing." (ver. 16.) This tender mercy of God, however, must not be abused or trifled with; nor must we suppose that impenitence or obstinate rebellion will always go unpunished. "Thinkest thou, O man! that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance, and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds!” (Rom. ii. 4—6.)
(H) The psalmist exhorts all men to praise God.-This psalm, and the four following, both begin and end with "Hallelujah,” and might, therefore, have formed another great Hallel. (See Expos. Ps. cxiii.) The time and occasion of this psalm are
Ver. 17. Holy-Marg. "Merciful," or bountiful. PSALM CXLVI. Ver. 3. Put not your trust, &c.-See Ps. cxviii. 6, 7.--No help-Marg "No
Ver. 4. His breath-See Isa. ii. 22. Ainsworth, "His spirit." So Boothroyd.
of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem ; praise thy God, O Zion.
13 For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.
14 He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sendeth forth his commandearth his word runneth ment upon very swiftly.
16 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels who can stand before his cold?
18 He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD. (I)
alike unknown, but the sense is easy and incontrovertible. The great lessons here inculcated are, the vanity of man and the folly of trusting in him; the power and goodness of God, and the safety of coniding in his promises. Man is vain and his breath is fleeting. We have seen men of the most restless ambition, full of schemes of aggrandizement, and surrounded with flatterers, cut off in a moment, and sent down to the silent dust. Their breath and their soul have at once departed: the former to evaporate in air; the latter to appear before "God the judge of all," whose reign, like his Being, is for ever and
ever, and knows no change. " Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God."
"Happy the man whose hopes rely,
(I) Farther exhortations to praise God.Of all the duties of religion, praise is the most "pleasant;" and certainly nothing' can be more becoming creatures dependant as we are for every breath we draw, and especially when it is considered that we are sinners who have forfeited all the blessings
PSALM CXLVII. Ver. 5. Is infinite· "Without number;" i. e. the things which he understandeth. Dathe.
Ver. 9. Be giveth, &c.-See Ps. civ. 27, 28. Ver. 10. The legs of a man-Either for swiftness in reming, or strength in wrestling; for both running and wrestling were practised in the armies of the ancients. Or the horse and man may be put for cavalry and infantry.
Ver. 14. He maketh peace, &c. Heb. "Who maketh thy borders peace.' -Finest-Heb. "Fat
of the wheat." See Dent. xxxii. 14. Ver. 16. Like ashes-That is, wood ashes, which are generally white.
Ver. 17. Like morsels-That is, fragments of ice. See Expos. of Josh. x. 1-14. Also Note on Ps. lxxviii. 47.
Ver. 18. Which (they) shall not pass.
PRAISE ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.
4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:
8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
9 Mountains, and all hills: fruitful trees, and all cedars :
10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:
11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD. (K)
PRAISE ye the LORD. Sing unto
the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
which we enjoy. "Praise is comely for the upright," even for angels; but its obligation on pardoned sinners is infinite.
From the second verse of this psalm, it has been supposed that it was written after the return from captivity: "The Lord doth build up Jerusalem;" but the chief topics of the Psalm refer to the general provi dence of God. His wisdom is displayed in his knowledge and government of the heavenly bodies, the regulation of the seasons, the feeding of the lower creation; but, above all, in the distribution of his holy word, among his favourite nation; and this brings the subject home to our own country, to our own times, and to our own bosoms. "He hath showed his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any (other) nation," except our own.
"Still, mighty God, on Britain shine,
And show thy smiling face." Watts altered.
(K) A chorus of universal praise.—All the creatures of God in heaven and earth,
animate or inanimate, sensual or intellectual, are here called upon to praise their Maker and do they praise him? Most assuredly. The heavenly bodies? Yes : as Addison beautifully expresses it—
"For ever singing as they shine,
The inhabitants of the earth? Yes: even
Rational creatures, are, however, the only ones capable of design or enjoyment in the work; and music is given to man that he may participate in the employ of angels:
"Angels and men, assisted by this art, May sing together, though they dwell apart." Waller.
PSALM CXLVIII. Ver 7. Dragons-that is, sea monsters. See Notes on Job vii. 12; Ps. xliv. 19. Ver. 10. Flying fowl-Heb. “Birds of wing." Ver. 13. Is excellent-Heb. " exalted."
PSALM CXLIX. Ver. 2. In him that made kimAinsworth, "In his Makers." The word is certainly plural, implying more than one person in the Godhead. See Eccles. xii. 1.
2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion =be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people he will beautify the meek with salvation.
5 Let the saints be joyful in glory : let them sing aloud upon their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judg
ment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD. (L) PSALM CL.
PRAISE ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.Praise ye the LORD.(M)
(L) Praise to God for the victories of his church. The two great topics of this psalm are the victories of God's church and the happy consequences that are to follow, which may be interpreted in reference to either the Old dispensation or the New. In reference to the former, we are necessarily reminded of the warlike means by which the Canaanites were to be subdued, and the glory and prosperity to which Israel were to be raised; but this we do not find accomplished till the reign of Solomon, when the nation was advanced to the highest glory, and sat and sung at their ease at the sacrificial feasts in honour of Jehovah. In referring these verses to the New Testament dispensation, we must give to the same images a very different interpretation. The beds of sickness, of which this passage generally reminds us, are changed into sofas of ease and enjoyinent (speaking figuratively,) and shall hereafter be changed into thrones of glory. The twoedged sword by which the victory shall be achieved, is "the word of God," (Heb. iv. 12.) The chains and fetters by which the kings and nobles among the heathen shall
(M) The concluding psalm.-Herein the psalmist exhorts both priests and people to praise Jehovah with all the powers of voice and instrument which they could combine. It has been said by a learned man, that, even under the Old dispensation, instrumental music was not enjoined, but was invented by David. That David invented some instruments of music is certain, (Amos vi.5.) but we cannot give up the divine sanction to instrumental music under that dispensation, without also giving up the inspiration of David and the book of Psalms. How far we are to follow their example this is not the place to inquire. Most certainly God is to be praised both with heart and voice; and every "thing that hath breath" is called upon to praise him.
Ver.3. In the dance - Marg. "With the pipe." Ver.. Upon their beds.-Our beds are so different from those of the ancients as to convey a wrong idea. They were (and still are) carpeted seats, or cushions. Bp. Horne renders this verse and the preceding in the future, like the original. So Mr. Ainsworth. Ver.6. A two-edged (Heb. "two-mouthed") sword. Ver.9. To execute the judgment written in the New Testament, and particularly in the book of the
Revelation of St. John.
PSALM CL. Ver. 1. Firmament-See Gen. i. 8. Ver.3. Trumpet-Marg. "Cornet;" but the same word is used of the silver trumpets, Num. x. 2, &c. Ver. 4. Dance. See Expos. of Exod. xv. Organs. See Note on Gen. iv. 21.
Ver. 5. Cymbals-Metal plates, probably resembling those now used in the army, which came from the East.
END OF THE PSALMS.
OUR Preface to this Book we shall take the liberty to borrow from Mr. HORNE's very valuable "Introduction to the Critical Study of the Scriptures," already repeatedly referred to.
Mr. H. remarks "It seems certain that the collection called the "Proverbs of Solomon," was arranged in the order in which we now have it, by different hands; but it is not therefore to be concluded, that they are not the productious of Solomon, who, we are informed, composed no less than three thousand Proverbs, (1 Kings iv. 32.) As it is nowhere said that Solomon himself made a collection of proverbs and sentences, the general opinion is, that several persons made a collection of them. Hezekiah, among others, as mentioned in the twenty-fifth chapter; Agur, Isaiah, and Ezra, might have done the same. The Jewish writers affirm that Solomon wrote the Canticles, or Song, bearing his name, in his youth; the Proverbs in his riper years, and Ecclesiastes in his old age
"Michaelis has observed, that the Book of Proverbs is frequently cited by the apostles, who considered it as a treasure of revealed morality, whence Christians were to derive their rules of conduct; and the canonical authority of no book of the Old Testament is so well ratified by the evidence of quotations as that of the Proverbs.
"The scope of this book is to instruct men in the deepest mysteries of true wisdom and understanding, the height and perfection of which is the true knowledge of the divine will, and the sincere fear of the Lord. (Prov. i. 2-7; ix. 10.) To this end, the book is filled with the choicest sententious aphorisms, infinitely surpassing all the ethical sayings of the ancient sages, and comprising in themselves distinct doctrines, duties, &c. of piety towards God, of equity and benevolence towards man, and of sobriety and temperance; together with precepts for the right education of children, and for the relative situations of subjects, magistrates, and sovereigns. "The Book of Proverbs may be divided into five parts.
"Part I. In the proem or exordium, containing the first nine chapters, the teacher gives his pupil a series of admonitions, directions, cautions, and excitements to the study of wisdom. This part, says Bishop Lowth, is varied, elegant, sublime, and truly poetical: the order of the subject is, in general, excellently preserved, and the parts are very aptly connected. It is embellished with many beautiful descriptions and personifications; the diction is polished, and abounds with all the ornaments of poetry, so that it scarcely yields in elegance and splendour to any of the sacred writings.
"Part II. Extends from chap. x. to xxii. 16. and consists of what may be strictly and properly called proverbs; namely, unconnected sentences, expressed with much neatness and simplicity.
"Part III. Reaches from chapter xxii. 17. to xxv. inclusive: in this part the tutor drops the scntentious style, and addresses his pupil as present, to whom he gives renewed and connected admonitions to the study of wisdom.
"The proverbs contained in Part IV. are supposed to have been selected from some larger collection of Solomon, by the men of Hezekiah;' that is, by the prophets whom he employed to restore the service and writings of the Jewish church. (2 Chron. xxxi.