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.which he taketh in doing his will; 2. the prosperity of his seed; 3. the plenteousness in his house ; 4. his comfort in trouble; 5. his internal joys; 6. the honour with which he is remembered ; 7, 8. his holy confidence in God; 9. his good deeds, and the reward of them ; 10. the envy, wretchedness, and perdition of the wicked. The blessings of the Gospel are spiritual and eternal; and they are conferred upon the members of the Christian church through Christ their head, who is the pattern of all righteousness, and the giver of all grace.
1. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments ; or, he delighteth greatly in his commandments.
The man who duly “ feareth God,” is delivered from every other fear; the man who “delighteth in “ God's commandments," is freed from every inordinate desire of earthly thing's; and such a man must needs be “ blessed.” Of this kind was thy blessedness, O holy Jesu, on whom did rest “ the “ spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah," and whose " meat” it was “ to do the will of him “ that sent thee, and to finish his work.” Isa. xi. 2. John iv. 34. '
2. His seed shall be mighty upon earth : the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
A father's piety derives the benediction of Heaven upon his children. The posterity of faithful Abraham were often spared and favoured on account of
their progenitor ; as the whole family of believers, Abraham and all, are blessed in Him, who is the great Father of that family, and the Author of their salvation.
3. Wealth and riches shall be in his house : and his righteousness endureth for ever.
It sometimes pleaseth God to bestow on his servants, as he did on Israel of old, the good things of this world. And a rich man is therefore happier than a poor man, because " it is more blessed to give “ than to receive :" Acts xx. 35. But the true “ wealth” of Christians is of another kind; their “ riches” are such as neither moth can corrupt, nor thief steal. Grace and glory are in the “ house” of Christ, and everlasting “ righteousness” is the portion of his children.
4. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness; he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
While we are on earth, we are subject to a threefold - darkness ;" the darkness of error, the darkness of sorrow, and the darkness of death. To dispel these, God visiteth us, by his word, with a threefold “ light;" the light of truth, the light of comfort, and the light of life. The Christian's temper is framed after the pattern of his Master ; and he is ever ready to show to others that “ love" and“ mercy” which have been shown to him.
5. A good man showeth favour and lendeth : he will guide his affairs with discretion.
The former part of this verse may be rendered, with a little variation, “ It is well with the man who
“ is gracious and communicative." Ill-nature and avarice are their own tormentors: but love and liberality do good to themselves by doing it to others, and enjoy all the happiness which they cause. It is not God's intention, that any of the talents which he bestowed upon us should lie dead, but that our brethren should have the use of them; even as Christ received the Spirit to communicate it to us, and our salvation is his glory and joy. The latter part of this verse is likewise capable of a different, and, indeed, a more literal translation : “ He will
support, or maintain, his words, or his transactions, " in judgement;" that is, he who thus employeth his talents for the benefit of mankind, will be able to render a good account to his Lord who intrusteth them with him.
6. Surely he shall not be moved for ever : the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. 7. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings : his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. 8. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
Nothing can deprive the person here described of his felicity. When his work is done, his body will go to its repose in the dust, but the “ memorial” of his name and of his good deeds will be still fresh as the morning breeze, and fragrant as the flower of the spring. “He feareth no evil report,” no blast of slander and malice can touch him ; no tidings of calamity and destruction can shake his confidence in God; but he will hear the trump of judgement, and
behold the world in flames, rather with joy than with dread; as knowing, by those tokens, that the hour of his redemption is come, when he shall see his “ enemies," and even death, the last of them, under his feet.
9. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor, his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
His riches are not hoarded up, but “ dispersed” abroad ; and that not by others after his death, but by himself in his life-time; “ He hath dispersed.” They are not squandered in the ways of vanity and folly, but “ given to the poor;” nor are they given indiscriminately and at random, but “ dispersed," like precious seed, with prudence and discretion, according to the nature of the soil, and in proper season, so as to produce the most plentiful harvest. Therefore "his righteousness endureth for ever;" its fruits and its good report are lasting among men, and it is never forgotten before God, who hath prepared for it an eternal reward. “ His horn shall be “ exalted with honour, or, in glory;" whatever may be his lot upon earth, and even there the charitable man will frequently be had in “honour,” at the last day, certainly, when the thrones of the mighty shall be cast down, and the sceptres of tyrants broken in pieces, then shall he lift up his head, and be exalted to partake of the “ glory” of his Redeemer, the author of his faith, and the pattern of his charity, who gave
himself for us, and is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.
10. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away; the desire of the wicked shall perish,
The sight of Christ in glory, with his saints, will, in an inexpressible manner, torment the crucifiers of the one, and the persecutors of the others; as it will show them the hopes and wishes of their adversaries all granted to the full, and all their own “ desires” and designs for ever at an end; it will excite an envy which must prey upon itself, produce a grief which can admit of no comfort, give birth to a worm which can never die; and blow up those fires which nothing can quench.
The servants of God are, 1. exhorted to praise his
name, 2. at all times, and, 3. in all places, on account, 4, 5. of his power and glory, 6–8. of his mercy in redeeming man, and, 9. making the Gentile church to be a joyful mother of children. This Psalm is appointed to be read on Easter-day.
1. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. 2. Blessed be the name of the LORD, from this time forth, and for evermore.
Christians are the “ servants" of Jesus Christ; and a most delightful part of their service it is, to