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PSALM CXLVIII.

ARGUMENT. [All the creatures in the invisible and visible world are called on by the Psalmist to unite in a grand chorus of praise and thanksgiving. The various parts are to be performed by, 1, 2. the angelic hosts; 3–6. the material heavens, and the luminaries placed in them; 7. the ocean, with its inhabitants; 8. the meteors of the air; 9. 10. the earth, as divided into hills and valleys, with the vegetables that grow out of it, and the animals that move on, or about it; 11-13. the human race of every degree, of each sex, and of every age ; 14. more especially the Israel, or church of God.]

1. Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens : praise him in the heights.' 2. Praise ye him, all ye angels; praise ye him, all his hosts.'

When St. John saw in vision the King of glory seated on his throne, he tells us that he heard all the angels which stood around the throne, with the elders, and every creature in heaven, earth, and sea, lifting up their voices, and singing together a hymn of thanksgiving in honor of him. Such a choir we find here summoned by the inspired Psalmist, and exhorted to join and assist him in praising the same Divine Person, whom the elders, in the Revelation, declare worthy to receive glory, and honor, and power,' because he created all things, and for his pleasure they are and were created :' Rev. v. 13. iv. 11. From the heavens and those unutterable heights, where hosts of immortal spirits, admitted to a sight of their King, enjoy unfading pleasures, the song is to begin. And when the strain is thus set by the celestial part of the choir, it is to be taken up, and echoed back, by the creatures of this lower world, animate and inanimate, which have all their several parts assigned them, in the great work of glorifying their Creator.

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 established

them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.'

The material heavens, through all their various regions, with the luminaries placed in them, and the waters sustained by them, though they have neither speech nor language, and want the tongue of men, yet, by their splendor and magnificence, their motions and their influences, all regulated and exerted according to the ordinance of their Maker, do, in a very intelligible and striking manner, declare the glory of God: they call on us to translate their actions into our language, and copy their obedience in our lives; that so we may, both by word and deed, glorify, with them, the Creator and Redeemer of the universe.

7. Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons,' or whales, and all deeps :'

From heaven above, the Psalmist descendeth to the deep beneath, which, while it proclaims the power, observes the laws and decrees, of him who made it, and poured it abroad. And the same may be said of its enormous inhabitants, which are under the command of Jehovah, and of none but him.

8. • Fire and hail; snow and vapors; stormy wind, fulfilling his word :'

These are so many messengers, always ready to go forth, at the command of the Most High, for the purposes of mercy or judgment. They praise and glorify God after their manner, while they fulfil his word' on the earth.

9. · Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars : 10.· Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:'

Who shall ever understand and comprehend all the wisdom of God displayed in the vegetable world, from the cedar to the hyssop; in the animal, from the elephant to the pismire, from the eagle to the sparrow? The more we study them, the more we shall find him glorified in them; and the more, on that account, will he be glorified by us.

11. Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: 12. · Both young men, and

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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.''

After the whole creation hath been called on to praise Jehovah; man, for whom the whole was made; man, the last and more perfect work of God; man, that hath been since redeemed by the blood of the Son of God incarnate, is exhorted to join and fill up the universal chorus of heaven and earth, as being connected with both worlds, that which now is, and that which is to come. Persons of every degree, of each sex, and of every age; • kings,' whose power God hath made an image of his own, and who are the suns of their respective systems; 'judges,' and magistrates of all kinds, who derive their power, as the moon and planets do their light, from its original source; “young men and maidens,' in the flower of health, strength, and beauty; old men,' who have accomplished their warfare, and are going out of life; • children,' who are just come into it, and see every thing new before them; all these have their several reasons for 'praising the Lord, whose name is excellent, and his glory above heaven and earth.'

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 the LORD.

As men, above all other creatures, so, above other men, the Israel' of God, the people' that are admitted to draw near unto him,'in his house, by faith and charity, by prayer and participation of the sacraments, are bound to praise him, who now exalteth' them from sin to righteousness, and will hereafter exalt them from dust to glory.

Since few of my readers may, perhaps, have met with a paraphrase on the foregoing Psalm, that has hitherto, I believe, only made its appearance in a periodical publication or two, I shall take the liberty to subjoin it, as

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"Nec ad solos Hebræos hæc pertinet adhortatio, sed ad omnes omnino homines : estque adeo veluti proludium vocationis Gentilium. Deum enim laudare, ut par est, non possunt, qui eum non bene norunt; nec eum satis norunt, qui Evangelium nunquam audiverunt; e quo maximæ Dei laudes eflorescunt.--CLERICUS in loc.

a piece, which cannot but be acceptable to all true lovers of sacred poetry. It was written, as I have been lately informed, by the learned and ingenious Dr. OGILVIE, at sixteen years of age.

PSALM CXLVIII.
Beris, my soul, th' exalted lay,
Let each enraptur'd thought obey,

And praise the Almighty's name.
Lo! heaven and earth, and seas and skies,
In one melodious concert rise,

To swell th' inspiring theme.
Ye fields of light, celestial plains,
Where gay transporting beauty reigns,

Ye scenes divinely fair;
Your Maker's wondrous power proclaim,
Tell how he form'd your shining frame,

And breath'd the fluid air.
Ye angels, catch the thrilling sound;
While all th' adoring thrones around

His boundless mercy sing ;
Let every listening saint above
Wake all the tuneful soul of love,

And touch the sweetest string.
Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir;
Thou, dazzling orb of liquid fire,

The mighty chorus aid :
Soon as grey evening gilds the plain,
Thou, moon, protract the melting strain,

And praise him in the shade.
Thou heaven of heavens, his vast abode;
Ye clouds, proclaim your forming God,

Who call’d yon worlds from night :
*Ye shades, dispel !'-th' Eternal said ;
At once th' involving darkness fled,

And nature sprung to light.
Whate'er a blooming world contains,
That wings the air, that skims the plains,

United praise bestow :
Ye dragons, sound his awful name
To heaven aloud; and roar acclaim,

Ye swelling deeps below.

Let every element rejoice :
Ye thunders, burst with awful voice

To him who bids you roll:
His praise in softer notes declare,
Each whisp’ring breeze of yielding air,

And breathe it to the soul.
To him, ye graceful cedars, bow;
Ye tow'ring mountains, bending low,

Your great Creator own:
Tell, when affrighted nature shook,
How Sinai kindled at his look,

And trembled at his frown.
Ye flocks that haunt the humble vale,
Ye insects flutt'ring on the gale,

In mutual concourse rise;
Crop the gay rose's vermeil bloom,
And waft its spoils, a sweet perfume,

In incense to the skies.
Wake, all ye mountain tribes, and sing ;
Ye plumy warblers of the spring,

Harmonious anthems raise
To him who shap'd your finer mould,
Who tipp'd your glitt'ring wings with gold,

And tun'd your voice to praise. Let man, by nobler passions sway'd, The feeling heart, the judging head,

In heav'nly praise employ;
Spread his tremendous name around,
Till heav'n's broad arch rings back the sound,

The gen'ral burst of joy.
Ye whom the charms of grandeur please,
Nurs'd on the downy lap of ease,

Fall prostrate at his throne;
Ye princes, rulers, all adore ;
Praise him, ye kings, who makes your pow'r

An image of his own.
Ye fair, by nature form’d to move,
O praise th' eternal Source of love,

With youth's enliv'ning fire:
Let age take up the tuneful lay,
Sigh his bless'd name-then soar away,
And ask an angel's lyre.

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