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REFLECTIONS. I.T ET us observe the instances of divine goodness here specie
L fied as a call to praise him. We should view him as the author and support of universal nature ; observe his hand in rain, hail, and snow, in frost and ice, in thaws and heat. He has ordained the seasons of the year, and through his overruling providence, summer and winter do not cease. He feeds us with the finest of wheat, strengthens our gates, without which their bars would be vain, and giveth peace in our borders. Let us own him, as the guardian of the church, who builds up Jerusalem, gathers strangers into it by converting grace, and will at length gather the Jews, the outcasts of Israel, into his church. For those favours then which we enjoy, and those we expect from his promises, let us praise him, for it is pleasant and comely, highly decent, reasonable, and delightful.
2. Let us be especially thankful for the revelation he hath given us. After the psalmist had celebrated public and national blessings, he concludes with this as the distinguishing glory of Israel. No nation hath in this respect been so remarkably favoured as ours. If Israel was excited to be thankful for the law given by Moses, we ought to be much more so for that grace and truth which is given us in Christ Jesus ; and shall of all people be most ungrateful and inexcusable, if we do not praise him.
3. Let us labour to be such as God delights in and will favour. His judgments are not like those of men, but according to truth. His delight is not in the strength of a horse, or the legs of a man; not in any beauty, comeliness, or strength ; not in those things which are the ornaments and defence of the land : but his delight is in them that fear him. Observe the connection ; holy fear prevents hope from growing presumptuous, and hope prevents fear from growing excessive and tormenting. It is a most comfortable thought, that God delights in them that home in his mercy ; and takes delight in what is our highest interest and greatest comfort. He beholds such with approbation, and will distin. guish them by his favour and love. Another useful hint may be drawn from hence, viz. that in such persons, that is, in their friend. ship and converse we should delight. We should esteem those whom God esteems, and make his favourites ours; for they shall be his in that day when he maketh up his jewels.
This psalm was probably composed when Israel was in great prosper.
ity, perhaps in the time of David or Solomon. It is a general call upon all creatures 10 praise God. i DRAISE ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the hea
I vens : praise him in the heights, where his glory is most 2 illustrious. Praise ye him, all his angels : praise ye him, all his 3 hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon : praise him, all ye stars 4 of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that 5 [be] above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the 6 LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath
also stablished them for ever and ever : he hath made a decree 7 which shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dra. 8 gons, ye whales, and other large fishes, and all deeps : Fire, and 9 hail : snow and yapours: stormy wind fulfilling his word : Moun, 10 tains, and all hills ; fruitful trees, and all cedars : Beasts, and 11 all cattle ; creeping things, and flying fowl : Kings of the earth, 12 and all people ; princes, and all judges of the earth : Both young 13 men, and maidens; old men, and children : Let them praise
the name of the Lorn: for his name alone is excellent ; his 14 glory [is] above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the
horn of his people, he increaseth their power, and giveth them suc. cess in their affairs, the praise of all his saints ; [even) of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.
THE manner in which the psalmist here calls upon universal
I nature to praise the Lord, intimates to us, that he esteemed God most worthy to be praised, that he delighted in this duty, and wished that the whole creation were vocal in his praise. The per fections of God displayed in his works, furnish us with matter for praise, and call upon us to adore him. The capacities and instincts of the creatures, the provision he has made for them, their service: ableness to man, all should lead us to praise him. Let us look on the frame of nature with such seriousness and devotion, that we may see the hand and goodness of God in all, and be engaged to praise him. We have peculiar reason to do it, as we are a people near unto him ; once afar off, but now brought nigh. Let us therefore show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
This psalm is a fine military ode ; it was probably composed by David,
to be sung when the army was going out against the devoted nations of Canaan, and went up first in solemn procession to the house of God, there as it were to consecrate the arms he put into their hands, and beg the divine blessing on their enterprise.
I DRAISE ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, 21 [and] his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel
rejoice in him that made him a people : let the children of Zion 3 be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance : - 4 let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For
the LORD taketh pleasure in his people ; he will beautify the
5 meek* with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory ; let the
chosen people of God rejoice ; yea, exult in a glorious manner : let them sing aloud upon their beds, or couches, (on which, according to the eastern manner, they reclined at the feasts that followed the sacrifices :) instead of singing vain songs, or joining in foolish
conversation, let them employ their powers in praising God; yea, 6 (Let] the high (praises] of God (be) in their mouth ; and a two
edged sword in their hand ; while making he attack, let them sing · praise to God, as Jehoshaphat's soldiers did, (2 Chron. xx. 21, 22.) 7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments 8 upon the people ; To bind their kings with chains, and their 9 nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment
written : this honour have all his saints.t Praise ye the LORD.
1. T ET us cultivate that meekness to which such a gracious
I promise is annexed, v. 4. Let us govern our passions ; be calm and patient under injuries and provocations ; be submissive to God's will, tremble at his word, and thankfully fall in with the method of salvation by Jesus Christ. If this be our character, God will take pleasure in us, in our characters and services, our prosperity and comfort, and in bestowing his favours upon us. He will save us ; and it will be such a salvation, as shall reflect honour upon us ; we shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our heavenly Father.
2. Let us earnestly pray that God would give our soldiers that religious spirit which is here described ; that he would animate them to fight boldly in the cause of their country ; deliver them from a spirit of malice and revenge, and every thing that has the appearance of injustice and cruelty ; that the high praises of God may be in their mouths, instead of oaths and curses, which are too much their common language ; and that all their joy in victory may terminate in God,
I DRAISE ye the LORD. Praise God, ye pious ministers, *.1 who attend in his sanctuary : praise him in the firmament 2 of his power, in the highest heavens. Praise him for his mighty
acts : praise him according to his excellent greatness ; if it be 3 possible, let your songs be proportioned to it. Praise him with the
sound of the trumpet : praise him with the psaltery and harp.
By meek some understand afflicted, and suppose that it refers to their being oppressed by their enemies Perhaps it may be a fine hint, to ti ke care to maintain a proper meekness oft oper; and not to indulgę a savage fierceness, but join sentiments of bumanity and compassion with necessa y severity.
+ This refers to what is written in the Books of Moses, concerning the extirpation of the Canaanites, and was designed to animate thein. Th«y were obeying the command of God, executing a divine seutence; and it was an honour to be employed by Jelovah, even in this awful work
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance : praise him with stringeal 5 instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals : 6 praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let the choir be universal, and every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Let all cry, Praise ye the LORD.
1. It is our duty to praise God for this whole book, and that we
I have such excellent helps for our devotion by it ; that we have so many songs of praise on record, both as forms and models of praise ; and in such sublime, devout, and pathetic strains ; sufficient, one would think, to animate and warm the coldest heart; compositions, which furnish delightful entertainment in our closets and families, and in the solemn assembly. This is a part of scripture which we have peculiar reason to be thankful for ; and for all those sacred hymns which are composed upon this divine model.
2. Let us be careful not to rest in the external forms of praise, but see that our hearts be engaged and affected. There is no express direction or authority for the use of instruments of music in our public worship, though it is plain that they were sometimes used in the tabernacle. Our rule is, to sing with the spirit, and the understanding also ; with our hearts and our mouths to glorify God. If we rest in the tune and the modulation of the voice, there is no more devotion in us than in an harp or an organ ; the pipe of brass and the pipe of flesh are much alike. Let our hearts therefore be engaged to praise God. All the harmony of Solomon's temple would be nothing to him without grace in the heart; without a principle of reverence, faith and love. Let all that is within us praise God: and while our best services are so poor and imperfect, let us rejoice to think in how much better a manner he is praised by saints and angels above ; and long to join that grand chorus, and partake of their work and happiness for ever and ever. Amen.
AND OF THE FOURTH YOLUME.