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lieveth the fatherless and widow ; but the way of the we stand bound above all other men ; for the Lord
up their wounds.] He comforts us after our long sor-
the stars of heaven, (Gen. xv. 5.), which he as directPSALM CXLVII.
ly and exactly understands, (how confusedly soever
they seem to us to be scattered in the sky), as we do Hallelujah. See cxlvi.
those things which we call by their proper names. Ver. 5. Great is our LORD, and of great power ;
bis Tue ARGUMENT.-Saint Chrysostom and Theodoret understanding is infinite.] Let us not despair of it, for
think this psalm hath respect to the return of the nothing is impossible with our Lord and Governor ; Jewish nation from the captivity of Babylon ; and who is not like earthly kings, that rule over a few the instauration of Jerusalem, which followed upon petty provinces, but the great Sovereign of the whole it. And the second and thirteenth verses may well world; whose power and wisdom are so unlimited, incline us to be of the opinion, that it was made by that he is able to do whatsoever he pleases, and knows some holy man at that time, (Haggai or Zachariah, how to compass whatsoever he designs ; some ancient interpreters imagine, or rather Nehe Ver. 6. The LORD lifteth up the meek; be casteth miáh, who built the walls and set up the gates); the wicked down to the ground.] And doth not, beespecially if we observe, that there are some phrases cause he is so great, despise the afflicted ; but, if they in it which savour of the Chaldæan language. And meekly commit themselves to his care, will raise them though this can be no more than a conjecture, yet up to a better condition, and throw down the mightiest it is very certain and evident, that in that deliver. princes that proudly oppress them, as low as the very ance God gave such illustrious proofs of his power, ground. wisdom, mercy, and justice, as the psalmist here Ver. 7. Sing unto the LORD with tbanésgiving ; sing exhorts the people to celebrate with their thankful praise upon the barp unto our God.] Celebrate, therepraises. I shall follow it therefore in my para- fore, with your thankful songs, (you cannot make a phrase ; it being reasonable to suppose, that devout less return unto him), this infinite power, and wisdom, persons would be as forward to acknowledge the and goodness ; begin now, with the usual instruments wonderful providence of God in their restoration, of music, to sing hymns of praise unto our God, for as they were to bewail (which they do, Psal. all his benefits ; cxxxvii.) the ruin of their country; and that poste Ver. 8. Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who rity would be no less careful to preserve what was prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow composed in memory of the one, than they had upon the mountains.] Particularly for the great plenty been to continue the memory of the other : And he hath given us by his almighty goodness, (Haggai, there is no hymn we can find so suitable to that ii. 1.), which shews itse!f, first in raising vapours from occasion as this.
the earth, and then turning them into clouds, where
with he covers the face of heaven, and then bringing Ver. 1. PRAISE ye the LORD ; for it is good to sing forth rain out of those clouds,
which he sends back to praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, the earth again ; and makes not only the green pasand praise is comely.] Let all the nations praise the tures, but the parched mountains and desart places, beLord, who will send us new benefits when we are truly come fruitful. thankful to him, our great benefactor, for the old; for Ver. 9. He giveth to the beast bis food, and to the it is a thing highly acceptable to him, as well as de. young ravens which cry] By which wonderful provilightful to those who are employed therein ; and best dence he provides food even for the wiid goats, and becomes us of all other things, there being nothing so such like beasts, that live upon the top of craggy decent as to see men grateful to him that hath obliged rocks; for he neglects not the vilest creatures, but them ;
satisfies the hunger of the young ravens; though they te Ver. 2. Tbe LORD doth build up Jerusalem ; be so ravenous, that they are continually crying for new gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.] To which supplies. VOL. III.
Ver. 10. He delighteth not in the strength of the borse; fishes in the ponds and rivers, are able long to enbe taketh not pleasure in the legs of man.] Let us not dure it. doubt, then, but he that takes care of crows, will inuch. Ver. 18. He sendeth out his word, and melteth them; more take care of us; and not be afraid though we be causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.] But are of little force, (Nehem. iv. 3. 4. vii. 4.), and then, to prevent the hurt that might ensue by its con-, have no armies of horse and foot to defend us; for the tinuance, he issues forth another command, which as Lord (who fights for us, Nehem. iv. 20.) hath no suddenly (ver. 15.) makes a thaw, and, by the warm need of these ; and will not take part wit.t our ene breath of softer winds, loosens the waters which were mies, because they are superior to us in the strength bound up, and causes them to flow again. of their horses, and the nimbleness of their soldiers. Ver. 19. He sbeweth bis word unto Jacob, bis sta
Ver. 11. The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear tutes and his judgemients unto Israel.] In such things as him, in those that hope in bis mercy.] ,But delights to these the whole world see how powerful and how give those his assistance and protection, who, worship- good he is; but we have more peculiar reasons to ping him devoutly, fear to offend him; and having depend upon himn for a happy return of our nation, no help in themselves, nor any earthly refuge to fly whom he doth not teach merely by the snow, the unto, depend notwithstanding with a stedfast faith on
hoar frost, and the ice, but by another sort of word his infinite mercy.
than that which sends them upon the earth, (ver, Ver. 12. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem ; praise thy 15.); even by his ten commandments delivered from God, O Sion.] Praise the Lord, Oye inhabitants of heaven, (Exod. xx. 1.), in a most glorious and astoJerusalem; sing joyful hymr.s unto your God, Oye nishing manner, (ver. 18.), and by laws of all sorts, people of Sion, (Nehem. xii. 27. 31. 40. 43.), who which he hath given us for the government of our have seen this truth abundantly demonstrated in your life. days.
Ver. 20. He bath not dealt so with
nation; and Ver. 13. For he bath strengthened the bars of thy as for his judgements, they have not known them. Praise gates ; le bath blessed thy children within thee.] For ye the Lord.] This is a privilege which no other he hath made this city, which was lately without walls nation in the world enjoys, (Deut. iv. 32. 33.) For and gates, so strong a place, that no enemy dare assault though they all receive the showers and snow of the it, (Nehem. vi. 15. 16.), and hath increased the num- clouds, yet laws from thence they have no acquaint, ber of thy citizens, which were but few, (Nehem. vii. ance withal. Therefore let us not dishonour him so 4. xi. 1. 2.), by the manifold blessings he hath pour- much as to distrust his providence, but continually ed' on them.
praise the Lord, and acknowledge his bounty to us. Ver. 14. He maketh peace in thy horders, and fillet) thee wiih the finest of the wheat.) Which are not con
PSALM CXLVIII. 'fined within the walls of that city, but he hath setiled, all the country in peace; no enemy appearing to in
Halklujah. See cxlvi. fest thy borders, and to disturb the husbandmen in their labours, which have produced so rich a crop, THE ARGUMENT.-It doth not appear who was the
plentiful provision is made for all our satisfac. author of this hymu, nor upon what occasion tion.
it was composed. But the last verse sufficiently Ver. 15. He sendetb forth bis commandment upon shew's the nation was then in a very flourishing con. earth; his word runneth viry swiftly.) This we
dition, and therefore probably it was made by Daought to ascribe to his merciful providence, who vid, when God had given him rest from all his shews, by the fruitful seasons he sends, after all things enemies; which filled his heart with such love to seem to be killed by a hard winter, that he dotii not God, that it transported him into this raptare. intend by our affliction to destroy us, and that he can Wherein, finding how short his own praises were, easily bring all our brethren hither, who remain still he wishes ail creatures in heaven and earth would in captivity; for when he would have any alteration conspire in a sweet symphony, as Theodoret speaks, made in the earth, it is done as speedily as we can of singing praise unto him. And first he calls speak.
upon the world above, and all that is therein, from Ver. 16. He giveth snow like wool; be scattereth the the first verse to the seventh, where he descends to hoar-frost like ashes.] He sends, for instance, a sud the world here below, and calls upon all things on den cold, which sometimes turns the moist vapours the earth to praise the Lord; concluding, (ver. 13.), in the air into flakes of snow, to cover the earth as that as there is one Maker of both, so all that they with a fleece of wool, and defend the corn from the can say of him, when they have joined all their biting winds; and sometimes into hoary frost, which powers together in ore choir, falls infinitely short lie gently scatters and strews like ashes upon the of his most excellent majesty ; who hath set forth cirth.
his most transcendent wisdom, power, and muni. Ver. 17. He casteth furth bis ice like morsels : ubo ficence, in such variety of stupendous works, that can stand before bis cold.?] And sometiines congeals there is not the smallest of them, but ministers such then into ice, which he breaks into bits, and throws matter of praise, nay admiration, to those that atdown in violent hail, accompanied with such ex tentively consider them, that they cannot but wish, tremity of cold, that neither inan ner beast, nor the with the psalmist bere, that every one of them
were able to tell us, how much skill and kindness wind, fulfilling his word.] Let the lightnings, thunder,
all cedars.] The fofty mountains also, and the lesser This I take to be the true account of this psalm, hills, the fruit-bearing trees, with the stately cedars ;
which I refer to the times of David, because the the pines, the firs, and all the rest, (which he hath
upon the earth, or swims in the sea, or flies in the air, Ver. ". PRAISE ye the LORD ; praise ye the LORD let it join in this hymn of praise to him, who hath
from the beavens ; praise bim in the shewn his manifold wisdom and diffusive goodness in heights.] Let all creatures praise the Lord. First let them all. the celestial choir begin, and sing their thankful Ver. 11. Kings of the earth, and all people ; princes, hymns to him, who hath raised them so high above and all judges of the earth.] But especially let man. us in power and might, as well as in dignity and kind praise him, who (after he had made these place.
things) brought them into the world last of all, to Ver. 2. Praise him, all his angels : praise ye him, all contemplate his wonderful works: and first let kings his bests.] Praise him, all ye angels, who have the (who here on earth resemble the angels or the sun in honour to be the prime ministers of his excellent ma. heaven), and then let their ministers of state, and jesty. O let their several hosts and companies, in what- lieutenants in their several provinces, and next, all soever rank or order they stand, praise him whose sove the judges of the earth, (who are like the moon and reign authority commands them all.
stars), give a good example unto all the subjects, and Ver. 3. Praise ye kim, sun and moon : praise him, all stir them up to ineditate his praise. Je stars of light.] Praise him, ye sun and moon, who Ver. 12. Both young men and maidens, old men and are his greatest visible ministers, and unwearied in his children.] Let no sex, no age, think themselves exservice; praise him, all the rest of the shining starš, empted from this heavenly employment; but let the and declare to all future generations, as ye have done young men praise him for their strength, and the vir. for so many ages past, how glorious he is.
gins for their beauty ; they that are going out of the Ver. 4. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye world, for all that they have seen and heard of him ; waters that be above the heavens.] Let all the heaven- and they that are newly come into it, for all the goodly regions praise him ; particularly the clouds, which ly spectacles that are before then. hang in the air, and distil in fruitful showers to in Ver. 13. Let them praise the name of the Lord : for rich the earth.
his name alone is excellent, and his glory is above the earth Ver. 5. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for and beaven.] Let them praise the incomparable wisbe commanded, and they were created.] Let all these dom, goodness, and power of the Lord: for how set forth the adorable wisdom, and power, and good great soever any other beings are, there is no other Dess of the Lord; for by his omnipotent word, these, God but he, whose most excellent majesty infinitely whom the mistaken world calls gods, were created, not surpasses all that the earth or the heavens can tell us to be worshipped, but perpetually to proclaim his of him. praise.
Ver. 14. He also exalted the horn of his people, the Ver. 6. He hath also established them for ever and praise of all his saints, even of the children of Israel, a ever : be hath made a decree which shall not pass.] Who people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.] And yet, hath made them not only illustrious, but everlasting so great is his condescension unto us, (who are bound, monuments of his splendour and glory; having fixed therefore, more particularly to praise him), he takes and settled them in an admirable order, which they a peculiar care of us, and hath set over us a powerconstantly observe, and prescribed them laws, which ful prince, for the defence and safety of his people, they never transgress.
(Psal. Ixxxix. 19.); whose fame he hath thereby Ver. 7. Praise the LORD from the earth, ge dragons, raised to the highest pitch of honour, having obliged and all deeps.] O let all creatures here below accom. the children of Israel by many peculiar benefits; epany those celestial hosts in their praises of the Lord, specially this, that they are a people more nearly rewhose power the vast wliales, in their several kinds, lated to him than any other whatsoever ; for he and all that move in the profound depth of the sea, dwells among them in his holy place, where they apabundantly declare.
proach to him. O praise him there for this singular Ver. 8. Fire and hail, snow and vapour, stormy favour.
that the Lord, who is our King, hath there settled his
royal throne, 2 Sam. v. 9. vi. 12. PSALM CXLIX.
Ver. 3. Let them praise bis name in the dance ; let
them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and barp.] Hallelujah. See cxlvi.
Let them leap for joy, and unanimously praise his ex.
cellent majesty, in their dances to the fute, (2 Sam, THE ARGUMENT.-Theodoret thinks this psalm was vi. 16.); let them testify their gratitude to him, by
made for them that, after their return from capri- singing psalms, with the timbrel and the harp. vity, had many opposers, but by the divine assist: Ver. 4. For the LORD taketh pleaiure in bis people; ance overcame them; and that it is a prediction be will beautify the meete with salvation.] For the of those great things which were done by the Lord taketh pleasure in doing good unto his people ; Maccabees. Certain it is, that some signal victory and will not only deliver them after they have been was the occasion of it; and thence Saint Chrysos- oppressed many years, bat, if they meekly depend tom hath here given us a full account, I think, of upon him, make them as great and illustrious, as the meaning of a new song ; which, according to they have been contemptible and mean, i Chron. the use of the word new in other places, (when xiv. 2. they would express a thing very wonderful, soch Ver. 5. Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them as hath not been seen nor heard of before, Numb. . sing aloud upon their. beds.? Which shall fill the xvi. 30. Jer. xxxi. 22.), he takes to denote “ hearts of good men (who are dear to bim) with the illustrious and famous hymn, made for victories, highest triumph, in the honour that he hath done for great atchievements and trophies." Which them; and make them shout for joy, in the security were never more remarkable in this nation, than in and peace he shall bestow upon them.. the days of David ; and therefore this psalm may Ver. 6. Let the high praises of God be in their very well relate to his reign, who subdued several mouth, and a two-edged sword in their kad;} Which kingdoms, which had stood out, and would not they shall not doubt to maintain against all apposers ; submit to Israel till his time, though God had pro- for in assured hope of victory they shall go to war, mised to give their countries to them, Gen. xv. 18. with psalms and hymns in their mouths, concerning
Exod. xxiii. 31. 2 Sam. viii. I 2. &c. X. 19. the great acts of the Lord; which they shall courageThe interpretation which I have given of the sixth ously sing with a loud voice, when they shall fall
verse, need not seem strange to any one who con upon their enemies, and prefer to the two-edged siders that it hath been and is the custom of all sword which they carry in their hand, nations, to stir up themselves to fight by the sound Ver. 7. To execute vengeance upon the beathen, and of some musical instrument or other. “ The an- punishments upon the people ;] Wherewith they shall cient inhabitants of Etruria," saith Clemens Alex. take a just revenge upon the heathen, for all the inandrinus, (in the second book of his Pædagogus, jories they have done us; and so chastise the insachap. 4.), “ used the trumpet for this purpose; the lence of the people, that they shall fear again to moArcadians the whistle; the Sicilians an instrument lest us, 1 Chron. xiv. 17. called Pectids; the Cretians the harp; the Lace Ver. 8. To bind their kings with chains, and their dæmonians the pipe ; the Thracians the cornet; nobles with fetters of iron ;] For their victories shall the Egyptians the drum ; the Arabians the cym- be so complete, that they shall not only rout their bal:" but it was proper to the Israelites to go forth enemies and put them to flight, but lead away their against their enemies, singing psalms of praise to kings captive in chains; and take their great captains God, (as we read, 2 Chron. xx. 21. 22.), who and commanders prisoners, and keep them fast in fethad given great victories to their ancestors, and had ters of iron : promised never to forsake their posterity, while Ver. 9. To execute upon tbem the judgement written : they served him only, and piously confided in this bonour bave all bis saints. Praise ye the LORD ] him.
In order to the executing upon them the judgement
which God hath long ago decreed, and is recorded in Ver. 1. PRAISE ye the LORD,
the Lord. Sing unto the his law, (Deut. vii. 24. xxxii. 41. 42. 43.) This is LORD a new song, and bis praise in the the honour which all Israel shall have, when they are congregation of saints.] Sing a new hymn unto the in favour with God; and such shall be their glorious Lord, for the fresh and singular benefits he hath be.. victories, and such hymns and melodious songs shall stowed upon us; let him be praised not only in private, they sing, saying, Hallelujah, praise the Lord, by but in the public assemblies of those who have re whose power and might we have done all this. ceived special marks of his favour to them. Ver. 2. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him ; let
PSALM CL. the children of Zion be joyful in their King.] Let all the Israelites rejoice in him that made them his pecu.
Hallelujah. See cxlvi, liar people, and hath now raised them to great splen- THE ARGUMENT.-Theodoret takes this also to be dour among the nations of the world ; let the inhabit "'Yun 'Exivixso, a song of triumph after some vic. ants of Sion, more particularly, be exceeding glad, tory; and the mention of the mighty acts of the
Lord, ver. 2. seems to countenance this conjec translate loud cymbals), to know what these musi-
sanctuary : praise him in the firmament of
this Ver. 2. Praise bim for bis migbiy acts ; praise bim whole psalm; till they came to the courts of the according to bis excellent greatness.] Praise him, all ye Lord's house, where the Levites met them singing ministers of his upon earth, for the'miraculous things the 30th psalm.
which he hath done for our deliverance and exaltaAnd, indeed, it might well be used upon occasion of tion; let your praises bear some proportion to the any exceeding great joy; for it seems to be intend- excellence of his majesty, and the multitude of those ed (by the repetition of these words,“ praise the great and magnificent acts of mercy towards us. Lord, or “praise him," thirteen times; and by the Ver. 3. Praise bim with the sound of the trumpet ; calling for no less than ten instruments of music); praise him with the psaltery and barp.] Let the priests to express the height and fulness of their joy, and of the Lord (Numb. x. 8.) praise him with the sound thankfulness to God for bis benefits ; nor can mu of the trumpet; and let the Levites (1 Chron. xxv. sic be so well employed to any other use, as this 6.) praise him with psalteries and harps. divine and heavenly exercise of praising God, by Ver. 4. Praise him with the timbrel and dance ; hymns, and psalms, and spiritual songs: to which praise him with stringed instruments and organs.] Let the psalmist seems to me to excite all creatures, in some praise him with the timbrel and the flute, and heaven and in earth, from the highest to the lowest. others praise him with the stringed instruments and And with this the collector of these five books of organs, psalms thought good to conclude the whole : and
Praise him upon the loud cymbals ; praise not unfitly; for in whatsoever condition we be, (as bim upon the bigh sounding cymbals.] Let all sorts of there are psalms adapted to several purposes), we cymbals accompany their psalms and hymns in his should never forget to praise the Lord; but after praise ; both those of daily use, and those that are we have prayed, or complained, &c. still end with wont to be employed in times of the highest joy and thankful acknowledgements to God for his good. triumph. ness to us.
Ver. 6. Let every thing that hath breath, praise Here are several sorts of musical instruments men the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.] Finally, Let every
tioned, which I have not adventured to explain ; man living join himself to this sacred choir; and at because the Hebrews themselves acknowledge they every breath praise the Lord, the giver of life and of do not understand them. “We have no way (saith all good things. To him let all the world, with one Aben Ezra upon these words, ver. 5. which we consent, give perpetual praise.
THE END OF THE PSALMS.