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followed, as enough for plain people; and that the opinion has been adopted, for which there is good authority, that the old titles to many of the psalms are in the main to be depended on for their correctness.

*** Where the Psalms are statedly read in public worship, a look into this Handy-Book beforehand might add to the intelligent enjoyment of them.

OBSERVATIONS

ON THE HEADINGS THAT PRECEDE THE

NOTES ON EACH PSALM.

WRITER: When matter of conjecture only, set down as

“unknown." The question who was the writer is of

no great practical importance. OCCASION: The same rule has been followed here also.

But when the occasion (that is, the particular circumstances that may have suggested the psalm) throws light on the meaning, it is well to consider what that

occasion may have been. CHARACTER: The Psalms are thus classified(1.) Prophetic: that is, speaking exclusively, or almost

exclusively, of Christ. Many other psalms contain passages that apply to Christ and His kingdom; but wherever in such cases there is a primary application to the writer, it will be found that the writer is David, who thus represents

“David's seed,” that is, Christ. (2.) Doctrinal : that is, giving instruction on some one

point of faith or practice. (3.) Practical : that is, containing the experience of

some individual or collection of persons. They are by far the most numerous.

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(4.) Historical : that is, a narration principally of the

national life of Israel from Egypt to the return

from Babylon. PRINCIPAL USE; Of the practical psalms only. The

object being to suggest the particular experience of our own to which each of these psalms may be most applicable.

A HANDY-BOOK OF THE PSALMS.

the ungodly, nor standeth in w

Psalm 1.

water, that bringeth forth his 1 BLESSED is the man that

fruit in his season; his leaf

also shall not wither; and walketh not in the counsel of

whatsoever he doeth shall

prosper. the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

4 The ungodly are not so : 2 But his delight is in the

but are like the chaff which law of the LORD ; and in his

the wind driveth away. law doth he meditate day and 5 Therefore the ungodly night.

shall not stand in the judg3 And he shall be like a ment, nor sinners in the contree planted by the rivers of gregation of the righteous.

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WRITER: Unknown.

able, who forget God; (ii.) “sinOCCASION: Unknown.

ners," i.e., before men; (iii.) the CHARACTER : Doctrinal.

“scornful,” i.e., those who make

a mock of religion. (2) What he Describes the character of the does do : “ Proves what is that righteous, and contrasts their state good, and acceptable, and perfect with that of the ungodly. “Right

will of God” (Rom. xii. 2), as reeous” and “ungodly” here are vealed in His written Word, Mark, comparative terms. Strictly speak- delight": the heart. ing, a righteous person, in Scripture 3. Fruitfulness, continuance in sense, is one who is accounted

well-doing, and prosperity in the righteous before God by faith in work of his hands. This the geneChrist, and who, consequently, is ral rule, in the long run; very striving to be righteous in character, beautiful and refreshing. and is comparatively so.

4, 5. Their real lightness and

inconstancy, in spite of appear1, 2. Character of the righteous : ances; and their sure condemna. (1) What he does not do-conform tion at the last. “ Judgment” may to this world (Rom. xii. 2); goes mean some time of calamity here, against, not with the stream. Three in this life; but it must mean yet degrees of comparison, perhaps : more, the time that is coming, (i.) The “ungodly,” i.e., the respect- when all things shall be set right.

B

6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but

the way of the ungodly shall perish.

6. A striking contrast between the two ways. One, however dark it may be, in the light of God's favour and loving care, and ends in the perfect day; the other,

however bright now, is unlighted by God's best comforts, and ends in everlasting night.

See Psalm cxii.

QUOTED IN NEW TESTAMENT, heavens shall laugh: the Lord (1.) Vers. 1, 2, in Acts iv. 25, 26. shall have them in derision.

(2.) Ver. 7, in Acts xiii. 33 ; Heb. i. 5; and v. 5.

5 Then shall he speak unto (3.) Ver. 9, in Rev. ii. 27.

them in his wrath, and vex

them in his sore displeasure. Psalm 2. 1 Why do the heathen rage,

6 Yet have I set my king and the people imagine a vain

upon my holy hill of Zion. thing?

7 I will declare the decree : 2 The kings of the earth

the LORD hath said unto me, set themselves, and the rulers

Thou art my Son; this day take counsel together, against

have I begotten thee. the LORD, and against his 8 Ask of me, and I shall anointed, saying,

give thee the heathen for thine 3 Let us break their bands inheritance, and the uttermost asunder, and cast away their parts of the earth for thy poscords from us.

session. 4 He that sitteth in the 9 Thou shalt break them WRITER : David (Acts iv. 25). showing how perfectly futile in OCCASION: Unknown.

reality is man's opposition, howCHARACTER : Prophetic.

ever it may seem to hinder God's The Christ.

work. “Shall laugh.” Yet there

is awful guilt in opposing (ver. 5), 1-3. The quotation in Acts iv.

albeit it is vain to do so (ver. 6). 25, 26 makes it beyond all doubt 7. The meaning is to be got that these verses refer to the up- from New Testament, especially rising of human power and author- from Acts xiii. 33. Begotten" ity against Christ, beginning with raised from the dead. So Rom. i. the Jewish rulers, and including 4. Observe, my Son," "my king the power of the Roman Empire. (ver. 6), “ the Son” (ver. 12). See Acts iv. 27. “Bands,” “cords” 8-9. Could this possibly have =restraints. “We will not have

reference to any “occasion” in the this man to reign over us.” Luke

life of David ? or could the follow

ing verses ? Ver. 9 represents Christ 4-6. Glorious and reviving words, as the avenger. Too much over

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xix. 14.

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