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INTRODUCTION.

It is equally true of the Psalms as of the other prophecies of scripture, that they are not of private interpretation ; " they came not in old time by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” David wrote by dictation of the Spirit of God; not of things concerning himself, but concerning Christ, as appears from the 45th Psalm, “My heart is inditing a good matter; I speak of the things which I have made touching the king; my tongue is the pen of a ready-writer.” The Spirit of God was the writer, and David was his amanuensis ; all had reference to Christ; to his suffering, or to the glory that should follow. The gospels exhibit Christ as the perfect man, in his outward deportment; the Psalms lay open his inner life, that thus we might know the secret springs or motives by which he was actuated; and so learn “that mind which is in Christ Jesus.” It is written that when David instructed Solomon about the building of the temple, “the pattern was given him by the Spirit, “ All this (said he) the Lord made me to understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern." It was thus also he wrote the Psalms which, as already said, from beginning to end, apply exclusively to Christ, “ in whom God was ever well pleased :” viewing them in this light, they assume an importance which cannot be overestimated, and furnish a desideratum which would otherwise have been wanting in the revelation of him who is "the

INTRODUCTION.

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brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person.” They are the secret utterances of his pure soul, when no ear was listening, but the ear of God: written by the Spirit of the living God; not for Christ to use like a prepared rubric, but because he foreknew all his devout breathings; and caused his servant David to write them at his dictation ; " for the Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God.”

EXPOSITION.

PSALM I.

1. BLESSED is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful:

2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. THERE is a great appropriateness in this the introductory psalm, inasmuch as it proceeds at once without circumlocution, to settle the all-important question. In what does happiness consist ? and who is the blessed man? inasmuch also as it is a fitting commencement to the life of him whose character is here portrayed.

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HOW TO BE HAPPY.

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· Blessed is the man that walketh not in the

counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

Blessedness consists in inward tranquillity and gladness of heart, with joyful anticipations of glory, honour, and immortality. How is this blessedness to be obtained ? First. By rejecting the counsel of the wicked; by having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness ; shunning the places of pleasure to which they resort; the ballroom, the racecourse, the theatre, the opera ; rejecting also their books of pleasure ; novels and other unprofitable and unedifying literature, by which time is not redeemed but wasted. “What man is he that desireth life (or blessedness) and loveth many days that he may see good ? keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and

pursue it."

“ But his delight is in the law of the Lord.” Secondly. “Hear O Israel : the Lord our God is one Lord, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; this is the first and great commandment; and the second is like unto it; thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets :” thus, love is the fulfilling of the law, and he is the blessed man whose delight is in this law.

And in his law doth he meditate day and

night.”

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