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the church here below, who, in disposition, as well as employment, do most resemble them. . 5. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee: in zwhose heart are the ways of them; Heb. the ways are in the heart of them. ..
Not only are they pronounced blessed who dwell in thic temple, but all they also who are travelling thitherward, (as the whole Jewish nation was wont to do three times in a year,) and who are therefore meditating on their journey, and on the way which leads to the holy city, trusting in God to strengthen, and prosper, and conduct them to the house of his habitation, the place where his glory dwells. Such a company of sojourners are Christians, going up to the heavenly Jerusalem ; 'such ought to be their trust in God, and such the subject of their thoughts.
6. Who, passing through the valley of Baca, make it å well: the rain also filleth the pools. 7. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion affeareth before God: or, the God of gods appeareth, i. e. to them in Zion.
The true import of these two verses seems to be this, that the Israelites, or some of them, passed, in their way to Jerusalem, through a valley that had the name of Baca, a noun derived from a verb which signifies to weep; that in this valley they were refreshed by plenty of water; that with renewed vigour they proceeded from stage to stage, until they presented themselves before God in Zion. The present world is to us this valley of weeping. In our passage through it, we are refreshed by the streams of divine grace, flowing down from the great fountain of consolation; and thus are we enabled to proceed from one degree of holiness to another, until we come to the glorified vision of God in heaven itself. Mr. Merrick's poetical version of this passage is extremely beautiful ; and applies at once to the case of the Israelite, and to that of the Christian :- :
Bleet, who, their strength on thee reclin'd,
(As down in grateful show'rs distillid
The copious springs their steps beguile,
- 8. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. 9. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.
After extolling the happiness of those who dwelt in the temple, and of those who had access to it, the Psalmist breaks forth into a most ardent prayer to his God, for a share in that happiness. He addresses him as the Lord of hosts, almighty in power;- as the God of Jacob, infinite in mercy and goodness to his people; as their shield, the object of all their trust for defence and protection; and beseeches him to look upon the face of his anointed, that is, of David, if he were king of Israel when this Psalm was written ; or rather of Messiah, in whom God is always well pleased; for whose sake he has mercy upon us, through whose name and merits our prayers are accepted, and the kingdom of heaven is open to all believers.
10. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand: I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness,
One day spent in meditation and devotion affords a pleasure far, far superior to that which an age of worldly prosperity could give. Happier is the least and lowest of the servants of Jesus, than the greatest and most exalted potentate who knoweth him not.And he is no proper judge of blessedness, who hesitates a moment to prefer the condition of a penitent in the porch, to that of a sinner on the throne. If this be the case upon earth, how much more in heaven? O come that one glorious day, whose sun shall never go down, nor any cloud obscure the lustre of his beams; that day, when the temple of God shall be opened in heaven, and we shall be admitted to serve him for ' ever therein!
11. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Jesus Christ is our Lord, and our God; he is a sun to enlighten and direct us in the way, and a shield to protect us against the enemies of our salvation; he will give grace to carry us on from strength to
strength, and glory to crown us when we appear before him in Zion; he will withhold nothing that is good and profitable for us in the course of our journey, and will himself be our reward when we come to the end of it.
12. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
While, therefore, we are strangers and sojourners here below, far from that heavenly country where we would be, in whom should we trust, to bring us to the holy city, the new Jerusalem, of which the Lord God and the Lamb are the temple, but in thee, O Saviour and Redeemer, who art the head of every creature, the Captain of the armies of heaven and earth, the Lord of hosts, and the King of glory? Blessed, thrice blessed, is the man that trusteth in thee. :
This Psalm is called, in its title, “ A prayer of Moses · the man of God.” By him it is imagined to have
been composed when God shortened the days of the · murmuring Israelites in the wilderness. It is, how
ever, a Psalm of general use, and is made, by the . church, a part of her funeral service. It contains
an address to the eternal and unchangeable God, the Saviour and Preserver of his people; a most affecting description of man's mortal and transitory state on earth since the fall; a complaint, that few meditate in such a manner upon death, as to prepare themselves for it; a prayer for grace so to do; and for the mercies of redemption.
1. LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.
The Psalmist, about to describe man's fleeting and transitory state, first directs us to contemplate the unchangeable nature and attributes of God, who hath always been a dwelling place, or place of defence and refuge, affording protection and comfort to his people in the world, as he promised to be before the world