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Thanksgiving, as Psalm xlvi. Probably written after the captivity,
(I. Return from captivity.) i When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion,
We were like them that dream.
And our tongue with singing:
“ The Lord hath done great things for them.” 3 The Lord hath done great things for us; Whereof we are glad.
(II. Prayer: Prediction of success.) 4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord,
As the streams in the south.
bearing precious seed,
bringing his sheaves with him.
REFLECTIONS. 1. The return from the Babylonish captivity was matter of great joy to the devout Jews. Are we freed from the captivity of sin? Then we may say, “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”
2. If our fetters are broken, we shall pray that others may share the like mercy, and flow into the Church in great abundance. Life is the seed-time. We may sow in tears: but if we sow to the spirit, we shall of the spirit reap in joy the blessings of everlasting life.
PRAYER. Deliver us, O Lord, and deliver all mankind, from the captivity of sin: and may we in patience sow good and precious seed, that we may reap above, with rejoicing souls, the harvest of eternal bliss, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Instructive, as Psalm i.
(I. The virtue of God's blessing.) 1 Except the Lord build the house,
They labour in vain that build it:
The watchman waketh but in vain. 2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
(II. Children are His gift.)
And the fruit of the womb is His reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
So are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
They shall not be ashamed,
REFLECTIONS. 1. We must build, and watch, and labour: it is our duty to exert ourselves, both in the temporal and spiritual life: but in all things we must remember our entire dependence upon God, and that success, safety, and prosperity are from Him. He gives quiet sleep to those who confide in Him.
2. Children are the gift of God; and we should strive and pray to bring them up in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord;" that, through His mercy and goodness, they may be a source of happiness to us, ornaments in the Church, and valuable members of society.
PRAYER. In all our works, O Lord, may we look to Thee, depend upon Thee, and enjoy the peace and safety of those who believe in Thee: and may Thy blessing rest upon our children, that they may glorify Thee. Grant this, we beseech Thee, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Instructive, as Psalm i. It may be viewed as a continuation of the preceding Psalm.
(I. Blessings which follow them that fear God.) 1 Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord ;
That walketh in His ways.
2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thy hands :
Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. 3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine
by the sides of thy house: Thy children like olive-plants round about thy
table. 4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed
That feareth the Lord. 5 The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion:
And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of thy life. 6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children,
And peace upon Israel.
REFLECTIONS. Here we see, 1. The principle of the good man: he fears the Lord; he knows and reveres God. 2. The life or conduct of the good man: he walks in God's ways: he is regularly obedient to His laws. He renounces his own ways, and the ways of an ungodly world; and proceeds in that course of action which the word of God reveals and enjoins. 3. The happy state, the blessedness of the good man. God prospers him in his labour; in his family ; in his soul; in national blessings; and in his posterity. Thus “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
PRAYER. Plant in our hearts, O Lord, the fear of Thy holy Name: enable us to renounce every
and to walk in Thy ways: and grant that we, through Thy mercy and goodness, may experience that blessedness, here and for ever, which is the portion of Thy faithful servants, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Thanksgiving, as Psalm xlvi. Probably written after the captivity.
(I. The Church's troubles and deliverances.) 1 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth,
May Israel now say: 2 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth:
Yet they have not prevailed against me. 3 The plowers plowed upon my back:
They made long their furrows. 4 The Lord is righteous: He hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
(II. The end of those who hate her.) 5 Let them all be confounded and turned back
That hate Zion. 6 Let them be as the grass upon the house-tops,
Which withereth afore it groweth up: 7 Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand;
Nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. 8 Neither do they which go by say,
The blessing of the Lord be upon you:
in the Name of the Lord.
REFLECTIONS. 1. We may apply this to the Israelites, to Christ, to the Church, and to every faithful Christian. The