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There are two methods, in which the book may be made useful in a Sunday School. 1st, By being placed in the hands of the Teachers alone, enabling them to explain the subjects of the Psalms, and the meaning of the several verses, to such young scholars as are not sufficiently advanced to read and comprehend the notes themselves. 2d, By its being made a class book for the higher scholars : in this case it should be lent to them during the week, in order that they may be thoroughly prepared for an examination in the Psalms of the following Sunday. And such as are able, may learn by heart one or more of the practical addresses.
A few questions are added at the end of each Psalm, as a guide to those teachers who require it; but a little attention will shew that many more questions may be formed from the words of the Psalms themselves, as well as from the notes and addresses : and an experienced teacher will scarcely want such assist
THE FIRST DAY.
PSALM I. In this Psalm are described the character and happiness of the righteous ; and the misery and ruin of ungodly men.
1 Blessed is the man that wither: and look, whatsoever hath not walked in the counsel he doeth, it shall prosper. of the ungodly, nor stood in 5 As for the ungodly, it is the
way of sinners : and hath not so with them: but they are not sat in the seat of the scorn- like the chaff, which the wind
scattereth away from the face 2 But his delight is in the of the earth. law of the Lord: and in His 6 Therefore the ungodly law will he exercise himself shall not be able to stand in the day and night.
judgment : neither the sinners 3 And he shall be like a tree in the congregation of therightplanted by the water-side : that eous. will bring forth his fruit in due 7 But the Lord knoweth the
way of the righteous : and the 4 His leaf also shall not I way of the ungodly shall perish
Ver. 1. that hath not walked, fc.] Who hath not followed the advice of the ungodly, who hath not formed his course of life according to their wicked principles and habits.-nor stood, fc.] Not fixed and
settled himself in their way.-- not sat, fc.] As if coolly and purposely sitting down with sinners to scoff at God and religion.
Ver. 2. exercise himself, &c.] He thinks and dwells upon the word of God continually, on all occasions, by day or by night.
Ver. 3. the water-side,] This was a very favourable situation in a hot and dry soil. In Scripture, water is an emblem of the Holy Spirit. Isa. xliv. 3. John iv. 14.
Ver. 5. like the chaff,] Like the thin husks of corn, which are scattered away by the wind at the winnowing See Matt. iii. 12.
Ver. 6. in the judgment,] At the day of judgment, when they shall be separated from the righteous, and be driven away to everlasting punishment.
Ver. 7. the Lord knoweth, 8c.] Approves and blesses it. See 2 Tim. ii. 19. In Scripture language, to know often signifies to acknowledge or approve. Psal. ci. 5. Matt. vii. 23. John x. 14. 27.
We see in this Psalm the character of the righteous, of all the people of God. They forsake sin; they withdraw themselves entirely from evil company; they never make a mock at any thing serious or sacred. Their minds and hearts are engaged in the study of God's law; it is the joy and comfort of their life. We see the blessed effects of this : they are prospered by their heavenly Father ; He “ makes every thing work together for their good:” they are like a flourishing tree; they bring forth fruit unto holiness and happiness; they are honoured and accepted by God through Jesus Christ; “having done all, they stand;" the end of the righteous is peace. But how very different from this is the end of the wicked, and of those who forget God. They have made God their enemy, and He will pour his wrath upon them ; they will be condemned on the latter day : they will be separated like the chaff, and burnt with unquenchable tire. O that we may seek and serve the Lord our
God, with all our heart and soul ; that we may “ flee from evil and do the thing that is good;" that we may daily find the comfort of His grace and favour, and hear at last the approving sentence of our Saviour and Judge, “ Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matt. xxv. 21.
Who is blessed ?-What is meant by walking in the counsel of the ungodly?-What, by sitting in the seat of the scornful ?-In what is the good man's delight ?-What is meant by exercising ourselves ?-What is the righteous like ?-What are the ungodly like ?-What is chaff?—Where, in the New Testament, are the wicked compared to chaff?—Repeat the passage ?-What is meant by the wicked not standing in the judgment ?- What, by the Lord knowing the way of the righteous ? - Repeat the pas. sages on ver. 7.-What should we learn from this Psalm ?
PSALM II. This Psalm declares, according to one sense of the words, that the throne of David, king of Israel, should be established in defiance of all his enemies; and it foretels, in another and higher sense, that the throne and kingdom of Christ should also be established, in due time, in defiance of all his enemies.
1 Why do the heathen so 6 Yet have I set my king : furiously rage together : and upon my holy hill of Sion. why do the people imagine a 7 I will preach the law, vain thing?
whereof the Lord hath said 2 The kings of the earth unto me: Thou art my Son, this stand up, and the rulers take day have I begotten thee. counsel together : against the § Desire of me, and I shall Lord, and against his Anointed. give thee the heathen for thine
3 Let us break their bonds inheritance : and the utmost asunder: and cast away their parts of the earth for thy poscords from us.
session. 4 He that dwelleth in heaven 9 Thou shalt bruise them shall laugh them to scorn : the with a rod of iron : and break Lord shall have them in de- them in pieces like a potter's rision.
vessel. 5 Then shall he speak unto 10 Be wise now therefore, them in his wrath : and vex O ye kings : he learned, ye that them in his sore displeasure. are judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord in fear : the right way: if his wrath be and rejoice unto him with re- kindled, (yea, but a little,) bless
ed are all they that put their 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be trust in him. angry, and so ye perish from
Ver. 1. the heathen,] Those who were not of Israel; and who knew not the true God.-a vain thing.] A thing which they cannot perform. They raged against David, and thought to destroy him, but could not; so they did afterwards against Christ, but in vain : there is no hope in striving against God: His will must be done, and His word must come to pass.
Ver. 2. against his anointed,] Against David, who was anointed king over Israel. It was a custom to anoint kings and priests with oil. Exod. xxviii. 41. xxix. 7. 1 Sam. xvi. 13. 2 Sam. ii. 7. David was a type, that is, an appointed figure, of the Messiah or Christ; both of these names signify the anointed. John i. 41. Accordingly, this second verse of the Psalm foreshews, that kings and rulers should stand up and take counsel against the anointed Son of God: as in truth we find, that Herod and Pontius Pilate and many others did. And we learn from Acts iv. 25-28., that the beginning of this Psalm was actually intended to foreshew the opposition thus made to Christ.
Ver. 3.] In this verse, the enemies of David and of Christ are represented as saying, let us not submit, let us not be bound by such authority; "we will not have this man to reign over us.” Luke xix. 14.
Ver. 4. shall laugh, fc.] God shall disregard them, as men do when they laugh at their enemies : He shall have them “in derision" or contempt.
Ver. 6.] As David was set on his throne in the