Verse 14. "Be also exalteth the horn " - Raises to power and authority his people.
"The praise " - Jehovah is the subject of the praise of all his saints.
"A people near unto him. " - The only people who know him, and make their approaches unto him with the sacrifices and offerings which he has himself prescribed. Praise ye the Lord! O what a hymn of praise is here! It is a universal chorus! All created nature have a share, and all perform their respective parts.
All intelligent beings are especially called to praise him who made them in his love, and sustains them by his beneficence. Man particularly, in all the stages of his being-infancy, youth, manhood, and old age: all human beings have their peculiar interest in the great Father of the spirits of all flesh.
He loves man, wheresoever found, of whatsoever colour, in whatever circumstances, and in all the stages of his pilgrimage from his cradle to his grave.
Let the lisp of the infant, the shout of the adult, and the sigh of the aged, ascend to the universal parent, as a gratitude-offering. He guards those who hang upon the breast; controls and directs the headstrong and giddy, and sustains old age in its infirmities; and sanctifies to it the sufferings that bring on the termination of life.
Reader, this is thy God! How great, how good, holy merciful, how compassionate! Breathe thy soul up to him; breathe it into him; and let it be preserved in his bosom till mortality be swallowed up of life, and all that is imperfect be done away.
Jesus is thy sacrificial offering; Jesus is thy Mediator. He has taken thy humanity, and placed it on the throne! He creates all things new; and faith in his blood will bring thee to his glory! Amen! hallelujah! The beautiful morning hymn of Adam and Eve, (Paradise Lost, book v., line 153, &c.,): - "These are thy glorious works, Parent of good; Almighty, thine this universal frame," &c.
has been universally admired. How many have spoken loud in its praises, who have never attempted to express their feelings in a stanza of the hundred and forty-eighth Psalm! But to the rapturous adorers of Milton's poetry what is the song of David, or this grand music of the spheres! Know this, O forgetful man, that Milton's morning hymn is a paraphrase of this Psalm, and is indebted to it for every excellency it possesses. It is little else that the psalmist speaking in English instead of Hebrew verse.
ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND FORTY-EIGHTH PSALM
The psalmist calls upon the whole creation to he instrumental in praising God. By which he shows: - I. His ardent desire that God be praised. As if creatures, endowed with reason, were too few, therefore he calls on inanimate things to join and be heralds of his wondrous works.
II. His intention; what he would and could have done.
III. That what could be done should be done.
IV. That all really do praise him in their kind and manner.
This Psalms is disposed into execellent distribution.
1. He calls upon celestial creatures in general; 2. In particular. 1. On angels: "Praise ye the Lord from the heavens," &c. Ye of celestial order. 2. "Praise him in the heights," &c. The heavens above. 3.
"Praise him, all his hosts," &c. Which in St. Luke are called the heavenly host.
2. "Praise ye him, sun, moon, and stars." Though not with the voice, yet by your beauty, motion, light, efficacy, &c.
He mentions the whole body of the heavenly orbs.
1. "Praise him, ye heavens of heavens," &c. The highest state of bliss.
2. "And ye waters," &c. All the orbs above the air, in Scripture called heavens; and the waters that are above the firmament.
And in the two next verses he gives the reason.
1. "He commanded," &c. They are his creatures, therefore, 2. "He hath established them," &c. They are incorruptible.
From the heavens he now descends to the earth, air, water, &c.: "Praise the Lord from the earth," &c. All ye elementary substances.
1. "Ye dragons." Whales, great fishes.
2. "All deeps." All kinds of waters.
3. "Fire and hail," &c. Meteors, &c.
4. "Mountains and hills," &c.
5. "Fruitful trees," &c. Trees fit to build with and fruit- trees.
6. "Beasts and all cattle." Both wild and tame.
7. "Creeping things," &c. Worms and serpents.
8. "And all flying fowls." And, lastly, he cites all mankind to praise God.
1. "The highest kings," &c. They who command, and they who obey.
2. "Princes, and all judges," &c. All inferior magistrates.
3. "Both young men and maidens." Both sexes.
4. "Old men and children," - all ages: "Let them praise the name of the Lord." And for this reason: - 1. "For his name is excellent alone." No name is so sublime and worthy.
2. "His glory is above the earth and heaven." All good comes from him.
The prophet concludes this Psalm with God's goodness to the Church, which furnishes him with another reason: - 1. He also "exalts the horn," &c. The power and glory of his people.
2. "He is the praise," &c. The Guide of Israel.
3. "Even of the children of Israel," &c. A people consecrated to God.
All which is to be understood not merely of Israel according to the flesh, but God's spiritual Church. Now those who are true Israelites, and those especially, he excites to sing: - "Hallelujah! Praise ye the Lord!"