Verse 9. "To execute upon them the judgment written " - In Deut. vii. 1, &c., God promises his people complete victory over all their enemies, and over the heathen. God repeatedly promises such victories to his faithful people; and this is, properly speaking, the judgment written, i.e., foretold.
"This honour have all his saints. " - They shall all be supported, defended, and saved by the Lord. Israel had this honour, and such victories over their enemies, while they continued faithful to their God. When they relapsed into iniquity, their enemies prevailed against them; they were defeated, their city taken, their temple burnt to the ground, more than a million of themselves slaughtered, and the rest led into captivity; and, scattered through the, world, they continue without king, or temple, or true worship, to the present day.
"But do not these last verses contain a promise that all the nations of the earth shall be brought under the dominion of the Church of Christ; that all heathen and ungodly kings shall be put down, and pious men put in their places?" I do not think so. I believe God never intended that his Church should have the civil government of the world. His Church like its Founder and Head, will never be a ruler and divider among men. The men who under pretense of superior sanctity, affect this, are not of God; the truth of God is not in them; they are puffed up with pride, and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Wo unto the inhabitants of the earth, when the Church takes the civil government of the world into its hand! Were it possible that God should trust religious people with civil government, anarchy would soon ensue; for every professed believer in Christ would consider himself on a par with any other and every other believer, the right to rule and the necessity to obey would be immediately lost, and every man would do what was right in his own eyes; for, where the grace of God makes all equal, who can presume to say, I have Divine authority to govern my fellow? The Church of Rome has claimed this right; and the pope, in consequence, became a secular prince; but the nations of the world have seen the vanity and iniquity of the claim, and refused allegiance. Those whom it did govern, with force and with cruelty did it rule them; and the odious yoke is now universally cast off. Certain enthusiasts and hypocrites, not of that Church, have also attempted to set up a fifth monarchy, a civil government by the SAINTS! and diabolic saints they were. To such pretenders God gives neither countenance nor support. The secular and spiritual government God will ever keep distinct; and the Church shall have no power but that of doing good; and this only in proportion to its holiness, heavenly- mindedness, and piety to God.
That the verses above may be understood in a spiritual sense, as applicable to the influence of the word of God preached, may be seen in the following analysis.
ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND FORTY-NINTH PSALM In this Psalm the saints of God are excited to give due thanks.
I. For the grace and favour received from God, ver. 1-5.
II. For the glory and privileges they shall receive, ver. 5- 9.
I. "Let Israel rejoice," &c. The saints. Which he amplifies: 1. The saints: "For praise is not comely in the mouth of sinners." 2. The quality of the song: "A new song." By renewed men.
3. From the place in which it must be done. The public congregation.
4. From the manner. With alacrity.
5. From the object. God, their Creator and King: "Let Israel rejoice," &c.
And this part he concludes with a strong reason:
1. "For the Lord taketh pleasure," &c. He loves those who most resemble him in holiness and purity.
2. "He will beautify the meek," &c. The people who trust him he will save.
II. And now he describes their future glory.
1. "Let the saints," &c. None others will he beautify.
2. "Let them rejoice," &c. The mansions prepared for them in heaven.
There they rest from labour, but not from praise.
Their work is twofold: Present and future.
1. Present: "The high praises," &c. The highest that can be thought of.
2. For the future: "Let a two-edged sword," &c. When Christ shall come to judgment, the saints at the last shall be judges.
Then the exercise of this judiciary power shall be, 1. "To execute vengeance," &c. To judge them to punishment.
2. "To bind their kings with chains," &c. The phrase is metaphorical.
"Bind him hand and foot," &c.; Matt. xxii. Christ's iron scepter shall bruise the head of his enemies.
3. "To execute upon them the judgment written," &c. Against evil-doers.
He concludes with an acclamation. This glory of sitting with Christ and judging the world, is the glory of all saints. Hallelujah.