Andrew A. (Andrew Alexander) Bonar.

Christ and His Church in the Book of Psalms online

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one ushered us into the presence of the King, and placed us
with him in his kingdom, this leaves us in it, singing endless
" Hallelujahs."

Augustine ingeniously notices, that " Psalm 50th was one
oi repentance ; Psalm 100th" (/. e., in the Septuagint-reckoning
our 101st) "is about mercy and judgment ; but the 150th is
the praise of our God in his sanctuary ; for there we arrive at
life eternal and blessed." Hengstenberg remarks — " As the
life of the faithful, and the history of the Christ, so also the
Psalter, with all its cries from the depths, runs out in a Hal-
lelujah !" Dr Allix says of it — " It relateth to Messiah's
reign, when every thing that has breath, or was made by him,
shall be subjected to him." Horsley says of it — " A grand
chorus of all voices, and all instruments ! "

Patrick has a not uninteresting note on the many instru-
ments of music in Psalm cxlix., which we quote here. " The
ancient inhabitants of Etruria used the trumpet ; the Arca-
dians, the whistle ; the Sicilians, the pectid ; the Cretians, the
harp ; the Thracians, the cornet ; the Lacedemonians, the
pipe ; the Egyptians, the drum ; the Arabians, the cymbal."
(Clem. Psedag. ii. 4.) May we not say that in this Psalm's
enumeration of musical instruments, there is a reference to the
variety which exists among men in the mode of expressing joy,
and exciting to feeling ? All nations, come and praise ! Use
every energy, for praise ! Men in every variety of circum-
stances, men of every various mood, men of all capacities, come
and praise ! Each in his own way, sing " Hallelujah ! " And
in the words of another — " The Church composed of many
diiFerent members, all actuated, like the pipes of a well-tuned
instrument, by the same spirit, will become one great instru-
ment, sending forth the praises of God Most High."

" Praise ye H'' " — the peculiar name of God in covenant with Israel.

" Praise ye ^^ " — the name that implies dominion over all the eartli.

The instru-
ments of
music here.

I. Where shall His praise be uttered? In his sanctuary, ThepUn
where everything speaks o{ redemption ; and in the firma-
ment, which his might has spread forth between earth and
heaven, on the platform of creation.


II. Why ? Because of his deeds as the Mighty One* — those
beams of glory inexpressible ; and because of the " rnultitude
of His greatness" — that Source of all these beams, his own
nature in itself

III. Wherewith ? With every instrument — with trumpet,
psaltery, harp, soft timbrel, pipe, stringed instruments, and
wind-instruments ; with cymbals, softly played (V'Q'^ that
do not overpower the voice of the singer) ; and with cym-
bals of jubilee, (2 Sam. vi. 5). Not merely an instrument
of ten strings, as at other times, but ten distinct instruments
are called for ; and twelve times is the call uttered, " Praise
ye ! " ^7711. Twelve times ; so that each tribe is summoned,
and then all the universe besides, to use their voice.

" Let every thing that hath breath, praise Jehovah ! "

All creation is summoned to take part, and angels too ; lor
they have interest in our redemption scenes — since He is to
" reconcile all things to himself, whether they be things on
earth, or things in heaven," (Col. i. 20).

What magnificence and majesty in this close ! Praise
gathered in from every creature ; every instrument of joy, and
gladness, and triumph, and jubilee, summoned to sound loud
praise ; and every heart and voice engaged to help the choir.
" Every voice teems with praise ; every thought is about praise ;
every object awakens it ; every power uses itself for His ser-
vice " (Meditat. on Psalms). And no wonder, when we remem-
ber that we are ushered into the kingdom. " Tlie Levites have
changed their service now ; no longer have they burdens to
bear through the wilderness ; but they lift up new songs in the
house of the Lord. The heavens have changed their glory too ;
they have ended their laughter at the proud confederates
(Psalm ii. 8) ; and are now filled with joy and singing, and with
that glory which is to break forth from them, and be a covering

* The note, in the Version of Junius and Treniellius, on the 13th verse of
Psalm cxlviii., applies here also, a note wherein they say, " that the cause of
praise is both God's own great name, and also his doings to his Church:"
Ctijus resdtKtionem res omnes creatce expectant exerto cnpite, et anyeli ipsi
cupiimt introgpicere. Rom. viii. If) ; 1 Peter i 12.


over all the dwellings of Zion, (Isa. iv). These are days of
heaven upon the earth ! The kingdom has come ; and the
will of the Blessed is done here as there. The mystic ladder
connects the upper and the lower Sanctuaries. Praise crowns
the scene. The vision passes from before us with the chanting
of all kinds of music. Man has taken the instrument of joy
into his hand ; but it is only to God's glory he strikes it. The
creature is happy ; God is glorified ; yes, praise, all praise !
untiring, satisfying fruit of lips uttering the joy of creation,
and owning the glory of the Blessed One," (Medit. on the Psalms,
p. 195).

We close the Book with something of the feeling with which
we suppose John came away from hearing " the voice of much
people in heaven, saying, Hallelujah !" We seem to have been
brought within hearing of heavenly melody, from heavenly harps
and voices. Is not the closing verse taken up in Rev. v. 13 —
" And every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and
under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are
in them, heard I saying. Blessing, and honour, and glory,
and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and
unto the Lamb for ever and ever ! " And again, in Rev.
xix. 6, 7, when the great multitude, with voice " as the voice of
many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings," cry,
" Hallelujah : for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us
be glad, and rejoice, and give honour to him ; for the marriage
of the Lamb is come ! "

May my voice be raised in that mighty thunder of praise,
in the great congregation ! rapturously uniting with Israel, and
all the saints, in this grand chorus of the universe, this full-

Call upon the imiverse at large to 'praise JeJiovah with heart,
and soul, and mind, and viight /

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Online LibraryAndrew A. (Andrew Alexander) BonarChrist and His Church in the Book of Psalms → online text (page 42 of 42)