Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
The Holy Ghost with this short but precious Psalm concludes this book of divine hymns and praises. It contains a general invitation to everything that hath breath to praise Jehovah.
No less than thirteen times, within the compass of six verses, is there a call to the praise of Jehovah! How the Lord is to be praised: where the Lord is to be praised: for what the Lord is to be praised; and by whom the Lord is to be praised: all set forth in these few stanzas. May the Holy Ghost open, unfold, explain, and direct the Reader's mind to a full apprehension concerning these things!
I should not think it necessary to detain the Reader with any farther observation upon the subject of praise in general; neither should I offer any comment upon what is here said, if there was not one point which I deem too interesting wholly to pass over though I do not presume to propose anything decidedly upon it; I mean, concerning the musical instruments, with which the Lord is said to be praised. Having in the preceding Psalm humbly offered my ideas concerning the dancing spoken of in the hymns of Saints I venture to offer a thought upon the melody also, with which those hymns and songs of praise are commanded to be accompanied. I never have been able to satisfy my mind that the expressions here used of psaltery and harp, organs and loud cymbals, have the smallest reference to, musical instruments. I am well aware that some Commentators have conceived that they find authority for their use, in what is said of the harps used in heaven, Revelation 14:2. But this, in my view, is advancing nothing; they might have as well contended that what is said of the streets of heaven being paved with gold, literally means so. Revelation 21:21. If musical instruments were used in the temple-service, we may humbly observe, that they were suited to a dispensation of types and shadows only; similar to what the apostle saith of other figurative services in the Church, which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances imposed on them until the time of reformation, Hebrews 9:9-10. According to my apprehension, under a gospel dispensation, and in a gospel Church, the only stringed instruments to be used, are the strings of the heart; that the loud swelling organ and the timbrel, mean the full chord of the renewed soul: so that when the Holy Ghost calls upon the Church to praise God in the holiness of his sanctuary, the believing soul who obeys this command, praiseth God in Christ for the holiness of his nature, and the holiness of the renewed soul in Jesus. When the demand is, praise him in his mighty acts, the soul of the redeemed swells in the loud notes of a conscious interest in the mighty acts of Jesus's redemption. Here, Reader! let you and I join the song which the Church in glory are unceasingly singing, and with sacred timbrel and dance, with the stringed instruments of all the affections of the soul, praise God in Christ. Yea, let us strive who shall sing the loudest notes of faith, and love, and obedience. Looking up to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, let us bless Him for redemption; let us bless God the Son in redemption; and let us bless God the Spirit by the sweet enjoyment of redemption. Let us bless the holy undivided Three in One, with ardent lively faith, and holy triumph, and in a daily endeavor to forward the interests of the divine glory upon earth among men, until we come to the everlasting enjoyment of it heaven. Thus may we, with everything that hath breath, praise the Lord. And when that breath which is in our nostrils shall cease, the last accent on the trembling lips in Hallelujah, will join the first loud note of Hallelujah in the eternal world. Amen.
And now, Reader! the Lord having mercifully brought me on my way through my poor Comment on this most precious book of the Psalms; I cannot, I dare not indeed, take leave of it, until I have first bowed the knee in thankfulness to the great Author of all good, for all the grace, and mercy, and condescension manifested to me during those labours. And while I set up afresh my Ebenezer at this renewed instance of divine favor, I would fall down with the lowest prostration of soul and body, intreating pardon and forgiveness for the numberless errors with which, I am truly conscious, these poor writings abound. Lord! forgive all that is wrong; for all that is wrong is wholly mine! Let nothing of error here found prove injurious to thy Church and people! And if there be a single line of the Holy Ghost's teaching to the glorifying of God in Christ, Lord, own it, and bless it to the Reader's good, for that is wholly thine, and to thy name be all the praise.
Perhaps, many that sit under my poor ministry (if they should condescend to read these feeble offerings on the Psalms) will recollect some of the observations here brought together which they have heard by word of mouth in my Evening Lectures. I write, as I speak, without much attention to style or manner. For if Jesus be but glorified, the whole, both of preaching or writing, according to my apprehension of what is right, is fully answered. And if God the Holy Ghost, whose blessed office it is to glorify Christ, should graciously condescend to bless this little work, when I am no more, and make it an instrument in His almighty hand of spreading the sweet savour of Jesus's name among the people; and if any of those, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, should, as they read these lines after my decease, call to mind what they have heard in my personal ministry, and say, "we remember those words as they came warm from his heart, which we now read, while his ashes are mouldering in the cold grave" - the very thought comforts my soul in the moment of writing, and prompts me to hope that the prayer of faith I leave behind me for the Lord's blessing on my poor labours, will have its answer in mercy, and that God in all things may be glorified in Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 150 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-150.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent