Psalms 104

PSALM CIV

The majesty and power of God manifested in the creation of the

heavens and the atmosphere, 1-3;

of the earth and sea, 4-9;

of the springs, fountains, and rivers, 10-13;

of vegetables and trees, 14-18;

of the sun and moon, 19;

of day and night, and their uses, 20-23;

of the riches of the earth, 24;

of the sea, its inhabitants, and its uses, 25, 26;

of God's general providence in providing food for all kinds of

animals, 27-31;

of earthquakes and volcanoes, 32.

God is praised for his majesty, and the instruction which his

works afford, 33, 34.

Sinners shall be destroyed, 35.

NOTES ON PSALM CIV

This Psalm has no title either in the Hebrew or Chaldee; but it

is attributed to David by the Vulgate, Septuagint, AEthiopic,

Arabic, and Syriac. It has the following title in the Septuagint,

as it stands in the Complutensian Polyglot: ψαλμοςτωδαςιδυπερ

τηςτουκοςμουσυστασεως "A Psalm of David concerning the

formation of the world." The Syriac says it is "A Psalm of David

when he went with the priests to adore the Lord before the ark."

It seems a continuation of the preceding Psalm; and it is written

as a part of it in nine of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS. It is

properly a poem on the works of God in the creation and government

of the world; and some have considered it a sort of epitome of the

history of the creation, as given in the book of Genesis.

Verse 1. O Lord my God, thou art very great] The works of God,

which are the subject of this Psalm, particularly show the

grandeur and majesty of God. The strongest proofs of the being of

God, for common understandings, are derived from the works of

creation, their magnitude, variety, number, economy, and use. And

a proper consideration of those works presents a greater number of

the attributes of the Divine nature than we can learn from any

other source. Revelation alone is superior.

Verse 2. Who coverest thyself with light] Light, insufferable splendor, is the robe of the Divine

Majesty. Light and fire are generally the accompaniments of the Supreme Being, when he

manifests his presence to his creatures. He appeared thus to Abraham when he made a covenant with

him, Ge 15:17; and to Moses when he appointed him to bring the people out of Egypt, Ex 19:18.

Moses calls God a consuming fire, De 4:24. When Christ was transfigured on the mount, his

face shone like the sun, and his garment was white as the light, Mt 17:2. And when the Lord manifests

himself to the prophets, he is always surrounded with fire, and the most brilliant light.

Bishop Lowth has some fine remarks on the imagery and metaphors of this Psalm. The

exordium, says he, is peculiarly magnificent, wherein the majesty of God is described, so far as we can

investigate and comprehend it, from the admirable construction of nature; in which passage, as it was for the

most part necessary to use translatitious images, the sacred poet has principally applied those which would be

esteemed by the Hebrews the most elevated, and worthy such an argument; for they all, as it seems to me, are

taken from the tabernacle. We will give these passages verbally, with a short illustration:-

hod vehadar labashta.

"Thou hast put on honour and majesty."

The original, , is frequently used when speaking of the clothing or dress of the priests.

Verse 2. oteh or cassalmah.

"Covering thyself with light as with a garment."

A manifest symbol of the Divine Presence; the light conspicuous

in the holiest is pointed out under the same idea; and from this

single example a simile is educed to express the ineffable glory

of God generally and universally.

noteh shamayim kayeriah.

"Stretching out the heavens like a curtain."

The word , rendered here curtain, is that which denotes the

curtains or uncovering of the whole tabernacle. This may also be

an allusion to those curtains or awnings, stretched over an area,

under which companies sit at weddings, feasts, religious

festivals, curiously painted under, to give them the appearance of

the visible heavens in the night-season.

Verse 3. hamekareh bammayim aliyothaiv.

"Laying the beams of his chambers in the waters."

The sacred writer expresses the wonderful nature of the air

aptly, and regularly constructed, from various and flux elements,

into one continued and stable series, by a metaphor drawn from the

singular formation of the tabernacle, which, consisting of many

and different parts, and easily reparable when there was need, was

kept together by a perpetual juncture and contignation of them all

together. The poet goes on:-

hassem abim rechubo,

hamehallech al canphey ruach.

"Making the clouds his chariot,

Walking upon the wings of the wind."

He had first expressed an image of the Divine Majesty, such as it

resided in the holy of holies, discernible by a certain

investiture of the most splendid light; he now denotes the same

from that light of itself which the Divine Majesty exhibited, when

it moved together with the ark, sitting on a circumambient cloud,

and carried on high through the air. That seat of the Divine

Presence is even called by the sacred historians, as its proper

name, hammercabah, THE CHARIOT.

Verse 4.

oseh malachaiv ruchoth,

mesharethaiv esh lohet.

The elements are described as prompt and expedite to perform the

Divine commands, like angels or ministers serving in the

tabernacle; the Hebrew word mesharethaiv being a word most

common in the sacred ministrations.

Verse 5.

yasad erets al mechonepha,

bal tammot olam vaed.

"Laying the earth upon its foundations,

That it should not be shaken for evermore."

This image Bishop Lowth thinks evidently taken from the

tabernacle, which was so laid upon its foundations that nothing

could move it, and the dispensation to which it was attached, till

the end purposed by the secret counsel of God was accomplished:

and thus the earth is established, till the end of its creation

shall be fully answered; and then it and its works shall be burnt

up. On the above ground, the stability of the sanctuary and the

stability of the earth are sometimes mentioned in the same words.

Verse 6. Thou coveredst it with the deep] This seems to be

spoken in allusion to the creation of the earth, when it was

without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep,

and the waters invested the whole, till God separated the dry land

from them; thus forming the seas and the terraqueous globe.

The poet Ovid has nearly the same idea:-

Densior his tellus, elementaque grandia traxit,

Et pressa est gravitate sua; circumfluus humor

Ultima possedit, solidumque coercuit orbem.

Met. lib. i., ver. 29.

Earth sinks beneath, and draws a numerous throng

Of ponderous, thick, unwieldy seeds along:

About her coasts unruly waters roar;

And, rising on a ridge, insult the shore.

DRYDEN.

Verse 7. At thy rebuke they fled] When God separated the waters

which were above the firmament from those below, and caused the

dry land to appear. He commanded the separation to take place;

and the waters, as if instinct with life, hastened to obey.

At the voice of thy thunder] It is very likely God employed the

electric fluid as an agent in this separation.

Verse 8. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the

valleys] Taking the words as they stand here, springs seem to be

what are intended. But it is difficult to conceive how the water

could ascend, through the fissures of mountains, to their tops,

and then come down their sides so as to form rivulets to water the

valleys. Most probably all the springs in mountains and hills are

formed from waters which fall on their tops in the form of rain,

or from clouds that, passing over them, are arrested, and

precipitate their contents, which, sinking down, are stopped by

some solid strata, till, forcing their way at some aperture at

their sides, they form springs and fountains. Possibly, however,

vapours and exhalations are understood; these by evaporation

ascend to the tops of mountains, where they are condensed and

precipitated. Thus the vapours ascend, and then come down to the

valleys, forming fountains and rivulets in those places which the

providence of God has allotted them; that is, continuous valleys,

with such a degree of inclination as determines their waters to

run in that direction till they reach another river, or fall into

the ocean.

Some have thought there is a reference to the breaking up on the

fountains of the great deep, at the time of the flood; while the

protrusion of the waters would raise the circumambient crust, so

as to form mountains, the other parts, falling in to fill up the

vacuum occasioned by the waters which were thrown up from the

central abyss, would constitute valleys.

Ovid seems to paraphrase this verse:-

Jussit et extendi campos, subsidere valles,

Fronde tegi sylvas, lapidosos surgere montes.

Met. lib. i., ver. 43.

"He shades the woods, the valleys he restrains

With rocky mountains, and extends the plains."

DRYDEN.

Verse 9. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass] And what

is this bound? The flux and reflux of the sea, occasioned by the

solar and lunar attraction, the rotation of the earth on its own

axis, and the gravitation of the waters to the centre of the

earth. And what is the cause of all these? The will and energy of

God. Thus the sea is prevented from drowning the earth equally

where there are flat shores as where the sea seems hemmed in by

huge mounds of land and mountains. The above, not these, are the

bounds which it cannot pass, so that they cannot turn again to

cover the earth.

Verse 10. He sendeth the springs into the valleys] Evaporation

is guided and regulated by Divine Providence. The sun has a

certain power to raise a certain portion of vapours from a given

space. God has apportioned the aqueous to the terrene surface, and

the solar attraction to both. There is just as much aqueous

surface as affords a sufficiency of vapours to be raised by the

solar attraction to water the earthy surface. Experiments have

been instituted which prove that it requires a given space of

aqueous surface to provide vapours for a given space of terrene

surface; and the proportion appears ordinarily to be seventeen of

water to three of earth; and this is the proportion that the

aqueous bears to the terrene surface of the globe. See Ray's three

Physico-theological Discourses.

Verse 11. The wild asses quench their thirst.] The pere,

onager or wild ass, differs in nothing from the tame ass, only it

has not a broken spirit, and is consequently more lively and

active. It is so very swift that no horse except the Arab barb can

overtake it. It is a gregarious animal, and they go in troops to

feed and to drink. It is very timid, or rather jealous of its

liberty, and therefore retires deep into the desert; yet even

there the providence of God regards it; springs are provided, and

it has the instinct to find them out.

Verse 12. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their

habitation] All fowls love verdure, and have their residence where

they can find wood and water.

Verse 13. From his chambers] The clouds, as in Ps 104:3.

The earth is satisfied] The inhabitants of it.

Verse 14. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle] Doth God

care for oxen? Yes, and there is not a beast of the field that

does not share his merciful regards.

And herb for the service of man] Plants, esculent herbs, and

nutritive grain in general; and thus he brings forth food (

lechem, bread) out of the earth. In the germination and growth

of a grain of wheat there is a profusion of miracles. God takes

care of man, and of all those animals which are so necessary to

the convenience and comfort of man.

Verse 15. And wine] Wine, in moderate quantity, has a wondrous

tendency to revive and invigorate the human being. Ardent spirits

exhilarate, but they exhaust the strength; and every dose leaves

man the worse. Unadulterated wine, on the contrary, exhilarates

and invigorates: it makes him cheerful, and provides for the

continuance of that cheerfulness by strengthening the muscles, and

bracing the nerves. This is its use. Those who continue drinking

till wine inflames them, abuse this mercy of God.

Oil to make his face to shine] That is, to anoint the body; and

particularly those parts most exposed to the sun and weather. This

is of high importance in all arid lands and sultry climates. By it

the pores are kept open, and perspiration maintained.

Bread which strengtheneth man's heart.] In hunger not only the

strength is prostrated, but the natural courage is also abated.

Hunger has no enterprise, emulation, nor courage. But when, in

such circumstances, a little bread is received into the stomach,

even before concoction can have time to prepare it for nutriment,

the strength is restored, and the spirits revived. This is a

surprising effect; and it has not yet been satisfactorily

accounted for.

Three of the choicest and most important articles of life are

here mentioned: WINE, for the support of the vital and

intellectual spirits; BREAD, for the support of the nervous and

muscular system; and OIL, as a seasoner of food, and for those

unctions so necessary for the maintenance of health. Where wine,

oil, and bread can be had in sufficient quantities, there animal

food, ardent spirits, and all high-seasoned aliments, may be well

dispensed with. Heavy taxes on these necessaries of life are taxes

on life, itself; and infallibly lead to adulteration of the

articles themselves; especially wine and oil, which, in countries

where they are highly taxed, are no longer to be found pure.

Verse 16. The trees of the Lord are full of sap] yisbeu,

"are saturated."

The cedars of Lebanon] God's providence not only extends to men

and cattle, but also to the trees of the field and forest. Many of

these are not only sustained, but planted by his providence. Who

ever planted the seeds of the cedars of Lebanon, or of the

thousands of woods and forests on the globe? God himself sowed

those seeds, and they have sprung up and flourished without the

care of man.

Verse 17. Where the birds make their nests] tsipporim

signifies swallows, sparrows, and small birds in general; here

opposed to the chasidah or stork. Perhaps the heron

may be understood, which is said to be the first of all birds to

build her nest, and she builds it on the very highest trees. The

general meaning is, that God has provided shelter and support for

the greatest and smallest birds; they are all objects of his

providential regard.

Verse 18. The high hills are a refuge] The barren tops of the

highest hills, and the craggy abrupt precipices of the most

stupendous rocks, are not without their uses: they afford

protection, refuge, and food, for creatures whose dispositions and

habits are suited to such places; and thus no part of the creation

is useless. The creatures who are their inhabitants are necessary

links in the great chain of animated beings, and show the wisdom

and providence of God.

For a description of the coney, see Le 11:5. The

yael, translated here the wild goat, is no doubt a creature of

the stag or deer kind; the ibex, chamois, antelope, &c.

Verse 19. He appointed the moon for seasons] The heathens

thought that the sun and moon were gods, and worshipped them as

such. The psalmist shows, 1. That they are creatures dependent on

God for their being and continuance; and, 2. That they were made

for the use of man. See what has been said on these luminaries in

the notes on Ge 1:14, 16.

Verse 20. Thou makest darkness] It is not the design of God that

there should be either constant darkness or constant light. That

man may labour, he gives him, by means of the sun, the light of

the day; and that he may rest from his labour, and get his

strength recruited, he gives him night, and comparative darkness.

And as it would not be convenient for man and the wild beasts of

the forest to collect their food at the same time, he has given

the night to them as the proper time to procure their prey, and

the day to rest in. When MAN labours, THEY rest; when MAN rests,

THEY labour.

Verse 21. The young lions roar after their prey] It is said of

the lion, that his roaring is so terrible as to astonish and quite

unnerve the beast which he pursues; so that, though fleeter than

himself, it falls down and becomes an easy prey.

Verse 22. The sun ariseth] The dawn of day is the warning for

man to arise and betake himself to his work; and is the warning

to them to retire to their dens.

Verse 24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works] In this verse

there are three propositions: 1. The works of the Lord are

multitudinous and varied. 2. They are so constructed as to show

the most consummate wisdom in their design, and in the end for

which they are formed. 3. They are all God's property, and should

be used only in reference to the end for which they were created.

All abuse and waste of God's creatures are spoil and robbery on

the property of the Creator. On this verse Mr. Ray has published

an excellent work, entitled, "The Wisdom of God in the Creation,"

which the reader will do well, not only to consult, but carefully

to read over and study.

Verse 25. This great and wide sea] The original is very

emphatic: zeh haiyam gadol urechab yadayim,

"This very sea, great and extensive of hands." Its waters, like

arms, encompassing all the terrene parts of the globe. I suppose

the psalmist was within sight of the Mediterranean when he wrote

these words.

Verse 26. There go the ships] By means of navigation, countries

the most remote are connected, and all the inhabitants of the

earth become known to each other. He appears at this time to have

seen the ships under sail.

That leviathan] This may mean the whale, or any of the large

marine animals. The Septuagint and Vulgate call it dragon.

Sometimes the crocodile is intended by the original word.

To play therein.] Dreadful and tempestuous as the sea may

appear, and uncontrollable in its billows and surges, it is only

the field of sport, the play-ground, the bowling-green to those

huge marine monsters.

Verse 27. These wait all upon thee] The innumerable fry of the

smaller aquatic animals, as well as whales, dolphins, porpoises,

and sharks, all have their meat from God. He has in his gracious

providence furnished that sort of food which is suitable to all.

And this provision is various; not only for every kind of fish

does God provide food, but a different kind of aliment for each in

its different periods of growth. Here are displayed the goodness

and infinitely varied providence of God: "He giveth them their

meat in due season."

Verse 28. That thou givest them they gather] All creatures are

formed with such and such digestive organs, and the food proper

for them is provided. Infinitely varied as are living creatures in

their habits and internal economy, so are the aliments which God

has caused the air, the earth, and the waters to produce.

Thou openest thine hand] An allusion to the act of scattering

grain among fowls.

Verse 29. Thou hidest thy face] If thou bring dearth or famine

on the land, contagion in the air, or any destruction on the

provision made by the waters, then beasts, fowl, and fish die, and

are dissolved.

Verse 30. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created]

yibbareun, "They are created again."

And thou renewest the face of the earth.] Do not these words

plainly imply a resurrection of the bodies which have died, been

dissolved, or turned to dust? And is not the brute creation

principally intended here? Is it not on this account it is said,

Ps 104:31, "the glory of the Lord shall endure for ever, (

leolam,)" to be manifest in those times which are secret, when

Jehovah himself shall rejoice in his works; when the brute

creation shall be delivered from the bondage of its corruption?

See the notes on Ro 8:19-23.

Verse 32. He looketh on the earth] Even the look of God

terrifies all created nature!

He toucheth the hills] So easy is it for God to burn up the

earth and the worlds thereof, that even his touch kindles the

mountains into flames! See Etna, Vesuvius, Stromboli, &c.; these

are ignited by the touch of God. How majestic are these figures!

The renewal of the earth, and re-creation of deceased animals,

shall take place when he shall shake terribly the heavens and the

earth; when they shall be wrapped together as a scroll, and the

earth and its works be dissolved, that is, after the general

convulsion and conflagration of the world.

Verse 33. I will sing unto the Lord] The psalmist exulting in

the glorious prospect of the renovation of all things, breaks out

in triumphant anticipation of the great event, and says, I will

sing unto the Lord bechaiyai, with my lives, the life that

I now have, and the life that I shall have hereafter.

I will sing praise to my God] beodi, "in my eternity;"

my going on, my endless progression. What astonishing ideas! But

then, how shall this great work be brought about? and how shall

the new earth be inhabited with righteous spirits only? The answer

is,

Verse 35. Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let

the wicked be no more.] Or, He shall consume the wicked and

ungodly, till no more of them be found. Then the wicked shall be

turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God. No wonder,

with these prospects before his eyes, he cries out, "Bless

Jehovah, O my soul! Hallelujah!" And ye that hear of these things,

bless the Lord also.

ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND FOURTH PSALM

The scope of this Psalm is the same with that of the former,

i.e., to excite them to praise God in consideration of his

benefits; but yet on a different ground. In the former, for the

benefits of grace conferred upon his Church; in this, for the

gifts of nature bestowed in general upon all. Those flow

immediately from his mercy; these, from his power, wisdom, and

goodness, and depend upon his providence, and are manifest in the

creation, governance, and preservation of all things. The creature

then is the subject of this Psalm, relative to which we have a

long but very methodical narration.

I. The exhortation proposed briefly, Ps 104:1.

II. The exhortation urged by the inspection of the fabric, the

beauty, order, and government of the world, Ps 104:1-33.

III. The duty practiced by himself, Ps 104:33, 34.

IV. An imprecation on them that neglect the duty, Ps 104:35.

I. He begins with a double apostrophe:-

1. To his own soul, to praise God: "Bless the Lord, O my soul;"

which was the conclusion of the former Psalm.

2. To his God: "O Lord my God," whom he describes to be great

and glorious. That he may set forth his majesty and glory,

borrowing his figure from the person of some great king,

presenting himself very glorious to his people in his robes, in

his pavilion, with a glittering canopy extended over his throne;

sometimes in his chariot, drawn by the swiftest horses, with his

nobles, ministers, and servants, waiting on his pleasure.

In this way he describes the majesty of God in the works of the

first and second day, for by that order he proceeds in setting

forth God's works, that in which they were made.

1. His robe is the light, the work of the first day, which is

the purest, the most illustrious and cheerful of all God's

creatures. With this "he is clothed as with a garment," for he is

light, Joh 1:1; and he dwells in that inaccessible light that no

man hath seen, nor can see, 1Ti 6:16.

2. His pavilion stretched round about him is the heavens, the

work of the second day. These are as the hangings and curtains of

his chamber of presence, by his fiat and power stretched out as we

now see them: "He stretched out the heavens as a curtain."

3. His palace built in a most miraculous manner. The beams are

laid, not as usual on a solid body, but upon that which is most

fluent: "He lays the beams of his chambers in the waters." In

Ge 1:7 we read of the "waters above the firmament," which were

a part of the second day's work; and of these the prophet surely

speaks.

4. His chariot, the clouds: "Who makes the clouds his chariot."

Upon these he rides in a most wonderful manner, in all places he

pleases; which are now in this place, and then instantly removed

to another.

5. The horses that draw it, the winds, alipedes, as the poets

feigned the horses who drew the chariot of the sun. The psalmist

intends to show that by the power of God they are brought upon the

face of heaven, and removed at his pleasure.

6. His attendants, angels: "He maketh his angels spirits, his

ministers a flaming fire." No creature of greater quickness and

agility than a spirit, no element more active than fire. These

blessed spirits he sends forth as he pleases, to defend his

servants; and as a flame of fire to consume and burn up his

enemies: in which appears his might and majesty.

II. Next, the prophet descends from the heavens, and out of the

air, and speaks of the work of the third day; and begins with the

earth, that element which is best known to us, in which he shows

the power and wisdom of God many ways.

1. In the foundation of it upon its centre. Strange it is that

so great and heavy a body should remain in the midst of it and not

sink; this the prophet attributes to the power and providence of

God: "Who laid the foundations of the earth that it should not be

removed for ever."

2. Another part of his providence about the earth was, that the

water, being the lighter element, covered the earth, and thus

rendered it useless. God, either by taking some parts of the upper

superficies out of the earth in some places, made it more hollow,

and putting them in others, made it convex; or in other words, by

raising some and depressing others, made room for the sea; this

was the work of God's word, and the prophet speaks of this in the

three following verses.

1. He shows in what condition the earth was in the first

creation; it was covered, and under water: "Thou coveredst it with

the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains."

2. He shows that the earth became uncovered by the voice, power,

and fiat of God: "Let the waters be gathered together into one

place, and let the dry land appear." This the psalmist here calls

the rebuke of God, the voice of thunder; for God no sooner spake

than it was done: "At thy rebuke they fled, at the voice of thy

thunder they were afraid."

3. And so there became a new world. The mountains and valleys

take the lower place; the mists and vapours go up by the

mountains.

4. There they inclose them: "Thou hast set a bound," &c. Yet not

violently kept there, but restrained by an ordinary law of nature,

it being natural for water to descend to the lower places.

III. He next speaks of the rivers and springs, and shows God's

wonderful providence over them:-

1. "He sendeth the springs," the streams of water, from the

hills "into the valleys."

2. "The end of this infinitely declares God's providence; it is

for the sustenance of beasts and fowls, or they must perish for

thirst: "The springs and rivers give drink to every beast of the

field, the wild asses," &c.

IV. But the springs and rivers cannot water all parts of the

earth; therefore, his wisdom devised the rain and the clouds.

"He watereth the hills from his chambers." The effect of which

is,-

1. In general, the satisfaction of the earth, which, being

thirsty, gapes for rain: "The earth is satisfied with the fruit of

thy works."

2. In particular, the effects and consequences of the dews. 1.

Grass for the cattle: "He causeth the grass to grow for the

cattle." 2. Herbs for meat and medicine: "And herbs for the

service of man." 3. All kinds of food: "And that he may bring

forth food." 4. "And wine that makes glad the heart of man,"

lawfully used. 5. "And oil to make his face to shine." Oil

supplies and strengthens the nerves, and keeps the flesh smooth,

fresh, and youthful. 6. "And bread which strengtheneth man's

heart;" for it is always the chief and necessary part of the

service.

V. Neither hath the God of providence forgotten to provide us

trees for shade, building, and fuel, as well as to yield us fruit.

1. "The trees of the Lord also." His trees, because he first

made them, and now causes them to grow. "They are full of sap,"

which is another effect of the rain.

2. "Where the birds make their nests."

3. Other creatures are not forgotten; not the goats nor the

conies: "For the high hills," &c.

The psalmist next mentions the work of the fourth day; the

creation of the two great luminaries, the sun and the moon.

1. "God appointed the moon for certain seasons."

2. "And the sun knoweth his going down."

And in this division of time, the providence of God is

admirable: "Thou makest darkness, and it is night."

1. For the good of the beasts, even the wildest, that they be

sustained. 1. The night comes, and the beasts of the forest creep

forth: "The young lions," &c. 2. Again, the day appears: "The sun

ariseth, and they appear not," &c.

2. For the good of man: "Man goeth forth to his labour." Labour

he must all day, and then take rest: "Labour till the evening."

Upon the consideration of all which the prophet exclaims: "O

God, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them

all: the earth is full of thy riches."

l."How manifold are thy works." How great, how excellent, how

worthy of praise! such that I cannot express them.

2. "In wisdom hast thou made them all." Nothing is done by

chance or rashness, but with great reason; neither too much nor

too little.

3. "All the earth is full of thy riches." No place, no part of

it, but thy works proclaim that thou art a bountiful and most wise

Creator; an open handed and liberal bestower of riches.

The prophet has hitherto set forth God's wisdom in his works; in

the heavens, air, the earth; and now he descends into the sea.

1. In the amplitude of it: It is the great and wide sea.

2. In the abundance of the fish, the work of the fifth day:

"Wherein are things creeping innumerable."

3. In the useful art of navigation, which God taught by Noah's

ark: "There go the ships."

4. In the whale: "There is that leviathan."

And the conservation of the creature now follows, verse 27 to

30; where their dependence is shown upon the providence of God,

both for their meat, life, and continuation of their species.

Ps 104:27-30

1. "These all wait upon thee;" they expect till thou givest.

2. "That thou mayest give them their meat." Meat fit for every

season of the year, and when they want it.

3. "That thou givest them they gather." That, and no more nor

less: and his power and blessing must co-operate with the second

causes.

4. This he farther explains: "Thou openest thine hand, and they

are filled with good."

Farther, life and death are in thy power. Death, and the

forerunner of it; trouble.

1. "Thou hidest thy face;" seemest displeased, and withdrawest

help and assistance; "and they are troubled."

2. "Thou takest away their breath; they die."

And life also.

1. "Thou sendest forth thy spirit," a vital spirit, by restoring

new individuals to every species.

2. And by this "thou renewest the face of the earth;" which, if

not done, the whole would fail in an age.

Now, after this long catalogue of the creatures, and God's

power, wisdom, and goodness made most manifest in the creation,

governance, and sustentation of them, he descends, Ps 104:32.

1. "Let the glory of the Lord," his glory, for his wisdom, and

goodness and power, "endure for ever." Hallowed be his name!

2. "The Lord shall rejoice in his works." Let man be so careful

to use them well, that by the abuse he grieve not God, and cause

him to repent that he made them.

3. Which if it happen, it would be remembered that he is a God,

and able to punish the ungrateful person: "For if he looketh on

the earth with a threatening brow, it trembleth."

He makes then an open profession of his of practice.

1. "I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live," &c.

2. And this he would do with delight: "My meditation of him

shall be sweet," &c.

3. And he concludes with an imprecation against unthankful and

negligent persons, who regard not the works of God, and will not

see his glory, power, wisdom, and goodness, in his creating,

governing, and sustaining this universe; and therefore very little

praise him. Against these he prays that they may be confounded or

converted.

"But, O my soul," be not thou like to them,-"bless the Lord.

Hallelujah."

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