Psalm 1:2
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.
Sermons
A Constant Delight in the Divine LawSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:2
A Man Known by His DelightSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:2
A Meditative LifeJ. Vincent Tymms.Psalm 1:2
Blessed Bible ReadingJ. Morgan.Psalm 1:2
Delight in the Divine LawSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:2
Delight in the Law of GodSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:2
Doing the Divine LawSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:2
Doing the Law Day and NightSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:2
Impressions Fixed by MeditationCharles Deal.Psalm 1:2
MeditationR. Venting.Psalm 1:2
MeditationsPsalm 1:2
Meditative Bible ReadingJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Psalm 1:2
The Believer's DelightC. R. Hay, M. A.Psalm 1:2
The Godly Man's PleasureSamuel Smith.Psalm 1:2
The Good Man in Relation to the Word of GodJ. Spencer Hill.Psalm 1:2
The Good Man's DelightPsalm 1:2
The Law of God the Chief Joy of the BelieverSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:2
The Law of the LordCharles Kingsley.Psalm 1:2
The Saints' Spiritual DelightPsalm 1:2
True BlessednessC. Short Psalm 1:1-3
A Certain Prescription for HappinessL. A. Banks, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
A ContrastC. Short Psalm 1:1-6
A Happy RetrospectQuiver.Psalm 1:1-6
Association with SinnersJ. Logan.Psalm 1:1-6
Avoiding Evil DoersE. N. Packard.Psalm 1:1-6
BlessednessW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
CharacterW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
CompanionsArthur Mursell.Psalm 1:1-6
Counsels to the YoungJ. Witherspoon, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
Getting Used to an Ungodly AtmospherePsalm 1:1-6
Greatness, Happiness, ProsperityW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
Stages in SinSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The 1St Psalm, IntroductoryJ. J. Stewart Perowne, B. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Blessed ManW. Jay.Psalm 1:1-6
The Blessed ManJoseph Parker, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Blessed Man's LikenessJoseph Parker, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Blessedness of the TrueW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
The Character of the Pious and ProfaneExpository OutlinesPsalm 1:1-6
The Counsel of Ungodly MenSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The Fear of RidiculeQuiver.Psalm 1:1-6
The Felicity of the Godly Man, and Infelicity of the WickThomas Wilcocks.Psalm 1:1-6
The Godly Man HappySir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The Happy ManD. J. Burrell, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Happy ManW. Forsyth Psalm 1:1-6
The Refusals of GodlinessSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The Title: the Book of Psalms: the Psalms - Their Variety and ValueC. Clemance Psalm 1:1-6
The Triads of TransgressionHomiletic ReviewPsalm 1:1-6
The True ChristianJ. O. Keen, D. D.Psalm 1:1-6
The Way of Sin DangerousSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
The Way of the RighteousMonday Club SermonsPsalm 1:1-6
Things Marred by UngodlinessSir Richard Baker.Psalm 1:1-6
True and False FriendshipR. Venting.Psalm 1:1-6


In the Book of Psalms, or, strictly speaking, in the five Books of Psalms, we have illustrations of most of the varied kinds of documents of which the entire Bible is made up. In their entirety the collection forms the Hebrews' 'Book of Praise,' or, as Professor Cheyne puts it, 'The Praises of Israel.' It is probable, however, that very few, in their private devotions, read all the Psalms with equal frequency or delight. There are some "favourites," such as Psalm 23., 46., 145., etc. The fact is that spiritual instincts are often far in advance of technical definitions, and the heart finds out that which is of permanent value over and above its historic interest, far more quickly than the intellect defines the reason thereof. Ere we pursue the study of the Psalms one by one, it may be helpful to note the main classes into which they may be grouped, as such classification will enable us the better to set in order the relation which each one bears to "the whole counsel of God." In the last of the Homiletics on Deuteronomy by the present writer, there is a threefold result indicated of communion between the Spirit of God and the spirit of man. When such fellowship is in the devotional sphere, it subserves the life of religion; when the Spirit of God impels to the going forth on a mission or the writing of a record, that is inspiration; when the Spirit of God discloses new truth or forecasts the future, that is revelation. These three divisions indicate three main groups under which the Psalms may be classified. For the most part, each one speaks for itself, and with sufficient clearness indicates to which of the three groups it belongs; and according to the group in which it is found will be the value and bearing of the psalm on the believer's experience, faith, and life.

I. MANY OF THE PSALMS ARE THE OUTCOME OF PRIVATE OR PUBLIC DEVOTION. It is in these that we get a priceless glimpse into the heartwork of Old Testament saints, and see how constant was their habit of pouring out their souls to God. Psalm 3., 4., 5., 7., 8., 10., 13., et alii, are illustrations of this. Whether the soul was elated by joy or oppressed with care, whether bowed down with fear or rejoicing over a great deliverance, whether the presence of God was enjoyed or whether his face was hidden, whether the spirit was soaring in rapture or sinking in dismay, - amid all changes, from the overhanging of the blackest thundercloud to the beaming of the brightest sunshine, all is told to God in song, or plea, or moan, or plaint, or wail, as if the ancient believers had such confidence in God that riley could tell him anything! . Many of these private prayers bear marks of limited knowledge and imperfect conception, and are by no means to be taken as models for us. But no saint ever did or could in prayer rise above the level of his own knowledge. Still, they knew that God heard and answered, not according to their thoughts, but according to his loving-kindness; hence they poured out their whole souls to God, whether in gladness or sadness. And so may we; and God will do exceeding abundantly for us above all that we ask or think.

II. ANOTHER GROUP OF PSALMS CONSISTS OF THOSE WHICH ARE THE PRODUCTS OF ANOTHER FORM OF DIVINE INSPIRATION. These are not necessarily addresses to God; they are, for the most part, an inspired and inspiriting rehearsal of the mighty acts of the Lord, and a call to the people of God to join in the song of praise. Psalm 33., 46., 48., 78., 81., 89., and many others, are illustrations of this. At the back of them all there is a revelation of God known, accepted, and enjoyed. And according to this great and glorious redemption are the people exhorted to join in songs of praise. There is, moreover, this distinction, for the most part, between the first group and the second - the first group reflects the passing moods of man; the second reflects the revealed character and ways of God. The first group is mostly for private use, as the moods of the soul may respond thereto; the. second group is also for sanctuary song, and indicates the permanent theme of the believer's faith and hope, even "the salvation of God." With regard to the first group we may say, "As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man." As to the second, the motto might be, "The Lord hath made known his salvation: therefore with our songs we will praise him." Under this head may also be set those calmly and sweetly meditative psalms, such as Psalm 23., 32., in which God's revelation of his works and ways gives its own hue to the musings of the saint. These are now the delight of believers, in public and in private worship, as the expression of an experience which is renewed in regenerate hearts age after age. None of them could possibly be accounted for by the psychology of the natural man; they accord only with the pneumatology of the spiritual man.

III. THE THIRD GROUP OF PSALMS CONSISTS OF THOSE IN WHICH THERE IS A DIRECT OR INDIRECT MESSIANIC REFERENCE AND FORECAST. Of these there are three kinds.

1. There are those directly and exclusively Messianic, such as Psalm 2., 45., 47., 72., 110. Of all these, the second psalm is, perhaps, throughout, as much as any of the psalms, clearly and distinctly applicable to the Coming One, and to him only. For the purpose of seeing and showing this, it may well be carefully studied. Every verse, every phrase, every word, tells; in fact, even the glorious fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is scarcely more clearly Messianic than the second psalm. Even Professor Cheyne is compelled to admit its Messianic reference, and he tells us that Ibn Ezra does so likewise. And that some of the psalms apply to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord himself assures us (Luke 24:44). And in an age like this, when destructive criticism is so popular, it is needful for the believing student to be the more accurate, clear, and firm.

2. Some psalms point to the era rather than to the Person of the Messiah. Such are the fiftieth and the eighty-seventh psalms. They are prophetic expositions of truths which pertain to the Messianic times, and receive their full elucidation from the developed expositions of the apostles and prophets of the New Testament; they cover the ground of the Messianic age.

3. Other psalms refer immediately to the writer himself, and have come to be regarded as Messianic because some of the words therein were quoted the Lord Jesus Christ and adopted as his own. Such a one is the twenty-second psalm, in which the writer bemoans his own sufferings and (according to the LXX.)his own transgressions. But it is not possible to apply every verse of this psalm to the Lord Jesus. He, however, being in all things made like unto his brethren, was "in all points tempted like as we are;" hence the very groans of his brethren fitted his own lips. He came to have fellowship with us in our sufferings that we might have fellowship with him in his! Thus there is established a marvellously close sympathy between Jesus and his saints, since his temptations, sorrows, and groans resembled theirs, To this discriminating and believing study of the first fifty psalms, the writer ventures to invite the Christian student and expositor. We must avoid the extreme of those who, with Home, would reheard most, if not all, the psalms as Messianic; and also the extreme of those who would regard none as such. Because our Lord said that all things must be fulfilled that were written in the Psalms concerning him, we may not infer that words which were written concerning him filled up all the Psalms; nor, with the unbeliever, may we regard the claim of prophecy as invalid through any repugnance to the supernatural. Intelligent discernment and loving faith are twin sisters; may they both be our attendants during our survey of these priceless productions of Hebrew pens! And may the Spirit of God be himself our Light and our Guide! - C.









But his delight is in the law of the Lord.
We should all like to be blessed, and here is the way — delight in the law of the Lord.

I. WHAT IS THIS LAW? Not the Mosaic, not the ceremonial law, for which God often cared nothing; but the law according to which the Lord hath ordered all things. This is the law which God says He will put into our hearts and write on our minds. This is that true and eternal law of which Solomon speaks in his Proverbs as the Wisdom by which God made the heavens: and he tells us that that Wisdom is a tree of life to all who lay hold on her. This is that law which the inspired philosopher — for philosopher he was indeed — who wrote that 119th Psalm, continually prayed and strove to learn. Christ perfectly fulfilled it. He said, with His whole heart, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God." The will of God, for this law is nothing else. By keeping it we are blessed. What God has willed we should be and do. But if so, it is plain we must heed the warnings of the first verse. For no one will learn God's will if he takes counsel from the ungodly; or if he stand in the way of profligate and dishonest men. If he do this, all he will learn of God's law is the dreadful part of it told of in the 2nd Psalm. God will "rule him with a rod of iron, and break," etc. But there is more hope for him — if he repent — than if he sits in the seat of the scorners — the sneering, the frivolous, the unbelieving, who laugh down religion as enthusiasm and worse. When the greatest poet of our days tried to picture his idea of a fiend tempting man to ruin, he gave him just such a character as this: a very clever, agreeable, courteous man of the world, and yet a being who could not love anyone, and believed not in anyone; who mocked at both man and God, and who tempted and mined men in mere sport as a cruel child may torment a fly. Such was Mephistopheles. Beware, therefore, of the scornful as well as of the openly sinful. And remember —

II. THIS LAW IS THE LAW OF THE LORD — our Lord Jesus Christ. Who can stand with Him? "Why do the heathen rage," etc. Men will not believe in this law. But sooner or later they have to, and often in terrible ways they find out their mistake. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh." For Christ is on the throne of the universe. And His might and power are continually being made known. Even now He bruises His enemies as with a rod of iron. It is of no use to talk about the goodness of God and of the gentleness of Christ. We flatter ourselves that if gentle, He may be also indulgent and weak. But there is an awful side to His character. Think of these things. You are kings — at least over yourselves; and judges — at least of your own conduct. Therefore let each and all of us, high and low, take the warning and love law — for that is the true meaning — before the Son of God, as subjects before an absolute monarch, because His will is only and always a good will.

(Charles Kingsley.)

I. SUCH DELIGHT IS NECESSARY. By "the law of the Lord" we mean religion both experimental and practical. Now such delight in it is necessary for a Christian man, because —

1. Without it there is no heart in religion. But the very essence of religion lies in the heart.

2. Works and acts acceptable to God will not be produced. But it is for these that religion is designed.

3. A man cannot be a true Christian and understand the true gospel without feeling a delight in it. The true gospel, mark you, for there are gospels preached by some men that no man can delight in, But the true gospel must make the heart happy.

II. THE MANIFESTATIONS OF THIS DELIGHT.

1. He will continually think of the law of the Lord.

2. He will be sure to speak of it. There is too little conversation now about Christ. I suppose it is with some Christians as the sailor said it was with the parrot. He had a remarkable parrot which he sold to a good woman, telling her it could talk no end of things. After she had kept it a week and it had said nothing, she took it back to the sailor. "Well, ma'am," said he, "I dare say it has not said much, but it has thought the more." And there are people like that parrot. Like it, too, in that the parrot did not think, though the sailor said it did. Nor do they, or else if they had thought they would have spoken. What is in the well will come up in the bucket.

3. Endeavours to spread the knowledge of it.

4. And will not rest until he has brought others to delight in it also.

III. THE HAPPY EFFECTS OF THIS DELIGHT.

1. It Will make a man bold.

2. Very calm and quiet in the day of affliction.

3. It will prepare him for heaven. To you who have no such delight, this law of the Lord, which was designed to be your delight, will become your scourge.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THIS PSALM IS NOT A COMMENDATION OF A MEDITATIVE LIFE ONLY. We cannot in this world of imperative work live such a life. Those in cloisters and convents have tried and failed. As when we fix the eyes on one object only, they get weary, filmy, dull. But rightly understood, our life is to be fat more than meditation. It is to be like a tree planted and bringing forth fruit. The man is to be a doer, and what he does is to prosper. The law on which he meditates is specially related to men's active life. It is not merely to be thought about, but practically obeyed. Merely to meditate on it would be as if a soldier, having received from the general's hand the order book, were to take that book to his tent and were to sit down and spend all the hours of the day admiring his general's skill and the grasp of his mind instead of proceeding to obey the orders and to prepare the army for the impending battle.

II. THE MEDITATION HERE COMMENDED IS ONE THOROUGHLY CONSISTENT WITH WORKING, ACTIVE LIFE; indeed, is for this very thing. And the happy man is he who through meditation on God's law comes to live the life of holy service. He is to be "like a tree" as contrasted with "the chaff ." Our lives must be as one or the other.

III. NOTE THE FORCE OF THE IMAGE EMPLOYED. For a tree vividly sets forth the connection between thinking and working; between the roots and the fruit of conduct. Strong characters are produced only by strong thinking. Occasional, weak, fugitive thinking, even on good things, may exist — too often does — with evil lives. Thoughts must be deep, and go down to the roots of the soul and take possession of it. The ungodly man is he who does not take God into account. He acts upon expediency. Hence he is like the chaff. There are different sorts of trees, but any tree is better than the chaff. But seek to be like the tree told of here.

IV. How? You must be "planted," that is, "transplanted." The tree has been put where it is designedly. And this is what meditation means. It is the self-planting of the man by the rivers of waters God has caused to flow forth for us from His Word. The rivers told of are not natural rivers, but artificial streams made for the purpose of irrigation. Solomon made many such in his day. And Hezekiah also. The Turkish Government has let them fall into decay, and hence Palestine is now nearly desert. Lord Lawrence made such streams for Northwest India, to its vast advantage. Merv in Central Asia is an oasis in the desert, for the Turcomans have dammed up the streams that flow down form the Afghan mountains and led their waters along artificial canals, and so the country is watered and reclaimed. Day and night the dam is watched by Turcoman sentinels, for if it were once destroyed the country would again become desert. But the herbs and the trees will never lack for water while these streams are preserved, and as long as the snows abide on the hills which lift their white peaks against the distant sky. What a parable all this is! If we would toil so to bring the living waters of God's Word into the moral desert of our souls, what a reclamation of waste places there would be, what lives like trees bearing fruit! Missions, churches, worship are all such endeavours. And what a channel for such streams is a godly, consistent life! Such lives are ever a blessing. As a tree is a thing both of beauty and of use, so are they. And every God-filled man and woman is such a tree. This is the secret of the happy life.

(J. Vincent Tymms.)

Note the Christian duty and holy practice of a godly man. He is much and often in serious and Christian meditation. He is conversant with Holy Scriptures; his meditation is concerning the "law," that is, the heavenly doctrine which shows the will of God and His worship, what man must and ought to believe and do to gain eternal life. It is his daily study and continual exercise. Not that he doth nothing else; the meaning is, he setteth some time apart daily to serve God. The godly man, who is truly blessed and happy, doth wonderfully love, and is greatly affected with the Word of Almighty God, and hath exceeding delight and joy in the doctrine of God, because there is revealed the will of God, whereunto men must be careful to frame and conform all their desires, thoughts, words, and deeds, because herein is chalked out and declared the very highway of eternal life and salvation. It is a special note and property of a godly man to perform Christian duties to God willingly and cheerfully, and to make them his delight and joy.

(Samuel Smith.)

I. ITS CHARACTERISTICS. It is read —

1. Independently.

2. Thoughtfully.

3. Frequently.

4. Submissively.

5. Gladly.

6. Prayerfully.

II. THE RESULTS OF SUCH READING.

1. Stability of Christian character.

2. Fruitfulness.

3. Freshness and beauty.

4. Success in all his righteous undertakings.

(J. Morgan.)

I. HIS PRACTICE. "His delight is in," etc. How does he use the Bible?

1. He studies it independently.

2. Deeply.

3. Sympathetically.

II. HIS PLEASURE. His delight is in," etc.

1. He enjoys the pleasure of congeniality.

2. Novelty.

3. Profit.

III. HIS PROSPERITY.

1. He is stable.

2. Fair and fruitful.

3. Successful.

(J. Spencer Hill.)

1. The feeling with which the believer views the Holy Scriptures.

2. Some of the grounds which give rise to this delight in the heart of the believer. Its own intrinsic worth and excellence. He knows by experience its quickening and converting power. It has given and still gives the believer light. In the Word of God he has found peace. The Word gives the believer freedom. It consoles and supports the true believer in distress and temptation.

3. What is the result of this delight? What effect, does this feeling produce upon the believer's practice? He "meditates on the law of the Lord "day and night."

(C. R. Hay, M. A.)

I. The godly man is described by way of NEGATION, in three particulars. "Sitting" implies a habit in sin, familiarity with sinners. Diamonds and stones may lie together, but they will not solder or cement.

II. By way of POSITION. The not being scandalous will no more make a good Christian than a cipher will make a sum. It is not enough for the servant of the vineyard that he cloth no hurt there, he doth not break the trees or destroy the hedges; if he doth not work in the vineyard he loseth his pay.

1. You may not be outwardly bad, and yet not inwardly good. Though you do not hang out your bush, yet you may secretly vend your commodity; a tree may be full of vermin, yet the fair leaves may cover them that they are not seen.

2. If you are only negatively good, God makes no reckoning of you, you are as so many ciphers in God's arithmetic, and He writes down no ciphers in the book of life.

3. A man may as well go to hell for not doing good as for doing evil. One may as well die with not eating food as with poison. A ground may as well be spoiled for want of good seed as with having tares sown in it. A two-fold description of a godly man.

III. HE DELIGHTS IN GOD'S LAW. A man may work in his trade and not delight in it, but a godly man serves God with delight. What is meant by the Law? Take the word more strictly and it means the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments. Take it more largely, it is the whole written Word of God; those truths deducted from the Word; the whole business of religion. The word is a setting forth, and religion a showing forth, of God and Law. What is meant by delight in the law? Hebrews and Sept. render, "his will is in the law of the Lord," and that which is voluntary is delightful. A child of God, though he cannot serve the Lord perfectly, yet serves Him willingly. He is not a pressed soldier, but a volunteer. The saints' delight in the law of the Lord proceeds from —

1. Soundness of judgment. The mind apprehends a beauty in God's law, now the judgment draws the affections, like so many orbs, after it.

2. From the predominancy of grace. When grace comes with authority and majesty upon the heart it fills it with delight. Grace puts a new bias into the will, it works a spontaneity and cheerfulness in God's service.

3. From the sweetness of the end. Well may we with cheerfulness let down the net of our endeavour when we have so excellent a draught. Heaven at the end of duty causeth delight in the way of duty.Two cases to be put.

1. Whether a regenerate person may not serve God with weariness. Yes; but this lassitude may arise from the inbeing of corruption (Romans 7:24). It is not, however, habitual, and it is involuntary. He is troubled by it. He is weary of his weariness.

2. Whether a hypocrite may not serve God with delight? He may, but his delight is carnal. How may this. spiritual delight be known? He that delights in God's law is often thinking of it. If we delight in religion there is nothing can keep us from it, but we will be conversant in Word, prayer, sacraments. He that loves gold will trade for it. Those that delight in religion are often speaking of it. He that delights in God will give Him the best in every service. And he doth not much delight in anything else but God. True delight is constant. Hypocrites have their pangs of desire, and flashes of joy which are soon over. Delight in religion crowns all our services, evidenceth grace, will make the business of religion more facile to us. All the duties of religion are for our good. Delight in God's service makes us resemble the angels in heaven. Delight in God's law will not breed surfeit. Carnal objects do oft cause a loathing and nauseating. We soon grow weary of our delights. For the attaining of this delight set a high estimate upon the Word. Pray for a spiritual heart. Purge out the delight of sin.

( T. Watson.)

"He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water." Who shall? He whose delight is in the law of the Lord. His life shall be rooted in the richest of soils; he shall never lack resources; his soul shall delight itself in fatness. But what is "the law of the Lord"? The laws of the Lord are scattered over this book with almost bewildering plentitude and variety. They are almost as thick as autumn leaves. The Orientalist takes great masses of rose leaves, and from them distils that precious essence we call otto of roses. Can anyone take these scattered leaves of law, mass them together, and give us the essence of all law? Can anyone take these almost unmanageable quantities, and return them to us in a small phial, which can be carried in the hand of a little child? Yes, Jesus Christ has done it. "All the law is fulfilled in one word — thou shelf love." Love is the essence of law. He who delights in love and loving shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water. Now we are permitted to look into "the mind of Christ," into love's great laboratory and see the great Lover at work. Love is the only element in which He works, but it is prepared in different ways. At one time love is very tender, to woo a tender blade; again it is very fierce, to burn a stubborn weed. It reveals itself in different ways to suit men's different needs. If, then, I would know how love should work I must study the mind of Christ, and meditate thereon both night and day. To delight in the law of the Lord is to live as devoted students in the mind of Christ. That mind is opened out for us in the gospel. All the dispositions of Jesus are laid bare. It is revealed to us how His love disposed itself in very varied circumstances and to very different needs. If we would be planted in a rich soil, and have a fruitful and luxuriant life, we must be rooted in the mind of Christ, delight ourselves in the mind of Christ. Now the mind of Christ cannot be known at a glance. It demands earnest and persistent study. We shall have to meditate in it day and night. The word "meditation" has an antique, old-world flavour about it, as though it belongs to an age when men took slow, measured strides, and the wheels of time moved leisurely. How many of us meditate, hold the mind before a subject until it becomes steeped in it, saturated with it, through and through? We live in an age of mental haste and gallop. Impressions are abundant; convictions are scarce. Go to the academy in any of the summer months, and see how the crowds gallop round the galleries, hastily glancing at the hundreds of pictures which adorn the walls, with the result that the memory retains nothing in distinction, but only a recollection of masses of colour in endless confusion. How is it with the art student? He goes early in the morning. He selects his picture. He sits down before it. He studies it — its perspective, its grouping, its colouring, the artist's mannerisms, every line, every light and shade. He meditates upon it. The picture becomes imprinted upon his mind and educates his taste. It steals into his own soul, and afterwards imperceptibly influences his own pencil and brush, and becomes part of the man forever. Well, in the four Gospels we have four picture galleries, and the different pictures are different phases of the mind of Christ. Christ is depicted in different attitudes and conditions: alone on a mountain at prayer; in the midst of a vast inquisitive multitude; in the severities of temptation in a wilderness; in a quiet home at Bethany; facing the Cross; the triumph of Calvary. The real student, the real disciple of the Master, wants to know the mind of his Master, and he sits down before one picture at a time, and lingers before it, and studies every line and feature of it, and beauty after beauty breaks upon his delighted vision. He meditates upon it, and the beauty of the picture steeps into his soul, refines his moral taste, influences his hand and heart, and becomes part of himself forever. I tell you, we know almost nothing of the moral and spiritual loveliness of our Jesus, almost nothing of the mind of Christ, because we do not hold ourselves before it in lingering meditation. Why don't we? Why are we not devoted students of these pictures of the mind of Christ? Let us be frank with ourselves. Is not Bible studying wearying and wearisome? To how many of us is it a delight? It is because so many put the virtue in the reading itself. We think when we have read a chapter we have discharged a duty. People open their Bibles, and read a few verses, and close them, and think that by their reading they have pleased God. You may have displeased Him! Some people think that when they read the Bible the very act of reading is a kind of talisman to hedge about their lives with increased security. Oh no, it may be that you are falling into the very snare of the tempter! John Ruskin says there is nothing which so tends to destroy the accuracy of the artistic eye as a hurried gallop round an art gallery, even though it contains the works of the most eminent masters. May not that be equally true of this gospel gallery, where the mind of the great Master is exhibited in a hundred different ways; a hurried and half-indifferent gallop may only destroy the accuracy of the moral eye, and impair rather than strengthen your spiritual vision? Bible reading is virtuous when it leads to virtue. My text declares that those who thus live in continual meditation upon the ways of the Lord shall be in a rich rootage. They shall be like trees planted by rivers of water. They shall have vast resources. Are we all planted there? If we are rooted elsewhere our life will be stunted and unhealthy. "His leaf shall not wither." The leaf is the thing of the spring time. It is the first thing that comes. Well, in the Christian life spring leaf shall ever remain. The spring greenness of life shall not wither as the years roll by. The beauties of the spring time shall continue through all the seventy years. The beauties of early life, of young life, the beauties of childhood shall never be destroyed. "His leaf shall not wither." His childlikeness, the glory of the spring time of life, shall always be fresh and beautiful; it shall never wither away. There shall be other developments. Life shall grow. It shall increase in knowledge. It shall broaden in experience. It shall open out large capacities and powers. But, amid all the developments, the beatifies of childlikeness shall remain; his spring leaf shall not wither; the glory of the spring time shall never be lost.

(J. H. Jowett, M. A.)

Grace breeds delight in God, and delight breeds meditation. Meditation is like the watering of the seed, it makes the fruits of grace to flourish. If it be required to show what meditation is, I answer —

1. It is the soul's retiring of itself. A Christian, when he goes to meditate, must lock himself up from the world. The world spoils meditation.

2. It is a serious and solemn thinking upon God (Hebrews), with intentness to recollect and gather together the thoughts. Meditation is not a cursory work. A carnal, flitting Christian is like the traveller, his thoughts ride post, he minds nothing of God. A wise Christian is like the artist, he views with seriousness and ponders the things of religion.

3. It is the raising of the heart to holy affections. Meditation is a duty imposed. The same God who hath bid us believe hath bid us meditate. It is a duty opposed. We may conclude it is a good duty, because it is against the stream of corrupt nature. As it is said, "You may know that religion is right which Nero persecutes." The meditation of a thing hath more sweetness in it than the bare remembrance. The remembrance of a truth without the serious meditation of it will but create matter of sorrow another day. A sermon remembered, but not ruminated, will only serve to increase our condemnation. Meditation and study differ in three ways. In their nature — Study is the work of the brain, meditation of the heart. In their design — The design of study is notion, the design of meditation is piety. In their issue and result — Study leaves a man never a whit the better; it is like a winter sun that hath little warmth and influence. Meditation leaves one in a more holy frame. It melts the heart when it is frozen, and makes it drop into tears of love. There are things in the law of God which we should principally meditate upon. His attributes. His promises of remission, sanctification, remuneration. Meditate upon the love of Christ; upon sin; upon the vanity of the creature; upon the excellency of grace; upon the state of your souls; upon your experiences. The necessity of meditation will appear in three particulars.

1. The end why God has given us His Word, written and preached, is not only to know it, but that we should meditate in it. Without meditation we never can be good Christians. The truths of God will not stay with us. Meditation imprints and fastens a truth in the mind. Without meditation the truths which we know will never affect our hearts. And we make ourselves guilty of slighting God and His Word. If a man lets a thine, lie by and never minds it, it is a sign he slights it.Answers to objections —

1. I have so much business in the world that I have no time to meditate. The business of a Christian is meditation, just as the business of the husbandman is ploughing and sowing.

2. This duty of meditation is hard. The price that God hath set heaven is labour. We do not argue so in other things. Entering into meditation may be hard, but once entered it is sweet and pleasant. As to rules about meditation — Be very serious about the work. Read before you meditate. Do not multiply the subjects of meditation. To meditation join examination Shut up meditation with prayer, and pray over your meditations. Reduce it to practice. Live over your meditation.

( T. Watson.)

And he seems to frame his process in this manner: a man is known what he is by his delight; for such as a man's delight is, such a man himself is; and therefore a godly man delights not to Walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor to stand in the way of sinners, nor to sit in the chair of scorners, for these are all lawless delights — at least, delights of that law of which St. Paul saith, "I find another law in my members": they agree not with a godly man's nature, and though a delight there must be, there is not living without it; yet a godly man will rather want it than take it up in such commodities. The godly man begins to appear in his likeness; for this delighting in the law of God is so essential to godliness that it even constitutes a godly man and gives him his being. For what is godliness but the love of God? and what is love without delight? that we may see what a sovereign thing godliness is, which not only brings us delight when we come to blessedness, but brings us to blessedness by a way of delighting. For the Prophet requires not a godliness that bars us of delight; he requires only a godliness that rectifies our delight; for as the wrong placing our delight is the cause of all our miseries, so the right placing it is the cause of all our happiness; and what righter placing it than to place it in the right? and what is the right but only the law? But is there delight, then, in the law of God? Is it not a thing rather that will make us melancholy? and doth it not mortify in us the life of all joy? It mortifies indeed the life of carnal delights, but it quickens in us another delight, as much better than those as heaven is above the earth. For there is no true delight which delights not as much to be remembered as to be felt; which pleaseth not as well the memory as the sense; and takes not as much joy to think of it being done as when it was a-doing. For is it not a miserable delight when it may be threatened with this? You will one day remember this with pain. Is it not a doleful delight, when grief besets the borders of gladness — when sorrow follows it at the heels? Is it not a fearful delight when, like a magician's rod, it is instantly turned into a serpent?

(Sir Richard Baker.)

And as in this study of the law of God there is no fear of melancholy, so in the delight that is taken in it there is no fear of satiety; all other delights must have change, or else they cloy us; must have cessation, or else they tire us; must have moderation, or else they waste us: this only delight is that of which we can never take enough — we can never be so full, but we shall leave with an appetite, or rather never leave, because ever in an appetite. It is but one, yet is still fresh; it is always enjoyed, yet always desired; or, rather, the more it is enjoyed, the more it is desired. All other delights may be barred from us, may be hindered to us; this only delight is free in prison, is at ease in torments, is alive in death; and indeed there is no delight that keeps us company in our death beds, but only this. All other delights are then ashamed of us, and we of them; this only sits by us in all extremities, and gives us a cordial when physic and friends forsake us.

(Sir Richard Baker.)

Many delight in the law, because it teacheth many hidden and secret mysteries; but these are vain men, and delight not in the law, but in superfluous knowledge.

(Sir Richard Baker.)

And how, then, shall we come to know the delighting which is true and perfect from that which is counterfeit and defective? Shall we say, it must be a delighting only, or but only chiefly? Not only, for so we should delight in nothing else; and who doubts but there are many other delights which both Nature requires and God allows? therefore, not only, but chiefly; yet so chiefly as in a manner only; for chiefly is properly where there may be comparison; but this is so chiefly as admits of no comparison. In presence of this, all other delights do lose their light; in balance with this, all other delights are found to be light.

(Sir Richard Baker.)

For as it is but a dead faith that brings not forth the fruit of good works, so it is but a feigned delight that brings not forth the work of exercising; and as it is but an unsound faith that works but intermittingly and by fits, so it is but an aguish delighting that hath its heat but at turns and seasons; but where we see a constancy of good works, as we may be bold to say there is a lively and sound faith, so where we see a continual exercising, we may be confident to say there is a true delighting. The working shows a life of faith; the constancy of working, a true temper of that life. The exercising shows a delighting; the continuance of exercising, a sincerity of that delighting.

(Sir Richard Baker.)

Contemplation brings us but to, "I see and approve the better"; and if "I pursue the worse" do follow, then godliness is stopped in her race at the very goal: the building is left unperfect when it is come to the roof. We cannot make a demonstration of true godliness out of all the premises, unless that be added which follows, "And in His law he will exercise himself day and night"; but if this be added, then the roof of the house is set on, and then the goal of godliness is won. And though it may seem a wearisome thing, summer and winter, day and night, all a man's life long, to do nothing else but always one thing, yet this is the godly man's task; he must do so, or he cannot be the man we take him for. For to be godly but sometimes is to be ungodly always; and no man is so wicked but he may sometimes have good thoughts, and do good works. But this serves not our godly man's turn; his sun must never set, for if he ever be in darkness he shall ever be in darkness; at least, he shall find it more work to kindle his fire anew than to have kept it still burning. Or if he should bestow the whole day in the exercise of godliness, and yet at night return to his vomit, that man would be but as a half-moon — bright on one side, and horrid blackness on the other. For godliness is a thing entire; it cannot be had in pieces.

(Sir Richard Baker.)

He will do it in the day, that men, seeing his good works, may glorify his Father which is in heaven; and he will do it in the night, that he may not be seen of men, and that his left hand may not know what his right hand doeth. He will do it in the day, to show he is none of those who shun the light; and he will do it in the night, to show that he is one of those who when in darkness shine. He will do it in the daytime, because, the day is the time of doing, as St. Peter [the Lord] saith, "Work whilst it is day; and he will do it in the night, lest his Master should come as a thief in the night and find him idle.

(Sir Richard Baker.)

A fragment of spar at first seems lustreless and unattractive, but as you turn it in your hand and let the light strike it at a certain angle it reveals beautiful radiance and even prismatic colours. A fragment of Scripture which is comparatively lifeless to a superficial reader becomes to the real student a marvel of beauty. He turns it round, views it at every angle till he sees the light of God break through it, and it shines with the sevenfold beauty of the Divine attributes. The true beauty of Scripture does not lie on the surface, or reveal itself to the careless eye. As we reflect one truth is obvious. The principal lesson of the Bible is Christ. He is the light and lustre of each part. Faith cannot look but some new beauty of the Lord appears.

(R. Venting.)

The photographer at the first has no security of the picture which he has taken. He cannot be said, in any true sense, to possess it. It is true, the impression is made upon the sensitive plate, but in its first condition, for all practical purposes, it is useless. The slightest exposure to the light would mar it hopelessly. It must be taken into the darkened room, and there, by being immersed in chemical solutions, it becomes fixed and assumes a permanent form. Just so is it with the thoughts which enter the mind. They are volatile and fugitive unless permanently fixed in the chambers of the mind by steadfast meditation.

(Charles Deal.)

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