Psalm 50:14

The great evil to which Israel was exposed was the separation of religion from morality. This comes out lamentably in their history, and forms the burden of much of the teaching of their prophets. So in this psalm, which contains a powerful demonstration of the worthlessness of religion without godliness. The psalm may help us to consider true religion and its counterfeits.

I. SUPERSTITION. (Ver. 7.) Nothing in religion can be real and true but what is based on faith in the living God. What springs from fear without knowledge degenerates into the basest idolatries.

II. FORMALISM. (Vers. 8-14.) The heading of this psalm in our Bibles is very true and suggestive. "The pleasure of God is not in ceremonies, but in sincerity of obedience." To this all the prophets bear witness. Even ceremonies appointed by God himself become not only worthless, but odious, when they are observed without faith and love (Isaiah 1:11-17).

III. HYPOCRITICAL PROFESSION. (Vers, 16-21.) There is much of this always in the world - false profession, insincere obedience, unloving service. The evil effect on individuals, families, and society is terrible. With what righteous indignation are such hypocrites arraigned! and with what stern, resistless argument is the inconsistency and enormity of their conduct denounced! - W.F.

Offer unto God thanksgiving and pay thy vows.
1. "Offer unto God thanksgiving." For what? "In everything give thanks." The propriety of this is seen at once when we consider that we owe everything to God. It is impossible, without a due acknowledgment of this, to appreciate our dependence upon and obligation to Him, "in whom we live, and move, and have our being."

2. But our text enjoins us "to pay our vows unto the Most High."

3. "And call upon God in the day of trouble." Our fathers had their troubles, and we shall have ours. They may arise from sources anticipated or unanticipated; for the former we may to some degree prepare, or even, perhaps, by prudent forethought and action in some cases prevent; for the latter, we can only patiently wait upon God who sees and knows all things, and with whom is all wisdom and power. No intelligent observer can be unaware of serious dangers that threaten our God-given heritage. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." We think our cherished institutions well guarded in citadels of truth and righteousness, and if all who man the citadels are reliable and faithful, it is certain that no foes without can harm, for the God in whom we trust will never suffer the righteous to be confounded or finally overcome. And we must trust in Him for the protection and defence of all that is right; and we must, if we would be safe and secure, look to Him for wisdom to devise and strength to execute all our purposes in His fear.

4. "And thou shalt glorify Me." Not "make Him glorious," as if to imply that we can add anything to His glory that ever was, is, and ever shall be complete in itself beyond any comparison; but "show forth His glory," by acknowledging it in our hearts, pro claiming it with our lips, exhibiting our regard for it in our lives, and diffusing it all abroad by the exertion of all our ransomed powers and possible energies in His service for the good of all within the range of our influence. For this we were created, for this we are preserved, and when we are told that we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, we are exhorted "therefore" to "glorify God in our bodies and our spirits, which are His."

(J. T. Ward, D. D.)

Gratitude is a natural principle of the human heart. In every age thanksgiving has been offered. The songs of Zion have been often sung; the altar has blazed before the Creator of the universe, and the temple been filled with the odours of incense.

I. CREATION IS A PROPER SUBJECT OF THANKSGIVING. With the beauties of nature you are surrounded on every side. The morning sun and the melody of the groves; the beautiful landscape and the blue sky; the roaring cataract and the spacious ocean; these are free. Untouched with gratitude can mortals behold them?

II. THE BENEFITS OF PROVIDENCE DEMAND YOUR THANKSGIVING. Often has health been restored after sickness, and the mind solaced after the depression of sorrow. In some eases, misfortunes have been removed. Yes, calamities have been alleviated. Now, the return of tranquillity to the troubled mind is a blessing unspeakable; and the wounded spirit, which God hath healed, ought surely to praise Him.

III. THE BLESSINGS OF HIS GRACE CLAIM YOUR WARMEST GRATITUDE. And, wherever such gratitude exists, it becomes a powerful principle of obedience, leading a pious man to combat every species of corruption, to cultivate every virtue, to maintain rectitude of conduct in every case, and preserve, in short, on all occasions, a careful and conscientious adherence to the commandments of his God.

(T. Laurie.)

"Offer unto God thanksgiving." Which that we may do, let us inquire first how we are to understand this command of offering praise and thanksgiving unto God; and then how reasonable it is that we should comply with it. Our inquiry into what is meant here will be very short: for who is there that understands anything of religion hut knows that the offering praise and thanks to God implies our having a lively and devout sense of His excellencies and of His benefits; our recollecting them with humility and thankfulness of heart; and our expressing these inward affections by suitable outward signs; by reverent and lowly postures of body, by songs, and hymns, and spiritual ejaculations; either privately or publicly. Our praise properly terminates in God, on the account of His natural excellencies and perfections; and is that act of devotion by which we confess and admire His several attributes: but thanksgiving is a narrower duty, and imports only a grateful sense and acknowledgment of past mercies. Now, the great reasonableness and obligation of this duty of praise or thanksgiving will appear if we consider it absolutely in itself as the debt of our natures: or compare it with other duties, and then the rank it bears among them; or set out, in the last place, some of its peculiar properties and advantages, which recommend it to the devout performer.

1. It is the most pleasing part of our devotions. It proceeds always from a lively, cheerful temper of mind; and it cherishes and improves what it proceeds from.

2. It is another distinguishing property of Divine praise, that it enlargeth the powers and capacities of our souls; turning them from little and low things, upon their greatest and noblest objects, the Divine nature; and employing them in the discovery and admiration of those several perfections that adorn it.

3. It farther promotes in us an exquisite sense of God's honour, and an high indignation of mind at everything that openly profanes it.

4. It will work in us a deep humility and consciousness of our own imperfections.

5. A conscientious praise of God will keep us back from all false and mean praises, all fulsome and servile flatteries, such as are in use among men.

(Bishop Atterbury.)

A lady applied to an eminent philanthropist of Bristol, Richard Reynolds, on behalf of a little orphan boy. After he had given liberally, she said, "When he is old enough I will teach him to name and thank his benefactor." "Stop," said the good man; "thou art mistaken. We do not thank the clouds for rain. Teach him to look higher, and thank Him who giveth both the clouds and the rain."

Asaph, Bathsheba, David, Nathan, Psalmist
Agreements, Complete, Confession, Fulfill, Offer, Offering, Offerings, Pay, Perform, Praise, Sacrifice, Thank, Thanksgiving, Vows
1. The majesty of God in the church
5. His order to gather his saints
7. The pleasure of God is not in ceremonies
14. but in sincerity of obedience

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Psalm 50:14

     5468   promises, human
     5741   vows
     8627   worship, elements
     8676   thanksgiving

Psalm 50:14-15

     5878   honour
     7435   sacrifice, in OT
     8607   prayer, God's promises
     8630   worship, results

Prayers Answered
IN BUSINESS AND SOCIAL ANXIETIES. HELP IN PAYING A MORTGAGE. A business man in New York had several large amounts due for payment. An unprecedented series of calls from tradesmen wishing their bills paid sooner than customary, drained his means, and he was satisfied from the situation that his means would not be sufficient to pay them all. His business receipts, at this juncture, fell to one-half what they had usually been. A loan was due at the bank; a mortgage on his property, as well as large
Various—The Wonders of Prayer

And that which Follows Concerning Birds of the Air and Lilies of the Field...
35. And that which follows concerning birds of the air and lilies of the field, He saith to this end, that no man may think that God careth not for the needs of His servants; when His most wise Providence reacheth unto these in creating and governing those. For it must not be deemed that it is not He that feeds and clothes them also which work with their hands. But lest they turn aside the Christian service of warfare unto their purpose of getting these things, the Lord in this premonisheth His servants
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

The Holy Souls
THE HOLY SOULS Officium Defunctorum Lent and Holy Week, etc. Miserere mei Deus Psalm 50 Vatican Antiphonale First Mode (First portion is sung before the Psalm) (The entire antiphon is sung at the end of Psalm) Exsultabunt Domino ossa humiliata. First Psalm Tone 1. Miserere mei Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam. 2. Et secundum multitudinem miserationem tuarum, dele iniquitatem mea. 3. Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me. 4. Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et
Various—The St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book

Why all Things Work for Good
1. The grand reason why all things work for good, is the near and dear interest which God has in His people. The Lord has made a covenant with them. "They shall be my people, and I will be their God" (Jer. xxxii. 38). By virtue of this compact, all things do, and must work, for good to them. "I am God, even thy God" (Psalm l. 7). This word, Thy God,' is the sweetest word in the Bible, it implies the best relations; and it is impossible there should be these relations between God and His people, and
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

Rome and Ephesus
Corinth as portrayed in the Epistles of Paul gives us our simplest and least contaminated picture of the Hellenic Christianity which regarded itself as the cult of the Lord Jesus, who offered salvation--immortality--to those initiated in his mysteries. It had obvious weaknesses in the eyes of Jewish Christians, even when they were as Hellenised as Paul, since it offered little reason for a higher standard of conduct than heathenism, and its personal eschatology left no real place for the resurrection
Kirsopp Lake—Landmarks in the History of Early Christianity

The Opinion of St. Augustin
Concerning His Confessions, as Embodied in His Retractations, II. 6 1. "The Thirteen Books of my Confessions whether they refer to my evil or good, praise the just and good God, and stimulate the heart and mind of man to approach unto Him. And, as far as pertaineth unto me, they wrought this in me when they were written, and this they work when they are read. What some think of them they may have seen, but that they have given much pleasure, and do give pleasure, to many brethren I know. From the
St. Augustine—The Confessions and Letters of St

How they are to be Admonished who Lament Sins of Deed, and those who Lament Only Sins of Thought.
(Admonition 30.) Differently to be admonished are those who deplore sins of deed, and those who deplore sins of thought. For those who deplore sins of deed are to be admonished that perfected lamentations should wash out consummated evils, lest they be bound by a greater debt of perpetrated deed than they pay in tears of satisfaction for it. For it is written, He hath given us drink in tears by measure (Ps. lxxix. 6): which means that each person's soul should in its penitence drink the tears
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Triumph Over Death and the Grave
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. T he Christian soldier may with the greatest propriety, be said to war a good warfare (I Timothy 1:18) . He is engaged in a good cause. He fights under the eye of the Captain of his salvation. Though he be weak in himself, and though his enemies are many and mighty, he may do that which in other soldiers
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Seasons of Covenanting.
The duty is never unsuitable. Men have frequently, improperly esteemed the exercise as one that should be had recourse to, only on some great emergency. But as it is sinful to defer religious exercises till affliction, presenting the prospect of death, constrain to attempt them, so it is wrong to imagine, that the pressure of calamity principally should constrain to make solemn vows. The exercise of personal Covenanting should be practised habitually. The patriot is a patriot still; and the covenanter
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Putting God to Work
"For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God beside thee who worketh for him that waiteth for him."--Isaiah 64:4. The assertion voiced in the title given this chapter is but another way of declaring that God has of His own motion placed Himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated Himself to answer the prayers of men. He has ordained prayer as a means whereby He will do things through men as they pray, which He would not otherwise do. Prayer
Edward M. Bounds—The Weapon of Prayer

Epistle cxxi. To Leander, Bishop of Hispalis (Seville).
To Leander, Bishop of Hispalis (Seville). Gregory to Leander, Bishop of Spain. I have the epistle of thy Holiness, written with the pen of charity alone. For what the tongue transferred to the paper had got its tincture from the heart. Good and wise men were present when it was read, and at once their bowels were stirred with emotion. Everyone began to seize thee in his heart with the hand of love, for that in that epistle the sweetness of thy disposition was not to be heard, but seen. All severally
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The Third Commandment
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.' Exod 20: 7. This commandment has two parts: 1. A negative expressed, that we must not take God's name in vain; that is, cast any reflections and dishonour on his name. 2. An affirmative implied. That we should take care to reverence and honour his name. Of this latter I shall speak more fully, under the first petition in the Lord's Prayer, Hallowed be thy name.' I shall
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

First Sunday after Epiphany
Text: Romans 12, 1-6. 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. 2 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Letter Xlv (Circa A. D. 1120) to a Youth Named Fulk, who Afterwards was Archdeacon of Langres
To a Youth Named Fulk, Who Afterwards Was Archdeacon of Langres He gravely warns Fulk, a Canon Regular, whom an uncle had by persuasions and promises drawn back to the world, to obey God and be faithful to Him rather than to his uncle. To the honourable young man Fulk, Brother Bernard, a sinner, wishes such joy in youth as in old age he will not regret. 1. I do not wonder at your surprise; I should wonder if you were not suprised [sic] that I should write to you, a countryman to a citizen, a monk
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

How those are to be Admonished who Abstain not from the Sins which they Bewail, and those Who, Abstaining from Them, Bewail them Not.
(Admonition 31.) Differently to be admonished are those who lament their transgressions, and yet forsake them not, and those who forsake them, and yet lament them not. For those who lament their transgressions and yet forsake them not are to be admonished to learn to consider anxiously that they cleanse themselves in vain by their weeping, if they wickedly defile themselves in their living, seeing that the end for which they wash themselves in tears is that, when clean, they may return to filth.
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Nature of Covenanting.
A covenant is a mutual voluntary compact between two parties on given terms or conditions. It may be made between superiors and inferiors, or between equals. The sentiment that a covenant can be made only between parties respectively independent of one another is inconsistent with the testimony of Scripture. Parties to covenants in a great variety of relative circumstances, are there introduced. There, covenant relations among men are represented as obtaining not merely between nation and nation,
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Letter xix (A. D. 1127) to Suger, Abbot of S. Denis
To Suger, Abbot of S. Denis He praises Suger, who had unexpectedly renounced the pride and luxury of the world to give himself to the modest habits of the religious life. He blames severely the clerk who devotes himself rather to the service of princes than that of God. 1. A piece of good news has reached our district; it cannot fail to do great good to whomsoever it shall have come. For who that fear God, hearing what great things He has done for your soul, do not rejoice and wonder at the great
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Epistle Lxiv. To Augustine, Bishop of the Angli .
To Augustine, Bishop of the Angli [174] . Here begins the epistle of the blessed Gregory pope of the city of Rome, in exposition of various matters, which he sent into transmarine Saxony to Augustine, whom he had himself sent in his own stead to preach. Preface.--Through my most beloved son Laurentius, the presbyter, and Peter the monk, I received thy Fraternity's letter, in which thou hast been at pains to question me on many points. But, inasmuch as my aforesaid sons found me afflicted with the
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The Doctrine
OF THE LAW AND GRACE UNFOLDED; OR, A DISCOURSE TOUCHING THE LAW AND GRACE; THE NATURE OF THE ONE, AND THE NATURE OF THE OTHER; SHOWING WHAT THEY ARE, AS THEY ARE THE TWO COVENANTS; AND LIKEWISE, WHO THEY BE, AND WHAT THEIR CONDITIONS ARE, THAT BE UNDER EITHER OF THESE TWO COVENANTS: Wherein, for the better understanding of the reader, there are several questions answered touching the law and grace, very easy to be read, and as easy to be understood, by those that are the sons of wisdom, the children
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Ninth Commandment
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.' Exod 20: 16. THE tongue which at first was made to be an organ of God's praise, is now become an instrument of unrighteousness. This commandment binds the tongue to its good behaviour. God has set two natural fences to keep in the tongue, the teeth and lips; and this commandment is a third fence set about it, that it should not break forth into evil. It has a prohibitory and a mandatory part: the first is set down in plain words, the other
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

On the Symbols of the Essence' and Coessential. '
We must look at the sense not the wording. The offence excited is at the sense; meaning of the Symbols; the question of their not being in Scripture. Those who hesitate only at coessential,' not to be considered Arians. Reasons why coessential' is better than like-in-essence,' yet the latter may be interpreted in a good sense. Explanation of the rejection of coessential' by the Council which condemned the Samosatene; use of the word by Dionysius of Alexandria; parallel variation in the use of Unoriginate;
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

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