Psalm 45:1
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses to the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
Sermons
The Kingship of ChristW. Forsyth Psalm 45:1-6
A Good MatterThomas SpurgeonPsalm 45:1-17
A Gude Word for the KingPsalm 45:1-17
A Missionary DiscourseSketches of Four Hundred SermonsPsalm 45:1-17
A Unique KingHomilistPsalm 45:1-17
Concerning the KingJ. Thomas, M. A.Psalm 45:1-17
The Conquests of MessiahAnon.Psalm 45:1-17
The Excellency of ChristPsalm 45:1-17
The Excellency of ChristPsalm 45:1-17
The Glories of the Eternal KingC. Clemance Psalm 45:1-17
The Glory of Christ Partially DescribedPsalm 45:1-17
The Song of the Heavenly NuptialsD. McLean.Psalm 45:1-17
The Things Concerning Zion's King, Good Matters to All HiPsalm 45:1-17
This psalm is one of those which set forth in glowing terms the glory and majesty of the King of kings, the Anointed One, who should come into the world. "It is a psalm of the theocratic kingdom, the marriage song of the King." It is a song of the highest order, which, according to its title, was for the chief musician; set to "Shoshannim," a word which, we are told in the margin (Revised Version), means "lilies." This, however, does not throw much light on the matter. Furst is more helpful when he tells us that Shoshannim is a proper name, and denotes one of the twenty-four music-choirs left by David, so called from a master named Shushan. The introduction to the psalm, which is found in its first verse, is much more striking than would appear from the translation in either the Authorized Version or the Revised Version. It may be rendered," My heart is boiling over with a goodly theme: I speak: my work is for a King: may my tongue be as the pen of a ready writer!" Here we have a striking illustration of the words of the Apostle Peter, "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;" this fervour of spirit, urging on the worker as by a power beyond himself to write of "the King," is one of the ways in which the sacred writers were "moved." And there is no reason for refusing to acknowledge the far-reachingness of this psalm, as setting forth beforehand, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the grandeur of our victorious Lord To no one, indeed, but Jesus, can we apply the epithets which are herein used. That a King "higher than the kings of the earth" is foretold in Scripture is certain (see 2 Samuel 7:12-16; 2 Samuel 23:2-5; Psalm 2., 72., 79., 110.). So that it is no wonder to find that such is the case in this psalm, The main difficulty in the psalm - in fact, the only serious one to believing critics - is the fact that the entire passage vers. 10-15 is based on a custom which in the psalmist's time was not only familiar to Orientals, but was even honourable in their eyes, though it would not be deemed so in ours. It would be a coveted honour among maidens to be among the well-beloved ones of an honourable king; for though the queen-consort was the principal wife, yet she was by no means the only one on whom the king bestowed his affection. Even David had six wives. He was not thought the worse of for this. The Law of God did not sanction it, but society did. Hence, though this psalm shoots far ahead to a beauty, a glory, and a majesty beyond the sons of men, yet the ground-plan of its symbolism is found in the usages of Oriental courts at their best. If it was then deemed a high honour for maidens to be among the beloved of a king, how much greater would be the honour of those who should be brought in the far-off times to place their whole selves, body, soul, and spirit, at the absolute disposal of him who would be "King of kings, and Lord of lords"! We may gather up under four heads the main features of this sublime prophetic forecast. In doing so, however, it behoves us to take the Christian expositor's standpoint, and to carry forward the dim and suggestive words here given us, to the fuller and clearer setting of New Testament unfoldings.

I. HERE IS A KING FORESEEN, UNIQUE IN HONOUR AND RENOWN. That the sacred writers were familiar with the thought of a King who should come into the world, surpassing all others, we have seen above; this is shown in the passages to which reference has already been made. But even if such passages were fewer and less clear than they are, the amazing combination of expressions in the psalm before us is such, that to none other than the Son of God can they possibly be applied with any semblance of reason. But as we think of him, every term fails in place. Let us take each expression in order. There are no fewer than twelve of them.

1. There is beauty. (Ver. 2.) A beauty beyond that of the sons of men. This points to one who is above the race. And verily the beauty of the Lord Jesus is one of his unnumbered charms. He is the "chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely."

2. Grace is poured into his lips (ver. 2). How true was this of Jesus (Luke 4:22; John 1:14)! Grace was also ever pouring out from his lips.

3. The fullest blessings descend continually upon him (ver. 2; cf. John 3:34).

4. There are the glory and majesty of royal state (ver. 3). For "with" read "even" ('Variorum Bible'). The sword to be girded on his thigh as for war (see Delitzsch) is his glory and his majestic state. With these he will go forth, conquering and to conquer.

5. His cause is that of truth, meekness, and righteousness. (Ver. 4.) No other king ever combined these in perfection, nor even at all. "Meekness is about the very last thought associated with earthly kings (but see Matthew 11:29).

6. His progress would be marked by terror as well as by meekness (ver. 4; Psalm 65:5; Romans 11:22; 2 Corinthians 5:11; Revelation 1:7).

7. His arrows would be sharp in the hearts of his enemies (ver. 5), and the peoples (plural, Revised Version)would fall beneath him. He should have universal sway, and not over Israel only.

8. He should be God, and yet be anointed by God. (Vers. 6, 7.) How enigmatical before fulfilment! How fully realized in our Immanuel, in him who is at once God and man, David's Son, yet David's Lord!

9. His throne should be eternal. (Ver. 6.) Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever" (cf. Hebrews 1:8, 9).

10. His sceptre should be a sceptre of righteousness. (Vers. 6, 7.) This is preeminently true; so much so that even those who acknowledge him as Lord, and who have yet been destitute of righteousness, will be rejected (Matthew 7:22, 23).

11. He would receive a higher anointing than that of others (ver. 7; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Luke 4:18). 12. Associated with his coming would be fragrance, music, and joy (ver. 8, Revised Version). Surely the gladness and song that gather round this King surpass all other gladness and all other songs that earth has ever known. No widow's wail, no orphan's sigh, attend on the conquests of this King. He conquers but to save. And the joy! oh, how great! Joy among the saved (1 Peter 1:8). Joy among the saints (1 John 1:4). Joy among the angels (Luke 20:10). Joy in the heart of the Father and the Son (Luke 15:32). Joy for ever and ever (Isaiah 35:10). What a magnificent forecast, hundreds of years beforehand! Who dares to deny the supernatural with such a fact before him?

II. HERE IS THE KING'S BRIDE. (Ver. 9.) What can the psalmist mean by the bride of such a King, but the Church of his love (see Ephesians 5:23-32)? The following features, if worked out, would greatly exceed the space at our command.

1. She forsakes her Father's house, to be joined to this King, and leaves all her old associates behind her (ver. 10).

2. She is wedded to him (ver. 11, "He is thy Lord").

3. She is devoted to him (ver. 11).

4. She is decorated with finest gold (ver. 9), and is at the place of honour by his side.

5. Her attendants should come from the nations, with their offerings of devotion (ver. 12).

III. HERE IS THE KING'S OFFSPRING. (Ver. 16.) The sacrifice which the bride had made for the sake of the King shall be more than recompensed by her having children, who should gather round her, and who should become "princes in the earth" (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10; Revelation 20:6).

IV. HERE IS FORETOLD THE KING'S UNIVERSAL AND ENDLESS PRAISE. (Ver. 17.) Though the verse seems to be addressed immediately to the bride, evidently the carrying forward of the name to generation after generation is an honour chiefly of the King, and results from the bridal union. And the praise which shall accrue will be from the peoples (Revised Version), from all the nations; and this praise will be for ever and ever (Psalm 72:17). "Christ's espousing unto himself a Church, and gathering more and more from age to age by his Word and Spirit unto it, his converting of souls, and bringing them into the fellowship of his family, and giving unto them princely minds and affections wherever they live, are large matters of growing and everlasting glory" (Dickson). Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever." - C.







Through Thee will we push down our enemies; through Thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
1. The believer may promise to himself whatsoever God hath promised unto him; hath God promised to give His own people the victory over their enemies? then the believer may promise to himself he shall overcome his persecutors, and through God's strength be more than a conqueror over them; "Through Thee will we push down our enemies." If the enemy make head against them after a defeat, the believer may say, "Through Thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us."

2. The less confidence we have in ourselves or in anything beside God, the more evidence have we of the sincerity of our faith in God: "For I will not trust in my bow," etc.

3. It is a proof of sincerity of faith to give God as much credit for time to come, as He hath gained to Himself, by the evidencing of His truth in time bygone.

4. Whosoever doth hate the Lord's people shall be forced to think shame of their enmity one day; "Thou hast put them to shame that hated us."

5. The glory which we give to God in prosperity we should give Him the same in our adversity; change of times and dispensations should not change His glory, nor our confidence in Him. Though the Church be under foot of men, the Church's God is above all. "In God will we boast," etc.

(D. Dickson.)

George III. was one day looking at the plate which had been recently brought from Hanover, and observing one of the articles with engraved arms upon it, he said to the domestic who attended him, "This belonged to King George II.; I know it by the Latin inscription — 'I trust in my sword.' This," said he, "I always disliked; for had I nothing to trust in but my sword, I well know what would be the result; therefore, when I came to the crown, I altered it. My motto is, 'I trust in the truth of the Christian religion.'" He then, with his usual condescension, said, "Which of the two inscriptions do you like best?" The attendant replied, "Your Majesty's is infinitely preferable to the other." He said, "I have ever thought so, and ever shall think so, for therein is my trust and confidence."

My heart is inditing a good matter; I speak of the things which I have made touching the king.
In accordance with unbroken tradition of the Church from the beginning, we interpret this as a spiritual epithalamium or nuptial-song, in honour of the wondrous espousals whereby Christ the Son of God takes into most real, intimate, blissful and everlasting union and fellowship with Himself the Church of ransomed, regenerate, believing souls.

I. THE BRIDEGROOM (vers. 1-9).

1. In His present qualities.(1) Comeliness of countenance (Song of Solomon 5:10-16).(2) Gracefulness of speech. He was, indeed, in highest sense, "master of sentences" — possessor of noble and powerful gift of eloquence, which He employed in commending the true, the holy, the blissful, impressing on their attention and reception what was for health and joy to them now and for ever.

2. In His warlike preparations and achievements. Peace and goodwill, benign, never-ending fellowship for all who choose to be loyal subjects of the King of kings, and faithful followers of "truth and meekness and righteousness," but war to the death, wounds unto death in which there is no dying, unto all who persist in wicked hostility and revolt.

3. In His kingly administration. He is God, and He became man; and it is properly in respect of His manhood — His Mediatorship especially on the side of His manhood, that we are to think of the sovereignty here spoken of as exercised. From the beginning and all through there were glimmerings, recognized and confessed, of the hidden majesty.(1) The duration of His sovereignty. "For ever and ever;" what contrast ,to earthly kings and human dynasties!(2) Its character. "A right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness," etc.(3) The personal reward which was to crown and consummate His administration. "Anointed Thee with the oil of gladness," etc.

4. In His nuptial splendour (vers. 8, 9). Ivory palaces, resounding with strains of grandest music, and filled with fragrance of choicest perfumes; a queenly bride in gold embroideries, with retinue of princely virgins; and, centre of all, the Bridegroom — Immanuel, showing perfection of beauty, renown of heroism, splendour of royalty, yea, of Divine majesty, associated with all gaiety and gladness of nuptial festivity. And where and when becomes it realized? Up yonder on the other side of the resurrection.

II. THE BRIDE (vers. 10-15).

1. The present summons (vers. 10-12). And what have we here in the pure spiritual reality — stripped of allegorical drapery, but the substance of all genuine evangelical teaching? What is to be the central scope and aim of all pastoral labour and pulpit ministration and sanctuary ordinance and more private Christian effort but to win souls, one by one, and in collective multitude as well, from other and alien relationship unto Christ, ever more truly and nearly unto Christ?

2. The call itself. The manner of the utterance breathes the spirit of urgent solicitation, with undertone, as our ear catches it, of authoritative command; blending of majesty and grace such as is reflected in the entire range of Gospel overture and offer. And what, then, means the summons in its plain and direct application to us? It means "conversion" — the turning round of the soul, in respect of bent and aim, from course original and natural into channel that is new — transference of affection and aspiration from the sphere of the carnal into that of the holy, the heavenly, the divine.

3. The reasons which go to support the summons. He by whom or for whom it is given has —(1) The authority to command compliance. "He is thy Lord, and worship thou Him."(2) The bounty — the resources and the readiness — to reward compliance. There is reward of affection direct from Himself; and there are droppings of bounty, tokens of regard, through creature instrumentalities.(3) The excellence to deserve compliance.

4. What is spoken of the Bride (vers. 13-15).

III. MESSIAH'S OFFSPRING AND RENOWN (vers. 16, 17).

1. Declaration concerning offspring to Messiah — fruit of the espousals (ver. 16). In ordinary earthly households you look to find a family likeness. So it is in the spiritual household. Resemblance, first of all, to remoter ancestry — to the "fathers," the fleshly ancestry of Immanuel, the prime and chief of these: on just such principle has an apostle hung before us a grand gallery of these in the eleventh of Hebrews. But likeness especially to the immediate common parent; and so that fine old picture-gallery takes us an to this for last halting-place and life-pattern — "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." The more that there can be seen in you, not an affected imitation, but a genuine embodiment of all that Christ was; the more that His humility, and gentleness, and purity, and integrity, and devoutness, and whatever else went to constitute His perfection of excellence, become radiant in your character, grow to be a very fragrance cleaving to you and diffusing itself from you around, the more claim have you to rank among the "children" whom He is to "set for princes in the earth."

2. Prediction to Himself of eternal renown (ver. 17).(1) Purpose of spreading and perpetuating the renown. Can you be too prompt, too eager, too constant, in the showing forth of His praise?(2) Assured prospect of responding praise.

(D. McLean.)

Homilist.
Although it cannot be proved that such a king as represented in this psalm ever existed in fact, it is obvious that he existed in the conception of the poetic author.

I. His ideal conception of his king STIRRED HIS SOUL.

1. An idea that appears good to a man carries with it a power to move the affections. "My heart bubbleth up." What the mind sees clearly the heart must ever feel more or less deeply. There is a King — Jesus of Nazareth — true ideas concerning whom are "a good matter" that will break up the fountains of the heart, and make all the affections like a well of water spring up to everlasting life.

2. When the affections are properly moved there will be a free-ness and aptness of utterance. "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." Charge a man's soul with true emotions and he will grow eloquent.

II. His conception of his king CORRESPONDS WITH NO KNOWN HISTORIC CHARACTER. Not in Egypt, Judaea, Persia, Rome or Europe has a king appeared answering to our poet's conception. Man has the power of conceiving better things than he has ever seen, better characters than have ever appeared. A glorious power this!

1. It is a proof of the Divine within us.

2. It is an incentive to moral progress.

III. His conception of his king APPROACHES THE DIVINE TYPE.

1. His appearance was beautiful.

2. His campaign was moral.

3. His rule was righteous.

4. His character was true.

5. His patron was God.

6. His influences were delightful.

7. His associations were magnificent.

8. His fame was enduring.

IV. His conception of his king was NOT EQUAL TO THE CHARACTER OF KIND JESUS,

(Homilist.)

s true subjects —

I. THE KING.

1. Jesus Christ is a King.(1) He is expressly so called by the Father (Psalm 2:6; Micah 5:2).(2) Jesus affirms this concerning Himself (John 18:87).(3) All true believers own and acknowledge Him to be a King, and their King in particular (Isaiah 33:22; John 1:49).(4) He was set forth to the Church by the prophets as a King (Genesis 49:10). Also by type — David, Solomon, Melchisedec, etc.(5) Kingly titles and epithets are given Him in Scripture. Prince of peace; blessed and only Potentate; King of kings and Lord of lords (Philippians 2:11).(6) Kingly prerogatives and badges of royalty are ascribed to Him (Psalm 89:20; Song of Solomon 3:11; Psalm 65:1; Ephesians 3:8).

2. Jesus Christ is the King by way of eminence and excellency.(1) He is so in respect of His person (Isaiah 9:6.(2) He is a most ancient King (Micah 5:2).(3):He is most singularly qualified for the management of His Kingdom (Colossians 2:3; Matthew 28:18).(4) He is a most righteous King; He governs both His essential and mediatorial kingdoms with the strictest justice and equity (Isaiah 32:1; Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 11:5).(5) He is a most rich and opulent King (John 1:8; Colossians 1:16; Matthew 11:27; Ephesians 3:8).(6) He is a singularly blessed and happy King (1 Timothy 6:15; Psalm 21:6).(7) Zion's King is immortal, and therefore eternal (1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 1:18).(8) He is a most gracious, loving and affectionate King (Exodus 34:6, 7).(9) He is a most glorious King, yea, "the King of glory." Heaven and eternal glory is a purchased possession (Ephesians 1:14), and He is the purchaser. He is the preparer of glory for all His true subjects (John 14:2). He is the bestower of glory upon all the heirs of promise (Luke 22:29).

II. SOME THINGS WHICH CONCERN THE KING, AND ARE GOOD MATTERS IN THE ESTEEM OF HIS PEOPLE.

1. The glory and excellency of the King's person is a matter much set by in the esteem of all His true subjects (1 Corinthians 2:2; Philippians 3:10; John 1:14; Psalm 73:25).

2. The love of Christ; the love of a three-one God in Him, is truly a good matter to believers. Their life lies in His favour, and His lovingkindness is better than life.

3. The righteousness of our Lord Jesus is a good matter to believers.

4. The fulness of Christ is a good matter to believers (Colossians 1:9; John 1:14; 1 Corinthians 1:30; John 17:2; Colossians 2:10).

5. The prosperity and success of His kingdom is a good matter to all His true subjects.

6. All His commandments are good matters to His people (Psalm 119:32).

7. The very cross of Christ; all the tribulations and calamities which they are at any time called to endure for His name's sake are accounted good matters by His true followers (Acts 5:41; Hebrews 11:26).

8. What the King Himself is to His people, what He has done for them, what He has wrought in them, and what they yet expect from Him, are all good matters in their esteem. His true subjects have already received abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17). And shall reign in life by Jesus Christ.

III. WHENCE IT IS THAT THE THINGS CONCERNING THE KING ARE VIEWED, AS MATTERS TRULY GOOD, BY ALL WHO BELIEVE IN HIM.

1. Because of the great love and regard believers have for the King Himself.

2. Because there is a real worth and excellency in all the things which concern this glorious King. They are suited to give satisfaction to the soul (Song of Solomon 2:8; Psalm 36:7).

3. Because believers have eyes to discern the value and excellency of divine things (Matthew 13:16; Matthew 16:17).

4. Because the King Himself is theirs, and they are His (Song of Solomon 2:16).

IV. USE.

1. Of information.(1) See from this subject the amazing condescension of the great God our Saviour, in submitting to exercise a variety of offices for the spiritual good and advantage of perishing sinners.(2) See one special difference between the true believer and the hypocrite. Hypocrites may assent to the truth of many things taught in the Word concerning Christ; but they have no love to His person, nor can they have any heart-affection to things touching Him.(3) See suitable exercise for the children and people of God. It is to meditate much upon Christ His person, offices, grace and fulness; particularly they should give themselves much to meditation upon His kingly office; the glory of His kingdom, with the justice and equity of His government.(4) See when it is persons can speak suitably concerning Christ and the things of Christ. When their hearts are in some measure filled with His grace.(5) See matter of terror to all the enemies of Zion's King. Who are Christ's enemies? All in a natural state and condition are His enemies; yea, the carnal mind is enmity against Him in the very abstract (Romans 8:7).

2. Of trial and examination.(1) What views have you got of your natural state and condition? Have you seen it to be a state of sin, captivity and bondage?(2) Did ever this glorious King reveal His powerful arm to you, thereby making you heartily willing to renounce your own, and submit to His righteousness? (Isaiah 45:24). And are you willing to be indebted to Him, not only for righteousness as the ground of your justification and acceptance before God, but likewise to deny yourselves, take up the cross, and follow Him?(3) Do you love Christ? Can you say to Himself, Thou knowest that I love Thee?(4) Do you love your fellow-subjects? (1 John 3:14).(5) Have you a prevailing desire and concern for the success and prosperity of God's work in the Church? (Isaiah 62:6, 7).(6) Is the opposition that still remains in your own hearts to this glorious King, with the many dis-honours done Him in the world about you, matter of grief and sorrow to you? (Psalm 139:21, 22).

3. Of exhortation.(1) To the true subjects of Christ.(2) Bless God for sending His Son into the world to be your King, and determining your hearts to accept of Him by faith as made of God to you wisdom, righteousness, etc. Trust in your glorious King; this is your duty at all times, and in every circumstance (Psalm 62:8).(3) Be glad and rejoice in your King — in His love, wisdom, power, faithfulness, all-sufficiency and immutability.(4) Be concerned to grow in acquaintance with your King (2 Peter 3:18).(5) Seek to have the declarative glory of your King advanced in your day and generation. We exhort all the enemies of this glorious King to relinquish the camp of Satan and come over to Christ's standard. While you refuse to submit to His righteousness, you are in a state of the vilest slavery and bondage (Ephesians 2:3). Our Lord Jesus, the King, is your rightful Lord and Sovereign. There is no possible way for you to escape from the curse of the broken law and the wrath to come but your uniting with Christ by faith. However long you have slighted the offers of His grace, He is still waiting that He may be gracious to you. His sceptre of grace is stretched out, and He invites you to take hold of it.

(T. Bennet.)

I. His MATCHLESS BEAUTY (ver. 2).

1. A description of His person. We have, indeed, no direct and positive information in regard to His personal appearance. But it is certainly no extravagant supposition that His human form would be rendered as fit as it could be for the indwelling of the celestial inhabitant. And it is no unwarrantable supposition that perfect, truth, benevolence and purity should depict themselves on the countenance of the Redeemer — as they will be manifested in the aspect wherever they exist — and render Him the most beautiful of men; for the expression of these principles and feelings in the countenance constitutes beauty. And it is no improbable supposition that this beauty was marred by His long-continued and inexpressibly deep sorrows, and that He was so worn down and crushed by the sufferings which He endured as scarcely to have retained the aspect of a man.

2. The qualifications with which He was endowed.

(1)The gracefulness of His speech.

(2)The sweetness and excellence of the truths He declared.

3. The Divine favour with which He was regarded. Our Lord is now in heaven on the ground of His own worthiness.

II. HIS GLORIOUS EXPLOITS. "Gird thy sword upon thy thigh," etc. The propagation of the Gospel is here referred to.

1. The appellation employed. He is mighty to destroy, as those will be brought to feel against whom His wrath will be kindled; but judgment is His strange work, while it is with unbounded joy that He exclaims, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save."

2. The petition presented. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is evidently intended. And as David said of the sword of Goliath, "There is none like that,"; so can we say with the fullest confidence concerning this heavenly instrument. "For the word of God is quick and powerful," etc.

3. The reasons adduced.(1) The character of the Conqueror. One who is truth itself, who is meek and lowly in heart, and who never has acted, and never will, but in strictest accordance with the principles of perfect rectitude. Blessed Jesus! ride on.(2) The results of His victories. Not merely is He distinguished by truth, and meekness, and righteousness, but He diffuses these blessings wherever He goes.

4. The confidence displayed. "And in Thy majesty ride prosperously," etc. That this confidence was well founded, the early history of the Christian cause abundantly demonstrates. Transformations of the most amazing kind took place; the Church beheld her converts flocking to her from all quarters, and her bitterest enemies became her most devoted friends.

(Anon.)

Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.
I. A PREFACE OR INTRODUCTION TO WHAT FOLLOWS.

1. The subject. "A good matter; things touching the King." Christ is the king. The things that concern Christ as a King are, the dignity of His person, the wisdom and equity of His government, the extent of His dominions, the happiness of His subjects, and the perpetuity of His reign. This is "good matter." It is illustrative of the character of Him who is essential goodness. The nearer we approximate towards a perfection of goodness, the more this "good matter" will occupy our attention.

2. A source whence it proceeded. "My heart is inditing," boiling or bubbling up, in allusion to water put in motion by the action of fire, or bubbling up from a spring. How the love of Christ will constrain us to speak of Him.

3. A manner of expression. "My tongue is the pen," etc. Many imitate the psalmist in the fluency of their speech; they talk rapidly, but alas! they talk wickedly. Others converse freely and piously; but incoherently, enthusiastically, and erroneously. Let us always think before we speak; and let our words be seasoned with grace that we may minister grace to the hearers.

II. A DESCRIPTION OF CHARACTER. "Thou art fairer," etc.

1. In His person. There is moral as well as physical beauty. How holy was Christ's soul! What wisdom, love, patience, humility did He possess.

2. In His address. He not only possessed a plenitude of grace for His own support in the arduous work in which He was engaged, but that He might instruct add console others.

3. By the commendation of Jehovah. God hath "blessed," i.e. extolled His Son in the ascriptions of Divine titles, honours and perfections to Him.

III. A PETITION ADDRESSED TO THE MESSIAH.

1. The cause He maintains. Not to dethrone monarchs, but to subdue vices.(1) Truth in opposition to error, shadow, prophecy. Christ accomplished and fulfilled all righteousness.(2) Meekness. Worldly warfare is the child of wrath; and fury and malevolence are its inseparable companions. But nothing could surpass the meekness and gentleness of Christ; and His disciples were to be formed on the same plan: "Learn of me" (Matthew 11:29).(3) Righteousness. He Himself is the Lord of righteousness; and His laws, requirements, people and kingdom are all righteous.

2. The manner how the psalmist expected the Messiah to achieve His victories. "Gird thy sword," etc. This is the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, the Gospel of our salvation (Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16). The power of the Gospel surpasses all description (Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:5).

3. The interest which the psalmist took in the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom. He prays, "Gird thy sword," etc. (Psalm 90:16, 17; Psalm 118:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1). The same spirit pervades all Christians.

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

The special matter of the psalm is, "A song of loves." This may be so called —

1. Because the psalm tells of the love of Christ to His Church, and of her love to Him. Or —

2. It may be put in the plural, as is frequent in Hebrew, by way of eminency; so that what is meant is that the love told of is most excellent and incomparable.

3. It may be so called because of the manifold fruits of that one love. But probably the second sense is the one intended here — the mystical spiritual love that is between Christ and the Church is the most excellent love. Therefore, note —

I. THIS LOVE OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH IN THEIR ESPOUSALS IS MATTER OF GREAT JOY AND REJOICING.

1. TO God Himself (Zephaniah 3:17).

2. To Jesus Christ (Song of Solomon 3:11).

3. To believers themselves (1 Peter 1:8). And the reason of all this joy is —(1) On the part of God, because He saw the design and purpose of His grace accomplished (Ephesians 1:6).(2) It is joy to Christ because He saw of the travail of His soul, and is satisfied. This is that He laboured for. As Rachel was to Jacob (Hosea 12:12).(3) And it is joy to all believers because it instates them in such new relations and conditions as they never could have looked for (Isaiah 54:5). Let us learn, then, God's infinite wisdom, condescension and goodness in disposing the way of saving poor sinners, so as that it shall be matter of joy and rejoicing to Him, to Jesus Christ and to believers themselves. We were poor, desolate, forlorn, lost creatures; and that God should bring us into a way of saving us, so as that the heart of God and Christ and our own hearts should rejoice in it; this calls for our admiration. Do we find this joy in our own hearts? Shall God rejoice, and Christ rejoice, and not we?

II. THERE IS NO LOVE LIKE TO THE LOVE BETWEEN CHRIST AND BELIEVERS — no, not the flaming love in some to their hearts, and in others to the world that even devour them. But who can tell adequately of the love of Christ? Consider it —

1. In its condescension (Philippians 2:6-8).

2. In His suffering.

3. The care and tenderness which the Lord Jesus continues to manifest towards us now He is in heaven (Hebrews 5:2; Hebrews 4:15).Then, on the other side, I say the love of believers to Christ is beyond all other love whatsoever.

1. In a way of value (Matthew 13:45). They will part with all that they have to obtain Christ. They part with their sin, lust and corruption (Galatians 5:24). Now that love which will carry a man out to deny all ungodliness and to renounce all his own righteousness, to lose all he hath wrought in his own strength, to deny himself upon every instance wherein Christ requires him; this is a transcendent love, above all other love whatsoever.

2. The love of believers manifests itself also in suffering for Christ; and oh, who can tell what the martyrs endured from love to the Lord Jesus? So that this psalm which treats of the espousals of Christ and believers may well have this title, "A song of loves"; it being the most excellent love. Two things from hence are incumbent upon us.(1) To labour to get a sense of this love of Christ upon our hearts.(2) Let us examine ourselves whether we have this transcendent love to Jesus Christ in our hearts. If we have, it will continually keep us up to the mortification of all our sin; and it will make us continually ready for all the service and suffering Christ shall call us unto.

( J. Owen, D. D.)

The preface of this psalm is in verse six. The song itself from verse two to the end. First, from the preface we learn that he that lays a good foundation makes a good beginning of what he hath to say. It is from his heart.. "My heart," saith he, "is inditing." A sacrifice without a heart, a silly dove that hath no heart, are things that God abhors (Hosea 7:11).

I. THE SUBJECT TREATED OF.

1. In general, that it is a good matter. It is not about vain and empty, much less about wicked things, as the songs of the world are. Nor is it only about true things, for true things may have no goodness in them.

2. What this good matter is. The subject of this song is the King. And it is limited to things concerning Him; as if He had said, it is not for me, it is not for any mortal man to conceive or express all the glories and excellencies of the great King, Jesus Christ; but, saith He, something touching, something concerning Him. The best we can reach or attain unto in this world is only something touching Christ. We cannot yet behold the King in His glory, we cannot see His uncreated excellencies or beauties, nor those unspeakable glories of His person, natures, and works, as we shall one day contemplate and behold. "I speak," saith he, "of the things I have made"; that is, which I have prepared; I will mention only the things which I have composed concerning Christ.

II. There is THE MANNER OF THEIR DELIVERY, both as to their conception and as to outward expression; their conception it was in his heart; as to the outward delivery, it was by his tongue. And there is a peculiarity in both. It is not an ordinary conception of the heart, it is not a common expression of the tongue. The word refers to the bubbling up of water in a fountain or spring. The heart of the psalmist was so full of these things of Christ, things touching the King, that they did naturally overflow, as water rising out of a spring naturally flows into the stream without any labour or difficulty. It is promised that it shall be thus with them who believe (John 4:14). "A ready writer" is one able with speed and steadiness to set down any thought or conception whatsoever. And now from the words thus explained let us observe —

1. That the things which concern Jesus Christ are a good matter to believers. And their being thus good to them distinguishes the sincere believer from the mere hypocrite. These latter assent to the Gospel as true, but never embrace its teachings as good; they do not cleave unto them as finding a rest, sweetness, excellency and suitableness in them for their own need. But to believers the things of Christ are good.(1) In themselves (Colossians 1:18). Whatever is good in any kind, it all centres in Christ. The good things of Christ are God's best things. How, then, can they be otherwise than a good matter?(2) And they are so because believers have received the Spirit whereby they discern the excellency of them. Other men do not see such excellency (Isaiah 53:2). But believers can (1 Corinthians 2:7-10). Let us, for application, inquire, Do we esteem them good things; are they so to us? Can we say as did Paul (Philippians 3:8)? Is our satisfaction with them so high that we can be satisfied without other things? This I can say, that the nearer some have been to the loving of all things, even life itself, the better Christ hath been unto them. Examine, therefore, yourselves, whether you do not only give a naked assent to the Gospel and the things of Christ; or whether you find a goodness in them, a suitableness and satisfaction in them; that it is a good matter unto you. And let us observe —

2. Also, from the words, that it is the duty of believers to be making things concerning Jesus Christ. "Things that I have made touching the King." Now, this is to meditate upon them and upon Christ; this it is which is here called, "The things I have made," composed, framed in my mind. He did not make pictures of Christ, or frame such and such images of Him; but he meditated upon Christ. It is called "beholding the glory of the Lord in a glass" (2 Corinthians 3:18). What is our work and business? Why, it is to behold this glory, that is, to contemplate upon it by faith, to meditate upon it. If I have observed any thing by experience, it is this, a man may take the measure of his growth and decay in grace, according to his thoughts and meditations upon the person of Christ, and the glory of Christ's kingdom, and of His love. A heart that is inclined to converse with Christ as He is represented in the Gospel is a thriving heart. And especially should we meditate upon Him in His Kingly offices (Isaiah 63:1). When a heart is full of love to Christ it will run over (2 Corinthians 4:13; Acts 4:20). But what sad evidence there is in men's silence about Him, of their lack of love for Him. Lastly, that profession alone is acceptable to God and useful in the Church, which proceeds from the fulness of the heart. It is no use to be able to speak much if the heart be not full.

( J. Owen, D. D.)

"I speak of the things which I have made touching the King." It is not hearsay that I am descanting upon; I am not dealing in second-hand experience. It bubbles up from within me. I am not so much a reservoir or cistern that contains supplies from other sources, but God has caused me through His grace to be as a spring of living water. An ounce of experience is worth a ton of hearsay. Well, now, what is this goodly matter?

I. First, it is concerning CHRIST, THE KING HIMSELF — His glorious person, His matchless charms, His ineffable grace.

1. Notice that as soon as we begin to speak of Jesus He appears amongst us. The first verse declares the intention of the psalmist, and he has no sooner declared his purpose than, straightway, faith perceives the subject of the song in the very midst, and love adores. "Thou art fairer than the children of men" Every other man, however good and noble, has, it must be owned, even by his most ardent admirers, some lack, some fault or blemish; but I challenge Christ's friends or foes to find in Him any fault at all. No one was exposed to such severe tests as He; yet all men confessed that He was the Holy One of God.

2. Next, He is gloriously worthy because of His gracious words. "Grace is poured into thy lips." The people all hung upon Him listening; He riveted their attention when He was here among men. The words that He has left to us, they are spirit, and they are life. They are the words of a King, and where the word of a king is there is power.

II. I see Him further on in the chapter ascending His throne and acting as A JUDGE rather than as a King. "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre," etc. The idea, if I mistake not, is that this King, though He does not set aside His regal rights, or lay His sceptre by, is virtually on the seat of justice. There He sits, dispensing justice, determining the laws, meting out evenhandedly the justice that is in His heart. Oh think of it, rejoice because of it! That throne is not a mere sham and delusion; it is a throne of justice; He reigns in equity.

III. Further on in the chapter I recognize this same King as THE HUSBAND (ver. 9). There is in Jesus what I may call the domestic side of His character. This should touch us very closely. He is our Husband, our Lover, our fellow-Friend. He is our glorious Head, not merely as a mighty:Emperor, but as the pledged and espoused Lover of our souls. Come near to Him till your garments catch the perfume of His, and you, too, made glad by the ivory palaces, become redolent of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia. You need not flee away from Him. He has not come to crush, and condemn, and doom you; He fights your cause, lie loves to save and serve you. Bow at His feet by all means, but you may climb His chariot too, and go forth to fight beneath His shield.

(Thomas Spurgeon)

The real meaning is, "I am saying to myself, my works (or my compositions) are about the King." He keeps repeating this to himself, like some one continually reminding himself of good news which he can scarce believe for joy. The privilege he has obtained, the task he is performing, is a glory not to be missed and not to be diminished; so, lest he should flag or fail, or do his work unworthily, he keeps his enthusiasm on fire by constantly repeating, "My works are concerning the King."

I. CHOOSE THE HIGHEST IDEAL FOR YOUR LIFE. Remember that the value of your work depends entirely upon the choice of your ideal. To live your life without an aim is to fling it away. The man of pressure is dead while he lives. Choose a definite ideal in life, and see to it that you choose an ideal worthy of our human estate. Though you scorn the aimlessness of a drifting life, and though energy and resolution and diligence strongly mark your character, yet you may bend all these upon an ideal that will nullify their power and lay their glory in the dust. The ideal you choose for your life is of primary importance; therefore, I pray you, consider it well. The perfect ideal for the lives of all men is found in Christ. His kingship over human character is twofold. He presents the sovereign ideal for character, and tie makes the realization of that ideal possible. Follow the vision of His glory until you find it fulfilled in your own life. The greatest moral heroes of history have been Christ's men.

II. HAVING CHOSEN YOUR IDEAL, FILL YOUR HEART TO THE BRIM WITH IT. You will have what the psalmist calls "goodly matter" to deal with; therefore make your heart "well up" with it, let the springs gush forth abundantly, fill the fountains to the brim. When an evil thought comes, look straightway for a counteracting thought of good, and let that drive the other out. If another evil thought come, it shows that you have still some vacant space left, so get another holy thought to chase away the new evil. This "welling up" of goodly things in the heart will become increasingly spontaneous. Gradually the "goodly matter" which is stored in the heart will begin to spring up unbidden. The spirit will spontaneously produce celestial forms, and send forth angels even through the gates of dreams. Blessed is the life which has been thus built up into a temple of God and goodness!

III. HAVING CHOSEN YOUR IDEAL, AND HAVING BRIMMED THE HEART WITH IT, FLUSH THE LIFE TO THE LIPS WITH IT. The royal theme of the psalmist passed from the overflowing of the heart to the outpouring of the lips. "My tongue," he said, "is the pen of a ready writer." You will find it a great joy to let the lips express what the heart feels. Is it not an hour of delights for the seer when he illuminates the world with the new light that has flashed on his soul? Who can tell the rapture of the poet when his heart pours forth its siren music along the shores of Lime? Aye, and if you will let your lips and lives tell out without restraint the glory of the King that reigns within you, you shall know a joy as deep as the joy of .Heaven.

(J. Thomas, M. A.)

There is a sweet story in the "Bonny Brier Bush" about a young Scotch minister who, called upon to preach his first sermon, thrust the clever discourse he had prepared into the fire-grate when he remembered the dying words of his mother, "Oh, laddie, be sure ye say a gude word for Jesus Christ." The "gude word" from his heart brought the critical old Scotch folk to tenderness and tears, and made the kirk a very sanctuary that morning. Let us, wherever we are, and whoever we are, be ready with "a gude word for Jesus Christ."

The Alps, as a whole, are too extensive and of too varied beauty for any one artist to take into his perspective and paint upon his canvas. The best thing he can do is to portray just one or two of the main features of the scene which are visible from his point of view. It is equally the case respecting the infinite perfections and majestic character of Christ. Christ Himself in His infinite fulness has never yet been preached by mortal tongue. Man's gifts, though surpassing those of the highest order, cannot compass such a theme. It is, however, given unto him out of a full heart to speak of the things which he has made touching the King.

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