Verse 4. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his. "Join my song; assist me to express my gratitude." He felt that he could not praise God enough himself, and therefore he would enlist the hearts of others. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his. David would not fill his choir with reprobates, but with sanctified persons, who could sing from their hearts. He calls to you, ye people of God, because ye are saints: and if sinners are wickedly silent, let your holiness constrain you to sing. You are his saints -- chosen, blood bought, called, and set apart for God; sanctified on purpose that you should offer the daily sacrifice of praise. Abound ye in this heavenly duty. Sing unto the Lord. It is a pleasing exercise; it is a profitable engagement. Do not need to be stirred up so often to so pleasant a service. And give thanks. Let your songs be grateful songs, in which the Lord's mercies shall live again in joyful remembrance. The very remembrance of the past should tune our harps, even if present joys be lacking. At the remembrance of his holiness. Holiness is an attribute which inspires the deepest awe, and demands a reverent mind; but still give thanks at the remembrance of it. "Holy, holy, holy!" is the song of seraphim and cherubim; let us join it -- not dolefully, as though we trembled at the holiness of God, but cheerfully, as humbly rejoicing in it.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his. If it were to sing of another thing, I should require the whole quire of God's creatures to join in the singing; but now that it is to sing of God's "holiness," what should profane voices do in the concert? None but "saints," are fit to sing of "holiness," and specially of God's holiness; but most specially with songs of holiness. Sir Richard Baker.
Verse 4. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his. As God requires outward and inward worship, so a spiritual frame for inward worship may be forwarded by the outward composure. Gazing drowsiness hinders the activity of the soul, but the contrary temper furthers and helps it. Singing calls up the soul into such a posture, and doth, as it were, awaken it: it is a lively rousing up of the heart. Singing God's praise is a work of the most meditation of any we perform in public. It keeps the heart longest upon the thing spoken. Prayer and hearing pass quick from one sentence to another; this sticks long upon it. Meditation must follow after hearing the word, and praying with the minister -- for new sentences, still succeeding, give not liberty, in the instant, well to muse and consider upon what is spoken; but in this you pray and meditate. God hath so ordered this duty, that, while we are employed in it, we feed and chew the cud together. "Higgaion," or "Meditation," is set upon some passages of the Psalms, as Psalms 9:16 . The same may be writ up the whole duty, and all parts of it; namely, "Meditation." Set before you one in the posture to sing to the best advantage: eyes lifted to heaven, denote his desire that his heart may be there too; he hath before him a line or verse of prayer, mourning, praise, mention of God's works; how fairly now may his heart spread itself in meditation on the thing, while he is singing it over! Our singing is measured in deliberate time not more for music than meditation. He that seeks not, finds not, this advantage in singing Psalms -- hath not yet learned what it means. John Lightfoot, 1675.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 4. Song, a sacred service; saints especially called to it; divine holiness, a choice subject for it; Memory, an admirable aid in it.