Verse 10. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord. Admiring his justice and fully acquiescing in its displays, they shall also rejoice at the rescue of injured innocence yet, their joy shall not be selfish or sensual, but altogether in reference to the Lord.
And shall trust in him. Their observation of providence shall increase their faith; since he who fulfils his threatenings will not forget his promises.
And all the upright in heart shall glory. The victory of the oppressed shall be the victory of all upright men; the whole host of the elect shall rejoice in the triumph of virtue. While strangers fear, the children are glad in view of their Father's power and justice. That which alarms the evil, cheers the good. Lord God of mercy, grant to us to be preserved from all our enemies, and saved in thy Son with an everlasting salvation.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 10. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him. That is, if they have failed in their trust heretofore, and not given God honour by confiding in him, yet these wonderful works of God (of which he speaks in the Psalm) work this hope. Joseph Caryl.
Verse 10. All the upright in heart. The word of this text, jashar, signifies rectitudinem, and planitiem, it signifies a direct way; for the devil's way was circular, compassing the earth; but the angel's way to heaven upon Jacob's ladder was a straight, a direct way. And then it signifies, as a direct and straight, so a plain, a smooth, an even way, a way that hath been beaten into a path before, a way that the fathers and the church have walked in before, and not a discovery made by our curiosity, or our confidence, in venturing from ourselves, or embracing from others, new doctrines and opinions. The persons, then, whom God proposes to be partakers of his retributions, are first, recti (that is, both direct men, and plain men), and then recti corde, this qualification, this straightness and smoothness must be in the heart; all the upright in heart shall have it. Upon this earth, a man cannot possibly make one step in a straight and a direct line. The earth itself being round, every step we make upon it must necessarily be a segment, an arc of a circle. But yet, though no piece of a circle be a straight line, yet if we take any piece, nay, if we take the whole circle, there is no corner, no angle in any place, in any entire circle. A perfect rectitude we cannot have in any way in this world; in every calling there are some inevitable temptations. But, though we cannot make up one circle of a straight line (that is impossible to human frailty), yet we may pass on without angles and corners, that is, without disguises in our religion, and without the love of craft, and falsehood, and circumvention, in our civil actions. A compass is a necessary thing in a ship, and the help of that compass brings the ship home safe, and yet that compass hath some variations, it doth not look directly north; neither is that star which we call the north pole, or by which we know the north pole, the very pole itself; but we call it so, and we make our uses of it, and our conclusions by it, as if it were so, because it is the nearest star to that pole. He that comes as near uprightness as infirmities admit, is an upright man, though he love some obliquities. John Donne.
Verse 10. All the upright in heart shall glory. The Psalm began in the first person singular, Hear my voice, O God, but it ends by comprehending all the righteous. He who is most anxious about his own salvation will be found to be the man of the truest and widest love to others; while he who talks most of unselfishness in religion is generally the most selfish. We cannot take a more efficient method for benefiting others than by being earnestly prayerful for ourselves that we may be preserved from sin. Our example will in itself be useful, and our godliness, by putting power into our testimony, will increase the value of every rebuke, exhortation, or encouragement we may utter. Our sin is or will be the church's sorrow, and the way to make all the upright rejoice is to be upright ourselves. C. H. S.
Verse 10. Shall glory. This retribution is expressed in the original in the word halal; and halal, to those translators that made our Book of Common Prayer, presented the signification of gladness, for so it is there: They shall be glad. So it did to the translators that came after, for there it is, They shall rejoice; and to our last translators it seemed to signify glory, They shall glory, say they. But the first translation of all into our language (which was long before any of these three), calls it praise, and puts it into the passive: All men of rightful heart shall be praised. And so truly jithhalelu, in the original, bears it, nay, requires it; which is not of praise which they shall give to God, but of a praise that they shall receive for having served God with an upright heart; not that they shall praise God in doing so, but that godly men shall praise them for having done so. All this shall grow naturally out of the root; for the root of this word is lucere, splendere, to shine out in the eyes of men, and to create in them a holy and a reverential admiration; as it was John Baptist's praise, that he was "A burning and a shining lamp." Properly it is, by a good and a holy exemplary life, to occasion others to set a right value upon holiness, and to give a due respect for holy men... Shall glory. It is so far from diminishing this glory, as that it exalts our consolation that God places this retribution in the future; if they do not yet, certainly they shall glory, and if they do now, that glory shall not go out, still they shall, they shall for ever glory. John Donne.
HINTS TO THE VILLAGE PREACHER Ver. 9-10.
- An act of God; something of his doing.
- Its effect upon men in general: All men shall
fear, and shall declare, etc.
- A special duty resulting from it, incumbent on good
men: The righteous, etc. H. Dove.
- The persons.
- What they are, in distinction from others; the righteous; the justified.
- What they are in themselves; upright in heart; not perfect, but sincere.
- Their privilege.
- Amidst all their persecutions to joy in God.
- Amidst all their dangers to trust in God. G. R.