By Henry Law
Exhortations to sing praises are here prolonged. Views of Christ's kingdom suggest ample topics. May they kindle holy warmth in our hearts!
1. "O sing to the Lord a new song; for He has done marvelous things; His right hand, and His holy arm, has gotten Him the victory."
Praise can never be exhausted. The more we contemplate the exploits of our Lord, the more we are moved to uplift adoration. The lessons of yesterday are expanded by the lessons of today. Fresh discoveries awaken new songs. But still no words can fully sing the wondrous works of God. Wonder is inscribed on Creation in its every part, and on Providence in its perpetual evolutions. But the wonders of Redeeming Love shine with the brightest blaze. Here Christ appears the mighty conqueror. Hell and its legion had usurped dominion over man. Many chains enthralled him. He was bound in irons of captivity. Jesus undertakes the rescue. He leads captivity captive, and saves His people from the cruel grasp. Alone He does the work. He by Himself purges our sins. Alone He hangs upon the accursed tree. Alone He tramples Satan beneath His feet. To Him be all the praise. In Him salvation triumphs.
2-3. "The Lord has made known His salvation; His righteousness has He openly shown in the sight of the heathen. He has remembered His mercy and His truth toward the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."
His glorious victory is proclaimed throughout earth's length and breadth. Those who dwell in heathen darkness shall hear the wondrous tidings. All the gracious promises to Israel's sons shall be abundantly fulfilled. Is mercy pledged? Mercy to the uttermost shall be given. Every word of eternal truth shall be established. Salvation shall be adored, wherever man draws breath.
4-6. "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing to the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets, and sound of cornet, make a joyful noise before the Lord the King."
The claims of the Lord upon resounding praise are here exhibited in emphatic terms. When the heart and affections are thoroughly engaged, every power will be used. Not only will the lips be loud in their utterance, but everything which art can supply and instruments contribute will be thus hallowed. Nothing will be withheld, which can with reverence give aid.
7-9. "Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; the world, and those who dwell in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for He comes to judge the earth; with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity."
Universal nature is next addressed. Everything which the Lord made should in some sense be handmaid to His praise. Let us hear in the roaring of the billows the acknowledgment of His Being. Let us see in the forests and the hills evidence of His greatness. Above all let us praise Him for the glories of His coming kingdom. Blessed be His holy name, He comes, He surely comes, He quickly comes. He shall take to Himself His great power and reign, and His kingdom shall be righteousness. Then earth will be one wide expanse of universal joy. Nature will put on her renovated dress. The sea in all its amplitude, the earth with all who occupy its space, the floods, the hills, with joyful tongues will swell the triumph. Let us by glad anticipation learn to take our part.