Charles Bridges was a preacher and theologian in the Church of England, and a leader of that denomination's Evangelical Party. As a preacher he was well-regarded by his contemporaries, but is remembered today for his literary contributions. Educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, he was ordained in 1817 and served from 1823 to 1849 as vicar of Old Newton, Suffolk.
In 1849, he became vicar of Weymouth, Dorset, later serving as vicar of Hinton Martell, Dorset (c. 1857). Bridges participated (with J. C. Ryle) in the Clerical Conference at Weston-super-Mare of 1858, and also participated in the consecration of the Bishop of Carlisle in York Minster in 1860.
At least twenty-four editions of Bridges' Exposition of Psalm 119 (1827) were published in his lifetime. C. H. Spurgeon considered the commentary to be 'worth its weight in gold'. Spurgeon also pronounced Bridges' Exposition of Proverbs (1840) 'The best work on the Proverbs'.
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Exposition of Psalm 119: Preface
A considerable portion of the Sacred Volume (as the Book of Psalms and Canticles in the Old Testament, and a large part of the several Epistles in the New Testament) is occupied with the interesting subject of Christian Experience; and exhibits its character, under different dispensations of religion, and diversified with an endless variety of circ ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 1 - 15
Verse 1. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
This most interesting and instructive Psalm, like the Psalter itself, "opens with a Beatitude for our comfort and encouragement, directing us immediately to that happiness, which all mankind in different ways are seeking and inquiring after. All would secure themse ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 16 - 30
Verse 16. I will delight myself in Your statutes: I will not forget Your word.
As delight quickens to meditation, so does the practical habit of meditation strengthen the principle of delight. In the enjoyment of this delight, the Christian (however small his attainments may be) would rather live and die, than in the pursuit, and even in the p ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 31 - 45
Verse 31. I have stuck to Your testimonies; O Lord, put me not to shame.
We have just seen the choice of the man of God, and the rule by which he acted upon it. Now we see his perseverance--first choosing the way--then sticking to it. While he complained of "his soul cleaving to the dust," he would yet say--I have stuck to Your testimonies. Th ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 45 - 60
Verse 46. I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
"Liberty in walking" in the Lord's ways will naturally produce boldness in speaking of them. Compare the conduct of the three unshaken witnesses for the truth before the Babylonish monarch. Mark the difference of the spirit displayed by the Apostles, and esp ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 61 - 75
Verse 61. The bands of the wicked have robbed me; but I have not forgotten Your law.
Are we not too apt to cull out the easy work of the Gospel, and to call this love to God? Whereas true love is supreme, and ready to be at some loss, and to part with near and dear objects, knowing that He "is able to give us much more than" we lose for Him. O ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 76 - 90
Verse 76. Let, I pray You, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort: according to Your word unto Your servant.
What! does the Psalmist then seek his comfort from the very hand that strikes him? This is genuine faith, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." The very arm that seems to be uplifted for my destruction, shall be to me the arm ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 91 - 105
Verse 91. They continue this day according to Your ordinances, for all are Your servants.
The Christian extends his survey far beyond the limits of his individual sphere. His view of the operations of God in creation enlarges his apprehensions of the Divine attributes, and especially that of unchanging faithfulness. Indeed, the very fact of a ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 106 - 120
Verse 106. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep Your righteous judgments.
The blessing of the guidance of the Lord's word naturally strengthens our resolution to walk in its path. And as if a simple resolution would prove too weak, the Psalmist strengthens it with an oath. No more, as if an oath was hardly sufficient security, ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 121 - 135
Verse 121. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to my oppressors.
Verse 122. Be surety for Your servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.
There is something very solemn in the reflection, that God has set up a Viceregent in the heart--an internal Judge, who takes cognizance of every thought, every emotion, every act--deter ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 136 - 150
Verse 136. Rivers of waters run down my eyes, because they keep not Your law. (Comp. Jer. 9:1; 14:17; Lam. 2:18)
If the Lord teaches us the privileges of His statutes, He will teach us compassion for those who keep them not. This was the mind of Jesus. His life exhibited one, whose "heart was made of tenderness." But there were some occasions, ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 151 - 165
Verse 151. You are near, O Lord: and all Your commandments are truth.
The imminent danger in which David was living quickened his cries to his God. Often does the Lord permit this pressing trial!, Seldom, but in extremity, are our graces brought to their full exercise. Confidence is then shaken from man, and established in God. For now it is t ...read
Exposition of Psalm 119: Verses 166 - 176
Verse 166. Lord, I have hoped for Your salvation, and done Your commandments.
The great peace connected with the love of God's law, is at once the fruit of faith, and the motive of obedience. And the enjoyment of it leads the man of God to give renewed expression to his faith and devotedness. "Faith, which works by love," is no less the charac ...read