The true character of praise, however, depends entirely upon the state of the heart. In the contemplative philosopher it is only cheerless, barren admiration: in the believer it becomes a principle of comfort and encouragement. For, can he forget the revelation, which his God has given of himself in the gospel of his dear Son; how it divests every attribute of its terrors, and shines before us in all the glory of his faithfulness and love? The ascription of praise the prophet’s song-“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” (Mic. vii. 8).
Truly he is “blessed” in himself and delighteth to communicate his blessedness to his people. Hence we are emboldened to ask for continual “teaching in his statutes,” * in the truths which he has revealed, and the precepts which he has enjoined; that we may “be followers of him, as dear children,” and “walk with him in love.” (Eph. v. 1, 2.) The practical influence, however, of David light, constitutes its peculiar privilege. Man’s teaching puffeth up God’s teaching humbleth. Man’s teaching may lead us into error as well as into truth-God’s teaching is “the unction from the Holy One, by which we know all things.” (1 John, ii. 20.) Man’s teaching may make us more learned-God’s teaching makes us more holy. It persuades, while it enlightens. It draws the heart, inclines the will, and carries out the soul to Christ. (John vi. 44, 45.) The tried character of God encourages us to look for his teaching-“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way.” (Ps. xxv. 8.) Our warrant is especially confirmed in approaching him as our covenant God-“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou art the God of my salvation. Teach me to do thy will: for thou art my God.” (Ps. cxliii. 10.)
Reader! do you desire to praise your God? Then learn to frequent the new and living way, “by which alone you can offer your sacrifice acceptably.” (Heb. x. 20; xii. 15. 1 Pet. Ii. 5.) And while engaged in this holy service, inquire, surrounded as you are with the means of instruction, what progress you are making in his statutes. Seek to have a deeper acquaintance with the character of God. Seek to be the vessels of honour and glory, into which he is pouring more and more continually, “until they be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. iii. 19.) Value the unspeakable blessing of Divine teaching, by which you learn to live the life, and being the blessedness of God
*The same acknowledgement and plea are made in verse 64, 68.