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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 148

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-14

This is another hallelujah psalm of Haggai and of Zechariah the prophets, in which all nature is made the choir, and Jehovah the object of the song.

Psalms 148:4 . Ye heavens of heavens. This is the phrase of Solomon, in his prayer at the dedication of the temple, and is equivalent to the whole expanse of heaven. The ancients had not our astronomical terms, and names of natural history; yet there is much grandeur in their ideas, and majesty in their language. They speak of the garments of light, and of thick darkness, as a pavilion; of the Almighty as laying the beams of his chambers in the waters, and balancing the earth on its poles. The version of Mr. Merrick, who has profited from George Buchanan’s Latin version, which all Europe has admired, will gratify the reader.

Begin, my soul, th’ exalted lay, Let each enraptured thought obey, And praise th’ Almighty’s name: Lo, heaven and earth, and seas and skies, In one melodious concert rise, To swell th’ inspiring theme. Ye fields of light, celestial plains, Where gay transporting beauty reigns, Ye scenes divinely fair; Your Maker’s wondrous power proclaim, Tell how he formed your shining frame, And breathed the fluid air. Ye angels, catch the thrilling sound, While all th’ adoring thrones around, His boundless mercy sing; Let every listening saint above, Wake all the tuneful soul of love, And touch the sweetest string. Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir; Thou dazzling orb of liquid fire, The mighty chorus aid: Soon as grey evening glides the plain, Thou moon, protract the melting strain, And praise him in the shade. Thou heaven of heavens, his vast abode, Ye clouds proclaim your forming God, Who called yon worlds from night;

“Ye shades, dispel,” th’ Eternal said; At once th’ involving darkness fled, And nature sprung to light. Whate’er a blooming world contains, That wings the air, that skims the plains, United praise bestow: Ye dragons, sound his awful name To heaven aloud; and roar acclaim, Ye swelling deeps below. Let every element rejoice: Ye thunders burst with awful voice, To him who bids you roll; His praise in softer notes declare, Each whispering breeze of yielding air, And breathe it to the soul. To him, ye graceful cedars bow; Ye towering mountains, bending low, Your great Creator own: Tell, when affrighted nature shook, How Sinai kindled at his look, And trembled at his frown. Ye flocks that haunt the humble vale, Ye insects fluttering on the gale, In mutual concourse rise; Crop the gay rose’s vermeil bloom, And waft its spoils, a sweet perfume, In incense to the skies. Wake, all ye mountain tribes and sing; Ye plumy warblers of the spring, Harmonious anthems raise To him who shaped your finer mould, Who tipped your glittering wings with gold, And tuned your voice to praise. Let man, by nobler passions swayed, The feeling heart, the judging head, In heavenly praise employ; Spread his tremendous name around, Till heaven’s broad arch rings back the sound, The general burst of joy. Ye, whom the charms of grandeur please, Nursed on the downy lap of ease, Fall prostrate at his throne; Ye princes, rulers, all adore; Praise him, ye kings, who makes your power An image of his own. Ye fair, by nature formed to move, Oh praise th’ eternal Source of love, With youth’s enlivening fire: Let age take up the tuneful lay, Sigh his blessed name, then soar away, And ask an angel’s lyre.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 148". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/psalms-148.html. 1835.
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