on Psalms 149 :9
To execute upon them the judgment written - In Deuteronomy 7:1, etc., God promises his people complete victory over all their enemies, and over the heathen. God repeatedly promises such victories to his faithful people; and this is, properly speaking, the judgment written, i.e., foretold.
This honor have all his saints - They shall all be supported, defended, and saved by the Lord. Israel had this honor, and such victories over their enemies, while they continued faithful to their God. When they relapsed into iniquity, their enemies prevailed against them; they were defeated, their city taken, their temple burnt to the ground, more than a million of themselves slaughtered, and the rest led into captivity; and, scattered through the, world, they continue without king, or temple, or true worship, to the present day.
"But do not these last verses contain a promise that all the nations of the earth shall be brought under the dominion of the Church of Christ; that all heathen and ungodly kings shall be put down, and pious men put in their places?" I do not think so. I believe God never intended that his Church should have the civil government of the world. His Church like its Founder and Head, will never be a ruler and divider among men. The men who under pretense of superior sanctity, affect this, are not of God; the truth of God is not in them; they are puffed up with pride, and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Wo unto the inhabitants of the earth, when the Church takes the civil government of the world into its hand! Were it possible that God should trust religious people with civil government, anarchy would soon ensue; for every professed believer in Christ would consider himself on a par with any other and every other believer, the right to rule and the necessity to obey would be immediately lost, and every man would do what was right in his own eyes; for, where the grace of God makes all equal, who can presume to say, I have Divine authority to govern my fellow? The Church of Rome has claimed this right; and the pope, in consequence, became a secular prince; but the nations of the world have seen the vanity and iniquity of the claim, and refused allegiance. Those whom it did govern, with force and with cruelty did it rule them; and the odious yoke is now universally cast off. Certain enthusiasts and hypocrites, not of that Church, have also attempted to set up a fifth monarchy, a civil government by the Saints! and diabolic saints they were. To such pretenders God gives neither countenance nor support. The secular and spiritual government God will ever keep distinct; and the Church shall have no power but that of doing good; and this only in proportion to its holiness, heavenly-mindedness, and piety to God. That the verses above may be understood in a spiritual sense, as applicable to the influence of the word of God preached, may be seen in the following analysis.
on Psalms 149 :9
To execute upon them the judgment written - Either, that which is written in the law in general as what is threatened to wicked men; or, that which was written for their particular case, or which they were specifically commanded to do. Compare Deuteronomy 7:1-2; Deuteronomy 32:41-43. Most probably the reference is to some particular command in this case.
This honor have all his saints -
(a) It is an honor to engage in executing or carrying out the purposes of God. As it is an honor to be a magistrate, a judge, a sheriff, a constable, a commander of an army, an admiral in a navy, to execute the purposes of a government - an honor sought with great avidity among people as among the most valued distinctions of life - why should it be less honorable to execute the purposes of God? Are the objects which he seeks in his administration less important than those which are sought among people? Are his laws of less importance? Are his aims less pure? Is there less of justice, and equity, and benevolence in his plans?
(b) It is an honor which pertains to "all the saints" - to all who love and fear God - to be engaged in carrying out or executing his plans. In their own way, and in their own sphere - it may, indeed, be a very humble sphere - but each and all in their own sphere, are engaged in executing the purposes of God. In the duties of a family; in kindness to the poor; in the office of a teacher or a magistrate; in clearing a farm; in cultivating the land; in building a schoolhouse; in founding a church, a college, an asylum for the blind, the dumb, the lame, the insane; in contributing to send the gospel abroad over our own land, or among the pagan, or in going to carry that gospel to a benighted world - in some of these ways all who are truly the friends of God, or who are entitled to be enrolled among the "saints of the Lord" are, in fact, carrying out the purposes of the Lord - the "judgments written" to guide mankind; and man's highest honor here, as it will be in heaven, is to carry out the purposes of the Lord.
Praise ye the Lord - Hallelu-jah. It is a subject of praise and thanksgiving, it should lead us to shout Hallelujah, that we are permitted to be employed in any way, however humble, in carrying out the divine plans, or in accomplishing those great designs which he contemplates toward our race.
on Psalms 149 :9
149:9 Written - Appointed and declared in the holy scripture. chapter CL An exhortation to praise God with all sorts of musical instruments, ver. 1 -