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25

the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;


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24. The Lord bless thee. Blessing is an act of His genuine liberality, because the abundance of all good things is derived to us from His favor as their only source. It is next added, that He should “keep” the people, by which clause lie intimates that He is the sole defender of the Church, and protects it under His guardianship; but since the main advantage of God’s grace consists in our sense of it, the words, “and make His face shine on you,” are added; for nothing is more desirable for the consummation of our happiness, than that. we should behold the serene countenance of God; as it is said in Psalm 4:6,

"There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us."

Thus then I interpret this clause, that the people may perceive and taste the sweetness of God’s goodness, which may cheer them like the brightness of the sun when it illumines the world in serene weather. But immediately afterwards the people are recalled to the First cause; viz., God’s gratuitous mercy, which alone reconciles Him to us, when we should be otherwise by our own deserts hated and detested by Him. What follows, “The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee,” is a common phrase of Scripture, meaning, May God remember His people; not that forgetfulness can occur in Him, but because we suppose that He has cast away His care of us, unless He actually gives proof of His anxiety for our welfare. Finally, it is added, may He “establish peace upon his people,” which others translate a little less literally, 197197     “Peace — this word generally signifieth all prosperity, and the perfect enjoying of all good things; it is opposed to war, Ecclesiastes 3:8; to discord and emnity, Ephesians 2:14, 15; Luke 12:51; to tumult and confusion, 1 Corinthians 14:33; and to all adversity, Genesis 43:27; 2 Kings 4:26; Job 16:33 [sic]; and is therefore added for a conclusion of blessings, Psalm 29:11, and Psalm 125:4; 1 Peter 5:14. This peace is obtained by Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:14, 15, 17; Romans 5:1; and enjoyed by the Holy Ghost, Romans 8:6, 9, and Romans 14:17.” — Ainsworth in loco. “put thee into peace:” and since this word signifies not only rest and a tranquil state, but also all prosperity and success, I willingly embrace this latter sense, although even its proper signification is not disagreeable to me. 198198     This latter sentence is much abbreviated in Fr.




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