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1. Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

In the fifth verse, the prophet teaches that a happy life depends on a good conscience, and that, therefore, it is not wonderful, if the ungodly suddenly fall from the happiness of which they fancied themselves in possession. And there is implied in the words a kind of concession; the prophet tacitly acknowledges that the ungodly please and enjoy themselves, and triumph during the reign of moral disorder in the world; just as robbers revel in the woods and caves, when beyond the reach of justice. But he assures us, that things will not always remain in their present state of confusion, and that when they shall have been reduced to proper order, these ungodly persons shall be entirely deprived of their pleasures, and feel that they were infatuated when they thought themselves happy. We now see how the Psalmist pronounces the ungodly to be miserable, because happiness is the inward blessing of a good conscience. He does not deny, that before they are driven to judgment, all things succeed well with them; but he denies that they are happy unless they have substantial and steadfast integrity of character to sustain them: for the true integrity of the righteous manifests itself when it comes at length to be tried. It is indeed true, that the Lord daily executes judgment, by making a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, but because this is done only partially in this life, we must look higher if we desire to behold the assembly of the righteous, of which mention is here made.


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