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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.

Even in this world the prosperity of the ungodly begins to pass away as often as God manifests the tokens of his judgment; (for then, being awakened out of sleep, they are constrained to acknowledge, whether they will or no, that they have no part with the assembly of the righteous;) but because this is not accomplished always, nor with respect to all men, in the present state, we must patiently wait for the day of final revelation, in which Christ will separate the sheep from the goats. At the same time, we must maintain it as a general truth, that the ungodly are devoted to misery; for their own consciences condemn them for their wickedness; and, as often as they are summoned to give an account of their life, their sleep is broken, and they perceive that they were merely dreaming when they imagined themselves to be happy, without looking inward to the true state of their hearts.

Moreover, as things appear to be here driven about at the mercy of chance, and as it is not easy for us, in the midst of the prevailing confusion, to acknowledge the truth of what the Psalmist had said, he therefore presents to our consideration the grand principle, that God is the Judge of the world. Granting this, it follows that it cannot but be well with the upright and the just, while, on the other hand, the most terrible destruction must impend over the ungodly. According to all outward appearance, the servants of God may derive no advantage from their uprightness; but as it is the peculiar office of God to defend them and take care of their safety, they must be happy under his protection. And from this we may also conclude that, as he is the certain avenger of wickedness, although, for a time, he may seem to take no notice of the ungodly, yet at length he will visit them with destruction. Instead, therefore, of allowing ourselves to be deceived with their imaginary felicity, let us, in circumstances of distress, have ever before our eyes the providence of God, to whom it belongs to settle the affairs of the world, and to bring order out of confusion.


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