THE NIGHTINGALE SONG OF DAVID
Of the Divine Inspiration of the Book of Psalms the Psalmist himself shall speak: "These are the last words of David: David, the son of Jesse, speaks- David, the man to whom God gave such wonderful success, David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist of Israel. The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are upon my tongue." 2 Samuel 23:1-2. Fortified with such a testimony, we may accept without hesitation the Twenty-third of this "Hymn Book for all times" as not only a divine, but as the divinest, richest, and most musical of all the songs which breathed from David's inspired harp; and to which, by the consent of the universal Church, the palm of distinction has been awarded. No individual, competent to form a judgment in the matter, and possessing any pretension to a taste for that which is pastoral in composition- rich in imagery- tender in pathos- and sublime in revelation- will fail to study this Psalm without the profoundest instruction and the most exquisite delight. Its melodies- divine and entrancing, and which may well suggest the expressive title we have ventured to give it- have echoed through all ages of the Christian Church- instructing more minds, soothing more hearts, quelling more fears, and inspiring more hopes- than, perhaps, any other composition in any language, or of any age. It begins with CHRIST, and ends with HEAVEN; and all that intervenes between this true and precious starting-point, and its certain and glorious goal, portrays every divine feature, and meets every spiritual need of the believer's religious experience, from his first step into grace, to his first step into glory. If no other blessing results from the present exposition of this Psalm, than the refreshment it has afforded the writer in its composition, he will have been richly rewarded for the labor and weariness of preparing it. To the divine blessing of the One Shepherd, and to the gracious acceptance of the One Fold, he devoutly and affectionately commends his work and to the Triune Jehovah shall be the glory!