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The Lord is Good

The Lord is Good

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Published by glennpease
WILLIAM STEEL DICKSON, d.d.


Psalm c. 4, 5.

*' Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into
his courts with praise ; be thankful unto him,
and bless his name : " For the Lord is good ; his
mercy is everlasting, and his truth to all generations.*'
WILLIAM STEEL DICKSON, d.d.


Psalm c. 4, 5.

*' Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into
his courts with praise ; be thankful unto him,
and bless his name : " For the Lord is good ; his
mercy is everlasting, and his truth to all generations.*'

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 11, 2013
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THE LORD IS GOODWILLIAM STEEL DICKSO, d.d.Psalm c. 4, 5.*' Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and intohis courts with praise ; be thankful unto him,and bless his name : " For the Lord is good ; hismercy is everlasting, and his truth to all generations.*'As the belief of a God hath prevailed throughevery age, and in every country, religious riteshave been universally instituted, and places so-lemnly dedicated to his worship. These riteshave uniformly taken their complexion from thesupposed character of the deity in whose tem-ple they were performed ; and these places havebeen considered as deriving a peculiar sanctityfrom the divine presence, and the religious ser-vices performed in them. These services wereof various kinds, proceeded from different mo-lives, and were instituted with different views.Some of them were merely honorary; somewere intended to avert vengeance ; and some toprocure the favor of Heaven ; but all of themwere celebrated with devout acknowledgmentsof the perfections of the deity to whom theywere offered, gratitude for the blessings a-scribed to his bounty, and humble supplicationsfor the continuance of his favour.This is almost the only circumstance in whichthe worship of the true God, as prescribed andenjoined by those revelations which we grateful-ly acknowledge as divine, perfectly coincideswith that which prevailed among the nations.
 
However the means of exciting or expressingreligious sentiments varied, they were alwaysattended with praise, gratitude, and prayer.These were considered as essential to every actof religious worship ; and the goodness, mercy,and truth of God, were continually alleged asthe foundation of them.This circumstance is extremely obvious inthe writings of David. In them he expresses,in glowing terms, the grateful sense which heentertained of the numerous favours conferredupon him through a variegated life of lofty en-terprise, complicated danger, and deep distress ;resolves his finaisuccess into the favor of God ;and celebrates his triumphs with hymns of praise, and songs of thanksgiving.In thus laying down the divine goodness asthe foundation of his praise and thanksgiving,David must command the approbation of every9well informed understanding, and the concur-rence of every pious heart. For, however ex-alted sentiments men may entertain of the di-vine attributes, goodness alone can render thecharacter of God truly perfect, lovely, and wor-thy of grateful adoration. Divorced from it,power might degenerate into brutal force, andwisdom into selfish design, or low cunning; sothat the belief of a God, and liis superintend-ing providence, would be as void of comfort,confidence, and peacefnl satisfaction to the re-ligious mind, as the gloomy conviction that theuniverse was hurled into being at first by a ran-dom stroke of fortune, and still continues under
 
its precarious influence. But, when we considerthat wisdom which can never err, and that pow-er which rises superior to all resistance, asdaily fulfilling the purposes of pure disinterestedgoodness, the gloom is dispersed; light irradiatesthe understanding ; hope, confidence, and joy,take possession of the heart : and the pious soul,animated by reflexions on the scenes of happi-ness to which it has been the witness, and theprofusion of good in which, through the bountyof Heaven, it hath had cause of rejoicing, hearswith rapture, and obeys with gladness, the Psal-mist's invocation : " Enter into his gates withthanksgiving, and into his courts with praise :be thankful unto him, and bless his name: forthe Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, andhis truth from generation to generation.Praise and thanksgiving are generally consi-dered as words of the same import, or expressingprecisely the same idea ; yet the difference intheir meaning is very considerable. Praisemerely expresses a high approbation of an ob- ject, or character, as intrinsically good, or in-clined to goodness. Thanksgiving implies, notonly that it is good, but that its kind intention,or beneficial influence, hath extended to us.When, we, therefore, survey the effects of thedivine goodness, as displayed around us, we ex-press our sentiments in the language of praise jbut, when we consider them as they have beenconferred on ourselves, gratitude is excited, andits feelings are expressed by giving of thanks.Hence it appears from the words of David,that neither his views, nor the pious sentimentsof his heart, were confined to the distinguish-

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