Master Bownd (and Beza, Lyra and Vatablus) on Psalm 92, a psalm for the Sabbath day

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Nicholas Bownd, The True Doctrine of the Sabbath (Naphtali Press and Reformation Heritage Books, 2015), 385–386.

{And that this is a very proper and peculiar work of the Sabbath—to meditate and confer of the works of God, as of His mercy and justice upon ourselves and others, that we might thereby stir up ourselves and others to praise God for them, and pray unto Him—it is evident and plain by that psalm which was made to be said or sung every Sabbath day, both publicly and privately, as appears by the very inscription and title, which the Spirit of God gives it to that end, calling it, A Song or Psalm for the Sabbath day (Ps. 92). In which are set down the wonderful works of God and His righteous judgments both in rewarding the godly, though afflicted for a time, and in punishing the ungodly, though they be here advanced for a time. And so He would have us upon that day learn to know God, not only in His Word, but in His works. And therefore, whereas the psalm begins thus—It is a good thing to praise the Lord, and to sing unto thy name O Most High—Vatablus observes that “some of the learned among the Hebrews have understood (Dies Sabbathi) the Sabbath day. Thus the Sabbath is a good day to praise the Lord, and convenient and most fit to praise the Lord in; for in this psalm,” he says, “the prophet affirms that the Sabbath was ordained, that in it we might praise the Lord.”[1] And Lyra says that “some of the Hebrews do think that Moses made this psalm to be sung upon the Sabbath day, which was celebrated and kept among them for the benefit of the creation.”[2] And he divides the psalm into three parts. “In the first he exhorts them to give thanks unto God for the benefit of the |405| creation. In the second he shows the punishment of the unthankful; in the third, the reward of the thankful.” Which division though it is not altogether absolute and perfect, yet both these agree in this one general truth, that this psalm was made to stir up men to the meditation and conference of the works of God, to that end that they might be thankful to Him for the same.
Master Beza, setting down the ends of the Sabbath, “makes this the chief, which,” he says, “shall never cease before the end of the world: to wit, that other cares being laid aside, solemn assemblies may be gathered to hear the Word, to use the sacraments, and to give thanks unto God.”[3] And both how and for what he afterward shows, namely both privately and publicly, and that for His works of mercy and justice upon ourselves and others, upon which we should seriously meditate and confer about; and the singing of this psalm (which contains that argument) was a means to further them in both. For he says further, that:
… the title does declare that this psalm was written to admonish them of this matter, that both in the temple, and in the synagogues, and in the families it being sung, a rule might be set forth to sanctify that day. For it sets out those divine works whereby we may be stirred up to behold God’s infinite power, and also His mercy; which are considered first generally, and secondly in the government of the church. And whereas the saints are many times vexed, and the wicked do flourish (which argument is handled in many other places), it admonishes, lest the godly should turn themselves to follow the wicked; and that we may not esteem the love or hatred of God by prosperity or adversity; or that we should therefore deny the providence of God, as though anything came by chance, or yet be discouraged; but rather to adore the wisdom of God, and His power also, who concerning the wicked, will recompense the delay of His punishment with the grievousness thereof; but will defend His (that is, those that are grafted into the Church of God) unto the end.​

[1] . Vatablus, Ps. 92:1. [Biblia sacra, Hebraice, Græce, & Latine (1587) 166.]

[2] . Lyra, Ps. 92:1. [Cf. Bibliorum Sacrorum, volume 3 (Venice: 1603) {Ps. 91} 1157.]

[3] . Beza, Ps. 92:1 (Paraphr. in eudem). [Cf. The Psalmes of David (1590) 217.]​
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