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passage I would thus paraphrase : Notwithstanding all the pride and confidence of wealth, the lordly voluptuary can neither exempt his connections nor himself from the common stroke of nature. More power than man can, by any means, attain, is necessary to continue, and to renew life: yet there is a Power, fully competent to the great work: for the mortal, who seems in the eyes of his fellows" to cease for ever,” yet shall live hereafter: the soul, the real man, shall revive; and, even through a boundless eternity, shall never “ see corruption.” The Psalmist then returns to his former train of reflection. “For he seeth that wise men also die and perish together, as well as the ignorant and foolish, and leave their riches for others; and yet they think that their houses shall continue for ever, and that their dwelling-places shall endure from one generation to another; and call the lands after their own names.” Daily observation teaches this lecture of mortality : for we see that the learned and the great are cut off as speedily as the ignorant and foolish ; and leave all they had acquired and accumulated for others to enjoy, or, more probably, to abuse: yet they think, or rather, they act as though they thought, that their families
and their mansions shall continue from age to age; and they give their names and their titles to their domains and territories, as though they could confer on themselves a kind of immortality, Nevertheless, however elated in himself, or exalted in the eyes of others, “man will not abide in honour;"—he consumes, like the meanest reptile. “ This is the way of them—this is their foolishness—and their posterity praise their saying.” Though their worldly wisdom be commended by a race, as sordid and unthinking as themselves; like the irrational creation, they descend to the dust,—the common receptacle of every living thing,—not only of human kind, but of the brute that serves them, the meanest animal that ministers to their wants, or feels their scourge. They lie in the hell like sheep : death gnaweth upon them : and the righteous shall have domination over them in the morning : their beauty shall consume in the sepulchre, out of their dwelling." This were better rendered,
They lie in the grave like sheep: death is their shepherd : the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the sepulchre, — their dwelling." “Death is their shepherd,”—all are gathered
into his fold. Their rule and authority ceases“ the righteous shall” hereafter “ have the dominion over them:" and meanwhile, “their beauty,” —their grandeur, their pride, and glory,—“ consume in the sepulchre.” There ends all the pageantry of the world; of all that was mortal the grave is the eternal dwelling.
From this contemplation of the folly and presumption of those, who, though high in honour and revelling in affluence, are blind and insensible to their approaching fate, the sacred poet turns exulting to the glorious prospect which is opened to the wise and virtuous beyond this scene of mortality and dissolution ; and exclaims, in the ardour of triumphant piety, “But God hath delivered my soul from the place of hell,”—the house of the grave,—“ for He shall receive me.” That Being, who placed me in this state of trial, and, when the appointed task is finished, reduces the body to its primitive dust, shall free the spirit from its transient tabernacle, and transsport me to those mansions, to that blessed assembly of departed souls, where disease and death find no admittance.
The holy Psalmist then addresses those, who (as had once been the case with himself) were
perplexed and uneasy at observing the prosperous and affluent state of the undeserving and ungodly, and beginning to mistrust the providence of God; since so many, who appeared little deserving of his favour, engrossed so large a portion of this world's good. “Be not thou afraid though one be made rich, or if the glory of his house be increased; for he shall carry nothing away with him when he dieth, neither shall his pomp follow him.”
follow him.” All those temporal distinctions, which you consider as marks of the Divine blessing, are often, in the issue, severe trials, and even bitter scourges : at any rate, they are only the toys of an hour; for when death, who is never far off, lays his withering hand on the proud possessor, he departs naked as he came from his mother's womb; no portion of all he has gathered descends with him into the grave ; nor does his rank or grandeur follow him to the land of spirits. “ While he lived, he counted himself a happy man.” While in health and vigour, he exulted in his imaginary security, and deemed himself superior to accident and misfortune :—"and, so long as thou doest well to thyself, men will speak good of thee:”—and this, indeed, is the fashion of the world : as long as his enterprises are successful, and he rises from one preferment to another,-he will rise in the estimation of the crowd, and will not want for followers and flatterers; but his day is short :“ He shall follow the generation of his fathers, and shall never see light.” Like his proud progenitors, and all the great and the mighty of former days, he shall descend to darkness and silence, and shall never more behold the light of this world.
Having thus traced the progress of the rich and powerful, from his state of elevation and enjoyment to the cold and narrow tomb," the house appointed for” even the noblest of “ the living,”— the sacred penman concludes his moral and instructive song with the repetition of the sentiment he had before introduced in the twelfth verse :-“Man, being in honour, hath no understanding, but is compared unto the beasts that perish.” Or, “Man, that is in honour, and understandeth not,-is like the beasts that perish.” That mortal, though exalted to the highest pinnacle of human greatness, who will not consider and remember the precarious tenure on which all earthly things are held, and how little all his trophies will avail him at the last, is brutish and