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Cantate Domino

Passing now to the corresponding Canticle at Evensong, we find Cantate
Domino, the 98th Psalm, which, though much briefer, and nearly free
from elaborate detail, makes the same acknowledgement of the Almighty
Maker, and calls upon His creatures to praise Him in their various
orders in very similar fashion. Here however the climax is reversed.
Beginning with human beings and God's mercy to them, and notably to
Israel, we pass on to the sea, the world, the floods, the hills and all
the inhabitants, returning at the end to the people and God's justice
and judgment.

In both these Canticles, the thought is present that those, who do what
God designs that they should do, are thereby praising Him. Hills, and
valleys, and seas, are thought of as if they were human beings: they
rejoice, and sing, and clap their hands, when ungrudgingly and with all
the beauty and generosity of their best nature they carry out the Will
of God. When man does the like, of his own will and in his {82} own
place, he also sings, and makes great the praise of God.

v. 2. With his own right hand, and with his holy arm. Several
passages in Isaiah (li. 9, lii. 10, lix. 16, lxiii. 5) use this figure
to represent God's invincible might.

Other phrases of Isaiah (lii. 7-10) are to be traced in this Psalm.
The Lord the King, "Thy God reigneth": declared his salvation,
"publisheth salvation": all the ends of the world have seen the
salvation of our God, "all the ends of the earth shall see the
salvation of our God." O sing unto the Lord . . . let the hills be
joyful, "Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places."

Next: Canticles Which Follow The Second Lesson

Previous: Benedicite

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