Psalm 19:8a The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart
How odious is the profaneness of those Christians who neglect the Holy Scriptures, and give themselves to reading other books! How many precious hours do many spend, and that not only on work days, but holy days, in foolish romances, fabulous histories, lascivious poems! And why this, but that they may be cheered and delighted, when as full joy is only to be had in these holy books. Alas! the joy you find in those writings is perhaps pernicious, such as tickles your lust, and promotes contemplative wickedness. At the best it is but vain, such as only pleaseth the fancy and affecteth the wit; whereas those holy writings (to use David’s expression), are “right, rejoicing the heart.” Again, are there not many who more set by Plutarch’s morals, Seneca’s epistles, and such like books, than they do by the Holy Scriptures? It is true, beloved, there are excellent truths in those moral writings of the heathen, but yet they are far short of these sacred books. Those may comfort against outward trouble, but not against inward fears; they may rejoice the mind, but cannot quiet the conscience; they may kindle some flashy sparkles of joy, but they cannot warm the soul with a lasting fire of solid consolations. And truly, brethren, if ever God give you a spiritual ear to judge of things aright, you will then acknowledge there are no bells like to those of Aaron’s, no harp like to that of David’s, no trumpet like to that of Isaiah’s, no pipes like to those of the apostle’s; and, you will confess with Petrus Damianus, that those writings of heathen orators, philosophers, poets, which formerly were so pleasing, are now dull and harsh in comparison of the comfort of the Scriptures.
Nathaniel Hardy, D.D. 1618-1670 Commentary on Psalm 19:8a