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Ghosť sent down from heaven ; which things • the angels desire to look into.' Agreeably to. all this David had said by the same Spirit in his last words, The Spirit of the Lord spake by • me, and his word was in my tongue.' And the Lord said to the Jews,“ Search the Scrip• tures, for in them ye think ye have eternal
life; and these are they which testify of me.' It was the Scriptures of the Old Testament to which they were referred; and this teacheth us, that Christ is the great and principal subject of them; and that our most painful study and learned researches are to no profit as to eternal life, and consequently to nothing at all, if we cannot discern God testifying of his own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in them. As, in that place, he refers to the Scriptures in general, so, when going to accomplish his obedience in his death at Jerusalem, he tells his disciples expressly of the matter, pointing to the Psalms in particular, saying, “ The things which are writ
ten in the Prophets and in the Psalms coní
cerning me have an end.' And accordingly, in the New Testament we find many of the Psalms expressly applied to him ; which shews, as Christ is the great subject of the Scriptures in general, so in particular, and especially of the Psalms : and therefore we should search for Christ in them, even in them all : for, if no part of the Psalms is to be explained of Christ, but what is in as many words applied to him in the New Testament, as some would make us:
think, so neither is any such part of the Law and the Prophets to be understood of him; and so a great part of the Old Testament, speaking of Christ, must go for nothing as to any saving purpose; nay, must be considered as a blot upon the face of Jesus ; for the Spirit teacheth us by truth, and not by falsehood; for, if I am reading any passage speaking of Christ, and apply it otherways, I cannot be profited; it is impossible, whatever pious views. I may have, seeing I rob God of his glory, and give it to another, deceiving myself, and being deceived: now, deceit can never be of God, nor for the glory of God.
But, as we have said, the New Testament explains the Old, by letting us into the spiritual intent, truth, or meaning thereof: with this key we are warranted to open up and explain those passages which are not directly mentioned in the New: neither need we be afraid of any dangerous mistake, as long as we are guided by that light which shineth in the face of Jesus,
If then we would express praise with knowledge, and sing the Psalms with understanding and grace (and there can be no grace without truth) in our hearts, we must go to the apostles, who alone had the Holy Ghost given them to search into the mind of Christ, and declare to the churches those things which God had kept secret from the foundation of the world, even the hidden things of God, wrapped up in the mystery of all the prophecies, promises, signs,
and figures, that had gone before, shewing, like the outer leaves of an unblown flower, that some better things were to come, whose form and beauty should appear displayed to open view, in the fulness of their glory, when the proper season appointed of God should arrive.
If this matter had been well attended to, we had not seen reverend fathers, and admired doctors, gravely explaining, that is, perverting and destroying the New Testament by the Old, casting the vail of Moses again upon the face of Jesus, and hiding the glory by that which in itself had no glory, spreading night and tenfold darkness between us and the Sun of righteousness, giving us stones for bread, serpents for fishes, the letter, instead of the Spirit, the ministration of death, instead of life, the reveries of their own carnalized imaginations, instead of the eternal truths and consolations of the Holy Spirit. Let the readers who is acquainted : with such teachers and their adherents, judge how far they are guilty. How dangerous are their glosses upon the Psalms !
Prudential considerations, perhaps, should lead one cautiously to inquire, if it would not be construed calumny to insinuate, that you will hardly meet with a place of public teaching in the kingdom wholly free from the gross abuse here complained of. Therefore, to cut off occasions from those who might be disposed to take them, instead of making irritating asser: tions, however justifiable in proof, let the perë.
son of like precious faith with the apostles con= sider, how he ought to be moved with the highest indignation and pity, when he hears a set of men, with their admirers, substituting what they call their moral virtue, sincere obedience, good dispositions of heart, and such like names, (I say names, for in their sense and connection they can be nothing else but names, falsehoodsi and not truth), instead of Jesus Christ and him crucified, for the justification and acceptance of sinners with God. They leave you at no loss for their meaning; for, to pass by other devices of theirs to establish an imperfect instead of * perfect obedience, (O master-plot of hell, to establish the torments of hell instead of the glory of heaven !), they will read you all the passages in the Psalms, where the righteousness, integrity, and uprightness of Jesus Christ are mentioned and rewarded; these they explain for proof see and illustration of their sense, namely, that out own virtuous inclinations and actions are the ex. press conditions of our obtaining the mercy of God, and acceptance with him. So, many of them are not ashamed, nor afraid, after all that the witnesses for the Lord Jesus have advanced, like a broadly to speak out.
They have different ways of phrasing and disguising the matter : -sometimes they will tell you, that. Jesus Christ by his death laid a foundation for the acceptance of your repentance and faith, and that he works these graces in you, and upon account of them you ate accepted of God; at
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other times, to the same purpose, they will tell you, that Jesus Christ purchased by his death the blotting out of all past scores, and that he gives you the Spirit to work in you the moral vintues, and all good works, which if you bring forth, you are justified and accepted in the sight of God on account of them : whereas, they might as well have taught you of your being accepted and justified in the sight of God, upon the account of an energy from hell upon your spirit, the one being as true as the other ; see ing there is no acceptance, no justification of any person with God but through the blood of the Lamb only, excluding, in this respect, all our good works, as much as our bad works.
No matter, they go on in their way, hardy, zealous, undaunted: no wonder the blind be foremost ; for Satan hath blinded their eyes, and they see not their danger: how else could you see them set whole congregations of poor deceived people a singing the xvth and xxivth Psalms, according to that blasphemous view they have given of that righteousness whereby a man can ascend into the hill of God? as if it could be any other but the righteousness of God, even the righteousness of his Servant whom he upholdeth, his Eleet in whom his soul delighte eth, for whose righteousness sake chehovahtis well-pleased, because he hath magnified the daw and made it honourable, and is become the end thereof for righteousness to every one that be lieveth; having purged away she sins of his