« AnteriorContinuar »
when you have been told, with the symbols of your Lord's body and blood in your hands, that you were come to his table to renew or make your covenant with God, to make up your peace with God, to get an interest in Christ, and to get this interest cleared up, and so forth? May we not ask you, if your eating and drinking in such circumstances was not saying Amen ?- Then, behold, as the conclusion of the whole matter and service for the day, uprears itself an admired creature, the most esteemed of the whole association, and with all possible solemnity of manner, reads you out, for the ground of the ensuing discourse, in the forecited cxvith Psalm, these words of the Lord Jesus, " I will
pay my vows now before the Lord, in the pre• of all the people.' Then proceeds the worthy preacher, helping your devotion, and saying, " Upon what particular occasion David
penned this Psalm is not certain ; but certain - it is he had been in great distress and soul. • trouble; the sorrows of death compassed him ; • the pains of hell got hold upon him; but out
of the deeps he cried to his God, he made supplication and was delivered.—What was his pious resolution upon this remarkable outgate? what ought to be yours, my friends,
especially on the back of this great solemnity ? • have you got any soul-good, you will be ready " to say with David on his deliverance, 6 I will « bless the Lord as long as I live," and in the ý words of my text, “ I will now pay my vows'
'-Why pay thy vows, David ? Let David say • in his own words, “ Thou hast delivered my “ soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet « from falling.-I am thy servant, Lord, thy “ servant, the son of thy hand-maid; thou hast “ loosed my bands." By this time we are hurried all at once into the midst of things, and be gin to hear the method; which is, in the first place, to shew us, who have been making our covenant, and renewing our vows to God, the obligations lying upon us, after the pious and devout example of holy David, to pay our vows, and keep our covenant; and—But lest you say I am going to preach, instead of prefacing God forbid I should preach in such a strain ! The words are good; but are they well applied ? As Achish said of David when he feigned himself mad, and scrabbled on the door, and let his spittle fall upon his beard, &c. • Have I need • of madmen, that ye have brought this fellow
to me?' Have we need to have our eyes drawn away from the atonement ? to have David preached to us, instead of Christ, from such a text: Take away the cross of Christ, that alone pillar of confidence, from any place of the book of God, where the Holy Ghost has made it to stand forth in its glory, to attract the heart and eye of the true worshipper, and place what you will in the room thereof, though you should shew us all in heaven and earth besides, you do no more than if
you should say, Behold the tower of Babel ! or, the image of the great goddess Diana! wor.
ship them! and glory in your gods! Might not a Jew, should he happen to be present, hearing such an harangue from the cxvith Psalm, delivered by a man of elocation, cry out in raptures, An admirable sermon!
have no more to do but to substitute David, or such like, in the place of Christ, and you are the very man of of his heart. Should it be so with Christians too? Would not the congregation have been more edified if the minister had followed Philip's example, and begun at the same place and preach ed to them Jesus? putting them in remembrance, how he had paid his vows, made the covenant good, and the peace with God in his own blood, that they might rejoice in him, and not in them. selves; in his vows, and not in their own? Say not, the doctrine of thanksgiving is hereby denied:
: no; it is established in the cross of Christ, and in the power of his Spirit.--For an appendix to this second rule, it may be added,
3dly, That whatever Psalm has a part of it parallel to any passage in the Law, or the Prophets, evidently pointing to the Messiah, or the spiritual things of his kingdom, must be allowed the same kind of sense. Thus, Psalm Ixv. 9. to the end, and such others, will be easily and safe. ly understood by such passages as compare the kingdom of heaven to seed sown, and producing a plentiful harvest, being blessed and watered from heaven, till at length the year is crowned with the goodness of the Lord. The whole pro. phecies of Isaiah are full of spiritual things re.
presented by earthly resemblances of the same kind, where the context determines the sense, and shews what we are to understand by fruitful fields, rivers of water, streams in the desert, showers of rain, clean grain, pure provender, forests clapping their hands, hills singing, cattle rejoicing, &c. See Isaiah vii. xxxi. xxxv. lv. and John vü. 38. Acts ii. 18. One might argue strongly, ,
4thly, For the confirmation of this doctrine, from the manifest impiety and absurdity (as would appear from the face of the whole Word of God) of applying numberless passages in the Psalms to David, or any man whom God ever created, except to the man Christ Jesus alone, though there had been no direct nor indirect application of them to him besides the general tenor of the Scriptures, which is the only analogy of faith or form of sound words which the church of Christ can allow. What mere creature that ever dwelt in flesh and blood could lift up its mouth, and say to Jehovah, glorying in itself and its own deserts, "Judge me, and try me« Examine heart and reins, O God-Preserve • me, because I am holy-Thou wilt prolong - my life from generation to generation. Let « them shout for joy who love my righteousness
-The world is dissolved; but I hold up the < pillars thereof ?? How do these things agree to any but the holy One of God, of whose years there shall be no end? Who upholdeth all things by the word of his power; who obtained through his own righteousness power over all flesh, that
he might give eternal life to as many as the Fa: ther hath given him. If with this key we open the i. and cxix. Psalms, we will be admitted into the secrets of a perfect heart ; and behold our Lord made under the law, exercised, panting and wrestling under the curse, till at length, through his own obedience, he attain, to the everlasting joy, his own due reward, which he gives to his people who rejoice and delight with him in all the perfection of the law only as fulfilled in his blood.
To pursue this important point through all the variety of examples which might be adduced, till they amounted to a full and particular proof with regard to every single Psalm, would make a considerable volume of itself; and good service it would be for any one who had time and ability equal to the task ; that there might remain no shadow of hesitation, where the scriptures, were spiritual things compared with spiri, tual, would appear to speak so plain. -- Those directing passages in the Psalms may be considered as'so many erected poles in the corners of a highway, ascertaining, not only that those remarkable places where they stand are in the course thereof, but also all the intermediate spaces from one to another. So that, it is apprehended, the whole number of the Psalms are comprised in this scheme of interpretation. For we have no other direction left us whereby we may interpret them; seeing it is manifest, there is not a Psalm, or portion of a Psalm, applied