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in the whole New Testament as expressive of David's state, but all of Christ's, who is the way, the truth, and the life ; so that, if we expound any thing in the Psalms as relating to David, we do it without his leave who hath the keys of the house of David. It would not, perhaps, be much beyond the fact, if it were affirmed, that there are more references to the Psalms as speaking of Christ, than to the whole writings of Moses and the prophets taken together.
How careful are the apostles to caution their hearers to beware of thinking of David at all as the person spoken of in the Psalms! See Acts ii. and Acts xij. The manner of their quotations is also remarkable, having foreseen, through the Spirit, no doubt, the abuse that was to happen of that book. Thus they say, David being a prophet saith-David, in Spirit saith-God saith in David Christ saith in David- the Ho ly Ghost saith by the mouth of David; but more frequently, when any quotation is brought from the Psalms, David is not mentioned at all, but only Christ speaking in David; thus, Christ • saith when he cometh into the world-It is
written, I will confess to thee among the na• tions--I believed, therefore have I spoken.'
It was owing to the mistakes the Jews entertained about the Psalms, and other lively.oracles which were delivered to them, that they rejected and crucified the Lord, even because he interi preted them in another manner than they: and yet the guilt and danger of misinterpreting them
Beities that and Asaph, were exercised in
resent almost all of them as des
herith, but against it? What shall to Juhe ame and told them, he had
ham tent As the chief priests said
now, must be greater than theirs, according to our greater proportion of light : for as the light, s is the condemnation to them that walk in dark.
Now it may be proper to consider a few of the most common objections which are brought sprainst this method of interpreting the Psalms; some of them frivolous enough, it must be confeed, but not the less insisted upon because of that circumstance, and therefore, not the less ding, however little deserving, to be answered.
Caverion 1. If your scheme must hold, what shen bexome of all those books, devotional, prace and trying, and of preachings innumerable, Autors and lecture-books, which are full, and
them full of nothing else but of David's Avreises and experiences ? What a fool
sure in particular, would the most of our Anital treatises on regeneration, and cases * Pikee make, if you were to deny them hon har alle of their own grand magazine of Posiada with severl-postures, wherewith they tell us
the top of the Psalm in every you
have any more, if they
sinned in betraying innocent blood, 'See thou to
that.' So let every man see to his own work. And whether it be better to give ear to the fond imaginations of men, all brim-full of their own sense, or to the infallible dictates of the Holy Ghost concerning his own meaning, let the objector judge.--But who are you to oppose so many ? Ans. And who are many enow to oppose the Holy Ghost ? Do we maintain any thing about the Psalms on our own authority ?
Obj. 2. Many of the Psalms have a title shewing the occasion of their being composed, which title being a part of the inspired text, plainly determines them to the very occasion there men, tioned, from which occasion and its circumstances, as to the prophet's' state, you must seek the meaning of those Psalms.
Ans. If you allow the text to be inspired, is it to be imagined the Holy Spirit would inspire men to utter their own experiences, and never once give the least hint of the matter in all the New Testament revelation, where alone we are commanded to look for the interpretation of all the foregoing inspirations? But waving this, and also that controversy, whether the title be indeed a part of the text, and not rather, like the dates of some of the Epistles, only a note perhaps of some ancient commentator ; it is alledged, that the title, however true and express, can never more or less determine the sense of the P: to the occurrences therein mentioned, more than the date of a letter can determine the
sense of the contents. That the seeming, or. even real occasion of an ancient prophetic writing is no mark at all to direct the interpretation to that occurrence, but rather quite the reverse, will appear from Isaiah vii. If you ponder well the occasion and circumstances, never occasion seemed to bid fairer for determining the whole of the prophet's message to itself, and present things; yet then and there, on an occasion looking quite the other way, (were human wisdom the judge,) and in the midst of a very mingled unlikely-like assemblage of things, was uttered that ever-memorable prophecy said to be fulfilled when Jesus was born of Mary the Virgin. Fix the meaning to a son of Isaiah's, and the Holy Spirit, who tells us (Mat. i. 21.) nothing of Isaiah's son, but of Christ, when he explains the prophecy. If you say Isaiah's child, in his conception, birth, and infancy, was a type, of Christ, and that the prophecy was literally fulfilled in him, the type, being applicable only in a very remote and figurative way to the Messiah; it is enquired of you, How could ShearJashub, or any son afterwards born to Isaiah of the prophetess, be a figure, in his conception, birth, infancy, of one who was to be born of a virgin, through the power of the Highest overshadowing, &c.
The truth is, the carnal people were always blinded, but never enlightened by the times and occasions wherein the prophecies were uttered : so that the time and occasion (as might be made
appear by a hundred instance) are so far from being a guide to find out the meaning of the Psalm or prophecy, that, if we follow them, they will land us into the very midst of falsehood; and we will find ourselves in such a situation, as the Assyrians, who, seeking the prophet, found themselves in the midst of the streets of Samaria. Would to God we may all escape as well! It was not Isaiah's prophecies alone that blinded, stopped, stupified the eyes, the ears, the hearts of the people; but those also of Moses, David, Jeremiah, and all as many as spake in the name of the Lord: therefore, if we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand, let us see, hear, and understand the Spirit of God shewing the consolations, tenderness, and meaning of his own heart, by the apostles, that we may drink in the sincere milk of the word, and grow thereby ; instead of sucking at the dead breasts of titles, occasions, and carnal things of carnal times : what can we receive in this way, but wind, putrefaction, and death ? Truly it is the one thing needful for us, to sit with Mary at our Lord's feet, and hear his word ! Observe, on every occurrence, how the Lord takes occasion from thence immediately to draw away the attention of his hearers from present things and occasions, to something quite different from those in hand, even as different as heavenly from earthly. The man would appear crazy, who should affirm, that the Lord came down from heaven to instruct the world in those things which they