« AnteriorContinuar »
knew as well before as since ; such as the nature of bread, water, sowing, building, making of war, &c. though he applies, as the prophets had done before, all those terms in the manifestation of his witness-bearing to the truth. . But why seek farther for a proof and illustration of this point, than those very Psalms in dispute? Take Psalm xviii. for an example of the weakness of your objection ; the title is allowed good, 2 Sam. xxii. 1. yet you have seen the interpretation the apostle hath established, without any relation at all to the title or occasion of its being written; which should have fixed the sense to David's own circumstances, as you alledge. Indeed the title itself, wherein David is called the servant of the Lord, might have led us to think of some other one than David ; for the servants or prophets of the Lord used not to be inspired to make declarations of their own sufferings and glory. What they themselves at the time understood of the meaning, is of no importance for us to know, were it in our power to search it out. Perhaps they knew little more of it than of an affecting dream or parable, whose meaning, in the time of God's good pleasure, was afterwards to be discovered by the interpretation. Peradventure, the apostles were the first who knew it. Certainly they were, in any thing of a full sense. The Holy Ghost was given in vain, if the least one in the kingdom of heaven were not to know the meaning of their prophecies better than the greatest prophet of them all, whose faith and
patience with their fellow-saints were sustained by the prospect of something afar off, carrying their eyes beyond the things which were then present, to the futurities which are now come, which they saw in the dark, like a light at a distance, pointing out their own habitation, that they might not, like bewildered, despairing, over-fatigued travellers, fall down and rest the spot where they were, before they came to their appointed place. When David was pursued by Saul, by Doeg, by Absalom, by Shimei, when skulking in the wilderness like a partridge on the mountains of Israel, beset by the Ziphites, insulted by Nabal, hunted on every side like a wild beast, ready to fall into every snare, trembling for his father's family, and all Israel whom he loved, in jeopardy every moment of his life, entangled in the thickest thorns of perplexity, not knowing to-day how to escape to-morrow.
Was it unlike God to shew him, and by him all the twelve tribes, in the glass of a new revelation, on each of those occasions, some part of the sufferings of the Messiah and of his glory, for his and their comfort; till the desire of their hearts should come? In like manner, in the time of prosperity, lest temporal victories and deliverances should be taken for the fulness of their joy, and embraced as the accomplishment of the promises made to the fathers, they were shewed, as a proper antidote to such earthly infections, the glories of the Messiah's reign, succeeding to his sufferings. Has it not always
heen the way of our heavenly Father to lisp, as it were, and act the child with his children, speaking to men, in the language of men, the things of God; and to every nation and people, according to the natural confusion of their own language and apprehensions; that light, and spirit, and heaven, might arise upon them, like the sun out of darkness, by the just degrees of his own decree, till the fulness of glory should blaze out in meridian splendour? Hence, in the days of David, Saul, Doeg, Shimei, Absalom, Goliah,-dogs, bulls, lions, wolves, bears, serpents, vipers, unicorns, asps, were proper language for describing traitors and false brethren, chief priests and rulers of the people, scribes and pharisees, Herod, Pontius Pilate, soldiers, thieves, murderers, slanderers, false witnesses, devils; who all swarmed about the blessed Lord to destroy him, and in him his church.
If this way of interpretation is not allowed, you must say, the Father of our spirits has been but trifling with us; and that he only meant to shew us earthly things, because he only used, in all his revelations to us, our own earthly languages the only one he has given us to understand. Would not this way of yours make the history of the fall an old wife's tale, or something sillier; as if the serpent had been merely and literally that animal so called, without
any evil spirit informing and actuating him; though the devil is called, in plain allusion to this matter, the old crooked serpent.
Lastly, upon this point; We may say of every thing that was present to David, the fathers, and all the prophets, though the revelations to them run in terms corresponding, indeed, to the language, and manners, and things present with them, as God said to Abraham concerning Ishmael, who was born after the flesh, and not by promise, “ This is not thy son; but in Isaac shall thy seed be called : --which seed was Christ.
Obj. 3. David was a type of Christ; and therefore, though we do not deny there may be something of a spiritual meaning in some of the Psalms relating to Christ, yet there is always a true literal sense which we must keep by; for
our spiritual edification in Christ, no doubt!' And if at any time they are applied to Christ, it is only by way of accommodation, in a secondary kind of sense; while the genuine, original, primary sense, is only true of the type, and not of the antitype.
Ans. That David, being an anointed king and prophet, had appointed him by the Lord an official part to act, in which sense the priests, and all the other kings and prophets of that nation, as well as he, might be called the visible representatives, messengers, or officers of Christ, is freely allowed ; but that David (or any of them) in any
other sense was a type of Christ, so as to have states, frames, and experiences, similar to Christ's, which were typical of Christ's states, frames, experiences, remains to be proved. Shew wherein David is, and wherein not, a type of
Christ; for that he cannot be so always, is evident from Psalm xl. where it is said, 'I come
to do thy will, O God—A body hast thou pre- pared me'-to wit, for a sacrifice or sin-offering. How did David typically offer up
himself a sacrifice or sin-offering ? or what greater likeness had David to the sufferings of Christ and following glory, than thousands of other believers before or since his coming in the flesh? They were all ordained to suffer with Christ' in this world, and to reign with him in the next; nay, not only to be as he was, in tribulation while in the body, but also to glory, triumph, and reign, even in that tribulation itself: so that, when they glory, they glory not alone in the joy to come, but in those things also which concern their infirmities. Are the saints, therefore, because they have all their adversity and prosperity given them of God for their joy, and his own glory are they therefore all types of Christ ? . But lest you say we mock, were all the Old-Testament saints types of Christ? How absurd the supposition ! Why then single out David for a type, except you tell us where it is written? It is not supposed you would make him a type also in his murder and adultery, though you would do well to consider how far your argument would lead you. As to that scheme of applying quotations from the Old Testament to Christ only by way of accommodation, though all the doctors of the world were at it, as, alas! some of them are, it is such an outrageous insult and burlesque put