Imágenes de páginas

upon the Holy Ghost, that it ought not even to be once named among saints as a thing possible with God! It unhinges at one blow the whole Old Testament and the New! It rests the veracity of all the prophets and apostles, that is, of God, upon a mere moveable slip-board of dissimulation and deceit! So that, according to it, the gospel may be yet but a cunningly devised fable, and not the accomplishment of the promises made to the fathers ! By the help of that same accommodation of yours, a sharp wit might have taught the apostles to have established their doctrine as the fulfilment of ancient prophecies, from the tradition of the elders, Æsop's fables, or even Mahomet’s Alcoran, had it then existed, by taking suitable passages in those books, tearing them away from their original sense and connection, and framing them so as to express another quite different meaning in the same words; which is your famous accommodation ! a business suited only to the genius and abilities of that father of lies, who is said to have solaced a congregation of witches, on the night before they were to be burnt, by preaching to them, from John xiv. 1. • Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in « God, believe also in ME;' meaning himself. But be that as it will, in his temptation of the Lord, and in all his temptations wherewith he tempts people by misrepresenting the Scriptures, he discovers, to those who are not ignorant of his devices, his abundant skill and address at accommodating!

Obj. 4. But many parts of the Psalms are such, that it is impossible to conceive how they can be interpreted, as spoken of, or in the person of Christ. Ans. This is such an objection as concludes with equal strength against what yourself must allow to be the apostolic application ; those things which you ignorantly boggle at, confessions of sin, heavy complaints, prayers and supplications for pardon and deliverance, thanksgivings and exultations for these, vehement expostulations with God, with men, weighty imprecations upon enemies, Jewish language and manners, (and do you scruple at them in the Psalms!), and the like, being all to be found in those very Psalms, incontestibly interpreted by the apostles of Christ :- so that the objection lies, not against man, but the Holy Ghost himself : take Psalms xl. lxix. xvi. xxii. lxxxix. XXXV. for instances. This is such an observation as the whole weight of the cause might be made to rest upon it. But to be more particular : it can be no objection against our interpretation of the Psalms, though there may be some strong metaphorical expres. sions, spirited exclamations, and, to our apprehension, several other very strange things in them, which we cannot exactly shew the meaning of, being certain we have all the sense or spirit of them somewhere in the New Testament. For the illustration of this point, you may consider our true country proverb, Every hair casts its own shadow: which remains still true, though it be no easy affair to untwist the rope, and say,

which is the particular shadow of every individual hair. And we are the easier on tbis head when we hear the apostle, Heb. -ix. in general discoursing of the holy of holies, the ark of the covenant, the golden pot that had manna, Aaron's rod that budded, the mercy-seat, &c. as shadows, the bodily substance whereof was Christ, and then saying, of which things we cannot now speak

particularly. Thus, when the house was built, there was the less need of the pattern or model ; unless


say that, because a house is built after some plan, therefore we dwell in the house and in the plan together. Neither need we have insisted so much upon this point, if it had not been for the mischievous consequences following upon a misinterpretation of the Psalms; many things wherein, no doubt, as well as in all the other writings of ancient inspiration, may be like the snuffers, pans, shovels, basins, pins, loops, taches, knops, flowers, chapiters, and certain additions of thin-work over upon the altar of incense; which things, being part of the tabernacle and temple, were typical; yet who but a madman will offer to shew you their correspondent antitypes ? you may take also into this account the almost universal prejudice arising from the false teaching of near three thousand years, since the Psalms were delivered to the Jewish church: from whence our translators, though perhaps the most unexceptionable in the world, having had David always running in their head, have given their whole translation of the Psalms

a strong cast towards him. See, for example, how they have called Christ's righteousness, as in the margin, Psalm xxxv. 27. 'A righteous 6 cause,' not knowing so well how to think of David's righteousness in such a connection : as it is not easy to see how they could, without softening the matter, and bringing it down the best way they could to fit David's case. But the most egregious blunder of this kind, perhaps, in their whole work, you meet with, Psalm xxiv. 6. where they make the Spirit to describe a generation of people under that one singular peculiarlyappropriated character of the only Holy One and Just, who alone ascended by his own righteousness into the highest heavens, and received the blessing from the Eternal, even power over all Alesh, that he might give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given him : This,' say they, • is the generation of them,' &c. instead of This!' or . This He! O generation of them that seek • him,' &c. ; This being evidently meant of the Messiah's self, described in the remaining, as in the former part of the Psalm ; while the generation of them that seek him is not spoken of at all, but only spoken to, and called upon, as it were, to behold This perfect One, this King of glory. To justify this observation to the merely English reader, let him observe, that the word is, between this and the generation, is a supplement of the translators, as will appear by its being printed in a different - letter from the rest; which is the mark whereby to know when they

add any word, for which there is none in the original, to fill up what they take to be the meaning, that the sentence may run smooth without a break.

But to return though the meaning of many * things in the Psalms may be difficult through so

many causes, that it is not easy to say precisely the what it is; nevertheless, where the Holy Ghost

hath vouchsafed us a clear revelation of what was hid in the mysteries of old, let us not shut our eyes against the true light where it shineth, but wisely consider that intimate union, insepar

able connection, and eternal fellowship, subsist- ing between Christ and his church ; insomuch

that they are called One, One Person, Head and Members, Spirit and Body; so that their names are one. He is the Lord our Righteousness; And this the name wherewith he shall be

called, the Lord our Righteousness :' he is

called the Anointed ; they are the anointed : he ti

is the Son of God; they are the children of God in him: he is Heir of God; they are heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ : he is the Seed of the woman ; they are the seed of the woman : they are called Jacob, Israel, and David; so is he, Jer. xxx. 9. Ezek. xxxiv. 23. Hos. iii. 5. and elsewhere. Thus, the spouse's name, interest,

and estate, are swallowed up in those of her le husband. Her debts are his debts; her friends - his friends, her enemies his enemies, and so in every

instance; they are one in law, married to er the Lord, one spirit, one body, no more twain

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »