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but one flesh, he in them, and they in him :
This is a great mystery,' saith the apostle ; • but I speak concerning Christ and his church.' What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.
This indissoluble bond of union between Christ and his church, whereby he cannot be considered without her, nor she without him, will account for all those confessions of sin, prayers for pardon, and deliverances from grievous distresses, thanksgivings, and pleadings of righteousness, appeals to holiness, justice, mercy, faithfulness, truth, earnest expostulations with God, bitter lamentations, floods of tears, animated exclamations, heavy denunciations, vows of obedience, &c. and all these uttered, sometimes as by one, sometimes as by many, in the singular or plural number, all to the same meaning, according to the good pleasure of the Holy Ghost, who hath fully ascertained his own sense throughout the whole series of revelations taken together in their own coherence, which to the children of God are but one context, whoever were his clerks or penmen.--Suppose David not merely an amanuensis or penman, (like all the other prophets), but himself the chief speaker, and speaker of himself indeed, in the Psalms, and it is all a riddle, paradox, and contradiction ! a jumbled mass of confusion! impiety! nonsense !-Suppose it Christ the Lord who speaks himself, of himself, (David being only his prophet, secretary, or writer), and of his church in himself; for could
they be separated but for a moment, he from them, or they from him, then they, nay, the Godhead, were no more ; for he has pledged his faithfulness for it, that they cannot be separated : Suppose it Christ, I say, in this connection with his church, and all is plain, easy, direct truth, light, glory, and eternal joy. How could sinners cail bis righteousness theirs, if he had not called their sin his ? Read Isa. liii. and such passages as these: It pleased God to make
him sin for us who knew no sin, that we might • be made the righteousness of God in him • He bare our sins in his own body-He was • made a curse for us—In all things made like • to his brethren, except sin.' For though he had no personal sin, or sin which he himself in his own person committed, yet you see how he had the sins of his elect charged upon him. Do you marvel then when you see him, the holy Lamb of God, standing and bearing the sin of the world, agonizing in every pore, and his soul full of that hell or wrath of God for sin, which would have swallowed up the whole universe of God besides, and him too, in eternal ruin, if he had not been sustained by his own eternal power and Godhead—Do you consider him suffering in such circumstances, I say, and marvel that he
* Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me; I am not able to look up—The iniquities of my heels' (or, at my heels, the iniquities of those who follow me, who am their leader)' do compass me about-Ay bowels are
likely to satisfy you, if you are yet unsatisfied.
« full of a loathsome disease. And this I have • because of my folly and my committed sins. *0 God, thou knowest my foolishness, and my * sins are not hid from thee,' Psalm lxix. 5. Thus he could say as the kinsman-Redeemer, the friendly Surety, acknowledging for his own, standing good for, paying and discharging by himself alone, all the debts of his beloved friends ; and yet at the same time maintaining his innocence, and saying, Psalm xviii. 23.
I kept * myself from mine iniquity :' his darling and predominant sin, which he loved and obeyed, say you, meaning it of David. Who is in the ; right, let the Lord of David judge, and us consider.
After all, perhaps, you will still cry out, as if no key were already given, How shall we explain Psalm li.? I do confess, nothing but a true knowledge and love (which are the peculiar gifts of God, and always go together) of that vicarious righteousness of Christ, to which the law di beareth witness, and the Father beareth witness, by raising him again from the dead, and by declaring his own faithfulness and justice in justifying the ungodly for the sake thereof, when he gives them the belief or knowledge of it, will be
Therefore, before you proceed "any - farther in qüest of -argument, consult your own heart, if you are really in love with that exchange of sin and righteousness, commonly called imputed, which the whole testimony of God is full of; if
you believe, that Jesus Christ was as really clothed with the sins of them that shall be saved, or that they became as really his own, so that it behoved him to own them, and die for them, washing them away in his blood, before he could be free of them, as that they who shall be saved, are by his Spirit clothed with his righteousness, which is made really theirs ; so that, upon account thereof, they are justified, accepted, sanctified, and glorified of God.
If this be your faith, and love, and joy, and you are not of those traitors who mean, like Judas, to discard the Lord Christ and his righteousness out of the world, by glossing away the spirit of his mediatorial work and character, it is to be hoped, you will ponder what follows; namely, that the objection from the title of the Psalm has been already solved, and that this Psalm, ver. 16. as being parallel to Psalm xl. 6. has been already shewed as an express quotation of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. If David was the speaker in the former part of the Psalm, by what argument do you shew that he ceases to speak in the 16th verse? If you say, it is not the Lord but David who speaks there, you are guilty of Ananias' and Sapphira's crime; nay, worse, you do not merely lie to, but actually give the lie to, the Holy Ghost. Do you conceive the Holy Ghost removes, in the xlth Psalm, that which God hath no desire to, delight or pleasure in, (even as the creditor hath no desire to, delight or pleasure in, the debtor's bond, or renewal of his bond, but only in the payment thereof,)
and brings in that which he hath a desire to, delight or pleasure in, even the doing of the will of God by Christ; by which will, done and fulfilled by Christ, those who are Christ's are sanctified, completed, and perfected for ever? do you conceive this, I say, in Psalm xl. and in Psalm li. where the same thing is removed, that the Holy Ghost doth bring in another thing which is not despised ; that is, desired, delighted, and acquiesced in; even the contrite heart, and broken spirit of David ? Can the Spirit of God indeed amuse us, amaze us, deceive us, by speaking the same words in the same connection, and yet meaning different things ? Were not this to juggle us out of all certainty whatsoever? What could a sly Socinian sophister do more? Compare Isa. lvii. 15. and lxvi. 2. with Matth. iii. 17. which three passages, with others parallel to, and explanative of, Psalm li. 16, 17. if you do not see spoken of the Messiah, you may
read your character, 2 Cor. iv. 3. as blind and lost; yea, verily, except you repent and believe the gospel.What! did it not belong to him who washed away all sin, original and actual, (Rom. v. 9. to the end,) in his own blood, to say, that he was conceived in, or under that sin? Was not he made under the law, the broken law, convincing of sin and wrath ? If God desired truth in the inward part, could not he shew it, and righteousness pure as Jehovah is pure? Might not he, the true passover, and sacrifice of every kind, for sin, say, · Purge me with hysop," the