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sent by his Spirit, without intermission, giving his own testimony with his own mouth through them: and so, after the same manner, in the Psalms; even as a person of authority, personally acting and present, speaking immediately with his own mouth, or writing with his own hand, shews himself by his speech or writing; and the manner thereof.
After all, 6thly, if it be asked, Why are we so zealous for the right interpretation of the Psalms ? and where is the great harm of mistaking the meaning of any part of the Old Testament, seeing the New is so full and clear about Christ?
Ans. This zeal is shown for the sake of the truth, even that full and clear truth in the New Testament about Christ. And the harm of mistaking the meaning of the Psalms, as has been already made appear, lies in a great measure in this, that of however little importance those mis takes are supposed to be in themselves, yet they have been employed to hide the light, and eat out the spirit of the New Testament: so that, taken along with those errors, it turns out to be not only a dead, but a killing and destroying letter, instead of a ministration of life; every member thereof being, as it were, disjointed and broken; as, if you let an error escape you in the first figures of a calculation, it will cause the whole sum to turn out a falsehood, however painfully the operations are carried on after.
wards; or, as the physicians say, an error in the first concoction cannot be rectified in any after process of digestion. But when the Psalms are considered as spoken of Christ, or as Christ speaking in them, we behold the love of God, surrounded and guarded with all the terrors of his wrath, blazing forth in the face of Jesus; in whom we see God all light, and no darkness at all, even perfectly well pleased through the blood of the atonement; so that we may come boldly forward, and worship with enlarged hearts.
Had our critics and commentators laboured with equal diligence, to find out and shew the relation the Psalms have to the New Testament, as they have done to edify us with the penmen, and particular occasions and times when they were written, and the sense which either ancient or modern Jews, and those called primitive fam. thers, have put upon them, the church might. have rejoiced in their labours; but, as they now stand forth so many maskers (alas! there are few exceptions) of the face of Jesus, if you
have got a glimpse of that face, how can you look up on those who have been endeavouring to hide i the glory thereof from your view, by, casting on i the ancient vails- but with the greatest thanke fulness to him, who, commanding the light to.. shine out of darkness, hath enlightened your own! mind with his glory & while, at the same time, a you cannot but look upon them with the same kind of emotion, as if you had stood in the days
of Solomon in the court of the temple, at the dedication thereof, beholding the offerings accepted, and the glory of the Lord filling the whole house; and then beheld a band of drunken priests, running, raking, and scavenging together, with might and main, all the ashes about the place, with the filth and dung of the slain beasts, and then throwing them all in a heap upon the altar, smothering the heavenly fire, and polluting the sacrifices ! Their design perhaps was to feed the fire with fuel, and lay on more sacrifices according to the law; but what of that, if in their madness and wine they cast on dung ? Let God be true, and every man a liar. If this method of interpretation hold, which allows only the apostles to give their sense of the Psalms, holding every other sense whatsoever foreign and spurious, as many as hold it, not to speak of many obvious advantages they may enjoy, will be delivered from two great evils; 1st, That countenance and authority alledged from the Psalms to establish the righteousness of a sinful creature, where the Holy Ghost had established the everlasting righteousness of God. 2dly, They will be delivered from that manifold kind of confusion which has been established on a false view of the Psalms, where the Holy Ghost had established that faith which is of his own gift and operation, which he defines and mani. fests where it is, the evidence or assurance of things not seen, the substance of things hoped
for. Where is this evidence, where is this sub. stance to be found ? Even in the hearts where they are, and no where else. What a general absurdity, then, is that which they call a general faith? Is not the truth of God, or object of faith, one particular individual truth or object ? Is not all faith particular? fixed and determined to the particular individual subject wherein it is, however extensive the truth or object of belief be ? Certainly. You believe, and see, and hear, and love, and live, in yourself alone, and not in another: neither indeed can it be otherways. If this be so, is it not truly an affecting thing to see those, whom in many respects you would incline to say • God speed' to, -ranking themselves under different heads and denominations'; maintaining on the one side, That justifying and sav. ing faith is a persuasion, that Christ died for you in particular, and that you through his blood shall be saved ;-and this same is their appropriating act, whereby, they say, Christ becomes theirs ! as if the Scripture had where said so—as if you could be saved through the belief of any thing but what the Scripture hath said; which is true, whether you believe it or not :-as if a blind person could receive his sight, a deaf person his hearing, a dead person his life, (the cases are quite parallel) by a persuasion that they saw, heard, and lived-while, in oppo sition to this false doctrine, it is as falsely as zealously maintained on the other side, That a
person may be very well assured or persuaded of the truth of the testimony concerning Jesus, (which persuasion or assurance they compare to one end of an arch founded upon a rock) and yet at the same time remain in great doubt concerning his own particular interest in Jesus ; which latter thing they compare to the other end of the foresaid arch founded upon the sand. -Well, how shall this end also be established ? By your self-denied obedience, say they; by your continued subjection to the gospel. How shall I know this same self-denied obedience, this continued subjection to the gospel, except I know the principle from whence they proceed? for if I do not bring forth my fruits to the glory of my own Father and God, in the name of the Lord Jesus, as sanctified, washed, justified, and by the spirit of adoption crying, “ Abba, Fa• ther,' I can never conclude they are proofs of my obedience and subjection to the gospel. + These fruits do not flow merely from the relation subsisting between God and me, but from that relation known; and the fruits are not the means whereby the relation is known, but acknowledged; as it is written, · Hereby acknow
ledge we;' (as it may be rendered,) « that we • ‘have passed from death to life, because we love " the brethren.' Take away the knowledge, the certain knowledge of my own personal relation, union, interest, communion with God; and you dry up, at the same time, all the springs of my