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to the church--hath prepared his throne in the heavens, and his dominion ruleth over all, to bring about the fulfilment of his promises, and to give the rewards of his righteousness to his servants, and to them that fear him, both small and great ; which he will give according to their works, Hebrews vi. 10. " for God is not uprighteous to forget your work, and labour of love, which ye have shewed to his name, in that ye
have ministered to the saints, and do minister."
If it be objected, that infants have no works,-it may be answered, infants have suffered for Christ. Witness those of Bethlehem, and all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under. See the gracious notice the Holy Ghost takes of them, Jeremiah xxxi. 16, 17,.“ thus faith the Lord, refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears ; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord, and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, faith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border,”-that is, at the resurrection of the just, to reign with Christ, as they had suffered on his account, He likewise takes notice of all the contempt cast on the children of such as cleave to his truth and ways, in which they share with their parents for his name's fake ; and will say, as in another case, .“ inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye did it unto me,” ist of Thessalonians, i. 6, 7.“ seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompence tribulation to them who trouble you; and to you who are troubled, rest with us; when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.”.
I say, in view of his ruling over all, and bringing about these things, every believer is constrained to say, “ bless the Lord, O my soul.” The time is coming, when the redeemed of the Lord will all say fo, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; and gathered them out of the lands, from
the east and from 'the west, from the north and from the south, Pfalm cvii. 2, 3. That this time is pointed at in this Psalm, is evident from verses 40, 41, 42. "he poureth contempt upon princes"--which perhaps may receive illustration from Daniel vii. 12. they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a seafon.--(verse 41.) yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction-(verse 42.) the righteous shall see, and rejoice ; and all iniquity shall stop her mouth”-which will not take place till Jesus Christ come to reign on earth.-Then shall every believer that is singly constrained to say, “ Bless the the Lord, O my soul," join “ to exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders,” (verse 32.) agreeable to Psalm Xxxv. 18.“ I will give thee thanks in the great congregation ; I will praise thee among much people.” and Pfalm cxlix. i.“ sing unto the Lord a new song, his praise in the congregation of faints,”-of which assembly we have an account in Revelation iv. and v. 8. and their new song from verses 9. 10." and they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the feals thereof $ for thou waft slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth, &c,
To proceed in the consideration of the psalms :
Jesus Christ is there celebrated as man. And it may be suitable to observe here, that wherever in the Psalms the blessed man, the upright man, the righteous man, the just man, the righteous one, the just one &c. is spoken of in the singular number, it always points to Jesus Christ. And so we are directed to apply those things said of such an one, to Christ.-(not to David, not to ourselvess, not to such and such good men, that we are apt to believe may apply those things to themselves, and take the comfort of them,
if we cannot; and so to wish we were like them, making idols of them to the neglect of the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.) Thus we find who is spoken of in the first Psalm, namely, the subject of all the Psalms. « Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor siteth in the seat of the fcornful ; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night ;''-which agrees with Psalm xl. 8.“ Í delight to do thy will ; thy law is within my heart;"and with sundry paffages in John's gospel-"1 do always those things that please the Father.--I have kept the Father's commandment.---My meat and drink is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work, &c.”-and with many paffages in the cxix. Pfalm; as verfes 14, 15, 16.,“ I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts.
I will delight myself in thy statutes. (verse 24.) thy teftimonies my delight. (verse 77.) thy law is my delight. (verse 97.). O how love I thy law! it is my
meditation all the day," &c. &c. this whole Psalm being fo expressive of his perfect conformity to the law of God, and refraining from every evil way in thought, word, and deed, that it cannot properly be applied to David, nor to any mere mortal man. To the same purpose is Psalm xviii. see verses 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. 6 che Lord rewarded me according to my righteoufness, and according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompenfed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my
God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his ftatutes from me. I was also upright before him; and kept my felf from mine iniquity. Therefore hatli' the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eye-light.
Thus we have Jesus brought in as addressing the Father ; agreeable to John xvii. 4,5.“ I have glorified thee on the earth : I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." And thus we are led to a character in which God is well pleased ; according to Isaiah xlii. 21." the Lord is well pleafed for his righteousness fake: He hath magnified the law, and made it honourable.” Here is a righteousnefs fit to be made mention of before God. Jesus Christ has pleaded it with success. His disciples are to learn of him to fay, as Psalm lxxi. 16.“ I will go in the ftrength of the Lord God : I will make mention of thy righteousness, of thine only.”
But those who force and strain these passages in the Psalms, to apply them to good men, would do well to confider Ifaiah 1. 11. " Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks : Walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that
have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lye down in forrow." And sxviii. 20. " For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it ; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.'!
As an objection may arise from what has been said that there is great impropriety in asserting so much of the Pfalms to be the language of Christ, considering such expressions as in verses 67 and 176, of the cxix Psalm. Before I was afflicted, I went astray-I have gone astray like a loft sheep,'-how can it be said with propriety that Christ ever went aftray? I would answer,
That though he was the holy one, and the juft, who did no fin, neither was guile found in his mouth ; yet considering him as the representative of his body the church, and bearing their lins in his own body to the tree, as having their guilt imputed to or charged upon him, and that he is spoken of throughout the scriptures
in this view, we shall find no difficulty or inconsistency in viewing several passages in the Psalms, as well as the above-mentioned expressions, to be the language of the Messiah, where we may find him more fully confessing the sins of his body the church as his own fins. The whole xxxviii. Psalm is very particular in language adapted for him who in all the afflictions of his people was afflicted; who in the days of his flesh offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto him that yas able to save him from death, and was heard for his piety ; who though he were a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered: This Psalm when compared with the lxxxviii. Psalm, may be considered as an epitonie of what he endured through his whole life. Yet it seems to point more particularly to the latter scenes of his sufferings, when he said, " My soul is exceeding forrowful even unto death-My God, my God, why haft thou forsaken me.”-For then was completely fulfilled what is written in the 4th verse, (" mine iniquities are gone over mine head ; as an heavy burden they are too heavy for nie”') when he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The lxix. Psalm is fo plainly the language of the Man Christ Jesus, that I suppose fcarce any person will deny it; as several passages are expressly quoted from it in the New Testament; as appertaining to him :; and yet in the 5th verse of this Psalm we find him taking the reproach of fin upon himself thus, "O God, thou knowest my foolishness, and my fins are not lid from thee. :* But it is to be remarked, that in all those Psalms, as well as in other parts of seripture, where he thus speaks of himfelf, or is spoken of, as oppressed, and sinking under the burden of sins İying on him, we shall always find expressions by himfelf, or concerning him, shewing, that as to any sin of his own, he was perfectly innocent, and knew no fin, was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from fin
* See also plalm xl. 12.