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ners. This we may fee in verses 19, 20. and other verses of the xxxviii. Pfalm, and the general contents' of the lxix. and cxix. Psalms ; to which the whole liii. chap. of Isaiah should be added as greatly illustrating the subject. Indeed we might fill many pages with quotations both from the Old and New Testament to the same purpose. But from what is already produced or mentioned, being read or considered in connexion, when we view him as confessing the burden of sin lying on him, and complaining of Jehovah's wrath and hot displeasuré on account thereof, verfe 1. and onwards of the xxxviii. Pfalm-his numerous enemies seeking after his life, laying snares, speaking mischievous things, and imagining deceits all the day long, . verses 12 and 20, to which accusations he as a deaf, man heard not, and as a dumb 'man opened not his mouth in reproof, verses i3, 14—when we view his 'lovers and his friends ftand aloof from his fore, and his kinsmen stand afar off, verse 11.-when we consider that he was denied by one of his disciples, betrayed by another, and that all of them forsook him, and fled
a when we hear him complaining as in Pfalm lxxxvïi. : verses 6, 7, 8, 15, 16, 17. 6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darknesses, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou haft. afflicted me . with all thy waves. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. I am afflicted, and ready to die froin. my youth up: While I fuffer 'thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me, thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water, they compassed me about together," —we may see the reason of all this set forth in the language of the church, 66 all.we like sheep have gone astray : We have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord. hath laid on him the iniquities of us all!'-and in what Peter says, " who his own self bare.our fins in
more efpecial reference to the reproaches and perfecutions of their adversaries, as is evident from many passages in the New Testament : And these passages hold forth the necesity of their being thus chastised in order to refine, purify, strengthen, establish, and settle them, and fit them for eternal glory , yea, that a continued scene of patient enduring the contradiction of finners, is the way in which they must be ļed in order to partake of the consolation that is in Christ, and have foretastes of that joy which is to be revealed at the appearing of Jefus Chrilt.-Şee Hebrews xii. I to the 1!. James i. 2 to the 4. ift of Peter i. 6,.7. and iv. 13, 14. Romans y, 3, 4. 5. and viii. 17. 2d of Corinthians i. 4 to the 7. and xii, 10.
Thus the disciples of Christ, by the afflictions and persecutions which they endure for his name's fake, being hated by the world, because they are not of the world, do learn to keep close to the word of truth held forth in the gospel, in the full assurance of faith and hope, that he who brought again from the dead . the great Shepherd of the sheep, will make all things work together for their good, and raise them up at the last day, presenting them faultless before his pres lence with exceeding joy.*
* In further answer to the objection, how can such words as these, “ before I was afflicted I went aftray," be considered as the language of Jesus Chrift? it may be added, that as antienė Israel after the flesh in the manifold instances of their forsaking the true God, and serving other gods, tya pified the Israel of God among all nations, and in all ages, in their vari.. ous strayings and pursuits after lying vanities; so as it is said of Jehovah with șelation to the former when they were brought low for their iniquity in 01der to reduce them to obedience, that “ his foul was grieved for the misery of Israel:" In like manner Jesus Christ, when he saw that there was none righteous, no, not one, among the children of men, that darkness had co yered the earth, and grofs darknefs 'the people, he became greatly afflicted, even to the laying down his life for the sheep, that he might gather together into one fold the children of God that were scattered abroad. We may therefore conlider these expressions, “but now have I kept thy word – seek thy servant; for I do not forget' thy commandments”-as pleading his own righteousness, and claiming the reward of his obedience unto death, in which his church as being one with himself is included. See Hebrews ii. 9. 10. 11.
As I liave faid, that wherever in the Psalms the righteous man, the godly man, &c. is mentioned in the singular number, Christ is always meant; it may be
objected, how can Psalm xii. 1. be applied to him, - 6 help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth?” If this is to be understood of Christ, how is he said to cease?
For answer, it may be illustrated from a passage in Deborah's Song, Judges, v. 6, 7. 66. The travellers walked through by-ways ; the inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Ifrael”—which I suppose is to fhew, that the enemy prevailed so far as to drive the inhabitants from the villages. So when the godly man ceaseth, it is added," the faithful fail from among the children of men." The faithful are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and to maintain the order Christ has established in his church. While it is thus, their order and the stedfastness of their faith being beheld, Christ is beheld among them. Pfalm lxviii. 24. " they have seen thy goings, o God, the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.”. Where his voice is heard, there is his kingly power made manifeft. Psalm cx. 3." Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Eccl. viii. 4. Where the word of a king is, there is power." But when, thro' the prevalence of antichrist, the faithful fail from among the children of men, and instead of a contention for the faith, they speak vanity every one to his neighbour, vainly attributing that to creatures which belong to Christ, glorying in men, ascribing those excellencies to them which belong only to him, complimenting them with his characters and titles, raising that veneration and regard to great names which belongs to. Christ; then his glory is eclipsed, and men are led to seek that in men' esteemed godly, which is to be found only in Christ. Hence in time of distress, or the near view of death, such men are sent for with great anxiety, distress, and confusion of mind, that they may pray with the distressed; which often serves to quiet the minds of the distressed, and their friends about them; while they remain ignorant of the finished work of Christ, (which is the only ground of hope for the guilty before