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The Law of the Lord is Perfect, • converting the Soul; The Testi
mony of the Lord is Sure, making Wise the Simple.
HIS Pfalm is a noble Poem, com.. pos d by Holy David in Contem
plation of the two different Ways,
by which God had been pleas'd to display Himself to Mankind. The First, of which he treats in the fix first Verses, is that general Manifestation of Himself, which shines out in so bright and glorious a 'manner, in the Beauty, and Order, and Conftancy of the Heavenly Bodys, the most noble and conspicuous Part of the Visible
Creation. The Heavens declare the Glory of God, and the Firmament Sheweth his Handywork (v. 1.) the Firmament spread forth as a fair Volume, in which is written the infinite Wisdom and Power of its great Creator, in Characters legible to all Mankind, such as He, that can but look up, can't choose but read, and in a Language known and understood by all the different Nations upon the Face of the whole Earth. There is neither Speech nor Language, but their Voices are heard among them. Their Sound is gone out into all Lands, and their Words into the ends of the World (v. 4.) Insomuch that St Paul juftly reckons even the Heathen World inexcusable, if in this great Book of Nature they could not read the Divinity of its Author. For the invisible things of Him from the Creation of the world are clearly seen by the things that are made, even His Eternal Power and Godbead. So that they are without Excuse, Rom. 1. 20.
The Second, which He begins to handle from the Verse of my Text, is that more particular Manifestation of Himself to his chosen People the Jens, to whom in a more peculiar Manner He reveald Himself, not only by his Works common to all, but by his Word appropriated to them, giving them a Law written wich his own Hand. A Law which with so much Divine Eloquence the Royal Prophet thro' this latter part of the
Pfalm fo highly and so juftly extols, not without a further prospect to that more clear Revelation, which in Fulness of time was to be made to the whole World, when He should coine, who was to be a Light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as the Glory of his people Ifrael. For That Lam of the Lord, which both here and in many other places, particularly quite thro' that whole long, but most artificial and excellent Psalm, the 119th, Holy David with so much Devotion and Rapture, so much Zeal and Love, magnifies and adores under the several Synonymous Expressions of God's Word, Fudgments, Commandments, Statutes, Teftimonies, and the like, is not of that confin'd and narrow Signification, as to mean only the Law of Moses or whatever other Diyine Writings were in David's time extant, but is to be understood of the whole Reveald. Word of God, the whole Body of Scriptures, taking in what should in after Ages be deliver'd to the Church, as well as what was already penn'd. And all those divine Elogies and Praises, which occur so often thro' the Book of Psalms, as they were Historically and Experimentally true of that part of Scripture, which the Faithful then enjoy’d; so were they also Prophetically Infallibly true of all the rest of it, which in God's fit Time was to be writ by the Inspiration of the
same Spirit, by which those before David, and David himself wrote. Taking therefore, as we ought, the words Law and Teftimony in this their juft Latitude and full Sense, we may from these Words of my Text observe two very remarkable and diftinguishing Excellencies of the Holy Scripture ; namely, their Perfection, and Perspicuity; Their Sufficiency to Salvation, and Plainness to be Understood... Both which the Church of Rome, in order to erect a Spiritual Tyranny of her Own over Mens Consciences, would Sacrilegiously Rob them of; and to make it seem necessary that she should have rightly that Power, which she most falsely usurps, of adding to them What she pleases, and interpreting what is in them how she pleases, as boldly, as unjustly charges the Word of God of being both Imperfect and Obscure. But what lays the Psalmist, who we may safely presume understood this Holy Word? He concludes the quite contrary in my Text; The Law of the Lord is perfect, Converting the Soul: The Testimony of the Lord is sure, making Wise the Simple. In which two Members are most evidently contain'd these two Propositions ;
ift. That Holy Scripture, in all things necessary to Salvation, is so compleat that it