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sober. judgment, or of any sense of moral government, can object to this part of divine justice? and even in this, God sets the bounds of his corrective vengeance to the third and fourth generation to Edom, Egypt, and others. Verse 23 of this Psalm, has furnished his profane mockery with an unusual vein of wit and irony, speaking evil of things he understood not; he indeed writes on the popular fide in this licentious and ungrateful age; and every attempt to break the force of his malevolent insults, will be treated with scorn by the unbelievers, who lift their horn very high at this day: the time however is near, when they will be fynote with astonishment, consternation, fearfulness, and trembling of heart, for their calumnies, and hard speeches against their Saviour; who, notwithstanding their Saullike hatred and contempt of his blessed name, will bring them down to his feet, and fhew the infinite superiority of love and compassion to their blind, unthankful and wicked hearts. Even in the fenate of this christian nation, Samuel hewing Agag by the fword of lex talionis, was lately treated, as if
he had been a murderer of a very innocent king, when the reason of his punishment is assigned by this servant of God, as thy fword hath made women childless; so shall thy mother, be childless among women. 1 Sam. xv. 33.
It was, as some think, a cruel act on the righteous Adoni-Bezek, to cut off his thumbs, and his great toes; but this king had more sense of moral retribution, than even to coinplain against the act of God. Threescore ảnd ten kings, faith this humbled tyrant, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table; as I have done, so God hath requited me.
But when we consider from what lips dhat. insult came, it had not been much, if he had mocked the patience and love of Jesus Chrift on the cross, suffering for him, and the whole world of finners.When my mind was led a few weeks past to write on this Pfalm, I did not recollect, that it was thought the most sublime, yet the most difficult to explain of all the Psalms. However I find not so many rocks and labyrinths, as have been generally conceived : nor will any writer be much perplexed,
that sees the restitution of all lapsed beings; by the corrective and purifying wrath and vengeance of JEHOVAH; to which, the law, the prophets, and the gospel, bear one concurrent, harmonious, and glorious tęstimony.
I shall conclude this preface, with a passage from the fabbatical year. The conduct of modern unbelievers, is widely distant from an humble inquiry into, or a modest dissent from the religion of any country, and can be no part of the rights of private judgment: for it is condemning and reviling that revelation, as neither the power, wisdom, nor goodness of God, which the other meinbers of civil society revere, as the highest bletsing of the deity to them. The apostles, who had full credentials of their mission to oppose the idolatry of the gentiles, never insulted the magistrates nor the laws, which protected even false religion from scorn and contempt: they offered their lives, and rejoyced in tribulation, for the sake of publishing the glad tidings of salvation to others: they suffered and were patient. As fins are attended with
circumstances to inflame and aggravate their guilt, they will be scourged with stripes few or many in the next world: such then as openly depreciate the gospel, and write to render it vile and contemptible in the eyes of all posterity, must stand to the fearful consequences of such universal blasphemy. On the mystic or spiritual sense of sacred
writ. “ When we meet with seeming unfruitful fcripture, which affords not much matter in the letter, we may then judge, that, ac.cording to the manifold wisdom of God, there is a ground of some more notable meaning of the Spirit; as where rich mines are, there the surface of the earth, yields not much fruit. And if we will search the scriptures, John 5. As for hidden treasures, Prov. 2. We shall not take offence at the surface of the letter, though more barren; but, from that occafion, humbly and docibly enquire into the true treasure of the Spirit hidden under that poor and beggarly element."
“ When truth is tried by most coices, it is commonly outvoted. Let the truth of God
appear in its native luftre aud beauty; and let all philology and human learning be as a dark ground and foil to set it off, that divine truth alone may be fair and beautiful in our sight. Dr. Robert Gell's preface towards the amendment of the last English translation of the bible, p. 167. Mihi fufficit diceré, certum aliquod hominum genus a deo fuisse ordinatum fub V. T. quibus magis ac aliis veritates capitales, quarum cognitio ecclefiæ necessaria erat, revelavit, earumque veritatum custodiam commisit. Ha veritates erant clavis cognitionis, ab ipfis turpiter occultata tempore christi, ob quod scelus reprehenduntur. C. Vitringæ S. observ. Lib. 1. p. 119.
Scito, clavem intelligentiæ & scientiæ veritatis omnium eorum, quæ a prophetis dicta sunt, effe intelligentiam fenfus & verborum parabolarum. Interius vel intimum verborum legis, veluti margaritam, sensum autem literalem parabolæ, nullius omnino pretii effe, ostendunt. Sensum interiorem parabolæ, sub literæ externæ cortice latentem, affimilant margaritæ pretiofæ in domo obfcurâ, elautâ, multâ fuppellectili, multisque