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truth forming one psalm, divided into two parts, and entitled, For the Beloved. The first part speaks of Christ's work in redemption; the second, under the type of the natural creation,* speaks of his new creation in the hearts of believers.
Again; the psalms, from the hundred and ninth to the hundred and nineteenth, form, in reality, one poem in nine parts, beginning by the description of our Saviour's priesthood, and going on to that of his sacrifice.
The seven last parts are known to the Jews by the name of the great HALLEL, or great song of praise ; and were used at the paschal celebration, in commemoration of the flight from Egypt. On this ground it is, that it is recognized as the hymn, sung after the last supper by our Saviour and his apostles, before he entered upon that great sacrifice by which, his people are delivered from spiritual Egypt. The HALLEL is most affecting, read in that view, especially the conclusion.t
• We believe the spiritual reader can scarcely have a greater treat than in reading Duguet's excellent work, entitled, “ l'Ouvrages des Six Jours," which is to be had separately from his Commentary on Genesis, of which it is, however, a part.
† We may almost imagine we see our Lord rising to go to the garden of Gethsemane, at the concluding verses, “ Bind the sacri
When we consider that fifty of the psalms are expressly referred, in the New Testament, to Christ, and that under the same titles, whose sense are fixed by this application, we may include nearly all the remainder, we may well feel a reasonable surprise why the Psalms have not always been so understood by the church, and why our venerable biblical translators have so continually stopped short at a literal interpretation ?
Perhaps this may have been occasioned, because the study of Hebrew was not so common at the reformation as it now is. The reformers were likewise, no doubt, most anxious to give the literal sense of Scripture, at a period when the circumstances of the times, and the comparative recency of the art of printing, had necessarily precluded the Scriptures from being generally diffused.
Secondly; the reformers, to whom the study of the Scriptures was new, had themselves the key of spiritual interpretation to seek: it is, then, no wonder they did not present it to others,
fice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever."
Thirdly; the reformers were men of like passions with ourselves; their zeal then partook, more or less, of that party feeling inseparable from all great movements. We may be too near vast objects to see their various parts, in their just and unexaggerated proportion. And hence, in their anxiety to do away every remnant of Catholicism, they have gone to the opposite extreme, and rejected occasionally the real assistance, spiritual light, and experience of those truly venerable men who were fathers, not only in the catholic, but in the Christian church.*
Many other reasons might, perhaps, be alleged; but however that may be, the fact remains the same. Our venerable reformers do not appear to have possessed the true key, of spiritual interpretation, especially as it relates to the Psalms. They have, therefore, contingally mistranslated the titles, to make them fit in with their plan of literal interpretation; and where these titles have proved, as is continually the case, absolutely intractable to their views, they have left in the Hebrew words untranslated, as though they were proper names. Yet
• There are few spiritually-minded readers who will not read, with great pleasure and interest, St. Jerome's letter on the views with which he entered on his Latin translation of the Scripture, since diffused under the name of the Vulgate.
nothing can well be more different; as for example, the title “ To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim," instead of “To the Victor upon subjects of exultation,” &c. &c. These mistranslations, once established, have fixed a false view of the scope of those psalms in the minds of all succeeding readers. Thus have both translators and readers rested satisfied in an unscriptural interpretation (which even the literal words of Scripture frequently cannot be made to sanction,) but because there is a literal sense that it really does sanctiou, this proves nothing against the reality of a spiritual interpretation likewise. Persons denying the spiritual, merely because there is a literal sense, are acting like that class of persons, who unhappily rest satisfied in their views of our Saviour's humanity, because unequivocally declared by Scripture, forgetting that his divinity is also as fully and decidedly insisted upon.
There is another reason, too, we apprehend, which has led literal readers to insist still more, and to confide more implicitly, on their confined view of the subject; namely, because those few spiritual interpreters who have arisen, haye often most injudiciously and most unwarrantably denied the literal sense, in order, as they imagined, to establish the spiritual one
more forcibly; whereas both senses must stand or fall together, since both equally rest on the express declarations of the word of God. Nay, the latter can only be solidly established by first fixing the former as the basis on which it rests.
Our object is to maintain both, since the infallible word of God declares the reality of both.
But we again insist upon it, that though both are equally true, the spiritual sense conveys far the most important truth; because the first is the truth of its own time, the last is the truth of all times; because the temporary truth was only established as the figure and conveyance of the eternal truth; just as the device is selected to exemplify the truth of the motto it bears. To those who assert the literal historic sense of the Psalms, in contradiction to the spiritual meaning, we would propose the following questions:
On what ground can they fairly circumscribe the sense of the word David to the literal David only? since the New Testament declares the Psalms to be prophetic; and since, in the prophetic Scriptures, the name is always used for the figurative David ?
Why do they bring forward the four or five