Page images
[ocr errors]

fuch exalted means of grace? Or when' contempt is put upon it, how can it convey any of the promised blessings?

Many things have contributed to the present neglect and abuse of this ordinance, and I have been led to the following reflections in order to try to bring it again into repute. Happy indeed shall I think myself; if the Lord should be pleased to make use of them, as any way conducive to the singing of his praises with the understanding. I shall pray and labor for it: May he give his abundant blelling.

One of the first and greatest causes of neglecting the finging of psalıns seems to have arisen from not attending to

of his

May anding

C H A P. 1 - The subječt of the book of Psalms.

THE teftimony of Jesus is the spirit

of prophecy : For to him give all the prophets witness. With one voice they speak of his wonderful person, of his divine undertakings, and of his complete and eternal salvation. It is the spirit of their writings to reveal and to teach the good knowlege of the Lord. . Whoever understands them perfectly will find the

A 4


prophets treating of the coming of Im manuel in the flesh as clearly as the evangelists. When this most blessed event was to be accomplished in the fulness of time, a 'new testament witness, filled with the holy Ghost, prophecied, saying, “ Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for " he hath according to his promise visited

and redeemed his people, and hath “ raised up an horn of salvation for us in “ the house of his servant David, as he “ spake by the mouth of his holy pro" phets, which have been since the world “ began.” The Lord never left himself without witness. Ever since the world began he had prophets, who foretold what Christ was to be and to do, who testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

This is the fubject of the book of psalms. It treats of Christ, and contains the praises of the Father's love, and of the Spirit's grace, as they were manifested in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

The salvation of finners through him is. - the greatest display of the covenant mer-,

cies of the eternal Three; therefore the psalms celebrate his wonderful person, and his divine undertakings—they describe his obedience and sufferings-his conflicts with, and victories over all his.


Fathehat subject Here are

can be

tranfac an this

enemies his resurrection and ascension his sitting upon the throne, the great King of all worlds, visible and invisiblehis gathering together and perfecting the number of his elect-his coming at the last day to judge men and angelsmand the glory which he will bestow upon his redeemed, when they shall be with him and like him, kings and priests unto God and his - Father, and shall reign with him for ever.

What subject can be inore noble in itself than this ? Here are the greatest transactions of the greatest personages, that possibly can be the ever blessed Trinity purposing and covenanting to bring many fons unto glory-displaying their wisdom, and love, and power in an infinite degree, through the incarnation, obedience, and sufferings of the Godman, Jehovah Jesús, and through the effectual grace of the holy Spirit, calling and bringing the elect to experience the Father's love to them by faith in the Son's perfect salvation, and then guiding them safe by his council and might unto the glory provided for them. This wonderful theme is treated of in the book of pfalms in a manner suitable to its dignity

it is not only spoken of, but also celebrated_not merely described, but also praised. The language therefore is

Ą 5



exalted. The sentiments are fublime. .. The poetry is divine. And no wonder:

the author is equal to the fubject. He is capable of extolling the mercies of that covenant, which reach from eternity to eternity, and of extolling them according to their true greatness. The pfalms are the composition of the all-wise Spirit: for the holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David, and of the other inspired penmen. He guided both their hearts and their hands. The sentiments and the words are his : for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God fpake, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost--they spake as he moved them--they indited the psalms under his inspiration. The praises therein given of the person and work of the ever blessed Immanuel are not human, buc truly divine. What may not be expected from such an author? Who is by effential union one in the Godhead with the Father and the Son, and who is by his office to testify of Jefus and to glorify Jesus. If the psalms be read under his influence, they will be found equal to the fubject, in every view suited to exalt the incarnate God, and if they be fung with grace in the heart, they will increase the faith and hope of every devout worshipper:


There are several Psalms, which are applicable to none but Jesus Christ, and many expressions which could not be truly fpoken by any one, but by him who was God and man in one Christ. Many will receive new lustre and emphasis, when viewed in the same light. The proper psalms, which are appointed to be read on the festivals, do certainly treat of the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Christ, and of the coming of the holy Spirit on the day of pentecost, in consequence of Christ's ascension: for, says he, “ If I go not away the comforter « will not come unto you; but if I go “ away, I will send him unto you.” Our reformers certainly understood those proper psalms to be descriptive of Christ, and took them in the same sense our Lord and his apostles did; who have quoted the book of psalms eighty-two times. Their manner of quoting it demonstrates, that they took it for granted it was written concerning Christ. Indeed many passages cannot be applied to any one, but to him: for instance--he appeals to God to be tried according to his innocence-to be rewarded according to his righteousness he desires to be judged according to the eleanness of his heart and hands--could any one of us say, “ Search me to the

- “ bottom,

« PreviousContinue »