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CH A P. IV.
Some pasages in the new testament concern
ing the book of psalms.
THE quotations are very numerous.
1 Christ and his apostles often refer to the psalms, and make a direct application of them : For they all treat of him, as indeed the whole volume of revelation does. He is the spirit and life of all the bible : But there is no part so particularly, and so frequently applied to him, as the book of pfalms. We know the subject of the cxth from infallible authority - it is the heavenly government of kingmediator, who is David's son, and yet David calleth him his Lord: For he was God and man in one Christ. His own use of the psalms is very remarkable: He sung them, and quoted them. At his last pasfover he joined with his apostles in the psalms commonly used upon that occasion. St. Matthew says, “ When " they had sung an hymn,” which is supposed to be part of the grand hallelujah, beginning at the cxiiith, and ending with the cxviiith psalm. Hereby our Lord not only made use of, but also ap
plied those divine hymns to himself, he being indeed the very paschal lamb Nain in type from the foundation of the world, and now about to take away sin by the facrifice of himself. And after he had by his sufferings and death made a full atonement, and was risen from the dead, he reproved his two disciples as they were going to Emmaus, and he said unto them, Luke xxiv. 25. “ O ye without under“ standing, how now of heart are ye to " believe all that the prophets have « spoken! Ought not Christ to have
suffered these things, and to have en
tered into his glory? And beginning «at Moses he expounded unto them “ from all the prophets the things written " of himself in all the scriptures." And among the rest he expounded unto them out of the psalms, as his custom was : For when he appeared to his apostles to confirm them in the belief of his resurrection, he said unto them, “ There are “ the words, which I fpake unto you, “ while I was yet with you, that all things “ must be fulfilled, which were written “ in the law of Moses, and in the pro“ phets, and in the psalmıs concerning “ me. Then, opened he their under“ standings that they might understand " the scriptures." Here he declares that
the psalms were written concerning him. seif. Not only here and there a passage, or an allusion, not only the quotations in the new testament, but the whole volume throughout is concerning him. Upon whatever occasion the psalmift composed any of them, yet it was only a case to speak upon, in order to introduce what was to be said concerning the divine perfon, and the divine work of the Meffiah. This is the spiritual use and design of the psalms. And every man, whose understanding the Lord has opened, as he did his disciples, can see them in this light. The veil being taken away, he beholds Christ with open face, and every psalm shews to him some lovely feature of his most lovely Saviour. Therein he reads of the divine and human nature of Immanuel, his life and death, his resurrection and ascension, his kingdom and glory. He understands the scriptures, and with the joy of his heart receives what is therein written concerning the God of his falvation.
Agreeably to our Lord's own use of the psalms, we find the whole church of believers with one accord using them in the same manner. The instance recorded in Acts iv. is remarkable, because the reference, which they made to the psalms,
indisputably proves, that they are written concerning Christ. Peter and John had been imprisoned for preaching Jesus, but being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them : And when they heard that, they lift up their voice to God with one accord, and said, “ Lord, thou art God, who haft " made heaven and earth, and the fea, " and all that in them is: Who by the
mouth of thy servant David haft said, 56 why did the heathen rage, and the “ people imagine vain things ? The kings « of the earth stood up, and the rulers “ were gathered together against the « Lord and against his Chrift: For of a “ truth against thy holy child Jesus, “ whom thou hast anointed, both Herod “ and Pontius Pilate, with the gentiles, " and the people of Israel were gathered “ together, for to do whatsoever thy 6 hand, and thy counsel determined be« fore to be done." Here 'the whole church under the special influence of the holy Spirit applies the iid psalm to Christ, and declares its accomplishment in him he being of a truth the very perfon of whom it treats : Which is decisiye evidence, and must determine the point even
to a demonstration with all that believe the scriptures.
It is not to be wondered then, that the apostles should follow the same rule in explaining the psalms, Peter quotes them and refers them to Christ. In his first fermon recorded Acts ij. he applies the xvith psalm to the resurrection of Christ, and he brings the cxth to prove, that Christ had all power in heaven and earth, and should fit at the right hand of Jehovah, until all his enemies should be made his footstool. In the fourth chapter of the Acts, he shews that Christ was the stone set at nought by the Jewish builders, who nevertheless should be made the head of the corner, as it is in the cxvižith psalm. Peter had no doubt concerning the application of the psalms to Christ, and his beloved brother Paul shews he was of the same opinion.
We have an account of his manner of preaching among the Jews : " He “ used to reason with them out of the “ scriptures, opening and alledging, that “ Christ must needs have suffered, and “ risen again from the dead, and that " this Jesus, whom I preach unto you “ is the Christ.”. And among the other. scriptures he did not forget the psalms : For we, in Acts xiii, have a whole fer