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plied those divine hymns to himself, he being indeed the very paschal lamb fain in type
from the foundation of the world, and now about to take away fin 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 “ froin 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, “ These are " the words, which I spake 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 prophets, and in the psalms concerning
Then opened he their under“ standings that they might underftand “ the scriptures." Here he declares that
the psalms were written concerning himself. 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 pfalmift 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 Mefliah. 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 pfalm shews to him fome 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 fcriptures, and with the joy of his heart receives what is therein written concerning the God of his falvation.
Agreeably to our Lord's own ufe of the psalms, we find the whole church of believers with one accord using them in thé fame manner. The inftance 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 hast "" made heaven and earth, and the fea, 'ct and all that in them is : Who by the “ mouth of thy servant David haft said,
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 Christ: For of a “ truth againit thy holy child Jesus, “whom thou hast anointed, both Herod " and Pontius Pilate, with the gentiles, “s and the people of Israel were gathered “ together, for to do whatsoever thy
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 Chrift, and declares its accomplishment in him he being of a truth the very person of whom it treats: Which is decisive 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 Chrift. In his first fermon recorded Acts ii. he applies the xvith pfalm to the refurrection of Christ, and he brings the cxth to prove, that Chrift 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 fet at nought by the Jewish builders, who nevertheless should be made the head of the corner, as it is in the cxviiith pfalm. 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
mon of his, an inestimable treasury of his scripture learning, in which he quotes several psalms, and directly applies them to Christ, as he also does in his other writings. His epistle to the Hebrews abounds with references, twenty nine at leaft. The-iiid and ivth chapters are a comment on the xcvth psalm : As the viith chapter is on the cxch: And the xth is on the xlth. Whoever will attend to the manner in which the apostle reafons upon these passages, will readily perceive, that he does not enter upon any formal proof of the design of the book of psalms, or of Christ's being the subject of them. He does not aim at any such thing; but takes it for granted, and argues upon it as an established truth.. Indeed it was at that time the belief of the whole church. There was then no doubt but all fcripture treated of him“ To him give ALL the prophets wit" ness”-He was their one subject. But . more especially in the psalms he was set forth, and was to be highly exalted, with all the powers of poetry, and with the sweetest sounds of instruments and voices. These hymns were inspired to celebrate his matchless fame and renown; that whenever believers felt themselves happy in the knowlege and love of Jesus, here C 5