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psalms, we contemplate the exaltation of one “ most holy," and most pure, indeed, yet most wretched, afflicted, and despised ; against whom all the powers of darkness are armed for his destruction : - we contemplate the exaltation of this meek and oppressed man to be “ Lord” and “ Messiah," the head of all created beings. After leaving, for a while, the scene of his humiliation and sufferings, and waiting an appointed time in the character of our High Priest, at the right hand of the Majesty on high, we see him return again in the character of King, to fulfil all the prophecies concerning the judgment of the ungodly by his avenging hand, and concerning the glorious kingdom that shall succeed, whether on earth or in heaven.
These observations will enable us to see in the Psalms the proper connexion of the prophecies that relate to the last glorious advent. We must generally place ourselves with the holy sufferer ; appearing as one of us, and identifying himself with his church, often persecuted church upon earth. The predictions of his future greatness we shall generally find in the shape of consolatory promises to him in his affliction; or as promised rewards for his meritorious obedience and undeserved sufferings. Thus the following psalm, the third, begins with the complaint, “ O Jehovah, how many are mine adversaries !” but in the close he triumphs :7. Truly thou hast smitten all mine enemies on the cheek;
Thou last broken the teeth of the ungodly!
You hear the voice of the same righteous, but despised supplicant, in the fourth and fifth psalms, complaining of his wrongs, describing the character of his ungodly adversaries, foretelling their destruction, and anti
cipating the future blessedness he shall procure for all that have “ taken shelter in him." This we are aware is the “ hostility,” the fruits of the enmity which God hath put between “ the woman and her seed, and the serpent and his seed.” This warfare bath raged, and will rage, through every age, till the serpent's head be bruised, and all the ungodly destroyed. In the sixth psalm we see how the Redeemer stoops to conquer. This psalm contains a remarkable exhibition of his affliction and travail. But what is the end ? 10. All mine enemies are confounded, and greatly terrified;
They turn back, and are confounded in a moment!
In the seventh psalm a particular adversary is pointed out in this conflict:2. Lest he tear me to pieces like a lion;
Rending me asunder, while none delivereth. Whether this means immediately " the old serpent,” or some remarkable instrument, by whom time should disclose him to be working, mark the sequel :
Behold HE is in travail with iniquity;
The eighth psalm is most remarkable in this connexion. Like Hannah's prophecy, it represents the weak as exalted; exalted to the highest glory, and set over the
creatures of God: and, though these weak are many, yet we have an infallible interpreter to teach us to understand that this exaltation is through one particular person; first made low himself, that he might raise the meek and humble :
O Jehovah, our Lord,
The apostle Paul shall be our commentator on this passage:--“ For unto the angels he hath not put in subjection the world whereof we speak: but one in a certain place testifieth, saying, What is man,” &c. quoting the four following verses; on which he observes : “ For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made for a little while lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every one. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of
for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."
This comment throws an extraordinary degree of light, not only on this psalm, but on the psalms and ancient oracles in general. This psalm, it appears, though “ all the earth” is mentioned, and its present complement of creatures alluded to, as the subjects of man's dominion, means not this world, under its present dispensation, but “ the world to come.” The “ children,” and“ babes,” are " the many sons whom God is bringing to glory.” But the blessing alights, first of all, on one particular person : this is none other than “ the promised seed" — " the Messiah.” He has, indeed, his origin far above human kind, or any angelic or demoniacal beings, whom man has ever worshipped as gods; but he was “made lower” than them; for a short space
he made mortal, and condescended to be considered as one of his human brethren. He is, in the character of
the Captain of their salvation,” “ made perfect through suffering ;"_" though he was a son, yet learned he obedience by the things that he suffered ; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to those that obey him.” How clearly does this discover to us, who is the holy undeserving sufferer in the Psalms; afterwards to be so highly exalted, together with all his followers! How does it explain what might have appeared so extraordinary in the mystic song of Hannah :
He raiseth from the dust a poor exhausted one ;
That he may be seated with his' princes :
In the same connexion we read the ninth psalm, of which I shall only quote the close; which anticipates that victory over the enemies of the people of God, so perpetually the theme of these ancient oracles, and which must come to pass in the last days:
The heathen are sunk into the pit that they had made,
The character of this wicked one, and his hostility against the poor afflicted people of God, among whom the mighty Saviour appears, taking the same character upon him as though he were “ touched with the feeling of their infirmities," and " afflicted in all their affliction." -The character of this wicked one, which many have thought, like the “ man of sin," and “ that wicked” of St. Paul, to be a symbol of the apostate and anti-Christian persecutors and corrupters of the church, in the latter days, is described, at length in the tenth psalm. But what is the issue of this conflict?
Upon thee the wretched casteth himself; Thou hast been the helper of the destitute,
* Psalm ix. 15.