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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 one; 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 was 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;
* Psalm ix. 15.
The arm of the wicked one'is broken:
We seem to gather that some great mortal adversary is in the view of the spirit of prophecy, whose destruction, in the last days, shall lead to a happier state of things; a happier state of things on earth. We cannot forbear conjecturing that this must be again the ungodly scoffers of Enoch's prophecy; that host, whose destruction is sworn by the tremendous oath of the Almighty, in the Song of Remembrance;-Israel's last enemy; after whose destruction the nations are to rejoice with his people.t And here it is further discovered to us that Jehovah, “ the Lord from heaven," who executes this vengeance, is to be “ king for ever," — King, when the idolatrous heathen are perished from his earth. This “reign upon earth,” here, indeed, plainly asserted, will come more in view hereafter.
In the following psalm, after, as it should seem, trial of great distress from the scoffs of the enemy,
their destruction is described, and the instrument of their destruction, fire from heaven, is much to be noticed;
Psalm x. 14.
† Deut. xxxii. 40, &c.
because it is distinctive of that particular destruction which ends the conflict between the people of God and their last mortal foes :
He will rain upon the wicked lightning, fire, and sulphur;
If I understand the next psalm, it describes these same enemies“ speaking great things against the Most High;” — and the end is,
On every side shall the wicked depart;
The despised Saviour is therefore the Jehovah that is to reign. “ The Lord,” as Enoch had said, comes “ to convict sinners of all their hard speeches against him.”
The two following psalms belong to the same subject. Remark the end of the fourteenth.
O, that the salvation of Israel were given out of Zion!
Let this remind us, that, according to what we have read in the more ancient oracles, the general redemption of mankind is only to be expected in connexion with Israel restored from its long captivity. To Zion our eyes must still be directed.
The following psalms, as I have endeavoured to show in another work, all relate to the same subject, - the character; the injuries of the Redeemer, in his person or in his people; his conflict with wicked men and angels; his death and glorious resurrection, and then his final
• Psalm xi. 6.
+ Psalm xii. 8.
victories. The nature of the present work only allows me to take notice of the most remarkable passages, and those that relate clearly to the transactions of the second advent.
In the twenty-first psalm, addressed in his character of king, the Redeemer is, as it were, saluted victor over the last foes.
Thy hand reacheth all thine enemies ;
At the time of thine appearing;
And the fire consumeth them.
Their fruit perisheth from the earth,
When they designed evil against thee,
But thou dost set them as a target;
Arise, O Jehovah! in thy strength,
We remark here, what must have struck us in considering the former prophecy, that this judgment of Christ's enemies, their destruction by fire at the time of his appearing, is not coeval with the last general judg. ment, when the earth itself is destroyed, and the whole race of men becomes extinct. But there is to be a season, when it may be said of the enemies of God, “ their fruit is perished from the earth, and their seed from the children
• Ver. 9.