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glorious kingdom of the Messiah. This combination of kings, is no doubt the mystic inundation of former psalms. I next call the attention 'of the reader to the fiftieth psalm.
1. Jehovah hath spoken and hath called the earth,
2. From Zion, the perfection of beauty, Elohira hath
3. A fire devoureth before his presence,
4. He calleth the heavens from above,
And the earth to the judgment of his people.
The judgment of his people, his professed people, in the sight of all the universe, seems to be here declared to be part of the business of the second advent. And, if I am right in my interpretation of the psalm, three distinct classes of persons are found by this judgment as forming that professed people, — The true believer — Israel after the flesh — and the emphatic "Wicked one." Of the first it is said:
5. Gather ye unto me. my beloved,
Those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6. And let the heavens declare his righteousness,
Nothing can more clearly describe the redeemed from among men. They are the objects of the Father's pitying love; hence originates their salvation: they are found in a state of enmity to him, offenders against his justice; but they have been admitted into a league of amity. This is the proper meaning of a covenant; a solemn rite divinely instituted, always sanctioned by a victim slain — cut off as an atonement for the sins of the guilty party. Thus was guilty man represented as taken into covenant with God. This solemn rite prefigured, as we know, the remission of sins through the sacrifice and death of Christ. This is God's "righteousness," in the justifying of his people who believe in Jesus, which "the heavens" are then to " declare." Not by works of righteousness that they have done, but by imputation of a Saviour's righteousness. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. To gather his elect, is the first transaction, then, of the second advent.
Next, Israel is addressed, * and addressed as a people acknowledged to belong to God: but they appear that same superstitious people, preferring the shadow to the substance of revealed religion, as the first advent found them. Why they are so represented is most mysterious, and leads to a conjecture, that till almost the very last, their character, as a nation, will not be altered. They are reproved: but deliverance seems to be promised to their prayer in the day of their distress: which seems to intimate that Israel will be a particular victim of the troubles of the last days, and that these troubles are destined to bring them at length home to their God.
The wicked one is next addressed, f This epithet certainly denotes a professing character or people — for it is asked,
What concerneth thee to recite my statutes *
• Psalm 1. 7—15. t Psalm 1. 16—92.
But they are described as " hating truth," as " despisers" of the word of God, as "thieves," and "adulterers," as notorious for "evil speaking," lying and slandering; as abusers of their brethren, as practical atheists, that had forgotten a judgment to come, and thought that God was such as themselves. It is awfully told them,
Consider this, ye that forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be no deliverer.
Who this wicked hypocrite designates, is, to us, but too plain; and placing ourselves in the circumstances of the times when the oracle was given, this wicked one could hardly appear any other than—" the ungodly scoffers" of Enoch;—Israel's last insulting enemy, as described in the song taught by Moses to the children of Israel; that "nation" "lost to counsel," who understood not their latter end;"*—that last destroyer that should send from Chittim its desolating armies to lay the land of Israel waste.
The last end of " this wicked," is again awfully predicted in the fifty-eighth psalm:
9. Sooner than your vessels can feel the blazing thorn,
The just one shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance,
I must of necessity pass over much to the same effect, in these sacred songs, both relating to this final judgment of the wicked, and .to the glorious scenes that shall follow in Messiah's kingdom. The sixty-eighth, however, is too remarkable to be omitted.
* Jude, ver. 14. Deut. xxxii. Num. xiv. 24.
1. Elohim shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered, And they that hate him shall flee before him;
2. They shall be dispersed as smoke is dispersed; As wax is melted before the fire,
The wicked shall perish from the presence of Elohim.
3. But the righteous shall rejoice,
They shall be glad at the presence of Elohim,
4. Sing ye Elohim, chant his name.
The following verses seem to prepare us for a second Exodus.
Prepare the way for him that rideth through the wilderness, From Jah his name; rejoice therefore before him.
5. The father of the orphan, and the defender of the widow, Is Elohim in his holy habitation.
Elohim is restoring the destitute to a home,
He is bringing forth prisoners into scenes of plenty,
But the refractory remain on the dry rock.
From the 7th to the 10th verse, the miracles wrought on the former passage of Israel through the desert, seem to afford allusion to what will be again. From the llth to the 14th verse, a great victory is announced to the great felicity of these travellers in the desert.
"Kings of armies flee — they flee, &c."
In the 15th and 16th verses, the mountains of Palestine are poetically represented as vying with each other to be the chosen seat where he will fix the visible symbol of his . majesty. This points out the choice of Zion:
14. This is the hill which Elohim hath desired to dwell in, Yea, Jehovah fixeth his habitation here for ever.
This circumstance, I conceive, fixes the application of
this psalm to a future Exodus, because on the former, the hill of Zion was not chosen: nor till centuries afterwards was it the place of the sanctuary; and in no sense has it yet become the perpetual dwelling of the God of Israel.
17. Elohim rideth on amid myriads, thousands of thousands; The Lord is with them ' as in' Sinai in the sanctuary.
Or, we may render these words: "God rideth on amid myriads — a leader of happy 'followers' is the Lord among them; Sinai is in the sanctuary." This cannot but remind us of some former passages in these oracles. "Jehovah came forth visibly at Sinai. He arose over Seir, and displayed his glory from mount Paran, and from the midst of myriads came forth the Holy One; on his right hand were streams of fire. O loving Father of peoples, all the saints are in thy hands; they are seated at thy feet, 8tc. Behold, the Lord cometh with his holy myriads." *—This is made more remarkable by the verse that follows in the psalm before us:
18. Thou didst ascend on high, thou leddest captive many
Now this verse is applied by the Apostle to the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is he then, that shall on this occasion manifest his glory to restored Israel. Who the " holy myriads" are, his happy followers, we cannot fail to discover: for he hath prayed his Father, that " those whom" he " hath given him, may be with him where he is to behold his glory."
The great and most bloody victory over Israel's in
• Deut. xxxiii. 2, 3.