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on this head throughout the whole New Testament? A fhrewd hint, that, whoever was employed, the Holy Ghost had no hand in any such applications : for he hath said to the churches concerning the salvation which the apostles preached, that the prophets • inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied • of the grace that shonid come unto you: searching • what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ
which was in them did signify, when it testified • before-hand the fufferings of Christ, and the glory " that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, • that not unto themselves, but unto us they did mi
nister the things which are now reported unto you, « by them that have preached the gospel unto you, « with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven ; < which things the angels desire to look into. Agreeably to all this David had said by the fame Spirit in his last words, • The Spirit of the Lord spake by me,
and his word was in my tongue.' And the Lord faid to the Jews, Search the Scriptures, for in them
ye think ye have eternal life; and these are they • which teltify of me.' It was the Scriptures of the Old Testament to which they were referred; and this teacheth us, that Christ is the great and princi. pal subject of them; and that our most painful study and learned researches are to no profit as to eternal life, and confequently to nothing at all, if we cannot discern God testifying of his own Son, our Lord Jefus Christ, in them. As, in that place, he refers to the Scriptures in general, fo, when going to accomplish his obedience in his death ar Jerusalem, he tells his disciples expressly of the matter, pointing to the Psalms in particular, saying, The things which are " written in the Prophets and in the Psalms concern. ing me have an end.' And accordingly, in the New Testament we find many of the Psalms expressdy applied to him; which thews, as Christ is the great subject of the Scriptures in general, so in parti.
, and especially of the Psalms: and therefore we fiould search for Christ in them, even in them all : tor, if no part of the Psalms is to be explained of Chrit, but what is in as many words applied to him in the New Testament, as some would make us think, to neither is any such part of the Law and the Prophets to be understood of him; and so a great part of the Old Testament, speaking of Christ, must
for nothing as to any faving purpose; nay, must be considered as a blot upon the face of Jesus; for the Spirit teachęth us by truth, and not by falsehood; for, if I am reading any passage speaking of Christ, and apply it otherways, I cannot be profited; it is impofable, whatever pious views I may have, seeing I rob God of his glory, and give it to another, deceiving myself, and being deceived: now, deceit can never be of God, nor for the glory of God.
But, as we have said, the New Testament explains the Old, by letting us into the spiritual intent, trutli, or meaning thereof: with this key we are warranted to open up and cxplain those passages which are not directly mentioned in the New: neither need we be afraid of any dangerous mistake, as long as we are guided by that light which thineth in the face of Jefus.
If then we would express praise with knowledge, and sing the Psalms with understanding and grace (and there can be no giace without cruih) in our hearts, we must go to the apostles, who alone had the Holy Ghost given them to search into the mind of Chrift, and declare to the churches those things which God had kept seeret from the foundation of the world, even the hidden things of God, wrapped up in the mystery of all the prophecies, promises, signs, and figures, that had gone before, whewing, like the outer leaves of an unblown, flower, that some beitur things were to come, whose form and beauty kould appear displayed to open view, in the fulness
of their glory, when the proper season appointed of God should arrive.
If this matter had been well attended to, we had not seen reverend fathers, and admired doctors, gravely explaining, that is, perverting and destroying, the New Testament by the Old, casting the vail of Moses again upon the face of Jesus, and hiding the glory by that which in itself had no glory, spreading night and tenfold darkness between us and the Sun of righteousness, giving us ftones for bread, serpents for fishes, the letter, instead of the Spirit, the miniftration of death, instead of life, the reveries of their own carnalized imaginations, instead of the eternal truths and confolations of the Holy Spirit. Let the reader, who is acquainted with such teachers and their adherents, judge how far they are guilty. How dangerous are their glosses upon the Psalms !
Prudential confiderations, perhaps, fhould lead one cautiously to inquire, if it would not be construed calumny to infinuate, that you will hardly meet with a place of public teaching in the kingdom wholly free from the gross abuse here complained of. Therefore, to cut off occasions from those who might be disposed to take them, instead of making irritating affertions, however justifiable in proof, let the person of like precious faith with the apoitles consider, how he ought to be moved with the highest indignation and pity, when he hears a set of men, with their admir. ers, fubstituting what they call their moral virtue, fincere obedience, good difpofitions of heart, and such like names, (I say names, for in their fense and connection they can be nothing else but names; falsehoods, and not truth), inftead of Jesus Christ and him crucified, for the justification and acceptance of finners with God. They leave you at no loss for their meaning; for, 10 pass by other devices of theirs to establith an imperfect instead of a perfect obedia ence, (O master-plot of hell, to establish the torments
of hell instead of the glory of heaven!), they will read you all the passages in the Psalms, where the righteoufness, integrity, and uprightnefs of Jesus Christ are mentioned and rewarded; these they explain for proof and illustration of their sense, namely, that our own virtuous inclinations and actions are the express conditions of our obtaining the mercy of God, and acceptance with him. So, many of them are not alhamed, nor afraid, after all that the witnesses for the Lord Jesus have advanced, broadly to speak out:
They have different ways of phrafing and disguising the matter : sometimes they will tell you,
that Jesus Christ by his death laid a foundation for the acceptance of your repentance and faith, and that he works these graces in you, and upon account of them you are accepted of God; at other times, to the same purpose, they will tell you, that Jesus Christ purchased by his death the blotting out of all past scores, and that he gives you the Spirit to work in you the moral virtues, and all good works, which if you bring forth, you are justified and accepted in the fight of God on account of them: whereas, they might as well have taught you of your being accepted and ju. ftified in the light of God, upon the account of an energy from hell upon your fpirit, the one being as true as the other; leeing there is no acceptance, no justification of any person with God but through the blood of the Lanıb only, excluding, in this respect, all our good works, as much as our bad works.
No matter, they go on in their way, hardy, zealous, undaunted : 'no wonder the blind be foremost; for Satan hath blinded their eyes, and they fee not their danger: how else could you lee thèin set whole congregations of poor deceived people a-singing the xvth and xxivth Pfalms, according to that blasphemous view they bave given of that righteouinels whereby a man can ascend into the bill of God? as if it could be any other but the righteousness of God,
even the righteoufness of his Servant whom he upholds eth, his Elećt in whom his soul delighteth, for whose righteousness fake Jehovah, is well-pleased, because he bath magnified the law and made it honourable, and is become the end thereof for righiepusness to e: very one that believeth; having purged away the fins of his people by bimself, and then entered into the highest heavens with his own blood, their accepted Head and Forerunner, having obtained eternal redemption for thiem;, who enter along with bim in his right, in their appointed time, not by works of righteousness which they themselves have done, but by that finished, accepted, everlasting work of righ, teousness which He, their Lord, their Representa. tive, bath done for them; whom he also sanctisies throughout, in body, foul, and spirit, to the glory of his Father, and fo makes meet for the inheritance purchased and prepared by himself for his faints in light.
Nevertheless, as if it were a heinous guilt to leave avy saying of the Lord un wrested to the deftruction of as many as shall fully imbibe the spirit of their doctrine, they persevere in their purpose, and make the xviiith Piaim also chime in to the fame tune, where it is said, “ The Lord recompensed me according to my srighteousness,' &c. ver, 19-T27. which they apply to the good people of their own flock, as being fimiJar in their experience to David.-Not a word: here of the good Shepherd who laid down his life for his Theep! In like manier, Psalm xxvi. never fails to be fung in the same strain, especially on a communion oceaton, when you behove by all means to be put in mind of fome earthly altar; ' I will, wash minę • hands in innocency'-- Whose innocency? your own indeed! for, does not the royal psalmist David say, "I will wash mine hands in innocency, so will . I encompass thine altar, O Lord?' He had need to be very pure, who would adventurs upon such a