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• cannot fail of making a very wrong judgment. It is to be sought for in the sacred ' writings of the prophets, who have given us sufficient assurance, that they understood * the law pot according to the letter. Our religion, in like manner, is true and divine in • the Gospels, and in the preaching of the apostles, but it appears utterly disfigured in ' those who maim or corrupt it.'” (p. I.)-We subjoin another extract :
" It is obvious, that every part of the Psalter, when explicated according to this scriptural and primitive method, is rendered universally · profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;' and the propriety immediately appears of its having always been used in the devotional way, both by the Jewish and the Christiair church. With regard to the Jews, Bishop Chandler very pertinently remarks, • that they must have understood David, their prince, to have been a figure of Messiah. • They would not otherwise have made his Psalms part of their daily worship, nor would. • David have delivered them to the church to be so employed, were it not to instruct and
support them in the knowledge and belief of this fundamental article. Was the Mes• siab not concerned in the Psalms, it were absurd to celebrate, twice a day, in their public devotions, the events of one mau's life, who was deceased so long ago as to have no
relation now to the Jews and the circumstances of their affairs; or to transcribe whole • passages from them into their prayers for the coming of the Messiah.' Upon the same principle, it is easily seen that the objections which may seem to lie against the use of Jewish services in Christian congregations cease at once. Thus it may be said, Are we concerned with the affairs of David and of Israel? Have we any thing to do with the ark and the tensple? They are no more. -- Are we to go up 10 Jerusalem, and to worship on Sion?. They are desolated and trodden under foot by the Turks. Are we to sacrifice young bullocks according to the law? The law is abolished never to be observed again. Do we pray for victory over Moab, Edom, aud Philistia, or for deliverance from Babylon? There are no such nations, no such places in the world. What then do we mean, when taking such expressions into our mouths, we utter them in our own persons as parts of our devotions, before God? Assuredly, we must mean a spiritual Jerusalem and Sion, a spiritual ark and temple, a spiritual law, spiritual sacrifices, and spiritual victories over spiritual enemies, all described under the old names, which are still retained, though old things are passed away, and all things · are become new. By substituting Messiah for David, the Gospel for the Law, the church Christian for that of Israel, and the enemies of the one for those of the other, the Psalms are made our own : nay, they are with more fulness and propriety applied now to the substance, than they were of old to the shadow of good things (then) to come.' And, therefore, ever since the commencement of the Christian era, the church Lath chosen to celebrate the Gospel mysteries in the words of these ancient hymns, rather than to compose for that purpose new ones of her own. For, let it not pass unobserved that, when, upon the first publication of the Gospel, the apostles had occasion to utter their transports of joy on their being counted worthy to suffer for the name of their dear Lord and Master, which was then opposed by Jew and Gentile, they brake forth into an application of the second Psalm to the transactions then before their eyes; (see Acts iv. 25.) The primitive Christians constantly followed this method in their devotions; and particularly, when delivered out of the hands of persecuting tyrants by the victories of Coostantine, they praised God for his goodness, and the glorious success and establishment of Christ's religion, no words were found so exquisitely adapted to the purpose as those of David, in the ninety-sixth, ninety-eighth, and other Psalms * Sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth : ... be telling • of his salvation from day to day. Declare bis honour unto the heathen, his worship
unto all people,' &c. &c. In these and the like Psalms, we coutinue to praise God for all his spiritual mercies in Christ to this day.” (Preface, p. xxiii.)
After these excellent remarks, it is needless for us to enlarge upon the same topics ; but there are a few other points on which it may be proper to remark; and first, as tú the application of the Psalms to the Messiah in the New Testament. Our humble opinion is, that when such application is used by way of argument, as in proof of his cru. cifixion or resurrection, it must be considered as the direct and proper meaning of the Psalm ; but that when the application is only cursory or transient, it may be considered by way of accommodation, as we often quote poetical writers, both inspired and uninspired. The same remark may be applied to quotations from the Law and the prophets, which are sometimes cited in argument, and at others only by way of allusion, to determine which, the context in both testaments must be consulted.
The divine authority of the book of Psalins, bas, we believe, never been controverted by those who admit ihe inspiration of any part of the Old Testament: uor can it be with any appearance of rearon, since they are so often referred to by our Lord and his apostles as inspired : about half these have David's name prelised, and others may proINTRODUCTION. bally have been written by bim, which have not his name. Twelve bear the name of Asaph, two that of Solomon, one that of Moses, and two others those of Hemau and . Exhau. David is described in the New Testament both as a patriarch and a prophet,
Acts ii. 29, 30,) and he was unquestionably an eminent type of the Messiah, as we shall have frequent occasion to observe as we proceed.
In the New Testament, the whole number of the Psalıns are considered as one book, Lake xr. 42; Acts i. 20.) but the Jews divide it into five, as follows:-Book I. Psalm i. to xli.-II. Psalm xlii. to lxxii.-III. Psalm 1xxiii. to lxxxix.--IV. Psalm xc. to cvi.1.cvii. to cl. Each of these books closes with Amen or Hallelujah: but the antiquity
this division is uncertain, as is also that of the titles of some of the Psalms, which we shall consider as they occur. All the Psalms are admitted to be poetical; and on the lebrew poetry we have offered a few suggestions in our Intoduction to the book of Job. ren of these are in a peculiar form, which we call Acrostie, pamely, Psalms XXV., tiv., Ixxvii., cxi., cxii., cxix., cxlv., two of which are ascribed to David (Psalın xxxiv.
exlv.) and are the earliest specimens of that kind of composition in the Bible, and
* More tunable than needed lufe or harp
Milton. v probable that the first exertions of that voice were (as the same great t" upmeditated," and could only, therefore, be in the form of chant,
the only method adapted to uumeditated strains; which has been public worship of almost all nations, and is still retained among both s, and in the cathedral worship of both Roman Catholics and Protestants. Instruments, pone seem to have been originally used in the tabernacle silver trumpets of the priests;t though on festival occasions, and in 28, we read of the timbrel and harp, as accompanying the sacred devotions of the prophetic schools, David, however, who was himnusician, a poet, and a prophet, invented some instruments, and d others. He also establisbed regular choirs of Levites,|| who, in the replied to each other. (See Ps. xxiv.) The one choir, probably, being ringed instruments, as the psaltery and harp; and the other by wind e organ, &c. Of these instruments we sball take some further s occur, and hope to throw some little light on points which have cured by learned men, totally unacquainted with the science or
nlarged the number of performers, and had the worship of the a more magnificent scale ;** yet the temple itself was so small as
PSALMS. to admit a part only of the Levites at a time;" and on grand occasions, as the dedication of the temple, the chief parts of the performance must have been in the open air. After this time, every thing degenerated, and when the Jews went into captivity, they “ hung their harps upon the willows." The fame of their former musical excellence must, however, have reached their enemies, for they “ required of them a song," to which they properly replied, “How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land ?”+
In entering upon this important book, we acknowledge ourselves first and principally indebted to "Bishop Horne, whose expositions we have generally compared with the previous labours of Mr. Ainsworth and Bishop Patrick. Nor shall' we forget the evangelical paraphrase of Dr. Watts, whom we respect, both as an interpreter and a poet, and in whose first edition (now before us) are some useful hints, which, we regret to say, are omitted in all the modern editions. And we shall occasionally enrich our Exposition with a verse from him, as well as from Milton, and other poetical translators of the Psalms. The beautiful Lectures of Bishop Lowth will be consulted on this book, as well as op Job; and in our Notes we shall not neglect the original criticisms of Dr. Kennicott and Bishop Horsley, though we confess we never follow without hesitation commentators on the sacred writers, who are so bold, as to treat an inspired writer with the same freedom as a heathen classic. We would use all diligence to ascertain the meaning of the sacred writers; but we would also treat then with all reverence, carefully avoiding to attach to them any meaning, but that of the inspired authors. For this reason, we must be excused from following systematically, the scheme of interpretation adopted by Bishops Horne, Horsley, and other Hutchinsonian writers, though it will be seen we have seldom neglected to consult them.
We shall conclude this Introduction with another extract from the same learned and excellent writer with whose words we commenced. Speaking of David's Psalms, Bishop Horne adds, “ His invaluable Psalms convey those comforts to others which they afforded to himself. Composed upon particular occasions, yet designed for general use; delivered out'as services for the Israelites under the law, yet no less adapted to the circumstances of Christians under the gospel; they present religion to us in the most engaging dress, communicating truths which philosophy could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal; while bistory is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends all its charms to paint the glories of redemption. Calculated alike to profit and to please, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination. Indited under the influence of Him to whom all hearts are known, and all events fureknown), they suit mankind in all situations; grateful as the manna which descended from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lose their fragrancy; but these unfading plants of Paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily heightened ; fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellencies will desire to taste them yet again; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best." ' (Pref. p. lix.)
• See 1 Kings vi. 2, and Note.
* Ps. cxxxvii. 144. On the Music of the He brews, the Editor begs to refer to his " Historical
Essay on Church Music,” which has been look out of print, but which, if his life is spared, may probably be presented to the public in a new form.
[of the righteous. forth his fruit in his season; his leaf PSALM 1.
also shall not wither; and whatsoever
he doeth shall prosper. BLESSED is the man that walketh 4 The ungodly are not so: but are
not in the counsel of the ungodly, like the chaff which the wind driveth por standeth in the way of sinners, nor away. sitteth in the seat of the scornful. ' 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not
? But his delight is in the law of stand in the judgment, nor sinners in be Lord; and in his law doth he the congregation of the righteous. jeditate day and night.
6 For the Lord knoweth the way 3 And he shall be like a tree planted of the righteous: but the way of the the rivers of water, that bringethungndly shall perish. (A)
selves become tempters to others, and adIntroductory Psalm.---The blessed. vocates for Baal.” 'the righteous, and misery of the But tire blessed man “ delights in the --The author of this psalm is un law and in the word of God," and spends
but many have ascribed it to those hours in reading and meditation, the presumption that on his col which others spend in sinful pursuits hese sacred poems into a volume, abroad, or revellings at home. The good prefix this didactic (or precep man makes the lively oracles of God his m, as a proper introduction to companion, and will as the excellent
It does not follow, however, Bishop Horne observes) “ have recourse ust have been his own compo to them for direction in the bright and we know nothing of Ezra az a cheerful hours of prosperity;" and for
“ comfort in the dark and dreary seasons n contains a contrasted view of of adversity." The enemy, when advanc.
of the righteous and the ing to the assault, will always find him well the blessings which attend employed, and will be received with od the miseries which await “ Get thee bebind me, Satan;" as be was "he blessedness of the good repulsed by our divine Redeemer. ot from riches, por pleasures, Such an one is compared to “a tree pions, nor great connexions; planted by the rivers :" He is planted a trary, from a total separa- by the “river of the water of life;' and as and sioners. “Blessed is this nourishes his root, his leaves of provalketh not in the counsel fession are ever green, and his fruits of » Ahaziah, we are told, righteousness abundant. (Jer. xvii. 11.) way of Ahab; for his mo- But the ungodly are not so." Like chaft was his counsellor to do winnowed in the open air, as in the eastern h led, as wickedness al. countries is the custom to this day, his is destruction.” (2 Chron. hopes and expectations shall all be scatse who walk in the coun- tered. Neither his character nor his acn, will be found oftentions will stand the trial of affliction, or of pping, in their way, and death; much less shall he “ stand in the 'themselves in the chair judgment, or be numbered in the congrese who make a scoff and cation of the righteous." “ For the Lord ion).-Here is intimated Knowetb them that are his :" (2 Tim. ii. 19.) e. 66 The way of ini- his eye is upon the way of the righteous, nry, 6. is down bill; both to guide them and guard them; and e, and sinners them- they are blessed, while sinners perish,
NOTES. sed.- The Hebrew word produceth) shall prosper." “ A tree is said to make TS » on the man!
fruit when it beareth it.” Jer. xvii. 8.--Ainsworth.
Ver. 5. In the judgment-The judgment here ivnot to be taken for the
tended, is evidently the last judgment; the congreit for the whole revealed
yation of the righteous, is their assembly at the judg
ment-seat of Christ. Bishop Horne. sade;' more literally, Ver 6. The Lord knoweth--That is, approveth and ed impersonally ; "Its acknowledgeth. See Ps. xxxi, 7; Amos iii. 2: hatsotves it douth (or Platt. xxv. 12.
7 I will declare the decree: the PSALM II.
LORD hath said unto me, Thou art
my Son; this day have I begotten thee. W HY do the heathen rage, and the 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee
people imagine a rain thing? the heathen for thine inheritance, and 2 The kings of the earth set them- the uttermost parts of the earth for thy selves, and the rulers take counsel to- possession. gether, against the LORD, and against 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod his anointed, saying,
of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces 3 Let us break their bands asunder, like a potter's vessel. and cast away their cords from us. 10 Be wise now therefore, Oye
4 He that sitteth in the heavens kings: be instructed, ye judges of the shall laugh: the Lord shall have them earth. in derision.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, and 5 Then shall he speak unto them rejoice with trembling. in his wrath, and vex them in his 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, soré displeasure.
and ye perish from the way, when his 6 Yet have I set my king upon my wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are holy hill of Zion.
all they that put their trust in him. (B)
opposition. Ridicule can only be ascribed (B) The kingdom of Messiah. A Psalmi to Deity in the same figurative manner as of David.—The kings of the earth (or of grief and repentance are in other places : theland) are explainel(Acts iv. 26, 27.) to be God is not affected by human passions ; the Jewish and Roman governors, “Herod but his actions are explained in analogy and Pontius Pilate," who set themselves" with ours. Fools that scoff at God, and against Messiah ; particularly the former, make “a mock at sin," are given to whu, as if purposely to fulfil this prediction, know that they will reap the fruit of their “ with his men of war sei him at nought, own fully; and He whom they now deride, mocked him," and having arrayed him in will then“ have them in derision." (See a gorgeons robe, sent him again to Pilate; Gen. iii. 20—24, and Exposition.) ** and the same day Pilate and Herod were But to apply to the great subject of this made friends together." (Luke xxiii. 11.) psalm: “ The views which it gives of the " Thus they set themselves in array against Messiah (says Dr. P. Smith) are, that he him."
should be, in a peculiar sense, the Son of There is something peculiar in the man God; that he should be entitled to the per in which the Psalmist represents the homage of the world ; that, pursuant to Lord JEHOVAH, as sitting upon the throne the appointment of the Almighty Fatber, of the universe, and looking down with the he should support his own throne by the most sovereigu contempt upon all human righteous exercise of authority and power;
NOTES. PSALM II. David's name is not prefixed to this Ver. 4. The Lord -Adonai, not JEHOVAR, as in psalm in our bibles; it is so in the Septuagint trans- ver. 2. As we sball frequently meet with both these lation, and the whole assembly of the apostles at- words in this book, we inay here observe, that when tribute it to his pen, and apply it to his illustrious the word "Lord" occurs in small letters, it is the Son and Lord, as the anointed King of Israel, of former in the original; but the latter when in capituls: whom David was a type only. (Actsiv. 25, &c, xiii. 33.) here, however, all the printed Bibles in Hebrew we The Targum also refers (it) to the Messiah. So do have consulted, read Adonai, "Lord;" yet most the Bereshith Rabba, the book Jalkuth.(Zohar) and copies of our authorized version we have seen, others of the Talmudical writings." So Solomon print the word in capitals, as if it were JKHOTAR, Jarchi confesses, in these words, “Our masters have which Dr. Boothroyd says is the reading of many expounded (this psalm) of the King Messiah : but. Hebrew MSS, and he thinks the true one. according to the letter, and for furnishing answers to Ver. 5. Ver-Marg. « trouble:" " rebuke, the Minim, (heretics, i.e. the Christians) it is betler J.P. Smith : " confound," Dr. Chandler to interpret it of David bimself." (Dr. Smith's Ver.6. I hare sel-Heb. "anointed."- M Scripture Testimony to the Messiah, vol. i. pp. 213, hill-Marg. * Zion, the hill of my holiness." 215.)
Ver. 7. I will declare the decree Messiah is here Ver. 1. Why do the heathen-Heb. " the nations." introduced as speaking in his own person. The Jews called all nations beside their own hen Ver. 9. A rod of iron-"A sccptre of iron," See then: we restrain it to pagan, or idolatrous nations. Note on Genesis xlix. l). - Rage?-Marg, “ Tumultuously assemble." - Ver. 12. Perish from the way-Or" by the way;" Imagine-Heb. "Meditate," design.
or ** on the road.” Dr. J. P. Smith- kiss-was Ver. 3. Bands . . . . cords.--This implios rebel. used not only as an act of submission, but also of lion, or renouncing all allegiance.
fclolatry. I Kings xix. 18; Hos. xiii. 2,
" Ver. 7. 1 will declare in his own person iron.