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viled him; " He trusted in God," &c. Matt. xxvii. 43.
When David saith, in the fortieth Psalm, "Sacri“fice and offering thou didst not desire-Lo, I
come to do thy will ;" we might suppose him only to declare in his own person, that obedience is better than sacrifice. But from Heb. x. 5. we learn, that Messiah, in that place, speaketh of his advent in the flesh, to abolish the legal sacrifices, and to do away sin, by the oblation of himself, once for all.
That tender and pathetic complaint, in the fortyfirst Psalm, “ Mine own familiar friend in whom “ I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lift up “ his heel against me,” undoubtedly might be, and probably was, originally uttered by David, upon the revolt of his old friend and counsellor, Ahithophel, to the party of his rebellious son, Absalom. But we are certain, from John xiii. 18. that this Scripture was fulfilled, when Christ was betrayed by his apostate disciple" I speak not of you
all ; I know " whom I have chosen ; but that the Scriptures
may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me “ hath lift up his heel against me.”
The forty-fourth Psalm we must suppose to have been written on occasion of a persecution under which the church at that time laboured; but a verse of it is cited, Rom. viii. 36. as expressive of what Christians were to suffer, on their blessed Master's
account ; " as it is written, For thy sake are we “ killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep
appointed to be slain.”
A quotation from the forty-fifth Psalm, in Heb. i. 8. certifies us, that the whole is addressed to the Son of God, and therefore celebrates his spiritual union with the church, and the happy fruits of it.
The sixty-eighth Psalm, though apparently conversant about Israelitish victories, the translation of the ark to Sion, and the services of the tabernacle, yet does, under those figures, treat of Christ's resurrection, his going up on high, leading captivity captive, pouring out the gifts of the Spirit, erecting his church in the world, and enlarging it by the accession of the nations to the faith; as will be evident to any one, who considers the force and consequence of the apostle's citation from it, Ephes. iv. 7, 8. « Unto
every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”
The sixty-ninth Psalm is five times referred to in the Gospels, as being uttered by the Prophet, in the person of Messiah. The imprecations, or rather predictions, at the latter end of it, are applied, Rom. xi. 9, 10. to the Jews; and to Judas, Acts i. 20. where the hundred and ninth Psalm is also cited, as prophetical of the sore judgements which should
befall that arch-traitor, and the wretched nation of which he was an epitome.
St. Matthew, informing us, chap. xiii. 34. that Jesus spake to the multitude in parables, gives it as one reason why he did so, “ that it might be fulfilled " which was spoken by the Prophet,” Psal. Ixxviii, 2. “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter “ things which have been kept secret from the foun" dation of the world.”
The ninety-first Psalm was applied, by the tempter, to Messiah; nor did our Lord object to the application, but only to the false inference, which his adversary suggested from it. Matt. iv. 6,7.
The ninety-fifth Psalm is explained at large in Heb. iii. and iv. as relative to the state and trial of Christians in the world, and to their attainment of the heavenly rest.
The hundred and tenth Psalm is cited by Christ himself, Matt. xxii. 44. as treating of his exaltation, kingdom, and priesthood.
The hundred and seventeenth Psalm, consisting only of two verses, is employed, Rom. xv. 11. to prove, that the Gentiles were one day to praise God for the mercies of redemption.
The 22d verse of the hundred and eighteenth Psalm, “ The stone which the builders refused,” &c. is quoted six different times, as spoken of our Saviour.
And, lastly," the fruit of David's body," which God is said, in the hundred and thirty-second Psalm to have promised that he would place upon his’
throne,” is asserted, Acts ii. 30., to be Jesus Christ.
These citations, lying dispersed through the Scriptures of the New Testament, are often suffered by common readers to pass unnoticed. And many others content themselves with saying, that they are made in a sense of accommodation, as passages may be quoted from poems of histories merely human, for the illustration of truths, of which their authors never thought. “ And this," as a learned critic observes, “is no fault, but rather a beauty in writing. “ A passage applied justly, and in a new sense, is
ever pleasing to an ingenious reader, who loves to “ be agreeably surprised, and to see a likeness and
pertinency where he expected none. He has " that surprise, which the Latin poet so poetically
gives to the tree;
Miraturque povas frondes, et non sua poma."
The readers, who have been accustomed to consider the New Testament citations in this view of accommodation only, must perceive the necessity of such accommodation, at least, to adapt the use of the Psalms, as a part of divine service, to the times and circumstances of the Gospel; and cannot there
fore reasonably object, upon their own principles, to the applications made in the following sheets for that purpose.
But not to inquire, at present, whether passages are not sometimes cited in this manner, surely no one can attentively review the above-made collection of New Testament citations from the book of Psalms, as they have been placed together before him, without perceiving that the Psalms are written upon a divine, preconcerted, prophetical plan, and contain much more than, at first sight, they appear to do. They are beautiful without, but all-glorious within, like “apples of gold in pictures, or network
cases, of silver;" Prov. xxv. 11. The brightness of the casket attracts our attention, till, through it, upon a nearer approach, we discover its contents. And then, indeed, it may be said to have “no glory,
by reason of the glory that so far excelleth *.” Very delightful and profitable they are, in their literal and historical sense, which well repayeth all the pains taken to come at it. But that once obtained, a farther scene begins to open upon us, and all the blessings of the Gospel present themselves to the eye of faith. So that the expositor is as a traveller ascending an eminence, neither unfruitful, nor unpleasant; at the top of which when he is arrived, he beholds, like Moses from the summit of mount Nebo, a more lovely and extensive prospect lying beyond it,