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the world.” But let it be reserved for subsequent pas. sages, which we are to examine, to confirm us in this hope, and to make us love" more and
appearing of Jesus Christ.”
Extracts from the Psalms.
We now enter upon the book of Psalms, where the oracles delivered from God at this period are, for the most part, contained. I have already, in a work I have ventured to lay before the public, endeavoured to show that Christ, and the events of his first or of his second advent, are the perpetual theme, from one end to the other, of this sacred book. But I must remember, my subject now confines me to the oracles relating to the second advent. I have not now to vindicate, as belonging to the blessed Jesus, the griefs and sorrows, the mental conflict, and the boast of conscious virtue, so erroneously interpreted of David; but to show, that one greater than David is invested, in these Psalms, with the crown and the sceptre, and proclaimed as God's “ first-born, higher than the kings of the earth,” before whose victorious sword the apostate nations fall, till the wicked are extirpated from the earth.
This glorious theme, perhaps, oftener enters into these songs of public praise, than our present object will demand its repetition. It will be sufficient if we copy the most remarkable, and what may serve to throw increased light upon the object of our inquiry. I shall
hope to be excused, too, if I refer to my former publication for the notes that attempt to establish any thing new in the translation.
I would point out, in the first place, as clearly belonging to the second advent, the former part of the second psalm; or, as it should be numbered, the first: the first and second forming originally but one psalm ;* an additional proof that the example of righteousness in the first psalm, according to our division, is not so directly intended to stimulate the endeavours of renewed man, as to afford, as it were, a mirror that might reflect the image of Him, whose righteousness and perfect holiness propitiates for his people, and invests them with a character and glory to which, in themselves, they can have no title or claim.
We read of this blessed man, “ blessed above others, and the cause of blessing," who is described in the psalm, (though rejected of men at his first advent,) sitting as anointed King at God's right hand, till his foes are made his footstool :
8. And I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance,
And the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.
This verse, taken by itself, might indeed be referred to the further extension of that Gospel reign that now pervades a small part of the nations, and not to a second advent; but what follows clearly shows another sort of conquest than that of the peaceful persuasion of the Gospel message:
Ως και εν τω πρωτω ψαλμω γεγραπται, υιος μου ει συ. Acts, xiii. 53. GRIESBACH.
Thou shalt break them with a sceptre of iron;
A new title, we observe, is in this oracle given to the Saviour. He who in former prophecies has been announced as the woman's seed,“ the Lord from heaven," the “ kinsman God," -" the redeeming angel,” — “the seed of Abraham," — “ Israel's anointed king,” is now entitled “The Son," and in this character he is often spoken of in subsequent Scriptures. The foundation of this character, I doubt not, is to be found in his everlasting personal relation to the Father. Origination from the Father we should not say, unless we negative something that belongs to the term, and say, it implies not a beginning : it is an everlasting origination. He is “ the brightness of the Father's glory.” But, lest we should imagine the bright uncreated light, issuing from the paternal glory, were something less, or different from that glory, we are expressly told that he is “God with God,” “ the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father,” and who, when he showeth HIMSELF, manifests God, the GREAT JEHOVAH, to his creatures.
* “ The sole application of this illustrious prophecy to the Messiah or Christ, was the unquestionable doctrine of the primitive Jewish church. The Midrash Tillim understands the Gentiles, verse 1, of Gog and Magog, alluding to Balaam's prophecy, Numb, xxiv. 7."
See Dr. Hales, vol. ii. 371, who remarks, “The appropriation of these two kindred prophecies to Jesus Christ, as the firsT BORN, Psalm Ixxxix. 27, or THE ONLY genuine Son of God, John, iii. 18, in the sublime introduction of the Epistle to the Hebrews, i. 5, 6, precludes their primary or literal application to David or Solomon, and their secondary, or spiritual, only to Christ: a fiction introduced by the later Jewish Rabbies, to answer the heretics, or Christians,' as Solomon Jarchi confesses."
But this divine Being, as former prophecies declared, was to be born amidst God's redeemed people upon earth. He was to be “ the woman's seed:” as Job know, his avenging “kinsman,”—“God of his flesh,”-“ Abraham's seed,” - one“ raised up from among his brethren.” Now, when he assumes this lower nature, and
appears as “ the son of man,” the title of Son of God might seem not to belong to him, so long as he chose to act in that lower character. The title was consequently denied him; he was charged with blasphemy when he asserted his claim to it. Those“ who sat in Moses' seat,” understood our Lord to mean, “ Son of God," in a strict and proper sense ; so strict and proper, at least, that the term would apply to no Being, but one who was truly God; and therefore they insisted, that by this assumption, he “ being a man, made himself equal with God." Our Lord admitted the propriety of the charge, but told them they ought to have known that he was “ the consecrated,” “ and sent" of the Father, and that the title of Son of God belonged to him.
He had, indeed, laid aside his original dignity, and had “ taken upon him the form of a servant,” and had become “ the son of man ;” but He is to be exalted in this capacity, and with him to exalt all his new rela
tions, whose seed he hath taken upon him. He is accordingly raised from the dead, after he hath paid the penalty of their transgression; and is “ declared to be the Son of God in power.” It is to this the expression in the psalm refers -" Thou art my Son, this day do I bring thee forth.”- The “ only begotten” is
brought into the world,” and all “ the angels” of God are commanded to “ worship him.”—“ Brought into the world; ” that is, introduced into the church, into its
heavenly places," as belonging to it, as one exalted from among men; but who is not to be considered any longer as "a servant," or child of feeble man. Though he still continues to bear that nature, he is to be acknowledged as “ Lord of all," and is to be set as “ a Son over his own house,” having “ power over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to as many as God hath given him.”
To this EXALTED MAN, declared to be “ the Son of God," angels and principalities are made subject; so that human nature, in the person of Christ, is exalted above the angelic. The exaltation of this “ son of man,
" " the woman's seed," to be “ the declared " “ Son of God," and as GOD-MAN to rule the church and the world, is the subject of the Psalms throughout. The sacred oracles of this era seem to differ from the more ancient, which we have already considered, in this, that they bring more into our view the humanity of the promised Redeemer. It is now more and more plainly revealed, how he, who
” as “the Lord from heaven," manifested in all the attributes of divine power, is, at the same time, “ the woman's seed,"
"_" Abraham's seed; ” — though“ God," yet of “the flesh" of his earthly kinsman. Accordingly, both in Hannah's prophetic song, and in many of the