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is disputed, and apparently with have in former numbers expressed some reason : though it does not our want of conviction in the view seem to be very considerably wide taken by Mr. Cuninghame of the of the mark. For according to the Jubilean Chronology; but we still computation of Mr. Clinton, in his advance those considerations, which Fasti Hellenici recently published, cause us to hesitate, merely as pre(an authority of the first respecta- venting that conviction, and leaving bility,) after carefully adjusting the room for question ; not as conclusive Hebrew chronology he makes the against his system. present year (1836) to be 5974 from Taking however the most scrupucreation, or within 26 years of the lous view of the subject, we cannot Seventh Millennary.* But within but be moved at the drawing tothis twenty six years, if the Mil- gether, to so comparatively small a lennium is at the end of them to focus, of the views of different writcommence, events of the most in. ers, most of them independent of tense importance are to occur ; (as each other ;together with the rethe restoration of the Jews, the great markable character of the times durcrisis of tribulation, &c.) and in the ing the last half century, and the opinion of some intelligent interpre- general expectation of some great ters, the Son of man appears for the crisis being at hand. Sure we are, salvation of his saints during the taking any view of the subject, that transaction of those events.
“now is our Salvation nearer than It may
proper to mention here, when we believed;"-convinced we are that Mr. Cuninghame, whose opi- likewise, that the coming of the Lord nions on the interpretation of Pro- will be premillennial, however writers phecy are entitled to the serious con- may differ from each other respectsideration of every student, divides ing subordinate details;—the current the period of the seventh trumpet of events all loudly proclaim that he into seven blasts, corresponding with is not “tarrying,” but rather they the seven thunders of the Apoca- seem to warn us that " short work lypse, which blasts continue each of will the Lord make upon
the earth ;" them during a period of seven years,
—and whilst we look at no one parthe whole seven blasts extending ticular year, we are persuaded that through a Jubilean period of 49 the true posture of the Christian years. The seventh septenary then, Church should be that of expecting corresponding with the seventh or the coming of the Bridegroom in any final blast of the seventh trumpet, he year and every year, and to stand considers to have commenced in 1834, with the loins girt and the light burnand that the downfall of Babylon ing ready to receive him. May our with violence will consequently take Lord grant, to every professor of the place in 1840, to be followed by the truth, to join with the Spirit and the gathering together of the Beast and Bride in saying Come ;-and whereas the kings of the earth and their his word assures us, Surely I come armies, and the treading of the wine quickly;" to respond to it, * Amen, , press of the wrath of God.t We Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.” * See an interesting notice of his Work in the Investigator, Vol. iv. page 334.
of Tract on the Jubilean Chronology, p. 21. &c. I We might name other writers of eminence, as Mr. Frere, Mr. Faber, &c. who place the years 1847 and 1865 as periods previous to which some of the events alluded to are to happen,
ON THE PROPHETICAL CHARACTER OF THE PSALMS.
Perhaps no portion of the Word of not some Psalms which are not deGod has been more prized in every lighted in, because they are either age of the Church than the Book of not comprehended, or presumed to Psalms. The reason of this is, as I relate to matters which he imagines apprehend, the fact, that so many of will never have any reference to his the Psalms set forth the personal own times or to his own immedi. experience of the believer under va- ate spiritual concerns ? Are there rious circumstances ; so that every not in other Psalms, which do apchild of God is almost certain, sooner prove themselves on the whole, pasor later, to find something in that sages, nevertheless, which are not experience corresponding with his clearly understood, and which are
Thus some have only a few consequently slurred over, favourite Psalms, because their ex- though the Psalm be read and meperience of the divine life is not as ditated on ? And to this I
may add, yet sufficiently extensive to enable (what possibly the reader is not them to enter into others of a sim- aware of,)—that many of those, ilar character ; whilst some are not the meaning of which is by the genyet brought to view any of them erality supposed to be perceived, with particular regard, because their are not really understood, as regards short acquaintance with the believer's their principal signification ; but conflict has given them scarcely any have a forced and accommodated experience at all. It is after a long sense put upon them, in order to warfare, when the Christian has adapt them to the ordinary experinearly fought the good fight of faith, ence of the Church. —when he has at least run a con- Under this persuasion therefore, I siderable portion of his race, and is purpose in a series of papers, if the pressing forward to finish his course, Lord spare and condescend to aid -it is then that this Book becomes me, to bring before the Readers of so much endeared to him, because the Investigator and Expositor a brief his increased acquaintance with spi- exposition of the Psalms; whereritual things gives him so much by I conceive, if I possess the key greater a capacity to understand and to their right interpretation, I shall apply it.
be made instrumental in enabling I fear, however, that I shall pro- many, when they read the Psalms or voke from some the imputation of hear them read, to take an interest pedantry, when I venture to assert, in them, and derive a measure of that there is perhaps no part of the edification from them, which as yet word of God that is so frequently they have not experienced. read, and yet so little understood! But first I must request the attenBut I will put it to the conscience tion of the Reader to a few princiof the Reader himself :—are there ples of interpretation, which must be kept in view in the course of our are heirs of God and joint heirs with exposition, and without the recol- Christ,g and viewed by the forelection of which the view which will knowledge of Jehovah as in Christ ; be taken hereafter of
Psalms -as it is written in Psalm cxxxix, will appear arbitrary and destitute “Thine eyes did see my substance of scriptural foundation.
yet being imperfect; and in thy book 1st. I view the speaker, when he all my members were written, which opens his mouth in righteousness, to in continuance were fashioned, when be Christ; but-Christ in his head as yet there was none of them.” and members, or whole body. Some- We shall consequently find Israel times he speaks as the head only, spoken of, in his covenant relation or in his own individual character ; to God, as one man, the reference sometimes he speaks by his Spirit in being sometimes to the members, his members, the Church; and some- sometimes to the head. For example, times it is as head and members to- Psalm cxxi is addressed throughout gether, a This is a long recognised to some individual person, in the principle as regards Christ himself; same manner as Psalm xci, and the it being obvious from our Saviour's application is generally made priown words, that many things were marily to Christ; but this
is written in the Psalms concerning in the 4th verse evidently Israel. So him ;b and likewise from the fact, the words in Hosea xi. 1—" When that what appears to be spoken in Israel was a child, then I loved him, some places by David concerning and called my son out of Egypt," himself, the Apostle insists must in are applied by St. Matt. to Christ;h its principal application be referred but the context of Hosea xi shews, to Jesus.c
that the primary application of the It is overlooked, however, that the subject by the prophet is to Israel Spirit of Christ sometimes speaks in in the aggregate ; and Matt. therethecharacter of the members of the bo- fore can only apply it to Christ on dy, and not soimmediately as the head. the principle, that there is an idenThus in the case of the promises made tification of the head with the memto Abraham, we see that the Holy bers. Once more St. Paul speaks Ghost sometimes refers those pro- of the spiritual Israel, as including mises to Christ, as the seed of Abra- both Jew and Gentile, as if they ham;d and sometimes they are ap- constituted but one individual, and plied to the more general posterity of this by virtue of union with their Abraham, as when it is said, that covenant head, Christ; so that those his seed shall be as the stars of hea- (he says) who were before "aliens ven or the sand upon the sea shore from the commonwealth of Israel, for multitude. And this same pro- were in Christ Jesus made nigh,”mise of a countless multitude, as a who had made “ in himself of twain seed, has an ultimate reference to one new man;”. reconciling both that spiritual seed, who are believers unto God in one body by the cross."i in Christ and partakers of the faith In which place observe, that the of Abraham, which is in other words whole are accounted to be Israel ; the members of Christ ;f so that the but they are accounted so, as being promises are made through Christ now the one body of Christ. the head unto the members, who Now it is this one man,
a 1 Cor. 1. 27 ; Ephes. iv. 12 ; Col. 1. 18. ;
b Luke xxiv. 44. d Gal. 111. 16. e Gen. XIII. 16; xv. 5, f Rom. iv. 12 and 18. h Matt. 11. 15. i Ephes. 11. 12–16.
c Acts 11. 25-36. 8 Rom. vii. 17.
hend, -alluded to sometimes in the the head and members, the same as head, sometimes in the members, in the instance of Christ. sometimes in the entire,—who in I need not again proceed to esthe Psalms confesses sins, who walks tablish the principle in the abstract, in righteousness, who receives pro- that a congregation or body of indimises, who expresses confidence, viduals may be spoken of sometimes who experiences deliverance, and in in reference to the multitude col. whom the whole word of God is ful- lectively, and sometimes in reference filled. The righteousness belongs to to their head : this has, I trust, been the head ; the sin belongs only to sufficiently proved in the case of the members ; excepting that it is by the righteous, and therefore there imputation laid upon the head. This can be no objection to the applicawill reconcile the difficulty, so often tion of it to the unrighteous. All felt by some, in regard to confession of that is required will be a few examsin, in Psalms which evidently apply ples in proof of allusion being made to Christ; but which sins he never sometimes to the head, sometimes could have experienced himself: and to the members of
the synagogue also in regard to the apparent appli- of Satan.” cation of righteousness to man,
We have an instance then in which other Scriptures shew does Psalm vii. In verses 1 & 2 it is: not belong to any man but Jesus ; Save me from all them that perseand which can only be imputed to cute me, and deliver me; lest he others by virtue of their union with tear my soul like a lion, &c.” In Christ. It is the viewing the Israel verses 13–16 it is written : " He of God in this union, that leads the (God) hath also prepared for him the Spirit to say of him—“God hath instruments of death ; he ordaineth not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither his arrows against the persecutors. hath he seen perverseness in Israel: (pl.) Behold he travaileth with inithe Lord his God is with him, the quity &c.” Another instance is in shout of a king is among them.”k Habakkuk 111. 13, 14 “Thou woundin which place observe, the reference edst the head out of the house of is first to Israel in the singular num- the wicked &c. : Thou didst strike ber (“him”) being viewed in the through with his staves the head of headship, either as Jacob, or Jacob's his villages : they came out as a seed, Christ; and then in the plural whirlwind to scatter me; their renumber, (“them”) being viewed in joicing was to devour the poor sethe members. In like manner also, cretly.” The head here, if the condangers and deliverances are some- text be considered, is evidently the times spoken of, which the Lord did same to whom chap. II is chiefly not personally experience; but the addressed, as to an individualChurch either has or will experience Yea also because he transgresseth them, and thus fill up in the mem- by wine, a proud man, neither keepbers, what was behind hand of the eth at home, (i. e. within bounds,) sufferings of Christ.1
who enlargeth his desire as hell, and 2. Secondly, I consider the speak- is as death, and cannot be satisfied, er, when he opens his mouth in un- but gathereth unto him all nations, righteousness, or is spoken of as pro- &c." It again is evidently the same voking to the uttermost the wrath of as in Psalm cx. 6—" He shall wound God, to be ANTICHRIST : and this in the head over many countries."*
k Numb. XXIII. 21. 1 Col. 1. 24. * The original is ving in the singular number, not heads as in our translation. The
3. I would finally observe, that tion in the fullest sense.
For even various considerations induce me to those circumstances, to which porview the prophetical portion of the tions of the Psalms have appeared Psalms as having principally a refer- applicable, (as, for example, former ence to the great crisis of the last periods of apostasy and ungodliness) days. There is doubtless a reference have not been so intense in degree, in them, in most instances, to the or so complete in particulars, as to passing circumstances of David; who come up to the colouring of the prois, in relation to the ultimate object phet; which has given occasion to of the Spirit, merely a type. There some to conclude, that the Holy is likewise a reference to the times of Ghost employs the language of exthe first advent of Christ; because, aggeration, and exceeds the bounds as before stated, he declares that the of sobriety and truth, for the sake of Psalms speak of him, and they are indulging in rhetorical ornament:applied to him by the Apostle : but an idea most derogatory to the truth in this instance the fulfilment is not and holiness of God! complete, there being numerous cir- The real fact however appears to cumstances which remain yet to be be, that the deficiency, in the instanaccomplished. It is further evident, ces just adverted to, of the events as from
the very general use made of compared with the description, arises the Psalms by the Church in all from their not being the events which ages,* that they are most of them are ultimately contemplated by the susceptible of application to passing Spirit ; and the fulfilment therefore circumstances, which at any time will never be equal in reality to the may affect the believer politically or language of the Spirit, until that individually ; and it is probable that crisis arrives which is principally in the Psalms, and some of the more di. the mind of the Spirit. For, to ad. rectly prophetical portions of Scrip- vert once more to the description ture, have been designedly couched of the apostate and ungodly, there in such terms as will enable the be. never has been a period when the liever thus to apply them to the characteristics of the wicked have spiritual condition of the Church or not been more or less visible in in. of himself, that they may be profit- dividuals. Even that awful picture able to the saints in all ages. But given in Romans 111. 10–18, which it will be equally evident, to him is made up of quotations gathered who desires to make a strict and from the Psalms and the Prophets, satisfactory application of the whole is declared by St. Paul to be speciof the Psalms, that they cannot in ally addressed to those that were this way have received any thing under the Law, and applicable to the like a full accomplishment. And if character of man, and to the Jews not a jot or tittle shall pass from the in particular, throughout the legal word of God, but all must be fulfilled, dispensation. And these same things there must still be some period when being thus quoted and brought bethe whole shall receive its comple- fore us in the Gospel, appeal in like
Septuagint has it plural, kepalaç: and it is remarkable in how many instances the Sept. changes the singular of the Hebrew into the plural.
* There exist considerably more than 200 published expositions or paraphrases of the Psalms ; about one half of which are contained in commentaries on the whole of the Scriptures, and are in many instances compiled ; but the larger moiety may be considered as original, and have been published independently.