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rejoicing with exul * משחקת לפניו בכל עת,delight he was
tation, with all manner of expressions of joy.' For the word properly signifies an outward expression of an inward delight, the natural overflowings of an abounding joy. And what this delight of the Son is, in answer to the delight of the Father in him, with respect to the work he had to do, the Psalmist declares, Psal. xl. 7, 8. " Then I said, Lo I come, in the volume of thy book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." This 50 an this volume of the book,' which our apostle calls xsQaxis Bbrir, the beginning or head of the book,' Heb. x. 7. is no other but the counsel of God concerning the salvation of the elect by Jesus Christ, enrolled as it were in the book of life, and thence transcribed into the beginning of the book of truth in the first promise given to Adam after the fall. This counsel being established between Father and Son, the Son with respect to it, rejoiceth continually before God, on account of that delight which he had to accomplish his will; and also on account of that delight which he had in our nature, which was to be assumed to answer the law of mediation, which was prescribed unto him.
§ 15. Now this being declared to be the mutual affection of God and of his Wisdom towards one another, Wisdom proceeds to manifest with what respect towards outward things it was that they were so mutually affected, ver. 31. "Rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men." That the things here spoken of were transacted in eternity, or before the creation, is evident in the context. The counsels of eternity, and the purposes of God and Wisdom, with respect to the sons of men, are here expressed. The Word was now foreordained, even before the foundation of the world, to the work of mediation and redemption, 1 Pet. i. 20. And many of the sons of men were chosen in him to grace and glory, Eph. i. 4. and the bringing of them to that glory to which they were chosen, was committed to him as the Captain of their salvation. This work, and the contemplation of it, he now delights in, because of that eternity of divine glory which was to ensue thereon. And because he was designed of the Father hereunto, and the work which he had to accomplish was principally the work of the Father, or the fulfilling of his will, and the making his grace effectual, wherein he sought his glory, and not his own primarily, John vii. 18. he speaketh of him as a distinct person, and the sovereign Lord of the whole. He did it, ana, in the world of his earth.' And the same word which he useth to express his frame towards God, npw, ver. 30: rejoicing, exulting,' he useth here in reference to his work, to intimate that it was on the same ac
count that he is said to "rejoice before the Father, and in the habitable parts of his earth;" that is, on account of the work he had undertaken. So also he expresseth his delight in the children of men, because of the concernment of the glory of God therein, by ow, the same word whereby he declares the Father's delight in himself, with respect to his work.
And these things cannot refer unto the first creation, seeing they regard DN 2, the children of men,' the sons or posterity of him who was at first singly created. And these things are revealed for our consolation, and the strengthening of our faith, whereunto they may be improved. For if there were such mutual delights between the Father and the Son in the counsel and contrivance of the work of our redemption and salvation; and if the Son so rejoiced in the prospect of his own undertaking to that end, we need not doubt but that he will powerfully and effectually accomplish it. For all the difficulties of it lay open and naked under his eye, yet he rejoiced in the thoughts of his engagement for their removal and conquest. He now saw the law of God established and fulfilled, the justice of God satisfied, his glory repaired, Satan under his feet, his works destroyed, sin, and all the confusion and misery which it brought into the world, destroyed; these are all matters of everlasting joy. Here we place the first spring of the priesthood of Christ; the first actings of God towards man for his reparation. These first actings of God he expressed by the mutual delight of the Father and Son in the work to which the Son was designed, and in the effects of it. And this was intimate love, grace, complacency, and infinite wisdom. God foreseeing how the designed effect of love and grace in the recovery of mankind, by the interposition of his Son, would issue in his own eternal glory, was pleased therewith, and rejoiced therein. And the Son considering the object of his love, and the peculiar glory set before him, delighted in the counsel of the Father. Wherefore the foundation of Christ's priesthood herein designed, was in love, grace and wisdom, though in its exercise it respects holiness and justice also..
§ 16. And this also seems to be expressed by the Psalmist, Psal. ii. 7. "I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." The direct sense and import of these words hath been declared in our exposition of ch. i. 6. and the testimony that is given in them to the divine nature of Jesus Christ, I have also formerly vindicated, Vindic. Evangel. p. 236. And I have in like manner elsewhere declared the perverse iniquity of some of the more modern Jewish masters, who would apply this Psalm singly to David, without any respect to the Messiah. This Rashi confesseth that they do on purpose to oppose the heretics or Chris
tians. But this is contrary to the conceptions and expositions of all their ancient doctors, and to the express faith of their church whilst it continued. For from this place they constantly acknowledged, that the Messiah was to be the Son of God, or rather, that the Son of God was to be the Messiah. Hence was that inquiry of the high priest, Matt. xxvi. 63. "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ the Son of God." According to the faith of their church, he takes it for granted that the Christ and the Son of God was the same. The same confession on the same principle made Nathaniel, John i. 49. "Thou art the Son of God, thou art the king of Israel." And Peter's confession, Matt. xvi. 16. John vi. 69. "Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God," was nothing but a due application of the faith of the Jewish church to the person of our Saviour, which was all that he then called for. "Unless," saith he, "you believe that I am he, you shall die in your sins." And this faith of the church was principally built on this testimony, where God expressly calls the Messiah his Son, and that on the account of his eternal generation.
So Maimonides, Jarchi himself, and Kimchi, do all confess that their ancients interpreted this Psalm of the Messiah. The
רבותינו דרשו את הענין על מלך,words of Jarchi are plain ,חמשיח ולפי משמעו ולתשובת המינים נכון לפותרו על דוד עצמו
• Our masters expounded this Psalm,' or the construction of it, concerning the king Messiah; but as the words sound, and that an answer may be returned to the heretics, it is expedient to interpret it of David himself." His confession is plain, that their ancient doctors looked on this Psalm as a prophecy of the Messiah, as is also expressly acknowledged by Maimonides and Kimchi in their expositions. But as to those words, which ori
, ולתשובת המינים ,ginally formed a part of what Jarchi wrote
and for an answer to the heretics, the reader will not find them either in the edition of Basil, or of Venice; that is, of the Bible with their Masoretical criticisms, and Rabbinical annotations; being expunged by such as had the oversight of those editions, or before razed out of the copies they made use of.
A great number of instances of this sort, to excellent advantage, are collected by the learned Dr Pococke, Nota Miscellan. cap. 8. And in the same place, that we go no farther for it, the same learned author gives us an account of the evasions invented by some of the Mahometans against the force of this testimony, which yet they allow to respect Jesus Christ, whom they will by no means grant to be the Son of God. Á prophet, if A we please, he shall be; but that none may believe him to be the Son of God, the impostor himself laid in provision, in the close of his Alcoran, in that summary of his confession of a mussul
man, 'He is one God, God eternal, who neither begetteth, nor is begotten, and to whom none is equal.' The reasons of their infidelity are putrid and ridiculous, as is commonly known, and their evasion of this testimony a violent escape. For they tell us the text is corrupted; and instead of My Son,' it should be, My prophet;' and instead of, I have begotten thee,' it should be, I have cherished thee;' the former words in the Arabic language, consisting of the same letters transposed, and the latter differing in one letter only, and the fancied allusion between, or change of the words, is not much more distant in the Hebrew. But it is ridiculous to suppose, that the Jews have corrupted their own text, to the ruinous disadvantage of their own infidelity.
§ 17. There is therefore an illustrious testimony in these words, given unto the eternal pre-existence of the Lord Christ in his divine nature before his incarnation. And this causeth the adversaries of that sacred truth, to turn themselves into all shapes to avoid the force of it. He with whom we have before concerned ourselves, raiseth himself to such confidence, as to deny that the things mentioned in this Psalm had any direct accomplishment in Jesus Christ, as his next attempt is to prove that those words, Psal. xxii. 16. " They pierced my hands and my feet," had no respect unto him. To this purpose doth he here discourse:
Ea quæ hic dicuntur si litera urgeatur, nunquam in Jesu Christo completa sunt. Nam ejus divinitati hæc non competere clarum est. Jam vero, ne cum natus quidem ex Maria est, historice hæc illi evenerunt. Qui enim sunt isti quæso populi, quæ gentes, qui reges, qui contra Jesum jam regem constitutum consurrexerunt: Certe nec Pilatus, qui tamen rex non erat, nec Herodes ei hoc nomine ut illum solio et dignitate regia deturbarent illi molesti fuerunt; neque consilia adversus ejus regnum contulerunt, nec copias collegerunt. Imo Pilatus quamvis illum regem dici audiret, tamen liberare et dimittere paratus erat. Et Herodes adversus eum non fremuit, sed hominem contempsit, et illæsum cum in potestate sua haberet dimisit. Pilatus Johan. xviii. fatetur; gens tua et pontifices tradiderunt tè mihi; soli ergo Judæi fuerunt hostes Jesu, et eorum consilia adversus eum non fuerunt irrita; sed optatum finem consecuta; cujus contrarium hic narratur. In summa, tantus concursus, tanta consectatio, tantus armorum strepitus, et apparatus bellicus, quantum hæc verba Psalmi significant, nunquam contra Jesum extitit; præterea isti reges et populi dicunt; dirumpamus vincula eorum, &c. At Jesu nec Judais nec gentibus imperitavit, nec vincula injecit, nulla tributa imposuit, non leges præscripsit, quibus illos constrictos tenuisset, et a quibus illi liberari concupivissent. Nam siquis hæc ad doctrinam Jesu accommodet spiritualem et mysticum introducet sensum, &c.
Having elsewhere handled, expounded and vindicated this testimony, I should not here have diverted to the consideration of this discourse, had it not been to give an instance of that extreme confidence which this sort of men betake themselves to, when they are pressed with plain Scripture testimonies. For the Jews themselves, who despise the application of this prophecy to Christ in the New Testament, do not argue more perversely against his concern therein, than this man doth. He tells us in the entrance of his discourse on this Psalm, that all the Hebrews, whose authority in the interpretation of the Scripture no sober man will despise, are against the application of this Psalm unto Christ. But he is deceived, if he thought that they all agree in denying this Psalm to be a prophecy of the Messiah; for, as we have shewed, the elder masters were of that mind. And he that shall be moved with the authority of the later doctors in the interpretation of those places of Scripture which concern the promised Messiah, that is Jesus Christ, and yet pretend himself to be a Christian, will scarce retain the reputation of a sober person among such as are not stark mad. However, no Jew of them all can more perversely oppose the gospel than this man here doth, as will appear in the examination of what he says.
First, That the things spoken in this Psalm, regard the Lord Christ with respect to his divine nature alone, or as absolutely considered, none ever affirmed or taught. For they all regard him as incarnate, or as he was to be incarnate, and as exalted, or as he was to be exalted to his kingly rule and throne. But yet some things here spoken, are distinctly verified in his divine nature; some in his human, as I have elsewhere declared. general they all regard his person with respect to his kingly office. But what ensues in this author, namely, that none of these things belong properly to Jesus Christ, is above the rate of ordinary confidence. All the apostles do not only jointly and with one accord apply the things here spoken unto the Lord Jesus, but also give a clear exposition of the words as a ground of that application; a thing seldom done by the sacred writers, Acts iv. 24-28. "They lifted up their voice unto God with one accord, and said; Lord, thou art God which hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and people of Israel, was gathered together: for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done." In their judgment Herod and