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ly say, They're more desirable than Gold, yea, than much solid Gold; than Honey also sweeter much, or dropping Honey-Comb.
YEA, and who can tell, but the PSALMS put into the hands of the Jews, with so entertaining a Commentary thereupon, may be a powerful and perswasive Engine in the Arm of the LORD, for the Enlightening and Overcoming of them, to Look on Him whom they have Pierced! Were One to single out a present for a JEW, it should be a Psalter with such a Commentary! Which no doubt, he will consider the more Attentively because he will find his own Rabbi's continually brought in as Vouchers for it. However, It is an agreeable circumstance, to encourage our Hopes that the Redemption of Israel, and the Time to favour Zion, the set time, is coming on, in that the condition of the Jewish Nation as represented in the PSALMS, is now like to be more considered by the Holy Singers of them, than in the former Ages. When the Holy Singers then begin to Sing and to Praise, who knows, what Ambushments our GOD may set against the Powers of ANTICHRIST, and of MAHOMET; causing them to destroy one another, and making way for, The Glorious Things which are spoken of thee, O Thou City of GOD!
After the Introduction comes an admonition concerning the tunes' which still further explains the execution of the work. 'An Admonition Concerning the TUNES. OUR VERSION is fitted unto all the Common TUNES, the Notes whereof are Eight and Six.
BUT some of them are accommodated for a well-known Longer Metre, by putting in Two Syllables of the Black Letter which are, without any Damage to the Truth of the Translation, found enclosed between Two such Crotchets as these, [ ] And which being left out, the Metre, with the Sense yet remaining entire is again restored unto the usual Eight and Six.
AND some of them are so contrived that by leaving out what is in the Black Letter between the Two Crotchets, [ ] which may be done without any manner of Damage, they are accommodated unto a well-known Shorter Metre.
THE Director of the Psalmody, need only to say Sing with the Black Letter or Sing without the lack Letter, and the Tune will be sufficiently directed.
In the Addition to the CANTIONAL, the Singer will find, That besides what is done for the Tune which uses to go by the Name of, The CXLVIII Psalm-Tune, or, the Hallelujatic Tune; by Taking or Dropping the Two Syllables of Black Letter, between the Crotchets [ ] a Variety of Other Tunes is provided for.'
As a specimen of the work we give the 23d Psalm, both because it is short and familiar to every one.
1. MY Shepherd is th' ETERNAL God; || I shall not be in [an]
2 In pastures of a tender grass || He [er] makes me to lie down : To waters of tranquilities || He gently carries me, [along.] ||
3 My feeble and my wandering Soul He [kindly] does fetch back again; In the plain paths of righteousness || He does lead [and guide] me along, because of the regard He has | [ever] unto His Glorious Name.
4 Yea, when I shall walk in the Vale || of the dark [Dismal] shade of Death, I'll of no evil be afraid, because thou [ber] art with me.|| Thy rod and thy staff, these are what|| yield [constant] comfort unto me.
5 A Table thou dost furnish out || richly [for me] before my face. || "Tis in view of mine Enemies; [And then] my head thou dost annoint with fattening and perfuming Oil: my cup it [ever] overflows.
6 Most certainly the thing that is || Good with [most kind] Benignity, This all the days that I do live || shall [still and] ever follow me; Yea, I shall dwell, and Sabbatize, || even to [unknown] length of days, Lodg'd in the House which does belong to [him who's] the ETERNAL God. I'
The Appendix contains other passages of scripture versified in the same manner. Amongst these is a part of the fifth chapter of Romans. The lines may consist of either eight or ten syllables.
6 WHEN we were [wholly] destitute of strength, t This [proper] time, CHRIST dy'd for the profane. †
7 'Tis [very] true, One for a Just Man would † [Scarce and] with no small difficulty dye. † Yet peradventure some would [ten] dare † for a [Belov'd] Good Man to suffer Death. †
8 But God, commends [in this] His Love to us that CHRIST for us [altho'] yet Sinners dy'd. †
9 Much more then we [may well] infer from hence, † since by His Blood we're [freely] justify'd, † we shall through Him be [surtly] saved from the wrath to which we [justly] are expos'd. †
10 For if by His Son's Death [for it] we were † while yet Foes [fully] reconcil'd to God, † much more be sure now [so well] reconcil'd, † we shall be saved by His [Glorious] Life. †
11 And yet this not all [of it] but we † do here-withal rejoyce in God [our God]† Thro' our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [it is]† [a full] Atonement we have now receiv'd. †'
'NOW to that Glorious One who hast wondrously loved [sinful] us, and who has made us to be Kings † as well as Priests to God [on high;]† Even unto the God, who ist His Father; [let there] unto Himt be Glory and Dominion † forevermore. Amen: [Amen,]† The Name of God.
JEHOVAH's [Great and] Glorious Name, † it is a Tower of
The Righteous runs [with speed] into't ; and there on high Sits safe. †
Exod. XXXIV. 6, 7.
So He proclaimed it [of DlD]† JEHOVAH is His Name; ↑ JEHOVAH who is [the Strong] God forever mercifult and [very] Gracious too is le; to anger very Slow; † yea, He does [very] much abound in Grace and Truth to us. He does [how Great] reserves of Grace for many Thousands keep! † Iniquity He [freely]'does † dispence a pardon to. Yea, to Transgression too [tis done]† and to all sorts of Sin; and if He do [in part] cut off He will not quite cut off. †'
WAS JESUS CHRIST A LITERAL SACRIFICE?
In reading the New Testament, especially the epistles, we meet with language like the following, in relation to "the author and finisher of our faith."-" This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many, for the remission of sins.”(a)— "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."(b)-"For even Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us."(c) Who, his own self, bare our sins in his own body on the tree."(d) "Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God."(e) "We are sanctified through the offering up of the body of Jesus Christ." "This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins."-"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the Eternal spirit offered himself, without spot, to God, purge your consciences:" --" He appeared to put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself." "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many :"(ƒ) with many other passages, not, perhaps, more strong and prominent, but of the same general character.(g)
The question very naturally arises in the mind of a serious reader of the scriptures, whether this language is to receive a literal, or a figurative construction. This is an important inquiry. If we say it is to be construed strictly or literally, the consequence seems irresistibly to follow, that Jesus Christ was offered, or that he offered himself, as an expiatory sacrifice for the sins of either a part or the whole of the human race: that by his blood the Creator was rendered propitious to his creatures; or that Jesus was, in the words of the Westminster divines(h) literally
(a) Matt. xvi. 28. Luke. xxii. 20.
(b) John i. 29.
(c) 1 Cor. v. 7. (f) Heb. x. 10. 12. ix. 14. 26. 28.
(g) Vide Mark xiv. 24. 1 Cor. xi. 24. 2 Cor. v. 21. 1 John. ii. 2. iv. 10.
(h) Westminster Catechism, Qu, 25.
and properly," a sacrifice to satisfy divine Justice :" and we must receive that as the doctrine of the scriptures, and convert it as we may to our spiritual nourishment; and to the correction and elevation of our views of the divine character and government. But if, on the other hand, we are to give all this sacrificial language a metaphorical or figurative construction, the doctrine just stated will derive from it no support; and we shall be left free to understand it in a manner which shall accord with the known and ordinary principles of the moral government of God with those views of his character which are given us in other parts of the scripture; and with the ordinary acceptation of the same or similar language applied by the sacred writers to other persons and things.
In relation to the exposition of the scriptures there is no question more important than this now before us, whether the sacrificial language used by the sacred writers in respect to Jesus Christ is to be construed strictly or metaphorically. ought, then, to come to the question as those who are to give an account ;--who are to answer, at a future day, for our use or abuse of the treasures of heavenly wisdom which are entrusted to our charge --for our use or abuse of those high faculties, to which the Divine Being has addressed the revelation of his character and purposes contained in the sacred volume; and as those who ought to be ready to answer for that easy credulity which believes too much, not less than for that cautious skepticism which at last believes too little.
We begin the inquiry, then, by remarking that, if the passages in the New Testament which speak of Jesus as a sacrifice to God, when strictly construed, shall be found to harmonize with each other, and with other plain passages of the scriptures, and with known facts, then they may be construed literally: although, at the same time, if, when understood figuratively, they be equally harmonious with known facts, with other parts of scripture, and with the usages of language, they may also be construed figuratively and, in that case, it might still remain a question whether a figurative or a literal construction should prevail. But if these several passages, when construed literally, be found to contradict other passages of scripture, or certain known facts, or each other, then, the literal must be abandoned for a metaphorical construction.
How then, in the first place, does the effect produced upon the mind by understanding literally the several passages quoted from the New Testament, in the beginning of this article, and others like them, harmonize with language like the following? "Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with
ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my trangression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ?"(a) "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; burnt offering and sia offering thou hast not required."(b) "Thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it; thou delightest not in burnt offer ing."(c) "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but, whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."(d) "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man bis thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord and he will have mercy upon him, even to our God for he will abundantly pardon."(e) These are but a few from a multitude of texts in the Old Testament either expressly declaring, or plainly implying, that our Heavenly Father, who is also our Judge, is ready to forgive the penitent merely in consideration, or on condition, of his repentance and reformation: and that a literal sacrifice, either of man or beast, considered as a religious act, or any thing more than a security, or a test, of allegiance to the Jewish theocracy, is not what God requires at the hand of his creatures. The same impression is deepened when we find this language quoted from the Old Testament into the New: "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not;--in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast no pleasure :"(ƒ) and when we hear Jesus himself approving and confirming the opinion of the scribe, (g) that to love God and our neighbour is more than all whole burnt offering and sacrifice. From this latter class of texts, according to the only construction of which they appear to be capable, we infer irresistibly that pardon is ready and free to the penitent, and that it depends, in no case, upon the condition of any offering or sacrifice for sin: while, from the former class, if construed literally, the conviction seems equally irresistible that Jesus, our Lord, has become a Saviour by hav. ing offered himself up as a proper sacrifice to propitiate his Father, by expiating our sins.-Are these representations of the divine proceedings consistent with each other? Does not a literal construction of the former class of texts make them irreconcileable with the latter class?-There certainly appears to be either discord between them, or, what is no better than discord-" harmony not understood."
Secondly:-Does the doctrine that Jesus was a proper sacrifice, which seems to result from a literal construction of the
(a) Mich. vi. 7.
(b) Ps, xl. 6.
(c) Ps. li. 16.