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fober judgment, or of any fenfe of móral government, can object to this part of divine justice? and even in this, God fets the bounds of his corrective vengeance to the third and fourth generation to Edom, Egypt, and others. Verfe 23 of this Pfalm, has furnished his profane mockery with an unufual vein of wit and irony, fpeaking evil of things he understood not; he indeed writes on the popular fide in this licentious and ungrateful age; and every attempt to break the force of his malevolent infults, will be treated with scorn by the unbelievers, who lift their horn very high at this day: the time however is near, when they will be finote with astonishment, confternation, fearfulness, and trembling of heart, for their calumnies, and hard fpeeches against their Saviour; who, notwithstanding their Saullike hatred and contempt of his blessed name, will bring them down to his feet, and fhew the infinite fuperiority of love and compaffion to their blind, unthankful and wicked hearts. Even in the fenate of this christian nation, Samuel hewing Agag by the fword of lex talionis, was lately treated, as if
He had been a murderer of a very innocent. king, when the reafon of his punishment is affigned by this fervant of God, as thy fword hath made women childlefs; fo fhall thy mother be childless among women. I Sam. xv. 33.
It was, as fome think, a cruel act on the righteous Adoni-Bezek, to cut off his thumbs, and his great toes; but this king had more fenfe of moral retribution, than even to coinplain against the act of God. Threescore and ten kings, faith this humbled tyrant, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table; as I have done, fo God hath requited me.
But when we confider from what lips that infult came, it had not been much, if he had mocked the patience and love of Jefus Christ on the cross, fuffering for him, and the whole world of finners. When my mind was led a few weeks past to write on this Pfalm, I did not recollect, that it was thought the moft fublime, yet the most difficult to explain of all the Pfalms. However I find not fo many rocks and labyrinths, as have been generally conceived: nor will any writer be much perplexed, that
that fees the reftitution of all lapfed beings, by the corrective and purifying wrath and vengeance of JEHOVAH; to which, the law, the prophets, and the gospel, bear one concurrent, harmonious, and glorious teftimony.
I fhall conclude this preface, with a paffage from the fabbatical year. The conduct of modern unbelievers, is widely dif tant from an humble inquiry into, or a modeft diffent from the religion of any country, and can be no part of the rights of private judgment: for it is condemning and reviling that revelation, as neither the power, wisdom, nor goodness of God, which the other members of civil fociety revere, as the highest bleffing of the deity to them. The apostles, who had full credentials of their miffion to oppofe the idolatry of the gentiles, never infulted the magistrates nor the laws, which protected even false religion from scorn and contempt: they offered their lives, and rejoyced in tribulation, for the fake of publishing the glad tidings of falvation to others: they fuffered and were patient. As fins are attended with
circumstances to inflame and aggravate their guilt, they will be fcourged with Stripes few or many in the next world: such then as openly depreciate the gofpel, and write to render it vile and contemptible in the eyes of all pofterity, must stand to the fearful confequences of fuch univerfal blafphemy.
On the myftic or Spiritual sense of sacred writ.
"When we meet with feeming unfruitful Scripture, which affords not much matter in the letter, we may then judge, that, according to the manifold wisdom of God, there is a ground of fome more notable meaning of the fpirit; as where rich mines are, there the furface of the earth, yields not much fruit. And if we will fearch the Scriptures, John 5. As for hidden treasures, Prov. 2. We shall not take offence at the furface of the letter, though more barren; but, from that occafion, humbly and docibly enquire into the true treasure of the Spirit hidden under that poor and beggarly element."
"When truth is tried by most voices, it is commonly outvoted. Let the truth of God appear
appear in its native luftre aud beauty; and let all philology and human learning be as a dark ground and foil to fet it off, that divine truth alone may be fair and beautiful in our fight. Dr. Robert Gell's preface towards the amendment of the last English translation of the bible, p. 167. Mihi fufficit diceré, certum aliquod hominum genus a deo fuiffe ordinatum fub V. T. quibus magis ac aliis veritates capitales, quarum cognitio ecclefiæ neceffaria erat, revelavit, earumque veritatum cuftodiam commifit. Hæ veritates erant clavis cognitionis, ab ipfis turpiter occultata tempore chrifti, ob quod fcelus reprehenduntur. C. Vitringa S. obferv. Lib. 1. p. 119.
Scito, clavem intelligentiæ & fcientiæ veritatis omnium eorum, quæ a prophetis dicta funt, effe intelligentiam fenfus & verborum parabolarum. Interius vel intimum verborum legis, veluti margaritam, fenfum autem literalem parabolæ, nullius omnino pretii effe, oftendunt. Senfum interiorem parabolæ, fub literæ externæ cortice latentem, affimilant margaritæ pretiofæ in domo obfcurâ, claufâ, multâ fuppellectili, multifque inftrumentis