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rocks and objects on the neighbouring seas to this day. And of the wonderful cat, the sole companion of his solitude, of feline shape but superfeline nature, we think we can remember some celebration, in a Scottish nursery song about “Pussy Baudron.” Or, the artist might bring beside St. Baldred, his brother hermit, St. Adamnan, of Inchkeith, the two Presbyters dining together during Lent on a roast Solan goose and rock dew, with less risk of surprise than Friar Tuck over his venison pasty and malmsey. Then in later ages, on the same rocky foreground might figure a procession toward the chapel, of Cistercian nuns from the Abbey of north Berwick, or the adjoining island of Feddery. Or we might have some of the rough Lauders, taking refuge on the rock (from which their chief took his title), after a rout by the troops of Edward I. And so on, from the beginning of the fifteenth century, when it began to be used as a fortress and a State prison, down to the end of the seventeenth century, when it had the distinction of being the last place to hold out for James II., the garrison capitulating as late as April 1694, many and various are the historica scenes and characters which might be re
resented, for which we must refer to Dr. o. interesting narrative. The night scene of the sentry on the ramparts, as
depicted by Hugh Miller, we figure plainly, and almost hear and see the fellow with his tobacco-pipe. During the day-time, the more favoured of the prisoners were permitted, two at a time, to walk about on the rock. Since the fortifications were demolished by Kin William in 1701, excepting an occasiona smuggler, the island has been trodden only by peaceful footsteps. Affording pasturage to a few sheep, it is now let to a tenant who lives on the mainland; and besides this “keeper,” as he is called, sportsmen or naturalists are the only visitors. Among the illustrious men who would have inscribed their names in the Bass Album, had there been one, we learn from Dr. Fleming, that William Hervey, the discoverer of the circulation of the blood, and John Ray, author of “The Wisdom of God in the Creation,” explored the island; the former in 1650, the latter in 1661, and both have written very valuable zoological accounts of their visit. In conclusion, we would congratulate Mr. Crawford, W.S., an esteemed elder of the Free Church of Scotland, on the successful way in which this book of the Bass has been got up, as we understand it was by his suggestion it was undertaken, and to his exertions we are mainly indebted for the enjoyment derived in its perusal.
THE MESSIANIC PSALMS.–PSALM XVI.
BY PROFESSOR LORIMER, LONDON.
AGREEABLY to the plan proposed in a former paper, we now proceed to consider that group of Psalms which prophetically depicted the Messiah as . He should appear, and feel, and act, and sufferin His state of humiliation. The first Psalm in this group is the 16th, which the reader is requested to place before him and to read carefully over before proceeding further with the perusal of this paper; and in doing this, it would be well for him to mark attentively those expressions in the Psalm, as translated in the common version, which are attended with any difficulty, as this will be his best preparation for profiting by any elucidations of these difficulties which we may have it in our power to offer. And in regard to
such explanations, let it be remembered that our object is to state in as plain and few words as possible the results of criticism, and not to exhibit the lengthened and learned processes by which Bible scholars and critics have arrived at these results. These papers are intended for the eye of common readers, and it would be out of place to interlard them with discussions which such readers could not understand. 1. Let us first consider the evidence we have for believing this Psalm to be Messianic. This evidence is very stron and decisive. We have the i. authority both of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul to shew that the Psalm refers to the Messiah, and can have, indeed, no other reference. We find the former quoting it and applying it to the fact of Christ's resurrection, in his memorable sermon on the Day of Pentecost. “It was not possible,” he exclaimed, “that Jesus of Nazareth should be holden of death,” it was indispensable that he should be loosed from its power, for otherwise prophecy would have remained unfulfilled, and the Scriptures would have been broken. “For David,” he continues, “speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope : because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption,” &c. And lest any of his hearers should stand in doubt of the correctness of his application of the words to Christ, he adds the following unanswerable argument:“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to Him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on His throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption.” As much as to say, the Psalm did not and could not apply to David himself, for in David it has been the reverse of fulfilled;—it applied, and could only apply, to David's Lord. And precisely similar is the testimony and the reasoning of the Apostle Paul, when addressing the Jews of Antioch in Pisidia, as recorded in Acts xiii. 30–37. In both these passages it will be observed, that the Apostles do not simply assert the Messianic application of the Psalm upon their own inspired authority, which they might have legitimately done, but they argue this application of it with their hearers, and appeal to the contents of the Psalm itself, as compared with the acknowledged experience of David, its author, as a sufficient proof of the validity of the interpretation which they had put upon it. In other words, they appeal to its own internal characteristics as unquestionably evincing its Messianic character; and thus, in these two passages of the Acts, we are introduced at once to the easternal and the internal evidence of the case; to the testimony of the
apostles, and the testimony of the Psalm itself. Some commentators, indeed, of great eminence, including Calvin, Grotius, and Clericus, have held that the Psalm has a double reference; that it applied in the first instance to the confidence and hope which David himself felt in the anticipation of death, while, in a higher and more perfect degree, it found its fulfilment in the Lord Jesus Christ. And, in our own day, Hengstenberg and Tholuck, without concurring in this idea of a double sense, so far depart from the exclusive Messianic reference of the Psalm as to be of opinion that it describes the confidence and hope of God's faithful and suffering servants in general; and that its application to Christ is grounded upon the consideration that He was preeminently the Father's “Righteous Servant.” But, with the reasonings of the apostles just now quoted, before our eyes, we do not feel ourselves at liberty to acquiesce in either of these views. For where would have been the force and conclusiveness of these reasonings, if, after all, the Psalm had a reference either to David individually or to God's people at large 7 Would the apostles, in such a case, have founded so much upon it as they did, and with a tone of such perfect confidence? It is true that the greater part of the Psalm, the whole of it, indeed, except the 10th verse, expresses only such sentiments and feelings and expectations as are shared in, in common, by all the people of God, and contains nothing which is distinctively and exclusively characteristic of the Saviour's character and experience; so much so, that it would not be likely to occur to one who was reading the Psalm over for the first time, that the whole of it is spoken in the person of Christ, and of Him alone. And it is not improbable that some of our readers may feel a difficulty regarding the exclusive application of the whole Psalm to Christ, on this score. But, upon reflection, they will be satisfied that this difficulty is quite a surmountable one. Let them only remember that our blessed Lord was in all points tried and tempted like as we are, yet without sin. “ For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one,”—of one nature, of one spirit, of one experience,—“for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee.” And again, “I will put my trust in Him.” “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God.” (Heb. ii. 11—17.) Is it wonderful, then, that much which the Redeemer is represented as uttering in the Psalm before us, and in the rest of the same group, should exactly correspond with the breathings of spiritual feeling and affection in His people? What, in fact, are the proofs which the apostle, in the words now quoted, adduces from the Old Testament to show the Saviour's oneness with his saints? They are instances in which He is represented as sharing with them in the same exercises of holy trust and praise towards his Father and their Father, towards His God and their God. He not only calls them. His “brethren,” but He manifests His perfect brotherhood by trusting in Jehovah as they trust in Him, and by praising Jehovah in the Church as the Church herself praises Him. Now it is precisely the same exercises of devout affection as these that we find expressed in the Psalm before us. Indeed, the quotations just referred to were derived by the apostle from a Psalm of the same class as the present one, viz., the 22d, which is eminently prophetic of Christ's humiliation. And thus, what might appear at first to be an objection to the Messianic o of this and similar Psalms, viz., that there is much in them which is not sufficiently peculiar to Christ, not distinctive enough of His incommunicable offices and attributes and experience, becomes, on reflection, a positive confirmation of their reference to Him, inasmuch as He was not only different from His people in many points, but was made like unto them in many; and seeing He is equally precious to them for those things in which He “was not ashamed " to be one with them, as for those in which He is gloriously different from them and infinitely exalted above them. The Psalm then, throughout, is of a Messianic character; and though David was the author of it, and might seem at first sight to be speaking from beginning to end of it in his own name, it was really the Messiah himself, as the Lord of the prophets, who, by his Spirit of revelation, was speaking in him. And this makes it a Michtam, a golden Psalm of David, indeed; for it is only in outward
seeming that it is David's psalmody: it is in reality a part of the precious psalmody of David's Son and Lord. 2. We will now proceed to analyse the contents of the Psalm, and to offer some necessary explanations of its difficulties. It may be naturally divided into three sections:— § 1. “Preserve me, O God: for in Thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord : my goodness extendeth not to Thee ; but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight,” (ver. 1–3.) The Hebrew word here rendered “goodness " may be taken either in an active or a passive sense, either to mean good done, or good received. Both senses are equally common in the Hebrew Bible, just as our English word good is equally susceptible of both. It is plain that our translators understood it in the active sense in this place; and they were obliged in consequence to introduce some words into their version,-those printed in italics extendeth and but, which are not in the original. They have also created a considerable difficulty by adopting this rendering, viz., the difficulty of understanding in what sense the Messiah, whose goodness was perfect and Divine, could say, that His goodness extended not to the goodness of God, but only to that of the saints on earth. The passive sense of the word, viz., goodness enjoyed, good, happiness, blessedness experienced, is certainly much to be preferred in this passage, and it is the sense adopted by the maturest criticism of recent times. But when we adopt this view we must also change the version of the preposition before “thee,” and here the best critics vary. Some render, “my good is not in addition to thee,” others, “is not above or beyond thee,” others, “is not without or independently of thee.” But it is hardly necessary to choose between these various suggestions, for they all coincide in the idea that God is man's supreme, indispensable, allsatisfying good. Thus understood, the first two verses of the Psalm are an utterance of theincarnate Messiah's confidence in his Father, of his fervent adoption of and delight in his love as his supreme happiness, and of his earnest desire, grounded upon this confidence, that his Father would preserve and uphold him by the tokens of his favour in all the difficulties and emergencies of his redemption-work on earth. To this expression of devout trust and desire he adds in the third verse an allusion to his spiritual sympathy, in respect to these holy affections, with all God's saints in the world. Instead of “to” the saints, we accept the rendering of Hengstenberg, “with or along with the saints,” which he holds to be an allowable signification of the Hebrew preposition here used; and then the sentiment of Messiah is, “Nor do I stand alone, O Father, in this my godly confidence and hope and happiness in thee; all ‘thy excellent ones’ on the earth are of the same mind and spirit; and to my filial delightin thee, as my Father, is added a fraternal delight in them as my brethren, partakers with me of the same love, children with me of the same father, heirs with me of the same God.” § 2. “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage,” (v. 4–6.) In these verses the Saviour continues and gives still fuller scope to the utterance of his delight in his Father's love as his heart-filling and soul-satisfying portion. Having just before glanced with complacency at the saints on the earth who were partakers of that portion with him, “joint heirs with Christ,” he now alludes in a tone both of blame and pity to the multitudes whose God was not the living God, but who hastened after another God, or who hastened (so some render it) elsewhere, or to other sources of help and enjoyment. Their sorrows, he exclaims, shall be multiplied. But come not thou, O my soul, into their secret! I will take no part in their delusive, their polluted worship; I have a better portion: Jehovah is my inheritance;—this heritage He has given me, and still maintains to me, and it is goodly to my soul, whatever else is withheld. This makes “the places” pleasant to me, whatever trials, and afflictions, and privations abound. This brings heaven down to me while I am here in humiliation upon the earth; this makes me a man of hidden joys, while I am a man of outwardsorrows, and acquainted with grief. § 3. “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel; my reins also instruct me in the night season. I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right
hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my #. rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (or in sheol, or hades); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore,” (v. 7—end.) In these verses, He who was made like unto his brethren in all things gives utterance to the confidence and joyful hope which animate him as he looks forward to the future. He has entered .. the path of his humiliation, he is already well advanced upon his way, but he has not yet drawn near to its closing scenes; his death, his grave, and hades, are still in distant prospect. But he anticipates them without fear; they are all radiant with hope to his forecasting eye; he is at once too godly-wise to forget that he must meet them, and too godlyhappy to think of them with dread; he sees beyond them all, far, far, into the opening vista of the “joy set before him.” But first (in v. 7), he blesses Jehovah his Father who has given him that “counsel,” or wisdom, which has led him to choose for his portion that infinite love which had already made the past so “pleasant and goodly,” and which would yet make the future, the eternal future, so glorious. Not only by day, but even in the night season, “the spirit of knowledge and understanding,” long before promised and now given Him without measure, had often . to his “reins,” or heart, conversed ivinely with his human spirit, and filled it with the brightness of the “light of God.” And what was the effect of that constant illumination of his holy soul from on high 2 This light emanating from his Father, returned in full reflexion upon his Father again, “I set,” he exclaims, “the Lord always before me; ” I dwell continually within the verge of his presence. And this constant nearness to Jehovah his Father established his soul in unmoveable peace. “Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” It filled his heart with gladness, nay, it made his “glory,” his happy spirit, exult with joy. “ y heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth.” And the future too glowed to his eye with the golden light of hope. He foresaw his death, indeed, his soul disembodied for a season, and his flesh committed to the tomb. But that season of deep humiliation would be short, indeed; too
short to allow his flesh to see the grave's corruption: the gates of death would speedily re-open, and disclose to his view the path of a new and immortal life; and clothed in the vestments of his resurrection-glory, he would remount into the splendour of that presence where there is “fulness of joy,” and resume his seat at the right hand of the eternal throne, where there are “pleasures for evermore.” Reflections. 1. The Psalm when thus interpreted, as the utterance throughout of the Messiah's sentiments and holy feelings, gives us an insight into his inner life during the days of his sojourn on earth, which is in the highest degree interesting and precious. And the same remark will apply to all the other Psalms included in this group; for they do not depict the successive scenes of his humiliation in the ordinary manner of prophetic description; but they introduce the divine sufferer himself to portray them to us in his own words, and to give expression with his own lips to all the emotions, deep, various, and conflicting, which exercised his spirit, during that eventful history. Thus these Messianic Psalms form a precious supplement to the Gospel narratives. In the latter we peruse the records mainly of his outer life, of the mighty works which he did, and of the words no less mighty which he spoke, and of the successive scenes through which he visibly passed; the history is not exclusively, indeed, but still to a great extent, objective and external. But in these Messianic Psalms we are permitted to see deep into the inner, subjective life from which the outer sprang; we are permitted to hear the soliloquies, so to speak, of the Redeemer's mighty, meek, suffering, and profoundly exercised spirit; and we are forced to exclaim, “Never man felt,” just as those who heard his doctrine and saw his miracles, confessed that “Never man spake, or did, like this man.” But, withal, this peculiarity in the Saviour's inward life was rather in the power and intensity of his spiritual feelings and affections than in their nature and kind; for when we avail ourselves of the opening presented to us by these Psalms to look into the inner chambers of his spirit and character, we cannot fail to be struck with the perfectly human-like features of his spiritual life and experience. Every feature, it is true, is unspeakably more perfect in excellence and beauty than any corresponding features in
the spirituality of those whom he is not ashamed to call his brethren; but there is a remarkable family likeness notwithstanding, and our perception of it cannot fail to enhance our appreciation of that truth, so interesting and so dear to every child of God, that “in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren.” Not only was he made like unto them in the frame of his body and the constitution of his soul, nor only in trials and opposition and sorrows, but he was made like unto them in a point more deep-going still, even in the hidden exercises of his spirit to Godward; in the characteristics of his devotion; in the tones and aspects and habitudes of his communion with his Father. He trusts, and he prays, and he praises like themselves; he chooses his Heavenly Father as his portion, he rejoices in that portion, and he determines never to relinquish it for any other, just as they do. He sets the Lord always before him; he assures his heart by the thought that Jehovah is ever at his right hand; and he makes Jehovah's unchanging love the source of all his confidence and hope, both for this life and the next, both for his body and his soul, just as they do. And what is more, he even distinctly alludes to and recognises this spiritual sympathy and oneness between Himself and His saints: “with the saints,” he exclaims, “that are in the earth, and the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” It is true that with all these features of spiritual likeness, there was one in which he was gloriously unlike even His brethren—He was without sin; there was no disturbing element of sin or corruption in all His devout experience. But, great as this point of difference undoubtedly is, let it not deprive us of the comfort of the assurance of His sympathy and fellow-feeling. If it is not permitted to do so, when we think of Him as having been a partaker of the same flesh and blood, and of the same afflictions and tribulations as ourselves, neither should it do so, when we think of Him as having been a partaker of our human devotion, of our human modes of feeling and thinking and acting towards the Father of spirits. His worship and devotion on earth were not the worship and devotion of angels, any more than the nature which He assumed on earth was the nature of angels. His spirituality was the spirituality of a