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seem to have been designed for one particular person only (of which the psalm we have just read is an instance). These would have appeared to have been written in vain; for we could not have discovered their import, had not their exact agreement with our SAVIOUR's history, and his frequent references to them, taught us that they related to him. -)
This psalm is allowed to have been writen by David, yet it cannot be applied to him (excepting in a metaphovical sense; as a type of the MESSIAH), for it does not exactly agree with any part of David's history; but we may perceive, from the account of our LORD's crucifixion, that it is very descriptive of his sufferings. We may therefore reasonably suppose, that David was in. spired to write it, in order to shew that Gob foreknew every circumstance relating to the MESSIAH: that those who should believe in CHRIST might form an idea of the sentiments their blessed SAVIOUR entertained, at a time when the comfortable sense of the Divine PRESENEE was suspended and that Jesus himself might derive consolation from reflecting, that he had suffered no more than the prophets had predicted he would do.
If we examine the psalm attentively, we may perceive such a succession of sentiments as were perfectly suited to our LORD's situation, and so consistent with his character, that we may safely admit it as a part of his Tittory. Let us, then, suppose it an exact picture of his mind at that 'instant, when the ETERNAL SON OF GOD having performed his part of the Covenant with man Kind, by delivering up to be crucified that body which he had taken to his Divine nature, suspended his operations, that the MESSIAH might perform the part which belonged to him as MAN.
What an awful moment! Never was there a time in which our LORD stood so much in need of comfort from
above; for every circumstance contributed to strike his soul with horror and dismay. He was hanging on the cross in the most agonizing torture, his enemies revile ing, his friends looking on with, unavailing sorrow, and the light of the sun obscured with unusual darkness. an
We may judge from the beginning of this Psalm that, during the long silence our LORD observed, hẹ was engaged in secret prayer, entreating the FATHER (O grant him strength to sustain the severe trial. Finding that no inward consolation was granted him, nor an angel sent, as on former occasions, to comfort, him, the fear of being forsaken arose in his mind therefore knowing that he had led a life of perfect innocence, holiness, and obedience, and that he had never ineurred the anger of the FATHER by committing sin, it was natural for him to expostulate in the words of the inspired writer," My God, my God, why hast thou for saken me ? &c.,m»» 3" Mgonj
From the succeeding verses, of this prophetic Psalm we may suppose, that our LORD had no sooner uttered this pathetic lamentation, than a ray of comfort darted into his soul and the remembrance of God's faithful. ness, and the many deliverances he had granted to the Patriarchs, encouraged him to hope, that He also should be delivered from his enemies. Yet he could not be wholly insensible. of the, indignities offered to him, nor of the abject condition to which He was res duced, who had openly professed to trust in a peculiar manner to God, as his own FATHER. But nothing could drive him to despair; for he considered that he hady even from his birth, experienced in a very extra ordinary manner the protection of the FATHER: he therefore renewed his petition, that God would again grant him the comfort of his presence, as he could not by human means,, nor consistently with his obedience to
the Divine will, deliver himself from his deplorable situation, neither could he be succoured by any mortal power.
He then enumerated the particulars of his sufferings, and once more implored the Father to send him speedy relief, lest his enemies should forcibly take his life from him, which they haunted for as eagerly as a dog pursues a hind; nay, with the fury of an hungry lion seeking for prey. Such relief as he now implored, our LØRD had frequently experienced, having been miraculously delivered through the power derived from the GODHEAD, when surrounded by the fiercest and strongest enemies.
It may be inferred from the last verse of this section, that our LORD received the consolation he prayed for; and in consequence of it, professed a resolution of declaring to the Apostles, and through them to the rest of his faithful people, the power, wisdom, and justice of GOD the FATHER; who, though he hideth his face for a time, yet will he return and refresh the soul that trusteth to his mercy.
Shortly after our blessed Redeemer willingly yielded up his spirit into the hands of the FATHER, and thus completed that sacrifice which the ETERNAL SON OF God began.
If we admit this psalm as a part of our LORD's history, it will afford encouragement and useful instruction to such Christians as are apt to indulge religious melancholy; for it plainly shews, that the most afflicting circumstances may befal those who are highest in the favour of God, since his beloved Son was not exempt from them; and also, that our heavenly FATHER is never nearer to us, than when he appears to withdraw the inward consolation of his holy Spirit. Let us, therefore, carefully guard our minds from despair, and
in the hour of distress trust in that Divine mercy, by which we have been sustained and preserved from the very beginning of our existence, which has ever been extended to the faithful from the foundation of the world, and which will, at a proper season, deliver us, if our FAITH fail not.
Let us now pursue the history, and see how the Jews proceeded after our LORD had yielded up the ghost.
THE BURIAL OF OUR LORD.—THE SEALING OF THE
From John, Chap. xix.-Mark, xv.-—Luke, xxiii.
Now it was the preparation, therefore, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath-day was an high day,) the Jews besought Filate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
But when they came to JESUS, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs.
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water.
And he that saw it, bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that he might believe.
For these things were done that the Scriptures should be fulfilled. A bone of him shall not be broken.
And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
And after this, Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God,
game, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead : and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him, whether he had been
any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
And there came also Nicodemus (which at the first came to Jesus 'by night) and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden : and in the garden a new sepulchre, hewn out of a rock, wherein was never man
laid. There laid they Jesus therefore, because of the Jews preparation day, for the sepulchre was nigh at hand j and they rolled a great stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
And the women also which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
Among whom was: Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children. ¿ And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath-day, according to the commandment.
Now the next day that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver, said while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.