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attempted to separate the one from the other; and I think they may, for the most part, be difpofed under the following Heads:
AS they give a Reprefentation of the BLESSEDNESS of the RIGHTEOUS, and the very different State the UNGODLY are in; as in the First, and many other Psalms.
AS they are exprefs PROPHECIES of the MESSIAH, defcribing his PASSION, Death, RESURRECTION, and ASCENSION.
THE great OPPOSITION that was to be to his KINGDOм by the Princes of the Earth, and the cruel SUFFERINGS that his SUBJECTS fhould undergo for many Ages; but that he fhould rule bis Enemies with a Rod of Iron, and dafb them in pieces like a Potter's Vef fel, as in the fecond Pfalm. The Truth of which is fully verified by the History of all 'Ages; and to this Pfalm St. Peter exprefly refers.
AND the GRANDEUR, MAGNIFICENCF, and UNIVERSALITY of his Kingdom, which was to diffuse the Knowledge of the only true GOD throughout the World; and thereby introduce fuch a State of RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE, as fhould free Mankind from that Oppreffion and Cruelty, under which the World bath fo long groaned; and which are referred to by the Evangelifts and Apostles; as alfo by Ifaiah, Daniel, and other Prophets; as in Pfalms xlv, lxviii, lxxii, lxxxix, xcii, xciii, xcvi, xcvii, xcix, and cx.
AS they have an exprefs Reference to the State of the Jews, under their feveral Captivities, and their last great Difperfion, under which they have lain now above Sixteen Hundred Years; and from which they are to be restored, as is foretold by Mofes, and other Prophets, and to which feveral of the Pfalms allude.
AS they are HYMNS of PRAISE, wherein the MAJESTY, GLORY, POWER, and MERCY of the Deity are celebrated: wherein devout Minds may have a Foretafte of Celestial Joys.
BUT the greatest Part of the Pfalms are Supplications, and contain a Syftem of the moft exalted Devotion, that ever Mankind was bleffed with; calculated for the various Diftreffes, Afflictions, and Temptations, with which renewed Souls are to conflict.
OUR SAVIOUR commands the Jews, that they fhould fearch the Scriptures, for in them (fays he) you think you have Eternal Life; for they are they which testify of me: And therefore we find, that both our Saviour and the Apostles, in very many Inftances, use the very Expreffions in the Pfalms, and in many Places refer to them.
SO that the Holy Scripture must be the best Comment upon itself, as the Comparifon of one Place with another doth most fully illuftrate it.
I HAVE therefore, according to the best of my mean Capacity, attempted to fix the HARMONY between the PSALMS and other Parts of the HOLY SCRIPTURES, but efpecially between them and the NEW TESTAMENT.
THESE PRAYERS are compofed out of the Words of the Pfalms, and are difpofed in one Column, with References to the other; and the fame Method is follow'd as to other Parts of the Pfalms.
AS no human Understanding can compofe fuch Expreffions, as we find in the Pfalms, to prefent our humble Addreffes to the Almighty; fo nothing can be a higher Encouragement to our Confidence and Hope, than to have at the fame time in view the PROMISES of the Gofpel, which are adapted to all the Diftreffes and Afflictions both of Soul and Body.
BUT how exalted foever the Expreffions may be, which we make use of in our Addreffes to Heaven, there is ftill fomething more required to make them fuccefsful: And therefore all Prayer that is fincere, or can be made effectual, muft fpring from the Consciousness of our GUILT and MISERY, and a due Sense of our own INABILITY to confer upon our felves, the Things that are neceffary for our Welfare in this World, and our Felicity in the next; and must be affifted with the Influence of the HOLY SPIRIT, which maketh Interceffion for the Saints, according to the Will of GOD.
FOR he that worships not in SPIRIT and in TRUTH, is no true Worshipper And he that is not confcious of his Offences against the Almighty, can never, with any Fervour or Devotion, implore the Mercy of Go D. The Immensity of the Divine Goodnefs has very little or no Influence upon the Mind, till it feels its Guilt, and fees its Danger: Stupidity and Hardness of Heart, is the fatal Difeafe that has fiezed upon all Mankind; and till this is removed, the Redemption purchased by the facred Blood of Jefus, is very little valued; and neither the Justice nor Mercy of the Almighty, can make any great Impreffion upon the Mind.
IN order therefore that every pious Soul may make the true Ufe of this Sacred Book, let it be confider'd; That as all the Works of Nature, all the Magnificence of the Creation, are difplay'd in it, to raise the highest Ideas of the Supreme Being: fo all the Weakness of human Nature are likewife fully reprefented, and most paffionately bewailed; that the Divine Mercy, in the Redemption of the World by the MESSIAH, may be magnified above all the Glories of the Creation, the Height, the Depth, the Breadth, and Length of which furpaffes all Knowledge.
THE Contemplation whereof fo affected the great Genius of the Lord Bacon, that in his Confeffion of Faith, he hath this wondrous Expreffion.
" I BELIEVE that GoD is fo holy, pure, and jealous, as it is impoffible for cc him to be pleafed in any Creature, though the Work of his own Hands: So "that neither Angel, Man, nor World, "could ftand, or can ftand one Moment in "his Eyes, without beholding the fame in "the Face of a MEDIATOR: And therefore, CC that before Him, with whom all Things are present, the Lamb of God was flain "before all Worlds. Which is the great
Myftery, and perfect Centre of all GOD's "Ways with his Creatures, and unto which "all his other Works and Wonders do but "ferve and refer.
IT is a fad Truth, that the Generality of those that call themselves CHRISTIANS, are very little affected either with the Promifes or Terrors that are revealed from Heaven; and, in very different Ways, endeavour to filence and stupify their Confciences. Some fatisfy themselves only with their Attendance on the Prayers of the Church, affuming a Form of Godliness, without that Power which should influence their Thoughts and Actions: Others fecure themselves against all Self-reflection, by the Business, Cares or Pleafures of this Life; and very many by plunging themselves into the most enormous Vices.
THERE is too much Reafon to think that this is the reigning Impiety of the prefent Age, which has brought Men to throw off all Regard to the very Religion they pretend