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though tempted in all points like as we are, yet was withiout sin*; and be even called the man after God's own heart-t. But it may be observed, that this expression is applied to David, solely in reference to his constant piety, his abhorrence of idolatry, his never-failing trust in God, and his obedience to his commands. And therefore, as in the course of his varied and tumultuous life, he was exposed to many temptations, and being a man of 'strong and ardent passions, was not always able to resist them, this habit of mind at least, prevented him from persevering in sin, and enabled him to repent sincerely. He was also the man after God's own heart, more especially in contradistinction to Saul, whose elevation was equally the immediate gift of God, but whose pride, avarice, and stubbornness, soon made him reject the Lord, and forget the hand which had made him great. And this David never did. When he slew the Philistine; when he delivered the ungrate
ful inhabitants of Keilah; when he was a fugitive among the mountains ; and when he governed the kingdoms of Israel and Judah ; in every prosperity, and in every adversity, he never lost sight of his dependance on God, nor ceased to place his sure trust and confidence in him.
From the beginning of the Psalms, to Hosea.
BUT David was not only a type of Christ, but was also the first of the series of prophets, who were raised up in succession, as his birth drew nearer, to announce his coming to the world. His prophecies are contained in the book of Psalms, of which probably nearly half were written by him ; among which are all those which are generally believed to prophecy of Christ, except the 102d* which is thought to have been composed during the Babylonian captivity, and perhaps, as before observed, the 132d.
Now however obscure, those passages in the Psalms which relate to Christ, may appear to us; partly from our imperfect
* See Durell on the Psalms. P. 201.
knowledge of the language in which they were written, and partly from our ignorance of local circumstances, and of many allusions buth to his own life, and to Jewish history and customs, with which they abound, yet it is undeniably certain that they are prophecies of Christ. For he himself, not only refers to them and quotes them in several places *, but in his last conversation with his disciples expressly says, all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning met.
Mark xii. 36, in which our Lord affirms, that David wrote the 110th Psalın by the Holy Ghost. And Matt. xxii. 43. &c. &c. The divine inspiration of the Psalms, was confirmed even by the Devil, who quotes the 91st Psalm as authority. Matt. iv, 6.
of Luke xxiv. 44. Our Lord was speaking to Jews, and according to their division of them, this passage comprehended the whole of their scriptures. The Law was the five books of Moses, (or Pentateuch) together with Joshua and Judges. The Psalms included also the works of Solomon, and are also known by the name of Hagiogra. pha, or sacred writings. And the Prophets comprehended
also, also, all the historical books of the Old Testament. Daniel however, was sometimes placed by the Jews in the Hagio, grapha.
But though, according to the Jewish division of the Scriptures, the Psalms included in that general term, also the dif, ferent works of Solomon, yet as these last are not prophetic *, and have no reference to the Messiah, our Lord must undoubtedly have meant, to apply these words solely, to the writings of the sweet Psalmist of Israel:t, whose son, according to the flesh, he was. In like manner, St. Paul also refers to the Psalms, as prophetic of Christ, in his speech to the men of Antioch, Acts xiii. 33, 35; as did St. Peter, Acts ii. 25, &c, and the other Apostles, Acta iv. 25.
* The Song of Solomon is thought by some to be an exception to this assertion; as it is supposed to refer to the mystical union between Christ and his church. However neither Christ nor his Apostles ever quoted, or alluded. to this book. At any rate it is not prophetic; and if the connexion between Christ and his church be the subject of it, still it is only typified, not foretold. See Durell on the Canticles, and Grotius.
coop Sam. xxiii. 1,