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from the highest heavens where he had glory with the Father before the world was, see ver. 32, 33 Again, The manna satisfied their bodily appetite only for a little time; they soon hungered again; But Jesus says, " I am the bread of life, he that cometh to me shall never kupger; and he that believeth on me shall never thir.st," ver. 35. Thirdly, The manna was granted only to their fathers, and that while in the, desert; none of the gentile nations had any share of it; but Christ the true bread of God, giveth life unto the world, ver. 3,3. for with respect to- tbe salvation by Christ, there is no difference of Jew and Gentile. Lastly, The manna only sustained their natural lives for a little while; they soon died, and many of them as a punishment too of their sins under the just displeasure of God. "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead." ver. 49. But Christ is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and wot die— but live for ever, ver. 50, 51. and he raised up to eternal life at the last day, ver. 40, 64, 58. a life in God's favour here by the conscious sense of the remission of sins —a life of holiness and conformity to Christ—and an eternal life of glory and happiness from the dead. 6. Christ intimates that he should become proper food for the souls of men by being crucified, and by shedding his blood for them. "The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for tbe life of the world," ver. 51. and he speaks of his blood as drink indeed, ver. 63—55. Hereby they bave fellowship with God in feeding upon his sacrifice wherein he for ever rests well-pleased. This is that which is signified in the Lord's Supper by eating the bread and drinking 0f the cup. When her lievers come together into one Place, they cannot truly eat the Lord's supper, but in solar as they *ol. in.
feast with God on the sacrifice of Christ. ''•''. '"•:",■ "I
6. We may observej from the' metaphor of eating Christ's flesh' and drinking his blood, that faith in him is not a mere empty specuJ' lation; but, that where it is genuine it must ever be accompanied with' a real enjoyment—an Enjoyment1 answerable to'eatingand drinking,' and infinitely superior to any-earns! gratification. • How does a cri-' minalv who is under sentence of death, feast in his mind upon a pardon 1 How does a lover feast upon the charms and endearments of the beloved Wbjfect? How does/ the mind feast' lipon the certain' prospect of good things to c6me?' Such are the'erijoyments of faith in eating Christ's flesh and drinking his blood. This we find'was' the case with the first Christians; and it must ajso be so with us if we have like precious faith with them. Faith, love, and hope, are indeed not the same; they are three, but they are inseparable. This eating implies our enjoyment of Christ as our own. For as it is' by means of the food we eat that our animal frame is supported, invigorated and maintained, so also is the spiritual life nourished, and promoted by realizing perceptions of the excellent knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. Hence the remarkable declaration of the apostle, '* I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in nie: and the life which I now live in the flesh, j / live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Gal. ii. 20. Can we adopt the same language?
7. Consider the hearty invitation, given to all that hear the gospel, to come to Christ. "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."—"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he ► that hath no money; come ye, buy I and eat; yea come, buy wine and 2 M
milk without money, and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfied not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itlelf in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me. Hear, And
YOUR SOUL SHALL LIVE." Is. lv.
1—3. Yet, however free and gra. cious the invitation—however desirable the blessings in themselves —and though nothing stands in the way of their participation but a willing mind; yet such is the preference that men universally give to things natural or temporal to those which are spiritual and eternal, that the maxim holds universally true, "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life"—or, which is equivalent to it, "No man can come unto me, (such is his moral inability) except the Father which hath sent me draw him. See John v. 40. and vi. 65. And hence we remark,
8. Lastly, the sovereign grace of God in bringing men to this enjoyment. "All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out," ver. 37.—" It is written in the Prophets, 'They shall be ail taught of God.' Every man, therefore, that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me." vtr. 44, 45. Hence the children of Zion sing—
"Twas the same love that spread the feast,
Which sweetly forc'd us in; Else we had still refus'd to come,
And perish'd in our sin."
And thus the whole of our salvation, both in its plan, its execution, and its efficiency, redounds to the glory of sovereign, rich, and free grace—that according as it is written, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord"—for "of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
ADDITIONAL OBSERVATION ON THE PSALMS OF DAVID.
Among the inadvertencies into which ministers of the Gospel have unhappily fallen, there is perhaps no one more common, or unaccountable, than their restriction of the Psalms to the literal David, and his individual experi. ence. I have repeatedly heard esteemed preachers do this; and have wondered that they never seemed to think of their blessed Lord,in their reflections upon this choice part of the divine word. It has been all David, from beginning to end! and the general experience of the saints: but they have lost sight of what the royal pro. phet himself says; "The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and his word was in my tongue,"' 2 Sam. xxiii. 2. and our Lord's testimony; "All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Psalms concerning me." Luke xxiv. 44. This seems the more wonderful, because there are many portions of the Psalms, that roust be strangely overstrained to make them applicable to the son of Jesse; particularly the "piercing his hands and feet!" the dislocation of all his joints, and his being " poured out like water," with the "parting of his garments," and " casting lots for his vesture!" in the 22nd Psalm: and giving him "gall and vinegar" in his thirst! in the Cyth and many other passages; where our gracious Redeemer is so clearly pointed out, that" hemay run that readeth:" and indeed the numerous professions of perfect rectitude, and ardent, and unceasing delight in God, with which David's own Psalms abound', can only be applied to himself in a very qualified sense. and do not appear half so suitable, and beautiful, as when they are referred to the Saviour; then we see a propriety in them, and an importance, which they evidently do not possess in their application i» David only.
Besides the mourning and woe with which the Psalmsabound, with the " strong cries" for help and deliverance; are surely more suitable also to the "man of sorrows," who dwelt with grief, as we may with an intimate acquaintance! and "who in the days of his flesh, offered up prayers, and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death; and was heard in that he feared." Heb. v. 7.
Nor should we put away from us the consideration of our dear Lord, in those confessions of sin which are so frequent in the Psalms; though it is these that in all probability are the most stumbling to the interpreters of the Psalms; for although the " Lamb of God," was " without (personal) blemish;" and had no sin of his own to mourn over; yet we should remember, he was " made sin" for us; and Jehovah " caused to meet upon him the iniquities" of all his chosen people: so that he may say with propriety, as our surety and substitute; as in Ps. xl. 12. "Innumerable evils have encompassed me about, mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up: they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart faileth me," &c. Strong as this language undoubtedly is, it is not too strong for the occasion; and it is only to turn our eyes to the garden, and think of the agony, and we shall see its complete accomplishment.
Indeed, as Bishop Home observes on the Psalms; (preface p. 13.) " When we are taught to consider one verse ot a Psalm as spoken by the Messiah, and there is no change of person through the Psalm; what can we conclude, but that he is the speaker through the whole; and if Christ be the speaker of one Psalm; what should hinder, but that another, where the same kind of sense is evidently described, aud the same expres
sions used, may be expounded in the same manner." And the famous Dr. Horsley, Bishop of Itochester, says, "There is not a passage of the book of Psalms, in which the pious reader will not rind his Saviour, if he reads with a view of finding him: the misapplication of the Psalms to the literal David, has done more mischief than the misapplication of any other parts of scripture among Christians." Yet some of the most esteemed Expositors confine their views to David so very much (except in those parts where they are under an absolute necessity of referring to Christ;) that an undue regard to these may be the reason the Psalms are so misunderstood by many preachers.
It is certainly true that some passages, as those for instance, that you have referred to in Ps. cxix. 67, 176. do not appear proper to apply to Christ; and we should not overstrain them to make them do so; but (if the above is correct) I rather think, that if we knew more of the mind of the Spirit, we should see more of Christ even in such passages, than at first sight we are aware, especially as there are parts of this beautiful Psalm, that evidently apply chiefly to him; and there does not appear to be ..ny change of speaker through the whole; though I would rather confess ignorance, and pass them over, than torture the holy oracles, as some have done, to make them speak according to their mind; for " what we know not now, we shall know hereafter." John xiii. 7.
The truth appears to be, as a very worthy and highly esteemed Baptist minister in London, whom I well know, once observed, "To read the Psalms with understanding, we should always recollect, that David was a prophet, and an eminent type of our Lord Jesus Christ; and what he wrote, was partly in bis own person;—partly in the person of •Christ, and htmself: and partly in the person of Christ alone." This appeared to me to be highly judicious; and the more I reflect upon the Psalms, the greater appears to be its propriety: and I am fully persuaded, that we shall never be able to understand them properly; or obtain from them the edification they are calculated to afford, except as we keep these sentiments in mind: but if we do this, we shall see that in them, which will deeply affect and delight us upon every perusal.
0 for the influence of the Holy Spirit, to rest upon our minds, and hearts, whenever we come to consider this inestimable portion of God's holy oracles; that we may he helped to mix faith with it; so shall we " behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord Jesus, and be changed increasingly into the same image, from glory to glory." 2 Cor. iii. 18. Cephas.
. Clunmel, County of Tipperary. July 18, 1817.
ON MARKED SEPARATION AND WEEKLY COMMUNION.
Strictureson a paper in the Baptist Magazine for August. To the 'Editor of the New Evangelical
■ Casting an eye over the last number of the Baptist Magazine,
1 met with an article " On the propriety of worshipping with unbelievers, Ac" (See Bapt.mag. p. 289.) the former part of which gave me considerable satisfaction. It is directed against what, in Ireland, is called " The marked separation scheme" — a practice but little known in this country, though it has there, of late years, been stiffly contended for, by Mr. John Walker and some of his friends; and itkdeud a feeble effort has. been made -to introduce something of the kind in London, Glasgow and other places, but with so little effect that the scheme appears *o be fast losing groiiud, aaa 'tis now
than probable that the few W!m still adhere to it will, at no distant period, entirely relinquish it and be surprised that ever they should have been tMiamoured of such a whimsical affair. ■ •
Jt is freely admitted that believers are called to separate themselves from the unbelieving world in religious fellowship, 2 Cor. vi. 14, &c. and that promises of unspeakable importance are made to such churches as obey the divine command in this matter. They areenjoined to separate themselves from the fellowship of all heathen idolaters, by whom some of the believing Corinthians were in danger of being entangled, (See 1 Cor, viii. and x.)—also from unbelieving Jews, Acts xix. 9, Heb. xiii. 13,14.—From all false profesion and corrupters of Christianity, 2 Tim. iii. 5.—from the corrvfl communion of Antichrist, Rev, xviii. 4. and from every national alliance of church and state, all of which are formed to prevent this separation, and to blend the people of God with the world. It is the duty of believers also to withdraw from all societies that are not cemented upon the truth, and by love to one another for its sake, and who disregard the discipline which Christ hath instituted for the purpose of keeping the communion pure, and visibly separate from the world, Matt, xviii. 15—18' 1 Cor. v. This is the separation which the New Testament enjoins upon the real disciplcsofChrist; but "the marked separation scheme' carries the matter much farther, and is one of those extramgancin into which some professors are continually running, whose restless minds will not allow them t» remain satisfied with the sober medium of the word of God. This unhappy temper, which is cof tinually prompting men into «' trenres, does incakala'ble injur?10 the cause of truth in the v^^, and it is no uncommon thing * see persons of this cast, after exhausting their zeal upon things which are aside from the plain rule of ibe Scripture, at last settling in a total indifference to all religion. According to "the marked separation scheme," it is not sufficient for believers that they, follow out The-divine law in their separation from the world as it respects their fellowship in the institutions of the gospel; this separation must also be extended to their outward circumstances during the hours of public worship, so that a bar of separation must be placed between the members of the church and those who are not united with them —a practice for which I do not perceive the least foundation in the Bible, but much that militates against it. James ii. 1—4. Is. ixv. 5. Luke xviii. 9—11. Another thing peculiar to this scheme is, their declining to offer up prayers or thanksgivings to God, for the bounties of his Providence and the blessings of his grace, in concert with any who are not acknowledged by themselves as believers. Hence, if the master of a family adopt these sentiments, and neither his wife nor children be of the same mind with himself respecting them, be must discard the stated worship of God in his family, and even the giving thanks to God for the bounties of his Providence, though these are moral duties, obligatory on all men as the creatures of God, and from which nothing can possibly exempt them. This, to be sure, is sufficiently extravagant, but the scheme does not stop here! Suppose one who has adopted this novel theory, to be called in to visit a fellow-creature upon his deathbed. If he is not an advocate for this scheme, though he be his own son, or daughter, or friend, ike is not to pray for him in his presence, what ever he may do out of it! If be go to hear the gospei preached by one who is not hi" the narked separation scheme,"
though he should hear the truth declared with apostolic purity, he must be careful to keep his seat during the whole time of prayer and singing, lest he himself be supposed to join in the worship of unbelievers! And should he be called to speak the word of life to a promiscuous multitude, he must omit both prayer and singing, and confine himself to a simple statement of the truth!! These are the leading peculiarities of " the marked separation scheme," on which the writer in the Baptist Magazine has animadverted, in my opinion, with considerable force and pertinency.
But there is another topic touched upon by that writer, concerning which I am constrained to dif. fer from him, and that is the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper. Relative to this ordinance, the writer says, "Though it seems probable from Acts xx. 7. that it was then attended to every first day of the week, yet it is by no means certain, for that is the only passage which seems to intimate it; and it is so far from proving the point, that I am not clear that the words mean any thing more than that they came together at that time to break bread because Paul happened to be present to break it to them." (bapt. MAG.p.292.col.l.) Now upon this short extract, I beg leave to offer a few remarks. In the first place the writer is greariy mistaken when he says that Acts xx. 7. is the only text which seems to intimat e that the A postolic churches observed the Lord's supper weekly. How strange is it that lie should have forgot Acts ii. 42. where the inspired historian, enumerating the different branches of public worship in which the disciples " continued steadfast," carefully places "the breaking of bread" in connection with the apostles' teaching, the prayers, the fellowship, &c. &c. Now if, (as Calvin, Moshcim, and many other