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If Jesse had lived till David was established in the kingdom, David might, in some good sense, have been called Jesse's lord, though Jesse's son: but could David with the least propriety, nay, consistently with the common sense of mankind, be called the lord of Obed, Salmon, Boaz, Judah, Abraham, Noah, or Adam, his progenitors Yet this would be quite as reasonable as to call the Messiah David's Lord, if he had no existence till a thousand years at least after David's death. So conclusive is this argument of the Messiah's preexistence and authority, as King of Israel, that we may challenge either Jews or nominal Christians to answer it, in any other way, than by denying the inspiration of him who wrote the Psalm in question. And who could be Lord over Israel's anointed king, in the zenith of his authority, but Israel's God and King ?
Since this was written, a Jew has asserted, as he
says, on the authority of a Spanish Jew in the eighteenth century, (contrary, not only to the general tradition of former ages; but to the very title of the Psalm, by which it is assigned to David, in the same manner that other Psalms are assigned to him, and indeed contrary to the whole history of David,) that Abner wrote the Psalm and addressed it to David, who was “ the Lord” here spoken of! Had the scribes and Pharisees been acquainted with this circumstance, they would not have been put to shame and silence by our Lord's question ; at least, not in the first instance. For, had they alleged this solution, he would probably have asked them, whether Abner addressed David in the subsequent words; “ The Lord sware,
“ and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever, “ after the order of Melchisedek?” I believe it is not needful formally to disprove so unwarranted an assertion ; which only shews the extreme difficulty with which the hundred and tenth Psalm continues to press the Jews.
When the prophet Isaiah, in the scripture which has been already considered, 2 says,
6 Behold a “ virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall “ call his name Immanuel :” can it be imagined, that the birth of a person formed only like that
of another man was predicted?' Why, in that case, did Jehovah himself appoint him so extraordinary and significant a name? Is he what his name imports? If so, he is “ God manifest in “ the flesh.”—Thus the evangelist understood it; and thus, apart from his inspiration, he most rationally understood it. 3
Nothing can be more explicit than another prediction of the same prophet, “ Unto us a Child “ is born, unto us a Son is given ; and the go“ vernment shall be upon his shoulder: and his “ name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, “ the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the “ Prince of Peace.”4 Do the various terms here accumulated, on purpose, as it evidently appears, to excite attention and to raise expectation, denote nothing more than the birth of a mere man like other men? Or is some other than the Messiah meant? These questions the Jews are called upon to answer: or to be silent, as their ancestors
were, when they “ durst not ask Jesus any more “ questions ;”] and for the same reason.
Why should the name of this child be called WONDERFUL, if there would be nothing wonderful, either in his conception, birth, or person ?-When the angel appeared to Manoah, who inquired his name; he answered, “ Why askest thou my name
seeing it is secret, or WONDERFUL? (Is. N'boJudg. 15p :) and Manoah afterwards said, “We “ shall surely die, because we have seen God.” In like manner, after “his name shall be called Won“ derful, Counsellor,” it follows, “ the Mighty “ God.” Can there remain a doubt, whether the words which the evangelist introduces the angel speaking, at the birth of Jesus, be the true interpretation ? “Unto you is born, in the city of David, “a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”—“The “ second Adam, the Lord from heaven.” 3
“ The everlasting Father,” - “ the Father “ of eternity.” Probably Bishop Lowth has given us the true meaning of this clause, “ The Father “ of the everlasting age.” 4
If only two or three such texts suggested the idea that the predicted Messiah would be God, assuming into personal union with himself the human nature, and thus properly be“ Immanuel:” this would suffice to excite the caution of a humble and reverent reader of the sacred oracles; even while unable to receive “the great mystery of “ godliness”, with implicit credence. This however is not the case: and though enough has already
1 Matt. xxii. 46.
Judg. xiii. 18–22.
been said to answer the inquiry, as far as Mr. C. is concerned, yet the vast importance of the subject impels me to adduce still more witnesses.
The Lord, by the Psalmist, most evidently addressing the Messiah, and in special respect to his anointing and kingdom, says, “Thy throne “ O God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of
thy kingdom is a right sceptre: thou lovest "righteousness and hatest wickedness; therefore “God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil “ of gladness above thy fellows." Is He then, concerning whom Jehovah speaks such language as he never employs concerning the highest orders of created angels, to be considered, as to the
nature of his person, formed only like that of • another man?' Or is he IMMANUEL, “God mani“ fested in the flesh ?”— They who imagine this * Psalm to be an epithalamium, upon Solomon's 'marrying Pharaoh's daughter, must suppose that ‘it is foretold, that Solomon was to have a nume‘rous progeny by her, whom he would set up for princes and rulers up and down the world. "? But this cannot be true : for beside that we 'read not of any children Solomon had by · Pharaoh's daughter, Rehoboam who succeeded
him, was the son of Naamah, an Ammonitess. * And, so far was he from being able to set up his sons to rule over other countries ; that it was with great difficulty his successor kept two tribes • of the twelve stedfast to him.-Certainly greater than Solomon is here.” '-(Bp. Pearce.) Without entering into the argument concerning
Ps. xlv. 6, 7. Heb. i. 8, 9.
? Ps. xlv. 16.
the word Elohim, translated “O God." (which yet, used in the plural, with singular pronouns, and verbs, as in these verses ; and evidently of one single person ; is perhaps never used but for one, who is by nature God :) it must, in this place, at least mean something vastly superior in nature and person to those who, as he is man also, are called “ his fellows."
It is not to be expected that a Jew should allow the words of Zechariah to refer to the Messiah : but a Jew may be called on to shew explicitly of whom, and of what events, they are to be interpreted, if not a prophecy of the Messiah. “Awake, “O sword, against my Shepherd, against the “ Man that is my fellow, ('niny) saith the Lord of “ Hosts : smite the Shepherd.”l-(277)quod est socius. That is, it means the same with the word translated fellows in the forty-fifth Psalm. As the Messiah's subjects are “ his fellows,” partaking with him in the same human nature ; so he is « the Man who is the fellow of the Lord of hosts," as partaking of his divine nature.—The word is generally rendered neighbour; and is supposed by many Jews to refer to their nation exclusively. The texts referred to in the margin are, I believe, all in which it occurs.3 The same nature is certainly meant wherever it is used. But can it be conceived that JEHOVAH should use such language as proximus sibi, socius, particeps ejusdem naturæ, to one, who would have no existence for many
i Zech. xiii. 7. Matt. xxvi. 31. 2 Ps. xlv. 7. Heb. • Lev.vi. 2. xviii. 20. xix. 11, 15, 17. xxiv. 19. xxv. 14, 15, 17.