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proper. 'But, in what tolerable Sense, can God Almighty be said to beget David? Indeed, God Almighty is a common Father to us all
, by reason of his creating us, and providing for us ; but then no one says, upon this Account, God Almighty begets us ; but that he made us, or takes Care of us. But Dr. Hammond, who, with Socinus and Grotius, is for running every Prophesy into a primary and secondary Sense, that he may with more Congruity apply these Words to David, brings in a like Expression, as he thinks, of Spartian the Historian, in the Life of Adrian, Natalis adoptionis erat 5 Id. Auguft. Ø Natalis Imperii. And so might David, if he pleased, have called his Inauguration-Day his Birth-Day, without any great Impropriety. But to fay; God begot him that Day, is such an odd and unmannerly sort of Metaphor, which neither Spartian, nor David, nor any other Man of tolerable Sense, can be supposed to be guilty of. But by the By, when the Apostie, Heb. i. argues from this wonderful Generation, the Superiority of Chrift above all the Angels; it is hardly decent for any Christian to make this begetting (especially when it is ushered in with such a remarkable Preface) to be nothing else but God's placing David upon the Throne. God Almighty. is recorded in Scripture to have done several mighty Things for other Persons ; but he is never said to beget them, and no Instances can be produced of this Nature, Besides, God Almighty is said to have given the Person here spoken of, the Heathen for bis Inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for his Poffesion. But when, I pray, was David in Possession of the uttermost parts of the Earth. His Kingdom was bounded within the Territories of a small Country. And what Heathen Nations was he the Governour of? He exhorts to Kiss the Son, which was the EafternWay of Adoration in Divine Worthip; and therefore David cannot be supposed to require .it to himfelf. Nay, what Place' in all Scripture cản be .alleged where any Person is called emphatically The Son, besides Christ? Blessed are all they that put their Trust in him! says the Plalmist here. But what a blasphemous
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dion is chis, for David to fay of himself! Any one has look'd into David's Psalms, knows that it is his ctrine, That Men should put their Trust only in Scd.' Therefore, I conclude, this Truft, which has such Blessedness entailed upon it here, must be a Trust in God, and not a Iruft in the Power and Defence of a Prince, which, in many places of Scripture, has a Curse entailed upon it, as particularly Fer. xvii. 5. Cursed is he who trustcth in Man. All these are such manifest Characters of the Messias, and can so little agree to David, that any impartial Reader must allow some ather Person to be understood here; which person the Church of God, in all Ages, has agreed to be the Messias. I will now only give you some cursory Reflections upon the LXXII. & CX. Psalm, which you object against ; and then I hope I shall have cleared this Matter pretty weil.
As for the LXXII Pfalm, I own it might be a Design 1falm, a of David, when he composed it, to write of his Son SoI rophesy Lomon, after he had been anointed for his Successor in the of Chrift.
Kingdom by Zadok; and David, his Father, had seen him publickly inaugurated, 1 King i; !.
And therefore King David designs to make use of this Pfalm, as a Form of Prayer, to commend his Son to the Blessing of God, upon
that great Undertaking. But the Holy Spirit of God, which inspired this propherick Prince, carried off his Thoughts from his first designed Subject ; and by fome imperceptible Means of moving his Mind, made him speak all along afterwards of the Meffias. It is plain, that at first he began to write of Solomon by this, Give the King thy Judgments, O God, and thy Righteousness unto the King's Son, V. I. But then, on a sudden, he falls a describing the Kingdom of a Person, which is perfeAly unlike that of Solomon. His Kingdom fhall laft as long as the Sun and Moon endures, throughout all Generations, v. Ş. And universal Peace and Righteousness is said to be in his Days, %: 7 & 8. But when did Solomon's Government extend to the Ends of the Earth, v. 8. and all Nations serve him? v. 11. How can it be understood of this Prince, that all Nations should be blessed in bim; when
perhaps half the Nations of the World never heard of
And R. Solomon Farchi, and Kimchi, say, that all
But as for the CX Pfalm, I look upon that, from CX Pfalm, the beginning to end, to be a Propliesy only of Christ. a Prophefy And so did those, who lived about the Time of the
of Chrift. Preaching of the Gospel, as appears by that Question of our Saviour to the Pharisees, about the Messias, out of this Pfalm. The Lord said unta my Lord, &c. If David Çall him Lord (says he) ho v is he his Son? Which plainly shews, that the fews, to whom he put this Question, explained this Psalm of the Messias. And so this Psalm is explained of Christ, Heb. i. 13. and X. 13. And so likewise it is interpreted by Trypho, in Justin Martyr. And tho' some of the modern Jews, out of Spight to Christianity, have interpreted this Pfalm as wrote upon Abraham or Melchizedeck, though without any Ground; yet there are not wanting some of them, who attribute it to the Messias. Although the Midrash upon the Pfalms interprets this of Abraham, The Lord said unto my Lord, &c. yet it is added, And this is likewise the Speech
of God to the Messias. R. Obadiah, upon this Psalm, explains the whole of the Meffiah; so doth R. Saadia Gaon upon Daniel ; and so do two ancient Rabbins, R. Barachias, and R. Levi, quoted by R. Mofes Ben. Nachman. It is plain, therefore, that the most unprejudiced and ancient Fews have interpreted this Psalm of the Messias, as well as the Christians; and if you attentively consider the Matter, you will find they had great Reason fo to do. For the Title of this Psalm says, it is a Psalm of David; therefore David must be the Person that speaks. And now fee, if any other tolerable Sense can be put upon
the Words, besides that which the Generality of Christians, and ancient Jews, understand them in; The Lord said unto my Lord, &c. What Person, besides the Meffias, could Jehovah speak unto, whom David could properly call Lord ; and that with a particular Emphasis, my Lord? He was an independent Prince, and owed Subjection to no one in the World ; and therefore he cannot be supposed to call any one Lord, but a Person of the Godheacha who was the supreme Lord of all Things. The Apostle, Heb. i. 13. does very well argue, That it is a Character above that of the supreme Angels, to say to any one, Sit thou on my Right Hand, and agreeing only to that of the eternal Son of God. Who, besides our blessed Saviour, could be said to be a Priest for ever? Surely, not David himself, in whose Time there was no Priesthood known but the Adronical, and when no such unwonted Honour, as the Melchizedechian Priesthood, was ever heard of? For the same Person to be a King and a Priest, was a Thing never used in those Times; and therefore the Expression must refer to the Time of the Messias. Under the old Law, the Priesthood was a Thing perfectly distiną from the Kingly Office; and we find, 2 Cor. xxvi. 20. that King Uzziah was smote with a Leprosy, for his usurping it. And therefore I cannot but wonder at the Perverseness of fome of the Modern Fous, who will, with so much force and Straining, interpret this Psalm otherwise than of the Meffias; contrary to the universal Opinion of their Fore
fathers, and in Opposition to all common Sense. And, as I observed to you beforc, I cannot but as much admire, how much the Truth of the Christian Religion doth display itself, in making use, all along the New Testament, of those ancient traditionary Explications of the Prophesies, which were from the first uttering of them retained in that Nation; whilst many of the Jews themselves, pertinaciously to defend their Errors, have been forced to desert them.
Phil. But by the By, Credentius, I do not find any Fault in the Fews for this; for it is never a Crime to rectify an Error, and if they found their ancient Explications would not hold Water, let them find out some other Expositions that will. That old traditionary Faith of theirs, which you, it seems, sét so much by, was as much run down by Jesus Christ: And for my Part, I cannot think but these strained sort of Expositions you have dwelt so long upon, are as ridiculous as their washing of Platters and Cups, and their falle Notion of the temporal Kingdom of the Messias.
Cred. You very much mistake the Matter, Philologus : For our Saviour does not find any Fault with the Jewish Explication of the Prophesies, but with their falle Glorfes upon several Moral Duties of the Law, and with their taking more Care to be exact in legal and ritual Performances, than in a good Life. He endeavours to set them right in the Nature of the Kingdom of the Meffias; telling them it was not of this World, when they grolly imagined it was to be a temporal Kingdom. And in these Points, their false Comments, for which they vouched ancient Tradition, though fallely, needed Rectification and Amendment; but you do not find that our Saviour ever blames them for ill explaining the Prophesies, and taking those Places for Predictions of the Messias, which were not. These were Things, which they received, in their Books and Traditions, uncorruptly from their Forefathers; because no Byass of any corrupt Affections, or sinister Ends, could give them Temptation to make any Variation in țhem. Nay, the Notions of the Meffias,