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oath concerning him, “ He remaineth a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec," Psal. cx. 4.
This blessed Saviour sustained likewise the office of a King. God hath set this his King upon
his holy hill of Zion, Psal. ii. 6. “ The throne of God (our Saviour) is for ever and ever; and the sceptre of his kingdom is a right sceptre," Psal. xlv. 6. As a King, “he reigns in the hearts of his people, brings them into subjection to himself, and makes them willing in the day of his power," Psal. cx. 3. As a King," he sits at God's right hand, and rules in the midst of his enemies," Psal. cx. 1, 2. " In his majesty he rides forth prosperously; and his arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies," Psal. xlv. 4, 5. His regal office was not limited to the time of his bodily residence among us; “for of the increase of his government and peace there is no end. He sits upon the throne of David, and in his kingdom, to order it and to establish it, with judgment, and with justice, from henceforth, even for ever," Isa. ix. 7.
66 had Zion to rejoice greatly, and the daughter of Jerusalem to shout; for behold, her King came to her, just, and having salvation,” Zech. ix. 9.
Having thus shown, from the prophetic account of our blessed Saviour, the time of his manifestation, his descent, the place of his birth, and the place of his principal residence, with the circumstances of his appearing in the world, and the characters in which he appeared; I proceed to observe some of his distinguishing qualities, and the more remarkable incidents of his life and death.
As to his personal properties, he was perfectly
innocent, and most exemplarily holy, both in heart and life; and in that respect, “ fairer than the children of men. Grace was poured into his lips, therefore God hath blessed him for ever," Psal. xlv. 2. He was “God's righteous servant, and there was no deceit found in his mouth," Isa. liii. 9, 11. He “ was the Sun of righteousness, which arose upon bis people, with healing under his wings, or in his rays,” Mal. iv. 2.
He was of a meek and lowly disposition. This King of Zion came to her, not only just, and having salvation; but showed himself lowly, by most astonishing condescensions, Zech. ix. 9. “ He gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them who plucked off the hair; he did not hide his face from shame and spitting," Isa. 1. 6. “Though he was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth,” Isa. liii. 7. “He did not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets,” Isa. xlii. 2.
He was endowed with astonishing wisdom and capacity. “ The Spirit of the Lord rested upon him; the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord,” Isa. xi. 2, 3.
Thus did the servant of the Lord deal prudently; he was exalted and extolled, and was very high,” Isa. lii. 13. He, and only he, of all the human race, could say, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength,” Prov. viii. 14.
Previous to his entering upon his public ministry, there was a messenger sent before him, to prepare the hearts of God's people for his reception, whose voice cried in the wilderness, “ Prepare ye the way
of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain : and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together : for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it,” Isa. xl. 3, 4, 5.
Thus God sent one to his people in the spirit of Elijah the prophet, “ before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, to turn the heart of the fathers to the children; and the heart of the children to the fathers. He sent his messenger to prepare his way before him; and then the Lord whom they sought came suddenly to his temple,” Mal. iv. 5, 6.
When he entered upon his public ministry, God gave him the tongue of the learned, that he should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: and he was most painful and diligent in his work; he was awakened morning by morning; his ear was awakened to hear, and vigorously to attend to the great business before him, Isa. 1. 4. He began his ministry in the mountainous parts of Judea; and “how beautiful then upon the mountains were the feet of him who brought good tidings, who published peace, who brought good tidings of good, who published salvation, who said unto Zion, Thy God reigneth," Isa. lii. 9. As he resided in Galilee (as was before observed), so his ministry early and peculiarly enlightened those dark corners, “the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali; though they had dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, this light shined upon them,” Isa. ix, 2. But then, bis
ministry was not limited to them. This Star, which came out of Jacob, Numb. xxiv. 17. enlightened the whole land of Israel, in that time of gross ignorance and thick darkness. They might all be called upon to "arise and shine, for their light was come, and the glory of the Lord was risen upon them : though darkness had covered the earth, and gross darkness the people, yet the Lord arose upon them, and his glory was seen upon them, Isa. Ix. 1, 2. “ He preached righteousness in the great congregation,” Psal. xl. 9. He “came into the temple,” Mal. iii. 1. and by his preaching there, made “the glory of that latter house much greater than the glory of the former,” which was built by Solomon, Hag. ii. 9. In what manner he fulfilled his ministry, has been already considered.
In confirmation of his divine mission, he wrought many wonderful miracles among the people, wherever he went. The Lord their God came among them; he came to save them: “ then the eyes of the blind were opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; the lame man leaped as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sung,” Isa. xxxv. 5, 6. “In that day the deaf heard the words of the book; and the eyes of the blind saw out of obscurity and out of darkness; the meek also increased their joy in the Lord ; and the poor among men rejoiced in the Holy One of Israel," Isa. xxix. 18, 19.
When the stretching out of Emmanuel's wings had thus filled the land of Judah, it might have been expected that he would have met with a most joyful entertainment amongst the people: but the case was otherwise. Though he was for a sanctuary to some,
yet "he was for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and many among them stumbled and fell; were broken, and snared, and taken. For the testimony was bound up, and the law sealed among his disciples,” Isa. viii. 8, 14, 15, 16.; known indeed and understood by them; but kept hid as a secret from the body of the Jewish nation. Notwithstanding the indefatigable labours of our blessed Lord, in instructing this people; though “God made his mouth like a sharp sword, and made him a polished shaft in his quiver; yet did he find cause to complain, that he laboured in vain, and spent his strength for nought, and in vain," Isa. xlix. 2, 4. “ Who among all the Jewish nation were there that believed his report? and to whom was the arm of the Lord revealed ? He was rejected and despised of them, and they hid their faces from him," Isa. liii. 1, 3. It is true, he had a considerable number of temporary followers; there appeared some numbers of “the children of Zion who rejoiced greatly; and of the children of Jerusalem who shouted, when they beheld their King come to them, just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass,
» Zech. ix. 9. But we shall quickly see, that this joy was all turned into hatred, and rage, and malice.
I proceed next to show the manner of our Saviour's sufferings, from the hands of this people, when their rulers took counsel together against the Lord, and against his Anointed, Psal. ii. 2. He was betrayed into their hands, by one of his familiar