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kingdom, and consequently could have reference only to the minds of men.
In this view it corresponded with the descriptions of the Prophets who had extolled its grandeur and renown, its universality and influence; and it showed the truth of the sacred writers who had declared that he should have the Heathen for his inheritance and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession; that his dominion should extend from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. In this sense, and in this only, Jesus claimed the title and its offices when he was upon his trial for his life, and as he thus died, “The King of the Jews,” his inscription on the cross bore testimony to the nature of his government, and solemnly declared, what he had affirmed, that he was indeed a king.
We ought, therefore, never to forget in viewing this part of our Lord's character, that he was rejected of his countrymen and got rid of by them, because to have acknowledged his divinity as Messiah, the Prince, would have been in their view, equivalent to making him a temporal king; and though he appeared as one greater than an angel, and did among them the works which none other man did, they obstinately refused to admit his claims, and rivetted their chains upon their necks by saying, “We will have no king but Cæsar.”
Thus the three offices which it was foretold Messiah should assume, Jesus, the Son of Mary, took upon him, according to the tenour of the Scripture declarations respecting them, and having fulfilled them, or having put them into a course of fulfilment, he has proved himself to be the PROPHET like unto Moses, the High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, and the King of whose government there shall be no limitation and no end. He stands forth to the world as He to whom all the Prophets give witness ;-He, in whom the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments unite ;-the Seed of the woman who should destroy the Serpent's head ;—the Ancient of Days who was to be born as a child ;the everlasting Son of the Father, who came to redeem the world which he originally created, and who will come again, at the last day, with great pomp and glory, to judge the world which he hath thus redeemed. He stands to the race of man in a near and interesting light. He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
He hath felt our infirmities in our own flesh, and is our brother by the participation of our nature. His earnest desire is, that Israel, all the true disciples of his word, may be saved. He hath given to every one power and grace to make his calling and election sure, and he expects from every one exertions adequate to his means.
If, then, we neglect the gift that is in us; if we slight or abuse bis mercy; if, in any sense whatever, we reject his authority, and refuse to let him reign over us, we shall assuredly incur a degree of guilt of which the history of the Jews affords some faint idea ; and when the trumpet shall sound and
the dead shall be raised, we shall stand in fear and trembling before him, and may well expect, as we shall well deserve, that awful sentence from which there is no escape, “Those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."
THE LINEAL DESCENT OF THE MESSIAH.
LUKE i. 69, 70.
AND HATH RAISED UP AN HORN OF SALVATION FOR US IN
THE HOUSE OF HIS SERVANT DAVID; AS HE SPAKE BY THE MOUTH OF HIS HOLY PROPHETS, WHICH HAVE BEEN SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.”
ONE of the most important particulars to ascertain with respect to Christ, whenever he should appear, was his family origin. This had been so accurately defined in Holy Scripture, that any one assuming the office of Messiah, must be obliged to prove his descent, and show, beyond all possible controversy, that he was lineally sprung from David. We find the Jews in their disputes respecting the pretensions of Jesus, referring to this particular as the wellknown test of the Redeemer's character. “ Hath not the Scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was ?" And Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, in that sublime song which he uttered on the circumcision of his son, seeing the day of Christ was at hand, and speaking of it as an event already arrived, gives a short analysis of the prophecies accomplished by it, in which this important circumstance is particularly alluded to. “ Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy Prophets, which have been since the world began : that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy Covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.”
Since, then, the truth of our Lord's pretensions, rests on a chain of prophetical evidence beginning with the foundation of the world, and reaching down to the days of Zacharias, let us examine the Scriptures on this point, and deduce from those divine oracles of wisdom and truth, an historical sketch of Christ's descent. In him we have seen the PROPHET like unto Moses, whom God had promised to raise up from among the Jews. We have beheld him assuming and executing the three great offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, which had been assigned to the Messiah by the inspired writers of old. And now it remains for us to “declare his generation,” through the direct line of prophetical history.
The original prophecy respecting Christ, which all others are grounded, and to which all