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he hears the hosannas of the disciples, and beholds the procession approach towards the gates of Jerusalem: he turns himself to the city, and breaks forth in transport, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; "shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!" Religion, then, hath its joys; a prophet calleth us to exult and shout; and often as this holy season returneth, the church secondeth his call. Her services dispel the gloom of melancholy, and put gladness into the hearts of all her children. They are wonderfully calculated to renew good impressions in our minds, to increase our faith, to invigorate our hope, to blow up the sacred fires of devotion and charity, and to fill us with holy and heavenly tempers. They produce a joy "which no man taketh from us," and in which "a stranger intermeddleth not:" they inspire a pleasure which no pain can overcome, of which no time can deprive us, and which death will perfect and ensure to us for ever. Perverse Jerusalem rejected joy, and chose sorrow for her portion. Glad tidings came to the Gentiles, and were gladly received. The Christian church, formed of them, is now the daughter of Sion, and the new Jerusalem. To her the promises are transferred and made good. She therefore obeyeth the prophet's injunctions; she continually, with the holy Virgin, "magnifieth "the Lord, and her spirit rejoiceth in God her "Saviour."

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The next words of our prophet assign the reason why Jerusalem was called upon to rejoice, namely, the approach of her King: "Behold thy King "cometh unto thee." A person was to visit Jeru

salem, who should deserve to be emphatically styled "her King." The nations had their kings and conquerors, their Nebuchadnezzars and Cyruses, their Alexanders and Cæsars; these appeared, in their turns, upon the stage, contending for the empire of the world. Each performed the part assigned him by an all-directing Providence, and then vanished away. Sion beheld all these changes, and still survived the commotions occasioned by them. The prophets had promised her a King, who should overcome her enemies and triumph gloriously; who should erect, in the time of the fourth great monarchy, an universal and everlasting kingdom, and give laws to the world; nay, who should govern all things in heaven and earth. At the time predicted, not only Jerusalem looked for a completion of the prophecies, but the whole earth sat still, expecting that Judea should give her a king. And, lo, the promised King of the Jews is born of the royal house and lineage of David. All the circumstances of his birth, the words of his mouth, and the actions of his life, demonstrate him to be the Messiah, foretold by the prophets from the beginning of the world. He cometh to his own, and Jerusalem is commanded to rejoice and shout; but his own receive him not, and Jerusalem turns a deaf ear to the voices of all her prophets, not suffering herself to believe that any thing said by them could refer to Jesus of Nazareth, Her heart was depraved and hardened: she demanded to be put in possession of the empire of this world; she despised the appearance of her King,

with the acclamations of an ignoble multitude, and soon nailed a SPIRITUAL monarch to the cross.

With how different sensations are the members of the Christian church affected when they hear the words of Zechariah, "Behold, thy King cometh

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unto thee," and read the history of their accomplishment in the Gospel for this day! With inexpressible delight we carry back our thoughts to that happy æra, when the King of the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, made his appearance in the flesh. We join his train, we attend him in his progress towards Jerusalem, and seem to enter with him into the holy city, while "the multitude of those who go before, "and those who follow after, cry, Hosanna to the "Son of David; blessed is he who cometh in the (6 name of the Lord." When we behold this scene, as presented to our view at this season, we are taught to conceive by it a noble idea of Messiah, at his first advent, ushered into the church as her Lord and King, the prophets going before, and the apostles following after him, all proclaiming and bearing testimony to Jesus, all singing Hosanna to the Son of David, all pronouncing the blessedness of him who thus cometh in the name of Jehovah. We know that this is He to whom all the prophets give witness, and that he hath fulfilled those things which were written of him. We know that he hath overcome our enemies, and triumphed gloriously; that he hath erected an universal and everlasting kingdom, and given laws to the world; nay, that he doth govern all things in heaven and earth. Of the man

ner in which he achieved his victories, and of the nature and extent of his kingdom, we shall have occasion to speak, as we proceed to consider the character which our prophet hath drawn of this King of Israel: "He is just, and having salvation; lowly, "and riding on an ass."

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Righteousness, Salvation, and Humility, distinguish the person and reign of Messiah. Righteousness leads the way. "He is just" or righteous. St. Stephen, in his apology to the Jews, affirmeth the prophets to have foreshown the coming of Jesus under the title of the Just One. "Which of the pro

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phets have not your fathers persecuted? And they "have slain them which showed before of the com"ing of the Just One; of whom ye have been now "the betrayers and murderers"." David in spirit thus addresseth King Messiah, as we are assured by St. Paul's application of the passage in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews: "Thy throne, "O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of right"eousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast "loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore "God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the "oil of gladness above thy fellows." Jeremiah describeth him as righteous himself, and as making others so: "The days come, saith Jehovah, that I "will raise unto David a righteous Branch and a "King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth. And this is "his name whereby he shall be called, JEHOVAH

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b Acts, vii. 52.

c Psal. xlv. 6.

66 OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." And, indeed, we seldom find the kingdom of Christ mentioned, but righteousness is immediately mentioned as the first-fruits of it. Righteousness, the Astræa of the ancients, left the earth at the fall of Adam, and returned again to visit and to bless it, at the birth of Christ. He was conceived without stain, lived without sin, and died without guilt. He conversed in the world, yet contracted none of its pollution, but, like his glorious emblem the light, passed through all things undefiled. His bitterest enemies, Jews and Gentiles, joined to attest his uprightness. "Have thou nothing to do "with that just man," said the wife of Pilate. Pilate himself, upon the strictest examination, declared, "I find no fault in this man." Judas, who had every possible opportunity of knowing the character of his master, cried out, in an agony of despair, "have betrayed the innocent blood";" and the Roman centurion, who watched at the cross, gave in his evidence, "Certainly, this was a righteous man"." The kingdom which he came to establish was a kingdom of righteousness. He called men from the ways of sin by his sermons, he allured them from its pleasures by his example, he cleansed them from its guilt by his blood, and rescued them from its power by his Spirit. Where the Gospel came, idolatry gave place to true piety; every holy and amiable temper was planted and flourished in the hearts of the regenerate;

d Jer. xxiii. 5.

f Luke, xxiii. 4.

b Luke, xxiii. 47.

e Matth. xxvii. 19.
Matth. xxvii. 4.

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