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and to be a Christian, was to be every thing that was honest, and just, and good. Thus did Jesus of Nazareth answer his title of “the Just One," and evince himself to be the true “Melchisedek,” or “ King of “ Righteousness.” The Jews chose not to be the subjects of such a King, and declared, they “ would not “ have this man to reign over them." Therefore the kingdom of God was taken from them, and given to a people bringing forth the fruits thereof. Be it our care, while we celebrate the advent of our King, not to forget this part of his character; and let us rest assured, that if we would be his subjects, as well as pass for such, and share the blessings of his reign, as well as talk of them, we must be like him. His subjects are his children ; and none will be finally owned by him as such, who bear not impressed upon them the similitude of their Father.

Salvation is the next sign and token which Zechariah hath given us, whereby to know the King of Zion: “ He is just, and having salvation.” He. was to execute that part of the regal office, which consisteth in rescuing the people from their oppressors. Whoever reads the history of Israel, finds it contain an account of many saviours, raised up, at sundry times, for this purpose. Such were Moses, Barak, Gideon, Samson, and many more in the ages after them. But no one of these was “ He that should

come.” They, like the legal priests, were not “ suffered to continue, by reason of death;” the church was still taught to “ look for another” and a more glorious Saviour, in the latter days; the prophecies were full of the great salvation which he

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should effect; so great, that, in comparison of it, former deliverances were not to be mentioned, unless as shadows and faint resemblances of that grand and complete one. At the time appointed, Jesus of Nazareth appeared in this character, and brought his credentials with him, the authenticity of which was fairly allowed by a master in Israel: “ No man can “ do these miracles that thou doest, except God were “ with him.” At the birth of Christ, an herald from heaven proclaimed him to the shepherds by this style and title: “ Behold, I bring you good tidings of

great joy, which shall be to all people; for unto

you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour.” And if tidings of salvation are not tidings of joy, what tidings can be such? The greater the salvation, the greater ought to be the joy. And what is the deliverance of a single people from a temporal adversary, when compared with the salvation of the whole world from the oppression of the spiritual enemy; from sin, and sickness, and sorrow, and pain, and death, and hell? This was the salvation which Jesus undertook to effect; and his miracles declared him equal to the mighty task. He forgave sin, he healed sickness, he dispelled sorrow, he removed pain, he raised the dead, he cast out devils. Had not the prophet reason to cry out, “Rejoice greatly, () daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem ; behold, thy King, behold, thy

righteous Saviour cometh unto thee !” But the daughter of Zion would have shut her gates against this righteous Saviour; the daughter of Jerusalem renounced her part and portion in such salvation.

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She had set her heart upon being great in this world, whereas Christ came to make her so in another. And whenever Christians shall resemble Jews in the turn of their affections, whenever they shall regard religion only as a means of aggrandizing themselves upon earth, in their hearts they will entertain the same notion of the salvation of Jesus, and the same contempt for it, that the Jews did. But let the sufferings of Jerusalem warn us, that we share not in her guilt, lest we share also in her punishment, and come into the same condemnation. We acknowledge for our Saviour the person whom Israel rejected. Let us not mistake the nature of his salvation. “ shall be called Jesus," saith the angel to his holy mother, “ for he shall save his people from their

sins.

As the salvation to be wrought by King Messiah was to be so different from that wrought by all other kings and conquerors, different likewise was to be his appearance and demeanour: “Behold, thy

King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having “ salvation; lowly, and riding on an ass.'

This is demonstration against the Jews, that how great soever, in the end, the external glory of Messiah is to be (and neither they nor we can set that too high), yet he was once to visit his people in great humility; he was to appear at his first advent, in a state of humiliation. The nature of his undertaking required it, and their own law and prophets are clear and express upon the subject. Though God, he was to become

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man : “A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, “ and they shall call his name IMMANUEL, which is, being interpreted, GOD With Usk.”

He was to be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;" “a man without form or comeliness',” without the glare of outward splendour to recommend him ; “his

visage,” on the contrary, by suffering affliction, was to be “marred more than any man, and his form

more than the sons of men.” He was to keep the law, and to die for sin: “Sacrifice and offering “thou wouldest not-burnt offering and sin of“fering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is “ written of me; I delight to do thy will, O

my God; yea, thy law is within my heart".” “ He " made his soul an offering for sin; he was cut off

out of the land of the living; he made his grave “ with the richo." If words can render any thing plain, it is plain from these passages, that Messiah was to be an humble and a suffering character. The types and the prophecies are as positive for his humiliation, as they are for his exaltation ; nor could any one person accomplish them all, without being equally remarkable for lowliness and meekness, glory and honour. The modern Jews, sensible of this, have framed to themselves two Messiahs; one, Ben Joseph, of the tribe of Ephraim, designed to be poor and contemptible, and to undergo indignities; the other, Ben David, of the tribe of Judah, who is to

1

Isa, liii.

k Isa. vii. 14.; Matt, i. 23. n Psal. xl. 6.; Heb. x. 5.

m Isa. lii. 14. • Isa. liii.

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be victorious, to conquer all the earth before them, and to live for ever in temporal grandeur. This idle dream, contrary to the tenour of the whole Old Testament, and unknown to their expositors before Christ came, shows us, that blindness hath bappened to Israel, not for want of light, but because they have shut their eyes against it till they cannot now open them to behold the brightness of its shining, to view Jesus of Nazareth as the end of their law, and the accomplishment of their prophecies. judiced person, acquainted with that law and those prophecies, the sight of the lowly Jesus entering Jerusalem in great humility, and in still greater, bowing his head and expiring on mount Calvary, is a no less striking evidence of his being the Messiah, than his glorious resurrection from the dead, and triumphant ascension into heaven. The Scriptures must needs be fulfilled, in one respect, as well as the other. Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and thus it behoved him to humble himself, in order to his suffering. Through pride Adam fell, and therefore by lowliness must Christ be exalted. “ An haughty spirit goeth “ before a fall; but before honour is humility ?."

In this state of meekness and lowliness, was Christ to gain a complete victory over the enemies of man's salvation. The warfare was new, and it is no wonder that the weapons employed in it should be un

Other warriors prepare their horses and their chariots, their bows, their spears, and their shields. But Messiah disarms his followers, in

common.

p Prov. xviii. 12.

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