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ride upon the same, as it is written, Zech. 9: 9, Behold, thy king, &c. See also Berash. Rab. Gen. 49: 11. Yarchi and Kimchi in loco. Saadiah Gaon in Dan. 7:14. Zohar. Gen. fol. 127, 3. Sanhed. fol. 96, 1. 99, 1.
§ 4. This prediction has been literally fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Was the Messiah to be a king; so is Jesus, as will be seen hereafter. He is invested with regal powers and prerogatives; a sovereign prince and absolute monarch, having all power both in heaven and on earth. He is Zion's king, Ps. 2:7. There his glory, as of a king, shines; thence his law went forth of old; and his spiritual kingdom is still administered in his church; by him its ordinances are instituted, its officers are commissioned; its subjects protected, and its enemies conquered. Was the Messiah to be just or righteous; so was Jesus Christ. He was just and righteous in all his actions, both towards God and man He rendered to Cæsar the things that were Cæsar's, and to God the things that are God's. Malice itself could not deny this fact. His enemies were not able to procure two witnesses to prove any thing against him. The judge that condemned him, declared that he found nothing in him worthy of death. "Having salvation." Jesus of Nazareth answers the description. His very name signifies to save. He is become the author of salvation to all them that obey him. As a prophet, he grants salvation from ignorance and error, by leading us into the knowledge of the glory of God. As a priest, he brings salvation from condemnation and misery, by making our peace with God, and assuring us of his favor and immutable love. And as a king, he bestows salvation from rebellion and slavery, subduing our iniquities, and bringing every thought into voluntary subjection to himself; setting us free from the tyranny of sin, defending us from the power of Satan, and making us more than conquerors over our spiritual enemies, and finally conforming us to the will and image of God.
Messiah was to be lowly, or poor. In either sense, the de
scription is applicable to Jesus Christ. His meekness and lowliness of mind are unparalleled. Well might he say, "learn of me." His whole life was a display of meekness and condescension. It appears in his assumption of our nature; in his courteous and affable carriage to persons far inferior to him, even publicans and sinners, and in his ministering to his own disciples, especially in washing their feet. He was poor also—yes, never was there poverty like unto his. Nor was he ashamed to own it. When a certain scribe said he would follow him, Jesus replied, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." In another man's stable he was born, to another man's tree he was nailed, and in another man's sepulcher he was buried. O how condescending and how kind was God's eternal Son! O the riches of his grace, that "though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we, through his poverty, might be rich!"
Another description given of the Messiah is, that he should ride upon an ass." That Jesus entered Jerusalem in such a manner, is narrated by the evangelists, and frequently mentioned by the Rabbins. This is generally considered, by commentators, as an act of condescension and humiliation, but erroneously. However low, mean, and despicable it might now appear, to see a great personage riding upon an ass, it was not so of old. Governors, patriarchs, princes, and judges used to ride on asses before the introduction and multiplication of horses in Solomon's time, which were forbidden by the law of God. It became him to fulfill all righteousness. Whilst entering Jerusalem as King of Zion, the Son of David, and King of Israel, it was very suitable that he should strictly observe the law given to the kings of Israel, and ride in such a manner as they formerly did. We notice once more, "that he was to speak peace to the hea then." This was the great design for which Jesus Christ came into the world. He has made peace by the blood of
his cross; and by the preaching of the Gospel of peace, wars have been checked, and peace made between Jews and Gentiles, and between man and man.
§ 5. To any one who attends to the Gospel history, it must appear that humility and self-denial, zeal for God's glory and compassion to souls, usefulness to all and disinterested goodness, contempt of this world and heavenly-mindedness, patience under sufferings and resignation to the will of God in all things, eminently shone forth in Christ Jesus, our blessed Lord and Savior; that he redeemed his time, improved all opportunities for service, sought the honor of God in all his actions, fervently prayed to him in all difficulties, trusted in him in all dangers, counted no service, no suffering too hard to which he called him, and was obedient even unto death. My dear brother, I feel I have undertaken a task infinitely above my power to perform. The charaeter, temper, and disposition of Jesus far exceed the prophetie description. It was in every respect perfect, without spot, and without blemish. The pious Bishop Newcome, speaking of the character of Christ, says, "He set an example of the most perfect piety to God, and of the most extensive benevolence, the most tender compassion to men. He does not merely exhibit a life of strict justice, but of overflowing benignity. His temperance has not the dark shades of austerity; his meekness does not degenerate into apathy; his humility is signal, amidst a splendor of qualities more than human; his fortitude is eminent and exemplary in enduring the most formidable external evils, and the sharpest actual sufferings. His patience is invincible; his resignation entire and absolute. Truth and sincerity shine throughout his whole conduct. Though of heavenly descent, he shows obedience and affection to his earthly parents: he approves, loves, and attaches himself to amiable qualities in the human race; he respects authority, religious and civil; and he evidences regard for his country, by promoting its most essential good in a painful ministry dedicated to its service,
by deploring its calamities, and by laying down his life for its benefit. Every one of his eminent virtues is regulated by consummate prudence; and he both wins the love of his friends, and extorts the approbation and wonder of his enemies. Never was a character at the same time so commanding and natural, so resplendent and pleasing, so amiable and venerable. There is a peculiar contrast in it between an awful greatness, dignity, and majesty, and the most conciliating loveliness, tenderness, and softness. He now con verses with prophets, lawgivers, and angels, and the next instant he meekly endures the dullness of his disciples and the blasphemies and rage of the multitude. He now calls himself greater than Solomon; one who can command iegions of angels; the giver of life to whomsoever he pleases; the Son of God, who shall sit on his glorious throne to judge the world. At other times we find him embracing young children; not lifting up his voice in the streets, not breaking the bruised reed, nor quenching the smoking flax; calling his disciples not servants, but friends and brethren, and comforting them with an exuberant and parental affection. Let us pause an instant, and fill our minds with the idea of one who knew all things, heavenly and earthly; searched and laid open the inmost recesses of the heart, rectified every prejudice, and removed every mistake of a moral and religious kind; by a word exercised a sovereignty over all nature, penetrated the hidden events of futurity, gave promises of admission into a happy immortality, had the keys of life and death, claimed a union with the Father; and yet was pious, mild, gentle, humble, affable, social, benevolent, friendly, and affectionate. Such a character is fairer than the morning star. Each separate virtue is made stronger by opposition and contrast; and the union of so many virtues forms a brightness which fitly represents the glory of that God who inhabiteth light inaccessible." Notwithstanding the imperfect description I have given of the character of Jesus Christ, I earnestly pray that the Lord
may give me and you, my dear Benjamin, grace to imitate his example; and may "the same mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." To him be glory for ever. Amen. Farewell.
§ 1. I have already shown numerous predictions concerning the Messiah to have received their literal fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth, blessed be his holy name; will now point out those prophecies which relate to the credentials which were to confirm the authority of his mis sion. As it was necessary that the Messiah should be divinely appointed, as has been shown before, so it was equally necessary, to encourage our confidence and trust in him, that, on his coming into our world, his mission should be established upon undeniable evidence. And it gives me unspeakable pleasure to be able to state, without fear of contradiction, that the mission of Jesus is confirmed by credentials infinitely surpassing every other embassy. This will evidently appear, if we consider the peculiar and su