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memorable prophecy, which hath now been fulfilling for nearly one thousand eight hundred years !! An apostate emperor 2 attempts, in defiance of Christ, to rebuild the temple and restore the Jews; but his design is frustrated by earthquakes and the signal interposition of heaven : while the Jews themselves, scattered through all nations, and almost every where oppressed, are reluctant witnesses to the truth of the scriptures, and monuments of divine vengeance on the despisers of the gospel.
The Roman emperors also exerted their extensive and absolute authority in opposing the establishment of Christianity; and it is remarkable, that several of those, who are celebrated for virtue, were the most determined persecutors. But what was the event? From that time this mighty empire was undermined, and at length Christianity was established, as it were, upon its ruins !
It would not be a difficult task to shew, from the history of succeeding ages, that God has fulfilled his promise, in maintaining his church against the most virulent rage of her numerous and powerful enemies ; according to the next words of this prophecy, “ Yet have I set my king upon my holy “ hill of Zion :" and the event will be the same with all other rulers and nations who set themselves to oppose the kingdom of Christ. For a season they may prosper, boast, and blaspheme ! and
say, with Sennacherib, to the servants of the Lord, “Let not your God in whom you trust de“ceive you, saying, Ye shall not be delivered into
hands. Behold, ye have heard what I have “ done unto all lands, and shall ye be delivered ?" But God will answer them as he did the proud Assyrian, “ I know thy abode, and thy going out, “and thy coming in, and thy rage against me : “ because thy rage against me, and thy tumult is “ come up into my ears ; therefore I will put my “ hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips; and “I will turn thee back by the way by which thou cam“est. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this ;"! for he hath said, and he will accomplish it, “Yet “ have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.”
But the prophecy still further expands itself : " I will declare the decree : the Lord hath said “ unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I be
gotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee “ the heathen for thine inheritance, and the utter“ most parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou “ shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt “ dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be “ wise now, therefore, Oye kings: be instructed, ye * judges of the earth.” The counsel is addressed to kings, because monarchy was the more general kind of dominion: but all invested with authority are evidently meant, by whatever titles they may be distinguished. They are " the judges of the
earth,” whose judgment is submitted to in all the secular concerns of mankind. These dignified personages are admonished to be wise, and to welcome instruction ; especially in respect of the kingdom which the Lord has established under the govern
Isa. xxxvii. 10, 11, 28-38.
ment of his only begotten Son. It therefore follows, ".Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with “trembling" "Submit to the authority of God; bow your sceptres to the sceptre of the Messiah : employ your power and influence in obeying his commands and promoting his glory: presume
not, in any case, to set your authority in opposi* tion to his ; lest he dash you in pieces like a potter's vessel. Stand in awe of his power, reverence his majesty ; and, while you rejoice in your 'exalted rank, and all its alluring appendages, “tremble also, lest they should occasion your
deeper condemnation.'-"Kiss the Son, lest he “ be angry, and ye perish from the way: when his “ wrath is kindled, yea, but a little ; blessed are “all they that put their trust in him.
The conclusion of the psalm is very emphatical : and the turn given to the address may imply far more than is expressed, with the trivial change in the punctuation above adopted. This is frequently the manner of the sacred writers.
escape if ye neglect so great salvation 7” “What “ is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and “ lose his own soul?”—The psalmist having said “ when his wrath is kindled, yea, but a little,” breaks off abruptly, as if he meant to add, 'I will not, I cannot describe the misery of that man against whom the wrath of Christ is kindled in ‘ the least degree : I leave the subject as too dreadful to be insisted on; and will rather di‘ rect your thoughts to a more delightful consider‘ation ; “ Blessed are all they that put their trust ' in him."
“How shall ye Having thus briefly reviewed this prophecy, I would again demand your attention to its contents, which are too obvious to need much interpretation, and which involve no ambiguity or uncertainty. Have not these predictions concerning the opposition of the world to the kingdom of Christ, and his triumph over his enemies, been exactly fulfilled; Have not facts corresponded with the evident meaning of the language here used :—These accomplishments of scripture, in things which no human sagacity could possibly foresee, are unequivocal demonstrations that it is the word of the omniscient God. Ingenious men may easily start plausible objections, or answer arguments with sarcasm or repartee: but is this a suitable way of treating subjects of such awful importance ? Let the opposers of our holy religion stand forth with manly frankness, and fairly prove, if they can, that these prophecies were not delivered a thousand years before the coming of Christ ; or else that the events have not corresponded to them. Until one of these things has been undeniably effected, we shall continue to affirm that, so far from believing without evidence, we have unspeakably better reasons to assign for our faith and hope than unbelievers can have for any of their opinions. For
my own part, after a diligent examination of the subject, during many years, I am fully convinced that the Bible is the infallible word of God; and am thankful, that I did not imbibe this sentiment from education or early prejudices, but that it has been the result of a most hesitating investigation : because this gives me a confidence, not easily to be shaken, that the gospel will maintain its ground, though all the genius, learning, eloquence, and authority of the whole world should unite against it. Nay I am assured that it will survive the ruin of all its enemies, who can only destroy themselves : for they can neither prevent its progress and triumphs, nor hinder the salvation of the meanest believer ; but will, at length, find, that “ it is hard to kick against the pricks.”—The remainder of the present discourse will contain a more particular consideration of the text, in the following method.
I. We will inquire into the special nature of that kingdom, which God hath determined to establish:
II. Notice the exhortation of the text; “ Kiss “ the Son, lest he be angry:
III. Make some remarks on the warning and encouragement, “ If his wrath be kindled, yea, but “ a little ; blessed are all they that put their trust “ in him.”
I. Then, we consider the special nature of the Messiah's kingdom. “ Yet have I set my King
upon my holy hill of Zion.” This was the purpose of God, even when he created the world. He formed the earth to be a theatre, on which he might display his essential glory: and the person, salvation, and kingdom of Emmanuel, constitute the grandest exhibition of all the mysteries and perfections of the divine nature that hath ever been made. All the dispensations of providence have been arranged in subserviency to the same great design ; as it must be evident to all who carefully study the history of the Old Testament, or indeed the history of the world in every age.