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their city, and their country; nor has there been any Sion, to which their King might come. Jerufalem would not rejoice, on the day when the prophet had enjoined her to rejoice; and therefore fhe hath had cause to mourn, from that day to this. The rulers of Sion were vexed and chagrined at beholding a scene, which fhould have excited them to fhout aloud for joy. The difciples, indeed, exulted, and fang Hofanna to the Son of David. Could Meffiah enter his capital, unacknowledged? That was impoffible. Had men been filent upon this occafion, the buildings and pavements of the city must have supplied the defect, and borne their attestation to the promised and long expected King of Ifrael. "I tell you," replied our Lord to the Pharifees, who defired him to rebuke his difciples, "I tell you, that if these should hold their peace, the ftones would immediately cry out.

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That we may perceive the full force and beauty of the prophecy before us, it will be neceffary to thew its connection with the preceding part of the chapter, wherein it stands.

In this ix. chapter of his prophecy, Zechariah denounceth fome of the divine judgments, which were executed by that scourge of heaven, Alexander the Great, when he over-ran Syria, took Damafcus, burnt Tyre, destroyed Gaza, and, in imitation of his favourite hero, dragged the governor thereof at his chariot wheels. "The burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach, and Damafcus fhall be the reft thereof-And Hamath alfo fhall border thereby, Tyrus and Sidon though it be very wife. And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up filver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power



in the fea, and fhe fhall be devoured with fire. Askelon shall see it and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and shall be very forrowful, and Ekron: for her expectation shall be afhamed, and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Afkelon fhall not be inhabited." The prophet next foretelleth the mixture and incorporation of the Philiftines, when thus humbled by Alexander, with their old enemies the Jews. "And a bastard," or, an alien generation, (λhosveis, fay the LXX)" fhall dwell in Afhdod; and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines; and I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth; but he that remaineth, even he fhall be far our God, and he fhall be as a governor in Judah and Ekron as a Jebufite." Amidft these revolutions and alterations of affairs in the world, God promiseth, in the next verfe, to preserve his temple, while fo many caftles and strong holds about Jerufalem were overturned, fo many cities fwept of their inhabitants by the befom of destruction. "And I will encamp about mine house, becaufe of the army, because of him that paffeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppreffor fhall pass through them any more; for now have I seen with mine eyes." Then followeth the prophecy in my text-Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; fhout, O daughter of Jerufalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just and having falvation, lowly, and riding upon an ass, and a colt the fole of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerufalem, and the battle bow fhall be cut off; and he fhall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even unto sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth." As if the pro- : phet had spoken in more words to Jerufalem thus"Thine

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"Thine eyes, in the generations following, fhall behold the flourishing pride of fundry nations, each endeavouring to overtop others in height of glory and temporal state; each striving to keep others under, by human policy, or strength of war. And whilft the fight of their mutual conquefts fhall poffefs thy thoughts, thou wilt be ready, in the pride of thine heart, to fay, Jerufalem and Judah one day shall have their turn, and in that day shall the fons of Jacob, the feed of Abraham and David, be like the monarchs of Greece and Perfia, far exalted above the kings of other nations: every one, able to bear arms, gliftering with his golden fhield, and leading the princes of the heathen, as prifoners, bound in chains, and their nobles in fetters of iron. The beauty and riches of their coftly temples fhall deck the chariots of my children, which their captives fhall draw in triumph. But thou shouldest remember, that the proniifed prince of peace, of benignity, and justice, fhould not be fought among the tumultuous hofts of war: nor canft thou hope that He, who is the Defire of all nations, should be thy Leader or General, to deftroy thofe nations. It is glory and honour enough for thee, glory and honour greater than the greatest conqueror on earth could ever compafs, that the King of kings and Lord of lords fhall be anointed and proclaimed King upon the hill of Sion: that the inviolable decrees of everlafting peace fhall be given to all the nations under heaven from thy courts. And therefore while horses and chariots and other glorious preparations of war fhall prefent themfelves to thy view, fuffer them to pafs as they come, and reit affured, that thy King, of whofe coming thou haft often been admonished by the prophets, is not among them.. The manner of his coming to thee,


fo thou wilt mark it, bodes far better tidings to thee and all the nations befides, than can accompany the profperous fuccefs of wars, or any victory ftained with blood. What king of Judah or Ifrael did ever levy an army, though in juft defence of their country and people, on fo fair terms, that no poor amongst them were pinched with taxes for the supply? What victory did they ever obtain fo cheap, that many of their children were not forced to fit down with lofs, many wounded, others maimed, and fome always flain? But, lo, now I bring thee unusual matter of exultation and joy. For behold thy King cometh unto thee, whenfoever he cometh, attended with juftice for his guide, and falvation for his train. He fhall execute judgment without oppreffion: he fhall fave thee, fo thou wilt be faved, without deftroying any, being able to make thy lame to go, to give life to thy dead, without hazard either of life or limb to any that refts within thy territories. Such fhall be the manner of his coming, and fuch his prefence, that the poorest wretch among thy children may think himfelf more happy, than any king of Judah or Ifrael which was before him, fo he will but conform himfelf to the temper and demeanour of his Saviour.. For he cometh unto thee poor and lowly, riding upon an afs, to wean thee from the vain hopes of the heathen, from which the prophets have fo often dehorted thy forefathers. Some put in horfes, and fome in chariots; but thy confidence must be in the Lord thy God, who will always be thy King, to defend thee, to protect thee, to: ftrengthen thee through this weakness.”*

Having thus taken a general view of the pro-phecy, proceed we to make fome obfervations and reflections,

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reflections upon the feveral parts of it, in the order in which they lie.

Beautiful and ftriking is the manner in which it is introduced. The prophet doth not coldly inform Jerufalem, that her King fhould come to her, and that, when he did come, fhe ought to rejoice. Rapt into future times, he feems to have been prefent at the glorious fcene. Standing upon mount Olivet, he hears the Hofannas of the difciples, and beholds the proceffion approach towards the gates of Jerufalem: he turns himfelf to the city, and breaks forth in tranfport, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; fhout, O daughter of Jerufalem!" Religion, then, hath i's joys; a prophet calleth us to exult and fhout; and often as this holy feafon returneth, the church fecondeth his call. Her fervices difpel the gloom of melancholy, and put gladnefs into the hearts of all her children. They are wonderfully calculated to renew good impreffions in our minds, to increase our faith, to invigorate our hope, to blow up the facred fires of devotion and charity, and to fill us with all holy and heavenly tempers. They produce a joy which no man taketh from us," and in which "a ftranger intermeddleth not ;" they infpire a pleafure which no pain can overcome, of which no time can deprive us, and which death will perfect and enfure to us for ever. Perverfe Jerufalem rejected joy, and chofe forrow for her portion. Glad tidings came to the Gentiles, and were gladly received. The Chriftian church, formed of them, is now the daughter of Sion, and the new Jerufalem. To her the promifes are transferred, and made good. She therefore obeyeth the prophet's injunction; fhe continually, with the holy Virgin, "magnifieth the Lord, and her spirit rejoiceth in God her Saviour."

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