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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.
When therefore the tempter had prevailed on our first parents to violate the Creator's prohibition, the promise of a Saviour was immediately given: “ The Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's “ head :" " the Messiah shall overturn the usurped dominion of the devil, and set up his kingdom on the ruins of it; to the final confusion and destruction of that great ringleader in rebellion
against God.'—The Messiah, as the Head of this kingdom, was foretold in the law of Moses, and by the prophets, who“ spake of the sufferings of “ Christ and the glory that should follow.”] This was the stone seen in vision by Nebuchadnezzar; which was
cut out of the mountain without hands,” and, having, destroyed all opposition, “became a great mountain, and filled the whole < earth.”2
In the fulness of time the promised Saviour appears; and his messenger goes before him, proclaiming as a herald, “ Repent ye, for the king“ dom of heaven is at hand.” Now the ancient prophecies are fulfilled : “ the blind receive their
sight, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised." “ Behold a voice from heaven, saying, This is my “beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear
ye him.” He leads a lowly and suffering life: he goes about doing good: his most beneficent doctrine is confirmed by benign miracles of the most stupendous nature: all his words and works are stamped with divine wisdom, holiness, love,
Yet is he“ despised and rejected of “ men.” He dies a spotless sacrifice upon the
11 Pet, i, 10-12.
2. Dan. ii. 31–48.
cross; numbered with malefactors, and treated with extreme contempt, malice, and cruelty. He rises from the dead a glorious conqueror; as“cends up on high, leading captivity captive, and “ receiving gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious “ also, that the Lord God may dwell among “ them."1 Now “ he receives to himself a king“ dom :” “all power in heaven and earth is given “ to him:” “angels, principalities, and powers,
are made subject to him; and he is made Head “ over all things to his church.” His apostles, having received the promise of the Spirit from on high, go forth every where preaching the gospel, and declaring that “ the same Jesus," whom the Jews had crucified, “ is exalted to be a Prince “ and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, “ and remission of sins :" “ that there is no sal“ vation in any other; for there is none other name “ under heaven given unto men, whereby we must “ be saved ;” while the miraculous powers which they display and communicate confirm their testimony and command attention. Their formidable persecutors are confounded; thousands and tens of thousands embrace the religion of the crucified Jesus : till Jewish infidelity, and pagan idolatry, and all the power and policy with which they are supported, fall down before it; as the image in Nebuchadnezzar's vision before the stone cut out of the mountain without bands.
In this manner JEHOVAH attested the despised Jesus to be “ his well-beloved Son;" thus, as it were, addressing the Jews : ‘Ye have crucified the
· Lord of glory, because he said I am the Son of · God; but behold I have raised him from the dead! · I have exalted him at my right hand in heavenly places, I have set my King upon my holy hill of
Zion, according to my ancient predictions. Now - the whole earth shall be his inheritance, what
ever obstacles or enemies may oppose him. I · have undertaken and I will accomplish it: all
men shall either bow to the sceptre of his grace, ‘and become his willing subjects and redeemed people; or they shall be crushed as obstinate rebels under his feet. This is the determination of the Lord of Hosts.'
A mistaken idea of Christianity seems in this respect to be very prevalent. Numbers imagine that it may be very well to believe the gospel, but that there is no necessity for so doing; as others may be safe and happy upon their own plans. But the scripture uses a very different language: Christianity is there considered as the only true religion, and faith in Christ as the only way of being saved. This is no unessential matter, in which men may safely embrace opposite opinions: every man, who reverences the Bible as the word of God, must own that no unbeliever can escape final condemnation ; for the Lord himself hath repeatedly attested it; and “ he that believeth not, hath made “ him a liar.” Let it also be observed, that the adorable Saviour himself, the great object of our faith, is constituted our Judge: and it is never intimated, that, in the decisive hour, he will make any exception in favour of the mighty monarch, the renowned warrior, the busy politician or tradesman, the learned sceptic, or the indolent and in
considerate trifler. “ He that believeth not shall “ be damned.” One distinction will then swallow up all others : the faithful disciple will “sit down “with him upon his throne;" and all unbelievers will be “punished with everlasting destruction “ from his presence.”
The kingdom of Christ is administered by him in the character of a Mediator. As soon as sin entered into the world, the Lord made known his purpose of dealing with men, through the intervention of a peace-maker; in whose person, as Emmanuel, and through whose“ obedience unto “ the death of the cross,” he might honourably shew
mercy to the transgressors of his holy law. So that they who oppose his kingdom, not only rebel against the authority of God, but despise the riches of his everlasting mercy. To effect our reconciliation to our offended Creator, the eternal Son of God was made partaker of flesh and blood ; and, having “ suffered once for sins, the just for “ the unjust, that he might bring us to God;" he is now ascended into the heavens, as our merciful and faithful High-priest and Advocate. “The go“vernment is upon his shoulders,” that he might be“ able to save to the uttermost all those that “ come to God through him.” Angels, principalities, and powers obey and adore him.
“ He has “ the keys of death and hell ;" He is “
King of kings, and Lord of lords." The kingdom of nature and providence is administered by him as our brother and friend : “all judgment is com“ mitted to him: “ all the fulness of the Godhead “ dwells in him bodily:" he is the “ Head of all