« EelmineJätka »
this world's history, were made the resting-places or land-marks of prophecy, pointing out the seats and the exercise of that «unrighteous dominion, which shall be destroyed utterly by the brightness of the coming of the King of Judah, when the times of the Gentiles, and the iniquities of our modern Amorites shall be fulfilled. For this cause, also, I forbear to make any comment on the signs of the present times, though, undoubtedly, the state of affairs around us is well calculated to give point and power to that saying of the Prophet Isaiah, respecting the nations who have oppressed the Jews : “Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see; but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at thy people.”
Our present subject is,—The revelation which it has pleased God to give us concerning
The KING OF THE JEWS,
at and subsequent to the restoration of that people to their own land.
Many persons do not believe that any such revelation is given to us at all. To such I address myself, in the first place, and institute this important inquiry,—Who is the king mentioned in our text? Has any individual appeared upon earth since the days of Jeremiah the prophet, in
whose history all the particulars predicted in these two verses have been fulfilled?
In order to answer this question with precision, we should begin by examining closely what the predicted particulars are: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness !" From these words we learn seven distinct particulars concerning the individual here spoken of:
1. He shall be of the stock of David.
4. He shall reign prosperously, i. e. according to the common meaning of language, he shall have victory over his enemies, and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing his subjects in peace, and plenty, and happiness :
5. His executive government, like himself, shall be righteous; he “shalb execute judgment and justice in the earth.”
6. His reign shall be marked by a very striking historical event, the safety of Judah and Israel.
And, 7. His royal name, by which he shall be
known and called of all his subjects, shall be “ Jehovah our Righteousness !"
It is manifest, that unless some individual has appeared in the earth, embodying in his character and history all these particulars, the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled; and unless some such individual shall appear in the earth, the prophecy can never be fulfilled. I speak to you as to those who believe that Jehovah, the living and true God, dictated these predictions to his servants the prophets; and who, therefore, cannot for a moment doubt that the prophecy shall be fulfilled, if it have not been fulfilled already. And to you I again propose the question, Has any individual appeared in the earth, whose descent, character, history, and name, will bear to be measured by the length and breadth of this single prophecy? Let it be observed, that from the very nature of the case, the individual in question could not have lived in obscurity, and escaped the notice of mankind. Kings do not live and reign in corners, nor in the unfrequented wildernesses of the earth; and such a king as this would unquestionably hare engaged the pen of poets and historians. Where, then, shall we look for such an individual ?
Jeremiah lived and prophesied in the days of Amon, Jehoiachim, and Zedekiah, kings of Judah, about six hundred years before the commence
ment of the Christian era. In the ages immediately succeeding that period, we look in vain for any individual possessing the slightest pretensions to the appropriation of the prophecy. I need not specify any of the kings, whether Jew or Gentile, who reigned during those six hundred years, nor occupy your time in proving that none of them fulfilled this prophecy. I come at once to him who is generally believed to have been the person predicted in our text, and to have satisfactorily and fully fulfilled the prediction, i. e., Jesus of Nazareth, our Lord and Saviour.
Was, then, the prophecy of our text fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth ? Let us try the particulars seriatim. The person predicted in our text was to be, 1. Of the stock of David. To this particular Jesus of Nazareth corresponds exactly: he was born of a virgin, of whom it was written that she was of the house and lineage of David, and he was truly a branch of this stock, bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh, very man of the substance, and in the proper nature of his mother. 2. The person predicted was to be righteous. To this particular also Jesus of Nazareth corresponds exactly : he was holy, harmlesss, undefiled, and separate from sinners; in him was no sin: the prince of darkness came to him, and found nothing in him: he was emphatically the righteous
. 3. The person predicted in our text was to be a king. To this particular, also, Jesus of Nazareth corresponds : he was born King of the Jews; he was inquired for under that title by the wise men, who had seen his star in the east, and came to Jerusalem to worship him; and when he was afterwards asked himself, by Pontius Pilate, “ Art thou the King of the Jews ?” he did not deny it, though (the time not having arrived when he was to declare himself King) he avoided giving Pilate a direct answer (John xviii. 33, 34): “ Then Pilate entered into the judgment-hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews ? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?" Being pressed again by the question in a more general form, "Art thou a king then?” he answered in the affirmative, “Thou sayest that I am a king." A king he was, though for a season veiled in voluntary humiliation, for the attainment of a great ulterior purpose.
So far, then, we find the prophecy in our text obviously, and without any violence to the language, applicable to Jesus of Nazareth. But we have some other particulars to examine. 4. The person predicted in our text was to reign prosperously, which, as I observed, according to the common meaning of language, signifies that he