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only do what “ his hand and counsel had determined “ before to be done."

“ The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers " took counsel together against the Lord, and against “ his anointed,” or his Messiah; saying, “ Let us “ break his bonds asunder, and cast away his cords " from us." All the

All the power and policy of man seemied to be leagued together, with a fixed determination to destroy Jesus and extirpate his doctrine. His nu. merous and formidable enemies unanimously resolved that “ they would not have this man to reign over “them.” The priests and rulers excited the people to demand his crucifixion, with unrelenting vehemence. They aimed to blot out the remembrance of him and his spiritual dominion from the earth, that they might have no authority but that of the magis

“ We have no king but Cæsar, whosoever “ maketh himself a king, speaketh against Cæsar.” Observe, my brethren, what was their principal objection to the religion of Jesus, and whence it arose. They hated the law and government of God; and therefore they rebelled against the kingdom and authority of his Son. Thus men still reject the gospel, because it magnifies and honours the law and justice of God, condemns all their former transgressions, and with the proposal of a gracious pardon, implies an obligation to obedience in future; and in this respect the same part is acted over and over again, from ge. ‘neration to generation.

But mark what follows: “He that sitteth in the “ heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in de“ rision:” He looks down with contempt and disdain


upon their puny attempts to subvert his kingdom and counteract his sovereign purposes.-" Then shall he

speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his

sore displeasure.” Let us see how this prophecy was fulfilled. The Jewis crucified the Lord Jesus for declaring that he was the promised Messiah, the Son of God. But, behold, he demonstrates himself to be that glorious Redeemer! He dies indeed, but he rises from the dead, ascends into heaven, takes possession of his exalted throne, and sends forth his Spirit upon his apostles, that they may be empowered to establisha his religion in the world. The Jewish rulers and people, however, having blasphemed bis miracles, and condemned him to the cross, persist in their enmity, oppose his ambassadors, and persecute his harmless disciples.—But what is the consequence? The gospel rapidly gains ground; persecution drives believers into remote regions, to convey the glad tidings to mankind; the dying martyrs, confirming their testimony by their harmless lives and patient sufferings, shew the excellency of their principles, and expose the odious cruelty of their adversaries. At length the day of vengeance arrives: he that sitteth in the heavens had poured contempt upon his impotent foes, and triumphed gloriously, notwithstanding their feeble, though determined opposition; but now " he speaks "to them in his wrath, and vexes them in his sore

displeasure.” Jerusalem is surrounded by the Roman legions, the executioners of the sentence which had been pronounced: miseries till then unknown are inflicted on the devoted nation; eleven hundred thousand persons perish in the siege; the survivors are sold

for slaves, till no more purchasers can be found; the
city apel temple are entirely destroyed, and the sacred
hill of Zion given up, to be henceforth “ trodden un
“ der foot of the gentiles,” according to another me.
morable prophecy, which hath now been fulfilling for
nearly one thousand eight hundred years!* An apos- .
tate emperor attempts, in defiance of Christ, to re-
build the temple and restore the Jews; but his design
is frustrated by earthquakes and the signal interposi-
tion of heaven: while the Jews themselves, scattered
through all nations, and almost


oppress. ed, are reluctant witnesses to the truth of the scriptures, and monuinents of divine vengeance on the de. spisers 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 hath fulfilled his promisc, 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

Luke, xxi. 24.

and nations, who set themselves to oppose the kingdom of Christ.--For a season they may prosper, boast, and blaspheme; and say, with Sennacheril), to the servants of the Lord, “Let not your God in whom :

you trust deceive you, saying, Ye shall not be de. "livered into my hands-Behold, ye have heard what “I have done unto all lands, and shall ye be deliver"ed?"_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 cars; 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 camest - 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 begotten thee. “ Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for “thine inheritance, and the uitermost 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, O

ye kings, be instructed, ye judges of the carth.” 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


* Is. xxxvü. 10, 11, 28---38.

judges of the earth, whose judgment is submitted to in all the secular concerns of mankind. These dig. nified personages are admonished to be wise, and wel. come instruction; especially in respect of the king. dom, which the Lord hath established under the government 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 opposition 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 ap‘pendages; tremble also, lest they should occasion

your deeper condemnation.'—“Kiss the Son, lest “ he be angry, and yė 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 a trivial change in the punctuation. This is frequently the manner of the sacred writers. “How shall ye escape, if ye neglect so great " salvation ?” “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 kin

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