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of the woes of suffering humanity inspires his heart with sympathy, and prompts him to look with pitying eye upon the friendless and forlorn! The servant of Jesus, depressed by the cold hand of poverty, bereft of every earthly stay and comfort, compelled to drink the cup into which misfortune has poured every bitterest ingredient, may be overlooked by the haughty sons of wealth, and friendly foot may seldom cross the threshold of his lonely door, or friendly voice address him in the tones of sympathy; but he is an object of interest in those regions where the distinctions of wealth, so dear to men, are stripped of their glittering charms, and be has a place in the affections of that Saviour, who has chosen the poor

of this world rich in faith. There is never a sorrow which wrings the heart of a genuine Christian; there is never a bereavement which opens the fountain of bis tears, which is beheld with indifference by the Son of God, or fails to excite the tenderest compassion of his heart; and amid all the struggles which we make against the power of corruption, fighting the good fight of faith, and labouring by self-denial to mortify our evil desires, our great High Priest, our elder brother, lends us his aid, and continually intercedes for us at the right hand of God. For what voice is that to which the heavenly hosts in wonder listen, which in the inmost recesses of the heavenly sanctuary, in the greater and more perfect tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man, is continally uttering the accents of supplication, earnest and pathetic ? It is the voice of the High Priest of our profession, who has entered within the vail, into the true Holy place on high, where he ever liveth to make intercession for us. Pointing to bis own blood, which, like the priests of old, he has carried into the presence of the mercy-seat, and pleading the merits of that sacrificial victim which was slain on Calvary, he appears continually in the presence of God for us, and with sympathy animating every feature of his face, and mercy beaming from his heavenly eye, he utters the ceaseless voice of intercession, and fails not to make mention of every want, and every grief which assails any follower of his in the wideextended domains of earth. What strong confidence, then, my Christian friends, should animate your souls ; what gratitude and love should glow within your ravished bosoms; and how earnestly should you strive, amid the numerous temptations of life, to regulate all your conduct by the will of that Saviour who has done so much to accomplish your deliverance!




PSALM lxxxix. 27.

Also, I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings

of the earth.”


This psalm originally relates to the family and throne of David, but its ultimate, and more important reference, is to the person and reign of the Messiah. Several of the predictions it contains, are applicable, in their full import, to no other individual. None but He shall have a seed enduring for ever-a throne as the days of beaven-dominion exten. sive as the world-illustrious and lasting as the sun. He only is the First-born of God, and higher than the kings of the earth.

The First-born is a well-known designation of the Messiah, who, in the text, is spoken of as the first-born of God, and in other parts of Scripture, as the first-born from the dead,"

_" the first-born among many brethren,”_" the first-born of every creature.” In all these instances, the epithet, Firstborn, denotes not only priority of existence, but also preeminence of rank. He is the first-born, not as the first made and chief of creatures, but as the Prince and Proprietor of creation“ the first-born of every creature; for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones, or dominions,

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or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist; and he is the Head of the Body, the Church, the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence."

The phrase, “ My First-born,” is expressive of the intimate relation which subsists between the first and second Persons of the Sacred Trinity. In the text, Jehovah designates the Messiah his Son; and in the context, the Messiah calls Jehovah his Father. Thus they are related as Father and Son. But let it not be imagined that Messiah the Son, stands to Jehovah the Father, in a relation every way corresponding to that which subsists between an earthly parent and his children. It must be remembered that the truths of religion can be made known to us by means only of human language-a medium of instruction necessarily imperfect, and, therefore, but inadequately capable of imparting to us a knowledge of them. When, then, God and Christ are described as Father and Son, neither this nor any other

representation can perfectly express the peculiar and ineffable relation wbich subsists between them. No more must be understood than that, in many respects, but not in all, it resembles that which holds between a father and his son. Is a son of the same nature as his father, known by the same name, elevated to the same rank, and entitled to the same honours ? Christ is “God over all, blessed for ever;" is called “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father;" has committed to him “ all power in heaven and in earth,” and “ all judgment, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” Does a son resemble his father, and is he attached to his person, interested in his honour, and obedient to his commands? Christ is “the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person;" he " loved the Father;" and at the close of life could say, " Father, I have glorified thee on the earth ; I have finished


the work which thou gavest me to do.” Thus is the Messiah God's Son, being one with him in nature, name, and rank, entitled to equal honour, like him in person, affectionate and obedient.

Jehovah promises, in the text, to make bis First-born “ bigher than the kings of the earth,"-a promise which belongs to a class of predictions, in which the Messiah is announced as supreme in majesty and dominion. But when the First-born appeared in the world, there were to the eyes of men but few indications of the fulfilment of this promise. Sending him from the abodes of purity, peace, and joy, to this world of wickedness, wretchedness, and wo—from the throne to the foot-stool—from the bosom of his Father to the manger of Bethlehem—from the riches, splendours and honours of the heavens, to poverty, meanness, and degradation on earth-giving him up to the obloquy of the great, to the scoffing of the mean, to the cruelty of the lawless, to the mockery of the profane, to the desertion of friends, to the derision of foes, to the malice of Satan, to the frown of Heaven, to the pain and ignominy of the cross, and the solitude and darkness of the grave-all this appeared the reverse of making the First-born “ higher than the kings of the earth.”

But amid these circumstances of degradation and distress, there were unequivocal indications of his real, though veiled, majesty and glory. Angels announced and celebrated his birth, in songs of heavenly melody. Sages from the East

pay bin homage, and lay their presents at his feet. A voice from heaven proclaimed him to be the well-beloved Son of the Highest. On Mount Tabor, in the presence of Peter, James, and John, “ the fashion of his countenance was altered; his face did shine as the sun; and his raiment was white as the light." When making bis public entry into Jerusalem, the enraptured multitude spread their garments, and strewed branches in the way, and cried “ Hosanna to

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