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many crowns, and that face, once obscured by shame and spitting, now shines with refulgent brightness.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.-Isaiah liii. 3.
Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.-Isaiah xlix. 7.
HERE again, we are called upon, to behold Jesus, exposed to shame, reproach, and sorrow." He was in the world, and the world was made by him, yet the world knew him not." "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Though his visit was an errand of mercy, yet he was treated as the offscouring of all things. "He was despised and rejected of men, himself a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." with him; crucify him," was the public cry.
to Pilate's question, whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you, Barabbas or Jesus? they all, as with one voice, instantly exclaim, " not this man, but Barabbas.." Thus, he who had been cast into prison for sedition and murder, was released, and Jesus rejected. Yet it was "Jehovah's Holy One, the Redeemer of Israel, the Mighty God of Jacob, whom man despised, whom the nation abhorred, who was as a servant to Rulers." We may shudder at the indignities offered to the Son of God when he tabernacled on earth, and the thought may cross the mind, had I been present, I would not have joined in opposing and insulting the meek and lowly Jesus. Good, my friend, but allow me affectionately to remind you, that if you are still at enmity to God by wicked works; if you have not submitted your heart unreservedly to the Lord, nor accepted his free offers of pardon and reconciliation, through the blood and righteousness of Jesus; if you are not simply resting by faith on the vicarious sacrifice of Christ, as the only propitiation for sin, and trusting solely to his perfect, yet imputed, righteousness, as the ground of your acceptance with God, you are, to all intents and purposes, acting the like part, or even worse, than did the ancient rejecters of Jesus, for you despise and reject the Redeemer of
Israel, amidst the full blaze of gospel light. "If he that despised Moses' law, died without mercy, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" We know him that hath said, " Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord."
But let us not forsake our own mercies, nor longer despise and reject the Christ of God, nor lightly esteem that salvation, to purchase which, he was content to suffer ignominy and sorrow. Let us bow with humility and reverence" before the Redeemer of Israel." Let us bend the willing knee in adoration and gratitude before Jehovah's Holy One, of whom thus saith the Lord, Kings shall see and arise; Princes also shall worship before him; the Gentiles shall come to his light, and Kings to the brightness of his rising." Nations, the learned before the Mighty One of all conquering grace, and
and the rude," shall bow Jacob, fall prostrate to his call the Redeemer blessed.
* Heb. x. 28-30,
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.-Psalm xxii. 6.
Do we not here instantly recognise the language of the despised Nazarene? And is not the whole Psalm a striking description of his unparalleled sufferings, of his unprecedented degradation and humility? He whose will formed the universal law of nature; he who marshalled the stars, and called them all by name; who bid the planets roll, and the sun to shine; who gave the orb of day his splendid rays, and lent the moon her silvery light; he whose word the congregated waters of the ocean felt and owned, when he said, "hitherto shalt thou come, but no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed"he who shared the throne of Deity,* and received the adorations of glorified saints, of Cherubim and Seraphim, and before whose footstool even Gabriel bowed and worshipped.† He whose right it was to reign in Heaven, condescended to visit this, his distant kingdom, and tabernacle here for a season in
Psalm cx. 1. Zech. xiii. 7.
+ Heb. i. 6.
the garb of humanity. Surely, if the Lord of Heaven and Earth deigned, for great and wise purposes, to enter this lower world, it was undoubtedly his just right to have appeared in all the majesty and splendour becoming his rank, and thus to have displayed himself as the glorious God. Was it not a condescension in the second person of the glorious Trinity to assume the character and office of Mediator? But, how unspeakably great his condescension in taking our nature into union with his Divine Person, even if it had always retained the splendours exhibited to the three disciples on the mount of transfiguration. Is there not just reason to believe the human nature to which Deity was united, as far exceeded in its native powers and faculties the rest of mankind*; as that the intellectual powers of the justly celebrated Newton exceeded the mental capacities of an idiot? We behold the God-man, Christ Jesus, voluntarily waiving his just claim to glory, and appearing, as the Prophet described," without form or comeliness;" for in the eyes of those who saw him " there was no beauty that they should desire him." He was exposed to every species of scorn and contempt, his
* John vii. 46.