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assemblies, at that season, bears a much nearer resemblance to the sports holden in honour of the deified heroes in heathen mythology, than to the pure and spiritual nature of the Divine Person, whose first public appearance in our world it was wished annually to celebrate. What would the early disciples of Christ feel, could they behold the sad perversion of this sacred festival!


And I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first born.-Zech. xii. 10.

THE Prophet Zechariah here presents to our view one of the richest jewels in the treasury of God's promises. It sparkles clear and bright amid the records of divine truth. All earth's richest treasures cannot offer an adequate remuneration for the withdrawment of this precious promise. The words deserve our most careful examination. We will therefore consider the person here promising; the persons to whom the

promise is made; the thing promised; and search for proofs of its fulfilment.

The person here promising is the God-Man, Christ Jesus, for the words are, "I will pour, &c. &c.,

and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced, and mourn." We never find God the Father using such language as this when speaking of his disobedient creatures. God is justly displeased at man's apostasy. His law is dishonoured, his works defaced and injured by sin. Yet God, as God, cannot be the subject of pain and sorrow, he is beyond their reach. But if we look at the GodMan, Christ Jesus, we behold his sacred head pierced with a thorny crown, his hands and feet with nails of iron, his side with the soldier's spear, and his soul with the wrath of God. He who suffered thus on earth, did, as God, make this gracious promise.

The persons to whom this promise literally applies, are the Jews, whose restoration as a nation to the divine favour, will form a prominent feature in the latter-day glories of the Church. The Lord has promised to gather together the dispersed in Judah, and the outcasts of Israel. "The deliverer shall arise out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob." This nation, who once refused and crucified the

Messiah, shall, when partakers of this promised blessing," look upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn." This promise is not confined to the Jews, but extends to the fallen race of Adam, whom our spiritual David will make inhabitants of the new Jerusalem, which is above, without regard to their being of Jewish or Gentile extraction.* He will not consider the trifling distinctions of colour, language, or nation, a barrier of such importance as to preclude their participating in his blessings.

The thing promised is an abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Adam, by his apostasy, lost the image of God stamped upon his soul at his creation. The sentence, "in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," was not suffered to go unexecuted. From that hapless hour, his soul, the most noble part, was dead to all spiritual life, and became the abode of corroding passions and depraved principles. He immediately shrank from holding intercourse with God, and tried to hide himself from the presence of his benefactor. As Adam begat a son in his own fallen likeness, all his race partake of the same corrupt nature. We are ignorant of God and his ways. We need divine

* Matt. xxviii. 19. Acts xi. 18., xiii. 46, 47., xv. 3.

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teaching; we cannot naturally understand the things of God, which are spiritual, the eye of our understanding being darkened; God is not in all our thoughts; we are averse to communion with the Father of Spirits. We despise his offers of free grace-we prefer to be saved by our own rather than God's method- -we see no beauty in Jesus that we should desire him-we dislike to renounce our own, and trust in his complete righteousness-we consider his commands grievous, and the language of our soul is, we will not have this man to reign over us." But we are here told of a sovereign antidote for these deep-seated moral disorders of the soul. Here is a gracious promise of an abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to "convince of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment." He convinces the soul, into which he enters, of the exceeding sinfulness of sin-that it is the evil thing which God hates; and shows the divine law is spiritual, extending to the thoughts and intents of the heart.* He puts a cry for mercy into the soul, destroys the natural enmity of the mind against God's plan of salvation, and makes the object of his divine teaching willing and anxious to partake of the Lord's

John xvi. 7—14.

bounty, and be a debtor to mercy alone. The Holy Spirit teaches of righteousness by convincing that a better righteousness than our own tattered rags is absolutely necessary, ere we can see the face of God with peace. He makes the soul willing to be clothed with the wedding garment of Jesus' righteousness, which is the fine linen of the saints. It is indispensable that we be clothed with this livery of the court of Heaven, or we shall be denied admission into the mansions of the King of Glory. Would we behold the fulfilment of this prophetic promise, then let us direct our minds back to a survey of the glorious scenes exhibited on the ever memorable day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was, in so free and copious a manner, poured out from on high. Attend to the sermon Peter preached on the day of his ordination; mark its effects on the three thousand of the House of David, inhabitants of Jerusalem's much-famed city. Listen to their cry, "Men and brethren, what must we do?" Surely these were none of the stout hearts who dared even to crucify the Lord of life and glory? The same! yet how different their tone-how altered their conduct! To what cause can we attribute this astonishing change in the minds of three thousand persons in the same instant of time? Surely it was none

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