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Nevertheless, the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.-Isaiah ix. 1. 2.
FROM the days of Malachi, the last of the prophets, until the coming of John the Baptist, a period of four hundred and thirty-six years, the Church was in a state of great darkness and apparent desertion. This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus resided, or personally preached in the towns of Galilee; then, "the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and ot them which sat in the region and shadow of death light sprung up." Jesus is "the true light, that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world." He is given to be "a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of his people Israel." To whom we would say, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." For through the tender mercy of our God, Jesus, the day-spring from on high, hath visited
us, to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet in the way of peace. "Light and immortality are brought to light by the gospel" of Jesus, who is himself the divine fountain, or source from whence must emanate all spiritual light. He is the light and the life of man; he came a light into this world, that whosoever believeth in him should not abide in "darkness."
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a
colt the foal of an ass.-Zechariah ix. 9.
We have so striking an accomplishment of this prophecy, that it is scarcely possible to imagine one can be found, who is unwilling to point to Jesus and exclaim, Zion behold your King.
Was it ever known that any other king, except Jesus, made such an humble entry into the city of Jerusalem, or indeed any city. No, his was altogether the reverse of such processions. Here was no herald to proclaim his approach, no charger highly caparisoned to convey the Monarch, no royal purple or
glittering attire to distinguish him from the throng, or dazzle the unthinking crowds. In himself and attendants, all was, to outward appearance, mean and contemptible. Yet the minds of this vast multitude, were for the moment so struck with the truth of his Messiah-ship, that with one simultaneous shout, they make the air resound with Hosannas to the Son of David; "blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." This is not the only instance of their wishing to make him their king.* His disciples were impressed with the common error, that he would establish a temporal kingdom. After his resurrection we hear them saying, "Lord wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" But no, his kingdom is not of this world, else would his servants have been called on to fight for it. The wea pons of their warfare, are "not carnal but spiritual, and mighty, through God, to pulling down the strong holds of sin and satan." We do not hear that Jesus made one visit to the court of monarchy, but many to the temple. The Roman authorities viewed him with a jealous eye, and passed sentence on him for avouching his kingly authority. It is worthy of remark, that
the superscription affixed to his cross, instead of declaring him an usurper, did, in four languages, proclaim his innocence, and acknowledge his authority-" Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews." Yes, the meek and lowly Jesus-Jehovah has set as king upon his holy hill of Zion; he is "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords." He is just, for "behold a King shall reign in rightHe not only has salvation, but he is Jehovah's salvation, to the ends of the earth. To him
every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess," that "he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." It was a striking display of his Godhead, in directing his disciples where to find the colt, and in overruling the mind of the owner, to let the animal go only on their saying, "the Lord hath need of him." Yes, he is the Lord of the whole earth; "the beasts of the forests are his, and so are the cattle on a thousand hills."
Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.-Jeremiah vii. 11.
AN attentive reader of the New Testament, will easily discover the correspondence between these
words, and the circumstance of Jesus driving the buyers and sellers from the temple; which action deserves to be carefully considered. It may appear extraordinary, that persons should have dared to make the temple of God the seat of commerce, for it was still used as the high place for offering the daily sacrifice. But it is probable that, at the first, persons were allowed to bring for sale, into some of the outer courts or inclosures of the temple, doves, and those animals the Jews used for sacrifices; that persons who resided at a distance, and could not, without considerable inconvenience, bring their sacrifices with them to Jerusalem, might always be able to purchase such animals as they wished to offer.* In after years, this privilege was abused, and instead of a sale of animals exclusively for sacrifice, it became the busy scene of commerce; and buyers and sellers, merchants and money-changers, used it as the great mart for business. Thus a place set apart for the worship of the Most High God, was made the general rendezvous of men, whose only aim, was to get money, even though it were at the expense of their religion. Such was the disgraceful scene exhibited at the temple in
* Deut. xiv. 23-26.