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before Him, and as a root out of thirsty ground: there is no beauty in Him nor comeliness : and we have seen Him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of Him: despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity : and His look was, as it were, hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows; and we have thought Him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was His own will, and He opened not his mouth : He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and He shall not open His mouth. . . . He hath delivered His soul unto death, and was reputed with the wicked: and He hath borne the sins of many, and hath prayed for His transgressors.”ı
The holy prophet David thus' speaks in the person of our Saviour :-"I am a worm and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people. All they that saw me laughed me to scorn. They have spoken with the lips and wagged the head. He hoped in the Lord, let Him deliver Him."? “For many dogs have encompassed me: the council of the malignant hath besieged me. They have dug my hands and my feet. They have numbered all my bones, and they have looked and stared upon me. They parted my garments 1 Isa. liii. 2–12.
Psalm xxi. 7-9,
amongst them; and upon my vesture they cast
The author of the Book of Wisdom thus describes the council of the wicked against Christ, and their design of putting Him to an ignominious death :-“ Let us lie in wait for the just, because He is not for our turn, and He is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law, and divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life. He boasteth that He hath the knowledge of God, and calleth Himself the Son of God: He is become a censurer of our thoughts. He is grievous unto us, even to behold: for His life is not like other men's, and His ways are very different. We are esteemed by Him as triflers, and He abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just, and glorieth that He hath God for His Father. Let us see then if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen to Him, and we shall know what His end shall be. For if He be the true Son of God, He will defend Him, and will deliver Him from the hands of His enemies. Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know His meekness, and try His patience. Let us condemn Him to a most shameful death."
But besides the first coming of Christ in humiliation and suffering, Holy Scripture mentions also His second coming in majesty and glory, to judge the living and the dead. Yet, it must be observed, that the glory which characterizes the second coming of Christ and His kingdom, is not the vain glory of the world, but a solid and holy glory according to God. It is not a glory like that of the proud conquerors of the earth when they Psalm xxi, 17-19.
3 Wisd, ii.
overthrow their enemies; but a heavenly glory, which has its foundation in holiness and justice. It is not a glory which aims at gratifying the vanity and ambition of man, but a glory founded on humility, which makes man righteous and holy. With these observations it is not difficult to point out the principal errors of the Jews respecting the coming of Christ and his kingdom.
1. They have erred, and still err most grievously, in refusing to acknowledge the first coming of Christ in humiliation and suffering, for the redemption of mankind. How wonderful that whilst the wise men came from the East to offer homage of humble adoration to the infant Saviour at the cottage of Bethlehem, the priests and princes of the people of Israel, who could tell so well from the prophecy of Micheas where the Messias was to be born, did not take the least pains to ascertain the fulfilment of that great mystery. How wonderful that His own people should harden themselves continually against the tokens of His goodness, and close their eyes to the proofs of His mission. What more could our Blessed Lord have done to convince the Jews that He was really the Christ of God? - The works themselves which I do," said He to them, “ give testimony of Me that the Father hath sent Me." 1 « The works that I do in the name of My Father, they give testimony of Me."2 “If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But if I do, though you will not believe Me, believe the works; that you may know that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” 3 And again : “ If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath I John v. 36.
2 Ib. x. 25. 3 Ib. x. 37, 38.
done, they would not have sin : but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law : They hated me without cause.” 1 Hence when the disciples of John asked our Lord in the name of their master, whether He was really the Christ who was to come, Jesus answered, and tell to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead rise again; the poor have the Gospel preached to them; and blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me.”2 Lastly, after filling Palestine with His miracles during life, He wrought that most stupendous of all miracles after death-the raising Himself to life, victorious over hell and death. And yet all this did not make any impression on the incredulous Jews. “All the day long," says the Lord, “ have I spread My hands to a people that believeth not, and contradicteth Me. 3 unto His own,” says St. John, “ and His own received Him not." 4
2. They have erred, and still err most grievously, in thinking that the coming of Christ would be beneficial only to themselves, and that the nations of the earth would derive from it only chastisement, overthrow, and destruction. For the Scriptures plainly say, that Christ is “The desire and the expectation of nations,” 5 and that “ in Him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed."6
3. They have erred, and still err most grievously, in thinking that the triumph and glory of the coming of Christ and of His kingdom would be of " John xv. 24, 25.
3 Matt. xi. 4–6. 3 Rom. x. 21.
4 John i. 11. 5 Gen. xlix. 10.
6 Psalm lxxi. 17.
- He came
a worldly nature, similar to that which adorns the heroes of earth, and renders them conspicuous before men. The glory of the kingdom of Christ, as we have said, is entirely divine and heavenly, founded on holiness and justice, and tending to make holiness and justice reign everywhere.
Remarkable predictions respecting the return of the children of
Israel to Judea, and their conversion to the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The predictions of the holy prophets concerning the children of Israel are of two classes, general and particular. The general belong to all the faithful of Christ, who, in spirit, are the children of Abraham, according to these words of St. Paul, “ They who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” 1 The inheritance in the blessings contained in these predictions comes by faith in Christ; hence they manifestly affect all true believers, whether Gentiles or Jews.
But, besides these general predictions, there are others which belong to the children of Israel, according to the flesh. Such, for instance, was the prediction, that the Saviour of the world should arise from the seed of Abraham. Such, likewise, are many predictions concerning the return of the children of Israel into Judea, and their conversion to the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We will here quote some of the most remarkable.
i Gal. iii. 7.