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be put to death, as the highest offender known to law — and as one who was to experience the gloom of the grave, and be raised, and, in due time, to pass into the heavens, and appear as a priest in the presence of God. The other class present him as the Lord of glory, clothed with majesty, coming in vengeance to judge the world, and dashing his enemies to pieces as a potter's vessel, and swaying his sceptre over the whole earth; as the one who should redeem his people from all their enemies, their sorrows, their afflictions, and introduce them into the renovated earth, and be their King forever and ever. The one class relate to his coming in humiliation;—the other to his coming in glory. The one class describe him as a spiritual Redeemer;—the other as a physical Redeemer. The one class refer to him as a Prophet, Priest, Sacrifice;– the other as a Judge, Rewarder, King. The first class point to his coming to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord — the other to his coming to proclaim the day of God's vengeance. These prophecies and types, so entirely opposite in their character, could not be fulfilled at one time, or at one manifestation of himself. All can see that he could not appear in these opposite characters, assume these opposite forms, perform these opposite things, and receive such opposite treatment, at one and the same coming. But which class of prophecies and types did he fulfil at his first coming? All will say, the first. If so, his first coming was not to reign. His coming to restore the kingdom of Israel, must be looked for at a subsequent period.
2. Facts, known to all, clearly demonstrate, that the prophecy did not point to the first appearing of Messiah, as the period of its fulfilment. Nothing occurred at that time that approached towards a fulfilment of it. The kingdom of Israel was to be subject to overturnings, and cease to be, until Christ should come to receive it, to whom it belonged by right. But when he came he did not receive it; he refused the crown; he left it, as he found it, in ruins! And forty years after, the last vestige of it was by the Romans destroyed, and its seat and capital utterly laid waste. And need I tell what has been its fate since? The world know what it has been. The withering decree of the Almighty is yet upon it. "NO MORE" are the two words of the prophecy that contain its history. Another coming, then, must be intended, or the prediction has failed. None of my Christian hearers will allow the latter.
3. The Saviour, just prior to his ascension to heaven, in reply to a question of the disciples, relating to the time of the restoration of the kingdom, gave them most decidedly to understand that the period of such restoration was far future. They inquired,—"Lord, Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom again to Israel?" There can be no doubt, I think, that this question was put in view of the very prophecy I have taken for my text. All can see that it related to time. There could be no ground for mistake as to the event. Our Saviour, in his answer, confines himself to time. He gave them to understand that the event was certain. But it was not for them to know, then, the times and seasons which the Father had put in his own power. The event was far future, and there was no necessity of giving an immediate revelation concerning the time. But that they might be still farther assured as to the certainty of the predicted restoration, they were told by two heavenly messengers, that appeared as soon as the Lord had gone up beyond their sight, that the same Jesus who had gone up from them should so come in like manner as they had seen him go to heaven. All can see that this language expresses a personal coming in the strongest and most decisive manner. That is the coming intended by the prophecy, to restore the kingdom. The disciples wished to know if he would fulfil the prophecy, at that time, or at that coming, and he, in his answer, conveyed clearly the idea that the period was future that was assigned for its fulfilment, and not then to be known. But that they might not despair of its fulfilment, two angels are despatched, while the disciples are gazing towards heaven to catch another view of their ascending Lord, to assure them of his coming again in person. This must have dispelled all doubt. Then, their faith in the restoration of the kingdom, and the manner, had a firm and immovable basis. It is therefore plain that the question of the disciples, and the answer of the Lord, together with the declaration of the angels, afford the clearest evidence that the prophecy relating to the kingdom is not to have its fulfilment until his future personal coming. To say the least, it shows that his first coming was not to receive the kingdom.
4. An additional proof of this is found in the fact that his first appearance was at the commencement of the supremacy of the fourth kingdom of Daniel's vision. That kingdom was one of the powers to be used in overturning and subverting the kingdom of Israel. It did destroy the last remnant of it. And it was to have an existence of two thousand years' duration. All this long space of time would be necessary for it to pass through all its predicted changes.
After its fall and ruin, Christ was to receive the kingdom. See Daniel vii. 9—14. That kingdom, in its last predicted form, yet continues. Israel's power is yet scattered and broken. Jerusalem is yet trodden down by the Gentiles, because the times of the Gentiles still continue. David's throne is not to be re-established until those times expire. When Christ first appeared, the Roman monarchy had but just begun its long, bloody, and terrible career.
It was but in its infancy. It was for many long ages to break and scatter the power of Israel. Christ's first coming, then, was not the one pointed to by the prophecy.
5. The New Testament, with great uniformity, represents Christ as waiting for, and not as reigning in, his kingdom. The Father thus addressed him,—"Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool." Ps. cx. 1. Acts ii. 34, 35. And Paul testifies, that he, after offering himself for sin, "sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." Heb. x. 12, 13. And this same apostle assures us, that, when he comes again, he will come with his kingdom. 2 Tim. iv. 1. Hence it is evident that he has not the kingdom which is his by right, and which he is to receive at his coming. It is not yet ready. The subjects are not all fitted, the territory is not yet prepared, the foes are not subdued, the dominion is yet in the hands of enemies. And his term of office as priest is not quite expired; he yet intercedes in heaven; yet presents his own blood before the Father as a reason for the delay of justice. But he will soon relinquish that position, and take to himself his great power and reign. But, since he does not now reign in his kingdom, all must see that his first coming was not that referred to in the text. These reasons, though but a few of those