Page images
PDF
EPUB

and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. It was then the Lion of the tribe of Judah 'opened the book and loosed the seals thereof.' Then did he prevail and unfold to their astonished view the glories of prophecy. He showed that all centred in him, like the light of ten thousand suns brought into one focus ! So charmed were the disciples with their Teacher, that when he made as though he would have gone further, they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is towards evening, and the day is far spent.' And it came to pass as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them; and their eyes were opened, and they knew him. It was their Friend, the Lamb who had been slain, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah! No wonder they said, 'Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?' The Lion had prevailed over all his enemies; he had burst the tomb, and now stood before the world as the first-born from the dead,' as the author of life and immortality to a dying world! In his greatest weakness, he was strong, and when he suffered most from his enemies, he brought on them the greatest confusion! An apostle afterwards learned this: 'When I am weak then am I

When Jesus was led as a lamb to the slaughter, then was he the Lion. His very weakness was his strength. His humiliation was his exaltation. He was then achieving a mightier victory than was ever accomplished by all the kings and conquerors of earth! He was conquering himself! Here

strong.'*

* 2 Cor. xii. 10.

then met the Lion and the Lamb! They did indeed lie down together in the Son of God! Never before did they meet in one individual. What a beautiful sentiment is connected with this subject. We see in the moral world the Lamb and the Lion meeting, and these two form a perfect character ! Would we then become like the Son of God? We must put on the meekness and patience of the Lamb, and then in moral strength we shall be as the Lion. The christian character, like that of the great Founder, is formed of contrarieties and diverse excellencies, and yet all are blended in perfect harmony! There all meet like the various colors in the rainbow; or like the inherent beauties in the cold marble when warmed into life by the hand of the sculptor! We wish we could pursue the rich theme that opens before us; for we want to show how the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed from the very hour when he was led as a lamb to the slaughter;' and how he will prevail till he gives up the kingdom to God even the Father;' but we must bring our present number to a close, by making an application of the whole subject. And we cannot do this better than in the words of the divine to whose sermon we have alluded in another part of this number:—'If you do come to Christ he will appear as a Lion, in his glorious power and dominion to defend you. All those excellencies of his, in which he appears as a Lion, shall be yours, and shall be employed for you in your defence, for your safety, and to promote your glory. He will be as a Lion to fight against your enemies. Unless your enemies can conquer this Lion, they shall not be able to destroy or hurt you; unless they are stronger than he, they shall not be able to hinder your happiness.'

LI. LORD.

"The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: he is Lord of all.'

Acts x. 36.

Jesus is called by this name in seventy-two instances; Lord Jesus Christ, twenty-eight; Lord Jesus, twenty-two; Lord of glory, once; Lord of Lords and King of Kings, twice. The word is usually applied to God, especially in the Old Testament. The translators have only used the word Jehovah, the incommunicable name of God, in four instances. In all other cases, they have used the term Lord, and for the sake of distinction, when this word corresponds to Jehovah, it is printed in capitals. It is said that to this day the Jewish doctors always read adon or adoni, Lord, or my Lord, where they find Jehovah. The word xúpios, translated Lord in the New Testament, is sometimes rendered sir, sometimes master, and once, owner. When this title is in the vocative, without either the possessive pronoun my prefixed or any name or title annexed, the application is invariably, according to the best use at present, to God or Christ.' Lord, or, O Lord, help me! is nowhere proper but in an address to God, whereas, Help me, my lord, is proper only when spoken to a man. This distinction is sacredly observed in the common version of the Old Testament. Two exceptions, however, occur: Exod. iv. 10, 13. Psa. xxxv. 23. The following paragraph

To say,

from an eminent critic, to whose work we shall refer in a note, seems worthy of a place in this number. "One who reads the Bible with reflection, (which not one of a thousand does,) is astonished to find, that on the very first appearance of Jesus Christ as a teacher, though attended with no exterior marks of splendor and majesty; though not acknowledged by the great and learned of the age; though meanly habited, in a garb not superior to that of an ordinary artificer, in which capacity we have ground to believe he assisted (Mark vi. 3.) his supposed father in his earlier days; he is addressed by almost every body in the peculiar manner in which the Almighty is addressed in prayer. Thus the leper, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean,” Matt. viii. 2. Thus the centurion, "Lord, my servant lieth at home,” verse 6. The Canaanitish woman crieth after him, “Have mercy on me, o Lord," ch. xv. 22. He is likewise mentioned sometimes under the simple appellation of The Lord, John xx. 2, without any addition, a form of expression which in the Old Testament our translators, as above observed, had invariably appropriated to God. What is the meaning of this? Is it that, from his first showing himself in public, all men believed him to be the Messiah, and not only so, but to be possessed of a divine nature, and entitled to be accosted as God? Far from it. The utmost that can with truth be affirmed of the multitude is, that they believed him to be a prophet. To sum up the whole matter, it appears that though this term was applied to both God and the Saviour, it was not considered generally as denoting superiority by those who used it when our Lord was upon the earth; for it was given by some

Greek proselytes to the apostle Philip, John xii. 21. Paul and Silas were thus addressed, Acts xvi. 30. It is given to Pontius Pilate, a pagan and idolater, Matt. xxvii. 63. It is indeed given to Jesus by those who knew nothing about him. He was addressed in this way by the Samaritan woman, John iv. 11; and by the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda. In these places, our translators have used the word sir. "The term lord is used in the English translation where the corresponding words, both in Hebrew and Greek, are names of officers, equivalent to rulers, magistrates, governors of provinces. Nothing, therefore, can be concluded from the application of this title in the version.

We have been thus particular, in order to show that though the same titles are applied to Jesus as to God, it does not follow that both are equal. In an accommodated sense, we admit that Jesus is Lord of all, but we do not believe him to be the Creator of all, or, in other words, that he is the Supreme God!

In this part of our number, it would seem proper to notice the incident in the life of our Lord where he said to the Pharisees, 'What think ye of Christ ?* whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool ? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son ?' This question entirely confounded the Pharisees; for we are told, “No man was

* The Christ—the Messiah. The definite article should always be added. See title Christ, and note under title Jesus.

| Matt. xxi. 41–46.

« PreviousContinue »