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KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS:
Rév. xix. 16.
(And he hath on his vesture, and on his thigh,
a name written] KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
T HE description of the administration
1 and glory of the Redeemer's kingdom, in defiance of all opposition, concludes the second part of the Messiah. Three different passages from this book are selected to form a grand chorus, of which his title in this verse is the close. A title, which has been sometimes vainly usurped, by proud worms of the earth. Eastern monarchs, in particular, have affected to style themselves King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. In the scriptus
ral language, men, whether high or low, rich or poor, one with another, are compared to worms and potsherds of the earth; but they are by nature so strongly infected by pride, that they cannot invent titles of honour answerable to the idea they have of their own importance, without intrenching upon the divine prerogative. Thus sovereignty, majesty, holiness and grace, and other attributes which properly belong to God alone, are parcelled out among the Great. But let the great and the mighty know, that wherein. they speak proudly, MESSIAH is above them. The whole verse (of which the latter claufe only is in the Oratorio) offers two points to our meditations.
I. How he is represented as wearing bis title. It is written, or inscribed, upon his verture dipped in blood, and upon his thigh. Either upon that part of his vesture which covers his thigh ; or, upon the upper part of his vesture, and upon his thigh likewise.
II. The title itself. King of kings, and Lord of lords. Whatever power the kings and lords among mankind poffefs, is derived from him, and absolutely subject to his controul.
I. The manner in which he wears his name or title. It is written upon his vesture, and upon his thigh.
1. This name being written upon his vefture, denotes the manifestation, and the ground of his authority. It is written upon his outward garment, to be read, known, and acknowledged, by all beholders. And it is upon his bloody garment, upon the vesture stained with his own blood, and the blood of his enemies; which intimates to us, that his government is founded upon the success of his great undertaking. In the passage from whence this verse is selected, there are three names attributed to MESSIAH. He has a name wbich no one knows but himfelf *, agreeable to what he declared when upon earth. No man, ouders, no one, (neither man nor angel) knoweth the Son, but the Father; this refers to his eternal power and Godhead. A fecond name, The 1Dord ef Godt, denotes the mystery of the divine perfonality. The name in my text imports his glory, as the Mediator between God and man, in our nature, which, when he refumed it from the grave, became the seat of Ver. 12.
+ Ver. 13.
all power and authority ; which power, we are now taught to consider, not merely as the power of God, to whom it essentially be. longs, but as the power of God exercised in, and by that Man, who died upon the cross for our fins. In consequence of his obedience unto death, he received a name which is above every name *. This inscription his own people read, by the eye of faith, in the present life, and it inspires them with confidence and joy, under the many tribulations they pass through, in the course of their profession. Hereafter, it shall be openly known and read by all men. Every eye shall see it, and every heart muft either bow or break before him...
2. It is written upon his thigh. The thigh is the emblem of power, and is the part of the body on which the sword is girded f. By this emblem we are taught, that he will assuredly maintain and exercise the right which he has acquired. As he has a just claim to the title, he will act accordingly. Many titles among men are merely titular. So the king of Great Britain is Zyled likewise king of France, though he has * Phil. ii. 9. Pf. xlv. 3.
neither authority nor possessions in that kingdom. But this name, which MESSIAH bears, is full of life, truth and influence. He is styled King of kings, and Lord of lords, because he really is so. Because he actually rules and reigns over them, and does accordo ing to his own pleasure in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, with an absolute and uncontroulable sway, so that none can say his hand, or say unto him, what doeft thou * ?
II. The title itself is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth t. Too many of them imagine a vain thing. They take counsel together, and set themselves against him I, saying, Let us break his bands asunder. But be fitteth in the heavens, and has them in derision. He has his hook in their nose, and his bridle in their lips, and the result of all their contrivances, is neither more nor less than the accomplishment of his will.
1. The rage they discover, and the resistance they make, cannot weaken this truth, but rather render it more evident. If it be asked, Why does he permit them to resist ? * Dan. iv. 35. + Rev. i. s. | Pf. ii. 3.