Expositions of Holy Scripture

Expositions of Holy Scripture

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Excerpt: ...sad questions. II. The contrast of these Gentiles' joyful eagerness to worship the King of Israel, with the alarm of his own people at the whisper of his name, is a prelude of the tragedy of his rejection, and the passing over of the kingdom to the Gentiles. Notice the bitter and scornful emphasis of that 'Herod the king' coming twice in the story in immediate connection with the mention of the true King. He was a usurper, caricaturing the true Monarch. Like most kings who have had 'great' tacked to their names, his greatness consisted mainly in supreme wickedness. Fierce, lustful, cunning, he had ruled without mercy; and now he was passing through the last stages of an old age without love, and ringed round by the fears born of his misdeeds. He trembles for his throne, as well he may, when he hears of these strangers. Probably he does not suppose them mixed up with any attempt to unseat him, or he would have made short work of them; unless, indeed, his craft led him to dissemble until he had sucked them dry and had used them to lead him to the infant rival, after which he may have meant to murder them too. But he recognises in their question the familiar tones of the Messianic hope, which he knew was ever lying like glowing embers in the breast of the nation, ready to be blown into a flame. His creatures in the capital might disown it, but he knew in his secret heart that he was a usurper, and that at any moment that smouldering hatred and hope might burn up him and his upstart monarchy. An evil conscience is full of fears, and shrinks from the good news that the King of all is at hand. His coming should be joy, as is that of the bursting spring or the rosy dawn; but our own sin makes the day of the Lord darkness and not light, and sends us cowering into our corners to escape these searching eyes. Nor less tragic and perverted is the trouble which 'all Jerusalem' shared with Herod. The Magi had naturally made straight for the capital, expecting to...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 12mm | 408g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236695062
  • 9781236695062

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