And in your majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness…
Poetry is the language of the soul; for the soul is the seat of all deeper, purer, diviner feeling. Till the spirit is touched and stirred to her very depth and inmost self there can be no poetry. A man may be set down in the very midst of Nature's life and loveliness, amid her fields, and flowers, and streams, and mountains, and even her wildest grandeur, but if he has no communion with the soul of Nature, he can have nothing to say. He may imitate her language, but he has no real voice. Now, the poetry of the Bible is the Bible of poetry. You may find the language of feeling in other books, but this is the book of feeling. It is the utterance of the soul in its deepest moods. It lets you into the very heart of humanity. An inspired apostle has applied a certain portion of this psalm to the Redeemer of man.
I. THAT THE CONQUEST OF OUR WORLD BY CHRIST IMPLIES RATHER ITS REDEMPTION THAN ITS SUBJUGATION, Man has been so brought under the yoke by the power of evil that his nature is comparatively enslaved. The spirit is enthralled by the flesh. The higher nature by the lower. Bondage is mistaken for freedom. The will of God is to reverse all this, to bring back man to his original condition. And to accomplish this Christ came. His life must be sacrificed to effect our deliverance, and He gave it up willingly and without reserve. Though we are taken from under the yoke of an enslaving bondage, our redemption does not place us above law, or take us from the sphere of its influence. We are under law to Him who hath redeemed us. As His freemen we owe Him our allegiance and submission.
II. THAT HE WHO IS TO EFFECT THIS CONQUEST IS REVEALED TO US AS INVESTED WITH ATTRIBUTES CORRESPONDING TO THE GRANDEUR OF HIS ENTERPRISE. He is clothed with might, majesty and glory. Of these perfections, as they are united in the Godhead, we have many striking manifestations. See the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. Or the prophet describing the calamities which God was about to inflict on the enemies of His Church and people, represents His brightness as the light, and burning coals going forth at His feet, and at whose descent the everlasting mountains were scattered, and the perpetual hills did bow, while His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise! How different from all this outward and gorgeous splendour is the calm and silent majesty of the same august Being, when He is represented as saying" Let there be light, and light was!" Or when you hear him reveal His ineffable name to Moses — "I am that I am!" So in reference to the Saviour. It is in the quiet word of His power, as when He stilled the tempest, yet more in the deep tranquillity of His own soul, that we see His glory. His might lay in 'His purity, His majesty in His meekness, His glory in His benevolence. There is no power equal to that of goodness, and there is nothing which goodness may not achieve.
III. THAT NOTHING COULD BE MORE SIMPLE OR APPROPRIATE THAN THE MEANS OR INSTRUMENTALITY BY WHICH THIS CONQUEST IS TO BE ACHIEVED. Just as the purpose of the Redeemer corresponds with the benevolence and the righteousness of His character, so the means by which that purpose is to be carried into effect beautifully correspond with the calm and dignified composure of his own soul. Having, like a true hero, girt His sword upon His thigh, He is seen riding forth prosperously and in triumph. Victory waits upon His every step. And this not as the effect of force, but as the result of truth. The Conqueror of the world is the world's Great Teacher. Full of grace and truth, He came to reveal the love of God, and the way of life. He asks for no blind, unmeaning homage, and therefore He floods the mind with light. He wants no unwilling surrender, and therefore He fills the heart with love. We see, then, how it is that in the Conqueror of the world meekness is combined with truth. The dove at His baptism told what manner of reign His was to be. It was the gentleness of Christ as a teacher of truth that made Him great. It is a striking fact that Christianity makes no provision for those cases in which it fails in its professed results. Other systems reserve to themselves the freedom of changing their ground and of adapting their expedients to the ever-varying conditions of society; but the Christian system disdains any such policy. Whether it be introduced into countries where civilization sits high-throned and regnant, or into regions where we meet with only uncultured and barbarous tribes, it is the same thing. While it possesses all the elements of universal adaptation, it knows nothing of expediency. It refuses to be thrown into any Procrustean bed, and have its dimensions determined by the caprice of men. It is through all time the same and immutable. The reason is obvious. Its failures are not due to itself but in those to whom it is addressed, or in the agency through which we seek to diffuse it.
IV. THAT THE PROGRESS OF THIS CONQUEST WILL ARREST THE ATTENTION AND AWAKEN THE JOY OF THE WHOLE MORAL CREATION OF GOD. Heaven is interested in earth. But what ate we doing to help forward the reign of Christ? Have we submitted ourselves to Him? Only so can we really help or share in its final joy.
(R. Ferguson, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.