or Solomon) upon the visible rock of Zion. When again in Isaiah they read the text " Israel is my firstborn," they applied all the prophecies respecting the Son and servant of Jehovah, either (as the Jew in Justin Martyr says) to the personified people of Israel ; or (as later Jews say) to the consecrated priesthood, who had charge of the Bible and the temple at Jerusalem. So, once more, in the seventh chapter of Isaiah, by the Virgin who should conceive, they understood some one in the reign of Ahaz; by the child born^ perhaps Maher-shalal- hash-haa:, and by the two kings, Rezin of Syria and Pekin of Samaria. In short, there was a deeply-rooted, and perhaps a very natural, reluctance on part of learned Jews, to conceive of the anointed king and deliverer of Israel as a person suffering and bowed to earth by affliction. " That the Christ must needs suffer," or that the pro- phetic king was to be a king " crowned with thorns,"" is one of the main points which the apostles have great difficulty in reconciling to the apprehensions of their hearers. Possibly, indeed, there may have been a moral inability on the part^ of the Jewish people generally to 1 So R. Lipmann, in his Carmen Memoriale ; R. Isaac; and the author of the izzachon Vetus, published by Wagenseil, in 16S1. W. S. 9 194 The Kingdom of God [serm. conceive the idea of a might, stronger than any might of man, yet destined to prevail only through suffering, or to think a kingdom the " desire of all nations \" which had no kingly attribute, save that it came in the spirit and the power of Him, to whom the angels cry, Holy, Holy, Holy.