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know] in that day that I [am] he that doth speak: behold, [it is] I, who am come to fulfil my promise.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; meaning the messengers that come from Babylon to bring the news of deliveronce; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! his providence and care of his church now afifiear in performing his promises.
% Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing? the watchmen, seeing the messengers coming at a distance, shall begin a song of joy and praise: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion; they shall see face to face, that is, clearly and evidently see his favour returning, and their glory dawning.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath re
10 deemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God; his power and holiness in their deliverance from Babylon, shall be an emblem of, and serve to intro
11 duce the great salvation by Jesus Christ. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean [thing ;] go ye out of the midst of her; go out of Babylon, cleanse yourselves from idolatrous defilements and ceremonial pollutions; bring no idolatrous practices out of Babylon, as ye did out of Egypt; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord; ye priests, that bear the holy vessels which Cyrus restored. Ye shall have time to cleanse your
12 selves, For ye shall not go out with haste, as ye did out of Egypt, in a diffident, distrustful manner, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you: and the God of Israel [will be] your rereward ; he will defend you from enemies before and behind.•
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall conduct himself in his office with integrity and wisdom, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high; men and angels shall admire him,
14 and God shall exalt him. As many were astonished at thee ;t his visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men ; they were astonished to see such an alteration made in his countenance by his sorrows and suffering!', and such a change in his circumstances between the multitude foils lowing him in triumph, and his being crucified. So shall he
sprinkle many nations, by his blood, his word, and spirit, and the ordinance of baptism ; the kings shall shut their mouths at him; shall attend to his doctrine in an humble, reverent manner: for [that] which had not been told them shall they see ; and [that] which they had not heard shall they consider; that is, his heavenly doctrine, such as human reason could not discover. This is applied in Rom. xv. 21. to the gospel.
• Here another sectinn begins, which contains a glorious prophecy of Christ, to the e d •f rhe next chapter ; this division spoils the beauty and sense of rhe prophecy. + Or, at him, aa the Syrian, Chald«r, and Vulgate versions render it.
Vol. V. H h
i. T TT E see how the glad tidings of salvation should be recervV V ed. The gospel brings us news of a greater deliverance than that of the Jews from Babylon; a deliverance from the captivity of sin and Satan; a message of peace with God, and the prospect of eternal life. We now see heavenly truths clearly, and enjoy the favour of God. How thankfully then should these glad tidings be received, and how welcome should christian ministers be who publish them! Rom. x. 15. How beautiful are the feet of them that fireach the gosfiel ofpeace, and bring glad tidings of good things! They should be esteemed highly in love for their work's sake; and we should earnestly pray that they may be spread over the whole world, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of tht Lord.
2. We see what is necessary to our being partakers of this salvation. We must rouse and exert ourselves, put on our strength, endeavour to break the chains of sin, and regain our liberty. The same exhortation is addressed to us that was to Israel, 2 Cor. vi. 17. Come out from among them, and be ye sefiarate, saith the Lord: touch not the unclean thing, and J will receive you: hax~e no communion with the unfruitful works of darkness. Let all God's people, especially his ministers, be holy; then shall we enjoy the divine protection, be cleansed from all our iniquities, and at length see the everlasting salvation of our God.
This is a remarkable firofihecy of Christ, the most illustrious in all the Old Testament; it describes his sufferings as exactly as if it (to* a history of them.
I "\j\7"HO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm
name of Christ and his afwstles, laments that so few among the Jews believed the refiort of the gosfiel, or were influenced by those miracles which were wrought bn the arm or fiower of God; and
2 suggests one reason,viz. Christ's meanafifiearanre. For he shall grow up before him, under the cue and care cf God, and in the sight of all the fieofile, as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; as a sucker or tender branch, in a thirsty soil, that is, from the house of David, which was now sunk into obscurity: he
hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him ; he hath no extraordinary comeliness, no external fxomfx, nothing to suit the car
3 nal expectations of the Jrws; therefore He is despised and rejected of men ; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; he shall have a variety if sorrows, and the grbfs rf his intimate
acquaintance »hall be quite familiar to him : and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; or, as in the margin of our bibles, he hid as it were his face from us; he was despised, and we esteemed him not; we treated him with contempt and abhorrence; we,
4 who above all others, should have most esteemed him. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; Ac hath healed our diseases by his miraclcn, and borne the penalty of our nins: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afllicted; we thought him justly punished, as a blasphemer, and considered him
5 as a monument of divine vengeance. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him: and with hisstripes we are healed ; our peace was made with God, and we were healed of our spiritual disorders, by his sufferings, whereby he made
6 an atonement for sin, and obtained the hUy spirit for vs. All we like sheep have gone astray ; we have turned every one to his own way ; have followed our sensual and sinful inclinations; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all; by the
7 appomtment of (ltd he suffered to expiate it. He was oppressed, and he was afllicted, by the weight of his sufferings, and his deep and tender sense rf them; though it man be rendered, , it was exacted of him, a,id he answered the demand;' yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth to express any revenge or impatience, to complain of heaven, or
S revile his persecutors. He was taken from prison and from judgment; or, taken away by distress and judgment ; he was distressed in judgment, that is, had not a fair trial: and who shall declare his generation? who can describe the wickedness cf that nation by whom he was crucified? or, who would ever have thought he had been the son of David, who was described in scripture by such illustrious characters ?• for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; he was buried by permission of the Roman governor, near the place of execution; yet with a rich and honourable burial,with fne linen and spices, and in a rich man's sepulchre, Afa't.xwii. 57. because, or, although, he had done no violence, neither [wasany]
10 deceit in his mouth. Vet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief; it was a wise and grurious appointment of (Sod; and he took pleasure in his suffering«, as making an atonement fhr sin: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days; he shall have many converts, or spiritual children, bu whom his name and religion shall be kept up, and the pleasure of the Lord, that is, the salvation of souli, which is God's pleasure, shall prosper
11 in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied; he wilt refect upon the success of his lubuurs and
• Bp l.owtti rr-m,Utr» thr tiwa(ti! thu«; By an efprettivt iudgment he re.n taten iff? sn4 hit manner of life who ivmttt dttiart?
•euffering» with joy: by his knowledge, or, by the knowledge of Mm, shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear 12 their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with ihe strong; he shall be a successful conqueror, and, like a strong man armed, divide Ait sftoils; or, he shall divide the s/ioils of the strong, of sin and Salan, and lead ca/itivity cafitrve; because he hath poured out his soul, or blood, like a drink offering, unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; treated like one of them in hin trial and death ¡ and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors; he firayed for hin murderers, and e-uer liveth to make intercession for transgressors.
1. T E T us adore the spirit of prophecy, that so plainly described -L« the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. How absurd is it to apply this to Jeremiah, or any other sufferer but Christ! It is remarkably plain and strong; it has converted many Jews, and some learned Rabbies, when they compared the prophecy and the correspondent events; and also a celebrated infidel of our own country. Let it therefore confirm our faith in the gospel, and our steady adherence to Jesus Christ, the Messiah that should come.
2. Let us admire the love of Christ in bearing all these sufferings for sinful men. In what a variety of awful language are his sufferings described, and how just is the description! How frequently »re we informed, that he died for our sins, and not for his own. \Vho, that carefully reads this chapter, can deny the doctrine of Christ's sacrifice, and proper expiation? Let us therefore cherish a lively gratitude to him, -who siiffcred for our sins, the junt for the •unjust.
3. Let us be careful that we do not reject this Saviour. It was strange that the Jews should do it, when they had this prophecy in their hands, which so plainly foretold his sufferings. But they did it; and their obstinacy and unbelief confirms our faith; for here that also is plainly foretold. We hear the report of the gospel, and have not the same prejudices against it as they had. Let us believe it; and never hide our faces from Christ ; but receive him as the Messiah, the Son of Cod, and the Saviour of the world; and rather suffer any thing, than give up faith in him and a good conscience.
4. Let us rejoice in the extent of the Redeemer's kingdom, and earnestly pray for its increase. This part of the prophecy has likewise been fulfilled: Christ has a numerous seed; his cause has prospered amidst a thousand difficulties; and shall still prosper, for it is God's pleasure. Let us pray that he may yet see of the travail of his soul, and justify multitudes more, even to the ends of the earth, and till the end of time: and may every one of us be the Redeemer's willing captives now, and his eternal glory and joy!
The prophet, having foretold the sufferings of Christ, proceedt to describe the glory ami increase of the church.
1 OING, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear; break forth into O singing, and crv aloud, thou [that] didst not travail with child: for more [arc] the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. This is afifilicd by Paul to the calling in of the gentiles; they shall be more numerous than ever the Jews were, though before they had not stood in a cove
2 nant relation to God. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtaiDS of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; an allusion to God's people as formerly dwelling in tents, which they are called
3 ufion to enlarge and strengthen for their numerous children; For thou, my church, shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, far beyond thy firesent bounds: and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities.to be inhabited; those who know not God, and are therefore desolate, shall become wise
4 and holy. Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, thy small beginnings, when in a persecuted state, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more; when thou hadst no covenant rcla*
5 lion with God. For thy Maker [is] thine husband; The Lord of hosts [is] his name, he will manifest his affection to thee, though he might seem to have cast thee off; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called; that is, the God of the whole Gentile church, as well as of the Jews.
6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God ; as a wife fiut away from her husband for unfaithfulness, who remembering the tenderness of her youthful days, and seeing
7 marks of repentance, receives her again. For a small moment have I forsaken thee ; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith
9 the Lord thy Redeemer.• For this [is as] the waters of Noah unto me: for [as] I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth ; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee; my covenant with Israel is equally firm and sure, and I will bring them at length into a state
10 of favour, from which they shall never be excluded. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed ; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith thy Lord that hath mercy on thee;
• This is applicable to the Jews amidst their dispersion, and seems to refer to their future conversinn.