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was written for you.
Contemplate it then with the eye of faith. For you who reject all idea of self, and know no other name but Jesus, there are the same heavens opened; the same "weight of glory;" the same loving, powerful, intercessor and advocate; the same almighty defender; who will receive your spirit, and take it into his joy. And from whom you will no more be separated, for he himself will bring you with him; and all that are in him, the living and the dead, will enter together with him into his glory. Wherefore, brethren, dearly beloved, "comfort ye one another with these words."1
1 1 Thess. iv. 18.
AND IT SHALL BE SAID IN THAT DAY, LO, THIS IS OUR GOD; WE HAVE WAITED FOR HIM, AND HE WILL SAVE US: THIS IS THE LORD; WE HAVE WAITED FOR HIM, WE WILL BE GLAD AND REJOICE IN HIS SALVATION.
THE preceding chapter to that from which my text is taken, is full of denunciations against the enemies of God. "Fear, and the pit, and the snare," says the prophet, "are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage: and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again." From this picture of woe and desolation, the prophet turns to Israel, and through Israel to the church at large,
1 Isaiah xxiv. 17-20.
with a word of comfort in the chapter before us. From the 1st to the 4th verse the promise which the prophet delivers is strictly a national one. It alludes to the overthrow of their oppressors, and speaks of God as a strength, a refuge, and a shadow unto his people. The latter expressions have, however, a more extensive and spiritual signification, and we should lose their force and beauty if we did not see in them a representation of what our Lord Jesus Christ is to his believing people. This view connects it with the following verses, in which gospel mercies are evidently spoken of; and in which, as I conceive, the whole gospel era is included, commencing with the first opening of the gospel message to all people, and the placing before them the rich and strengthening food of gospel truth,―proceeding with the removal of their darkness by gospel light, -and closing with a reference to the return of the Lord, when the whole work of the sinner's salvation and glorification will be accomplished. It is to this subject I purpose this morning to direct your attention, and from the words before us I shall notice,
I. THE COMING OF OUR Lord.
II. THE FEELINGS WITH WHICH IT WILL BE WELCOMED.
III. THE STATE OF MIND WITH WHICH IT IS TO BE LOOKED FOR.
I. "IT SHALL BE SAID IN THAT DAY, LO, THIS IS OUR GOD. THIS IS THE LORD." Now none, I apprehend, will deny that these words relate to the Messiah; to the Messiah coming as the SAVIOur.
Salvation is distinctly attributed to him, waited for him, and he will SAVE us."
be glad and rejoice in HIS SALVATION." therefore cannot be stronger in proof of the God
head of our Lord Jesus Christ. the Christ, that is spoken of?
Is it the Messiah,
Is it the Saviour?
Is it he who is known to us as the Lord Jesus Christ? Then is that Lord Jesus Christ the LORD Jehovah. He is "God our Saviour,' 992 "Emmanuel; which being interpreted, is, God with us." 3
But what is THE DAY which is here spoken of? Is it a day past, or is it yet future? Has the Lord, the eternal Jehovah, appeared? He has. Our God is come. His coming took place when he left the bosom of the Father, and the glory which he had with him before the world was; when he came down from heaven for us men and for our salvation; when he came, as at this time, to be born of a pure virgin, and despised not the virgin's womb, but entered into this our lower world as an "infant of days." In that day he came, when the angels announced his appearing to the wondering shepherds; and in that day he came TO SAVE. "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a SAVIOUR, which is Christ the Lord."6 In that day he came as a Saviour to justify the name by which he should be known unto men; "Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his 4 John xvii. 5.
3 Matt. i. 23.
2 Jude xxv.
6 Luke ii. 10.
people from their sins." In that day, too, he was WAITED for, and LOOKED for, as "the consolation of Israel," and "the desire of all nations."9 To him the eyes of the eastern sages were directed, and their feet guided; him the holy Simeon waited for and welcomed, when he took the child Jesus up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
But there is evidently ANOTHER DAY OF HIS COMING, to which, we think, this passage has a more direct reference. We would not say that it did not in any degree belong to the first coming, because the passage which precedes it refers to the whole gospel era, and this may be thought to express the delight which holy men of God would feel at the dawning of the day of grace. But as the latter part of the description is, I think, particularly connected with events which are not to take place till the close of it, it seems natural to connect these words with that portion of the subject; and there-' fore it is better to apply them to the second advent of our Lord. This is, indeed, not less the subject of scripture prophecies and promises than the first. The distinction, it is true, between those which relate to the first and those which relate to the second coming may not always be perceptible in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Still if we consider the various representations that are there made of the 8 Luke ii. 25.
7 Matt. i. 21.
9 Haggai ii. 7.
1 Luke ii. 29.