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mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.'* Indeed, throughout the Bible we find that in all elections, God designs the benefit of the non-elect. Partial election is a doctrine unsupported by divine testimony, and the world has reason to rejoice that a sentiment so fraught with melancholy, and admitting of conclusions so revolting to the best feelings of the heart, and so disgraceful to the divine character, is fast passing into oblivion. More cheering views are prevailing, and in due time, it will be seen that God, in all his dispensations, invariably designs the greatest good of the whole moral and intelligent creation.
'Not light itself so fitted to the orb
* Isa. xlix. 6.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and
they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.'
Matt. i. 23.
This passage is a quotation from Isa. vii. 14. The word is only found in one other instance, and that in the same prophet, ch. viii. 8, and here it seems to have reference to the extensive conquests of the king of Assyria in the land of Judah. “He shall pass through Judah, he shall overflow and go over; he shall reach even to the neck, and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.' Notwithstanding this, the prophet was directed to say to the people, 'Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught, speak the word and it shall not stand, for God is with us.' In the 14th verse, the Messiah is promised, and pursuing the history, we find the same gracious intimation frequently presented.
Some MSS. and editions have immanu El, God with us; literally, THE STRONG GOD WITH US.
'In order to perceive the true meaning of IMMANUEL, it is necessary to consider the singular manner in which proper names were formed and applied to the ancient Hebrews. It was common among them to give to their children names, which were in reality short sentences, expressive of some Divine favor con
REMNANT SHALL RETURN.
ferred at the time of the child's birth. Thus Hagar called her new-born son, ISHMAEL, which is, being interpreted, GOD HATH HEARD !-an exclamation, expressive of her joy, that God had heard her affliction. (Gen. xvi. 11.) Agreeably to the same idiom most other scripture names are to be understood.
'In the third verse of the chapter, in which IMMANUEL occurs, mention is made of one of the sons of Isaiah under the name of SHEAR-JASHUB. This name is a complete sentence. Literally translated it is, A
The son of Isaiah was called by this singular appellation, in order that the great and consolatory fact of the return of a remnant of the Jewish nation from captivity, which was the frequent burthen of his prophecy, might, by the appearance of his son, bearing this expressive name, be often recalled to his mind and to the minds of his countrymen. Also in the next chapter, which is a continuation of the same prophecy and relates to the same events, we are informed, that Isaiah had another son, concerning whom the LORD said to him, (ver. 3.) Call his name, MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ. This signifies, THE SPOILING HASTENETH, THE PREYING COMETH QUICKLY.
'In consequence of this singular custom of giving names to children descriptive of the circumstances of their birth, it became usual with the prophets to denote an event, which was about to accompany the birth of a child, by saying, that the child would have a name descriptive of that event. Among the Jews this remarkable mode of speaking was well understood, although it is little adapted to the habits of our age and nation. These facts must be borne in mind as leading to the exact interpretation of the title
IMMANUEL, which signifies, GOD IS WITH US. intended to signify, that, at the time of the child's birth, God would be with his people by extraordinary manifestations of his favor. Hence the Prophet, in the next chapter, foretelling the defeat of the enemies of Judah, assigns its cause by repeating the affirmation, GOD is with us, or IMMANUEL, which a little before he employs as the name of the child, ver. 9, 10. “Associate yourselves, 0 ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand : FOR IMMANUEL! GOD IS WITH US!" **
In Isa. vii. 14, the connection is rather singular: "Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. Harmer presents the scripture in the following form: 'Behold, this virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Immanuel; butter and honey shall he eat when he shall know to refuse evil and choose good. For, before this child shall know to refuse evil and choose good, the land shall be desolate, by whose two kings thou art distressed.'t But on this passage, critics have found themselves much perplexed. 'It appears
* A Vindication of Unitarianism, in reply to Mr. Wardlaw's Dis. courses on the Socinian Controversy, pp. 186, 187. Boston, Wells and Lilly, 1816. + Harmer's Observations, i. p. 299.
that about the time this prophecy was delivered, Pekah, king of Israel, and Rezin, king of Syria, being confederate, had taken Elath, a fortified city of Judah, and had carried away the inhabitants to Damascus. In this critical juncture Ahaz was fearful that they would prevail against Jerusalem, and the kingdom of Judah, and annihilate the family of David. To remove all his fears, his sorrow and unbelief, Isaiah is sent to assure him that the counsels of his enemies should not stand, and that they would be discomfited. To encourage him, he is directed to ask for a sign, but this he refused to do, whereupon a sign was given him, that a virgin should conceive and bear a son, and his name should be Immanuel. The meaning of the prophet is plain. The two kings referred to, should be unsuccessful. The house of David, Judah and Jerusalem should be all preserved till a virgin bear a son according to the original promise respecting the SEED of the woman, Gen. iii. 15.' "This is a most remarkable circumstance—the house of David could never fail, till a virgin should conceive and bear a son—nor did it: but when that incredible and miraculous fact did take place, the kingdom and house of David became extinct ! This is an irrefragable confutation of every argument a Jew can offer in vindication of his opposition to the Gospel of Christ. Either the prophecy in Isaiah has been fulfilled, or the kingdom and house of David are yet standing. But the kingdom of David, we know, is destroyed : and where is the man, Jew or Gentile, that can show us a single descendant of David on the face of the earth? The prophecy could not fail—the kingdom and house of David have failed--the virgin, there