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covenant is called new in regard to the manner of its dispensation, being ratified afresh by the blood and actual sufferings of Christ; being freed from those rites or ceremonies wherewith it was formerly administered; as it contains a more full and clear revelation of the mysteries of religion; as it is attended with a large measure of the gifts and graces of the Spirit, and as it is never to wax old or be abolished !'
But let us for a moment consider the greatness of the work to be accomplished by God in giving his Son for a covenant of the people. “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.'*
He was to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.' Now hear the Son of God when he commences his great work: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.'t
What grand results are to flow from the mission of Jesus! Every understanding is to be enlightened; every prison-door to be thrown open, and every chain to be severed. Nations that have long sat in darkness, and in the region of the shadow of death, are to be brought into the light of the glorious gospel, and peace and joy are to fill the whole earth. Such will be the glorious consummation of all the dispensations of God! Now let us bring into view the language of the motto: 'I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee.' Again, 'he shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for his law. How many touching instances may be found in the eventful history of the Son of God that would illustrate this language. The Father held his hand, and kept him amidst all the dangers and trials of his great work. See, for instance, the thrilling scene in the garden of Gethsemane! In the midst of his agony, an angel appeared strengthening him. Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say?' exclaimed the great Redeemer, when viewing his approaching sufferings; "Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I into the world. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.' But our limits forbid our going farther. When we approach the great and all-absorbing subject of the character and mission of Jesus, and the sacred nearness existing between him and the Father, we want to write a thousand volumes. But we must wait. Heaven will reveal all the glories of the great Redeemer in a brighter and better world. 'Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth. * * * Let the wilderness and the citie thereof lift up their voice. * * * Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.'
* Isa. xlix. 6.
+ Luke iv. 18.
* And a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert
from the tempest ; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.'
Isa. xxxii. 2.
THERE may be something very fanciful in the application of such a passage to Jesus, but as we designed to present as perfect a list of the titles as possible, we conclude to go on with the work, though we may sometimes wander into the regions of imagination.
This word occurs eight times, though applied to the Redeemer only once. It will be seen that it requires no labored criticism. The whole passage contains a variety of rich and pleasing imagery, designed to show the serenity and peace that shall ultimately be enjoyed under the reign of the Messiah. Cruden has the following:-1. An umbrage or shady place, 1 Sam. xxv. 20. 2. A thicket for wild beasts, Job xxxviii. 40. 3. Something made to shelter the people from the weather on the sabbath; or some costly chair of state wherein the kings of Judah used to hear the priests expound the law on the sabbath, 2 Kings xvi. 18. 4. Christ Jesus, the saints' shelter, defence or refuge, Isa. xxxii. 2.
David uses this figure in a very striking way when speaking of the confidence which he reposed in the Almighty For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy
wings.'* It is very probable that the prophet drew this figure from the custom in the East of travellers, who find it very necessary and refreshing 'in a weary land,' to erect a shelter or covert. To such places there is an evident allusion. They are to be met with in every part of Arabia and Egypt.
Jesus then is 'a covert from the tempest.' Happy thought! When the storms of trouble beat upon our heads, we may find in him permanent rest and security. Hear him in the consoling declarations which dropped from his mouth :- Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take
upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'t 'Let not your heart be troubled.'I 'I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.'S "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.'|| Such truths in affliction are indeed consoling to the mind; like the gentle dew upon the tender plant; like the calm sunshine after the convulsion of a tempest; like water to a thirsty soul. In Jesus every want is supplied. There is no wound which he cannot heal; no cloud so dark that he cannot paint the bow of hope upon it; no tempest so severe that he cannot succeed it by clear skies. And when we have passed through the 'weary land,' he will bear us in his arms to that world where storms and tempests are never known,
* Psa. Ixi. 3, 4. † Matt. xi. 28–30. * John xiv. 1. § John xiv. 18, 19.
|| Ib. xv. 9.
and where we shall dwell around the throne of love and purity forevermore.
In him the naked soul shall find
In burning sands, and thirsty ground,