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acquaintance shall be quiie 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 ; he hath healed our diseases by his miracles, and borne the penalty of our sins : yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted ; 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, she was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace (was) upon him : and with his stripes we are healed ; our peace was made with God, and we were heal.
ed of our spiritual disorders, by his sufferings, whereby he made 6 an atonement for sin, and obtained the holy spirit for us. 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 appointment of God he suffered 10 expiate it. He was oppressed,
and he was afflicted, by the weight of his sufferings, and his deep and tender sense of them ; though it may be rendered, it was eracted of him, and 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 8 revile his persecutors. He was taken from prison and from
judgment; or, baken away by distress and judgment ; he was distressed in judgment, that is, had not a fair trial: and who shall declare bis generation ? who can describe the wickedness of 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 fine linen and spices, and in a rich man's sepulchre, Mart.xxvii.57.
because, or, although, he had done no violence, neither (was any] 10 deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise bim ;
he hath put (him) to grief; it was a wise and gracious appointment of God; and he took pleasure in his sufferings, as making an aloncment for 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, by whom his name and religion shall be kept up, and the pleasure of the LORD, that
is, the salvation of souls, 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 will reflect upon the succc88 of his labours and
* Bp. Lowth translates the passage thus ; By an oppressive judgment he wasiuken off? and his 'inanner of life who waid dubter
sufferings with joy : by his knowledge, or, by the knowledge of
him, 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 the strong; he shall be a successful conqueror, and, like a strong inan armed, divide his spoils; or, he shall divide the spoils of the strong, of sin and Satan, and lead captivity captive ; 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 his trial and death ; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors ; he prayed for his murderers, and ever liveik to make intercession for transgressors,
1. T ET us adore the spirit of prophecy, that so plainly described
La 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 are we informed, that he died for our sins, and not for his own. Who, 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 suffered for our sins, the just 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 God, 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 like. wise 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 Redeeiner's willing captives now, and his eternal glory and joy!
CHAP. LIV. The prophet, having foretold the sufferings of Christ, proceeds to de.
scribe the glory and increase of the church.
iCING, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear ; break forth into
singing, and cry aloud, thou (that) didst not travail with child : for more [are] the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. This is applied 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 cove2 nant relation to God. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let
them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations : spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes ; an allusion 10
God's people as formerly dwelling in tents, which they are called 3 upon 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 present 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 rela. 5 tion with God. For thy Maker [is] thine husband ; The LORD
of hosts iis] his name, he will manifest his affction to thee, though he might seem to have cast thee of"; 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 the God ; as a wife fiut away from her husband for unfaithfulness,
colo remembering the tenderness of her youthful days, and seeing 7 marks of repentance, receives her again. For a small moment
have I forsaken thee ; bul 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 bills 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 couversion.
and the covenant of God shall be as firm with all christians as with il the Jews. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, [and] not com
forted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy 12 foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of
agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders, or walls, 13 of pleasant stones.* And all thy children [shall be] taught of
the LORD ; and great [shall be) the peace of thy children; an explanation of the figurative expressions before used, and which
shows that the beauty of the church consists in knowledge, holiness, 14 and love. In righteousness shalt thou be established : thou
shalt be far from oppression ; for thou shalt not fear : and from terror ; for it shall not come near thee : thou shalt be delivered
from thine enemies, from being overwhelmed with trouble, and even 15 from death. Behold, they shall surely gather together, [but]
not by me : they shall have no commission from me, as the church's enemies sometimes have : whosoever shall gather together against
thee shall fall for thy sake, out of the love I have for thee, that 18, 16 shall come over to thy side.t Behold, I have created the smith
that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work ; and I have created the waster to destroy ; the metal, the smith, and the instruments made by them, the hands That wield, are all my creatures ; I have an absolute command over them, and they can do no more than I permil. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper ; and every tongue (that) shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn ; whether they attempt thy destruction by forcible assaults, or injurious calumnies, I will plead thy cause, and undertake to justify thee. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness (is) of me, saith the LORD.
11. THE accession of the gentiles to the church claims our
1 praise. We have reason to bless God for the gospel; that it extends to the gentiles ; that it hath spread so wonderfully on the right hand and on the left ; that many nations, once ignorant and barbarous, and our own in particular, are brought into corenant with God. Here the name of Christ is known, and pure religion set up. We have reason to sing for joy, that God hath so remarkably favoured us ; and should pray that he may soon appear as the Lord of the whole earth.
2. God's gracious declarations concerning his church in general, are applicable to every true christian. They are often in an afficted state ; God seems to forsake them ; but it is but for a moment;
These verses rep! esent the church as a company of mariners tossed on the ocean, and afterward conducted to i haven of rest and joy, as much superior to any present scene, as the city here described would be to any thing the eve of man ever saw. This is ap. plicable to the prosperity of the gospel church, which is built on the foundation of the p ophets and the apostles, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.
+ Diddridge and Lowth.
his wrath is comparatively little, to what they deserve. Observe the beautiful and comfortable opposition : his wrath is little, but his mercy great ; desertion is but for a small moment, but his kindness everlasting. His covenant continues firm, and reaches through eternity. How wonderful is the goodness of God to his people ! What reason have they to trust him in the darkest scenes, and under every affliction ! being sensible, that these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall work out for them a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory.
3. We see of how much importance it is that we be thankful for, and hearken to, divine teaching. We enjoy the means of instruction ; but that is not all. Our Lord remarks, John vi. 45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God ; applying this prophecy to the influences of divine grace. We are instructed to know God, are the children of christian parents, who exceed in knowledge the wisest heathen philosophers. But, beside this, we have a divine teaching, by which the mind is enlightened and opened, guided in the intricacies of life, and directed in the way of duty and happiness. No labours of ministers, no pains of our own in reading or hearing, will do without this. Let none despise it ; let all value it, and seek it earnestly for themselves and their children, as they desire to obtain great and everlasting peace.
4. God's universal dominion is a great satisfaction and comfort to his people, therefore it should be often reflected upon ; especially in times of war and desolation. It is he who gives sagacity to discover mines of coal, to temper metals, to form swords, and other instruments of destruction ; he created the wasters to destroy : (a fine idea of gentlemen soldiers :) God gives them their strength and resolution, and therefore can easily restrain or confound them. It is pleasant amidst the commotions of the world, to think that all nature is under God's control; that he overrules all ; will secure the interest of his church amidst national desolations; and that no weapon formed against it shall prosper.
This chapter contains the substance of the covenant of grace ; and
gives merciful encouragement to sinners to return to God. It begins with a proclamation to this purpose. I L O, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and
11 he that hath no money : come ye, buy, and eat ; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price ; water, wine, and milk, are emblems of spiritual blessings ; these are offered to those who thirst, that is, who earnestly desire them, without money or firice : a sense of their poverty and unworthi
ness, is all that God demands, though the blessings are in fimily 2 above all price. Wherefore do ve spend money for (that which