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attest his mission and illustrate his character. Let us receive all his doctrines as the certain oracles of divine truth, and obey all his precepts as the faithful directories of our hearts and lives; continually bearing in mind that most important truth, which in his own resurrection he has demonstrated to men, of a general resurrection to another life ; when all, who have been zealous in their allegiance to him through the present state of discipline, shall be received into his heavenly Kingdom, and shall reign with him for ever and ever.
Isaiah liji. 5.
He was wounded for our transgresions ; he was bruised
for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon bim; and with bis stripes we are healed.
AMONG the several prophecies of Isaiah, which represent the mission and character of Christ, a more particular consideration is due to that portion of which my text is a part; as it not only gives an historical description of our Saviour's sufferings, but also unfolds that great mystery of godliness, the expedience of those sufferings for the peace and happiness of men. This prophecy is distinguished in the writings of Isaiah, as it stands independent of all temporal and national themes. Nevertheless, to understand it with more advantage, it may be of use to take a brief review of that series of prophecy which goes before it, as far as it bears a more express relation to the gospel economy. In the latter division of his sacred book the Prophet ap
pears in his most engaging character, as a Herald of blessings to the people of God. The blessings, that he foretels, combine both a temporal and a spiritual good. While in the letter he represents the deliverance of the Jews from the oppressive yoke of their Babylonian Conquerors, and the restoration of the Hebrew government and law, in the spirit he conveys to the understanding of the fincere believer a far more important and valuable truth, the deliverance of all mankind from the bondage of sin and death, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God, both militant on earth and triumphant in heaven.
In the name of God he publishes consolation to his people ; he declares to Jerusalem, that her warfare is fulfilled, that her fins are expiated, and that blessings double to her sufferings await her from the hand of the Lord: All which was accomplifhed on the fpiritual Jerusalem, the true City or Church of God, by the Captain of her falvation, when he overcame the powers of death, and opened unto men the gate of everlasting life. - He announces a Herald, who should go before the face of the Lord in the wilderness, to prepare the way for his coming; which was accomplished in John the Baptist, who pre
pared the people for their spiritual King by the baptism of repentance for the remiffion of fins. In opposition to the carnal covenant of the Law, which was frail and transient as the grass or the flower of the field, he proclaims the spiritual covenant of the Gospel, which was to endure to all eternity. He publishes glad tidings, the appropriate name of the Gospel economy, to Sion and Jerusalem, and he calls upon the cities of Judah to behold their God. He states his authority both to avenge himself of his enemies and to recompense his faithful subjects. At the same time he represents the gracious nature of his tutelary government, under the image of a Shepherd very tenderly attentive to the welfare of his flock, supporting the sick and weak, and affording sustenance to all a.
In a subsequent passage he describes the mild exercise of his authority ; “ He shall not cry aloud, nor lift up his voice in the streets ;" the tenderness of his government toward those, who would have funk under the full severity of discipline ; “ The bruised reed he shall not break, and the dimly burning flax he shall not quench ;” and his persevering zeal in diffusing his kingdom over all
* Ifa. xl. I-II.