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of the fons of God; she will now be Sect.Iv. relieved from duty, and dismissed from the station on which she' hath so long watched, in expectation of the promised redemption; the will be « delivered out “ of the hands of her enemies, to serve “ God without fear.”. Secondly, “ Her “ iniquity is pardoned ;” the expiation is about to be made, which all her sacrifices and lustrations prefigured, which all her prophets foretold ; the blessed person is born, in whom God is well pleased, both granting and accepting repentance unto “ falvation by the re« mission of sins," that men may be “ justified from all things from which “ they could not be justified By the " law of Moses," although men were justified UNDER that dispensation, through faith in him that was then to come, according to the Gospel preached before unto Abraham. Thirdly, “ She “ hath received of the Lord's hand « double for all her fins ;” The hath received greater benefits than she had deserved punishments ; mercy hath rejoiced against judgment; where sin abounded, grace hath fuperabounded.'.

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3. "The voice of him that crieth

“in the wilderness, prepare ye “ the way of the Lord, make “ straight in the desart a high “ way for our God.”

ISAIAH, while reciting the divine
injunctions to those whose office it should
be to “ comfort Jerusalem," seemeth to
break off suddenly, as one interrupted
in his discourse by the sound of a voice.
And as if he had listened, and perceived
it to be the found of that voice which
so many prophets and kings had desired
to hear, and had not heard it, viz. the
voice proclaiming the actual incarnation
of Messiah, the breaks forth in trans-
port, “ The voice of him that crieth
“ in the wilderness!”
Hark! a glad voice the lonely defart

chears ;
Prepare the way! a God, a God ap-

pears.
The voice which thus founded in the
prophet's ears, so long before it was
really heard upon the earth, was that

of

of the Baptist, who, at the proper sea- Secr.IV. fon, was sent, to difpose the hearts and affections of men for the reception of their Saviour, when he should make his appearance. .

4. “Every valley shall be exalted,

« and every mountain and hill
“ made low: and the crooked
“ fhall be made straight, and
u the rough places plain.”

These are the words of the prophet himself, unfolding the counsels of God concerning the manner in which Melfiah's kingdom should be established in the world, and the alterations which must necessarily take place, in order to that end. “ Every valley shall be ex“ alted ;" to the poor in spirit, the lowly and contrite fouls, the Gospel shall be preached, and they shall be exalted. in faith and hope ---'and every moun“tain and hill made low;" on the contrary, pride of every kind, and in every fhape, whether exalting itfelf in judaical pharifaism, or in gentile philosophy, against the knowlege of God, shall be

made

Sect.IV. made low, and subdued to the obedience m of Chrift: “ and the crooked shall be

“ made straight;" truth and rectitude shall succeed to error and depravity --“ and the rough places plain ;" every thing that offendeth shall be removed, and all difficulties and inequalities smoothed, till unanimity and uniformity prevail. Thus shall the way be prepared for the King of Righteousness to visit his people, to dwell in them, and to walk among them.

5. “And the glory of the Lord shall

“ be revealed, and all fleth shall “ see it together; for the mouth “ of the Lord hath spoken it.”

IMMEDIATELY after the proclamation and preparation made by the Baptist, the Divinity was revealed in human nature, God was manifested in the flesh, seen and conversed with by all ranks and degrees of men, high and low, rich and poor, Jews and Gentiles, Pharisees and Saducees, publicans and finners. The accomplishment of this part of Isaiah's prophecy is exactly related by

St.

St. John the Evangelist, in the follow-Sect.IV. ing terms; “ The word was made flesh, “ and dwelt among us, and we bebeld bis GLORY, the glory as of the only “ begotten of the Father, full of grace $6 and truth...17

Thus we have feen under what character the Baptist is held forth to us in the predictions of the prophets con-..., cerning him, as one who should go be-'. fore Messiah in the spirit and power of Elias, to proclaim and prepare the way for the advent of God incarnate. How perfectly, during the course of his ministry, he filled up this character, will appear in the subsequent sections.

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