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the days of His flesh Christ knew that verses refer to the provision made for His Father heard Him always (John the Jews' return out of their captivity, xi. 42, xvii. 24). He will also help who were taken under the particular Him to go through with His under- care of Divine providence; but it is taking. The Father was always at applicable to that guidance of Divine His right hand, and did not leave Grace which all God's spiritual Israel Him when His disciples did (John are under, from their release out of xvi. 32).

bondage to their settlement in the 2. The success.

He is assured (1.) heavenly Canaan. that He should be the Guarantee of (1.) They shall have their charges the treaty of peace between God and borne and shall be fed at free cost man : "I will give Thee for a covenant with food convenient.

• They shall of the people” (see pp. 113–115). feed," &c. Now, as formerly, God

(2.) By Him the decays of the leads Joseph like a flock. When God Church should be repaired, and the pleases, even highway ground shall be Church itself established on a “rock” good ground for His sheep to feed in. (ver. 8). “ Establish the earth,” or Their pastures shall be not only in rather, “the land," the land of.Judah; the valleys, but “in all high places,” a type of the Church.

which are commonly dry and barren. (3.) To Him should be gathered Wherever God brings His people, He those who were farthest from God will take care they shall want nothing and the good land He had promised that is good for them (Ps. xxxiv. 10). to His people (ver. 12). The Jews So well shall they be provided for, were dispersed into several parts of that "they shall not hunger nor thirst;" the country of Babylon, as enemies for what they need they shall have pleased, to prevent any combination seasonably, before their need of it among them. But when God's time comes to any

extremity. is come to bring them home together, (2.) They shall be sheltered and one spirit shall animate all them that protected from everything that would lie at the greatest distance from each incommode them. “ Neither shall the other; and those also that had taken heat nor sun smite them,” for God shelter in other countries shall meet

“ His flock to rest at noon them in the land of Judah. This (Cant. i. 7). No evil thing shall bepromise was to have a further accom- fall those who put themselves under plishment in the great confluence of Divine protection; they shall be enconverts to the Gospel-church, and abled to bear “the burden and heat its full accomplishment when God's of the day." chosen shall come from the east and (3.) They shall be under God's the west, to sit down with the patri- gracious guidance (ver. 10). He will archs in the kingdom of God (Matt. lead them, as He did his people in viii. 11).

the old time through the wilderness. III. THE BLESSINGS IN STORE FOR The world leads its followers by broken ALL THOSE TO WHOM HE IS MADE cisterns, or brooks that fail in summer; SALVATION. It was by the foresight but God leads those that are His" by of these that He was encouraged to the springs of water.” He will furnish prosecute the great and costly work them with suitable and seasonable comHe had undertaken. He is assured forts.

1. That by Him the souls of men should (4.) Those whom God guides shali be freed from the bondage of guilt, and find a ready road and all obstacles brought into the glorious liberty of God's removed (ver. 11). He that in times children (ver. 9).

past maile the sea a way, now with as 2. That He should be enabled to provide much ease will make the mountains a for the comfortable passage of those whom way, though they seem impassable, He set at liberty to the place of their rest The causeway shall be raised, to make and happy settlement (ver. 9-11). These it both the plainer and the fairer. The

causes

ways in which God leads His people, heaven, which we cannot by our own He Himself will be the overseer of, strength get over, yet the grace of God and will take care that they be kept will be sufficient to help us over them, in good repair, as of old the

ways and to make even the mountains a that led to the cities of refuge. Though way."--Matthew Henry: Commentary, there be difficulties in the

way to in loco.

CHRIST DESPISED AND HONOURED. xlix. 7. Thus saith the LORD, to him whom man despiseth, dia This verse has been called “a pre- 1. Look at the features of His humilia. lude of chap. liii.”. It anticipates that tion. The Messiah is spoken of as one minute and graphic exhibition of the “whom man despiseth (or of contempt. Messiah's sufferings and glories, which ible soul), whom the nation abhorreth, we have so often pondered, and prize a servant of rulers." In these succes. so highly. In brief compass it states sive clauses the number of Christ's the leading points presented in that enemies is narrowed from men to the chapter. This is the twig which is Jewish people, and from the Jews to there expanded into a magnificent tree. their rulers; but the feelings of hosHere, as there, the prophet transports tility and the active opposition became himself into the time when our Lord more intense, passing from contempt lived and suffered on earth, and stands to abhorrence, and from abhorrence to at the point of transition between the the infliction of cruel sufferings and humiliation and the exaltation. The abject degradation, culminating in the shame, the indiynities, the rejection, death of a slave. In Him men saw the cruel sufferings are stated as pre- nothing to attract their admiration, sent facts: the glory, the honour, the none of that earthly greatness and outworship, the world-wide influence are ward display which captivate the mob. viewed as future. When Jesus died His meekness and holiness repelled upon the cross, and His body was con- them, and His lowly station rendered signed to Joseph's tomb, His degrada- Him an object of contempt (liii. 2, 3). tion seemed complete, His cause hope. By the Jews he was regarded with less. His persecutors never dreamt abhorrence. He did not answer to that He would ever be heard of again, their carnal notions, He shocked their and even the faith of His disciples was prejudices: they reasoned from His shaken (Luke xxiv. 21). Never were sufferings and mean condition to His surmises more signally falsified; never character, inferring that for some sin were fears and doubts more effectually He was the object of the Divine disrelieved than when the Redeemer rose pleasure, not knowing that the sin was on the third day, and, after showing their own. In fanatical zeal their Himself to His disciples, ascended to rulers condemned Him to die a shamethe seat of honour and power. From ful death. Thus was He rejected by this time onward His career is an all classes. His cross was an offence. entire reversal of the circumstances His mission, character, and w rk were connected with His previous earthly strangely misunderstood. The ignor

ance and blindness of His adversaries 1. View the prophecy in its histori- explain their treatment of Him (Acts cal fulfilment. “ The sufferings of iii. 17; 1 Cor. ii. 8). The power and Christ and the glory that should fol. passions of the world were arrayed low” form the great theme of Old against Him. Testament prediction, and in this one 2. His subsequent honours and influverse, which contains the substance of Behold how changed is the estichap. liii., both the sufferings and the mate formed of Him! Even kings subsequent glory are clearly foretold. rise from their thrones to pay Him homage, and princes worship Him, crowning Him with the promised reimplying that if those of highest rank ward of His work (liii. 10-12), and to acknowledge His claims and bow before mankind in accomplishing the longHis throne, those of meaner position foretold redemption. When “every will likewise do so. Already we can knee shall bow to Christ," it will rewitness the fulfilment in part of this dound “to the glory of God the Faprophecy, but more remains (Ps. Ixxii. ther” (Phil. ii. 11). 11). The King of kings and Lord of II. View the prophecy as a descriplords has won the love and allegiance tion of our own spiritual history. of all ranks, and sovereigns have given Once, it may be, we were indifferent Him their personal service and the to Christ and despised Him in our homage of their hearts. Crowned heads hearts, evading the very thought of have appeared in the meetings of the Him. But now we have tasted and Evangelical Alliance, and shown a seen that the Lord is gracious. God deep interest in its proceedings. The has shown us the madness of despising Redeemer has won His conquests from His Son (Gal. i. 15, 16). Our experiall classes; all ranks grace His triumph. ence resembles that of the Jewish con“The servant of rulers” has become verts as expressed in chap. liii

course,

ence.

. 2-6. their Master.

They who hid their faces in shame at 3. The explanation of this surprising the sight of the Messiah now own Him change in men's attitude towards Christ. as their Saviour. There is nothing in All hinges on the word “ see.” That Him to draw the carnal eye. The is the secret of the transition. Men sensual mind has no appreciation of are brought to see the truth in refer- His excellence; the self-deluded and ence to Christ's person, character, and impenitent can dispense with His sacri. work. The veil is removed from their fice; the sin-loving soul is repelled by heart (2 Cor. iii. 14-16). They see the His holiness; the ignorant and inglory of the cross, the love and justice different disregard Him. If the undisplayed in redemption. The God- believer studies Christ at all, he is head of Christ, the surpassing beauty forced to maintain that He is not the of His character, and the necessity and Son of God, and that His death was efficacy of His sacrifice flash upon their the merited punishment of His claim minds, and revolutionise their views to be the Son of God. But he whose and feelings. The real cause of their eyes have been opened is entranced hostility was that they would not by the vision of His divine glory and

come and see.” Honest inquiry re- self-sacrificing love (Eph. v. 8; John moves every stumblingblock in the ix. 25 ; 2 Cor. v. 17). Would that all way of faith.

The lowliness of the of us could see the glory of the cross, suffering Saviour would become His the true character and dignity of the strongest attraction, for to this He con- Redeemer! As preachers we do all in our descended in His love for the guilty power to draw aside the veil of ignor(2 Cor. viii. 9).

ance and prejudice, that the glories of 4. The result of this transition. Christ might break upon the benighted cause of, or for the sake of the Lord, soul. What think ye of Christ, then? who is faithful." It manifests the Do you despise Him, or do you worship Father's faithfulness to His Son in Him William Guthrie, M.A.

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THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD.

xlix. 7. The Lord that is faithful. This verse contains a promise of the Jehovah is faithful in the fulfilment of future honour that should await the His promises, He will assuredly bring Redeemer, and of the success which this to pass, and the fact that the should crown His work.

Messiah shall be thus honoured shall

Because

be traced entirely to the faithfulness soul, and spirit, are assured that faithful of a covenant-keeping God.

is He that calleth you, who also will I. THE NATURE, CHARACTERISTICS, do it (1 Thess. v. 24). AND MANIFESTATIONS OF THE DIVINE (5.) In the relations which He susFAITHFULNESS.

tains. As a King, Friend, Father, &c. 1. What is faithfulness in relation to (6.) In the afflictions of the godly God? It is that absolute perfection of (Ps. cxix. 75). the Deity by which He is true in Him- (7.) In the fulfilment of His proself, and by which it is impossible for mises. However apparently improbHim not to fulfil whatever He has able (1 Kings viii. 20; Ps. cxi. 5, promised, or not to bring to pass cxxxii. 11; Mic. vii. 20; Heb. x. 23). whatever He has purposed." It is the "There is not a promise which God attribute that pledges to man in infinite has made but what either He has kept condescension—for it is the most an- it, or else, being dated for the future, thropopathic of all His attributes—the He will keep it when the time apfulfilment of every specific promise pointed comes.” “ If God were to based upon the economy of His right- forget His engagements, He would eousness” (Dr. Pope). It is necessarily cease to be God.implied in His holiness. Testimonies These passages carry the Divine of Scripture at once explain and prove fidelity into the entire process of perthis view of Divine truth, and place sonal salvation from beginning to end. this topic in a clear and convincing II. THE LESSONS WHICH THE DIVINE light (Numb. xxiii. 19; Ps. xxxvi. 5, FAITHFULNESS SHOULD TEACH US. 6; 1 Cor. i. 9, x. 13; 1 Thess. v. 24; 1. How it ought to warn the wicked ! 2 Thess. iii. 2; Heb. vi. 16-18, x. 23; It is remarkable that this attribute is Titus i. 2; 1 John i. 9).

never expressly connected with the 2. What are the distinguishing charac- Divine threatenings, though equally teristics of the Divine faithfulness? It is applicable to it. God will inflict the declared to be- Established (Ps. lxxxix. punishment which He has denounced 5). Unfailing (Ps. lxxxix. 33; 2 Tim. against sin (H. E. I., 2180-2181, 2296ii. 13). Great (Lam. iii. 23). Incom- 2299, 4603-4610). parable (Ps. lxxxix. 8). Infinite (Ps. 2. How it ought to encourage the penixxxvi. 5). Everlasting (Ps. cxix. 90, tent! The promises of forgiveness and cxlvi. 6).

grace are to be relied on with the 3. How is the Divine faithfulness utmost possible confidence. manifested ?

3. How it ought to promote the abiding (1.) In the triumphs of Christianity graces of the Christian life! Increase in the world. See text and context, and strengthen our faith. Why miswith records in “ The Acts of the trust Him? (a) Raise and animate our Apostles.” Modern triumphs of the hope (Ps. xxxix. 7, cxlvi. 5 ; Jer, xvii. Gospel at home and abroad.

1). Augment and intensify our love. (2.) In forgiving sin. Sinners re- 4. How it should encourage pleading penting of their sin, and confessing it, prayer ! (Ps. cxliii. 1). “ We should are assured that God “is faithful and turn God's promises into prayers, and just to forgive us our sins ” (1 John He will turn His promises into peri. 9).

formances, for with God saying and (3.) In the preservation and estab- doing are not two things, as they often lishment of believers. Believers op- are with men. God will do as He hath pressed by the weariness of the way, said ”(Henry). “Thou hast said and their own instability, are reminded a mighty plea in prayer. that “the Lord is faithful," &c. (2 5. How it should incite us to bear our Thess. iii. 3).

personal testimony! Every trusting (4.) In the entire sanctification of soul can say, like Joshua (Josh. xxi. believers. The saints, encouraged to 45). This testimony we should bear aspire to perfect holiness of body, and (Ps. xl. 10, lxxxix. 1).

6. Hmo it should teach us to cultivate newing influence of the Spirit, when faithfulness in all its forms and degrees ! such fidelity does not exist, are deceit(1). To God.

“ Be ye followers ful and vain.- Alfred Tucker. imitators—" of Gol as dear children." Faithful as servants, &c. Faithful to (a) “What makes you think that God will His word—in holding it, and in seeking

never forsake them that trust in Him?" was to spread it. (2.) To our fellow-men.

asked of an aged Christian. « Because lle

has promised," was the reply. “And what “The fruit of the Spirit is faith".

makes you think that He will keep His word ?" fidelity (Gal. v. 22). True religion “Because He never yet broke it.” Here is makes a man faithful—as a neighbour, encouragement for us all! Here is cause to friend, father, husband, son. He is

cry aloud,-“Though He slay me," &c. The faithful to his fellow-men. All preten

past declares God's faithfulness, the present

confirms it, and the future will only make sions of being the subject of the re- more clear His fidelity and truth.

THE WORLD GIVEN TO CHRIST.

(Missionary Sermon.)

xlix. 8-13. Thus saith the Lord, doc. The prophet was looking forward, (1.) The faithful and unerring prounder the guidance of the Holy Spirit, mises of JEHOVAH (Ps. ii. 8, xxii. 27, to the Messiah and His times, and Ixxii. 17; Isa. xl. 5, xliv. 2 &c.) here states several important truths Believe these promises. Labour and respecting His great mission,

pray for their accomplishment. EspeČustomary for some kings to grant cially pray for the power of the Holy to favoured ones whatever they re- Spirit to render all the means which quested. God says to His kingly Son, are employed effectual. Ponder them " Ask of Me, and I shall give," &c. as a source of continual encourage(Ps. ii. 8). Here He is represented as ment. having asked, and this is the answer, (2.) The adaptation of Christianity, and the assurance that JEHOVAH would above all other forms of religion, to be in His own good time make Him the universal. (7) means of salvation to all mankind. (3.) The present aspect of the world Consider

furnishes much reason to hope that the I. THE PROMISED UNIVERSAL DIF- accomplishment of this promise is drawFUSION OF THE GOSPEL.

ing nigh. The whole world is practi1. It was commenced in the apos- cally open to the missionaries of the

“ The word of the Lord Cross. The progress of various forms of grew and mightily prevailed” improvement throughout the civilised the various forms of error, supersti- world — facilities for intercourse betion, idolatry, &c.

tween the nations-extension of com2. It has been continuing through merce-numerous translations of the the ages to the present hour. Rapidly Bible. The progress of public sentiand extensively during the present ment in regard to the conversion of century. (a)

the world. The probable prevalence 3. It will be fully accomplished in of the English language, &c. “ the fulness of time." Innumerable II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THOSE triumphs have already been gained WHO SHALL EMBRACE IT (ver. 9, 10). over sin and Satan, and the gospel The figure is taken from the shepherd will go forth conquering and to con- leading home his flock, &c. “It is a quer. The most distant nations shall most beautiful image of the tender submit to Christ (ver. 12; Matt. viii. care of the Great Shepherd of His 11; H. E. I. 979, 1161-1168). (3) people in a world like this—a world,

What reasons have we for' believing in its main features, in regard to real this? We have

comforts, not unaptly compared to VOL. II.

Y

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tolic age,

over

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