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require Him to pardon sin, to accept future, thou chief of sinners, if now our person, to blot out the past, and thou enlistest into the army of Christ to remove iniquity by the blood of by faith, thou shalt find the future Christ. Now let me always think that shall be strewn with the gold of God's I have God behind me as well as grace, and the silver of His temporal before me, let not the memories of the mercies; thou shalt have enough and past, though they cause me grief, cause to spare from this day forth even to me despair.
the end, and at the last thou shalt be CONCLUSION.- Are there any here gathered in by the great arms of God, to-day whose hearts God hath touched, that constitute the rear-guard of His who desire to join this great army? heavenly army.-C. H. Spurgeon : The The past shall all be blotted out ; God Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, No. 230. shall be thy rereward. And as for the
THE PREDICTED CHARACTER AND TRIUMPH OF CHRIST.
lii. 13–15. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, &c. Our text is a distinct subject from “prosper," but our translation would that discussed in the previous parts of lead us to view one striking feature the chapter, and evidently ought to in His office- the wisdom which dishave formed a part of chapter liii. It tinguished His course. This shone is most clearly a prophecy concerning forth as the light of the sun at noonthe Messiah. It relates both to His day. In His discourses to His disofficial character, sufferings, exaltation, ciples, in His replies to His enemies, and conquests; and, as such, is replete never man spake like this man.” with deeply interesting matter for our Never could His foe entangle Him, &c. profitable meditation.
Infallibility marked all He said and I. THE OFFICE OF CHRIST. God's did. servant. “My servant” (ch. xlii. 1).
II. His SUFFERINGS. Christ, in His mediatorial character, were astonished.” Astonishing—that was God's servant, while in His essen- a personage so illustrious should be tial glory He was God blessed for ever- so abased (Ps. xxii. 6; Isa. liii. 3, 4). more (see pp. 80–92). Hearken to His How bitterly was He calumniated ! own declarations (Matt. xx. 28; John How maliciously He was persecuted ! ix. 4, v. 30). His feeling at the be- III. HIS EXALTATION. “He shall ginning of life (Luke ii. 49). His de- be exalted,” &c. Christ was exalted, clarations at its end (John xvii. 4). He 1. In His resurrection from the dead. ever recognised Himself as God's ser- 2. By His elevation to the right hand vant.
of the throne of God. Observe how he discharged the IV. HIS GLORIFICATION. “He shall office of servant. (1.) His fidelity. be extolled.” That is, praised, His He was faithful in all things—never character celebrated, &c. Angels exomitted one of the requirements of tolled Him as their Lord, heralded His Father ; did all His will, and that Him back again to His kingdom and perfectly. (2.) His zeal. His Father's glory (Ps. xxiv. 7-10). John heard honour and glory ever melted His all the celestial hosts of heaven extolardent soul. This feeling consumed ling Him in their anthems of praise His sacred spirit. How it burst forth (Rev. v.
(Rev. v. 11-14). His ministering serin the Temple (John ii. 11-17). (3.) vants and people extol Him on earth. His perseverance.
He shall be extolled by His redeemed course with undeviating constancy ; saints for ever. never turned aside ; was faithful unto V. HIS GRACIOUS CONQUESTS. death. (4.) The text refers to His 1. “He shall sprinkle," &c. He does prudence. The word in the margin is 80, (1.) By His doctrines. His blessed word falls as the rain, distils as the dew, torial throne. 1. He shall be exalted. &c. (2.) By His blood. When these This relates to His authority and doctrines are received, then man par- power.
2. He shall be extolled. 3. takes of the merits of His death, and He shall be very high (Phil. ii. 9-11). the cleansing virtues of His blood. III. The works of mercy which the The blood of Christ is called the blood Saviour is accomplishing in His exalted of sprinkling. (3.) By His spiritual state. 1. He sets forth His Gospel blessings. The outpouring of His Holy according to His promise. 2. He shall Spirit, and the rich communications sprinkle many nations. This denotes of His mercy and love.
the priestly office of Christ. The 2. He shall silence the opposition of kings shall shut their mouths at Him, kings. These shall oppose the Gospel, &c.-J. Stratten: T'he Pulpit, vol. iii. and employ worldly power and autho
pp. 117–124. rity against it. But He shall overturn, &c. (Ps. ii. 12, lxxii. 10).
3. His achievements shall be unprece- Modern Jewish writers refuse to dented and wonderful. Two things shall see the Messiah in this
but particularly astonish. (1.) The sim- their predecessors were not so blind. plicity of His means. Not by carnal The Targum and the ancient Rabbins weapons, not by human power, not by interpreted it of the Messiah, and inarmies, &c., nor by science, but by the deed all attempts to explain it apart word of grace, and the messengers of from Him are palpable failures. Chrissalvation (1 Cor.i. 21). (2.) The com
tian commentators in all
have pleteness of the results. Effective, seen the Lord Jesus here. deep, and universal changes. Men I. THE CHARACTER OF OUR LORD's renovated-society altered. Ignorance DEALINGS. He is called in the text, banished-crime annihilated—misery • My servant,” a title as honourable as extinguished. Purity, joy, and bliss it is condescending. Jesus has deigned diffused. The days of heaven upon to become the great servant of God earth.
under the present economy; He conAPPLICATION. 1. Are we the friends ducts the affairs of the household of or enemies of the Saviour ? Do we God, and it is said that He deals despise, reject, deride, reproach, &c., prudently. He who took upon Him or do we hail, receive, and delight in the form of a servant acts as a wise Him? All men act now as His friends servant in everything. This prudence or foes.
2. Has He sprinkled your was manifest in the days of His hearts with the blessings of His grace flesh, from His childhood among the -His word-His blood-Spirit ? 3. doctors in the Temple on to His conAre you aiding Christ in His triumphal
fession before Pontius Pilate.
Our career ? Accelerating the conversion Lord was enthusiastic (John ii. 17); of the world? The soldiers of His but that enthusiasm never carried Him cross? 4. What bright visions are into rashness; He was as wise and yet to distinguish the cause of the prudent as the most cool-hearted calSaviour! “Blessed be the Lord God culator could have been. He was full of Israel," &c.—The Pulpit Encyclo- of love, and that love made Him frank pædia : vol. i. pp. 156–160.
and open-hearted; but for all that He “committed Himself unto no man,
for He knew what was in man.” Too I. The work of Christ on earth, as this many who aspire to be leaders of the prophecy presents it. 1. He is called the people study_policy, craft, and diplo“Servant of the Lord.” 2. He is a macy. The Friend of sinners had not servant "dealing prudently." 3. Yet a fraction of that thing about Him; was His visage marred more than any and yet you see His wisdom when Hé
baffles His adversaries; and when He II. The glory of Christ upon His media- deals with His friends (John xvi. 12).
He who on earth became obedient jected the meek and lowly prince of unto death has now gone into Ilis glory, the house of David, and alas! they but He is still over the house of God, persist in their rejection of His claims. conducting its affairs. He deals pru- To-day He has risen from the grave dently still.
Our fears lead us to judge and gone into His glory, but the that the affairs of Christ's kingdom offence of the cross has not ceased, are going amiss, but we may rest for upon His Gospel there remains assured that all is well. He has ulti- the image of His marred visage, and mate designs which are not apparent therefore men despise it. The preachupon the surface, and these He never ing of the cross is foolishness to many. fails to accomplish.
Men will tell you they could believe Another translation of the passage Christianity, if it were not for the is, “my servant shall have prosperous atonement. Here stands the head success." Let us append that meaning and front of the difficulty—the cross, to the other. Prosperity will grow out which is the soul or Christianity, is of our Lord's prudent dealings. The also its stumbling-block. (u) pleasure of the Lord prospers in the The practical part of the Gospel is hands of Jesus. TheGospel will prosper equally a stumbling-block to ungodly in the thing whereto God has sent it. men, for when men inquire what they All along the line the Captain of our must do to be saved, they are told that salvation will be victorious, and in they must receive the Gospel as little every point and detail of the entire children, that they must repent of sin, business the will of the Lord shall be and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. done, and all heaven and earth shall Very humbling precepts for human selfbe filled with praise as they see that it sufficiency! "Be kindly affectioned
one to another," "forgiving one another In consequence of this, the Lord shall and forbearing one another, even as be exalted and extolled. How well He God for Christ's sake has forgiven deserves to be exalted and extolled for you ;” to the world which loves conHis matchless prudence! The plans querors, and blasts of trumpets, and which the Lord has adopted are surely chaplets of laurel, this kind of teaching working out the growth of His king- has a marred visage, and an uncomely dom, and will certainly result in bring- form. ing to the front His name, and person, What seems even more humbling, and teaching. The star of Jesus rises the Lord sends this Gospel among us higher every hour. He was despised by men who are neither great nor and rejected of men, but now tens of noble, nor even among the wise of this thousands adore Him; and to Him world. Very simple is what they say: every knee shall bow, and every tongue “Believe and live; Christ in your
stead confess that He is Lord.
suffered for you, trust Him ;” they say II. THE STUMBLING-BLOCK IN THE
this and little more. Is not this the WAY OF OUR LORD.
It is His cross,
fool's gospel? Is it not worthy to be which to Jew and Greek is ever a
called the foolishness of preaching? hindrance. As if the prophet saw Him Men do not like this, it is an offence in vision, he cries out, “ As many were to their dignity. They would hear astonished at Thee; His visage was so Cæsar if he would officiate in his marred more than any man, and His purple, but they cannot endure Peter form more than the sons of men.” preaching in his fisherman's coat. When He was here, His personal Worse still, the people who become position and condition and appearance converted and follow the Saviour are were very much against the spread of generally of the poorer sort, and lightly His kingdom. He was the son of a esteemed. “ Have any of the rulers carpenter, He wore the smock-frock of believed ?" is still the question. (B) a peasant, He associated with publicans III. THE CERTAINTY OF THE SPREAD and sinners. Therefore the Jews re- OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM. As His face
was marred, so surely “shall He ments, He will continue to do so till sprinkle many nations." This sprink- the victory is won. ling we must interpret according to According to this passage, these the Mosaic seremonies, and you know kings and nations are first of all to there was a sprinkling with blood, to hear. “Faith cometh by hearing.” set forth pardon of sin, and a sprinkling Well, brethren, if they are to hear, we with water to set forth purification must preach and teach, so that our from the power of sin. Jesus Christ, clear line of duty is to go on spreadwith
ing the Gospel
These people appear uot only to " The water and the blood
“ That From His riven side wbich flowed,”
have heard, but to have seen.
which had not been told them shall has sprinkled not only men but many they see.” This seeing is not with nations, and the day will come when their bodily eyes, but by the percepall nations shall feel the blessed drops tions of their minds. Faith comes by which are scattered from His hands, the soul perceiving what the Gospel and know them to be " of sin the
We cannot believe in that double cure," cleansing transgressors which we do not perceive. Therefore both from its guilt and power.
we must go on telling people the GosThe text claims for Christ that the pel till they see what the Gospel is. influence of His grace and the power After they had seen, they considered. of His work shall be extended over “ That which they had not heard shall many nations, and shall have power, they consider.” This is how men are not over the common people only, but saved: they hear the Gospel, they over their rulers and leaders.
catch the meaning of it, and then they kings shall shut their mouths at Him;" consider it. Let us pray that God they shall have no word to say against would set unconverted people conHim; they shall be so subdued by the sidering. If we can but get them to majesty of His power that they shall think, we have great hopes of them. silently pay Him reverence, and pro- (Sre vol. i. pp. 7-12.) strate themselves before His throne. It is clear that those people, when The day will come when the mightiest they had seen and considered silently, prince shall count it his highest hon- accepted the Lord as their Lord, for our to have his name enrolled as a they shut their mouths at Him; they member of the Church of Christ (Ps. ceased from all opposition; they quietly Ixxii, 11 ; Jer. xxxi. 34).
resigned their wills, and paid allegiance IV. THE MANNER OF THE ACCOM- to the great King of kings. Now then, PLISHMENT OF THIS PROPHECY. How let us spread abroad the Saviour's will it come to pass ? Will there be a blessed name, for He is the world's new machinery? Will the world be only hope. The cross is the banner of converted, and the kings be made to our victory. God help us to look to it shut their mouths by some new mode ourselves, and then to hold it up before of operation ? No, the way which has the
eyes of others, till our Lord shall been from the beginning of the dis- come upon His throne.-C. H. Spurpensation will last to its close. It geon : l'he Metropolitan Pulpit, No. pleases God by the foolishness of 1231. preaching to save them that believe. To conceive that our Lord will end (a) If any here are offended with Christ the present mode of warfare, as though because of His cross, I beg them to dismiss it were admitted that the evil could
the prejudice. Should it lead any man to
doubt the Saviour, or withhold his heart from not be conquered by the use of that Him because He comes with a visage marred instrumentality, is to my mind to do with sorrow ? If He came to teach us to Him great dishonour. To me it is
be unhappy, and to prescribe to us rules for
increasing misery, we might be excused if we plain that, as He has chosen to mag
shunned His teaching ; but if He comes bear. nify His power by using feeble instru
ing the grief Himeeli that we inay not bear it,
and if those lines of agony were wrought in His countenance because He carried our griefs and our sorrows, they ought to be to us the most attractive of all beauties. I reckon that the scar across the warrior's face, which he guined in defending his country, is no dis. figurement to him; it is a beauty-spot. If my brother had, in saving my life, lost an arm, or received a hiileous wound, he would be all the more beautiful in my esteem; certainly I could not shun him on that account. The wounds of Jesus are precious jewels which should charm our eyes, eloquent mouths which should win our hearts.Spurgeon.
(B) With what scorn do your literary men
speak of professed Christians! Have you ever seen the sneer upon the face of your "advanced thought" gentleman, and of the far-gone school of infidels, when they speak of the old women and the semi-idiots who listen to the pious platitudes of evangelical doctrines! They know how to despise us, if they know nothing else! But is such scorn worthy of men! It is only another version of the old oneer of the Pharisees when they said, “Hearest Thou what these say?” and pointed to the boys and the rabble, who shouted, “Hosanna, blessed is ho that cometh in the name of the Lord I” Con. tempt has always followed at the heels of Jesus, and it always will till the day of His glory.-Spurgeon.
THE HUMILIATION AND EXALTATION OF THE MESSIAH.
(Missionary Sermon.) lii. 13-15. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, do. I. THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRIS- wretched—and, with a humility withTIANITY INTO THE WORLD BY THE out parallel, and a sympathy that MYSTERIOUS SUFFERINGS OF ITS knew no exclusion, constantly mingled DIVINE FOUNDER.
with the meanest and most despised “ Behold my servant! Many were of His countrymen ; then the mortified astonished at Thee: His visage was expectations of the Jewish rulers burst so marred more than any man, and with tremendous efficacy upon His His form more than the sons of men." devoted head. The evidence in favour This “ astonishment of many” evi
of His high claims was speedily exdently refers to the inconsistency ap- amined; it was strong, clear, obvious parent between the high pretensions (John vii. 46; Matt. ix. 33, xxvii. and the depressed condition of this 42); but it was as speedily rejected. Servant of God. The prophecies con- The union in Him of power and suffer. cerning Him (Hag. ii. 7 ; Gen. xlix. ing - of dignity and contempt - of 10; Isa. ix. 6, 7, &c.) A sordid and riches to others and poverty to Himearthly interpretation had enshrined self, was a source of astonishment to these promises in the hearts of the many. Angels looked on, and wondered, Jewish nation. The Jewish patriot and adored. In truth, the plan of hailed, in expectation, the brilliant Christianity, with its introduction into hour in which the Messiah should the world, is far above the calculations break to shivers the chains which held of human sagacity (1 Cor. i. 23, 24). his country in subjection to the Roman II. THE DECLARATION WITH REGARD yoke ; while the man of narrow and TO THE UNIVERSAL DIFFUSION OF THE selfish ambition rejoiced in the vision RELIGION OF CHRIST ON THE EARTH. that gleamed before his eyes, when “ My servant shall deal prudently; He the descendants of Abraham should shall be exalted, and extolled, and be hold dominion over the prostrate
Very high." nations of the world. When, there- 1. “He shall deal prudently” is in fore, the Saviour of the world appeared the margin translated “ He shall prosin the lowly garb of the son of the per," and thus the whole clause is decarpenter of Nazareth; when He clarative of the same truth the shunned every effort for personal triumph and success of the Son of God. aggrandisement-resisted every popu- If many were astonished at His humililar movement to advance His regal ation, a far greater number shall be claims-put forth His power only to astonished at, and rejoice in, His heal the diseased and comfort the exaltation. He has already established