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in Grace, and causes them to cleave so close to the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort, that there is little room to suspect the danger of being envenomed at the hole of the
you may play a warrantable game, and come off with the garland, is the desire and prayer of
Him that loves you in the bowels of Christ,
And is willing to serve you for his sake,
“And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp."
It is allowed by the choicest divines that, of all the prophets, Isaiah is the most evangelical, as his sermons savour most of the dear Redeemer. And indeed Isaiah's views of his birth, his temptations, his travels, his ministry, his death, his ascension, his receiving and giving the Spirit, his seeing the travail of his soul in the conversion of the Gentiles; the universal spread of the gospel, his predictions of these our isles waiting for his law; the real experience of Christians, the glorious exaltation of Christ, his universal government, and eternal reign; are so exactly pointed out, that, if he had sat in the eternal council of the Trinity, he could not have preached the doctrines of eternal election and absolute predestination more clearly than he does. The deity of Christ; his glorious offices, as king, priest, and prophet; his government as a king, his sacrifice as a priest, and his doctrines as a prophet; are so sublimely and profoundly handled, that it
is as if he had spent his days on the mount of transfiguration; on which he traces the manifold wisdom of God from the ancient settlements of the Trinity down to the end of time, and to all eternity. Indeed he was one that lived, moved, and had his being, in the glorious visions of God. He treats so sweetly of the soul-travail of awakened and quickened sinners; of the Lord's tender care over them: their cordial reception into covenant favour; their justification by faith in the righteousness of Christ; the saint's holding on their way without fainting, and the certainty of their possessing at last what God has promised in Christ Jesus, called by this prophet, things which the eye hath not seen, ear heard, or heart of man conceived, and which are said to be laid up for all that wait upon and wait for God.
This prophet appears to be one of the royal house of David; and I believe he preached fifty or threescore years; and at“last was sawn asunder, Heb. xi. 37; and, as some of the Jews allow, under the reign of Manasseh, who they say was his grandson.
The prophet, in the beginning of this chapter, foretells of the coming of Jesus Christ, as the omnipotent and eternal Ruler, whom he terms, a rod growing out of David, called the stem of Jesse; and a blessed sprig of righteousnesss coming forth out of his roots, as a tender plant out of a dry ground.
He means the conception of Christ; that, under the divine agency of the Holy Ghost, there shall come forth a holy and blessed seed, that, while righteousness is looking down from heaven for satisfaction, truth shall spring out of the earth and
“ A branch shall grow out of his roots.” The prophet here prophesies of the glorious fulness of the Spirit that should rest upon him. Christ, as a king, was to have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth; and, to qualify him for the government of his kingdom, and to subdue his enemies, the Spirit of wisdom shall rest upon him.
As a prophet of his church and people, he shall reveal the mysteries of heaven, and make plain the path of life; and he is qualified for this with the spirit of understanding.
And, for the office of an advocate for his people, he is furnished with the spirit of counsel.
As the foundation of his church, the spirit of might shall rest upon him.
As he is ordained to be the judge of quick and dead, the spirit of knowledge shall rest upon him; and, as a servant in covenant character, the spirit of the fear of the Lord shall be upon him. “ If I be a master,” says God, “ where is my fear?" The answer is, Christ, as a servant, shall fear him all his days: the spirit of the fear of the Lord shall rest upon him, ver. 2. Thus the humanity of Christ was anointed with all the fulness of the Holy Ghost; grace was poured into his lips indeed,