Page images

He wakeneth me morning after morning,

He wakeneth my ear to hear as the instructed. 5. The Lord Jehovah opened mine ear,

And I did not resist or Ay backward.

This, beyond all doubt, is the “ holy child Jesus," “ growing in wisdom, and in stature, and in favour with God and man.” He is represented in the character of a scholar or disciple, one instructed by use and discipline, and, as it were, by the vigilant-pains of an instructor; so that what he hath himself learned and experienced, he is able to teach to those who are fainting in the same course. This exactly corresponds with the representation of the apostle:-“ Though he was a son, yet learned he obedience by the things that he suffered:"-"In bringing many sons to glory,” God “ made the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.” And he tells us :For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he

is able to succour them that are tempted.” “ He that · sanctifieth” was submissive and obedient, and by the obedience of this one are “ the many” “ made righteous.”

A part of the discipline that the Saviour was to endure arose from the insults and cruel oppression of man. This seems to be next referred to:

6. I gave my back to the smiters,

And my cheek to them that plucked off the beard.
I hid not my face
From shame and spitting.

The last scenes of our Saviour's sufferings, when he was arraigned before the tribunal of the high priest, and of Herod and Pilate, will well explain this. He was struck and insulted, blindfolded and spit upon; but the holy

victim meekly resigns bimself—not from the consciousness of guilt, unmoved by passion or anger," he committeth himself to him that judgeth righteously :

7. But the Lord' Jehovah 'is' my Helper,

Therefore I am not ashamed.
Therefore have I set my face as a fint,

And I know that I shall not be confounded.
8. He is near that vindicateth my rights !

Who will contend against me?
Let us stand forth together,
Who is my opponent?

Let him meet me.
9. Lo, the Lord Jehovah will help me,

Who is he that would condemn me?
Lo, all they shall wear out like a garment,
The moth-worm shall consume them.

God is near to justify the innocent whom unrighteous judges have condemned: and in this patient submission of Christ to his unjust judges, and in his appeal to God, he has left us, as St. Peter tells us, an example, that when we do well and suffer for it, we should take it patiently. And what has become of all the persecutors who, on this occasion and on others, have perverted the ordinances of justice to condemn the just? Poor, dying mortals ! they soon perished as a moth-eaten garment ! and the everlasting Judge hath vindicated the Martyr's wrongs !

The next verse evidently addresses those among the people who did receive the Saviour and obey his voice :

Who is there among you that hath feared Jehovah, 10. And hath hearkened to the voice of his servant ?

When he walketh in darkness,
And no light shineth on him;
Let him trust on the name of Jehovah,
And let him lean for support on his Elohim.

Such is the standing direction to all believers in the rejected Saviour. Their way may be dark, and the dispensations of providence which affect them intricate, but let them hold fast their confidence steadfastly to the end: their God will accomplish all things for them.

The conclusion of the chapter, in this connexion, supplies a very forcible representation of the perverted wisdom of man; such as was that of the Scribes and Pharisees; and such as is that of later corrupters of the truth, who, in the night of human ignorance, refuse to submit to divine direction, but make use of the artificial lights of false doctrine to direct their steps.

11. Lo, all ye that kindle a fire,

And are twisting up torches,'
Go by the light of your fire,
And by the torches ye have lighted :
This hath been assigned you by my hand,


should lie down in sorrow.

1 " Scheidius, in Observ. Ety- spec. vestem, et hinc substrinxit, mol. Col. Radd. jj!, j et sj?

cinxit."-SIM. Ler. mpet,

“ tedæ

ardentes.” Compare 101, faces. hanc significationum seriem constituit, torsit, et intorquendo neruit,


Remarks on the Fifty-first Chapter.

1. HEARKEN unto me, ye that follow after righteousness,

Ye that seek Jehovah.

The seed which is of the circumcision” is evidently addressed in this place, however general may be the interpretation which is affixed to the close of the former chapter; and the address is made in reference to the final deliverance of their nation : for we shall find ourselves in the sequel at an era when Jerusalem is never more to drink again of the cup of trembling. The phrase, “ follow after righteousness," I conceive, in this connexion, to mean, as usual, waiting and looking for this final deliverance, the vindication of Israel pledged by the righteous word of Jehovah: and this seems to imply, that in these last ages, previously to the accomplishment of this deliverance, there will be a body of awakened Israelites, perhaps among them who occupy Jerusalem before the general restoration, waiting for redemption and for the consolation of Israel. These are taught to see, in the case and situation of Abraham and Sarah, a type and emblem of the future prosperity of Zion:

Look unto the rock whence ye'were hewn,

And to the hole of the pit whence ye were digged. 2. Look unto Abraham, your father,

And unto Sarah that bare you :'

1" Est sententia Kimchii et Abarbenelis sermonem hunc verti ad Judæos exilii Romani, in quo in præsenti tempore hærent; et

promissa hic piis facta pertinere ad liberationem ex hoc exilio," &c. - VITRINGA.

For I called him ap only one,

And blessed him, and multiplied him.
3. So hath Jehovah pitied Zion,

He hath pitied all her waste places.
And he will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of Jehovah.
Joy and gladness shall be found therein,
Thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

On the occasion 'here referred to, a single couple, after a long protraction of their hopes, were multiplied, under the blessing of God, into a great nation; and this, in some respects, is to stand as a type of the final deliverance of Zion and of her desolated country. This is certainly calculated to impress the mind, that from some very small, and (humanly speaking) unpromising beginnings, will this mighty deliverance arise, that rescues, not only the Jews and their country from their present depression, but which fills the world with the glory of the Lord. Let no one then despise the day of small things, in what we see before our eyes in this eventful era, the formation of a society that has singled out the dispersed Israel as objects of its peculiar charity; and by the blessing of God has already restored some natural branches to their own olive tree. Oh! may we not anticipate ? « Thou wilt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favour her is come; yea, the set time is come: for whythy servants think upon her stones, and it pitieth them to see her in the dust."

The next verses are addressed to the nations in prospect of this great event:

4. Attend unto me, my people,

And, ye nations, give ear unto me.

« PreviousContinue »