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say unto Zion, Thou art my
words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and people. 17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and
17 God's anger is expressed by a cup of fury and a cup of trembling. Therefore Jesus, when he chose to bear our sins, and endure his Father's wrath, drank the very dregs of this cup-" wrung them out *."
wrung them out. There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. These two things are
come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation,
18 It is a sad state of the Church when her sons are faithless, and leave her helpless and deserted.
and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee? 20 Thy 20 O mournful condition of sinners! sons have fainted, they lie at cut off from the favour of their God, the head of all the streets, as bewildered, stupid, and senseless; a wild bull in a net: they are drunken from grief and dismay. full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God. Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: thus saith thy Lord 22 But the way of return is ever the LORD, and thy God that open to the penitent, because God pleadeth the cause of his peohimself is their pleader and their advocate. ple, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again but I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
'WHO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 'For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:
Is my soul heavy and afflicted ? Let these gracious assurances relieve and comfort me. If God be for us, who can be against us?
he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him,
• God's love and reconciliation are represented as the cup of blessing.
3 He was also poor and despised.
there is no beauty that we
despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed
him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
4 But when He chose thus to lay aside his glory, and take upon Him the form of a servant, it was for us! Blessed, for ever blessed be his name! welcome his humiliation !
6 Am I of the number of those who "have erred and strayed from God's ways?" O let me return now! he is ready to receive me.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgrespeople was he 9 The whole of this prophecy is so stricken. And he made his clear and full, that it is more like a history of the past than a declaration grave with the wicked, and of the future *. Let me rejoice with the rich in his death; more and more in my Bible, the because he had done no vioword of God. Every word is truth. lence, neither was any deceit These its prophecies were fully accomin his mouth. Yet it pleased plished: who shall doubt the fulfilment of its promises? the LORD to bruise him; he 10 From his death springs life: He hath put him to grief: when "shall see his seed," a long race of thou shalt make his soul an followers spreading over the world ; offering for sin, he shall see called by his name, happy in his love+. his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my
sion of my
* Righteous men do not usually make their grave with the wicked, or malefactors find their sepulchres among the rich: yet the righteous Jesus died the shameful death of guilt; and the crucified was buried by the rich Joseph in his own new tomb with reverence and honour.
The faithful followers of Jesus Christ are, even here, justified in their fidelity: for he is their Saviour, having removed their iniquities; and, hereafter, shall see in them, when glorified, the fruit of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. They will be his glory and his crown.
righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniqui
ties. 12 Therefore will I di
12 At last He who died and rose
vide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
again, and ascended into heaven for us, shall come as a mighty conqueror, leading captivity captive, and bringing his redeemed with him. His triumph shall be the recompense of his humiliation.
The third Sunday after the Epiphany.
MORNING. ISAIAH IV.
1Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall
2O the folly of men, neglecting the welfare of the soul, and labouring after riches, or power, or worldly knowledge, "which is not bread;" not that which satisfies the soul, as bread satisfies the body *.
3 The promise to David was, that from him should spring the Messiah. It proved sure, as it was merciful.
live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even
the sure mercies of David.
Jesus was given "for a witness to the people," their Leader and Commander; the great Captain of
their salvation. Let us follow him.
* Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of
5 The Gentiles, long spiritually unChrist, who had risen not only known, were at length called by glory to God's people Israel, but also a light to lighten the Gentiles."
Thus our Lord declares of the bread blessed by Him, "This is my body," this represents my body; for as bread sustains the natural man, so faith in Me sustains the spiritual man.
Seek ye the LORD while he 7 What a noble and heart-stirring call to a sound and serious amendment of heart and life, in token of repentance! Let not that call be in vain !
and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field
10 Nor let any say, They understand not the doctrine of grace. They behold the rain from heaven, and rejoice in its effects; making the earth to nourish the seed till it give bread. So is the dew of the Spirit; it makes the heart to nourish the word of God-the good seed sown there; and gives it power to produce the meet fruits of a good and holy life.
out of my mouth: it shall not
13 The moral world shall be changed. Evil, which, like thorns and briers, had spread over men, shall yield to good; virtues, like the fir and myrtle tree, flourishing and beauteous, shall abound mountains and plains, hills and valleys-high and low, rich and poor-they shall rejoice together, and "shall be to the Lord for a name" for ever.
1 As I receive thankfully the gracious promises of the Gospel, never
let me forget the terms and conditions upon which they are offered. Salvation is by grace, to the holy and the good.
2 The Sabbath has ever been "a
special sign between God and his
people :" not without reason. Wellspent Sabbaths give a good earnest of a well-spent life.
keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD had utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
3 Let not the desolate and despised think of the Gospel dispensation as of the Mosaic. None are now excluded
for nation, rank, station, or degree. The Christian's God has no such respect of persons. His only distinction is between those who do good
and those who do evil.
For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 'even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The LORD God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
? To the lowly of heart, God's house of prayer is a delight; their sacrifices are accepted upon his altar; and those who formerly were reunder reproach, He brings through jected as sons of the stranger and Christ to his holy mount Zion-his Church.
would come upon his people, partly 9 God, seeing the desolation which from their own wickedness, partly from the appalling negligence of their spiritual shepherds in the bittheir rulers, and the awful apathy of terness of his vexation and disappointment, so to speak, invites their enemies at once to their overthrow and slaughter *.
Let me, then, offer up with heartfelt fervour the beautiful prayers with which our Liturgy furnishes me, for my sovereign, and for all who bear rule in the state; especially for our spiritual shepherds, that they may watch over the flock-the Church of God-and not watch in vain.