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prepare the way for the Son of God, Preach'd in the
Wilderness of fedea, saying, repent for the Kingdom of
Heaven is at hand. From this Circumstance of his
Preaching in the Wilderness, that is, in a place not so
pentance to the Country People, alarm'd their expett
ations, and made way for his Reception, removing those Impediments which might be apt to hinder Men from listning to the Dočtrine, which was soon to be Preach'd in a publić manner among them. By preaching Repentance, he let them know that they were under Sins, and the Light of Nature would inform them,that if they were Sinners they could not be in favour with God, but must of necessity be expos'd to his anger; and this could not fail of disposing them to embrace the Tidings of Salvation, assoon as they should hear them proclam’d: so that St. john was the voice of one crying in the mildernes, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight; that is, he pre
par’d way for the Reception of him, as effectually as 11
if he had ačtually cry'd out to the People, prepare to receive a gracious Saviour from Heaven, lay aside all Prejudices of Customs and Education, and attend to what he proposes, for it highly concerns all Man's kind. And this john the Baptist the holy Spirit of God had an Eye to, when upon another occasion he put such Words into the Prophets Mouth, as describe his Person and the Nature of his Commission, as plainly as can be expećted in a Prophetic Writer. The next place of this Prophet, which I find plainly c. 42, quoted in the the New Testament is this, Behold my Servant whom I uphold, mime Eleč in whom my Soul delighteth; I have put myspirit upon him,he shall bringforth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets, a bruised reed fball he not break, and the smoaking Flax shall he not quench ; he shall bring out judgment in the Earth, and the
when it may be understood of Bodily Confinement is .
taking, I think, such liberty as ought not to be al
real not metaphorical Captives; I will bring the blind, .
that is, the afflićted jews, to their own Country by a short way they are not acquainted with; I will lead them in
paths that they have not known. I will make darkness .
light before them, that is, change their condition from miserable to prosperous, and crooked things straight, and restore them to the happy circumstances they were
in before, speaking of the poor Slaves; as if the Bur-
in a different Sense; and this he plainly enough gives . - us to understand, by leaving out that part of the Cha
raēter, He shall not fail nor be discourag’d till he have set judgement in the Earth; which is very ; to Cyrus, who would have found it a very difficult mat-ter, to have conquer'd the Chaldeans, without the di
But not at all to our Saviour, who being God, could have no reason to be discourag’d at the great Work of Man's Redemption; the unavoidable Difficulties of
which he was fully before-hand acquainted with, and .
who ačtually fail'd, to outward appearance fail'd, before any considerable part of the Earth receiv'd his . Law. From hence I thus argue, No reason can be
Predićtion, but because it was not applicable to our
must be to some other Person, for the Words are are neither foisted in, nor redundant or insignificant in the Place, therefore of the same Person the other parts of this Prophetic Charaćter must be understood; and therefore there must be allow’d a double interpretation; One, as all the Words belong to Cyrus; the other, as part of them belong to our Saviour, both design'd by the same Spirit which direéted the Prophets and the Evangelists hand. I shall inftance but in one more place, which I think will put it out of dispute, that those Prophecies of #o are produc’d by the Writers of the New Testament, are to be un- derstood in a different Sense in the New, than in the o Old ; except part of the 52d and the 53d Chapter, - which I think is to be understood the #: way in both. The Spirit of God is upon me, because the Lord . c. 61, hath anointed me to preach good tydings to the Meek, he hath. sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the Captives, and the opening of the Prison to them that are bound to proclaim the acceptable Tear of the Lord. Thus far our Saviour read, when he went into one . - - of the Synagogues of Nazareth on the Sabbath Day, - a Bible was presented him, which accidentally open. ing at this Place of the Prophet Isaiah, he read it to Luke 4, 18, them, and shutting the Book told them, This Day is * this Scripture fulfill'd in your Ears : The Words in the Evangelist vary a little from the Prophet’s Words, The Spirit of Lord is upon me, because he hathanointed - me to preach the Gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal - the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the Captives, o and recovering of sight to the blind,to set at liberty themthat o are bruis'd, to preach the acceptable Tear. This, blessed o jesu, thou hast done sufficiently, as long as thou wast on Earth,thou didst Preach the Gospel to the Poor,the Y Rich having something else to do than to take care of -" their Souls; were too Proud or too Busy, to become
. . the thc hearers of the Word. Thou didst heal the broken Hearted, and all that came to thee in humble sorrow for their Sins found, and still find, O Lord, a Balm to cure the deepest Wounds of Sin; thou didst Preach Eternal Redemption to those who were in a manner Captives to their Lusts; if they were defirous to be set at Liberty,thou didst endeavour to enlighten the minds of the blind People the jews with the rays of thy Truth, but they shut their Eyes the closer, and resolv’d to remain in Sin and Ignorance: Thou didst set at Liberty all those poor Wretches,who bruis’d as it were by the Chains of their Sins, made their complaint unto Thee and desir’d Relief: Thus were the
Prophets Words fully accomplish'd by our Saviour,
and yet they were true of the Prophet himself, For the Spritt of the Lord was upon him,tho' in a different manner and a lower degree than in our Saviour, He was anointed by God to Preach good Tidings to the Meek, i.e. as Nanavim signifies to the afflićted Captives,he was sent to bind up the broken hearted ; and this his reviving Predićtions did after his Death, without which they would have sunk into dispair,and not have been able to hold out 70 Years of oppression. He proclaim'd Liberty to the Captives, and told them the Persons Name who should bring it them, and set open their Prison-doors. He proclaim'd the acceptable Tear of the Lord, the time when God would be reconcil'd to his People, lay aside his Anger against them, or Pour it on their Enemies Head. Here our Saviour stopp'd,as well knowing he was no farther concern’d in the Predićtion, which belong'd to the Prophet only; for He was to Comfort all that mourn’d in Captivity, he was to give them Beauty for Ashes; that is, turn their Sorrow into Joy; to assure them they should be reflor'd to their own Country', and become a Plantation of the Lord,and that they should build the old wase places