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Glorious Prospects of the Gospel Church.

Glorious Prospects of the Gospel Church.

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Published by glennpease
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Isai. XXXV. 1, 2. The tvilderness and the solitary place shall be
glad for them ; atid the desert shall rejoice and blossom as
the rose: it shall blossom abundantly , and rejoice even with
joy and sinking : the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
tlie excellency of Carmel and Sharon : they shall see the glory
of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Isai. XXXV. 1, 2. The tvilderness and the solitary place shall be
glad for them ; atid the desert shall rejoice and blossom as
the rose: it shall blossom abundantly , and rejoice even with
joy and sinking : the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it,
tlie excellency of Carmel and Sharon : they shall see the glory
of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 24, 2014
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GLORIOUS PROSPECTS OF THE GOSPEL CHURCH. THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Isai. XXXV. 1, 2. The tvilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them ; atid the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose: it shall blossom abundantly , and rejoice even with  joy and sinking : the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, tlie excellency of Carmel and Sharon : they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. AS the planting of the Jews in Canaan was ac- companied with the slaughter of the Canaanites, so in every age the establishment of God's Church on earth is represented as immediately connected with, and in a measure consequent upon, the judgments inflicted on her enemies. This appears, as in many other places, so especially from the words of our text; which are a continuation of the prophecy con- tained in the preceding chapter, or rather, a trans- ition from one part of the subject to another part of the same subject. In the foregoing chapter, the destruction of the Edomites was predicted, as in- troductory to the enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom. But the devastation of their country by ebuchadnezzar did not by any means correspond with the strong expressions used to describe it ; nor did the reformation under Hezekiah at all answer to the exalted terms in which the prosperity of Zion is set forth. The true sense of the passage must be found in events yet future. Edom is here considered as a type of all the Church's enemies, which at some future period will be fearfully destroyed ; and then will the Church be enlarged and prosper, in a way that has never yet been seen upon earth. *' For them," that is, for those judgments before spoken of, " will
 
308 ISAIAH, XXXV. 1, 2. [504. " will the wilderness and the solitary place be glad," because they will open a way for the accomplish- ment of God's gracious designs towards his Church and people. The words, as thus explained, lead us naturally to contemplate, I. The state of persons and places unenlightened by the Gospel — Whatever advantages any place may possess, it is, if destitute of the Gospel, a dreary wilderness — [Let us suppose a place in point of beauty and fertility like Paradise itself; let it be the seat of arts and sciences, the emporium of commerce, the centre of civilized and polished society; let it abound with every thing that can amuse the mind, or gratify the taste ; still, What is it without the Go- spel ? What does it afford that can nourish an immortal soul? o heavenly manna is found there ; no wells of salvation are open to the thirsty traveller ; none are at hand to point out the way to life: its only produce is thorns and briers, which en- tangle, and impede, and wound us, every step we take ; and on every side are snares and temptations, which, like noxious animals, lie in wait for vis, ever ready to accomplish our eter- nal ruin. The cities of Athens and of Rome must in this respect be viewed on a level with the most desolate spots upon the globe : for, whatever they might furnish for the edification or comfort of the carnal mind, they would afford no nutri- ment to liim who was perishing for lack of spiritual food.] The same observations we must make in relation to the souls of men — [Whatever strength of intellect a man may possess, or
 
however deeply he may be versed in every branch of human learning ; whatever amiable qualities he may have to distin- guish him from others; yea, whatever actual enjoyment he may receive from the riches, the honours,the pleasures of the world ; yet is his soul " a wilderness," " a solitude," " a de- sert:" God is not there: the fruits of the Spirit are not found there : no heavenly consolations are ever tasted by him : he is without a track, without a guide, without a shelter in the day of trouble, and without any other prospect than that of fall- ing a prey to enemies, or perishing with hunger. The unen- lightened soul is compared by Jeremiah, not to a desert merely, but to " a heath in a desert, where no good ever comes ^" O that those who fancy themselves " rich and in- creased with goods, and in need of nothing, were made sen- sible, ' Jer. xvii. 5, 6. 504.] GLORIOUS PROSPECTS OF THE GOSPEL CHURCH. 309 sible, how wretched they are, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked''!"] Let us turn from this humiliating contemplation, to consider, II.The state to which they are brought by the Gospel — Beautiful is the description given by the prophet of the change that is wrought by the Gospel of Christ. The souls of men assume altogether a new aspect. In them is found. The beauty of the rose — [Where there was but lately no appearance of life, now there arise a holy desire after God, a delight in heavenly ex- ercises, a love to all the people of the Lord, and an ambition to resemble God in righteousness and true hohness. First, but a blossom appears; but gradually the rising foliage bursts from its confinement, and expands itself to the eyes of all,

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