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THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A.
Isai. lxii. 1 — 1 2. Go through, go through the gates : prepare you
the way of the people: cast up, cast up the high- way ; gather
out the stones; lift vp a standard for the people. Behold, the
Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world. Say ye to the
daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his
reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall
call them. The holy people. The redeemed of the Lord ; and
thou shalt be called. Sought out, A city not forsaken.
TRULY wonderful is the power of faith : it looks
through hundreds and thousands of years; and not
only anticipates events as future, but sets them be-
fore the mind as present. In the prophetic writings
this assured faith is frequently exhibited. The pro-
phet Isaiah in particular seems to have been endued
with it in a pre-eminent degree. He rarely mentions
the conversion either of Jews or Gentiles to the faith
of Christ, but he represents it as already passing be-
fore his eyes : " Lift up thine eyes round about, says
he, and see," these prophecies already accomplishing
throughout tlie world " AVho are these that I be-
hold flying as a cloud, and as the doves to their
539.] RESTORATIO OF THE JEAVS. 47/
windows^?" In the chapter before us God had de-
clared, that " he would not rest till he had caused
the righteousness of his Church to go forth as bright-
ness, and its salvation as a lamp that burneth\"
And this promise he had confirmed with an oath ",
To this word and this oath the prophet gave such
perfect and assured credit, that he addressed the
Jews above an hundred years before they were
carried captive to Babylon, as if they were already
at the close of their captivity, and ready to be re-
stored to their own land : '* Go through, go throu'di
the gates," for the purpose of returning to your own
country. At the same time he looks forward also to
the Jews in their present state of dispersion, and
bids them receive their Messiah as already come for
their deliverance ; assuring them at the same time,
that in returning to God through Him, they shall be
restored to all the privileges which by their rejectioa
of him they have forfeited.
His address to tliem sets forth in a very animated
point of view the circfumstances that shall take place
at the time of their restoration ;
I. The preparation to be made for them —
The former part of the address is directed imme-
diately to them. As at the time of Cyrus's decree
vast multitudes needed to be stirred up to avail
themselves of the permission granted them to return
to their ov/n country, so now, when the gates are
opened to them, they need repeated exhortations,
*' Go through, go through the gates." God says to
them, " Cio ye forth of "Babylon ; flee ye from the
Chaldeans ; with a voice of singing declare ye, tell
this, utter it even to the end of the earth ; say
ye, 'The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.*
* Depart ye; for the Lord will go before you; and
the God of Israel will be your rear-ward**.' "
The remainder of the address is directed to all
who have it in their power to facilitate their return.
» Isai. xlix. 1 8. &: k. 4, S. " ver. 1 . ' ver. 8, 9.
^ Isai. xlviii.20.
478 ISAIAH, Lxii. 10—12. [539.
Here therefore we may see our duty towards them.
We should without delay exert ourselves in their
1. We should prepare their way before them— -
[As, previous to the advent of our Lord himself, a
Messenger was sent before him " to prepare his way, and to
make his paths straight*," so God commands that we should
" prepare the way of the people," whom he has scattered over
the face of the whole earth. In order to facilitate their ac-
cess to their own land, and to the heavenly Jerusalem, we
should " gather out the stones," " the stvnnbling-blocks "
which lie in their way'^^; and " cast up an high-way" over
those morasses, which present an almost insuperable obstacle
to their return. If it be asked, What are these stumbling-
blocks, and these morasses ? I answer. One stumbling-block
is, the ungodly lives of Christians ; which give the Jews but
too mvich reason to conclude that our religion is not a whit
better than their own. Another stumbling-block is. The
contempt with which we have treated them, and which can-
not but have incensed them against, not the followers only,
but even the very name of Christ. The divisions of the
Christian Church present also a very serious obstacle in
their way : and we should do all in -our power to heal these
divisions, so that, if there still remain a diversity of se7itivient
on points of doubtful disputation, there may at least be an
union of heart amongst all "who hold fast the head," and
who, we have reason to hope, are living members of Christ's
mystical body. Till they see some change in our conduct in
these respects, we can scarcely hope to prevail upon them to
embrace our principles, however strongly we may recommend
and enforce them.]
2. We should *' lift up the standard " of the cross
to them —
[That is the standard which must be erected for the
Gentile workU, and to that the Jewish people also must re-
sort". Under that must all mankind be marshalled '*, and
come up to Zion'. But how shamefully negligent have the
Christian world been now for so many centuries, in not un-
furling these banners to them, and endeavovu'ing to enlist them
into the service of our Lord! ever till lately have our
Scriptures been translated into their language for their use ;
nor has ever any great and general effort been made to pro-
mote their conversion to the faith of Clu'ist. It is only in a
way of pains and penalties that they have been dealt witli
' Isai, xl. 3 — 5. with Luke iii.4 — 6. ** Isai. Ivii. 14.
' Isai. xi. 10. «^ ib. ver. U, 12. '' Zech. xiv. p. 'Mic.iv. 1.
539.] RESTORATIO OF THE JEWS. 4^9
hitherto, and not in a way of kind instruction and affectionate
admonition. But till this be done, what prospect is there of
their conversion to the faith of Christ ? Suitable means must
be used : and I beg it to be particularly noticed, that God
evjo'ins these weans to he used, In order to the effecting of his
gracioits purposes totcards them. Let not any one imagine that
the Jews are to be converted in any other way than tlie Gen-
tiles were. There were miracles in the Apostolic age : but
they were to aid, and not to supersede, the laboin-s of men.
So there 7nai/ possibly be miracles in the Millennial age : but
it is by instruction alone that the Jews can be brought to the
knowledge of the Gospel, and to a faith in Christ as the true
To these general directions the prophet more dis-
II. The proclamation to be reported to them —
It has been thought by some, that we are under no
obligation to seek the conversion of the Jews. But,
not to mention the general order given to Ministers
to go forth and preach the Gospel to every creature,
(which must include Jews as well as Gentiles,) here
is in our text an express command, a proclamation
from Almighty God himself , to the whole Gentile luorld, to
say unto the Daughter ofZion, " Behold, thy salvation
Cometh !" Let not this be forgotten : it is binding
upon every one of us : and, if we disregard the in-
junction, we disregard it at our peril. We are here di-
rected to make known to them, by every possible means,
1 . The Saviour's advent —
[The true character of the Messiah is here declared :
He is a Saviour: He is " salvation" itself; even the salva-
tion of all who ti-ust in him. "His reward is with him; and
it shall be conferred on all who receive him in faith and love.
Who can depict the blessings which he will bring to tlie be-
lieving soul ? They are such as " no eye ever saw, no ear ever
heard, no heart ever adequately conceived." " The peace" with
which he will invest the soul, " passe th all understanding ;"
"the joy" with which he will ins])ire it, is "unspeakable;"
and the "riches" with which he will endow it, are "unsearch-
able." Let the Believer, though but of the lowest class, be
appealed to, and he will confirm this truth from his own ex-
perience. Moreover, " his work is before him ;" and he will
never leave it till it be fully accomplished. In the days of his
flesh, he rested not till he could say, " It is finished :" nor will
480 ISAIAH, I.XII. 10 — 12. [539.
he rest now till he has fulfilled all that he has undertaken,
and brought every one of his elect to glory. " Of those that
were given him of the Father, he never lost one, nor will ever
suffer one to be plucked out of his hands."
All this is to be made known to the Jewish people. They
should be informed what a Saviour tliere is : we should bring
to their ears these glad tidings, " lifting up our voice with
strength, and saying to all the cities of Judah, Behold your
2. The benefits he will confer upon them — •
[Desolate indeed is their condition at present: but It
shall not be always so : the time is coming when they shall
*' no more be termed. Forsaken';" but shall be restored to all
the honours and blessings which they once possessed. Once
they were " an holy people to the Lord their God, even a
special people above all upon the face of the earth'";" and
*' high above them all, in praise, and in name, and in honour"."
And such shall they again become, when they unite in " seek-
ing the Lord their God, and David their king°." As par-
takers of his mercies in common with the Gentile world, they
will be called, " The redeemed of the Lord;" but with an
emphasis peculiar to themselves will they be termed, " Sought
out, and not forsaken." They appear to be forsaken at pre-
sent : but it shall then appear, that God's eye was upon them
for good even in the midst of their deepest humiliation ; and
efforts shall be made for their recovery, which shall distin-
guish them pre-eminently as objects of his love, whcnn he has
*' sought out'' with care, and brought home with joy.
Such are the encouraging statements to be made to them ;
and such statements in God's good time shall be effectual for
the bringing of them home in triumph to their God.]
That I may not overlook the personal interests of
those to whom I speak, let me in conclusion
1. Take care that you experience these things in
your own souls —
[Inyourrjatural and unconverted state, you are as far off
from God ;;s tiie Jews themselves. You are " in a world that
lieth under the power of the wicked one^:" and you need to
come out from it, as much as they did from Babylon''
You need also to have " straight paths made for your feet,"
that you may advance the more easily towards the heavenly
^ Isai. xl. 9. ' ver. 4. "' Deut. vii. 6.
" Deut. xxvi. \Q. ° Hos. iii. 5.
^ I John V. ig. 'Ev rZ Ton^co.
'' 2 Cor. vi. 17. compared with Isai. Iii. l^.
5-AO.] Messiah's tkiumimis. 481
Jerusalem''. The same encouragements too you need, in
order to induce you to embrace the proffered salvation. The
excellency of the Redeemer, tlie riches of his grace, the ful-
ness and certainty of his salvation, need to be set before y<Hi,
and the honours and glories of the eternal world held forth to
your view ; that so you may brave the dangers of a dreary
wilderness, and seek your happiness in Zion. There is not,
in fact, any thing to be done by a Jew, that is not to be done
by you Go forth then yourselves, and shew the way
to your Jewish Brethren : and let them see in you the ex-
cellence of that religion which you exhort them to embrace.]
2. Endeavour to promote the experience of them
in your Jewish Brethren —
[I beg leave to repeat what I have before asserted, that
it is by the use of suitable means that God will accomplish
their conversion. See what means the Apostles used, in the
first ages of the Church. Such are we also to use in the
present day. If this be doubted, let any man tell us, Where
has God dispensed with them ? My text, even if there were
no other passage to the same effect, sufficiently shews, that he
has not dispensed with means, but requires them to be used
by us in an humble dependence upon him. Let the direc-
tions of the text then be followed by us. Let us endeavour
to shew them, that God has now made a way for their return
to him. Let us labour by all possible means to remove from
them the stumbling-blocks that lie in their way, and by cour-
tesy and love to smooth their way before them. Let us en-
courage them to the utmost of our power, by pointing out to
them the Messiah, of whom their Law and their Prophets have
so fully testified ; and by setting before them the great and
precious promises which God has given them of acceptance
through him. I say, let us strive in earnest to convey to them
the blessings, which, through the labours of their forefathers,
we ourselves have received. "Freely we have received ; let
us freely give :" and, if but a single soul be given us as the
fruit of our labours, let us remember, that that one soul is of
more value than the whole world.]
' Heb. xii. 13.
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