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THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A.
Isai. xlii. 5 — 7» Thus sa'ith God the Lord ; he that created the hea-
vens, and stretched them ont; he that spread forth the earth, and
that which cometh out of it ; he that giveth breath unto the
people upon it, and spirit to them that ivalk therein : I the Lord
have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and
will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people , for a
light of the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the
prisoners f-om the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of
*' HEAR, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! for
the Lord speaketh." Li the preceding verses he
speaks to us, and calls our attention to " his elect
servant," whom he had appointed to the office of
saving man, and qualified to execute it in a manner
honourable to himself, and effectual for that end^.
But, in the words of our text, we overhear the almighty
Jehovah, the eternal Father, addressing his co-equal,
co-eternal Son. Ineffable mystery ! And what a stu-
pendous privilege to be admitted thus into the coun-
cil chamlaer of the Most High ! Surely if Moses
was commanded to put off his shoes because the
place where he stood was sanctified by the Divine
presence, it becomes us to express the profoundest
reverence, while we listen to the God of heaven
giving his commission to his only dear Son jrespecting
the redemption of a ruined world.
In this address to Jesus we see,
I. The commission given him —
Though Christ in his own nature is God equal with
* Compare Mat. xii. 13 — 21. which shews that the whok of this
passage relates to Christ.
340 ISAIAH, XLII. 3 — 7. [511.
the Father, yet as man, and as Mediator, he acts as the
Father's servant. In this capacity he received a
1. To undertake the work of our salvation —
[The first covenant which was made with Adam, being
broken, it pleased God to make a new covenant; not so much
with man, as with his own Son in man's behalf*.
The terms of this covenant were, that Christ should make
his soul an offering for sin, and that he should have the souls
of men for his reward ^
Christ was not only a party in this covenant, but also the
Mediator and Surety of it*^. He mediated between God and
man ; and became a surety, both for God to man, and for man
to God. He engaged on man's part, that he should be re-
newed after the Divine image, and be made obedient to the
Divine will; and on God's part he engaged, that his mercy
should be extended to every believing penitent.
In this view Christ is said to be given " for a covenant ;"
because he alone fulfils the conditions of it, and because we,
in laying hold on him, become partakers of all its benefits.]
1. To perform it effectually in our behalf —
[Man being blinded by Satan and enslaved by sin, it was
necessary that he should be enlightened with divine truth,
and liberated from the dominion of his lusts. Accordingly
Christ undertook to bring him forth into light, and liberty.
In execution of his office he illuminated the Jewish Church
by the revelations made to Moses and the Prophets ; and
since that period he has been " a light to the Gentiles" also,
even to the very ends of the earth. or is it only by the
outward manifestation of his truth that he instructs the
world : he teaches men by his Spirit also : he " opens the
eyes of the blind," and causes them to " see out of obscurity
and out of darkness." By the same Spirit also he enables
them to burst the chains with which they are bound, and to
come forth from their dungeons in which they are immured. As
in delivering Peter from his prison, where he lay sleeping on
the night preceding his intended execution, he caused the
light to shine in upon him, and his chains to fall ofJ) and the
prison doors to fly open of their own accord %• so now he
delivers the souls of men, " turning them from darkness unto
light, and from the power of Satan unto God V
All this is Christ's covenanted work : he performs it in
consequence of his own engagements : and he will perform it
as long as there shall continue one on whose behalf the mighty
working of his power shall be necessary.]
" Gal.iii. J7. Tit. i. 2. Eph. i. 4. ' Isai. liii. 10— 12.
'' Heb. viii. 6. & vii. 22. " Acts xii. 4 — 10. ' Acts xxvi. 18.
511.] Christ's commission. 341
In the text we notice,
II. His ability to execute it —
We cannot doubt of this, when we are informed,
1. By whom he was called to it —
[The Father gives in this place a glorious description of
his own majesty, as the Creator of heaven and earth, yea of
man also, with his animal life, his rational faculties, and lys
immortal soul. or is this description without a very im^.
portant meaning, as introductory to the commission given to
his Son; because it shews us by what high authority his Son
acted, and how certainly his undertaking shall be effectual for
the end designed.
" Christ glorified not himself to become an high priest, but
was called of God, as was Aaron." The Father " called him
in righteousness." In execution of his own righteous purpose,
and in accomplishment of his righteous promises, he gave him
this commission. He called him when first he entered into
covenant with him; and again, when he provided him a body
for the discharge of his ofiice ; and again, when by an audible
voice from heaven he testified, " Thou art my beloved Son, in
^j^hom I am well pleased."
From these repeated calls we are assured, that Christ was
fully authorized to undertake our cause, and that in all that he
did and suffered for us he was accepted of his heavenly
2. By whom he was assisted in it —
[The trials which Jesus met with from man, though ex-
ceeding great, might have been borne : but when he conflicted
with all the powers of darkness, and sustained all the weighjt
of his Father's wrath, he must have sunk under the load, had
not his almighty Father supported him. But never did he
want effectual aid. He complained pf dereliction indeed in
his most ti'ying hour: but this dereliction related only to the
sensible presence of his Father, whereby he might have been
comforted: that which was necessary for his support, was
never withdrawn: the Father had said to him, " I will hold
thine hand, and will keep thee;" and never for one moment
was he forgetful of his promise.
But this promise was not confined to the period of Christ's
existence upon earth: it includes also a concurrence with
him in his work, even to the end of the world. What theji
can be wanting, when the Father and the Son are ever com-
bining their efforts for the salvation of men ? one, however
blind, need to despair of beholding the light ; none, howevey
riveted in bonds, need despair of attaining liberty.]
342 S isAfAii, xLiii. 12. [512.
We cannot close this subject without suggesting
some obvious kei lections —
1. How deeply are we interested in the covenant
of grace !
[It is generally imagined, that the mysterious engage-
ments between the Father and the Son are merely speculative
];oints, in which mankind are little interested. But what can
])e conceived more interesting than the offices of Christ, or
liis ability to fulfil them? Would persons destitute of vision,
or imprisoned and under sentence of death, feel no interest
in the inquiry, whether they could find relief, or whether one
professing to offer it were able to fulfil his word? On the
covenant of Redemption rests all our hope. If Christ be not
authorized to save us, his good will towards us will be to little
purpose: if he be not qualified, his endeavours will be all in
Let us then acquaint ourselves wdth the proper grounds of
our hope. Let us consider the parties contracting, and the
engagements which they have respectively entered into ; and
let us lay hold on that '* covenant as all oiu* salvation and all
2. What encouragement have all to embrace that
[Are any persons ready to apprehend that they are ex-
cluded from it as unworthy? Behold the provisions of the
covenant itself! see for whose benefit it is particularly de-
signed ! Are we not only in darkness, but blind also ? Are we
enslaved, and so fast bound in prison that we cannot come
forth ? We then are the very persons for whose sake the Son
of God became incarnate, and for whose relief both his and
his Father's honour are mutually pledged.
Let none then listen to such unfounded apprehensions ; but
rather let every one rememl^er, that Christ is given for a
co\'enant to the whole Gentile world ; and that the more de-
sperate our condition ])e, the more will God be glorified in our
acceptance of his proftered mercy.]
^ 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.
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