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you may meet with, and you will readily find God will be with you. · Lastly, Pray, pray, lift up a cry for the remnant that is left ; let us meet continually at the throne of grace, ministers and people, to tryft with him in his ordinances, and to wrestle for his. prefence.
CHRIST THE FATHER'S GIFT TO HIS
Isa. Iv. 4. Behold, I have given him for a Witness to
the people, a Leader and Commander to the people,
TN the first verse of the chapter, there is a large I offer of grace, and a cordial invitation to all to improve the blessings of salvation. In the sea cond and third verses, the Lord expoftulates with finners for their flighting this offer, and pursuing after other things. Then the invitation itself is renewed, and backed with weighty motives. In all this the Lord has a special respect to the Gentiles, who at that time were strangers to the covenants of promise. In the text, there is a notable ground of encouragement for finners to come to Christ; the very scope of it is to encourage them to come to him ; it is as if God had said,
Why * The time when this Discourse was deliyered is not mentioned.
Why are you afraid to come? behold I have given hiin for that very end, to be a witness, a leader, and a commander to the people. Therefore you may conclude, that he must have a people to be- lieve in him as a Witness, follow him as a Leader, and obey him as a Commander. Did ever any prince give any a captain's commission, but when he designed also he should have fome under him as foldiers ?
In the text, we have a declaration of what God the Father hath done for poor sinners; and because it is an unequalled deed, it is ushered in with a note of attention and admiration, Behold, I have given. He has made a gift to finners, a gift such as may supply all their wants. .
1. Consider the Giver ; ], that is, the Father, the contriver and source of the finner's salvation. None else could give such a great gift, none else had power to make this gift. In regard of the great Giver, then, it ought to be received with all due respect and gratitude. i.," : . 2. Consider the gift, kim; that is, Christ, of · whom David was a type : 1 John, iii. 16. « Gad
so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son." This is a gift suitable to the greatness of the Giver. He gives like a King, yea, like the King of kings : for his gift is unspeakably and infinitely great.
3. Mark the conveyance of this noble gift : I have given him ; I have freely bestowed him. This was according to the covenant of grace ; he was not given against his will. No; his Father's will and his are one, he gave himself also. The Father
freely designed him for the work, and he chear· fully accepted, saying, “ Lo! I come.”
4. Consider the end of this gift. For what purpose did the Father give Christ? Why, it was to
fupply the needs of the people, both the Jews and the Gentiles. But here the Gentiles seem to be especially aimed at, ver. 5. « Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knoweft not; and nations. that know not thee shall run unto thet.” What fort of people these were, may be learned in part from the ends for which Christ is given. He is given,
(1.) For a Witness, to testify the truth and to reveal the mind and will of God to the people : John, xviii. 37. “ To this end,” faid Jesus, “ was. I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth ; every one that is of the truth he heareth my voice.” Hence it follows, that they are an ignorant people, that know not God, nor the mysteries of salvation ; the very people that have lost their eyes in Adam; an unbelieving people, who will not believe God, unless he proves what he lays by his Witness.
(2.) For a Leader, to go before them as a Prince and a Captain, as the word signifies, and so they are a people that have difficulties to go through, and know not their way, and fo stand in need of a Leader. He is given,
(3.) For a Commander, to give them out laws and rules for their obedience. This implies that they are an unruly people, who must have one to keep them in order. .
There is a Behold prefixed to the text. This ferves to stir up attention and admiration. Let us consider and wonder, how graciously and fuitably the Lord' has provided for us.-In this verse, there is this
In discoursing on this subject, it is intended, by divine aid,
I. To shew you some special fteps of God's giving this noble gitt, Christ.
II. To inquire for what this gift is so remarkable. : III. What we may behold in the Father's giving this gift. And,
IV. To conclude with a practical improvement.
We are then,
I. To fhew you some special steps of God's giving this noble gift, Chrift.
1. God made this gift before time, even from all eternity, in respect of designation ; the Lord designed him to be a Witness, Leader, and Commander to the people ; from all eternity did God design to bring many sons to glory; and therefore at that period also did he design their Captain for them. What is done in time is but the execution of eternal decrees ; eternal life was promised us in Christ Jesus before the world began, Tit, i. 2.
2. God gave him in the morning of time, in the first promise : “ The feed of the woman shall bruise the head of the ferpent.” When Adam fell, and involved all his posterity in a lost condition, when he had carried all of them out of the way of life, fo that none of them could ever know it again without a Witness, nor walk in it without a Guide, then God promised this noble gift, to make up what Adam had lost, and to restore to us what he had taken away.
3. In the fulness of time, when he actually exhibited this gift ; when the word was made flesh, and tabernacled among us : “ When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his