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Shiloh sent, an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land; the mighty one of Jacob, the mighty one of Israel, the Creator of Israel, the Shepherd of Israel, the salvation of Israel, the hope of Israel, the redemption of Israel, the glory of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, the light of Israel, the Ruler in Israel; wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working; the fountain of living waters, a plant of renown, the Prince of life, the Lord of glory, the Shepherd and Bishop, the chief Shepherd, that great Shepherd of the sheep; a fountain for sin and uncleanness, the desire of all nations, the Just One, that man whom God hath ordained, the last Adam, a quickening Spirit, the second man, the Lord from heaven; the man clothed with linen, with the writer's ink horn by his side; a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Ophir; he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap; he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; the Sun of Righteousness, the Most Holy, the Master of the house, the branch of the Lord. Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and that garment like him that treadeth in the wine fat? The glory of Lebanon, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; the way, the way of holiness; one that bringeth good tidings, a covenant to the people, a light to the Gentiles; for a name, for an everlasting sign, that shall not be cut off; a righteous branch, a branch of righteousness, everlasting righteousness; Messiah, Messiah the Prince, Messias the Christ; a servant of rulers, the Chief Ruler, the Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting; the Head over all things to the Church; he shall be great unto the ends of the earth; a stronghold in the day of trouble; the dayspring from on high, the light of the world, the light of men; the Word; and the Word was God, and the Word was made flesh; the Word of life, the Word of God; an horn of salvation, the Lord of all, the Bridegroom. Behold the Lamb of God, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; a Lamb without blemish, and without spot. Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace. Behold the man whose name is the Branch, even he shall build the temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne, and he shall be a priest upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. How great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty. What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him? The Lord your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King; the King of Righteousness, the King of Peace, the King of Glory, the King of Sion, the King of the Jews, the King in Zion, the King of Jerusalem, the King of Israel. The King, the Lord of Hosts, the Lord, the true Lord, the living God, an everlasting King; the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass! And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters, and had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two
edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate."
The Church of God, as taught by the Holy Spirit, says of the "Word," "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Lord our Righteousness, our hope and strength. He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into thy lips; therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O Most Mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness, therefore the Lord thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men. Our ransom, our Redeemer, our Saviour, our wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. The Daysman, the one Mediator, the man Christ Jesus, God manifest in the flesh. Our husband, the Lord that hath mercy on us. Master, even Christ; Ishi, my man husband, no more Baali, my lordly husband, the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. Unto us an everlasting light. Immanuel, God with us, our judge, our lawgiver, our king, thy name from everlasting, our hope in the day of evil, our strength, our fortress, our refuge in the day of affliction. The chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers. His lips like lilies, dropping sweetsmelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings, set with the beryl; his belly is as bright ivory, overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold. His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely. O, Immanuel, our Lord and our God. Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; blessed be the kingdom of our father David, king of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest."
"Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me;" and they reveal the "Word" to the wicked, as
"A gin and a snare, a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed. A stone, on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder. Him whom the nation abhorreth, him whom man despiseth. Is not this the carpenter? this man blasphemeth, a gluttonous man, and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners; nevertheless, the stone which the builder rejected, the same is become the head-stone of the corner."
MATTHEW V. 27-32.
THESE six verses form a section of that memorable discourse of our blessed Lord, commonly called "the Sermon on the Mount," which is addressed to his disciples-that is, "those taught of him;" for, in the first and second verses, it is said, "And when he was set his disciples came unto him, and he opened his mouth and taught them." And very blessed is His doctrine; for he begins by describing some of the characteristics by which his disciples are known, and by which they know themselves to be his disciples. And to each several token he attaches a separate blessing. It is very sweet to remark that the first declaration of blessedness is in present time. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." And then our precious Lord proceeds in enumerating the blessing which that possession of the kingdom entails, pronouncing each with his kingly authoritative shall. "They shall be comforted." "They shall inherit the earth." "They shall be filled." "They shall obtain mercy." "They shall see God." "They shall be called the children of God."
Then, after declaring in the thirteenth verse, that it is their presence on earth which keeps it from putrifying, he tells them (verses 14, 15, 16), they are set on a hill-himself, Jesus the Rock" that men may see their good works, and glorify their Father which is in heaven." That is, that he may be magnified in them, that they should be to the praise of the glory of his grace. In verses 17, 18, the Lord, as in answer to the feeling which naturally passes through the minds of his disciples when first they begin to appreciate the truth of these blessed assurances-namely, since such multiplied blessing is ours, surely the LAW must be repealed, for that condemns us-cautions them that "he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it." Then in v. 20, he gives them to understand that HE fulfilled it for them; for "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." And we know that the Pharisees were very scrupulous in observing the letter of the law; for Paul (one of them), after he had been taught better, says that, "concerning the righteousness which is by the law," he was "blameless." The Lord is then graciously pleased to teach them, and us, and all who, through the preaching of the everlasting gospel, shall be brought to believe on his name, the comprehensiveness and spirituality of the law; taking first the command forbidding murder, and showing that, to discharge the obligation imposed by that command, his disciples must not be angry one with another without a cause, thus convicting of sin every living soul, though hundreds and thousands of Pharisees would and do consider themselves clear of the penalty imposed on breach of this command, in that they have not broken it in the letter. He next mentions the command, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," and in verses 27, 28, shows the extent of that command, and thereby convicts every one of his disciples; so that there is not one of them can cast a stone at the adultress taken in the actual fact: and these two verses, in connection with the four which follow, we propose to consider, looking to God the Holy Spirit to enlighten us in searching his record.
These six verses give the teaching of our Lord with regard to the circumstances in which his people are placed in this time-state, arising from their being "made male and female," which circumstances, we know, end
when we quit time; for "in heaven they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God."
We know that the constitution of man, as male and female, was quite compatible with purity; for, besides the fact of it being the HOLY LORD GOD who made them male and female, "woman was taken out of man" (Gen. ii. 23) when he was very good"; and she was taken out of him, in order to be a help meet for him who was very good; and moreover, before the account of the fall is recorded, the Scripture testifies that "they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” And we know, also, that now the relation in which man stands as male and female is, in common with everything that belongs to our corrupt nature absolutely and altogether opposed to that purity of heart the possessor of which is called "blessed, for he shall see God."
The middle two verses of the six teach the doctrine, "Come out and be ye separate, and touch no unclean thing;" and "He that loveth father or mother, or husband or wife, more than me, is not worthy of me." And according to our gracious Lord's custom during the days of his flesh in time, he teaches it in a parable or figure, which same parable he has, in another place (two parallel passages, Matt. xviii. and Mark ix.), employed to set forth the entire and absolute surrender which He requires of everything that causes to offend, even to "bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh," hand, foot, and eye.
These two verses, taken in connection with the two which precede them, seem to be addressed by the Lord to his disciples as male and female, without reference to the relation formed by marriage, which he instituted in the days of man's innocence, and which, in pity to his children, he (being touched with a sense of their infirmities, being in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin) has been pleased to permit to them (Matt. xix. 12), "that they might keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body," "and for the mutual society, help, and comfort that the one ought to have of the other both in prosperity and adversity," as it is expressed in that (on the whole) splendid ritual, the Church of England service " for the solemnization of matrimony." And taken in connection with the two verses which follow them, they have special reference to the circumstances into which the children of God are brought, arising out of the institution of the marriageunion, and they contain one of those apparent contradictions which are the consequence of "the old Adam" and "the new creation" being "contrary the one to the other." Our blessed Lord, after expressly declaring that whatever causes to offend, even the choice member, of which the husband is the head and they twain are one flesh, is to be cut off and put away, knowing the ignorance and blindness of his disciples, and that their thoughts would naturally recur to divorcing, immediately cautions them that no carnal interpretation is to be put upon this command; for the husband may not separate from his wife for any cause except unfaithfulness, although, for the hardness of their hearts, Moses permitted them to give her a writing of divorcement, and to put her away.
The Lord took up this subject again very graciously when the Pharisees tempted him, as is recorded in Matt. xix. and in the parallel passage in Mark x. And the Holy Spirit, in the seventh chapter of the first Epistle, which he caused to be written to the Church of God at Corinth, sets his seal to our Lord's testimony; and has also put very clearly
before us that "the commandment of the Lord is exceeding broad;" for after giving the command in a few words in the tenth verse, he allows the apostle in the remainder of the chapter "to give his own judgment in the matter as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful" (v. 25); most graciously securing the Church from danger of taking, as the testimony of the Holy Spirit, this enunciation of the views of the apostle speaking merely as a poor sinner "who had obtained mercy to be faithful;" for he causes the apostle to conclude his exhortation with these remarkable words—and no parallel case is to be found in all the Epistles penned by him-" After my judgment, and I think also that I have the Spirit of God" (v. 40).
Then, since our Lord did not intend a carnal, natural putting away, let us consider and search the Scriptures to find what he did mean. It is at once apparent that the separation referred to is that which is mentioned in the Scripture, "Two shall be in a bed, one shall be taken and the other left" (Luke xvii. 34); and which is brought about by that sword which our Lord said he came on earth to send, the sword of the Spirit, "piercing to the dividing asunder soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow; severing asunder those twain whom God hath joined together, making one flesh, and whom no man can put asunder; for we have already seen from Holy Scripture testimony that the Lord expressly forbids a separation of the flesh, even when he calls one of the twain to come out and be separate, and touch no unclean thing." And the Lord has very graciously provided that there is no clashing of commands; for the unbeliever is sanctified by union with the believer, as the apostle declares in the fourteenth verse of the chapter to which we have before referred, the seventh of the first Epistle to the Church at Corinth, and he may well say he thinks he has the Spirit of God; for he is referring to the Holy Spirit's testimony recorded in Mal. ii. 15, and quotes the reason there given-namely, "Else were the children unclean."
It will be observed that the Lord here, of his great loving-kindness and tender mercy, provides most graciously for the case of all his dear children who entered into the "honourable " estate of matrimony in the days of their unregeneracy, and who, it may be, have around them a loved and a loving wife and dear children. A separation is made; but the Lord expressly forbids an actual forsaking or putting away; "he hateth putting away," is the strong expression he makes use of. But he does not make any provision for those who having received the spirit of adoption, whereby they cry, "Abba, Father," and are called the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty, go and make marriages with the people that inhabit the land round about them (Deut. vii. 3, 4; Judges xxiii. 12), and yoke themselves unequally with unbelievers, which is so unholy an alliance that in the Scripture it is cald "fornication," for it is not a lawful union, nor can it be called an union at all; for "what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath a believer with an Infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?"
Yet our gracious Lord, as before observed, has, in pity to the infirmities of our nature, permitted "him that is able to receive this saying," to receive it; and the Holy Spirit attests the record of the permission when he instructs the apostle in Cor. ix. 5 to declare his liberty to have “a