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Chapter, xlv, 14—25.
The Prophet having spoken to Jacob and Israel, (vv. 17—19) saying, "Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting “salvation, and shall not be ashamed nor confounded world
without end; for thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, and formed the earth, he hath not created it in vain, he "formed it to be inhabited; &c. (which phrases refer that everlasting salvation to a blessed salvation on earth;) I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I said not to "the seed of Jacob, seek ye me in vain ;"-I say, the Prophet, having spoken thus to Jacob and Israel, (comprehending the twelve tribes,) next extends his speech more generally with them to all the nations of the world. (vv. 20, 21.) "Assemble your
selves and come, draw near together, ye that are escaped of the "nations, &c. Tell ye, and bring them near, &c. Look unto
me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth;" and so to the end of the chapter. So that by connexion it is evident, that the words above quoted concern both Jews and Gentiles. For the words are not only a prescript, and precept to all the ends of the earth; (which must needs include Jews and Gentiles ;) but also a prophecy and promise, that all the ends of the earth shall look to the Lord for salvation. (v. 22.) And in the 23rd verse,
I have sworn by myself, unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall vow; surely shall each one say, in the Lord have I righteousness, &c;" which is the plain language of a promise, and is confirmed in the manner of a promise with that great confirmation, God's oath.
Now then "looking to God," and "bowing the knee" to him, mentioned in verses 22, 23, are twice applied in the New Testament to that future submission and subjection, which all the world shall yield to Jesus Christ, long after his ascension. The first time is in Rom. xiv, 8—11, Whether we live, we live "to the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore or die we are the Lord's. For to this "end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be
Lord both of the dead, and living. But why dost thou judge "thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for
we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. For "it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to "me, and every tongue shall confess to God." In which words note the following. First, Christ's Lordship over ALL, both dead and living, by this place of Isaiah, "that every knee shall bow to the Lord." For as God made Christ a Priest by an oath, which is elsewhere urged by the Apostle; so here he likewise makes him Lord and King by an oath. Secondly, the prophecy being delivered in the future tense, must signify more than Christ's spiritual kingdom, which he had even when Isaiah prophesied. Thirdly, the mention after Christ's ascension of his Lordship over the dead, and our standing at his judgement seat, must signify a state yet to come: for he is not God of the dead;" but they are living in soul, in order to a resurrection, as Christ himself expounds in the Evangelist.t Fourth, this must be a state on earth before the ultimate doom, in that the Apostle asserts that all must bow to him, either sincerely or at least seemingly; which is not clearly practicable at the ultimate day of judgement, which is the final destruction of all not sincere to Christ, and the time of Christ's resignation of all his power." For the wicked to submit and perish in the same hour, were little honour to Christ; and it were a short time also for all the world to confess him. Lastly, this is a kind of day of judgement; being the beginning of the thousand years, when Christ destroys all the obstinate wicked, and sets up the Church into a glorious estate; at which time all believers stand at the judgement seat of Christ, where they receive honor and rewards of grace and favor. (Compare with verses 8, 9, Revelation xix, 19-21, and xi, 15, 18, xx, 1-6.) For according to our Apostle, this bowing, &c. must be at some day of judgement: but it cannot be at the ultimate day, and therefore must be at the beginning of the judgement, viz. at the beginning of the thousand years.
The second time this place in Isaiah is applied to the submission of all to Christ, is in Phil. ii, 8—11. "Being found
in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obed"ient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore
God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name
s See Ps. cx; Heb. vii, 20.
t Luke xx, 27-38. u 1 Cor. xv, 24.
things under the earth.
which is above every name; that at the name of JESUS every "knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of God the Father.” By this it is evident, first, that the meaning of "bowing the knee at the name of Jesus," is submission to the Lordly and kingly power of Christ. Secondly, every knee both of things in heaven, (that is of angels, as they shall specially be employed in gathering the Church, and setting up the glorious state thereof,) and in earth, (that is of all men,) and under the earth, (that is, at Christ's pleasure there shall be no sea, Rev. xxi, 1,) must needs import a state on earth. Which in the third particular is further confirmed; viz. "that every tongue shall confess, that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.”
As for the two last verses of Isaiah xlv, I need but ask the question, Was that ever fulfilled which is there spoken; that every knee and tongue shall come and say (for so is the connexion, especially according to the Hebrew text)" surely in the Lord have I righteousness and strength ?" Or is that fulfilled there expressed also, "that all that are incensed against the Lord shall be ashamed?" Or that, which is the close of all, "that in the Lord all the seed of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory ?" *
I shall only need to touch upon three or four places of this chapter, which will give light to all the rest. The chapter treats generally of bringing in Jews and Gentiles into the Church. The Jews are again named by the terms that comprehend at least the ten tribes, if not the whole twelve: viz. Israel and Jacob, "the tribes of Jacob," and "the preserved of Israel;" (vv. 1—6;) in way of distinction from whom, the two tribes are called Zion, v. 14: so that all the twelve tribes that came of Jacob, are intended in this chapter; in the close whereof, as a seal, the Lord styles himself " their Saviour, their Redeemer,
* Mr. Mede's notes on this chapter, verses 14-22, were seen by me too late to be inserted in the text but it is plain he understands from it a glorious state of the Church on earth, to be at Christ's second coming.
the mighty one of Jacob." The Gentiles likewise are expressly named in v. 6; “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth;" quoted by the Apostle, Acts xiii, 47, to prove the propagation of the Gospel for salvation to the Gentiles. The concurrence of both Jews and Gentiles in coming in to Christ, is expressed to the life in verses 22, 23: " Thus saith the Lord God, behold "I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my stand"ard to the people, and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, "and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders, and kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens shall be "thy nursing mothers, &c." Great is the pledge of God, that he will thus call home both Jews and Gentiles: "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion "on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget: yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of "mine hands. As I LIVE, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all (that oppose thee) as with an ornament, &c. And all flesh shall know, that I the Lord am the Mighty one of Jacob." (See verses 13, 15, 16, 18, 26.) These things being premised, we have again only to put the question on some verses, whether they were ever yet fulfilled; and that will be sufficient to ingenuous reason, to confess they are yet to be fulfilled, and that on earth.
v. 17. When was this ever accomplished: "Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers, and they that made thee waste, shall go out of thee ?" We read of no such thing at their return from Babylon, but that the crew of Sanballat, Tobiah, &c. opposed them. Anon Alexander the Great, the Grecian monarch, enters Jerusalem; after him, Antiochus Epiphanes; after these the Romans conquer it; and now the Turks ever since possess it.
v. 19. On the same reasons I ask, when was this fulfilled : "Thy waste and desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the in"habitants; and they that swallowed thee up, shall be far away.'
v. 22. Again, did the Gentiles and peoples ever yet "bring the sons and daughters of the Jews in their arms and upon their shoulders?" If we should waive the literal sense, and conde
scend to spiritualize it of the generality of the Gentiles' compliance with the Jews in matters of religion, and union into the universal Church, we still cannot tell when it was ever done.
v. 23. Nor can we say that ever the "kings of the Gentiles and their queens have been nursing fathers and mothers" to the Jews, and “bowing down to them." Alas, poor Jews! they have ever since the beginning of the Grecian monarchy, (long before Christ,) been under the power of the Gentiles, and for the most part hardly used; and in most places of the world, instead of receiving reverence, they have been much vilified. Therefore St. John tells us, that this is yet to come : And the "kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor [into New Jerusalem] and they shall bring the glory and honor of the "nations into it :" and yet so as there shall in no wise enter "into it any thing that defileth," &c. See Rev. xxi, 24—27. vv. 25, 26. We are likewise utterly at a loss, when these verses were fulfilled; viz. The captives of the mighty shall be "taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; "for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I "will save thy children, and I will feed them that oppress thee " with their own flesh, and they shall be drunken with their own "blood." The Jews' history has so often been repeated, that it need not again be referred to for proof, that this is yet future.
Chapter liv, 11-17.
If we keep all these verses together in their twisted dependance as here set down, and in their joint relation and intent to the glorious estate of Jews and Gentiles conjunctively, (as is intimated, v. 3, &c. "Thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, &c.") when were these ever fulfilled down to the days of Christ and the apostles? Therefore they do clearly carry down these things far beyond the age wherein they lived upon earth. St. John prophesies of that in vv. 11, 12, of laying the Church's foundations with precious stones; and says, that it shall be fulfilled at the great restoration of the Church. So Christ carries down
v See Rev. xxi, 18, &c.