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have no doubt at all but that it shall be accomplished in due season. The prediction contained in the foregoing chapter is peculiarly full and express. It relates not to Judah only, but to the ten tribes also; who shall be brought from Assyria, as the other two tribes once were from Babylon. The ensign to which they will flock, is that of the Son of Jesse, the Lord Jesus*: and the joy excited in their breasts will be like that which their fathers felt at their deliverance from Egypt, when they beheld all their enemies dead
upon the sea-shore.
The chapter before us is a song, which shall be sung on that occasion by the whole assembly of the Lord's people : and in it we see, 1. Their high privilege
The learned prelate to whom the world is so much indebted for his translation of the Prophecies of Isaiah, renders the first verse of our text, not, “ Therefore ye shall draw,” but, “ When ye shall draw;" which all will do in the day to which our text refers. But, There are wells of salvation now open unto us
[Often is our blessed Lord and Saviour represented under the image of a well or fountain b And he himself, in his conversation with the Samaritan woman, assumed, as it were, that title. Moreover, the very passage from whence our text is taken was applied by him to himself.
At the feast of Tabernacles a custom obtained, which will fully illustrate our text. The people on the last day of that feast used to go in procession, and draw water from the pool of Siloam, and then to mix it with wine, and pour it on the sacrifices. There was no direction for this in the law of Moses; but the custom was instituted by the Jews themselves after their return from the Babylonish captivity, with a reference to this prophecy which we are now considering. On the day of this ceremony, Jesus stood in the place where the procession was passing, and cried, “If any man thirst, let him
a Isai. xi. 10, 12.
• Ps. xxxvi. 9. Zech. xiii. 1. Another view of the subject is here taken, different from that in the preceding discourse. As the precise import of the “ wells" is not determined in Scripture, it may be taken come unto me, and drink d:” as if he had said, 'I am the person spoken of by the Prophet, and the person whom ye profess to expect: and, if you will believe in me, I will give you my Holy Spirit in such abundance, as shall be effectual for your present peace, and your everlasting salvation. Indeed, his person, (as God-man, his work, (even his whole obedience unto death,) his offices, (as our Great High Priest that makes atonement for us, our King that rules over us and in us, and our Prophet that guides us into all truth,) may all be considered as so many wells from whence our salvation flows
c John iv. 6—14.
Yea, his word also, and ordinances, may be considered in the same light, because from them we draw all the instruction, the grace, the consolation, that we stand in need of.] From these we may draw water with joy
[Truly there is nothing which can conduce to our salvation, which is not to be found in Christ. The water that he will give us will cleanse us at once from all the guilt and defilement of sin: it will purify our very nature, so that we shall be renewed after the Divine image in righteousness and true holiness." From him all may draw. Not a sinner in the universe is so unworthy, but that he may come to Christ, and by faith receive from him whatsoever he stands in need of. The invitation is given to "all who thirst:" no qualification is required on their part, except an earnest desire, and a humble faith: they may take as much as they can wish freely, “without money and without price.” They are not in the situation of Hagar, who when she relieved her son's thirst from the small vessel that she had taken, grudged, as it were, every drop that was expended, because she knew not where to obtain enough to satisfy his returning wants, which would speedily arise : they may come and draw “with joy,” knowing that the supply is inexhaustible, and perfectly commensurate with all their wants. The
first taste of this water shall so invigorate their souls, that they shall feel “like a giant refreshed with wine:” and every successive draught shall "strengthen them with might in their inner man,” and “fill them, as it were, with all the fulness of God!.")
But the true virtue of this fountain will be best seen in, II. Their heavenly employment
There is a remarkable difference between the two parts of this divine song: in that which precedes our text, the expressions relate entirely to the case of the individual himself; but, in the text, the individual d John vii. 37—40. e Isai. lv. 1.
Eph. iii. 19.
rises to the concerns of others, and becomes, as it were, a preacher to all around him. Hence then we see the employment of all true Christians : 1. They glorify God themselves,
[The first thought of their hearts is that of humble gratitude for the unspeakable mercy of reconciliation with God. They look back, and see the innumerable offences whereby they have excited the displeasure of Almighty God, and how justly they might have been made monuments of his wrathful indignation. They contemplate the state of those who have died in their sins, and wonder that they themselves are not now
their portion with them. They then contrast the happy state to which they themselves are brought through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus: they behold God as reconciled to them through the blood of his cross; and with inexpressible comfort are enabled to address him by the endearing name of Father. In the view of these things they exclaim with profoundest adoration, “O Lord, I will praise thee: for though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me.
From thence they proceed to glory in God with unshaken affiance: for, What can they want, who have God himself for their salvation? “If God be for them, who can be against them?” “ Jehovah himself is their strength," “ dwelling in them," " working in them mightily," and "enabling them always to triumph in Christ." Shall he not then be “their Song?” Yes; "they know in whom they have believed:" they know his power, and love; his faithfulness and truth: and therefore, though on the field of battle, they assure themselves of victory, and anticipate with joy unspeakable the final issue of their conflicts. Not that they are blind to the difficulties which they have to encounter, or ignorant of the enemies they have to contend with: but they see Jehovah himself engaged for them by covenant and by oath; and in the confidence that he will never leave them nor forsake them, they say, “I will trust and not be afraid ;" “ being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ 6."] They stir up others to glorify him also—
[Having a light kindled in their souls, they “ do not put it under a bushel, but set it on a candlestick," that others may see their light. They burn with zeal for God, and would gladly extend the knowledge of him to the ends of the earth. They are filled with love also to their fellow-creatures; and would not have one to perish, if by any means they might be
& Phil. i. 6.
instrumental to the salvation of his soul. Towards the household of faith in particular they feel an ardent desire to promote their advancement in all that is “ lovely and of good report.” Hence they exhort one another to abound in praise and thanksgiving to their common Lord and Saviour: they urge one another to “call upon him,” to “declare his name," to make known his love, to commend him to the whole world. They would have all to "sing unto Him “ with thanksgiving and the voice of melody." They cannot endure the thought that “ an inhabitant of Zion" should be silent; they would have every believer to cry out and shout,” so that, were it possible, the whole universe might hear.
They remind each other of the great things which the Saviour has done, and is yet doing, for his Church and people. They delight to speak of "the excellent things" which he has done, in assuming our nature, and dying in our stead, and working out for us a free and full salvation and they rejoice no less to contemplate, how “great the Holy One of Israel is in the midst of them,” and how certainly he will put down all their enemies, and “ bruise Satan himself under their feet."
These are things which are the daily subject of their thoughts, their conversation, and their praise : and in proportion as any are endued with his grace, they will infallibly abound in these holy exercises.] LEARN then from hence, 1. How great a matter is the salvation of the soul[Many think of it as a matter of course
but not so the person who has been taught of God: he sees that it is a miracle of mercy that any child of man is saved. That he himself has obtained mercy, is to the true Christian a source of wonder and amazement. That God should ever look upon him, and pardon him, and save him! he knows not how to express his sense of such amazing love. He would have “ the rocks and hills to break forth into singing, and all the trees of the wood to clap their hands with joy.” And if we have never thus been penetrated with a sense of God's unbounded love, we are yet strangers to the salvation he has wrought out for us.) 2. How precious is Christ to all who know him
Mere nominal Christians can think and speak of him without emotion; but not so the persons who “ have tasted of his grace:” they can never find words whereby to express their love and gratitude to their adorable Benefactor. They are ashamed that they can ever think or speak of any thing else. “ To them indeed he is precious;" and, if they could have their desire, they would love him, and serve him, and glorify him, on earth, even as the glorified saints are doing it in heaven. Is this your experience, my beloved Brethren? Does the whole universe appear to you
but as a broken cistern,” and is Christ the only fountain from whence you desire to draw? O that you may be able more and more to say, “ All my fresh springs are in theeh!”] 3. How happy is the Christian's state
[Doubtless there is a great diversity in men's attainments: there are babes, and young men, and fathers in the family of Christ. But in this there is a resemblance among them all: they are full of gratitude to their incarnate God: and all their hope is in his power and grace. They are also active in diffusing the knowledge of him. They will not spend their time in disputing about matters of doubtful disputation, whether relating to doctrines, or to sects and parties, but will labour to promote the glory of their God. Whether they be ministers or not, they will all be priests in their own families, and all be anxious to guide their friends and neighbours to the knowledge of the truth. Having experienced the life-giving virtue of that fountain, will they see their neighbours perishing with thirst, and not point it out? No: they will desire that others should “receive out of the fulness that is in Christ,” and would have "all flesh to see the salvation of God."]
h Ps. lxxxvii. 7.
THE CHRISTIAN WARFARE.
Isai. xiv. 2. They shall take them captives whose captives they
were, and they shall rule over their oppressors. IN the midst of the prophecies relating to the deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, we shall find many expressions which necessitate us to look forward to some other event for their full accomplishment. The destruction of Babylon is undoubtedly the subject of this and of the preceding chapter. The whole forms one prophecy, abounding with the most beautiful imagery, and, in point of composition, equalling, if not excelling, the most admired poems of antiquity. But if we could confine the preceding part of this verse, and the verse before it, to that event, (which yet we cannot with any propriety,) what must we do with the words before us ? they were never accomplished at that period : the Jews did not carry the