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announced from age to age with increasing clearness and increasing solemnity. At one time he is called the lord, our righteousness, at another Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, the prince of peace. The vision was ever present to a prophet's eye; and the sacred writers are thus led to dwell on it with delight, to start suddenly from less pleasing objects, and pass with abrupt transition to the redeemer, and sometimes, as in the instance before us, not to introduce with any specific or distinguishing title the mention of a person, to whom the thoughts of every devout Israelite were continually directed: and those, who, like them, were waiting for the consolation, and looking for the redemption of Israel, were as forward to apply, as they themselves were to introduce the theme. There was no need of formal introduction, when all parties were intent upon the same object, and the topic adverted to was present to every mind: nor does it appear, that any difference of sentiment prevailed before the coming of Jesus Christ about the application, whatever there might be about the construc
tion, of any of the prophecies, relating to the Messiah.
But what the old testament reveals, as a prediction, the new testament relates, as a history. It professes to record the fulfilment of all those expectations, which had been kept alive among the Israelites by the writings of the prophets and accordingly Philip in answering the question of the Ethiopian eunuch began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. He began at the same scripture. In fact he might have begun any where; for to him give all the prophets witness and such was the power of the testimony to the truth, which was fulfilled in Jesus, that, when the Ethiopian eunuch heard it, he exclaimed- I believe, that Jesus Christ is the 'son of God.'
What then is that testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy? To detail it fully, we must unroll the whole volume of inspiration for there are various particulars revealed concerning him, some of them minute, and of small apparent importance, except, as they contribute more accurately to identify his
person, and add to that numerous combination of particulars, which were all to meet and centre in him. They relate to him also in different and opposite characters, as a subject, and a king, as crucified, and yet glorified, as a descendant of David, and yet the creator of the world, as rejected by men upon Earth, though honored by the father in Heaven, as crushed, and despised, and made an outcast, yet ruling the nations with a rod of iron, and also addressed in all nations with the language of prayer and praise. But, in whatever form he was to appear, whatever work he was appointed to perform, with whatever offices he was to be clothed, it was all directed to the accomplishment of one end, which is again and again pointed out to us, as the great thing, wanted by men, and as the great thing, designed by God. It is therefore all summed up by saint Peter in one verse, namely the forty-third verse of the tenth chapter of the acts of the holy apostles, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
But this summary nevertheless is one, which requires a more distinct elucidation. We cannot be satisfied with general statements in a matter, so closely connected with our dearest hopes and prospects. We must be anxious for particulars: and we may properly begin our examination of these particulars with the language of the text itself— The lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.' We have already ascertained, who is meant by the pronoun, him. It is Jesus Christ. We have next to inquire, what is meant, when it is said, that the lord hath laid on Jesus Christ the iniquity of us all.
Now saint Paul has another strong expression, which, when compared with this, may throw some light upon our inquiry. I allude to the last verse of the fifth chapter of his second epistle to the Corinthians. He hath 'made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, 'that we might be made the righteousness ' of God in him.' And saint Peter also, using still plainer language, says in the eighteenth verse of the third chapter of his first epistle'Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the
'just for the unjust, that he might bring us 'to God.'
Of all these expressions the common meaning is, that the lord imputed to Jesus Christ, or placed, as it were, to his account the offences, which are strictly chargeable upon us. He counted him the doer of them, and treated him accordingly. This is the obvious import of the several passages: and it is particularly apparent in the whole form and structure
of the verse, from which our text is taken.
All we, like sheep, have gone astray. We 'have turned, every one to his own way: and 'the lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us 'all.'
Accordingly the history of Jesus Christ, as related by the apostles and evangelists, presents an exact counterpart to these statements concerning him. Of him alone among all the millions of mankind, it is recorded, that he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Yet, as Isaiah affirmed concerned him with exact historical accuracy in the tenth verse of this chapter, it pleased the lord to bruise him. He put him to grief, and made his soul an offering