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This chapter is as . full of blessed promises to God's church, as the former was full of threatenings to God's enemies. Under the richest similitudes, is set forth the auspicious era of Christ's reign: every verse in it is full gospel.
Under the figure of a barren land, and a wilderness, is set forth the ruined state of man's nature by the fall; than which, nothing can be more forlorn. The prophet represents it as most desolate. But by the coming of Christ, who ariseth as the sun, with healing in his wings, fruitfulness, gladness, and joy, take place of the barrenness and poverty. The Hebrew expression is very strong, it shall flourishing flourish, or blossoming blossom. I do not presume to say so, and speak decidedly upon the passage, but I humbly conceive, that a flourishing flourish means the graces of the Church shall be so much in Christ, and from Christ, in the union and oneness between him and his people; that the blossoming blossom will be unceasingly kept up, and remain alive in him; as the branch in the vine. And if the Hebrew expression be supposed to imply this, the Reader will observe, that there is more in it, than in all the most flourishing circumstances of a church or people, where the source and cause is not from within in Jesus, but from without, from any other auspicious circumstances. Colossians 3:3-4 ; John 15:4-5 . I only detain the Reader to remark, with what holy joy ought we of the Gentile Church, to read this blessed scripture, which hath a peculiar reference to the poor wilderness state of the heathen world! Song of Solomon 8:5 ; Acts 11:18 .
How delightfully the prophet preacheth consolation to the Old Testament saints, in the prospect of their coming Saviour! This was the one source of holy joy, to which the holy men of old were uniformly directed, when at any time exercises arose. He that was to come became the running verse of the faithful's song. Matthew 11:2-3 ; Luke 2:25-32 . And under the New Testament dispensation, what is it but the same, to give strength to the hands that hang down, in the assurance that he that is to come brings with him the credentials of his commission, in performing the mighty miracles here described, as should be accomplished; Matthew 11:5 ; Mark 7:32 . I pray the Reader not to overlook the glories of his person, of whom these things are said, and in the power of his Godhead, by whom they were to be wrought! And with these impressions upon his mind, let him turn to the gospel, and see Jesus, the Lord of life and glory, accomplishing wonders, in nature and grace, both on the bodies and souls of his people!
See how the blessings of redemption, in the gifts of the Holy Ghost, are beautifully set forth, under the similitude of rivers and streams of water. And when that Holy Spirit came down, agreeably to our Lord's own blessed promise, on the day of Pentecost; and ever since, when he comes down on the souls of his people, is not the Spirit poured out from on high, which makes every plant in the garden of Jesus to flourish? What is that river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, but God in his threefold character of persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; from whom, as from an ocean, all the streams of spiritual life, grace, comfort, and consolation flow? I pray the Reader to consult some of the numberless scriptures where these truths abound; Psalms 46:4 ; John 7:37-39 ; Isaiah 55:1 ; John 4:10-14 ; Revelation 22:1-2 . Reader! do not fail to remark, how full a blessings this chapter is, in promises to the redeemed. The close of the chapter forms indeed a short, but comprehensive description of the safety and felicity of the Church, until grace is consummated in glory. There shall be a way for the redeemed to come; and this shall be an highway; a way not to be mistaken: in which there shall be no lion nor ravenous beast. Every redeemed soul shall travel it; the unclean shall not pass it; but the wayfaring man shall not err in finding it, however weak in other things his understanding may be. And the whole ransomed shall pass it, and sing the song of redemption, with everlasting joy, when sorrow and sighing is done away forever. And who doth not see in all this, the whole outlines of redemption plainly marked? Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life. And as none cometh to the Father but by him; so all and everyone that doth come, he will in no wise east out, John 14:6 and John 6:37 . And Jesus is the highway, and the way of holiness; for the holiness of his redeemed is in him, and by him. And what is an highway, but a way open to travelers? Every poor traveler to Zion can go no other way; neither will the king of it, even Jesus, suffer such as are asking the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, to err in the way. Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? They shall hear a voice behind them, saying, This is the way, walk ye it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left. Neither shall that roving lion, the devil, overcome, nor even exercise the travelers in this way unnecessarily. Jesus hath conquered him for them; and will finally conquer him in them. One perpetual song belongs to the redeemed; and, saith this scripture, they shall sing it in their coming and return. Reader, by way of confirmation, turn to those scriptures, Jeremiah 50:4-5 ; Song of Solomon 3:3 ; Isaiah 30:21 ; 1 Corinthians 10:13 ; Revelation 7:9 to the end.
READER! was there ever a sweeter scripture of description, concerning the blessings of Jesus and his salvation, than what this chapter affords? Behold how the mind of Jehovah hath been occupied from everlasting, and in all ages, to comfort his Church in the prospect of the coming Saviour? Think of the infinite love of Jehovah, in not only providing redemption, and in such a way; but also in preparing the minds of his redeemed for the full enjoyment of it, when the Son of God should come. Under these impressions, look into the gospel, and behold how minutely every feature of the Lord Jesus, corresponded to the prophet's prediction. And then, above all, as it concerns your own everlasting welfare, look narrowly, whether all the blessings here spoken of in Jesus, and by Jesus, be indeed your portion. My brother! do, I beseech you, bring home the general mercies of redemption to your own personal and particular state and circumstances. Hath the wilderness of your own fallen state by nature, been made by grace to blossom as a rose? In the dry parched soil of your own corrupt heart, hath the Holy Ghost been poured out by his regenerating influences, and made the streams of his renewing fruitfulness to abound? Have your blind eyes been opened, and your deaf ears unstopped? Healed by Jesus, is your lameness done away, so that in his name and righteousness you can, and do now leap as an hart; and your tongue, that was once dumb, can, and doth speak of his salvation plainly?
Oh! ye chief of sinners! who are blind, and ignorant of the way of righteousness, behold Jesus is the way, and the highway, in which none that are found walking shall ever err! Oh! ye who have spent your strength for nought, and your labour for that which satisfieth not, hearken diligently to the Prophet's call. He is commanded to say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong; behold your God shall come and save you! Precious Lord Jesus! do thou come and save, come and bless, come and guide thy redeemed home to thy Zion which is above! Help all thy redeemed to sing now the song of redemption, in this house of our pilgrimage: and ere long to sing it forever before thy throne of glory, in the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 35". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14