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God the Holy Ghost is here celebrating the glory and praise of Christ, and his Church in him; and showing what a vast accession of redeemed souls shall pour into the Redeemer's kingdom in the latter-day glory.
I beg to be understood as speaking with all due humility, on a subject so infinitely sublime and glorious; and rather as asking than deciding upon it; but I venture to say, it strikes me that the person here spoken to, is Christ, the glorious Head of his Church, and not the Church herself, as hath been generally supposed. We find, by comparing scripture with scripture, that God the Father many times before addresses God the Son as Mediator, in the several parts of this same Prophet's sermon. See Isaiah 42:6 , and Isaiah 49:1-9 . And there seems to be a blessed propriety in the glorious Head, and not the Church, being thus addressed, when the Gentiles are said to come to his light, and kings to the brightness of his rising. This was literally and truly done, when Jesus came as the light and the life of men; and hence the Evangelist recorded the truth, that the people saw a great light, Matthew 4:12-16 . And John recorded also that his people were made kings and priests to God and his Father, Revelation 1:6 . But Reader, do not forget one blessed truth contained in these verses, namely, that the glory here spoken of, is the glory of Jehovah. Christ and his salvation are uniformly said, in all the scripture, to be Jehovah's glory: God the Father proclaimed this, Isaiah 49:6 , and God the Son, as Mediator, confirmed it when on earth, John 17:1-5 .
What a blessed and soul-reviving thought is it, amidst the melancholy prospect all around, of sin and sorrow, in the present miserable state of things, that the kingdom of Jesus is neither weak nor small. The promise is absolute: He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. Some of all nations, all tongues, all people shall come to him. In Jesus, the New Testament altar shall they be all accepted. I only detain the Reader to remark, that this passage alone, if there were no other, would be sufficient to determine, that the deliverance of the Church from Babylon (as some would fain have it) could not be in the Prophet's view, when he penned this scripture. It is true, many people of different countries, joined themselves with Israel on their return; but neither Israel herself, nor all the scattered remnants of the people that joined them, could warrant expressions like these. See Ezra 2:64 .
Reader! pause, I pray you over these sweet verses. Can there be a more delightful thought, than that of souls flying to Christ, as doves, who by instinct take shelter in their houses? Mark what Jesus said, John 12:32 ; and do not overlook how the glory of Jehovah in covenant, as God, is folded up in the blessed relation. Yes! Christ's glory is his Father's honour; and it is the most blessed of all thoughts that God the Father is glorified in his dear Son, in the instance of every individual soul redeemed; John 13:31-32 .
How beautifully do we find the Redeemer's glory and his Church's happiness blended. Here the prosperity of the Church is particularly spoken of, but all with an eye to Christ. Psalms 72:10 .
Here Jesus is evidently spoken of, agreeably to that prophecy, Psalms 72:11 ; and the Lord himself very solemnly confirmed the same truth, Luke 19:27 .
In what lofty language, of the most blessed import, and under what gracious similitudes, doth the Lord speak of the glories and happiness of the Church! But let the Reader carefully remember, that it is all in Jesus. Without an eye to him, none of these things could be said.
The very blessed things here spoken of, evidently refer to the Church above, and we must look forward to the full accomplishment of them in the new heavens and new earth, wherein righteousness dwelleth forever. By comparing what is here said with what the beloved Apostle John saw in vision (and which he was commissioned to deliver to the Church) we are taught what a blessed state that will be, when Christ is all in all, and hath brought home his Church to his kingdom above. See Revelation 21:0 throughout. I do not think it necessary to enlarge upon the beautiful similitudes here chosen, to represent the glories of the Church of Christ; but would beg of the Reader to remember from whom all those glories result, and in whom they all center. It is Jesus, the life and the light of his redeemed, whose presence also is the light and the glory of heaven. It will be much more profitable both for him that writes and him that reads, to consider the fulness of the blessing contained in that one view of Jesus, in which he is called thy God thy glory; than to attempt to describe from these figures, in what that blessedness will consist. All tears wiped from all eyes: to be led to fountains of living waters, and the people of Jesus to be all righteous; these expressions, no doubt, imply a state of endless felicity; but our present unripe faculties are not competent either to the description or discovery. One assurance we have, and that is enough for all: our whole happiness will arise from our union with Jesus, our communion with Jesus; and our communications from Jesus. Lord! be thou my portion; for in thee I have all.
BLESSED Lord Jesus! how shall I refrain, while reading this sweet chapter, from having my whole soul led out in longing desire after thee, and calling upon thee in thine own words, to arise, and shine upon my soul, and let thy glory be seen upon me? Do not I know, that thou, and thou only art the source and fountain of all saving light, and life, and knowledge? Gross darkness had indeed covered our whole nature, until that thou, the Sun of righteousness, didst arise on our benighted souls, with healing in thy wings! And both now in time, and hereafter to all eternity, all thy redeemed derive everything from thee, for grace, and for glory. Gentiles may well come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising, for without thee all is darkness and as the shadow of death. Not all the lights of heaven and heavenly bodies, no nor all the moons and stars of earthly ordinances, can give light or warmth, without thee. Oh! hither come to Jesus, ye sons and daughters of this benighted world; awake, ye that sleep, and arise from the dead, that Christ may give you light.
And oh! my blessed God and Father! how shalt I praise thee, and love thee as I ought, for this blessed, this glorious, this unequalled gift of thy dear Son? Oh! carry on the great design, and let not the gates of thy Zion be shut, day nor night; that men may bring to our Shiloh the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought: until the whole earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea; and all shall know, that thou, the Lord Jehovah, art our Saviour and Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob! Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 60". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter