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scribes the comment, then was adapted.' Surely, surely, this is to' palter with holy writ, and to defeat, if possible, the high ends and uses of prophecy. I proceed thus :
Prophecies are declarations, by the Holy Spirit, of things which shall thereafter come to pass :They are designedly so worded, that they can be fully interpreted only by the event:They may be accomplished partly at one time, partly at another : at one time in one, or the primary and literal meaning of their terms; at another time, in some secondary or further meaning, intended by the Spirit :- They can never be called 'fulfilled' until the happening of that event which, whether great or small, does, as it were, extract or disclose to us the utmost meaning of the prophecy :-Of prophecies, some have been fulfilled; some have been accomplished but in part, and remain to be fulfilled ; some have not, as yet, been accomplished even in part :-The evangelists do, for the most part, cite prophecies which have been fulfilled; when they cite any others, they are careful to distinguish them from the first :-To denote the fulfilment of a prophecy, they employ the verb Trampouv; and prophecies introduced by them with the words ένα πληρωθη, όπως πληρωθη, or such like phrase, always including this verb Tampouv, are cited as prophecies which have been fulfilled.
To apply these rules to the case in hand, and to some other citations of prophecy contained in the evangelical writings.— He took our miseries upon himself, and bare our sufferings for us :' I give this as the literal meaning of the Hebrew. Now this great prophecy does primarily and preeminently point to the vicarious atonement effected for us by our blessed Lord; in which the sins and consequent sufferings of the human race were, so to speak, lifted from off us, and laid upon the Saviour. In this, the highest and most awful meaning of its terms, it received its tremendous accomplishment, when, with the words • It is finished,' our Lord expired upon the cross. But the prophecy was not 'fulfilled by all this ; for it had ever contained a further and glorious meaning, which Matthew is about to denote to us as the object of our admiration and gratitude, by citing the prediction, with the words omws Tanpwon, that it might be fulfilled.' The meaning is this: God, by the prophecy, promised not only a Redeemer who should relieve the spiritual miseries of our race, but a Saviour who, in addition to all this, alleviated the bodily sufferings of mankind; and that to such an extent, so great were the multitudes he cured, and such tender compassion did he show for human misery and distress, that his care in this respect seemed at times to be almost the principal object of his mission. The ideas denoted by the Hebrew, it will be immediately seen, are complex ones. He that takes another's load upon himself, does at the same time lift it from off some other; he that bears a burthen for another, does at the same time lighten that other of his load :-miseries are either spiritual or bodily ; sufferings either temporal or eternal. The prophecy thus expanded may be read, He took our sins upon himself; yea, all our miseries lay upon him : he bare our punishments for us; yea, of all our sufferings did he lighten us.'
The Hebrew being no longer a spoken language, we can have no oral evidence of the fact; though when we find a correspondent idiom in our own tongue, we may easily understand that under the terms of the prophecy we are now considering, both these ideas are included; or, in other words, that in the Hebraistical idiom of Isaiah and Saint Matthew, a person might properly be said to take upon himself, and “to bear the bodily sufferings of others, when his solicitude in the relief of them became extreme, and pressed upon him, as it were, with sensible weight. But (and here lies the mistake of our translators) the idiom of the English does not permit us to use the words 'take' and bear in the double sense of the Hebrew. To give the full meaning of the prophet, we must in English invert the ideas denoted by the Hebrew; and employing an idiom somewhat different, though scarcely less forcible, we must say, 'All our miseries lay upon him, and he had to lighten us of all our sufferings.'—*All our diseases pressed upon him, and he felt the burthen of all our disorders.' Thus rendered, we perceive that we have obtained the secondary meaning of the prediction, without losing the higher and more awful import of its terms; and, whether we read the Hebrew, the Greek, or the English, we behold our Lord acting as the physician both for the souls and bodies of
But the cure of bodily evils being the furthest meaning contained in the prophecy, had Matthew told us that the prediction was ' fulfilled when our Lord expired upon the cross, he had told us too little. Properly speaking, it was then accomplished but in part; and it was fulfilled only by the exertion of our Lord's miraculous powers, and the exercise of his compassion, in the cure of all that were sick. Matthew accordingly refers the prediction for its fulfilment to the occasion mentioned in the context, when, (as we learn from Saint Mark,) all the city was gathered together at the door ;' and when, humanly speaking, our Lord may justly be said to have felt the weight of the cares which, in the exercise of his powers of healing, he encountered.
Let us next take the famous prophecy of Isaiah : • Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.'- In the seventeenth of Pekah, being the sixteenth and last of Jotham, and the first of Ahaz, “Rezin, king of Syrią, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, - and slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers.' In this extremity, Isaiah having been commissioned to afford Ahaz and his people that pledge of the Divine protection which the monarch had declined to specify, and to assure them of deliverance from the fearful evils to which they were exposed, delivers himself thus :• Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son: some virgin upon whose head the hand of the
prophet then rested, or who was or had been otherwise pointed out to Ahaz, must forthwith marry, shall immediately conceive, and in due course of nature bear a son.
And shall call his name Immanuel :'
signifying, 'God is with or for us.' • Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may (when he shall) know to refuse the evil and to choose the good :' as soon as the child is capable of distinguishing right from wrong, he shall find his country in the enjoyment of extraordinary plenty, and consequently peace, of days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah’— since the secession of the ten tribes under Jeroboam. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and to choose the good’: and this because before the child shall have sense enough to distinguish even thus much. The land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings: God will have tossed back both those flaming and smoking firebrands, Pekah and Rezin, into their own kingdoms, and will there have caused them to be extinguished, Pekah by the dagger of Hoshea, and Rezin by the sword of Tiglath-Pileser. * And,' (continues the prophet,) 'I went unto the prophetess, and she conceived and bare a son. Then said the Lord unto me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz' (Let-them-hasten-to-the-spoil) — “for before that child shall have knowledge to cry My father and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.
The prophecy was delivered in the seventeenth of Pekah ; and Pekah, in the twentieth year of his reign, and before the young Immanuel could distinguish right from wrong, was deposed and put to death by Hoshea. But Rezin had been slain, and both Syria and Israel shaved by the hired razor,'