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If. lii. 13. liii. " BEHOLD, my fervant

shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted, and extolled, and be very high. As many were aftonished at thee; his vifage was fo marred more than any man, and his form more than the fons of men: fo fhall he sprinkle many nations; the kings fhall shut their mouths at him; for that which had not been told them fhall they fee; and that which they had not heard fhall they confider. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?




For he fhall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comèlinefs; and when we fhall fee him, there is no beauty that we fhould defire him. He is defpised and rejected of men, a man of forrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was defpifed, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our forrows: yet we did esteem him flricken, fmitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our tranfgreffions, he was bruifed for our iniquities: the chaftifement of our peace was upon him; and with his ftripes we are healed. All we like theep have gone aftray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppreffed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the flaughter, and as a fheep before her fhearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgement; and who fhall declare his generation? for he was cut



off out of the land of the living: for the tranfgreffion of my people was he ftricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any de ceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief. When thou shalt make his foul an offering for fin, he shall see his feed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall profper in his hand. He fhall fee of the travail of his foul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge fhall my righteous fervant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he fhall divide the spoil with the ftrong; because he hath poured out his foul unto death: and he was numbered with the tranfgreffors; and he bare the fin of many, and made interceffion for the tranfgreffors."

These words are extant in a book, purporting to contain the predictions of a writer, B 2 who

who lived feven centuries before the Chrif

tian æra.

That material part of every argument from prophecy, namely, that the words alledged were actually spoken or written before the fact to which they are applied took place, or could by any natural means be foreseen, is, in the prefent inftance, inconteftable. The record comes out of the cuftody of adversaries. The Jews, as an ancient father well obferved, are our librarians. The paffage is in their copies as well as in With many attempts to explain it away, none has ever been made by them to difcredit its authenticity.


And, what adds to the force of the quotation is, that it is taken from a writing declaredly prophetic; a writing, profeffing to defcribe fuch future tranfactions and changes in the world, as were connected with the fate and interefts of the Jewish nation. It is not a paffage in an historical


or devotional compofition, which, because it turns out to be applicable to fome future events, or to fome future fituation of affairs, is presumed to have been oracular. The words of Ifaiah were delivered by him in a prophetic character, with the folemnity belonging to that character; and what he fo delivered, was all along understood by the Jewish reader to refer to fomething that was to take place after the time of the author. The public fentiments of the Jews, concerning the design of Isaiah's writings, are fet forth in the book of Ecclefiafticus: "He faw, by an excellent fpirit, what should come to pafs at the laft, and he comforted them that mourned in Sion. He fhewed what should come to pass for ever, and fecret things or ever they came." (ch. xlviii. v. 24.)

It is alfo an advantage which this prophecy poffeffes, that it is intermixed with no other fubject. It is entire, feparate, and uninterruptedly directed to one scene of things.

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