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sins of others? The passage now under consideration answers the question: it tells us, that it was the griefs and sorrows of others, the miseries and calamities of his people, in consequence of their sins, both original and actual, which Jesus endured, and thus explains the true cause of our Redeemer's sorrow; Surely," saith the Prophet, " he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows."
O what a comfortable truth is this for every contrite soul that is looking to Jesus, weary and heavy laden with the burden of sin! "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Surely, saith the Prophet. Yes, verily, Jesus hath borne and carried the sorrows of his believing people. He has not left them to bear the weight of their own griefs and sorrows, but he took them all upon himself; they were all laid upon him. Here, then, is strong consolation for every penitent believer. Here is that which will answer every charge. May the Lord assist both the writer and the reader of these remarks to enter fully into the subject, and to derive from it all the consolation which it is calculated to give.
concerned for the calamities which sin has introduced into the world; and he removed those afflictions from such as came to him for help. He did not so bear the sicknesses of others as to be made sick himself, but his tender and compassionate heart was afflicted in the afflictions of his people. When they applied to him for relief, he removed the affliction from them, and thus fulfilled the words of the Prophet, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.' This is an emblem of what Christ does for the souls of those who come to him by faith. They feel themselves spiritually sick by reason of sin, and come to Jesus by faith; and when they come to him, he takes their infirmities and bears their sicknesses. He takes away the guilt of sin; assures them of pardon through his blood, which was shed for them; enables them to believe this, and gives them joy and peace in believing. He breaks the power of sin, gives them the victory over it, saves them from the dominion of it in their hearts and lives, so that now it is no more their delight, but their grief and burden. He puts his holy Spirit within them, causing them to delight in the law of God after the inward man, leading them forward in the way of faith and holiness, and thus preparing them for that blessed place where "the inhabitant shall no more say, I am sick; and where the people who dwell therein are forgiven their iniquity."
But another, and a very important sense, in which Jesus "hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows," is, that he bare them as a punishment. Christ," says the Apostle, "was once offered to bear the sin of many.' Heb. ix. 28. And another Apostle says, "Himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree." 1 Peter, ii. 24. In this sense we may understand the words of the Prophet, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried
We read, in the Gospel of St. Matthew, that this Scripture was fulfilled when Jesus cast out evil spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick. "When the even was come," saith the Evangelist, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses." (Matt. viii. 16, 17.) This, then, was the fulfilment of the prophecy we are now considering. But, in what sense did Jesus take our infirmities, and bear our sicknesses? He took them away: he bare them in his mind, as being
our sorrows." For, though in this place the Prophet speaks not of Christ's bearing our sins, but of his bearing our griefs and sorrows; yet grief and sorrow is the consequence of sin, and Jesus endured both in the greatest extent when he "bare our sins in his own body on the tree." He not only took away the bodily infirmities of those who applied to him for relief, but endured in his own person the griefs and sorrows, the anguish of heart and distress of soul, which are the fruits and effects of sin. Let us hear his own words: My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death and he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup (the cup of sorrow) pass from me." Matt. xxvi. 38, 39. "He began to be sore amazed and very heavy," Mark, xiv. 33; “and being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Luke, xxii. 44. Then was Jesus bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows. Then he was taking upon himself that load of grief and sorrow which was due to us as sinners, and which we must have endured for ever, had not Jesus borne it for us. Then did the suffering Saviour bear our griefs as a punishment, and carry our sorrows as a burden; and so heavy was the load, that he cried out in the bitterness of his soul, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Matt. xxvii. 46. "Yet," says the Prophet, "did we esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." In one sense, the words are true; Jesus was "stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." His afflictions were divine judgments upon him. He was stricken by the hand of God himself, "smitten of God." The almighty Father said, "Smite the Shepherd." Zech. xiii. 7. And the Psalmist speaks of him in the language of prophecy, as the Man
whom God hath smitten. Ps. lxix. 26. His afflictions were divine judgments for sin, and the tokens of God's righteous indignation against it. But though the sins of his people were the true cause of the afflictions of Jesus, yet it seems to be foretold in this passage, that his sufferings would be viewed in a wrong light by many, and particularly by the Jewish nation: "Yet did we esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." They would think that his afflictions were the due reward of his own sins, whereas they were inflicted for the sins of his people, as the Prophet plainly declares at the eighth verse,
For the transgression of my people was he stricken." The enemies of Christ considered him as forsaken of God. Those who passed by reviled him; and even his disciples who loved him were at a loss to account for his sufferings and death. They said one to another, "We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel;" nor did they understand that it behoved Christ to suffer till he himself explained it to them, and opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. Even to this day most of the Jews form the same erroneous judgment of the afflictions of our blessed Saviour, so that it is truly said by the Prophet," Yet did we esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
Nor is it an uncommon thing for men called Christians to form a wrong judgment of Christ's sufferings. Those who reject the doctrine of Christ's atonement are forming a wrong judgment of his sufferings: they have not the spirit of faith, which says, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.' The consequence will be, they must bear them themselves, and that for ever. O that such persons would consider this; for if they are not looking by faith to Jesus, as bearing their griefs and carrying their sorrows,
the whole weight must lie upon them, and they will find it a burden too heavy to endure.
The former part of the passage, then, is the language of faith; the latter, of unbelief. Faith says, concerning the afflictions of Jesus, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Unbelief forms a wrong judgment of this matter. Let the reader examine himself as to his views on this subject. If he has felt the burden of sin, and is looking unto Jesus by faith, and desires to lead a new life to the glory of God, it is his privilege to say with the Prophet, "Surely he hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows." And O what a blessing is this! for, if Jesus bare our griefs and carried our sorrows, it was that we might not lie down in everlasting sorrow; but that we might be delivered from that awful place of woe," where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth:" and surely if this blessing is ours, the strongest obligations lie upon us not to grieve Him by our sins who bare our griefs, nor to weary Him by our iniquities who carried our sorrows; but to yield ourselves to him as his redeemed people, and to " 'glorify God with our bodies and spirits which are his."
A HYMN FOR CHILDREN.
Accept the homage of our praise.
Thy mercy crown'd the happy hour;
How to adore thy glorious power.
We've shar'd thy favours from on high,
Or as the stars which deck the sky.
Our grateful anthems we'll prolong,
Claims nobler praise in ev'ry song.
We might our dreary lot have found,
To cheer the howling waste around.
No tidings of a Saviour's love
Would e'er have reach'd us wand'ring there;
We must have perish'd in despair.
But, O how bless'd our portion now!
And live beneath thy constant smile.
We dedicate our youthful years:
While travelling in the vale of tears!
And when our pilgrimage is o'er,
When death dissolves our house of clay,
To realms of everlasting day!
LETTERS ADDRESSED TO A YOUNGER BROTHER DURING HIS APPRENTICESHIP.
IT is with much pleasure I discover in your last, a sincere desire to increase in divine knowledge; and I trust God will incline and enable me to communicate that instruction to you, which by his grace he has imparted to me; and to all my endeavours may he add the teaching of his holy Spirit, who alone is able effectually to make you wise in "the things that belong to your" eternal peace."
to think it quite unnecessary to be at the trouble of studying the Bible at all; since (they say) if they do but live up to what they have been taught, and are but as good as their parents, they have no doubt of being right at last. Others adopt those opinions which are most popular, and so conceive themselves right, because they think it impossible for so many to be wrong. Thus it is, that the all-important concern of religion is trifled with; There are few circumstances, I and thus it is that men tamper with am aware, more perplexing to a their souls, insult God, and abuse young inquirer, than the great di- his holy word, which he has deversity of opinions which are main-clared can alone make them “wise tained respecting the religion of the unto salvation." Bible; but much of this diversity may be traced to the following obvious causes. The majority of professing Christians prefer any method of forming their religious opinions to the simple, artless teaching of the word of God, notwithstanding their professed conviction that it is the only uncorrupted source of truth. Some people form a favourite scheme of religion with a view to quiet their conscience or answer some other convenient purpose, and then endeavour to bring the Bible to confirm their opinions; to do which, they are obliged to strain the sense of some passages, to call the authority of others in question, and, in short, to accommodate the whole to their own convenience. There are others who set up their reason as the standard by which the doctrines of the Bible are to be tried; and such will believe nothing which is above their narrow comprehension. Others, again, form their religious opinions on the faith of their parents, and hold those doctrines sacred in which they have been educated; and such are apt
How jealous, my dear brother, ought you to be of the opinions you maintain, and how seriously ought you to examine your heart, to discover whether your faith is the result of a humble, unprejudiced examination of the word of truth, or whether some favourite notion, proud reasoning, educational prejudices, or blind acquiescence in popular opinions, do not either wholly or in part constitute your religion. But while I excite you to jealousy in this important particular, I would indulge a hope, that, as far as your age and capacity permit, you have read your Bible with the sole desire of deriving instruction from it: that the opinions you hold are what, to the best of your judgment, you find clearly warranted therein, and that your experience of their holy and happy influence on your heart and life, affords at least a strong presumptive proof that they are correct.
Your ever affectionate Brother. Dec. 1798.
ON THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND TRACT SOCIETY.
dured in erecting that glorious
To the Editor of the Christian
THE numerous facilities which, through the mercy of God and the zeal of enlightened Christians, are now so generally afforded to the poor, both among the juvenile and adult population, for acquiring the art of reading and elementary instruction, impose on the guardians of society a most powerful call, and present a conclusive argument, for continual and persevering exertion in that very useful department of Christian labour, the dissemination of religious tracts. The astonishing increase in the youthful part of our population, which has been ascertained, affords additional strength to the propriety and expediency of this exhortation.
The mind having been once raised from a mere state of nature, and excited to inquiry on religious subjects, ought immediately to be supplied with an abundant store of sound and wholesome food: otherwise it will necessarily seek for the gratification of its acquired appetite in the unhallowed resources of infidelity and vice. Small treatises on religious subjects, drawn up in an engaging form, are well adapted to promote the desired object, and to enlarge the circle of religious influence. History and biography, we generally find, possess over the youthful mind a most attractive influence. With this view, I beg to recommend to the zealous patronage of every devout member of the Established Church the interesting publications of the Church of England Tract Society, which display in a pleasing manner the holy lives and exemplary characters of the noble army of martyrs and reformers, to whose zeal, courage, and fidelity in the cause of truth we are so greatly indebted. The agonizing sufferings which they en