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these two verses is, that he was to be dumb and patient before his judges. Now this is not usual, not likely, not natural. Innocent men do not com
monly submit to a lawless and cruel sentence, without doing their best to defend themselves, and trying to clear their characters at least, if not to save their lives. Yet this too was fulfilled in the trial of Jesus, as exactly as all the rest. We read in St Matthew, that, when the council brought false witnesses against Jesus, that they might have something to lay to his charge, Jesus "held his peace;" not from pride and stubbornness of spirit, but, as he himself tells us, (Luke xxii. 67, 68,) because he knew that, if he told them the truth, they would not believe him, and that if he asked them questions, or tried to argue with them out of the Scriptures, they would neither answer him, nor let him go. It was not until the highpriest adjured him by the living God, to tell them whether he was the Christ, that Jesus made that noble answer, of which it is hard to say whether we ought most to admire its mildness or its courage: "Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." (Matt. xxvi. 64.) It was written in the book of Daniel, that one like the Son of man should come in the clouds of heaven. The
Jewish priests therefore were bound to believe that such a sight would one day be vouchsafed to them. Had they cared for justice, they would have given Jesus an opportunity of justifying himself, by asking what proof he could offer of his being the Son of man. Then might he have appealed to his mighty works. There would have been no want of witnesses. Blind Bartimeus restored to sight, the centurion's servant raised from the bed of sickness, the impotent man released by a few words from the infirmity which had crippled him for thirty-eight years; above all, Lazarus raised out of the grave, after he had been four days dead. Here would have been proofs of divine power so manifest, that, though they would not have convinced or converted his enemies, they might perhaps have shamed them into silence. But no: the judges give him no such opportunity of proving his mission. They stop him with the cry," He has spoken blasphemy!" they condemn him to die, and send him bound to Pilate. Here the same scene of silence is repeated. “When he was accused by the chief priests, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate to him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word, insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly." In St John indeed we read of his speaking more than once to Pilate;
but that was in private, and apparently not for his own sake, but for Pilate's.
Against the public accusations of his countrymen he made no more answer or defence before Pilate than he had made before the priests. Thus dumb was Jesus, as Isaiah prophesied he was to be. And was he not also patient? He who, when Peter had denied him thrice, only looked upon him; he who, when he was suffering all the tortures of the cross, prayed to his Father for his murderers.
The fourth thing mentioned in these two verses is, that he was to be brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and to be cut off for the sins of God's people. Hear what St Peter says: "He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, but committed his cause to him that judgeth righteously; who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” (1 Pet. ii. 22, 23.) But why is it said
that he was to be brought
as a lamb to the
slaughter? At first sight this might seem to refer only to his innocence and his meekness.
expression has a further and a deeper meaning. "Behold the Lamb of God," said John the Baptist of him," which taketh away the sin of the world!" In this sense, above all others, is Jesus the Lamb. He is the Lamb ordained to death from the foundation of the world. As it is beautifully
exprest in the Communion Service, he very paschal Lamb, which was offered for us, and hath taken away the sin of the world. It is as being a sacrifice, no less than for his purity, that Jesus is likened by Isaiah to a lamb. He was, what the law of Moses required the paschal lamb to be, without blemish.
The next agreement is perhaps still more marvellous. "And his grave was permitted with the wicked," says Isaiah," and with the rich man was his tomb." For that is the true translation, and not, as our Bible has it, "in his death." Here again the prophecy could scarcely be more accurate, if it had been written after the event. For Jesus did indeed go down to the grave with the wicked; or, as the last verse of the chapter expresses it," he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors." He died as a criminal between two thieves. But where did he afterward find a tomb? Not with the transgressors, not with the wicked; but, O wonderful fulfilment of a most strange prophecy! “when the evening was come," (these are St Matthew's words,) "there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple; he went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock." Thus was
this prophecy accomplished to the letter: thus did Jesus, after dying with the transgressors, receive a tomb with the rich.
Isaiah then, as if for fear of being misunderstood, for fear any one should imagine that the wonderful person, of whom he has been speaking throughout the chapter, had done something worthy of death, and deserved to be counted as a transgressor,-repeats himself, and again declares that all this befell him, though he had done no wrong, neither was there guile found in his mouth; because it "pleased Jehovah to crush him with affliction." Was God unjust or unmerciful in this? Far, far from it. For, as the prophet gives us to understand in the very next words, it was done with the Messiah's own consent. The words, when rightly translated, are as follows: "When his soul shall make an offering for sin." It was the Messiah's soul or life then, that is, the Messiah himself, that was to make this offering. Was not this too accomplished? was not Jesus willing to die for mankind? Hear his own words: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life for the sheep. No man taketh it from me; but I lay it down of myself." God then was not unjust in emptying the vial of his wrath upon Jesus; nor was he unmerciful in doing so. On the contrary it was the greatest act of mercy that could