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CHRIST IN TRAVAIL.
1.-THE TRAVAIL OF CHRIST, OR CHRIST IN TRAVAIL. 2. - HIS
ASSURANCE OF ISSUE. 3.—THE CONTENTMENT
THAT HE DOTH AND SHALL FIND THEREIN.
IN THREE SERMONS.
CHRIST IN TRAVAIL.
" He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied."
ISAIAH LIII. 11. In this chapter we have a full treatise of the sufferings of Christ, wherein the prophet Isaiah speaks with such clearness, as if he rather were an apostle after Christ than a prophet before him. Bernard tells us that there are three things which we are especially to mind and behold in the sufferings of Christ—the work, the manner, and the cause thereof: in the cause he was innocent, in the manner patient, and in the work excellent, saith he. But the prophet Isaiah doth insist on four things : 1. The greatness of Christ's sufferings, which he expresseth in many words; that “ he was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs ;" that“ we hid our faces from him, despised and esteemed him not,” verse 3; that “ he was stricken. smitten, and afflicted of God,” verse 4; “ wounded and bruised,” verse 5; “oppressed, afflicted, and brought as a sheep to the slaughter,” verse 7; “ imprisoned and cut off from the land of the living," verse 8; “ bruised by his father and put to grief,” verse 10; “ in travail of soul and numbered among transgressors," verses 11 and 12.
2. The cause of his sufferings, which, as the prophet tells us, was for our sins: “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities,” verse 5. 3. The manner of his sufferings : “ He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before the shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth,” verse 7. 4. The fruit, issue and success of his sufferings : “For he shall see his seed, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand,” verse 10; and " he shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied," verse 11. So that these words do plainly hold forth the fruit and issue of our Lord's sufferings, and the certainty thereof. The sufferings were great, for they are here called a travail,
and the travail of his soul. The word soy signifies a toil-
mine enemies. We add desire because that is the sense thereof; for seeing notes enjoyment of one's desires, and therefore in that the prophet saith," he shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied ;" the meaning is, that Christ shall so enjoy the issue and fruit of his sufferings as he shall have full content and delight therein. And so the doctrine from the whole is this:
That Christ shall certainly see the travail of his soul and be satisfied.
He did not lay down his life at a venture, nor suffer so many things at uncertainties; but he had assurance of suc
Forerius Esa. liii.
“ He shall see," saith the Lord, by way of promise, both to him and us, “ of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied.”
For the opening and clearing hereof, three great arguments will fall under our consideration.
First, The travail of Christ, or Christ in travail.
Thirdly, The contentment that he doth and shall find therein.
First, As for the travail of Christ. His sufferings were very painful; a travail and a hard labour. Acts ii. 24. It is said that he was sometimes in the pains of death; some books read it, in the pains of hell : but the word rendered pains, signifies the pains and pangs of a woman in travail. It is the same word that is used by Paul, Gal. iv., “
My little children, with whom I travail in birth ;" and it signifies, not only the travail of the woman in the birth of the child, but the painful bearing thereof before the birth. These pains and pangs did as it were fall on Christ in his sufferings.* So that in all the sufferings of Christ, ye may see Christ in travail. He was in travail for us, and this travail was a hard labour. For it was,
I. A sore trouble.
I. It was a sore travail, both in regard of his soul and body.
1. As for his body. His sufferings were very painful; for they were universal, extreme and lingering.
They were universal, for he suffered from all hands, Something he suffered from the Jews, and something from the Gentiles; sometimes from men, and sometimes from women; from and by the hand of magistrates, kings, and princes; from and by the hand of priests; from and by the hand of the common people and the soldiers. “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers took counsel against the Lord, and against his Christ,” Acts iv. 25, 26. He did not only suffer by the hand of strangers, but from his own friends and familiars ; according to that of the psalmist, “Thou hast
* Hæc vox wariw et partum significat et dolorem parturientem.— Vict. Strigil. Perk. Gal. iy.