And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it…
I. Isaiah proclaims that this way shall be A HIGHWAY. Not a way confined, as the Old Testament way was, to one particular people. Not a way confined to any particular class of persons, rich in preference to poor, learned in preference to unlearned. Not a way confined to any particular sect, or any particular communion of persons. But a way open and public to all Then, woe to the man who presumes to set up a turnpike upon this highway. And yet this is what is done. Some would even have us believe that we cannot set our feet upon this way except through the help and invocation of saints and angels. Others tell us that we must have a priest at our elbow. Others say that we must belong to some particular sect of Christians. And others say that we must belong to some particular class of persons, such for instance as the learned. Such are the turnpikes, such are the barriers, which men presume to set up upon the highway of the King of kings.
II. Though it is clear that this way is accessible to all sects, classes, and conditions of men, yet THERE IS ONE EXCEPTION, and that one exception is not due to God, but to man himself. "It shall be called the way of holiness: the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those," viz., for the holy.
III. Here is A SPECIAL INVITATION TO THE WAYFARING MEN — men who have not the advantage of learning, education, and accomplishments. It is the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, without which even the best acquirements are nothing, which makes up to wayfaring men for the absence of all the advantages of learning, education, station, and leisure, which are the privileges of those who occupy the higher grades of life.
IV. On this Christmas Day WE CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF THAT WAY which Isaiah describes.
V. AT THE VERY END OF THIS GREAT VIADUCT IS HEAVEN.
(E. Girdlestone, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.