Isaiah 43:10
"You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may consider and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, and after Me none will come.
AntropomorphismC. Voysey, M. A.Isaiah 43:10
God's WitnessesIsaiah 43:10
God's Witnesses Often InconsistentT. Binney.Isaiah 43:10
God's Witnesses Summoned to Testify to the WorldJ. Harris, D. D.Isaiah 43:10
God's WitnessessHomilistIsaiah 43:10
Practical Witnessing for GodSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 43:10
The Christian's All-Out Testimony for GodT. Binney, D. D., F. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 43:10
The Church a Testimony for God to the WorldT. Binney, D. D.Isaiah 43:10
The Value of Personal TestimonyE. W. Moore.Isaiah 43:10
The Witness of ConsistencyChurch of England PulpitIsaiah 43:10
The Witness of God's ServantsW. Clarkson Isaiah 43:10
WitnessesC. H. spurgeon.Isaiah 43:10
Witnesses for ChristW. P. Swartz.Isaiah 43:10
Witnesses for GodJ. Kennedy, D. D.Isaiah 43:10
Witnesses for GodW. Curling, M. A.Isaiah 43:10
Witnesses to GodJ. Radford Thomson, M. A.Isaiah 43:10
The Great ControversyE. Johnson Isaiah 43:8-13

Ye are my witnesses. God summoned his people Israel to bear witness to him; he challenged them to come forward and testify that

(1) in the absence of any possible power that could have performed it (ver. 12),

(2) he had foretold things which were far in the future; and

(3) he had wrought signal and splendid deliverances on their behalf, - he had "saved" as well as declared (ver. 12). Thus they were in a position to maintain that

(4) he was the One living God on whom the wise would depend for guidance and redemption (vers. 10, 11). His charge to his Church is similar. God demands that we shall bear witness to him and to his gospel of grace. To this end are we born, and for this cause came we into the world, that we should "bear witness unto the truth." Concerning this testimony, we are left in no doubt as to -

I. THOSE WHO ARE TO BEAR IT. We know who they are to whom God says," Ye are," etc. They are those who have themselves returned unto him in true penitence and faith. All others are unsuited by their character and their spirit (see Psalm 50:16; Psalm 51:12, 13; Romans 2:21; Isaiah 52:11). Only they who are in sympathy with God and are living in accordance with his holy will are qualified to bear witness to his truth.

II. THE SUBSTANCE OF THEIR MESSAGE. The first and greatest thing which men need to know is the nature and character of God. For it is the relation which they maintain towards him that determines their own character and destiny. Apart from him they are separated from the source of all true blessedness, of all real life. In him and with him they are safe, wise, rich, for evermore. We have, therefore, to testify of him:

(1) of his unity (ver. 10);

(2) his holiness;

(3) his redeeming love (ver. 11). We have to bear witness

(4) to the unique efficacy of his salvation; that there is no Saviour beside him; that there is "no other Name... by which we can be saved." And also

(5) to the conditions under which alone this salvation can be secured. Like St. Paul, to Greek and Jew, to cultivated and uncultivated, to those who esteem themselves to be righteous and to those who know themselves to be sinners, we have to testify "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

III. THE EXPERIENCE WHICH JUSTIFIES THEIR EVIDENCE. They have experienced that which amply warrants them in commending the gospel of the grace of God.

1. A profound sense of true deliverance. Their own consciousness makes it clear and positive that they have been rescued from the tyranny, the depravity, and the burden of sin, and led into the liberty, the purity, and the joy of sonship.

2. Peace and hope in regard to the future. God has revealed to them a home of rest and love - a future state where the highest and noblest aspirations of redeemed humanity will find fulfilment. In sure prospect of this they are in a position to speak freely in the presence of those who live without God and die without hope. - C.

Ye are My witnesses
The term "witnesses" is very large and full, and covers the entire ground of evidences. All things in heaven and earth are full of voices bearing witness for the living God. The whole universe, human history, governments, philosophy, science, art, and institutions, are witnessing for God. But God selects and addresses one class in the text. "Ye," men of Israel, "are My witnesses." These words suggest the high honour, as well as the great responsibility, of a Christian profession.


1. A primary qualification of a true witness is, an intelligent faith in God. You are called upon to give evidence on behalf of another, but you know little of him, only by repute and inference, and your knowledge of the case in dispute is mainly circumstantial; then, you cannot give your evidence in that clear, ready, candid, and telling manner that a friend can who knows the man personally and closely, and who has the highest regard for his integrity and uprightness, and who is well acquainted also with the whole case down to its very minutia, and who has a clear, settled conviction that justice and right, to the fullest extent, are on the side of his friend. Such a man speaks from knowledge, as well as conviction; he testifies what he knows, and speaks what he has seen; and when the case is heard you feel that your witnessing, compared with his, is but as the drops to the ocean. So it is with the man who has only an intellectual, as compared with the man who has a practical knowledge of God; the latter can testify from personal acquaintance as well as unbounded faith.

2. Not only is faith needed to make you a successful witness, but your courage will be tested in this daily testifying. You are placed in a world whose temper and principles are hostile to sacred things, and while you witness for God, your whole life will be a constant testifying against the world's customs, and an open conflict with what it accounts its best possessions; and if you will be a faithful and true witness you will often find yourself going right in the teeth of its tastes, affections, and lusts, and you will discover that the days of idolatry and martyrdom are not yet past, and that if you will faithfully give your evidence for the pure and true, you will need a hero's courage and a martyr's faith. You shall have your hours of rest and sweet communings that you may grow strong to do and suffer the Father's will, but the law of the kingdom is that you must gather in order that you may scatter. The very things of which you are witnesses will show you what you may expect from men, and what they will demand from you in courage and faith. For what do you witness? God — His nature and claims; the Bible — its inspiration and authenticity; Christ — His atoning sacrifice for sin, etc. Will such testimonies as these win you thanks and praise from your fellows, or will they scatter roses along your path?

3. See the dignity of this witnessing. "My witnesses, saith the Lord."(1) You are God's witnesses by Divine choice and appointment.(2) By solemn obligation. Obligation is placed upon us by the very name we bear to go out and invite others to the feast. Having found the pearl of great price, shall we hoard it up and not tell others where a like precious gem may be found without impairing our own riches? "Freely ye have received, freely give."(3) By pledge and covenant. Have we not engaged to be His followers and to do His bidding?

II. THE MANNER OF THIS WITNESSING. How do men witness for God?

1. By the living voice.

2. By the eloquence of a holy life. This I take to be the most powerful testimony, and touches the greatest number of agents.

3. By active service in His cause; and by His cause I mean all and everything that in any way touches the true interests of the great human family. Then, how wide the field of labour and service, and how loud the call to the strong, the hardy, the daring. Witness for God, young men, by deeds of noble chivalry; emulate your sires. Witness for God, ye strong men in Israel, who stand to-day in the meridian of life, by faithfully devoting all the energy and force and fire of your being to His blessed service. Witness for God, ye fathers and mothers, as you sit in the pensive shades of evening, by recounting His faithfulness to you throughout your day; the recital will inspire higher hopes of nobler conquests in the younger soldiers of the Cross.

4. By patient resignation when called to suffer for the truth. The prophets, the apostles, the reformers, the Huguenots, the Covenanters, the men of the Mayflower, and some in our own country have stood bravely, and endured their sufferings nobly when the fierce tide of persecution set in against them.

(C. H. spurgeon.)


1. That is an unwarranted limitation which practically relegates oral witness-bearing to the ministry. The text was spoken to all Israel (ver. 2).

2. Christ and the Word of God claim the testimony of His people, humble and great; and the duty has been recognised and performed.(1) The case of the apostles (Acts 1:8, 22). The apostles' acceptance and discharge of this duty (Acts 2:32; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:20, 33). In after years, when writing their epistles, they were still claiming to be witnesses (1 Peter 5:1; 1 John 1:2).(2) The case of Paul. He was ordained to be a witness (Acts 22:15). He, therefore, made such witness-bearing the work of his life (Acts 26:22).(3) The case of John the Baptist (John 1:7, 15, 32; John 5:33). This witness-bearing is the duty, not only of the great, but also of the humble.(4) The woman of Samaria (John 4:39).(5) The case of the fierce demoniac (Mark 5:19).(6) The command to every one (Revelation 22:17).

3. A query, Have you been witnessing for the Lord?


1. It is essential for a witness to have some definite knowledge or experience, and to tell it.(1) Previous, therefore, to testifying for Christ, there must be an experimental knowledge of His salvation.(2) A witness must not only have an experience; he must tell it. He must tell it with the purpose of convincing by his testimony. This is not a difficult duty which can be performed only by the learned or the great or the wealthy, but one within the ability of every Christian, even the humblest. (Acts 4:13.) How easy it is to tell the things which have happened to us! How do men seem to delight in telling their experiences! Shall he alone, who is commanded to tell what "great things the Lord hath done for him," say "I can't," or "I won't," or "I am ashamed"?

2. The value of such testimony to a fact.(1) Naturally great and conclusive — more convincing than an argument, and the only way to reach many minds.(2) Yet altogether dependent upon the character of the witness. In the courts, the question is, Is the witness a truthful character? Much more must the value of a Christian's testimony depend upon his possessing a consistent, Christian character.

3. The help afforded by the Holy Ghost fur effective witness-bearing.(1) He gives courage and boldness in testifying.(2) He gives power and effectiveness.(3) He gives corroborating testimony (John 15:26, 27).


1. How humble an appointment must this have seemed to the disciples who, full of anticipations of the establishment by Christ of an earthly kingdom transcending in its glory the kingdom of Solomon, were questioning which "should be greatest." Not to be a governor, or a judge, or treasurer, but simply a witness! Is this a position too humble for you? Do you look down upon it?

2. Yet what glory and honour belong to it! Into what company does it introduce us! Of Christ, the faithful and true witness; of the Holy Spirit, who shall testify of Christ; of the apostles, who were witnesses; and the martyrs. And in eternity shall those who confess Him here be confessed of Him. Those who suffer with Him for their testimony shall also reign with Him in His glory.

(W. P. Swartz.)


1. One of the first is this, Is there such a thing now-a-days as a distinct interposition of God on behalf of man, in answer to believing prayer? The world ridicules the idea. Suppose I call Mr. George Muller, of Bristol. He would say, "Look at those three orphan houses, containing no less than one thousand one hundred and fifty orphan children, who are entirely supported by funds sent to me in answer to prayer. Look," says he, "at this fact, that when the water was dried up in Bristol, and the waterworks were not able to serve sufficient to the people, I, with my more than a thousand children dependent upon me, never asked any man for a drop of water, but went on my knees before God, and a farmer, who was neither directly nor indirectly asked by me, called at my door the next hour and offered to bring us water; and when he ceased because his supplies were dried up, instead of telling anybody, I went to my God and told Him all about it, and another friend offered to let me fetch water from his brook," Muller is no solitary specimen; we can each of us tell of like events in our own history.

2. There is a question, also, as to the ultimate results of present affliction. The world holds as a theory, that if there be a God, He is very often exceedingly unkind; that He is severe to the best of men, and that some men are the victims of a cruel fate; that they are greatly to be pitied, because they have to suffer much without compensating profit. Now, the Christian holds, first of all, that the woes of sinners are punishments, and are very different from the chastening sorrows of believers. Of these last he believes that all things work together for good to them that love God. What is your testimony with regard to this as a matter of experience? How have you found it? I must speak for myself, and say, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept Thy word." "It is good for me that I have been afflicted." All of you, who have sounded the deeps of soul-trouble, and have enjoyed the presence of Jesus, can distinctly testify the same.

3. A third point very much in dispute is as to the joyfulness of a true believer's life. The world's theory is, that we are a very miserable set of people who take to religion from the necessity of a naturally melancholy disposition. What is your testimony, Christian? Well, we can say if we be melancholy, joyous people must be very joyful indeed. I saw a Baptist minister this week who was "passing rich on forty rounds a year"; owing no man anything. I told him I hoped he would not die with the secret, for I should like to learn the art of keeping house on forty pounds a year. But he said to me, when I smiled at his salary, You see before you the happiest man out of heaven"; and I know I did too, for his face showed that he meant what he said. True godliness is our natural element now that we have a new nature given us by the Spirit of God.

4. Another point in dispute refers to the moral tendencies of Christianity. There is a growing belief that the preaching of the doctrine of free grace has a tendency to make men think little of sin, and that especially the free invitations of the Gospel to the very vilest of sinners, and the declaration that whoso believeth in Jesus shall be saved, has a tendency to make men indulge in the worst of crimes. Our testimony is, and we speak positively here, that there can be nothing which exerts so sanctifying an influence upon the heart of man, as the doctrine of the love of God in Christ Jesus. And if ye seek proofs, look around. When do you hate sin most? At the foot of the Cross. When do you love holiness best? Is it not when you feel that God has blotted out your sins like a cloud? No truth can so subdue the human mind as the majesty of infinite love.

5. Again, it has been whispered — nay, it has been boasted — that the Christian religion has reached its prime, and though it had an influence upon the world at one time, it is now going down, and we want something a little more juvenile and vigorous to stir the world and produce noble deeds, Now is the time for true believers to vindicate the manliness and force of their faith. It is not true that Christianity has lost its power; and we must make this clear as noonday. The Gospel can nourish heroes as of old; it could furnish martyrs to-morrow, if martyrs were required to garnish Smithfield. There are still a host of facts to prove that the gospel has not lost its power over the minds of men.

6. It is our daily business to be witnesses for God on another question, as to whether or no faith in (he blood of Jesus Christ really can give calm and peace to the mind. Our hallowed peace must be proof of that.

7. The last testimony we shall probably bear will answer the question, whether Christ can help a man to die well or not. We will prove that when the time comes; but how many there have been among us whose names we venerate, who have died rejoicing in the love of Jesus.


1. You must witness if you be a Christian. You may try to shirk it if you will, but you must witness, for you are sub poena: that is to say, you will suffer for it if you do not.

2. Every witness is required to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Speak the truth, but let your life be true as well as your words. Live so that you need not be afraid to have the shutters taken down, that men may look right through your actions. Tell out for God all the truth as it is in Jesus, and let your life proclaim the whole teaching of truth. Let it be nothing but the truth. I am afraid many Christians tell a great deal which is not true; their life is contrary to their words; and though they speak truth with their lips, they speak falsehoods with their hands. Suppose, for instance, I draw a miserable face, and say, "God's people are a blessed people," nobody believes me; and if I say "Yes, religion has a sanctifying influence upon its professors and possessors," and put my hand into my neighbour's pocket in any sort of way, who will believe my testimony? I may have spoken the truth, but I am also speaking something that is not the truth, and I am thus rendering my witness of very small effect.

3. When the witness is before the court, his direct evidence is always the best. Many professing Christians only give witness of what they have read in books; they have no vital, experimental acquaintance with the things of God. Second-hand Christianity is one of the worst things in the world.

4. A witness must take care not to damage his own case. How many professed witnesses for God make very telling witnesses the other way.

5. Every witness must expect to be cross-examined. "He that is first in his own cause," says Solomon, "seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him." You know how a counsel takes a man and turns him inside out, and though he was one colour before, he looks quite another directly afterwards. Now you, as God's witnesses, will be cross-examined. Watch, therefore, carefully watch. Temptation will be put in your way: the devil will cross-examine you. Yon say you love God; he will set carnal joys before you, and see whether you cannot be decoyed from your love to God. You said, you trusted in your heavenly Father; Providence will cross-examine you. A trial will dash upon you. How now? Can you trust Him? You said, religion was a joyous thing; a crushing misfortune will befall you. How now? Can you rejoice when the fig-tree does not blossom, and the flocks are cut off, and the cattle are dead? By this species of examination true men will be made manifest, but the deceiver win be detected. What cross-examinations did the martyrs go through! What fiery questions had they to answer!

III. THERE IS ANOTHER WITNESS BESIDE YOU. "Ye are My witnesses, and My Servant whom I have chosen." Who is that? Why, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Witnesses for God are not solitary. When they seem alone, there is One with them whom Nebuchadnezzar saw in the fiery furnace with the three holy children. "The fourth is like unto the Son of God." "Fear not," Christ may well my to all His faithful witnesses, "I am with you, the faithful and true Witness." Let us remark, concerning Christ's life, that He witnessed the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Would you see God's truth? Observe how Jesus Christ, in all His actions, with a sacred simplicity, with a transparent sincerity, writes His heart out in His every act. What testimony you have to God's holiness in the life of Christ! In Him was no sin. What witness-bearing, too, there is in the life of Christ to Divine justice! Above all, read Christ's witness to God's love. The entire circumference of Divine excellence is contained in the life of Christ. You are to be witnesses for Christ, and Christ is to be a witness with you. If you want to know how to discharge your duty, look at Him.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. IT HAS EVER BEEN A REPOSITORY OF THE SACRED DOCUMENTS — the sacred records of the existence of prophecies long before the events to which they relate, of which they can bring satisfactory evidence.



(T. Binney, D. D.)

The individual believer, by mingling with the world day by day — without ever speaking a word about religion, it may be — by what he is, and by what he does, is bearing witness for God. By the holiness that marks the man's life, others may learn something of the holiness of the God whom he serves; by his integrity, by his high appreciation of the great principles of eternal justice, he may learn something of the justice of God; by the benevolence of the man, by the mode and kind of that benevolence, by his yearning anxiety over the souls of men and the moral misery of the species, by the devotion of his abilities to the removal of these, by his benevolent attachment to those great institutions which are intended to diffuse the knowledge of God's Word, men may learn something of that God who would have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth; by his superiority to worldly motives and things, and mere sensual gratifications, by his living above the world, by enjoying a blessedness and placidity which worldly men can never penetrate, they may learn something of the spirituality of God, and the blessedness which God can communicate to those whom He makes His own.

(T. Binney, D. D.)Ye are My witnesses! — The special function of witness-bearing is not confined to the Jewish people; but, by the express words of the Lord, it is shared by the Church. The Church and the Holy Spirit together bear joint witness to the death, resurrection, and eternal life of the Divine man. This is also the function of the individual believer: not to argue and dispute, not to demonstrate and prove, not to perform the part of the advocate; but to live in direct contact with things which the Holy Ghost reveals to the pure and childlike nature. And then to come forth attesting that these things are so. Just as mathematical axioms have no need to be argued, but simply to be stated, and the statement is sufficient to establish them, because of the affinity between them and the construction of the human mind; so it is sufficient to bear witness to truth, amid systems of falsehood and error. And directly it is uttered, there is an assent in the conscience illumined by the Holy Spirit, which rises up and declares it to be the very truth of God. There are three points on which the Christian soul is called to give witness.

I. LET US WITNESS TO A LOVE THAT NEVER TIRES. At the close of the previous chapter we have a terrible picture of Israel as a people robbed and spoiled, snared in holes, and hid in prison-houses; upon whom God was pouring the fury of His anger. Then most unexpectedly God turns to them, and says, "Fear not! thou art Mine; thou hast been precious in My sight, and honourable and beloved."

1. "Thou art Mine." Our deepest emotions express themselves in the simplest words.

2. "Precious." Preciousness is due to hardships undergone, purchase money and time expended, or pains of workmanship; and each of these three conditions has been marvellously exemplified in the dealings of thy God.

3. "Honourable." Demean thyself as one whom God delights to honour. It ill becomes princes of the blood-royal to lie in the gutter.

4. "Beloved." In the darkest hours of life, when thy feet have almost gone from under thee, and no sun, or moon, or stars appear, never doubt that God's love is not less tenacious than that which suggested the epitaph on Kingsley's tomb, "We love; we have loved; we will love." To know all this, and to bear witness to it; to attest it in the teeth of adverse circumstances, of bitter taunts, and of utter desolation; to persist in the affirmation amid the cross-questioning of a cynical age; never to falter, never to listen to the suggestion of doubt; never to allow the expression of the face to suggest that God is hard in His dealings — this is the mission of the believer.

II. LET US WITNESS TO A PURPOSE THAT NEVER FALTERS. God does not say, "Think of what was done yesterday"; He goes back on the purposes of eternity; the deeds of Bethlehem and Calvary; the everlasting covenant; the whole trend of His dealings with us. Is it likely that a purpose reaching back into the blue azure of the past will be lightly dropped? It is our duty to bear witness to the far-reach of a purpose that moves in a slowly-ascending spiral to its end.

III. LET US WITNESS TO A DELIVERANCE THAT NEVER DISAPPOINTS. We might have expected the verse would run, "Thou shalt never pass through the waters, or through the river; thou shalt never have to walk through the fire!" But so far from this, it seems taken as a matter of course that there will be the waters and the fire; the overflowing floods of sorrow; the biting flame of sarcasm and hate. God's people are not saved from trial, but in it. We must bear our testimony to this also, that we may clear the character of God from the aspersions of the ungodly.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

The most High has many witnesses to Himself. His works. "That Thy name is great, Thy wondrous works declare." Especially the heavens. They "declare the glory of God." His providential care of men. "He left not Himself without witness, in that He "did good," etc. The moral nature of men. "Their conscience also bearing witness," etc. But His people are God's conscious, voluntary, grateful, affectionate, and effective witnesses.

I. THE SUBSTANCE AND MATTER OF OUR WITNESS. To what are we to testify?

1. To man's spiritual nature and destiny. Witness abounds to man's bodily wants, in the arrangements for their supply; to his social nature, in the institutions of civilised life; to his intellectual being, in books, schools, and colleges; to his artistic faculties, in picture-galleries, museums, etc.; and alas I to his evil nature and habits, in the courts of law, the police and military forces, etc. It is the office of the Church in this world to testify that man has a nature capable of knowing, loving, and serving, his heavenly Father.

2. To God's being and character.

3. To the Gospel of Christ. "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me," said the Lord Jesus to His disciples, before His ascension. To Christ's person, character, and doctrine, His people are bound to testify. They whom the Lord first commissioned, "with great power gave witness to the resurrection of Christ." It is the privilege of Christians to tell of the provision made in Jesus for the restoration of men to the Divine favour and image.

II. THE MODE OF OUR WITNESS. How are God's people to bear the witness required?

1. By speech.

2. By the silent testimony of the life. An unworldly and self-denying life, a gentle and compassionate spirit; — these are effective methods of witnessing to a selfish and sinful world.


1. Christians are competent witnesses, having a personal and experimental knowledge of that to which they testify.

2. They are truthful witnesses. Their power lies in their testifying to facts, not to fables, fictions, fancies.

3. They are consistent witnesses; there is no swerving from their evidence; and there is an instructive harmony between their testimony and the principles of their life.

4. They are bold and fearless witnesses. Religion is sometimes unfashionable or unpopular.

IV. THE SPHERE OF OUR WITNESS. To whom is this testimony to be borne?

1. Christians are called to be witnesses to one another; for mutual edification.

2. To nominal, but erring and lukewarm disciples, who need the powerful witness of a living Church.

3. To the unbelieving world. Here is the vast sphere of the Church's labour.Practical lessons —

1. Consider the high honour of the Christian's calling.

2. Remember the responsibility attaching to this office "Freely ye have received, freely give."

3. Let hearers of the Word receive and act upon the witness that is borne. What heavier condemnation can there be than that of those to whom it must be said, — "Ye receive not our witness!"

(J. Radford Thomson, M. A.)

(with Acts 5:32, "We are witnesses"): —


1. They stood out in the presence of the whole world; selected, chosen, taught, disciplined, serrate

2. They were the recipients of the traditions of God. To them was entrusted the sacred law, the symbolical representation of God's attributes, and goodness.

3. They were the mediums of prophecy. Through them the Divine Will was heard speaking in accents of warning, mercy, and love.

II. THE GENTILE CHURCH WAS APPOINTED TO DEVELOP, CARRY ON, AND COMPLETE THE WORK BEGUN BY THE Jews. The work entrusted to them is of infinite importance.

1. The Church is God's candlestick in the midst of our evil and dark world. It bestows the radiance of everlasting light on all around.

2. The Church is God's sun, that warms the dead and cold hearts of men into life. National life would freeze into eternal death were it not for this agency.

3. The Church is the salt of the earth, keeping it from moral putrefaction. Society would rot without, this antiseptic influence.


Granting that there is a Divine Being of whom we can at best Know exceedingly little, we have nothing to draw upon for our conceptions of Him but the best and highest of the phenomena of the universe within reach of our observation; and we have no language in which to express our conceptions but that which is more, or less anthropomorphic. And it is not only necessary to do this in order to satisfy our natural aspirations, but it is eminently becoming so to do. For it accords best with the demands of reason, and also with our instincts of piety and reverence. Anthropomorphic conceptions of God are not therefore necessarily false because they are anthropomorphic; nor are they necessarily false because they are very inadequate. They may be true as far as they go, and may be trusted provisionally till more light and wider experience enable us to relinquish them for truer conceptions. It is very important to this argument to keep continually before our minds the fact of man's superiority and supremacy over the whole portion of the universe within human ken. With all its grandeur and glory and benignant power, we put the sun lower in the scale of being than the poor, flail man who owes his life and all its blessings to its heat and light. And why is this, if not because we have found no trace in the sun of consciousness or intellect; still less of affection and moral sense?

1. Man's superiority over other animals is admitted to consist chiefly in the comparatively enormous preponderance of his reasoning faculties — which have at length given rise to articulate language, to literature and to abstract reasoning, to say nothing of the infinite variety and number of skilful inventions.

2. Man is also distinguished from the lower animals by the possession of a moral sense, which means not a mere category of things which he may, and of things which he may not, do, but a sense that he is bound to do what is believed to be right and because it is right, even though he may not personally benefit by it.

3. Man is distinguished by the capacity for an altogether nobler affection than that usually manifested by the other animals. It is true, they share with us the possession of sexual and parental and sometimes of social love, and under the influence of domestication are capable of the purest and most devoted friendships, both for man and for their fellow-creatures; but man is capable of the highest known form and degree of love, and has manifested heroic devotion for his fellow-man such as no animals have ever shown.

4. Man is by nature religious, and though he himself is the noblest being on earth, yet he persists in believing in some One infinitely higher than himself, to whom, in some yet undefinable way, he and all creatures owe their being, on whose bounty all things depend, whose will it is the main duty of life to discover and obey, and who is conscious of our heart's reverence and love. That man pictures to himself a God proves one of two things; either that he is, in this particular, inferior or superior to the other animals. If there be a God, corresponding however imperfectly with man's ideal, then it is a mark of superiority to have imagined one; but if there be no God, it is a mark of inferiority to have made such a frightful departure from the truth, to have committed such a blunder. So long as external nature was regarded as superior, it was natural and rational for man to conceive of the forms or forces of nature as deities. But when the superiority of man dawned upon the human mind, by reason of its own progress in knowledge and goodness, then the symbols of deity were no longer to be drawn from the outer world, but from man himself, his reason, his conscience, and his heart. Why? Because these were the highest forms of existence known to him. So it must be Anthropomorphism or Atheism. Make what provision he will mentally, make what concessions to his own conscious infirmity, make what margin of error for inevitable ignorance, his God must be like himself. So far like as to think, and to know and to be capable of communion and affection with those who seek His face. Only let us beware of rushing into the opposite error of supposing that the most perfect man that ever lived is good enough or great enough to be a perfect representation of God, who is as far above the "brightest and best of the sons of the morning" as the heavens are higher than the earth. There are grave difficulties in the moral government of the world; in fact, if this world be the end of existence for many living creatures, men included, there would be much to shock our moral sense and lead us to impute either imbecility or criminal injustice to the Author and Governor of the world. Now, we have two means of surmounting these difficulties, but only through Anthropomorphism.(1) There is the conscience which believers in God regard as having a Divine authority — not to lay down specific rules for conduct, but to give supreme sanction to the claims of duty when perceived. We naturally attribute conscience, or a reverence for the right, to the Author and Lord of our consciences; and this is absolutely essential to our conception of God. This is one help to us in facing the moral difficulties of the world. It gives us time. It enables us to say, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"(2) The other help is that man in his best estate perceives the superiority of goodness over happiness, knows also by experience how many of the noblest blessings come to us disguised as pain and trouble and even sin; moreover, he knows full well that he would never, if he could help it, inflict any pain or injury upon any creature but for its own ultimate good, while he would put himself to the greatest pain in inflicting it upon others if he saw no other way of securing that final good. Now, piety and reverence enable us to project this goodness of heart into the ideal world, and to attribute to God the same inflexible devotion to the well-being of His creatures, and to be assured that God has resources of which we know nothing, whereby the inequalities and injustice of the present order will one day be fully justified by the end achieved. And when confronted by the reproach of Anthropomorphism, our only reply can be, "Do you think God can possibly be below the highest moral standard of His creatures? As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts."

(C. Voysey, M. A.)

"Ye," men of Judah, people of Israel, "are My witnesses" — witnesses that I am, and witnesses of what I am. The nations round about you worship idols. All the world hath corrupted itself, and gone astray, and worships and serves the creatures more than the Creator. For more than a thousand years ye have been My witnesses. Such is the force and import of our text. But God has other witnesses likewise. "The invisible things of Him, even His eternal power and Godhead, are clearly seen, being revealed by the things which He hath made." We call on you, young Englishman and Englishwoman, for your own souls' sake, for your country's sake, and for the world's sake, to become witnesses for God. In order to which these three things are necessary —

I. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. If you would know Him you must study the Book in which He is revealed.

II. STRONG FAITH IN GOD AND IN HIS CHRIST. Moses could not have witnessed for God as he did, nor could Paul, nor Peter, without such faith. The morals and practices and spirit of our age render a deep and abiding faith essential to a stable and successful witnessing for God. Now, such faith you cannot have by merely wishing to have it, or by sighing after it. It is born of light, and nursed in light. To be of the highest, truest, strongest order, it must be both of the intellect and of the heart.

III. A WHOLE-HEARTED DECISION FOR GOD. "Be a whole man in everything,'" said Joseph John Gurney to his son, — "a whole man in the playground and a whole man in the schoolroom." We must be whole men in our witnessing for God, not two-minded but one-minded, the conscience not divided from the will, and the will not divided from the conscience; the lips not divided from the heart, nor the heart from the lips, nor the hands from either. Vacillation and halfheartedness will make our testimony of none effect. There need be no roughness or ruggedness of character in order to all this; Jesus was very gentle. The Christian, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, cannot be hid.

(J. Kennedy, D. D.)

I. TO HIS TRUTH. They know His truth; they have felt. His truth; they maintain His truth against all opposition. His Word is truth, as Jesus Himself declared; and all God's people, in all ages, are witnesses to His truth. It is a remarkable fact, but it cannot be denied, that wherever the truth of Scripture hath taken hold of a man's heart, in whatever part of the world he may live, he entertains concerning the Scripture the very same opinion that his brother or sister does in another part of the world. We all set to our seal, as we read this Book, that God is certainly true.

II. TO THE POWER OF HIS GRACE. You, as witnesses, say, Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what He hath done for my soul."


(W. Curling, M. A.)

There is one important respect in which all objects in the universe, from the atom to the archangel, unite — all are "witnesses" for God. The visible reveals the Invisible.

I. THE CHURCH OF GOD IS SPECIALLY DESIGNED TO BE HIS WITNESS TO THE WORLD. The Jewish Church was designed for this; a local stationary witness. Look at its geographical position; it was central. Judaea was situated at the top of the Mediterranean, and, like the sun in the centre of the solar system, it was always in the sight of the nations. Zion, like the Pharos of the world, was always flinging its light over the gross darkness of heathenism. When the fulness of time was come the Christian Church was set up for the purpose of Christ its Founder. Jehovah said, "I have given him for a witness to the people." He was the image of the invisible God. He selected men — His disciples — for the same purpose to be witnesses for God.


1. The period of its first and greatest activity was the season of its greatest prosperity. The banners of the Cross floated over the altars of idolatry, and caused it to triumph in every place.

2. The cessation of its activity was the cessation of its prosperity. Witness the dark ages under the influence of a corrupt Christianity, a Christianity heathenised by Rome.

3. Every return of the Church to its missionary activity has been Divinely blessed.

III. ITS MOTIVES AND ITS RESPONSIBILITY FOR FULFILLING ITS MISSION ARE GREATER NOW THAN EVER. The first witnesses for Christ required no higher motive for duty than the command of the risen Lord. He gave the command, and they went forth. But whilst there is the same necessity for witnessing now as then, the wants of the world are more urgent. The map of the world in the days of the disciples was only as a map of a province compared to that which lies open to us. Look at it. What a fearful expanse of darkness around, and that darkness how dense! What hideous enormities does it conceal! By a very slight effort of the imagination we can cause the hosts of evil to pass before us. First come the Jews out of all nations under heaven, each one with a "veil over his heart," and stained with the blood of the Just One. Next, nominal Christians by myriads. Then comes the crescent of imposture, followed by Turkey and Persia. This reminds us of another inducement, the testimony of the Gospel is Divinely adapted to them. Each member of the Church should feel a solemn impression that he is a witness for God. In connection with this there should be a heart-unity between all witnesses, and a spirit of self-sacrificing liberality.

(J. Harris, D. D.)

Church of England Pulpit.
"Early in this year," says a Canon of our Church, a recent traveller in India, "I stood by the side of one of our missionaries while he preached to a crowd of natives in one of the largest cities in our Indian Empire. I shall never forget the rapt attention with which he was listened to up to a certain point. But all at once the eyes that had been so keenly fixed upon him were withdrawn, and the men exchanged scornful smiles and murmurs, and shook their heads in doubt, and I inquired the cause of this sudden change of demeanour, and was told that the preacher had been describing the visible fruits of conversion to God. He had described the Christian as temperate, chaste, forgiving and forbearing, pure in heart and in life. But this was too much for his hearers. They saw Christians day by day, and their observations gave the lie to it, and they turned away from the preaching of the Word. "A native of high .character and education" in "another city" said to the same clergyman, Let Christians only practise one-tenth of what they profess and India would soon be converted. What we want from you is not more Christianity, but more Christians."

(Church of England Pulpit.)

Sunday School Chronicle.
William Ewart Gladstone, while at Eton, attended a dinner at which an indecent toast was proposed. When all the others rose to drink it he turned his glass upside-down, and remained seated, burying his face in his hands.. Keith Falconer kept hung on the wall of his room at Harrow a roll of texts which told every one quietly, yet distinctly, on whose side he was.

(Sunday School Chronicle.)

The world not only does not believe us, but does not believe that we ourselves believe what we say. I remember a very striking circumstance which a neighbouring minister mentioned to me in proof of this. There was in the town in which he preached a determined and avowed infidel, believing in neither Christianity nor God. He saw this man one Sunday evening in the place of worship. He was preaching on some of the great verities of the faith, and the duties resulting therefrom. As he was the next morning passing the door of the man, he was standing at it. He said: "I saw you at worship last night, and was rather surprised to see you there, because you don't believe what I was saying" "No," says he; "nor you either." "Indeed! No. Why, if I were to believe the things you affirm to be true, which you set forth, and which are written in your books, I should not know how to contain myself; I should feel their importance so much that I should exhibit them wherever I went; I should not know how to hold in the enthusiasm which they would excite. But I don't believe them, nor do you, or you would be very different people from what you are."

(T. Binney.)

Many years ago now, before the Australian goldfields were opened, a party of experts were sent up the country to explore the district and report on the probability of gold being, found there. They made their survey, sent in their report, gave it as their opinion that gold would be found, that there were "auriferous strata," etc., but somehow or other no one was greatly interested. Nobody disputed their conclusions, and nobody acted on them. But some time after, one market day, some shepherd lads came down to Melbourne from the bush with some lumps of yellow ore in their pockets. "Why," said those to whom they showed it, "that's gold! Where did you get it?" "Oh"! said they, "we got it up country; there's plenty of it up our way." Next morning there was a stampede — everyone that could raise a cart was off to the diggings. Now, my brother, you may not be able to preach, but does your life show that you have got the nuggets?

(E. W. Moore.)

Babylonians, Isaiah, Jacob, Seba
Babylon, Cush, Egypt, Israel, Jerusalem, Seba
Affirmation, Believe, Chosen, Clear, Credence, Declares, Faith, Formed, Myself, None, Says, Servant, Understand, Witnesses
1. The Lord comforts the church with his promises.
8. He appeals to the people for witness of his omnipotence
14. He foretells them the destruction of Babylon
18. And his wonderful deliverance of his people
22. He reproves the people as inexcusable

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Isaiah 43:10

     7125   elect, the
     7160   servants of the Lord
     8138   monotheism
     8355   understanding
     8496   witnessing, importance
     8799   polytheism

Isaiah 43:1-13

     5805   comfort

Isaiah 43:9-12

     8319   perception, spiritual

Isaiah 43:10-11

     1150   God, truth of
     1165   God, unique
     1511   Trinity, relationships in
     1651   numbers, 1-2
     5541   society, negative

Isaiah 43:10-12

     8831   syncretism

Isaiah 43:10-13

     4945   history

The Grace of God
TEXT: "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."--Isaiah 43:25. In looking over an old volume of Sermons preached by H. Grattan Guiness, forty-five years ago, I came across the message which he delivered with this text as a basis. So deep was the impression made upon me by my first reading of the sermon that I have taken Mr. Guiness' outline and ask your careful attention to its development. If one should enter a jewelry store and
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot

Thy Name: My Name
'I have called thee by thy name.'--ISAIAH xliii. 1. 'Every one that is called by My name.'--ISAIAH xliii. 7. Great stress is laid on names in Scripture. These two parallel and antithetic clauses bring out striking complementary relations between God and the collective Israel. But they are as applicable to each individual member of the true Israel of God. I. What does God's calling a man by his name imply? 1. Intimate knowledge. Adam naming the creatures. Christ naming His disciples. 2. Loving friendship.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

February the Fourth Spiritual Buoyancy
"When thou passeth through the waters they shall not overflow thee." --ISAIAH xliii. 1-7. When Mrs. Booth, the mother of the Salvation Army, was dying, she quietly said, "The waters are rising but I am not sinking." But then she had been saying that all through her life. Other floods besides the waters of death had gathered about her soul. Often had the floods been out and the roads were deep in affliction. But she had never sunk! The good Lord made her buoyant, and she rode upon the storm! This,
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

October the Eighth God's Glorious Purpose
"I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." --ISAIAH xliii. 1-7. That is surely a superlative honour! "I have created him for My glory." I stood before one of Turner's paintings, and a man of fine judgment said to me, "That is Turner's glory!" He meant that in that picture the genius and the power and the grace of Turner were most abundantly expressed. And it is the will of God that man should express His glory, and by his righteousness and goodness witness to the
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

We shall notice first, this morning, the recipients of mercy--the persons of whom the Lord is here speaking; secondly, the deed of mercy,--"I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions;" thirdly, the reason for mercy--"for mine own sake;" and fourthly, the promise of mercy-- "I will not remember thy sins." I. We are about to see who are THE RECIPIENTS OF MERCY; and I would have you all listen; peradventure there be some strayed in here who are the very chief of sinners--some who have sinned
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

North and South
At this moment, my brethren and sisters, we who follow the footsteps of King Jesus are soldiers of an army which has invaded this world. This land belongs to our great Leader, for he made it. It was right that everywhere, all round the globe, his name should he honored, for he is the King among the nations, and the governor thereof: But our race has revolted, set up another monarch, and bowed its strength to support another dynasty--the dynasty of darkness and death. Our race has broken the good
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Fire! Fire! Fire!
We shall talk of three things, this morning, as the Holy Ghost may enable us; first of all, a terrible pathway,--walking around the fire; secondly, an awful danger,--the danger of being burned and utterly consumed; and thirdly, a double insurance,--"Thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the fire kindle upon thee." I. First, then, let us speak a little upon this TERRIBLE PATHWAY. The sacramental host of God's elect has never had an easy road along which to journey. I see the fields on fire, the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861

Redeemed Souls Freed from Fear.
A TALK WITH A FEW FRIENDS AT MENTONE. "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee."--Isaiah xliii. 1. REDEEMED SOULS FREED FROM FEAR. I WAS lamenting this morning my unfitness for my work, and especially for the warfare to which I am called. A sense of heaviness came over me, but relief came very speedily, for which I thank the Lord. Indeed, I was greatly burdened, but the Lord succoured me. The first verse read at the Sabbath morning service exactly met my case. It is in Isaiah xliii. 1: "But now thus saith
Charles Hadden Spurgeon—Till He Come

How to Make Use of Christ for Steadfastness, in a Time when Truth is Oppressed and Borne Down.
When enemies are prevailing, and the way of truth is evil spoken of, many faint, and many turn aside, and do not plead for truth, nor stand up for the interest of Christ, in their hour and power of darkness: many are overcome with base fear, and either side with the workers of iniquity, or are not valiant for the truth, but being faint-hearted, turn back. Now the thoughts of this may put some who desire to stand fast, and to own him and his cause in a day of trial, to enquire how they shall make
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The Nature of Justification
Justification in the active sense (iustificatio, {GREEK SMALL LETTER DELTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER KAPPA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}) is defined by the Tridentine Council as "a translation from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons of God through the second Adam,
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

Means to be Used with Sinners.
Text.--Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen.--Isaiah xliii: 10. IN the text it is affirmed of the children of God, that they are his witnesses. In several preceding lectures I have been dwelling on the subject of Prayer, or that department of means for the promotion of a revival, which is intended to move God to pour out his Spirit. I am now to commence the other department: MEANS TO BE USED FOR THE CONVICTION AND CONVERSION OF SINNERS. It is true, in general, that
Charles Grandison Finney—Lectures on Revivals of Religion

Mirrors of God
... That ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness ...'--1 Peter ii. 9. The Revised Version, instead of 'praises,' reads excellencies--and even that is but a feeble translation of the remarkable word here employed. For it is that usually rendered 'virtues'; and by the word, of course, when applied to God, we mean the radiant excellencies and glories of His character, of which our earthly qualities, designated by the same name, are but as shadows. It is, indeed,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Eleventh Day. The Holy one of Israel.
I am the Lord that brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. I the Lord which make you holy, am holy.'--Lev. xi. 45, xxi. 8. 'I am the Lord Thy God, the Holy One of Israel, Thy Saviour. Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.'--Isa. xliii. 3, 14, 15. In the book of Exodus we found God making provision for the Holiness of His people. In the holy
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

A Call to Prayer and Testimony
Mark well, beloved, how he would have his people to be in tune with himself! He will have no rest till salvation work is done; and he would not have us take rest; but he would have us stirred with passionate desire, and fired with holy zeal for the accomplishment of the divine plan of grace. Till he holds his peace he will not allow us to be silent. You that have the Revised Version will be struck with the more literal and forcible rendering of our text--"Ye that are the Lord's remembrancers, take
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

His Legacy.
BLESSED and ever precious are the words, which came from the lips of our loving Lord, before he went to the cross. His own were gathered around Him; before He ever comforted them and poured out His loving heart, He manifested that love by serving them. He arose from the supper, laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. What a sight the Son of God girded! "After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

Epistle xxx. To Venantius, Ex-Monk, Patrician of Syracuse .
To Venantius, Ex-Monk, Patrician of Syracuse [138] . Gregory to Venantius, &c. In addressing to you the greeting which is due I was intending to speak of what I suffer. But I think I need not relate to you what you know. For I am tormented by pains of gout, which, afflicting not dissimilarly both me and you, while they increase upon us exceedingly, have caused our life to decrease. In the midst of them what else should we do but recall our faults to mind, and give thanks to Almighty God? For we
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

God's True Treasure in Man
'The Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.'--DEUT, xxxii.9. 'Jesus Christ (Who) gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people.'--TITUS ii. 14. I choose these two texts because they together present us with the other side of the thought to that which I have elsewhere considered, that man's true treasure is in God. That great axiom of the religious consciousness, which pervades the whole of Scripture, is rapturously
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

God's Works of Providence
Rom. xi. 36.--"For of him, and through him, and to him are all things, to whom be glory for ever, Amen."--Psal. ciii. 19.--"The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens and his kingdom ruleth over all."--Matt. x. 29.--"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." There is nothing more commonly confessed in words, than that the providence of God reaches to all the creatures and their actions, but I believe there is no point of religion
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

How they are to be Admonished who Lament Sins of Deed, and those who Lament Only Sins of Thought.
(Admonition 30.) Differently to be admonished are those who deplore sins of deed, and those who deplore sins of thought. For those who deplore sins of deed are to be admonished that perfected lamentations should wash out consummated evils, lest they be bound by a greater debt of perpetrated deed than they pay in tears of satisfaction for it. For it is written, He hath given us drink in tears by measure (Ps. lxxix. 6): which means that each person's soul should in its penitence drink the tears
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Fifth Day. Holiness and Redemption.
Sanctify unto me all the first-born.'--Ex. xiii. 2. 'All the first-born are mine; for on the day I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I sanctified unto me all the first-born in Israel: mine they shall be: I am the Lord.'--Num. iii. 13, viii. 17. 'For I am the Lord your God that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.'--Lev. xi. 45. 'I have redeemed thee; thou art mine.'--Isa. xliii. 1. At Horeb we saw how the
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

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