The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me,
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
… to comfort all who mourn;
… to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
Isaiah 61:1-3a

*   *   *

Here is another telling of Jubilee, a radical concept of economic and social justice first delivered in Leviticus 25. For Isaiah, the promise goes beyond a redistribution of wealth and labor. The prophet sees comfort and gladness in the renewed equality as well.

*   *   *

And thus now, to have the Will sanctified, and brought into the pure Obedience of him that sanctifieth it, (which is an Effect of the free Grace of God) here comes the true Freedom of Will to be known, even to be made free from Sin, being delivered from the Bondage of Corruption, into the glorious Liberty of the Children of God, which agrees to that of the Apostle. And here, as the Truth maketh free, Man comes to be free indeed, and to receive Ability to attend upon the Lord without Distraction; and to do his Will on Earth as it is done in Heaven, according to that Prayer which our blessed Saviour taught his Disciples. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

 

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