Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση


forfeit these blessings.' The end for which they were given and are continued to us is, that we may be fruitful: it is the design of all to make us holy and obedient. Let this then be our aim; for no lasting happiness can be expected till the filth of our land be purged away; and that will not be, without the spirit of judgment and burning, which we should daily and earnestly implore. If we go on in fin, God may justly deprive us of our privileges, and take the gospel away from us. And we must allow it to be just and reasonable that he should, for what could God have done more? Therefore let us not be high-minded, but fear. This parable is also applicable to particular persons, and the advantages they enjoy. We have conscience, scripture, ordinances, and ministers;& if we are unfruitful, God will take away his grace; deny the dews of his blessings; and what was our inexcusable fin, will be our just and dreadful punishment, we shall be quite barren and useless. Let us labour therefore to answer and repay the divine cultivation, to have our fruit unto holiness, and the end will be everlasting life.


[ocr errors]

CHA P. V. 8, to the end.
The prophet here threatens judgments upon the nation, princi-

pally referring to the captivity; and specifies the particular
fins for which God would punish them.

E unto them that join house to house, [that]

lay field to field, who engross all trade, profiis, and estates to themselves from a principle of insatiable avarice, and to the injury of their neighbours, till (there be]

no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of 9 the earth! In mine ears [faid) the Lord of hosts, Of

a truth many houses shall be desolate, [even] great and 10 fair, without inhabitant. Yea, ten acres of vineyard

shall yield one bạth, and the seed of an homer shall yield

an ephah, that is, but a tenth part; so that they shall have. 11 no comfort in their houses and lands. Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, [that] they may follow


[ocr errors]

strong drink, that continue until night; [till] wine enflame them! who make a trade of drinking, and thus waste

their time, their substance, and their health, and enflame 12 their lufts and passions by it. And the harp, and the viol,

the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, -neither consider the operation of his hands; they delight in mirth and

pleasure, but regard neither the merciful nor afli&tive dis13 pensations of providence. Therefore my people are gone,

that is, they shall go, into captivity, because (they have) no knowledge: and their honourable men (are] famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst; this was

the case at the siege of Jerusalem, and the devastation of 14 their country by the Chaldeans. Therefore hell hath en

larged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it, like Korah and

his company. A dreadful image, to represent the suddenness 15 and terror of their destruction. And the mean man shall

be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled; as

they were joined together in fin, so jhall they be in punishment: 16 But the LORD of hofts shall be exalted in judgment,

and God that is holy shall be fanctified in righteousness;

his power and holiness shall be seen and magnified in the 17 righteous judgments brought upon the wicked. Then shall

the lambs feed after their manner; the pious poor, who are left in the land, Jall be supported and protested ; and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat ;

strangers shall devour what the rich men got by covetousness 18 and oppreffion. Woe unto them that draw iniquity with

cords of vanity, and fin as it were with a cart rope;

who set themselves seriously and resolutely about it, and en19 courage others in: it: That fay, Let him make speed,

[and] hasten his work, that we may see [it:) and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know [it!] who say that the prophetic

threatenings are all bugbears, and that God cannot or will 20 not do as they have said. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and

[ocr errors]

light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet

for bitter! who confound the nature of virtue and vice, 21 contrary to their judgment and knowledge. Woe unto

[them that are] wise in their own eyes, and prudent in : their own fight, and so despise the prophet's instructions ! 22 Woe unto (them that are] mighty to drink wine, and

men of strength to mingle strong drink; who drink a

great deal without being disordered, and boast of it as an 23 accomplishment : Which justify the wicked for reward,

and take away the righteousness of the righteous from 24 him, by condemning and punishing him! Therefore as the

fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; they shall be destroyed' root and branch, like a tree rotten at the root : because they

have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and de25 spised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore

is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath fmitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases (were] torn, or, shall be as dung, in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still, he will get take

further vengeance upon them. 26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far,

to the Chaldeans, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth; and, behold, they shall come with speed

swiftly; he will colleat them with the utmost ease, as shep27 herds gather their fbeep by whistling: None shall be weary

nor stumble among them; none Thall flumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken; he will strengthen them

for their work, and nothing shall hinder them in their march: 28 Whose arrows (are] sharp, and all their bows bent,

completely armed for destruction; their horfes' hoofs shall be counted like flint, they Ball not be broken by the roughness of the road, and their wheels like a whirlwind,

which intimates the swiftness of their march, and the violence 29 of the attack: Their roaring [shall be] like a lion, they shall roar like young lions : yea, they shall roar, and



[ocr errors]


lay hold of the prey, and shall carry [it] away safe, and none shall deliver [it] neither the jews themselves, 'nor the Egyptians, whom they depended upon. And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea : and if (one) look unto the land, behold darkness [and] forrow: and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof; every thing about them ball be terrible, black, and dismal.



ROM this chapter we are taught, that a sinful ftate

is a woeful state, and should particularly attend to the awful woes denounced against some transgressors.

1. Against those who are guilty of insatiable covetousness : a vice particularly prevalent in corporate towns, en. couraged by their monopolies, and pleaded for in defence of their rights. It appears in being greedy of gain, opposing and undermining others of the same business, striving to get all trade to themselves, and artfully depriving others of the means of supporting their families. It is just in God to disappoint such greedy persons, and to blast their endeavours; at least, he will punish them hereafter for their avarice and cruelty.

2. Let the votaries of riot and mirth attend to their doom, as here pronounced by the Almighty. Let drunkards hear and tremble; and know, that God will punish them who tarry long at the wine, tho' they can go home fober : the mispence of their substance and time, the enflaming of their lusts and passions by strong drink, are fins with which he is highly displeased.' Yea, let those who are given to pleasure, and spend that time in mirth, gaming, and gay assemblies, which ought to be devoted to reading and prayer, considering the works of God, and taking care of their families, remember, that there is a woe against them, tho' they should not drink to excess. But,

3. The most wicked and dangerous finners are those who confound the difference between good and evil. The difference is as great as between light and darkness; yea, as plain and evident to the mind, as the difference between


light and darkness is to the eye, or that between sweet and bitter to the taste. These are they who argue against the principles and practice of religion, and misrepresent the ways of God, gloss over the practices of sin, and labour to weaken the restraints of piety, and justify that which is evil. As in this they act contrary to the light of nature and the convictions of conscience, their guilt is highly aggravated.

4. We see upon the whole the ground of God's controversy with nations : it is for these and such like fins abounding in them, and particularly that which is at the bottom of all, v. 24, refusing to submit to his reproofs and receive his instructions; and despising the counsel of his messengers and the commands of his law. These predictions were intended as warnings to Ifrael, and they are written for our admonition; that, if we desire the profperity of our country, and the falvation of our own souls, we may live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world,

[ocr errors]

CH A P. VI. Here is a new commission given to the prophet, to promote his.

reverence for God, his ačtivity and perseverance in his work, and to encourage him amidst the unsuccessfulness of his ministry.

N the year that king Uzziah died I saw also, in a

dream, or a vision when awake, the Lord fitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, the Shekinah, or

glory of the Lord, which was Christ, (John xii. 41.) and 2 his train, or skirts, filled the temple. Above it, or

beside it, stood the seraphims; an allusion to the cherubim attending the ark; they are called seraphims, or burnings, to express their holy nature and fervent zeal: each one had fix wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

This is very expressive of their reverence of God, and their 3 aktivity in executing his commands. And one cried unto

another, alternately expreshing their transports of zeal and joy, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts; he is supremely and unchangeably holy in all his dif:


« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »