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16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard
fongs, the dispersed people of God keep up and profess their religion, [even] glory to the righteous God. But I faid, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers, or apostate people, have dealt very treacherously; I am so affected with the people's hypocrisy
toward God, and dishonesty toward one another, that I am 17 consumed away. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, (are] 18 upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it Thall
come to pass, [that] he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake; an allufion to the deluge;
they run any where for safety, but still run into danger. 19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean 20 dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth
shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage, or, as easily as a cattage; and the
transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, fin fall sink 21 it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall
come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones [that are] on high, and the
kings of the earth, the Assyrian and Chaldean monarchs, 22 who have done so much mischief upon the earth. And
they shall be gathered together, (as) prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited; that is, the
jews, who hed been as prisoners, shall be visited in mercy, 23 released, and return to their own land. Then the moon
shall be confounded, and the fun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerufalem ; thet is, the divine perfeЕtions shall be fo illustrated, that the brightnefs of them hall obscure the sun and moon, as they do lesser lights; and before his antients gloriously; his priests and antient servants, who saw the desolation of their country, Mall see all the glory that Mall be displayed in the destruction of these monarchies, in punishing the wicked, and Iparing and restoring the righteous.
REFLECTION S. BSERVE how fin defiles and destroys a land.
It is that which makes a land tremble, empties it of its treasures and inhabitants, and brings confusion and desolation upon it. See what fins in particular do this, namely, tranfgrefsing the law of nature, the rules of the creation; changing the ordinances of God, the institutions of revealed religion; inventing new ones, neglecting the old, and making no conscience of complying with them: this brings great guilt on particular persons, and on nations, that is, not complying with the terms of the everlasting covenant. See then how necessary it is to observe the divine laws and ordinances if we desire to escape the curse.
2. See the difference between carnal and spiritual joys; the joy of finners and saints. The joy of the finner arises from musick, wine, and gay company; and when these are gone, his joys are gone; his mirth is over, and it ends in heavi. ness. But the joy of the saint arises from and centres in the blessed God, and the foundation of his comfort will not fail. He can rejoice in tribulation; and when the judgments of God lay all around him waste, he can joy in the God of his salvation. It is easy to infer who are the happiest people, and in which number we should desire to be found.
3. See the duty of God's people in seasons of affliction. V. 15. Glorify ye the Lord in the fires, acknowledge his hand in affliction, reverence his power and justice. He who kindles the fire will moderate its violence; will be with his servants when they pass through it; and deliver them out of it: and on all those accounts they should glorify him, trust in him, and wait patiently for his salvation.
4. The various changes in states and kingdoms illustrate the perfections, and display the glory of the Lord. It is he who doeth these things, v. I.
When nations are made desolate, he commands it; when the high ones of the earth are humbled and punished, it is the King of Kings who doeth it. When oppressors are brought down, and God's servants delivered, it is a glorious display of his power and sovereignty, his hatred of oppression and injustice, his Vol. V,
faithfulness to his promises, and kindness to his people. Let us then carefully observe his glories as thus displayed, and lift up our voices, and sing for the majesty of the Lord.
CH A P. XXV.
his faving benefits, and for his victorious salvation. This is
LORD, thou (art] my God; I will exalt thee,
I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful [things; thy] counsels of old [are) faithfulness
[and] truth; thou hast punctually fulfilled what thou didst 2. declare of old. For thou hast made of a city an heap;
[of] a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city ; cities which were like palaces, to which strangers resorted out of curiosity, shall be utterly ruined; it shall
never be built; which expresses the church's complete triumph 3 over its enemies, especially over the heathen. Therefore
shall the strong people glorify thee; those that have been enemies to thee and thy cause, Mall bring glory to thee: the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee; being humbled
by these judgments, they shall be converted, or at least forced 4 to acknowledge thy power. For thou hast been a strength
to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones [is] as a storm [against] the wall; when hot suns and burning winds are beating
against them, which seem as if they would destroy theni. 5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the
heat in a dry place ; (even] the heat with the shadow of a cloud; thou wilt destroy the enemies of thy church and gospel as easily as thou canst make a cloud to shelter men in the heat of the day : the branch, or rather, the rejoicing,
of the terrible ones shall be brought low, and thy people 6 have quiet and refreshment. And in this mountain, that
is, Zion, or the gospel church, shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people, to the gentiles, a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined; of wine that has stood long on the lees, that is rich and strong, and
throughly refined; that is, they shall feast on thy promises, 7 ordinances, and confolations. And he will destroy in this
mountain the face of the covering cast over all people,
and the vail that is spread over all nations; he will re8 move their ignorance, darkness, and prejudices. He will, at
the resurrection, swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people, all occasion of sorrow, and all the reproach thrown upon his people, shall he take away
from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken 9 [it.] And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is]
our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the LORD; we have waited for him, we
will be glad and rejoice in his salvation; then the saints 10 shall have the highest occafion for triumph. For in this
mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, it fall exert itself and defend his people, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill : Moab is here put
figuratively for the enemies of II the church. And he shall spread forth his hands in the
midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth (his hands] to swim; God can as easily and effe&tually remove them on every side, as a man when swimming can his hand;- and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands; their goods which were unjustly
gotten, or the 'trophies of their victory, shall be taken away. 12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall
he bring down, lay low, (and) bring to the ground, [even] to the dust. A very emphatical description; thòa castle, situated on an eminence, and surrounded with strong walls, he shall not only take but demolish it; and that so entirely, that the fortification shall be beaten to dust, and its eminence levelled with the ground, that is, the pride of hell Jhall be mortified, Satan's strong holds be cast down, and all
the the efforts made against the people of God prove vain, and end in the ruin of their enemies.
OD is to be praised for all the great and won
derful things that he doeth; in bringing down proud cities, states, and empires; confounding the devices of the enemies of his church; supporting his servants amidst dangers and persecutions; and refreshing them with his favour and love, when they are ready to fink and faint. All are done according to the counsels of infinite wisdom, faithfulness, and righteousness, and it becomes us to admire them, as far beyond what any other Being could do, and exalt him who is glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders.
2. Let us particularly praise him for the riches of gospel grace. What a noble feast has he made for us gentiles! how refreshing and nourishing! infinitely beyond the delights of the sons of men. He hath made provision for removing our prejudices and ignorance, enlightening our understandings, regulating our spirits, and banishing all the sorrows of the heart. Let us value his word, his ordinances and his comforts, as the choicest dainties; make light of all the reproaches we may suffer for God and conscience; and rejoice in hope of that day, when, as is.exe presled Rev. xxi. 4. God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes, and death shall be swallowed up in viétory. Once more,
3. See with what temper mercies and deliverances are to be received, v. 9. they are to be rejoiced in; and our joy is to terminate in God; we are to wait patiently for his appearances, and then they will be more seasonable and wel
We are to give him the glory of the greatness and perfection of our salvation; and while we own it as God's work, and exalt him as our God, let us behave suitable to our relation to him, that we may at length partake of that everlasting falvation, which he will bestow upon all his people.
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