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CHA P. XXVI. This chapter, like the foregoing, is a song of praise, and refers to
gospel times. It foretells the success of God's cause in the hands of Christ over all opposition.
N that day shall this song be sung in the land of have a strong city; salvation will (God) appoint [for]
walls and bulwarks ; he will guard and defend his own in- * 2 tereft. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation
which keepeth the truth may enter in; that the pious jews and gentiles may enter in, and all be incorporated as the 3 city of God. Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace,
(whose] mind [is] stayed (on thee:) because he trust4 eth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the 5 LORD JEHOVAH [is] everlasting strength: For he
bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, [even] to the ground; he bringeth it (even) to the duft. As the church is represented as the city of God, so the society of its enemies is described as a city; he will overthrow the strongest cities of
his enemies, as Sodom, the Egyptians, and Babylon, were 6 overthrown. The foot shall tread it down, (even) the
feet of the poor, [and] the steps of the needy; those
who are most despised, that is, meek and humble christians, 7 Jall overcome and triumph over all their enemies. The
way of the just [is] uprightness: thou, most upright, dort
weigh the path of the just, or rather, make it plain and 8 level. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD,
have we waited for thee; patiently submitted to thy correction; the desire of (our) soul [is] to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee; we have expected deliverance from thee, and taken pains to keep up our devout affections 9 totbee. With my soul have 1 desired thee in the night;
yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early; early and late have our desires been to thee : for when thy judgments [are] in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness; thy judgments are adapted to teach men righteousness; all ought to learn it, and some
10 will. Let favour be showed to the wicked, (yet) will
he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness, amidst great religious advantages and good examples, will
he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the 11 Lord. LORD, (when) thy hand is lifted up, they
will not see; will not own it, nor be subje&t to it, so as to comply with thy defign: [but] they shall see, and be ashamed for (their) envy at the people, or, for thy zeal toward thy people ; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall
devour them; the fire with which thine enemies are cona 12 sumed. Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou,
also hast wrought all our works in us, or, for us; and 13 this is our encouragement. O LORD our God, (other]
lords besides thee have had dominion over us, other princes and evil lufts: [but] by thee only will we make
mention of thy name; by thy favour and assistance we will 14 be folely thine. [They are] dead, they shall not live;
(they are) deceased, they shall not rise, that is, the other lords and oppressors: therefore haft thou visited, or
rather, because thou hast visited, and destroyed them, and 15 made all their memory to perifh. Thou hast increased
the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadft removed [it] far funto]
all the ends of the earth by former captivities; or it may 16 rather refer to the spread of the church of Christ, LORD,
in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a 17 prayer (when) thy chastening (was) upon them. Like
as a woman with child, [that] draweth near the time of
her delivery, is in pain, [and] crieth out in her pangs; 18 so have we been in thy sight, O LORD: We have been
with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen: we have been big with expe&tations of deliverence, and uneasy till it was accomplished; but have been
sadly disappointed.--What follows is God's answer to the 19 church's complaint. Thy dead (men) shall live, (together
with] my dead body, that is, nay church, shall they arise. Therefore awake and fing, ye that dwell in duft: for thy. dew (is as) the dew of herbs ; my favour shall revive thee
again, as the dew revives the grass, and the earth shall cast out the dead; all countries where you are dispersed, fall restore you again."
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; fly to God as thy defence: as men retire to their most secret apartments to shelter themfelves in storms and dangers, thus do thou when the destroying angel is paling thro' the land: hide thyself as it were for
a little moment, the shortest space of time, until the in21 dignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh
out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slaiņ, that is, the blood that she had drank : those that shed it thought it was for ever covered, but their guilt fall appear. Some understand it, that the number of their enemies who were sain should be fo great, that they should lie unburied.
E here see the reasonableness and advantage of
an humble, cheerful trust in God. This the prophet in the name of the church expresses, and, in the name of God, exhorts to. It is our duty to trust in him, to depend upon him, and wait for him in avery circum-. stance of life; to believe in his providence and hope in his promises. This is highly reasonable, for in him is everlasting strength; it will secure our peace with him and our own conscience, it will free us from anxiety and tormenting fears; and we shall be safe in the chambers of divine protection. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings whose mind is fixed, trusting in God.
2. We see what our duty is in seasons of affliction, whether private or publick, and what use we should make of them. When God lifts up his hand he expects us to see it; to observe the operations of his providence, to confider the design of them, and learn righteousness by them. We should wait on him in the way of his judgments; enter
tain w This is applied in Ezekiel's vision, chap. xxxvii. 11, 12. to the gentiles, or rathes, to the jews in the latter day.
tain good thoughts of him, strong defires after him, and seek to him for relief. His judgments are adapted to warn and alarm the unthinking, to rouse the secure, and quicken all. His great design is, that we may learn righteousness ; otherwise we shall suffer in vain. Blessed is the man whom, thou chastenest and teachest out of thy law; that thou mayest give him rest from the day of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
CHA P. XXVII.
this chapter has an immediate reference, it is hard to say; it
strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing ser-
say the dragon that [is] in the fea; who by violence ? and subtle arts endeavours to destroy his people. In that
day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red winę; that is,
the church, called a vineyard of red wine, as that was 3 reckoned the choicest and best wině. the LORD do keep
it; I will water it every moment: left [any] hurt it,
I will keep it night and day; Į will defend it from its 4 enemies, and supply it with provisions. Fury [is] not in me:
who would set the briers [and] thorns against me in
but those that oppofe my gracious designs shall be as suddenly 5 and easily destroyed, as fire destroys briers and thorns, or
let him take hold of my strength, [that] he may make
me, and to stay the arm of my justice, then my mercy and 6 strength shall be engaged in his favour. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root : Israel shall
blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with
fruit; that is, they shall revive again after their oppressions. 7 Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him?
[or] is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are hain by him? He fall leave a remnant of his people
when he utterly destroys those enemies that were his instru8 ments in corre&ting them. In measure, when it shooteth
forth, thou wilt debate with it; the allufion to a vine is still carried on; he will prune it with love and moderation, so as not to destroy it: he stayeth his rough wind in the
day of the east wind; he moderates the storm, left it should 9 destroy the vine. By this therefore shall the iniquity of
Jacob be purged; and this [is] all the fruit to take away his fin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalk stones that are beaten in funder, the groves and images shall not stand up; the end of his chastisement is to reform him from fin, especially idolatry, and lead him to
destroy his altars and images, and abolil the memory of them. 10 Nevertheless Jerusalem Mall suffer for its fins; for Yet
the defenced city [shall be] desolate, [and] the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there hall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof; itji all lie for a while in desolation, like
a vineyard whose fence is gone, so that the cattle come to feed 11 therein. When the boughs thereof are withered, they
shall be broken off: the women come, to gather the remains of the trees for fuel, [and] set them on fire: for it [is] a people of no understanding; they are quite stupid and fottis: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will show them no favour.
Yet they shall not always continue in this state. And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river Euphrates unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, Oye children of Israel; the jews Mall be recovered and restored; they shall be beat off, like corn separated from the chaff; they shall not be brought again in a body, but one by one, thro' God's influence on their minds. And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet shaļl