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19 what likeness will ye compare unto him ? The workman

melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it

over with gold, and cafteth filver chains to adorn it, or 20 fasten it to a pillar. He that [is] so impoverished that

he hath no oblation to offer to the temple, will yet have a god, and therefore he chooseth a tree (that) will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a

graven image (that) shall not be moved; he thinks a 21 wooden god better than none. Have ye not known? even

you, idolatrous gentiles ? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning ? have ye not under. stood from the foundations of the earth ? have you not learned by observation, by refleEtion, by tradition from the earliest ages, that the great God Jehovah is the creator and

governor of the world, and of such infinite perfections, as not 22 to be represented by any image ? [It is] he that fitteth

upon the circle, or globe, of the earth, and the inhabit. ants thereof (are] as grasshoppers, the most inconfiderable inseats: that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, or canopy, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in, as

easily as a man can open a curtain of a tent in the morning, 23 and close it at night: That bringeth the princes to no

thing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity;

can easily confound, deposé, and destroy the greatest princes. 24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be

sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth : and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble: a beautiful gradation ; they Mall have no power; or, if they porless a little, yet they shall have no lasting root; or, if they

should continue for a while, yet he will blow upon them, and 25 destroy them. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall

I be equal ? faith the Holy One. 26

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things,] that bringeth out their host by. number: he calleth them all by names, he is acquainted with them, and commands them, as a general does his ariny, by the greatness of his might, for that. [he is) strong in

power; not one faileth ; not one of them hall wear out, 27 or need repairing, or fail to answer his purposes. Why


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fayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, in thy captivity, saying, My way is hid from the Lord, and

my judgment is passed over from my God? my affairs 28 are perplexed, and sunk, so that God cannot help me. Hast

thou not known better than any other people ? hast thou, not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? he doth not by length of time grow inactive, or negligent ; tho'he delays, he neither wants ability nor power;

(there is) no searching of his understanding ; no finding 29 out the reasons of his dispensations. He giveth power to

the faint; and to them that have) no might he in. creaseth strength; he gives abundance of strength, therefore

can give it to you in your affli&tion, thoʻ you are brought ever 30 fo low. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the

young men shall utterly fall; those of the best natural 31 abilities, and who are most confident in themselves : But

they that wait upon the LORD, in the way of faith, diligence, and prayer, shall renew (their) strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary ; [and] they shall walk, and not faint; they shall grow stronger and stronger, surmount all difficulties, and obtain the blessings which they desire.



T is good to think of the difference between the

glory and power of man, and that of God. All the glory of man is foon blasted, his power weak, his wis dom foon confounded, his beauty fading, and his promises fail; but JEHOVAH is the all-wise and almighty God, faithful and true, and his word stands for ever. Let us imprint these thoughts upon our minds, that we may not be fond of the fading glories of this world ourselves, nor envy or admire them in others; but make God our portion, and his word our treasure; it will be a fource of everlasting security and joy.

2. With what véñeration ought we to think and speak of this

great and glorious Being! We have here fome of the sublimest descriptions of the Deity in the whole bible.


When we read or think of them, they should fill us with awful admiration of his supreme majesty; should engage us to worship him with the utmost reverence, fince we are nothing, yea, less than nothing, in his fight; and to admire his condescension in giving his Son to be our faviour; the purposes of whose appearance are so important, and whose tenderness is so great.

3. It is frequently the case that those who can spare nothing for the service of God, can spare much for the service of their lufts. Those are remarkable words in v. 20. He who is so poor that he cannot afford a sacrifice for God's temple, can spare money to purchase an idol, of rich ma. terials, and exquisite workmanship; and the rich will spare no cost upon their gods. There are many idolaters of this kind among us, who make their money, their pleasures, and their bellies their gods. They care not what pains they take, or what expense they are at, in the worship of these deities, but are never at a loss for objections against charitable donations, nor backward to plead poverty, when any thing is wanted for the house or service of God. These will justly be condemned by the zeal and generosity of idolaters; and the account of their expenses will make a detestable figure, when God comes to reckon with them at the great day.

4. How firmly should we trust the promises of God, and how cheerfully should we wait upon him! In times of affliction we are too apt to say, as v. 27. My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God. We indulge many foolish fears, and often make ourselves uneasy, which would be prevented by considering who God is, and what he hath promised. We should learn to trust in him, and not in our own or in others' wisdom and strength. Let young men remember, that without divine help they will faint and be weary in their christian course; therefore wait upon God, and go forth in his strength: and let us all consider, that the more faithfully we employ what strength he gives us in his service, the more shall we find it increase. The righteous shall hold on his way, and they that are upright in heart shall wax stronger and stronger.



CH A P. XLI. In this and some of the following chapters, God makes a folemii

challenge to the worshippers of idols, to mow such wisdom, power, and goodness in their gods as he podeljed, in order to convince the Israelites of the folly of idolatry, and encourage their hope of deliverance from their captivity from him alone. 1 EEP silence before me, o islands; and let the

people renew (their) strength, that is, mufter up all their arguments: let them come near; then let them 2 speak : let us come near together to judgment. Who raised

up the righteous (man) from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made

[him] rule over kings?" he gave (them) as the dust 3 to his sword, [and] as driven stubble to his bow. He

pursued them, [and] passed safely; (even] by the way

[that] he had not gone with his feet; he shall pursue his 4 enemies thro' strange, unknown countries. Who hath

wrought and done (it,] calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I

[am] he who order the several successions of princes, and 5 the seasons of bringing about their designs. The illes faw

(it,) and feared; they were astonished at Cyrus's rising glory and vi&tories; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew

near, and came; they joined in alliance to check his growing 6 greatness. They helped every one his neighbour; and

(every one) said to his brother, Be of good courage. 7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, [and] he

that smootheth (with] the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It [is] ready for the fodering: and he faftened it with nails, [that] it should not be moved ;

they fought help of their gods, and made new ones to pray to. 8 But thou, Israel, (art] my servant, Jacob whom I have

chosen, the feed of Abraham my friend; be not afraid of 9 them, for I will defend thee. [Thou] whom I have taken

from * This is generally understood of Abraham ; but it seems ra. ther to refer to Cyrus, who is said, in prophetick language, to be raised up, that is, he fhould certainly be fo: he is called righ. teous, because he was to execute God's righteousness in the de struction of Babylon.

from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou (art] my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away ; I

will do it, and not cast thee off, as thou hast reason to expeet, 10 for thy transgresions. Fear thou not; for I (am) with

thee : be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee ; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will up

hold thee with the right hand of my righteousness; by il my power and faithfulness. Behold, all they that were

incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded:

they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee 12 shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find

them, [even) them that contended with thee: they that

war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of 13 nought; they shall be brought to utter destruction. For I

the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto

thee, Fear not; I will help thee; 1. will guide and 14 strengthen thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, [and] ye men of Israel, tho' weak, despicable, and trampled upon;

I will help thee, faith the Lord, and thy redeemer, I

who have delivered, and am still faithful, even the Holy 15 One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp

threshing instrument having teeth : thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat (them) small, and shalt make the

hills as chaff; that is, the greater and lesser kingdoms that 16 oppose thee. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall

carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them:

and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, [and] shalt glory 17 in the Holy One of Israel. [When) the poor and

needy seek water, and [there is) none, (and) their

tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, 18 [I] the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will

open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water; I will supply the cap

tives in their return from Babylon : an allusion to what was 19 dene før the Israelites in the wilderness

. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, (and] the pine, and the box tree together; I will make the face


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