« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of falvation upon his head; he appeared as a warrior, completely armed, against the Chaldeans and other enemies of his people; and he put on the garments of vengeance to their
enemies (for) clothing, and was clad with zeal for his 18 people as a cloak. According to (their) deeds, accord
ingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies, to the islands he will repay recompense;
he will bring judgments on the country that uppressed and in19 jured his people. So shall they fear the name of the
Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the fun; many shall be brought to the knowledge and fear of God. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him; if new enemies fould come, like an inundation which threatens to bear down all before it, God by some secret powerful method will overcome them.
But this is only an earnest of what God would do for the jews hereafter ; a promise is added of their converhon to
christianity in the latter day, for fo St. Paul expounds it, 20 Rom. ii. 26. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion,
and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD; Christ shall come for the relief, deliver
ance, and salvation of all that will believe in and obey him. 21 As for me, this [is] my covenant with them, faith the
LORD; My spirit that [is] upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy feed, nor out of the mouth of thy feed's seed, faith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever; Christ hall not only have a transient triumph, or work out a temporal deliverance, but establish the jews in God's covenant again, in which they Jhall continue to the end of the world; teaching them by his word and spirit, and rendering them effectual on multitudes, from one generation to another, even to the end of time : the jews, when nationally converted, all never revolt from God any more,
: REFLECT. · Bp. Lowth translates the verse thus; He is mighty to recom. penfe; he that is mighty to recompense will requite wrath to his ad. versaries, recompense to his enemies, to the distant coasts a recompense
will he requite.
E here see the source of national calamities, and
what stops the current of divine favours; and that is, iniquity. God is still powerful, wise, and good; able to restore our peace, to help us against our enemies, and to answer our prayers to their fullest extent. But fin separates between him and us; hinders our prayers from being acceptable to him, and intercepts his mercies when coming to us. We fee how displeasing national degeneracy, and the want of piety, justice, and charity, are to him. That it is not only murder, theft, oppression, and false witness, that displease him ; but also lying, flander, muttering perverseness, and walking in any of the crooked ways of sin. God fees all this, and it displeases him. This occafions disappointment, confusion, and mourning. It is in vain to pray, unless we do our part to reform. Let every one of us in his private character, and as members of society, remember, that if we regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us.
2. Those who frame wicked designs, are not likely to find satisfaction in them. Here is a beautiful description of the folly of finners. They weave spiders' webs, and hatch vipers eggs; their schemes are disappointed, their wickedness discovered, their fraud revealed, their character and honour loft. Or, if they succeed, their spiders' webs will not cover them; there is no folid fatisfaction to be had in them; their ways are not ways of peace. Happy are they who are not walking in sinful ways, and have no connection or acquaintance with those that are !
3. Let us rejoice in the mighty power of God, which is able to overcome all opposition. If he puts on his armour, no enemy can stand before him. When the state of our country is so degenerate and melancholy, and our prospects dark, let us still hope in him. When enemies come in like a flood, he can raise up a standard against them, and bring them down at once. Be it a torrent of error, or vice, er misery, he can restrain it. Let the thought encourage
us in our spiritual warfare; and let us go forth in an humble dependance on the spirit of the Lord.
4. Amidit all our national alarms and fears, let us still rejoice in the security of the church. Whatever becomes of us and our country, that shall continue; and this is a great comfort to a pious mind. There is a day coming when the poor dispersed, despised, and persecuted jews fall be converted and restored, and the word and spirit of God shall be given to them, and continue with them for ever. Let us rejoice that we have this word and spirit, and be careful to improve the assistance of both. Let us pray and hope that they may be continued to our feed, and to our seed's feed. But we should remember, that if we defire Christ should be our Redeemer, we must turn from tranfgression; for he was sent to bless us by turning us from our iniquities; without that, we shall perish in them.
c H A P. LX. This chapter is a prophecy of the glorious
state of the gospel church, especially in the latter day, when jews and gentiles shall be converted.
RISE, from obfcurity, shine; for thy light is.
come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon 2 thee; Shine forth thyself, and enlighten others. For, be
hold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and grofs darkness the people; the gentiles shall be grossly ignorant, and the jews blinded by the strongest prejudices : but the
LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be feen 3 upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,
and kings to the brightness of thy rising ; the converfion
of the jews shall be a means of spreading christianity among 4 the gentiles. Lift up thine eyes round about, and fee :
all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy fons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall.
be nursed at [thy) fide ; there hall be numerous converts 5 added to the christian church. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be en
larged ; thou shalt feel a tumult of conflicting passions ; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, thy converts shall come from beyond the fea, the forces
of the gentiles shall come unto thee, their zeal shall be 6 employed to promote the cause of Christ,* The multitude of
camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD; the gentiles becoming members of the church, shall confecrate themselves and all they have to the
service of Christ and his church, and supply thee according to 7 their several abilities. All the flocks of Kedar fhall be
gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaigth thall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, the tribute of praise shall be acceptable to me, and I will glorify the house of my glory,
make my church glorious by this access of the gentiles to it, 8 Who (are) these [that] fly as a cloud, and as the doves
to their windows, who come in crouds with great eager9 ness and speed ? Surely the isles shall wait for me, be ready
to receive the gospel, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy fons from far, their silver and their gold with
them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the 10 Holy One or Ifrael, because he hath glorified thee. And
the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; the kings of the heathens Shall become christians, and bring their wealth to the church:
for in my wrath 1 smote thee, but in my favour have I 11 had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates
continually; they shall not be shut day nor night: that [men] may bring unto thee the forces of the gentiles, and [that] their kings (may be] brought ; intimating the
peace and security of the church, and the vast accesson of con12 verts to it. For the nation and kingdom that will not
serve thee shall perish ; yea (those] nations shall be ut13 terly wasted. The glory of Lebanon, famous for its
cedars, w Bp. Lowth translates it, Then shalt thou fear, and overflow with joy, and thy heart shall be ruffled and dilated.
% These figures are taken from the jewilh worship, and from multitudes coming to bring their facrifices and their wealth to Jerusalem, by sea and land.
A a 3
cedars, shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my fanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious ; figurative expresions, intimating that the church shall be adorned and perfe&ted by the gifts and graces of its members,
their different talents and abilities; yet, in all its Splendour, 14 it will be but God's footstool. The fons also of them that
afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the roles of thy feet; the sons of persecutors shall become profelytes ; and they shall call thee, The city of the
LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15
Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through (thee,] I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations; the jews
shall have some peculiar honour showed them by those who 16 had persecuted or despised them. Thou shalt also suck the
milk of the gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings; and thou shalt know that I the Lord [am) thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob; I will put into the hearts of princes such a care for my church, that they shall contribute to its welfare as readily and as tenderly
as a mother suckles her child, that is, not from political de17 Signs, but from a cordial affection. For brass I will bring
gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron; it mall be superior even to Solomon's temple : I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness; that is, rulers and governors fall be peaceable and mild, just and righteous; or, the equity and love with which all the affairs of the church are
carried on, Mall influence their conduet in civil relations. 18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting
nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise ; no enemy Mall waste you, there shall be no civil disentions ; but thou shalt see thyself surrounded with salvation, as with walls, and
give thy gates such names in memory of mercies received, as 19 shall remind thee of praising God for them. The sun shall
be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; the light of the sun