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Glory promised. Judgments threatened. i The word that Isaiah the 9 And the mean man boweth son of Amoz saw concerning down, and the great man humJudah and Jerusalem.
bleth himself; therefore forgive 2 And it shall come to pass in them not. the last days, that the mountain 10 Enter into the rock, and of the Lord's house shall be hide thee in the dust, for fear established in the top of the of the Lord, and for the glory mountains, and shall be exalted of his majesty. above the hills; and all nations 11 The lofty looks of man shall shall flow unto it.
be humbled, and the haughti3 And many people shall go ness of men shall be bowed and say, Come ye, and let us down, and the Lord alone shall go up to the mountain of the be exalted in that day. Lord, to the house of the God 12 For the day of the LORD of Jacob; and he will teach us of hosts shall be upon every one of his ways, and we will walk in that is proud and lofty, and his paths: for out of Zion shall upon every one that is lifted up; go forth the law, and the word and he shall be brought low: of the Lord from Jerusalem. 13 And upon all the cedars of
4 And he shall judge among the Lebanon, that are high and nations, and sball rebuke many lifted up, and upon all the oaks people : and they shall beat of Bashan, their swords into plowshares, 14 And upon all the high and their spears into prun- mountains, and upon all the inghooks : nation shall not lift hills that are lifted
up, up sword against nation, neither 15 And upon every high tower, shall they learn war any more. and upon every fenced wall,
5 O house of Jacob, come ye, 16 And upon all the ships of and let us walk in the light of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant the LORD.
pictures. 6 Therefore thou hast for- 17 And the loftiness of man saken thy people the house of shall be bowed down, and the Jacob, because they be replen- haughtiness of men shall be ished from the east, and are made low: and the Lord alone soothsayers like the Philistines, shall be exalted in that day. and they please themselves in 18 And the idols he shall utthe children of strangers.
terly abolish. 7 Their land also is full of 19 And they shall go into the silver and gold, neither is there holes of the rocks, and into the any end of their treasures; caves of the earth, for fear of their land is also full of horses, the Lord, and for the glory neither is there any end of their of his majesty, when he ariseth chariots :
to shake terribly the earth. 8 Their land also is full of 20 In that day a man shall idols; they worship the work cast his idols of silver, and his of their own hands, that which idols of gold, which they made their own fingers have made: each one for himself to worship,
to the moles and to the bats; majesty, when he ariseth to
21 To go into the clefts of the shake terribly the earth. rocks, and into the tops of the 22 Cease ye from man, whose ragged rocks, for fear of the breath is in his nostrils : for LORD, and for the glory of his wherein is he to be accounted of?
LECTURE 1099. The perilous condition of the proud and idolatrous. Here first it is testified, that the worship of the true God, then confined to the temple of Jerusalem, should hereafter be spread abroad among all nations. Many should go forth preaching the truth of God's word, “beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24. 47. All should be invited to draw nigh to “the God of Jacob.” All should be assured of his willingness to teach them his ways; all be exhorted to walk in his paths. And He, convincing them of sin, should be acknowledged by many for their Lord and God; they, in compliance with his word, and in the apprehension of his judgments, renouncing their evil practices, discontinuing their wars and fightings, having been “ taught of God,” as the apostle says “ to love one another.” 1 Thess. 4. 9. In the prospect of this happy state of things, the prophet calls out to the people, “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.” We, who ought to be as here described, we who live in the full “ light of the glorious gospel of Christ,” 2 Cor. 4. 4, need almost as much as the Jews in the time of Isaiah, to be exhorted to walk in the light vouchsafed to us.
For have not Christians also been greatly addicted to lying vanities? Have they not been apt to be superstitious, prone to multiply riches, ambitious of rank and titles, distinguished for the prowess of their arms, and even so infatuated as to worship the work of their own hands? And if the Jews were brought low for sins like these, if their nobles and their people have been again and again reduced by judgments the most awful, to misery the most abject; what have not those Christian communities to look for, who have turned the truth of God into a lie, and exalted themselves to the dishonour of their Lord ? what must not those Christians, of whatsoever communion, apprehend, who under the profession of Christianity harbour a spirit of pride, strife, covetousness, self dependence, or idolatry? Let such take warning, that whether they be high or low in this world, the day is coming, when they must be finally put down by One higher than the highest of them, mightier than the mightiest. Let such now abase themselves in fear and trembling, in godly sorrow and effectual repentance, lest when it shall be too late they in vain seek for shelter, saying to the mountains and rocks, ' “ Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Rev. 6. 16, 17.
The judgments of God, and the grounds of them. i For, behold, the Lord, the their doings. Lord of hosts, doth take away 11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall from Jerusalem and from Judah be ill with him : for the reward the stay and the staff, the whole of his hands shall be given him. stay of bread, and the whole
12 As for my people, chilstay of water,
dren are their oppressors, and 2 The mighty man, and the women rule over them. man of war, the judge, and the people, they which lead thee prophet, and the prudent, and cause thee to err, and destroy the ancient,
the way of thy paths. 3 The captain of fifty, and the 13 The Lord standeth up to honourable man, and the coun- plead, and standeth to judge the sellor, and the cunning artificer, people. and the eloquent orator.
14 The Lord will enter into 4 And I will give children to judgment with the ancients of be their princes, and babes shall his people, and the princes rule over them.
thereof : for ye have eaten up 5 And the people shall be op- the vineyard; the spoil of the pressed, every one by another, poor is in your houses. and every one by his neighbour :
15 What mean ye
beat the child shall behave himself my people to pieces, and grind proudly against the ancient, and the faces of the poor? saith the the base against the honourable. Lord God of hosts.
6 When a man shall take hold 16 Moreover the LORD saith, of his brother of the house of Because the daughters of Zion his father, saying, Thou hast are haughty, and walk with clothing, be thou our ruler, and stretched forth necks and wanton let this ruin be under thy hand: eyes, walking and mincing as
7 In that day shall he swear, they go, and making a tinkling saying, I will not be an healer; with their feet: for in my house is neither bread 17 Therefore the LORD will nor clothing : make me not a smite with a scab the crown of ruler of the people.
the head of the daughters of 8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Zion, and the LORD will discoJudah is fallen: because their ver their secret parts. tongue and their doings are 18 In that day the LORD will against the Lord, to provoke take away the bravery of their the eyes of his glory.
tinkliny ornaments about their 9 The shew of their coun- feet, and their cauls, and their tenance doth witness against round tires like the moon, them; and they declare their sin 19 The chains, and the braceas Sodom, they hide it not. Woe lets, and the mufflers, unto their soul ! for they have 20 The bonnets, and the ornarewarded evil unto themselves. ments of the legs, and the head10 Say ye to the righteons, bands, and the tablets, and the that it shall be well with him; earrings, for they shall eat the fruit of 21 The rings, and nose jewels,
22 The changeable suits of ap- well set hair baldness; and inparel, and the mantles, and the stead of a stomacher a girding wimples, and the crisping pins, of sackcloth; and burning in
23 The glasses, and the fine li- stead of beauty. nen, and the hoods, and the vails.
25 Thy men shall fall by the 24 And it shall come to pass, sword, and thy mighty in the war. that instead of sweet smell there 26 And her gates shall lament shall be stink; and instead of a and mourn; and she being degirdle a rent; and instead of solate shall sit upon the ground.
Sin the cause of the decay of nations. In the visitation with which Jerusalem is here threatened, it is foreshewn, that the Jews would be a plague unto themselves, by their unruliness and unkindness to each other. So low should they fall through misrule, so thoroughly should Jerusalem be ruined, that men, ambitious of rule as they are, would shrink from the ruler's office; and the state would be given up to that lawless violence and mutual oppression, which follow on the overthrow of established government. By these general threatenings God seems plainly to signify, that calamity must overtake all without distinction. But still
, He tells them, that He is at hand to judge. Still He would have the righteous assured, “ that it shall be well with him," and the wicked that "it shall be ill with him.” If the people are to be consumed, it is because “their doings are against the Lord.” If the princes and mighty men are to be levelled to the dust, it is because “the spoil of the poor” is in their houses, and they beat the Lord's people to pieces, and they “grind the faces of the poor.” And if the daughters of Zion are especially to suffer, it is because they “are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes;” therefore it is that their beauty must be disfigured with disease, and stamped with the brand of captivity, and all the finery in which they take delight exchanged for rags and nakedness. And it is because so many of each sex, and of every rank, are guilty, therefore must all suffer, therefore must Jerusalem be left desolate even to the ground. Ye who would know the causes of decay of nations, note these fearful dealings of the Lord. And remembering that He rules throughout the earth, and deals with all men on the same righteous principles, learn, that oppressiveness in those who govern, and insubordination in those who are governed, and that pride and luxuriousness in women, no less than the like sins prevailing amongst men, are sure to provoke his displeasure. And ye who in the midst of a sinful generation walk by faith with God, but tremble for the judgments provoked by man, be assured it shall notwithstanding be well with you. The state may perish, the world may be destroyed. But He whom you are serving still will reign supreme. And the kingdom which He has prepared for your inheritance will never fail.
The glory of the Branch of the Lord. 1 And in that day seven wo
4 When the LORD shall have men shall take hold of one man, washed away the filth of the saying, We will eat our own daughters of Zion, and shall bread, and wear our own appa- have purged the blood of Jerurel: only let us be called by salem from the midst thereof thy name, to take away our re- by the spirit of judgment, and proach.
by the spirit of burning. 2 In that day shall the branch 5 And the LORD will create of the Lord be beautiful and upon every dwelling place of glorious, and the fruit of the mount Zion, and upon her asearth shall be excellent and semblies, a cloud and smoke by comely for them that are es- day, and the shining of a flamcaped of Israel.
ing fire by night: for upon all 3 And it shall come to pass, the glory shall be a defence. that he that is left in Zion, and 6 And there shall be a taberhe that remaineth in Jerusalem, nacle for a shadow in the dayshall be called holy, even every time from the heat, and for a one that is written among the place of refuge, and for a covert living in Jerusalem :
from storm and from rain.
LECTURE 1101. The future holiness and happiness of the Church. As far as prophecy consists of predictions, it must be our principal care to ascertain what it is that is foretold; and if this be an event that has already taken place, then to compare it with the prophecy, that we may be edified by observing the fulfilment. But herein lies one of the chief difficulties of interpreting the word of God. For whereas in general the interpreter ought to be acquainted with the original language of Scripture, with the date and subject of each book, with the life and circumstances of each writer, and with the history and customs of the time at which he wrote; so here he need further have before his mind's eye the whole history of the church and of the world, of the world as far as it is connected with the history of the church; that so he may be able to discern which prophecies relate to which events, and which, fitting no event yet past, must be referred to things that are to come. And in determining these questions, besides this extensive knowledge, the interpreter of prophecy must have sobriety of mind, soundness and impartiality of judgment, and a devoted love of truth, for truth's sake, or rather for the sake of God, whose truth he would fain interpret. Well may we ask humbly of a work so difficult, “Who is sufficient for these things?” 2 Cor. 2. 16. Well may we praise God thankfully for the many learned, wise, and holy men, who have wrought in this field of labour, and of whose various qualifications for the work we are privileged to reap the fruits.
Às to the three chapters, of which this is the last, and which