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CHAP. XXV.

The prophet in this chapter praiselh God for his judgments, for his

saving benefits, and for his viciorious salvation. This is applied by many to the victory of the Jews over the Assyrians ; but it rather refers to the gospel church, and God's appearances for it.

in 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 2 punciually fulfilled what thou didst 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 resorled 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, shall 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 to acknowledge thy power, 4 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 5 them, which seem as if they would destroy them. 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 6 people have quiet and refreshment. And in this mountain, that

is, Zion, or the gospel ghurch, 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 7 promises, ordinances, and consolations. And he will destroy in

this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations ; he will remove 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 awav 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 shall have the highest occasion for 10 triumph. For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest,

it shall exert itself and defend his people, and Moab shall be trod

den down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the

dunghill : Moab is here put figuratively for the enemies of the Il 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 effectually 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 vic12 tory shall be taken away. 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 ; though a castle, siluated on an eminence, and surrounded with strong walls, he shall not only take but demolish it ; and that 80 entirely, that the fortification shall be beaten to dust, and its eminence levelled with the ground ; that is, the pride of hell shall be mortified, Satan's sirong holds be cast down, and all the efforts made against the freople of God prove vain, and end in the ruin of their enemies.

REFLECTIONS.

1. M O D is to be praised for all the great and wonderful things

U 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 re. freshing them with his favour and love, when they are ready to sink 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 expressed, Rev. xxi. 4. God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes, and death shall be swallowed un in victory. 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 welcome. 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 salvation, which he will bestow upon all his people.

Vol. V.

CHAP. XXVI. :

This chapter, like the foregoing, is a song of praise, and refers to gost

piel times. Il foretells the success of God's cause in the hands of Christ over all opposition.

TIN that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah,

1 where the gospel shall be first planted ; We have a strong city ; salvation will (God) appoint (for) walls and bulwarks ; he 2 will guard and defend his own interest. 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 3 as the city of God. Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace,

(whose) mind [is] stayed (on thee :] because he trusteth in 4 thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the LORD JEHO5 VAH [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 dust. As the church is represented as the city of God, so the 80ciety of its enemies is described as a city ; he will overthrow the

strongest cities of his enemies, as Sodom, the Egyptians, and Ba6 bylon, were 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, shall overcome 7 and triumph over all their enemies. The way of the just [is] up

rightness : thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just, 8 or rather make it plain and level. Yea, in the way of thy judge ments, 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 to thee. 9 With my soul have I 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 judg

ments are adapted to teach men righteousness ; all ought to learn To it, and some 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 11 unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. LORD,

(when) thy hand is lifted up, they will not see; will not own il, nor be subject to it, so as to comply with thy design : [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 consumed. 12 Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us : for thou also hast wrought

all our works in us, or, for us ; and this is our encouragement, 13 O Lord our God, (other] lords beside thee, have had domin

ion over us : other princes and evil lusts : [but] by thee only will we make niention of thy name ; by thy favour and assistance

14 we will be solely thine. [They are] dead, they shall not live ;

[they are] deceased, they shall not rise, that is, the other lord's and oppressors : therefore hast thou visited, or rather, because

thou hast visited, and destroyed them, and made all their memory 15 to perish. Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast

increased the nation : thou art glorified : thou hadst removed

[it] far sunto] all the ends of the earth by former captivities; or 16 it may rather refer to the spread of the church of Christ. LORD,

in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer 17 (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 ; so have we been in thy 18 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 expectations of deliverance, and uneasy till it was accomplished ; but have been

sadly disappointed. What follows is God's answer to the church's 19 complaint. Thy dead (men) shall live, (together with] my

dead body, that is, my church, shall they arise. Therefore awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust : 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, shall restore you again.* 30 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut tliy

doors about thsee ; fly to God as thy defence : as men retire to their most secret apartments to shelter themsclves in storms and dangers, thus do thou when the destroying angel is passing through the land : hide thyself as it were for a little moment,

the shortest space of time, until the indignation be overpast. 21 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 slain, that is, the blood that she had drank : those that shed it thought it was for ever covered, but their guilt shall appear. Some understand it, that the number of their enemies who were slain should be so great, that they should lie unburicd.

REFLECTIONS.

E here see the reasonableness and advantage of an VV 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, tọ depend upon him, and wait for him in every circumstance 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;

. This is applied in Ezekiel's vision, chap. xxxvü. 11, !2. to the Gentiles, or mathera to the Jews in the latter day.

it will free us from anxiety and tormenting tears; 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 public, 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 consider the design of them, and learn righteousness by them. We should wait on him in the way of his judgments ; entertain good thoughts of him, strong desires 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.

CHAP. XXVII.

To what particular circumstance of the Jewish church and nation this chapter has an immediate reference, it is hard to say ; it is applica. ble to the church in general when under the oppression of any cruel tyrant : such are ofien described as serpents and dragons ; thus was Pharaoh, and so are the polish powers,

I IN that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong

I sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent ; and he shall slay the dragon that

(is) in the sea; who by violence and subtile arts endear our: 10 2 destroy his people. In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard

of red wine ; that is, the church, called a vineyard of red wine, as 3 that was reckoned the choicest and best wine. I the Lord do

keep it ; I will water it every moment : lest (any] hurt it, I will

keep it night and day ; I will defend it from its enemies, and sup4 ply it with provisions. Fury [is] not in me : who would set the

briars [and] thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together ; I am slow to anger, not wrathful and implacable ; but those that oppose my gracious de

signs shall be as suddenly and easily destroyed, as fire destroys bri. 5 ars and thorns. Or let him take hold of my strength, (that) he may make peace with me ; (and) he shall make peace with me; let him by repentance and humiliation seek reconciliation with me,

and to stay the arm of my justice, then my mercy and strengthshall be 6 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. Hath he smitten him, as he sniote those that smote him ? (or) is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him ? He shall leave a remnant of his people

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