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rise upon them in darkness ; God will guide them continually, sat. isfy their souls, while others are in want, make them as a watered garden, Aourishing and fruitful. They and their families shall be blessed through many generations, and repair the breaches that sin and death have been niaking in the church and world. Happy they who are in such a case! yea, thrice happy they whose God is the Lord.

4. We have here another powerful motive to regard the sabbath. If we remember the sabbath day to keep it holy, lay aside our business and pleasure, call it a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and honour him, not finding our own pileasures, nor speaking our own words ; then it is promised, thou shalt delight thysellf in the Lord; enjoy the highest pleasures in communion with him and a sense of his favour. God will bring such to his holy mountain, make them jo ful in his house of prayer, and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon his altar. Let this engage us to a strict observance of the sabbath, as one of the best preservatives of the power of religion in the soul, and as the most likely means to secure the divine blessing on ourselves, our families, and all our comforts. Hypocrites may keep solemn days of fasting ; but none but sincere and pious souls will constantly keep the sabbath from polluting it.

CHAP. LIX. .

The Israelites having questioned God's power and goodness, because he had not regarded their fastings and prayers, the prophet proceeds further to show them the cause of it.

I NEHOLD, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot

D save, his power is not weakened ; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear your prayers, those in particular which you

offer on your fast days : it is not from any inability or disinclina. 2 tion on his part, that you are not delivered ; But the true reason

of your present calamities is, that your iniquities have separated : between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face,

that is, his favourable regard, froin you, that he will not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with

iniquity ; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath mutter

ed perverseness; you are guilty of murder, theft, and slander. 4 None calleth for justice, nor [any] pleadeth for truth : they

trust in vanity and speak lies; they conceive inischief, and bring

forth iniquity ; there is none to espouse the cause of justice and 5 truth. They hatch cockatrice eggs, or, the eggs of the basilisk,

and weave the spider's web, ( svhich is unprofitable) in order to dective and entangle others ; he that eateth of their eggs dieth, he that hath any dealing with them is sure to suffer by it, and that

which is crushed breaketh out into a wiper ; instead of a fine 6 fowl there comes out a serpent which he dares not touch. Their

webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works (are] works of iniquity, and the act of violence (is in) their hands; their designs shall 7 not come to perfection, nor do them any good. Their feet run to

evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood : their thoughts [are) thoughts of iniquity ; wasting and destruction Care] in

their paths; they are eager and intent upon all their schemes of 8 violence and mischief. The way of peace they know not, have not regarded, and (there is) no judgment, no respect to justice or

right, in their goings : they have made them crooked paths : 9 whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is

judgment far from us ; neither doth justice overtake us : we wait for light, but behold obscurity ; for brightness, (but] we walk in darkness ; we suffer oppression from our eriemies abroad,

and from tyranny at home, and all our expectations are disappoint10 ed. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope, or

wander, as if we had) no eyes : we stumble at noon day as in the night ; [we are] in desolate places as dead [men ;] all our

schemes are confounded, our councils infatuated, and we are quite 11 sunk into despair. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like

doves; the sorrow of some is noisy, and of others sileni, or secret :

we look for judgment, but there is) none ; for salvation, (but] 12 it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied be

fore thee, and our sins testify against us : for our transgressions

{are] with us ; and (as for our iniquities, we know them ; our 13 own consciences give full evidence against us: In transgressing

and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from

the heart words of falsehood ; we have been guilty of false judg. 14 ment and oppression against men, and of revolting from God. And

judgment is turned away backward, and justice standetli afar off ; as if afraid to enter among such a wicked crew, where she has mit with such opposition : for truth is fallen in the street, and there

is none io raise her up, and equity cannot enter into any of our 15 courts or frublic places. Yea, truth faileth in our common con

versation ; and he [that] departeth from evil maketh himself a prey : and the LORD saw [it,) and it displeased him that (there

was) no judgment among his own people. 16 And he saw that [there was no man, and wondered that

(there was) no intercessor ; that there was none to attempt a reformation or even to intercede for the land: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him, to Israel ; and his righteousness, it sustained him ; his faithfulness carried him through all oniosilion ; that is, God determined to show that it was his own goud.

ness in regard to his honour and fuithfulness, that led him to intern 17 pose. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an hcl.

met of salvation upon his head; he appeared as a warrior, come pletely armed, against the Chaldeans and other enemies of his people ; and he put on the garments of vengeance to their pato mies (for) clothing, and was clad with zeal for his people as a

18 cloak. According to (their) deeds, accordingly he will repay,

fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies ; to the isl.

ands he will repay recompense ; he will bring judgments on the 19 country thai oppressed and injured his people.* So shall they fear

the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun ; 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 Hew enemies should 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 hereafler ; a promise is added of their conversion to christianity in 20 the latter day, for 80 St. Paul expounds it, 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, deliverance, and salvation of all that will believe in and obey 21 him. As for me, this sis) my covenant with them, saith 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 seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever; Christ shall not only have a transient triumph, or work out a temporal deliverance, but establish the Jews in God's covenant again, in which they shall 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, shall never revolt from God any more.

REFLECTIONS.

1. W E here see the source of national calamities, and what

V stops the currept 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 sin separates between him and us; hinders our prayers from being acceptable to him, and intercepts his mercies when coming to us. We see 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, slander, muttering perverseness, and walking in any of the crooked ways of sin. God sees all this, and it displeases him. This occasions 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.

• Bp. Lowth translates the verse thus ; Heis mighty to recompense ; he that is mighty to recompense will requite wrath to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies, 10 the distant coasts a recompense will he requite.

2. Those who frame wicked designs, are not likely to find satisfaction in them. Here is a beautiful description of the folly of sinners. They weave spiders' webs, and hatch vipers' eggs; their schemes are disappointed, their wickedness discovered, their fraud revealed, their character and honour lost. Or, if they succeed, their spiders' webs will not cover them; there is no solid satisfaction 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, or misery, he can restrain it. Let the thought encourage us in our spiritual warfare ; and let us go forth in an humble dependence on the spirit of the Lord.

4. Amidst 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 shall 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 seed, and to our seed's seed. But we should remember, that if we desire Christ should be our Redeemer, we must turn from transgression ; for he was sent to bless us by turning us from our iniquities; without that, we shall perish in them.

CHAP. 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.

I A RISE, from obscurity, shine ; for thy light is come, and

11 the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee; shine forth thy2 self, and enlighten others. For, behold, the darkness shall cover

the earth, and gross darkness the people ; the Gentiles shall be grossly ignorant, and the Jews blinded by the strongest firejudices :

but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen 3 upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings

to the brightness of thy rising ; the conversion of the Jews shall 4 be a means of spreading christianity among the Gentiles. Lift up

thine eyes round about, and see : all they gather themselves

together, they come to thee : thy sons shall come from far, and

thy daughters shall be nursed at [thy) side ; there shall be nu5 merous cunveris added to the christian church. Then thou shalt

see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarge ed; thou shall feel a tumult of conflicting passions ;* because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, thy converte shall come from beyond the sea, the forces of the Gentiles shall

come unto thee, their zeal shall be employed to promote the cause 6 of Christot The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the drome

daries 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 consecrate themselves and all they have to the service of Christ

and his church, and supply thee according to their several abilities. 7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the

rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee : they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, the tribute of praise shall be ac.

ceptable to me, and I will glorify the house of my glory, make 8 my church glorious by this access of the gentiles to it. Who [are]

these (that) Ay as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows, 9 who come in crouds with great eagerness and speed ? Surely the

isles shall wait for me, be ready to receive the gospel, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God,

and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. 10 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 I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. il Therefore thy gates shall be open 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 ac. 12 cession of converts to il. For the nation and kingdom that will

not serve thee shall perish; yea (those) nations shall be utterly 13 wasted. The glory of Lebanon, famous for its cedars, shall come

unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary ; and I will make the place of my feet glorious ; figurative expressions, intimating that the church shall be adorned and perfected by the gifts and graces of its

members, their different talen's and abilities ; yet, in all its splen. 14 dor, it will be but God's footsiool. The sons also of them that

afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet ; the sons of persecutors shall become proselytes; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Bp Inwth translates it, then shalt thou fear, and overflow with joy, and thy heart sha!! órrun dono dibsted.

+ These figures are taken from the Jewish worship, and from multitudes coming to bring their sacrifices and their wcaith to Jerusalein, by sea and land.

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