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15 Whereas thou hast been sorsaken 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 had persecuted or despised them, 16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck
the breast of kings ; and thou shall 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 es tenderly as a
mother suckles her child ; that is, not from political designs, but 17 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 shall be superior even to Solomon's temple : I will also make thy
officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness, that is, rulers ; and governors shall be peaceable and mild, just and righteous ; or,
the equity and love with which all the affairs of the church are car18 ried on, shall influence their conduct in civil relations. 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 shall waste you, there shall be no civil dissensions ; but thou shalt see thyself surrounded with salvation,
as with walls, and give thy gates such names in memory of mercies 19 received, as 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 and moon shall be nothing, compared with the light of God's count(* nance, and the joy of his salvation : but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory ; thy character and graces shall shine, and bear a resemblance of his lustre ; or,
thy relation to him, and interest in him, will be thy greatest honour. 20 Thy sun, that is, the presence of God with thee, shall no more go
down ; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself : for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.* Thy people also [shall be) all righteous : they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified ; thry shall be a more
pure and holy society than ever before, and shall ascribe all to God; 22 and he shall be glorified in them. A little one shall become a
thousand, and a small one a strong nation : I the LORD will hasten it in his time ; let not my people be discouraged, because they are weak and feeble ; the Lord will support and spread his gospel, till all these great things are accomplished.
1. THE general lesson here taught, is to adore God for his gos
1 pel, and to encourage our hopes and pravers for its support and spread. Particularly let us thank him that it has been estab
* Some understand this of the heavenly world, to which these phrases are applied in tbe book of Revelations,
lished in the earth ; that so many kings are become christians ; that this land, once covered with gross darkness, is made light. Still it shall spread, and have a more glorious triumph, as all those figures, taken from earthly glory and Jewish worship, show. Let us long for that day ; and in the mean time shine ourselves in all christian graces ; and thus show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
2. When men become sincere christians, they will readily consecrate their substance to the Lord. It is intimated in several parts of this chapter, that kings and great men, upon embracing the gospel, shall give their wealth to the church, that is, devote it to acts of piety and charity. True religion enlarges the heart, subdues a narrow, selfish spirit ; and where men find themselves backward to acts of charity, especially to the souls of men and the support of the gospel, they have great reason to fear that they are yet strangers te the grace of God.
3. Those who have a sense of the favour of God, and enjoy the tokens of his presence, will be but little concerned about worldly things. They can be content and thankful without many of those things in which the men of this world place their happiness. The light of the sun and moon are as nothing to them, compared with the presence and love of God ; they can walk in his light, and be happy in his love, when all is dark and gloomy around them : and will be completely happy when the sun and moon are no more.
4. God will do every thing great and good for his people in the most convenient season. They are apt to be discouraged, to doubt, and fear ; but whatever difficulties are in the way of the church's continuance, increase and prosperity, and the happiness of particular souls, God the Lord will effect it ; he will do it in his time, which is always the best. Therefore let us trust in him ; though the salvation tarry, wait for it, for at length it will come, and will not tarry. The Lord is a God of judgment; and blessed are all they that wait for him.
CHAP. LXI, LXII.
The best interpreter of scripture, that is, Christ, applies the former
part of this chapter to himself, Luke xiv. 18, 21, saying, “ This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.'
I THE Spirit of the Lord God [is] upon me ; because the
1 LORD hath anointed me, hath set me apart to the office, by the communications of his spirit, (as kings and priests are by being anointed) to preach good tidings unto the meek, to the poor in spirit ; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, those who are wounded under a sense of guilt, to proclaim liberty to the captives of sin, sa!an, and death, and the opening of the prison, % or, frerfect liberty, to them that are] bound ; To proclaim the
acceptable year of the LORD ; the year of jubilee, which was the Lord's appointment, and very acceptable to the proor, as debts were then cancelled, slaves released, and mortgaged estates restored ; (Lev. xxv. 9.) and the day of vengeance of our God, of his
righteous judginents on the enemies of his gospel ; to comfort all 3 that mourn ; To appoint imto them that mourn in Zion joy and
gladness, to give unto them beauty, or, a biautiful crown, for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ;* that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified: the end of all is to promote their righteousness and God's glory. The next verses refer to the return of the Jews 10 their own land
in the latter day, and their prosperity in it. 4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the
former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the 5 desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand
and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien [shall be] your
ploughmen and your vine dressers ; the gentiles shall love and 6 be ready to serve you : But ye shall be named the Priests of the
LORD : [men] shall call you the Ministers of our God ; ye shall become a kingdom of priests, as formerly, and be holy unto the Lord : ye shall eat the riches of the gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves ; ye shull partake of their plenty, and 7 become instruments of their conversion. For your shame (ye
shall have) double, instead of shame ye shall have double glory ; and (for) confusion they shall rejoice in their portion : therefore in their land they shall possess the double : everlasting joy shall be unto them ; as the land will long have lain barren, he will
repay them by extraordinary fruitfulness; and uninterrupted 8 peace and pirosperity. For I the LORD love judgment, I hate
robbery for burnt offering.; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them ; the reason why I rejected them was their wickedness, which was as hateful to me, as if a man should steal a beast, and then come and
offer it ; but now they shall serve me in spirit and truth, and be 9 restored to my covenant. And their seed shall be known among
the gentiles, and their offspring among the people ; they and Their descendants shall become illustrious and remarkable, and be known as God's ancient people, to whom the promises originally belonged : all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they [are) the seed (which] the LORD hath blessed ; such piery shall appear in them, that all shall say they are worthy favourites of the
Lord. The church is then represented as breaking out into a song 10 of praise. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joy
ful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, with
• Here is a reference to the manner of mourning among the Jees; they put on sackcloth, or coarse garments, un spread dust or ashes on their heads, instead of oil, (see 2 Sam. xiv. 2.) On the contrary, splendid clothing and ointment poured on the bead were signs of joy. VOL. V.
salvation, as a garment, and righteousness, as a robe ; as a bride
groom decketh (himself) with ornaments, and as a bride adornI eth (herself) with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth
her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth ; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations ; 4s seeds and plants in a garden seem to lie dead in winter, but in the spring revive and grow, so God will make his gospel spread, and the Jewish church remarkable through the world.
Chap. LXII. Encouraged by the promises in the foregoing chapter, the prophet, in the name of all God's people, declares, | For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's
sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp [that] burneth ;
until its deliverance and righteousness become illustrious in the 2 eyes of all the world. And God answers, the gentiles shall see
thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory : and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall
name ; some say, the christian name ; but it rather refers to a 3 new and better sale. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God;
thou shall be precious and honourable to him, and his perfections 4 shall be displayed and glorified in thee. Thou shalt no more be
termed Forsaken ; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate : but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, the object of my
delight, and thy land Beulah, the redded matron : for the LORD 5 delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.* For [as] a
young man marrieth a virgin, (so) shall thy sons marry thee : and [as] the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, (so] shall thy God rejoice over thee; thou shalt live in harmony and love, and
be no more separated.t 6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, [which)
shall never hold their peace day nor night ; ministers shall take pains to promote in their people a devout spirit : ye that make
mention of the LORD, or, ye that are the Lord's remembrancers, 7 keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till
he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. I 8 The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of
his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn [to be] meat
for thine enemies ; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink 9 thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured : But they that have
gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness. il
The lewish church is here represented as married to the Lord, and, for its unbelief, divo: ced ; but hereafter it shall be taken into favour again, and shall be as much delighted with returning to its own country and living in it, as a bridegroom is with his bride.
+ It was customary in the east for youths that were never married always to marry vir. gius, and widowers, however young, to marry widows. Se Harmór's Obserouticus, in loc.
| The prophet here speaks of God after the manner of men, as overcome by importunity.
This must refer to something future ; for it is not applicable to the state of the Jews in anyat period. There is probably a reference to D:ul. xii
The firophet, firmly believing their general restoration, speaks of 10 it as now doing : Go through, go through the gates ; prepare
ye the way of the people , cast up, cast up the highway ; gather out the stones ; remove all obstacles, give them all assistance ; lift
up a standard for the people, to call them together amidst their disIl persion. Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the
world, Say ye to the daughters of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh ; behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before
him ; embrace the Messiah, in whose service you shall find great 12 advantage. And they shall call them, The holy people, The
redeemed of the Lord : and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken ; a people taken into covenant again, and never more to be cast out.
1. L OW welcome to our souls should Clirist be, who came
11 on so gracious an errand. How wretched was the state of mankind before he came ! Slaves of sin, captives of Satan, prisoners of death. But he proclaims liberty, communicates peace and comfort, and leads to everlasting joy. How venerable is the character of Christ, so richly anointed with the Spirit for this purpose ! and how well has he executed his office! Let us rejoice that he hath dune it ; welcome him into our hearts, and seek comfort and salvation through him. Remember that the great end of his mission and ministration, and all the comforts which he bestows on
his people, is, that they may be righteous ; trees of rightecusness, ** bringing forth the fruit of it abundantly ; ornaments to the church, and serviceable to all about them.
2. How profane and impious is it to devote to works of charity and piety what is dishonestly procured, v. 8. Too much of this has been practised among christians. Many hospitals have been built and endowed, with the fruits of rapine and the spoils of the poor. God loves judgment in governors ; and between man and man, in their commerce, dealings, and conversation ; but he hates injustice and oppression ; and those who think to atone for their dishonesty by such acts of charity, will find themselves miserably deceived, for the unrighteous shall not enter the kingdom of God.
3. How much is it the duty of all God's people to be constant and earnest intercessors with him for the prosperity of the church, and the advancement of religion ! In how lively and encouraging a manner is this duty urged upon us ! We are not to hold our peace, not to rest, not to keep silence, nor give God rest ; all whiclı implies great fervency and perseverance in prayer. It is not enough that the watchmen pray ; but all God's people, all who make mention of his name, must also pray ; otherwise they are not his people, for they want love both to God and man. He allows and encoui ages us to be importunate with him. It is very desirable that there were more of this devout, fervent spirit among us. The decay of