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it is one of the clearest proofs of national degeneracy, and one of the strongest symptoms of national ruin. Whatever others do therefore, let us continue in prayer, and watch thereunto wilh all perseverance.
CHAP. LXIII. The prophet having described the prosperity of the Jews in the latter
day, proceeds to describe the day of vengeance on their enemies, which he had just mentioned. (See ch. Ixi. 2.) They are called Edomites, because these were the ancient enemies of God's people ; and the beginning of the chapter is parallel to several passages in the Revelations which refer to this event. There, as in Ezekiel, their enemies are called Gog and Magog ; these shall allack them after their selllement, but be destroyed by the immediate hand of heaven. The firohel uses a dramatic form, or dialogue.
1 U H O [is] this that cometh from Edom, with dyed gar
V ments from Bozrah,* this (that is) glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength, with an air of majesty, and not like one fatigued or wounded? The heroic warrior is represented as answering, I that speak in righteousness,
mighty to save ; 1, the Messiah, who am faithful 10 all my prom2 ises. Wherefore (art thou) red in thine apparel, sprinkled with
blood, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine fat ? 3 The Messiah answers, I have trodden the wine press alone ; and
of the people (there was) none with me :t for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury, as easily and effectually as grapes are crushed in a wine press ; and their blood
shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my 4 raiment. For the day of vengeance [is] in mine heart, and the
year of my redeemed, the time when they shall be redeemed, is 5 come. And I looked, and (there was none to help ; and I
wondered that [there was) none to uphold : therefore mine
own arm brought salvation unto me ; and my fury, it upheld 6 me ; that is, my zcal and concern for my people. And I will
tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth. The church then breaks out into grateful acknowledgments of former
favours, as an encouragement to hope for what it promised. 7 I will mention the loving kindnesses of the LORD, (and) the
praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestow. ed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel,
which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and & according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses. For he
• A chief city ; though, as Elom signifies red, and Bozrah vintage, these may be general expressions for conquered enemies.
+ The whole of this verse intimates, that the final ruint of the enemies of the converted Jews shall not be owing to human means or power, but to the inncdiate hand of God.
said, Surely they [are] my people, children (that) will not lie ; they are the children of my servants in covenant with me, and will not be false and treacherous : so he was their Saviour ; he acted as 9 if they had been faithful. In all their allliction he was afflicted, he
was tenderly affected, and sympathized with them, and the angel of his presence, that is, Christ, wvl om they romfited in the wilderness,
saved them : in his love and in his pity he redeemed them ;* 10 and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But
they rebelled and rexed his holy Spirit, which directed Moses and
the elders of Israel; therefore he was turned to be their enemy, 11 [and] he fought against them. Then he remembered the days
of old, Moses, [and] his people, (saying,) Where [is] he that brought them up out of the sea, with the shepherd, or shepherds,
of his flock, that is, Moscs and Aaron? where [is] he that put 12 his holy Spirit within him ?+ That led [them] by the right hand
of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, 13 to make himself an everlasting name? That led them through
the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, (that) they should
not stunible ? as a horse runs safely and swifily in a plain open 14 country : As a beast goeth down into the valley to feed where he
finds abundance, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest : so didst thou lead thy people into Canoan, to make thyself a glorious name. Then follows a prayer suited to the present case of the Jews, in their dispersion, which is continued to the end of the next
chapter. 15. Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of
thy holiness and of thy glory : where [is] thiy zeal, thy great compassion, and thy strength, the sounding, or multitude, of thy
bowels, and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained ? 16 are they quite gone ? Doubtless thou (art] our father, though
Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not ; though they are dead and gone, and can afford us no relief, or, if they could, would not, because we have been so wicked ; yet thou,
O Lord, [art) our father, our redeemer; thy name [is] from 17 everlasting ; O deliver us for the sake of thy name. O LORD,
why hast thou made us to err from thy ways ? [and] hardened our heart from thy fear? why hast thou suffered us to do it, and done those things in the course of thy providence, from which Thou knewcat our perverse heart would take occasion to depart
froin thee? Return to us in mercy, for thy servants' sake, the 18 tribes of thine inheritance. The people of thy holiness have
possessed [it] but a little while : our adversaries have trodden 19 down thy sanctuary. We are (thine :) thou never bearest
rule over them; they were not called by thy name ; we are
• Bp. Lowth translates the passage thus : It was not an entry nor an angel of his presenze that saved them; through his love and his indulgince he himself redemed them.
† By an elegant figure God is represented as recollecting their former importance, as an argument to show them favour, though undeserving.
This Isaiah foresaw, and therefore prepared this praver for the people ; and this is the cise with the holy Jand; it was destroyed by the Romans, is possessed by the Turks, and thos trodden under fout of the Gentilis.
thy covenant people, and they are not ; or rather, we have long been as those over whom thou didst not rule, who have not been called by thy name : which sense agrees well with the present condition of the Jews.
1. L OW glorious is the character of Christ, as here described.
11 What a great and majestic Saviour ! He speaks in rightcousness ; his commands are all righteous, and he is faithful to his promises. He is able to save his people in the greatest extremity, and to overcome their most numerous and mighty enemies. How safely then may we trust in him! How secure are the interests of the church, and those of every particular believer, in such mighty and gracious hands!
2. Let us learn carefully to remember, and seriously to mention, the loving kindness of the Lord. What a variety of strong expressions does the prophet, in the name of the church, use to describe it! Let it teach us to remember his goodness to us, to our families, to our country, and to the church of God. This will show us the baseness and guilt of our own ingratitude and rebellion, and thus lead us to repentance ; and it will encourage our hope in him, notwithstanding our guilt and unworthiness.
3. From the covenant relation between God and his people, he may reasonably expect faithfulness from them, and they salvation from him. His people are children that will not lie ; their character is, that they do not dissemble in their covenant transactions, but are sincere and honest; they mean what they say, and perform what they promise. If they do not this, whatever they may think of themselves, they are not God's children ; but children of the devil, quho was a liar from the beginning. If we are faithful, he will ve our Saviour ; will deliver us from sin and hell, and conduci us to immortal glory. But if we rebel, and vex his holy Spirit, that strives with us, he will turn to be our enemy, and will fight against us ; we shall lose our best friend, and fall into the hands of the most formidable enemy.
4. We may from this chapter draw many noble arguments and encouragements in prayer, especially in time of trouble. We may observe God's tender regard to his people : he is cflicted in their affliction ; like a tender parent sympathizing with a sick child ; his bowels yearn over his suffering servants. He is so good that he inakes his former mercies an argument to bestow further favours; which men would rather consider as an argument against doing it. Let us think of our covenant relation to him ; and plead these things in prayer : let fatherless children especially, remember, that though their parents are ignorant of them, and acknowledge them not, yet God is their father, and his name is everlasting. Let them seriously ad. dress him under that title ; and in him the fatherless will find mercy.
This is a continuation of the prayer begun in the former chapter. It
describes the case, and is intended for the use of the Jews in iheir present dispersed state, and not their caprivity in Babylon, as some understand it.
N H that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst
U come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence! Oh that God would look upon us, and show himself as visibly in our favour as he did to our fathers at mount Sinai,
when there was such thunder, lightning, and rain, as made the 2 mountains look as if they were melted down ; As [when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, or when the fire make the metals melt, and the waters boil, to make thy
name known to thine adversaries, [that] the nations may trem3 ble at thy presence. When thou didst terrible things (which]
we looked not for, in our deliverance from Egypt, and at mount Sinai, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. For since the beginning of the world (men) have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, (what) he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him ; or, as in the margin of our bibles, neither hath
the eye seen a God beside thee which doeth so for him that waiteth 5 for him.* Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh right
eousness, that is, thou meetest with thy favour, or with joy, those who serve thee cheerfully, [those that) remember thee in thy ways, who observe and orun thy providence, and regard thee in every merciful and afflictive event : behold, thou art wroth; for we have sidned: in those is continuance, and we shall be sayed ; that is, in those ways of thine, especially thy ways of mercy,
there is continuance : thy mercy is everlasting, therefore we shali 6 be saved.t But we are all as an unclean [thing, and all our
righteousnesses (are) as filthy rags; our best services are im. perfect, defective, and mixed with pollution : and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away ;
as the wind doth a withered ieaf, thou hast driven us out of our 7 land, and deprived us of good. And (there is) none that calleth upon thy name, none who is carnest in his intercession for 18, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee, lo avert' the judgment ; an allusion to holding a man's hand when he is going 10
strike : for, or rather, therefore, thou hast hid thy face from us, 8 and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O
LORD, thou (art] our father ; we (are] the clay, and thou our potter ; and we all (are) the work of thy hand.
. This speaks the unserrchable wisdom and grace of God in his scheme for the salvation of his people ;" as if he had said, Thou hast not yet done thy urmost, there is still more in reserve.
+ Lowth translatus it; I thou art anrs (jor we have sinned) becaus: of (747 deeds, for We have been rebellieu..
9 Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity
for ever : behold, see, we beseech thee, we [are] all thy people; 10 thy peculiar, covenant people, and not thy creatures only. Thy
holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a
desolation, even Sion and Jerusalem, the upper and lower city, and Il all the cities of the holy land also, are desolate. Our holy and our
beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up
with fire : and all our pleasant things are laid waste ; nol only 12 the temple, but the palace and the synagogues are destroyed. Wilt
thou refrain thyself for these [things,] O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore ? Wilt thou neither show compassion to us, nor execute judgment upon those that onpress us?
1. I ET us learn to entertain high thouglits of the power, wis
u dom, and goodness of God. What a beautiful idea of them is there in this chapter ! He is able, and intends, to do what his people have never seen nor heard of before ; something beyond their highest conception. The apostle accommodates this remark to the gospel dispensation, 1 Cor. ii. 9. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man to conceive, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him ; because it revealed glorious things, which human wisdom could not discover. It is also applicable to the future state of the righteous ; for we can form no idea equal to what God intends for them. As we desire to be the objects of divine favour, and to share in the blessings of his people, let us wait for him in the way of duty, and love him with all our hearts.
2. Let us observe the character of good men, as it is here described ; examine ourselves by it, and endeavour to answer it in our conduct. He will meet them who rejoice and work righteousness, who are faithful and constant in the discharge of their whole duty, and who do it cheerfully. Let us rejoice in God, in our relation and obligations to him. Let us remember hiin in his ways, whether of judgment or mercy; and accommodate our temper to his various providences. He will then meet us ; admit us to converse with him ; visit us with his favour, and show himself as our friend and helper.
3. We are taught our duty in times of public trouble, and that is, humbly to bewail our sins before God ; our guilt and pollution, and the imperfection of our righteousness; to deprecate the continuance of his anger, and entreat his kind and powerful appearances for us ; to seek his mercy to remove our calamities, and his grace to reform our manners. On this errand we may comfortably apply to him, as our Creator and Father, who has shown so much goodness in our creation and support ; and much more, as our God in Jesus Christ. But let us remember, that if we desire these blessings, we