« AnteriorContinuar »
17 and making a tinkling with their feet: € Therefore the
LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the
daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their • secret parts; they Mall be reduced to rags that cannot cover
their nakedness, or be led captive naked, according to the 18 cruel usage of eastern countries. In that day the LORD
will take away the bravery of (their) tinkling ornaments
[about their feet,] and [their] cauls, and (their) 19 round tires like the moon, The chains, and the brace20 lets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the orna.
ments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, 21 22 and the ear rings, The rings, and nose jewels, The · changeable fuits of apparel, and the mantles, and the 23 wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the 24 fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall
come to pass, [that] instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well fet hair baldness; and instead of a ftomacher a girding of fackcloth ; [and] burning instead of beauty;
they shall be fun burnt in consequence of being made Naves... 25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in 26 the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn, because . there are no passengers to go thro? them: and she [being]
desolate shall fit upon the ground, as mourners used to do. I CHAP. IV. And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach; notwithstanding the natural reserve of the sex, they shall folicit to be married, and be content to maintain themselves. This must have been peculiarly grating to ladies of so much delicacy, luxury, and pride.
• This refers to the ornaments worn about their ancles, which are still used by the eastern ladies; and it is reckoned a mark of polite and delicate education to know how to make a noise with them, by striking one foot against the other.
f See Bp. Lowth's Isaiah for a more just and beautiful tranllation of these particulars.
1. n BSERVE from hence, how much all our
national comforts and blessings depend upon God. Bread and water, the lives of princes, statesmen, judges, officers, and all their skill, courage, wisdom, and eloquence; he can easily take away any, or all of these, by death, or captivity; or disable them from being of any further ser-vice to the publick. He can destroy union among the people, and give them up to faction or sedition. Let this teach us not to be confident of the continuance of any of our publick blessings. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.
2. National judgments are different in their consequences upon different persons, according as their characters are. It shall be well with the righteous, at all adventures. God commands his prophets to tell them so; they have abundant comfort amidst all their fears and alarms. They have the joyful testimony of conscience, and the hope of a glorious reward hereafter. But it hall be ill with the wicked;": judgments peculiarly heavy shall fall upon them; or, however prosperous they may be here, the reward of their hands jhall hereafter be given them. They need nothing else to make them thoroughly miserable than to be left to the consequences of their own folly.
3. We are here taught, that cruelty to the poor is peculiarly displeasing to God, and that he will severely avenge it. There are many oppressive landlords, creditors, and masters, who abuse those that are under their power. Many who enrich themselves by the spoils of their neighbours; who tyrannize over workmen, and refuse them a just allowance for their labour ; but God will stand up and plead for such as are thus oppressed: and haughty oppressive people will do well to consider in time what they will do when God rises up, and when he judges what they will answer.
4. Let the daughters of Britain learn how odious pride, . - luxury, and extrayagance of dress are to God, and how ,' they increase the guilt of a nation. It is very likely that the
ghters of Zion thought Isaiah a very rude and unpolite
man in reproving them for their dress; but he had good, authority for so doing, the Lord faith. And his being so particular is a plain intimation how nice and curious they were about their dress, how much time and money they spent upon it, which might have been better employed, how much they delighted in finery, so that it engrossed their thoughts and conversation. Minister's therefore, having so good an authority, should caution young women against this vice; which shows a proud, weak mind, generally defeats the very end proposed by it, offends God, and contributes to national judgments. They should be as clean and neat as possible, but not nice and curious. They should not waste their precious moments in following every fantastic fashion, left their delicacy be followed by fervi tude, poverty, nakedness, and disgrace. Those will be worse able to bear any one of these, who have been devoted to the follies of dress, expected much waiting on, and have been averse to any thing like labour: hear the words of the apostle, i Peter iii. 3, 4. Whose adorning let it not be that of plaiting the hair, but a meek and quiet spirit, which in the fight of God is of great price.
CHAP. IV. 2, to the end. CHAP. V. 1-8. After the prophecy of the calamities of Israel, Isaiah proceeds to
foretel the glory of the Messiah’s kingdom. 2 TN that day shall the branch of the Lord, the Mefiah,
I be beautiful and glorious in the sight of God and all good men, and the fruit of the earth (thall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel, who
shall escape the destruction before mentioned, and be convert3 ed by the gospel. And it shall come to pass, (that he that
is left in Zion, and she that] remaineth in Jerusalem, .
shall be called holy, that is, the first converts to christianity 'fhall be eminently so, ['even] every one that is written
among the living in Jerusalem, or, in the Lamb's book of 4 life ; an allusion to the jewish registers of families: When the LORD shall have washed away the filth of the daughM 4
the living in
couilh registers of an of the daugh
· ters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jeru.,
salem, their murders and oppressions, especially saying the prophets and the Mefiah, from the midst thereof, by the
Spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning ; by his 5 holy Spirit producing purity and zeal among them. And the
LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory [shall be] a defence; when he Mall, have thus purged them, he will manifest his power in proteating their families and places of worship. Here is nothing said about the temple, but an allusion to the pillar of cloud,
whereby God intimates that he would preserve and protect 6 them in a glorious manner. And there shall be a taber
nacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain; an allusion to the tents which travellers carried with them in the east, which they used when they passed over the deserts; and it intimates that God would be their defence in all extremities. The prophet then describes the ingratitude and unfruitfulness of the jews, as a reason why God sent his judgments upon them. He begins with representing in a beautiful parable, God's tender care of his people, and their
unworthy returns to his goodness, 1 CHAP. V. Now will I sing to my 'well beloved, that · is, to Christ, to whom the care of the jewish church was
committed, and which is often represented as a vineyard, a
fong of my beloved touching his vineyard: My well 2 beloved hath a vịneyard in a very fruitful hill: And he
fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and
bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes, 3 or poisonous berries. And now, O inhabitants of Jeru
falem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt
me and my vineyard; thoyourselves are parties, the cafe iş 4 so plain, that I leave it to your judgment. What could
have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not
done in it? hath any thing been wanting on my part? · wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth
grapes, brought it forth wild grapes ? how can this dis5 appointment be accounted for? And now go to, or rather,
come now, and I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down; I will quite withdraw my pro
teftion, and give Ifrael up as a prey to their enemies; their 6 state and church mall be quite ruined: And I will lay it
waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briars and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it; they shall lose
all their outward blessings and spiritual privileges. Then 7 comes the explanation of the parable: For the vineyard of
the Lord of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men. of Judah his pleasant plant; a country in which he took delight, and did more for its inhabitants than for any other people: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppresion; for righteousness, but behold a cry; of the oppressed, to men for help, and to God for vengeance.
REFLECTIONS. 1. TITE have great cause to be thankful for our na.
VVtional bleffings. No nation upon earth has more reason to apply these things to themselves than we have. God hath taken care of us as his vineyard, hath given us all desirable blessings, temporal and spiritual. Christ, the branch, hath as it were sprung up among us, and we enjoy the glorious fruits of it in the gospel of peace. We have the protection of heaven on our dwelling places; and, what deserves our especial thankfulness, on our folemn assem. blies; upon every thing that is the glory of our land the Lord hath created a defence. Let us seriously reflect how valuable these blessings are, and how few enjoy them, that · we may be inspired with sentiments of gratitude to God. Nevertheless, -2. We should be very cautious and watchful, left we