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REFLECTIONS. Hier 1. UV HAT a blessing is the gospel, that brings light,
V joy, and liberty to the nations. Without it the world was in darkness and danger; but when the sun of righteousness arose, a glorious light spread itself; and men are guided by it in the way of truth, peace, and happiness.
The burden of grief and guilt is taken away by the word and spirit of God, the yoke of fin and satan is broken, and they become free. No wonder this occasions great joy; especially when the Gospel comes with power on particular fouls, and produces these blessed effects.
2. A glorious idea is here given us of the person, offices, and government of Christ, which it is proper and comfortable to reflect upon. He is wonderful in his person and offices; a counsellor, as he discovers the most important truths, and the gracious purposes of God; a mighty God, able to save unto the uttermost; the father of the age, the greatest friend and benefactor to it; and he is the prince of peace, whose administration is righteous, peaceful, and happy; and whatever opposition may be made to it, it Thall increase and prosper, till it terminates in everlasting glory; of his government and peace there fall be no end. Let us reverence this glorious prince, and magnify the Lord of Hofts, whose pity, love, and zeal have performed allthis for us.'
3. We are taught the design of affliction. God smites us that we may turn to him, and seek him with sincerity and fervour. If this end be not answered, his hand will be stretched out still to correct us more heavily. Let us there." fore humble ourselves under his mighty hand, and comply . with the designs of his providence, that the stroke may be turned away from us, and our afflictions be succeeded by hope and joy.
4. We see the fad consequences of continuing unreform. red by the judgments of God. ch. x. 3. A day of visi
tation will come; a day of judgment and strict enquiry into our conduct, and the principles on which we have
de acted ;
acted ; and a day of desolation to the impenitent, when no place shall be found to which they may fly; all their glory shall vanish, and they shall find it no more. It becomes us all seriously to think of this day of visitation, and secure a refuge in Jesus Christ; that we may obtain that salvation, which is by him unto eternal glory.
: CHA P. * x. 5, to the end. We have here an account of the design of the Assyrians in
invading Judah, and God's design in permitting it ; and
in their hand is mine indignation; the Asyrian monarch is my instrument ; my anger against Israel gives 6 him all his power. I will send him against an hypocriti
cal nation, and against the people of my wrath will I
profesions; therefore the Asyrian shall plunder their coun7 try; and Strip them of their wealth. Howbeit he mean
eth not so, neither doth his heart think fo; he does not . intend to do my will; but [it is) in his heart to destroy
and cut off nations not a few; to enlarge his dominions,
8 and gratify his ambition. For he faith, sare] not my 6. princes altogether kings ? have not I many princes tribu
tary to me, and are not my courtiers and officers as great as * 9 kings? [IS] not Calno as Carchemish?" [is] not
Hamath as Arpad ? [is] not Samaria as Damascus ?
are not the cities of Judah as easy to be taken as those I 10 have already conquered? As my hand hath found the
kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did 11 excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria ; Shall I not,
as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols ? as my hand hath destroyed
17[man]; I her put down the in tobbed their
kingdoms and cities those gods are reckoned more powere 12 ful than Jehovah, Malt I not as ecsily destroy Judah
Wherefore it shall come to pass, [that] when the Lord &
glory of his high looks. I will punish his high words, . 13 which are the fruit of his proud heart. For he faith, by
the strength of my hand I have done [it], and by my wisdcm ; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant (man]; I have shown my wisdom, strength, and
valour, by removing the bounds of the people and tranf.. 14 planting colonies. And my hand hath found as a nest ** the riches of the people : and as one gathereth eggs
(that are] left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped; I have carried away their wealth, as easily as a man robs a bird's nest, and they durft not complain. Thus the great king of Asyria boasted and
threatened ;- wë Mall now see what a greater king faith to 15 him. Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth
therewith ? [or] shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it ? as if the rod should shake [itself] against them that lift it up, [or] as if the staff Thould lift up [itself, as if it were] no wood ; is not the staff i when lifted up ecod still ? and shall a dead, lifeless instrua
ment boast itself against him that uses it? As absurd is it· for the king of Allyria to boost of what he hath done, when 16 he is but my tool. Therefore shall the Lord, the
LORD of hosts, send among his fat ones, his chief
shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire; he · shall deprive him of his honour and power, and destroy his 17 army, which is his glory. And the light of Israel shall
be for a fire, and his Holy One for a fame: and it , * shall burn and devour his thorus and his briers in one
day; he who is the support and comfort of Israel, shall be
a fire to the Asyrians, and will destroy his army as easily as . 18 fire burns briars and thorns; And shall consume the
glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard bearer fainteth; tho' he be as strong as the trees in a forest, or as numerous as the cornfields, yet God will consume both foul and body; the chief commanders and the main body of the army itself ball be totally routed, and the remainder shall be dis
pirited, as the whole army is put into confusion when a 19 standard bearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his
forest shall be few, that a child may write them; there Shall be no occasion for a muster master, a child may keep the
roll. 20 And it shall come to pass in that day, sthat] the
remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him, that is, the Asyrian, that smote them; but shall stay upon the
LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth, and not hypo21 critically. The remnant shall return, [even) the rem22 nant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy
people Israel be as the sand of the fea, (yet) a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness; tho many ball be destroyed
by the Asyrians, yet a remnant of the righteous shall be 23 faved; and all shall be done with striet justice. For the
Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land; he hath deter-, mined exactly how far it shall extend, and how long it hall
continue. 24. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my
people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Alfya, rian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt; he
fall do thee some injury and threaten more, talk big, like 25 Pharaoh; but fear not, For, yet a very little while, and
the indignation against thee Thall cease, and mine anger
Vol. V. : i St. Paul applies this to the Jews, in Rom. ix. 27. to prove that it is no new thing for God to abandon many of Abraham's seed, tho' the promise holds good, there shall still be a remnant.
in their destruction; my anger shall show itself in the utter 26 destruction of the Asyrians. And the LORD of hosts shall
ftir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and [as] his rod (was] upon the sea, fo shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt; he will bring on their destruction as suddenly, and by as unlikely means, as the destruction of the Midianites and Egyptians. A beautiful contrast; he mall threaten you after
the manner of Egypt, and I will smite him in the same man27 ner. And it shall come to pass in that day, (that] his
burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing; thou shalt have no fear of his invasions, and pay no more tribute, for the sake
of the Messiah. 28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at 29 Michmash he hath laid up his carriages: They are
gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodg
ing at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is filed. 30 Lift up thy voice, 0 daughter of Gallim: cause it to 31 be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. Madmenah
is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather them
selves to flee; denoting the fear, hurry, and confusion of 32 the people, upon the news of his invafion. As yet shall he
remain at Nob that day, fron whence he might see Jerufalem: he shall shake his hand, and that mall be all,
(against] the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill 33 of Jerusalem. Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, . shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of
stature [shall be] hewn down, and the haughty shall 34 be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of
the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one, that is, the destroying angel; the image is taken from cutting down a forest; the Asyrian army, with their swords, bows, and pikęs lifted up, look like a moving forest, but they all be entirely and irrecoverably cut down.