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beasts of the islands Thall cry in their desolate houses and dragons in (their) pleasant palaces: and her time [is] near to come, and her days Thall not be prolonged beyond her set time; denoting the certainty of the things described, as well as their being near.' REFLECTIONS,

For a fast day.
BSERVE and adore the power of God over

all the hosts of the earth. What a sublime de scription is here given of the universal agency of God! particularly of the use he makes of the contrivances and force of men. He, the Lord of hosts, mustereth the hosts of the battle; he gathers them together, reviews them, and arms them. Their weapons are the weapons of his indignation, and he gives them success. He can easily take away the strength of their opponents to resist, and their courage to endure; he can make their hands faint, and their hearts melt. It is a delightful thought, that all the hosts of the world are under the sovereign command of the Lord of hosts. This shows the propriety of acknowledging him, and imploring his favour in time of war. It should be our earnest desire, that our foldiers may be fanctified ones, in the best sense of the word; devoted to his fear and service; that they may rejoice in his highness, and go forth in his strength to the service for which they are called ; and seek his glory in all they do. :

2. The fall of Babylon, and its utter desolation, should be a warning to all nations. So providence undoubtedly intended them to be. When we consider it as the greatest and most powerful monarchy in the world; the extent, strength, wealth, and grandeur of its capital; what little probability there was that it should ever be taken; and ef. pecially that it was predicted, so long before the event,

.. that ! As the walls of Babylon were not entirely demolished, the Persian king made it a park for wild beasts ; but afterwards it was deserted; and many travellers tell us that no one went near the ruins, on account of the wild beasts and serpents that abounded there, and that there are scarce any remains of it now to be seen.

that it should be utterly destroyed and left desolate ; who would not adore that spirit of prophecy which foretold it, and be afraid of the anger of the almighty power that executed the vengeance ! What an awful description of that anger have we been now considering! O may Britain hear and fear! she is, in the most important respects, the glory of kingdoms, but is not secure from sharing the fate of former kingdoms ; justly therefore may we tremble for ourselves and our country. Let us learn to fear the king of nations, wbo doeth according to his will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and implore mercy for our land. And in order to obtain this, let us

3. Observe the sources of Babylon's ruin, and learn righteousness by it. The ruin of Babylon was occasioned by its iniquities, its idolatry, cruelty, luxury and love of pleasure, these fins abounded among them, but their arrogance, pride, and haughtiness, are what the principal ftress is laid upon in this chapter, they were conceited of their own politicks, wealth, power, and strength, v. II. Hence they thought themselves secure, despised their enemies, and set all danger, and even the judgments of God, at defiance. But there is no contending with the Almighty; and those that deal in pride he is able and he takes pleasure to abase. Let us then be warned against confidence in our wisdom, strength, and military force, and fix our depen- . dance on God. National humiliations and prayers are ex. ceeding proper and useful, as they tend to abate our pride, and our truit in an arm of flesh, and to convince us t'iat all our strength and sufficiency is of God. If we thus humble ourselves under his mighty hand, we may cheerfully hope that in due time he will exalt us. But the nation or individual that exalts itself, shall in God's time and way be abased and brought low.

CHA P. XIV. 1—27. The prophet here foretells the restoration of Israel, and their triumph over Babylon.

T OR the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will

yet choose Israel, return to them in mercy, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob; many Chaldeans and captives with the jews in

Babylon, Mall become profelytes and return with them to 2 their land. And the people shall take them, and bring

them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and hand. maids : and they shall take them captives, whose cap. tives they were; and they shall rule over their oppresfors; they Mall use their assistance as they have occasion for

it, and receive fervices from those to whom they had been 3 Naves. And it shall come to pass in the day that the

Lord shall give thee reft from thy sorrow, and from

thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast 4 made to serve, That thou shalt take up this proverb,

this acute and excellent saying, against the king of Babylon, and say, in these sublime and lofty strains, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! how was

it possible that such a thing Mould ever be brought about ! 5 The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, sand]

the sceptre of the rulers; it is God's doing, and therefore 6 wonder not at it. He who smote the people in wrath

with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, who was a molt barbarous and ungenerous con

queror, he is perfecuted, [and] none hindereth; neither 7 his own people nor his allies could help him. The whole

earth is at rest, [and] is quiet, now its greatest oppressor

is ceased, now Babylon is destroyed: they break forth into 8 singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, [and] the

cedars of Lebanon, [saying,] Since thou art laid down,

no feller is come up against us; the great and the common 9 people rejoice, over whom he had tyrannized. Hell from

beneath is moved for thee to meet [thee) at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, [even) all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations; the invisible world is roused to make way for so great a monarch; the kings that used to be afraid of thee, and were tributary to thee, rise up

. by 10 by way of scorn and insult. All they shall speak and say

unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou si become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to

the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is

spread under thee, and the worms cover thee, instead 12 of thy rich garments and sumptuous carpets. How art

thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morn-
ing; thou who excelledst other princes in glory, as much as
the morning star does the other stars in lustre: [how] art,

thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the 13 nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend

into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars, or angels, of God; an hyperbole, to express his great pride, or that he really expected divine honours: I will fit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the

north, I will place my royal throne upon mount Zion, and 14 in the temple at Jerusalem : yea I will ascend above the

heights of the clouds : I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of 16 the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon

thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake king. doms; they Mall be astonished at thy fall, and look atten

tively before they can believe it is thou that art fallen so low; 17 [That) made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed

the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his . prisoners? intimating both his power and cruelty, he grant18.ed them no release : All the kings of the nations, [even]

all of them, lie in glory, every one in - his own house,

or sepulchre ; they were buried with marks of honour and 19 diftin£tion: But thou art cast out of thy grave like an

abominable branch, like some noiforne plant, that lies rotting above ground, (and as] the raiment of those that are fain, thrust through with a sword, the raiment of a malefactor besmeared with blood and dirt, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet; like

a putrifying carcase, which is suffered to lie a while unburied, ... and then is thrown into fome quarry or pit, which probably 20 was the case with Belhazzar's body. Thou shalt not be

joined with them in burial, that is, with thine ancestors


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in an honourable burial, because thou hast destroyed thy
land, [and] sain thy people; destroyed thy subječts, and
brought ruin upon thy land: the seed of evil doers shall

never, or not ever, be renowned. And because he has been 21 so notorious a transgressor, therefore Prepare Naughter

for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; who
tread in the cruel steps of their ancestors; that they do not
rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the

world with cities; that they may not recover their former 22 flourishing condition." For I will rise up against them,

faith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon
the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, faith

the LORD; all the posterity and kindred of the king of 23 Babylon. I will also make it a possession for the bit

tern, and pools of water : " and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, faith the LORD of hosts. Anoble, tho' beautiful image; intimating the vile nature of fin, the total extirpation of that wicked people, and the perfeet ease with which the righteous. God would execute his intended vengeance. Then comes a prophecy of the speedy destruction

of the Asyrians in Hezekiah's time, which was designed to · confirm their faith in this prophecy of the fall of Babylon. 24 The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I

have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have

purposed, [fo] shall it stand; and therefore let not my peo. 25 ple doubt of it, thoit seem ever so incredible: That I will

break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot; the army of Sennacherib, as a pledge of the full destruction of Babylon :: then shall his

yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from 26 off their shoulders. This [is] the purpose that is pur

posed upon the whole earth : and this is the hand

that is stretched out upon all the nations that rise up 27 against Israel, For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, VOL. V.

P u Belshazzar's children and family were probably slain with him.

* This prophecy was exactly accomplished, for Cyrus took Babylon by turning the channel of the river Euphrates that ran thro' it, and by neglecting to repair the banks, the river overflowed the country about it, and it became, and now is, a filthy, noisome marth.


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