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19 the means of knowledge. Who [is] blind, but my ser.
vánt? or deaf, as my messenger [that] I sent? who sis] blind as she that is perfect, and blind as the Lord's!, servant? There is no people on earth so blind and obstinate
as the jews; those to whom I have sent my message : or it 20 may refer to their priests. Seeing many things, but thou
observest not; art not affected evith them; opening the
ears, but he heareth not; God's law and wonders he pre21 tended to hear, but did not. The Lord is well pleased
for his righteousness' sake; or rather, The Lord iook dea?
light in this people for his righteousness" fake; he will mag. 22 nify the law, and make [it] honourable. But this is
a people robbed and spoiled ; [they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses : they are for a préy, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and
none faith, Restore; tho’ they had been punished for their 23 former fins, yet they continue perverse. Who among you
captives will give ear to this ? [who] will hearken, and
hear for the time to come, so as to take notice of and re. 24 member'it, before further calamities come? Who gave Ja
cob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers, to the Ally. rians, Chaldeans, and Romans? did not the LORD, he against whom we have finned ? for they would not walk in his ways, neither 'were they obedient" unto his law;
let none then flatter themselves with hope of impunity if they 25. reject the Mesah. Therefore he hath poured upon him
the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle : and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid [it] not to heart; a threatening of worfe judgments to the jews in Christ's time, who should continue unreformed and incorrigible. : :
:. REFLECTIONS. 1. THE coming of Christ, and the publication of the
E gospel, should be matter of univerfal joy and praise. Let us trace the view here given us of him as the VOL. V. : i . W . .
delight * This may be rendered, He gave them excellent laws, and thereby made them honourable : or, God will magnify his righteousness and law,, by executing the threatenings of it.
delight of God's soul; his servant, whom he will protect and own, who was furnished with the Spirit without mea. fure; as coming on the kindest design, to rescue the gen. tiles from ignorance, idolatry, and other vices ; establishing a kingdom of truth, righteousness, and peace; and administering it in the most meek, gentle, and gracious manner. How justly are the nations called upon to sing unto the Lord and celebrate his praises ! Let us bless God that this gospel is sent to us gentiles; and declare his praise in this highly favoured land.
2. î here is often the greatest ignorance and stupidity found among God's professing people, tho' they enjoy the best means of knowledge, and even boast of them. How many among christians may be said, like the unbelieving jews, to be blind and deaf ; ignorant of the scriptures, and the way of salvation which they teach; yea, this is the case of fome, who set up for teachers of others, and pretend to be perfect in knowledge. Many professing christians will take no pains to search and study the scriptures; will not retire and reflect upon what they have heard in publick; they will not hear for the time to come. Hearing may be fome present amusement to them, but they will not hear so as to reform their errors, regulate their conduct, and prepare for eternity. The greater is their sin and shame, and the heavier will be their condemnation, for neglecting to improve such signal advantages.
3. Sin is the cause of national calamities, and this ought seriously to be laid to heart, v. 25. When this is the case with our own land, is it possible there should be any so stupid as not to know this, or, knowing it, not to confider that the Lord does it, and that he does it because men are disobedient to his law? It is fad indeed when men fuffer by publick calamities, and yet will not lay it to heart; will not humble themselves before God, and comply with the designs of his providence. Let us guard against this insensibility of spirit, left we provoke God to bring upon us greater evils, and pour upon us the strength of battle ; for who can stand in his fight when once he is angry?
CHA P. XLIII. This chapter contains comfortable promises that God would not
forsake Ifrael as a body; and he renews his expostulation with them for their ingratitude and negle&t of his service. i D UT now thus faith the LORD that created thee, O
D Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, who made thee his own nation, and in the constitution of thy government fhowed thee particular favour, Fear not: for I have re
deemed thee, I have called sthee] by thy name; thou 2 [art) mine. When thou pasfelt through the waters, I
[will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkeft through the fire,
thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame · kindle upon thee; I will bring thee fafe throʻ the greatest Â dangers and difficulties. For I sam] the LORD thy God,
the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt (for) thy ransom, I chose rather that Egypt Dould be deStroyed than thee, Ethiopia and Seba for thee; turning
Sennacherib's army against them, rather then let him ruin 4 Judah. Since thou wast precious in my sight, whilst
thou didst behave well, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore I will give men for thee,
and people, other nations, especially the Chaldeans, for thy 5 life. Fear not: for I (am) with thee: I will bring thy 6 feed from the east, and gather thee from the west ; I
will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back : bring my sons from far, and my daughters
from the ends of the earth; those who are dispersed in 9 Babylon and other countries ; (Even) every one that is]
called by my name : for I have created him for my
glory, to manifest my glorious attributes, I have formed 8 him; yea, I have made him. Bring forth the blind
people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears, that gis, let the worshippers of idols plead their cause. Let all the
nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled : who among them can declare this, and
show us former things ? let them bring forth their wit“ nesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear,
10 and say, 'It is) truth, that I am the only God. Ye-fare
my witnesses, faith the Lord, and my fervant whom I have chosen; that is, Christ, with his apostles, and all the holy prophets: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that. I sam] he: before me there was no
God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, seven ili [am] the Lord; and besides me (there is no 12 saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have.
Thowed, when there was) no strange (god) among you; I have proved my omniscience by declaring things to come, and my omnipotence by saving you ; and have done all this be
fore there was any idolatry in Israel, so that no strange god . can have done it for you therefore ye (are] my witnesses, 13 faith the Lord, that I [am] God. Yea, before the day : [was,] before all time, I [am] he; and (there is] none
that can deliver out of my hand : I will work, and who
Thall let it? 14. Thus faith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One
of Israel ; For your sake I have sent, that is, I will fend, to Babylon, and have brought, that is, will bring down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry [is] in the ships; who glory in the number of their hips,
and their great traffick; or, whole cry will be to their ships 15 to carry them away when the city Mall be taken. I[am]
the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your 16 King. Thus faith the Lord, which maketh a way in 17 the fea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which
bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and • the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not : rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow; refer.
ring to their deliverance from Egypt ; your enemies ball be 18 quite destroyed, and have no power remaining. Remember :ye not the former things, neither consider the things of
old; the deliverance I am about to grant is so great, that it
fall eclipse the former and obscure the memory of them. 19. Behold, I will do a new thing ; now it shall spring forth
suddenly; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way 20 in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert. The beast · of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls : , because I give waters in the wilderness, [and] rivers in
the desert, to give drink 'to my people, my chosen;
they shall have direčtion and defence where they least expected 21 it, as Ifrael had in going thro' the wilderness. This peo.
. ple have I formed for myself; they shall, or they mould, 22 show forth my praise. But thou hast not called upon - me, o Jacob; but thou haft been weary of me, o Il23 rael. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy
burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy facrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an of.
fering, nor wearied thee with incense: I have required 24 nothing hard or unreasonable. Thou hast bought me no
fweet cane, or incense, with money, neither hast'thou filled me with the fat of thy facrifices; the fat of which was offered to the Lord; that is, thou hast negležted facrifices, or brought only lean ones : but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, to undergo a sort of bondage, and brought a réproach upon me and my service, thou hast wearied me
with thine iniquities. Yet, instead of utterly destroying thee, 25 I, [even] 1, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions
for mine own fake, and will not remember thy fins; but 26 observe, it is for mine own fake that I will do this. Put me
in remembrance : let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified; if I have forgotten any of
thy good deeds, remind me of them, I will do thee full justice. 27 Thy first father, thy ancestors, hath sinned, and thy teach28 ers have transgressed against me. Therefore I have proa
faned the princes of the fanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Ifrael to reproaches; I have suffered the Chaldeans to profane, pollute, and destroy the priests and Levites, to overthrow your constitution in church and state, and make Israel a reproach and a proverb among the nations.
REFLECTIONS. 1, G O D's presence with his people is a reason against
U anxious fears. · He often calls upon Israel not to fear; and promises to be with them. He may fee good to lead us, as he did Ifrael, thro' the water and fire, that is, great and heavy afflictions, that are ready to overwhelm