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“ derness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation= “ Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers * praised thee, is burned up with fire, and all our plea“sant things are laid waste. Wilt thou refrain thyself " for these things, O Lord? wilt thou hold thy peace, and " afflict us very sore ?" Isa. lxiii. 1. to the end of chapter lxiv.
A prophetic Answer to the Appeal of the Israelites, noticing the · Readiness with which the Gentiles should have embraced Chris
tianity, the Stubbornness with which the Jews should have rejected it ; a Denunciation of the Vengeance with which on that Account they should be visited, an Intimation that a Remnant should nevertheless be spared, but that amongst them a Difference should be made between those who should embrace Christianity, and those who should reject it, with an Intimation of the Blessings the former should enjoy, and of the Watchfulness and Attention they should have from God.
No. 101. “ I am sought of them * that asked not for " me, I am found of them that * sought me not; I said, “ Behold me, Behold me,' unto a nation that was not “ called by my name.--I have spread out my hands all “ the day unto a y rebellious people, which walketh in a “ way that was not good, after their own thoughts.=A “ people that provoketh me to anger continually to my “ face: that a sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense “ upon altars of brick; which remain among the graves, " and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh,
* “ Them that asked not for me," and " them that sought me “ not,” i. e. “ the Gentiles.”
y “ A rebellious people." i. e. “ the Jews."
2“ That sacrificeth,” &c. referring to the false worshippers of later times by what were the means of false worship at the time the prophet wrote.
" and broth of abominable things is in their vessels : which “ say, “Stand by thyself; come not near to me, for I am “ 'holier than thou.' These are a smoke in my nose, a “ fire that burneth all the day. Behold, it is written “ before me, I will not keep silence, but will recompence, “even recompence into their bosom, your iniquities, " and the iniquities of your fathers together," saith the Lord," which have burned incense upon the mountains, " and blasphemed me upon the hills : therefore will I “ measure their former work into their bosom.”
Thus saith the Lord, as the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, “ Destroy it not, for a a blessing is “ in it:" so will I do for my servant's sake, that I may not destroy them all: and I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains, and mine 6 elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.=And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me. But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that d troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that d number. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter, because when I called, ye did not answer ; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, “ Behold, my servants shall eat, " but ye shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, “ but ye shall be thirsty ; behold, my servants shall re“ joice, but ye shall be ashamed; behold, my servants
a « A blessing," &c. i. e. (perhaps) what is called, Is. vi. 13. * the holy seed;" Israelites who shall be converted.
b « Mine elect;" i. e. (probably) “ my servants, the true wor« shippers, Christians.”
C“ Of Achor,” mentioned Hos. ii. 15. “ for a door of hope.”
d " That troop," and " that number," rather“ Gad and “Meni,” two objects of heathen worship. See note 3, on ver. 8.
· "shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow “ of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. And ye “ shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen ; for " the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by “ another name, that he who blesseth himself in the earth “ shall bless himself in the God of truth, and he that “ sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth= "s because the former troubles are forgotten, and because “ they are hid from mine eyes. For behold I create new “e heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be « remembered, nor come into the mind. But be ye glad, “ and rejoice for ever in that which I create, for behold, “ I create * Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. « And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, " and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in “ her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more " thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not “ filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years “ old, but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be “ accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit “ them: and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit “ of them. They shall not build, and another 8 inhabit; “ they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days “ of a tree are the days of my people, and my elect shall “ long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not “ labour in vain, nor bring forth for h trouble, for they
e" New heavens,” &c. i. e. probably, “ a new religious sys“ tem :" see ante Is. li. 16. and note there.
f“ Jerusalem.” It may be a question, whether in this, and many other passages, “ Jerusalem” is put for the ancient Jewish capital, or whether it does not refer to the Church of Christ, the spiritual city of David; a city not made with hands, but a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Heb. xi. 10.
8 " Another inhabit;" see ante 98. note on Is. lxii, 10. h“ For trouble;" i. e. "so as to have misery the result."
“ are the seed of the blessed i of the Lord, and their “ offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that “ before they call, I will k answer; and while they are yet " speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall “ feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bul. “ lock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They “ shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain," saith the Lord. Is. Ixv. 1 to the end.
A prophetic Intimation that in Christian Times God will regard
Humility and Reverence, not Sacrifice; that he will deliver Christians from Persecution, that he will give wonderful Facilities to whoever is disposed to embrace Christianity, especially to the Israelites, that he shall protect those who embrace it, but take signal Vengeance upon those who oppose it, that he will gather together the Christians of all Nations, that they shall facilitate the Conversion of the Israelites, that the Israelites shall be selected as the Priests and Ministers in the Christian Service, and that all Mankind shall join in one Worship.
No. 102. Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool : where is the house that ye build unto me, and where is the place of my rest : for all those things hath my hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck=he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered
i« The blessed ;" i. e. perhaps, Christ. Sed vide Septuagint. k « Will answer;" so attentive shall God be to all their wants.
1« The wolf,” &c. referring to the peaceable character of Christ's kingdom. So Is. xi. 6.
m“ The serpent's ;” i. e. “ Satan's ;” agreeably to the denunciation against him, Gen. iii, 14. “ Dust shalt thou eat all the “ days of thy life.”
swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them: because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear=but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word: your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake," said, “ let the Lord be glorified :" but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city; a voice from the temple; a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth ; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child : who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?' or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth P? saith the Lord : shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb ? saith thy God.
Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her : rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her : that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations=that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dangled upon her knees. As one whom
ne Said ;” i. e. in insult and derision.
o “ Before,” &c. An intimation of the almost preternatural means which should be afforded to encourage the extension of Christianity.
p.“. To bring forth ;" i. e. “ shall I not accomplish what I have “ begun ?"