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" the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the
waters shall overflow the hiding place; and your cove“ nant with death shall be disannulled, and your k agree“ ment with hell shall not stand : when the overflowing
scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden “ down by it." Isa. xxviii. 14-18
A Prophecy of the spiritual Blindness of the Jews, and of its
Cause, viz. because their Worship is from the Lips only, not from the Heart.
No. 51. The Lord said, forasmuch as this people draw m near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men; therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a
and the wicked, between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not. See Mal. iii. 2, 3. 18. and iv. 1.
k See Ezek. xx. 32. Matt, xiii. 47-50. xxii. 11-13.
i St. Peter refers to verse 16, as written prophetically of Christ, “ Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable “ to God by Jesus Christ—wherefore also it is contained in the
Scripture, 'Behold. I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, ' precious-and he that believeth on him shall not be cons
founded.'” 1 Pet. ii. 5, 6. m Our Saviour considers this verse as spoken prophetically of the Jews of his time, for after shewing how they had incroached upon
the fifth commandment, and made it, in some instances, of no effect by their traditions, he says, “ Ye hypocrites, well did “ Esaias prophecy of you, saying, . This people draweth nigh “ unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but « « their heart is far from me : .but in vain do they worship me,
teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'” Matt. xv. 7-9. Mark vii, 6, 7.
wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Isa. xxix. 13, 14.
Of the Nature of Christ's Kingdom—to teach the Ignorant, to
encourage the Meek, to put down the Haughty and the Wicked.
No. 52. In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel: for the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off. Isa. xxix. 18—20.
of the future coming in of the Israelites.
No. 53. Thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, “ Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. Isa. xxix. 22-24.
Of God's Forbearance towards the Israelites-to give them every
Opportunity of coming in, and his Readiness to receive them.
No. 54. Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you : for the Lord is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for him. For the people shall dwell in Sion at Jerusalem : thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry: when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. Isa. xxx. 18, 19.
Of the Characteristics of Christ's Kingdom, Justice, Benevolence,
No.55. Behold a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest-as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerer shall be ready to speak plainly. The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. Isa. xxxii. 1-5.
Of the desolate State in which the Land of Judea and Jerusalem
shall continue until the coming in of the Israelites, until the Establishment amongst them of Christ's Kingdom.
No. 56. Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briars; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: because the palaces shall be forsaken, the multitude of the city shall be left, the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks ; until the spirit " be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest : then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness, and as
* “ The Spirit," &c. See ante Joel ii. 28.
surance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in súre dwellings, and in quiet resting places, &c. Isa, xxxii. 13–18.
No. LVII, LVIII. Upon the Condition of the Israelites when they shall embrace
Christianity. No. 57. Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities : thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down : not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the " cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams, wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king. He will save us : and the inhabitant shall not say “I am sick :" the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. Isa. xxxiii. 20-22. 24.
No. 58. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them : and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing : the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it: the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Isa. xxxv. 1, 2.
À prophetic Encouragement to embrace Christianity-noticing
the Protection God should give, the Vengeance he should take, the Blessings it contains, the Facilities he should afford, and the Exclusion of the wicked from its Benefits.
No. 59. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the
n“ Stakes” and “ cords," the means for keeping up and fixing a tabernacle or tent. See post Isa, liv, 2.
feeble knees : say to them that are of a fearful heart, "be
strong, fear not: behold your God will come with ven
geance, even God with a recompence, he will come and “ save you." Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing : for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness: thep unclean shall not pass over it but it shall be for those—the way-faring men, though fools, shall not err therein, no lion shall be there : nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon: it shall not be found there : but the redeemed shall walk there : and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isa. Xxxv. 3-10.
A spirited Intimation of Christ's coming, and of his Purpose, viz.
to offer Pardon for Sin.
No. 60. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto
• Our Saviour probably meant to intimate indirectly that this was written prophetically of him in his answer to the question from John the Baptist, “ Art thou he that should come, or seek
we for another ?" “ Go your way, and tell John what things
ye have seen and heard: how that the blind see, the lame walk, " the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to " the poor the Gospel is preached.” Luke vii. 22. See post Isa. xlii. 6.
p “ The unclean,” &c. See post, p. 80. Is. lii. 2.