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not, with equal zeal, oppose the kingdom of Satan, and the progress of his arts of mischief and destruction ? Shall we not encourage each other to act vigorously for the defence and honour of God and religion, and stir up one another to pray that God would support and advance his own cause? Let us learn wisdom from these idolaters; appear on the Lord's side, and strengthen one another's hands in God.
3. Amidst all the difficulties and troubles of life, let us take encouragement from God's promises; especially that in -v. 10. ft'ar thou not, for I am with, thee; be not dismayed, for lam thy iîorf; / vail strengthen thee, yea, I will helfi thee. We assuredly know, that it has afforded support and comfort to many souls, in the most afflicted circumstances, and even in dying moments. What beautiful and tender language is it! the language of an indulgent parent teaching a little child to go. Whoever forsakes us, God will be with us; whatever difficulties surround us, he will strengthen us; whatever enemies attack us, he will help us ; when faint, trembling, and ready to sink, he will uphold us with the right hand of his righteousness. Though we are weak as worms, and, like them, despised, yet our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, mill helfi ив, Let us wait on the Lord then, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen our heurte.
4. Let us learn the vanity of idols, and keep ourselves from idolatry. See what ignorant, impotent thingsall gods are, but Jehovah. Let us reverence him who revealeth secrets, foretelleth things to come, does good and permits eril, and gives us in his works, providence, and word, a thousand proofs that he is the true (îod, and the everlasting King. Let ив therefore, dearly beloved,ßce from idolatry ¡ worship the Lord our God with a veneration and affection suited to his greatness, power, and knowledge ; and make him our hope and our confidence ; for he is the rewarder of all them that diligently seek him.
This chapter refer» to the appearance oj Christ, the publication of/u'» gospel, and his judgment brought uflon the Jews for their unbelief. The firo/i/iet makes a natural transition from the deliverance of the Jew ou! of captivity, to the greater deliverance by the ATensiaA, by which all t heir idols should be destroyed; and he here teems to draft the veil, and bring the Messiah into full view, -without type or allegory. St. Matthew expressly tells us, chap, xii. 18—21. that the beginning of this chafiter was fulfilled in Christ: they are the viurd» of (lie Father a/leaking to him,
1 T> EHOLD my servant, whom I uphold, protect, and wake Jj my peculiar care: mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighleth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth jwlg
ment to the gentiles ; he shall make known to them my leilf and 3 law, which hitherto had been appropriated to the Jews. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street, as vainglorious and contentious persons do; he shall not cume in a pompous tumultuous manner, but instruct othen and v&idicate
3 himself with meekness. A bruised reed shall he not bréale, and the smoking flax shall he not quench ; a proverbial expression Jar a gentle tamper and conduct: more is implied than expressed;
ht will bear -with, encourage, and helft the weakest.' he shall bring forth judgment unto truth ; he shall make truth and righteousness
4 -victorious. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till lie have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law ; he and his apostles shutl go on resolutely and cheerfully, till his religion shall be established, and the gentiles shall receive it as heartily as if they had tuait rd for it.
5 Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein, and who therefore can cer
6 tainly fulfil all his promises: I the Lor p have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep ihee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, that is, for the mediator '¡f my covenant to the people, and for a light of the gentiles; to enlighten their minds, sanctify their hearts, and lead them to ever/ast
7 ing life; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the
8 prison house; to deliver the captives of sin and satán. I [am] the Lord : that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images; I will not suffer
9 idolatry any longer to prevail, but abolish it by the gospel. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare ; the former prophecies are fulfilled, and therefore these shall àe so: before they spring forth I tell you of them, that they may be believed and expected. Then follows a poetical address to all the inhabitants of the world, the most rud¿ and barbarous not excepted, to rejoice, and praise God for the gospel.
10 Sing цШо the Lord a new song, [and] his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to tne sea, and all that is there
11 in ; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up [their voice,] the villages [that} Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let
12 then) shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands.
13 The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war; he was silent while idolatry /írn-arVed in the world, and winked at those times of ignorante; but nom he shall cry, yea, roar like a lion, or as soldiers do when beginning
14 a battle ; and he shall entirely prevail against his enemies. I have lo»g time holden rny peace; I have been still, [and] refrained myself: [now] will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once, like wild beasts, which come roar
15 ing ufion their prey and swallow it -up at once. 1 will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs ; and I will
16 make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.• And I will bring the blind by a way [that] they knew not; I will lead them in paths [that] they have not known: 1 will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight; / will remove the ignorance, errors and prejudices of men. These things
17 will I do unto them, and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye [are] our gods ; idolaters shall be disappointed and athamed upon the spread of the gospel.
18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see; an address to the gentiles to receive the gosfiel, and not reject the means
19 of knowledge. Who [is] blind, but my servant ? or deaf, as my messenger [that] I sent? who [is] blind as [he 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
20 message: or it may refer to their priests. Seeing many things, but thou observest not ; art not affected with them i opening the ears, bill he heareth not; God's law and wonders he pretended
21 to hear, but did not. The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake ; or rather, The Jxird took delight in this people for his righteousness' sake i he will magnify the law, and make [it]
22 honourable.t 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 prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore; though they had been punished for their
23 former sins, 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 remember it, before furSi ther calamities come? Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to
the robbers, to the Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Romans? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned ? 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 reject the 25 Messiah. 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 worse judgments to the Jews in Christ's time, who should continue unreformed and incorrigible.
'As spiritual blessings are described bv the opposite images, this intimates his great srrath and the vengeance th.rt sh ill be brought upon the enemies of his gospel.
r This may be rendered. He gave them excellent latvi. and thereby made litem henwratii: or. Cud will magnify his riiuteaiMis ami Liu, by txtcutiat the thrctUimngi iif it.
I. T I VIE coming of Christ, and the publication of the gospel, JL should be matter of universal joy and praise. Let us trace the view here given us of him as the delight of God's soul; his servant, whom he will protect and own; who was furnished with the Spirit without measure; as coming on the kindest design, to rescue the gentiles 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 Hs gentiles; and declare his praise in this highly favoured land.
2. There is often the greatest ignorance and stupidity found among God's professing people, though they enjoy the best means of knowledge, and even boast of them. How many among christian* 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 some, 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 public; they will not hear for the time to come. Hearing may be some 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 consider that the Lord does it, and that he docs it because men are disobedient to his law? It is sad indeed when men suffer by public 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, lest we provoke God to bring upon us greater evils, and pour upon us the strength of battle; for who can stand in. his sight when once he is angry?
This chafitcr contains comfortable firomises that God would not forsake. Jurael as s body ; and he rei,ews his expostulation with them for their ingratitude and neglect of his service.
1 T)UT now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, -D and he that formed thee, O Israel, who made thee his own nation, and in the constitution of thy government showed thee /lorlicular favour, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have callS ed [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine. When-thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee; / will bring thee safe through the greatest dcv3 gers and difficulties. For I [am] the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy saviour: I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, / chose rather that Jigypt should be destroyed than thee, Ethiopia and Seba for thee ; turning SennacheriL's army against them, -i rather than let him ruin 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
5 people, other nations, especially the Chaldeans, for thy life. Fear not: For I [am] with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east,
6 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 ; these who are
7 dispersed in 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 him; yea,
8 I have made him. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes," and the deaf that have ears, that is, let the worshippers of idols
9 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 witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and
10 say, [It is] truth, that I am the only God. Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant 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 [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after
11 me. I, [even] I, [am] the Lord; and beside me [there is] no
12 saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, 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 before there mas any idolatry in Israel, so that no strange god can have done it for you : therefore
13 ye [are] my witnesses, saith the Lorb, 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 shall let it?
1 * Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent, that is, I will send, 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 ships, and their great traffic ; or, whose cry wilt be to their
15 ships to carry them away when the city shall be taken. I [am] the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.
16 Thus saith the Lord, which makcth a way in the sea, and a