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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 idola. ters ; appear on the Lord's side, and strengthen one anotler'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. Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help 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, will help us, Let us wait on the Lord then, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen our hearts.
4. Let us learn the vanity of idols, and keep ourselves from idolatry. See what ignorant, impotent things all 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, prova idence, and word, a thousand proofs that he is the true God, and the everlasting King. Let us therefore, dearly beloved, flee 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 dilia gently seek him.
This chapter refers to the appearance of Christ, the publication of his
gospel, and his judgment brought upon the Jews for their unbelief. The prophet makes a natural transition from the deliverance of the Jews oui of captivity, to the greater deliverance by the Messiah, by which all their idols should be destroyed ; and he here seems to drop 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 chapter was fulfilled in Christ : they are the words of the Father speaking to him.
I NEHOLD my servant, whom I uphold, protect, and make
D my peculiar care : mine elect, (in whom] my soul delight. eth ; I have put my spirit upon him : he shall bring forth judg
ment to the gentiles ; he shall make known to them my will and % 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 person8 do ; he shall not come in a pompous tumultuous manner, but instruct others and vindicate 3 himself with meekness. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he noi quench ; a proverbial exfiression for a gentle temper and conduct : more is implied than expressed; he will bear with, encourage, and help 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 he have set
judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law; he and his apostles shull go on resolutely and cheerfully, till his religion shall be established, and the gentiles shall receive it as hearlily as if they
had waited 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 cer6 lainly fulfil all his promises : I the LORD have called thee in
righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, that is, for the mediator of my covenant 10 the people, and for a light of the gentiles ; to en.
tighten their minds, sanctify their hearts, and lead them to everlast. 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 satan. 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 10 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 be 80 ; 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 rude and barbarous not
excepted, to rejoice, and praise God for the gospel. 10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, (and) his praise from the
end of the eartlı, ye that go down to the 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 them 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 prevail. ed in the world, and winked at those times of ignorance ; but now
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 long time holden my 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 upon their prey and swallow it up at once. I 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 thein in paths [that] they have not known : I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight; I will re.
move the ignorance, errors and firejudices of men. These things 17 will I do unto them, and not forsake them. They shall be turn
ed back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven im. ages, that say to the molten images, Ye (are) our gods ; idol. alers shall be disappointed and ashamed upon the spread of the gospel.
Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see ; an address to the gentiles to receive the gospel, 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; opening the
ears, but he heareth not ; God's law and wonders he pretended 21 ro hear, but did not. The LORD is well pleased for his righteous
ness' sake ; or rather, The Lord took delight in this people for his
righteousness' sake ; 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 can
tives 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 fur. 24 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 himn 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 by the opposite images, this intimates his great wrath and the vengeance that shll be brought upon the enemies of his gospel. ' This may be rendered, He gave them excellent laws, and thereby made them honour. able : or, God will maynify his righteousness and buw, by executing the iliresionings of iso
REFLECTIONS. 1. T IE coming of Christ, and the publication of the gospel,
I 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 ad. ministering 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. 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 chris, tians 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 er. rors, 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 seri, onsly 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 does 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 chapter contains comfortable promises that God would not forsake
Israel as a body ; and he renews his cxpostulation with them for their ingratitude and neglect of his service.
I DUT 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 pare
ticular favour, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have call2 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 fame kin.
dle upon thee ; I will bring thee safe through the greatest dan3 gers and difficulties. For I (am) the LORD thy God, the Holy
One of Israel, thy saviour : I gave Egypt (for) thy ransom, I chose rather that Egypt should be destroyed than thee, Ethiopia
and Seba for thee; turning Sennacherib's army against them, 4, 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 ; those 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, lo 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 wit.
nesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen ; that is, Christ with his apostles, and all the holy prophets : that ve may know and believe me, and understand that I ram1 he
before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Il 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 was any idolatry in
Israel, 80 that no strange god can have done it for you : therefore 13 ye (are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I (am) God. Yes,
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?
Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel ; For your sake I hate 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 will 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 maketh a way in the sea, and a