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16 magistrates; And Upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures ; ufion their trading shifts, and the curiosities
IT they imported. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord
18 alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall ut
19 terly abolish. And they, the idolatrous Israelites, shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth ; when he causes great commotions and
20 troubles in the land. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made [each one] for hirnielf to worship, to the moles and to the bats; he shall bury thrin under ground, or hide them in dark corners, being ashamed of
21 them as they were unable to helfi him; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged recks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to
22 shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath [is] in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? A general caution to cease from man ; or fierhafis it refers to Hezekiah, in whose grave their firosfierity, and almost all their religion too, was buried. T/iis verse should properly have began the next chapter.
1. T TO W thankfully should we improve the light and ad.
XI vantages afforded us by the gospel! This prophecy has been accomplished, Christianity has been preached, established, and secured against oppression. This nation hath flowed to it: we were once darkness, but now walk in the light of the Lord. What a delightful idea of religion! We here see the end of ordinances, and what should be our view in attending upon them. We should come to learn in order to practise, to help each other forward, excite one another to a christian behaviour, and provoke one another to love and to good works.
2. See how easily God can humble the proud by his judgments, and make them sick of what they are most fond of. Pride is the reigning'sin in the human heart; against this the judgments of God are peculiarly levelled, and when they come they will appear terrible to those that defied them. The dearest lusts will be looked upon with abhorrence, and the most precious idols rejected with disdain. Gold or silver unjustly gotten, or covetously hoarded, will be grievous to the possessor, and the pleasant pictures of which men are fond will be thrown away with contempt; yea, the nice and delicate will be glad to run into the caves of the earth, when God brings an enemy into the land. But especially at the great day, when the kings of the earth and the rich men shall hide themselves in dens and caves, and say unto the rocks, Fait on us, ami hide vs from the face of him that litteth on the throne, and fHm the wrath •f the Lamb.
3. The consideration of men's frailty and mortality should moderate our dependence upon them and affection to them. The greatest and proudest are not secure ; when judgments come, princes and kings will die like other men. Let us consider this, as a motive to cease from them, and not unreasonably to fear their power or court their favour. We should not place too much confidence in any men, even the wisest and best, for they are dying creatures; and the higher our expectations are raised, the greater will be our.disappointm.ent. Happy is the man that hath the God of Jacob for lis hcl/i, who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever.
CHAP. III. CHAP. IV. v. 1.
This chapter contains a prophecy of the calamities that should come upon the Jews in the declension of their state ; particularly of their captivity. There is a reference in this to the former chapter.
1 T7*OR, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away X? from Jerusalem and from Judah, amidst the confusion that shall follow, and especially at the siegt of Jerusalem, the stay and the
9 staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, mnnv of such shall be carried
3 away in the captivity. The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the clo
4 quest orator. And I will give children [to be] their princes, and o babes, persons of no underlsanding or capacity, shall rule
6 over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour : the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable; seditious people shall insult those that are in power.
6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, [saying,] Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and [let] this ruin [be] under thy hand; the government and magistracy shall go a begging, any body that shall have but a good coat, shall be urged to be a ruler, and to undertake the prevention
7 of th' ruin coming upon them. In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer ; for in my house [is] neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people; I have neither ability for, nor will I expose myself to the danger of the office.
3 For Jerusalem is mined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings [are] against the Lord, to provoke the
9 eyes of his glory. The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodorr., that is, in the most impudent manner, they hide [it] not. Wo unto their soul ! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
10 Say ye to the righteous, that [it shall be] well [with him :]
11 for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Wo unto the wicked! [it shall be] ill [with him:] for the reward of his hands shell be given him, a command to the firiesls and Levitts to say thus in their sermons to the fieofile.
12 [As for] my people, children [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them ; persons of weak understanding and effeminate spirits: O my people, they which lead thee, cause
13 [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people, the pour and
14 the oppressed. The Lord will enter into judgment with the . ancients of his people, and the princes thereof, for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor [is] in your houses*.'
15 What mean ye [that] ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor, treat them in the most cruel and inhuman manner? saith the Lord Cod of hosts.
16 Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing [as] they go, and making a tinkling with,
17 their feet :• Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts; they shall be reduced to rags that cannot cover their nakedness, or be led captive naked, according to
18 the cruel usage of eastern countries. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of [their] tinkling ornaments [about their feet,] and [their] cauls, and [their] round tires like the moon,
19 20 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tab
21 22 lets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples,
23 and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the
24 hoods, and the veils. And it shall come to pass, [that] instead of sweet smell there shall be stink ; and instead of a girdle a rent ; and instead of well set hair baldness: and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth ; [and] burning instead of beauty ; they shall be sun burnt in consequence of being made slaves.\
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn, because there are no passengers to go through them: and she [being] desolate shall sit upon the ground, as mourners used to do.
1 Chap. IV. And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, Wc will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach; notwithstanding the natural reserve of the sex, they shall solicit to be married, and be content to maintain themselves. This must have been peculiarly grating to ladies of so much delicacy, luxury, and pride.
• This refers to thr ornaments worn about their ancles, which are still used by t'-e extern Indies: and it is reckoned a mark of polite and delicate education to know how to m.ka ■ noiie with them, bv striking one foot against the other.
t See Bp. Lowth's Isaiah for a more inst and beautiful translation of these particulars.
Vol..v. 1 Q
1. /^*VBSER\rE from hence, how much all our national comV^/ forts and blessings depend upon Cod. Bread and water, the lives of princes, statesmen, judges, officers, and all their skill, courage, wisdom, and eloquence; he can easily take away any, or all of these, by death, or captivity ; or disable them from being of any further service to the public. He can destroy union among the people, and give them up to faction or sedition. Let this teach us not to be confident of the continuance of any of our public blessings. Ihe Lord givet/i, and the Lard takeih away ¡ blcsned be the name of the Lord.
2. National judgments are different in their consequences upon different persons, according as their characters are. It shall be well with the righteous, at all adventures. God command« his prophets to tell them so; they have abundant comfort amidst all 'their fears and alarms. They have the joyful testimony of conscience, and the hope of a glorious reward hereafter. But it shall be ill with the wicked; judgments peculiarly heavy shall fall upon them: or, however prosperous they may be here, the reward of their hands shall hereafter be given them. They need nothing else to make them thoroughly miserable than to be left to the consequences of their own folly.
3. We are here taught, that cruelty to the poor is peculiarly displeasing to God, and that he will severely avenge it. There are many oppressive landlords, creditors, and masters, who abuse those that are under their power. Many who enrich themselves by the spoils of their neighbours; who tyrannize over workmen, and refuse them a just allowance for their labour ; but God will stand u/i and jilead for such as. are thus oppressed: and haughty oppressive people will do well to consider in time what they will do vihen God rises ufit and when he judges what they isiü answer.
4. Let the daughters of Britain learn how odious pride, luxury, and extravagance of dress arc to God, and how they increase the guilt of a nation. It is very likely that the daughters of Zion thought Isaiah a very rude and unpolite man in reproving them for their dress; but he had good authority for so doing, the Lord laith, And His being so particular is a plain intimation how nice und curious they were about their dress, how much time and money they spent upon it, which might have been better employed ; how much they delighted in finery, so that it engrossed their thoughts and conversation. Ministers therefore, having so good an authority, should caution young women against this vice ; which shows a proud, weak mind, generally defeats the very end proposed by it, offends God, and contributes to national judgments. They should be as clean and neat as possible ; but not nice and curious. They sl*>uld not waste their precious moments in following every fantastic fashion, lest their delicacy be followed by servitude, poverty, nakedness, and disgrace. Those will be worse able to bear any on« of these, who have been devoted to the follies of dress, expected much waiting on, and have been averse to any thing like labour: hear the words of the apostle, 1 Peter iii. 3, 4. Whose adornmg let it not be that of plaiting the hair, but a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price.
CHAP. IV. 2, to the end. CHAP. V. 1—8.
After the profihecy of the calamities of Israel, Isaiah proceeds to foretell the glory of the Messiah's kingdom.
2 TN that day shall the branch of theLoHD, the Messiah, he JL beautiful and glorious in the sight of God and all good men, smd the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel, who shall escape the destruction
3 before mentioned, and be converted by the gosfiel. And it shall comedo pass, [that he that is] left in Zion, and [he that] remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, that is, the frst converts to christianity shall be eminently so, [even] every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem, or, in the Lamb's book
4 of life; an allusion to the Jewish. registers of families: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem, their murders and. oppressions, especially slaying the prophets and the Messiah, from the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning; by his holy spirit producing purity and zeal among them.
5 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by clay, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory [shall be] a defence; when he shall hxi'e thus purged them, he will manifest his power in protecting their families and places of worship. Here is nothing said about the temple, but an allusion to the pillar of cloud, whereby God intimates that he would preserve
% and protect them in a glorious manner. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a pl'ice of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain; an allusion to the tents which travellers carried with them in the east, which they used when thry passed over the deserts; aiid if intimates that God would be their defence in all extremities. The prophet then describes the ingratitude and unfruitfulness of the Jews, as a reason why God sent his judgments upon them. He begins with representing in a beautiful parable, God's tender care of his people, and their unworthy returns to his goodness.
1 Chap. V. Now will I sing to my well beloved, that is, to Christ, to whom the care of the Jewish church was committed^ and which is often represented as a vineyard, a song of my beloved touching his vineyard: My well beloved hath a vineyard in a
2 very fruitful lull: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones