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9 that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it; they shall have no relish for their former delights.
10 The city of confusion, either Samaria, or Jerusalem, is broken down: every houss is shut up, that no man may come in; the
11 inhabitants are all gone, either dead, or in cafitivity. [There is] a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth
12 of the land is gone. In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction; the enemy may enter when they
IS please. When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, [there shall be] as the shaking of an olive tree, [and] m the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. Nevertheless a remnant shall be left, and these shall be serious and devout;
14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea, over which they
15 have fled. Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, in the greatest distress and the heaviest afflictions, [even] the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea.
16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs. the disfiersed fieafile of God keep ufi and profess their religion, [even] glory to the righteous God. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, wo unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers, or aposta'e people, have dealt very treacherously; I am so affected with the people's hypocrisy toivard God, and dishonesty toward one another,
17 that I am consumed away. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, lfl [are] upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come
to pass, [that] he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high ate open, and the foundations of the earth do shake; an allusion to fie d.luge; they run any where for safety, but still run into dan
19 ger. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dis
20 solved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage, or, as easily as a collage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, sin shall sink it; and it shall fall and not risr
21 again. And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord slull punish the host of the high ones [that are] on high, ar^d the kings of the earth, the Assyrian and Chaldean monarchs, who
22 have done so much mischief upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, [as] prisoners are gathered in the pit, an/1 shall be shut up in the priwn, and after many days shall they be visited; tliat is, the Jews, who had been as prisoners, shall be vis
23 iteel in mercy, released, and return to their own land. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; that is, the divine perftcliotis shall be so illustrated, that the brightness of ihrm shall obscure the sun and moon, as they do lesser lights; and before his ancients gloriously i his priests and ar? tient servants, who saw the desolation of their country, shall see alt the glory that shall be displayed in the destruction of these monarchies, m furnishing the wicked and sfiaring and restoring the righteous.
V^/ which makes a land tremble, empties it of its treasures and inhabitants, and brings confusion and desolation upon it. See what fcins in particular do this, namely, transgressing the law of nature, the rules of the creation; changing the ordinances of God, the institutions of revealed religion; inventing new ones, neglecting the old, and making no conscience of complying with them : this brings great guilt on particular persons, and' on nations, that is, not complying with the terms of the everlasting covenant. See then how necessary it is to observe the divine laws and ordinances if we desire to escape the curse.
2. See the difference between carnal and spiritual joys; the joy of sinners and saints. The joy of the sinner arises from music, wine, and gay company ; and when these are gone, his joys are gone; his mirth is over, and it ends in heaviness. But the joy of the saint arises from and centres in the blessed God, and the foundation of his comfort will not fail. He can rejoice in tnbulation; and when the judgments of God lay all around him waste, he can joy in the God of his salvation. It is easy to infer who are the happiest people, and in which number we should desire to be found.
3. See the duty of God's people in seasons of affliction, v. 15. Glorify ye the Lord in the firet, acknowledge his hand in affliction, reverence his power and justice. He who kindles the lire will moderate its violence ; will be with his servants when they pass through it ; and deliver them out of it: and on all those accounts they should glorify him, trust in him, and wait patiently for his salvation.
4^ The various changes in states and kingdoms illustrate the perfections, and display the glory of the Lord. It is he who doeth these things, v. 1. When nations arc made desolate, he commands it; when the high ones of the earth are humbled and punished, it is the King of kings who doeth it. When oppressors are broupht down, and God's servants delivered, it is a glorious display of his power and sovereignty, his hatred of oppression and injustice, his faithfulness to his promises, and kindness to his people. Let us then carefully observe his glories as thus displayed, and lift up our voices, and sing for the majesty of the Lord.
destroys a land. It is that CHAP. XXV.
The prophet in this chafiter praiseth God for his judgments, for his saving benefits, and for his -victorious salvation. This is afifilied by many to the victory of the Jews over the Assyrians; but it rather refers to the gosfiet church, and God's appearances for it.
1 LORD, thou [art] my God; I will exalt thee, I will V/ praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful [things; thy] counsels of old [are] faithfulness [and] truth; thou hast
2 punctually fulfilled what thou didst declare of old. For thou hast made of a city an heap; [of] a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; cities which were like palaces, to which strangers resorted out of curiosity, shall be utterly ruined; it shall never be built; which expresses the church's complete triumph
3 over its enemies, especially over the heathen. Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee; those that have been enemies to thee and thy cause, shall bring glory to thee: the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee; being humbled by these judgments, they shall be converted, or at least forced to acknowledge thy fiowtr.
A For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones [is] as a storm [against] the wall; when hot suns and burning winds are beating against
5 them, which seem as if they would destroy them. Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; [even] the heat with the shadow of a cloud; thou wilt destroy the enemies of thy church and gospel as easily as thou canst make a cloud to shelter men in the heat of the day: the branch, or rather, the rejoicing, of the terrible ones shall be brought low, and thy
fi people have quiet and refreshment. And in this mountain, that is, Zion, or the gospel church, shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people, to the Gentiles, a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined; of wine that has stood long on the lees, that is rich and strong, and throughly refined ,- that is, they shall feast on thy
7 promises, ordinances, and consolations. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations; he will remove their ig~
8 norance, darkness, and prejudices. He will, at the resurrection, swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people, all occasion of sorrow, and all the reproach thrown upon his fieoftle, shall he take awav from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken
9 [it.] And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this [is] our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this [is] the Lord ; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation; then the saints shall have the highest occasion f r
10 triumph. For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, it shull exert itself and defend his people, and Moab shall be trod
den down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill: Moab is here put figuratively für the enemies of the 11 church. And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he lhat swimmeth spreadeth forth [his hands] to swim; God can as easily and effectually remove them on every fide, as a man when swimming can his hand; and he shall bring <lown their pride together with the spoils of their hands; their goods which were unjustly gotten, or the trophies of their vieil tory shall be taken away. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, [and] bring to the ground, [even] to the dust. Л very emfihatical description; though a газ/te, si:uatfd on an eminence, and surrounded with firong walls, he shall not only take but demolish it; and that so entirety, that the fortification shall be beaten to dust, and it» eminence levelled with the ground; that is, the pride of hell shall be morti/ied, Satan's strong holds be cast down, and all the efforts made against the people of God /trove vain, and end in the ruin of their enemies.
O D is to be praised for all the great and wonderful things that he doeth; in bringing down proud cities, states, and empires ; confounding the devices of the enemies of his church; supporting his servants amidst dangers and persecutions ; and refreshing them with his favour and love, when they are ready to sink and faint. All are done according to the counsels of infinite wisdom, faithfulness, and righteousness, and it becomes us to admire them, as far beyond what any other being could do, and exalt him who is glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing ivotiders.
2. Let us particularly praise him for the riches of gospel grace. What a noble feast has he made for us gentiles! how refreshing and nourishing! infinitely beyond the delights of the sons of men. He hath made provision for removing our prejudices and ignorance, enlightening our understandings, regulating our spirits, and banishing all the sorrows of the heart. Let us value his word, his ordinances, and his comforts, as the choicest dainties; make light of all the reproaches we may suffer for Cod and conscience; and rejoice in hope of that day, when, as is expressed, Rev. xxi. 4. God t/ia/l wi/ie away all tears from our eyes, and death shall be swalliived ufi in victory. Once more,
3. See with what temper mercies and deliverances are to be received, v. 9. they are to be rejoiced in; and our joy is to terminate in God; we are to wait patiently for his appearances, and then they will be more seasonable and welcome. We are to give him the glory of the greatness and perfection of our salvation; and while we own it as God's work, and exalt him as our God, let us behave suitable to our relation to him, that we may at length partake of that everlasting salvation, which he will bestow upon all his people.
Vol. V. V
This chapter, like the foregoing, is a song of praise, and refers to gotpel times. It foretells l he success of God's cause in the hands of Christ over all opposition.
1 TN that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah, -L where the gosfxel shall be first planted; We have a strong city; salvation will [God] appoint [for] walls and bulwarks; he
2 will guard and defend his own interest. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which kccpeth the truth may enter in; tltat the fjious Jews and Gentiles may enter in,and all be incorporated
3 as the \.ity of God. Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee :] because he trusteth in
4 thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JOHO
5 VAH [is] everlasting strength : For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low ; he layeth it low, [even] to the ground ; he bringeth it [even] to the dust. As the church is represented as the city of God, so the socicty of its enemies is described as a city; he will overthrow the strongest cities of his enemies, as Sodom, the Egyptians, and Ba
6 bylon, were overthrown. The foot shall tread it down, [even] the feet of the poor, [and] the steps of the needy ; those who are most despised, that is, mtck mid humble christians, shall overcome
7 and triumph over all their enemies. The way of the just [is] uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just,
S Or rather make it plain and level. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, huve we waited for thee; patiently submitted to thy correction; the desire of [our] soul [is] to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee; we have expected deliverance from thee, and taken pains to keep up our devout affections to thee.
9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early ; early and late have our desires been to thee: for when thy judgments [are] in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness ; thy judgments are adapted to teach men righteousness ; all ought to learn
10 it, and some will. Let favour he showed to the wicked, [yet] will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness, amidst great religious advantages and good examples, will he deal
11 unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. Lord, [when] thy hand is lifted up, they will not see; will not own it, ?ior be subject to it, so as to comply with thy design: [but] they shall see, and be ashamed for [their] envy at the people, or for thy zeal toward thy people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them ; the fire ivilh winch thine enemies are consumed.
12 Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us, or, for us; and this is our encouragement.
13 () Lord our God, [other] lords beside thee, have had dominion over us: other princes and evil lusts: [but] by thee only will we make mention of thy name i by thy favour and assistance