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2. Those who frame wicked designs, are not likely to find satisfaction in them. Here is a beautiful description of the folly of sinners. They weave spiders' webs, and hatch vipers' eggs ; their schemes are disappointed, their wickedness discovered, their fraud revealed, their character and honour lost. Or, if they succeed, their spiders' webs will not cover them; there is no solid satisfaction to be had in them ; their ways are not ways of peace. Happy are they who are not walking in sinful ways, and have no connection or acquaintance with those that are !
3. Let us rejoice in the mighty power of God, which is able to overcome all opposition. If he puts on his armour, no chemy can stand before him. When the state of our country is so degenerate and melancholy, and our prospects dark, let us still hope in him. When enemies come in like a flood, he can raise up a standard against them, and bring them down at once. Be it a torrent of error, or vice, or misery, he can restrain it. Let the thought encourage us in our spiritual warfare ; and let us go forth in an humble dependence on the spirit of the Lord.
4. Amidst all our national alarms and fears, let us still rejoice in the security of the church. Whatever becomes of us and our country, that shall continue ; and this is a great comfort to a pious mind. There is a day coming when the poor dispersed, despised, and persecuted Jews shall be converted and restored, and the word and spirit of God shall be given to them, and continue with them for ever. Let us rejoice that we have this word and spirit, and be careful to improve the asăistance of both. Let us pray and hope that they may be continued to our seed, and to our seed's seed. But we should remember, that if we desire Christ should be our Redeemer, we musi turn from transgression ; for he was sent to bless us by turning us from our iniquities; without that, we shall perish in them.
This chapter is a prophecy of the glorious state of the gospel church,
especially in the latter day, when Jews and Gentiles shall be converted.
| A RISE, from obscurity, shine ; for thy light is come, and
11 the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee; shine forth thy2 self, and enlighten others. For, behold, the darkness shall cover
the earth, and gross darkness the people ; the Gentiles shall be grossly ignorant, and the Jews blinded by the strongest prejudices : but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen 3 upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings
to the brightness of thy rising ; the conversion of the Jews shall 4 be a means of spreading christianity among the Gentiles. Lift up
thine eyes round about, and see : all they gather themselves together, they come to thee : thy sons shall come from far, and
thy daughters shall be nursed at [thy) side ; there shall be nu. 5 merous cunverts added to the christian church. Then thou shalt
see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarg. ed; thou shalı feel a tumult of conflicting passions ;* because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, thy converts shall come from beyond the sea, the forces of the Gentiles shall
come unto thee, their zeal shall be employed to promote the cause 6 of Christ,t The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the drome
daries of Midian and Ephah ; all they from Sheba shall come : they shall bring gold and incense ; and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD ; the gentiles becoming members of the church, shall consecrate themselves and all they have to the service of Christ and his church, and supply thee according to their several abilities. 7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the
rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee : they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, the tribute of praise shall be ac
ceptable to me, and I will glorify the house of my glory, make 8 my church giorious by this access of the gentiles to it. Who Care]
these [that] fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows, 9 who come in crouds with great eagerness and speed ? Surely the
isles shall wait for me, be ready to receive the gospel, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God,
and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. 10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their
kings shall minister unto thee; the kings of the heathens shall become christians, and bring their wealth to the church : for in my
wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. 11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually ; they shall not
be shut day nor night : that (men) may bring unto thee the forces of the gentiles, and [that] their kings (may be] brought ;
intimuting the peace and security of the church, and the vast ac12 cession of converts 10 il. For the nation and kingdom that will
not serve thee shall perish; yea (those] nations shall be utterly 13 wasted. The glory of Lebanon, famous for its cedars, shall come
unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious ; figurative expressions, intimating that the church shall be adorned and perfected by the gifts and graces of i18
members, their different ralen!s and abilities ; yel, in all its spilen. 14 dor, it will be but God's footstool. The sons also of them that
allicted thee, shall come bending unto thee ; and all they that despised thee shall bow themsclves down at the soles of thy fuet; the sorts of persecutors shall become prosciyles ; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
• By Lawth translates it, Then shalt thou fear, and overflowu with joy, and thy heart : 1.3.2 be d and dilted.
+ These figures are taken from the Jewish worship, and from multitudes coming to bring thuir surifice and their weaith co jerosaien, by sea and land.
15 Whereas thou hast been sorsaken and hated, so that no inan
went through (thee,] I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations ; the Jews shall have some peculiar
honour showed them by those who had persecuted or despised them. 16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck
the breast of kings ; and thou shalt know that I the LORD [am} thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob ; I will put into the hearts of princes such a care for my church, tha they shall contribute to its welfare as readily and as tenderly as a
mother suckles her child ; that is, not from political designs, but 17 from a cordial affection. For brass I will bring gold, and for
iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron ; it shall be superior even to Solomon's temple : I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness, that is, rulers and governors shall be peaceable and mild, just and righteous ; or,
the equity and love with which all the affairs of the church are car. 18 ried on, shall influence their conduct in civil relations. Violence
shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise ; no enemy shall waste you, there shall be no civil dissensions ; but thou shalt see thyself surrounded with salvation,
as with walls, and give thy gates such names in memory of mercies 19 received, as shall remind thee of praising God for them. The sun
shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee ; the light of the sun and moon shall be nothing, compared with the light of God's countenance, and the joy of his salvation : but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory ; thy character and graces shall shine, and bear a resemblance of his lustre ; or, ,
thy relation to him, and interest in him, will be thy greatest honour. 20 Thy sun, that is, the presence of God with thee, shall no more go
down ; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself : for the LORD
shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning 21 shall be ended.* Thy people also (shall be] all righteous : ther
shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of iny planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified; they shall be a more
pure and holy society than ever before, and shall ascribe all to Goul; 22 and he shall be glorified in them. A little ope shall become &
thousand, and a small one a strong nation : I the LORD will hasten it in his time ; let not my people be discouraged, because they are weak and feeble; the Lord will support and shroud his gospel, till all these great things are accomplished.
1. THE general lesson here taught, is to adore God for his gos
I pel, and to encourage our hopes and prayers for its support and spread. Particularly let us thank him that it has been estal
• Some understand this of tree heavenly world, to wbich these phrases are applied in the bouk of Revelatious.
lished in the earth ; that so many kings are become christians ; that this land, once covered with gross darkness, is made light. Still it shall spread, and have a more glorious triumph, as all those figures, taken from earthly glory and Jewish worship, show. Let us long for that day ; and in the mean time shine ourselves in all christian graces ; and thus show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
2. When men become sincere christians, they will readily consecrate their substance to the Lord. It is intiinated in several parts of this chapter, that kings and great men, upon embracing the gospel, shall give their wealth to the church, that is, devote it to acts of piety and charity. True religion enlarges the heart, subdues a narrow, selfish spirit ; and where men find themselves backward to acts of charity, especially to the souls of men and the support of the gospel, they have great reason to fear that they are yet strangers 16 the grace of God.
3. Those who have a sense of the favour of God, and enjoy the tokens of his presence, will be but little concerned about worldly things. They can be content and thankful without many of those things in which the men of this world place their happiness. The light of the sun and moon are as nothing to them, compared with the presence and love of God; they can walk in his light, and be happy in his love, when all is dark and gloomy around them : and will be completely happy when the sun and moon are no more.
4. God will do every thing great and good for his people in the most convenient season. They are apt to be discouraged, to doubt, and fear ; but whatever difficulties are in the way of the church's continuance, increase and prosperity, and the happiness of particular souls, God the Lord will effect it ; he will do it in his time, which is always the best. Therefore let us trust in him ; though the salvation tarry, wait for it, for at length it will come, and will not torry. The Lord is a God of judgment ; and blessed are all they that wait for him.
CHAP. LXI, LXII. The best interpreter of scripture, that is, Chrisi, applies the former part of this chapter to himself, Luke xiv. 18, 21, saying, “ This
day is this scripture fulfilled in your cars.' I THE Spirit of the Lord God [is] upon me ; because the
1 LORD hath anointed me, hath set me apart to the office, by the communications of his spirit, (as kings and priests are by being anointed) to preach good tidings unto the meek, to the poor in spirit ; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, those who are wounded under a sense of guilt, to proclaiin liberty to the captives of sin, salan, and death, and the opening of the prison, . 2 or, perfect liberty, to (them that are] bound ; To proclaim the
acceptable year of the LORD ; the year of jubilee, which was the Lord's appointment, and very acceptable to the poor, as debis were then cancelled, slaves released, and mortgaged estates restored; (Lev. xxv. 9.) and the day of vengeance of our God, of his
righteous judgments on the enemies of his gospel ; to comfort all 3 that mourn ; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion joy and gladness, to give unto them beauty, or, a beautiful crown, for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ;* that they might be called trees of right. eousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified : the end of all is to promote their righteousness and God's glory. The nert verses refer to the return of the Jews to their own land
in the latler day, and their prosperity in it. 4. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the
former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the 5 desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand
and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien (shall be your
ploughmen and your vine dressers ; the gentiles shall love and 6 be ready to serve you : But ye shall be named the Priests of the
LORD : (men) shall call you the Ministers of our God ; ye shall become a kingdom of priests, as formerly, and be holy unto the Lord : ye shall eat the riches of the gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves ; ye shull parlake of their plenty, and 7 become instruments of their conversion. For your shame (ye
shall have) double, instead of shame ye shall have double glory ;. and (for) confusion they shall rejoice in their portion : therefore in their land they shall possess the double : everlasting joy shall be unto them; as the land will long have lain barren, he will
repay them by extraordinary fruitfulness, and uninterrupted 8 peace and prosperity. For I the Lord love judgment, I hate
robbery for burnt offering ; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them; the reason why I rejected them was their wickedness, which was as hateful to me, as if a man should steal a beast, and then come and
offer it ; but now they shall serve me in spirit and truth, and be y restored to my covenant. And their seed shall be known among the gentiles, and their offspring among the people ; they and Their descendants shall become illustrious and remarkable, and be known as God's ancient freople, to whom the promises originally be. Innged : all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they [are) the seed (which] the LORD hath blessed ; such piety shall appear in them, that all shall say they are worthy favourites of the
Lord. The church is then represented as breaking out into a song 10 of praise. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joy.
ful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of sal. vation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, with
. Here is a reference to the manner of mourning among the Jews; they put on sackcloth. or coarse garm Ds, and spread dust or ashes on their heads, instead of oil, (see 2 Sum. xiv. 2.) On the contrary, splendid clorhi..g and ointment poured on the head were sigus of jcy. Vol. V.