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17 path in the mighty waters ; Which bringeth forth the chariot
and horse, the army and the power ; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise : they are extinct, they are quenched
as tow; referring to their deliverance from Egypt ; your enemies 18 shall be quite destroyed, and have no power remaining. Remember
ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old ;
the deliverance I am about to grant is so great, that it shall eclipse 19 the former and obscure the memory of them. Behold, I will do a
new thing ; now it shall spring forth suddenly ; shall ye not
know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, (and) rivers 20 in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dra
gons and the owls : because I give waters in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my cho
sen ; they shall have direction and defence where they leust expect. 21 ed it, as Israel had in going through the wilderness. This
people I have formed for myself; they shall, or they should, show 22 forth my praise. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacobi 23 but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. Thou hast not brought
me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings ; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to
serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense : I 24 have required nothing hard or unreasonable. Thou hast bought
me no sweet cane, or incense, with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices; the fat of which was offered to the Lord ; that is, thou hast neglected sacrifices, or brought only lean ones : but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, to undergo a sort of bondage, and brought a reproach upon me and
my service, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. Yet, in25 stead of utterly destroying thee, I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth
out thy transgressions, for mine own sake, and will not remem
ber thy sins ; but observe, it is for mine own sake that I will do 26 this. Put me in remembrance : let us plead together : declare
thou that thou mayest be justified ; if I have forgotten any of thy 27 good deeds, remind me of them, I will do thee full justice. Thy first
father, thy ancestors, hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches ; I have suffered the Chaldeans 10 profane, pollute, and destroy the priests and Levites, 10 overthrow your constitution in church and state, and make Israel a reproach and a proverb among the notions,
1. M OD's presence with his people is a reason against ans.
U ious fears. He often calls upon Israel not to fear ; and promises to be with them. He may see good to lead us, as he did Israel, through the water and fire, that is, great and heavy aAlictions, that are ready to overwhelm us, and in wich there is no hope of deliverance ; but he will be with us. Let us exercise faith in his promises, follow his leadings, and trust in him to deliver.
2. Our relation to God demands a suitable behaviour from us. He hath created us as men ; formed us as Britons, into an excel. lent constitution ; redeemed us as christians, and shown his love by giving his Son for our ransom. And why has he done all this for us, but that we might show forth his praise ? Let us then do it with our lips and by our lives; adore his glorious perfections ; proclaim them to others; and live as the formed and redeemed of the Lord. Let us often recollect our relation and obligations to him, that we may live answerable to them, and show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.
3. God's service is so reasonable and so easy, that we shall be shamefully criminal and inexcusable if we neglect it. He appeals to Israel concerning this. The incense and sacrifices he required, were no more than they could very well afford, considering their plenty and prosperity. Our religious rites are fewer and easier to be observed; therefore our conduct will be more reproachful if we neglect them. He does not make slaves of us by them, nor weary us with them; he is so good a master, his work is so reasonable, so easy, and so honourable, that if we neglect it and grow weary of
Let us therefore not be slothful in business, but fervent in spirit serving the Lord.
This chapter, beside promising redemption, the effusion of the Spirit,
and the success of the gospel, sets forth in a very sublime manner the supreme power and foreknowledge of the one true God; exposes the folly and absurdity of idolatry with admirable force and ela egance; and concludes with mentioning the future deliverer of the Jews expressly, by his name Cyrus, near two hundred years before he was born. See Ezra i. 2.
2 I have chosen : Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, (which] will help thee ; Fear not,
Jacob, my servant ; and thou, Jesurun, that is, Israel, Csignifying an upright and holy people, see Deut. xxxii. 15.) whom I 3 have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty,
and foods upon the dry ground : I will pour my spirit upon thy
seed to cure them of their idolatry, and my blessing upon thine 4 offspring ; all spiritual blessings under the gospel : And they
shall spring up (as) among the grass, as willows by the water
courses; as plants and herbs do in green and fruitfui mradows. 5 One shall say, I (am) the LORD'S ; and another shall call [him
self) by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe (with) his hand unto the LORD, and surname (himself] by the name of
Israel ; they shalf desire to be joined to God's people. While othon VOL. V.
ers wear the mark of the beast on their right hands, (Rev. sit. 16.) they shall mark their hands with the name of Jehovah ; an
allusion to a custom among soldiers, who sometimes received a mark 6 upon the hand, to signify to what commander they belonged. Thus
saith the LORD the king of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD
of hosts ; I sam] the first, and I sam] the last ; and beside me 7 (there is) no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare
it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient pecple? that is, Israel ; no other nation can trace their history so high : and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show
unto them; heathen idols cannot do this, therefore I am to be fear. 8 ed, trusted, and worshipped, and not they. Fear ye not, neither
be afraid : have not I told thee from that time, when ye became my freople, and have declared (it,) or foretold what should befal you? ye Care] even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, (there is) no God; I know not (any.]
They that make a graven image Care] all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they (are) their own witnesses against themselves ; yet they see not, nor know ; 80 that
they may be ashamed, as they have just cause to be of their folly in 10 worshipping such senseless things. Who hath formed a god, or
molten a graven image [that] is profitable for nothing? who
can be so foolish and brutish as to account ihat to be a god, which :it himself has made, and is good for nothing ? Behold, all his fellows
shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they (are) of men : let them all be gathered together, let them stand up ; (yet,] when
combined in the greatest multitude, they shall fear, (and] they 12 shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both work
eth in the coals, and fashioneth it with hamiers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms : yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth : he drinketh no water, and is faint ; the god he
is making cannct prevent his being rired with his work, or give 13 him meat or drink. The carpenter stretcheth out (his] rule ;
he marketh it out with a line ; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure
of a man, according to the beauty of a man, for he knows no 10+ 14 bler creature ; that it may remain in the house. He heweth
him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest ; useth some art to make it straight and bcautiful : he planteth an ash, which is of quicker growin, and the rain doth nourish (it ;] think
ing it will make the better god because it is of his own planting. 15 Then shall it be for a man to burn : for be will take thereof,
and warm himself ; yea, he kindleth [it,) and baketh bread ; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth [it ;] he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He buneth part thereof in the fire, with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied : yea, he warmeth [himself,] and saith,
Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire ; he puts the other parts - i. 10. the uscs which Providence intended, and enjoys the comfort of
17 them. And the residue thereof he maketh a god, [even) his
graven image : he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth [it, ]
and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me ; for thou (art] my 18 god. They have not known nor understood : for he hath shut
their eyes, that they cannot see ; [and] their hearts, that they
cannot understand ; they will not use their understanding, and 19 therefore God gives them up 10 their delusions. And none con
sidereth in his heart, neither [is there] knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burnt part of it in the fire ; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten (it :) and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination?
shall I fall down to the stock of a tree ? 80 destitute are they of 20 common sense. He feedeth on ashes ; on that which hath no nour
ishment, and which disappoints him : a deceived heart hath turned him aside, prevents him from reasoning and reflecting, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, (Is there] not a lie in my right hand ? he not only cannot deliver. his soul from this wickedness, but he cannot see that he is cheating himself and playing the
fool. 31 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel, when you come to live
among idolaters ; for thou art] my servant : I have formed
thee; thou (art] my servant : 0 Israel, thou shalt not be for22 gotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy trans
gressions, and as a cloud, thy sins; that is, as a cloud is dispersed
before the sun and the wind : return unto me ; for I have re23 deemed thee. Sing, () ye heavens ; for the LORD hath done
[it :) shout, ye lower parts of the earth : break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein : for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel ; let all nature be joyful for the restoration of Israel, and the spread of
that gospel which is designed to turn men from ihese vanilies, 24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee
from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all (things ;] that streicheth forth the heavens alone ; that spreadeth abroad the
earth by myself, therefore can save thee without any other god : 25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners
mad ; the magicians and astrologers of Babylon, who foretell the
lasting felicity of that city and empire ; that turneth wise (men] 26 backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish ; That confirm
eth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers ; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited ;
and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up • 27 the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be drt,
when he delivered Israel out of Egypt, and I will dry up thy
rivers; alluding to the expedient used by Cyrus in taking Babylor, 28 viz. diverting the river Euphrates from its channel : That saith
of Cyrus, near two hundred years before his birth, (He is) my shepherd, he shall gather my people together, ard lead thein ai a shepherd doth his flock, and shall perform all my pleasure ; though he may have different schemes, yet he shall fulfil ny designs, even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built ; and to the tem: ple, Thy foundation shall be laid.*
1. IT is a very pleasing thing to see young people giving themI I selves up to the Lord, and joining themselves to his church. What gracious promises are those in the third, fourth, and fifth verses ! It bodes well to the happiness of the rising generation, and the support of religion, when young persons take the vows of God upon them ; yield themselves to him, to be entirely and for ever his ; and unite themselves to christian churches to walk with them in all the ordinances of the Lord. It is a good security for their future regular behaviour, their usefulness and comfort. Let young persods then be engaged to give themselves to the Lord and to his church; and let all, especially parents, earnestly pray for the communications of the spirit, which are necessary to excite them to self dedication, and to promote their fruitfulness in every good work.
2. How prone are men to deceive themselves concerning the plainest truths and the most important concerns ! Did not scripture and common history confirm the truth of it, one would scarcely believe, that men could be so stupid and brutish as to worship idols : not that they supposed them to be gods, but they thought they were just resemblances of God, though they had no qualities to answer that character; or believed they had some divine power lodged in them; which seems to have been the notion of the vulgar ; so wretchedly stupid were men grown. And there are two many idolaters yet remaining among us ; who worship silver and gold, (for covetous. ness is idolatry,) or who make a god of their belly. They please themselves with the expectation of happiness in these things; but there is a lie in their right hand, and they find nothing solid to support their souls upon. And thus many are also deceived in those things in which they trust for salvation. We should therefore often put this question to ourselves, “ Am not I deceived ? is this nct a lie in my right hand ?' and should beg of God to search and try us, and see if there be any evil way in us.
3. The promises and hopes of pardon demand our warmest gratitude and joy. What a blessing is it to have our sins forgiven and blotted out ļ that cloud which separates between God and man, and intercepts the light of his countenance, dispersed! All nature is called upon to rejoice in the gospel promises of forgiveness ; they are the best tidings to guilty creatures : and if we have any reason to believe our sins and iniquities are forgiven, our souls should for erer adore the grace of God, who is ready to forgive, and of Jesus Corist, through whose blood we receive the remission.
. It would encourage the Israelites in Babylon when the heard of Cyrus's name, as they did long before his conquest of that empire. This remarkable prophecy has justly engaged the admiration of heathens, 28 well as christians, and gives at once a strong and sublime idea of God's omu.ipotence and foreknowledge.