Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live; 17 by thee I Mall still be supported. Behold, for peace I had

great bitterness : but thou hast in love to my soul (de : livered it) from the pit of corruption : for thou haft caft all my fins behind thy back; thou hast forgiven my fins

which brought this distemper upon mne, and haft shown thy 18 favour to me by thus recovering me. For the grave can

not praise thee, death can (not] celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth; they cannot glorify thee on earth and serve mankind, or ex

pečt to see thy promises to thy church and people fulfilled. 19. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I [do]

this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth; they that have been recovered shall praise thee

themfelves, and relate thy goodness to their children, to en20 courage them to trust in thee. The LORD was ready] to

fave me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD; not only this song, but other devout compositions;

not merely in one visit paid to the fan£tuary, but as long as 21 my recovered life shall continue. For Isaiah had faid, Let

them take a lump of figs, and lay [it] for a plaister 22 upon the boil, and he shall recover. Hezekiah also had

said, What [is] the fign, that I shall go up to the houfe of the LORD?that was the first place he designed to visit, and therefore he put the question with particular reference to it.

REFLECTIONS. 1. T HIS chapter suggests many useful instructions to

- the fick and infirm; and such any of us may very soon be. We should therefore set our houses in order, make our wills, fettle our affairs, and contrive for the peace of survivors. Especially should we set our souls in order ; renew the exercise of repentance and faith, and make our peace with God, with men, and our own consciences. Let the fick pray, and humble themselves; acknowledge the hand of God in the visitation, and seek help from him; but they should not neglect the assistance of physicians and medicines, left they tempt the Lord their God. Tho' Hezekiah's recovery was in a great measure miraculous, yet natural means were used, to teach us the use of them. Let us not think our fears of death signs of our being in a sin. ful state, for even Hezekiah wept fore at its approach, tho' he could appeal to God that he had walked before him in truth,.

hand A Perhaps there might have a natural virtue to ripen the im. posthume, but could not heal it so soon without extraordinary interpofition,

and with a perfeet heart, and had done that which was good in · his fight.

2. Those who have been recovered from fickness may see what should be their temper and conduct. It is proper to recollect, and keep written memorials of their danger and deliverance; of the workings of their thoughts and affections; their views of God, themselves, and another world; and of their resolutions and vows. Let them be very thankful for their escapes from death; remembering, that it was the Lord that healed them, that recovered them from the pit of corruption, when just finking into it; they should express their thankfulness in their addresses to God, and in their conversation with others, for their encouragement. It should be our care to walk humbly with God; to proceed with caution and watchfulness in the way of duty; to be zealous for his honour, and diligent and serious in our attendance upon his ordinances. Hezekiah's love to God's house showed itself very remarkably during his sickness; he lamented his being deprived of attendance there, and resolved to frequent it constantly while he lived. Thus should we improve our recoveries from fickness, or our continued health ; remembering, that life is short, and that there is no knowledge, wisdom, or device, in the grave, whither we are all going.

CHA P. XXXIX.'
I A T that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Bala-
En dan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a prefent
to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been fick,
U 2

and For the illustration and improvement of this chapter, see Kings XX. 12-19.

2 and was recovered. And Hezekiah was glad of them,

and showed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures : there was nothing in his house,

nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah showed them not. 3 Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and

said unto him, What laid these men and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah faid, They are

come from a far country unto me, seven) from Babylon, -4 Then said he, What have they seen in thine house?

And Hezekiah answered, All that [is] in mine house

have they feen: there is nothing among my treasures 5 that I have not showed them. Then said Ifaiah to - 6 Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord of hosts : Be.

hold, the days come, that all that sis) in thine house,

and [that] which thy fathers have laid up in store until · this day, Ihall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be 7 left, faith the Lord. And of thy fons that Thall issue

from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away;

and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of 8 Babylon. Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good [is]

the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days,

CHA P. XL. We now come to the last part of Isaiah's prophecy, which is by · much the most sublime and important. It contains many com

fortable predictions of the restoration of the jews from captivity, of the blessings of the gospel, and the conversion of the jews in the latter days. But in this chapter, and in many other places, these events are so intermingled, that, tho' the general sense is plain, it is hard to determine to which event the pro

phet refers. -1 M OMFORT ye, comfort ye my people, faith :: your God; that is, to the prophets during the cap2 tivity, and to all christian ministers in future ages. Speak

ye

ye comfortably, to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardone ed: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her fins; nat double to what she deserved, but double in proportion to God's severity in correcting other finful, nations, because she was more eminently favoured. It may have a reference to the law of paying double damages, Exod. xxii. 4. Immediately a harbinger is introduced, giving orders, as was usual in the marçh of eastern generals, to remove every obstacle, and prepare the way for their return into their own

land. 3. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Pre

pare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God; probably referring to Cyrus's proclamation of deliverance to the jews; or rather to the

gospel salvation, and it is so applied to John the Baptist, 4 Matt. iii. 3. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain; all

difficulties fall vanish; men's pride and prejudices shall be 5 removed : And the glory of the LORD, his glorious power

and goodness, shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see ..[it] together : for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken 6 [it.] The voice said to the prophet, Cry, or proclaim

aloud. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh [is]

grass, and all the goodliness thereof (is) as the flower 7 of the field : The grass withereth, the flower fadeth,

: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: furely 8 the people (is) grass. The grass withereth, the flower

fadeth : but the word of our God shall stand for ever; there is no dependance to be laid on the wisdom, power, and promises of men, but the promises of God are faithful, and nothing shall prevent the execution of them. So Peter applies

the words in his first epiftle, chap. i. 23-25. 9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, or, thou that

tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, or, Othou that tellest good tidings to Jerufalem, lift up thy

voice with strength; proclaim aloud on the mountains, from . whence thou canst best be heard; lift [it] up, be not afraid,

U

3

for

. for God will make his word good; say unto the cities of 10 Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the LORD God will

come with strong (hand,] or, against the strong, and his arm shall rule for him, he will complete your deliverance, and establish the Mesiah's kingdom, without human afili.

ance : behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work, 11 or, recompense for his work, before him. He, that is, the

Merah, fhall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them,] that is, the lame and fick, in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young.

Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance ? To confirm your faith in these promises, observe the exa&t order in which the earth is formed; the mountains are weighed, the waters and the dust are measured; so that there is not a

drop too much, nor a grain fuperfluous or deficient; and say, 13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord when he made

the world, or (being] his counsellor hath taught him to 14 govern it? With whom took he counsel, and (who] in

Itructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment,

and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way 15 of understanding ? Behold, the nations (are] as a drop

of a bucket, as inconsiderable, when compared with the ocean, as a drop of water, and are counted as the small

dust of the balance; lo small, when compared with the .. whole earth, as not to affe&t the nicest scales ; behold, he

taketh up the isles as a very little thing; the isles, tho' Jo Spacious, strong, and deep rooted, are in his hand what Q

a light thing is in ours, which we take up, turn, and manage 16 as we please. And, if we would study to present an oblation

answerable to his greatness, Lebanon [is] not sufficient to

burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offer17 ing. All nations, if they were assembled together to attend

this great facrifice, before him (are] as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing and vanity.

To caution the jews against the idolatry of the Chaldeans, 18 he proceeds, To whom then will ye liken God? or

what

« AnteriorContinuar »