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of nature beautiful; there hall be trees both to belter and
refresh them; intimating that there hould be a glorious al. 20 teration in their circumstances. That they may see, and
know, and confider, and understand together, that they may help one another to understand the divine dispensations, and that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the
Holy One of Israel hath created it; that God alone hath 21 done it, and no other. Produce your cause, faith the
LORD; bring forth your strong (reasons, ), faith the
King of Jacob; challenging idolaters and their gods to de22 clare and do what he had done. Let them bring (them)
forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they [be,] that we may confider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come; let them foretel future events, and ina formi us what prophecies they have delivered that have been accomplished. Show the things that are to come here. after, that we may know that ye (are] gods: yea, de good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and be
hold [it] together, that we may be struck with astonish24 ment at such skill, and be led to worship you. Behold, ye
[are] of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomi
nation (is he that) chooseth you; that is, he that wor25 Shippeth you. I have raised up one] from the north,
and he shall come : from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name, or proclaim my name :' and he shall
come upon princes as (upon] morter, and as the pot. 26 ter treadeth clay. Who hath declared from the begin
ning, as I do, two hundred years before the event, that Cyrus fall conquer fome nations and deliver others, that we may know ? and beforetime, that we may fay, (He is] righteous, in declaring truth and fulfilling his promises, and
thus hath supported his claim to divinity: yea, [there is] : none that showeth, yea, [there is ) none that declareth, 37 yea, (there, is) none that heareth your words. The
first (thall fay] to Zion, Behold, behold them; I am the .: forft who have said unto Zion, Behold thy deliverers, in · Cyrus and his army: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings, which none of their gods can 28 give. For I beheld, and [there was] no man; even
that * Cyrus by his father was from Persia, which lay east of BabyJon, and from Media by his mother, which lay north.
among them, and [there was) no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word. Behold, they (are] all vanity; their works [are] nothing: their molten images (are] wind and confusion; they are ige norant and impotent gods, that can neither do any thing, nor foretel what shall be done.
VV bear a fair trial, and need not fear it. This chapter is a challenge to idolaters to produce proofs of the divinity of the gods they worshipped, or disprove that of JEHOVAH. The servants of God may give the same chal, lenge to the enemies of revelation, either to show it to be false, or produce any other religion of equal evidence and usefulness; and good men may challenge the workers of iniquity to produce their strongest reasons in favour of vice, assured that they will carry their own confutation with them. Let us never be afraid to have our religious principles and practices fairly examined; for if they are true and right, they will gain honour by the trial. Let us be ready to give to every one that asketh, a reason of the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear.
2. Let us learn to stir up one another to oppose prevail. ing vices, and to engage the favour of God. We fee how the nations joined to oppose the growing reputation and success of Cyrus, and encouraged one another to make new gods to take their part; and shall we not, with egual zeal, oppose the kingdom of fatan, and the progress of his arts of mischief and destruction? Shall we not encourage each other to act vigorously for the defence and honour of God and religion, and stir up one another to pray that God would support and advance his own cause? Let us learn wisdom from these idolaters; appear on the Lord's fide, and strengthen one another's hands in God.
3. Amidst all the difficulties and troubles of life, let us take encouragement from God's promises; especially that
in v. 10. Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee. We assuredly know, that it has afforded support and comfort to many souls, in the most afflicted circumstances, and even in dying moments. What beautiful and tender language is it! the language of an indulgent parent teaching a little child to go. Whoever forsakes us, God will be with us; whatever difficulties surround us, he will strengthen us; whatever enemies attack us, he will help us; when faint, trembling, and ready to sink, he will uphold us with the right hand of his righteousness. Tho'we are weak as worms, and, like them, despised, yet our redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, will help us. Let us wait on the Lord then, be of good courage, and he mall strengthen our hearts.
4. Let us learn the vanity of idols, and keep ourselves from idolatry. See what ignorant, impotent things all gods are, but Jehovah. Let us reverence him who revealeth fe. crets, foretelleth things to come, does good and permits evil, and gives us in his works, providence, and word, a thousand proofs that he is the true God, and the everlasting King. Let us therefore, dearly beloved, flee from idolatry; worship the Lord our God with a veneration and affection suited to his greatness, power, and knowledge; and make him our hope and our confidence; for he is the rewarder of all them that diligently seek him.
CH A P. XLII. This chapteri refers to the appearance of Christ, the publication of
his gospel, and his judgment brought upon the jews for their unbelief. The prophet makes a natural transition from the deliverance of the jews out of captivity, to the greater delivera ánce by the Meffiah, by which all their idols bould be destroyed; and he here seems to drop the veil, and bring the Meffiah into full view, without type or allegory. St. Matthew expressly Thall not
tells us, chap. xii. 18-21. that the beginning of this chapter * was fulfilled in Christ: they are the words of the Father Speaking to him. ii
. i .
all make truth and ning forth judgments, and
I DEHOLD my servant, whom I uphold, protect, and
D make my peculiar care: mine elect, (in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the gentiles; he shah make
known to them my will and law, which hitherto had been 2 appropriated to the jews. He shall not cry, nor lift up,
nor cause his voice to be heard in the street, as vain. glorious and contentious per fons do; he ball not come in a
pompous, tumultuous manner, but inftru&t others and vižidi3 cate himself with meekness. A bruised reed shall he not
break, and the smoaking flax shall he not quench; a proverbial expresion for a gentle temper and conduet; more is implied than expressed; he will bear with, encourage, and
help the weakest: he shall bring forth judgment unto 4 truth; he ball make truth and righteousness victorious. He
Thall noć fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judg. ment in the earth ; and the isles shall wait for his law; he and his apostles shall go on resolutely and cheerfully, till his religion shall be established, and the gentiles Mall receive
it as heartily as if they had waited for it. 5 Thus faith God the LORD, he that created the hea.
vens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that
walk therein, and who therefore can certainly fulfil all his 6 promises: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness,
and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, that is, for the mediator of my covenant to the people, and for a light of the gen
tiles; to enlighten their minds, fan&tify their hearts, and 7 lead them to everlasting life ; To open the blind eyes, to
bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them
that fit in darkness out of the prison house; to deliver ! 8 the captives of fin and satan. I sam] the Lord; that
[is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images; I will not suffer
idolatry any longer to prevail, but abolish it by the gospel. 9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new
things do I declare; the former prophecies are fulfilled, and therefore these shall be for before they spring forth I tell
you of them, that they may be believed and expeated. Therz - follows a poetical address to all the inhabitants of the world,
the most rude and barbarous not excepted, to rejoice, and · praise God for the gospel.
Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and] his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea,
and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants ji thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift ::up (their voice,] the villages [that] Kedar doth in
habit: let the inhabitants of the rock fing, let them 12 thout from the top of the mountains. Let them give
glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the
islands. 13. The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall , : ftir up jealousy like a man of war; he was silent while
idolatry prevailed in the world, and winked at those times of ignorance; but now he shall cry, yea, roar like a lion, or
as soldiers do when beginning a battle; and he shall entirely 14. prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden
my peace; I have been still, [and] refrained myself: .. (now) will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy
and devour at once, like wild beasts, which come roaring 15 upon their prey and swallow it up at once. I will make
waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; i and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the 16 pools." And I will bring the blind by a way (that) they
knew not; I will lead them in paths (that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight; I will remove the ignorance,
errors, and prejudices of men. These things will I do 17 unto them, and not forsake them. They shall be turn
ed back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in
graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye ; (are] our gods; idolaters fall be disappointed and ashamed
upon the spread of the gospel. . . 38 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see; . an address to the gentiles to receive the gospel, and not reje&t
. : the h. As fpiritual bleffings are described by the opposite images, this intiniates his great wrath, and the vengeance that shall be brought upon the enemies of his gospel.