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ers wear the mark of the beast on their right hands, ( Rev. xiii. 16.) they shall mark their hands with the name of Jehovah ; en

allusion to a custom among soldiers, who sometimes received a mark 6 unun 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 [am] the first, and I [am] 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 pear ple? 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 fear8 ed, trusted, and worshipped, and not they. Fear ye vot, neither

be afraid : have not I told thee from that time, when ye became my people, and have declared [it] or foretold what should befal you? ye (are) even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me?

yea, (there is no God; I know not (any.] 9 They that make a graven image [are] all of them vanity; and

their delectable things shall not profit; and they (are] their own witnesses against themselves ; yel they see not, nor know; 80 that

they may be ashamed, as they have just cause to be of their folly in 10 worshifping 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 Il himself has made, and is good for nothing? Behold, all bis fellows

shall be ashamed : and the workinen, they (are] of men : let them all be gathered together, let them stand up ; (yet,] when

combined in the greatest multitude, they shall fear, sand] they 12 shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both work

eth in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, 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 lie

is making cannot firevent his being tired with his work, or give 13 him mcal 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 bearty of a man, for he knows no no14 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 beautiful : he planteth an ash, which is of quicker growth, 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 he will take thereof,

and warın himself ; yea, he kindleth [it,) and baketh bread;

yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth (it ;] he maketh it a 16 graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part there.

of 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 puis the other parts to the uses wlrich Providence intended, and cnjoys the comfort of 17 them. And the residue thereof he maketh a god, [even] his even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built ; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.*

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 to 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 alomination?

shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? so 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 wicked. ness, but he cannot see that he is cheating himself and playing the

fool.

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21 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 for. gotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, 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, Oye heavens ; for the Lord hath dore

[it :) shout, ye lower parts of the earth : break forth into singa ing, ye mountains, () 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 these ranities. 24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee

from the womb, I [am] the Lord that maketh all (things ;] that stretcheth forth the heavens alone ; that spreadeth abroad thic

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 serrant, 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 dry,

when he delivered Israel out of Egypt, and I will dry up thy

rivers; alluding to the expedient used by Cyrus in taking Babylon, 28 viz. diverting the river Euphrates from ils channel :, That saith

of Cyrus, near two hundred years before his birth, (He is) my shepherd, he shall gather my people together, and lead them as a shepherd doth his flock, and shall perform all my pleasure ; though he may have different schemes, yet he shall fulfil my designs,

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REFLECTIONS.

1. I T is a very pleasing thing to see young people giving them

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 persons then be engaged to give themselves to the Lord and to hischurch; 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 fruitsulness 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 uz ; 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 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 ever adore the grace of God, who is ready to forgive, and of Jesus Christ, through whose blood we receive the remission.

It would encourage the Israelites in Babylon when they 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, as well as christians, and gives at once a strong and sublime idea of God's omnipotence and foreknowledge.

4. We learn from the whole chapter, what high and venerable thoughts we should entertain of the great God. We should think seriously and reverently of him, as the eternal Jehovah ; the first and the last ; as an omniscient Being, to whom future contingencies are known. He by his prophet foretold that Jerusalem and the temple should be destroyed ; and named Cyrus, as the man that should deliver his people, and rebuild his temple. We should also adore him as an almighty Being, who maketh what use of princes he pleaseth, and can remove every hindrance to the execution of his purposes. Idols cannot do this, but our God can ; let us therefore ever fear, reverence, and trust him ; for whatever devices there are in the heart of man, his counsel shall stand, and the most powerful princes shall only execute his pleasure.

CHAP. XLV.

In this chapter we have Cyrus's commission against Babylon, and to restore the Jews ; an account of his success, with suitable admoni. tions to the Israelites.

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THUS saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose

1 right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him ; or whom I hold fast by the right hand, that I may subdue nations before him ; and I will loose the loins of kings, weaken their power, to open before him the two leaved gates ; and the gates shall not be shut ; that is, the gates of Babylon within the city,

leading from the streets to the river, which were providentially left 2 open when he surprised the city ; I will go before thee, and make

the crooked places straight ; remove all difficulties and obstructions : I will break in pieces the gates of brass,* and cut in sun.. 3 der the bars of iron : And I will give thee the treasures of

darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, the secret wealth of

princes and people,t that thou mayest know that I the LORD, 4. which call (thee] by thy name, [an] the God of Israel. For

Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even

called thee by thy name Cyrus : I have surnamed thee, my 5 shepherd and ancinted, though thou hast not known me. I sam]

the Lord, and (there is) none else, [there is) no God beside

me : I girded thee with authority and power, though thou hast 6 not known me : That they may know from the rising of the

sun, and from the west, that there is) none beside me. I (am) the LORD, and (there is) none else ; intimating that the deliver

• Babylon had an hundred brazen gates.

+ Cyrus had subdued rich Cresus and otber nations before he took Babylon; and that was a most wealthy place; the treasures which he found there and in Sardis, an ounted to one hundred and twenty six millions two bundred and i wenty four thousand pounds sterling

t Josephus says that this prophecy was showed to Cyrus, and that he was much affccte with it: he therefore honestly acknowledges, Ezra i. 2. The Lord God of heaven hath riven me all the kingdoms of the earth.

ance of the Jerus by Cyrus would firomote the knowledge of God 7 through many nations. I form the light, and create darkness :

I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things;) 8 I am the supreme governor of the natural and moral world.* Drop

down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness ; let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together ; I the LORD have created it : being determined to bring about their salvation, all nature shall seem to unite in promoting it. I will first shower

down righteousness, and then produce salvation ; Israel shall first 9 be reformed, and then delivered. Wo unto him that striveth with his Maker; wo to the Babylonians that shall oppress Israel, and strive against God ; or to the Israelites that shall distrust his pouver, and will not believe his promises. (Let] the potsherd (strive] with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that

fashioneth it, What makest thou ? or thy work, He hath no 10 bands? he hath no ability or skill, or acts as if he had none. Wo

unto him that saith unto (his] father, What begettest thou ? or

to the woman, What hast thou brought forth ? much more to the Il great Parent of the universe. Thus saith the LORD, the Holy

One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come con. cerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me; you may humbly inquire concerning these things ;

or rather (as the Seventy) Will you question me, or give me a 12 luto? I have made the earth, and created man upon it : 1,

[even) my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their

host have I coinmanded, and therefore I am able to fulfil my 13 promises. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will di.

rect all his ways : he shall build my city, and he shall let go

my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts. 14 Thus saith the Lord, The labour, or wealth, of Egypt, and

merchandize of Ethiopia, and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine : they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they sball full down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee,

like submissive captives, [saying,] Surely God (is) in thee ; 15 and [there is) none else ; (there is) no other God.t Verily

thou (art) a God that hidest thyself, () God of Israel, the Sariour ; though thy providence in afflicting and delivering is often

dark and mysterious, yet thou art the God of Israel and the Sa16 riour. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of

them : they shall go to confusion together (that are] makers

of idols, ihough they unite their attempts to support the credit 17 of their deilies. (But] Israel shall be saved in the LORD with

'Th's is designed to expose the notions of the ancient Persians, who held that there spere tuo indipendent principles or boings, the one good, and the other evil, by which all things were made, and who were represented by light and darkness.

+ Cyrus, having conquered Egypt and part of Arabia, assisted the Israelites to rebuild and be in the tople out of the spoils of those nations; and many became proselytes, and wire brought to acknowledge the only true God, when they saw that he appeared so wonder. fully or the US.

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