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an everlasting salvation : ye shall not be ashamed nor cons 18 founded world without end, 10 the ages of eternity. For thus
saith the LORD that created the heavens ; God himself that formed the earth and made it ; he hath established it, he crea. ted it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited ; much less then
will he suffer Judea, his own inheritance to lie desolate : I sam] 19 the Lord; and (there is ) none else. I have not spoken in se
cret, in a dark place of the earth ; another proof that I am Lord alone, I have revealed my will plainly by the law and the prophets; not like the heathen mysteries, that were carefully concealed frora the vulgar ; nor like the oracles that were ultered with a holloro, muttering voice from holes and caves: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain ; I answered the prayers of my people, which idols could not do : I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right ; my laws are just, my anstvers die
reci, and my promises are faithful, but theirs are not. 20 Assemble yourselves and conie, ye recur'ered Jews ; draw near
together, ye [that are] escaped of the nations : they have no
knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray 21 unto a god [that] cannot save. Tell ye, and bring (them) near,
yea, let them take counsel together : who hath declared this
from ancient time? (who] hath told it from that time? (have) • not I the LORD? and [there is no God else beside me; a
just God and a Saviour ; (there is none beside me ; let them
consult together to produce an instance of foretelling such future 22 events, and maintain the cause of their idols. Look unto me, and
be ye saved, all the ends of the earth ; ye Jews, wherever dis
persed, and ye gentiles, when ye shall hear my gospel: for I [am] 23 God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the
word is gone out of my mouth (in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear, that is, profe88 allegiance : many nations shall become my worshippers and servants, and at length all the world, and at the
day of the last judgment every creature shall be subjici | alta 24 Rom. xiv, 11. Surely, shall (onel and another, that is, all i huse
that shall be converted from idolatry, whether Jews or Gentiles, say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength : (eren) to him shall [men,] that is, Israel, the church and people of Gori,
come, and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamer, 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel, all converted Jews and
believing Gentiles, be justified, and shall glory, that is, 6. parduzie ed, and boast of their relation to him.
1. VT E see the design of God in his various dispensations to
V the church and world ; in his dealings with Israel and other nations. He can set up kingdoms, and pull them down; raise up Cyrus, from a low beginning, to conquer great and mighty nations, and to deliver Israel. The design was, to bring Cyrus to know
him, and the nations round about to acknowledge his supremacy and to worship him ; as well as to cure the Jews of their idolatry : and were we as well acquainted with the history of other nations, as with that of Israel, we should see the same design carried on in the revolutions of states and kingdoms, and the great events of the world.
2. We see the danger of impatience and murmuring under the rebukes of Providence, and during the delay of mercies. What awful woes are denounced against those who strive with God! who impeach the wisdom and equity of his providence, and fret against him! And this is certainly very absurd and impious ; for he is a Being of almighty power, whose counsel shall stand, and who will do all his pleasure. It is as absurd, as for the clay to quarrel with the potter ; and as indecent and wicked, as for a child to find fault with his parents, because he was not begotton an angel, or of such a particular complexion or stature. Let us guard against this disposition, especially in seasons of affliction; remembering, that God is infinitely above us ; that he makes light and darkness, good and evil, and has set one over against the other. Though he may sometimes seem to hide himself, yet he is the God of Israel, and the Saviour. Let his Israel therefore hope in the Lord, from this time forth and for ever.
3. The hint that is given in v. 18, should raise our ideas of the grandeur of God's works, and of the number of his rational creatures. He created not the earth in vain ; he formed it to be inhabited ; intimating, that if it were not inhabited it would have been created in vain. And from hence we may fairly argue, that the other planets are inhabited by rational creatures as well as ours; though we know nothing of their particular rank and nature. This appears to be a just, noble, and delightful thought ; and gives us a high idea of the greatness, magnificence, and goodness of God. It may be part of the delightful employment of good men, when they leave this earth, to travel from world to world, to learn more of God's works and creatures, that they may for ever love and adore him.
4. Let us rejoice that in the Lord we have righteousness and sirength, and look to him for them. In and through the Lord Christ we christians have them ; we Britons, from the ends of the earth are invited to look unto Christ, and be saved ; to look with an eye of faith and love, and humble confidence. In him we have righteousness for the pardon of our sins, and the acceptance of our services ; strength to overcome temptations and to bear afflictions. In him we may be justified ; acquitted from guilt and condemnation; and in him we ought to glory ; to triumph in our relation to him, and our interest in him. To him therefore let our knees bow, and our souls submit; and let the life we live in the flesh be by the fwith of the Son of God who loved it and gave himself for us.
CHAP. XLVI, XLVII.
Lest the Israelites should be led to worship the idols of Babylon, or fear
their power, God here shows their vanity, and foretells that they should be carried captives.
I D EL boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, the favourite gods of
D Babylon,* their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle : your carriages [were] heavy loaden ; [they are] 2 a burden to the weary [beast.] They stoop, they bow down to
gether ; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity ; these gods shall be led away, and, so far
from delivering their worshippers, shall be a grievious weight lo the 3 weary beasts that carry them. Hearken unto me, O house of Ja
cob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne 4 [by me) from the belly, which are carried from the womb : And
(even] to (your) old age I (am) he; and seven) to hoar hairs will I carry (you :) I have made, and I will bear, ever I will carry, and will deliver (you ;] I formed you into a state, brought you out of Egypt, and protected you ; and I will take the same care 5 of you still. To whom will ye liken me, and make (me) equal, 6 and compare me, that we may be like? They lavish gold out of
the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, [and] hire a goldsmith;
and he maketh it a god : they fall down, yea, they worship. 7 They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him
in his place, and he standeth ; from his place shall he not re
move : yea, one] shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer 8 nor save him out of his trouble.f Remember this, and show
yourselves men : bring it] again to mind, o ye transgressors, 9 who have been guilty of idolatry. Remember the former things
of old, what I have done for your nation formerly : for I [am]
God, and (there is] none else ; [I am] God, and [there is] 10 none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, foretrlling
the most casual events, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do
all my pleasure ; some have been accomplished, and others shall be Il so, particularly your deliverance by Cyrus : Calling a ravenous
bird, or, as it should be translated, an eagle, from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country, that is, Cyrus ; who had an eagle for his ensign ;f yea, I have spoken [it]
I will also bring it to pass ; I have purposed [it,] I will also do 12 it. Hearken unto me, ye stout hearted, that (are] far from
righteousness, or deliverance ; namely, the stubborn Jews, who 13 thought that God would not deliver them: I bring near niy right.
• Bel signifies lord, and Nebo prophet; they were deified men, and the names of their princes were forined out of them, As Belshazzar, and Vibochadnezlar, &c.
+ God orien reinindz them of th: inability of idols, because they were in great danger of
eousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tar. ry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory; or, as it may be better rendered, I will give salvation to Sion, and my glory to Israel; I will prove the truth of my piromises, and
Sion, shall still be saved. 1 CHAP. XLVII. Come down, and sit in the dust, ( virgin
daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground ;* she shall sit on the bare ground, be reduced to the most abject state : [there is) no throne,
O daughter of the Chaldeans : for thou shalt no more be called 2 tender and delicate. Take the millstones, and grind meal: un
cover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers ; you, that is, the Babylonians, shall be made slaves, shall labour at the most toilsome work, be forced to fly, and wade through
rivers ; all of which must be very mortifying to those who used 10 3 ride in state, and live delicately. Thy nakedness shall be uncov
ered, yea, thy shame shall be seen : I will take vengeance, and
I will not meet (thee as] a man, whom thou mayest fly from, or 4 resistit [As for our redeemer, the Lord of hosts Fis] his
name, the Holy One of Israel; he will speak comfort to Israel,
and terror to the Chaldeans. A chorus of the Jews, in which they 5 break out in the midst of the prophecy to praise God. Sit thou
silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chal
deans : for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms; 6 the largest and most powerful empire. I was wroth with my
people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into
thine hand : tlou didst show them no mercy ; upon the ancient, 7 or azed, hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke. And thou saidst,
I shall be a lady for ever : [so] that thou didst not lay these [things to thy heart, that is, the injuries done to my people, neither didst remember the latter end of it ; the instability of human affairs, and the consequences of pride and selfconfidence. Therefore hear now this, thou (that art] given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I [am,] and none else beside me; I shall not sit [as] a widow, neither
shall I know the loss of children ; I am supreme in power and 9 dominion, and fear no danger : But these two [things] shall
come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood : they shall come upon thee in their perfection for
the multitude of thy sorceries, [and] for the great abundance of 10 thine enchantments. For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness :
thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I (am)
• Babylon had never been taken, and therefore is called a virgin. + Or, I will suffer a man to intercede fur thee. Lowth.
I This prediction is the more remarkable, as there was no difference at present between Sudah und Babylon; they had sent compliments to Hezekian, which had the appearance of Friendship, yet they are hire
When Balyvlon was besieged by Darius, they were so resolute in holiling out that they destroyed all their wives and cuildion in one day, to cut off all unnecessary mouths. Prid.
Oil. Yo1. i P, 189.
and none else beside me; thou thoughtest thy policy so deep that il it could not be defeated. Therefore shall evil come upon thee;
thou shalt not know from whence it riseth : and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off : and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, [which] thou shalt not know ; which thou shalt neither be aware of, nor know how to rem
edy ; and so it was,.for Cyrus took Babylon at midnight, in the 12 midst of their mirth and security. Stand now with thine en
chantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein
thou hast laboured from thy youth ; if so be thou shalt be able to 13 profit, if so be thou mayest prevail, to divert thy calamities. Thou
art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrol.' ogers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, who pretend to foretell future events by the stars and aspects of heaven, stand
up, and save thee from (these things) that shall come upon thee. 14 Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them ; they
shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame : (there shall] not [be] a coal to warm at, (nor) fire to sit before it ; they shall be utterly destroyed, like whole magazines of coal burnt
at once, which must give a great heat, but destroy the winter stores. 15 Thus shall they be unto thee with whon, thou hast laboured,
[even) thy merchants from thy youth, thy negociators and astrologers, and all that contributed to thy wealth and grandeur : they shall wander every one to his quarter, lurn to his own busine88 ; none shall save thee.
1. THE promise to Israel, in v. 4. affords abundant comfort to
1 every aged christian, that God will be the same God to them as ever; will bear, and carry, and deliver them, amidst all their dangers and infirmities. He who made them, and has been the guide of their youth, will be the support of their old age ! It becomes them therefore to thank God, and take courage.
2. Men never act like rational creatures till they renounce their sins, and become the servants of God, v. 8. It is desirable that men should act as men ; use their rational powers aright, and employ them upon their proper objects. This would lead them to repentance and amendment of life ; and by acting as reasonable creatures, they would soon become religious ones ; but while they are giddy, thoughtless, and inconsiderate, there is no hope of them.
3. We see in the forty seventh chapter how soon God can humble and mortify the most delicate. What a mclancholy change was it to the tender and delicate Babylonians, when led captive, and treated as slaves, with all the horrors of poverty and ciisgrace ! how mortifying to those who had lived in case and pleasure ! May we be taught by it to guard against excessive tenderness and delicacy, as not knowing to what afflictions and hardships we may be appointed ; which will be peculiarly heavy if we have unreasonally, indulged the flesh.