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is) not bread ? and your labour for (that which) satisfieth not? That is, about the things of this world, in which there is no solid, lasting happiness to be found : hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye (that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in
fatness, and ye shall obtain what will satisfy and delight you, the 3 true knowledge of God and eternal happiness.* Incline your
ear, and come unto me : hear, and your soul shall live, spiris. ually and happily, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, (even] the sure mercies of David ; that is, the mercies thai were promised to David, which he set such a value upon, and which
are given in Christ, the son of David ; pirocured by his death, and 4. made sure by his covenant to all that believe. Behold, I have
given him (for) a witness of God's mercy and faithfulness to the people, a leader and commander to the people ; a prince and
a lawgiver, to whose authority and commands all are to be subject. 5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation [that] thou knowest not, and
nations [that] knew not thee, that is, the gentile nations, shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel ; for he hath glorified thee, by enabling thee to
work miracles, raising thee from the dead, and setring thee at his 6 right hand. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye
upon him while he is near ; before the time come when he will not regard you : Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts ; a little external reformation is not sufficient ; let him entirely abandon his wicked ways, and his un. righteous thoughts : and let him return unto the LORD, as his supreme ruler and good, and he will have mercy upon him ; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon ; he will multiply par.
dons, though his sins are ever so many and aggravating. 8 For my thoughts (are) not your thoughts, neither sare your 9 ways my ways, saith the LORD. For, fas) the heavens are
higher than the earth, iso are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts ; men are not ready to for. give, especially repeated offences ; but my ways of faithfulness
and mercy are quite above your comprehension, and infinitely be10 yond what you had any reason to expect. For as the rain cometh
down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it
may give seed to the sower, for a crop another year, and bread to 11 the eater, for a present supply : So shall my word be that goeth
forth out of my mouth : it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper (in the
thing] whereto I sent it ; it shall not be wholly without effect, and 12 all its promises shall be amfily fulfilled. For ye shall go out with
joy, and be led forth with peace ; ye shall be brought from a state of ignorance, sin, and misery, and proceed in religion with pleasure: the mountains and the hills shallbreak sorth before you into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap (their) hands; a face of de
• This verse is an emphatical form of speech; intimating that men take more pains about the world, than besen would cost $15.9.
light and joy shall spread over the creation, and even insensible 13 nature seem to rejoice. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir
tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree; those who before were wild and troublesome shall become good and useful : and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off ; all shall redound to the glory of God, and they shall be the eternal monuments of his grace.
i. I ET us adore God for the riches and freedom of gospel
La grace. Under the beautiful images of water, wine, and milk, the most valuable blessings are offered ; offered upon the most easy terms, and offered to all. There is enough to supply every want, and satisfy every desire. An everlasting covenant is proposed, and sure mercies ; blessings quite suited to our needy, helpless state are promised. How admirable is the grace that freely offers them ! and what folly is it in men to neglect them ! to refuse solid satisfaction and everlasting good, and pursue that which can never satisfy ! May we be wise ; and labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth to eternal life.
2. Let us consider the Lord Jesus Christ as a witness, a leader, and a commander. He came to bear witness to the truth ; and it becomes us to receive his doctrine, as worthy of all acceptation. He confirmed it by his miracles and death. Let us then obey his commands, and follow his steps; he will then guide us in the way of peace and happiness, and conduct us to everlasting glory.
3. Let sinners hearken to these gracious calls to repentance, and comply with them. We have here a most instructive view of the nature of repentance ; it is to forsake every evil way, to put away all evil thoughts, and cleanse the heart from wickedness. It is to return to the Lord, as our rightful owner and sovereign good ; then he will forgive us ; we shall find the noblest satisfaction and pleasure in his good ways; and be led to eternal happiness. But let sinners return immediately, and seek the Lord while he may be found ; for it may soon be too late, and the day of grace and hope may be expired.
4. Let us encourage ourselves in that gracious promise concern. ing the word of God in v. 10, 11. We see the happy effects of snow and rain. We have already seen some of these promises fulfilled, in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ, and the spread of his gospel among the gentiles. All God's other promises shall be accomplished, ard his word have its intended effect. This is a great encouragement to ministers amidst their many discouragements, that some good shall be produced by their labours, and the word be a savour of life to some souls. If we desire that it should be so to ours, let us see that we value it, diligently attend to it, and receive it into good and honest hearts. And may God multiply the seed sown, and increase the fruits of righteousness in us all, to his glory and our eternal joy. VOL. V.
Begins with an exhortation to God's people to prepare for that great
deliverance prophesied of in the foregoing chapters.. I TVAOS saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice :
1 for my salvation [is] near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed ; observe all my laws and commandments, for that
dispensation is near to be introduced, which contains the brightest 2 display of my justice, faithfulness, and goodness. Blessed [is] the
man [that] doeth this, and the son of man [that] layeth hold on it, that acis with steadiness and resolution in religion; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from
doing any evil ; that does notảing unlawful on the sabbath day, 3 nor neglecis any of the proper duties of it. Neither let the son
of the stranger, that bath joined himself to the Lord, that is, any strangers that might choose to go with ihe Jews from Babylon, and become proselyles 10 the worship of the true God, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people : nei
ther let the eunuch say, Behold, I (am) a dry tree; I have no 4 offspring to be admitted into the coverant. For thus saith the
Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose (the things] that please me, and take hold of my covenant ; who
accept the offers and comply with the terms of it, and who have truly 5 pious dispositions ; Even unto them will I give in mine house
and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters : I will give them an everlasting naine, that shall not be cut off ; I will give them sfiiritual blessings, greal
honour and comfort there, and a name that shall not be cut off, 6 as that of the most numerous families may be.* Also the sons of
the stranger, the heathen, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants,
to become piroselyles, every one that keepeth the sabbath from 7 polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant ; Even them will I
bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer : their burnt offerings and their sacrifices (shall be] accepted upon mine allar ; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people ; their sacrifices shall be accepted, and they shall enjoy great delight in their approaches to God. The place of worship being called a house of prayer, and not sacrifice, and being said to be for all people, intimates that this refers to the
admittance of Gentiles into the gospicl church, on the same tcrms as 8 the believing Jews. The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts
of Israel saith, Yet will I gather (others] to him, beside those that are gathered unto him ; the Gentiles as well as Jews, that is, many more Geniiles shall join with them after the captivity.
• Some of the captive Jews, who were in these circumstances, hid need of this conscla. tion when they came back to their own country; for they were deprived by the law of being priests and nagistrates ; it must therefore have been great self duial and piety in them to leave the Persian court, in which some of them had bieli preferred But th passage may like is a bitimate, that there would be none of these restrictions under tho gospel.
9 All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, [yea,] all ye beasts 10 in the forest.* His watchmen (are] blind : they (are] all igno
rant, they (are) all dumb dogs, they cannot bark to awaken the shepherds, or drive away the wolves ; they neither reprove nar
forewarn sinners ; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yea, [they are] greedy dogs (which] can never have enough,
insatiable in their covelousness, and they (are] shepherds [that] cannot understand, that tuke no pains to understand : they all look to their own way, seek their own interest only, every one for
his gain, from his quarter, from his employment, depariment, or 12 place of abode. Come ye, (say they,] I will fetch wine, and we
will fill ourselves with strong drink ; and tomorrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant ; they not only run into excesst's themselves, but lempt others to CO 80 ; confident of the continuance of their firosperily, and deriding the threatenings of the prophets.
1. THE approach of God's salvation is a strong motive to le
1 holy. The gospel displayed the righteousness of God, or his method of justification, and was the glad tidings of salvation ; which the Jews were required to prepare themselves for, by doing justice and judgment. And now that salvation is made known unto us, it is our duty to do this ; to be honest and exact in our dealings, and upright in our wbole deportment, out of gratitude to God for the salvation preached to us, and as we desire to partake of it ; especially as it is introductory to everlasting salvation. Let us ilerisore awake out of sleeli, and be active in God's service, since cur sai. vation is nearer than when we bclicved.
2. We see the necessity of a serious and strict regard to use sabbath. Observe what stress is laid upon keeping it. It is indis.' pensably required of all proselytes to the Jewish religion ; and of all who are joined to the christian church ; otherwise they can expect no comfort in God's service, nor will their prayers and praises be accepted. Let us then never waste any part of that holy time, nor neglect any part of the holy work of the day. But we must lay hold on this. It requires great resolution to do it, considering how many bad examples we have about us, and how many, tren of those wlio profess religion, act otherwise. This is the way totave the blessing of God upon our religious exercises, and upon our daily business and comforts.
9. How gracious is God in admitting strangers and Gentiles to the privileges of his people! To bring those, who were once afar st", nigh, and take strangers and foreigners to be fillow citizens with the sainis, and of the houschold of God. Let us, who are the descend
• This verse begins a new prophecy, which is continued through some following chaptes: describing the sins which intro laced their clamitics and ended in their Crivir 'The church is represented. Cod's fack, and their winces and picts as she phuis, in w ith oler, feerl, and defendit ; but, btcuse they weglected this case, the wind Lexists ide (!). upon to devout it. Tuvir noget is desativid, s, 0,8 c.
ants of strangers to the commonwealth of Israel, bless God for our christian privileges, and look upon them as sufficiently equivalent for the want or loss of children, or any earthly good. Let us improve them by a conscientious attendance upon God's house of prayer, and by loving and serving him who hath called us to the fellowship of the gospel : then we shall experience abundant satisfaction and joy in all our approaches to God.
4. How miserable is the state of a people whose shepherds deserve the character which is here given of those of Israel. When princes, magistrates, and ministers, are ignorant, idle, greedy, cowardly, and sottish, they not only do not answer the ends of their office, but are a reproach to it, corrupt others by their ill examples, and encourage wickedness by suffering it to go unpunished and unreproved. Let us earnestly pray, that God would preserve our country and churches from such detestable men ; and that he would engage all magistrates to be a terror 10 evil doers, and all ministers to watch for souls, as they that must give an account.
The prophet in this chanter goes on to reprove the Jews for their sins,
especially their idolatry; and begins with observing, how unafficted they were under the loss of good men, alluding perhaps to the death
of Hezekiah or Josiah. i T HE righteous perisheth, and no man layeth [it] to heart :
1 and merciful men (are) taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil (to come,) and that it 2 is a token that judgments are coming upon the land. He shall
enter into peace, or, go in peace : they shall rest in their beds, [each one] walking (in] his uprightness ; or, they shall reel in
their beds who have walked in uprightness. 3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the
adulterer and the whore ; ye pretend to be the seed of Abraham, 4 bul are idolaiers, and the children of idolaters. Against whom
do ye sport yourselves ? against whom make ye a wide mouth, [and] draw out the tongue? ridiculing God's servan!s, especially his prophets ; making wry mouths, and hanging out your tongues
to insult them: (are) ye not children of transgression, a seed of 5 falsehood, or, a false seed ? Inflaming yourselves with idols un
der every green tree, slaying the children in the vallies under 6 the clifts of the rocks ? Among the smooth (stones) of the
stream [is] thy portion ; they, they [arc] thy lot : even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering ; you have erected pillars 10 idols, and put them up in groves and by rivers, being quite given up to superstition and idolatry.
Should I receive comfort in these? in such a people, and from 7 such services as these? Upon a lofty and high mountain hast
thou set thy bed ; thou hast built thy icmples and alturs for idols