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have chosen : thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring : and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel. 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 there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and appeals to his knowledge of time
7 Here, as in chap. xli. 21, Jehovah shall declare it, and set it in past, present, and to come, in proof order for me, since I ap- of his supremacy over all gods--evipointed the ancient people ? dencing, that“ beside Him there is
no God.” He is “all in all." and the things that coming, and shall come, let them show unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid : have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it ? ye are even my witnesses.
Is there a God beside me ? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
They that make a graven 9 What a withering taunt do these image are all of them vanity; words convey ! the gods of the heaand their delectable things then, “ their own witnesses ; dumb, shall not profit; and they blind, stocks, stones !" their
This whole passage, to the 20th own witnesses ;
verse, is so powerful an appeal to they see not, nor know; that reason, that they who disregard its they may be ashamed. Who
instruction must bave eyes, yet see hath formed a god, or molten
not ; ears, yet hear not ; and hearts,
yet neither will they understand, a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed : and the workmen, they are of men : let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both worketh 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 carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man ; 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; he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn : for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part thereof 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: and the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. They have not known nor understood : for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see ; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned 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 abomination ? shall I fall
20 How truly is the sinner said to down to the stock of a tree? feed upon ashes! So bitter is the fruit 2* He feedeth on ashes: a de- of sin in its accomplishment; whilst ceived heart hath turned him the end thereof is shame and conaside, that he cannot deliver fusion at having been deceived by it. his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand ? Remember these, O Jacob and Israel ; for thou art my servant : I have formed thee; thou art my servant: 0 Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. 22 Was ever offer of reconciliation have blotted out, as a thick so gracious, so affectionate, so wincloud, thy transgressions, ning, so irresistible ? Not only does and, as a cloud, thy sins :
the forbearing Supreme bid us“ re
turn,” and he will forgive us ; he return unto me; for I have declares, “ I have already blotted out redeemed thee. 23 Sing, O thy sins *.” ye heavens ; for the Lord 23 Well may all creation join in this hath done it : shout, ye lower triumphant song of praise. parts of the earth : break forth into singing, ye mountains, 0 forest, and every tree therein : for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. 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 the earth by myself;
• Fear not, then, Othou penitent. Let not shame overwhelm thee. Now reconciled to God, rejoice in him as thy Redeemer : rejoice that he was man to die for thee, and God to save thee by his death. He mug and He will order things well. Who shall distrust his providence or grace ? Faith in the past may surely strengthen hope for the future. 26 that con
that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
26 This wonderful prophecy to Israel firmeth the word of his ser- of their deliverance by Cyrus from vant, and performeth the their captivity in Babylon was accounsel of his messengers ; complished about 100 years after it that saith to Jerusalem, Thou
was spoken. shalt be inhabited ; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: that saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers : that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure : even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
EVENING. Isaiah xlvi.
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the
The vanity of idols and their worThey stoop, shippers is here contrasted with the they bow down together; strength of Jehovah and the wisdom they could not deliver the
of those who worship Him. burden, but themselves are gone into captivity. Hearken unto me, 0 house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: and even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you : I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? They lavish gold.
6 What a cutting yet instructive out of the bag, and weigh reproach ! Their god, their own silver in the balance, and hire
work! a goldsmith ; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear
7 The idols of Babylon were carried him upon the shoulder, they in procession by the Persian concarry him, and set him in his querors in scorn, upon beasts of bur.
den. place, and he standeth ; from his place shall he not remove : yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor 8 Man, endued with reason, yet is save him out of his trouble. so irrational as to turn into a god * Remember this, and shew the idol of wood or stone which his yourselves men : bring it
own hands have made ; yet the idol
god and the senseless worshipper are again to mind, 0 ye trans
unable to help either the other. gressors.
· Remember the 9 Whereas God, who created man,
former things of old : for I and will redeem him, does, day by am God, and there is none day, from his cradle to his grave, else; I am God, and there is
10 God appeals (as in chap. xli. 26.) none like me, 1° declaring the to his supreme knowledge of past end from the beginning, and and future in proof of his Godhead. from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and
Cyrus came from the East-swift I will do all my pleasure : and fierce as an eagle. See note p. "calling a ravenous bird from 25. the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country : yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass ; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from
13 My righteousness I will bring righteousness: I bring near near, saith Jehovah. A token of tay righteousness ; it shall my mercy, and clear for judgment. not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.
The second Sunday after the Epiphang.
MORNING. Isaiah li.
HEARKEN to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence
2 Abraham was “alone” when God ye are digged.
2 Look unto
first called him, being childless +. Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. 'For
3 As innocence and converse with the LORD shall comfort Zion:
God constituted the glory of the first he will comfort all her waste
Eden, so righteousness shall renew places; and he will make her
to man the peace and joy of God's wilderness like Eden, and favour. Gladness shall brighten even her desert like the garden of the wilderness of life. Every faith
ful soul feels this truth. the LORD ; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation : for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my
* Well does the Church direct us to praise and bless God, not for our redemption only, but for our creation and preservation--the proofs of the power of God in creating and preserving us being a perpetual testimony to his power in redeeming us, and sanctifying us, and saving us.
+ God's promise was to Abraham, “when as yet he had no child.”
judgment to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. Lift up
6 The generation of men pass away your eyes to the heavens, and Then let my soul disregard their look upon
the earth beneath: revilings, and fear only God, who for the heavens shall vanish abideth the same on earth and in away like smoke, and the heaven, for ever. earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Hearken uno me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my
fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like i garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool : but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. Awake,
9 Yea, it was the Lord who subawake, put on strength, 0 dued Égypt, that once mighty Raarm of the LORD; awake, as hab, and overthrew Pharaoh the in the ancient days, in the fierce dragon in the waters * generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon ? Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the deptas of the sea a way for the ran
11 As the redeemed Israelites resomed to pass over? " There- turned from Babylon, and entered fore the redeemed of the with great joy and triumph into Je. LORD shall return, and come rusalem, so shall the redeemed of with singing unto Zion; and the Lord, from all lands, one day everlasting joy shall be upon thankfully and gloriously.
heavenly Jerusalem their head : they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am he that comforteth you : who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth ; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were reacy to destroy ? and where is the fury of the oppressor ? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose wives roared : The Lord of hosts is his name. And I have put my
* Rahab signifies proud ; a name, therefore, very aptly given to Egypt.