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the nation declares, that God had fworn to the performance of the promise: and alfo fhews, that although when in captivity, they were forely afflicted, toffed about by the storm, and deftitute of confolation; yet, on their restoration, they should enjoy the greatest happiness and prosperity both temporal and fpiritual, as in verfe 9th, &c. "For this is as the waters of Noah to me; for as I have fworn that the waters of Noah fhould no more pafs over the earth; fo have I fworn, that I will not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains fhall be removed; and the hills shall be overthrown; but my kindness from thee fhall not be removed; and the covenant of my peace fhall not be overthrown; faith the LORD, who loveth thee most affectionately. O thou afflicted, beaten with the storm*, deftitute of confolation! Behold
*It is in fuch fublime and pathetic language, that the Prophet has given us an highly finished picture, of the misery, and fufferings of the nation, during this long and dreadfull captivity, the like of which no nation ever fuffered for they have for almost eighteen hundred years, been beaten by the storm, and toffed about from place to place, without finding reft for the foles of their feet; as Mofes faid; (Deut. xxviii,
I lay thy ftones in cement of vermilion, and thy foundations in Sapphires: and I will make of rubies thy battlements; and thy gates of carbuncles; and the whole circuit of thy walls fhall be of precious. ftones. And all thy children (fhall be) taught by the LORD; and great (shall be) VOL. II.
xxviii. 65.) they have been banished from place to place, from country to country. In many places they have been banished and recalled, and banished again; and all this, without the least confolation; without knowing the time when they will be restored; (and which is a demonftration that the Prophet was not speaking of the Babylonish captivity, for in that captivity they all knew that they were to be visited at the end of feventy years; neither were they banished and bandied about from place to place in that captivity; but during the prefent captivity, the banifhments, perfecutions, and maffacres which they have fuffered, are almoft innumerable, and their history abounds with little elfe; and they yet remain without confolation, as not knowing when their fufferings and mifery will end) for though God has promised to redeem them, yet, is the time not revealed to any. Thus, are the words of the Prophet fully accomplished: and can any Deift be fo hardy as to affert that, the Prophet who was capable of foretelling events with fuch exactness, at such a distance of time, (upwards of two thousand years) was but a mere Poet?. Is this like the performance of a Poet? The language I acknowledge, is highly poetical, but does it follow from thence, that Ifaiah was nothing more than a Poet? a Poet properly speaking is an inventor: an author of fiction; but prophecy is truth, fterling truth; as is manifest from the truth of its accomplishment, in every particular.
the peace of thy children. In righteoufnefs fhalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppreffion; yea, thou thalt not fear it; and from terror; for it fhall not approach thee." In these verfes the Prophet not only clearly fhews the fplendour, magnificence, and felicity of their temporal ftate, but clearly points out the happiness of their spiritual state: that they shall all be taught of the LORD*, be established in righteousness. &c.
The Prophet having fhewn that the nation fhall be firmly established in righteoufness, farther obferves that, they should not be afraid of the nations when leagued together against them; for although they fhall be thus gathered together, they will not be permitted to injure them; because fuch affembling will not be by God's command as heretofore; they therefore, will not be able to prevail against them; verse 15th. &c." Behold, they fhall be leagued together, but not by me; whofoever shall be leagued against thee, fhall fall for thy fake. Behold, I have created the fmith, who bloweth up the coals into a fire, and pro* Thus fays alfo the Prophet Jeremiah.
duceth inftruments according to his work; and I have created the deftroyer to lay waste. Whatever weapon is formed against thee, it shall not profper; and every tongue, that fhall contend with thee, thou shalt convict. This is the heritage of the LORD's fervants, and their juftification from me, faith the LORD."
The Prophet then proceeds to fhew the preeminence of the knowledge in the Law of God, above all other fpeculative knowledge whatever, as it is that only, which leads to immortal and eternal life; Chapter lvth. verfe ift. 2d. &c." Ho! every one that thirfteth, come ye to the waters! and that hath no filver, come ye, buy, and eat! Yea, come, buy ye without filver; and without price, wine and milk. Wherefore do ye weigh out your filver for that which is no bread, and your labour, for that which will not fatisfy "?.
Before we proceed to the explanation of this paffage, it is neceffary to make a few observations on the language made use of by the Prophet, as they will greatly tend to the illuftration of the fentence; and which, I fhall offer by way of objections. First, as
to the expreffion, "And he that hath no filver, come ye, buy, and eat." For if they have no money how can they BUY? Second, As he began with, "Ho! every one that thirfteth, come ye to the waters." And did not say any thing of food; he, in strict propriety ought to have faid, Buy, and drink; not eat. Third, he farther fays, Come, buy ye without filver, and without price, wine and milk; but takes no notice of the water, which was what he began the discourse with neither does he defire them to buy bread, although he afterwards, asks them, why they weigh their filver for that which is not bread?. However, we may from the whole, gather, that he compares the Law of God, at one time to water, another time to wine, as also, to milk, and to bread and which ought to be fatisfactorily accounted for. Fourth, he farther observes, " Wherefore do ye weigh out your filver for that which is no bread?" &c. Now, as he had before obferved, that those who had no filver, fhould buy without money; it seems ftrange that he should ask them, why they weighed their filver so unprofitably: for if they have no filver, how can they weigh