Imatges de pÓgina
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fhalt thou have the fun for light by day; nor the brightness of the moon to enlighten thee; for the LORD fhall be to thee an everlasting light, and thy God fhall be thy glory. Thy fun fhall no more go down; neither shall thy moon wane: for the LORD fhall be thine everlasting light; and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." This fhews, that after their redemption from this captivity, their kingdom and government is not to be destroyed any more. And, that they may be worthy of fuch a great bleffing, he informs us, verse 21ft, "And thy people shall be all righteous: For at the time of the redemption, God will refine them, as the Prophet fays *, "And I will refine them as filver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried." So that all that shall be left will be righteous; as the Prophet Ifaiah fays elsewhere, (Chap. iv. 3.) "And it shall come to pass, whofoever is left in Zion, and that remaineth in Jerufalem, holy shall he be called." Therefore," Shall they for ever poffefs the land:" That all the world may know, that the nation is, "The cion of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified." And, although du

* Zech. 13. 9.

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ring this captivity, they have been reduced to a very small number; yet, will they fo increase after their redemption, that, "The little one fhall become a thousand; and the fmall one a ftrong nation. The little tribe will be a thousand times as numerous as it is at prefent, &c. The Prophet then informs us that, this will be in its appointed time, as he says, "I the LORD in due time will haften it. When the appointed time of their redemption shall come, the Almighty will hasten its accomplishment; for as the Prophet knew that the captivity was to continue such a length of time; he exhorted them, not to despair on that account; for as foon as the period arrived, God would by no means delay it, but on the contrary would affuredly haften it.

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The Prophet having thus delivered the promise and affurance of the redemption of the nation, in the most clear, and explicit manner, observes thus of himself, Chapter lxi. 1. &c. “The spirit of the LORD is upon me, because the LORD hath anointed me. That is, he was inftructed to speak more largely and clearly of the falvation, and redemption of the nation, than any of the

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other Prophets, because the LORD had anointed him in an especial manner, "To publish glad tidings to the meek; he hath fent me to bind up the broken hearted. This is an exact description of the nation in this captivity; for they have patiently borne innumerable perfecutions without refentment, the confequence of which is, that they are broken hearted: the Prophet therefore obferves, that his miffion was, to prophecy of the appointed time of the redemption and falvation of the nation, and the punishment of their enemies: "To proclaim freedom to the captives; and to the bounden perfect liberty *: To proclaim the year of acceptance with the LORD; and the day of vengeance of our God. To comfort all thofe that mourn; To apply it to the mourners of Zion, to give them a beautiful (crown) inftead of ashes; the oil of gladness instead of forrow; the garment of praise instead of heavinefs; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the plantation of the LORD, that he may be glorified. He alfo informs us, that he was appointed, to prophecy the * In Heb. nippa Properly denotes, the opening of the prison.

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rebuilding of their ancient ruins; their flourifhing and exalted state; and the fubmiffion of the nations to them, verfe, 4th. &c. "Andthey shall build up the ruins of old times; they shall reftore the ancient defolations ; they shall repair the cities laid wafte; the defolations of continued ages. And ftrangers fhall ftand up and feed your flocks; flocks; and the fons of the alien fhall be your husbandmen and vine-dreffers. But ye shall be called the priests of the LORD; the minifters of our God, fhall be your title." Ye thall not then be engaged in fuch services; but in the meditation of the Law of God, and in his fervice, as priests; and being thus at leifure, and engaged in the fervice of God, "Ye fhall eat the riches of the nations; and in their

glory hall ye make your boaft. Instead of your fhame, ye fhall receive a double inheritance; and of your ignominy, ye fhall rejoice in their portion: for in their land a double (fhare) fhall ye inherit; and everlasting Joy hall ye poffefs. For I the LORD love Judgement; (and) hate robbery (even) for a burnt offering *: and I will give them (the VOL II. G reward)

Thus the Prophet Malachi fays, And ye bring that which is stolen," &c. Chap. i. 13.

reward) of their work with faithfulness; and an everlasting covenant will I make with them and their feed fhall be illuftrious among the nations; and their offspring, in the midst of the peoples: all they that see them fhall acknowledge them, that they are a feed, which the LORD hath bleffed.

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From the explanation here given of this prophecy, the following principles are obvi¬ ous. First, That God will take vengeance of the different nations, for the cruelty which they exercised towards the nation during this long and dreadful captivity. Second, all the tribes of the nation will be gathered together, from the east and the weft, far and near. Third, the different nations of the earth will be subject to Ifrael, and the worship of the true God; when thy will all come, and bring an offering to the houfe of the LORD. Now, as none of these important events took place at their return from Babylon, as is clear from all history, both facred and profane; and, as it is equally clear that, they were not accomplished in the time, nor in the person of Jefus; it is manifeft that, he could not be the Meffiah; and that these great and glorious promises, remain yet to be fulfilled in the lat

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