« AnteriorContinua »
did not attend to them when called; it is highly proper, that ye now call on the LORD inceffantly; verfe 7th. "Let him therefore not rest in filence, until he establish, and until he render Jerufalem a praise in the earth." I must also inform you, fays the Prophet, not to imagine that, your prayer may be in vain, or of none effect; for, verfe 8th. "The LORD hath fworn by his right hand, and by his powerful arm: furely, I will no more give thy corn for food to thine enemies; nor fhall the fons of the stranger drink thy wine for which thou haft laboured; But they, that reap the harvest, shall eat it, and praife the LORD; and they, that gather the vintage, fhall drink it in my facred courts." The expreffions in this verfe, have a reference to the law of Mofes; Levit. XIX. 23. &c. "And when ye shall come unto the land, and fhall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcifed: three years it fhall be as uncircumcifed unto you; it fhall not be eaten of. But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praife the LORD withall. And in the fifth year ye shall cat the fruit thereof." &c.
Again; "Thou mayeft not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil;-But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God, in the place which the LORD thy God fhall choose." Deut. xii. 17. 18. This clearly clearly explains the force of the expreffions made use of by the Prophet, "shall praise the LORD," and "shall drink it in my courts." And which fhews the lasting happiness that they are to enjoy at their restoration; and that they will no more go into captivity: and is also, as I apprehend, a manifeft proof, of the perpetuity of the Law of Mofes.
The Prophet then addresses himself to the rulers and elders of the nation; directing them to prepare the people by repentance; and thus remove fin from them; and which he forcibly expreffes under the image, of clearing the cauffey from ftones: by which means the standard of falvation will be raised, as in verse 10th. &c. "País ye, pass through the gates; prepare the way for the people! Caft ye up, cast caft up the cauffey: clear it from the ftones! Lift up on high a standard to the nations! Behold, the LORD hath thus proclaimed to the end of the
earth: Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Lo, thy faviour cometh! Lo, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they fhall be called, The holy people, the redeemed of the LORD: And thou fhalt be called, The much defired, the city unfor faken."
The Prophet then, as one enquiring fays, chapter lxiiid. verfe ift. "Who, is this that cometh from Edom? with garments deeply dyed from Botfrah? This, that is magnificent in his apparel; exclaiming in the greatnefs of his ftrength; I speak in righteousness, (and) am mighty to save." The Prophet here fhews the greatness of the vengeance which God will take on the enemies of the Jews, particularly on Botfrah, which is Rome: and that he who fpeaks in righteousness, who equitably adminifters juftice; is mighty to fave the nation, that had ftedfaftly acknowledged his Unity, during this long and dreadful captivity.
The Prophet then again enquires, verfe 2d. "Wherefore is thine apparel red? Thy garments, as of one that treadeth the winevat? To whom the Almighty answers, verfe 3d. "I have trodden the vat alone: and of the people
people there was not a man with me. I trod them in mine anger; and I trampled them in mine indignation: and their life-blood was fprinkled upon my garments; and I have stained all mine apparel." In verfe 4th. the Prophet explains the figurative language he had Juft made ufe of. "For the day of vengeance was come."
He then obferves (verfe 5th.) that although the time was come, yet, there was no repentance in Ifrael; no merit of good works to render them worthy of falvation: and which perfectly agrees, with what the Prophet faid above verfe 3d, "And of the people there was not a man with me." And as he fays chap. lix. 16. "And he faw that there was no man.' " &c. &c. As I have fhewn page, 25. "And I looked, and there was no one to help; and I was aftonished, that there was no one to uphold: therefore mine own arm wrought falvation for me, and mine indignation itself sustained me. And I trod down the people in mine anger; and I crushed them in mine indignation; and I spilled their blood on the ground."
I have here fhewn that, this great, and important prophecy, perfectly accords with
the gracious promifes contained in the feveral prophecies delivered by this prophet; as, firft, the falvation of the nation, the return of the divine presence, and the spirit of prophecy among them: fecond, the promise that they are not to go into captivity more: third, the deftruction of the nations that had perfecuted them: all which promises, it is manifeft, have never yet been accomplished; not at their return from Babylon: for then, they did not enjoy any such happiness; but after great, I may say almoft continued troubles and affliction, they were again carried into captivity, in the most miserable condition; and in which, they have continued to this day neither were any of these glorious promifes fulfilled in the time, or in the perfon of Jefus; for about forty years after his death, their government was destroyed by the Romans: which is a manifeft proof, that he could not be the promised Meffiah, that is to redeem the nation; and under whom, they are to enjoy all the happiness, both spiritual and temporal, contained in these promises.
Before I take leave of this important prophecy, I muft fay a few words, by way of obfervation,