Imatges de pÓgina

obfervation, on what Bishop Lowth, has advanced concerning the perfon introduced, as stained with treading the wine-vat. In his Note on chapter lxiiid, as well as in his prælections, ( 7. and 30) he represents the perfon thus introduced, to be the Meffiah. He confiders the interlocutors in this paffage, to be the Meffiah and a Chorus: but though he confidently afferts it; yet, does he not offer any reafons in support of his opinion nay, I am convinced, he was not able to advance any one folid argument in fupport of his hypothefis. This, I trust, will appear to demonftration, when we confider, First, that in chapter xxxivth, the Prophet speaks of the vengeance which God will take on Edom and Botfrah, in which the fword of the LORD is represented as fatiated with blood, &c. Second, that in chapter lix, 15. 16. 17. a most remarkable part of this paffage is applied to God himself, who is represented as uttering nearly the fame words as here: and is also represented, as putting on the garments of vengeance. Third, the expreffion, "For the day of vengeance was in my heart; and the year of redeemed was come. And which perfectly coincides

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with what Mofes fays in his prophetic Poem, Deut. chap. xxxii. 35. "To me (i. e. to God) belongeth vengeance, and recompenfe, at the time that their foot shall flip." That is, when the measure of the iniquity of the enemies of the Jews fhall be full, and the period of their power is arrived: and which will be," when the LORD fhall have Judged his people." Then, will he inflict vengeance on their enemies; as Mofes farther says, verfe 41ft. "When I whet my glittering fword, and mine hand take hold of Judgement; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will requite them that hate me. And thus alfo he concludes the Poem, (See vol. Ift page. 56. &c.) "Cause his people to rejoice, O ye nations: for he will avenge the blood of his fervants, and will render vengeance to his adverfaries: And he will be reconciled to his land and to his people." Then will the year of his redeemed be come: for, as I have frequently had occafion to observe, it is clear from all the prophecies which speak of the redemption and salvation of the nation, that the vengeance which God will take on the enemies of the Jews, is to precede their redemption. From all which, it

is manifeft, that the Bishop's hypothefis is abfurd, and futile: and that this paffage can be applied to none but God himself; being a lofty description of his appearance against the enemies of his people, and the vengeance he will take on their enemies in the latter days, immediately preceding the time of their redemption: and which leads me to take notice of what the Bishop fays concerning the completion of this prophecy. After he had combated the opinion of thofe interpreters, that suppose, that Judas Maccabeus and his victories make the fubject of it; he observes,

"I conclude therefore, that this prophecy has not the least relation to Judas Maccabeus. It may be asked, to whom, and to what event does it relate? I can only anfwer, that I know of no event in history to which from its importance and circumftances it can be applied unless perhaps to the deftruction of Jerufalem and the Jewish Polity." But, nothing can be farther from truth than this affertion: for from what hath been faid above, it is clear, that this prophecy has not the most distant relation to the deftruction of Jerufalem and the Jewish Polity; but on the contrary, manifeftly foretells the ex



emplary vengeance that is to be taken on the enemies of the Jews, and not on the Jewish nation. Of this, it appears to me, the Bishop himself was fenfible; for he presently after obferves," But, though this prophecy must have its accomplishment, there is no neceffity of fuppofing that it has been already accomplished. There are Prophecies, which intimate a great flaughter of the enemies of God and his people, which remain to be fulfilled: thefe in Ezekiel Chap. xxxviii. and in the Revelation of St. John, Chap. xx. are called Gog and Magog. This Prophecy of Ifaiah may poffibly refer to the fame or the like event. From all which, it is demonftrable, that this Prophecy remains to be fulfilled, and will moft certainly be accomplished at the time of the redemption of the nation, by the true Meffiah.

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The thirteenth Prophecy commences verse 8th. Chap. lxyth, and is continued to the end of the last verse of the fame.

The purport of this prophecy, is to fhew, that, although the children of Ifrael fhould not repent, return, and seek the LORD their God, in this captivity; yet, would he at all events redeem them, when the appointed


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time of their redemption fhould arrive: not for any merit of theirs; becaufe there will be fuch a great number of wicked unbelievers. among them; but for the fake of the few righteous and alfo in confideration of what they will be after their redemption, when they will all be good and righteous: thofe therefore, that are righteous in captivity, will happily attain to the redemption; but those that are wicked, will be destroyed in the wars and troubles that will take place, before their final restoration.

The Prophet therefore, in figurative language obferves, Chap. lxvth. verse 8th. "Thus faith the LORD: As the new wine is found in the cluster; and (one) faith, Destroy it not; for a bleffing is in it; fo will I do for the fake of my fervants; I will not destroy the whole." By this image, the Prophet clearly fhews the nature of the preservation of the nation: for as there is in the cluster of grapes, hufks, and kernels, whichare of little or no use, yet they fay destroy not the grape, because there is a bleffing in it: i. e. it contains that within itself, that will produce good wine: for which reason, it ought not to be deftroyed: even so, says God, will VOL. II


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