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17 For the iniquity of his covetousness || 19 I create m the fruit of the lips: was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, ll - Peace, peace to him that is far off, and and was wroth, e and he went on * srowardly to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I in the way of his heart.
I will heal him. 18 I have seen his ways, and will 20 But the wicked are o like the troubled heal him: I will lead him also, and kre- || sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast store comforts unto him and 'to his up mire and dirt.
21 There is P no peace, saith my God,
Luke 12:15. Eph. 5:3-5. Col. 22.&c. Luke 15:20. Rom. 5: . 3.5. 1 Tim. 6:9,10. 2 Pet. 2: 20.
m Ex. 4:11,12. Hos. 14:2. Luke! 2:14-17. 3,14,15,
b Jer. 3:22. 33:6. Hos. 14:4-8. 23:15. Eph. 6:19. Col. 4:3,4. 3:11. Job 15-20_24. 18:54 8:17. 45:15. Ji 49:10. Ps. 23:2. Rev. 7:17. Heb. 13:13.
| 14. 20:11,&c. Ps. 73:18 20. e 60:13. Jer. 2:30, 5:3. Lukek 15. 12:1. 61:2,3. 66:1013. Ps. u Matt. 10:13. Mark 16:15. Jude 13. 15.14-16. 51:12.
Luke 2:14. 10:5.6. Acts 2:39. / p 3:11. 48:22. Rom. 3:16,17. • Heb. turning away. 1 Jer. 13:17. Ec. 9:4.
10:36. 2 Cor. 5:20,21. Eph. f Ec. 6:9.
glory and majesty in the sublimest language: them, and they have ever since gone on "fro"The high and lofty One, who inhabiteth eter wardly in the way of their own hearts," and nity, whose name is Holy.” As eternity is the covetousness has all along been the characterhabitation of his immutable existence, and ho istic of the nation, even to a proverb. Yet the liness is bis nature; so "the bigh and holy | Lord will surely convert and save Judah, and place” of heaven is his special residence, in become again his Guide and Comforter, for his respect of his sovereign and universal govern own name's sake. This seems the more imment, and the immediate manifestation of his mediate meaning of the prophecy: yet the ava. glory. But he has also a habitation on earth, I rice of the church of Rome, her enormous exin which he peculiarly delights, (even more actions, and her infamous traffic for indulthan in the temple on Inount Zion, except as I gences, dispensations, and other scandalous it typified the human nature of Christ;) ard impositions, must occur to the attentive readthat is, the heart which is broken down under er's mind; and also the promises of God to rethe sense of guilt and unworthiness, and deep- cover his church from this corrupt state, into ly humbled before him; which is crushed, as it which it has been so long sunk.-By covetouswere, in self-abasement, and broken off from ness, in scripture, we must generally underall self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and self- stand the inordinate love of lucre, whether to preference. (Notes, 66:1,2. 2 Kings 22:15--20. hoard, or to lavish in luxury and indulgence. Ps. 51:17. Ez. 9:3,4. Matt. 5:3. 1 Pet. 3:1--4.) | V. 19. (Note, Eph. 2:14-18.) This verse With such persons the Lord will dwell, in points out the method, by which God revives, order to revive their drooping spirits, and com- | purifies, and comforts his church. He raises fort their dejected hearts, and give them life up faithful ministers to preach his word; he eternal. (Notes, John 14:18–24.) For though || qualifies them for their work, and gives them he alarms, convinces, and distresses them, by their message; he creates in their hearts that shewing them his majesty, justice, and holi zeal for his glory, and compassion for souls, ness, and their own guilt and depravity; and | which produce earnest and constant preachfor a time contends with them by frowns, and ing of the gospel, “the fruit of their lips;" by rebukes, and corrections: yet, the end being which peace of every kind is proclaimed to answered, he will cease to contend, and to be Jews and Gentiles, far and near, and thus numwroth with them; lest they should be driven bers are converted and healed. (Notes, Matt. to despair, and incapacitated for serving him; 10:11-15. Acts 2:37–40. 10:36–43. 2 Cor. 5:18 as no creature can endure his perpetual frown | -21.) In this way religion was revived among and indignation. ( Notes, 27:2–6. Ps. 30:5. 61:1 | a remnant of the Jews, and the Gentiles were -3. 83:38,39. 103:9-18, 125:3. Jer. 10:23–25. || called into the church: thus that nation shall 2 Cor. 2:5—11.)
be again converted, the fulness of the Gentiles V. 17, 18. The people are here stated to shall come in, and all Zion's wounds and have imitated the covetousness of their rulers breaches shall be healed. The text may also and teachers: (Note, 56:9–12.) and this covet- | refer to the mercies through the gospel beousness was connected with iniquity, fraud, I stowed on multitudes, the gratitude excited in oppression, or extortion: therefore the Lord their hearts, and the spiritual worship rendersmote Israel, or Judah, and hid his face from led by them: for the Lord "creates the fruit ot hiin. Under these rebukes he went on fro- || the lips,” by teaching and exciting sinners, wardly, in the way of his own perverse heart. || having embraced the message of salvation, to But though the Lord saw his wicked ways offer unto him the spiritual sacrifices of praise and hated them; yet of his own mere grace he | and thanksgiving. (Notes, Hos. 14:1-3. Heb. intended to convert and heal him, to take him || 13:15,16.) under bis tuition and guidance, and to comfort || V. 20, 21. Wicked men cannot share him, and those who lamented and mourned that inward peace, which springs from the over his calamities. This may be understood | mercy and grace of God. Their turbulent of the conduct of Judah previous to the Bab- \ passions, polluting lusts, and unquiet conylonish captivity, and during that calamity; sciences, render them like the tempestuous, and of the freeness of God's mercy in his res- restless ocean, when ceaseless dashings against toration. (.Notes, 43:22-25. 44:22. Jer. 31:18– the shore "cast up mire and dirt:" so that, 20. Ez. 36:31,32. Hos. 2:6–17. Rom. 5:20,21.) whatever external changes take place, “there But the nation of Israel was more peculiarly | is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” The addicted to covetousuess in the time of Christ, I promises before given therefore must not be so and previously to the destruction of Jerusalem explained, as to encourage men to expect reby the Romans; their strictest professors of conciliation to God, and peace of conscience, religion “devouring widows' houses, and for a without “repentance and works meet for repretence making long prayers.” For this and | pentance:” but to excite them to believe and other sins the Lord was wroth, and smote | hope and pray, that he would give them repent. 204]
ance, and forgiveness of sins, through the || But we ought at the same time to remember. promised Redeemer, and according to the gos- || that except our earnestness be regulated acpel: as all the impenitent and unconverted]cording to the word of God, it will be at best would be given up to final destruction. (Notes, wholly unprofitable. It is vain to dissemble, 3:10,11. 48:20–22. Acts 3:19–21.)
or to pretend to fear God and seek his glory,
if we do not: those who really remember him, PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. will be universally conscientious; and such as V. 1-8.
allow themselves in known sin, act from some The death of the righteous is the greatest sinister motive which the Lord will detect; and gain to themselves, and the greatest loss to then he will shew the corrupt nature of "their others, which can be imagined. They are ex-l righteousness and works," and manifest the empted from the evils, that are impending || reason of his rejecting them. His silence and over guilty nations and churches; but their re- l patience encourage the presumptuous hopes moval portends, and makes way for divine of transgressors: but when he shall arise to judgments: yet alas, this is seldom attended | judgment, the infidel and profane, the pharito, and scarcely ever duly laid to heart.-In all saical and superstitious, the hypocritical and events true believers are safe and happy: and enthusiastical; and all the advocates for vice, even their graves are quiet beds, in which or for false religion, will discover their danger: they sleep in Jesus, and from which he will but it will then be too late to cry for help; nor shortly awake them to everlasting joy and fe- I will any of their companions or idols avail licity. (Notes, 1 Thes. 4:13–18. Rev. 14:12,13, them; for they will all be driven into destruct. 13.) – The enormous wickedness of those, / tion. But those wbo trust and love our God who are favored with the word and ordinances and Savior, will "inherit the kingdom preparof God, is a lamentable demonstration of hu-led for them from the foundation of the world." man depravity. The spurious brood, which -It should therefore be our first care to learn hypocrisy, superstition, and fanaticisnı have the ways of God ourselves; and then, in our engendered, within the visible church, will several places, to make them plain to others, easily be distinguished, notwithstanding names and to remove every stumbling block, which and splendid pretences, from her genuiue lobstructs the path. In this respect we have children; and be punished with more marked much to do, and much to pray for.-The abseverity than any other transgressors. We surd and wild opinions, which are propagated; ought then neither to be disconcerted, nor ex and the crimes which are committed, by men asperated, if they treat us, as Ishmael did Isaac, || professing the doctrines of the gospel; the mulwith mockery and derision in every form. || tiplied controversies acrimoniously agitated ( Notes, Gen. 21:8–12. Gal. 4:21-31.) Scoffs | among them; the horrible injustice and profliand calumny are their weapons, when gacy of men called Christians, in every quarmore destructive instruments are placed outter of the globe; the corrupt state of almost of their reach. Yet they little think against the whole visible church, in doctrine, disciwhom they sport themselves, when they ridi- || pline, and practice; and the idolatry, imposcule and mock the humble and faithful servants | ture, and enormous covetousness of the church of the Lord: but he will shortly convict and of Rome, have long been stumbling blocks to expose them, silence their mockery and boast-|| infidels, Jews, Mohammedans, and Pagans all ings, and shew them to be "children of trans- over the world. The Lord calls upon Chrisgression, a seed of falsehood.”—Men naturally |tians and ministers to remove these scandals love a religion, which inflames and authorizes as much as they possibly can; and we should their unholy passions: and there is no absurdi- | unite in constant and earnest prayer to him ty so palpable, no cruelty, even to their own to raise up instruments who may do it effectchildren or bodies, however horrid, of which ually. they are not capable, if seduced into an opin-!|
V. 15--21. ion, that it will atone for their crimes, and While numbers stumble, and fall, and perpurchase indulgence for the favorite lust; if it ish, through the offences which every where can be made subservient to the gratification of abound, it is by their own pride, unbelief, and their pride and ambition; or if it will quiet enmity to God and holiness. “For this high their consciences, and aid them to hope for and lofty One, who inhabits eternity, whose happiness, without Christ, or without holiness.name is boly, who dwells in the high and lofty This developes that “mystery of iniquity,"place," delights in those who are "poor in spirnamely, of idolatry, Pagan, Jewish, or Anti- | it" and broken-hearted, mourners for sin, and christian: the wbole has been suited to one or supplicants for mercy and grace. He will other of these purposes. And so entirely does make bis abode with those, whose hearts he Satan blind the minds of numbers, that they has thus humbled, in order to revive and comexpect that God should delight in, and reward fort them: “he will not contend for ever" with them for, such observances, as he has express the penitent soul; he will not drive the conly forbidden and utterly abhors!
trite to despondency, nor leave him to perish V. 9–14.
under his frown. Let then no trembling supThe zeal which men shew in false religion,' plicant give way to discouragement, or hard the boldness with which they avow their ab- thoughts of God: but let him continue to wait surdities; their diligence and constancy in pub- and pray, and ere long he shall be comforted. lic and private superstitions; the alacrity, with But though the Lord employs corrections to which they weary themselves in burdensome bring sinners to repentance, and to recover services, or severe penances; the pertinacity, backsliders; yet they are not of themselves efwith which they hold fast their delusive hopes, fectual. Even believers sometimes go on froand labor to "establish their own righteous- || wardly for a season, wheri smitten for their inness," should remind us, who have a better iquity, and under the hidings of God's countecause, how earnest, constant, patient, and dili- nance:( Note, Ps. 32:3--5.) and many who seem gent we ought to be. The very devotees of to be religious in this way, become mere thorny superstition and idolatry avow, that religion is ground, that brings forth no fruit to perfection. the grand concern; that it should be our main! -Covetousness is idolatry, and it almost always employment and satisfaction; that every thing produces dishonesty and iniquity likewise; yet should be sacrificed to it; and that no labor, I few are much aware of its malignity. (Notes, loss, or bardship should' here be regarded. | Luke 12:15 -21. Eph. 5:3,4, 1 Tin. 6:6-10, vv.
and thou seest not? wherefore have we
Inances of justice; they take delight in The prophet is commanded boldly to reprove hypocrisy, 1, 2. approaching to God. He shew that pride, injustice, and oppression render fasts unpritable, and he declares the nature of ap acceptable fast, 3 -7. Most encouraging promises to those who attend on these
e we duties, 8-12; and who duly hallow the sabbath, 13, 14. NTRY * aloud, a spare pot, blift up thy |
& afflicted our soul, and thou takest no voice like a trumpet, and shew my
Yll knowledge? Behold, " in the day of your people their transgression, and the house of
f fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your
lt labors. Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight,
on 4 Behold, ye fast for strise and debate,
Tidl' and to smite with the fist of wickedness: to know my ways, as a nation that did
ye # shall not fast as ye do this day, righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance
to of their God: e they ask of me the ordi
make your voice to be heard on high. • Heb. with the throat.
f Num. 23:4. Mic. 3:9_11. 2:23,24. a 56:10. Ps. 40:9, 10. Jer. 1:7 d 1:11-15, 29:13. 48:1,2. 1
5 7. Mal. 3:14. Matt. 1 k 1 Kings 21:9-13. Prov. 21: -10.17-19. 7:8-11. 15:19,20. Sam. 15:21-25. Prov. 15:8.
20:11,12. Luke 15:29. 18:9–12. 27. Matt. 6:16. 23:14. Luke Ez. 2:3_-8. 3:5-9,17-21. 20: Ez. 33.30-33. Matt. 15:7-9.||
Lev. 16:29. 23:27. Ps. 69:10. 20:47. John 18:28. 4. 22:2. Mie. 3:8-12. Matt. Mark 4.16,17. 6:20. John 5:35. h Dan. 10:2,3. Jon. 3:6–8. I Acts 23:1,2. Phil. 1:15,16 3:7-9. Acts 7:51,52. 20.26,27. Tit. 1:16. Heb. 6:4--6.
li Neb. 5:7. Prov. 28:9. Jer. 1 t Or, fast not as this day. Tit. 2:15. Rev. 14:9,10.
Jer. 42:2,3,20. Mark 12:14,15.
|| 34.9_17. Matt. 18:28–35
34.9-17. Mait. 18:28–35 m Joel 2:13,14. Jon. 3:7. Matt. b See on 40:9.
Jam. 1:21,22. 1 Pet. 2:1,2.
+ Or, things therewith yegrieve | 6:16 18. c 27.13. Hos 8:1. Rev. 1:10.
others. Heb. griefs. 47:6. Ex.
9,10. 2 Pet. 2:12-16.) But if we have been de- l to the people, and in exposing their hypocrisy. livered from this snare, or are recovered from The Lord primarily addressed this command the state here described; we must acknowl-to Isaiah; but it is equally obligatory on the edge it to be the mere grace of God. He saw ministers of religion in every age: the prophet
when we were “walking frowardly in the might intend his warnings for the hypocrites way of our own hearts," and graciously de- of his own time; but the Holy Spirit had also termined to heal us by his sanctifying Spirit: those of other ages in view.-The fasts obthus he began to teach and guide us, and tu served by the Jews during the captivity inerbring us into the ways of holiness and conso ited the censure here given. (Notes, 3,4. Zech. lation: (Note, 42:13-17, v. 16.) and he has re 7:2—7.) The Pharisees in the time of Christ peatedly recovered us, when we were depart fasted often, in ostentation and hypocrisy, and ing from him; causing us to renew our godly to cloke oppression and avarice: ihe great valsorrow, and restoring our comforts. The gos- ue put upon fasting by the church of Rome, pel was sent to us when “far off” from God;|| without any regard to a correspondent temper the influences of the Holy Spirit, by which we and conduct in other respects, is well known. were brought near, and that new heart from But Vitringa thinks that this chapter, in its whence grateful praise, “the fruit of our lips," connexion with what precedes and follows originates, are alike his gift. Our salvation, may relate to the reformed, or protestant, with all its fruits, hopes, and comforts, is his churches. They have indeed renounced the work; it comes from bim, and to him belongsidolatry and gross abuses of popery; but are all the glory. But the destruction of the grievously deformed by a worldly spirit and wicked is from themselves; their hearts cast conduct, and great formality in religious duup filthy imaginations and desires, and empty |ties, where the form is not thrown aside: and themselves in wicked words and works: ( Note, this indeed brings the matter home to ourJam. 1:13–18.) their selfish and malignant selves. passions, and constant disappointments and V. 2. “The house of Jacob,” in the time of vexations, with anxious forebodings as to the Hezekiah, seems to have sat for this picture. future, exclude them from peace: and as death || They were not openly idolatrous or irreligious; for ever fixes a man's character; so those who nay, they were earnest and constant in their die in sin will be left eternally proud, revenge- forms of devotion, "seeking the Lord daily," ful, envionis, full of enmity against God and and taking pleasure in learning his truths and man, and given up to the torments of con-precepts, as if they were a very righteous nascience and the rage of despair. (Note, Prov. tion: (Note, Ez. 33:30–33.) but they were 14:32.) Were there no other hell, the thoughts pleased with these things, merely because of such a condition are enough to harrow up they gratified their pride and curiosity, prothe soul with consternation. Such men are, cured them respect and reputation, and inas it were, turned out of this hospital incura creased their presumptuous confidence. Nay, ble; because they pertinaciously refuse to be they “asked of God the ways of righteousness, healed, or to use the means of healing. “There and took delight in approaching him" in his is po peace, saith my God, for the wicked:"| courts; for this was then creditable, and genbut "let the wicked forsake his way, and the erally done; and it served as an easy conmuunrighteous man his thoughts; and let him re tation for secret injustice, and as a cheap quieturn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on us to their consciences. (Notes, 1:10–15. 48: him, and to our God, and he will abundantly || 1,2. 1 Sam. 15:22—25. Heb. 6:4-6.)-This has pardon.” (Note, 55:6,7.)
often been the case, both in Israel, and in the
Christian church, among papists, and among NOTES.
protestants. CHAP. LVIII. V. 1. (Notes, 57:15–21.) The * V. 3, 4. The persons here addressed had prophet, while he protested veheinently against mortified themselves, with apparent sorrow all wickedness, was required especially to “cry and contrition, on stated or occasional fasts. aloud” against the crimes of God's own peo- (Notes, Lev. 16:29–31. Ps. 35:13,14.) They ple; not sparing to reprove them sharply, outdeemed this very meritorious;and they inquired of respect to friends, fear of enemies, or regardl wherefore the Lord had not noticed their serto interest. He must spend his strength, ven- vices, and delivered them from their troubles. ture reproach and persecution; and “lift up (Notes, Mic. 3:9–11. Mal. 3:13–18. Take 15. his voice like a trumpet," in giving an alarm || 25-32, v. 29.) But he answered, that, while
5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? || go before thee; the glory of the LORD) • a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it shall ll be thy rear-ward. to bow down his head as a bulrush, and I 9 Then a shalt thou call, and the LORD P to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? | shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall wilt thou call this a fast, and I an acceptable say, e Here I am. If thou take away from day to the LORD?
the midst of thee 'the yoke, 6 the putting, 6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen; || forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; rto loose the bands of wickedness, to undo | 10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the theavy burdens, and to let the top-the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, pressed go free, and that 8 ye break every " then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and
||thy darkness be as the noon-day: 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the 11 And 'the LORD shall guide thee conhungry, and that thou " bring the poor that tinually, mand satisfy thy soul in " drought, are cast out to thy house? when thou and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt seest * the naked, that thou cover him; and ° be like a watered garden, and like a spring that thou hide not thyself from y thine own of water whose waters ** fail not. flesh? Practical Observations.)
12 And they that shall be of thee shall 8 Then shall 2 thy light break forth as P build the old waste places: thou shalt the miorning, a and thine health shall spring || raise up the foundations of many generaforth speedily: "and thy righteousness shall || tions; and thou shalt be called, "The ren 2 Chr. 20:3. Ezra 10:6. Neh. / 11:41. 19:8. Rom. 12:20,21. 2 || pairer of the breach, The restorer of paths
9:1,2. Esth. 4:3.16. Dan. 9: Cor. 9.6-10. 11.n. 5:10. 3,&c. Zech. 7:5.
Philem. 7. Jam. 2:15.16. u to dwell in. • Or, to afflict his soul for a John 3:17,18.
c 52:12. Ex. 14:19.
11. marg day. u 16:3,4. Gen. 18:2-5. 19:2. I Heb. gather thee up.
m 33:16. Job 5:20. Ps. 33:19. o See on 3.-Lev. 16:29.
Judg. 19,20,21. Acts 16:15,34. || d 1:15, 30:19. 65:24. Ps. 34:15— 34:9,10. 37:19. Jer. 17:8. Hos. p 1 Kings 21:27-29. 2 Kings Rom. 12:13. Heb. 13:2,3. 17. 37:4. 50:15. 66:18,19. 91:15. | 13:5. 6:30. Jon. 3: 5 8 . Or, afflicted.
118:5. Jer 29:12,13. Matt. 1 Heb. droughts. 49:8. 61:2. Ps. 69:13. Luke * 2 Chr. 28:15. Job 31:19,20. 7:7,8. 1 John 3:21,22. In Ps. 92:14. Prov. 3:8. 11:25. 4:19. Rom. 12:2. 1 Pet. 2:5. Ez. 18:7. Matt. 25:35–45. le Gen. 27:18. 1 Sam. 3:
4 8. 13:4. 28:25 rNeb. 5:10-12. Jer. 34:8-11. | Luke 3.11.
f See on 6.
| 0 61:11. Cant. 4:15. Jer. 31: Mic. 3:2-4. y Judg. 9.2. Neh. 5:5. Luke g 57:4. Prov. 6:13.
12. Ez. 36:35. Heb. bundles of t e voke. 10:29–36. John 3:17.
h 59:34. Ps. 12.2. Ez. 13:8. ** Heb. lie, or deceide. Job 6: 1 Heb. broken. z 10,11. Job 11:17. Ps. 37:6. || Zech. 10:2.
| 15—20. $1 Tim. 6:1.
97.11. 112:4. Prov. 4:18. Hos.lli See on 7. Deut. 15:7-10. Ps. (p 61:4. Neh. 2:5,17.4:1–6. Jer. 1 10. Job 22:7. 31:18_21. Ps. 6:3. Mal. 4:2.
41:1,2. 112:5-9. Prov. 11:24, 131:38. Ez. 36:4,8-11,33. Am. 112:9. Prov. 22:9. 25:21. 28:27. a 57:13. Jer 33:6. Hos. 6:2. | || 25. 14:31. 28.27. Luke 18:22. 9:14. Ec. 11:1,2. Ez. 18:7,16. Dan. 14:4. Matt. 13:15.
k 8. 29.18. Job 11:17. Ps. 37.6. l 51:3. 52:9. 4:27. Matt. 25:35–40. Luke lb Ps. 85:13. Acts 20:4,31,35. 1 49:10. Ps. 25:9. 32:8. 48:14. I r Neh. 4:7. 6:1. Dan. 9:25. Am
73:24. John 16:13. 1 Thes. 3: 9:11.
they denied themselves in one respect, they they would moderate the labors of their serindulged themselves in others; especially their vants, and render their services and situation pride, avarice, and malignant passions. For more comfortable; they would cease from usuat the very time, when they seemed to abase rious exactions, and remit the debts which eithemselves before God in fasting; they exact- ||ther were contracted through fraud and oped the full measure of hard labor from their pression, or which the poor debtor was unaoppressed slaves, or their usurious claims ble to discharge: (Notes, Lev. 26:39–55. Deut. from their starving debtors. Their fasting 15:2,13–15. Neh. 5:1-13. Jer. 34:8–17. Jon. 3: also served to increase their self-preference, 5–10.) they would break every yoke of opand excited them to fierce controversies, or I pression, and use their authority and influbitter resentments: it was the cloke of their ence to protect the poor, or rescue them from exactions and oppressions of the poor, whom the injustice of others. They would also be they inost unjustly smote and abused, for not | liberal to the needy according to their wants: complying in every thing with their inclina- || and not get out of the way, or frame excuses, tions; or the commutation and atonement for to avoid relieving them; remembering that this inmerciful conduct. And, surely they they were of the same nature, and had the should not fast in this hypocritical, ostenta- || same feelings, as themselves. (Notes, 8–12. tious, and unrighteous manner; or call a day | Acts 10:1-8. Col. 4:1.) By these things their thus spent a fast; or expect that God would external humiliation before God, in fasting accept their services, or bear their prayers; // and prayer, would be shewn to be sincere and which were merely the labor of their lips, and profitable: but in no other way. uttered with a loud voice, but an insincere * V. 8–12. When the people should thus "reheart. (Notes, 1 Kings 18:27-29. 21:8–14. pent, and do works meet for repentance;" they Jer. 36:8_26. Joel 2:12-17. Zech. 7:2–7. Matt. I might expect that their inward peace, or out6:1-4,16–18. 9:14,15. Luke 18:9–14.)
ward prosperity, would break forth and inV. 5–7. Could it be supposed, that the fast, crease like the morning-light; (Notes, 9:2. 60:1 which the Lord approved, was "for a man to -3.) and that their personal sicknesses, and afflict his soul for a day;" (marg.) with exter disquieted consciences, or their public calaminal appearances of sorrow and shame, and ties, would speedily be healed: their good
vith mere transient animal self-denial, with works would go before them as evidences to out repentance or reformation? The fast attest the sincerity of their faith and love, and which God approved would be attended with for "a memorial before God;” and his glorious the mortification of pride, avarice, and world- | power and presence would protect them from ly lusts; and with the unequivocal fruits of those dangers, to which they were most extrue repentance. They, wbo observed such a posed, as the guard wbich covers and protects fast, would loose the bonds of those, whom the rear of an army. (Notes, 52:11,12. Ex. 14: they had iniquitously enslaved or imprisoned; I) 19,20. Ps. 85:10–13. Acts 10:3–8.) He would
· 13 If thou turn away thy foot from || 14 Then shalt thou " delight thyself in the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my | the LORD; and I will cause thee * to ride holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, || upon the high places of the earth, and the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor father: for 2 the mouth of the LORD hath finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking | spoken it. thine own words:
u Job 22:26. 27:10. 34:9. Ps. y 1:19. Ps. 105:9-11. 135:12.
36:8. 37:4,11. Hab. 3:18. Phil. 136:21,22. Jer. 3:19. . 56: 26. Ex. 20:8-11. 31:13 27.
4:4. 1 Pet. 1:8.
1 z 1:20. 40:5. Mic. 4:4. Matt. -17. 35:2,3. Deut. 5:12-15. lt Ps. 27:4. 42:4. 84:2,10. 92: / x 33:16. Deut. 32:13. 33:29. 24:35. Neh. 13:15-22. Jer. 17:21- title. 1,2. 122:1. Rev. 1:10. Hab. 3:19.
be as ready to answer their prayers, as they naan; and inherit the peculiar blessing, which bad been to answer the cries of their oppress- | was the birth-right and heritage of Jacob. ed and afflicted brethren; whom they now no l( Notes, Gen. 25:31-34. 27:27—29. 28:3,4,13. longer treated with scorn or menaces, or put 15.) off with vain pretences or deceitful promises. And when, from their inınost souls, in genuine PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. compassion and love, they were habitually
V. 1-7. ready to relieve the hungry and distressed;
The ministers of God have need, not only their trouble and inward grief should be ex
of great tenderness and skill to comfort the changed for comfort and joy, resembling the
| broken-hearted and tempted believer; but likenoon-day light. The Lord himself would guide wise of intrepidity and firmness, that they them, and supply their wants in every emer
every emer-may "exhort and rebuke, with all authority," gency; cause their bones to be full of marrowl
those who act inconsistently with their pro
fession. (Note, Til. 2.15.) They should be pleasant and fruitful like a watered garden; disinterested. zealous for the glory of God. and render their consolations abiding like the lor
il prepared for persecution, superior to personal unfailing springs of water. (Notes, Prov. 3:7,8. 11:24,25. 13:4.) Then should they become the shackles of party and bigotry; that with all
considerations, to the fear of men, and the honored instruments of repairing the waste plainness the
il plainness they may detect the transgressions, places of Zion, and building upon those foundations which were laid in former ages, but i fess toʻknow God, but in works deny hím."
and expose the hypocrisy, of those who “pronot further completed; and be named the re-! This requires far more courage in the minister, pairers of Zion's breaches, and the restorers and will generally expose bim to far greater of her ways, that men might come from all trials, than all possible severity against avowaround to worship and dwell there. (.Voles, l ed infidels, profligates, and open opposers of 61:4–6. Judg. 5:6,7.)-This might apply to the gospel.' 'Self-love, selfish friends, and inZerubbabel, Nehemiah, and others, who re-judicious or timid Christians, will say to a built Jerusalem, the temple, and the walls of man in such a case, “Spare thyself." "Ambithe city after the captivity: and to all those, in ton avarice love
tion, avarice, love of ease, and a version to the every age, who have been, or shall be, instru- ilcross will suggest to him. Spare the rich and mental in promoting true religion: and doubt-In
al powerful: but God says "Spare not;" and “we less, from the church, which shall first and best I must obey him, and not men.” please him and answer this description, will those instruments
uments not ourselves. When the ministers of the rebe raised up, who will be principally honoredil
formed churches shall thus loudly protest in bringing forward that extensive and glori
against all the iniquity which prevails in them, ous proinulgation of the gospel, which we are
(as well as against erroneous doctrines, and taught to expect and pray for continually.-
antichristian abuses,) we may hope to see them "This is chiefly meant of the spiritual Jerusa
still further reformed and purified, and for a 'lem, whose builders were the apostles.'
more extensive progress of the reformation.lake fat thy bones, &c. (11)p?m, liberabit, We all need continually to beg of God to assist expedita reddet. Shall make them free from us in examining ourselves: this appears most disease, feebleness, or whatever unfits them clearly, when we consider, how very far men for performing, with ease and comfort, their may go in the appearance of religion, with an proper office.
unsound heart.-As Herod heard John gladly. V. 13, 14. As these prophecies evidently re- || vet loved his brother's wife more than either late, or extend, to the times of the Christian God or his own soul; and as they "who have dispensation; a cogent argument may be de no root in themselves, may receive the word duced from them, for hallowing the Lord's day. with joy;" we should remember, that great de(Notes, 56:3–7. Matt. 12:7,8. Acts 20:7–12, | light in outward forms, and religious specula9. 7. Rev. 1:9-11, v. 10.) The rule here given tions, may spring from pharisaical pride or implies, that men must not profane that day by diabolical delusion: and it must do so, when it doing their ordinary work, or seeking their consists with the love, and allowed practice, secular interest; or by spending it in worldly of one known sin. For, without "repentance pleasures and recreations, or sloth and animals and works meet for repentance," "knowledge indulgence; or by vain and trifling conversa-i puffeth up,” faith is dead; hope, presumptuous; tion: but that they should delight in the sab- i joy, carnal; and profession, hateful hypocrisy. bath, as a holy day especially consecrated to Such, as are strangers to "the power of godlithe Lord, to be spent in the public and private ness," either neglect, or grow proud of the duties of religion; honor it above all other form: in their estimation good works rise ir days, and honor God on it and for it. (Notes, value, in proportion to their scarcity: and wher Ex. 20:8-11. Am. 8:4-10.) Thus they will it is owing to God's infinite patience, that they find much joy and comfort in him, and his are out of hell; they deem him unjust, if he service and worship will become more and slightly afflict them, and if he do not reward more delightful to them, (.Notes, Ps. 84:1,2,10.) | them with eternal happiness! But the Lord they will be rendered triumphant over and will manifest the corrupt motives of their tasks exalted above their enemies; he plenteously of reluctant devotion: and their conduct to provided for, as the Israelites had been in Ca- their poor brethren, whom they enslave, op