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sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow ; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword : for the mouth of the Lord hath 21 The once faithful city gave itself spoken it. 21 How is the faith- up to idolatry-forsaking its spouse, ful city become an harlot! it the Church, basely and fatally. was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water : 23 thy princes are rebellious, 23 Those in authority administered and companions of thieves: the laws fraudulently. They were every one loveth gifts, and bribed by the rich to oppress and followeth after rewards: they deny justice to the poor. judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine ene- 23 Thy good graces have become mies : 25 and I will turn my corrupt; thy silver debased like tin, hand upon thee, and purely and valueless. purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning : afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. 27 Happy for the soul when it feels * Zion shall be redeemed with zion shall be redeemed with shame for former sins.
sham judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed. 29 As for the impenitent wicked, * For they shall be ashamed they shall wither, and fade, and be of the oaks which ye have even as the leafless oaks, under whose desired, and we shall be con- shade they were wont to sin, when founded for the gardens that engaged in their idol-worship. ye have chosen. For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water. And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.
EVENING. Isaiah ii.
The word that Isaiah the The prophetic word given in a son of Amoz saw concerning Vision. Judah and Jerusalem. ? And
2 The Christian dispensation, being
the last which mankind are to expect it shall come to pass in the from God, is a period designated last days, that the mountain often, by the term “ the last days."
of the Lord's house shall be “The mountain of the Lord's house" established in the top of the
the means, the Temple of Jerusalem ;
which was built on mount Zion, part mountains, and shall be ex
of mount Moriah, and is a type of alted above the hills ; and all the Church of Christ. Dan. iii. 25. nations shall flow unto it.
3 A beautiful picture of that teach* And many people shall go
able disposition which marks the disand say, Come ye, and let us ciples of the meek and lowly Jesus. go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths : for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. • And he shall judge 46 Peace on earth” was the angels' among the nations, and shall song, when they heralded the advent rebuke many people : and of the Prince of peace ; and Christ is they shall beat their swords Himself the great Peace-maker beinto plowshares, and their
tween God and his people. How so
lemn the duty upon Christians to spears into pruninghooks :
avoid divisions ; to live in peace, and nation shall not lift up sword good-will, and brotherly love ; and against nation, neither shall having one hope of their calling, to they learn war any more.
be of one heart and one mind ! * O house of Jacob, come ye,
5 Let me rejoice so to walk, o and let us walk in the light
gracious Father, with Thee and by
Thee !- Am I not thy servant ? of the LORD. Therefore thou " hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers 9Not that Isaiah prays God to have made : and the mean withhold forgiveness. It is the man boweth down, and the Hebrew mode of expressing very great man humbleth himself: strongly the awful truth, that God therefore forgive them not. will not forgive such sinners in their Enter into the rock, and hide selle thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low : and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all plea- 17 What a noble and affecting picsant pictures. 17 And the lof- ture is here drawn of the folly and tiness of man shall be bowed boldness of pride in prosperity, of down, and the haughtiness its weakness and terror in adverof men shall be made low: sity! Faith alone
low. sity! Faith alone knows no fear *. and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 20 In 20 Shame is ever the attendant of that day a man shall cast his detected sin ; concealment its reidols of silver, and his idols pose. of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 22 Cease 22 Let me never trust in a passing ye from man, whose breath world, or on man's strength! Let is in his nostrils : for where my whole trust be in the mercy of in is he to be accounted of?
God, through Jesus Christ my Redeemer. His power, my protection.
The second Sunday in Advent.
MORNING. Isaiah v. Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill : ? and he ,
2 Jesus Christ is this “ well befenced it, and gathered out loved” of God; and the Church is the stones thereof, and plant- his vineyard, to which He gave all ed it with the choicest vine, appropriate advantages, fencing it and built a tower in the midst about with angels. It ought, there
fore, to bave given, not wild grapes of it, and also made a wine
- not the recklessness of man's wild press therein : and he looked passions, but the sweet fruits of a that it should bring forth converted heart and a renewed spirit.
* Surely it is equally foolish and bold when pride, spiritual pride especially, exalting itself like the cedar of Lebanon and the oak of Bashan, expects to enjoy the favour of that God, who " dwelleth in the heart of the contrite," and chooseth “ things despised" of men. 1 Cor. i. 28. Belasting is always vain, even before men : what will be its vanity when the Lord shall come in his glorious majesty, and judge us all in righteousness!
grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, o inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vine- This appeal comes with added yard. What could have force to the Christian Church and been done more to my vine- each individual member of it. O ! let yard, that I have not done in me judge myself. it ? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes ? And now go to ; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard : I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down : 6 and I will lay it This prophetic word was accom
plished when, the dews of God's Spiwaste: it shall not be pruned,
rit being withheld, the vineyardnor digged ; but there shall the Church-withered and perished. come up briers and thorns: I Then, too, was heard its cry – will also command the clouds lamentation, and mourning, and that they rain no rain upon
* woe, throughout the falling walls of it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression ; for righteousness, but behold a cry. Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah. Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink ; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! 12 And the harp, and the viol, 12 Let me avoid main pleasures, and the tabret, and pipe, and be moderate even in allowed relaxawine, are in their feasts : but tion from the great duties of life ; they regard not the work of
for “ that love of the world,” which
pleasure too often induces, is enmity the LORD, neither consider with God. the operation of his hands.
13 Of worldly knowledge they had 13 Therefore my people are enough and to spare. The knowgone into captivity, because ledge which they lacked, was that they have no knowledge: and knowledge of God which springs from their honourable men are an obedient heart. John vii. 17. famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure : and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled : but the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness. Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat. 18 Alas! for those bold defiers of 18 Woe unto them that draw the Omnipotent! They sin“ with iniquity with cords of vanity, all their might;" haughty contemners and sin as it were with a cart of God, and scorners of his faithful rope : " that say, Let him
servants! Their destruction is to
be complete : “ their blossom, dust ; make speed, and hasten his
their root, rottenness." work, that we may see it : 19 Men may call evil, good ; and and let the counsel of the good, evil ; but they cannot change Holy One of Israel draw nigh
truth into a lie ; they cannot rob and come, that we may know
virtue of its reward, nor relieve vice
of its misery. Let this be your it! 20 Woe unto them that comfort. call evil good, and good evil; 20 How awfully does the Propliet that put darkness for light. close his prediction of misery upon and licht for doriness. That an offending Church and people* ! put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink : which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust : because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them : and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his arger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth : and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly : none shall be weary nor stumble among them ; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be
* According to this word, God, at different periods, did send the armies of the Babylonian and Roman conquerors, severally to execute judgment upon his impenitent people. Now if they—the elect, the chosen--if they were not spared in their sin, how shall we be spared in Eurz? “ If God spared not the natural branches,” take we heed "Best he spare not us, the branches graffed in.”
Reader ! This record is written for your learning! Remember it in all you do, in all you say, in all you think.