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wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust : for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
19 Afflictions have been sanctified, and turned to good. Prayer hath been answered. God hath raised the penitent from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; and will raise them from the darkness of the dust of death, to the light of life eternal.
20 O what a privilege! thus to commune with the Almighty! thus in his own holy house to "hide myself," as it were, from the strife of a busy world, and abide in peace with my Saviour and my God!
The fourth Sunday in Advent.
MORNING. ISAIAH XXX.
WOE to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: 2 that walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. For his princes were at Zoan*, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach. The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they
2 The Jews, as children of God, were rebellious. They sent to the Egyptians for succour, instead of trusting to the succour promised them by their heavenly Father.
6 The burden of presents profited not; for though the Egyptians, in return for the presents so received, did attack the Assyrians, yet they were routed with shame and dis
• Zoan and Hanes were two of the chief cities of Egypt.
will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still. Now
7 Let me ever be patient under God's hand. Am I not assured that "the patient abiding of the meek shall not perish for ever?"
Surely for our learning are these things written.
the Master. Luke x. 16.
write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: 10 which 10 When evil prevails, the faithful say to the seers, See not; and preaching of the word is met with to the prophets, Prophesy not scorn. These despisers forget, that unto us right things, speak in despising the servant they despise unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant. 14 And he shall
14 Such is the miserable end of impenitence! God spares it not.
break it as the breaking of the potter's vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a shred to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit. For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. 16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; there fore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift;
16 No sadder evil can befal us, than being permitted by God to have our own way, when that is contrary to his will. 2 Sam. xxiv. 1.
therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill. 16 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is ment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
18 Yet does the Lord graciously wait for us, that we may repent and
exalted, that he a God of judgFor the people
shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers 21 and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures. The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and 25 The bounty of God's providence with the fan. 25 And there is an earnest of the riches of his shall be upon every high grace.
be removed into a corner any 21 How earnestly does the Spirit speak by our consciences, saying, "This is the way!" How graciously does it welcome the wanderer back to Zion!
mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of
of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which
32 Wheresoever the enemy, like a staff of violence, shall have passed and smitten, there shall God at last scatter their power: and as Tophet, that valley of Hinnom, witnessed the
smote with a rod. And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the LORD shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile therefore is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.
bloody sacrifices to Moloch, so shall perish the Assyrian power for ever, by the breath of the fierce anger of an offended God. O Lord, have
mercy upon us!
EVENING. ISAIAH XXxii.
'BEHOLD, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And 2 Still more extended is the blessing a man shall be as an hiding of that righteous spiritual kingdom, place from the wind, and a which the Son of God, God and Man, covert from the tempest; as shall establish as a covert from every rivers of water in a dry place, storm, a sure refuge for all nations. as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.
It is a great national blessing, when sovereigns reign, as did Hezekiah, in righteousness.
4 The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the
churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the
drink of the thirsty to fail.
4 Great shall be the change effected hitherto, and tossed about by every upon mankind. The rash-unstable wind of doctrine,-shall learn true wisdom; and the unlearned, stammerers as it were, shall speak plainly their faith in Christ; whilst the sim
ple shall no more go away ashamed. Truth shall flourish under this government, protected and honoured.
encouraged and advanced; but the 5 Vile persons shall no more be righteous shall have their honour and reward. Evil shall no more be called good, or good evil. The vile hypocrite shall stand exposed in the deformity of his sin.
* The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh
8 Faithful stewards shall be liberal
right. But the liberal de- dispensers of the bounty of their viseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
Rise up, ye women that are at
ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear to my
10 Isaiah forewarns the people, what horrors should attend the invading army of Sennacherib,-a type of the desolation caused by sin.
speech. Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; 15 until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting coming down on the forest; a low place. 20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.
15 At length, God's Spirit of mercy removes these calamities, and restores to the land peace and plenty; a type of the Spirit of grace, by which the Church again flourishes in peace, whilst her enemies, the lated by the hail and wind and temAssyrians, like a thick forest, desopest, perish under the anger of the Most High, and lie as a city laid low in a low place. Each member of the holiness. Every soul, hitherto barChurch partakes of this Spirit of ren of good, and full of the thorns and briers of sin, beareth fruit, even the fruit of a holy and religious life, Christ our Lord. at peace with God, through Jesus
places; when it shall hail, and the city shall be low in
20 The conclusion is inevitable. Blessed are that people, and only they, who, having the Lord for their God, are safe under his wing; and, in their temporal and spiritual state put their whole trust in Him.