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9. Know, ye nations, and be appalled,
And give ear all the extremities of the earth.
Prepare for the contest, and be appalled;
10. 'Take counsel, and be it dissipated;
This tells the Assyrian king, and in him, I conceive, typically, some mightier foe hereafter, who will tread in his steps, that every effort is in vain against the remnant in Jerusalem; because of their connexion with the Messiah to be born, or about to appear in his glory amongst them. It is, at the same time, mysteriously declared, that this Immanuel, this Jehovah Sabaoth, though a sanctuary to his faithful few, would prove,
14. A stone of stumbling, and rock of offence, To the two houses of Israel;
A trap, and a snare,
To the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
15. And many of them shall stumble and fall, And shall be maimed, and snared, and taken.
A plain prediction of the casting off of Israel at the first advent. The call of the Gentiles is next intimated : —
16. Bind up the testimony,
And seal the instruction for my disciples:'
17. And I will wait for Jehovah,
Who hath hidden his face from the house of Jacob,
* Chap. viii.
1 "Proillisquidocentcmmeaudient."—Houbioakt. SoHoRSLcr.
The fulfilment alone could have explained the meaning of this prophecy; but the event has shown, that when Israel rejected the Messiah, " the oracles of God" were no longer " committed unto them." A remnant of that nation, and a people taken out of the Gentile nations, were henceforth the peculiar people of God. These were to be known by the distinguishing name of" Disciples" — the first name which the Christians bore. The sacred records, and archives of the church, were to be bound up, sealed, and committed to the custody of this new people. They were not to be committed to them open, as Israel long held them,— unfinished, and expecting fresh and fresh additions. The book of God was now to be finished and given complete, as a sacred, unchangeable deposit, into the hands of the Gospel churches. Among these the Redeemer would wait, till the appointed time of Israel's rejection should be accomplished.
The same mystical person declares in the next verse,— and we are sure that we are correct in the application of it to Jesus Christ, because St. Paul has quoted the words as spoken by him,— 1
18. Behold, I and the children which Jehovah hath given me, 'Are' for signs and for portents in Israel; From Jehovah Sabaoth, that dwelleth in Zion.
The children of Christ, as the second Adam, were the gift of God to him: "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me." —" A remnant according to the election of
1 " The application of this pas- extraordinary. It shows that from
snge in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the sixteenth verse, the prophet
to prove the truth of the humnn personates the humanity of the
nature in the Redeemer, is very M«ssiah."—Hukm.j-.y.
grace."—" He came to his own, and his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."* The Messiah, as manifest in the flesh, and the children given to him, are for signs and wonders; that is, for miraculous indications and demonstrations of the presence of the Deity; — that he, the Messiah, Jehovah Sabaoth, reigneth in Zion above. The birth of Jesus, by his virgin mother, was before called a sign; and the new birth, or regeneration of all his children, we read, is miraculous, as his own birth after the flesh, f
In the explanation of the next verse, I am also guided by the event: —
19. And when they say to you:
Seek to the necromancers and diviners,'
When they shall say to you, my disciples, among whom the testimony is bound up, — when the corrupters of the faith shall say to you, Let us have recourse to necromancy and magic: —
Say to them:
Should not a people seek their God?
While they yet live, should they seek unto the dead?
In these verses the spirit of prophecy foretells, and warns the church concerning the apostacy of the latter
• John, i. 11, 18. t John, i. 12,13. Comp. chap. iii.
'"Spirit-mongers and wizards."—Br. Stock.
days, when (Christians should a give heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons;" and should be deceived by "the working of Satan in all signs, and lying wonders," previously to " the coming of the Lord." This "seeking of the living to the dead," the doctrine of " or concerning demons," as it is called in the New Testament, has in these latter ages discovered itself to be the Romish doctrine of the mediation of saints, which has withdrawn a deluded people from the doctrine of the one atonement in the blood of Christ: and the various superstitious mummeries of the papists, and of other apostate churches, may well be compared to the unmeaning monotony and mysterious muttering of the ancient enchanters and magicians.
The twentieth verse will now open upon us in its true
20. To the instruction, and to the testimony;
Let the book of God, with its sure word of prophecy, be your only standard. When professed disciples bring not their doctrines to this test, it will lead to the manifestation of that wicked one, on whom no blessed morning of the second advent shall dawn; but for whom, and for his followers, "the blackness of darkness is reserved for ever."1 What follows is most remarkable: —
1 Bishop Horsley proposes the See if they do not say, according following: to the proverb,
"To the doctrine, and to Hie tt-bti- I"1"" thcrc '' not a 'a* pf light
21. And transgressing this, he shall be heavily pressed and
And it shall be, when he is famished, he shall fret himself,
The history of papal Europe has explained this. Departing from the written word of God, transgressing this rule, by giving heed to "seducing spirits," the Roman Catholic church became heavily oppressed, by all the cruel exactions and hard services imposed by a tyrannical priesthood, and oppressive civil governments; while the souls of men were famished for want of the knowledge of God's word. When this state of things had reached its appointed limits, what followed? The oppressed people "vexed," or " fretted themselves;" as the word properly signifies: they so worked themselves up into anger, that it at length burst forth. What a description of the causes, and of the manner of their operation, that gave rise to that extraordinary revolution, which has taken place in Christendom in our day! An historian of the times would scarcely make use of any other description of the causes and rise of revolutionary principles in Europe: and how plainly are the consequences marked!" He shall curse," or lightly esteem " his king and his God," This portrays those principles of insubordination and Atheism, which we have learned to distinguish by the term Jacobinism. In the scenes of the French Revolution it developed itself to the world in traits of character deeply drawn; and whatever better principles may do for
I should, in this case, interpret the Romanists, under the pretence cf passage as predictive of the denying their obscurity." the perusal ol the Scriptures l\y the