« EelmineJätka »
Here " the prophet, by a sudden exclamation “ of surprize (ill rendered in our common English “ version 1 oe to), gives notice, that a new scene “ suddenly breaks upon him. He sees the armies of “ Antichrist rushing on in the full tide of conquest, " and pouring like a deluge over the land of God's " people *. He no sooner sees them, than he “ he declares that God shall rebuke them; that " they shall fiee with precipitation and in dismay; " and shall be chased, as the chaff of the mountains " before the wind, and as a rolling thing before " the whirlwind f. Elated with this glorious scene *** the total rout of the apostate confederacy, he " addresses his countrymen, in words of exulta
almost all countries! How often have they been fined and • fleeced by almost all governments! How often have they “ been forced to redeem their lives with what is almost as “ dear as their lives, their treasure! Instances are innu“ merable. We will only cite an historian of our own, who
says that Henry ill, always polled the Jews at every low ebb of his fortunes. One Abraham, who was found delin
quent, was forced to pay 700 marks for his redemption, 6. Aaron, another Jew, protested that the king had taken
from him at times, 30,000 marks of silver, besides 200 " marks of gold, which he had presented to the queen. - And
in like manner. he used many other of the Jews. When “ they were banished in the reign of Edward 1, their estates “ were confiscated, and immense sums thereby accrued to 56 the crown." Bp. Newton's Dissert. VII. ' * Isaiah xvii. 12.
† Ver. 13.
tion " tion and triumph: This is the portion of them " that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us*. • We have now heard messengers summoned. " We have heard a command given to thein, to go “ swiftly with the message.' We have heard the " people described, to whom the message was to “ be carried. It might be expected we should “ next hear the message given to the messengers in “ precise terms. But in prophecy, the curtain (if “ the expression may be allowed) is often sud" denly dropped upon the action that is going on, « before it is finished; and the subject is con“ tinued in a shifted scene, as it were, of vision, " This I take to be a natural consequence of the " manner, in which futurity was represented, in “ emblematical pictures, to the imagination of the “ prophet: and the breaks and transitions are
“ Having thus, in general terms, predicted the “ final success and happiness of his nation, he pro. “ ceeds, in the 18th chapter, to the description of « visions, more particularly declarative of the “ manner, and of the time, of their deliverance f."
And first the vision of the armies of Antichrist, at the close of the 17th chapter, is succeeded by '.a vision of the people who are destined to take the
lead in converting and restoring one great division of Judah. Isaiah beholds their fleets rapidly ap- . proaching from far distant regions to Palestine; and describes them as possessing a powerful navy,
* Ver. 14. Bp. Lowth confines all the first part of this prophecy to the taking of Damascus by Tiglath-Pileser, his overrunning a great part of Israel, and the conquest of that kingdom and the captivity of the people effected a few years after by Shalmaneser. Hence he is led to pronounce, that the three last verses of the 17th chapter have no relation to those which precede them, and have as little connection with what follows; but that they are to be referred solely to the invasion and overthrow of Sennacherib. But let only the first part of the prophecy be supposed to treat ultimately and indeed chiefly of the dispersion of the Jews by the Romans, and we shall immediately perceive the close connection of the whole. From the dispersion of the Jews, Isaiah rapidly passes to the overthrow of their last enemy Antichrist, and to their restoration by some great maritime power. In short, so far from these differ. ent predictions being wholly unconnected, they appear to me to be inseparably connected. # Bp. Horsley's Letter on Isaiah xviii. p. 100,
as sailing with ease and expedition to remote parts of the world, and as being faithful worshippers of God: in short, they appear to be some great maritime nation, that shall possess the empire of the sea at the time when the 1260 years shall expire, and when the Jews shall begin to return into their own land. To this distant nation the prophet calls aloud, and summons them to receive their high commission from the Lord.
Go, swift messengers, unto a nation long apparently forsaken by God; a nation dragged away from their own country, and plucked ; a nation wonderful froin their beginning hitherto ; a nation perpetually expecting their promised Messiah, and yet trampled under foot ; a nation whose land the symbolical rivers of foreign invaders have for ages spoiled *.
*“ Go suist messengers : you, who by your skill in navi. “ gation and your extensive commerce and alliances, are so “ qualified to be carriers of a message to people in the re« motest countries, go with God's message unto a nation
drugged away, to the dispersed Jews; a nation dragged away “ from its proper seat, and plucked of its wealth and power ; “ a people wonderful from the beginning to this very time " for the special providence, which has ever attended them “ and directed their fortunes; a nation still lingering in ex“ pectation of the Messiah, who so long since came and was “ rejected by them, and now is coming again in glory; a “ nation universally trampled under foot; whose land, rivers, “ armies of foreign invaders, the Assyrians, Babylonians, Syro“ Macedonians, Romans, Saracens, and Turks, have overrun “ and depopulated." Letter on Isaiah xviii.
more or less sudden, according to the natural “ turn of the writer's mind. In Isaiah, the trans sitions are remarkably sudden and bold;' and “ yet this suddenness and boldness of transition is “ seldom, I think, if ever, in bin a cause of ob“ scurity. In the present instance, the scene of
messengers, sent upon a message, is suddenly “ closed with this second verse, before the messen“ gers set out, before even the message is given to * them. But the new objects, which are immedi• ately brought in view, evidently represent, under “ the usual emblems of sacred prophecy, other parts " of the same entire action; and declare, with " the greatest perspicuity, the purport, the season, " and the effect of the message. An ensign, or
k standard, is lifted up on the mountains , 6 trumpet is blown on the hills—the standard of “ the cross of Christ-the trumpet of the Gospel *.. 6. The resort to the standard, the effect of the “summons in the end, will be universal. A
pruning of the vine shall take place, after a long
suspension of visible interpositions of Provi“ dence t, just before the season of the gathering
... 66 of
.. .* * “ The banner of the cross, to be lifted up more conspisi cuously than ever before.; the trumpet of the Gospel, to be “ sounded more loudly, than ever before, in the latter ages." Letter on Isaiah xviii.
+ « This verse (Isaiah xviii. 4.) represents a long cessation 6 of visible interpositions of Providence, under the image of « God's sitting still; the stillness of that awful pause, under " the image of that torpid state of the atmosphere in hot “ weather, when not a gleam of sunshine breaks for a moment " through the sullen gloom; not a breath stirs; noť a leaf << wags; not a blade of grass is shaken; no ripling wave “ curls upon the sleeping surface of the waters; the black “ ponderous cloud, covering the whole sky, seems to hang “ fixed and motionless as an arch of stone; nature seems “ benumbed in all her operations. The vigilance nevertheless “ of God's silent providence is represented under the image “ of his keeping his eye, while he 'thus sit's still, upon his “ prepared babitation. The sudden' eruption of judgment, “ threatened in the next verse, after this total cessation, just “ before the final call to Jew and Gentile, answers to the “ storms of thunder and lightning, which, in the suffocating “ heats of the latter end of summer, succeed that perfect “ stillness and stagnation of the atmosphere. And, as the “ natural thunder, at such seasons, is the welcome harbinger