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Wherefore do you weigh out your silver for that which is no bread? And your riches, for that which will
not satisfy? Attend, and hearken unto me; and cat that which is truly good ; and your soul shall feed
' itself with the richest delicacies.
Incline your ear and come into me; attend, and your soul shall live: And I will make with you an everlasting covenant; and I will give you the gracious promises made to David, which never shall fail.
Behold, for a witness to the people I have given him; a leader and a lawgiver to the nations.
Behold, the nation, whom thou knowest not, thou shalt call; and the nation which knew not thee, shall run unto thee, for the sake of JEHOVAH thy God; and for the Holy One of Israel, for he hath glorified thee.
Seek ye JEHOVAH, while he may be found ; call ye upon him, while he is near at hand.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous màn his thoughts : and let him return unto JEHOVAH; • for he will receive him with compassion; and unto our God, for he aboundeth in forgiveness.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts ; neither are your ways my ways, saith JEHOVAH,
For as the heavens are higher than the earth ; so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Verily, like as the rain descendeth, and as the snow from the heavens, and thither it doth not return : but moisteneth the earth and maketh it generate, and put forth its increase, that it may give food to the sower, and bread to the eater.
So shall be the word which goeth forth from my mouth, it shall not return unto me fruitless; but it shall effect what I have' willed; and make the purpose succeed, for which I have sent it.
Surely with joy, shall ye go forth, and with peace shall ye be led onward: The mountains and the hills shall burst forth before you into song ; and all the trees of the forest shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorny bushes shall grow up the fire tree; and instead of the bramble shall grow up the myrtle. And it shall be unto JEHOVAH for a memorial; for a perpetual sign, which shall not be abo. lished.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. Isaiah is generally called the evangelical Prophet, and the foregoing extract from his writings exactly accords both with the doctrine and style of the Gospels; we will therefore endeavour, assisted by the knowledge already obtained from our Lord's discourses, to understand its import, which will help to illustrate the fol. lowing part of his history.
The Divine Word seems here (as on other occa. sions) to be anticipating the times of the Gospel. He first invites all, who should ardently desire happiness, , to come unto him; promising, that he would freely dispense it to every individual, even though they were totally destitute of the means to recompense him." He then intimates the superlative excellency of the gifts he should thus liberally bestow, being calculated to nourish the soul into everlasting life; and, therefore, deserving of the most serious attention.
These blessing's were to be expected, when the LORD should perform the gracious promises made to DAVID; that is to say, when the Messiah should come, whom they were required to receive as a Leader and Lawa? giver, not only to the Jews, but to all 'nations, who would run to him; not because he was, as man, superior to the rest of human kind, but for the sake of JÉHOVAH his God, who had resolved to glorify him, by
LAST DAY OF
taking him in a mysterious and miraculous manner to himself, and to exalt him to reign over the kingdom of heaven.
The succeeding part of this prophecy so exactly agrees with our Saviour's preaching, that surely no one can doubt but that the same Divine BEING dic. tated both. The conclusion consists of strong poetical images, expressing a great and happy change for the better, to be effected by the Messiah. The moral sense of the emblems made use of is, that instead of the wicked should arise the just, and instead of sinners such as fear to sin.
Let us now proceed to the continuation of our Sao VIOUR's history, which will afford a farther explanation of this passage of prophecy.
SECTION LXX. OUR LORD'S PROCLAMATION ON THE
THE FEAST.-THE REPORT OF THE OFFICERS, AND NICODEMUS'S INTERPOSITION.
From John, Chap. vii. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let bim come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall Aow rivers of living water.
(But this spake he of the spirit, which they that be. lieve on him, should receive : for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet gloria fied)
Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
Others said, This is the CHRIST. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
Hath not the scripture said, That CHRIST cometh out of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
So there was a division among the people because of him.
And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and the Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him ?
The officers answered, Never man spake like this ngan, Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived
Have any of the rulers, or of the Pharisees, believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them)
Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doeth ?
They answered and said unto kim, Art thou also of Galilee ? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
And every man went unto his own house,
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. On the last day of the Feast of tabernacles, which was a day of great rejoicing and festivity, it was customary for the priests to surround the altar with palm branches, Water was fetched from the brook of Si. loam, some of which the people drank with loud acclamations of joy and thanksgiving, and some the priests poured on the altar. The particular nieaning of this ceremony is not exactly known: some learned authors. are of opinion, that it was instituted in commemoration of their forefathers being miraculously refreshed, when they thirsted in the wilderness ; and some supposeg. that it was meant as a way of invoking the Diving Spirit to be poured out on them. If the latter was the true interpretation, there was particular propriety
in our Saviour's making use of this solemnity for inviting those who thirsted for spiritụal refreshment to come unto him.
It is supposed that our Lord'stood on an eminence, and proclaimed, with a loud voice, his gracious invita. tion. The words he used evidently allude to the foregoing prophecy. Their spiritual meaning may be ascertained by comparing them with the conversation he held with the woman of Samaria ; and we may consis der our 'SAVIOUR on this occasion as publicly opening the well of salvation, inviting sinners to drink of it, and, with authority, promising to give to all who should have a true faith in him, such supplies of the Holy Spirit as should not only refresh their own souls, but enable them to instruct and comfort others with heavenly doctrine. . This part of our Lord's discourse, the Apostle tells us, related to the gift of the Holy Ghost, which was to be granted in a visible and striking manner after his ascension,
We find that, even among those who were inclined to accept our Lord's invitation, there were great divisions; some believing him to be the MESSIAH, others the Prophet who was to be his forerunner; whilst some were, restrained from knowing him as either, by the prejudice they had against Galilee, which they supposed to be the place of his nativity. It was generally believed that the Messiah was to be born at Bethlehem; but the Jewish people appear to have been acquainted with only a small part of the prophetic writings; for the Scribes and Pharisees neglected to study them, substitute ing traditional expositions in their stead. If they would have inquired of the Virgin Mary, or our Lord's Apos, tles, they might have known that he was born at Beth. lehem; and, by examining the genealogies, they would káve discovered that he sprang from David. It appears from our LORD's own words, that the condi.