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HE favour and attention fhewn by the Public to Lectures on the First Twelve Chapters of Ifaiah, have induced the Author to lay before them another Volume. If any apology is thought neceffary for this publication, he would gladly reft it on motives of gratitude, for that indulgence and encouragement by which he is animated to proceed in his labours. Such is the variety of taste and sentiment, that poffibly the Lectures formerly published, may appear to fome Readers more important and interefting. than those contained in this Volume; to others, those now presented to the Public, may be thought more inftructive and useful: and there is little doubt, that both these opinions will be reversed. The fubjects treated in the first part of these Prophecies, must be allowed to poffefs a decided fuperiority to thofe contained in the Twelve Chapters that immediately follow, which chiefly relate to matters of less general moment and utility. They are therefore difcuffed with greater brevity, according to the apprehended importance of the feveral topics which are occafionally introduced. The fubjects of which the Prophet discourses in the next Six Chapters, are unqueftionably of equal excellence and fublimity with those comprised in the former Volume, and elucidated with no less elegance and beauty. They confequently claim a more full difcuffion, and are more amply illuftrated in the latter part of these Lectures. The Author continues his ardent wishes, that the God of all grace may abundantly bless this Expofition, and render it effectual for promoting the best interefts of those who are pleased to read it.
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PROPHECIES OF ISAIAH.
E now enter the Second Part of these
W Prophecies, in which surprising, variegated,
and instructive scenes are presented to view. The future fortunes of the neighbouring nations to Canaan, which were clofely connected with the affairs of the people of God, are here faithfully delineated. The fubject chiefly treated in the difcourfe before us, is truly affecting. It exhibits a moving reprefentation of the awful judgments which the Almighty, in the course of divine providence, would certainly execute upon the implacable adverfaries of his church. These predicted calamities, the result of his wife counfels, were to display before the world his confummate righteousnefs, and to promote the good of his people, by delivering them from the oppreffion of their wicked and malevolent enemies. Whilft the contemplation of thefe terrible judgments which are here defcribed, calls forth pity and commiferation toward thofe against whom they were denounced, it lays a fure foundation for the confidence, confolation, and joy of those who have the Lord for their God, VOL. II. A and
and who demean themselves as the dutiful subjects of his Son's kingdom.
The long difcourfe, which is comprehended in this and the following chapters, on to the twentythird inclufive, may be divided into eight different fections. The first relates to the deftruction of Babylon, chap. xiii.-ver. 28. of chap. xiv.-The fecond predicts the overthrow of the Philiflines, chap. xiv. ver. 28.-32.-The third treats of the defolate condition to which Moab was to be reduced, chap. xv. and xvi.—The fourth reprefents the calamitous ftate of the Syrians, the Ephraimites, the Affyrians, and the Egyptians, chap. xvii. and xviii.— The fifth defcribes the defolation of Egypt, and its return to the Lord, with the calamities which were to be inflicted upon Ethiopia and the Arabians, chap. xix. and xx.-The fixth foretels the complete overthrow of the Babylonian empire, with which are connected the miferies which were to befal the Idumeans and Arabians, chap. xxi.--The feventh exhibits the diftreffes which were to be fent upon Judah and Jerufalem, by means of Sennacherib, chap. xxii.— The eighth delineates the deftruction of Tyre, chap. xxiii.
These predictions feem to be principally intended to convey the following important inftructions, which we ought to learn from them: 1. That the most powerful enemies of the people of God, who oppofe their interefts, and opprefs their perfons, fhall not efcape the righteous judgments of Heaven, but fhall certainly perish in their hoftile attempts against the church of God, and fooner or later fhall feel the weight of divine vengeance.—2. That the God of all comfort will never fail to adminifter confolation to his oppreffed, dejected fervants, when they are in dangerous circumstances, and moft apt to be overwhelmed with dread of their formidable enemies, and the imminent dangers to which they are expofed.. And, 3. That in the deftruction of Babylon, and the