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Hearken diligently unto me, and ye shall eat that which is
Hear, that your soul may live.
Every one who heareth and obeyeth the Gospel call, shall be received into the covenant of God, and be entitled to all its privileges, even those future glories symbolized by the throne of David. A share in the Redeemer's kingdom is pledged to all the believers of the Gospel message, “ even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.”
4. Lo, yet have I appointed him a witness to the nations,
To be a leader and commander to the nations.
And nations that knew not thee shall run to thee;
“ Hath honoured thee," or " hath beautified thee with his presençe;" all this evidently implies, that they are, in the character of the city and people of the Great King, to take the supremacy among the nations upon earth.
The two next verses contain a striking call to a sinful world, a call always worthy of all acceptation to those whose hearts are opened to receive it; and which-though sounded in vain in the ears of them that are dead in trespasses and sins, and though it serves but to increase their guilt-accomplishes a peculiar purpose of God in quickening with spiritual life that “remnant of all” that is saved, « according to the election of grace.”1 6. Seek ye Jehovah while he may be found,
Call upon him while he is near. 7. Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his purposes;
1 “In the first three verses of are addressed in the character of this chapter, Messiah seems to be merchants intent on gain. A comthe speaker; in the fourth and fifth modity is offered which may be verses, Jehovah is the speaker; in purchased without price, and obthe fourth verse, Jehovah speaks tained without labour—the means of the Messiah, in the fifth to him; , of salvation gratuitously dispensed. in the sequel, the prophet to the See Houbigant's notes on the bepeople, in the name of Jehovah. ginning of this chapter. His ex
“ The Messiah's call, in the position must seem too refined, first three verses, is either general unless the allusion to the promises to all mankind, or particular to the in the Old Testament (the sure Jewish nation. Water, wine, and mercies of David) be thought to milk, denote the doctrine of the indicate that the call is more imMessiah, and the evangelical means mediately to the Jews. But the of salvation. If the call be general, mercies of David here intended the no bread, on which men ex. being the perpetuity and univerpend their silver; and that which sality of the dominion of his de satisfieth not, on which they be- scendant, the mention of them is stow their labour, are the expen- not beside the purpose, if the call sive rites of the idolatrous religions, be generally understood : and it is and the laborious researches of hu- remarkable, that immediately after man philosophy. If the call is par- ' the mention of the stability of ticular to the Jewish nation, the these mercies by the Messiah, Jeno bread, and that which satisfieth hovah, taking up the discourse, denot, are the worldly gains of mer- clares the appointment of Messiah chandise and brokerage; upon to be a witness, a leader, a prewhich the Jews in their dispersion ceptor, to the peoples; as if this have been so reinarkably intent, appointment ensured the complewhich satisfy not the desires of the tion of the promises to David.” inner man, and afford no nourish- Horsley. " ment for the spiritual life. The Jews
And let him return to Jehovah, that he may have pity on
And to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8. For your purposes are not my purposes,
Nor your ways my ways, Jehovah hath said. 9. For high as the heavens are above the earth,
So are my ways high above your ways,
The call of God regenerates the heart; hence the children of God are said to be begotten by the word:
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, all things are become new.” The repentant sinner changes his course, and walks in the ways of God; his schemes and purposes are altered. This is true with respect to every individual who is raised up as a spiritual child to Abraham ; and it is to be so with all his natural descendants, when the Lord shall take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and has given them a heart of flesh: and in this change there is nothing more remarkable than the surrender, which the convert of divine grace makes of his own wisdom, and of his own thoughts, respecting the ways of God in his dealing with mankind : the things of God, which appeared to him as foolishness before, are now understood, and appear in all their grandeur and beauty. This is especially the case with respect to the doctrines of divine influences, which are evidently alluded to in the following verses :
10. For as the rain descendeth,
Or the svow from the heavens,
That it may produce seed for the sower,
And bread for the eater.
It returneth not to me fruitless;
We learn, therefore, from this passage, that “ the gift and callings” of God, which, from their general language, may seem on some occasions to be vouchsafed in vain, as to the intention of the Giver, have always a definite and designed object; in regard of which, they neither do nor can fail, but accomplish all the purpose of God's grace. This is true of the work of redemption that is now going on among the Gentiles' churches; they are a people “ called according to his purpose.” But the context demands that we should apply this language first to Israel. It might be asked, Have not all the favours of God to this people proved fruitless, as the rain that falleth on the barren ungrateful soil ? Who hath believed our report?
The word spoken hath not profited them, not being mixed " with faith in them that heard it.”
We shall remember the apostle's reflections, when he contemplates this state of things in the Israel of the first advent, and expresses his “ heaviness and continual sorrow of heart," while he contemplates 80 many privileges bestowed on his “kinsmen according to the flesh," apparently without effect. He says, “ Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect,” or “ failed," or " foundered in its course," or“ fallen to the ground” short of its aim. “ For,” he assigns his reason, " they are not all Israel that are of Israel.” God's designs of mercy to the real Israel have, therefore, never been
frustrated, nor rendered inefficient or ineffectual. As then, therefore, “a remnant according to the election of grace” was quickened among the natural seed of Abraham, and a believing people united to them from the Gentile nations, which was God's special design in sending forth his word at that time; so shall God's declared design that when “this fulness of the Gentiles be come in," « all Israel shall be saved,” and “ the Redeemer come to Zion”—be equally and as completely effected in its appointed season. · The miraculous passage of the desert is again before the prophet:
12. Surely with joy shall ye go forth,
And be conducted in peace.
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands : 13. And instead of the thorn shall spring up the pine,
And instead of the bramble shall spring up the myrtle :
We may say then, at this present moment, the ignorance and unbelief of the Israelites is an impediment in the way of all those glories which the universal church is looking and waiting for; because it is ascertained from prophecy, that they must first be gathered, and be restored to the God of their fathers, and to their own land. Some assert this to be a most unlikely event. It is enough that the zeal, or ardent affection, of Jehovah Sabaoth shall accomplish this in its season.