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James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 8) online

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Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 8) → online text (page 66 of 68)
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ser, as lie is about
to cut down a
di 'generate vine,
esjn'^s a ricli
tlustur on one
part, and gives
orders tliat the
plant shall not
be wholly de-
stroyed ; so shall
it be now with
the vines of Jacob
and Judah." —
(S/'X-. Com.



b Isa. XX



9.



c Jos. vii. 21 ; Ho.
u. 15.

r. 8. li. Taylor, i.
371.

" As railii in a
circle are closest
near the centre,
ami towards the
circumference lie
more widely
apart, the affec-
tions of a human
heart do and
Bhould fall thick-
est on those who
are nearest. Ex-
pressly on this
principle the
Christian mission
was instituted at
first." — Ariiot.

d C/uever.



a " The descrip-
tion ailniirably
suits worli'ly and
infidel charac-
ters, wlio not
only have no re-
gard for, but
laugh at religion ;
have no goil but
riches, !ind re-
gunl human af-
fairs as governed
by clinnce."—
Jlrndnscn.

Jer. xliv. 17,18.

b C. iiimcon, M.A.



nothing to witlistaud or endure it.*

8—10. CS) new. . cluster, -The juice that phall one day.
be wine is in the grape-clustt r, and the grape cluster is prfserved
for its sake ; so Israel shall be preserved for the sake of the life
and blessing to come from it."" blessing, the Divine favour
promised to the patriarchs. ('.)) my mountains, Palestine
regarded a-< a hilly country, but with special reference to Zion
and Moriah. (1(») Sharon, the western coast from Joppa to
Cajsarea.* valley of Achor, on the east side, by Jericho.'"

First mi.'t.y'ionnrh'.f to thr Sanihrich Lslondu oj>i>o.ird hi/ Euro-
pean.^. — "When the first missionaiies from Anienca reached the
Sandwich Islands, in the spring of 1820. an effort was made by
some of the foreigners to have their landing and establishment
at the islands forbidden by the Government. With this view,
their motives were misrepresented by them to the king and
chiefs. It was asserted that, while the ostensible object of the
mission was good, the secret and ultimate design was the sub-
jugation of the islands, and the enslavement of the people ; and
by way of corroboration, the treatment of the Mexicans, and
aborigines of South America and the West Indies, by the
Spaniards, and the possession of Hindostan by the British, were
gravely related. It was in consequence of this misrepresentation
that a delay of eight days occurred before the mis>ionaries could
secure permission to disembark. In answer to these allegations,
the more intelligent of the chiefs remarked : "The missionaries
speak well ; they say they have come from America only to do
us good ; if they intend to seize our islands, why are they so few
in number? where are their guns.' and why have they brought
their wives?" To this it was replied, "It is true their number
is small ; but a few only come now, the more fully to deceive.
But soon many more will arrive, and your island will be lost."
The chiefs again answered, '" They say they will do us good : they
are few in number ; we will ti-y them for one year, and if we
find they deceive us, it will then be time enough to send them
away." Permission to land was accordingly grant^nl. Mr.
Young, it is said, was the only foreigner who ailvocated theii
reception.''

11, 12. (11) forsake the Lord, eh. 1. 4. troop, Heb. Gad,
or luck, number, Heb. Menl, or fate, destiny. Babylonian
names of two stars, or star deities." (12) number you, a play
on the word : ajiportion you. doom j-ou. called, Pr. i. 24.

Banijer of disregarding God {rr. 12 — 14). — Let us consider — I.
The evil laid to their charge. 1. We have followed every one of
us our ovm evil ways : 2. We have done this notwithstanding
God's efforts to reclaim us. II. The judgments i>ronounced
against them. 1. He will do it in this world : 2. And in the
world to come. Address — (1) Those who disregard the warnings
of their (Jod : (2) Those who obey Him in spirit and in truth.*

A coinitri/man. — Collins, the freethinker, or deist, met a plain
countryman going to church. lie asked him where he was
going. '• To church, sir." " What to do there ! ' " To worship
God." '• Pray, whether is your God a great or a little God .' "
" He is both, sir." '• How can He be both?" '"He is so great,
sii-, that 1 he Heaven of Heavens cannot contain Him ; aud so



Cap. Ixv. 13-16.]



ISAIAH.



373



little that He can dwell in my heart." Collins declared that this
Bimple answer from the countryman had more effect upon his
mind than all the volumes wliich learned doctors had written
against him/

13, 14. (13) eat . . hungry, forcible contrast of the two lots,
based upon the two characters. (\i) vexation, lit. breaking.
Contrast the truly broken and contrite heart.

Joy and grief. — It must be observed that the cessation of
pleasure affects the mind three ways. If it simply ceases, after
having continued a proper time, the effect is indifference ; if it
be abruptly broken off, there ensues an uneasy sense called
disappointment ; if the object be so totally lost that there is no
chance of enjoying it again, a passion arises in the mind which
is called grief. Now, there is none of these, not even grief,
•which is the most violent, that I think has any resemblance to
positive pain. The person who grieves suffers his passion to
grow upon him, he indulges it, he loves it ; but this never happens
in the case of actual pain, which no man ever willingly endured
for any considerable time. That grief should be willingly en-
dured, though far from a simply pleasing sensation, is not so
difficult to be understood. It is the nature of grief to keep its
object perpetually in its eye, to present it in its most pleasurable
views, to repeat all the circumstances that attend it, even to the
last minuteness, to go back to every particular enjoyment, to
dwell upon each, and to find a thousand new perfections in all,
that were not sufficiently understood before ; in grief, the pleasure
is still uppermost, and the affliction we suffer has no resemblance
to absolute pain, which is always odious, and which we endeavour
to shake off as soon aa possible. The Odyssey of Homer,
which abounds with so many natural and affecting images, has
none more striking than those which Menelaus raises of the
calamitous fate of his friends, and his own manner of feeling it.
He owns, indeed, that he often gives himself some intermission
from such melancholy reflections ; but he observes, too, that
melancholy as they are, they give him pleasure.

" Still, in short intervals of pleasing woe,
Eegardful of the friendly dues I owe,
I to the glorious dead for ever dear.
Indulge the tribute of a grateful tear.""
On the other hand, when we recover our health, when we escape
an imminent danger, is it with joy that we are affected ? The
sense on these occasions is far from that smooth and voluptuous
satisfaction which the assured prospect of pleasure bestows. The
delight which arises from the modifications of pain, confesses
the stock from whence it sprung, in its solid, strong, and severe
nature. *

15, 16. (1.5) for a curse, so that men, when they would
cin'se. shall say, " May your lot be as that of the rebellious Jews."
slay thee, put generally for bring judgments on thee, another
name, such as. " the people whom the Lord hath blessed ; " or
Chrisiians. (Ifi) God of truth, lit. the God of Amen,'' the God
who keepeth covenant.

Lord Lnwrrnce on Indian musxons. — At a meeting of the
Hig ibury Auxiliary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, Lord
Lawrence (^late Governor-General of India) presided, and in the



IT. 12-14. R.P.
Buddicom, 2.

" The joy of the
world resembles
a torrent. As
upon a glut of
riiin, you shall
have a torrent
come rolling
along with noise
and violence,
overflowing its
banks, and bear-
ing all before it ;
yet it is but
muddy and im-
pure water, and
it is soon gone
and dried up :
such is all the
joy this world
can give. It
makes a great
noise, it is com-
monly immode-
rate, and swells
beyond its due
bounds ; yet it is
but a muddy and
impure joy : it
soon rolls away,
and leaves no-
thing behind but
a drought in the
soul. Now, since
the world's joy is
but such a poor
empty thing as
this, it is most
gross folly for us
to lay out our best
love upon that
which cannot re-
pay us with the
best joy." — Bp.
Hopkins.

a Bom. Od. IT.



a Re. iil. 14.
r. 16. G. Burnet,
i. 235.

A man on the
summit of a lofty
mountain com-
mands a wider
l.indscape, and
sees things that
on the plains be-
low would have
been quite iuyi-



374



rSAlAH.



[Cap. Ixv. 17-2a



I course of his remarks, said that he believed the missionaries of
the various denominations who were Inbourinsr in India were all
working together with zeal and self-abnegation, and if there
was any body of Englishmen who might be paid to go to that
country from pure motives, and without any self-interest, it was
the missionaries, for they suffered many privations, and to his
knowledge sometimes lost their lives among the people to benefit
whom they had done everything they possibly could. Much as
England had done for India, the missionaries had done more for
her than all other agencies combined.*

17. new heavens, etc.. symbol of the new dispensation." To
be applied to the times of Messiah. '• With the breaking up of
the heathen kingdoms and the restoration of Israel begins a new
epoch."*'

Xem hraren^ and vem earth (r. 17). — I. The glorious prospect
that is here set before us. 1. The event itself will be most
glorious ; 2. It may be fitly called a new heaven and a new earth.
II. The feelings with which it should be contemplated. We
should rejoice— 1. For the benefits that will accrue to Gods
ancient people ; 2. To the whole world : 3. For the honour that
will arise to God Himself. Address — (1) Those who never yet
have tasted of this joy ; (2) Those who have reason to hope that
this new creation is already begun in them."

The end of the solar iiystem.—\\"hiiVi all the phenomena in the
heavens indicate a law of progressive creation, in which revolving
matter is distributed into suns and planets, there are indications
in our own system that a period has been assigned for its dura-
tion, which, sooner or later, it must reach. The medium which
fills universal space, whether it be a luminifcrous ether, or arise
from the indefinite expansion of planetary atmospheres, must
retard the bodies which move in it, even were it H()(),()()0 millions
of times more rare than atmo-phpric air : and. with its time of
revohition gradually shortening, the satellite must return to its
planet, the planet to its sun, and the sun to its primeval nebula.
The fate of our system, thus deduced from mechanical laws, must
be the fate of all others. Motion cannot be peqietuated in a
resisting medium : and where there exist disturbing forces, there
mu.st be primarily derangement, and idtimatcly ruin. From the
great central mass, heat may again be summoned to exhale
nebulous mn.tter : chemical forces may again produce motion, and
motion may again generate systems : but, as in the recurring
catastrophes which have desolated our earth, the great First
Cause must preside at the dawn of each cosmical cycle : and. as
in the anim.al races which were successively repro<luced. uev/
celestial creations of a nobler form of beauty and of a liigher
form of permanence may yet apjiear in the sidereal universe.
" Behold, I create new heavens and t, new earth, and the former
shall not be remembered." " The new heavens and the new earth
shall remain before Me." " Let us look, then, according to this
proiiiis;', for the ntw heavens and the ii^^w earth, wherein
dwellcth righteousne.s.s."'*

■ "ITie matter 18—20. ("18) Jerusalem, the new. r.^gonrrate Jornsalem.
'" """^ groat fU)) rejoice, etc.. a beautiful description of the millennial hap-
on earu/ be loi'ir^ piness of the Jewi.sh people. (20) infant . . days, child and
or short. Lul man shall alike attain to a patriarchal age. shall be cursed,



sihle. So many
tilings unknown
and incompre-
hensible to us
on the plains of
earth will be all
visible upon the
mount of heaven.
6 Lfis. Hour, Mar.
1871.



a Isa. Irvi. 22 ;
2 Pe. iii. 13; Re.
xxi. 1.

b Mat. Arnold.
" The creation of
the new heavens
ami the new
earth began with
the Gospel, anil
is con.^ummated
at the Second
Advent."— Kj-
tringa.

c C. Simenn, Af.A.
V. 17. J. Slade, ii.
1.32.

As they who come
out of the clear
Bun into the
shadow have
their eyes dim
and dark : so He
wlio Cometh from
the contempla-
tion of tliinps Di-
vine into thiiifrs
human coiiieth
from clear lifzht
to great clomls,
mist, and dark-
ness.

A little Swedish
girl was w.ilkinj?
with her father
one night under
the starry sky,
intently medi-
tating upon the
glories of heaven, i
At last, looking ■
up to the sky, |
Bliesaiil," Father,
I have been
thinking if the j
wrong side of I
heaven is so j
beau' if ul, what
shall the riglit I
Bj.lebe!"
d N. Ilrit. H,r.
No. 3.



Cap. Ixv. 21—25.]



ISAIAH.



375



v.iK).Dr.J.D<mne,
iv. 446 ; B. Bed-
dome, li. 105 ; J.
Glazebrooi; 298.
c G. Brooks.
\ " Faith saves, and
grace saves ; faith
the instru-



i.e. though life shall thus be prolonged, it shall only be a blessing whether we live
to the good." ''Honourable age is not that which standeth in tbchvesofsaints,
i .1- ii.- Mh ° or the hves o(

length or time. " I sinners." — J/a<.

The afjc'd sinner (v. 20). — I. See the shortness of human life ; a | J/iiiri/. '
man a hundred years old is a wonder. II. See the long-sufEering i *^ ''"*'" of Solo-
of God ; He sees and hates sin. and yet delays the stroke for a
hundred years. III. See the malignity of sin ; there is no self-
restoring power in the soul as is in the body. IV. See the inex-
haustibleness of the curse ; it is not exhausted by a century. V.
See the claims of religion on the aged ; depict the dangers of
aged sinners."^ ;

An old man. — Some years ago, a pious young man was called ;
to visit an aged person, between seventy and eighty, who w^as ; ment, and grace
dangerously ill. He found him sitting in an arm chair, sup- flca_"v^- ^alth^th^e
ported by pillows. '• My first inquiry," says he, " was into the channel, ^ and
state of his mind, which I found to be very dark and ignorant, grace the hea-
I endeavoured to direct him to Jesus as the way to salvation, and ve^Jy stream ;
as the jierishing sinners only friend. I exhorted him also to ^ that\ouclies"fhe
prayer, earnestly entreating him to avoid delay in this most im- j garment's fringe,
portant concern. For a few minutes he listened with serious and grace the
attention, and then suddenly burst into a flood of tears, and ex- J'^'^^^ ^'^^'^ P"^"^^^
claimed with a loud voice, ' Ah 1 my young friend, had I thought ■ our's heart."—
on these things thirty or forty years ago, what a happy man ] Dr. Hoge.
might I now have been ! but now ' (wringing his hands} 'it is d /j. t, s.
too late 1 Hell must be my portion for ever 1 "''

21—23. (21) and inhabit them, the indication of a secure a "Man's life shall
social state. (22) another inhabit, as in troublous times. !'^7^'j.g'g'^^\^''^^j°J
days of a tree," perhaps with reference to the tree of life.* [ term, the far
loner enjoy, or shall n-car out, i.e. use to the very utmost. (23) | longer term al-
trouble, or calamitous judgments, since these only come upon | of"trees " — i/o^
the disobedient and the ungodly, offspring "with them, so as | Arnold.
to share in their privileges. i .. ^ ^^gg ^^y

Kote on v. 22. — The people of the East have a particular desire flourish undis-
f or long life ; hence one of their best and most acceptable wishes turbed in its
is, '• May you live a thousand years." " May you live as long as f°r°onif thousand
the Aaii tree," i.e. the banyan, or Ficvs indica. I never saw a yQa.rs:'-Spk. Com.
tree of that description dead, except when struck by lightning. ' ^ „ r^^^ ^^^^ ^^
And to cut one down would, in the estimation of a Hindoo, be
almost as great a sin aa the taking of life. I do not think this
tree will die of itself, because it continues to let fall its own
supporters, and will march over acres of land if not interrupted.
Under its gigantic branches the beasts of the forests screen
themselves from the heat of the sun ; and under its sacred shade
may be seen the most valued tamples of the Hindoos.'



\\ie."-LXX.y and

Targums.

e Roberts.



24, 25. (24) before . . ans'wer," contrast ch. Ixiv. 7. (2.5)
•wolf, etc., ch. xi. 6, 7. dust . . meat, i.e. he shall no more
hurt, but be content to feed on dust, Ge. iii. 14.» The evil power
shall be wholly prostrate.'

Providence and jrrayer (r. 24). — I. The character of the people
to whom the promise is made. II. The promise itself, namely,
that God's eye should be upon their wants, and His ear open unto
their prayer. Apply : — "VSTiat an encouragement God has given ■ d n. Cecil, M.A.
to faith and patience." . ^ \ 'l^ - 1^/^

Mr. CeciVs dflirerance. — The sermon, of which the above brief i prepared Ed-
outline is given, was preached by BIr. Cecil at St. John's Chapel, ^ wards, the Wes.



a Ps. xxxii. 6;
Da. ix. 20, 21.
6 Mi. vii. 17.
c " During th«
millennium he is
to be subject to
the lowest de-
gradation." —
Ilendc.



376



(Cap. IxvL 1-4.



levs, and Wliite-
field, to herald
tbe blessed Jesus
totheniultitiides
■witli Rucli sim-
plicity anil
power ? Just this
very experience
of full siilvation.
What was it tliat
gave Luther
power to break
iiis own Koman
fetters and be-
come the cham-
pion of tlie free ?
Just this experi-
ence of the power
of Jesus in him
for full salva-
tion." — W. E.
Boardman.

a J. A. Alexander,
b "Tlio line of
thouglit ap))ears
to be as follows :
The temple is
going to lie re-
built, and men's
thoughts will be
concentrated
upon this work
made with
hands ; in Bab.
the unfaithful
Jews have just
shown, by even
adopting the
rites and sacri-
fices of the
heathen, how
prono men are to
rely upon the
outwaril parts' of
religion ; at this ■
moment, there-
fore, God will de- !
Clare that what (
He regards is not
these things, but I
inward religion ; I
lowliness, contri- 1
tion, an<l awe of |
His Word." -Mat. \
Arnold.
c Prp.i. Dnriei.
a De. xxiii. 18.
"The dog was
an abomination
according to
Jewish law, pos-
sibly bee. it w.is
venerated in
Egypt." -/((u«rt.
b •■ Their way-
ward, childish
follies, which in
the end would
mock them with
grievous disap-
pointment."-A>*.
Com.



Bedford Row, on Sunday momine:. January 2.3, 1803. Mr. Cecil
li.id recently met with a remarkable deliverance, Wednesday,
January 12th, when, in consequence of his horse falling- upon
some ice, Sir. Cecil was thrown off upon his face, at the moment
that a heavily-loaded cart was passinjf. His ^houlder was in the
track of the cart-wheel, and he distinctly felt it go over him,
I and bear against him. The crown of his hat was con-
' siderably pressed in, by the wheel, against his temples. Had he
been thrown a few inches further, it must have gone directly
over his head. In this situation of danger he was, however,
i mercifully preserved from broken bones or instant death. He
hung up his hat in his study, with the indentation and dirt, as a
memento. His reflections on this event may be seen in his
Memoirs by Mrs. Cecil, Ui>r/« of the liev. It. Cecil, edited by the
Rev. J. Pratt.



CHAPTER THE SIXTY-SIXTH.

1, 2. (1) thus . . Lord, " winding up the prophetic discourse
with an express prediction of the change of dispensation, and a
description of the difference between them."" my throne,
ch. vi. 1 : Ac. vii. 48—50. my footstool, ch. Ix. 13, "place of
my feet." house . . me, com p. 1 Ki. viii. 27. my rest, or
abiding. (2) hand made, they are things, and God want*
response from nu'n. the free beings in His own likeness, poor,
etc..'' ch. Ivii. 15. trembleth . . word, Ezr. ix. 4. X. 3.

God's com])a.<!.^wn for the poor and contrite (r. 2). — I. Let us
look into the import of each of these characters. 1 . The poor,
sensible of his own insufficiency, deep humility and si-lf-abase-
ment, sensible of his need of the Holy Spirit, an importunate
beggar at the throne of grace ; 2. C?ontrite, broken, bruised,
heartbroken with fears : 3. Trembleth at My worcL II. The
Divine blessing bestowed upon them : He does not look as a
careless spectator, but as a Father. Friend. Benefactor : His looks
are efficacious, compa-ssionate, discriminating. Consider — 1.
The perfection and condescension of God as illustrated by this
subject ; 2. What must it be to be out of His favour I"^

3, 4. (S) killeth an ox, merely as a formality, as if, i.e.
he is as offensive before God as if his act wer^ a direct violation
of law. lamb, or kid. dog's neck," throughout Scrip, the
dog is treated as unclean and offensive. Oblation, gift of
thanksgiving, swine's blood, ch. Ixv. 4. (4) choose their
delusions,* i.e. take them into notice, and visit them with
judgments, none . . answer, ch. Ixv. \2.'

An empty religion. — The missionary establishments on the
West Coast are representative of all the Christian Churches, and
of many nationalities in our pos.se.s.sious ; the Weslcyans being,
after the Church of England, the most successful and energetic.
English, German, American, French, and Portuguese are at
work. The missionaries of the last two nations confine them-
eelves to the people living under the rule of their respective
governments, and are, of course, Roman Catholics. The Portuguese,
who have been on the coast longer than any other nation, and
who have left sii^ns of their occupancy at one time in almost
every place of importance, have had mis-sion stations in many



Cap.- Ixvl. 5—7.]



ISAIAH.



a77



places now abandoned, and in their own province of Angola
large and substantial churches and convents are to be seen falling
to luin. Some outward effects of their teaching may be seen at
Laoanda, such as pens, paper, and slates, which, as articles of
trade, are sent up the Coanza River to a coffee-producing tribe,
who have no missionaries among them at present. There was only
one instance that came under the notice of the Times' correspon-
dent where there were any religious observances among the people
after the missionaries had left, and the results were scarcely such
as can be deemed satisfactory. It was at the island of Annabon,
which contains about 000 inhabitants, and no less than thirty-
two churches, with a native priest who calls himself bishop and
schoolmaster. Each of these churches was furnished with an
altar, before which burnt a lamp, and was adorned with the
image or picture of some saint. Baptism and other Christian
rites were administered, and monogamy was observed. On the
other hand, the women were little better treated by their
husbands than their sisters on the Continent. Moreover, these
islanders were certainly not less superstitious than their pagan
brethren, and mixed up many of their old fetish customs with
their Cliristian observances. They had a strong belief in ghosts :
and, adds the writer already quoted, " they were poor and dirty,
keen traders, great rogues, fond of rum — even the ' Bishop " — and
I can't say their Christianity improved them."'

5. tremble . . word, v. 2, addressed to the faithful part of
the nation. tO your joy," yours who remained steadfast through
ftU calamity.

The God of the hwmhle. — Though God dwelleth not in temples
made with hands — though He pours contempt upon princes —
yet there are persons whom His gracious eye will regard. " The
high and lofty One, that dwelleth in the high and holy place,"
He will look down through all the shining ranks of angels
upon — whom? "to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit."
This man can never be lost, or overlooked among the multitude
of creatures, but the eyes of the Lord will discover hira in the
greatest crowd. His eyes will graciously fix upon this man, this
particular man, though there were but one such in the compass
of the creation, or though he were banished into the remotest
corner of the universe, like a diamond in a heap of rubbish, or at
the bottom of the ocean.''

6, 7. C6) voice of noise, the Prophet here supposes the
Divine deliverance and restoration to be taking place, and notes
its suddenness and rapidity." (7) man child, if this passage be
taken to refer to the Roman siege, the man child may be the
Messiah. Immanuel.

Fadinq as a leaf (r. fi). — This is a truth beyond dispute. 1. It
is true as to the certainty of human mortality : 2. As to its im-



Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 8) → online text (page 66 of 68)