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Miss Martha Wood, by ditto
Rev. Charles Simeon, M.A......
Rev. J. W. Brookes
Public Meeting.. Bawtry and Ranskill :
Various Collections ............... Leeds :
Rev. J. Ely's, Salem Chapel.....
Rev. W. Vevers ........
Rev. W. Barton...........
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H. Forbes, Esq......
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5 2 10 Holmfirth : Ely Wimpenny, Esq.....
1 0 0 Rev. J. Cockin's .....................
6 00 Huddersfield : Ramsden St. Chapel
5 0 0 Wesleyan ditto : Rev. G. Highfield...
15 0 8 Rev.
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The Committee beg to acknowledge the receipt of various Maga. zines and useful Religious Publications, through the Camberwell Auxiliary, from Capt. Allen, R.N. ; also various Magazines from Mr. Pierce, Walworth.
C. WOOD, PRINTER, POPPIN'S COURT, FLEET STREET.
FOR NOVEMBER, 1836.
CONTINENTAL AND MARITIME COMMERCE
CONNECTED WITH THE EVANGELIZATION OF ALL NATIONS.
ILLUSTRATIVE OF ISAIAH LX,
GLORIOUS things are spoken of thee, O city of God," (Psal. lxxxvii, 3), was the language of the inspired Psalmist, when predicting the future enlargement of the kingdom of Messiah. And regarding this chapter as containing an outline of the prosperity of the church in the latter days, we need not wonder at such expressions as those here recorded by that eminent servant of God.
This remarkable portion of Holy Scripture seems to contemplate and include every class of mankind and all ranks of society as the subjects of the Redeemer's grace, and designed to lead the devout mind through the successive ages of time onwards to the heights of eternal glory. Some brief expository notes on the former part of this chapter cannot fail to be interesting to the readers of the Pilot, as the vast aggregate of maritime population and commerce forms a principal subject of this truly evangelical prophecy.
Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah exercised his ministry at a melancholy period of the Jewish history; and hence he called on the people to “ arise.” Idolatry, irreligion, and various wickedness had ruined the independent kingdom of Israel. Isaiah had witnessed the overthrow of the kingdom of the ten tribes ; when their guilty and defiled land was invaded, their disordered government over
thrown, and the great body of the remaining inhabitants were dragged, as outcasts, into captivity in a foreign land, by the powerful and ambitious king of Assyria, in the sixth year of Hezekiah, king of Judah, 2 Kings xvii, xviii, 1.
Judah was almost equally corrupt with Israel, by the plague of idolatry which prevailed during the reign of the unworthy Ahaz, 2 Chron. xxviii, 3, 21, 25. Isaiah, in vain, by his faithful ministry, laboured to recover his countrymen to faith, repentance, and obedience to God, and he denounced the righteous judgment of Heaven upon their nation, by their captivity in Babylon. Jeremiah followed the faithful Isaiah, witnessing the conquest of his country, as both had foretold, and the total desolation of the city and temple of Jerusalem.
Isaiah, beholding the church of the truly upright and pious grievously depressed, called upon the diminished body to arise from degradation, dejection, and obscurity; and, as a duty, to benefit others by shining forth in the exercise of grace in all the attractive beauties of holiness. Some, according to the marginal reading, say, “Be enlightened, for thy light cometh;” understanding the prophet to be calling upon the church to fully realize the advantage of the approaching light, which should break forth and arise by the advent of the Messiah.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people,” ver. 2. This verse is not only a repetition, but an amplification, of the sentiments of the first verse, referring to the gross darkness of ignorance, false doctrine, superstition, idolatry, and wickedness overspreading the nations of the Pagan world. When the incarnate Son of God appeared upon earth, darkness of the grossest kind covered the earth, not only among the barbarous Scy. thians, but even in the polished cities of Greece and Rome. “ But the Lord shall arise upon thee,” the prophet adds, “and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”
These terms clearly indicate the Day-spring from on high,” Luke ii
, 78; “the Sun of righteousness,” which Malachi declared should soon arise, Mal. iv, 2. Christ, " the brightness of his Father's glory," Heb. i, 2—"the light of the world"was manifestly intended by the prophet, declared by the Holy Spirit in the venerable Simeon to be “a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel,” Luke ii, 32.
“And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising,” ver. 3. Illuminated by
the doctrines of Christ, preached in the midst of the church, surrounding nations become enlightened with the truth and walk in the rays of her light. And such have been the evidence and excellency of gospel-truth, that kings have been induced to embrace or profess Christianity, as Constantine the Great and many others since his age have, especially among the princes of Europe.
Great has been the glory of the gospel in past days : for some of those in the highest rank among the sons of men have been called to honour the Redeemer as his servants : but in times yet future, contemplated by the prophet, many more will esteem it their privilege to bow to the sceptre of Messiah and do him homage. The inspiring Spirit has declared by the pen of David, “ Yea, all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him," Psal. lxxii, 11.
thine eyes round about, and see : all they gather themselves together, they come to thee,” ver. 4. Our Lord, when observing the Samaritans flocking to receive his instructions, at the invitation of the woman of Sychar, said, “ Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest,” John iv. 35. In the same style the delighted prophet calls upon the church to look up and behold the crowds of converts, having solemnly deliberated on the subject of religious fellowship, hasting to unite with all the saints in solemnizing the social ordinances of Christ. Thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side." The sons of the church may be considered as denoting the children of those who had been venerable professors of allegiance to God, and upright observers of his ordinances : such are the seed of Abraham, children of Israel, and being converted to Christ are peculiarly the sons of Zion. Others, however, are intended to be brought with pious care from the remotest regions of the Gentiles; and these shall come to be incorporated with their brethren of Israel, to enjoy the communion of saints. Daughters of the church are also contemplated by the prophet, as enjoying the most becoming and delicate care, trained in all the ordinances of Christ. 2 Cor. vi, 18. Some think there is here an allusion to the mode of Eastern females, mothers or nurses, carrying their children on their shoulders, or astride upon their hips, with their arms round the body supported by the arms of the parent: but it seems best to apply the ex