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The Argument - God, according to his promise in De 18:15 that he would never leave his Church destitute of a prophet, has from time to time accomplished the same: whose office was not only to declare to the people the things to come, of which they had a special revelation, but also to interpret and declare the law, and to apply particularly the doctrine contained briefly in it, for the use and profit of those to whom they thought it chiefly to belong, and as the time and state of things required. Principally in the declaration of the law, they had respect to three things which were the ground of their doctrine: first, to the doctrine contained briefly in the two tables: secondly to the promises and threatenings of the law: and thirdly to the covenant of grace and reconciliation grounded on our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the end of the law. To which they neither added nor diminished, but faithfully expounded the sense and meaning of it. As God gave them understanding of things, they applied the promises particularly for the comfort of the Church and the members of it, and also denounced the menaces against the enemies of the same: not for any care or regard to the enemies, but to assure the Church of their safeguard by the destruction of their enemies. Concerning the doctrine of reconciliation, they have more clearly entreated it than Moses, and set forth more lively Jesus Christ, in whom this covenant of reconciliation was made. In all these things Isaiah surpassed all the prophets, and was diligent to set out the same, with vehement admonitions, reprehensions, and consolations: ever applying the doctrine as he saw that the disease of the people required. He declares also many notable prophecies which he had received from God, concerning the promise of the Messiah, his office and kingdom, the favour of God toward his Church, the calling of the Gentiles and their union with the Jews. Which are principal points contained in this book, and a gathering of his sermons that he preached. Which after certain days that they had stood upon the temple door (for the manner of the prophets was to post the sum of their doctrine for certain days, that the people might the better mark it as in Isaiah 8:1, Habakkuk 2:2 ) the priests took it down and reserved it among their registers. By God’s providence these books were preserved as a monument to the Church forever. Concerning his person and time he was of the king’s stock for Amos his father was brother to Azariah king of Judah, as the best writers agree) and prophesied more than 64 years, from the time of Uzziah to the reign of Manasseh who was his son-in-law (as the Hebrews write) and by whom he was put to death. In reading of the prophets, this one thing among others is to be observed, that they speak of things to come as though they were now past because of the certainty of it, and that they could not but come to pass, because God had ordained them in his secret counsel and so revealed them to his prophets.
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29