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LECTURE ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVENTH

WE began yesterday to explain the words of the Prophet, when he says, that the righteousnesses of the people had been brought to light; and we said, that the word righteousnesses does not refer to God, as though the Jews had deserved a reward, but is, on the contrary, to be understood of a just cause as to the Chaldeans, who, being impelled by avarice and pride alone, had made war against the Church, and without any right, had tyrannically oppressed the people. As far, then, as it was God’s will to defend his people, it was a just cause. Nor is there any need of having here, a long dispute respecting this, — how could the people be just, who had, by so many iniquities, provoked the wrath of God; for, as we have already said, he does not treat now of their merits, but. of a right which depended on the faithfulness and protection of God.

The Prophet now exhorts the faithful to gratitude; he would have them at the same time to rise up to the hope of deliverance, and to cherish the promises which he had given them, when he says, Come, as though he would set before their eyes the gift of redemption. He also shows the end, even that the people were to celebrate the grace of God, as though he had said, that the people, after having obtained mercy, ought to have this in view, to worship God again in his Temple; as though he had said, that when God restored his Church, his pure and true worship should, at the same time, be restored; for the design of his grace is religion, and not the honor or dignity of the people. This is the reason why he says, Come and let us declare in Sion the work of Jehovah our God. Now, when Peter treats of a better redemption, he says, that those who are delivered from the kingdom of darkness ought to set forth the unspeakable praises of God. (1 Peter 2:9.) We must then understand, that God has appeared to us as a Redeemer, in the person of his only-begotten Son, in order that we may celebrate his mercy, which we have experienced, according also to what is said in the song of Zacharias,

“He delivered us from the hand of our enemies, that we may all our life worship him in holiness.” (Luke 1:74, 75)

It now follows, —

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