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1. A Rebellious Nation
1The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for Jehovah hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly! they have forsaken Jehovah, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are estranged and gone backward. 5Why will ye be still stricken, that ye revolt more and more? the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and fresh stripes: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil. 7Your country is desolate; your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8And the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9Except Jehovah of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 10Hear the word of Jehovah, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 11What unto me is the multitude of your sacrifices? saith Jehovah: I have had enough of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. 12When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to trample my courts? 13Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; new moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies,- I cannot away with iniquity and the solemn meeting. 14Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth; they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of bearing them. 15And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it. 21How is the faithful city become a harlot! she that was full of justice! righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. 22Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water. 23Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; every one loveth bribes, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. 24Therefore saith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies; 25and I will turn my hand upon thee, and thoroughly purge away thy dross, and will take away all thy tin; 26and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called The city of righteousness, a faithful town. 27Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her converts with righteousness. 28But the destruction of transgressors and sinners shall be together, and they that forsake Jehovah shall be consumed. 29For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen. 30For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water. 31And the strong shall be as tow, and his work as a spark; and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.
10. Hear the word of the Lord He confirms what he had formerly said, that the Lord’s vengeance is not cruel; because they deserved far more severe punishment. For although there was a difference between them and the inhabitants of Sodom as to punishment, yet their guilt was the same; so that equal punishment might have been inflicted, if the Lord had not spared them. It amounts to this, that, if they have received milder treatment, it is not because they have sinned less heinously than the inhabitants of Sodom, but it must be ascribed to the mercy of God.
When he gives to the rulers the name of Sodom, and distinguishes the people by the name of Gomorrah, this does not point out that there is a difference, but rather that their condition is alike. But by repeating the same thing twice, the diversity of the names lends additional elegance; as if he had said, that there is no greater difference between the rulers and the people than there is between Sodom and Gomorrah. There is, no doubt, an allusion to the various ranks of men, by assigning to them, separately, as it were, two cities; but as Sodom and Gomorrah mean the same thing, we perceive that he throws them, as it were, into one bundle. In short, the meaning is, “If any one shall form an opinion about the people and the rulers, he will find that there is as close a resemblance between them as between Sodom and Gomorrah, or between one egg and another; for no one part is more sound than any other part.”
The Prophet begins with stripping the Jews of their disguises, and justly; for while all hypocrites are accustomed to employ strange coverings for concealing themselves from view, that nation was particularly addicted to this vice, and on no subject did the prophets contend with them more keenly or fiercely. Along with their vaunting about pretended holiness pride also reigned, and they boasted of the grandeur and excellency of their nation as much as of ceremonies and outward worship. So much the more were they offended at the great harshness with which Isaiah addressed them. But it was necessary to drag their wickedness from their lurking places, and therefore the more haughty their demeanour, the greater is the vehemence with which the Prophet thunders against them. In the same manner ought we to deal with all hypocrites.
The word of the Lord The Prophet takes the word and the law for the same thing; and yet I fully believe that he purposely employed the term law, in order to glance at their absurd opinion; because, by imagining that the offering of sacrifices, unaccompanied by faith and repentance, can appease God, they put an absurd interpretation on the law. By these words he reminded them that, by quoting Moses to them, he introduces nothing new and makes no addition to the law; that it is only necessary for them to hear what the will of God is; and that on this subject he will faithfully instruct them. Lest they should suppose that, by an unfounded belief of their own righteousness, they can deceive God, he likewise reminds them that the law gives no countenance to them in this matter.
11. To what purpose is he multitude of your sacrifices to me? Isaiah now introduces God as speaking, for the purpose of making known his own meaning; for it belongs to a lawgiver not only to issue commands, but likewise to give a sound interpretation to the laws, that they may not be abused. Beyond all doubt, the former reproof was exceedingly unpalatable and oppressive to them; for what language expressive of stronger disapprobation or abhorrence could have been employed? They gloried in the name of Abraham, boasted that they were his children, and on this ground maintained a haughty demeanor. This is the reason why the Prophet arms himself with the authority of God against them; as if he had said, “Know that it is not with me but with God that you have to do.”
Next he explains the intention and design of God in demanding sacrifices; that he does so, not because he sets a high value on them, but in order that they may be aids to piety; and, consequently, that the Jews were greatly mistaken who made all their holiness to consist of those services. For they thought that they had performed their duty admirably well when they offered sacrifices of slain beasts; and when the prophets demanded something beyond this, they complained that they were treated harshly. Now the Lord says that he rejects and abhors them, which may appear to be excessive severity, for it was by him that they were appointed. But it ought to be observed that some of the commandments of God ought to be obeyed on their own account, while others of them have a remoter object. For instance, the law enjoins us to serve and worship God, and next enjoins us to do good to our neighbors. (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18.) These things are in themselves acceptable to God, and are demanded on their own account. The case is different with ceremonies; for they are performances which are not demanded on their own account, but for a different reason. The same thing may be said of fasting;
For the kingdom of God does not consist in meat and drink; (Romans 14:17;)
and therefore fasting is directed to another object.
It follows, therefore, that ceremonies were not appointed in such a manner as if they were a satisfaction by which he should be appeased, but in order that by means of them the nation might be trained to godliness, and might make greater and greater progress in faith and in the pure worship of God. But hypocrites observe them with the most scrupulous care, as if the whole of religion turned on this point, and think that they are the most devout of all men, when they have long and anxiously wearied themselves in observing them. And that they may be thought more devout, they likewise add something of their own, and daily contrive new inventions, and most wickedly abuse the holy ordinances of God, by not keeping in view their true object. All their ceremonies, therefore, are nothing else than corruptions of the worship of God. For when their whole attention is given to the outward and naked performance, in what respect do their sacrifices differ from the sacrifices of the Gentiles, which, we know, were full of sacrilege, because they had no regard to a lawful end?
This is the reason why the Lord rejects those ceremonies, though they had been appointed by his authority, because the nation did not consider the object and purpose for which they were enjoined. The unceasing contest between the prophets and the nation was to tear off these masks, and to show that the Lord is not satisfied with merely outward worship, and cannot be appeased by ceremonies. In all places godly ministers have experience of the same kind of conflicts; for men always form their estimate of God from themselves, and think that he is satisfied with outward display, but cannot without the greatest difficulty be brought to offer to him the integrity of their heart.
All the perplexity of this passage will be easily removed by Jeremiah, who says,
When I redeemed your fathers out of Egypt, I did not order them to offer sacrifices to me; I only enjoined them to hear me and to keep my commandments. (Jeremiah 7:22.)
For he shows that the observance of ceremonies depends wholly on the word, and that it is as idle and unprofitable to separate there from the word as it would be for the soul to be parted from the body. To this also belongs the argument in Psalm 50:13, 14, —
Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows to the Most High.
And in another passage the same Jeremiah says,
“Trust not in words of falsehood, saying, The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are we.
But rather excel in doing good, etc.” (Jeremiah 7:4.)
The Prophet Micah likewise says, “Doth the LORD take pleasure in thousands of rams, or in ten thousand rivers of oil?” Immediately afterwards he adds,
“I will show thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requireth from thee, namely, to do justly, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God.” (Micah 6:7, 8.)
From these passages it is evident that the reason why ceremonies are condemned is, that they are separated from the word as from their soul. Hence we see how great is the blindness of men, who cannot be convinced that all the pains they take to worship God are of no advantage unless they flow from integrity of heart. Nor is this vice confined to the common people, but is found in almost all men; and in those who in their opinion excel all others. Hence springs the notion of the efficacy which belongs to the mere performance of the outward act — or, as they call it, the opus operatum — which Popish doctors have contrived, and which at the present day keeps a firm hold of the minds of many. Now here it is not man but God himself who speaks, and who pronounces, by an unchangeable decree, that all that men do is in vain offered for his acceptance, is empty and unprofitable, unless they call upon him with true faith.
12. Who hath required this at your hand? What an admirable confutation of false worship, when God declares that they will not come before him according to the appointed manner, and makes a general declaration, that in vain do they offer to him anything which he does not require; for he does not choose to be worshipped in any other way than that which has been enjoined! For how comes it that men are so highly delighted with those inventions, but because they do not consider that all their services are neither profitable to themselves nor acceptable to God? Otherwise they would immediately recollect that obedience is all that remains for them to do; (1 Samuel 15:22;) and they would not so insolently vaunt of their exertions, which the Lord looks upon with scorn, not only because he derives no advantage from it, but because he does not wish that men should attribute to him what they have rashly undertaken without his authority, or suffer the caprice of men to pass for a law: Yet in order to express still stronger contempt, he immediately adds, that they improperly give the name of obedience to that which he considers to be labor thrown away; namely, that their close attendance at the temple amounts to nothing more than treading its pavements; as if, in reference to their hypocritical prayers, he had said, “Truly they lay me under deep obligations by stunning my ears.”
13. Bring no more vain oblations This is a useful admonition for restraining the irregular desires of those who do not cease to follow inveterately unmeaning and hypocritical worship, that, warned by God, they may at length repent, if they would listen to any advice. But hence we learn how hard it is to shake the false confidence of hypocrites, when they have once been hardened, since they cannot even endure to hear God plainly warning them not to go on in losing their pains, and in the practice of such madness.
Incense is an abomination to one To press them more closely, he proceeds farther, and declares that such worship is not only unprofitable, but even that he detests and abhors it; and justly, because the profanation of the worship of God, in which his name is falsely employed, is not free from sacrilege. For as nothing is more dear to God than his own glory, so there is nothing which he more strongly detests than to have it infringed by any kind of corruptions: and this is done, when any sort of unmeaning service is put in the room of true worship. The meaning of this passage has been mistaken by some, who have thought that the Prophet speaks of the repeal of the law; for that is not his object, but he recalls the people of his time to the right manner of observing ceremonies, and shows with what design and for what purpose they were instituted. For since the beginning of the world the worship of God was spiritual, and the diversity of our worship from that which prevailed under the Old Testament had a reference to men, but not to God. In God there is no change, (James 1:17,) but he accommodates himself to the weakness of men. That kind of government therefore was suitable to the Jews, just as a preparatory training 2222 Poedagogia. In what sense our Author uses this term may be gathered from his Commentary on Galatians 3:24. The law was our schoolmaster (παιδαγωγός) to Christ. — Ed is needed for children. For what purpose they were instituted, and what is the right manner of observing ceremonies, he now describes.
14. Your new-moons The Prophet adds nothing new to his former doctrine; but with respect to all ceremonies, in which there is no spiritual truth, but only the glare of a false pretense, he declares generally that they are not merely useless but wicked. Hence we ought to observe that we labor to no purpose, if we do not worship God in the right manner, and as God himself enjoins. In all things God delights in truth, but especially in the worship due to his majesty. Besides, not only do we lose our labor, but the worship of God (as we have already said) is perverted; and nothing can be more wicked than this. Now all superstitions are so many corruptions of the worship of God; it follows, therefore, that they are wicked and unlawful.
Superstition may be viewed, either in itself, or in the disposition of the mind. In itself when men have the audacity to contrive what God has not commanded. Such are those actions which spring from will-worship, (ἐθελοθρησκεία, Colossians 2:23,) Which is commonly called devotion. One man shall set up an idol, another shall build a chapels another shall appoint annual festivals, and innumerable things of the same nature. When men venture to take such liberties as to invent new modes of worship, that is superstition. In the disposition of the mind, when men imitate those services which are lawful and of which God approves, but keep their whole attention fixed on the outward form, and do not attend to their object or truth. In this manner the Jews earnestly adhered to the ceremonies which Moses had enjoined, but left out what was of the greatest importance; for they paid no regard to a pure conscience, never mentioned faith and repentance, had no knowledge of their guilt, and — what was still worse — separated Christ from them, and left no room for the truth. This plainly shows, as I have already stated, that it was a spurious and deceitful mask; so that their sacrifices did not at all differ from the sacrifices of the Gentiles. It is therefore not wonderful that the Lord calls them abomination
I shall not stay to notice the phrases here used, which are various; and yet they ought not to be lightly passed over. For the Lord perceives how great is the wantonness of men in contriving modes of worship; and therefore he heaps up a variety of expressions, that he may more powerfully restrain that wantonness, and again declares that those actions are hateful to him. Moreover, because men flatter themselves, and foolishly entertain the belief that the Lord will hold in some estimation the idle contrivances which they have framed, he declares, on the contrary, that he regards them with detestation and abhorrence.
15. When ye spread forth your hands The ancient custom of spreading forth the hands in prayer did not arise from superstition; nor did that practice, like many others, obtain currency through foolish and idle ambition; but because nature herself prompts men to declare, even by outward signs, that they betake themselves to God. Accordingly, since they cannot fly to him, they raise themselves by this sign. No injunction, certainly, respecting this sign, was given to the fathers; but they used it as men divinely inspired; and by this very sign all idolaters are convicted of gross blindness; for, while they declare by an outward attitude that they betake themselves to God, in reality they betake themselves to idols. In order to convict them more strongly, the Lord permitted the uninterrupted use of this custom to continue among them. The Prophet, therefore, does not condemn the spreading forth of the hands, but their hypocrisy; because they assumed the appearance of men who called on God, while in their heart they were wholly averse to him, as he elsewhere declares more fully that
“this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honors me, but have removed their heart far from me”
The Lord saith that he is nigh, but it is
to those who call upon him in truth. (Psalm 145:18.)
Where hypocrisy is, there can be no true calling on God. And yet this passage does not contradict what is said elsewhere, “When they shall spread forth their hands, I will hear.” 2323 Our Author seems to allude to Isaiah 65:24, It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. This conjecture is confirmed by the remarks which immediately follow on the word call, as the leading word in the passage. It appears to have escaped his recollection, that in this instance the spreading forth of the hands is not mentioned, though it occurs in an analogous passage of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple — What prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, when he shall spread forth his hands in this house; then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling-place. 2 Chronicles 6:29, 30. — Ed. For in that passage the Lord speaks of that calling which proceeds from confidence in him. Faith is the mother of calling on God; and if that be absent, nothing is left but empty mockery.
Yea, when ye make many prayers He amplifies the former statement by threatening that he will be deaf to their cries, to whatever extent they may multiply prayers; as if he had said, “Though you be constant in prayer, that diligence will be of no avail to you.” For this also is a fault which belongs to hypocrites, that the more their prayers abound in words, they think that they are more holy, and will more easily obtain what they wish. Thus their idle talkativeness is indirectly rebuked.
Your hands are full of blood Here he begins to explain more fully the reason why he disapproves, and even disdainfully rejects, both their prayers and their sacrifices. It is because they are cruel and bloody, and stained with crimes of every sort, though they come into his presence with hypocritical display. Though he will afterwards add other kinds of crime, yet as he had mentioned the spreading forth of the hands, so he speaks of the hands, and says that in them they carry and hold out a testimony of their crimes, so that they need not wonder that he thrusts them back so harshly. For, on the other hand, the phrase, to lift up clean hands, was employed not only by prophets and apostles, (1 Timothy 2:8,) but even by profane authors, who were driven by mere instinct to reprove the stupidity of men; if it were not that God perhaps forced them to make this confession, in order that true religion might never be without some kind of attestation.
And yet the Prophet does not mean that they were robbers or murderers, but reproves the tricks and deceit by which they obtained possession of the property of others. God judges in a different manner from men; for the hidden tricks and wicked arts, by which wicked men are accustomed to deceive and take advantage of the more simple, are not taken into account by men; or if they are taken into account, they are at least extenuated, and are not estimated according to their just weight. But God, dragging forth to light those very men of dazzling reputation, who under specious pretenses had been in the habit of concealing their unjust practices, plainly declares that they are murderers. For in whatever way you kill a man, whether you cut his throat or take away his food and the necessaries of life, you are a murderer. Consequently, God does not speak of men who are openly wicked, or whose crimes have made them openly infamous, but of those who wished to be thought good men, and who kept up some kind of reputation.
This circumstance ought to be carefully observed; for on the same grounds must we now deal with wicked men, who oppress the poor and feeble by fraud and violence, or some kind of injustice, and yet cloak their wickedness by plausible disguise. But with whatever impudence they may exclaim that they do not resemble thieves or assassins we must reprove them with the same severity which the Prophet employed towards persons of the same stamp; for when we speak in the name of God, we must not judge according to the views and opinions of men, but must boldly declare the judgment which the Lord hath pronounced.
16. Wash you, make you clean He exhorts the Jews to repentance, and points out the true way of it, provided that they wish to have their obedience approved by God. Hence we conclude that nothing can please God, unless it proceed from a pure conscience; for God does not, like men, judge of our works according to their outward appearance. It frequently happens that some particular action, though performed by a very wicked man, obtains applause among men; but in the Sight of God, who beholds the heart, a depraved conscience pollutes every virtue. And this is what is taught by Haggai, holding out an illustration drawn from the ancient ceremonies, that everything which an unclean person has touched is polluted; from which he concludes that nothing clean proceeds from the wicked. Our Prophet has already declared, that in vain do they offer sacrifices to God, in vain do they pray, in vain do they call on his name, if integrity of heart do not sanctify the outward worship. For this reason, in order that the Jews may no longer labor to no purpose, he demands that cleanness; and he begins with a general reformation, lest, after having discharged one part of their duty, they should imagine that this would be a veil to conceal them from the eyes of God.
Such is the manner in which we ought always to deal with men who are estranged from God. We must not confine our attention to one or a few sores of a diseased body but if we aim at a true and thorough cure, we must call on them to begin anew, and must thoroughly remove the contagion, that they who were formerly hateful and abominable in the sight of God may begin to please God. By the metaphor washing, he unquestionably exhorts to remove inward pollution, but shortly afterwards he will also add the fruits of actions.
When he bids them wash, he does not mean that men repent by their own exercise of free-will; but he shows that there is no other remedy but this, that they shall appear pure in the sight of God. Now, we know that the sacred writers attribute to men what is wrought in them by the Spirit of God, whom Ezekiel calls clean water, because to him belongs the work of repentance. (Ezekiel 36:25.)
Put away the evil of your doings The Prophet now comes to describe the fruits of repentance; for not only does he explain without a metaphor what it is to wash and to be cleansed, but he enjoins them to exhibit in their whole life, and in every action, the evidence of their being renewed. Yet he confirms the former statement, that the pollution of the people is before the eyes of God, that it stains and debases all their actions, and thus makes it impossible that they shall be pleasing in his sight. And he particularly mentions the eyes of God, lest, when they employed a veil to hinder themselves from seeing, they should vainly imagine that God shared with them in their blindness.
Cease to do evil He still proceeds to reprove their manner of life. This passage is commonly interpreted as if by doing ill the Prophet meant loving ill; but it ought strictly to be understood as denoting those crimes by which a neighbor is injured; so that in the exhortation, Learn to do well, which occurs in the next verse, the expression to your neighbor ought to be supplied; for he speaks of the injuries and kind offices which Eve perform to our neighbors. Now since repentance has its seal in the heart of man, he describes it by those outward appearances by means of which it is, in some measure, brought before the eyes of men. There is no man who does not wish to be reckoned a good man; but the true character of every man is manifested by his actions. He therefore calls them to the performance of those outward actions by which they may give evidence of their repentance.
He comprehends under two heads the fruits of repentance, ceasing to do evil, and doing well. First, we must cease to commit every act of injustice; for we must not imitate those spendthrifts who wish to be thought bountiful, and fraudulently take from one person what they bestow on another. Again, we must not resemble those idle people who think that they have done enough, if they have kept themselves from doing harm, and from invading the property of their neighbors, but are not careful to perform acts of kindness. He intended, therefore, to include both; for under those two heads the keeping of the second table of the law is comprehended.
17. Learn to do well As he had just now, ill enjoining them to cease to do evil, charged them with the continual practice of iniquity as if he had said that their whole life was a constant habit of sinning; so now he enjoins them to become skilled in acts of kindness, and in entreating them to learn this, he addresses them as scholars who had not yet learned their earliest lessons. And first he bids them seek judgment. Others render it, inquire respecting judgment, of which I do not approve; for by the word seek the Prophet meant more than this, he meant what we call the actual practice of it. By the word judgment he denotes what is good and right; as if he had said, “Aim at uprightness.”
Relieve the oppressed The Prophet, after his wonted manner, adds to the general description the mention of particular classes; and although he has already given a special exhortation to kindness and justice, yet wishing to press them more closely, he enters into a more careful enumeration of certain classes, so as to present a more complete view of the subject. For otherwise men always wish to be reckoned good and righteous, and can scarcely be moved by general instruction; but when we come to particular cases, they are forced, as it were, to deal with the matter in hand, and are compelled to yield, or at least become more tractable, of which we have daily experience.
Judge the fatherless, plead for the widow The Prophet here selects two classes, by means of which the wickedness of men is more fully exposed; for it seldom happens that the causes of the fatherless and widows are defended, because men do not expect from them any rewards. To such an extent are they exposed to every kind of injustice, that no man comes forward in defense of them, because there is no man who follows justice on its own account; and not only so, but there is a very great number of persons who are ready to plunder the poor and needy. This proves that there is no one who cares about exercising judgment; for we need not at all wonder that men of wealth and influence have friends to assist them, who are excited and allured by the expectation of reward. But the Lord declares that he takes charge of the fatherless and widows, and will avenge them if they shall sustain any injury.
“Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict then in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry: and my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” (Exodus 22:22-24.)
The same declaration is now extended to all others, who are oppressed and groan under the violence and lawless passions of men of rank and influence.
This ought to yield the highest consolation to all the children of God, who are enjoined to possess their souls in patience. (Luke 21:19.) Whatever may be the haughty boasting of enemies, this will not prevent the people of God from glorying amidst their tribulations, while such considerations as these shall have an abiding place in their minds: “The Lord will be our avenger. Though men disregard us, he takes care of us. He will aid the destitute, and will defend their cause.”