The exposition vpon the seconde Chapter of Esay.
IN the first verse is conteyned the same matter that was in the first of the Chapter before.
In the three next verses Esay pro∣phecieth* of the kingdome of Christ, the aduauncement of his Church, and the conuersi∣on of the Gentiles, that shoulde be in the latter Page [unnumbered] dayes, that is, when the ceremoniall law, and the figures and sacrifices appoynted by Moises should haue an end in the truth of the very Messiah Christ Iesu the sauiour of the worlde.
The Temple of Hierusalem was buylded by Solomon vppon mount Sion, and was the onely chosen place, where God would be specially woor∣shipped and serued: so that in sundrie places of the Psalmes,* it is sayd, that The Lord had chosen * Sion for his habitation bicause of the Arke of his pre∣sence there in the temple reserued. For this cause in the scriptures Sion and Hierusalem are taken for the type and figure of the true Church of God vn∣der Christ.* As saint Paule to the Hebrues. You are come to the mounte Sion and to the Citie of the ly∣uing God, the celestiall Hierusalem, and to an innu∣merable companie of aungels, and vnto the congrega∣tion of the first borne. That is to say, to the blessed Church of Christ. Wherefore in this place by the Hyll of the Lordes house, that is, mount Sion, is ment the Church of Christ, the congregation of the faythfull, which at the comming of Christ should be aduaunced aboue all the kingdomes of the earth, and enlarged with great glorie, by the conuersion of the Gentiles from their Idolatrie, to the fayth of Christ, throughout the whole worlde.
The glorie and aduauncement of the Church which is here so highly spoken of, muste not bee thought to consist, in the honour, power, and riches of the worlde, (wherein the Church is alway con∣temptible) but in the heauēly doctrine, strong faith, true worshipping of God, charitie, patience, con∣stancie, Page 8 and all Godly giftes of grace, which mer∣uelously shined in the Godly fathers, and first pro∣fessours of christian Religion, that followed after Christ in all Nations and Countreys of the earth. For as Christes kingdome is spirituall: so is the glorie of the same spirituall and not worldly.
When the Prophete sayth, Come let vs ascende to the hill of the Lorde, he, to the reproofe of the Iewes, doth note the readinesse and willingnesse of the Gentiles (in whose person this is spoken) not only to imbrace the fayth of Christ themselues: but also cheerefully to encourage other to the same. Which may appeere in this, that by the preaching of the Apostles within thirtie yeares, (as Eusebius sayth) all the Nations of the earth were woonne to the fayth of Christ, and the receyuing of his Gos∣pell. And he will instruct vs in his wayes. Hereby is to be noted, that the chiefe care and studie of the true church of Christ, ought to be in the instructing of his people, what his wayes are, and not to leade thē into mens fantasies, or into their own deuises.
The law of grace and truth, that is, the Gospell of christ Iesu *began first in Hierusalem.* There christ preached in the Temple, there he wrought many miracles,* *there he sent downe the holyghost vpon his Apostles. From *thence he sent his messengers and preachers of his Gospell into all partes of the worlde,* to reforme the people and bring them by repentance from Idolatrie and wickednesse to the Page [unnumbered] true worshipping of God, and vertuous conuersa∣tion of life, that is, to make them subiectes to the kingdome of Christ.
As the Gospell is a doctrine of reconciliation and peace making betweene God and vs, through Christ Iesu our sauiour: so doth it pacifie and quiet men among themselues also. In so much that they which be the true members of the kingdome of Christ doe not vse to striue by fighting and warre for their priuate quarelles, but liue togither in v∣nitie, loue, and concorde. Or if any doe otherwise, it is a great burthen to their consciences, and an eui∣dent note of their imperfection. Insomuch as they shew themselues not to haue that * badge or cog∣nizance,* whereby the seruauntes and subiectes of Christes kingdome are knowne. And yet doth not this place prohibite Princes and Magistrates to make warre for the maintenance of iustice and godlinesse. For they haue the sworde put into their handes by God, whose ministers they are, for the defence of them which are cōmitted to their charge, the widowe, the fatherlesse, and the poore and in∣nocent oppressed.
In this fift verse the Prophete by emulation of the Gentiles, prouoketh the Iewes vnder the Page 9 name of the house of Iacob, to imbrace the fayth of Christ, and walke in the light of his Gospell. As if he had sayd: Beholde straungers whom we estee∣med as a foolish people, that alway worshipped I∣dols, and liued in all vncleannesse, with how great desire forsake they their Idols and seeke after the true God? Are not we ashamed, that we are the last, that are ioyned to Christ and his Church? To vs the law was giuen, to vs the Prophetes prea∣ched, Christ was borne among vs, he is our heri∣tage, come, let vs imbrace him, if we glorie to be of the house and posteritie of Iacob, it should be as∣sured to vs that Christ is that promised seede. For Iacob prophecied,*Hunc fore expectationē Gentium, that he should be the expectation of the Gentiles, & now you see our father Iacobs promise fulfilled, &c. Let vs walke therefore in this light of the Lorde: for this Sauior is the true light. But as Christ sayth in the thirde of S. Iohns Gospell,*This is the cōdemnation, that the light came into the world, and the worlde loued darkenesse, more then light.
Wherefore in the foure next verses the Pro∣phet* foreseing the obstinacie of the Iewes in refu∣sing Christ, and their delightin witches, sorcerers, and soothsayers, more than the superstitious Chal∣dees and Philistines, and the confidence in their ryches, and strength of horses and chariots, and trust in forraine friendes, and woorshipping of I∣dols: foreseeing (I say) all these thinges, and also, that the secrete but iuste iudgement of God for the same, had giuen them ouer, he saith he wil not pray Page [unnumbered] to god for them, but leaueth them to his iustice, and desireth him not to pardon them their obstinacie and wickednesse. Therefore forgiue them not, sayth he.
The Prophete doth here insult vpon the stub∣burne Iewes, as if he had sayde, Oh you wicked generation, seeke refuge, if you can, in the rocke, seeke corners to hide you in the caues of the earth, and though you doe finde such places, you shall not scape from the wrath & indignation of God. Yea, if you were shut vp and inclosed in a rocke, the iu∣stice of God woulde finde you out, and plague you for your sinnes. And not you onely, but all the proude of the earth, who in the glorie and securi∣tie of their wealth, set vp their faces against the li∣uing God. Were they as high as the Ceders of Lybanus, yea, or any mountaines in the whole earth, Were they as strong and stiffe necked as the Okes of Basan, Were they of as great force as fenced Castelles and Towers, or as gorgeous as the ships of Tharsis, or as highe minded and loftie as Lucifer, The mightie Lord of hostes shall putte them downe, and make them bende, and his glory onely shall be aduaunced in the day of his wrath.
As for your Idoles,* they shall be destroyed and brought to confusion, and your selues, that haue made them your gods, and put your trust and con∣fidence and your whole delight in them, shall see so Page 10 little helpe of your miserie by them, that you shalbe ashamed of them, and cast them into holes & cliftes of rockes to hide them, and your owne grosse folly from the face and maiestie of the Lorde.
Therefore leaue of the trust and confidence that you haue conceyued in your selues or in anye strength of man, and put your trust in the Lorde alone.
For mans life is brickle and fraile, euen as the breath passing out of the nosthrils.
1. First wee haue to learne the authoritie and truth of Gods holy word, and his Prophets which so many hundred yeares before did so euidentlye tell of the kingdome of Christ, the conuersion of the Gentiles, & the reiecting of the Iewes, which from the beginning had bene accounted the chosen people of God.
2 Secondly, that the chiefe studie of the church of Christ, ought to bee, to instruct the people of God in his wayes, and on the other part, that it is their duetie, that associate themselues vnto the Church, not onely to learne his wayes, but also to walke in his pathes, and to declare their professi∣on in the behauiour of their life.
3 Thirdely, that they which be the Citizens of the heauenly Hierusalem, and the true members of the Church of Christ vse not by strife, and conten∣tion, fighting and warre to seeke one the hurt of the Page [unnumbered] other: but studie to liue together in vnitie and con∣corde, charitie and brotherly loue, as the children of one father and heyres of one kingdome.
4 Fourthly, that we beware least through our obstinate refusing of the Gospell of Christ we be giuen ouer by almightie God, and cast into perpe∣tual induration and vtter confusion as the Iewes were, in whome we see euen to this day a dreadfull example of Gods seuere iustice.
5 Fiftly, that witchcraft, sorcerie, soothsaying, and confidence in worldly strength and riches, are odi∣ous to almightie GOD, for that these things doe leade men from that trust and confidence that they should haue in God alone, and turne the glorie of God vnto creatures, which is directly agaynst the first commaundement.