Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD…
Florence, in the days of Lorenzo the Magnificent, had become practically a pagan city. She had fallen from Christ as Jerusalem from Jehovah. One of her historians descants upon her as being "hopeless morally, full of debauchery, cruelty, and corruption, violating oaths, betraying trusts, believing in nothing but Greek manuscripts, coins and statues, and caring for nothing but pleasures." It was into such a city, to which Isaiah's prelude would almost literally apply, that Savonarola came. Seeing, as he expressed it, "the world turned upside down," he traversed the streets and wandered along the banks of the Arno, musing and weeping over the great misery of the world, and the iniquities of men, and the enormous wickedness of the people of Italy. Then, after a time of probation at the convent of San Marco, he burst upon the Florentines as a prophet of fiery eloquence and uncompromising virtue, of a fearless character, and with Divine insight akin to that of his great prototype, Isaiah of Jerusalem. Through internal troubles, and assaults from without, he warned the people and their rulers, endeavouring to turn their hearts to God, and to stay them upon Him. To the priests he said, that the false and lukewarm among them, the dumb dogs that could not bark, had perverted the people, and prejudiced them against the truth. "Before all, the wicked priests and servants of the Church are the guilty causes of this corruption as also of the coming calamities." "He cried aloud to the populace, Thou knowest, thou knowest, O Florence, that I would have thee a spiritual State. I have always shown thee clearly that a kingdom is only strong in proportion as it is spiritual, by being more closely related to God." Thus faithfully and boldly spoke out Savonarola what was in him from the Holy Spirit.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
WEB: Ah sinful nation, a people loaded with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken Yahweh. They have despised the Holy One of Israel. They are estranged and backward.