Isaiah 1:4
Alas, O sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children of depravity! They have forsaken the LORD; they have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on Him.
A Sinning NationOriginal Secession MagazineIsaiah 1:4
A Specific and Terrible IndictmentJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 1:4
Bad Company InjuriousSpanish proverbIsaiah 1:4
Children that are CorruptersW.M. Statham Isaiah 1:4
Companionship in EvilR. South, D. D.Isaiah 1:4
CorruptersJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 1:4
God's Indignation Against SinJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 1:4
Leading Others AstraySunday School ChronicleIsaiah 1:4
Moral GravitationJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 1:4
Savonarola and FlorenceF. Sessions.Isaiah 1:4
The Contagion of CharacterF. Jacox.Isaiah 1:4
The Corrupt are CorruptersF. Jacox.Isaiah 1:4
The Course of SinW. Clarkson Isaiah 1:4
The Force of ExampleLatin Adage.Isaiah 1:4
The Holy One of IsraelProf. T. K. Cheyne.Isaiah 1:4
Jehovah Arraigns His PeopleE. Johnson Isaiah 1:1-9
A Last AppealLloyd Robinson.Isaiah 1:2-31
God Finds Vindication in NatureD. Davies.Isaiah 1:2-31
God Man's Truest FriendIsaiah 1:2-31
IngratitudeBishop Reynolds.Isaiah 1:2-31
Isaiah's SermonIsaiah 1:2-31
Israel's ApostasyF. Delitzsch.Isaiah 1:2-31
The Fatherhood of God in Relation to IsraelF. Delitzsch.Isaiah 1:2-31
The Fatherhood of God in the Old TestamentJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 1:2-31
The Heinousness of Rebellion Against God's Paternal GovernmentT. W. Coit.Isaiah 1:2-31
The Parental Grief of God, and its Pathetic AppealD. Davies.Isaiah 1:2-31
The Sinful NationSermons by the Monday ClubIsaiah 1:2-31
The Sinful NationHanford A. Edson, D. D.Isaiah 1:2-31
The Sinful NationJ. Sanderson, D. D.Isaiah 1:2-31

Here we have a broad light on the mission of Isaiah the prophet. The holy nation had become evil. Plants are more poison-spreading in their corruption than forest trees. It is an old proverb, "The corruption of the best is the worst." "Children that are corrupt." How solemn the emphasis of the prophet's adjuration! "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me."

I. THE MEASURE OF LIFE IS THE MEASURE OF CORRUPTION. Even physically it is so. The horse does not breed such corruption as man. The body, God's most perfect work, must in its corpse state be buried quickly. Israel was a privileged people. They had the Law and the prophets and the glory; but their rottenness was complete: "From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores" (ver. 6). Such, then, is the revealed philosophy concerning evil - the richer the life the more rotten the corruption.

II. THE MEASURE OF OPPORTUNITY IS THE MEASURE OF RESPONSIBILITY. "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint." But in head and heart they had been "nourished and brought up as children." And as children their character ought to have reflected the Father's image. "Ye are my witnesses, "saith the Lord. But Israel had become vain, proud, carnal, self-seeking, idolatrous. They imagined themselves elected to the enjoyment of privilege instead of to the use and responsibility of privilege. Hence they sought to become a "vortex" instead of a "fountain." And evil had spread through them. Their lofty position had made the leaven of their influence wider. Alas! the "children" were "corrupters!" - W.M.S.

Ah, sinful nation.
The word "ah" is not an interjection, indicating a mere sighing of pity or regret; the word should not be spelt as it is here, the letters should be reversed, it should be "ha," and pronounced as expressive of indignation. God does not merely sigh over human iniquity, looking upon it as a lapse, an unhappy thing, a circumstance that ought to have been otherwise; His tone is poignant, judicial, indignant, for not only is His heart wounded, but His righteousness is outraged, and the security of His universe is threatened, — for the universe stands in plumb line, in strict geometry, and whoever trifles with the plumb, with the uprightness, tampers with the security of the universe.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Original Secession Magazine.
The original words used in reference to God's ancient people are "a sinning nation," which denotes a nation sinning habitually. There are three ways in which a nation becomes sinful.

I. WHEN THE GREAT BODY OF THE PEOPLE CONSENT TO OR APPROVE OF THE SINS OF FORMER GENERATIONS. Thus Christ said to the Jews, "Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers."

II. WHEN THE GREAT BODY OF THE PEOPLE CONSENT TO THE SINS OF THEIR RULERS. Thus the Jews were a sinful nation, because they approved of the deeds of their rulers in killing the prophets and in crucifying Christ, and these sins are expressly charged against them, and were visited upon them nationally.

III. WHEN THE GENERALITY OF THE PEOPLE ARE LIVING IN THEIR OWN REASONS. Such was the state of the Jews when Isaiah charged them with contempt of God, hypocrisy and manifold habitual transgressions.

(Original Secession Magazine.)

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.

(F. Sessions.)

Sons that are as cankerworms; sons that throw poison into pellucid water streams; sons that suggest evil thoughts to opening minds.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Have fellowship with the lame and you will learn to limp.

(Latin Adage.)

One rotten apple will infect the store; the putrid grape corrupts the whole cluster.

(F. Jacox.)

Men love not to be found singular, especially where the singularity lies in the rugged and severe paths of virtue: company causes confidence, and gives both credit and defence, credit to the crime, and defence to the criminal

(R. South, D. D.)

"Do you see," said Dr. Arnold to an assistant master who had recently come to Rugby, "those two boys walking together? I never saw them together before; you should make an especial point of observing the company they keep; — nothing so tells the changes in a boy's character."

(F. Jacox.)

Spanish proverb.
He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.

(Spanish proverb.)

Sunday School Chronicle.
A father bade his son set up some bricks endways, in regular line a short distance apart. "Now," said he, "knock down the first brick." The boy obeyed, and all the others fell with it. "Now," said the father, "raise the last brick and see if the others will rise with it." But no, once down, they must be raised singly. Said the father, "I have given you this object lesson to teach you how easy it is for one to lead others astray, but how difficult for him to restore them, however sincere his repentance may be."

(Sunday School Chronicle.)

They have forsaken the Lord
What have they done? They have done three things. It is no general accusation that is lodged against Judah and Jerusalem, and through them against all the nations of the earth; it is a specific indictment, glittering with detail.

I. "THEY HAVE FORSAKEN THE LORD." By so much their action is negative; they have ceased to attend the altar; they have neglected to read the Italy writing; they have turned their backs upon that towards which they once looked with open face and radiant eye.

II. "THEY HAVE PROVOKED THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL UNTO ANGER." Observe how the intensity increases, how the aggravation deepens and blackens; they have grown bold in sin; they have thrown challenges in the face of God; they have defied Him to hurl His thunderbolts and His lightnings upon them.

III. "THEY ARE GONE AWAY BACKWARD." They forsook, they provoked, they apostatised. Sin has its logical course as well as holiness. Men do not stand still at the point of forsaking God: having for a little while forsaken Him, they will find it almost necessary to provoke Him, that they may justify themselves to themselves and to others, saying, Even provocation cannot awaken the judgment of heaven with any sign of impatience; and having provoked the Holy One of Israel, the next point will be universal apostasy, a thorough off-casting of the last traces and semblances of religion. See if this be not so in the history of the individual mind.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

There is a law of gravitation, spiritual as well as physical, and now the man who has begun by forsaking will end by going backward, his whole life thrown out of order, decentralised; and he perpetrates the irony of walking backwards, and his crab-like action will bring him to the pit.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

The Holy One of Israel.
That is, "He who shows Himself holy in Israel."

(Prof. T. K. Cheyne.)

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