God comforteth the Church with his promises.
Isaiah 44:1 So heare nowe, O Iacob my seruaunt, and Israel whom I haue chosen. Isaiah 44:2 For thus sayth the Lord, that made the, fashyoned þe, and helped the, euen from thy mothers wombe. Be not afrayed, O Iacob my seruaunt, thou ryghteous, whom I haue chosen. Isaiah 44:3 For I shall powre water vpon the drye grounde, & ryuers vpon the thurstye. I shall poure my sprete vpon thy sede, and myne encrease vpon thy stock. Isaiah 44:4 They shall growe together, lyke as þe grasse, and as the wyllowes by the waters syde. Isaiah 44:5 One shall saye: I am the Lordes. Another shall call hym selfe after the name of Iacob. The thyrde shall subscribe with hys hande vnto the Lorde, and geue him self vnder the name of Israel. Isaiah 44:6 Thus hath the Lorde spoken: euen the Kynge of Israel, and his redemer, the Lorde of Hostes: I am the fyrst and the last, and without me is there no God.
The vanity of idols,
Isaiah 44:7 Yf any be lyke me, lett hym call forth the thynge paste and openly shewe it, and laye it playne before me what hath chaunsed synce I apoynted þe people of the worlde, and what shall be shortly or what shall come to passe, in tyme longe to come, let them shewe thes thynges. Isaiah 44:8 Be not abashed nor afrayde. For haue not I euer tolde you hytherto, and warned you? Ye can beare me recorde youre selues. Is there any God excepte me? or any maker, that I shulde not knowe hym?
and folly of idol makers.
Isaiah 44:9 All caruers of Images are but vayne, & the carued ymages that they loue, can do no good. They must beare recorde them selues, that (seynge they can nether se ner vnderstande) they shalbe confounded. Isaiah 44:10 Who darre them make a God, or fashyon an ymage, that is profytable for nothynge? Isaiah 44:11 Beholde, all the felowshyppe of them must be brought to confusyon. And truly all the worke masters of them ar men, they shall all be gathered to gyther, they shall stande, tremble, and be confounded one with a nother. Isaiah 44:12 The smith maketh an axe, and tempereth it with hoate coales, and fashyoneth it with hammers, and worketh wt it with all the strength of hys armes: yee, sometyme he is faynt for very hunger, and so thurstye, that he hath no more power. Isaiah 44:13 The carpenter (or ymage caruer) taketh measure of the tymbre: and spredeth forth his lyne: he marketh it with some coloure. he playneth it, he ruleth it, and squareth it, and maketh it after the ymage of a man, and according to the bewty of a man: þt it maye stande in the temple. Isaiah 44:14 Moreouer, he goeth oute to hewe downe Cedre trees. He bryngeth home Elmes and Okes: and takynge a bolde corage, he seketh out the best tymbre of the wodde. He him selfe hath planted a pyne tree, which the rayne hath swelled, Isaiah 44:15 which wodd serueth for men to burne. Of this he taketh and warmeth hym selfe withall: he maketh afyre of it to bake breade. And afterwarde maketh a God there of, to honoure it: & an Idole to knele before it. Isaiah 44:16 One pece he burneth in þe fyre, with another he rosteth flesh, that he maye eate roste his bely full: with the thryde he warmeth him self, and sayeth: Aha, I am well warmed, I haue bene at the fyre. Isaiah 44:17 And of the residue he maketh him a God, & an Idole for him selfe. He kneleth before it, he worshippeth it, he prayeth vnto it, & sayeth: delyuer me, for thou art my God. Isaiah 44:18 Yet men nether consydre ner vnderstande, because theyr eyes are stopped, that they cannot se: and their hertes, that they cannot perceaue. Isaiah 44:19 They pondre not in theyr myndes, for they haue nether knowledge ner vnderstandynge, to thincke thus. I haue brent one pece in the fyre. I haue baked bread with the coles there of, I haue rosted flesh with all, & eaten it: shall I nowe of the resydue make an abhominable Idole, and fall downe before a rotten pece of wood? Isaiah 44:20 Thus he doth but lese hys laboure, and hys herte which is disceaued, doth turne hym asyde: so that none of them can haue a fre conscience to thincke: maye not Ierre?
He exhorteth to praise God for his redemption and omnipotency.
Isaiah 44:21 Consydre thys (O Iacob and Israel) for thou art my seruaunt. I haue made the, that thou myghtest serue me. O Israel, forget me not. Isaiah 44:22 As for thyne offences, I haue dryuen them awaye lyke the cloudes, and thy synnes as the myst. Turne the agayne vnto me, for I haue redemed the. Isaiah 44:23 Be glad ye heauens, whom the Lorde hath made for the Lorde hath dealte graciously wt hys people, let all that is here beneth vpon þe earth, be ioyfull. Reioyse ye mountaynes and woddes, with all the trees therof: for þe Lorde hath redemed Iacob, and wyll shewe hys glory vpon Israel. Isaiah 44:24 Thus sayth the Lord thy redemer, euen he that fashyoned the from thy mothers wombe. I the Lorde, do all thynges my selfe alone. I only sprede out the heauens and I only haue layde the foundacyon of the earth by myn awne selfe. Isaiah 44:25 I destroye the tokens of witches, and make the Sothsaiers fooles. As for the wyse, I turne them backwarde, and make theyr connyng folyshnesse. Isaiah 44:26 He doth set vp the purpose of his seruaunte, and fulfylleth the councell of his messaungers Concernynge Ierusalem, he sayeth: It shalbe inhabited. And of the cyties of Iuda: They shalhe buylded agayne, and I will repayre theyr decayed places. Isaiah 44:27 He sayeth to the grounde: be drye. And I will drye vp thy wader floudes. Isaiah 44:28 He sayeth of Cyrus. He is myne herdman: so that he shall fulfyll all thynges after my will. He sayeth also of Ierusalem: It shall be buylded, and of the temple: It shalbe fast grounded.