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4. Let us diligently attend to the terms of forgiveness and acceptance with God. Sinners are to acknowledge their iniquities with shame and sorrow; to put away all their abominations, lo return to him as their father, to cherish filial dispositions, to give themselves to prayer, to reverence the majesty and omniscience of God, to place all their happiness in his favour, to be faithful in all their declarations and promises, and never to turn away from the Lord. May this be our character. Then will he heal our backslidings, put us among his children, and give us a goodly heritage, even an inheritance incorrufuible, unde filed, and that faucth not away, reserved in heaven for us.

CHAP. IV. 3, to the end.

This prophecy is addressed 10 Judah and Jerusalem ; it is a call to re

pentance, and foretells their destruction by the Chaldeans. 3 POR thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusa

T lem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns ; be humble and penitent, otherwise you are like an hus.

bandman who 80W8 among thorns without ploughing, and the pro4 duce is good for nothing. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem ; inortify your corruptaffections, and donot content yourselves with external rites : lest my fury come forth

like fire, and burn that none can quench [it,] because of the evil 5 of your doings. Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusa

lem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land : cry, gather

together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the 6 defenced cities for security against the Chaldeans. Set up the

standard toward Zion : retire, stay not : for I will bring evil 7 from the north, and a great destruction. The lion is come up

from his thicket, Nebuchadnezzar is coming from Babylon, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way, or, the scourge of nations, that hath made desolate the neighbcuring countries, is on his march against you ; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate ; [and] thy cities shall be laid waste 8 without an inhabitant. For this gird you with sackcloth, lament

and howl : for the fierce anger of the Lord is not turned back 9 from us. And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD,

[that] the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes, they shall be quite stupid and confounded ; and the priests, that should blow the trumpet and encourage the people to

war, shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder, that is, 10 the false prophets, that said the calamily should not come. Then

said I, Ah, Lord God ! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, that is, thou hast permitted it to be done, hast suffered the false prophets 10 deceive them by strong delusions, saying, Ye shall have peace ; whereas the sword reachIl eth unto the soul. At that time shall it be said to this people

and to Jerusalem, A dty wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to

cleanse, but to destroy the fruits of the earth, to scalter and carry 12 them away ; [Even) a full wind from those (places) shall come

unto me ; or, as it is better rendered, a full wind for a curse shall

come at my bidding, too strong for them to withstand : now also 13 will I give sentence against them. Behold, he shall come up as

clouds that cover the sky, and his chariots ( shall be] as a whirl

wind : his horses are swifter than eagles. Wo unto us! for 14 we are spciled. O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wicked

ness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain

thoughts Iedge within thee ? thy foolish devices, expectations, 15 and dependences, to which you have so long trusted : For a voice

declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount

Ephraim ; which lay north, nearest to Babylon, from whence the 16 ridings came. Make ye mention to the nations ; behold, pub

lish against Jerusalem, (that) watchers come from a far couna try, soldiers that watch over them 10 do them mischief, and give

out their voice against the cities of Judah, who encourage one 17 another to fall on and subdue them. As keepers of a field, are

they against her round about, surrounding her cities ; because 18 she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD. Thy way

and thy doings have procured these [things) unto thee ; this [is] the wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth un

10 thine beart like a deadly wound. 19 My bowels, my bowels ! I am pained at my very heart ; niy

heart inaketh a noise in me ; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast hcard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm

of war ; I tenderly sympathize with my country in the prospect of 20 these miseries. Destruction upon destruction is cried,* for the

whole land is spoiled : suddenly are my tents spoiled, (and) my 21 curtains in a moment, as easily as tents are removed. How long

shall I see the standard, [anel) hear the sound of the trumpet ? 22 For my people (is) foolish, they have not known me; they (are)

sottish children, and they have none understanding : they (are] wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge ; they

are skilti in the arts of sin, but are strangers to religion ; they 13 show no contri vance or quickness but when it is to do evil. I be

held the earth, and, lo, (it was) without form and void ; and the 2% heavens, and they (had) no light. I beheld the mountains, and, 25 lo, ihrey trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and,

lo, (there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were 26 flud. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place (was] a wilderness,

and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LOR1), [and] by his fierce anger; a figurative description of the confusion and calamilies of the nation, as if the frame of nature was

• Five of their kings in succession were slain or deposed, in a few years,

27 destroyed, and the earth reduced to its original chaos. For thus

hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate ; yet will 28 I not make a full end, a remnant shall remain. For this shall

the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black : because I have spoken [it,) I have purposed [it,) and will not res pent, neither will I turn back from it ; foreseeing that they

will not repent as a nation, I determined that the remnant 29 only shall be saved. The whole city shall flee for the noise

of the horsemen and bowmen ; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks to save their lives : every

city (shall be] forsaken, and not a man dwell therein. 30 And (when) thou (art) spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though

thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, or, distendest thine eyes with paint, / some firelaration used to contract the eyelids to make the eyes look larger, as the eastern nations reckon large cyes to be the most beautiful.) in vain shalt thou make thyself fair, like a strumpet courting her old lovers ; [thy]

lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life ; thou shalt seek 31 help from thy idols and allies in vain. For I have heard the voice

as of a woman in travail, [and] the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, when her pains as well as her fears are greatest, the voice of the daughter of Zion, [that] bewaileth herself, (that) spreadeth her hands, (saying,] Wo [is] me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers ; because of the enemy, that makes such dreadful slaughter.

REFLECTIONS.

1. I ET us attend to the instructive views here given us of re

I pentance and returning to God ; it is breaking up the fallow ground. A beautiful description of a carnal heart ; which is upfruitful, overrun with thorns, where no seeds of goodness will grow ; and it must be broken lip by repentance. This is a difficult work. It is hard to correct vicious habits ; it is like ploughing grourd that has long been fallow ; yet it is a necessary work, if we desire to reap in mercy. Circumcise your hearts, subduc your corrupt affections, or, as it is expressed v. 14. more agreeably to christian language, and the ordinance of baptisni, Wash thy heart, and be nct content with external washing. It is not sufficient to regulate the life, and appear outwardly good ; but we must see that the heart be cleansed by repentance and faith, and that sinful desires be supe pressed for the future ; because God searcheth the heart, and is wickedness that lodgeth there is an abomination to him. Let us therefore pray that God would crcaie in u8 clean hearts, and rencou right spirits within us.

2. Whoever are the instruments of our troubles, we shoukl view them as coming from the hand of God, and that sin is the cause of them. The fierce anger of the Lord brought the Chaldeans upon Judah. They came round about her, because she had been rebellious

against the Lord. Thus when enemies, persecutors, and slanderers beset us, however unjust they may be, we ought to acknowledge that the Lord is righteous. We have done enough to justify him in any evils that he may bring upon us; and it becomes us to humble ourselves under his mighty hand.

3. The calamities of war should be deeply lamented, and we should tenderly pity those who are suffering by them. The prophet Jeremiah, though he saw the desolation of Judah only by a spirit of prophecy, and did not know whether he should actually live to behold it, yet bitterly bewails it, but more especially the sins which occasioned it. Let us bewail the desolations of war, and the long continuance of them; and earnestly pray that God wonld give peace in our time. We may also learn, from the agony which the prophet felt on this occasion, how much more deeply we ought to be affected by the prospect of that indignation and wrath, tribularion and anguish, which shall come upon the ungodly : and, knowing the terrors of the Lord, let us persuade men to be reconciled 10 him.

CHAP. V.

The prophet here goes on 10 represent the degeneracy of the people,

and the calamilies which were coming upon them.

IDUN ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and

N see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be (any) that executeth judgment, 2 that seeketh the truth ; and I will pardon it. And though they

say, The Lord liveth ; surely they swear falsely ; though they

swear by the true God, and not by idols, yet they appeal to him as 3 a wiiness of falsehood. () LORD, (are] not thine eyes upon the

truth ? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved ; thou hast consumed them, [but] they have refused to receive correction : they have made their faces harder than a rock ; they have refused to return ; thou knowest their true character ;

not withë 'anding thy judgments, they were stubborn and rebellious, 4 and would not be reformed. Therefore I said, Surely these sare]

poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the

Lord, (nor) the judgment of their God; their ignorance is the 5 cause of their disobedience. I will get me unto the great men,

and will speak unto them ; for they have known the way of the LORD, [and] the judgment of their God; I may expect better things from them, as they have enjoyed a better education and superior advantages : but these have altogether broken the yoke, [and] burst the bonds, like headstrong oxen. Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities : every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces by a powerful, greedy, cunning enemy : because their transgressions are many, -7 (and) their backslidings are increased. How shall I pardon thee

for this ? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by [them that are) no gods : when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the

harlots' houses ; and is it consistent with justice to pardon such 8 offenders? They were [as] fed horses in the morning : every

one neighed after his neighbour's wife; they abused their plen. 9 ty, and gratified their lusts in a most abandoned manner. Shall

I not visit for these [things ?] saith the Lord : and shall not my

soul be avenged on such a nation as this? do they not deserve 10 some remarkable punishment ? Go ye up upon her walls, and de

stroy ; but make not a full end : take away her battlements; 11 for they (are) not the Lord's. For the house of Israel, and

the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, 12 saith the LORD. They have belied the LORD, and said, [It is)

not he ; neither shall evil come upon us ; neither shall we see

sword nor famine; he is not sūch a being as his prophets say he 13 is, he will not do as they threaten: And the prophets shall be

come wind, and the word (is) not in them; they are nothing but noise and vanity, a parcel of silly enthusiasts : thus shall it be

done unto them ; the evils they threaten us with shall come upon 14 themselves. Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Be

cause ye speak this word, Behold, I will make my words in thy

mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them as 15 certainly and speedily as the fire consumes wood. Lo, I will bring

a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it [is] a mighty nation, it [is] an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they

say, therefore you can neither parley with nor ask compassion from 16 them. Their quiver [is] as an open sepulchre, they (are] all

mighty men ; they shall do vast execution and shall destroy mul17 titudes. And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread,

(which] thy sons and thy daughters should eat : they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds : they shall eat up thy vines and

thy fig trees : they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein 18 thou trustedst, with the sword. Nevertheless, in those days, 19 saith the LORD, I will not make a full end with you.* And it

shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these [things) unto us? why should we be singled out for such calamities? is it consistent with God's promiscs ? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve

strangers in a land (that is) not yours. 20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, 21 saying, Hear now this, O foolish people, and without under

standing : which have eyes, and see not ; which have ears, and hear not? who make no use of your understanding, but are as

• This is a remarkable prophecy, for Jeremiah could not foresee that the Jews would not e swallowed up by their conquerors, as other nations were. Vol. V.

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