« FöregåendeFortsätt »
thine abominations on the hills in the fields ; I have seen thy idolatry, which is spiritual lewdness. Wo unto thee, () Jerusalem ! wilt thou not be made clean ? when [shall it) once [be?) I will yet wait a while to see what etect these threatenings and r.2postulations will have upon thee.
TXE here see how much God is displeased with pride,
W whatever it be that we are proud of : and especially with those who think themselves too wise and good to be taught. God takes notice of the degrees of pride in the heart, though it do not appear to men. He observes the pride of the countrymen, and the greater pride of the citizens. Those who live in populous, wealthy places, are more apt to be proud of their fine houses, furniture, and entertainments, than those who live in the country. But it is a sin that easily besets all ; and is particularly abominable in God's professing people. He has many ways of marring it and bringing it down. Let us therefore examine our own hearis, guard against self conceit, and earnestly pray that we niay be clothed with humility.
2. The prospect of approaching evils should lead us to humiliation and amendment of what is amiss, v. 16. Pride makes men secure and confident ; but darkness is before them. Our afflictions, disappointments, and days of darkness may be many ; at least death is before us; and on these dark mountains our feet may siunble. To prevent this, let us give glory to God by confession and refcrmation, and living near to hiin. It becomes the greatest persons to do this, even kings and queens ; else all their glory and lustre will end in everlasting darkness; while the humble and pious shall be exalted, and partake of the inheritance of the saints in light.
3. How tenderly ought God's people, and especially his ministers, to be affected with the obstinacy and impenitence of others, 7. 17. It should grieve us to behold transgressors, especially those who have enjoyed many and great religious advantages. Ministers, when they see their labours unsuccessful, often weep in secret, and pour out their prayers and tears to God on this account. But God bottles their tears ; and wo be to those whose pride and obstinacy have occasioned them.
4. Let our minds be impressed with the great dificulty of confuering bad habits. It is a thing next to impossible. Hardly any principles of religion, any motives, either of fear or shame, will work upon those who are accustodied to do evil. Fact and experience prove this. Let us be thankful if through the pious care of pargnis, and divine grace, we have never contracted them. Young people should above all things guard against them ; and parents watch over their children to prevent then. Nothing is impossible to di• vine grace and power. Let those therefore who are undirti rower of them, earnestly strive and pray against then, and doit vithout delay, lest the disease should become incurable.
This chapter foretells a drought, which would greally distress Judea ;
the prophet makes confession and supplication for pardon ; God declares his purpose to punish ; and the prophet bewails their misery.
THE word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning 2 1 the dearth, the scarcily occasioned by want of rain. Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish, that is, the cities and their inhabitants ; they are black into the ground ; they look black and ghastly, and throw themselves on the ground in grirf and despair; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up, even the capiial 3 city groans under it. And their nobles have sent their little
ones to the waters, being forced to part with their servants, they send their children for water : they came to the pits, [and] found
no water ; they returned with their vessels empty ; they were 4 ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. Because
the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the 5 ploughmen were ashamed, they covered their heads. Yea, the
hind also calved in the field, and forsook (it, 7 because there was 6 no grass for herself to ear, that she might nourish her young. And
the wild asses did stand in the high places for air 10 cool them, they snuffed up the wind like dragons, or, like crocodiles, who frequently put up their heads above the water to breathe ; their eyes did fail, they looked till they were weary with looking, because [there was) no grass.
O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou [it] for thy name's sake, interpose for us : for, or rather, though our 8 backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee. O the
hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldst thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man, [that] turneth aside to tarry for a night ? thou hast firomised to dwell with us : and dost thou regard us no more than a traveller doth a place in which he lodges for a night, and never expects 10 sce it 9 any more? Why shouldst thou be as a man astonied through fear
and surprise, as a mighty man [that] cannot save, who hath lost his wisdom and strength ? yet thou, O Lord, (art] in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not. To which God
replies ; 10 Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved "to wander, they have not refrained their feet from evil ways,
therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remem11 ber their iniquity, and visit their sins. Then said the LORD UN
to me, Pray not for this people for (their) good ; do not erpiece 12 ihat: your intercessions will prevail. When they fast, I will not
hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them ; though they effer whole burnt offer. ings, and bread offerings, ( which were then peculiarly valuable ) ye! I will not hear : but I will consume thenı by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence ; the pestilence and the
sword shall be added to the fanine already among them. 13 Then said I, as some excuse for them, Ah, Lord God, behold,
the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither
shall ye have famine ; but I will give you assured peace in this 14 place. Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophes v
Jies in my name : I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them : they prophesy unto you a false
vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of 15 their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the
prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land ; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed, which, though
they call themselves prophets, they cannot see to be coming upon 16 themselves. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be
cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them ; them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters : for I will pour their
wickedness upon them. 17 Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them ; Let mine
eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease ; God commands me to lament your calamities : for the virgin
daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a 18 very grievous blow.* If I go forth into the field, then behold
the slain with the sword ! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine ! yea, both the prophet and
the priest go about into a land that they know not; the false 19 profihels and wicked priests shall be carried caprive. Hast thou
utterly rejected Judah ? hath thy soul loathed Zion ? why hast thou smitten us, and (there is no healing for us? we looked
for peace, and (there is no good: and for the time of healing, 20 and behold trouble! We acknowledge, () LORD, our wicked
ness, [and] the iniquity of our fathers : for we have sinned 21 against thee; we plead guilty. Nevertheless, Do not abhor (us,}
for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory,
thy temple : remember, break not thy covenant with us; do not 22 annul or cut of our relation to thee. Are there (any) among
the vanities of the gentiles that can cause rain ? or can the heavens give showers ? idols or second causes cannot relieve us ; but (art) not thou he, O Lord our God ? therefore we will wait upon thee : for thou hast made all these [things.]
1. UN ANT of rain in its season, is a great judgment, with
VV which our hearts ought to be deeply affected. God commands the prophet to lament it. Let us own the band of God whenever we see or feel any degree of it. It is he who maketh the
* Jerusaleın is called a virgin (laughter, or city, because it had never been burned or de stroyed.
heavens as iron, the earth as brass, and the rain of our land powder and dust ; and it becomes us to humble ourselves before him under such visitations. More especially as,
2. Sin is the cause of this and every other judgment. We should not rest in natural causes, but under public calamity acknowledge, with the prophet here, that our sins testify against us, that we have deserved it, and that the Lord is righteous in inflicting it: that we have wandered from God, and not refrained our feet from evil ways, though we have often been warned of the consequences. Let us then, as v. 20. acknowledge our wickedness with penitent hearts, and cherish godly sorrow for our sins.
3. In seasons of national distress let us earnestly apply to God for relief. The vanities of the gentiles cannot help us; it will be of.no avail to pray to idol gods. Let us fly to him, as the hope of Israel and the saziour, and supplicate his mercy for his name's sake ; that he may be glorified by our thankful improvement of the favour we seek : and let us to our prayers join our ardent praises, that our case is not so bad as that of Judab ; that we do not see in our towns those who are sick with famine, and in our fields those who are slain with the sword. Thus let us wait upon God, for he hath made and ordered all these things.
4. How much more earnestly should we pray for a plentiful communication of his Spirit! Rain from heaven and fruitful seasons are very desirable ; but it is more desirable that religion should flourish, and the fruits of righteousness abound : and this can only be expected from God's pouring out his Spirit. We very much need it ; there is a spiritual dearth in our churches; the things that remain are ready to die; and the graces of professor's languish. Let us daily pray that God would not reject and leave us ; but send down showers of this blessing ; that we may ubound in all the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God.
In refily to their request in the former chapter, God assures them in
this that nothing could divert him froni his purpose of punishing so svicked a picofile. Accordingly their fate is again declared ; the Prophet complains of being obliged to deliver such messages ; he is reproved for this ; appeals to God for his sincerily, and suplicates pardon ; upon which God piromises to protect him in the faithful discharge of his diety.
I TVIEN said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel
I stood before me, those successful intercessors for Israci, [yet] my mind [could] not (be) toward this people: cast (then] 2 out of my sight, and let them go forth. And it shall come to
pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth ? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD, Such as [are) for
death, to death, that is, to the pestilence ; and such as (are) for the sword, to the sword ; and such as [are] for the famine, to
the famine ; and such as [are] for the captivity, to the captivity. 3 And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD : the
sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven,
and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy thase that are 4 slain. And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms
of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for [that] which he did in Jerusalem, for complying with
and persisting in his idolatries, for suppressing the worship of Jeho5 vah, and putting up idols even in the temple. For who shall have
pity upon thee, O Jerusalem ? or who shall beinoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest? none shall think it
worth his while to do so, every one must own thy calamity to be 6 just. Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward : therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee,
and destroy thee ; I am weary with repenting ; with susfiending 7 my judgments and bearing so long with thee. And I will fan them
with a fan in the gates of the land ; I will bercave (them) of
children, I will destroy my people, (since] they return not from 8 their ways. Their widows are increased to me above the sand
of the seas : I have brought upon them, that is, Jerusalem, against the mother of the young men a spoiler at noon day ; 01, against the mother city a young man, namely, Nebuchadnezzar, who
was a young man, in the first year of his reign : I have caused 9 [him) to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors upon the city. She
that hath borne seven languisheth : she hath given up the ghost ; her sun is gone down while [it was) yet day : she hath buen ashamed and confounded, because she hath lost all her children, at a time when she enjoyed mos! comfort in them ; or this may be understood of Jerusalem : and the residue of them, those that have escaped out of the city, will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the Lord. The propihit then pro
ceeds. 10 Wo is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me, a man of
strife and a man of contention to the whole carili, or land ! porri one hutes me and quarrels quish me for my faithfulness : I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury ; (vet] every one of them doth curse me ; I have had no dealings in the world, which are often the source of contention ; particularly thosc
dealing & here mentioned, which generally produced quarrtls, as the 11 Jews were forbidden to lend to one another on usury, The LORD
said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnani,* in the residue of thy days and thy family ; verily I will cause the enemy to entret thee (well) in the time of evil and in the time of affliction ;
which they did, giving him leave to stay or go, 08 he pleased. 12 Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel? a pirciprbal
expressi011, signifying, that the northern nalions, who should coille
• Dr. Blagnov transiites it, They have reviled me all of them, with grehoush, that is, 5. ily Thou and the pivple, yet I will take care of thee.