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· 4. Let us learn to moderate our sorrows for the death of our pious friends and children, from the consideration of the favour God intends for them. He is represented as comforting weeping Rachel ; assuring her that her children should return to their borders, and that therefore she sliould not weep as though they were lost. It becomes christians, on such occasions especially, to weep as though they wept not ; for their work, the pious pains they have taken in the education of their children, or for the service of their other relatives, shall be rewarded. There is hope that they will return from the captivity of the grave, enter on the good land, and be blessed at the resurrection of the just.

5. Let us observe with pleasure and thankfulness the great mercy of God to a penitent people. There is scarcely a more affecting description of this in all the bible, than is given us in this passage concerning Ephraim. God represents himself as feeling and encouraging all the workings of paternal affection toward returning prodigals. He afflicts them orily to instruct them, and bring them back to duty ; and when they begin to relent, he relents, receives them as his dear children, and restores them to his favour. Nay, their very return is the effect of his gracious work in them. Let us hence learn, what our behaviour should be in times of affliction, and what abundant reason there is for hope, if, in the language of Ephraim, we sincerely say, Turn thou us, and we shall be turned, for thou art the Lord our God.

CHAP: XXXI. 27, to the end. The former part of this chapter referred to the state of the Jews afier their return from captivity ; this, to their state in the lat

ter day. 27 DEHOLD, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow

D the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of

man, and with the seed of beast ; they shall become very populous 28 and fruitful. And it shall come to pass, (thai) like as I have

watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict ; so will watch over them, to build and to plant, saith the LORD ; every thing seemed 10 be against theon before, but now every thing shall be for them; God will appear in the whole course of his providence to fatour

and blt88 them. 29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten

a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge; they

shall be no more punished for the iniquitics of their ancestors, as 30 they have formerly been for persisting in their idola.ry.* But

• There may be a reference here to that inprecation of the J ws, li: Neol be annus and our children, which lics on them still; but when they are converted it shall be so do thora

31

every one shall die for his own iniquity : every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of 32 Judah :* Not according to the covenant that I made with their

fathers in the day (that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, that is, led them in the kindest, gentlest manner ; which my covenant they brake, although I was an

husband unto them, saith the LORD: and have fulfilled my part $3 of the covenant relation : But this [shall be] the covenant that I

will make with the house of Israel ; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, not a new law, but the old law in its moral firecepts and evangelical truths, and write

'it in their hearts'; and will be their God, and they shall be my 34 people. And they shall teach no more every man his neigh. • bour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD : for

they shall all know me, from the least of them, unto the great. est of them, saith the LORD ; that is, mere human instruction shall not be the only, nor the chief way of teaching ; they shall have filenty of religious advantages, and a clearer knowledge of God, by the instructions of the spirit ; an extraordinary effusion of which they shall enjoy : for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more ; I will thus teach them, because I will forgive them ; they shall be brought into my covenant again ; and, through the blood of Christ, their sins 3).all be forgiven, and all the

tokens of my displeasure against them be removed. 35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day,

[and] the ordinances of the moon, and of the stars for a light

by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; -36 The Lord of hosts [is] his name : If those ordinances depart

from before me, saith the LORD, [then] the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever ; that is, my covenant is as sure as the ordinances of heaven ; the Jews shall always' continue a distinct people, and when they are converted they shall never apostatise any more, but continue to the end of the world faithful, holy, and obedient. Thus saith the LORD'; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD ; though for their sing they deserve to be rejected, yet for their fathers' sake, and my cov

enant with them, they shali at last be restored. 38 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be

built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of 39 the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over

against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. 40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies, or Tophet, and of the

ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the

37

• The apostle quotes this, Heb. viii $. as referring to gospel times.

corner of the horse gate toward the east, [shall be] holy unto

the Lord ; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any · more for ever. *

REFLECTIONS.

1. W E have great reason to rejoice in the gospel covenant,

and the blessed purport of it. The covenant God would make with the Jews in the latter day, is no other than the christian covenant ; for there will be no distinction between them and other christians in that day, except their settlement in their own land. This covenant then God makes with us ; and every clause of it deserves our attention. He will write his laws upon our hearts, will enable us to understand them, and dispose us to conform to them, as a copy to the original : he will teach us by the clear discoveries of his gospel, and the labours of his ministers; and also by the influences of his Spirit : for the best interpreter of scripture, Jesus Christ, explains this promise, of immediate divine teaching. The great obstacle to divine illumination, sanctification, and comfort, is sin ; it is therefore promised, that sin shall be pardoned. We have full assurance of this under the gospel. Let us rejoice and be thankful that we are under this covenant of grace ; be ever mindful of it ; heartily comply with the terms on which these blessings are promised ; and earnestly pray that God would thus pardon, teach, sanctify, and save us.

2. From the continued providence of God in the support and government of the universe, we may assuredly argue, that his prom. ises will be fulfilled. He lights up the sun and the moon ; manages this wide, unmeasurable world ; rules the sea ; keeps every thing in its proper place, and every creature in its proper office ; he can therefore do any and all of those wonderful things which he hath promised. He hath preserved the Jews a distinct people, notwithstanding the trouble and persecution they have every where met with ; so that they are not lost among the nations; while whole communities that have enslaved and persecuted them, have been so. He has supported the world for the sake of the church, and for the execution of his purposes ; therefore we may be sure that the Jews shall be restored, and the gospel spread over the earth. Let it be our hearts' desire and prayer, that Isracl may be saved ; and let us in the mean time hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for he is faithful who hath promised, i

• This is a prophecy that Jerusalem should be rebuilt and sanctified, and that multitudes of the converted Jews should settle there, that they should enlarge the circumference of their temple and city, and that what was now polluted should become holy ground: but whether these expressions are literal, or only figurative, time alone can discover.

CHAP. XXXII.

In which we have an account of Jeremiah's imprisonment ; his como

plaint to God; the prophecy of the captivity is confirmed ; and the · promise of a gracious return.

THE word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the

1 tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which (was) the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, and one year before the de. 2 struction of Jerusalem. For then the king of Babylon's army be

sieged Jerusalem : and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in

the court of the prison, which (was] in the king of Judah's 3 house. For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying,

Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD,
Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Baby-

lon, and he shall take it, and 80 dishearten the people from defend. 4 ing it ; And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the

hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth

to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes ; he shall see him 5 look with fierceness and indignation ; And he shall lead Zedeki,

ah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, or his posterity, saith the LORD : though ye fight with the Chaldeans,

ye shall not prosper. 6. And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, 7 saying, Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall

come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that [is] in Anathoth, which was three miles from Jerusalem, so that it was now in

the power of the Chaldeans : for the right of redemption [is] 3 thine to buy [it.) So Hanameel mine uncle's son came to me in

the court of the prison, according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that [is] in Anathoth, which[is] in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance [is] thine, and the redemption [is] thine ; buy [it] for thyself.

Then I knew that this was) the word of the LORD, and done by 9 his special direction. And I bought the field of Hanameel my

uncle's son, that (was] in Anathoth, and weighed him the ' money, [even) seventeen shekels of silver ; about forty shillings. 10 And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed [it,) and took wit. Il nesses, and weighed [him] the money in the balances. So I

took the evidence of the purchase, (both] that which was sealed [according) to the law and custom, and (that which was] open ;

the original and counterpart, or the deed of assignment that was 12 sealed, and the ceriificate of the witnesses : And I gave the evi

dence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle's (son,) and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the

purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison. 13 14 And I charged Baruch before them, saying, Thus saith the

LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open ;. and put them in an earthen vessel, that they

may continue niany days ; may be hid under ground for greater 15 security, and produced after the captivity. For thus saith the

LORD of hosts, the God of Israel ; Houses and fields and vine,

yards shall be possessed again in this tand. . 16., : Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto 17 Baruch the son of Neriali, I prayed unto the LORD,* saying, Ah

Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth

by thy great power and stretched out arm, (and) there is nothing 18 too hard for thee : Thou showest loving kindness unto thou.

sands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom

of their children, after them : the Great, the Mighty God, the 19. LORD of høsts, [is] his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in

work, or execution : for thine eges [are] open upon all the ways

of the sons of men : to give every, one according to his ways, 20 and according to the fruit of his doings ; Which hast set siges

and wonders in the land of Egypt, which are remembered, [even i unto this day, and in Israel, and among (other) men the na.

tions round about, and hast made thee a name, as at this day ; And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of

Egypt, with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, 22 and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror ; And hast

given them this land, which thou didst, swear to their fathers to 3 give them, a , land Nowing with milk and honey; And they came i in, and possessed it ; but they obeyed not 'thy voice, neither walked in thy law ; they have done nothing, comparatively,

of all that thou commandedst them to dọ ; therefore thou hast 24 caused all this evil to come upon them: Behold the mounts,

they are comme unto the city to take it ; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that'figlit against it, because of

the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence ; and what · thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest sit.) 25 And thou hast said unto me, O Lord God, Buy thee the field , for money; and take witnesses; for, or although, the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and therefore I have no prospect

of enjoying i. 26 27',, Then came the word of Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Be

hold, I [am] the Lord, the God of all flesh : Is there any thing

too hard for me? I can easily surmount all the difficulties thou 28 foresees", Therefore thus saith the LońD; Behold, I will give

: this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of 29. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it ; And the

Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings

'Jeremiah did as God commanded him, but he wanted to understand thik mysterious providence : perhans he dought that the threatening was revoke.l, and therelore prayed to Cod or an explanation.

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