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ni bunto other gods in the most open, audacious manner, to provoke 30 me to anger. For the children of Israel and the children of Ju
dah have only done evil before me from their youth; for the chil
dren of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of 31 their hands, saith the Lord. For this city hath been to me [as]
a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it, from Solomon's time, when it was beautified and comfileted; then their idolatry began, and has continued even unto
this day ; that I should remove it from before my face ; there32 fore I will withdraw my protection from it, Because of all the evil
of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which
they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their us princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, 33 and inhabitants of Jerusalem. And, they have turned unto me in the back, and not the face; though I taught them, rising up
early and teaching [them,] yet they have not hearkened to re34 çeive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house,
35 which is called by my name, to defile it. And they built the in high places of Baal, which (are) in the valley of the son of Hin
nom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through Pov [the fire) unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither
came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to So cause Judah to sin, air t estado
Quino S6 And now therefore thas saith the LORD, the God of Israel, at concerning this city, whereof ye say, in the language of despair,
It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, to be
destroyed by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pesti37 lence; Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither C I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great
wrath ; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will 38 cause them to dwell safely : And they shall be my people, and 39 I will be their God : And I will give them one heart, and one
way, a new heart, no more divided between God and idols, that
they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their 40 children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant
with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them
good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not 41 depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good,
and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole
heart and with my whole soul ; with a true and lasting affec42 tion. For thus saith the LORD ; Like as I have brought all this 695 great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the ww good that I have promised them ; I will be as faithful to my 43 promises as I have been to my threatening 8. And fields shall be
bought in this land, whereof ye say, [It is) desolate without 44 man or beast ; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Men
shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal [them,] and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the
cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in as - the cites of the south : for I will cause their captivity to return,
saith the LORD ; they shall have such plenty of money, such a Aqurishing trade and husbandry, that they shall buy lands, not only about Jerusalem and other cities, but all over the country.
1. ROM the circumstances of the prophet's purchase we
T may learn, that it is a matter of prudence and duty to be honest, punctual, and open in bargains and sales. To have them done by the best advice, before competent and sensible witnesses, and to keep the deeds safe. This is necessary for the peace and prosperity of purchasers and their posterity. It is much to be lamented that a most useful act for registering deeds was laid aside by the artifice of those who make a figure, without substance to support it ; or who live by the failures of deeds, and the doubtfulness of titles. A wise man guideth his affairs with discretion.
2. It is very desirable to know the full meaning and extent of God's will ; whether by his word or providence. It is our duty, like Jeremiah, implicitly to obey the divine commands, however made known to us. Yet we may humbly desire to know their meaning, as our obedience in that case will be more ready and cheerful ; and therefore it becomes us to look to God by prayer, that he would show us what and why he requires of us. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God.
3. In the most gloomy prospects it is good to dwell on the divine perfections and promises ; both to promote our reverence and patience, and encourage our hope. Jeremiah mentions those perfections of God in his prayer which have this tendency; and God himself, in his answer, reminds him of them. And this answer shows us, that he can retrieve national affairs, and revive the interests of his church when it is at the lowest ebb. He can likewise revive his work in our souls ; for nothing is too hard for him. What he did for Israel, and what he hath promised to do for bis people, are sufficient grounds for thankfulness and cheerful expectation.
4. A change of heart and life, are necessary to the acquisition of the divine favour and acceptance. When God promises the Jews a happy return to and prosperity in their land, he promises to give them one heart, and to put his fear within ihem. And thus must our hearts be one ; entirely devoted to God ; and not divided between him and the world, or any creature. Our obedience must be entire and hearty ; and we must, in order to this, seek to God, that he would implant good dispositions and principles in us ; and unite our hearts to fear his name. Then he will do us good, and that with all his heart and soul, and at length bless us with an inheritance in the heavenly country, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth no! away.
CHAP. XXXIII. In which God promises the Jews a gracious return from captivity, a
settled government, and, in due time, Christ the Branch of righteousness. MTOREOVER the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah
I I the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court 2 of the prison, saying, Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof,
of Zion and Jerusalem, the Lord that formed it, to establish or 3 regulate it ; the LORD is his name ; Call unto me, and I will
answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not; an expression of God's favour to the prophet and of his kindness to his people ; as if he had said, I will make further
discoveries of my kind intentions to Isracl, not only in their return 4 from caplivity, but in the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom. For
thus saitli the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword ; that is, by engines and mattocks ; ( the next verse comes in as a parenthesis
concerning the present state of Jerusalem, and the ruin coming up. 5 on it ;) They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but [it is) to
fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city ; that is, those from the country that come
to attack the besiegers, or the besicged themselves sallying out, will 6 only provoke them to do so much the more mischief. Behold, I will
bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth ; or, I will grant
their prayer for peace and truth; I will re&ore their captivity, 7 and heal their civil and spiritual disorders. And I will cause the
captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will 8 build them as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all
their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquitics, whereby they have sinned, and where
by they have transgressed against me; I will remit the funish9 ment of their iniquities. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a
praise and an honour before all the nations of the carth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it; they shall be struck with religious awe, and give
glory to me for what I have done for them. 10 Thus saith the Lord; Again there shall be heard in this
place, which ye say [shall be] desolate, without man, and with. out beast, (even) in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Je
rusalem, that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant, 11 and without beast, The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness,
the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice . of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts; for the Lord VOL. V.
(is) good; for his mercy (endureth] for ever : [and] of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD: there shall be common and religious joy in their families and in their temple ; all which was fulfilled in
Ezra's time. 12 Thus saith the LORD of hosts ; Again in this place, which is
desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities
thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing (their) flocks 13 to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the
vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth [them,] saith the LORD ; who counteth them, as they go in or
come out of the fold. Then follows a prophecy of Christ, and the 14 continuance of the gospel. Behold, the days come, saith the
Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have prom
ised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of
righteousness to grow up unto David ; and he shall execute 16 judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall
Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely : and this [is the name) wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness; the church shall be called by the name of Christ, as it is the seat of his residence, as the righteousness of its members is de
rived from him, and they are dedicated to him. 17 For thus saith the LORD ; David shall never want a man to 18 sit upon the throne of the house of Israel ; Neither shall the
priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, ard to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually ;
Christ shall reign as a king, and be a priest for ever. 19 And the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, saying, 20 Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break my covenant of the day,
and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day 21 and night in their season ; [Then] may also my covenant be
broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne ; and with the Levites the priests, my
ministers ; that is, God will always have those who shall preach, 22 profess and adorn the gospel. As the host of heaven cannot be
numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured : so will I muli tiply the seed of David my servant, the spiritual seed, the people
of Christ, and the Levites that minister unto me. 23 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, (referring
to their enemies deriding, or to the Jerue despairing, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, Israel and Judah, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people,
that they should be no more a nation before them; as if they 25 were never like to be a nation again. Thus saith the LORD; lf
my covenant [be] not with day and night, (and if] I have not
appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, day and night, 26 summer and winter ; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob,
and David my servant, (so] that I will not take (any) of his seed [to be] rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob : for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them : the christian church shall never cease to the end of the world.
1. THE visits of God to his people are sufficient to make any
I place and circumstance comfortable, v. 2, 3. God came to Jeremiah with very gracious promises. He had before complained bitterly indeed of his grievous messages, when he had peace and liberty ; here he hath comfortable ones, while confined. God can thus visit his people, and often does, when confined and afflicted ; and makes their secret chambers delightful. None of their enemies can debar them from his visits. If we desire his gracious presence with us in seasons of trouble, we must earnestly pray for it, v. 3, and then we may hope that as our tribulations abound, our consolations in Christ will much more abound.
2. We here see the happy effects of divine discoveries and fa. vours, v. 6. Thus God mercifully deals with diseased souis ; reveals to them those important doctrines which are truth, and imparts that peace, which Christ has procured for them by his sufferings and grace ; be heals their spiritual maladies, and restores their comfort and cheerfulness. Let us study the truth as it is in Jesus ; receive it with meekness and love ; labour to be in a state of peace with God; and preserve our minds in a state of serenity. This will be the best antidote against the evils of life, and the surest foundation of true pleasure and lively hope.
3. Let us bless God for these promises ; rejoice that they have hitherto been fulfilled ; and depend upon the further accomplishment of them. We have seen the gospel spread to this day, amidst persecutions, enemies, and corruptions; we have seen a succession of christian ministers, amidst all their kliscouragements; and are, as christians, the seed of David, that is, of Christ the son of David. Still is God maintaining his cause ; stirring up the spirit of some to devote themselves to the service of the sanctuary, and raising up in our families a seed to serve him. This, if we are christians indeed, we cannot but behold with pleasure and thankfulness : and as surely as day and night, summer and winter, continue to succeed each other, so surely shall this be the case with the church to the end of the world. Let us rejoice in our relation to that church, whose name is The Lord our righteousness ; consulting its interests to the utmost of our power, and endeavouring to be a name, a praise, and an honour to the Lord, who hath purchased us to himself with his own blood.