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12 law; And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold< ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me ; they have cherished and encour

13 aged those lusts which lead them from God: Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, [neither] ye nor your lathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not show you favour; ye shall be tempted to do it, and some shall comply; but they shall not gain the favour of the Chaldeans thereby ; accordingly those were most esteemed who had the courage to ofifiose these things. Then f-Jlows thi promise of viercy in the midst of judgment.

14 Therefore, or nevertheless, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that

15 brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them : and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers i though this deliverance be not so great and miraculous as the other, yet they shall be more impressed with it, an brought about by the immediate influence of God upon Cyrus. But at firesent,

io Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters,snd they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and

17 out of the holes of the rocks. For mine eyes [are] upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes; / will send armies agamst you, which you shall be no more able to resist, than fishes and beasts can rt

18 sist fishers and hunters. And first, before that happy time comes, I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double, that u, largely, or double to my usual severity; hecause they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things, with wounded brants offered to heathen deities, such as swine and mice; perhaps human sacrifices may be referred to. Then, in order to aggravate the stupidity of Israel, the prophet reflects with pleasure on the

19 time when the heathen shall be converted s O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and [things] wherein [there is] no pi ofit; they thull be ashamed rf the gods of their fathers, turn to Jvhovah,and be obedient to him.

20 Shall a roan make gods unto himself, and they [are] no gods?

21 what can be more absurd than this? Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might, in bringing them back and thereby awakening the heathen; and they shall know that my name [is] The Lord; the effect of their cafilivily shall be to cure them of their idolatry. Accordingly they have never since relapsed into it.

REFLECTIONS.

1. TT O W wretched is the case of those from -whom God takes Л away his peace! It is often the case of nations and of particular persons. Nations lose their prosperity and quiet, and have little comfort in any of their enjoyments; and particular persons lose, not only external blessings, their substance, health, and friends, but the composure of their minds. Their hearts meditate terror, and that oftentimes when there is no ground for it. May we be thankful for our peace while it is continued, and be careful to kcefi ourselves in the love of Gad; for without that we can have no true peace. Then, though we walk for a while in darkness, light and gladness will quickly succeed.

2. Let us often reflect on God's perfect knowledge of our ways and hearts; our conduct and principles, and our iniquities, r. 17. Many forget him; their eyes are never toward the Lord; they think him such an one as themselves ; but he sees all things; our secret sins are in the light nf his countenance. Л11 are observed and remembered by him; and for all thtse things he -will bring ut into judgment.

3. We are taught not to undervalue the favours and mercies shown to us, because they are not in some respects equal to those of our fathers, г>. 14, 15. We see how much the Israelites were affected with their deliverances, though it was not so miraculous as the deliverance of their fathers. The former and later appearances of Providence are to be kept in remembrance, and gratefully acknowledged. Let us give God glory for the mercy shown to our fathers, for we reap the benefit of them ; nor say, the former day» чиеге better than these. Though our deliverances and favours on some accounts are less wonderful, yet they may be equally important; and therefore God should be devoutly praised for them.

4. Let the disappointments and vexations which others have found in the ways of sin, engage us to depart from them, v. 19. We are not todo any thing because they did it, but to consider whether it be right and good. If wrong, let no veneration for antiquity and custom influence our minds, more especially in matters of evident duty. Sin is attended with sorrow, shames and misery. Instances of this we ourselves may have seen. Let us therefore fly from it, and turn unto the Lord, for his service is reasonable. Those that wait on him shall never be ashamed; and in keeping his commandments there is great reward.

CHAP. XVII.

The former f art of the chapter, v. 1—18, shows the fatal consc guences of idolatry, the happiness of the man, that trusts in God, and the vanity of riches, which often disappoint the owner; the prophet "appeals to God for his sincerity, and prays that the evil intended by his enemies may revert on their own heads; the remainder relates to the due observance of the sabbath.

JL with the point of a diamond: [it is] graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars, where the blood of their idolatrous sacrifices is poured out, which is a proof of the wickedness op their hearts, plain and legible both to God and man ; they are so confirmed in sin that there is no hope of re

2 claiming them; Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills ; even their children can show the way to their al'ars, and understand their

3 worship, it is so common and prevalent. O my mountain in the fif Id, that is, Jerusalem, a mountain, or a heap of mountains in a plain, I will give thy substance [and] all thy treasures to the spoil, [and] thy high places for sin, or, on account of thy sin,

4 throughout all thy borders. And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not; a very beautiful allusion to the seventh year, when the land was to lie unlilled and the servants were to be released ; for the neglect of this thou shalt be released from thy possession, and turned out of thy htritage: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, [which] shall hum for ever, that is, till you are consumed.

5 Thus saith the Lord ; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh, that is, frail, mortal man, his arm, or confidence, and whose heart departeth from the Lord ; referring

6 to their alliance with Egypt and dependence upon it. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, a very worthless shrub, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, [in] a salt land and not inhabited; they shall not enjoy the good and safety they hoped for, but be exposed to the

7 evils they feared. Blessed [is] the man that tnisteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Loud is, who useth no sinful means

8 for his safety. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, in opposition to the heath before mentioned, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see, or fear, when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green ; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit, which shall not be destroyed by drought, but have a constant supply of moisture, and be always fruitful.

9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things,] and desperately wicked: who can know it? A general remark; which sremt principally to refer to their foreign alliances, by which they would

[graphic]

written with a pen of iron, [and]

10 be deceived. I the Lord search the heart, [I] try the reins, eTen to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings; / alone know the hearty and can by my prav

11 idence turn and influence it. [As] the partridge, or kore, (a bird which frequents the mountains, 1 Sam. xxvi. 20.) sitteth [on eggs,] and hatcheth [them] not ; or sitteth on eggs she did not lay, and the brood from which soon run from her and join with birds of their own kind, or are frequently and easily destroyed; [so] he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, when he thinks them secure, anil promises himself pleasure in them, and at his end shall be a fool, because he has laboured for and trusted in what is so tramitory.

13 A glorious high throne from the beginning [is] the place of our sanctuary ; God made it so from the beginning, that is, shae David coiitrived and Solomon built it; and this is an aggravation of our folly in forsaking the Lord and serving idols, while his tem

13 file is among us. O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee/or other confidences shall be ashamed, [and] they that depart from me, from thy words delivered by me, shall be like characters written in the dust of the earth, which are easily blown away, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of liv

14 ing waters. The firofihet prays, Heal me, O Lord, and I shall bo healed ; relieve and comfort me under perseculions and afflictions; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou [art] the object of my praise.

15 Behold, they say unto me, Where [is] the word of the Lord I let it come now ; infidels and libertines doubt the truth of it, and

16 defy its threatenings. As for me, I have not hastened from [being] a pastor to follow thee :• neither have I desired the woful day ; thou knowest; / have taken no pleasure in denouncing these judgments, I have never wishtd for them, though necessary to accomplish my prophecies ; I have kept close to my instructions

17 that which came out of my lips was [right] before thee. Be not a terror unto me, while my adversaries are so: thott [art] my

IS hope in the day of evil. Let them be confounded, that is, they nhalt be so, that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction; thou wilt utterly destroy them, that they may no longer insult thy prophet and defy thy threatenings.

19 Thus saith the Lord unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem,

20 in all public places; And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah. and all Judah, and all ihe inhabitants of

S! Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day,

12 nor bring [it] in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a

• Some read it thus, J have net thrall myielf inte the pa Herat effic, ntr havt I jcclis-i

vihtm called to it.

burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow yethe sabbath day, as I commanded yourfathers;

S3 as a sign of my covenant with them. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might

34 not hear, nor receive instruction. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city ои the sabbath day, but

Я 5 hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein ; Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem : and this city shall remain fnr

86 ever; the court, the city, and the country shall flourish. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain., and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the Lord ; they shall bring their sacrifices from all ficrtt

27 of the land. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day ; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces oí Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched ; a threatening which iva» literally fulfilled, and vihich this -very firoJJi£t lived lu $ee and lament.

REFLECTIONS.

I. "\'\7'E here see how cautious we should be of putting too VV much trust in man. To depend upon human wisdom, skill, and power, to the neglect of God, (that is, while we disregard his providence, and restrain prayer before him) is an affront to him; it is impious and profane. Men are all of them weak and frail, many of them are false and deceitful ; therefore it is foolish to trust in them, and the way to have our expectations disappointed. In like manner, it is also foolish to trust in our own hearts, and lean to our own understandings, without seeking and acknowledging God. Take heed therefore, brethren, lest (Aere be in any one of ysu an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living (rod.

2. We see how safely and comfortably we may trust in God. If •we faithfully do our duty, and trust in him to guide, support, and deliver us, he will do it. He knows the heart; knows what we intend; and what those with whom we have any concern intend ; and can influence us and them as he pleases. If we trust in him, vu; shall flourish in honour and comfort, and abound in t lit fruits of righteousness. He v.ill not be our terror, but our comfort, in the day of evil, when men fail us, and our expectations from the creatures are disappointed.

3. We are taught the vanity of those riches which arc unjustly gotten. All are vanity; but these are especially so. Л пкш

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