« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
edified or delighted, by the gifts and graces bestowed upon the 12 jewish church. For thus faith the LORD, Behold, I will
extend peace, or happiness, to her like a river, and the glory of the gentiles like a flowing stream, by the liberality and kindness of the jews on their conversion : then shall ye fuck, ye shall be borne upon [her] fides, and be
dandled upon [her] knees, as young children are by a 13 fond and tender parent. As one whom his mother com
forteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be com.
forted in Jerusalem, by the return of the divine favour to 14 it. And when ye see (this,] your heart shall rejoice,
and your bones shall flourish like an herb; that is, the jews shall recover their antient firength and beauty ; according to St. Paul, it shall be as life from the dead : and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants,
and [his] indignation toward his enemies. 15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with
his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with 16 fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire
and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: 17 and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that
fanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gar, dens behind one (tree) in the midst, according to the rites of Achad, or an image of the sun in the garden of Achad, called, One, or the one great being, (a name given him by the antient. Persians, who used to sacrifice feven bats and seven mice to the sun,). eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, Thall be consumed to
gether, faith the Lord. 18 For I [know) their works and their thoughts: it
shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see my glory, which fall be
displayed in converting the jews, and in destroying their ene19 mies.
And I will set a sign, or standard, among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, [to] Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, (to] Tubal, and Javan, (to] the isles afar off,
that This refers to the destruction of those enemies that shall come to attack the jews after their settlement, supposed to be the Tartars and other barbarous nations from the north, who are idolaters.
that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the gentiles ; I will send some of the believing jews to convert the gentiles that yet remain in a state of ignorance and idolatry;
or to their own brethren that are not gathered with them. 20 And they shall bring all your brethren (for) an offering
unto the LORD, (as St. Paul calls the converhon of the gentiles, Rom. xv. 16.) out of all nations upon horses,. and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, faith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD; I will bring them in a swift, easy, and commodious manner, and take
care that they be conveniently accommodated in their journey. 21 And I will also take of them for priests [and] for Le
vites, faith the LORD; the jews Mall again become a king22 dom of priests, and take pains to spread the gospel. For as
the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make,
shall remain before me, faith the Lord, so Thall your · feed and your name remain ; this new state of things
shall continue, and the jews, when once converted, Jhall re23 main to the end a faithful people. And it fhall come to
pafs, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one fabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, faith the LORD: gospel worship is described by these figures; as if he had said, The stated seasons of worship fball be regularly attended upon ; yea, they fall keep
one continued festival, and be habitually devout and holy. 24 And they shall go forth from Jerusalem and look upon
the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me; they shall see their enemies fain, as in v. 16, for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh; men shall abhor them as they do the stench of a dead carcase; they fall appear a lively emblem of the torments of hell, and God's faithful servants all look upon them to excite their joy and thankfulness.
REFLECT. • As this is a prophecy of events yet to happen, no wonder that there is much darkness upon it; the general meaning of these
figurative 4. Let
ET us learn from hence a proper temper for divine
worship and acceptance. We should think of that glorious Being whose throne is heaven, and earth his footftool, as a spiritual omniscient Being; whom no temple can contain, or be equal to his grandeur ; who yet makes every humble heart his temple, and delights in the contrite, reverent, worshipper. Let us approach him with a holy awe of his majesty, and an habitual sense of his purity. Vain are the most costly facrifices, without a pious and devout heart, and delighting ourselves in his commandments.
2. It is no new thing to see the best of God's servants perfecuted under a pretence of religion. The same bigoted spirit which prevailed among the jews, which led them to persecute the apostles and first christians, hath too often Thown itself in the world since; and even to this day they are cast out and evil intreated, because they adhere to God's pure worship and institutions. While zeal for God and the purity of religion is pretended, their end is to gratify their own pride, covetousness, and revenge. Let us not wonder at such scenes, but have no hand in such practices.
3. We see how easily God can multiply and increase his church; and how much reason we have to expect that he will perfect his own work. He expresses this in terms taken from the strongest and tenderest of human affections. However glorious and extensive his promises may be, they shall all be accomplished ; and not one of his good words shall fall to the ground. This is a great encouragement to labour and pray for the increase of the church.
figurative expressions seems to be this: that God will, by an extraordinary energy of his Spirit, awaken the jews to fearch their fcriptures, and lee Chrift to be their Messiah, and believe in him. This remarkable change in them shall impress Mahometans, hea. thens, and deifts, (who may probably be more numerous hereafter) and they shall be disposed to embrace the gospel. And they will have so great a respect for the jews, as honourably to con vey them to their own land, which they will easily conquer. Soon after their settlement there, a violent attack shall be made upon them, probably by the northern nations, 'who shall be suddenly destroyed by the power of God.
4. Let us do our endeavour to bring our brethren as an offering to the Lord. Have we devoted ourselves to him? Let us exhort and encourage others to join themselves to the church; even all that we can influence. Let us persuade them to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.' This will be an act of the greatest kindness to them, and a labour of love highly pleasing to the Lord.
5. Wherever God has a church the folemn exercises of worship are to be maintained. We see this required under every dispensation, Abrahamic, jewish, and christian. And it is foretold, that in the latter day all flesh shall come and worship before God. There are to be stated times of worship to the end of the world. All flesh are to come, men, women, and children; neither the greatest nor the poorest will be excused. Therefore let us not forsake the assembling ourselves together, since God commands it, and promises his blessing with it.
6. As a proper conclusion of this book, we may learn to pity the case of the poor jews, and firmly to expect, and earnestly to pray for, their conversion. It is very wrong to perfecute, or even to despise them ; for a blessing is in them. Our duty. is, as it is expressed in v. 10. to mourn for them. They are standing, incontestable evidences of the truth of the gospel, and of the prophecies of the old and new Testaments; being kept a distinct people, notwithstanding the cruel manner in which they have been persecuted and reproached. They are not cast off for ever ; God intends great things for them ; and at length, as a nation they shall be restored, and all that mourn for them shall rejoice with them. Let our hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel be, that they may be saved.
THE BOOK OF
The Prophet JEREMIAH.*
CHAPTER 1. Contains the prophet's general commission, and the promises of
divine assistance. THE words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah,
of the priests that [were] in Anathoth in the
land of Benjamin, about three miles from Jeru2 salem : To whom the word of the LORD came in the
days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the 3 thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days
of • As Mr. Orton has said nothing of Jeremiah, nor of the time in which he lived, I have taken the liberty to prefix Dr. SMITH's introduction to this prophet. It seems to be a judicious abstract from Dr. Blayner's notes on Jeremiah.
Jeremiah was a priest of the tribe of Benjamin, and called to , the prophetic office when very young. He entered upon it about feventy years after the death of Isaiah, and exercised it for about forty two years, with great faithfulness and zeal, and in
very unfavourable circumstances. At the time that he began to prophery, the fins of the jews were come to their full measure. After a reformation had been in vain attempted by Josiah, to punith a nation, unworthy of such a sovereign, God called him early away.
His two sons, who successively mounted the throne after him, were as remarkable for vice, as the father was for virtue. The first, (Shallum, or Jehoahaz) after a reign of three months, was carried captive to Egypt, where he died: his brother Jehoiakim, on condition of paying a large sum of money to the king of Egypt, was allowed to succeed him; but the Babylonians, about three years after, having made a descent on Judea, and taken Jerusalem, he was obliged to swear fealty to the king of Babylon, who carried with him a number of captives, among whom were many of the children of the first families, together with a great part of the facred vessels of the temple. Jehoiakim however was left in possession of the throne, on condition of his paying a yearly tribute ; but refusing to ful. fil his promise after the first three years, the king of Babylon