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us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed

through, and where no man dwelt ? where there was no 7 thoroughfare, no dwelling? And I brought you into a

plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodnefs thereof; but when ye entered,


defiled and made mine heritage an abomination by your fins,

especially idolatry. And it is no wonder you did fo, for 8 The priests said not, Where [is] the Lord? and they

that handle the law knew me not; they took no pains to learn and preach my will: the paftors also, the governors and magiftrates, tranfgreffed againft me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, in the name of Baal, and walked after [things that] do not profit; that were ex

tremely hurtful; this was the fource of their degeneracy. 9

Wherefore I will yet plead with you, faith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead; I will lay

before you your ingratitude and fin, both by prophets and 10 judgments : For pass over the isles of Chittim, the politer

nations of Europe, and see; and send unto Kedar, the

barbarous nations that lay fouth east, and consider diligent11 ly, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation

changed [their] gods, which [are) yet no gods? they keep to the religion of their forefathers, tho' it be false, abfurd, and impious : but my people have changed their

glory, their relation to God, and his presence among them, 12 for (that which) doth not profit. Be astonished, Oye

heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very defolate, faith the LORD; it is such a thing, that the sun

might veil his face at the fight, and the lights of heaven 13 Shrink away and vanish from their places : For my people

Chave committed two eyils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, [and] hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water ; by worshipping idols and forming alliances with idolatrous princes, they have a&ted as foolishly as a man would do, who jould forsake a pure running Jream, for a little muddy water in a cistern, and that a broken cistern, out of which the water, such as it was, would quickly run,

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14 [IS] Israel a servant ? [is] he a homeborn [flave?] ** why is he spoiled? Why is Israel a Nave to his enemies

was he born such a one ? No: but he is spoiled as if he were, 15 and this is owing to his fin. The young lions roared upon

him, [and] yelled, and they made his land waste : his

cities are burned without inhabitant, by the tyrannical 16 kings of the neighbouring countries. Also the children of

Noph and Tahapanes, two principal cities of Egypt, have broken the crown of thy head; the Egyptians have de

voured the best part of thy country, and funk thee into con 17 tempt. Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when he led thee

way ? when he was leading thee, and would have 18 been thy help, and ensured thy prosperity? And now what

hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor, or the Nile? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river

Euphrates, that is, to form alliances with Egypt and Aly19 ria? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy

backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that (it is] an evil [thing) and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear [is] not in thee, faith the Lord God of hosts; thy fin shall be thy punishment; 'the princes thou hast courted Mall be a scourge to thee; and thy calamities shall convince thee, what a fooliß, wicked part thou hast acted, in forsaking God.

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Adapted to a fast, or day of humiliation.
HE piety of our ancestors, and God's kindness

to them and us, aggravate national ingratitude and impiety. Ifrael is reminded of their ancestors, who were holy to the Lord, and of the many favours he had shown to them. And when we come to humble ourselves before God, it is highly proper to consider these aggravations of our guilt. Did our ancestors express a fervent love to God, arid zeal in his services? Were his favours to them favours to us? Have we received many new and moft important ones from him? How odious must our ingratitude be, and

how how heinous will our guilt appear ? He hath brought us, as a nation, from the bondage of popery and arbitrary power; led us thro' many perils; given us a plentiful country, and succeeded our struggles against foreign and domeftick enemies. He hath given us good governors, and skilful, faithful interpreters of his law. How provoking then must be the guilt of such a people ! how much need is there of humiliation !

2. We learn the folly and vanity of trusting in creatures, to the neglect of God. The Israelites were always courting idols and idolatrous alliances, while they forsook their God and king. Our epidemical fin, as a nation, is forgetting God and trusting in our own wisdom and strength. This is forsaking a fountain for a broken cistern; and what can we expect but disappointment? what have we to do to make flesh our arm, when we have a God of almighty power and everlasting goodness to trust in? This were folly and madness; and it becomes us to be upon our guard, test we be chargeable with it; and to implore mercy for our nation, since it is a temper that so generally prevails.

3. When a nation suffers calamities, it is owing to its fins. The Israelites are several times reminded of this in the passages we have been reading. The neighbouring princes were confederates against them, and brought much desolation


them. But hast not thou procured this to thyself? When our enemies are multiplied, and our danger increased, may not the same question be put to us? God was leading us by the way, leading us to peace and profperity; our prospects were promising ; but our fins hid those good things from us, engaged us in fresh quarrels, and exposed us to further and greater evils. Our wickedness is in this instance correcting us; and it becomes us to bewail it before God, and to reform ; left we find by further dreadful experience, what an evil and bitter thing it is to have forsaken God, and cast off his fear.

4. God will be justified in the judgments which he brings upon a wicked nation. He pleads with Israel, to show them that his judgments were righteous, and their calamities deserved. The same appeal may be made to us. What iniquity have we found in God, that we should have deserted his service, or have been cold and formal in it? Has it been either unpleasant or unprofitable? What could he have done more for us, that he has not done? We are worse than the heathens, for they do not change their gods, nor are they so indifferent about their worship. This will fully vindicate a juft God, if he punishes us as our ingratitude and iniquities have deserved. But while he condescends thus to plead with us, and to display his former mercy, it gives us encouragement to return. The design of these remonftrances to Ifrael was to lead them to repentance, and prevent their ruin,



God grant they may have a good effect upon our minds; engage us to return to God; and to know, in this our day, the things that belong to our peace, before they are for ever hid from our eyes.


CHAP. II. 20, to the end. CHAP. III. 1-6. The prophet continúes his expoftulations with the people for their

wickedness. 20 OR of old time I have broken thy yoke, [and]

burst thy þands; and thou saidít, I will not tranfgrefs; when I delivered thee from Egypt, thou did/ promise at mount Sinai to be obedient, and didst behave well when first settled in Canaan; when, or yet, upon every

high hill and under every green tree thou wandereft, 21 playing the harlot. Yet I had planted thee a noble

vine, wholly a right seed : how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? I gave you a good constitution of government, excellent laws

and ordinances, yet now ye are become corrupt and degenerate. 22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee

much soap, {yet] thine iniquity is marked before me, faith the Lord God; tho thou infiftest upon thy innocence, and juftifies thyself, yet thine iniquities are all known to me.

23 How

They had contrived a way to reconcile the worship of idols with the worship of Jehovah, pretending it was only subordinate worship; a pitiful diftinction, which papists ftill use to defend their idolatry:

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23 How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not

gone after Baalim ? fee thy way in the valley, where thy idolatrous worship is performed, especially the facrificing of thy children, and know what thou haft done: (thou

art] a swift dromedary traversing her ways, running from 24 one idol to another; A wild ass used to the wilderness,

[that] snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occafion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they fhall find her; like an afs, which at one time cannot be catched, but which in her month (when big and unweildy) is easy to

be caught; so you shall in a little time feel the burden of 25 your own iniquities. Withhold thy foot from being un.

shod, and thy throat from thirft : but thou faidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go; as an ass, which continues with its owner, will be food, and have plenty of food, but when it runs away, will wear out its hoofs, and want both food and

water; fo thy idolatries will be injurious and destructive; yet 26 thou doft defperately resolve to go on in thy evil ways. As

the thief is afhamed when he is found, fo is the house of Ifrael ashamed; they have nothing to say, but, like an hardened robber, impudently deny the fact; they, their

kings, their princes, and their priests, and their pro27 phets, Saying to a stock, Thou (art] my father; and

to a ftone, Thou haft brought me forth; giving that praise to idols which is due to God alone, as the author and preferver of all things: for they have turned (their) back unto me in contempt, and not (their) face : but in the

time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. 28 But where (are) thy gods that thou haft made thee? let

them arife, if they can fave thee in the time of thy trouble: for [according to] the number of thy cities

are thy gods, O Judah; every city hath its peculiar gods, 29 like the heathens. Wherefore will ye plead with me

your innocence and my promises? ye all have transgressed 30 against me, faith the LORD. In vain have I fmitten

your children ; they received no correction; they are not grown better. your own fword hath devoured your prophets, who reproved you, like a destroying lion, with



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