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rest for their souls, present peace, and everlasting happi. ness.
5. How miserable is the state of those who continue unreformed under the means of grace ! God tries them by various methods, by conscience, his providence, his word and ordinances, as metals are tried, in order to separate the drofs, to refine and purify them. His ministers take pains to study, to make known, and to enforce the will of God; but, alas ! feldom is any good effect of their pains seen. Their bellows are burned, their time is lost, their strength and health impaired, and their lives shortened. But they that will not be reformed, shall be utterly con. fumed: the Lord will reject them, and then who can save them? who will have pity on them? Let us pray that we may be refined by the means of grace, as silver is refined ; and be purified as gold; then shall we be vessels of honour, and our faithful minifters will rejoice in the day of Christ, that they have not run in vain, nor laboured in vain.
CHA P. VII. Here begins another seation of the prophecy, ending at the tenth
chapter: it opens with exhortations to amendment of life, without which their confidence in the temple is declared to be in vain.
HE word that came to Jeremiah from the
Lord, saying, Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, (probably at some grand festival) and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD,
all [ye of] Judah, that enter in at thefe gates to wor3: ship the Lord. Thus faith the Lord of hosts, the
God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and
I will cause you to dwell in this place, or else I will give 4. it to strangers and idolaters. Trust ye not in lying words,
faying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the 5 Lord, The temple of the Lord, (are] these. For if
ye throughly amend your ways and your doings ; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and 6 his neighbour; [If ) ye opprefs not the stranger, the
fatherless, and the widow, and shed, not innocent blood
in this place, neither walk after other gods to your 7 hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in
the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. 8 Behold, ye trust in lying words that cannot profit, 9 that is, in false prophets. Will ye steal, murder, and
commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense
unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know 10 not; And come and stand before me in this house,
which is called by my name, and pretend to worship me, and fay, We are delivered to do all these abominations? will ye abuse my mercy and the deliverances granted you, as
if I designed them as an encouragement to you to go on in 11 your fins? Is this house, which is called by my name,
become a den of robbers in your eyes ? Behold, even
I have seen [it,] faith the Lord, thoo you think I did not. 12 But go ye now unto my place which (was] in Shiloh,
where I set my name at the first, the place where the ark iwas settled at your first entrance into Canaan, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel;
probably the city was destroyed, as we never read of it af13 terwards. And now, because ye have done all these
works, faith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising
up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called 14 you, but ye answered not; Therefore will I do unto
(this] house which is called by my name, wherein ye
trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to 15 your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will caft
you out of my fight, as I have cast out all your 16 brethren, [even] the whole seed of Ephraim. There
fore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them ; neither make intercession to me:
for I will not hear thee. 17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah 18 and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women
knead * God forefaw that there would not be a universal reformation, which was the only thing that could prevent their captivity; therefore he commands the prophet not to pray for them.
knead (their) dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, the new moon, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger ;
all hands are employed as if they had their meat and drink 19 from them. Do they provoke me to anger? faith the
LORD ; can they hurt me by their wickedness ? [do they]
not (provoke] themselves to the confusion of their own 20 faces? Therefore thus faith the Lord God; Behold,
mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of
the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall 21 burn, and shall not be quenched. Thus faith the
LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your facrifices, and eat flesh; tho’: the burnt offerings should be entirely consumed, and only the fat of the peace offering, you may either burn them all, or eat them all, it is the same thing to me while you go on thus to do wickedly; or rather, Ye have added your burnt offerings to
your sacrifices, and eat flesh, which I said nothing of to your 22 fathers. For I. fpake not unto your fathers, nor com
manded them in the day that I brought them out of
the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or facri23 fices :' But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey
my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my
people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have com. 24 manded you that it may be well unto you. But they
hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the ccunsels [and] in the imagination of their evil
heart, and went backward like headstrong oxen, and not 25 forward.
Since the day that your fathers came forth cut of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent
unto you all my fervants the prophets, daily rising up 26 early, and sending [them :] Yet they hearkened not
unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their
neck: they did worse than their fathers ; set up idols in 27 the temple, and took no warning. Therefore thou shalt
speak * As God really commanded these when they came Egypt, the meaning must be, that he had a greater regard to obedience than to burnt offerings, and to mercy than sacrifices. Or, that cere.nonial observances were no further acceptable, than as they were the genuine fruits of obedience.
speak all these words unto them; but they will not
hearken to thee; thou shalt also call unto them; but 28 they will not answer thee. But thou shalt say unto
them, This [is] a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction : truth towards God and man is perished, and is cut off from
their mouth; there is no depending on any thing they say. 29 Cut off thine hair, (O Jerusalem,] and cast [it]
away in token of sorrow, and take up a lamentation on high places, a solemn publick lamentation ; for the LORD
hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath, 30 that used to be the generation of his love. For the child.
ren of Judah have done evil in my fight, faith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house
which is called by my name to pollute it; which was 31 a&tuolly done in Manaseh's time. And they have built
the high places of Tophet; which [is] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, wicked rites which they have learned of the Canaanites," which I commanded (them) not, neither
came it into my heart. 32 Therefore, behold, the days come, faith the LORD,
that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter: for
they shall bury those that shall be pain by the Chaldeans in 33 Tophet, till there be no place. And the carcases of
this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven,
and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray 34 [them] away. Then will I cause to cease from the .
cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate ; there shall be no encouragement to marry when they have nothing but defolation and ruin before
REFLECT. * Tophet was that particular spot in the valley of Hinnom, where fires were made, into which the poor innocent victims were thrown; and is supposed to have derived its name from the drums and tabrets that beaten in order to drown the cries of the children when they facrificed them to Molech.
very zealous for the forms of godliness, yet have nothing of the power of it. This wicked people made a great ado about the temple of the Lord. It was the cry of the times; as many in the christian world have said, The church, the church; while by their fins they have been pulling it down ; zealous for forms and rites, while the church has been made a den of robbers, and their hearts have been full of all wickedness. God fees this hypocrisy, and cannot be deceived by it. Let us take heed that we do not deceive ourselves.
2. Observe the gracious regard which God has to the prayer of his servants.
When he was determined to root out this wicked people, he commands his prophet not to
He knew his affection and zeal for the people, and that he would pray, while there was any hope. But God esteemed the praying breath of his fervant too precious to be spent in vain.
This is an encouragement to pray for our country while we have reason to hope for success; and it contains an awful admonition, that they who will not be reformed by the preaching of ministers, shall not be the better for their prayers.
3. We here see the wisdom and necessity of obedience. The fame is commanded under every dispensation, as in V. 23. Walk in all the ways I have commanded you ; and our encouragement is the same, I will be your God, and it fall be well with you. We must walk in all his commands, both moral and positive, if we would enjoy the privileges and happiness of his people. Oh that there were such a heart in us, to fear God and keep his commandments, that it might be well with us for ever.
pray for them.