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hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain, that is,

deceive you : they speak a vision of their own heart, 17 [and] not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say

#ill unto them that despise me, The Lord hath faid Ye shall have peace : and they say unto every one that

walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No 18 evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the

counsel of the Lord, and who hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard [it ; ] they never took pains to distinguish my suggeftions from their

own foolish reasonings, elfe, instead of peace, they would have 19 foretold judgments. Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is

gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind : it shall 20 fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The

anger of the Lord shall not return, hall not turn back, or rejt, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly; in your captivity and distress

ye shall understand and consider the meaning of these pro21 phecies. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran : 22 I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But

if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned

them from their evil way, and from the evil of their 23 doings, they would have had some success. [Am] I a

God at hand, faith the Lord, and not a God afar off?

in heaven, and not in earth ? cannot I discern what is doing 24 at the greateft distance? Can any hide himself in secret

places that I shall not see him ? faith the LORD: can

they think to deceive and impose upon me? Do not I fill 25 heaven and earth ? saith the LORD. I have heard

what the prophets said, tho they thought I did not, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I

have dreamed; I have a divine admonition to deliver. 26 How long shall [this] be in the heart of the prophets

that prophesy lies ? yea, [they are] prophets of the 27 deceit of their own heart; Which think, or contrive, to

cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as the

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fathers have forgotten my name for Baal; their design

is to lead them to idolatry, and to forget me and my laws. 28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream;

tell it as a dream that deferves 10 regard; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully : What [is] the chaff to the wheat? faith the LORD; there is as much difference between true and false prophets,

and their way of preaching, as between chaff and wheat. 39 [IS] not my word like as a fire ? faith the LORD; and

like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces ? that breaks thro' all opposition, and subdues the most obdurate hearts; and the words of the true prophets had often

this effe&t, which was a proof that they were not counterfeit. 30 Therefore, behold, I sam] against the prophets, faith

the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour, that is, some of their good sayings, and apply

them to their own purposes ; imitating their manner of ad. 31 dress. Behold, I [am] against the prophets, faith the

Lord, that use, or smooth, their tongues, and say, He

faith; pretending a divine authority for what they deliver. 32 Behold, I [am] against them that prophesy falfe

dreams, faith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies and by their lightness; their unsteady and inconsistent conduct; yet I fent them not, nor commanded them : therefore they shall not profit

this people at all, faith the LORD. 33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest,

shall alk thee, saying, What [is] the burden of the LORD? when they meet thee, and ask in a taunting and Scornful way, what the burden of the Lord now is; (as prophecies are often called, because they contained very weighty and important matters ;) thou shalt then say unto them, What burden ? I will even forsake you, faith the Lord;

or rather, Ye are the burden, and I will cast you off, saith the 34 Lord. And [as for] the prophet, and the priest, and the

people, that shall say, The burden of the Lord, I will 35 even punish that man and his house. Thus shall ye say

every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, instead of that profane jesting language, you should say, What hath the Lord answered ? and, What hath the

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36 LORD spoken ? And the burden of the Lord shall ye

mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; he that makes a jest of it shall feel it; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the

LORD of hosts our God, who is able to accomplish his 37 threatenings. Thus shalt thou say to the prophet,

What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath 38 the Lord spoken? But since ye say, or, if ye will say,

The burden of the LORD; therefore thus faith the
LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the

LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not 39 say, The burden of the Lord: Therefore, behold, I,

even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you,

and the city that I gave you and your fathers, (and cast 40 you) out of my presence : And I will bring an everlast

ing reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

REF L E C T I O N S.

1.

L
ET us regard Jesus Christ in the view in which he

is here foretold: as a Branch of David, in whom the prophecies are fulfilled; and as our Righteousness, as one who is perfectly righteous himself, and who wrought out righteousnefs for his people. The dignity of his perfon, the excellency of his character, and his divine appointment, all join to render him a complete Saviour, May we then look to him, and be saved. He will take care of his church, and provide for his flock, when those who should feed it, neglect it, and thofe who should defend it, devour it.

2. Let us reverence the omniscience of God. These prophets would not have been fo wicked; nor the people so easily imposed upon, had they not forgotten this, and faid, The Lord doth not fee. But there is no concealing any thing from him ; no imposing upon him : darkness and distance are no obstruction to his view. Let us reflect seriously on this; be afraid of secret fins; and approve ourselves to him.

3. Let us admire the power of the word of God. It is

as

as fire, and as a hammer; dissolving the stubborn spirit; breaking the most rocky heart. It has a wonderful efficacy for these purposes; and it is a proof of its divine authority when such effects attend it. Let us pray that it may have this effect upon our souls; and instead of being a favour of death may be a favour of life to them.

4. Here is an awful lesson to ministers to preach God's word faithfully, and to deal plainly with immortal souls. What a number of expressions have we here of God's displeasure against false prophets and deceivers ! May ministers take warning, and not smooth their tongues, but ihow men their transgressions. May they never strengthen the hands of the wicked, by promising them peace; by lowering the terms of salvation, or weakening the threatenings of God's word. May they never lead people to substitute any thing for real holiness. To say nothing but what is pleasing and plausible; to be more fearful of offending man than God, are proofs that they never stood in his counsel, nor understood his words. This is doing men the greatest mischief imaginable. May they therefore watch for fouls, as those that must give an account.

5. See the evil and danger of making a jest of scripture truths, or scripture language. This was the fin of the jews ; we see how highly God resented it; and how awfully he forbids it, on pain of his highest displeasure. It is common for men to turn sacred things into ridicule, and to make a jest of the language of ministers, tho’ it be the language of scripture, and the language of the Spirit of God. Sometimes those who profess godliness will use scripture phrases and expressions in a light, trifling manner, and make it their jest, when perhaps they have no evil intention. But let them beware of this, left their own tongues fall upon them, v. 36. They who allow themselves in this indecent, irreverent, profane language, will hereafter perfectly understand what it is to trife with sacred things, and what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. God and his word jest with no man, and therefore they are not to be jested with.

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CHA P. XXIV. In the former chapter the ruin of Jerusalem and the jewish state

was foretold; here, for the encouragement of the prophet and the pious people in the land, it is declared, that tho' all should suffer, God would make a diftintion between the precious and the vile.

HE LORD showed me, and, behold, two baskets

of figs (were]set before the temple of the LORD, these were offered, according to the law, as part of thoir first fruits, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon ; because they wanted these most, ,

or to prevent the jews fortifying their city and making wea? pons. One basket (had) very good figs, [even] like

the figs (that are] first ripe : and the other basket (had]

very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were 3 so bad. Then said the Lord unto me, What seest

thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Thus faith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these

good figs, so will I acknowledge, or distinguish, them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for (their) good, or, in a favourable manner; that is, I

will how them favour, and make their captivity work for 6 their good." For I will set mine eyes upon them for

good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I. will build them, and not pull (them) down; and I will plant them, and not pluck (them) up, I will give them favour in the land of their captivity, and bring them or

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their Probably most of these were pious men: God might influence the hearts of the conquerors to take such, while those who stayed behind thought themselves better beloved of God than their brethren who were carried captive ; but God would low them the

contrary.

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