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gin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: toft will turn their mourning into joy,and will comfort them,;mdmake them rejoice from their sorrow ; ullages and ranks shall agree in
14 signs of universal joy. And I will sutiate the soul o'f the priests with fatness, they shall have filenty of sacrifices and offerings, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord; both the ftriests and the profile shall rejoice in the abundance of divine blessings.
15 Thus saith the Lord ; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, [and] bitter weeping ; Rachel weeping for lier children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they [were]
16 'not.* Thus saith he Lord ; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work, thy tender concern fur thy children, shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall
17 come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, or, to thy ¡losterity, saith the Lord, that [thy] children shall come again to their own border.
18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself [thus ;] Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, / received instruction, as a bullock unaccustomed [to the yoke :] or rather, though I was before as a bullock that would not bear it : turn thou me, and I shajl be turned; for thou [art] the Lord my God; I need
19 thy gracious influence to bring me to a better temfier. Surely after that I was turned, and felt the influence of thy grace, I repented ; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon [my] thigh, expressed great grief and humiliation: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth, the burdtn of my former sins. To this fienitent langnage
20 God graciously rejilies, [Is] Ephraim my dear son? or, I» he not my dear son? [is he] not a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, by threatenings and judgments, I do earnestly remember him still : therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord; Iretain my
former fiarental kindness, and will certainty deliver and bless him.
21 Set thee up way marks, make thee high heaps, that is, tall fiolet,
finger fiosts, or fiillars for direction, to make their way filain; set
thine heart toward the highway, [even] the way [which] thou
wentest: turn again, О virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy
22 How long wilt thou go about, O Ihou blacksliding daughter, fluctuating between doubt andho/ie? for the Lord hath created a
new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man; or, a woman shall fiut to the rout a strong man ;f that is, God mil give the Israelites extraordinary strength, во that, though weak as wo
t Dr. Blajncy.
men, they shall be able to resist and overcome all opposition. S3 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet, or, hereafter, they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The ». Lord bless thee, O habitation of justice, [and] mountain of holiness ; they shall become a reformed, upright, and honoueable
24 people. And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they [that] go forth with
25 flocks; the countries and cities shall be inhabited. For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul; / will comfort them under their sorrows, and supply ifiem
26 with all good. The next are the prophet's own words. Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me ; these things God revealed to me in a vision; / awaked, rejlected upon them, andfound them very comfortable to my soul; I was muck refreshed with these gracious intimations of deliverance.
1. T^iTE are here taught, that it is good in times of trouble to V V look back to former instances of God's care and kindness. The Israelites in their captivity are directed to consider what God had done for their fathers, to prevent them from being disheartened by the difficulties that were in the way of their return. Thus should we think how often God hath supported his church and interest, and particular saints in times of distress; how often we have found grace, even when in the wilderness, and been drawn by his.loving kindness. Let this recollection and experience encourage our hope, that he who hath delivered and doth deliver, will stilt deliver.
. 2. When God has designs of mercy for a sinful people, he stirs up a spirit of penitence, prayer, and reformation. Thus it is fore- , told that the Israelites should return with weeping and supplication, a*d that Jerusalem should be called The habitation of justice, and The mountain of holiness: and we may hope for the continuance of divine favours, and the restoration of prosperity, if God's goodness dispose us to repentance, fill us with shame and sorrow for our iniquities; if we earnestly call upon his name, and live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty.
3. The common bounties of Providence are to be enjoyed and acknowledged as the fruits of divine goodness. When our wheat, and wine, and Hocks are increased, it becomes us to adore the goodness of God therein; to acknowledge it with seriousness at our meals; to flow together to the solemn assembly, and there sing his praises. Especially should we praise him for that divine influence which makes the souls of men bke a watered Harden. Thus shall we be satisfied with his goodness; taste his love in all our comforts; find them doubly pleasant ; and b.' in Imle dangiruf abusing them.
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4. Let us learn to moderate our sorrows for the death of our pi-» ous friends and children, from the consideration of the favour God intends for them. He is represented as comforting weeping Rachel; assuring her that her children should return to their borders, and that therefore she should not weep as though they were lost. It becomes Christians, on such occasions especially, to vieefi as though they wefit not ; for their work, the pious pains they have taken in the education of their children, or for the service of their other relatives, shall be rewarded. There is hope that they will return from the captivity of the grave, enter on the good land,' and be blessed at the resurrection of the just.
5. Let us observe with pleasure and thankfulness the great mercy of God to a penitent people. There is scarcely a more aflecting description of this in all the bible, than is given us in this passage concerning Ephraim. God represents himself as feeling and encouraging all the workings of paternal affection toward returning prodigals. He afflicts them only to instruct them, and bring them back to duty ; and when they begin to relent, he relents, receives them as his dear children, and restores them to his favour. Nay, their very return is the effect of his gracious work in them. Let us hence learn, what our behaviour should be in times of affliction, and what abundant reason there is for hope, if, in the language of Ephraim, we sincerely say, Turn than us, and vie shall be turned, for thou art the Lord our God.
CHAP. XXXI. 27, to the end.
The former part of this chafiter referred to the statt of the Jew* after their, return from cafilii'ity; t/iis, to their stale in the ¡at' ter day.
27 "DEHOLD, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow Sj the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast; they shall become very /mfitilouf
28 and fruitful. And it shall come to pass, [that] like as I have watched over them, to pluck tip, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build and to plant, saith the Lord ; every thing seemed to be against them before, but now every thing shall befar them f God 4VÍII a/iflear in the whole course of his providence to favour and bless them.
29 In those days they shnll say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge; they shall be no more fiimishfd for the iniquities oft/itir ancestors, a»
SO they have formerly been for persisting in their idolatry.* But
• There muy he я reference here to that imprecation of the Jews JJ:t tlfr.-l be up?n »( antf 9Ш fhiJdrebt whish lies Щюп thun still ; but when the; arc converted- it allí U be ви по шога
every one shaU die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of
32 Judah :* Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, that is, led them in the kindest, gentlest manner ; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: and have fulfilled my part
33 of the covenant relation: But this [shall be] the covenant that I •will make with the house of Israel ; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, not a nevi law, but the old law in its moral fir rcefit s and evangelical truths, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my
34 people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least "of them, unto the great-, est of them, saith the Lord; that ù, mere human instruction eha.ll not be the only, nor the chief may of teaching; they shall have plenty of religious advantages, and a clearer knowledge of God, by the instructions of the sfiirit; an extraordinary effusion of which they shall enjoy: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I wilj remember their sin no more; I will thus teach them, because I witt
forgive them; they shall be brought into my covenant again; and, through the 6lnod of Christ, their sins sl.all be forgiven, and all the tokens of my disfileasnre against them be removed.
35 Thus saith the Loud, which giveth the sun for a light by day, [and] the ordinances of the moon, and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar;
36 The Lord of hosts [is] his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, [then] the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever; that is, my covenant is as sure as the ordinances of heaven; the Jtivs shall always continue a distinct fieofile, and when they are converted they shall never afiostalise any more, but continue to the end of the
37 world faithful, holy, and obedient. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast oft" all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord ; though for their sin» they deserve to be rejected, yet for their fathers' sake, and my covenant with them, they shall at last be restored.
38 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananecl unto the gate of
39 the corner. ' And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.
4Û And the whole valley of the dead bodies, or Tofihet, and of the ashes, and all the fields' unto the brook of Kidron, unto the
• The apostle quotes this, ff<i. viii. 8. n referring to goipel timci.
corner of the horse gate toward the east, [shall be] holy unto the Lord ; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down anymore for ever.»
1. T T 7" E have great reason to rejoice in the gospel covenant, V V and the blessed purport of it. The covenant God would make with the Jews in the latter day, is no other than the Christian covenant; for.there will be no distinction between them and other Christians in that day, except their settlement in their own land. This covenant then God makes with us ; and every clause of it deserves nur attention. He will write his laws upon1 our hearts, will enable us to understand them, and dispose us to conform to them, as a copy to the original: he will teach us by the clear discoveries of his gospd, and the labours of his ministers; and also by the influences of his Spirit: for the best interpreter of scripture, Jesus Christ, explains this promise, of immediate divine teaching. The great obstacle to divine illumination, sanctification, and comfort, is sin; it is therefore promised, that sin shall be pardoned. We have full assurance of this under the gospel. Let us rejoice and be thankful that we are under this covenant of grace; be ever mindful of it j heartily comply with the terms on which these blessings are promised; and earnestly pray (hat God would thus pardon, teach, sanctify, and sa\c- us.
2. From the continued providence of God in the support and government of the universe, we may assuredly argue, that his promises will be fulfilled. He lights up the sun and the moon ; manages tjis wide, unmeasurable world; rules the sea; keeps every »hing in its proper pbce, and every creature in its proper office; be can therefore do any and all of those wonderful things which he hath promised. He hath preserved the Jews a distinct people, notwithstanding the trouble and persecution they have every where met with; eo that they are not lost among the nations; while whole communities that have enslaved and persecuted them, have been со. He has supported the world for the sake of the church, and. for the execution of his purposes; therefore we may be sure that the Jews shall be restored, and the gospel spread over the earth. Let it be our hearts' desire andfirayer, that Inrael may be saved; and let us in the mean time holdfast the /irofestion of our faith without wavering, for he is faithful who hath promised.
• ТЫ* ia a prophccv that Jerusalem should be rrhmlr ала 3anct:f>ed, and that multitudes pf the converted Jews should settle there, th-t they should enlarge the circumference of their temple ami city, and that what vr-лл now polluted should become holy ground : but'vfhctbca ihcse expressions are literal, or only figurative, tiuie alone can discover.