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CH A P. VIII.
The prophet here upbraids the people with their folly and obe ...
' stinacy, and bewails the dreadful miseries that were coming

upon them.
I A T that time, faith the Lord, they shall bring out

A the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones
of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the
bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants
of Jerusalem, out of their graves; the Chaldeans shall

break open their sepulchres, in hope of finding treasures,
. but in the rage of disappointment they fall throw about
· 2 their bones: And they shall spread them before the sun,

and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they
have loved, and whom they have served, and after
whom they have walked, and whom they have fought,
and whom they have worshipped, but who can do nothing

for them :they shall not be gathered, nor be buried;
3 they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. And

so great Mall be their misery, that death shall be chosen
rather than life, by all the residue of them that remain
of this evil family, which remain in all the places

whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.
4 Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus faith the
i Lord; Shall they fall, and not arise ? shall he turn

away, and not return? they aüt different from the maxims
of common prudence; if a man fall, will he not rise, and be

glad of help? if a traveller misses his way, will he not en-
- 5 quire, and be glad to be fet right? Why (then) is this

- people of Jerusalem sidden back by a perpetual back... 6 Niding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I.

hearkened and heard, [but) they spake not aright: no
... man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What

have I done? God is represented as waiting and expecting

that they would say so, but every one turned to his · course, as the horse rusheth into the battle, without . 7. confidering or fearing his danger. Yea, the stork in the . . . . . .E e 2

, heaven These various expressions are used, to show how fond they were of this worship, and what regard they paid to these gods, who now cannot protect their bones.

heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; they return in the summer to their former abodes; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD;

they do not observe rny providence, nor think of returning to 8 me. How do ye fay, We sare) wise, and the law of

the LORD sis with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he [it ;] the pen of the scribes [is] in vain; you boast of your wisdom, because pojjeffed of my law; but, with regard

to you, that law was made, transcribed, and expounded in 9 vain; you might as well have been without it. The wise

[men) are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD ; and what wisdom (is) in them? the politicians that boast of their wisdom now egregious folly, and suffer the consequences of

their own schemes and devices, because they will not be ruled so by my word. Therefore will I give their wives unto

others, [and] their fields to them that shall inherit , [them:] for every one from the least even unto the

greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even 11 unto the priest every one dealeth falfely. For they

have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people

flightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no 12 peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed

abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them

that fall : in the time of their visitation they shall be 13 cast down, saith the LORD. I will surely consume

them, faith the LORD: (there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall

fade; and (the things that I have given them shall 14 pass away from them. Why do we fit still ? say the

people to one another; assemble yourselves, and let us
enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: -
for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, hath given
us no reafon to complain, and yet no encouragement to pray,
and given us water of gall, or hemlock, to drink, that

is, fevere and painful judgments, because we have finned 15 againft the LORD. We looked for peace, as the false

prophets had said, but no good [came; and) for a time

e another; arra Why do we given the

of

- 16 of health, and behold trouble! The snorting of his

horses was heard from Dan, from the north : the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones, or horses; for they are come, and have devoured

the land, and all that is in it; the city, and thofe that ng dwell therein. For, behold, I will send serpents,

cockatrices, among you, which will] not [be] charmed, and they shall bite you, faith the LORD; thoo musical founds may have such an influence on particular ferpents as to prevent their biting, your enemies Mall not be

mollified or dijarmed by any means. The prophet adds in his 18 own name, (When] I would comfort myfelf against for:

row, my heart [is] faint in me; I see much more reason 19 to fear than to hope. Behold the voice of the cry of the

daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country : [IS] not the Lord in Zion ? [is] not her king in her ? their vain plea: to which God answers, Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven

images, [and] with strange vanities ? The people then fay, 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not

saved ; the time in which we expeeted' deliverance is over,

we have no help from Egypt, nor from any of our allies. 21 The prophet adds, For the hurt of the daughter of my

people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath

taken hold on me; I am ghastly, as in a violent agony, 22 like a dying man.. [Is there] no balm in Gilead ? is

there no suitable remedy for a diseased nation? [is there] no phyfician there to apply those remedies? Yes, undoubt. edły there is both : why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered! alas! it is their own fault, they have brought this evil upon themselves.

. REFLECTIONS. 1. TET us see and lament the folly and madness of

men, in neglecting to repent and return to God. What an instructive view is given of repentance, v. 6. Men speak aright when they talk of returning to God, and not till then. Repentance begins in considering what we

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Pinus advantawe may bood, and th

have done, in comparing it with the law, and lamenting what is amiss. Men act wisely in other respects, v. 8, but foolishly and perversely in religious concerns. The obedience of the birds to the instinct implanted in them, Thames the stupidity of men, who will not use their understandings to judge and pursue their true interest. The reason is, they have deceived themselves, and hold fast deceit: and when ministers would undeceive them, they will not let them : they excuse their fins, and refuse to return. Let us lament that this is the case of so many, and take care that it be not our own.

2. Religious advantages will be of no avail while men continue disobedient. We may boast of having bibles and ministers, the tongues of the learned, and the pens of the scribes; but if we do not attend and consider, and govern ourselves by the divine law, of what advantage is all this? What signifies it to live in an enlightened age, and to enjoy many glorious privileges, both as protestants and Britons, while we reject the word of the Lord, and while profefling to believe it we will not be ruled by it. Remember that the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and that to depart from evil is understanding.

3. The destruction of finners is to be charged upon themselves. What the prophet says of a dying nation, is equally applicable to perishing souls. v. 22, Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then is not the health of my people recovered? There is abundant provision for their healing, by the word and Spirit of God. Jesus is a divine, almighty physician; but men will not put themselves under his method of cure, nor follow his prescriptions. They are humoursome and wilful, nourish their disease, and imagine that it will not prove fatal. May God how us our spiritual disorders, that we may apply to Chin the car honored to the com petin Christ, the great physician: and may he bring us health and cure, and reveal to us abundance of truth and peace.

CH A P.

CH A P. IX. In which the prophet still touches upon the same mournful string,

lamenting the wickedness of his people, and the judgments that were coming upon them.

H that my head were waters, and mine eyes a

fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people ! which

I foresee will be very many; and foretell this, to excite them 2 to lamentation. Oh that I had in the wilderness a

lodging place of wayfaring men, a cave, or hut, that I might leave my people, and go from them! having met with so much ill usage, and being so much vexed at their

wickedness; for they [be] all adulterers, an assembly of 3 treacherous men. And they bend their tongues (like]

their bow (for) lies; they contrive malicious lies, which are as dangerous as arrows: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; they have not courage to defend an honeft cause, nor even to speak the truth: for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the

LORD; they grow worse and worse, and their ignorance of 4 my holy nature and law is the fource of all Take ye heed

every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any

brother : for every brother will utterly fupplant, and 5 every neighbour will walk with Nanders. And they

will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, [and] weary themselves to commit iniquity; they have studied the art of falsehood, and take more pains to commit

iniquity than it would require to practise truth and integrity. 6 Thiné habitation, O Jeremiah, Tis) in the midst of deceit;

through deceit they refuse to know me, faith the

LORD ; they neither mind the prophets nor the scriptures. 7 Therefore thus faith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I

will melt them, and try them; I will try what affli Etions will do to reform them, for how shall I do for the daughter of my people ? after having exercised so much

mercy and patience, what other method can I take, that 8 may at least fave fome? Their tongue (is as an arrow

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for every brothke with slander will not speak

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