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when he utterly destroys those enemies that were his instruments in 8 correcting them. In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt

debate with it ; the allusion 10 c vine is still carried on ; he will prune it with love and moderation, so as not to destroy it : he stay,

eth his rough wind in the day of the cast wind; he moderates 9 the storm lest it should destroy the vine. By this therefore shall

the iniquity of Jacob be purged ; and this [is] all the fruit to take away his sin ; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalk stones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up; the end of his chastisement is to reform him from sin, espiecially idolatry, and lead him to destroy his altars and

images, and abolish the memory of them. 10 Nevertheless, Jerusalem shall suffer for its sins ; for Yet the

defenced city [shall be] desolate, [and] the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof; it shall lie

for a while in desolation, like a vineyard whose fence is gone, 80 ll that the catile come to feed therein. When the boughs thereof

are withered, they shall be broken off : the women come, to gather the remains of the trees for fuel, [and] set them on fire : for it [is] a people of no understanding ; they are quite stupid and sottish : therefore he that made them will not have mercy

on them, and he that formed them will show them no favour. 12 Yet they shall not always continue in this state. And it shall

come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river Euphrates unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel ; the Jews shall be recovered and restored ; they shall be beat off, like corn separated from the chaff ; they shall not be brought again

in a body, but one by one, through God's influence on their minds. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet

shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem ; referring to Cyrus's proclamation for liberty ; ori the general alarm and summons to the congregations of Israel, who were gath. ered together by trumpels, and has a reference to their conversion in the latter day.

REFLECTIONS.

W E have reason to rejoice in God's care of the church,

VV amidst all its dangers and distresses. It is valuable in itself and dear to him. Many attempts have been made to hurt and destroy his vineyard, or to prevent its fruitfulness; but he guards it with a watchful eye, and waters it by his ordinances, his word and spirit, without which it would wither. If its enemies combine against it, he has a great and strong sword with which to punish them. We should therefore triumph in the security of the church, and encourage ourselves in the Lord its God, when it seems

to be in the greatest danger ; and earnestly pray, that that part of the vineyard with which we are connected may be daily kept and watered by him,

2. We see what encouragement there is for sinners to return to God. They are enemies to him, and he is angry with them : but peace may be made ; and it is of the utmost importance that it be made in time. It becomes them to humble themselves before God, that the stroke of his mighty hand may be averted, and his strength employed for their defence and happiness. l'ury is not in him, or who could stand ? He is willing to be reconciled ; so that if sinners continue enemies to him, it is their own fault, and he will destroy them as easily and entirely as fire does ' briars and thorns. Agree then with thine adversary quickly, and be at peace, and thereby good shall come unto thee.

3. We are again taught the nature and design of amiction. The end of God in his corrections is to take away sin, to lead men to put away their iniquities with shame and detestation, and never return to them any more. Then our afflictions do us good when they purge away our iniquity : and therefore when we are afe flicted we should search and try our ways, and turn again unto the Lord. To good men God moderates afflictions, prunes them in measure and mercy, and tempers the fury of the storm. Amictions are quite different in their effects upon good and bad men ; they are not sinitten alike, though it may seem so to us. God's intcntions to his children are friendly ; all shall issue well, and work logether for their good.

4. How vain are all those hopes of sinners which are only grounded on the mercy of God and his being their creator. It is very common for men to express a hope of being saved because God is thcir creator, and because he is merciful ; while they go on in their trespasses, and are destitute of repentance and faith. But if that mercy be not earnestly sought, and those sing put away which disqualify them from being the objects of it, they will not find it : and though God formed then, yet as they do not answer the end for which they were made, but daily afiront their Maker, he will show then no favour. Let us then not deceive ourselves, but labour to be wise, understanding what the will of the Lord is, and be steadfast and immoveable in our obedience to it.

CHAP. XXVIII.

The prophecies in this and the following chapters, to the thirtieth, relate.

principally to the invasion of Judea by Sennacherib ; but are not arranged in the order they were delivered.

Į U O to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim,

W whose glorious beauty [is] a fading flower, which (are] on the head of the fat vallies of them that are overcome with

wine ! that is, wo to the proud kingdom of the ten tribes, among whom drunkenness much prevailed ; Samaria, so beautifully situa

led on a hill, with a fine vale below it, shall be destroyed by the 2 Assyrians. Behold, the LORD hath a mighty and strong one,

(which) as a tempest of hail [and] a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with

the hand ; as easily as an earthen vessel is dashed to the ground. 3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trod4 den under feet : And the glorious beauty, which [is] on the

head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, [and] as the hasty fruit before the summer ; it shall be as easily and quickly destroyed as early fruit ; or it may be rendered, the glorious beauty on their head, that is, the garland, shall be a fading flowers and the fat valley shall be as hasty fruit, that is soon ripe and soon destroyed : which (when) he that looketh upon it seeth, while

it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. 5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory,

and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, Judak 6 shall enjoy his favour and protection. And for a spirit of judge ment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate ; Hezekiah and his counsellors, shall be wise, shall repel the invaders, and carry the war into the

country of their enemies. 7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong

drink are out of the way ; Judah also is guilty of this detestable crime of drunkenness ; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink ; they err in vision, they

stumble [in] judgment; they neither teach nor judge aright. 8 For all tables are full of vomit [and] filthiness, (so that there is) 9 no place (clean.] Whom shall he, that is, any man, teach

knowledge ? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine ? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the

breast; notwithstanding their advantages, they are but like children 10 learning their first rudiments. For precept (must be) upon pre

cept, precept 'upon precept ; line upon line, line upon line ; here a little, [and] there a little ; the same things must be often

inculcated upon them, in the plainest manner, and yet all in vain : 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to

this people ; he will send foreign enemies among them, whose lan12 guage they shall not understand.* To whom he said, This [is]

the rest (wherewith] ye may cause the weary to rest ; and this [is] the refreshing ; though he had told them their duly often and

plainly, had given them great encouragement, and had promised 13 then rest and refreshment, yet they would not hear. But the

word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept ; line upon line, line upon line ; here a little,

The apostle applies this to the abuse of tbe gift of tongues, which alle that a curse which was inter.ded for a blessing,

[and] there a little ; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken ; rejecting God's word and despising his methods of instruction, will be the cause of their calamity. Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which [is] in Jerusalem ; ye chief magistrates that scurn my threatenings. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; we have taken as effectual methods to secure ourselves from danger as if we had done 80; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us : for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood, that is,

idols and foreign alliances, have we hid ourselves. 16 Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, I will direct you to a

surer refuge, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner (stone,) a sure foundation : he that believeth shall not make haste; shall not hurry to and fro, shall

not be confounded. 17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the

plummet ; that is, I will deal with you in strict justice ; an allusion to builders : and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place ; my judgments

shall be like a storm of hail, or a flood that carries all before it. 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your

agreement with hell shall not stand ; when the overflowing

scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it; 19 it shall suddenly overwhelm you like an inundation. From the time

that it goeth forth it shall take you : for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night; and it shall be a vexation only [to) understand the report ; when you think you have put it by, it shall lurn again with greater fury : even the repori of its coming upon others shall ver you, and occasion painful fears.

Some render it, nothing but vexation will make you understand 20 instruction,' For the bed is shorter than that [a man] can

stretch himself (on it :) and the covering narrower than that

he can wrap himself [in it.] A proverbial expression, as if he had 21 said, All your stratagems and confederacies shall fail. For the

LORD shall rise up as [in] mount Perazim, where David slew the Philistines, he shall be wroth as (in) the valley of Gibeon, where Joshua destroyed the Canaanites, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act; when God's professing people are hypocrites, he will treat them as he used to do their enemies ; though this is strange work, disagreeable

to him, and such as his people have not been used to feel, yet it is 22 necessary. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be

made strong ; lest you be brought under a foreign yoke : for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth, or the whole land, that is, against the two remaining tribes, as well as the len which I have prophesied against before. The prophet then concludes with a beautiful parable, which is designed to show, that as the husbandman has times and methods for ploughing and manuring the ground, sowing and threshing the grain, and the like, so God has seasons of mercy and judgment, and takes different measures for amendmens

or destruction. 2? Give ye ear, and hear my voice ; hearken, and hear my 24 speech. Doth the plougliman plough all day, or every day, to

sow? doth he every day open and break the clods of his ground? 25 When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad

the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat • and the appointed barley, or, the wheat in the principal place, and 26 barley in the appointed place, and the rye in their place ? For

his God doth instruct him to discretion, [and] doth teach him. 27 For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument,

neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin ; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod;

diferent kinds of threshing instruments are used, according to the 28 kind and strength of the grain. Bread (corn) is bruised ; be

cause he will not ever be threshing it, nor break [it with] the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it (with) his horsemen ; bread corn

must be bruised in a mortar, or ground in a mill, because other in29 struments are not capable of making it small enough. This skill in

husbandry, or rather, this judgment and consumption, also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, (which) is wonderful in counsel, [and] excellent in working ; who afflicts his people more or less, as their characters and cases require.

REFLECTIONS.

W E here see the detestable nature and great guilt of drunk

enness. It overcomes men, deprives them of their reason, stupifies their understandings, leads them into fatal errors, and exposes them to the practice of every iniquity. Of all drunkards, those of Ephraim were the worst ; they were God's professing people, had been better instructed than others, and should therefore have set an example of temperance and sobriety. The word of God pronounces a wo upon such ; and the New Testament assures us that they shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Let us all there. fore be warned, and take heed to ourselves, lest at any time our hearts are overcharged with gluttony and drunkenness, and that day of judgment come upon us unawares.

2. We learn how graciously God condescends to teach men their duty ; he gives precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little ; he gives his instructions in a plain, concise manner ; and they are ofien repeated ; both to help our memories and impress our hearts. Thus should parents teach their children, and not overburden their memories and confound their judgments. Thus also should miris. ters teach their hearers ; give them short, plain, familiar views of their duty ; and frequently repeat their a:lmonitions, even though some nicer hearers may naust ate them. The design of all is to afford present refreshinent, and lead to eternal rest. But if nei

Vol. V.

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