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ings: but it may be applied to new converts, to the mother, so is the daugbter.” Nor was returning backsliders, and to true believers, there ever a heathen city, or kingdom, on the who are thus instructed and disciplined by their face of the earth, of which the iniquities, crudaily experience. The conclusion of this re-elties, and unnatural lusts, the whoredom and markable chapter clearly predicts the abolition adultery, corporal and spiritual, have not been of the Sinai-covenant, the introduction of a justified, and far exceeded, by the church of new dispensation, and the union of Jews and Rome and her dependences; which long formGentiles in the church of Christ; events against ed so large a part of Christendom, as to give which the Jews, in the time of our Lord and occasion to her assuming the arrogant title of his apostles, entertained the most invincible | the Holy Catholic Church! prejudices. “They, erred, not knowing, the If we turn our attention to the reformed and scriptures:" and indeed they continue to do so protestant churches, which were brought forth to this day.
out of this antichristian community, in a low,
feeble, and despised condition, (as Israel was PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. out of Egypt,) we shall again find cause of laN. B., The peculiar arrangement of these Prac-mentation and shame. When they were ready tical Observations renders it impossible to di- 1 to be overwhelmed in infancy, by ihe merciless vide them according to the verses of the
chapter;| power of their enemies, and seemed to have no the distinct subjects therefore are only separated many of the errors and superstitions of that by a break.
church from which they had separated, as well As men are with great difficulty made sensi- || as with other corruptions; the Lord in a time ble of the heinous guilt of their conduct to-|| of love looked upon them, and said to them, wards God, and as this conviction is absolute- | “Live:” he rescued them from their oppressors, ly necessary to repentance and faith in Christ; | increased them abundantly, reduced them tó so it is the duty of ministers frequently to set regular order, afforded them abundant means before them their sins, with all the aggrava- of grace, took them under his protection, estions of them, as the appointed means of this poused them to himself, and they became his. humiliation.- None are with more difficulty | And he continued to purify, instruct, prosper, convinced of their abominations than hypo- || and adorn them, with eminent and excellent crites: nor should any be reproved and expos- | ministers and writers; until they became very ed, with so great severity and abhorrence.- "renowned among the nations, through the Human depravity is most evident in the wick- comeliness which the LORD had put upon edness of those, who have been most favored them.” But, though they have not run into with the means of becoming holy, and in the the gross outward idolatries and enormities of similarity, hitherto lamentably observable, be- | the church of Rome; yet they have become tween the visible church and the rest of the proud of their beauty and "played the harlot." world; except as the former has produced the In many places forms, creeds, and establishmost monstrous abominations. Jerusalem basments are nearly the whole of what is left of too generally appeared to be the daughter of their former excellency; and this dead carcass the Amorite and the Hittite, and the sister of they idolize: in others, infidelity and skepticism Samaria and Sodom. If we could survey the have discarded even the forins of truth and Christian church, in all the various forms and godliness. In covetousness, pride, luxury, and places in which it has been established in dif- every worldly lust, they have been grievously ferent ages; we should have a picture before guilty of idolatry: in impiety, perfidy, perjury, us, not much, if at all more attractive than this and licentiousness, many of them have vied of the nation of Israel: though there has als with Rome herself: and, though more free ways been, in both of them, "a remnant ac- from the blood of persecution; yet the blood cording to the election of grace," whose pious shed by unjust wars and cruel oppressions in and quiet lives have been little noticed in his- different parts of the globe, from a sordid love tory: Otherwise, the annals of the church of gain, renders the daughter too much like would be the most melancholy subject that her base and abominable mother. It is not could be contemplated.-Let us turn our necessary to expatiate further on the painful thoughts to the first establishment of Christian- | topic; the inference is obvious and unavoidaity in the Gentile world, and especially in the ble: no outward forms can change the propenRoman empire. The state of the Gentiles was sity of man's heart to depart from God, and indeed such, as rendered them a loathsome rebel against him; but they often give it occaobject in the eyes of a holy God: yet, in a timesion to rage more vehemently. Whatever paof pity and love be passed by, and said to them, tion professing Christianity, whatever sect of as they lay perishing in sin and pollution, Christians, we accurately survey; we shall soon "Live, yea, he said unto them, Live.” He perceive traces of the same spirit, which led planted his gospel among them, and caused | Israel into all their abominations. Christians to multiply exceedingly. At length, Again, if we consider the subject with refthe Roman Emperors professing themselves erence to ourselves, we shall here too find it Christians, the church grew great and honor- applicable. When we recollect the mercies of able; Christianity became the established reli- | God our Creator in giving us our being and gion; abundance of liberty and encouragement | rational powers; in protecting us in helpless was given to its preachers and professors; the infancy and bringing us to maturity; in sup places for public worship were multiplied, plying all our wants, and vouchsafing us indecorated, and enriched by ample donations numerable benefits; we cannot but remember and endowments, and the church prospered at the same time, that we have been forgetful into a kingdom. But what were the conse- of him, and ungrateful and rebellious in numquences? The pride, ambition, rapacity, and berless instances. How have we abused bis licentiousness, the furious contests and cruel | bounty, in making provision for our pride and persecutions, the superstitions, blasphemies, lusts! How have niany of us proceeded from impostures, and idolatries, wbich came in, and one iniquity to another, as we had time and continued to increase for ages, at length'ren-opportunity! How have we stood it out against dered the Christian Roman empire a genuine warnings, corrections, and convictions; and daughter of the Pagan Ronan empire; and all gone on in sin, though evidently exposed by it that useu proverbs might well say, “ As was Il to manifold losses, troubles, and sorrows! And CHAP XVII.
ments that were coming upon him, 11-21. An emblematic prediction of the person and kingdom of Christ, 22-24.
A parable of two eagles and a vine, 1–10: explained of the cap
tivity of Jeconiah; and of Zedekiah, who had broken his covenant confirmed by an oath, with the king of Babylon, and made an alliance with the king of Egypt; and of the judg
A me, 'se word of the Lord came unto
should we not have still continued in the same objects; of such forgetfulness of God and incourse, through our idolatrous attachment to gratitude to bim, and rebellion against his apworldly objects, and our aversion to the spirit-pointments; of such unfaithfulness, unprofitaual service of God, if we had been left to our-bleness, and want of love and zeal; of such selves? Should we not indeed bave done still weakness of heart and strength of passions, as worse, if our restraints had been removed, and render them daily more and more sensible, we could have gratified our inclinations with that they equally need, and are equally unout fear or shame? Many have been educat-worthy of the Lord's mercy, with the most ed amidst good instructions and edifying ex- profligate of their neighbors. They have "the amples, and for a time made some profession witness in themselves" continually, that they of religion: yet the lusts of their hearts have are naturally no better than others, and that broken through all these obstacles, and hurried all the difference in their state, character, them away into apostacy, infidelity, and open hopes, and prospects, arises from the unmer: wickedness. In various ways, the same cause ited mercy and grace of God. They look upon produces similar effects, and it is evinced, that those who are living without God in the world, we are all conceived and born in sin, carnally in pride, idleness, luxury, licentiousness, and minded, and enmity against God.
cruel oppression of the poor and needy; and If we take a view even of true believers, we are humbly sensible, that it has been the shall not fail to discover abundant evidence of Lord's doing, that they were not left to live, the same mortifying truth. They know, that die, and perish in the same manner. They they were “by nature children of wrath, even look at apostates and hypocrites, at proud as others:" they were depraved and polluted, Pharisees and prouder infidels; and in conand of the same original propensities as Amo-demning them, they condemn themselves: for rites and Hittites. As they grew up, their in- such they have been, or were disposed to be. nate depravity brought forth its fruit in their And though, through grace, they now are not words and actions, and proved them to be de- || such; yet they so often sin against light and serving of God's wrath' and indignation, and love, that their conduct seems to theinselves meet objects of his loathing and abhorrence.equally aggravated, even when no eye, but Unless he had saved them, they must have that of God and their enlightened conscienperished, without help or pity; and they had ces, can see any thing culpable. This disposno claim on him so that they were “cast outes them to justify God in all his corrections, to the loathing of their persons, from the day which they find to be indispensably necessary that they were born.” But, in a time of love for them, and to thank him for them: and and mercy, the Lord passed by them, when whilst they adore his justice in the final dethey lay in this polluted and perishing condi-struction of impenitent sinners, they have tion: "of his great love, wherewith be loved nothing to say in their own behalf, but feel, them, even when they were dead in sin," he that though more favored, they are no more said unto them, “Live," and saved them by his deserving. Thus the new convert remembers, grace: he rescued them from the power of Sa- and is confounded, whilst he reviews the inian, brought them to repentance and faith iniquities of bis past life, and discovers the enChrist, forgave their sins, and took them into mity of his heart against God and his word. covenant with himself, and they became his The experienced believer is “ashamed and people. Thus were they “washed, and sanc- confounded," whilst be reviews the evils of titied, and justified, in the name of the Lord | bis heart and life, even since he was brought Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God;" they acquainted with the Gospel; and bis mouth is were consecrated to him by this sacred unc- stopped from impatient murmurs, proud boasttion; they were clothed with the robes of right-ling, severe censures, and self-justification: and eousness and salvation, enriched with the the fuller his assurance is that the Lord is unsearchable riches of Christ," adorned with “pacified to him for all that he hath done,” the heavenly graces and privileges; and the God | more is he ashamed of his ingratitude and reof Heaven became unto them both a Father bellion against so merciful a God and Savior. and a Husband: it is his "good pleasure to give This temper of mind distinguishes the true them the kingdom;" and they are made the Christian from all other men: the Lord will excellent of the earth, “through the comeli- bring all those to it, with whom he "establishness which he puts upon them." Far be it es his everlasting covenant;" and will render from us to suppose, that many of those, who them willing to be saved in the same way with have been thus favored and blessed, return to the grossest outward offenders, and to receive the habitual practice of any gross wickedness: them, when peniteut, as their brethren in but alas! too often even in them, pride and the Christ Jesus. All others will have their mouths carnal mind recover much force; they back- stopped in the day of judgment; and God will slide from God, and pursue worthless vani- glorify himself, and satisfy his justice in their ties and idols. Some 'few have been left to punishment. fall from one evil to another, in a inost awful But let us rejoice, that, as the Lord would inanner; to shew whither the bent of their not break his covenant with his ancient serhearts would carry them, if left to themselves, vants, because of all the abominations of their and if they should cease to watch and pray || descendants; so, he will never forsake his Others have, in an unguarded hour, givenchurch, with whom he has made "a new covsuch cause to the enemies of the Lord to blas- enant, established upon better promises;” nor pheme, as has imbittered all their future days. I will be ever leave the sinner to perish, who is And even they, who walk most uniformly in hunbled for his sins, and comes to trust in his the Lord's ways, are conscious of so many and mercy and grace through Jesus Christ; but strong inward workings of pride and ambi- will keep him by his power through fait tion; of suca powerful propensities to worldly l unto salvation."
--19. 2 Sam. 12:1-4. Hos. 12:10. Matt. 13:13,14,35. Mark 4:33,34. I Cor. 13:12. marg. b 7,12.
13. Jer. 37.5—7.
8:1. Matt. 24:28. c Dan. 2:38. 4:22. 7:4.
24:8-10. 39:47. 52:7–11. m Jer. 37:10. n 19:1.-14. Hos. 13:15. Matt. 21:19. Mark 11:20. John 15: 6. Jude 12.
Num. 14:41. 2 Chr. 13:12. 20:20. Is. 8:9,10. 30:1–7. 31:1-3. Jer. 32:5.
2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and brought forth branches, and shot forth speak a parable unto the house of Israel; sprigs.
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; 7 There was also another great eagle A great eagle with great wings, long with great wings and many feathers: and, winged, full of feathers, which had * di- behold, this vine did bend her roots tovers colors, o came unto Lebanon, and tookward him, and shot forth her branches tothe highest branch of the cedar:
ward him, that he might water it by the 4 He cropped off the top of his young furrows of her plantation. twigs, and carried it e into a land of traf- 8 It was planted in a good soil by fic; he set it in a city of merchants. great waters, that it might bring forth
5 He took also of the seed of the branches, and that it might bear fruit, that land, and planted it in a fruitful field; & heit might be a goodly vine. placed it by great waters, and set it as a 9 Say thou, Thus saith the Lord God; willow tree.
* Shall 'it prosper? shall he not pull up 6 And it grew, and became a spread the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereing vine of low stature, whose branches of, that it wither? it shall wither in all the turned toward him, and the roots thereof leaves of her spring, even without great were under him; so it became a vine, and power or many people to pluck it up by a 20:49. Judg. 9:8-15, 14:12 Chr. 36:9,10. Jer. 22:23—28. || the roots thereuf.
10 Yea, behold, being planted, shall it
prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when Deut. 28:49. Jer. 4:13. r 13. 2 Kings 24:17. Jer. 37:1. 48:40. 49:16. Lam. 4:19. Hos. 1 Heb. put it in a field of seed.
i 15. 2 Kings 24:20. 2 Chr 36: 1 2 Kings 25:4—7. Jer. 21:4—7. 110,15-17.
1 Heb. field. 5,6. • Heb. embroidering. 2 Kings 24:10-16. 2 NOTES.
emn oath in the name of JEHOVAH, to be faithChap. XVII. V.2. A riddle.). That is, an ful to him; and having changed his name to emblematic representation, which requires at- | Zedekiah, which signifies “the righteousness of tention and ingenuity to unravel it, but which JEHOVAH,” he made him king over the naaptly and elegantly depictures the transaction. (2 Kings 24:17.). Thus he planted of the tions intended by it. Tbis riddle seems to
seed of the land in a fruitful field, as a willow liave been put
forth about the time, when Zed- || fourishes when planted by great waters. And ekiah was devising to revolt from the king of though the kingdom was depressed and deBabylon, and to form an alliance with the king pendent; yet Zedekiah's situation was so faof Egypt... Marg. Ref:- Notes, 20:49. Judg. vorable, and the conditions granted him so 9:8–15. 14:10–14. Ps. 49:1-4,'v. 4. Prov. 1: moderate, that by keeping of the covenant, it 6.)
might have stood. Indeed, for a time this V. 3, 4. (11, 12.) Nebuchadnezzar, king of twig grew, and became a spreading vine of Babylon, was described under the emblem of low stature: and so long as Zedekiah and his a great eagle,” because of his towering am- || princes
were willing to depend on the king of bition, and his preying on all his neighbors. Babylon, and to submit to him, the Jews ened the extent of his dominions, both in length (Marg. and Marg. Res.) The great and long wings of this eagle denot- joyed peace and recovered strength, and Zed
ekiah prospered in his kingdom and family. and breadth: the feathers of divers colors, might signify that he ruled over many coun
A willow tree. (5) nords. The meaning of this tries abounding in people and riches, and of word is doubtful; some render the clause, “He different languages and manners. This eagle set it very circumspectly.” Nebuchadnezzar came to Lebanon, and cropped off the high-|| took every precaution to prevent Zedekiah's est branch of a cedar: that is, Nebuchadnez- revolting from him. (Marg. Ref. on 12,13.) zar came to Jerusalem, and seized on Jeco- V. 7, 8. The other great eagle was Pharaohniah, of the ancient and honorable family of hophıra king of Egypt, who was as ambitious David. And though he was the bighest and rapacious as Nebuchadnezzar, but not so branch of the cedar, the heir of David's crown;| powerful. This eagle had great wings and yet being very young, and newly raised to the inany feathers, but not equal to those of the throne, in a very enfeebled state of the king-other eagle. Yet the vine bent its roots, and dom, he was no more able to resist the victor,shot its branches towards it; in order to be than the tender twig would be to resist the watered "by the furrows of its plantation." eagle. He therefore carried him and his princes This may refer to the inundations of the Nile, to Babylon, which was become "a city of mer- and the manner in which Egypt was watered. chants in a land of traffic,” being very pros- Zedekiah planned a revolt from the king of perous under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar.Babylon, and entered into an alliance with the Marg; and Marg. Ref: Notes, Deut. 28:49– king of Egypt; either hoping to recover inde57, v. 49. 2 Kings 24:8-16. Jer. 22:24–27.)-pendence by his assistance; or preferring to be The word rendered traffic, is Canaan, which his vassal rather than Nebuchadnezzar's, as signifies trade, or merchandise. (Zeph. 1:11. expecting greater prosperity and security unHeb. Zech. 14:21. John 2:16.)
der him. But he had no sufficient, or even V. 5, 6. The conqueror did not at that timeplansible reason for this treacherous conduct; further oppress or enslave the Jews; nor place being already in such a situation, as would over them any of his own princes: but he took || have enabled him to reign in credit, and to be Mattanial of the family of David, Josiah's useful to his people. . (Marg. and Marg: Ref: younger son, the uncle of Jeconiah; and hav-11-Notes, 13-21. 2 Kings 24:20. 2 Chr. 36:13 ing engaged him by covenant, and by a sol-ll Jer. 37:1-5.)
the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither | made him king, whose oath he despised in the furrows where it grew.
and whose covenant he brake, e even with 1 1 Moreover the word of the LORD him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. came unto me, saying,
17 Neither I shall Pharaoh, with his 12 Say now to the rebellious house, mighty army and great company, make P Know ye not what these things mean? for him in the war, 8 by casting up mounts, tell them, 4 Behold, the king of Babylon is and building forts, to cut off many percome to Jerusalem, and hath taken the sons: king thereof, and the princes thereof, 'and 18 Seeing he despised the oath by led them with him to Babylon;
breaking the covenant, (when, "lo, he had 13 And Shath taken of the king's seed, I given his hand,) and hath done all these and made a covenant with him, and haih | things, he shall not escape. * taken an oath of him, he hath also taken 19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; the mighty of the land:
As I live, * surely mine oath that he hath 14 That the kingdom might be base, despised, and my covenant that he hath that it might not lift itself up, but that broken, even it will I recompense upon his * by keeping of his covenant it might own head. stand.
20 And I will spread my net upon 15 But y he rebelled against him ? in him, and he shall be taken in my snare, sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that and I will bring him to Babylon, and will they might give him horses and much peo-plead with him there, for his trespass ple: Shall he prosper? shall he escape that he hath trespassed against me. that doeth such things? or shall he break 21 And all bis fugitives with all his the covenant, and be delivered?
bands shall fall by the sword, and they that 16 As I live, saith the Lord God, sure- || remain shall be scattered toward all winds: ly in the place where the king dwelleth that and ye shall know that I the Lord have
spoken it. 20. Josh. 4:6,21. Matt. 13:51. Heb. to keep his covenant, to
o 2:5,8. 3:9. 129. Is. 1:2.
2:7,30. Neh. 9:36.37. Lam. 5:
Mark 4:13. stand to it. Luke 9:45. Acts 8:30.
i Jer. 27:12-17. 38:17-21. 4 3. 1:2. 2 Kings 24:10—16. 2 y 7. 2 Kings 24:20. Jer. 52-3. Chr. 36:9,10. Jer. 22:21-28.2 Deut. 17:16. Is. 30:1-4. 36:6 rls. 39:7. Jer. 52:31–34.
-9. Jer. 37:5-7. 85. 2 Kings 24:17. Jer. 37:1. a See on 9.-Jer. 22:29,30. •Heb. brought him to an oath. b 18. 21:25. Prov. 19:5. Jer. 2 Chr. 36:13. Jer. 5:2.
32:4. 34:3. 38:18, 23. Matt. 23: t 2 Kings 24:15,16. Jer, 24:1. 33. Heb. 2:3. 29:2.
c Ps. 55:23 u 6. 29:14. Deut. 28:43. Sam
d See on 18,19.-16:59 Ex, 20: I k 21:23.-27. Deut. 5.11. Jer.
5-7. Lam. 1:13. 4:20. Hos.
m 20:35,36. 38:22, Jer. 2:9,35. f 29:6,7. Is. 36:6. Jer. 37:7. 50:44. Hos. 2:2. Mic. 6:2 Lam, 4:17.
5:12. 12:14. 2 Kings 25-5,11. 8 4:2. Jer. 33:5. 52:4.
Jer. 48:44. 52:8. Am. 9.1. h 1 Chr. 29:24. 2 Chr. 30:8. o See on 6:7,10. 13:14,23. 15.7. margins. Lam. 5:6.
Is, 26:11. i See on 15.
V.9, 10. It could not be expected, that this go unpunished? He had given the power into vine should prosper: the eagle that planted it Nebuchadnezzar's hand: Zedekiah had acwould certainly root it up, destroy all its fruit,cepted the kingdom upon the terms proposed and cause all its leaves to wither, even in the to hiin, and had ratified the covenant with a solspring when other trees looked green: and emn oath: and then he did not hesitate to break this would be done very easily, as a sınall it, that he might form an alliance with another force suffices to pull up a newly planted vine heathen king? And ought he to escape punish; by the roots. Though it had been carefully ment, who did such things? or to be delivered planted, and was well watered, yet it would by his base perfidy? (Marg, Ref: yC-See on soon wither in its place, as a tree by the blast | Note,5,6. Notes, 21:23–27.) The Lord thereof the unwholesome east wind. (Marg. Ref.- fore sware by himself, as the living God, Notes, 15–21. 19:10—13.).
(whom Zedekiah had called to witness, when V. 12. Know ye not, &c.) “Will ye not apply | he sware allegiance to the king of Babylon,) 'your minds to understand what God speaks that he should die in captivity at Babylon; 'to you? and that, whether he direct his speech | especially for despising his oath, and breaking 'to you in plain words, or in riddles and para- | his covenant. Nor should Pharaoh, whose 'bles? (12:2,9. 20:49.)' Lowth. (Marg. Ref.- || formidable preparations threatened the deNote, 2.)
struction of the Chaldeans, do Zedekiah any V.'13, 14. Marg, and Murg. Ref.-Notes, 3 good, but should rather occasion the destruc-6.
Mighty, &c.° (13) “As hostages for the tion of greater numbers of the Jews: for the “performance of the covenants, agreed between Lord himself would fight against them to their him and Zedekiah.' Loroth.-Base. (14) Orruin. (Marg. Ref. d-0.-Notes, 12:8-15, rv. low. It is the same word before used. (6) A 13,14. 2 Kings 24:17,20.25:1-7. Jer. 21:1-7. tributary kingdom dependent on the king of 34:1–5. 37:1-5,6—10, v. 10.)- Though ZedeBabylon: so that Zedekiah was in less honor-kial's oath had been given to a heathen, a able circumstances than any of his predeces- | conqueror, and a tyrant; and many plausible sors. (Note, 29:14,15.) Submission, however, || reasons might have been assigned for violatto Providence would have been his duty, evening it; yet God considered Zedekiah's conif he had not engaged by covenant and oath to duct as a most aggravated sin against him, be faithful to Nebuchadnezzar.
and was determined to punish him for it: V. 15—21. Zedekiah and his people ex- | “Surely mine oath hath he despised; and my pected to prosper by their worldly policy; but covenant hath he broken." - What'shall we would Gud permit such perfidy and perjury toll then say to the maxim, that faith is not to be 22 Thus saith the Lord God; I will goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all also take of P the highest branch of the towl of every wing: in the shadow of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off branches thereof shall they dwell. from the top of his young twigs 9 a tender 24 And u all the trees of the fields shall one, and will plant it " upon an high moun- know, that I the LORD * have brought tain and eminent.
down the high tree, have exalted the low 23 In the mountain of the height of Is-i tree, have dried up the green tree, and ael will I plant it: Sand it shall bring have made the dry tree to flourish: y I the forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a LORD have spoken and have done it.
p 34:29. Ps. 80:15. Is. 4:2. 11:20:40. 40:2. Ps. 2:6. Is. 2:2. 1-5.
Jcr. 23:5,6. 33:15,16. Dan. 2:35,44,45. Mic. 4:1. Zech. 3:8. 4:12-14. 6:12, 13. s Ps. 92:12, 13. Is. 27:6. John q See on Is. 53:2.
t 31:6. Gen. 49:10. Ps. 22:27 | u Ps. 96:11,12. Is. 55:12,13. -30. 72:8-11. Is. 2:2. 11:6 x 1 Sam. 2.7,8. Job 5:11. 40: 10. 49:18-23. 60:
4-12 12. Ps. 75:6,7. 89:a8-45. Is Dan. 4:10-14,21-23. Hos. 2:13,14. 9:6,7. 11:1,&c. 26:5 14:7.
Matt. 13:32. Acts 10: Am. 9:11. Luke 1:33,52. 11,12, Gal. 3:8.
Col. 3:11. y 12:25, 22:14 24:14. Matt. Rev. 1]:15,
. The Lord would not, however, peror' and obserupe, and live hardly by honest
kept with heretics? or that any human power righteous God, to perform a part of his grand can absolve men from the obligations of a sol-design; and till their work be done, they prosemn oath?
per in their enterprises. It is far more desiraBy casting up, &c. (17) The Jews, expect-ible to be like "a spreading vine of low stature" ing help from Pharaoh, persisted in the deter- which brings forth fruit, than to prosper in mination to defend the city, and to employ doing evil: and if we be "planted in the courts every means of fortifying it, against the assail- ||of the Lord,” if our branches turn towards ants: but these efforts served only to prolong him, and our roots draw nourishment from and increase their miseries, and multiply the him; we shall be “ike a tree planted by the number of those who perished during the rivers of waters, which bringeth forth its fruit siege and after the taking of the city. (Marg. in due season. ( Notes, Ps. 1:1–3. 92:12–15.
Jer. 17:5—8, vv. 7,8.) we be kept forget his engagements to the family of David, industry: we shall notwithstanding be more while he punished this degenerate branch of comfortable, as well as more useful, than the it. He would plant a tender shoot cropped most successful of the ungodly. But they, from the highest branch of this high cedar. who depart from God, can only vary and mulSome refer this to Zerubbabel, who ruled over tiply their crimes, by exchanging one carnal the Jews after the captivity: but if he were at confidence for another: and, notwithstanding all meant, it could only be as a type of Christ. their fair prospects and sanguine hopes, they This plant was first at his incarnation appar- never can attain to durable prosperity:-Prinently a tender one; but after his humiliation, ces and politicians are very apt to trifle with ufferings, and death, he was exalted to the solemn oaths and treaties, and to devise speright hand of the Father, and made "Head cious pretences for violating them: but the over all things to his church;", and thus be Lord will not hold them guiltless, who thus came a "Plant of renown.” (Marg. Ref:p, 9. take his name in vain:” and few of them will - Notes, Ps. 80:14,15. Is. 9:6,7. 11:1-10. 52: be able to plead more plausibly for perfidy and 13--15. 53:1—3,9—12. Zech. 6:12,13.) The perjury, than Zedekiah might have done; high and eminent mountain, on which he was against whom these awful threatenings were planted, signified the Christian church, of denounced, for breaking his covenant with which mount Zion was the type. There he the king of Babylon, and despising the oath" grows, as "the true Vine," or as the stately sworn to him.-Rulers and nations seldom Cedar, or both in one, and all his people are prosper who commit atrocious crimes: but no united to bin, and live in him. Under the man shall escape the righteous judgment of shadow and among the branches of this tree, God, who dies under the unrepented guilt of "dwell all fowl of every wing:" that is, sinners such iniquity and impiety: for, as sure as the of every nation, rank, and character find ref- Lord livethi, he will recompense them upon uge in Christ. "And all the inhabitants of the the sinner's head; and the sinful methods, earth, and especially the rulers of it, will kuow which men take of extricating themselves out the power, truth, justice, and love of God, in of difficulties, are sure to entangle them in these events; in bringing down the kingdoin snares and vets, to their great misery or ruin. of David when it was exalted, and withering it --Blessed be God, our Redeemer, to whom all when it flourished; and then in exalting it from the prophets hare witness, differs wholly, from its depressed state, and causing it to flourish these degenerate branches of the family of when it was withered. Or the high and green David. flis word is truth, his arm is power, tree may refer to the kingdom of Babylon and and his heart is love. He is "planted upon a all those other kingdoms, which have been high and eminent mountain,” that he may be and will be destroyed to make way for the conspicuous even to the ends of the earth: he kingdom of Christ. (Marg. Ref. r-ý.-Votes, is loaded with most precious fruit: sinners of 21:23—27, vo. 26,27. 34:23–31. Is. 2:2–5. every name find refuge from the wrath to come Dan. 2:34,35,44,45. 7:13,14,23—27. An. 9:11,12. and from every enemy and danger, under his Zech. 8:20–23. John 15:1–8. 1 Cor. 15:20–28. shadow: and believers not only partake of his Rev. 11:15–18.)
precious fruits, but are also made fruitful hy
him; yea, many of them are “filled with all the PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. fruits of righteousness, which are through him The greatest exploits of mighty conquerors, to the praise and glory of God the Father.” when impartially represented, resemble the May every power, however flourishing and exravages of birds and beasts of prey; except as'' alted, which opposes his cause, be brought low their power and success render them more ex-! and withered: may his kingdom be exalted and tensively destructive, and as they devour their prosper; and may he whole earth behold and own species. But they are employed by a'i be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. VOL. IV. 65