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itants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem,
which were so well fortified, and had been in some instances so mi13 raculously preserved. For the sins of her prophets, [and] the
iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just im
the midst of her, the blood of God's faithful prophets and people. 14 They have wandered [as] blind (men) in the streets, they have
polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments ; there were so many dead carcasses, that they
could not go by without touching them, and 80 were polluted them 15 selves, and polluted others. They cried unto them, Depart ye ;
(it is) unclean ; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered,* they said among the heathen, They shall no
more sojourn (there;} they shall never return to their own land. 16 The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no more
regard them : they respected not the persons of the priests,
they favoured not the elders; no respect was shown to their chare 17 acter and office. As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain
help : in our watching we have watched for a nation [that] 18 could not save [us ;) that is, the Egyptians. They hunt our
steps, that we cannot go in our streets ; they have raised their batteries so high, as to shoot us in the streets ; or it may rather refer to their watching at the corners of the streets for those that
lay hid : our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is 19 come.
Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven : they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for 20 us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the anointed
of the LORD, was taken in their pits, or toils ; Zedekiah was taken like a wild beast, of whom we said, Under his shadow we
shall live among the heathen ; we might have enjoyed some govo 21 ernment and religion there. Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of
Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz ;t yet the cup also shall
pass through unto thee : thou shalt be dranken, and shalt make 22 thyself naked. The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplish
ed, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity ; thou shalt not be utterly cast off, thy captivity shall be short : he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom ; he will discover thy sins ; he will show how great they have been, by his heavier judgment upon thee, upon whom he will inflict a long and lasting punishment.
REFLECTIONS. 1. E E how dreadful a calamity famine is, and let us be thankful
that we do not experience it. It is represented as worse than mortal wounds, yea, worse than the destruction of Sodom. A hor.
• This I understand of the heathen upbraiding them : they used to call the heathen un. clean, and bid them depart, now they take up the language, and apply it to the Jews; Depart ye unclean, or polluted, de part, depart.
† This is spoken ironically; like Solomon, “Rejoice, O'young man in the youtb ;" thai mayest du se for a time
rible description of what doubtless was a fact ; children that could not shift for themselves, crying for bread ; parents forced to neglect them ; even those who have been delicately fed and clothed perishing on dunghills ; and women eating their own children. How thankful should we be for public peace, that we have food convenient. for ourselves and families; and when we sit down to a plentiful table, let us make a serious, solemn business of acknowledging thei bounty of God.
2. We are taught that'no privileges will secure a sinful nation. Here we see the temple destroyed ; its gold blackened, the Lord's anointed carried captive, the priests, elders, and Nazarites of Israel, destroyed ; and all this was the effect of their own sin. Even the heathen remarked this, and upbraided them with their pretended sanctity. If persons who profess religion and boast of their privileges, are wicked, and abuse them, all the world will cry shame on them, and the righteous God will make them contemptible and miserable.
3. God can deprive men of those comforts from which they ex-; pected most satisfaction. While the Jews had a king and priests, they thought they should at least enjoy some security and repose ; but God deprived them; of both. If we make any creatures the breath of our nostrils ; if they be too dear to us, and our lives be bound up in theirs, it will be just in God to take away their breath ; to convince us of our folly, and lead us to glorify him, in whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways.
4. Observe the difference between God's treatment of läs people and his enemies. The punishment of Zion was indeed great and . dreadful, yet it was soon accomplished ; they were not utterly cast off. But the punishment of Edom was equally great, and there was no restoration. If God's people sin, they shall suffer ; but their affliction is a fatherly chastisement ; and when the end is answered, it shall be removed ; while his enemies, especially those who insult over the unfortunate, and rejoice in the calamity of the church, shall be utterly destroyed. Let it therefore be our desire, to be chastened of the Lord, rather than to be condemned with the world.
CHAP. V. This is as it were an Epiphonema, or conclusion to the preceding chan
ters, representing the nation as groaning under their calamities, and humbly supplicating the divine favour. * 1 2 and behold our reproach among the heathen. Our inher. 3 itance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens. We are
A greater variety of beautiful, tender, and pathetic images, all expressive of deep distress and sorrow. were never more happily chosen and applied, than in these incomparable elegies of Jeremish.
orphans, and fatherless, our mothers (are) as widows, destitute of all help, and exposed to all wrong. We have drunken our water for money ; our wood is sold unto us, whereas before we 5 had plenty of both. Our necks (are) under persecution : we
labour, [and] have no rest ; we are slaves to cur enemies, and 6 have no rest on our sabbaths. We have given the hand (to) the
Egyptians, (and to) the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread;
we have sold ourselves for slaves among those people to whom we 7 fled for shelter. Our fathers have sinned, (and are) not ; they
are dead; and we have borne their iniquities ; undergone the
punishment of them ; by following their transgressions, and not 8 taking warning by their calamities, we are quite ruined. Servants
have ruled over us ; the Chaldeans allowed their servants to ofi
press them, and did not interpose : (there is) none that doth de9 liver [us] out of their hand. We gat our bread with the peril
of] our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness; if they
went out of the city into the plain to get provisions, they were de10 stroyed by the sword. Our skin was black like an oven, because Il of the terrible famine. They ravished the women in Zion, [and] *12 the maids in the cities of Judah. Princes are hanged up by their
hand, by the hand of the Chaldeans : the faces of the elders were *13 not honoured. They took the young men to grind, and the
children fell under the wood ;' under the burdens of wood; they
did the work of slaves, and great birdens were luid upon children, 14 so that they fainted under them. The elders have ceased from
the gate, the young men from their music ; they can no longer 15 entertain themselves or us. The joy of our heart is ceased'; our
dance is turned into mourning ; all entertainments and diversions 16 are at an end. The crown is fallen (from) our head : wo unto
us, that we have sinned ! our kings and priests, and all our glory. 17 are gone because of our sins. For this our heart is faint ; for 18 these (things) our eyes are dim. Because of the mountain of
Zion, which is desekate, the foxes walk upon it as in desolate 19 places. Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from
generation to generation ; all our comfort is derived from thine
eternity, unchangeableness, and faithfulness to thy promises. 20 Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, [and] forsake us so long 21 time ? Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turn
ed ; renew our days as of old ; restore us to our former flourish
ing state. The prophel then concludes with an humble expostula22 tion. But thou hast utterly rejected us ; or, wilt thou utterly
reject us ? thou art very wroth against us ; or, thou hast been wroth with us exceedingly.
REFLECTIONS, , 1. E are here taught one general lesson, which cannot be
too often inculcated, that it is sin which deprives us of our most valuable blessings. After the melancholy detail which
the prophet here gives of the dreadful misery of his people, he sums op all in these words; Wo unto us, for we have sinned! our ruir is owing to ourselves ; sin is the source of our calamities. Every painful effect should still be traced up to this cause ; and it becomes us seriously to lay it to heart.
2. When men have departed from God, his converting grace is necessary to bring them back. We often meet with the prophet's supplication in scripture ; turn thou us, and we shall be turned. Men are bent to backslide, but loth to return, and unable of themselves to do it. : How necessary then is it, that those who are convinced of sin should offer up their earnest supplications to God, that he would convert them : and if he exert his mighty power, how long and how deeply soever they bave revokted, their souls will be restored, and led in the paths of righteousness.
3. The unchangeableness of God is the great comfort of his afflicted people. It is their duty to imitate the prophet in pouring out their complaints before the Lord : and (to encourage their hopes) to fix their thoughts on God's eternity, his perpetual dominion, and unchangeable glories. The changes of the world affect not him ; he sees, directs, and overrules them all : he is the same when the world is in confusion and the church in danger, as when all things are easy and happy. Let this preserve our peace, and animate our kope in every distressing case, that the Lord shall reign for ever, and thy God, o Zion! throughout ell generations
END OF THE FIFTH VOLUME.