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Jeremiah lament» Jerusalem'» misery, and she is directed to «te earnestly for mercy and /lardon.
1 TTOW hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a J_ JL cloud in his anger, [and] cast down from heaven unto the earth the temfile, the beauty of Israel, and remembered not
2 the ark his footstool in the day of his anger! The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought [them] down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof, even the
3 royal family which he had chosen himself. He hath cut off in [his] fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand, his wonted assistance, from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, [which] devoureth
4 round about. He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all [that were] pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion, the honourable, the reverend and the young; he poured out his
5 fury like fire. The Lord ivas as an enemy, like a lion: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the
6 daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as [if it were of] a garden; as if it Too* a hovel or shed in a garden, conteinfitiulc and easily removed: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the
7 king and the priest. The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast; but a very different noise, not the shout of n'orshifi[iers, but of enemies; not the dying groans of victims, tut of the viorshi/i/iers themselves.
в The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion : he hath stretcher! out a line in righteo-uaness, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made th* rampart and the wall to lament: they languished together.
9 Her gates are sunk into the crround ; he hath destroytd and broken her bars: her king and her princes [are] among the Gentiles: the law [is] no [more ;] her prophets also find no vision from the Lord ; her firiests and nobles are gone, the book of the law is destroyed, her ivorsliifi is impracticable, some of her fin/ihets are cajitives, others have no vision, or none that it
10 comfortable. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, [and] keep silence : they have cast up dust upon the* heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth; the vir
11 gins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, or, lam wounded to the liver, and my gall it fioured out, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of
12 the eity. They say to their mothers, who mice lived in affluence, Where [is] corn and wine ? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into
13 their mother's bosom. What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, О daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, О virgin daughter of Zion? as if he had said, Jam guile at a loss to Jind any simile strong enough; where can we ßnd such an instance
of distress? for thy breach [is] great like the sea; there can be
14 no means found tost oft the inundation: who can heal thee? Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to. turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment; they have not dealt /ilainly, but have deceived thee with false liofies and
15 flattering firofihecies, which have hastened thy ruin. All that pass by dap [their] hands at thee ; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, [saying, Is] this the city that [men}
16 call The "perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth? All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth : they say, We have swallowed [her] up: certainly this [is] the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen [it,] we exfiected it would come to this, and we could
17 wish for nothing more. The Lord hath done [that] which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word, that he hath commanded in the days of old ; that is, the threatening« of his law, (Lev. xxvi. 16.) he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied : and he hath caused [thine] enemy to rejoice over thee, he hatli set up the
11 horn of thine adversaries. Their heart cried unto the Lord, О wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest: let not the apple of thine eye
19 cease. Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.
20 Behold, О Lord, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, [and] children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the
21 Lord? The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword ; tliou luist slain [them] in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed [and]
23 not pitied. Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors roundabout, so that in the day of the Lonu's an.ajer none escaped iior remained: those that I have swaddled and brought u¡> hath mine enemy consumed; wherever I turn, I see terror* coming as thick as I have seen tUorshifijiera coming from all ¡шпа, in the days of our feast».
I. "\7[7"E must acknowledge that it is just in God to take awajr V V those privileges which men abuse. Israel had manyglorious advantages above other nations, but they grew careless, disobedient, and presumptuous ; therefore God was righteous in taking them away. He destroyed the tabernacle, which they had neglected ; made the ways of Zion mourn, which they had forsaken; he caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to cease, which they had deserted and profaned; he took away the prophets, whom they had ill treated, and the law which they had forgotten. Let us take •warning by this; for if we do not value and improve our Christian privileges, God will take them away. Let us remember, whence -me have fallen, and refient, left he come quickly and take hit candlestick from its.
2. In God's dealings with his church, it is good to take notice of the accomplishment of his word. This Israel is often reminded of, that the Lord hath done what he hath proposed and devised, and fulfilled the word which he commanded in the days of old. There is a constant agreement between the declarations of God's word, and the events of his providence; and the more carefully we compare them together, the greater reason we shall see to acknowledge that his judgments are right, and to be afraid of his just indignation.
3. The want of faithfulness and plainness in Christian ministers, is one source of national calamities. It is their duty to discover to men their iniquities, and to show them their sins, in order to prevent their everlasting banishment from God and happiness. If they flatter them, and address them as if all was well, when they know, or have reason to believe, that they are yet in their sins, they are false prophets, are accessary to the ruin of souls, and endanger their own salvation. We should therefore allow them to deal plainly with us, becaxise they are thereby consulting our happiness, as •well as discharging their own duty.
4. Prayer ought to be our business, and will be our best relief in time of trouble. An instructive view is here given us of the nature of prayer, and that fervency in it which we ought to manifest, i>. 19. It is cnjing to the Lord, lifting u/i the hands toward him, with earnestness and importunity, pouring out the heart like water; so free and full and particular should our supplications be. Is any man afßicted, let him thus pray; stir ufi himself to take hold on God; and he
the best time and way deliver him out of all his distresses.
fhe prophet in this chapter encourages the people to resignation, and to trust in the divine mercy; fie -vindicates the goodness of God in all his dispensations, and the unreasonableness of murmuring under them; he recommends self examination and repentance; and then, from their experience of former deliverances, encourages them to took to God for the pardon of their sins, and retribution to their enemies. The chapter is poetical, like the former; but as may be seen by the length of the verses, is of different measure: it contains twenty two periods, according to the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet ; and fach period contains thref verses, ivhich have all the same initial letter.
1 T [AM] the man [that] hath seen affliction by the rod of his
2 JL wrath; representing the case of his country as his own. He hath led me, and brought [me into] darkness, but not [into] light.
"Surely against jne is he turned, he who was formerly kind to me;
4 he turnet K his hand [against me] all the day. My flesh and my
4> skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. He hath
builded against me, and compassed [me] with gall and travel.
6 He hath set me in dark places, as [they that be] dead of old.
7 He hath hedged ще about, that I cannot get out; there ie no possibility of my escape: he hath made my chain heavy ; I am
8 like a malefactor strongly fettered. Algo when I cry and shout,
9 he shutteth put my prayer. He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked ; / try every may
JO and place to get out of my trouble, but cannot. He [was] unto
11 me [as] a bear, lying in wait, [and as] a lion in secret places. He hath turned aside my ways, cut off my retreat, and turned frill u/t
12 on me, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate. He
13 hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. He hath caused this arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins; he
14 h^th given me mortal and incurable wounds. I was a derision to altmy people; or, the people of my enemies; [and] their song all
l s the day. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me
1 б drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with
gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes; or, deceived me
17 with ashes, giving ще ashes instead of bread, And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity, and
18 despaired of its return. And I said, My strength and my hope is
19 perished from the Lord : Remembering mine affliction and my
20 misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath [them] still in remembrance, and is humbled in me; I have still new occa
21 sions to recollect them. This I recall ю my mind, that is, this which follows; I have yet stores of comfort, therefore have I hope.
22 [It is of] the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, bt2Л cause his compassions fail not. [They are] new every moru• Vol. V. K k k
24 ing: great [is] thy faithfulness. The Lord [is] my portion,
25 saith my soul ; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord [is] good
26 uuto them that wait for him, to the soul [that] seeketh him. [It is] good that a [man] should both hope and quietly wait for the
27 salvation of the Lord. [It is] good for a man that he bear the
28 yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne [it] upon him; when it is laid upon him he
29 i* div/iosed to serious reflection and consideration. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope of regaining the
SO divine favour. He giveth [his] cheek to him that smiteth him; he submits to injuries from men: he is filled full with reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause
32 grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of
his mercies; he will filcad the cause of his people, and bring them
33 out cf captivity. For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve
34 the children of men. To crush under his feet all the prisoners
35 of the earth, by -violence or fraud, To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High, without any regard to
36 him, To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not; but is difi/iieased with these things, and will famish them; аз if he had said, Though God gave the Israélite» into the hands of their enemies, yet he disapproved of their inhuman and cruel conduct} and •wilt reckon with them for it.
37 Who [is] he [that] saith, and it cometh to pass, [when] the
38 Loao commandeth [it] not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? or, doth not evil and good come from him? that is, however they may öoast, he overrule*
39 their designs. Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man
40 for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try our ways,
41 and turn again to t';e Í.ord. Let us lift up our heart with [our]
42 hands untr, God ¡u the heavens. We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoped ; hast not removed thy judgment»
43 from us. Thou hast covered thy face with anger, and persecuted
44 us: thou hast slain, tliou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that [our] prayer should not pass through..
45 Thou hast made us [as] the offscouring and refuse in the midst
46 of the people. All our enemies have opened their mouths
47 against us. Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and
48 destruction. Mine eye runneth down with rivers of w'ater for
49 the destruction of the daughter of my people. Mine eye trick«
50 leth down and ceaseth not, without any intermission, Till the
51 Lord look down and behold from heaven. Mine eye aflecteth mine heart because pf all the daughters of my city; or, because of the desolation of (he city and country, and the calamities which I
52 see in the towns and cities about Jerusalem. Mine enemies chas
53 ed me sore, like a bird without cause. They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and casta stone upon me; this was applicable to Jeremiah literally, and, figuratively to others; all are de
54 scribed an one persw in deefi distress. Waters flowed over mine