Imatges de pÓgina
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manner of the refurrection; but also the end and purpose that is to be effected by this great and ftupendous miracle. But no one, will be fo hardy, as to prefume to affert that, this hath at all been accomplished: not at their return from Babylon; nor yet at the time of Jefus whence it is manifeft, that this important principle, as well as all the others above mentioned, remain to be fulfilled at the future restoration of the nation, by the hands of the true Meffiah.

DISSERTATION IV.

The Prophecies of feremiah.

THE fourth who prophecied concerning the future redemption, happiness, and falvation of the nation, was, Jeremiah the fon of Hilkiah; and from whofe writings, I shall select fuch prophecies, as speak in a clear, and unequivocal manner, of their reftoration; and the happiness they are to enjoy under a prince of the house of David,

&c.

The first prophecy commences verfe 14th,

of

of Chapter iiid. and is continued to the end of the second verse of chapter ivth.

The Prophet having been commanded to addrefs the ten tribes, as in verfe 12. 13. "Go and proclaim these words towards the north*, and fay, Return, O thou backfliding Ifrael, faith the LORD; (and) I will not let my wrath fall upon you; for I am merciful faith the LORD; (and) I will not reserve wrath for ever," &c. Now proceeds to speak of their future redemption; verfe 14, "Return, O ye backfliding children, faith the LORD; for I am married to you:" The Pro · phet here reminds them of that special contract, that folemn covenant, which God had made with them aforetime; whereby he engaged to be their God, and to take them for his peculiar people: and, as he had faithfully fulfilled the covenant on his part, he earnestly defires them to return to their duty, when they fhall find him as kind to them, as heretofore, as in the latter member of the verfe, and verfe

This denotes Affyria and Media, which lay to the north of Judea, where the ten tribes were difpofed of by the king of Affyria, who carried them into captivity."

verfe 15th. "And I will take you one out of a city, and two out of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you fhepherds after mine own heart, and they fhall feed you with knowledge and underftanding." Not like Jeroboam, Ahab, and the other wicked kings of Ifrael; who taught them all manner of wickedness: but they will be of the feed of David, of whom it is faid, (1 Sam. xiii. 14.) "The LORD hath fought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath appointed him (to be) ruler over his people." Such will these rulers be: and therefore, they will not lead the people to the commiffion of idolatry, as did thofe wicked kings, that were not of the house of David; but they will teach them knowledge and understanding; fo as to ferve the LORD faithfully.

The Prophet proceeds, verfe 16th, "And it fhall be, when ye thall have multiplied and increased in the land, in thofe days faith the LORD, they shall no more fay, the ark of the covenant of the LORD, nor fhall it come to mind*, nor fhall they remember it, neither

* Heb. It fhall not afcend on the heart,

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shall they vifit it, nor fhall (that) be done This paffage has greatly perany more.' plexed the Commentators, fome* of whom have supposed, that it denotes, that the ark is not to be restored at the future redemption. of the nation; and which feems to be founded on that false and abfurd hypothesis, that this prophecy relates to their call into the Christian Church, than which, nothing can be farther from the real intent and purport of this prophecy; ás will be fhewn in the fequel. I fhall now take the liberty to state, what to me appears to be the real sense of the paffage. From the language of the Prophet, it is clear, that it was not his intention to inform us that at the future redemption the ark would not be restored; but to fhew, that as the nation during the continuance of the first and fecond temples, were exceedingly wicked; and that their fanctity wholly confifted in the oaths which they took in the temple, before the ark, or the altar; as Solomon fays, 1 King. viii. 31. &c, "If any man trespass against his neighbour, and

* Dr, Blaney, in his Notes on Jerem. in Loc.

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an oath be laid upon him to caufe him to fwear, and the oath come before thine altar in this houfe; Then hear thou in heaven," &c. The Prophet therefore informs us, that when God fhall have taken them, one out of a city, and two out of a family, and brought them to Jerufalem, at the time of the redemption, and given them fhepherds to inftruct them in knowledge and understanding, and not in fin and cupidity; that then, they will not only fear the LORD, and worship him in fincerity and truth, while they are few in number, juft returned from captivity; but that even after they shall have greatly increased and multiplied in the land, they will not forget the merciful dealings of the LORD with them; as Mofes obferved they would do: (Deut. vi. 25.) “When thou fhall beget children, and childrens children, and shalt have remained long in the land, and fhall corrupt yourselves," &c. But they will not then do fo; for they fhall no more fay, The ark of the covenant of the LORD; and which refers to the fhepherds: that is, they, the fhepherds, fhall no more terrify the contending parties; by admonishing them, to be afraid of fwearing before the ark, in which

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