Imatges de pÓgina
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it? But the true fenfe of all this is, that the Prophet confidered the nation, as confifting of different claffes; one of which is extremely hungry and thirsty; not for real bread and water, but for the word of God; or the knowledge of his holy Law: as the Pfalmift fays," My foul thirfteth for God,"* &c. He therefore addreffes this clafs thus, Ho! all ye that are thirsty &c. that is, al ye who thirst for the Law, shall then be fully fatisfied therewith: agreeable to what the Prophet Zech. fays when describing the wide effufion of divine knowledge from Jerufalem, at the restoration of the nation. "And it shall come to país, in that day, living waters fhall go out from Jerufalem," &c. For at their reftoration, the whole earth will be inftructed in the true word of God from thence; as we find elsewhere," For from Zion fhall go forth the Law; and the word of the LORD from Jerufalem. "(Ifai. ii. 3) He therefore fays to this clafs, come ye to the

waters.

As to the fecond clafs, who have no fuch thirst have no vehement defire, and whose mind is not delighted with ftudy; fuch as

Pfalm. lii. 3.

+ Zech. xiv. 8.

the

the plodding mechanick, and the mass, or bulk, of the common people, he emphatically made ufe of the Hebrew noun which

denotes filver, or money in general; and is derived from the verb * to defire; from the great defire, mankind in general, have to poffefs it. Hence, the ftudy of the great won ders of nature, &c. is frequently expreffed in Hebrew by the word 0 which denotes defire: from the curiofity excited in mankind, and the great defire implanted in them, to enquire into the causes of those great wonders: whence also, the speculative sciences are called Philofophy, and those who study them Philofophers; i. e. defirers, or lovers of wisdom. The Prophet therefore, says to them that have no defire to study &c. Ye that have no filver, come, buy, and eat; for, although ye are not inclined to learn and study, yet would I advise you to be inftructed in the law, that ye may then eat; may reap the benefit thereof: and, as to his repeating the expreffion, Come, buy ye without filver; and without price, wine and milk; it was to fhew that, the study of the law not only instructs us in the due performance of the pre.. * See Lingua Sacra Radix. D

cepts,

cepts, which may be called eating, or food; but also enables us to comprehend those great and divine truths, contained therein; and is therefore very properly compared to wine and milk, as being rich delicacies; much fuperior to the common food of mankind. He then addreffes the third class, which are the Philofophers, and fays, Wherefore do ye weigh out your filver for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which will not fatisfy?" Wherefore do ye thus weary yourselves in these speculative sciences? Wherefore do ye thus weigh your filver? for by the weighing of the filver, he pointed to Philosophy; because it is by weighing of reafons and arguments, that it attempts to find out truth: Why therefore do ye thus weary yourselves in this kind of reasoning, fince it does not contain that true. food for the foul, which the law of God does; for that is the real heavenly bread, and divine food. Moreover, all the labour and pains that ye take in these researches, will not fatisfy for the foul refts not fatisfied and contented, with the ftudy of Phyfics; because, there is always fome doubt remaining behind fome problem not clearly folved.

Hence,

Hence, we frequently find one fet of Philofophers contradict another, and maintain principles diametrically oppofite to each other, as is fully verified between the opinions of the ancients and the moderns; and which is the reason that, the study of Phyfics cannot afford, that full and true fatisfaction, that the sure word of Prophecy does ; he therefore made ufe of the expreffion," And your labour for that which will not fatiffy." And, as that is the cafe, I would advise you, fays he, to, "Attend, and hearken unto me; and eat that which is truly good": obferve the due performance of the precepts; for that is the true heavenly food, that is really good and, being thoroughly inftructed in the knowledge of the true faith in God, "Your foul fhall then feast itself with the richest delicacies, " Thus, he compares the knowledge of the true faith, to the rich delicacies of milk and wine, which he had before obferved they were to buy without price; and which really is above all price.

Having thus fhewn the happiness which those who diligently ftudy the word of God are to enjoy in this ftate; he proceeds to in

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form us, that, exclufive of all this, they shall alfo obtain eternal life; as in verse 3d." Incline your ear, and come unto me; attend, and your foul fhall live. This, is the immortal state which they are to enjoy after death in this world. And as this is promised as the reward of their faith in the word, and promises of God, he fays, " And I will make with you an everlasting covenant; I will give you the gracious promifes made to David, which never shall fail. " Ye shall enjoy the covenant of everlasting life; because ye were fteady in the true faith, as was David, as the Pfalmift fays, (Pfalm. lxxxix. 2. ) “ I will fing of the mercies of the LORD for ever, with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all men. He also gives us another reason, why he mentioned David, verfe 4th.

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Behold, for a witness to the peoples I have given him; a leader, and commander to the nations." He was a witness to all nations of the truth of God's promises; and as a commander, led them to the truth, by the number of Pfalms and hymns that he had compofed in honour of the true God.

The Prophet then addreffes the nation, verfe 5th. "Behold, the nation, whom thou

VOL. II.

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