Imatges de pÓgina
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tracted, so that he cannot fave; neither is his ear grown dull, so that he cannot hear." By this introduction, the Prophet intended to point out to us, the cause of the length of this dreadful captivity; that it is all owing to the wickedness and tranfgreffions of the nation; and therefore, God would not hear them; but if they were to feek him in fincerity and truth, he would certainly answer them; for his hand is not contracted, nor his ear dull. &c. as he says, verse, 2d. “ But your iniquities have made a feparation between you and your God; and your fins have hidden his face from you, that he doth not hear *. He thus proceeds verfes 2. 3. &c. In verfe 15th. he says, "And truth faileth ; and he that fhunneth evil, is accounted as a fool+; and the LORD faw it, and it displeased

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* This, is the real cause of this long and dreadful captivity: for if they were to repent of their fins, and amend their lives, they would inftantly be redeemed. as I have fhewn elsewhere: (See my Letters to Dr Priestley in answer to his Letters to the Jews part 2. page 102. ) but there is fo little true religion among them, and they think fo little of their future redemption, as fcarcely to give themselves any concern about the prophecies, which foretell that important event: nay, numbers of them hardly believe a syllable of thofe prophecies, or of Revelation in general.

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him, that there was no Judgement." By the expreffion, "And truth faileth," the Prophet meant to exprefs two things: viz, first, that truth was nearly loft in the world : i. e. the true faith in God, is loft in the world in general; through the false, corrupt, and erroneous religious doctrines promulgated throughout the world, by the founders of the different religions, that at prefent overspread this globe: and, fecondly, that the TRUTH which is the Law that he gave to Mofes, was also nearly loft in the nation, owing to the pernicious deistical opinions, which they have imbibed, from the writings of the modern philofophers, which give a licence to their pleasures, and enable them to lead a voluptuous life, free from all restraint. Hence, may be deduced that irreverence towards God's worship, and the want of true religion, at present so prevalent among thofe of the nation, who think themselves wifer than the reft of mankind, and pride themselves on their philofophical knowledge, that has enlightened their minds, and freed them from the shackles of fuperftition, as they are pleafed to call the word of God; but this, is a manifest proof of the truth of prophecy, and

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that the time of their redemption is drawing nigh: as the Prophet fays, verfe 16th." And he faw, that there was no man; and he wondered, that there was no interceffor." That there was no one among the nation, that had fo firm faith in the truth of the prophecies, as seriously to confider, the promise made to them conditionally, that they should repent, and be redeemed; and, consequently to stand in the breach, and make interceffion to the Supreme, by fafting, prayer, and a fincere repentance, for the redemption of the nation. But, when all this shall come to pass," Then his own arm wrought falvation for him; and his righteousness, it fupported him," His attribute of righteousness, will induce him thus to act towards the nation, according to the promise he had made, that he would redeem them, after they had received the full measure of the punishment due to their crimes, although they should not repent: and which so perfectly agrees with what Mo-. fes, and Ezekiel fay, as I have fhewn at large in the explanation of the prophetic Poem of Moses. (See, Vol. Ift. page. 59. 60. 61. 62. &c.) And, as the falvation of the nation will comprehend two things, viz. the punishment VOL II.

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of the enemies of the Jews, and the deliver

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ance of the nation; the Prophet takes notice of both; verse 17th. &c. "And he put on righteousness, as a breaft plate; and the helmet of falvation upon his head; and he put on the garment of vengeance for clothing; and he clad himself with zeal, as with a mantle. According to the recompenfes ; That is, according to the recompenfe which he already had bestowed on Pharaoh, and Sannecharib, &c. who had perfecuted the nation: "So will he requite wrath to his adverfaries, recompenfe to his enemies; to the islands a recompenfe will he requite." For these two caphs, are what the Hebrew Grammarians

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* This is the real fence of the expreffion by

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according to the true intent and meaning of the כְּעַל יְשָׁלֵם

prophecy, but which has been the cause of much trouble to Bishop Lowth, who not being able to enter into the true fpirit of the Language, its idiom and phrafaology, much lefs of the form and manner of the Prophet, notwithstanding all the pompous language he has made use of, to make us believe that he was perfectly acquainted therewith, (See his prelimi→ nary Differtation on Ifai. &c.) has miferably perverted the text, in attempting to make it read by instead of the true reading of the abfurdity of which, together with the whole of his wretched fyftem of correcting the prefent printed text

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call 1-caph hadimyon; i. e. caph of fimilitude; and thus it is frequently used especially by this Prophet, (Chap. xxiv. 2. )

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« And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priests as with the fervant, fo with his master; as with the handmaid, fo with her miftrefs, &c. When thus understood, the expreffion will appear plain and intellegible, without any forced conftruction, or the torturing of the text; as the Prophet's intention was to inform us, that as God had heretofore punished those who had oppreffed the Jews, fo would he punish those who had perfecuted them, in this long and dreadfull captivity: he therefore faid, "wrath to his adversaries;

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JAPON 943 of
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that by manuscripts; and to which, Dr Blayney in his new Tranf lation of Jeremiah, and Dr. Newcombe, Arch Bishop of Armagh in his Tranflation of Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets, also closely adhere; will be fully confidered in a future Pub lication, dedicated entirely to that purpose, as already mentioned; (vol ift. page 275, Note) as will alfo Kennicott's foolish and ridiculous fcheme: nay, I will not fcruple to call it profane, as well as foolish, notwithstanding the high bombaftical encomiums bestowed on it by the Authors of the New and metrical Tranflations. See Preliminary Difcourfes of Lowth, Blaney &c.

• See alfo inftances of this in King. 22. 4. and a King 3. 7.

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