Imatges de pÓgina
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alfo in their name, and fame: for at the time of the redemption, the righteous will be easily distinguished from the wicked, the good from the bad; and truth from falfehood because the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD and therefore, "Whofo bleffeth himself upon the earth, fhall blefs himself in the God of truth: and whofo fweareth upon the earth, shall swear by the God of truth." They will not then flatter and praise the wicked, for their very vices, as is now done by fawning Sycophants, who fervilely cringe and flatter them, because they are rich, or in high authority; No: Such things will then not be;. but whoever praises another, will do it folely on account of his being a truc fervant of the God of truth; and whoever, fhall have occafion to fwear, will fwear by the God of truth: and therefore, no falfehood will be in their mouth, nor deception in their heart: "Because the former troubles are forgotten; and because they are hidden from mine eyes. For while in captivity, they falfely flattered the vices of the rich; when, as the Prophet fays, "The wicked

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compaffed about the righteous." But at the redemption, it will not be fo; for the former troubles being all forgotten; nothing but truth will then exift.

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The Prophet then, in grand, fublime, and lofty language, proceeds to defcribe the exalted happiness that the nation is to enjoy at their restoration; verfe 17. &c. "For behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth; and the former (ones) fhall not be remembered, neither fhall they be brought to mind any more. Commentators have differed much concerning the meaning of the new heavens, and a new earth: but it is clear, that by this magnificent expreffion, the Prophet meant nothing more, than a renewal of the divine favour, and a recommencement of, an uninterrupted state of profperity for as the diffolution of the heavens &c. denotes the ruin of the world politic &c. (See, Vol ift: page 164 and 213 &c.) So does the creation of new heavens and earth, denote happiness and profperity. But I prefume, that we need not long remain in doubt concerning the Prophet's meaning; as he himself explains it prefently after: for having in the latter part of the verse, observed, that, the former should not

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be remembered, &c. And which properly denotes, that the troubles and afflictions which they had experienced for ages, fhould be entirely forgotten: immediately tells them the reafon why they fhould be thus forgotten; because of their joy and exultation in that which he fhall create; and which will be, Jerufalem a subject of joy, &c. verfe, 18. &c. "But ye shall rejoice and exult for ever and ever (in that) which I create for lo! I create Jerufalem a (fubject of) joy, and her people of gladness. And I will exult in Jerufalem, and rejoice in my people." Hence, it is manifeft that this creation, will be the happiness of the nation, both spiritual and temporal. For God's exulting in Jerufalem, denotes the residence of his divine presence again among them; as alfo the return of the fpirit prophecy and his rejoicing in his people, denotes the happiness of their temporal state: and that they shall no more go into captivity; neither shall they experience any more trouble or affliction: for, "There fhall not be heard any more therein, the voice of weeping, or the voice of distressful cry." Nay, even the weeping and mourning that is ufually made for the VOL II.

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dead, will not be heard among them:, for verse 20th. "No more fhall be thence an infant fhort lived; nor an old man who hath · not fulfilled his days: for he that dieth at an hundred years, fhall die a child: and the finner that dieth) at an hundred years, fhall be (deemed) accurfed. And they fhall build houses and fhall inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and fhall eat the fruit thereof. They fhall not build, and another inhabit; they fhall not plant, and another eat. This is the reverse of what Mofes denounced against them for their difobedience: (Deut. xxviii. 30. 30.) "Thou fhalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein; thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof*.

In the latter part of the verse, and the following one, the Prophet fhews how these two promises; viz, their longevity, and the enjoyment of their labour, should be accomplished; for of the first, he says, "For as

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This denunciation of Mofes, it is well known hath been exactly fulfilled: it therefore ought to be confidered, as an earnest of the full accomplishment of what the Prophet here foretells of their future happiness, at their restoration.

the days of a tree, fhall be the days of my people." The prophet's idea here seems to be, that they fhall then live to the age of the Antediluvians; which appears to be very properly expreffed by the days of a tree, according to our ideas for it is commonly fuppofed that the oak, one of the longest lived of trees, lafts about a thousand years; being five hundred years growing to its full perfection, and as many decaying: which seems to be a moderate and probable computation. See Evelyn Sylva, Book 3d. ch. iii. Con cerning the fecond, he fays. "And my

chosen shall wear out the work of their own hands. They fhall not labour in vain; neither shall they generate a short lived race: for they (fhall) be a feed bleffed of the LORD; and their offspring with them. "

The Prophet then informs us, that although while they were finners in captivity, God would not hear their prayer: as the Prophet Jeremiah said, ( Lament. iii. 44.) "Thou hast covered thy felf with a cloud, that (our) prayer should not pass through.” yet, at their restoration, it would be far otherwise; verfe 24th. "And it, fhall be, that before they call, I will answer "; But

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