Lecture One Hundred and Thirty-Second
42. For thus saith the Lord, Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.
42. Quia sic dicit Jehova, Quemadmodum venire feci super populum hunc omne malum hoc grande, sic ego reducam super eos bonum quod ego pronuntio super eos.
God shews here again to his Prophet that exile would be temporary as to the remnant; for we know that the greater part of the people had been wholly rejected; but it pleased the Lord, that his Church should survive, though very small in number. Then this promise is not to be extended indiscriminately to all the twelve tribes, but refers especially to the elect, as the event sufficiently proved, and Paul also is a most faithful interpreter of this truth. And this ought to be carefully borne in mind, because hypocrites always steal for themselves whatever God promises to his faithful people, while yet they falsely pretend his name. Let us then understand the design of God, even that his purpose was to support with strong confidence his chosen, lest despair should close up the avenue to prayer. Since, then, a portion of the people remained, that the Church might not wholly be cut off, this promise was fulfilled; and as we can never embrace the promise of mercy, except repentance and acknowledgment of sin precede, the two things are here referred to by the Prophet.
He says that God had
We must notice especially what is said,
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