17. Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.
17. Adhuc clama, dicendo, Sic Iehova exercituum, Adhuc conterentur (alii vertunt, dispergentur, vel, se diffundent, vel, segregabuntur; sed dicemus de proprio sensu, conterentur ergo) urbes prae bono; et consolabitur Iehova adhuc Sion, et eliget adhuc Ierusalem.
I cannot finish today.
Grant, Almighty God, that though we are continually tossed here and there by various trials, and Satan ceases not to shake our faith, -- O grant, that we may yet stand firm on the promise that thou hast once given us, and which thou hast also confirmed through thine only-begotten Son, even that thou wilt ever be propitious and reconcilable to us, so that we may not despair in our greatest troubles, but relying on thy goodness may utter our groans to thee, until the ripened time of our deliverance shall come: nor let us in the meantime envy the evanescent happiness of thy enemies; but patiently wait, while thou showest that the chief object of desire is to have thee propitious to us, and that accursed is every good thing which the ungodly receive while they provoke thee and make thee angry, until Christ shall at length reveal to us the real happiness and glory of thy Church, when he shall appear at the last day for our salvation -- Amen.
Lecture One Hundred and Thirty-seventh
I was not able in my last lecture fully to explain the verse in which the Prophet says that he was commanded by the angel to cry again, that God had returned to Jerusalem in mercies. The design of the words is this, -- that though it was difficult to believe the restoration of Jerusalem, it was yet to be fully expected, for the Lord had so appointed. But he enlarges on what I have before stated; for the blessing of God is extended to the cities of Judah, though an express mention is made only of Jerusalem.
He then adds,
As to the word "chosen," it must be observed, that it is applied, not in its strict sense, to the effect or the evidence of election; for God had chosen before the creation of the world whom he had designed to be his own. But he is said to choose whom he receives into favor, because their adoption seems obliterated in the eyes of men, when there appears no evidence of his paternal favor. As for instance, whenever we read that God had repudiated his own people, it is certain, as Paul says, that the calling of God is without repentance, (Romans 11:29:) nor does he declare this only of the secret election of each, but also of that general election, by which God had set apart the race of Abraham from the rest of the nations. At the same time many of Abraham's children were reprobates, as he instances in the case of Esau and of others: yet the election of God was unchangeable; and hence it was that there remained still some hope as to that people, that God would at length gather to himself a Church from the Jews as well as from the Gentiles, so that those who were then separated might be hereafter united together. Since then the calling of God is without repentance,
We now then understand what the Prophet means. I have more fully dwelt on this point, because it is necessary to understand this great truth, -- that whatever blessings God confers on his own people proceed from eternal election, that this is a perpetual fountain, and yet that election is catachrestically 2 applied to its evidences or effects, as also rejection is to be taken in the same sense for outward punishment, which seems at the first view to be an evidence of rejection, though it be not really so. Let us now proceed -
1 The verb here used is rendered, "shall be filled," by the Targum; "shall abound," by Jerome; "diacuqhsontai -- shall be spread out," by the Septuagint; "shall spread themselves," by Grotius; "shall be spread abroad," by Newcome; "shall overflow," by Henderson. There are here two ideas; one derived from the Targum, and the other from the Septuagint. The original verb means properly to burst out, to dilate, to spread; and the line may be rendered.
Burst out again shall my cities through abundance.
The reference seems to be to their enlargement, and not to their multiplicity, as Newcome thinks, and that through abundance of blessings, literally, "though good," [
2 Katacrhstikwv, forcedly, contrary to usage or what is strictly correct. -- Ed.
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