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RACHEL COMFORTE D.
JER. XXXI. 15, 16, 17.
Thus faith the LORD, a voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, and bitter weeping: Rachel, weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus faith the LORD, Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD, and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children pall come again to their own border.
F the events which befel the church DISC.
of Israel in old time, many were by Providence ordained and disposed to be
DISC. figurative of other events, in the latter
days, relative to the church Christian, or Universal. Let it be supposed, for example, in the present instance, that the Babylonish captivity, and subsequent restoration, to which these words of Jeremiah relate, did, like the Egyptian bondage, and the redemption therefrom, represent that more wretched, durable, and general captivity, in which mankind were detained by their grand enemy, with the restoration from it, which the Son of God, as at this season, was born to effect. And let us try, upon this plan, to shew the beauty and propriety of the application which St. Matthew has made of the passage to the daughter of the Bethlehemitish infants, and the lamentations of those who were thus bereaved of their children, by the sword of Herod.
It is not easy, perhaps, to find a more judicious illustration of the case in hand, than the following one, given by the excellently learned Dr. JACKSON, to whose most useful labours, on a curious and difficult subject, I must here, once for all, DISC. acknowlege myself indebted for the fub- _* stance of what I am now about to lay before you.
“ We know,” says this able Divine, " that a map, though in itself a thousand “ times less than the least parcel of in“ closed ground, may represent the exact “ form or proportion of the country whose “ name it bears, though that be ten thou“ fand times bigger than the largest field " that our eyes can look upon. And thus “ hath the wisdom of God, under the “ same words and phrases, included two “ deliverances, of which the one is a map “ to the other. He therefore who shall “ deny passages to be literally meant of the “ deliverance of Judah and Benjamin from “ Babylon, because they are only fulfilled “ in our deliverance by Christ, will give “ the Jew no small advantage; he will " commit as great an oversight, as if an “ heir, possessed of a goodly estate, should “ burn the map, or terrar of it, which
DISC. “ his ancestors had truly taken for the bea X. “nefit of their successors, if they should
“ know how to use it, when any contro“ verfy should arise concerning the bounds
or extent of their inheritance. The Jew, “ on the contrary, in denying these places “ to be meant of Christ and us, because “ they have been literally verified of the « deliverance of his fathers by Zorobabel « and Joshua the priest, is like a man dif“ tracted, who boasts he hath a goodly he“ ritage, because he can Thew the map or « engrossed terrar of those lands, of which “ the law has deprived him, since he knew “ not how to use them aright.”
In the prosecution of this design, permit me, in the
First place, To collect and present
to you the historical circumstances concerning the person introduced by Jeremiah, as making lamentation over her children, and the occasion of her so doing, with the pro