is upon

their whole disease healed and effectually cured thereby, this operating on them, and they being brought under the inighty power and grace of the same, their mouths are opened. They are ready with their confessions; all which the Lord here testifies his acceptance of; he says, I have heard: that is, their prayers. I have observed him: that is, he is so and so influenced with the knowledge and manisestations of God's free grace to his mind, that his heart and affections are suitably affected, and drawn out after him by the same. I will fulfil in him all the good pleasure of my will, and the work of faith with power. Mine eye

him for good. I will be gracious at the voice of his cry. He is my dear son. He is my pleasant child. I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord. I will rejoice over you with my whole heart, and with my soul. I have observed him. I will never turn away from him from doing him good. I will put my fear in their hearts, and they shall not depart from me. As the providence of God, in the fulfilment of his most gracious promise of grace and truth unto them, will be most fully manifested unto them in the latter day state of the church; so we may include the same, as couched in this passage, I have observed him. And thus 1 pass ou to the next words before us.

IV. Which are, I am like a green fir tree. Some conceive these to be the words of Ephraim, others consider them to be the words of Christ. Those wbo receive the idea that they are Ephraim's, think they are uttered by way of complaint. Those who apprehend them to be the words of Christ, consider them as containing strong consolation. I shall consider them in this two-fold point of view. I am like a green fir tree. I will first attend to the image and symbol made use of. The fir tree grows to a great height; it is very straight and plain below; it abounds with gum called rosin; and is green both summer and winter. Its fruit somewhat resembles a pine-apple, but is useless. The wood of the fir tree was antiently used for musical instruments, buildings, furniture of houses, and for ships. Jesus Christ resembles, and may be set forth by a green fir tree. He being comely and glorious in his person, as God-Man, as Head, Mediator, Saviour, and Friend of his church and people. He may be compared to a fir tree, for his height and dominion, for his unfading and beautiful appearance, for the durability of his office; and he may be compared to a green fir tree, he being a root of perpetual and fructifying influences to his church and people. His saints are likened to fir trees, because of their spiritual moisture, and growth in grace: see Isa. xli. 19; chap. lv. 13; and chap 1x. 13. So also the ordinances, beams and rafters of the church of Christ, are compared to fir, in the Song of Solomon. The church says, The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir, chap, i. 17. Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with idols ? I have heard him, and observed him. I am like a green fir tree. These words, I am like a green fir tree, are considered as a dialogue between the church and Christ. He had been speaking good and gracious words concerning her. She cannot stand up under the full impression of the same, She does not deny that his glorious grace had been most richly displayed towards her, and shed most richly upon her; yet, she blushes at her own unworthiness, and the little fruit she brought forth to the praise and glory of God's free grace; therefore Ephraim compares himself to a green fir tree, there being no useful fruit on it. There åre leaves, sap, and constant circulation in it, but the fruit is nothing worth. Thus, as is conceived by some, the church is here bewailing her barrenness, that she is all profession; beautiful and promising in her appearance; yet so far from being fruitful in every good work, she is, in her own apprehension, very unfruitful in these. To which these words, which they ascribe to Christ, are opposed, From me is thy fruit found. And from them the church's consolation is derived, under the views she hath of her own nothingness and unfruitfulness. Hence it hath been, and very usually is the case, to make use of these last words, as a relief to the minds of such as


are thus expressing their complaints under such form of words, I am like a green fir tree. To such we commonly reply, as the speech of Christ himself, and by way of special relief and antidote, From me is thy fruit found. Others who conceive the whole respects Christ himself, abserve Christ is bere speaking, so as to encourage sinners to take shelter and refuge in him, as the green fir tree. The storks are unclean birds; they built their nests in the land of Canaan, in fir trees. Hence the Psalmist says, As for the stork, the fir trees are her house. Psalm civ. 17. So Christ the Saviour is a place of refuge and shelter for unclean sinners. This is agreeable to what is said of him, And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest. As there will be a most glorious dispensation of Christ, in the ministry of the gospel in the spiritual reign of Christ, in the day when the whole of what is contained in this prophecy, will receive its most full and complete accomplishment, this application of the words, that Christ is speaking in them to sinners, for whom he died ; encourages them who are awakened by his word and spirit, to take shelter in Him; he being an accessible Saviour, always one and the same, in whom is perpetual life and vigour, salvation, righteousness, and strength. He is the common resting-place and centre for all weary and heavy-laden sinners. He saith, Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out. The stork is a bird of passage : so when sinners fly and flock to Christ, they leave the state they have been in, and betake themselves to the Lord for deliverance from the same. The substance of which, the Apostle says of the believers of Christ at Thessalonica, who, through the mighty power by which the gospel was sent unto them, turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God. And to wait for his Son from heaven, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come. With respect to the words before us, if we apply them wholly to Christ, and omit all other interpretations, the substance of them, I am like a green fir tree, implies what he is in himself to his beloved people. He is full of perpetual vigour; he is everlasting life ; -he is invariably the same, in his union and relation, and oneness with his people. He is to them'always one and the same, so that under the true knowledge thereof, they have at all times the same right of free access unto him. They were in him from everlasting. In him they have always been one and the same, in the eye and view of their Heavenly Father. They have flourished in him, whatsoever decays they may have experienced within themselves. Their present and everlasting all, is now and evermore dependant

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