Jeremiah 8

* The remains of the dead exposed. (1-3) The stupidity of the

people, compared with the instinct of the brute creation. (4-13)

The alarm of the invasion, and lamentation. (14-22)

1-3 Though no real hurt can be done to a dead body, yet

disgrace to the remains of wicked persons may alarm those yet

alive; and this reminds us that the Divine justice and

punishments extend beyond the grave. Whatever befalls us here,

let us humble ourselves before God, and seek his mercy.
4-13 What brought this ruin? 1. The people would not attend to

reason; they would not act in the affairs of their souls with

common prudence. Sin is backsliding; it is going back from the

way that leads to life, to that which leads to destruction. 2.

They would not attend to the warning of conscience. They did not

take the first step towards repentance: true repentance begins

in serious inquiry as to what we have done, from conviction that

we have done amiss. 3. They would not attend to the ways of

providence, nor understand the voice of God in them, ver. #7|.

They know not how to improve the seasons of grace, which God

affords. Many boast of their religious knowledge, yet, unless

taught by the Spirit of God, the instinct of brutes is a more

sure guide than their supposed wisdom. 4. They would not attend

to the written word. Many enjoy abundance of the means of grace,

have Bibles and ministers, but they have them in vain. They will

soon be ashamed of their devices. The pretenders to wisdom were

the priests and the false prophets. They flattered people in

sin, and so flattered them into destruction, silencing their

fears and complaints with, All is well. Selfish teachers may

promise peace when there is no peace; and thus men encourage

each other in committing evil; but in the day of visitation they

will have no refuge to flee unto.
14-22 At length they begin to see the hand of God lifted up.

And when God appears against us, every thing that is against us

appears formidable. As salvation only can be found in the Lord,

so the present moment should be seized. Is there no medicine

proper for a sick and dying kingdom? Is there no skilful,

faithful hand to apply the medicine? Yes, God is able to help

and to heal them. If sinners die of their wounds, their blood is

upon their own heads. The blood of Christ is balm in Gilead, his

Spirit is the Physician there, all-sufficient; so that the

people may be healed, but will not. Thus men die unpardoned and

unchanged, for they will not come to Christ to be saved.

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