We could not yesterday finish the words of the Prophet, as time did not allow us to do so. We said that the Prophet had denounced God's vengeance on the people in such a manner, that he softened that severity by some comfort, lest despair should have rendered more obstinate those whom he wished to turn into obedience; we said also, that the ministers of the word cannot otherwise speak rightly or profitably of repentance, except they connect with it the promise of God's mercy. But as the Prophet had to do with refractory men and despisers of God, it behoved him to declare what at length he subjoins, even that the destruction of the Temple and city was nigh at band, except they repented.
And he says that that house would become like Shiloh, in order that by this example he might touch their hearts; for the ark of God had been long at Shiloh, and that place might have been deemed venerable for being ancient. Jerusalem was indeed renowned, but Shiloh was in time before it. This place was now forsaken; nay, it presented a sad and a degraded spectacle. He thus set before their eyes an example of God's vengeance, such as awaited them. We have seen the same reference in Jeremiah 7:12, where the Prophet says,
|Go to Shiloh, where the ark of the covenant was,|
etc.; but he now speaks more briefly, for he no doubt repeated often the same things.
Then he adds, I will make this city a curse, or execration, to all the nations of the earth It was still more intolerable to the Jews to hear what Jeremiah says here, -- that so great a city, the sanctuary and the royal throne of God, would become a curse to heathen nations; and yet as God had commanded him to say this, he boldly performed his duty. Now follows the reward he met with, --