We said in our lecture yesterday, that the Prophet does not in vain bear a testimony again to God's paternal favor to his people; for it is our chief happiness, when God acknowledges us as his own, and when we also can come to his presence with sure confidence. Hence the order of the Prophet's words ought to be noticed: I will have mercy, he says, on Lo-ruchama; which means, I will be propitious to the Israelites whom I have hitherto deprived of my favor: |and I will say to the no-people, My people are you: then it follows and they will say to me, Thou art our God
The Prophet, indeed, means that God anticipates us with his favor; for we are otherwise restrained from access to him. Then God of his own good-will precedes, and extends his band to us, and then follows the consent of our faith. Hence God first speaks to the Israelites, that they might know that they are now counted his people: and then, after God has testified of his favor, they answer, Thou beginnest now to be from henceforth our God.' We hence see that the beginning of all good is from God, when he makes of aliens friends, and adopts as his sons those who were before his enemies.
The third chapter follows.