Commentary

Philemon

The very beautiful and interesting Epistle to Philemon does not require much comment; it is an expression of the love which works by the Spirit within the assembly of God in all the circumstances of individual life. Written for the purpose of awakening in Philemon sentiments which certain events had a tendency to extinguish in his heart, this epistle is suited to produce those feelings in the reader more than to be the object of explanation. It is a fine picture of the way in which the ten...

Song of Solomon

 Introduction This Book takes up the Jew, or at least the remnant, in quite another aspect. It tells of the affections that the King can create in their heart, and by which He draws them to Himself. However strong these affections may be. they are not developed according to the position in which christian affections, properly so called, are formed. They differ in this respect. They do not possess the profound repose and sweetness of an affection that flows from a relationship already...

Ecclesiastes

 Introduction The Book of Ecclesiastes is, up to a certain point, the converse of the Book of Proverbs. 1 It is the experience of a man who- retaining wisdom, that he may judge of all-makes trial of everything under the sun that could be supposed capable of rendering men happy, through the enjoyment of everything that human capacity can entertain as a means of joy. The effect of this trial was the discovery that all is vanity and vexation of spirit; that every effort to be happy in p...

Proverbs

 Introduction The Book of Proverbs gives us the application of that wisdom which created the heavens and the earth to the details of life in this world of confusion and evil. This thought brings out the immensity of grace unfolded here. God deigns to apply His wisdom to the circumstances of our practical life, and to shew us, with His own intelligence, the consequences of all the ways in which man may walk. For it is often in the way of knowledge, not of precept, that the statements ...

Psalms Book 5 (Psalms 107-150)

 Introduction In the fifth Book the people are looked at as brought back, and a general survey of God's ways taken, with a kind of divine commentary on it all, ending, as all His ways surely will, in praise. Psalm 107 is a kind of heading or introduction to all this. It celebrates the enduring of God's mercy for ever-that blessed formula of faith-in the unchanging goodness of Jehovah in all ages from the display of grace in David's time. It is restored Israel's part especially to ...

Isaiah

 Introduction Isaiah takes the first place; and in fact he is the most complete of all the prophets, and perhaps the most rich. The whole circle of God's thoughts with respect to Israel is more given here. Other prophets are occupied with certain portions only of the history of this people. We will give here the division of this book into subjects. There is in the beginning an appearance of confusion; nevertheless it helps to explain the moral bearing of the book. And here what...

Jeremiah

 Introduction The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah has a different character from that of Isaiah. It does not contain the same development of the counsels of God respecting this earth that Isaiah does. It is we, that we are told many things in it concerning the nations; but it is principally composed of testimony addressed immediately to the conscience of the people, on the subject of their moral condition at the time the prophet speaks, and with an eye to the judgment with which they we...

Lamentations

 Chapter 1 The Lamentations of Jeremiah-a touching expression of the interest which God feels in the afflictions which His people undergo on account of their sins-will not require much explanation as to the general meaning of the book. A few remarks may be useful, to shew the true character of this book, and its connection with the dealings of God, as revealed to us elsewhere. The first interesting point-to which I have already alluded-is that the affliction of His people does not es...

Ezekiel

 Introduction In the prophecy of Ezekiel we have left the touching ground we were on in Jeremiah. He was within with the judgment hanging over the guilty city, and under the oppressive sense of the evil which brought on the ruin, bearing a testimony which, as to apparent result, was of no avail, though it maintained, in personal sorrow of heart according to human measure, the glory of God. Ezekiel had been carried into captivity with the king Jehoiachin; at least, he was one of th...

Daniel

 Introduction In the Book of Ezekiel we have seen the government of God on earth fully developed in connection with Israel; whether in condemning the sin which occasioned the judgment of that people, or in their restoration under the authority of Christ, the Branch that should spring from the house of David, and who, in the book of that prophet, bears even the name of David, as the true "beloved" of God, the description of the temple, with its whole organisation, being given at the e...
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