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and the most beneficial to the human race. And moreover, they are found among that very company who are called the people of God, and more especially arrogate to themselves the name and title of the church, and are judged to be the most important part of the people of God, being exalted in power and authority, and in a self-persuasion of their great wisdom and virtues. And just such do the sect of the Jews and Mahometans, and the Papists among us, and also the different divisions and sects of fanatics, seem to themselves to be; imagining, that they only are the people of God, and beneficial to the world, and that they render unto God a most solemn worship, and unto the world a most signal service, when they persecute with all their power, and take utterly out of the land of the living, the truly godly who embrace the name and doctrine of Christ. Therefore, they hear nothing with more indignation than their being called sons of Belial, vagabonds, and reprobate: for they would have themselves considered and proclaimed, persons the most useful and beneficial to the human race.

And in this same way also does Jeremiah speak of the false prophets, chap. xxiii. 32, "with their profiting they shall not profit my people at all:” that is, they are most destructive in that, in which they boast themselves of being most profitable. In a word, the truly godly who embrace Christ, are looked upon as the sons of Belial and servants of the devil, while these are considered to be alone the sons of God; whatever they do is judged to be right and just, and they have the approbation, the applause, and the interest of the whole world. And so it will go on, until God sitting to judge them, shall cast them out of the company of his elect, and consume and destroy them with the fire of his wrath and judgment: as was proved by a most terrible example in those last dregs of the Jewish nation: on whom, as Paul saith, the wrath of God came unto the uttermost.

DAVID'ADDS, moreover, a-striking similitude; comparing them to the kinds of thorns which grow up together with the wheat and corn in the fields; (for he


still carries on the comparison of the gladdening and fruitful time of spring.) And this is the same kind of weeds or thorns that Christ means when he calls them, with reference to this passage, “tares.” (Zizania): for although Ambrosius interprets this word as signifying a kind of degenerate or bastard wheat, yet, I think something worse than that is here intended by Christ; that is, that he means some kind of weed or thorn that is separated from the wheat in the harvest when the sheaves are collected, and afterwards burnt, as Christ says; wherein, he expresses himself exactly according to the words of David, who says, that these thorns shall be plucked out' from the rest, and afterwards utterly burned with fire.'

I understand Zizania, therefore, to signify the same as Koz does in this passage; namely, that more rough, sharp, and prickly kind of thorns or thistles, which among the wheat itself, and which, in the time of harvest, are cut up separately with hooks, and afterwards torn up by the roots with rakes and harrows; for they cannot be gathered by the naked hand, nor are they of any other use than to light the fires on the hearth; but that zizania which they call bastard wheat, is of use as fodder for cattle.

Such thorns and thistles as these are that generation of Jews who persecute the Messiah who has been manifested by the most signal and divine testimonies; and that with such fury and malice, that they could not be turned from their determination by any goodness of God, nor by any wonderful works; nor brought to embrace the Son of God promised and given unto them, until at last the Roman armies destroyed them with arms, fire, sword, and slaughter. Yet even now, they cease not to burn with rage wherever they assemble together in their conventicle, though they are now miserable exiles under the flaming wrath of God.

Thus, then, you see was predicted by David, the utter destruction of that people, because they rejected this their Lord and King. And this is according to the words of Luke also, where he saith, xiii. 35, “Behold

your house is left unto you desolate.” And Daniel ix., and Zechariah xiv., prophecy of the same destruction with equal clearness.

Thus, then, have I sufficiently dwelt upon my exposition of THE LAST words of David, according to the sense that I put upon this passage of the scripture, and for which I have given my reasons at the beginning. May God grant, that many may be raised up, who shall devote themselves to the doctrine which is from above, and to the Holy Scriptures; and who shall, from the very fountains themselves, restore unto us a more pure, and the genuine and mature meaning of the prophetical writings, and, as it were by a happy recovery, wrest them from those present malignant possessors, the Rabbins and their corruptions;- and may they effect it under a greater and more abundant influence of the Spirit than I have done. And this they will do, if they do not devote themselves, as sworn disciples, to following the Words of the Rabbins and their miserably forced grammatical cavillings and interpretations. And if we seek him thus, shall we be able to find and know, this our Lord and Saviour the Son of God, rightly, truly, and clearly.—To whom, with God the eternal Father and the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, world without end, Amen!

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