Isaiah 6:13
And though a tenth remains in the land, it will be burned again. As the terebinth and oak leave stumps when felled, so the holy seed will be a stump in the land."
Sermons
How the Religious of a Nation are the Strength of ItJ. Collins, M. A.Isaiah 6:13
Life in the RootSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 6:13
Practical Application of the Idea of The RemnantH. Scott-Holland, D. D.Isaiah 6:13
The Doctrine of the Remnant an Antidote to DiscouragementH. Scott-Holland, D. D.Isaiah 6:13
The Holy SeedT. Bagnall-Baker, M. A.Isaiah 6:13
The Holy SeedE. Erskine.Isaiah 6:13
The Holy Seed the SubstanceE. Erskine.Isaiah 6:13
The Judgments ThreatenedP. Thompson, M. A.Isaiah 6:13
The Leafless TreeIsaiah 6:13
The Present Obligations of Pious MenJ. Parsons.Isaiah 6:13
The RemnantE. Erskine.Isaiah 6:13
The Substance of a NationH. Stowell, M. A.Isaiah 6:13
The TerebinthJ. Macpherson, M. A.Isaiah 6:13
The Terebinth and the OakG. Cron, M. A.Isaiah 6:13
An Anticipation of the IncarnationT. Allen, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
Christian MissionsRichard Knill.Isaiah 6:1-13
Gain Through LossJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
Government Human and DivineR. Winter, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah a Typical ProphetJ. G. Rogers, B. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's CallHomiletic MagazineIsaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's VisionT. Allen, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's VisionHomilistIsaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's VisionJ. Parsons.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's VisionR. S. Candlish, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's VisionR. Brodie, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's VisionG. Cron, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's VisionAbp. Trench.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's Vision in the TempleG. T. Perks, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's Vision of Christ's GloryJ. J. Bonar.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's Vision of GodF. D. Maurice, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's Vision of GodA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
Isaiah's Vision of God's GloryJ. Summerfield, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
Preparation for the Lord's WorkJ. Sherwood.Isaiah 6:1-13
Realising GodT. Allen, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
Removing the VeilJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
Seeing GodAmory H. Bradford, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Circumstances of the VisionW. Hay Aitken, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Command and Encouragement to Communicate the GospelW. Ellis.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Compensations of LifeJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Dead King; the Living GodIsaiah 6:1-13
The Elevating Presence of GodF. B. Meyer, B. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Empty Throne FilledA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Enthroned LordJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Idea of GodJames Stalker, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Inaugural Vision of IsaiahA. B. Davidson, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Making of a ProphetProf. W. G. Elmslie, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Material Fleeting: the Spiritual EnduringJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Prophet's Call and ConsecrationE. Johnson Isaiah 6:1-13
The Rectal and Mediatorial Dominion of GodW. M. Bunting.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Story of the Prophet's Call -- Why Inserted HereProf . S. R. Driver, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Symbolism of Isaiah's VisionJ. Matthews.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Three-Fold VisionU. R. Thomas, B. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Trinity in UnityR. W. Forrest, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Triune Name a Call, a Message, a ChasteningB. F. Westcott, D. D.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Uzziahs of History and the LordJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
The VisionSir E. Strachey, Bart.Isaiah 6:1-13
The Vision of GodW. Clarkson B. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
Uzziah and Isaiah: George Iii and John WesleyB. Hellier.Isaiah 6:1-13
Vision and ServiceJ. Matthews.Isaiah 6:1-13
Why Did Isaiah Publish This Account of His CallP. Thomson, M. A.Isaiah 6:1-13
A Hard MinistryIsaiah 6:9-13
A Loud Call to RepentanceP. Thomson, M. A.Isaiah 6:9-13
Conditions of Spiritual VisionJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:9-13
God Vindicating HimselfG. Cron, M. A.Isaiah 6:9-13
Incidental PenaltyE. W. Shalders.Isaiah 6:9-13
Isaiah: His Heaviness and His ConsolationE. B. Pusey, D. D.Isaiah 6:9-13
Israel's Detective InsightR. Macculloch.Isaiah 6:9-13
Israel's Punishment NecessarySir E. Strachey, Bart.Isaiah 6:9-13
Judgment and MercyE. W. Shalders.Isaiah 6:9-13
Opposite Effects from the Same AgenciesSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 6:9-13
PetrifactionW. L. Watkinson.Isaiah 6:9-13
Religious, But Without Spiritual DiscernmentJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:9-13
Responsibility of Having the GospelSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 6:9-13
Sight Without InsightJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:9-13
The Importance of Understanding TruthR. Macculloch.Isaiah 6:9-13
The Meaning of the Message Intrusted to IsaiahE. W. Shalders.Isaiah 6:9-13
The Message from GodE. W. Shalders.Isaiah 6:9-13
The Prophet's Thoughts At This PeriodA. B. Davidson, D. D.Isaiah 6:9-13
The Shadow of Sacred TruthW. Clarkson Isaiah 6:9-13
Two Ways of Looking At ThingsJ. H. Jowett, M. A.Isaiah 6:9-13
We may view these words in -

I. THEIR NATIONAL ASPECT. Thus regarded, they point to:

1. Painful and guilty obduracy. The prophet should speak, but the people would disregard; all that was froward and perverse in them would repel and reject the Divine message; their reception of the truth would only end in spiritual deterioration and greater moral distance than ever from deliverance (vers. 9, 10).

2. Protracted impenitence and Divine judgment (vers. 11, 12).

3. Long-lingering mercy ending in partial restoration (ver. 13). But we shall gain most from these verses by regarding them in -

II. THEIR INDIVIDUAL ASPECT. The ninth and tenth verses have the most direct and serious bearing on our condition now. They suggest to us that sacred truth not only sheds a bright light, but casts a deep shadow where it falls.

1. It casts the shadow of solemn responsibility everywhere. When a greater than Moses legislates, and a wiser than Solomon speaks to us, we have more to be responsible for than they who received the Law from Sinai, and they who lived under the reign of the son of David. From those to whom much is given will much be required.

2. It casts the shadow of a heavy condemnation on those who reject it. "Of how much sorer punishment," etc. "It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment," etc.; "This is the condemnation, that light is come," etc.; "He that knew his Lord's will and did it not shall be beaten with many stripes."

3. But the special lesson from our text is that it casts the shadow of spiritual deterioration on those who refuse it. "Make the heart of this people fat... shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes," etc. The apparent sense of these words cannot be, and is not, the one that should be accepted. They cannot possibly be meant to signify that God desired his prophet deliberately and intentionally to cause moral obtuseness, spiritual blindness, in order that the people of Judah might be prevented from repenting and so from being saved. Such a thought not only outrages every reverent idea of the Divine character, but flatly contradicts the most express statements of the Divine Word (see Ezekiel 18:23; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; James 1:13). There is one sense of which the words are susceptible, and which is in accordance with the plainly revealed character of God; it is that the prophet was to declare such truth as would actually result in spiritual blindness, and therefore in incapacity for repentance and redemption, Now, it is the solemn duty of the minister of Christ to do the same thing continually. He knows that, as his Divine Master was "set for the fall" as well as for the "rising again of many in Israel" (Luke 2:34), and as he had occasion to say, "For judgment am I come into this world, that they who see may be made blind" (John 9:39), that as his gospel was in earliest times a "stone of stumbling and a rock of offence" (Isaiah 8:14; and see Matthew 21:44; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 2:16), so now the truth of the living God must prove, to those who reject it, the occasion of moral and spiritual degeneracy. He must lay his account with this sad fact, must go forth, like Isaiah, well aware that it is a two-edged sword he wields. But let the sons of sacred privilege understand what is their peril as well as their opportunity. Deliberately rejected truth leads down to

(1) a diminished sensibility, the lessening of pure religious emotion;

(2) loss of spiritual apprehension, an enfeebled capacity to perceive the mind and meaning of the Divine Teacher;

(3) a vanishing likelihood of personal salvation. When the ear is shut and the eye is closed, is it likely that the feet will be found in the way of life? Will they not wander off to the fields of folly, up to and over the precipice of ruin? - C.







But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return.
In the worst of times God has a little remnant that kept their garments clean, and in the midst of the most sweeping and desolating calamities He will take special notice of it for good.

1. The remnant will be but small. "A tenth." A certain number put for an uncertain. The tenth was God's proportion under the law, consecrated for His use.

2. They shall return; i.e., from their sins and backslidings and the common defections of the Church of Israel. They shall return also from their captivity in Babylon to their native land.

3. It is asserted of this remnant that it shall be eaten; that is, say some, after they return they shall be devoured a second time by the kings of Assyria. God's remnant, when they are delivered out of one trouble, must lay their account with another. Or, as some understand it, shall be accepted of God as the tithe was which was meat in God's house. The saving of this remnant shall be meat to the faith and hope of them that wish well to God's kingdom and interest.

4. It is said of this remnant, that it shall be "as a teil, and as an oak whose substance is in them, even when they east their leaves." As if He had said, Though they may be stripped of their outward prosperity, and share in the common calamity; yet they shall recover like a tree in the spring, and sprout and flourish again: although they fall, they shall not be utterly cast down.

5. This distinguished remnant shall be the stay and support of the public interest. "The holy seed shall be the substance thereof."

(E. Erskine.)

I. WHAT ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND BY THE RELIGIOUS OF A NATION?

1. Those who, as to the doctrine of Christianity, "hold the Head."

2. Those who, as to the practice of Christianity, "fear God and work righteousness."

II. HOW, AND IN WHAT RESPECTS, THEY MAY BE SAID TO BE ITS STRENGTH. "The holy seed" is here called "the substance," or "stock," of a people; so that in what respects the strength of a tree is in its stock, in those, or several of them, the strength of a people is in the religion of them.

1. The stock of a tree is the most firm and durable part of it.

2. The stock is that which propagates its kind. Cut off all the boughs, and yet the stem will shoot forth again, send out new leaves and fruit and seed, from which other trees will come. So here the righteous propagate their righteousness, communicate to others, beget children to God.

3. The stock of the tree is that for the sake of which the tree is dressed and watered and looked after. Men take care of the tree so long as there is life in the stock; they not only do not grub it up, but prune it, and bestow upon it what cost and labour is fit for it.

III. ON WHAT ACCOUNT THE RELIGIOUS OF A NATION MAY BE SAID TO BE ITS STRENGTH, or what influence they have on the welfare and security of a people.

1. As they are God's favourites.

2. As they improve their interest with God for a people.

3. As they are a means many times to stop the current of wickedness, which is ready to overflow a land with judgments, and to bring swift destruction on it.

4. As they not only check the progress of sin, but propagate goodness to others, as well as promote it in themselves. This they do by their counsels, admonitions, example.

5. Sometimes the religious of a nation may have an influence upon its public welfare, by doing some eminent service, wherewith God is much pleased, and to which He hath a special respect. "Phinehas stood up, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed" (Psalm 106:30).

6. God may sometimes spare a people for the sake of His children among them, that they may be useful and helpful to them in His work. This end God had in sparing the Gibeonites; He intended they should be "hewers of wood and drawers of water" for His sanctuary, and so assistant to the priests and Levites in their service (Joshua 9:27). So, Isaiah 62:5,

7. God can make even Moab "hide His outcasts" (Isaiah 16:3, 4); "the earth help the woman" (Revelation 12:16); Ahab favour a good Obadiah, that he may hide the Lord's prophets (1 Kings 18:3, 4); a heathen Cyrus "let go His captives and build His city" (Isaiah 14:13); a Darius, an Artaxerxes, an Ahasuerus, countenance and prefer a Daniel, a Nehemiah, a Mordecai, public instruments of good to His people. Sometimes God may so twist and combine the interest of worldly men with the interest of His children, that they cannot promote their own, without helping on the others'.

IV. APPLICATION.

1. If the religious of a nation are the strength and defence of it, then the same may be said of the religious of the world, — they are the substance of it, the support, the strength of it. The world itself is preserved chiefly for the sake of the godly in it, "the holy seed."

2. The religious of a nation are not its enemies.

3. The sinners of a nation are really the weakness of it.

4. It is the interest of any people where God hath a seed of righteous ones to favour them and make much of them.

5. It is folly in any people to persecute them that are truly religious. For by this means they lose —

(1)the benefit of the saints' prayers;

(2)the help of the saints.

(J. Collins, M. A.)

Though it belongs to the very essence of Biblical revelation, we find, we moderns, a strange difficulty in laying hold of it. In spite of the pathetic beauty of its exposition in Isaiah it never lays hold of us in our reasonable thinking, in our habitual imagination, as the truth of all truths in estimating and justifying the ways of Providence. We read these great and beautiful passages which tell of the remnant which shall return, to come again to Zion with joy and singing, and yet it does not fasten on us as the exhibition of a principle which should govern our conduct, and determine our growth, and solve our practical perplexities, and disperse depression and feed hope. Yet this is what it did to the prophets, and this is what it did to St. Paul. In every darkest hour, under every bewilderment, at every blow that smote the spirit of faith or wounded the heart of love, back they turned to this one prevailing theme — Never fear! Never give up! The remnant shall return; the remnant shall be saved. God has not forgotten His remnant, and in the safety of the remnant all is once more possible. The whole jeopardised salvation of Israel and the Church may yet be recovered.

(H. Scott-Holland, D. D.)

Practically, in conduct, in handling your own lives, in dealing with your neighbours, surely this method of God's should be yours also.

1. You are inclined to denounce the wickedness of the world, to despair of human nature, to abandon someone as hopeless, to see nothing in him that you can like or respect. Look again, consider it once more. Is there no place in that man's heart where you may touch him, no point at which he will reveal a good side? It is strange how men we thought to be the very worst surprise us here; constantly we come upon something generous that they do, some touch of loyalty, some sign of tenderness and devotion. There it is; that is the one hope! God need not despair of the man so long as he has one spot left on which to work. One saith: "Destroy it not, for its blessing is in it" — the blessed words of mercy said over the dead trunk of a tree, bare and wasted and burned with fire, a stump charred to the naked ground, yet destroy it not; its seed, its substance is in it! So long as that can be said over a man, strive for him, pray for him, work for him at that spot to rescue it, to enlarge it, to save it.

2. And do the same with yourself when you are despairing, when you review your life and condemn it at every point, when you can see no use whatever in renewing resolutions which you are sure to break, and efforts which already foretell their own disaster. Nevertheless, go back on the holy substance — "Christ is in you, the eternal hope of honour." "Yes," you will say, "all else would have been lost but for that; verily, if God had not left me that seed, I should have been even as Sodom and Gomorrah, but, thanks be to God, it is not so; it never can be so if only I will believe it."

(H. Scott-Holland, D. D.)

The application —

I. TO THE JEWS. What a chequered history has been the history of the Jewish nation! Why is it that the Jewish race is preserved? We have our answer in the text: "The holy seed is the substance thereof." There is something within a tree mysterious, hidden and unknown, which preserves life in it when everything outward tends to kill it. So in the Jewish race there is a secret element which keeps it alive. We know what it is; it is the "remnant according to the election of grace."

II. TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, whereof the Jewish people are but a dim shadow and an emblem. The Church has had its trials; trials from without and trials within. Why is it that the Church is still preserved, when she looks so dead? For this reason: that there is in the midst of her — though many are hypocrites and impostors — a "chosen seed," who are "the substance thereof." Let me draw your attention, as a Church connected with this place, to this point — that the holy seed is the substance of the Church. A great many of you might be compared to the bark of the tree; some of you are like the big limbs; others are like pieces of the trunk. Well, we should be very sorry to lose any of you; but we could afford to do so without any serious damage to the life of the tree. Yet there are some here — God knoweth who they are — who are the substance of the tree. By the word "substance" it meant the life, the inward principle. The inward principle is in the tree, when it has lost its leaves. Now, God discerns some men in this Church, I doubt not, who are towards us like the inward principle of the oak: they are the substance of the Church. Note here, that the life of a tree is not determined by the shape of the branches, nor by the way it grows, but it is the substance. The shape of a Church is not its life. In one place I see a Church formed in an Episcopalian shape; in another place I see one formed in a Presbyterian shape; then, again, I see one formed on an Independent principle. Here I see one with sixteen ounces to the pound of doctrine; there I see one with eight, and some with very little clear doctrine at all. And yet I find life in all the Churches, in some degree — some good men in all of them. How do I account for this? Why, just in this way — that the oak may be alive, whatever its shape, if it has got the substance. Observe, again, that the substance of the oak is a hidden thing; you cannot see it. Thou art a Church member. Let me ask thee — art thou one of the holy seed? Some will say, "How is it that good men are the means of preserving the visible Church?" I answer, the holy seed doth this, because it derives its life from Christ.

III. This is true of EVERY INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER: his substance is in him when he has lost his leaves.

1. Christian men lose their leaves when they lose their comforts. The faith of the Christian, when shrouded by doubts and fears, is just as much there as when he rejoiceth devoutly in the display of it.

2. Some Christians lose their leaves not by doubts, but by sin. Many a child of God has gone far away from his Master, but His substance is in him.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Sunday School Chronicle.
A gentleman had a beautiful shrub in his garden. He set great store by it as the pride of his place. At the time of the great blizzard it was blasted and withered. The life of it seemed wholly gone. He did not give up hope, though there was nothing that gave him encouragement. But he loved that shrub, and longed to save it if he could. So what did he do? Tended it more than ever. Opened its roots to the genial sun, pruned it patiently and with care, cherished it all he possibly could. A year or two passed away. It was a slow and cheerless business, and he came near losing hope. But, one day, what was his joy to see signs of life returning. The sap began to rise, the stems to recover their spring, it put on fresh leaves, bloomed anew, and filled his heart with thankfulness. Be patient. God sees deeper than we do.

(Sunday School Chronicle.)

A teil tree...an oak.
The two most common forest trees of Palestine were the terebinth and oak. They were strong hardy trees. It was a matter of difficulty to kill them, so to cut and maim them as to take the substance or vitality out of them. So long as the trunk or stem was allowed to remain in the soil, they were sure, in course of time, to grow and flourish anew; and Isaiah was taught by God Himself that His people would be equally tenacious of life. The red rough hand of war might shake off the leaves and lop off the branches; It might also reduce the stem to the slenderest proportions; but the tree of Judah, at times a large fair tree, would not fall into a state of utter decay, and vanish away. Period after period there would be a tenth — a remnant, however diminutive, as many as would, by the blessing of Heaven, once more develop into a prosperous nation. Sooner or later, the judgments of God would have the desired effect, and the tree that had been hurt and peeled would give indications that it had not been deprived of all its substance or vitality.

(G. Cron, M. A.)

a beautiful tree, the Pistacia terebinthus, growing to a large size in the countries around the east end of the Mediterranean, and in countries further to the east, especially in Syria, Palestine, Arabia, and Persia. It is also called the "turpentine tree," and a transparent, pleasant-smelling resin of high value is procured in small quantities from slits made in the bark of branches and stems. Its blossoms bloom in April, and its fruit is a small bluish nut with an edible kernel, much used and relished especially by the Persians. In Palestine it wag found in valleys, not in woods, but generally isolated. The name does not occur in the A.V., but the Hebrews elah, rendered in Isaiah 6:13 "teil," and in Hosea 4:13 "elm," is most probably the terebinth.

(J. Macpherson, M. A.)

So the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
"The holy seed" is the substance, the body, the life, the worth of any nation, any community, or any church.

I. First, therefore, we must contemplate "THE HOLY SEED" that we may know who they are.

1. This seed of God are they whom He has created anew by His Spirit, whom He has adopted into His family.

2. But this seed are evidenced and demonstrated by their holiness; they are "the holy seed." Holiness signifies separation, seclusion, setting apart.

II. Our main point is to prove that THIS "HOLY SEED" IS, IN ANY COMMUNITY OR CHURCH, "THE SUBSTANCE" OF IT. The holy seed is the substance of a nation —

1. Because God regards all beside in a nation but as dross and foliage — dross without gold, foliage without fruit.

2. Because the holy seed alone diffuses a sanctifying, a saving and a savouring efficacy upon the land in which it is found.

3. Because for their sakes God spares a guilty land when otherwise His whole displeasure would be allowed to rise against it (ch. 1:9; Genesis 18:23, etc.).

4. Because the holy seed are the spiritual warders of a nation, who watch with prayer, and stand in the breach and implore God that He should not destroy it.

(H. Stowell, M. A.)

I. GIVE A DESCRIPTION OF THE REMNANT spoken of in the text.

1. A remnant is a small piece taken from a greater. The Church of Christ is a remnant separated from the rest of mankind.

2. This remnant is different from the rest of mankind in their character.

3. They are also under a different government.

4. They also stand on a different foundation.

5. They are under the influence of another spirit.

6. They are travelling quite a different road.

7. They come to a different end.

II. SHOW WHY THEY ARE CALLED A SEED. Because —

1. They owe their spiritual origin to God.

2. They bear His likeness. As every tree bringeth forth its natural fruit, he that is born of God will be like God.

3. They are in respect to their dependence on God. God grafts us into Jesus Christ, and we are therefore dependent upon Him for nourishment and strength, as the branch depends on the stock of the tree for support and sap to grow thereby.

4. Because they are of the family of God.

5. Because they are heirs of His estate.

III. SHOW WHY THEY ARE CALLED A "HOLY" SEED.

1. They are holy by sanctification. They are set apart.

2. Because of their purification.

3. Because the Spirit of God dwells in them.

IV. WHAT IS MEANT BY THIS SEED BEING DENOMINATED THE "SUBSTANCE" OF A LAND OR CHURCH?

1. By the word "substance" I think the prophet means treasure, or the chief part, or that which constitutes the welfare of a land — that in which the chief excellency or support or wealth of a nation consists. This is true of the people of God.

2. Further, it implies that they are God's only inheritance in the world.

3. This seed is called a substance because it is the support and stay of a land or a church.

V. SHOW IN WHAT RESPECT THIS SEED MAY BE SAID TO BE THE STAY AND SUPPORT OF A LAND OR OF A CHURCH. For their sakes ruining calamities are withheld from those nations which deserve to be visited with the judgments of God (Genesis 19:22; 2 Samuel 5:12; Genesis 30:27; Genesis 39:3; Malachi 3:11). This remnant shall be the strength of the land by their prayers (Jeremiah 29:7; 1 Samuel 7:9).

(T. Bagnall-Baker, M. A.)

I. WHAT IS THE CONDUCT WHICH IT NOW BECOMES PIOUS MEN TO CULTIVATE AND DISPLAY. In order that they may sustain the honourable station which is assigned to them, they are to cultivate and display certain habits of thought and character appropriate to the season in which it is their lot to live.

1. Pious men should cultivate and display uncompromising separation from the practical wickedness which is around them.

2. Pious men ought to cultivate and display firm and unwavering attachment to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.

3. Pious men ought to cultivate and display cordial, fraternal attachment towards each other.

4. Pious men ought to cultivate and display zealous exertion for the promotion of Christian truth and influence throughout the land.

II. WHAT ARE THE RESULTS WHICH, FROM THE CULTIVATION AND DISPLAY OF THIS CONDUCT, MAY BE PROPERLY ANTICIPATED. "The holy seed shall be the substance thereof." Pious men are to be the safeguards of the national interests; and when the time of calamity has passed, those interests are to be maintained in security and in honour. God preserves nations for the sake of the pious men who are in them, and who duly display and vindicate their character.

1. Observe the anticipated results as they bear upon what is temporal and civil. There has not been a dynasty holding the reins of empire since genuine Christianity took its root amongst us, and there has not been a single reign of any one of those dynasties, but what might be summoned, as affording living testimony to the truth, that the temporal interests of the nation have been bound up with the piety of its people. Pious men will preserve —

(1)The order of our land.

(2)The freedom of our land.

(3)The peace of our land.

(4)The prosperity and honour of our land.

2. Notice the anticipated results as they bear upon matters spiritual and religious. Here the promise is more distinct and the consequences are more palpable.

(1)The defeat and destruction of erroneous opinions will be secured.

(2)The salvation of multitudes of immortal souls will be secured.

(3)Vastly increased facilities for the promotion of the Saviour's kingdom throughout the earth will be secured. Conclusion —

1. The vast importance of being numbered amongst the "holy seed" yourselves.

2. Let us endeavour to arise to the performance of our obligations.

(J. Parsons.)

1. The seed, like the tithe, is but little in respect of the rest of the field. Yet —

2. It is a numerous seed, absolutely considered in itself (Revelation 7:9).

3. It is an honourable seed.

4. A costly seed unto our glorious Redeemer.

5. A flourishing and fruitful seed.

6. A troubled and persecuted seed in this world.

7. Yet a very durable seed (Psalm 89:28, 29).

8. In this world a scattered seed.

9. A holy seed.

(E. Erskine.)

This imports —

1. That the wicked of a land are but a heap of lumber in God's reckoning, whatever be their station, quality, or estate.

2. That the saints, the truly godly, in a land are excellent and valuable persons (Psalm 16:3; Proverbs 12:26; Revelation 3:4; Hebrews 11:38).

3. That the saints of are His inheritance and portion in a land. He has a peculiar right and property in them beyond the rest of mankind; they are so much His that they are not their own, and therefore have not power to dispose of themselves, but for His glory.

4. That as they are His portion and property, so He has a great deal of pleasure in them, even as a man takes delight and pleasure in that which is his substance.

5. That there is something in and about the godly that is not to be found among other men. The wicked, when laid in God's balance, are found wanting solidity; but the holy seed are the substance, they bear weight.

6. That the remnant of truly godly in a land are the riches thereof, for a man's riches is his substance.

7. That the truly godly are the stay and support of the land where they live.

(E. Erskine.)

We do not suppose that the prophet means to say that all the wicked men will be removed from captivity and the good men only left. (See on the contrary Jeremiah 24:5-7.) He is dealing with the nation as representing the kingdom of God, and means to say that the coming judgments will weed out the worldliness and carelessness that prevail at present, will deepen true spiritual religion in Israel, and fit her to be the centre from which the truth and grace of God shall go forth to all the world.

(P. Thompson, M. A.).

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