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6 he will revive us ; in the third day, he will. 6 raise us up, and we shall live in his fight'." Similar expressions are used to denote their conversion, Hosea xiii. 14. “ I will ransom them “ from the power of the grave: I will redeem “ them from death: O death I will be thy “ plagues ; O grave I will be thy destruction.” To the fame purpose the prophet Zechariah says, “ They shall live with their children, and turn 6 again;" Zech. x. . And the Apostle expresses “the receiving them again” to be members of the church, and the consequent increase of conversion among the Gentiles, by these words, “ Life from the dead; Rom. xi. 15. Further, the meaning of the resurrection in this passage is clearly ascertained by the illustration annexed, “ And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when “ I have opened your graves, O my people, and “ brought you up out of your graves, and shall “ put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live;" Ezekiel xxxvii. 13, 14. So that, “ bringing “ them up out of their graves,” is, in other words, “putting his fpirit in them ;" that is, converting them. Their restoration to the land given their fathers, is an eyent posterior to their conversion, not at all intended by the resurrec. tion of the dry bones, bui typified by the em

blematical

an

(1) See an illustration of this passage, page 80.

blematical action of the prophet, in the following part of the chapter.

Having thus discovered the general meaning of the paffage, by examining it more narrowly, we Thall find a minute detail of the manner of their conversion. “ The hand of the Lord was " upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of o the Lord, and set me down in the midst of “ the valley which was full of bones ;" Ezekiel xxxvii, 1. The valley into which the prophet is introduced, is the wilderness of Affyria; the bones are " the whole house of Israel” there collected: They are represented by bones, because of their hopeless condition, threatened with destruction, and no appearance of God's interposition for their deliverance. “ They say, Our “ bones are dried, and our hope is loft ; we are “ cut off for our parts ;” Ezekiel xxxvii. 11. Their hopeless condition proceeds from their infidelity, though for the present moment they are not conscious of the cause. " And caused “ me to pass by them round about; and, be“ hold, they were very many in the open valley; 6 and lo, they were very dry;"Ezekiel xxxvii. 2. On a further survey, the prophet discerns the host to be numerous, but their infidelity to be rivet. ted, and to haveexisted for a long time; the bones are very dry, as having continued in a Itate of death for ages before. “And he said unto me, "Son of man, can these bones live? And I “ answered, O Lord God, thou knowest ;” Eze. kiel xxxvii. 3. The prophet all along personates the teachers employed by God at the time appointed, as his inftruments to convert the mul. titude. He begins therefore by removing their scruples; he questions them if it was possible to convert that infidel multitude to the faith of the Messiah, whom their fathers crucified, and they . so long rejected and blafphemed? They an

iwer, That the thing is not probable; however, that nothing is impossible for Divine Power. . " Again, he said unto me, Prophesy upon " these bones, and say unto them, Oye dry 6 bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus faith ós the Lord God unto these bones, Behold, I will « cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall * live : And I will lay sinews upon you, and “ will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you “ with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall « live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord;" Ezekiel xxxvii. 4, 5, 6. Having removed the fcruples of the teachers, God expressly commands them to prophesy, that is, to illustrate the truth; proving from the word, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, Exhorting the people, at the same time, to receive this truth as the only mean of making them spiritually alive, restoring them to the favour of God, and deli

vering them from their present distress. Įntis mating likewise, for their encouragement, that the power of God was able to remove their scrus ples, however strongly confirmed, and long. continued.

" So I prophesied as I was commanded ; and ci as I prophesied there was a noise, and, be. “ hold, a shaking, and the bones car “' ther, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, asló, 'thë sinews and the flesh came up upon " them, and the kin covered them above : But, « there was no breath in them;" Ezek. xxxvii, 7, 8. In consequence of the teacher's exhortation, there is a ftir among the people; they give earnest attention to the truth, and, like the Jews of Berea, “ search the scriptures, to see so whether these things be so.” By this disposis tion to receive the truth, there is a progress towards conversion, and their state now differs from that in which they entered the wilderness, as the state of a dead body entire in its parts, cloathed with flesh, and covered with skin, differs, from that of dry bones, separated each from the other. “But there was no breath in them." They were still destitute of that faith which unites the foul to Christ, and derives life from him, the head of fpiritual influences.

" Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the " wind, ({pirit), prophefy, Son of man, and say

"...66 to

“ to the wind, (spirit), Thus faith the Lord “ God, Come from the four winds, O breath, “ (spirit), and breathe upon these flain, that “ they may live;" Ezekiel xxxvii. 9.' God therefore commands the teachers to illustrate another truth, namely, that conversion is the work of God's Spirit ; and that, in order to receive his influence, it is necessary to pray for him. “ So I prophesied as he conimanded me, " and the breath (spirit). came into them, o and they lived and stood up upon their feet, • an exceeding great army ; Ezek. xxxvii. 10. In obedience to God's command, the teachers, instruct the multitude, concerning the necessity. of the influences of the Spirit, in order to convert them. Afterwards they direct their prayers to God, in which the people join, requesting his influences. While they are thus employed, the Spirit descends with his powerful and liberal influences, converting this great multitude, in

stantly

(1) The word Ruach, in the original, signifies wind and spirit, and is commonly used to denote the Spirit of God. The repetition of the word prophesy in this verfe, intimates two distinct parts of the direction ; first, to explain the doctrine concerning the influence of the Spirit ;, sea condly, to apply the doctrine, by directing them to pray for him. Accordingly an address to him immediately follows : “O breath, breathe upon these flain, that they “ may live."

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