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12

The Lord will give what is good,

and our land will yield its increase.


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12. Likewise, Jehovah will grant prosperity. Some take this verse allegorically, and interpret it of the increase of spiritual blessings; but this does not agree with the particle גם, gam, rendered likewise, by which the prophet, in my opinion, intends to express the completeness of that blessedness of which he had spoken. He therefore mentions the fruit of the earth, as an additional proof of God’s surpassing beneficence. The chief happiness of the Church is comprehended in these four blessings which he had specified; but the provision which is required for the support of our bodies ought not to be considered as unworthy of attention, provided our care about this matter is kept within proper bounds. If it is objected that these two subjects — the spiritual kingdom of Christ, and the fruitfulness of the earth, are improperly intermingled, it may be easily observed in reply, that there is nothing at all incongruous in this, when we consider that God, while he bestows upon his people spiritual blessings, gives them, in addition to these, some taste of his fatherly love, in the outward benefits which relate to the life of the body; it being evident from the testimony of Paul, that

“godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come,” (1 Timothy 4:8.)

But let it be observed, that the faithful generally have only granted to them a limited portion of the comforts of this transitory life: that they may not be lulled asleep by the allurements of earth. I have therefore said, that, while on earth, they only taste of God’s fatherly love, and are not filled with an overflowing abundance of the good things of this world. Moreover, we are taught from this verse, that the power and capacity of the earth to produce fruit for the sustenance of our bodies was not given to it once for all, — as the heathen imagine God at the first creation to have adapted each element to its proper office, while he now sits in heaven in a state of indolence and repose; — but that the earth is from year to year rendered fruitful by the secret influence of God, who designs hereby to afford us a manifestation of his goodness.




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