O [thou that art] named the house of Jacob
Called after that great and good man, and reckoned the people of God, and have the character of being religious persons; but, alas! have but a name, and not the thing, and are the degenerate offspring of that famous patriarch: is the Spirit of the Lord straitened?
or "shortened" F14; the Spirit of the Lord in his prophets, is it to be limited and restrained according to the will of men? or, if these prophets are forbid to prophesy, and they are silenced, is not the residue of the Spirit with the Lord? cannot he raise up others to prophesy in his name? or is the Spirit of the Lord confined, as a spirit of prophesy, only to foretell good things, and not evil? may it not threaten with, punishment for sin, as well as promise peace and prosperity?, and is it to be reckoned narrow and strait, because it now does not? the fault is not in that, but in you, who make it necessary, by your conduct, that not good, but evil things, should be predicted of you: [are] these his doings?
either Jacob's doings, such things as Jacob did? did he ever forbid the prophets of the Lord from prophesying? or did he do such things as required such menaces and threatenings as now delivered by the prophets? or are these becoming such persons as go by his name? or are such works as are done by you pleasing to God? were they, no such terrible messages would be sent by his prophets: or are these the Lord's doings? are judgments the works he is continually doing and taking delight in? are they not his acts, his strange acts? did you behave otherwise than you do, you would hear nothing of this kind: do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
that walks in a right way, and according to the rule of the divine word, in the uprightness and integrity of his heart, aiming at the honour and glory of God in all his ways? to such a man the words of the Lord by his prophets speak good things, promise him good things here and hereafter, and do him good, exhilarate his spirits, cheer, refresh, and comfort his soul.