9 He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.

To go forth into apparent death would deliver them; to stay in apparent security would destroy them. It was parallel to the words of Christ,

"He that saveth his life shall lose it, but he that loses his life shall preserve it."

Many, in fact, did go out to the Chaldeans and were allowed to live, while those who tarried behind perished in the siege. But think of Jeremiah, a messenger of God, sunk in ignominious mud and darkness, apparently a poor recompense for the delivery of his message; but, in fact, faithfulness was thus put to the test; for it requires no great faithfulness to do a work that is rewarded on the spot with honour and emolument.

That horrible mud and the chills in his bones will be amongst Jeremiah's brightest memories when the work of God is complete. He will have no regrets about that pit when he is seen with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom.

He could not long have lived in such a situation; the time had not come for him to die, for his work was not yet done; so a friend was provided in Ebedmelech, the Ethiopian, who obtained the king's authority to bring him up with ropes.

Look at Jeremiah, just out of the pit, a sad sight for the servants of God, besmeared with mud, and chattering with cold. Let us learn that the service of God is not disproved by

being hard. Jeremiah would be quickly cleaned and re-clad, but his troubles were not over. The siege was in progress; the heavy thuds of the battering rams could be heard against the walls.

Food was in great scarcity, and nobody was in good spirits. By-and-by the city was captured. God had said to Jeremiah that he would be cared for in the end, but this did not interfere with his being chained amongst an indiscriminate crowd of captives, and wearily marched to Rabbath, where Nebuchadnezzar was encamped.

Arrived here, he was discovered by Nebuchadnezzar, and his release ordered, and money given to him, and permission to go back among his people. But not then was his trouble over. The people, seeing his words had come to pass, were naturally deferential to

him, and applied to him for direction as to their future proceedings. They strongly wished to go down to Egypt, as a land of peace, to get away from the terrors of war, and they consulted Jeremiah on the subject.

Jeremiah submitted the matter to God, and received instructions to order them to remain in the land; but this the people disregarded and went down to Egypt, taking Jeremiah with them. There we lose sight of him, except insofar as he makes himself visible in the "Lamentations," that were evidently written about this time.

Seasons 2.98