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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 19

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 11

A BROKEN VESSEL

‘A potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again.’

Jeremiah 19:11

I. An earthen vessel is a true emblem of human life, so frail, so brittle.—But there is something frailer yet in our resolutions and efforts after holiness. And when once these have failed us, we can never be again what we were. Always the crack, the rivets, the mark of the join.

II. In Gideon’s days there was a light within the earthen vessels, and when these were broken it shone forth.—There is, therefore, a breaking of the vessel which is salutary and desirable. And it is of this that Miss Taylor sings:—

‘Oh to be nothing, nothing!

Only to lie at His feet,

A broken and emptied vessel,

For the Master’s use made meet.

Broken, that so unhindered

His life through me might flow.’

It reminds me of a piece of pottery I saw in the mountain burn, which was in the water and the water in it. If there be in any one of us a proud and evil disposition, a masterful self-will, which frets for its own way and makes itself strong against God, then indeed we may ask to be so broken as never to be whole again. ‘Take me—break me—make me!’ is a very wholesome prayer for us all.

III. The apostle speaks of the heavenly treasure in the earthen vessel.—How wonderful it is that God should put so much of His spiritual ointment into such common and ordinary receptacles! No one detects what is in the saints till they are broken by sickness, pain, trouble; then the house is filled with the odour of the ointment.

Illustration

‘But Thou art making me, I thank Thee, sire,

What Thou hast done and doest, Thou knowest well,

And I will help Thee; gently in Thy fire

I will be burning; on Thy potter’s wheel

I will whirl patient, tho’ my brain should reel;

Thy grace shall be enough the grief to quell,

And growing strength perfect through weakness dire.’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Jeremiah 19". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/jeremiah-19.html. 1876.
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