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meeting. When you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you ; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear,” (Isa. i. 11. 18. 15.) “ He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck," (c. lxvi. 3.) “When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer an oblation, I will not accept it,” (Jer. xiv. 12,) “Go ye, serve your idols, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy Name no more with your gifts,” Ezek. xx. 39.

14. Yet all this time they were utterly careless and secure; nay, confident of being in the favour of God. They were at ease ; they put far away the evil day,” (Amos vi. 1, 3.) « Even when God hath poured his anger upon Israel, it set him on fire round about, yet he knew it not : it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart,” (Isa. xlii. 25.) “A deceived heart bad turned him aside, that he could not say, Is there not a lie in my right hand ?" (c. xliv. 10.) So far from it, that at this very time they said, “We are innocent, we have not sinned,” (Jer. ii. 35. 37.) “We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us,” (c. viii

. 8.) “ The temple of the Lord! the temple of the Lord are we,” c. vii. 4.

15. Thus it was that they hardened themselves in their wickedness. “They are impudent children, saith God, and stiff-hearted,” (Ezek. . 4.) “ Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination ? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush," (Jer. vi. 15.) “I have spread out my hand all the day to a rebellious people, that provoketh me to anger continually to my face,” (Isa. Ixv. 2, 3.) « They will not hearken unto me, saith the Lord, for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted,” (Ezek. jii. 7.) “Since the day that their fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day, I have sent unto them all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them : yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck; they did worse than their fathers,” Jer. vi. 25, 26.

They were equally hardened against mercies and judgments. When he gave them rain, both the former and the latter in his season; when he reserved unto them the appointed weeks of the harvest, filling their hearts with food and gladness, still none of this revolting and rebellious people said, “Let us now fear the Lord our God, (Jer. v. 23, 24.) “Nor yet did they turn unto him when he smote them,” (Isa. ix. 13.) “ In that day did the Lord call to weeping and to mourning: and bebold joy and gladness, eating flesh and drinking wine : let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die,” (c. xxii. 12, 13.) “ Although he consumed them, yet they refused to receive instruction : they made their faces harder than a rock-None repented him, but every one turned to his course, as a horse rusheth into the battle," (Jer. v. 3. ; viïi. 6.) “ I have given you want of bread in all your places, yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. I have also withholden the rain from you when there were yet three months unto the harvest. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew;" your gardens and your vineyards the palmer-worm devoured. --I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt ; your young men have I slain with the sword. I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord," Amos iv. 6--11.

16. In consequence of their resolution not to return, they would not endure sound doctrine, or those that spake it. They “said to the seers, see not, and to the prophets, prophesy not unto us right things—Speak unto us smooth things--Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us,” (Isa. xxx. 10, 11.) “ But they hated him that rebuked in the gate, and they abhorred him that spake uprightly,” (Amos v. 10.) “ Accordingly, thy people (said God to Ezekiel) still are talking against thee, by the walls, and in the doors of the houses,” (c. xxxii. 30.) “ And Amaziah the priest sent to Jeroboam, king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. Also Amaziah said unto Amos, Go flee thee away into the land of Judah, and prophesy there. But prophesy not again any more at Bethel, for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court, (c. vii. 10. 12, 13.) From the saine spirit it was that they said of Jeremiah, “Come, and let us devise devices against him-Come and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words,” (c. xviii. 18.) Hence it was that he was constrained to cry out, “O Lord, I am in derision daily; every one mocketh me. Since I spake, the word of the Lord was made a reproacb unto me, and a derision daily : for I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side : report, say they, and we will report it: all my familiars watched for my halting : saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him," (c. xx. 7, 8. 10.) And elsewhere, “Wo is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife, and a man of contention to the whole earth. I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury: yet every one of them doth curse me,” c. xv. 10.

17. “But if a man walking in the spirit of falsehood, do lie, (said the prophet Micah,) saying I will prophesy unto thee of wine and strong drink, he shall even be the prophet of this people,” (c. ii. 11.) And God gave them pastors after their own hearts : such were those sons of “Eli, sons of Belial, who knew not the Lord.” (1 Sam. ii. 12.) Rapacious, covetous, violent men, (ver. 14, 15, 16.) by reason of whom “men abhorred the offering of the Lord,” (ver. 17.) who not only “made themselves vile,” (c. iii. 13.) but also “made the Lord's people to transgress,” (c. ii

. 24.) while they “made themselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel." (v. 29.) Such were those of whom Isaiah says, “ The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink: they are swallowed up of wine." (c. xxviii. 7.) “Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink: and to-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” (c. lvi. 12.) Therefore, saith he, “the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and the seers hath he covered; and the vision of all is become unto you, as the words of a book that is sealed." (c. xxix. 10, 11.) Such also were those of whom he saith, “ His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs; they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Greedy dogs, which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand. They all look to their own way, every one for his gain from his quarter.” c. lvi. 10, 11.

Little better were those of whom the prophets that followed have left us so dreadful an account; “both prophet and priest are protane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord. And from the prophets of Jerusalem, is profaneness gone forth into all the land.” (Jer. xxiii. 11. 15.) “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things : they have put no difference between the holy and the profane, and I am profaned among them.” (Ezek. xxii. 26.) “If I be a father, where is mine honour; and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of Hosts unto you, O priests that despise my name,” Mal. i. 6. Yea, some of them were fallen into the grossest sins.

" The company of priests (said Hosea) commit lewdness: there is whoredom in Ephraim, Israel is despised.” (c. vi. 9, 10.) “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem (saith God by Jeremiah) a horrible thing : they commit adultery and walk in lies.” c. xxiii. 14.

18. And those who were clear of this were deeply covetoys. “Who is there among you that would shut the doors for naught? Neither do ye kindle fire on my altar for naught. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts. (Mal. vi. 10.) “The priests of Zion preach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money. Yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us ?" (Mic. ii. 11.) Thus saith the Lord, “ The prophets bite with their teeth, and cry peace: and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him." (c. iii. 5.) Therefore the word of the Lord came unto Ezekiel, saying, Prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, and say, Wo be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves: should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat and ye clothe you with the wool; but ye feed not the Rock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye heal. ed that which was sick; neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost, but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered because there is no shepherd, and they became meat to all the beasts of the field. Yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search and seek after them.” c. xxxiv. 1.-6.

19. To the same effect do the other prophets declare, “ Ye are departed out of the way, ye have caused many to stumble. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the peo ple.” (Mal. ii. 8, 9.) "From the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daugh

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ter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” (Jer. vi. 13, 14.) “They prophesy lies in my name.” (c. xiv. 14.) “ They say still unto them that despise me, the Lord hath said, ye shall have peace; and they say unto every man that walket! after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you." (c. xxiii. 17.) “ The prophets of Jerusalem strengthen the hands of the evil-doers, that none doth return from his wickedness.” (v. 14.) “They have seduced my people, and one built up a wall, and, lo ! others daubed it with untempered mortar.” (Ezek. xii. 10.) “With lies they have made the hearts of the righteous sad, whom Í have not made sad ; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him lise." (v. 22.): “Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.” (Jer. xxii. 10.) “ There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst of her, like a roaring lion, ravening the prey. They have devoured souls.” (Ezek. xxii. 25.) « Thus saith the Lord, feed the flock of the slaughter, whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty, and they that sell them, say, Blesser be the Lord, for I am rich; and their own shepherds pity them not." Zach. xi. 4, 5.

II. 1. Such is the general account which the Scriptures give of the Jews, the ancient church of God. And since all these things were written for our instruction, who are now the visible church of the God of Israel, I shall in the next, place appeal to all who profess this, to every one who calls himself a Christian, how far in each instance the parallel holds, and how much we are better than they.

And, first, Were they discontented? Did they repine at the providence of God? Did they say, Is the Lord among us or not? whes they were in imminent danger, or pressing want, and saw no way to escape? And which of us can say, I am clear from this sin : I have washed my hand and my heart in innocency? Have not we who judge others, done the same things ? murmured and repined times without number?

yea, and that when we were not in pressing want, nor (listressed with imminent danger? Are we not in general, (our own writers being the judges,) have we not ever been from the earliest ages, a repining, murmuring, discontented people, never long satisfied either with God or man? Surely in this we have great need to humble ourselves before God; for we are in nowise better than they.

But “Jeshurun forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” And did not England too? Ask ye of the generations of old, inquire from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, whether there was ever a people called by his name, which had less of “God in all their thoughts ?” Who in the whole tenor of their behaviour showed so “light an esteem for the Rock of our salvation ?”

Could there ever be a stronger cause for God to cry out, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, 0 earth !” For hath he not “nourished and brought us up as his children?" “And yet, how have we re

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belled against him !" If “ Israel of old did not know God,” if his ancient people “ did not consider;" was this peculiar to them? Are not we also under the very same condemnation? Do we, as a people, know God? Do we consider him as God? Do we tremble at the presence of his power? Do we revere his excellent Majesty ? Do we remember at all times, God is here ? He is now reading my heart: he spieth out all my ways; there is not a word in my tongue but he knoweth it altogether: is this the character of us English Christians ? The mark whereby we are known from the Heathen ? Do we thus know God? Thus consider his power, his love, his allseeing eye? Rather, are we not likewise a " sinful nation, who have forgotten him days without number! A people laden with iniquity, continually forsaking the Lord, and provoking the Holy One of Israel ?"

2. There is indeed a wide difference in this respect between the Jews and us; they happened (if I may so speak) to forget God, because other things came in their way: but we design to forget him: we do it of set purpose, because we do not like to remember him. From the accounts given by Jeremiah, we have reason to believe, that when that people was most deeply corrupted, yet the greatest men in the nation, the ministers of state, the nobles and princes of Judah, talked of God sometimes, perhaps as frequently as upon any other subject. But is it so among us ?' Rather, is it not a point of good breeding to put God far away, out of their sight? Is he talked of at all among the great? The nobles, or ministers of state in England ? Among any persons of rank or figure in the world? Do they allow God any place in their conversation ? From day to day, from year to year, do you discourse one hour of the wonders he doth for the children of men? If one at a gentleman or a nobleman's table were to begin a discourse, of the wisdom, greatness, or power of God, would it not occasion (at least) as much astonishment, as if he had began to talk blasphemy? And if the unbred man persisted therein, would it not put all the company into confusion? And what do you sincerely believe the more favourable part would say of him when he was gone? But that—“He is a little touched in his head !” or, “Poor man! he has not seen the world ???

You know, this is the naked truth. But how terrible is the thought to every serious mind! Into what a state is this Christian nation fallen! Nay, the men of eminence, of fortune, of education ! Would not a thinking foreigner, who should be present at such an interview, be apt to conclude, that the men of quality in England were Atheists? That they did not believe there was any God at all; or, at best, only an Epicurean God, who sat at ease upon the circle of the heavens, and did not concern himself abou us worms of the earth? Nay, but he understands every thought now rising in your heart. And how long can you put him out of your sight? Only till this veil of Aesh is rent in sunder

. For your pomp will not then follow you. Will not your body be mingled with common dust? And your soul stand naked before God? O that you would now

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