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Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my

14 How strong the contrast! The words? saith the Lord. " The Rechabites, on a principle of duty, words of Jonadab the son of abstained from that which was forRechab, that he commanded bidden by human authority ; even his sons not to drink wine, though the restriction alone would

render the act wrong. Yet the are performed; for unto this people of God did break those holy day they drink none, but laws which dirine authority had enobey their father's command- joined, though disobedience brought

ruin and death. ment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking ; but ye hearkened not unto me. " I have sent 15 What accumulated proofs of the also unto you all my servants Lord'sforbearance and longsuffering, the prophets, rising up early

and of Israel's stiff-heartedness! and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers : but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me. Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them ; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: 17 How solemn this judgment ! and 17 therefore thus saith the though spoken by human lips, yet Lord God of hosts, the God proceeding from divine authorityof Israel; Behold, I will bring The voice is that of man ; the autho

T« Thus saith the Lord God of hosts." upon Judah and upon all the rity that of God. So is it now, when inhabitants of Jerusalem all the minister of the word proclaims the evil that I have pro- its mercies or declares its judgments. nounced against them : be- Forget not this, as you hear the word. cause I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard ; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered. And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel ; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you: therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God

19

19 O Father, pardon our sins, and

accept our unworthy sacrifice of reof Israel ; Jonadab the son pentance, faith, and obedience ; that of Rechab shall not want a as the faithful Rechabites were preman to stand before me for served to share thy service and wor

ship, so “we that are thy people,

and sheep of thy pasture, may give Thee thanks for ever,” and “ faithfully serve Thee in all godly quietness," till we be called to serve Thee for ever in heaven.

ever.

EVENING. JEREMIAH Xxxvi.

And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 'Take thee

2 How gracious is the Lord ! Whea roll of a book, and write ther He afflict, or threaten afflictions, therein all the words that I He has in view only our repentance. have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto

3 God speaks here after the manner this day. It may be that

of men, showing us that whatever be the house of Judah will hear the perfections of his own attributes all the evil which I purpose of omnipotence and omniscience, to do unto them ; that they man's will is left him free to refuse

the evil or choose the good. may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah : and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the Lord: therefore go thon, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the Lord's house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities. It may be they will present their supplication before the Lord, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the Lord hath pronounced against this people. And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the Lord in the LORD's house. And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem. Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the Lord's house, in the ears of all the people. When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of the LORD, then he went down into the king's house, into the scribe's chamber : and, lo, all the princes sat there, even Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of She

of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people. Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come.

So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them. And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears. Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words. And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth? Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in a book. Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah ; and let no man know where ye be. And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king. So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll : and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month : and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed on the fire that was on the hearth. ** Yet they were not afraid,

24 Where the heart is worldly, how nor rent their garments, nei- it closes against spiritual warnings ! ther the king, nor any of his

25 How noble a sign is it in statesservants that heard all these

men and courtiers, when they give words. 25 Nevertheless El- their king faithful counsel, even nathan and Delaiah and Ge- though it be unwelcome ; and dare mariah had made intercession

to persuade their princes to do right. to the king that he would not burn the roll : but he would not hear them. 26 But the king 26 The providence of God ever commanded Jerahmeel the watches over his faithful servants, son of Hammelech, and Se- whether ministers or their people. raiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet : but the LORD hid them. Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the

words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, 28 Take thee again another roll,

28 How vain this persecution against and write in it all the former the written word! The eternal Spiwords that were in the first rit, which once speaks, remaineth roll, which Jehoiakim the ever the same in wisdom and in king of Judah hath burned. power. “ Hath he said, and shall he

not do it ?" And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah ; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David : and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. 31 And I will 31 The state of the sinner, as he punish him and his seed and grows disregardful of remonstrance, his servants for their iniquity; becomes more and more dreadful. and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them ; but they hearkened not. 32 Then took Jeremiah another 32 Added troubles await an impeniroll, and gave it to Baruch tent people. God is not mocked. the scribe, the son of Neriah; My soul, take warning ! who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire : and there were added beside unto them many like words.

The sifteenth Sunday after Trinity.

MORNING. EZEKIEL Ü. We find (chap. i. 28) that Ezekiel, amazed at the glorious appearance of the divine presence, had fallen prostrate, after the eastern manner of adoration. From this position he was commanded to rise, that he might give the more attention. And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me : they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a pro

6 And is not the path of the minisphet among them. And ters of the word now often beset with thou, son of man, be not briers and thorns? How frequently afraid of them, neither be is it trodden with pain and difficulty, afraid of their words, though from the sharp obstacles which hu

man passions interpose, and the vebriers and thorns be with nomed lies which infidelity and pride thee, and thou dost dwell direct against them. Well, thereamong scorpions : be not fore, are they urged to a patient

faith and an undaunted courage. afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear : for they are most rebellious. But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto meaning, that he was so

& The expression is metaphorical

to read, thee ; Be not thou rebellious mark, learn, and inwardly digest” like that rebellious house: the word, that he should be able the open thy mouth, and eat that more effectually to declare it in the

name of the Lord. I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; 10 and he

10 It was usual to write only upon spread it before me: and it one side of the parchment ; but so was written within and with- full of woe was this denunciation, out; and there was written

that it was written on either side. therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

EVENING. EZEKIEL xüü. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus

3 When you meditate upon the woes saith the LORD God; Woe thus denounced against false and unto the foolish prophets, that coward prophets, learn to bear pafollow their own spirit, and

tiently with your ministers in their

faithfulness. Remember their rehave seen nothing ! 0 Israel,

sponsibility. thy prophets are like the foxes

5 The faithful minister is to stand in the deserts. • Ye have

in the gap, when enemies assault his not gone up into the gaps, Zion; he is to make up, as it were, neither made up the hedge the defences of religion, which innofor the house of Israel to

vators have overthrown or weakened. stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith : and the

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