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upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die ? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live ? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. * Yet ye say, The way 25 How gracious an appeal to our of the LORD is not equal. reason as well as to our faith ! Hear now, O house of Israel ; Is not my way equal ? are not your ways unequal ? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that
27 Therefore it is not every being he hath done shall he die. who may have sinned that is rejected * Again, when the wicked of God for then all would be reman turneth away from his jected, since all have come short of wickedness that he hath com- jected are they who do not turn from
the glory of God. The finally remitted, and doeth that which evil. O reader, thy soul pleadeth is lawful and right, he shall for itself with thee against thyworldly save his soul alive. Because strivings! O continue not in sin! he considereth, and turneth
cast it from thee ! away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal ? are not your ways unequal ? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions ; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. • Cast away from you 31 Why will ye die ?- What an awful all your transgressions, where- thought! God's hand is stretched by ye have transgressed; and out to save, even unto life eternal ; make you a new heart and a
yet the impenitent will die. new spirit: for why will ye die, 0 house of Israel ? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
The eighteenth Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. EZEKIEL XX. And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the Lord, and sat before me.
Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye come to enquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you. Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them ? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers : and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God ; in the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands : 'then
Forget not that our redemption said I unto them, Cast ye` also is conditional.
“ If ye love me, away every man the abomi- keep my commandments.” nations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me : they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 So God worketh in us by his
But I wrought for my name's grace, for his “ name and honour's sake, that it should not be sake !" polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
11 The same divine word is “ life or them my statutes, and shewed death,” according as it is obeyed or them my judgments, which disregarded. See 2 Cor. ü. 16. if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness : they
11 And I gave
which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths : for their heart went after their idols. Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: I am the LORD your God: walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; ? and hallow my sab
20 If you love your country, your baths ; and they shall be a church, your children, your neighsign between me and you, bours, your fellow.creatures-heed that ye may know that I am
this solemn truth; and whether great the Lord your God. Not
or lowly, keep the Sabbath holy *. withstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
Nevertheless I withdrew 22 How marvellous is the forbearmine hand, and wrought for ance of the Almighty! He willeth my name's sake, that it should not that any should perish. not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. 25 Wherefore
25 The evil desire of their heart I gave them also statutes that
was granted in anger ; that they were not good, and judgments might punish themselves, by sinking whereby they should not live; into deeper pollution, and falling and I polluted them in their under severer punishment.
* God may haply look to well-spent Sabbaths as the appointed sign, and spare his people. A greater misfortune cannot befall a nation than a polluting of the Sabbaths of the Lord. The appointed sign of mercy is then removed,
EVENING. EZEKIEL xxiv. Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, ? Son of man, write thee 2 This was written upon the banks the name of the day, even of of the river Euphrates, on the day this same day : the king of when Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Babylon set himself against
3 That event having been revealed this same day. to the prophet by a vision from * And utter a parable unto heaven, he shows, by the appropriate the rebellious house, and say figure of a boiling pot, the full deunto them, Thus saith the struction of the Jews. Lord God; Set on a pot, set it on, and also pour water into it: gather the pieces there- 4 Princes and people, the richest of into it, even every good and the noblest, should alike be subpiece, the thigh, and the jected to the fire of God's wrath in shoulder: fill it with the this visitation ; and find no escape. choice bones. Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, and make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein. Where- 6 It was usual with conquerors to fore thus saith the Lord God; cast lots whom they should select Woe to the bloody city, to from the captives, and so save from the pot whose scum is there- death. Here, no lot was to fall. All in, and whose scum is not were doomed. gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece ; let no lot fall upon it. For her blood is in the midst of her ; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust; that & The punishment of Jerusalem was it might cause fury to come thus to be made the more conup to take vengeance; I have spicuous. set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. Then set it empty upon the coals there of, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed. She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. In thy filthiness is lewdness : because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee. "I 14 Not that all hope of forgiveness shall come to pass, and I will that in sin no man shall be saved, do it; I will not go back, He also declares, that when sin is neither will I spare, neither From this twofold resolve God goeth
removed, the penitent shall be saved. will I repent ; according to not back-of this He repenteth not'. thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they jndge thee, saith the Lord God. Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke : yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. * So I spake moved by sudden death, so would
18 As Ezekiel mourned his wife, reunto the people in the mom- his countrymen mourn the overthrow ing: and at even my wife of their loved city Jerusalem-“ the died; and I did in the morn- desire of their eyes :" an overthrow ing as I was commanded. which he pictures to them under this
affecting sign. And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so? Then I answered them, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, "Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus each individual is united by holy and
31 The Church of God, to which saith the Lord God; Be- indissoluble bonds; and the holy hold, I will profane my sanc- temple of God, the delight of all tuary, the excellency of your eyes—these shall the Chaldeans atstrength, the desire of your tack, overthrow, and pollute. eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another. Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord God. Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters, that he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause thee to hear it
27 When the event thus prophewith thine ears? 27 In that sied shall take place, then shall thy
If there be change, it must be in his creatures. They must repent. So, the resolve of their God standing fast, they may then find pardon and peace ready to meet them.