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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

7 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 walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments

,

11 And I gave

them;

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that

ye may

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 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 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

under severer punishment. and I polluted them in their

* 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.

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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

? 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

Jerusalem.
Babylon set himself against
Jerusalem this same day.

3 That event having been revealed

to the prophet by a vision from 3 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

• 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. A! 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

8 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 thereof, 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 the Lord have spoken it : it was cut off. Though God declares

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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 moum 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

18 As Ezekiel mourned his wife, rebread of men. 18 So I spake moved by sudden death, so would unto the people in the morn- 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 50? 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

21 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 eyesthese 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 moum 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.

me.

own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD. Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against

For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering : there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings. Then I said into them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day. Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers ? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations ? For when

ye

offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day : and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel ? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you. And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with 35 Blessed Saviour ! Be Thou my fury poured out. 36 And I pleader ! and never shall my heart will bring you into the wil- be afraid ! derness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant : and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I 39 What an affecting remonstrance! am the LORD.

The Creator deigns to reason, and O house of Israel, thus saith

even plead, with his creatures" If the Lord God; Go ye, serve

ye can ungratefully forsake me and

my laws, for the dumb idols of the ye every one his idols, and heathen, and the baser idol of your

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As for you,

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