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can they not pass over it? But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season : he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. For among my people are found wicked men : they lay wait, as he that setteth snares ; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit : therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine : yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked : they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper ; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things ? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
God forbid that his ministers should palliate the sins of his people, or speak peace where there is no peace ! May He in mercy endue them with courage alway to declare the whole counsel of God, and to speak boldly as they ought to speak. May the people too receive with meek affection the faithful ministration of their fellow-servants, the ministers and stewards of their master Christ ; that together they may gain at last the rest which remaineth for the people of God.
EVENING. JEREMIAH xxii. Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates : thus saith the
3 Blessed be God, who thus careth LORD; Execute ye judg- for the children of men ! The fatherment and righteousness, and less, the widowed, the houseless wan. deliver the spoiled out of derer-all find a friend in Him. Let the hand of the oppressor :
me then draw near to Him. and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. But if ye will not
No throne or kingdom is estahear these words, I swear by blished except by righteousness.
myself, saith the LORD, that Unrighteousness bringeth ruin alike this house shall become a upon princes and their people. desolation. For thus saith Judah, when obedient, was high the Lord unto the king's as the lofty Lebanon, and prosperous house of Judah ; Thou art
as the fertile Gilead; but disobedi
ence laid it low and desolate. Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon : yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons : and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city? Then
9 O God, cleanse me from my indithey shall answer, Because vidual sins, lest they lend their aid they have forsaken the cove- in hastening my country's fall. nant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.
10 The righteous dead, like good not for the dead, neither be- Josiah, are taken from the evil to moan him: but weep sore come. His son Shallum, or Jehoahaz, for him that goeth away : for
died a captive in Egypt, 2 Kings ii.
20. he shall return no more, nor see his native country. For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more : but he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.
13 The tyranny of the rich over the him that buildeth his house
poor is sin against the Lord ; for He by unrighteousness, and his is the maker of them all. The woe chambers by wrong; that is specially denounced against Jehoiuseth his neighbour's service akim, who succeeded Shallum. without wages, and giveth him not for his work; that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermillion.
15 True honour consisteth not in the thou reign, because thou possession of high station, but in closest thyself in cedar? did rightly fulfilling the duties of it, as 110t thy father eat and drink, did the good king Josiah. Him God and do judgment and justice prospered. and then it was well with him? He judged the cause of the poor and needy ; then it was well with him : was not this to know me? saith the LORD. But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence to do it. There
fore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah ; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory! He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem. Go
20 A warning address to Jerusalem, banon, and cry ; and lift up whom God had set on high among thy voice in Bashan, and cry
the nations. from the passages : for all thy lovers are destroyed. I spake unto thee in thy prosperity ; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice. The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity : surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness. O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail ! As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; and I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die. But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not
28 Is it come to this, that Jeconiah return. 28 Is this man Coniah is carried captive and brought low, a despised broken idol ? is he as a broken idol ; none of his chila vessel wherein is no plea- dren to succeed him !"— Then is the sure? wherefore are they word of God accomplished. cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: and no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
We thus learn that the divine threatenings against sinners shall surely be executed, and the divine promises to the righteous shall as surely be fulfilled. Let us therefore turn to God; a wise and obedient people.
The fifteenth Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. JEREMIAH xxxv. The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Go unto the house of the Rechabites *, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites; and I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door : 5 and I set before the
5 As God did tempt, or try, Abrasons of the house of the Re- ham, so he tempts or tries these chabites pots full of wine, Rechabites, for the further confirand cups, and I said unto mation of their faith. them, Drink ye wine. But 6 How earnestly should we offer our they said, We will drink no
daily prayer, that if our heavenly wine : for Jonadab the son
Father see fit to lead us into temp
tation, or trial, He would be pleased of Rechab our father com- to deliver us from the evil of it: manded us, saying, Ye shall strengthening us to resist what is drink no wine, neither ye, nor
evil, and to cleave to that which is your sons for ever: neither good. shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any : but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye live many days in the land where
ye be strangers. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; nor to build houses for us to dwell in : neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed : but we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians : so we dwell at Jerusalem. Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel ; Go and tell the men of
* The Rechabites, or Kenites, were descended from Jethro, the fatherin-law of Moses.
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. 15 I have sent
15 What accumulated proofs of the also unto you all my servants Lord's forbearance 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 authority, of Israel ; Behold, I will bring The voice is that of man ; the autho
«« 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: 19 therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God
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 worever.
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.