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bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in Four hand to be hunted ; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 22 Because with lies
22 We may well understand how ye have made the heart of the Aagrant a sin it is, wilfully to lead righteous sad, whom I have the souls of others astray from relinot made sad ; and strength- gion. What an aggravation of guilt ened the hands of the wicked, it is, wilfully to involve others in our
own sin, by deceit and vanity. that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations : for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
The seventeenth Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. EZEKIEL xiv. Then came certain of the 1 The prophet was at this time a elders of Israel unto me, and captive in Babylon. sat before me. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 'Son of man, these
3 When I pray to God with my men have set up their idols lips, let me have no idol in my heart in their heart, and put the ambition, pleasure, power-lest my stumblingblock of their ini- service be that of the hypocrite, an quity before their face: should
awful mockery of God ! I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through 6 Welcome sound! Repent and be their idols. Therefore say saved ! O my soul, rejoice therein, into the house of Israel, Thus and be glad. saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols ; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself : 8 and I will
8 Who shall contend against God! set my face against that man, Indeed, we cannot hope to prosper, and will make him a sign if the Lord set his face against us. and a proverb, and I will cut “ Who then art thou, that strivest him off from the midst of
against God ?” people ; and ye shall know 9 God complied with the wish of that I am the LORD. ' And
their heart, for their punishment. if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
10 They hated God's faithful prothey shall bear the punish- phets, who declared the truth boldly: ment of their iniquity : the and in their hearts longed after false punishment of the prophet prophets, who should prophesy deshall be even as the punish- ceits. Their wish was granted. They
had their false prophets—but the end ment of him that seeketh
thereof was death. unto him; that the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God. The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it : though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God. If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts : though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land ; so that I cut off man and beast from it: though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: though Noah, Daniel, ard
Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter ; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteous
21 In public calamities, the righness. 21 For thus saith the teous share in common the temporal Lord God; How much more misery. Yet their souls are in peace when I send my four sore
---safe under the shelter of His wing,
whose kingdom ruleth over all. judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast ? Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters : behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings : and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, eren concerning all that I have brought upon it. ** And they shall comfort you, 23 If God see fit to bring any heavy when ye see their ways and visitation upon me, 0 may I have their doings : and ye shall faith to know that He hath not done know that I have not done it without cause. “He chasteneth,
because He loveth me." without cause all that I have
then, O my soul! unto thy rest !" done in it, saith the Lord At the last thou shalt be comforted. God.
EVENING. EZEKIEL xviii. The word of the LORD came ? The fathers have sinned, but the unto me again, saying, "What children have suffered--according to mean ye, that ye use this the strict letter of the law, that God
would " visit the sins of the fathers proverb concerning the land
upon the children.” of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge ? As I live, saith the
3 God clears up this. It is in the Lord God, ye shall not have
nature of things that bad fathers occasion any more to use this lead children to bad courses, and by proverb in Israel. * Behold, their misconduct bring misery upon all souls are mine ; as the their families. soul of the father, so also
4 But if a bad father have a good the soul of the son is mine : son, or a bad son have a good father, the soul that sinneth, it shall shall be accepted ; the bad father
the good father and the good son die. But if a man be just, and the bad son rejected : because, and do that which is lawful henceforth, each individual is to be and right, and hath not eaten judged according to his own indi
vidual state, upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman,' and 7 How closely is duty to our neigh
hath not oppressed any, but bour connected with duty to our hath restored to the debtor
God ! and what care the Almighty
evinces for the poor and needy in his pledge, hath spoiled none
their distress. by violence, hain given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; he that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly ; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God. If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things, and that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife, hath oppressed the
poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination, hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live ? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations ; he shall surely die ; his blood shall be upon him. Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, that hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither bath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment, that hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes ; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and haih kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die.
20 Art thou a good father, but hast
a bad son ? Persevere! Thou hast son shall not bear the ini
saved thine own soul. Art thou a quity of the father, neither bad father, but hast a good son ! conshall the father bear the ini- sider seriously, that no reflected vir. quity of the son : the right- tue benefits thee, though thy bad eousness of the righteous
example may ruin thyself and others. shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be
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. 25 Yet ye say,
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 tureth away from his
jected, since all have come short of wickedness that he hath com
the glory of God. The finally re
jected are they who do not turn from mitted, and doeth that which evil. O reader, thy soul pleadeth is lawful and right, he shall for itself with thee against thy worldly save his soul alive. Because strivings! 0 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. 31 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, O 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.