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iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not; he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul. Thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; and they shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. Thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee, that shalt thou speak. Be not afraid of their faces; for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth, and the Lord said unto me, Behold I have put my words in thy mouth. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire, saith the Lord? and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces'? Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day, I have even sent you all my servants the prophets The Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people". He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord'.
SECT. 6. The happiness of Israel when attending duly to these sacred messengers.
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day nor night; ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence. Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water
b Ezek. iii. 18-21.
Jer. i. 7, 8, 9.
2 Chron. xxxvi. 15.
§ 6. Isa. lxii. 6.
c Ezek. ii. 7.
Jer. xxiii. 28, 29.
2 Chron. xxiv. 19.
d Ezek. ii. 5.
* Jer. vii. 25.
of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers". How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth. Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice, with the voice together shall they sing. The watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion, unto the Lord our God. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord; and their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow any more at all. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness. I will satisfy her poor with bread; I will also clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. And I will set up shepherds over them, which shall feed them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord".
SECT. 7. The sin and fatal consequences of disregarding the message of the prophets.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I spake unto you, rising up early, and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not. How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom is in them? Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book; that this is a rebellious people, children that will not hear the law of the Lord. Who say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path,
cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us". Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant. They dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments; yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy Spirit in thy prophets : yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hands of the people of the lands. Hear, O earth, behold I will bring evil upon this people, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. Thus saith the Lord, If ye will not hearken to me to walk in my law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth".
SECT. 8. The just indignution of God against false prophets and impious priests.
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? The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not; the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. For, from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. Her prophets are light and treacherous persons; her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. Ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before
d Isa. xxx. 8-11.
§ 8. Jer. v. 30, 31. • Zeph. iii. 4.
e Isa. xxx. 13.
h Jer. xxvi. 4, 5, 6.
b Jer. ii. 8.
Neh. ix. 29, 30.
C Jer. vi. 13.
all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. For both prophet and priest are profane; yea in mine house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord'. For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of hers, their ways shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness; they shall be driven on, and fall therein; for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation". There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof; her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them'. Therefore have I poured out mine indig nation upon them, I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath; their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God*.
Wo be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people, Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord'. Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds, Wo be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves; should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool; ye kill them that are fed, but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force, and with cruelty have ye ruled them, and they were scattered,
e Mal. ii. 8, 9.
h Jer. xxiii. 12.
f Jer. xxiii. 11.
Ezek. xxii. 25, 26.
* Lam. iv. 13.
Ezek. xxii. 31.
Chap. 2.] OF THOSE THAT MINISTERED, &c. 395 because there is no shepherd". Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord": Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I am against the shepherds, and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more.
SECT. 9. The joy of the Saints in the pure ordinances and ministers of the sanctuary.
The Lord gave the word; great was the company of those that published it". Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them. He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar; they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them'. O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; he is their help and shield. The Lord hath been mindful of us, he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron". Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good. Bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, who by night stand in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary; and bless the Lord'. Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord; ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. Bless the Lord, O house of Israel; bless the Lord, O house of Aaron; bless the Lord, O house of Levi; ye that fear the Lord, bless the Lord ".
Ezek. xxxiv. 2-5.
§ 9. Psal. lxviii. 11.
d Psal. cxv. 12.
"Ezek. xxxiv. 7.
Psal. cxxxv. 1, 2, 19, 20.
• Ezek. xxxiv. 10.