Imágenes de páginas

Jeremiah, even unto the greatest, every one is given to Covetousness., (c. vi. 13.) They panted after the Duft of the Earth, (Amos ii. 7.) They laded themselves with thick Clay, (Hab. ii. 6.) They joined House to House, and laid Field to Field, until there was no Place, (Isa. v. 8.) Yea, they enlarged their Defres as Hell : They were as Death, and could not be satisfied, (Hab. ii. 5.)

12. And not only for their Covetousness, but for their Pride of Heart were they an Abomination to the Lord. The Pride of Israel, faith Hofea, doth testify to his Face, (c. vii, 10.) Hear je, give ear,

faith Ja remiah, be 120t proud --Give Glory to the Lord your God, (c. 13. 15.) But they would not be reprov'd; they were still wise in their own Eyes, and prudent in their own Sigłt, (Ifa. v. 21.) and continually saying to their Neighbour, Stand by thyself, come not near to me ; for I am holier than thou! (Ifai. lxv. 5.)

They added Hypocrisy to their Pride. This people, faith God himself, draw near me with their Mouth, and with their Lips de honour me, but have removed their Hearts far from me, (Ifa. xxix. 13.) They have not cried unto me with their Heart, when they bowled upon their Beds, (Hof. vii. 14.) They return, but not to the Most High, they are like a deceitful Bow, (v. 16.) They did but flutter him with their Mouth, and difsemble with him in their Tongue, (Pfal. lxxviii. 36.) so that herein they only profuned the Holiness of the Lord. And this hare ye done again, faith Malachi, covering the Altar of the Lord with Tears, with weeping and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the Offering any more, (c. ii. 11. 13.)

13. This God continually declared to those formal Worshippers, That their Outside Religion was but vain. To what Purpose is the Multitude of your Sacrifices, saith the Lord? I am full of the BurntOfferings of Rams, and I delight not in the Blood of Bullocks, or of Lambs, or of He Goats. Bring no more vain Oblations : Incense is an Abomination unto me; the New Moons and Sabbaths, the calling of Asemblies, I cannot cway with; it is Iniquity, even the folemn MeetingWhen you spread forth your Hands, I will


Devices against him-Come and let us smite him with tbe Tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his Words, (c. xviii. 18.) Hence it was that he was constrained to cry out, O Lord, I am in Derisson daily ; every one mocketh me. Since I spake, the Word of the Lord was made a Reproach unto me, and à Derifox daily : For I heard the defaming of many,


n every Side : Report, say they, and we will report it :- All my Familiars watched for my halting : saying, Peradvenfure he will be inticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our Revenge on him, (c. xx. 7, 8. 10.) And elsewhere, Woe is me, my Mother, that thou hast born me a Man of Strife, and a Man of Contention to the whole Earth. I have neither lent on Usury, nor Men have lent to me on Usury; yet every one of them dotb curse me, (c. xv. 10.)

17. But if a Man walking in the Spirit of Falshood, do lie (faith the Prophet Micah) saying, I will prophesy unto thee of Wine and strong Drink, be fall even be the Prophet of this people, (c. ii. 11.) And God gave them Pastors after their own Heart; such were those Sons of Eli, Sons of Belial, who knew not the Lord, (1 Sam. ii. 12. ) rapacious, covetous, violent Men, (v. 14, 15, 16,) by reason of whom Men abhorred the Offering of the Lord, (v. 17.) who not only made themselves vile, (c. iii. 13.) but also made the Lord's People to transgress, (c. ii. 24.) while they made themselves fat with the chiefest of all the Offerings of Israel, (v. 29.) Such were those of whom Isaiah says, The Priest and the Prophet have err'd thro' strong Drink ; they are swallowed up of Wine, (c. xxviii. 7.) Come ye, say they, I will fetch Wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong Drink; and To-morrow fall be as this Day, and much more abundant, (c. Ivi. 12.) Therefore (faith he) the Lord hath poured out upon you the Spirit of deep Sleep, and hath closed your Eyes : The Prophets and the Seers hath he covered ; and the Vifion of all is become unto you as the Words of a Book that is fealert, (c. xxix. 10, 11.) Such allo were those of whom he faith, His Watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant ; they are all dumb Dogs ; they cannot bark, Neeping, lying down, loving to flum



ber. Yea, they are greedy Dogs, which can never have enough, and they are Shepherds that cannot understand. They all look to their own Way, every are for his Gain, from his Quarter. (c. lvi. 10, 11.)

Little better were those of whom the Prophets that followed have left us so dreadful

Account ;

Both Prophet and Priest are profane ; yea, in my House have I found their Wickedness, faith the Lord. And from the Prophets of Jerusalema, is Profaneness gone forth into all the Land, (Jer. xxiii. 11. 15.) Her Priests have violated my Law, and have profaned my boly things : they have put no Difference between the Holy and the Profane, and I am profaned among them, (Ezek. xxi. 26.) If I be

If I be a Father, where is mine Honour ; and if I be a Master, where is my Fear? saith the Lord of Hofts unto you, O Priests, that despise my Name, (Mal. i. 6.)

Yea, fome of them were fallen into the grosseft Sins. The Company of Priests, faith Hofea, commit Lewdress : There is Whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is despised, (c. vi. 9, 10.) I have seen allo in the Prophets of Jerusalem (faith God by Jeremiah) an horrible thing; they come mit Adultery and walk in Lies, (c. xxiii. 14.) 18. And those who were clear of this, were deeply

Who is there among you, that would jout the Doors for nought ? Neither do ye kindle Fire on my Altar for nought. I have no Pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Holls, (Mal. vi. 10.) The Priests of Zion preach for Hire, and the Prophets thereof divine for Money. Yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us ? (Mic. iii. 11.) Thus, faith the Lord, the Prophets bite with their Teeth, and cry, Peace : And he that putteth not into their Mouths, they even prepare War against him, (c. iii. 5.) Therefore the Word of the Lord came unto Ezekiel, saying, Prophesy agains; the Shepherds of Israel, and say, Woe be to the Shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves : Should not the Shepherds feed the Flocks? Ye eat the Fat, and ye cloath you with the Wool ; but ye feed not the Flock. The Diseas'd have ye not strengthen'd, neither bave ye begled that which was fack, neither have pe ciui

u bound


[ocr errors]

all Times, God is here! He is now reading my Heart: He spieth out all my Ways: There is not a Word in my Tongue but he knoweth it altogether : Is this the Character of us English Christians ? The Mark wherehy we are known from the Heathen? Do we thus know GOD! Thus consider his Power, his Love, his all-seeing Eye ? Rather, are we not likewise a finful Nation, who have forgotten kim Days without number ! A People laden with Iniquity, continually farsaking the Lord, and provoking the Holy One of Ifrael.

2. There is indeed a wide Difference, in this Respect, between the Jews and us ; they happen'd (if I may fo speak) to forget God, because other things came in their Way : Bat we design to forget him ; we do it of set Purpose, because we do not like to remember him. From the Accounts 'given by Jeremiah, we have Reason to believe, that when that People was most deeply corrupted, yet the greatest Men in the Nation, the Ministers of State, the Nobles and Princes of Judah, talk'd of God sometimes, perhaps as frequently as upon any other Subject. But is it so among us? Rather, is it not a Point of Goodbreeding to put God far away, out of our Sight? Is he talk'd of at all among the Great ? The Nobles, or Ministers of State in England ? Among any Persons of Rank or Figure in the World ? Do they allow God any Place in their Conversation ? From Day to Day, from Year to Year, do you discourse one Hour of the Wonders he doth for the Children of Men ? If one at a Gentleman or Nobleman's Table was begin a Discourse, of the Wisdom, Greatness or Power of God, would it not occasion (at least) as much Afonishment, as if he had begun to talk Blas. phemy ? And if the unbred Man perfifted therein, would it not put all the Company into Confusion ? And what do you sincerely believe the more favourable Part would lay of him when he was gone? But that He is a little touch'd in his Head ;' " Poor Man ! he has not seen the World."



[ocr errors]




You know, this is the naked Truth. But how terrible is the Thought to every serious Mind ! Into what a State is this Christian Nation fallen ! Nay, the Men of Eminence, of Fortune, of Education ! Would not a thinking Foreigner who should be prefent at such an Interview, be apt to conclude, That the Men of Quality in England were Atheists? That they did not believe there was any God at all ; or, at best

, but an Epicurean God, who sat at Ease upon the Circle of the Heavens, and did not concern himself about us Worms of the Earth ? Nay, but he understands every Thought now rising in your Heart. And how long can you put him out of your Sight? Only till this Veil of Flesh is rent in funder. For your pomp will not then follow you. Will not your Body be mingled with common Duft? And your Soul stand naked before God? O that you

would quaint yourself with God, that you may then be cloathed with Glory and Immortality!

3. Did God complain of the Jews. Even from the Days of your Fathers ye are gone away from mine Ordinances, and have not kept them. And how justly may he make the same Complaint of us ? For how exceeding small a Proportion do we find of those in any Place who call themselves Christians, that make a Conscience of attending them ? Does one Third of the Inhabitants in any one Parish throughout this great City, constantly attend Publick Prayer and the MiniJiry of his Word, as of Conscience towards God? Does one Tenth of those who acknowledge it as an Institution of Christ, duly attend the Lord's Supper ? Does a fiftieth Part of the nominal Members of the Church of England observe the Falls of the Church, or so much as the forty Days of Lent, and all Fridays in the Year? Who of these then can cast the first Stone at the Jews, for neglecting the Ordinances of God?

Nay, how miny Thousands are found among us, who have never partook of the Supper of the Lord ? How many Thousands are there, that live and die in this unrepented Disobedience? What Multitudes,


B 3

« AnteriorContinuar »