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Behold, then, my dear brethren! | army approached—the soldiers of TiFirst see the application of these cir- tus were God's slaughter weaponcumstances to the conclusion of the men, who had a commission “to go Jewish dispensation in the days of through the city, through the midst of Jesus Christ, and the few year that Jerusalem, to smite young and old, succeeded, until the destruction of the men, women, and children.” But the city. Warning calamities had fallen man with the inkhorn went before, upon the people, they had been de- the true servants of the Lord marked prived of their independent govern- with that blessed mark, the blood of ment, they had been put under the sprinkling of “the Lamb slain from power of the Romans. God had before the foundations of the world," warned them again, by the voice of were preserved out of the ruin, they John the Baptist, to repent and turn escaped to Pella. to him, and flee from the wrath to Now, observe the application of come. There was yet one warning this. There is, you must admit, at more before they were given up to de- once a great similarity between the lusion, and that was uttered in the circumstances of the case in the time person of Jesus Christ himself. He of Zedekiah, and the circumstances of began his ministry by calling them to the case in the last destruction of repent, but he closed his ministry by Jerusalem under Titus. But the fact telling them, that now repentance was is much stronger than this in the way hid from their eyes. “If they had of the application of the prophecy of known," he said, even then, in that Ezekiel. It is not merely that the last day of their visitation, if they had circumstances are transferable from known then the things which belonged one historical event to another bisto their peace, but now it is too late, torical event, but the fact is, that some now they are hid from thine eyes." of the words of Ezekiel found no ful. He tolá them this before they crucified filment at all in the days of Jehoiakim him; they remained still unhumbled, and Zedekiah, but was reserved for its unconvinced; they derided him until fulfilment until the days of Titus. the very last; and after that they had Look into the fifth chapter of Ezekiel, shouted "away with him," "away verse twelfth, and you will see a passage with him”-after they had invented lies which was not fulfilled in the days of in order to cover their iniquity in the Zedekiah. There it was predicted that transaction-after they had suborned a third part of the nation should die and bribed the Roman soldiers to join by pestilence, that a third part should them in that lie, that the truth of his fall by the sword, and that another resurrection might be hid from the third part of the nation should be people, they were again warned by scattered unto all the winds and a Stephen, who applied to them the cha- sword sent after them. In the days racter of the people in the days of their of Zedekiah no such thing occurred. fathers, “Ye do always resist the There was nothing of famine or pesti. Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so lence, there was no destruction of a do ye." Instead of being convinced third part with the sword, and those even then, they gnashed upon him that were carried captive, instead of with their teeth, all hell appeared
being scattered unto all the winds, in their faces, and they rose in fury were taken into one country, and were against him, and stoned him to death. kept in one country all the time of A few years afterwards the long their captivity. That passage, therepredicted judgment came—the Roman fore, in Ezekiel, found no fulfilment in the days of Zedekiah, and waited | specting the second advent of Christ, for its fulfilment till the time of Titus. the solution of that chapter, in the main
Now, look at this principle. God principle, is the same with all, namely, filled the prophecy too full for the that two great events, similar in some first event. Enough of it was fulfilled respects and differing in other respects, at once to prove that Ezekiel was a are written in the same strain of lantrue prophet, and enough remained guage, one clause of which, especially, unfulfilled to show, that other events refers to one of the events, and an. were predicted beyond the first fulfil- other clause refers to another of the ment. God charged the clouds, as it events, but every clause of which has were, with more than one shower. In
some application, either literal or figuthe days of Jehoakim and Zedekiah one rative, to each of the events, shower fell. This identified the cloud Now we have seen how the language with the event to which the prophet of Ezekiel applies to the circumstances, first referred, and proved him to be a not only of the history of his own true prophet of God; but the cloud | times, but to the history of the end of still continued big, still floated on in the Jewish dispensation, and the final the good hand of God, reserving within destruction of their city. We see, in its bosom other events of prophecy to the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, be fulfilled according to the letter of how this prophecy of the destruction the prediction at some future period. of Jerusalem applies to the end of this And, again, in the days of Titus, the our dispensation, and the last judgment cloud opened its bosom and another which God shall bring on Christendom shower fell identifying those events for her wickedness, and this by a legitialso with the prediction of the prophet. mate fair process of Scriptural reason. And this is the method of God's proce- ing, a process which commentators are dure, that two events shall be predicted forced upon, in order to solve one chapin one great prophecy, the one literally ter after another, in both the Old and in a part of that prophecy, and the the New Testament: however they may other literally in another part of that fail to follow up the application, yet prophecy, which other part shall not the principle is admitted by them all. yet have an incipient fulfilment in We seek no more than their principle, the first event.
though we proceed with something Now, this is the principle by which more than their habitual application we go on to apply all the prophecy to of it. the end of the present dispensa- Upon this principle, then, we vindition. For, observe, in the prophetic cate the application of the language of discourse of our Lord, as written in the Ezekiel to the circumstances of Christhe twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, tian nations, under the government of there is a prediction of the destruction God, in these our days. of Jerusalem, and those that are in Judea brethren, how is it that Sudah was are desired to flee to the mountains. more under God's government than There is also a prediction of the coming England ? How is it that Israel was of the Son of Man in glory, and the more under God's government than gathering of his elect from the four France ? Is he not the Lord God winds. The only solution of this Almighty of all the nations? Was he chapter is on the supposition, uni- not the God of Egypt—God over versal in the Christian church, adopted Pharoah as he was God over David ? by all commentors, whatever their par- Was he not God over Babylon and ticular or different views may be re- God over Nebuchadnezzar as much as
For, my he was God over Solomon and Jerusa-, tion continue their luxury. I know lem? Shall we say that England how difficult it is to set out these shall we say that France-shall we say things—I know how difficult it is to that the nations of Christendom are tell the truth of God without seemfarther from God than the nations of ing to rail at those who are in high Egypt and Babylon ? If he is God, as places; and I say, once for all, I have you allow, of individual Englishmen, no intention of railing against any man; on what principle is it you deny him I hate the thought of it; but I must tell to be the God of all Englishmen as a what is my honest conviction of the nation.
truth of God about this country, with Now, then, look at the application whatever weight it may fall upon any of our text, and to the history con- man. The truth must be told, and nected with it. Warning calamities we must not be deterred from telling have befallen the nations of Christen- the truth by the apprehension of apdom; they have been shaken to their pearing to rail. Our hearts are our very centre. Wars, civil wars, and witness, that we hate all railing against foreign wars have plunged them into men, but we love the truth of God, misery, nation after nation, within the and must tell it. I say, the nobles unlives and memories of most of the humbled by the warning calamities of persons here present. Our own coun- the nation, continue their covetousness try, though in the mercy of God it and their luxury. Oh, what luxury was preserved from being the seat of there is among them; what extrawar, did not escape the contagion, for vagance! The furniture in their rooms the indirect consequences of these would keep thousands from starving, wars involved us in a participation, that are dying for want. Their useless which, politically speaking, could not sofas, and chairs, and glasses, would be avoided, and has left a load, an save thousands from starvation. They enormous load, of debt on England, continue their luxury and their covetunder which she yet groans, and from
Strange combination, but which there is no human prospect of true!
Like the Pharisees of old, they any honest deliverance.
combine extortion and excess. There is a warning calamity, then, The people continue their disconover Christendom—and now there is tent, their impatience of authority, a pause.
God waits to be gracious their unjustifiable insubordination ; for God has no pleasure in the death of a Christian people ought to bear not sinner-God has no pleasure in the only with good and gentle masters, calamity of a nation ; but God is as but they ought to bear with froward righteous as he is patient; and the masters; they ought to do well and patience of God has its limit. My suffer to be buffetted for it; they ought brethren, heaven is God's delight to to continue patient under rebukes, bring sinners to; but there is such a and under oppressions, if they were place as hell. Hell is as true as heaven really Christian people. I do not say -judgment as true as mercy-righ- this to vindicate the oppression of the teousness as true as peace—the arm ruler, God forbid ! but I say it, to of God as true as the heart of God- show the Christian duty of the subject and vengeance as true as love-but even when oppressed ; and, therefore, love is long suffering and forbearing. the oppression of the rulers, through
Now, unhumbled by the warning a sin in them, is no excuse for rebelcalamities which God has sent over lion in the subject. It is a sin in Christendom, the nobles in the na. them, but no excuse for you. Let
this principle be understood. The teachers of it paid from the public people, then, I say, continue their money? Are not the people taxed in discontent and impatience of controul order to pay for the teaching of Popish and authority, and they will not be priests, who, when they are taught under authority; and mischief incal- themselves, proceed to teach idolatry culable, is rising from that wave of to the people? Here is the image of popular discontent and tumult, which jealousy provoking the Lord God to threatens to overwhelm all the foun- jealousy with England. Oh! has he dations, and all the institutions of the delivered us from the Amorites, the land in one common desolating ruin. Hittites, the Hivites, the Perrezites
And the priests—in the mean time and the Jebusites—has he delivered us the priesthood—the authorized teachers from these abominations in time past of the people, not alive to the circum- has he, at the expence of the blood of stances of the country, not alive to the martyrs, delivered us from these the increased intelligence of their flocks, idols and these abominations—and are continue their idleness—continue their we going back now to set up the image, carelessness-continue their amuse- to make him jealous again, to commit ments—continue joining scenes which fornication with the idols of this chrisgrieve the hearts of those that love tianized heathenism--this heathenized them, and give their enemies a handle Christianity ? to speak against them. They continue The prophet further saw the great to dance, and to play, and to hunt, council of the nation with Jaazaniah and to gamble. Men, who ought to the king's scribe, the king's chief be at prayer and the word of God, minister burning incense before the who ought to be visiting the sick, idols that were pourtrayed upon the who ought to be going from house to wall. Oh, my brethren, we behold house, and from bed to bed, imparting the nation's great council. Now here the consolations of God's religion into again, beseech you to bear with the hearts of poor, helpless, dying the truth; I have no desire but to creatures and instead of being at the tell the truth; I have no wish to sick-bed they are to be found at ball- speak a word that shall offend any rooms, at concerts, at fox-hunts, and man, except so far as the truth of at race courses. My brethren, this is God shall offend him. We behold, true, and must be told. Now, this is I say, the nation's great council burnthe state of the case, notwithstanding ing incense into idols for the preservathe warnings God has given us. tion of the nation's weal. We behold
Now, see the application of the vi- them, each has his idol. One burnsions in our chapter. The prophet ing incense to emigration, as the deity saw the image of jealousy which pro- that shall England-another voked to jealousy. And is there not burning incense to the poor laws—anan image of jealousy that provoketh other burning incense to parliamentary to jealousy set up in this land-even reform, without a word from one of here, where the sanctuary of God is? them, of the God OF ALL, who alone can even here, where the last protesting give success to any of those expedients. power proclaims the truth of God And when a servant of his stands up against the apostacy of the Romish among them, and proposes, that they church? Is there not here the image should humble themselves before God that provokes to jealousy? Is not and seek His advice, and His direction Popery the image ? Is not Popery in these matters, and His over-ruling fostered by the state ? Are not the hand to bless those expedients that man's wisdom shall use, though in the the condition of this country in this magnanimity of their toleration they respect is truly very fearful. And may give that man a fool's pardon, here, under the righteous canopy of they have not the smallest idea of the explanation I have already made, adopting his proposal. No, no. They I must not hold my tongue against one say, in fact, when such a thing is of the most flagrant, one of the most proposed, “What do you talk about sinful affronts that has, since the reign religion for in this house? What do of the profligate Charles, been put upon you talk of religion for in Parliament? | a country, or upon the morals of a Is it not out of place? This is not the Christian nation. My dear brethren, place for religious discussion—this is not must I not say it? Can I answer for the place for Christianity, though we myself before God if I say it not, in are each here on the true faith of the applying such a portion of Scripture as Christian religion. Religion and po- this ? What do I mean? I allude to litics have nothing to do with one what a righteous nation ought to rise another. Let every one look after his in indignation against-I allude to own religion, it is his own private what the church in this nation, if it personal concern. Let every man go was worth its standing, should protest and serve God as it pleases him. But against-I allude to what every bishop as for national religion, there was such and every pastor in our national church a thing in the folly of our forefathers, should exclaim against-1 allude to but we are wiser now.” So they say bringing before the public, into public in their madness, their affectation of notice, and putting into the Gazette, wisdom.
putting into honour, and dignity, and The next vision that the prophet station—what shall I say :-children saw was of the women weeping for that are the fruit of fornication, that Tammuz. Oh, my heart sickens at the are the fruit of ungodliness in the land. thought of applying this vision. My Oh! my brethren, if the ministers of dear brethren, the licentiousness of the God will not tell of these things, who women of a nation is the sure fore
can we expect to stand up for the runner of the most deadly calamities. Lord? Whence shall the righteous feelIt stupifies all the remaining kind and ings of a nation rise up, but from the generous feelings which makes a people faithfulness of God's witnesses? And stand for true principle of any sort. if from fear of men they shall not wit. Even our profane writers could see ness, what can be expected ? If the this—even our profane poets could salt lose its savour wherewith shall the show that this sin, the licentiousness country be salted ? of a nation, stupifies all that is valu- There was one vision more preable, and all that is right, and all that sented before the prophet. It was is generous, and all that is kind and that of the men turning their backs tender. Do you not remember one of upon the temple and worshipping the them says concerning it :
I have already explained the “I wave the quantum of the sin.”
spirit of this charge. It is forsaking
the peculiarities of revealed religion, (The ungodly man! to wave the quan- and betaking ourselves to a more reatum of the sin, but he did)
sonable and more philosophical plan “ I wave the quantum of the sin,
of worship, looking from nature up to The hazard of concealing;
nature's God. It is making light of But, oh, it hardens all within,
the peculiarities of revealed doctrine. And petrifies the feeling."
It is making common cause with men,