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find that he speaks too plainly to please the prejudiced, and too boldly to please the worldly.
The fact is certain—we are all quite aware of it. What do we learn from it? We learn the necessity of keeping watch over ourselves, and of begging Divine assistance to keep us from this dangerous feeling. They are generally our best friends who prophesy not good concerning us. Those who care not for us, rarely give themselves the trouble to reprove us.
It is generally a proof of great weakness to cherish feelings of dislike towards those who may feel it their duty to oppose us, and there is certainly no feeling more becoming the lover of truth, than the impartiality which influenced the mind of Jehoshaphat, when he replied to the remark of Ahab, “Let not the king say so.”
But candour and fairness are not to be expected from the mass of men. quite sure that while the generality remain, as they are now, unaffected by a sense of the great realities of religion, the man of consistent piety must, like Micaiah, meet with
the world's hatred. He is not, therefore, to account the opposition and contempt he meets with as anything extraordinary–he is not to regard it as a strange thing. “If he is reproached for the name of Christ, happy is he.” The world can never understand his motives and principles. We must expect to be ridiculed, and despised, and misrepresented. But if he is called to suffer, let him “suffer as a Christian." Let him take good heed against giving occasion to those who without cause are his enemies. He
He may find grace sufficient for him in every trial from his Saviour. Who is he that can harm him, if he is a follower of that which is good? The world cannot injure those who rest on God, though all ought to be prepared to expect, that it will hate and revile those who prophesy not good concerning it, but evil.
THE MARK OF MERCY.
EZEKIEL ix. 4, 5.
“ And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst
of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite : let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity."
In the eighth, and three following chapters of his prophecy, Ezekiel relates the particulars of an emblematical vision. As he “sat in his house, the elders of Judah sat before him” for instruction, and the hand of the Lord God fell there upon him, to supply him with matter of warning to his companions in exile. He “beheld, and lo, a likeness as the appearance of fire,” bright and glorious, who “put forth the form of an hand, and took him by a lock of his head; and the spirit lifted him up between the earth and the heaven, and brought him in the visions of God to Jerusalem.” The idolatry of Judah was represented before bim. One scene of their abominations after another was exhibited before his eyes. At the command of his celestial conductor, “ he lifted
eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar, the image of jealousy in the entry.” Thus, as it has been finely observed, “ idolatry is itself personified and made an idol, and the image sublimely called the image of jealousy.” This was the general introduction to the spectacle. An opening is made in a secret chamber, and seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel are seen engaged in the celebration of what would seem to be Egyptian mysteries. He is commanded to turn again. He is brought to the door of the gate of the Lord's house, which was toward the north, to witness the performance of Syrian rites. “ Behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” And when at last he was introduced into the inner court of the Lord's house—“ behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east," imitating the superstitions of their Eastern neighbours. Thus it appears from what was thus represented to the prophet, that the Jews of the period were practising every kind of false religion which prevailed around them, while they neglected the worship of Jehovah.
Thus did the prophet see the representation of the wickedness of Judah. He was next to see his punishment. His conductor cried also in his ears with a loud voice, saying
“ Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And behold, six men came from