Corrupt Sacrifices

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
~ Genesis 4:3-7

And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
~ Deuteronomy 15:21, Ecclesiastes 5:4-5

Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?
~ 1 Samuel 2:29

But 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. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
~ Malachi 2:8, Daniel 5:3-4

And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
~ Mar 14:3-5

Upon Malachi 1:12-14, by James Renwick. The following contains its preface and the sermon, Lecture 9.

But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
~ Malachi 1:12-14

Preface.

If I should ask this question at you who are come here this night, would ye have the Lord coming back to Scotland again with the gospel? I trow, if I should begin at the one end of you, and go out at the other end, that I should not get a negative answer; ye will all say, that ye would have this day again. But, O! where is the right exercise that ye should be exercised with, in order to your preparation to meet him? For his coming will disappoint many of their expectation: And therefore, I would offer these two things to your consideration:

1. The first is this, He will come, but his coming will be in flaming fire, to take vengeance on the generation; he will come with the garments of vengeance, and the cloak of severity: He will come, and will have his heart avenged on the inhabitants of Scotland: He will come, and he will make the land to shake before him, and melt for fear; all hearts shall be pained, and all faces turned into paleness: This shall be the manner of his coming. Ay! it will be very sad and affrighting to them that he is come to deliver; it will even be with them, as it was with Christ’s disciples, when he came walking unto them upon the sea, they were much troubled, and cried out for fear; his coming shall be such, that his treading shall be sad, even upon these that he is coming to deliver.

2. His coming shall be such, that many shall be miserably disappointed of their expectation: Many of you think that ye have a desire after his coming, and have the expectation of great things when he comes, but ye shall be greatly disappointed; for his coming will be with great fuels of fire. I may compare such folk to these spoken of, Isa. 58:2, yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinances of their God; they ask of me the ordinances of justice, and take delight in approaching to God. They had a sort of longing after him; and wherefore was it? They had expectation of great things; they thought they should get temporal felicity, but they mistook him. So many think that they will have brave days when he comes back, but they will be greatly disappointed; for, his coming will be with their destruction. To what end, saith the prophet, is it for you to desire the day of the Lord? Shall it not be darkness and not light? Amos v, 18. We think it strange that many understand so little what they are doing: They will pray for his coming back to the land again, and in the mean time they are joining with all the sinful courses of the times. They will pray for his coming, and in the mean time they are doing what they can by their practice to keep him away. Many of you are going and joining with the hirelings of the time, in hearing them. What do ye expect that that Dagon, whom ye worship, will stand when he comes back to the land? I tell you, that his coming will be in severity to you: and it is a great question to me, if any of these that have gone back, and left the way of the Lord, and joined with sinful courses, shall win through the calamity. Do not think to sooth yourselves up with these vain hopes; for his coming will be in another kind than many look for. But, possibly ye will have this question to ask, Who will these be that he will come in mercy to, and that will likely be spared, and meet with mercy and win through? Answer, truly that is an odd question, and not easily answered: But I shall show you some marks of these, that likely he will come in mercy to, although in judgment. And,

1. These that have fled to him for refuge, and to be sheltered under the shadow of his wings, and to be hid from wrath; these that are fleeing to Christ, fleeing from themselves, from Satan, and from the world, and have chosen Christ for their alone portion and choice; it is there only that he will likely spare. But, do not think, that when Christ hath been so great a stranger in the land, and the rod hath lain so heavy upon his people, think not that he will spare hypocrites; no, no: They shall meet with an overflowing stroke: They need not expect that they will be spared, he spared who will; but, there that expect to be hid in that day, must resolve to be in Christ, to be hid under the shadow of his wings, and have an interest in him, and study to make it their work to carry as such.

2. These that likely will be spared, are these who are shaking their hands, and keeping them clean of the causes of his controversy with Scotland: The Lord hath taken up a quarrel and controversy with the inhabitants of Britain; therefore, there that he will spare, will be there that are keeping themselves clean of the causes of his indignation. Ye need never expect to win through the storm, and to be free of the stroke, by going in under these curates, and so think that ye will thrimble (tremble) through the storm; no, no: God is pursuing his quarrel against the land, for their backsliding from him: and, think ye, by so doing to be spared? No: I will tell you assuredly, that God’s anger shall cease in the destruction of such: But, it will be only these that shall be spared, that are studying how to be faithful to the Lord; it was only Joshua and Caleb, that followed the Lord fully, that he brought over Jordan, when the rest, even the whole camp of Israel, died in the wilderness: It is only these that are studying to be faithful to him, that he will bring through and spare, when he makes way for his wrath and indignation, that he will reveal with fury upon this land.

3. There likely he will spare and bring through, that are putting a blank in his hand, that he may afflict and chasten as he pleaseth: These that have their wills resigned wholly to him, and that are putting no limits upon his sovereignty, as to his chastising and contending; there that are crying out, it is the Lord, let him do as seemeth good to him; and so study submissive patience, and are waiting under all his chastisements. It is not these that he will bring through, that are crying out, how shall we shift the cross, and shun the trials? But it will be these that are crying out, how fall we carry rightly under trials, and under the cross?

4. It will be these that likely he will bring through, that are submitting themselves to what the Lord pleaseth to do to them; them that are resolving with themselves to die in the common calamity, and are content if God get glory, that they be made stepping stones for his returning. It will not be there that will win through, that have taken sinful anxious longing to win through, to see good days; no, no: I doubt if any feck (amount or quantity) of these shall win through. There must be a resolving, and a submitting of themselves to what the will of the Lord is: for, his coming shall have an uncouth aspect; it shall be as terrible like, as to look death in the face; and, in some respect, death shall be chosen rather than life, and be as desirable: And it shall be there that are content to die, and to leave their carcasses in the wilderness, that the Lord shall bring through.

5. It shall be these that he shall spare and bring through, that are resolving upon the worst of it, come what will: that neither height nor deep, things present nor things to come, shall separate them from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, nor make them forsake his way, these that are resolutely set for him, studying heart-honesty in his matters, and that are resolving to follow him as their beloved, through death and blood, and all that may come in their way. And, Oh! shall he not have such a company in Scotland, that shall be found thus faithful for him, that shall not love their lives unto the death, to do service to him? It shall be such that he will bring through, that shall not fear fire or sword, gibbet or tortures; these that resolutely resolve upon the worst of it. Ah! alas! we are an unprepared people for such a mercy. Let us put up our suits to him, that he would prepare a people for the good that he is coming to do to these lands.

Let us pray.

Lecture 9, on Malachi 1:12-14.

But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
~ Malachi 1:12-14

Many may get much of their hypocrisy in matters of their worship hid from others, that are like themselves, they may bogle and beguile men, but there is an all-seeing eye of God, that knows well what is in man, and what is designed by all men; particularly and especially in the matter of his worship, he knows well who is guilty, and he will find them out: there is not a hiding-place for man to get his sin hid from God; there is no place to be found for these; no pretence that men may make for themselves, that will either hide a man’s iniquity from this all-seeing eye, nor no excuse for it will be admitted of: men’s external shows may pass for much among men, but it is not possible that these shows of religion, how glistering-like soever, will pass in the sight of a jealous God, who is a just Judge. But to come to the words read.

In the foregoing part of this chapter, the Lord is showing by this prophet, how this people, especially the priests, were exceeding guilty of the contemning of his name, and he pronounceth a sad sentence against them, viz. that he will transfer his church, and remove it from them; and tells them, that he will get a people among the Gentiles, that his name shall be great among; and he gives the reason of the justness of this sentence, and the reason is, because they have profaned his name. Now, they might reply, how had they profaned it? And he proves it.

(1.). By their expression: And then,

(2.) By their deeds. They concluded that the temple of the Lord was polluted, by what it had been, the expressions that he proves it by, and so they needed not to stand what to offer; so they thought that ought would suffice, to be an offering offered thereon, so here there deeds that they proved by. But we would come and observe some things anent (concerning) the reasons of the cause of the justness of his controversy. And,

1. Observe, that the justice of the Lord’s controversy with a people, within a visible church, is ill to be seen, when the cause is not condescended upon, and laid to heart; so, it is the duty of that people that he is contending with, to be of ten putting up their suit to God, and asking that question, why contendest thou so sore? I do not mean by quarrelling, but by asking humbly the causes of his anger. Alas! the causes why the Lord hath contended with us there many years have been little inquired into: the Lord hath been hovering over Scotland for a long time, and hath been keeping up and carrying on a controversy with the inhabitants of this land, and if we were not blind, we might see our sins written on our judgments. So that it is clear here, that necessary truths are oft-times ill heard, and therefore must be oft inculcated; for they are not to be past without observation. What is it that ye have polluted and profaned my name by, in bringing polluted bread to offer upon mine altar? This is connection being repeated, what need (ye will say) is there to have it repeated? It is to shew, that oft-times the most necessary truth is worst heard, and least heeded. Whence we will instruct this lesson, that such is the unperceivingness of people, that live under the drop of God’s word for a long time, and hear very wakening truths, and yet not hear, so as to regard or lay it to heart. Their hearts are harder than a stone; for water, dropping often upon a flint, will make a hollow-place therein, but the hardness of men’s hearts is such, that they grow more hard: and so it is needful, that necessary truths be often inculcated. Few or none of you dare say, but ye have got the sinful way of this generation told you; I say, it hath been often told you: but what have ye done? What have ye done with these warnings? How have ye carried under these? I think the half of the preaching, that have been in testifying against these courses of cess and locality paying, and against joining with enemies, might have convinced all Scotland of the evil and sin of these ways. But, O how little hath this been heard or regarded! at least by many of this generation.

2. Observe, That the corrupting of God’s worship, and slighting of performances, is a profanation of the Lord’s name. How doth he reckon or evince this! Because they said, that the table of the Lord was polluted; and so they would not care what they brought to offer, even anything they thought would serve; but remember, that he will not hold such guiltless of profaning his name. And remember this, that the following of the courses of this sinful generation, and the going into, and hearing of these hirelings, who have run unsent, and joining with them, is a profaning of his name, and a breach of his day, and ye will be held as guilty. It is true, ye may escape the punishment of men, but ye shall not escape the punishment of God, if ye repent not. For I do declare, that the going in to hear these curates, and obeying them in their sinful commandments, is a profaning of the name of the Lord; for, by so doing, they mock God, and slight the performances that they ought to do. And, alas! many folks prayers are an abomination to God, and is crying for vengeance as the return of their prayers, because they mock God by them, in that they pray for the Lord’s returning again to this land. And, in the mean time, by their practice, they join with all the abominations of the time; and by so doing, they do all that they can to keep him away, that he may not return to this land again. And thus, they take his name in vain, by mocking him with their prayers, as they call them. O sinful prayers! remember that such are guilty of the breach of the third commandment, for taking of the Lord’s name in vain; and for this he will not hold them guiltless: for he is a jealous God, and in no ways will be mocked, but he will disdain these prayers.

3. Observe, That as they had given evidence of their profaning the Lord’s name, by their expressions, so he proves that they had given evidence of it by their deeds, (which is a confirming of the justice of his sentence against them) for here they made no conscience of his service, but brought any thing for an offering that came to their hand, and this he appeals to themselves; For, saith the Lord, offer it now unto thy governor, will he be pleased with thee, or accept of thy person? for it is very odious, and makes the service of God contemptible, when they that do it, weary of it. He rejoiceth to see a willing people serve him willingly: He forbade that the bread of mourners should come into his house, so then, he would not have people going heartlessly about his service, as it were their burden, but as their duty, with delight and pleasure. But ye will say, What can be the reason or cause of this, that his service is so wearied of? For answer, as I am sure that many of you are guilty of this, of wearying of his yoke and service, so I will shew you some of the causes thereof. And,

(1.) The first cause is the want of the awe and impression of God upon their spirit; and where this is wanting, and there is not a right fear and reverence of God, there will soon be a wearying of the service of God: But, where the impression of his authority is upon the heart, this will guard the heart from this wearying.

(2.) The second cause is, they find no sweetness, comfort or delight in his service, and so it becomes wearisome unto them. But, how comes this? It doth not come from his part, nor from the nature of his service; for, his way is delightsome and pleasant, but the cause is in your part, in that ye serve him so coldrifely (coldly), and this begets more coldrifeness (coldness); for he that prays coldrifely to God, by this provokes God to give him a denial, and to withhold his presence from him. Folk that weary in his service need not think but that will beget more weariness; and then they see many discouragements in that way, and this disheartens them, and they find no sweetness or delight in it, and so they weary. O set to seriously, and rest not till ye get all these clouds removed, and that ye be brought to find sweetness and delight in his way, and then ye will cry out, with the disciples upon the mount, that it is good to here.

(3.) The third cause is, because they despond of his mercy. O despond not of his mercy. I think no wonder, that so many have no love, reverence, nor delight in the service of God, considering how they despond of God’s mercy; but it he would ask how ye shall walk before him, without wearying of his service? I would tell you, to study to walk before him with fear and reverence, and despond not of his mercy and do not provoke him to draw back the gracious out-lettings of his love and grace, that have been sweet and refreshing to you; for, where these things are not studied, there is nothing of this sweetness or comfort felt, or enjoyed, and therefrom is a weariness procured, and a snuffing at the ordinances; so then, as he proved the profaning of his name by their expressions, so he proves it by their deeds, for they wearied at the multitude of their sacrifices.

4. Observe, that when a people give way to themselves weary, in the service and worship of God, then there is one of two effects that it will produce: for,

(1.) It shall either make them to quit and give up with the performance of duty altogether, or,

(2.) It shall have this effect, that they shall go about the exercise of his worship, so overly and slightly, that they shall not care how they get it over. Remember this, ye that weary of his service, it is a wonder that ye do not quit with the form of it also; for, it is sadly seen this day, that many have quit all the form of religion. Wearying in the service and worship of God begets more of this, and so this, continued in practice, provokes God to suffer them to renounce all; and this is seen in many, that seemed to be somewhat before: But if ye be not left to give up with a duty altogether, ye will regard how ye put your duty by hand. I am sure some of your consciences will bear witness to the truth of this, that when ye go to pray, due care is not studied how to go about prayer, so as to worship and serve God in the Spirit: But any way pleaseth you, if ye get it by, and then your carnal secure minds take rest, and get no satisfaction again; whereas, I am sure, that they that are right servers of God will be as careful in the manner as in the matter of his service, with a spirit of holy and tender zeal, with an eye to his glory in all that they do. And this will cost much more work than ever they found in the matter of his service. But they brought any thing, and thought it would serve; they brought polluted bread and offered, and wherefore was it? Because they laid, the table of the Lord was contemptible. They thought that the beauty and purity thereof was not as had been, and so they concluded, that any thing would serve for an offering, so as this confirms the justice of the Lord’s charge of profaning his name.

5 Observe, that the Lord requires, that there be no discord betwixt the inner man and the outward man: if thou offer the torn, is it not evil? And if thou offer the lame, is it not evil?! It was forbidden under the law, to bring the torn and the lame, as an offering to the altar; so there must likewise be an agreement betwixt the inner and the outward man. It was also forbidden to bring the sick of the flock, signifying, that he will not have the drooping and languishing service that many have to give. But that is not the service that he will accept of, so beware of bringing the sick as an offering. Beware of a discouraged and languishing way of serving him, and beware of a disagreement betwixt the outer and inner man, for he calls for both to be cordial in his service. O up with your head, therefore, and be cheerful in his service. It should be our element to serve him, as the fresh air is to the beasts, and the water to the fishes; we should be so, that we could not leave out of his service. O for such a sight of him, as would make it so! and this would be reward enough for the hardest talk he puts us to, although there was no reward of free grace after this.

6. Observe, they that weary of the Lord’s service will soon quit the conscience that is appealing to them. Offer this to thy governor, will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? When conscience speaks, that it was not you, so ye will find that your conscience will be an awe-band. Is it not strange, that so many professed, not long since, to be serving and following him, even under the cross, that their practice is now turned to the quite contrary; but I will not think strange of it; for such as weary of serving him will soon slight the voice of their conscience, or they will quit altogether, and he will quit them; and then, when God leaves them, their case is miserable. It is a sad word from God to a soul, let him alone, he is joined to his idols. But cursed be the deceiver which hath in his flock a male, and sacrificeth to the Lord a corrupt thing.

7. Observe, that the sentence that was pronounced against these, that were the corrupters of God’s service, was chiefly against the deceiver and the hypocrite. They pretend much zeal and love, make vows, and pay, and resolve and perform. But, what was it that they brought? It was but a corrupt thing, the refuse of what they had, that they had brought. They were just like many of this generation, that have no ill to venture their best things in the service of God, they will be loathed to venture the best of their nolt (cattle) and sheep for the cause of Christ, but think that any thing may serve, and so there is a curse pronounced against them: cursed be the deceiver, which bath in his flock a male, and offereth a corrupt thing to the Lord.

8. Observe, That let slighters of God’s worship and service be as good as they will, in their own eyes, and in the eyes of others, yet they are under the hard sentence of God’s heavy curse. Cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male (Malachi 1:14). But many will not believe this, these that go into the hireling curates the wrath and the curse of God shall be upon them, if they continue in that course without repentance. Therefore, as I desire that ye would flee from the curse pronounced by the Lord in his word, I desire that ye would flee from the camps of these men; for, as the fire devoured the camps of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, so shall the fire of God’s wrath burn up the camps of these men. So, as Moses warned the children of Israel to flee from the camps of these wicked men, so, in the name of the Lord, I tell you to flee from the camps of these hirelings; shall ye escape by iniquity? No: ye shall not escape; for, when the Lord is bringing on judgments on the land, for sin and falling from him, think ye to be saved under this gourd? Persuade yourselves, no: there is many a storm, that seems to be coming on sore and sharp. Many think they would go a day or two to the kirk, to prevent the stroke; but remember, that will make the deluge of wrath greater to you; do not think that ye shall escape by sinful means; for God shall discover all these gourds, and overturn all these shelters that many take cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and offereth a corrupt thing to the Lord.

9. Observe, that the wrongs that are done to God out of a pretence of zeal and godliness, are there that are most heinous in his sight; their hypocrisy and outside of holiness, and other seeming integrities and zeal that they had, and yet they are cursed with a curse, because that it was under the pretence of zeal and forwardness, for he was thereby most dishonoured. And this is the lesson that we would learn from it, that of all the wrongs that is done again ft God, these are most abhorring to Him, that are under the pretence of zeal to his name and way. I have a care that ye run not off at the right-hand, under the pretence of zeal and forwardness for him; for such zeal and forwardness is heinous in his sight, and injurious to him, though something in it may seem to be right; for, as it is wrong and a sin, under any pretence to offend the Lord, yet this hath a great aggravation in it, when it is done under the pretence of love to, and zeal for the Lord. Therefore study and labour to beware of all sin; but this especially, that is palliate and covered with the pretence of love, zeal, and seeming seriousness. O take warning! ye see what they did, that went off from us under the pretence of zeal and forwardness for him, that the Lord hath taken away that zeal, that they were masked with, and discovered their way to be most injurious to him: and he will also discover there, that this day are covering their injuriousness to him, with the pretence of love, zeal, and forwardness for him,

10 Observe, That it cannot but be a great injury against God, and procure a curse when people employ not their best things in his service. This is clear from verse 14, cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing. So men that employ not their best things in the Lord’s service, believe it they are chargeable with this; he calls for your best things in his service, and not that ye should spend that upon your lusts. Ye are called to employ the best of your time in his service, and many of you give him but the refuse of your time; or at best he gets but your by time for his service.” But ye should give him the best of your time and strength, and your hearts; all should be employed in his service. Do not say that ye do the best that ye can, for I am persuaded, that there is none of you, but ye may do more for him than ye do. And do not say, that ye improve the talent that he hath given you to trade with, for ye but must improve it; and the best of you, we fear, come short of improving it, for if ye improved it, ye should find it increase upon your hand, and ye would more appear like his children. But because people do not improve their time, and their abilities to lay them out for God, it procures a curse; for though our obligations go far beyond our duties, that we do, yet when we do not lay out all our abilities for him, and do not bestow our love, our affection and our time, and all that we have for him, but bestow them upon other things, we procure his curse.

Young folk set to the work, and be intreated to give up your lives to his service, and employ your best things for him; now when your desires are fresh and quick. O! will ye bestow them on precious Christ! ye have a brave prize put in your hand, if ye set right to the work; ye may see Zion’s King come back, and the crown set upon his head again. Now, there is two reasons given, wherefore they should not profane his name:

(1.) Because he is a great King:

(2.) Because his name is dreadful among the heathen.

11. Observe, that the great reason of peoples slighting of God’s worship and service, is the want of the impression of the greatness, sovereignty, and power of God. People win not to right thoughts of him; and therefore think that any time may serve, or that any service is good enough and any sacrifice may suffice to offer. But, will ye know, sirs, that he is a great King; great men, and kings on earth, require more service, than this great King and Lord gets from many: I do not mean these corrupt men, that calls themselves to: but these that are such. They require and get more service, than this great Lord gets; who is the King of Kings. And thus he brings in Israel; offer this now to thy governor, would he accept thy person? No, certainly. If ye were employed to stand before kings, and to do them service, ye would have other preparations for it, and would wait with other attendance diligently and obediently, than now ye do. Ye think to escape this stroke from his hand, that the injurers and profaners of his name will meet with, when he will avenge himself on all such. O! remember this, ye corrupt and carnal worshippers, that he is a great King, and that he will not pass by such injurers and profaners of his name; but he will avenge himself upon you suddenly.

Now, will not this cause you to seek after more seriousness in his service? Remember that the carnal and formal worshippers will be charged with profanation of his name, as well as the grossly wicked, though they do not make such open proclamation of profaning his name before the world as these do. Remember this, that he is a great King, and will not sit with the wrongs done to his name, but will be avenged on you suddenly.

12. Observe, That the Lord is dreadful among the heathen, the respect that heathens bear to the name of God, by reason, of his common providence, in what they conceive of him darkly therein, may be sufficient to condemn all that have a profession of him. O the respect the very heathens bear to his name and the impression that they have of a deity, may be sufficient to witness against the professed worshippers of him: so that the Lord makes use of the stedfastness of the heathen, when pleading with his people for their unfixedness. For, saith he, pass over the isles of Chittim, and see if there be such a thing, that they have changed their gods, which yet are no gods: But my people have changed their glory. The heathen then continued stedfast in the worship of their false gods, and they have even some impression of a deity on them; but a people that is under a profession of the name of the true God, will turn to a corrupt worship. Shall not the heathen stand up and witness against such in this land? May not the Lord bring in Turks and Barbarians, to witness against many in this generation? O contemners and slighters of God’s worship! it shall be more tolerable in the Day of Judgment for them than for you. And this will be the case of many, that little know this. But, oh! who would not fear thee, O thou King of Nations.

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