language, is not enough suited to the imperfection of human knowledge, and savours too much of system.

2 Cor. v. IO.

In the day of judgment, we know, that Every one shall receive according to that he

hath done, whether it be good or bad; and, by Gal, vi. 4. God's grace in Christ, shall have rejoicing

in himself alone, and not in another. And in regard to the present life, these predictions of the prophet Ezekiel, in whatever extent they were meant, were, no doubt, faithfully fulfilled; though we may be little able, we especially at this distance, to specify the times, or persons, or occurrences, of which they were spoken.

It may be more easy perhaps to single out an event or two, of which they certainly were not intended.

The destruction of Solomon's temple, for example, together with the captivity of seventy years, was plainly of the number


of those punishments, which were inflicted, not only for the sins of the sufferers, but also for the fins of those who went before them. Like unto him (that 2 Kings

xxiii. 26, is Josiah) was there no king, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his foul, and with all his might. Notwithfanding, the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah.


And they burnt the house of God, and 2 Chron.

Xxxvi. 19. brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire.

Surely at the commandment of the Lord » Kings

xxiv. 3, 4. came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his fight, for the fins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; and also for the innocent blood that he shed; for he filled Jerufalem with innocent blood, which the Lord . would not pardon.

The destruction also of the second tem


xxiii. 3%,

ple, and the astonishing Naughter and excision almost of the whole people of the Jews, which accompanied and followed it, as they are plainly foretold by our Lord, so they seem to be spoken of hy Him as a Divine Punishment, and special Judgment, not only for the crucifixion of our Lord Himself, but also for the vio.

lence done to all the Holy men and ProMatth. phets that had been before Him. Fill ye.

up the measure of your Fathers. - Behold, I send unto you Prophets, and wise men, and Scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from City to City: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood of Zecharias son of Barachias, whom ye flew between the Temple and the Altar. Verily I

say unto you, all these things shall come upon Luke xi. this generation. - I say unto you, it shall be

required of this generation.

34, &c.



And that we may the less wonder at these examples of divine punishment, or at least may mingle reverence with our amazement, in the very same manner Almighty God seems to have dealt sometimes with other nations besides the Jews; bearing with them long in their iniquities, and then interposing at last, by his special providence, to take the more exemplary vengeance for the sins of many generations together. Thou, saith He to Abram, Gen. xv. Jhalt go to thy fathers in peace, thou shalt be buried in a good old age: but in the fourth generation, they, (that is, thy posterity,) shall come hither again; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet FULL,

15, 16.

2, 3

Thus faith the Lord of Hosts, (they are 1 the words of the Prophet Samuel to King Saul, about four hundred and fifty years after the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt,) I remember that which Amalek did Ads xiii. to Ifrael, how he laid wait for him in the way when he came up from Egypt: now g?,


and Smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all
that they have, and spare them not; but Nay

both man and woman, infant and suckling, 1 Sam. xv. ox and sheeg, camel and ass. The Ama

lekites were indeed themselves finners ;
but the offences also of their forefathers,
you fee, for many generations, are taken
into the account, to fill up the measure
of their iniquities, and aggravate their


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What shall we say more? or what other choice indeed is left us, but to confess our

ignorance, and acquiesce in God's will? Pl. xcvii. Righteousness and judgment are the habita

tion of his feat; but clouds and darkness are
round about him. His very truth, and
mercy, by which we live, on which all
our hopes rest, however glorious and re-
splendent in Him, are shewn to human
fight with a luftre dim and interrupted;
the brightness of a sky broken with
clouds, and wet with the drops of rain.


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