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8. If you find by these things which have been proposed to you, that you have lived in a way of sin, consider that if you henceforward live in the same way, you will Jive in known sin. Whether in time past it have been known sin or not, though you may have hitherto lived in it through ignorance or inadvertence ; yet if now you be sensible of it, henceforward, if you continue in it still, it will not be a sin of ignorance, but you will be proved to be of that class of men who live in ways of known sin.
WARNING TO PROFESSORS,
Ezek. xxiii. 37, 38, 39.
That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands;
and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire to devour them. Moreover, this they have done unto me; they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my Sabbaths. For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it ; and, lo! thys have they done in the midst of mine house *.
INTRODUCTION. SAMARIA and Jerusalem, or Israel and Judah, are here represented by two women, Aholah and Aholibah; and their idolatry and treachery towards their covenant God is represented by the adultery of these women. They forsook God, who was their husband, and the guide of their youth, and prostituted themselves to others. The baseness of Aholah and Aholibah towards God, their husband, is here pointed out by two things, viz. adultery and bloodshed: They have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands.
1. They committed adultery with other lovers, viz. with their idols: With their idols have they committed adultery.
2. They not only committed adultery, but they took their children that they bore to God, and killed them for their lovers. Their hearts were quite alienated from God, their husband, and they were so bewitched with lust after those other lorers, that they took their own children, whom they had by their husband, and put them to cruel deaths, to make a feast with them for their lovers; as it is said in ver. 37. And have also caused my sons whom they bure unto me, to pass for them through the fire to devour them.
* This Tract is the substance of owo posthumous discourses, on this text, first printed at Edinb. 1788.
But here is a twofold wickedness of those actions of theirs held forth to us in the words. (1.) The wickedness of them considered in themselves; for who can express the horrid baseness of this their treatment of God, their husband? (2) An additional wickedness, resulting from the joining of these actions with sacred things. Beside the monstrous wickedness of these actions in themselves considered, there was this which exceedingly increased the guilt, that on the same day they came into God's sanctuary, or that they lived in such wickedness at the same time that they came and attended the holy ordinances of God's house, pretending to worship and adore him, whom they all the while treated in such an horrid manner; and so herein defiled and profaned holy things; as in vers. 38, and 39. Moreover, this have they done unto me; they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my Sabbaths. For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary, 10 profane it ; and, lo! thus have they done in the midst of mine house.
DOCTRINE.—When they that attend ordinances of divine worship allow themselves in known wickedness, they are guilty of dreadfully profaning and polluting those ordinances.
By a divine ordinance, when the expression is used in its greatest latitude, is meant any thing of divine institution or appointment. Thus we call marriage a divine ordinance, because it was appointed by God. So civil government is called an ordinance of God: Rom. xiii. !, 2. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; for there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.”
But the word is more commonly used only for an instituted: or appointed way or mean of worship. So the sacraments are ordinances ; so public prayer, singing of praise, the preaching of the word, and the hearing of the word preached, are divine ordinances. The setting apart of certain officers in the church, the appointed ways of discipline, public confession of scandals, admonition, and excommunication, are ordinances. These are called the ordinances of God's house, or of public