10. I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.
10. In domo Israel vidi flagitium, illic scortatio Ephraim, pollutus est Israel.
11. Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.
11. Etiam Jehudah posuit messem (vel, plantam) tibi, dum ego reduco captivitatem populi mei (vel, in reducendo me, ad verbum, captivitatem populi mei.)
Here God declares that he is the fit judge to take cognizance of the vices of Israel; and this he does, that he might cut off the handle of vain excuses, which hypocrites often adduce when they are reproved. Who indeed can at this day persuade the Papists that all their worship is a filthy abomination, a mere profanation? We see how furiously they rise up as soon as any one by a whisper dares to touch their superstitions. Whence this? Because they wish their own will to stand for reason. Why? Good intention, they say, is the judge; as if this good intention were, forsooth, the queen, who ought to rule in heaven and earth, and God were now excluded from all his rights. This fury and this madness, even at this day, possess the Papists; and no wonder, for Satan dementates men, when he leads them to corrupt and degenerated forms of worship, and all hypocrites have been thus inebriated from the beginning. This then is the reason why the Prophet now says in the person of God,
We now understand the meaning of the Prophet, when he says,
Thus we see that the Prophet spared neither the king, nor his counselors, nor the princes of the kingdom; and he did not spare before the priests. And this magnanimity becomes all God's servants, so that they cast down every height that rises up against the word of the Lord; as it was said to Ezekiel,
Chide mountains and reprove hills,' (Ezekiel 6:2, 36:1.)
An example of this the Prophet sets before us, when he compares priests to robbers, and then compares royal temples to a brothel. Jeroboam had built a temple in which he thought that God would be in the best manner worshipped; but this, says the Prophet, is a brothel, this is filthy fornication.
Then he adds,
In a word, God shows here that there was no part any longer whole. When one undertakes the cure of a diseased body, and when he sees at least some parts whole, he has some hope of applying a remedy; but when not even a finger remains sound, what can the physician do? So also the Lord says in this place, "There was at least some hope of Judah, for some form of my worship remained there, and the purer teaching of the law continued; out now Judah propagates superstitions for Israel; observing that the whole land of Israel is full of superstitions, he takes from thence shoots and slips, and corrupts the remaining portion of the land, which has hitherto remained sacred to me." We now perceive, as I think, the genuine meaning of the Prophet.
Grant, Almighty God, that as we are prone to every kind of wickedness, and are so easily led away to imitate it, when there is any excuse for going astray and any opportunity is offered, -- O grant, that being strengthened by the help of thy Spirit, we may continue in purity of faith, and that what we have learnt concerning thee, that thou art a Spirit, may so profit us, that we may worship thee in spirit and with a sincere heart, and never turn aside after the corruptions of the world, nor think that we can deceive thee; but may we so devote our souls and bodies to thee, that our life may in every part of it testify, that we are a pure and holy sacrifice to thee in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
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