12. I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.
12. Scripsi ei pretiosa legis meae, sicut alienum reputata sunt (quasi aliquid extraneum reputatum fuit.)
The Prophet shows here briefly, how we ought to judge of divine worship, and thus intends to cut off the handle from all devices, by which men usually deceive themselves, and form disguises, when at any time they are reproved. For he sets the law of God, and the rule it prescribes, in opposition to all the inventions of men. Men think God unjust, except he receives as good and legitimate whatever they imagine to be so; but God, as it is said in another place, prefers obedience to all sacrifices. Hence the Prophet now declares, that all the superstitions, which then prevailed among the people of Israel, were condemned before God; for they obeyed not the law, but had spurious and perverted modes of worship, which they had invented for themselves. We then see the connection of what the Prophet says: he had said in the last verse, that they had multiplied altars for the purpose of sinning; but so great, as I have said, was the obstinacy of the people, that they would by no means bear this to be told to them; he then adds in the person of God, that his law had been given them, and that they had departed from it.
We hence see, that there is no need of using many words in contending with the superstitious, who daringly devise various kinds of worship, and wholly different from what God commands; for they are to be distinctly pressed with this one thing, that obedience is of more account with God than sacrifices, and further, that there is a certain rule contained in the law, and that God not only bids us to worship him, but also teaches us the way, from which it is not lawful to depart. Since, then, the will of God is known and made plain, why should we now dispute with men, who close their eyes and wilfully turn aside, and deign not to pay any regard to God?
But he says, that he
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