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almost of all Asia, this Paul having persuaded, has perrerted a considerable crowd, saying that they are not gods which are made by hands.

27. And not only is this portion for us in danger of coming to contempt, but also the sanctuary of the great goddess Artemis to be reckoned for nothing, and for her greatness to come even to be destroyed, whom the whole of Asia and the world worships.

28. And having heard [this] and growing full of wrath, they cried, saying, Great [is] Artemis of the Ephesians.

29. And the city was filled with the confusion; and they rushed with one accord into the theatre, having snatched Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, fellow-travellers of Paul.

30. And Paul counselling to enter in to the people, the disciples permitted him not.

31. And certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, having sent to him, besought [him] not to give himself into the theatre.

32. Some then cried one thing, some another; for the assembly was confused, and the most knew not for what suke they were come together.

33. And they drew Alexander out of the crowd, the Jews thrusting him forth. And Alexander having waved the hand, desired to plead for himself to the people.

34. But they knowing that he was a Jew, one voice drose from all, crying for about two hours, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.

35. And the Recorder having quelled the crowd, says: Sirs [ấvpoes] of Ephesus, who is there of men that knows not that the city of Ephesians is temple-guardian of the great Artemis, and of that which fell from Zeus!

36. These things then not to be gainsaid, it is necessary for you to be quiet, and to do nothing rash

37. For ye have brought these men [ăv&pas] neither robbers of sanctuarics, nor blaspheming your god.

38. If then Demetrius, and the artisans with him, have

a complaint against any man, assizes are held, and there are proconsuls ; let them summon each other.

39. But if ye seek something further, in a lawful assembly it shall be resolved.

40. For we are even in danger to be summoned concerning the uproar of this day, there being no reason about which we shall be able to render account of this concourse.

41. And having spoken these words] he dismissed the assembly.

The Preacher's finger-Post.

xv. 1-8.

A PARABOLIC PICTURE OF cause they have committed a tres

pass, saith the Lord God.”—Ezek. ISRAEL. “And the word of the Lord

The subject of this chapter came unto me, saying, Son of man, What is the vine-tree more

is the incorrigible depravity than any tree, or than a branch of the Hebrew people, inwhich is among the trees of the cluding both the men of Isforest ? Shall wood be taken

rael and of Judah. They thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any

had defeated the ends of their vessel thereon? Behold, it is cast high calling, and exposed into the fire for fuel; the fire de- themselves to the righteous voureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burnt. "Is it judgments of Heaven. The meet for any work ? Behold, following chapter exhibits the when it was whole, it was meet same subject at greater length, for no work : how much less shall

and in more minute detail. it be meet yet for any work, when

This chapter, which is our the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned? Therefore thus saith the

text, is a parabolic represenLord God, As the vine-tree among

tation of the Jewish people. the trees of the forest, which I From it we infer three genehave given to the fire for fuel, so

ral truths. will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my

I. THAT GOD HAS PLACED face against them; they shall go SOME SECTIONS OF THE HUMAN out from one fire, and another fire RACE UNDER SPECIAL CULTURE. shall devour them: and ye shall Their condition is analogous to know that I am the Lord, when I

that of the “vine" planted in set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, be

a suitable soil, well-guarded



and seduously trained. First: meet for any work ?" The This in the case with the description here given of the Jers. They are frequently 6 vine” as being burnt at two compared to the vine. (Deut. ends, and its middle on flame, xxxii. 32 ; Isa. i.; Psa. lxxx.; represents the state of the Jer. ii. 21.) Secondly : This Jewish people at this moment. is the case with Christen. Ten of their tribes had been dom. Thirdly : This is espe- carried away into Syria, and cially the case with Great the other two were in disBritain.

tress, and exposed to danger. We infer

Unless the “vine" produce II. That those sections of grapes it is more worthless the race under special culture than most other trees of the ARE, WHETHER FRUITFUL OR forest. You cannot manuCNFRUITFUL, WIDELY

facture furniture out of it, FROM ALL OTHERS. construct ships, or build Whether they prove fruitful houses ; unless it grows grapes or unfruitful they are dis- it is fit for nothing but the tinguished. First : If fruit. fire. If the Jews were not ful, they are distinguished religious, they were contempby vluableness. They are a tible as compared with other "vine”-a tree producing rich nations. In antiquity of oriclusters of choicest and most gin, extent of territory, abundelicious fruit,-fruit which dance of resources, attainyieldeth wine to “cheer the ments in arts and sciences, heart of God and man.” they were not to be compared What on earth is of higher with Egypt, Ethiopia, and value than a godly life? “The Babylon. If professors of reprice of religion is above ligion are not fruitful in good rubies," &c. Secondly : If works, they are the most unfruitful, they are distin- worthless men in society. guished by voorthlessness. We infer"What is the vine-tree more III. That the distinction than any tree, orthan a branch between those under special which is among the trees of culture and those who are not the forest ? Shall wood be RECOGNISED taken thereof to do any work?

BY God.

God sees or will men take a pin of it the difference between the to hang any vessel thereon ? fruitful and unfruitful vine, Behold, it is cast into the fire and between the unfruitfor fuel; the fire devoureth ful vine and the other trees both the ends of it, and the of the forest. And God midst of it is burned. Is it marks the difference in his





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judgment. “Therefore, thus home for protection. It resaith the Lord God; As the quires a protector from the vine-tree among the trees scorching of the sun, from the of the forest, which I have fury of the storm, from the given to the fire for fuel, so

assaults of the enemy.

How will I give the inhabitants of exposed is a guilty soul! SeJerusalem. And I will set condly, it wants a home for my face against them; they comfort. Home is the scene shall go out from one fire,

of comfort. But the guilty and another fire shall devour soul is comfortless. It lacks


shall know that the comforts of nourishment, I am the Lord, when I set my shelter, society, &c. Thirdly, face against them. And I it wants a home for settleiiness. will make the land desolate, It is a restless wanderer, It because they have committed

is wearied of its pilgrimage. a trespass, saith the Lord It craves for a settlement. God.” This menace had a The prayer implies, terrible fulfilment in the II. A FAITH is God's SUFhistory of the Jews. The FICIENCY. God is just the doom, however, that befell habitation which the soul them is but a faint picture of wants, affording security, comthe doom that awaits a godless fort, and permanent residence. professor. “Every one that First, God is un accessible heareth these sayings of mine, habitation. The doors of inand doeth them not, shall be

finite love are ever open to likened unto a foolish man,

welcome all who come. This which built his house upon

habitation is ever near to us. the sand, &c.—Matt. vii. Secondly, God is a secure 26—27.

habitation. Those who are in Him are safe from all dangers

and all foes. “ God is our GOD THE HABITATION OF refuge and strength." Thirdly,

Gud is a blessed habitation. “Be thou my strong habitation,

In Him is found infinitely whereunto I may continually re- more than all we want to persort.”—Psa. lxxi. 3.

fect us in everlasting bliss. This is a very brief but very Fourthly, God is an enduring significant prayer. It implies habitation. “ The eternal God two things :

is our refuge,” &c. Return, I. A SENSE OF THE SOUL's O prodigal, to thy Father's NEED.

The soul needs a house. “habitation.” It is a homeless wanderer. First, it wants a



of course, mean departure from “Be astonished, 0 ye heavens,

his presence, that is, utterly at this, and be horribly afraid, be impossible ; nor an exit from ye very desolate, saith the Lord. his rule, that is equally imFor my people have committed | possible ; but it means an two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters,

apostacy of heart, a moral and hewed them out cisterns, bro

alienation of soul. Now, ken cisterns, that can hold no these two evils in men are water.-Jer. ii. 12, 13.

most astounding. They are In this chapter, Jeremiah is enough to fill the universe charged to remind the Jews with consternation. “Be asof their metropolis, of the tonished, 0 ye heavens,” &c. consecration with which they This is a noble instance of had served Jehovah in the bold and impassioned proearly part of their history, sopopeia similar expressions and the consequent protection we have elsewhere. (Isa. i which they enjoyed. Jehovah 2; also Deut. xxxii. 1.) It then appeals to them in a most is language that expresses forcible way, as to whether feelings of immeasurable any reason for dissatisfaction depth and burning intensity. in his service bad been found There are three things in in Him, and whether, on the the perpetration of these contrary, He had not loaded two evils that may well fill them with his benefits. He the universe with then describes their base ment. ingratitude, and denounces I. THE FORCE OP HUMAN punishment. The text im- FREEDOM. Is not man's

power plies that their conduct was to break away from the eter80 unfsampled in wickedness nal Fountain of his being truly that it was fitted to fill the wonderful ? The mightiest universe with absolute con- rivers cannot break away from sternation. “Be astonished, their source, nor the greatest O ye heavens,” &c. The two planets from their centre, but astounding evils at which the man has the power to break heavens are to be “amazed and away from the Centre horrified,"are a departure from and Fountain of his being. the true source of blessedness God deals with his moral and a fruitless toil for worth- creatures according to the less enjoyments. The former principles of freedom with involves the latter-forto for- which He has endowed them. sake God is to plunge into He does not bind them by futile endeavours after happi- force to Himself. They are ness. To forsake God does not, left free to stand or fall.


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