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HEZEKIAH’S ZEAL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD
2 Chronicles 30:1-11. And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel. For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. And be not like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see. Now be ye not stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you. For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
INFLUENCE is a talent of vast importance; but it is often most abused, where it exists in the highest degree. Kings and princes are rarely to be found amongst those who are foremost in the work of reformation: and, where their exertions are used, they are actuated as much by political principles as by those which are religious. Here however we see a monarch uniting with all his princes in a work of piety, in which politics bore no part at all. Hezekiah, not content with calling on his own subjects to serve the Lord, sought to bring his very enemies to the same blessed state, even those enemies who not long before had “smitten them with a great slaughter,” even “with a rage that reached up to heaven [Note: 2 Chronicles 28:5; 2 Chronicles 28:9.].” The account is so circumstantial and so beautiful, that I have comprised it all in my text; which will lead me to shew,
The efforts he used in the service of his God—
The object he sought to accomplish was one of primary importance—
[The passover was the greatest of all the Jewish feasts, as the mercies which it was intended to commemorate were the greatest that had ever been vouchsafed to that people. The destruction of the Egyptian first-born was, as you know, confined to them. The Israelites throughout the whole land were exempt from the judgment inflicted on all others without exception. In order to their deliverance, they were to kill a lamb, and sprinkle the posts and lintels of their doors with its blood: and then the destroying angel was to pass over their houses without inflicting a stroke either on man or beast that was so protected. In commemoration of this wonderful event the passover was to be kept with great strictness in all future ages. But it had been shamefully neglected during the reign of his father Ahaz; and was now therefore appointed to be kept with peculiar solemnity. This ordinance above all others typified our redemption through the blood of Christ. The appointment of God was, that it should be kept at Jerusalem: and this command was as binding upon the ten tribes of Israel as it was upon Judah and Benjamin. He summoned all therefore, as well the tribes of Israel who were not under his government, as the two tribes who were his immediate subjects, to engage in this holy duty: and he spared neither trouble nor expense to attain his end.]
The way in which he endeavoured to accomplish his end was peculiarly amiable and praiseworthy—
[Though a king, he used not so much the language of authority as of affectionate counsel and entreaty: “Turn again,” said he, “unto the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel.” “Be ye not stiff-necked, as your fathers were.” He reminds them of the bitter consequences of their past departure from God, consequences which they could not but trace to that source, since the very judgments which God’s prophets had denounced against them were actually visible in the desolations that were come upon them, a great part of their nation having been already taken captive by the king of Assyria. He then urges every argument that could influence an ingenuous mind. He assures them, that God would still be gracious to them, if they would but return to him: yea, that he would even restore to their own land those who had been taken captive, if they would but seek him with their whole hearts. In a word, he entreats them to “yield up themselves unreservedly unto God,” in an assured expectation, that, if they returned to him in a way of penitential sorrow, he would return to them in a way of love and mercy.
Now the whole of this affords as bright a pattern of wisdom, and piety, and love, as is to be found in all the Jewish records.]
Let us then proceed to contemplate,
The success with which those efforts were attended—
This was far from being so complete as might have been expected. Some only “mocked his messengers, and laughed them to scorn”—
[However closely we examine the message which he sent, we shall find in it nothing that could give just occasion for ridicule or contempt. But ungodly men, even in self-defence, deride every thing which savours of piety. They have done so in every age. When Lot entreated his sons-in-law to escape out of Sodom, “he seemed,” we are told, “as one who mocked to his sons-in-law,” so ridiculous were his exhortations in their eyes. In precisely the same way were all the messages delivered by the prophets regarded; till God was provoked to give up his people to utter desolation [Note: 2 Chronicles 36:16.]. It might be supposed that the infinite perfections of our blessed Lord should disarm such malice; and that his words at least would be universally received. But many who heard them regarded him only as a deceiver and a demoniac. The very Pharisees, who from their knowledge of the Scriptures might have been supposed to form a more correct judgment, derided him as much as others; because they were addicted to the sins which he reproved [Note: Luke 16:14.]. The holy Apostles shared the same fate with their Divine Master; and when most “speaking the words of truth and soberness” were most virulently derided as babblers and as fools [Note: Acts 26:24-25.]. And thus it is at the present hour. Every man who seeks to reclaim a world that lieth in wickedness will be reproached and persecuted, and, generally speaking, will be persecuted in proportion to his fidelity.]
Some however complied with his exhortations—
[Among the tribes of Judah and Benjamin there was a great unanimity in turning to the Lord, because “the hand of God was with them, to give them” an obedient heart. And from amongst the tribes of Israel also many “humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.” These kept the feast with great joy and gladness [Note: ver. 21.]: yea, so did they delight in the pious work, that when they had fulfilled the week which God had appointed for the celebration of the feast, they were anxious of themselves to continue it another week [Note: ver. 23.], notwithstanding the protracting of the period interfered with the pressing engagements of the harvest. Say whether this was not a rich compensation to Hezekiah for all the ridicule which the contemners of his piety had cast upon him? Yes, if one soul be of more value than the whole world, no doubt but that the welfare of so many souls was in his eyes an abundant recompence for all his toil and labour.]
That we may not confine our thoughts to the events of that day, but may render them profitable to our own souls, I shall consider myself as a messenger sent on a similar occasion to you, not from an earthly monarch, but from the King of kings—
[You would I call to keep a paasover unto the Lord: for “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” O consider the benefits you derive from his blood sprinkled on your souls! — — — Think of yourselves as the very first-born whom he has redeemed unto God, and who are Lord’s peculiar portion — — — Think how grievously this mystery has been neglected by you and by all around you — — — And how manifest is his indignation against the contemners of his love and mercy! See, and tell me, are not the great mass around you enslaved by sin, and carried captive by the devil at his will? — — — Have not you yourselves too much reason to fear his displeasure on account of your multiplied iniquities? Turn then unto him in penitence and prayer; yea, turn unto him with your whole hearts. I would urge this by every consideration that is proper to influence the human mind. Think how gracious your Redeemer is, and ready both to receive you to mercy, and to deliver you out of the hands of your spiritual enemies — — — Think too how awful will be the consequence of continuing to rebel against him — — — “Be no longer stiff-necked,” but turn to him, and “yield yourselves entirely to him.” “This is your reasonable service [Note: Romans 12:1.]:” and if ungodly men deride and mock your piety, let it suffice you that you shall at least have the approbation of your God — — —
And to you who have influence let me say, Exert that influence in behalf of all to whom it can extend. Use it abroad as well as at home; amongst enemies, as well as friends. Seek to recover the dispersed of Israel and of Judah to the service of their God, that they may participate with you the mercies purchased for them by the blood of the Paschal Lamb — — —]
GOD’S CONDESCENSION TO THE UPRIGHT
2 Chronicles 30:18-20. Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
HERE is the fruit of holy zeal. Not a month had Hezekiah been invested with royal authority, before he set himself to repair the evils which had been committed by his father Ahaz. Almost incredible were the abominations which had been wrought by that wicked prince, “destroying the vessels of the sanctuary, and shutting up the very doors of the temple, and erecting altars in every corner of Jerusalem [Note: 2 Chronicles 28:2-4; 2 Chronicles 28:24.]:” and now Hezekiah, his son, gave orders for the re-opening of the temple, and sanctifying it afresh in all its parts: and in the short space of eight days it was accomplished. He then determined to keep the passover, which had been neglected and suspended for many years: and, not content with summoning his own subjects to observe that blessed ordinance, he sent messengers to all the ten tribes of Israel, to invite them to unite with him in the observance of it. The greater part of that apostate nation poured contempt upon his message: but a large number yielded to his entreaties, and came to join in that divine service. God had appointed, that, if any, by being on a journey, or sick, were incapacitated to attend that ordinance on the fourteenth day of the first month, he might come with the same acceptance on the fourteenth day of the second month. Of this concession Hezekiah availed himself, to bring together as many as possible from amongst the ten tribes, as well as of his own subjects. But multitudes from amongst the ten tribes, being called so suddenly, had not time to sanctify themselves from the pollutions which they had contracted: and no alternative was left them, but to serve God in a less acceptable manner, or to neglect his service altogether. To the former they were encouraged by King Hezekiah: but, perceiving God was offended with them for coming in so unfit a way, he prayed to God for them, that his judgments might be removed from them, and that they might be restored to the divine favour. This prayer was heard and answered; and the answer given to it will afford me a fit occasion to consider,
The leading features of this history—
They are two:
The jealousy of God respecting his own ordinances and appointments—
[It was ordained by God that none who were, by whatever means, in a state of ceremonial uncleanness, should eat of the paschal feast. But from the suddenness of the invitation given to those of the ten tribes, it happened that many were ceremonially unclean. This was ascertained after they had come up to Jerusalem: and, as this was the second month, no other opportunity would be afforded them to celebrate that ordinance for nearly a whole year; so that they must either be sent back to their own country, under a state of grievous disappointment, or be admitted without a suitable preparation. The latter was the alternative adopted: and God, in some way not known to us, but fully known to Hezekiah and the people themselves, expressed his displeasure against them on account of it [Note: God executed judgment on the Philistines who had taken captive the ark (1 Samuel 5:6-12.): and similar judgments were inflicted on the Church at Corinth, for an irreverent attendance on the Lord’s Supper (1Co 11:30).]. And this he did, in order to shew, that no man can be justified in the commission of presumptuous sin; and that no ordinance of his should ever be wilfully violated by any man with impunity. (I apprehend that Hezekiah erred in not consulting Jehovah, as Moses and others had done, to obtain specific directions in this emergency.) It was no excuse to say, that this was a mere ceremonial enactment: it was ordained of God; and that was sufficient: for the history of all former ages had proved, beyond a possibility of doubt, that it was at the peril of man to violate, knowingly, any, even the least, of God’s commandments. It was but a positive injunction (not a moral one) that Adam in Paradise [Note: Genesis 2:17.], and that the Sabbath-breaker (who was stoned for his offence) [Note: Numbers 15:32-36.], transgressed; and that Uzzah also, who was struck dead upon the spot, presumed to violate [Note: 1 Chronicles 15:13.]. These instances abundantly demonstrated the evil and danger of departing from any ordinance of God, however trifling that ordinance might be thought. And we have the very same intimation given to us under the Christian dispensation: for our blessed Lord has left it as his unalterable determination, that “whosoever shall break one of the least of God’s commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven [Note: Matthew 5:19.],” that is, be accounted the furthest from it. We must never, therefore, consider any commandment of God as small: for, whatever it may be, his authority is vested in it; and it must be obeyed at the peril of our souls [Note: James 2:10-11.]. If ever there was an occasion on which an ordinance of God might be overlooked, methinks, it was that very occasion to which my text refers: but if that could not be, without bringing on the transgressors the divine displeasure, much less can any be overlooked at this day, when only two ordinances, together with the Sabbath, are left for our observance.]
The condescension of God towards the upright, under their manifold short-comings and defects—
[The persons had really “set their hearts to seek God, the Lord God of their fathers, though they were not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.” Though, therefore, God shewed that this was no excuse for their transgression, he heard the prayer of Hezekiah in their behalf, and healed them, precisely as he healed Abimelech and his domestics, when the general integrity of the offender was made known [Note: Genesis 20:17-18.]. Thus does God shew, that he is “not extreme to mark what is done amiss;” for, if he were, “who could ever stand before him?” Our blessed Lord apologized for his disciples at the very time that they were guilty of most criminal neglect: “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak!” And the same tender regard he will shew to us also, under our manifold infirmities. He knows, that, though “the spirit lusteth against the flesh, the flesh still continues to lust against the spirit, so that we cannot do the things that we would [Note: Galatians 5:17.]:” and that, even when “we delight in the Law of God after our inward man,” there is yet a law in our members warring against the law in our minds, and bringing us into captivity to the law of sin which is in our members; so that even the best of men are often constrained to cry, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me [Note: Romans 7:22-24.]?” Were we “to regard iniquity in our hearts, no prayer, whether of others or of our own, would be accepted by the Lord [Note: Psalms 66:18.].” “The retaining of even a right hand or a right eye,” with deliberate determination, would exclude us from all hope of his favour [Note: Mark 9:43-48.]: but, if we be really upright before him, and with sincerity of heart bemoan our defects, “he will be our Advocate with the Father, and approve himself to us as the propitiation for our sins [Note: 1 John 2:1.].” He is appointed of God to “bear the iniquity of our holy things [Note: Exodus 28:38.];” and he will so bear it, that, if mourned over and resisted, it shall never prevent our ultimate acceptance before God.]
These being the principal features of the history, I proceed to notice,
The leading instructions to be derived from it—
I will here confine myself to two:
That we are not to confide in duties, because we perform them as well as we can—
[The Israelites on this occasion did what they could: but this did not justify them before God. And, for argument sake, I will suppose that we also, in our respective spheres, have done the same. Still I must say, that, if this were the case, “we are only unprofitable servants,” and have nothing to boast of in the sight of our Divine Master. But who, I would ask, has done as well as he could? The paschal feast, which commemorated the redemption of Israel from Egypt, typified our redemption from a far sorer bondage, by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: as the Apostle says, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth [Note: 1 Corinthians 5:7-8. If this were a Sacrament Sermon, or for Easter-day, the appropriate hint here given should be somewhat amplified.].” Inquire then, I pray you, whether, in remembering this stupendous mercy, at the Lord’s Supper, or at the period of our annual commemoration of it, or in the daily habit of your minds, you have been so careful to purge out all the old leaven of your corrupt nature, that, when inspected by the eye of the heart-searching God, you will be found “cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.” Who must not shrink back from such an examination as this? Who can ever stand such a test as this? And, if we cannot, what remains for us, but shame and confusion of face in the presence of an holy God? If even holy Job could not endure such a scrutiny, if not even he could answer God for “one action of a thousand,” and was constrained to acknowledge, that, “if he were to justify himself, his own mouth would condemn him [Note: Job 9:2; Job 9:20.],” assuredly nothing is left for us but, with the convicted leper, to put our hands on our mouths, and our mouths in the dust, crying, “Unclean, unclean [Note: Leviticus 13:45.].” Let me, then, affectionately guard you, my Brethren, against “trusting in yourselves as righteous,” because of your diligence in any duties whatsoever. Do not mistake me; I would not decry diligence in duties: on the contrary, I would that every one amongst us were as diligent and abundant in them as ever the Apostle Paul was: but if we place any dependence on them before God, we totally destroy all their value, and render our very obedience a stumbling-block, over which we shall fall to our eternal condemnation. If we possessed all the righteousness of the Apostle Paul, we must renounce it all in point of dependence, and “seek to be found in Christ, not having our own righteousness, but his [Note: Philippians 3:9.].”]
Not to be discouraged from duties, because we cannot perform them so well as we would—
[A truly pious man can be satisfied with nothing short of absolute perfection. But this is no reason that he should be discouraged in, and still less be diverted from, the path of duty. If God himself “do not despise the day of small things,” much less should we [Note: Zechariah 4:10.]. Under the Law, it was forbidden to offer to the Lord, honey, or leaven, or any beast that was mutilated: yet, as a votive-offering, every one of them might be presented with acceptance [Note: See Leviticus 7:13; Leviticus 22:23; Leviticus 23:17.]. This shews how God will condescend to the infirmities of those who endeavour to honour him according to their power. A burnt-offering, of whatever kind it were, must be perfect; because it could not otherwise atone for sin, or shadow forth the Saviour, who was to die for the sins of the whole world: but, as a voluntary offering, its imperfections were overlooked; and the offerer was accepted of the Lord. Know ye, then, Brethren, that, as where persons had not a lamb to offer, God accepted “two turtle-doves or young pigeons,” and even a small portion of meal [Note: Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 5:11.], so will he receive at your hands the imperfect services you present, “accepting them according to what you have, and not according to what you have not [Note: 2 Corinthians 8:12.].” A clear distinction is to be made by you between the sins of infirmity, which still cleave to the most pious soul, and those which were committed in an unregenerate state with the full consent of his will. Respecting a person under the influence of the latter, Christ says, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me:” but respecting one that, in despite of all his exertions, is overtaken with the former, he says, “He that is washed, needeth not, save to wash his feet; but is clean every whit:” that is, a man who has been bathing, does not need again the same total immersion which he has just recently experienced; but, however few his steps have been from the bath, he has contracted some defilement, from which he requires a fresh ablution. Thus a saint, that has been washed in “the Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness,” is cleansed, in a general view, from all his guilt: but, from his remaining infirmities, every step he takes in this corrupt world will more or less defile him: and if he habitually apply to himself the blood of Christ for that end, and cry to God for pardon in the Saviour’s name, he shall be regarded as pure in the sight of God, and shall to all eternity be accepted of him.]
[Thus, then, you see, Brethren, the just medium between presumption and despondency. You are no more to trifle with sin than if there were no mercy attainable by transgressors; and, on the other hand, you are no more to despair of mercy than if no judgment whatever had been at any time denounced against transgressors. Your faith must never so prevail as to exclude fear; nor is your fear ever to reign so as to prevent the exercise of faith. In the whole of your deportment, you are ever to keep in combined exercise, confidence with humility, and vigilance with composure.]
DELIGHT IN ORDINANCE
2 Chronicles 30:22-23. They did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace-offerings, and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers. And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.
IN this chapter, and in that which precedes it, we are informed that Hezekiah, as soon as he came to the throne, set himself to repair the temple, which during the reign of his father Ahaz had been greatly neglected, and to restore the worship of Jehovah, which had been utterly superseded by the worship of idols. He lost no time in sanctifying the vessels which had been desecrated and defiled: and he appointed a feast unto the Lord, to be observed by all his people.
Now here we have,
A most valuable record—
That we may view it in all its parts, let us distinctly notice,
The feast appointed—
[It was the passover, and the feast of unleavened bread which was invariably connected with it. The feast of passover commemorated the redemption of Israel from Egypt; and the feast of unleavened bread intimated the holiness which became the people who had been so redeemed. But the time for observing these feasts was past. The passover should have been killed on the fourteenth day of the first month [Note: Exodus 12:6.]; and on the same day, at even, should the feast of unleavened bread have commenced [Note: Exodus 12:18.]: but it was not practicable to get the temple ready by that time; and therefore Hezekiah applied to the nation at large the liberty conceded to individuals; in case they were incapacitated for the observance of the feast at the proper time, to observe it in the second month [Note: ver. 1–4. with Numbers 9:10-11.]. Even this delay was not sufficient for all who were desirous of observing the feast; so that many came up to it without that measure of purification which the law required: and it was only in answer to Hezekiah’s prayer that this violation of the law was pardoned [Note: ver. 17–20.]. But the zeal of Hezekiah was truly commendable. Indeed, he was not satisfied with summoning his own subjects to the feast: he sought to bring also his brethren of the ten tribes to a participation of the same holy exercises and heavenly enjoyments: and, though “his messengers were laughed to scorn” and mocked by many, there were many who accepted his invitation, and availed themselves of the opportunity afforded them of serving and honouring “the Lord God of their fathers [Note: ver. 10.].”]
The observance of it—
[A spirit of piety prevailed to a very great extent: all, king, princes, priests and people, seemed to vie with each other in their endeavours to exalt and honour God: and in their services we behold that which gives to every service its highest value—a due mixture of humiliation with their gratitude and joy: “they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace-offerings, and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers [Note: ver. 22.].” This is a point deserving of most especial notice. Humility is the characteristic feature of the worship in heaven: for all, whether saints or angels, fall upon their faces before the throne, whilst with united voices they sing praise to God and to the Lamb [Note: Revelation 5:8; Revelation 7:11.]. Such was the worship of all the assembly at this time; and it was productive of the most exalted joy [Note: ver. 26.]: for every prayer they offered entered into the ears of the Lord of hosts, and descended in blessings on the heads of those who offered it [Note: ver. 27.].]
[According to the original institution, the feast was to last but seven days: but so full of joy were their souls, that the whole assembly took counsel, after the example of Solomon, to protract it seven more days [Note: ver. 23. with 1 Kings 8:65.]. And not only did Hezekiah and the princes concur in this proposal, but, by their extraordinary liberality, they enabled the congregation to carry it into effect: for Hezekiah gave them one thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave one thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep. During the whole of this time, even fourteen days, were the same holy exercises continued, none grudging the time that was lost to their worldly occupations, or becoming weary of an employment so foreign to their former habits.]
And who does not see in all this,
A most instructive lesson?—
Surely here is a lesson,
To the higher ranks of society—
[Behold the king and the princes exerting all their influence to diffuse throughout the land a spirit of piety; and not in their own land only, but throughout a nation that was hostile to them [Note: 2 Chronicles 28:6; 2 Chronicles 28:8.]. What an example was here to all, however exalted their rank, or powerful their authority! And can wealth or power be better employed than in such acts as these? But let it not be supposed that this example is instructive to kings and princes only: whatever be the measure of our property or influence, our obligation to improve them for the diffusion of religion is still the same; and our liberality should be “according to our power,” whether it be more or less. True, indeed, if we engage with holy zeal in the service of our God, we may expect that an ungodly world will “laugh us to scorn and mock us.” But we should rise superior to such treatment, and rejoice that we are “counted worthy to suffer shame for Christ’s sake.” Our only thought should be, How we may honour God: and, if only He be glorified, we should not regard any sacrifice which we may be called to make for so desirable an end.]
To the community at large—
[Here we see how we should perform our religious duties. Not that it would be advisable for us to protract them to an inconvenient length; or to neglect our worldly callings, for the sake of prosecuting beyond reasonable bounds the services in which we are engaged. There is a season for every thing; and every duty should be attended to in its season. We are to labour six days, so far as the necessities of ourselves and our families may require it, and to rest on the Sabbath-day: but we may, and must, carry the spirit of religion into every thing, and in that sense protract our religious services to the latest hour of our lives. Nor should we grudge a reasonable portion of our time to religious ordinances, whether public or private. Beyond all doubt, we should consecrate a portion of every day to the immediate service of our God; and be willing, also, to it: but it is the service of the heart which God now chiefly requires; and that can never be carried to excess. We must, however, especially take care to combine with every service a due measure of penitential sorrow. We must never for a moment forget that we are sinners; nor ever offer to God any sacrifice of which penitential sorrow does not form a very essential part.
And now, what shall I say to you, my Brethren? Would to God that I could see you all in the very frame in which the whole people of Israel were on this occasion! And is there not abundant reason for it? Is not the restoration of divine ordinances, after so long a suspension of them, a blessing? Above all, Is not “Christ our Passover sacrificed for us? and is not this a call to keep the feast?” Let us, then, “keep it, not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Then may you hope, that “your joy, like Israel’s, shall be full;” and shall be not only a preparation for future blessedness, but also an earnest of heaven in your souls.]
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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 30". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany