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26and I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be speechless and unable to reprove them; for they are a rebellious house.

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But he now adds, I will fix thy tongue to thy palate — or I will make thy tongue adhere to thy palate — so that thou shalt not be to them a reprover, because they are a rebellious house What God ascribed to the Israelites he now transfers to himself. He had said, They will bind thee with ropes: he now says, I will make thy tongue cleave to thy palate But these two things are easily reconciled, because in truth the Israelites rejected prophecies through their intemperance, and God thus deprived them of this benefit, because he saw they were unworthy of it. But this place shows that it is a sign of God’s vengeance, when all prophecies cease, and opportunity for hearing is taken away. For as God shines upon us by his instruction, and we have thereby a certain pledge of his fatherly grace and favor, so also when instruction is removed, it is just as if God hid his face, nay, even turned his back upon us. We must consider, therefore, what is here said — because the house of Israel was rebellious: hence the Prophet was dumb, and refrained from teaching those impious ones. God therefore desists, when he sees that he is dealing with the stupid and deaf; but. not on the first occasion of their wearying him, because he rather contends with man’s ingratitude, and never ceases, as we see in Jeremiah, to rise in the morning, and to keep watch even while it is yet night; (Jeremiah 7:2; Jeremiah 11:7; Jeremiah 35:14; Psalm 74:9;) he never ceases to call to himself even those who are slow and sluggish, nay, even the utterly rebellious: but at length, when he sees that he does not succeed by long-suffering, he takes away his instruction, as we have said. And therefore the Church complains that it is destitute of Prophets, and places that slaughter among the extreme signs of God’s anger: “We do not see our signs, and Prophets do not appear among us.” In this way they understand that they are alienated from God, and that no consolation remains to them, when God does not give them any taste of his goodness by Prophets. The ungodly indeed wish this, because nothing is more troublesome to them than to hear God continually exclaiming. Hence, as far as they can, they seek hiding-places, and think nothing better for themselves than to be torpid amidst their vices, and to be deaf to every voice of reproach; but yet nothing is more destructive to them, because God offers himself as a physician who cures our diseases, while he exhorts us to wisdom. But when he is silent, he deserts us as if abandoned to de-st, ruction, and hence I said that nothing is more destructive than when no reproach sounds in our ears, but we are sweetly flattered, because in this way Satan deprives us of our senses, and this is his final poisoning, when he so soothes us with his blandishments, that all reproach which may alarm our security altogether ceases. Now it follows: —




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