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Lecture One Hundred and Sixty-Second

WE began yesterday to explain what the Prophet says of the answer given him by the men and women. The sum of it was, that they would not do what the Prophet commanded them, though he spoke to them in the name of God. They did not answer distinctly, that the word of God or his oracle to them was of no account, but impeached the fidelity of Jeremiah, as though he had alleged the name of God falsely.

But he says that the men who knew that their wives burnt incense to alien gods, answered him; and he afterwards adds, and the women who stood by; some read, “In the great assembly.” But I have no doubt but that the Prophet means, that the answer was given in common by the men and by the women. He then says, that the women were at the same time present. He afterwards adds, a great assembly. What follows is an explanation, the whole people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, who dwelt in Pathros in the land of Egypt, and especially in that part. We have elsewhere spoken, of Pathros.

We see, in short, that God’s Prophet was rejected; and yet there is no doubt but the Jews pretended some religion, but they did not think that they were bound to obey the command of man. And whence was this contempt? even from nothing but perverseness; for however hypocrites may dissemble and say that they do not despise God and his word, and address their words to ministers, yet their impiety betrays them when, on the one hand, they pretend that they worship God, and on the other they repudiate those furnished with his commands whom he would have them to hear. But God will not and cannot have himself separated from his word. Let us now go on —

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