Ezekiel 36:17
"Son of man, when the people of Israel lived in their land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds. Their behavior before Me was like the uncleanness of a woman's impurity.
Man SinningEzekiel 36:16-17
The DefilerEzekiel 36:16-17
The MessengerEzekiel 36:16-17
God's Name and OursW. Clarkson Ezekiel 36:16-21
A Vision of the True Golden AgeJ.D. Davies Ezekiel 36:16-32

Up to this point God had been revealing more clearly his active righteousness to Israel; and this with a view to arouse their drugged and drowsy consciences. The equity and justice of his scepter had been vividly portrayed. The keen edge of his judicial sword had been felt. Some movements of better feeling in the exiles were apparent. And now God hastens to foster penitential sentiments with a promise of generous kindness. Further revelations of his great nature are made. The excellence of his grace is unveiled to the opening eye of the penitents. Stupendous condescension is shown. God himself will undertake the renovation of human nature. He will go down to the very root of the evil. He will transform the innermost principles in the minds of the people, and so qualify them for national restoration and national prosperity. And he will do this mainly that he may set before the world the wealth of goodness and kindness which constitutes his glory. "I do this for my holy Name's sake, saith the Lord."


1. The gravamen of the accusation is idolatry. Than idolatry, no greater affront can be put upon God, no greater evil can be wrought. God was deposed from his rightful throne, and senseless matter elevated into his place. The perfect will of God was set aside for the vain fancies of wicked men. The devil was preferred to Jehovah.

2. Idolatry was a system of active vice. It did not represent merely a change of belief; it was the enthronement and deification of vice. Public sanction was given to lust and unchastity. The marriage-tie was dissolved. The temple of God was desecrated with animal lust. The barbarous rites of idolatrous worship served to crush every tender feeling and to make men fiends. Wrong soon lost its hideous features in the eyes of men. They became inhuman, cruel, quarrelsome, murderous. Human life lost its sanctity, and the land was stained with blond.

3. Idolatry's fruits were most offensive to God. In order to convey to men an approximate idea of this offensiveness, God was compelled to borrow an illustration from the most loathsome thing familiar to men. As if he had said, "Picture to yourselves the thing most repulsive to your senses; this thing will feebly convey the idea of disgust I feel towards this monstrous crime." A common dung-hill is fragrance itself compared with the moral foulness of idolatry; and dead to every virtuous instinct must be the man who can endure it.


1. A discharge of God's anger. "I poured out my fury upon them." The long-gathering storm of just indignation burst upon them as torrents from a broken reservoir. This is God's own account of his conduct, and he speaks, as usual, after the manner of a man. The violent anger of a man under a strong sense of injury has its correspondence in God, save that in God it is filled with the element of righteousness, and is in exact proportion to the sinner's deserts.

2. It embraced the dissolution of the covenant. The covenant made with Abraham and renewed with the Israelites was founded on a moral condition. That condition had been broken and abandoned by the nation; hence God publicly testified that he was no longer bound. The land of Canaan ceased to be held by Divine covenant; and, as the result of the broken compact, the Assyrians took possession. Pledges and contracts between God and man, wantonly violated, are surely followed by gravest disaster. This should teach all men the reality and the value of righteousness.

3. The penalty, though severe, was strictly equitable. "According to their doings I judged them." The fullest equity in God's dealings is guaranteed

(1) by the qualities of his nature and

(2) by the well-being of all the moral intelligences of his kingdom.

Every act of loving obedience shall be rewarded. Every deed of rebellion shall be punished according to the most equitable scale. And in this category is registered every secret design, as well as every overt deed.

III. THIS MANIFESTATION OF JUSTICE OVERSHADOWED THE BENIGNANT NATURE OF GOD. "They profaned my holy Name." It is a great responsibility to bear the Name of God - a great responsibility to belong to his kingdom. We carry his reputation in our hands. Mankind will judge him by what they see in us. If they discover in us selfishness, avarice, lust, they will conclude that our God is not over-righteous. If we, for our sins, are chastised, men will shrink from serving such a Master. Such was the case in the olden time among all the peoples that dwelt in the vicinity of Palestine. They said contemptuously, "This Jehovah, who conquered Canaan for his people, was, not able to retain it for them! Or else, he is a God easily offended! He chooses a nation for his favor one day, and casts it off on the morrow! Or else, his justice is so severe that we prefer to keep aloof from him!" Such were the judgments of men. But this was the result of ignorance. This was derogatory to God. This prejudiced the public mind against just conceptions of God. Now, it had been God's high design to unveil gradually to mankind all the fullness of his nature - his strong affection, the riches of his mercy, his self-sacrificing grace. Did men but know him thoroughly, one great hindrance to confidence and obedience would be removed. Most surely he deserves our allegiance; he is infinitely worthy of our trust. Therefore God had pity upon his Name; for his Name is the sum-total of his goodness. Men were suffering, because they did not know God - were misled by erroneous views of his character. Hence God resolved to adopt another plan - to make a grand experiment. He will make a new covenant with the people, and will write his laws on the tablet of their hearts. He will yet conquer their rebellions with his abounding grace.

IV. THE GRAND EXPERIMENT OF KINDNESS; viz. a gracious renewal of human nature.

1. The first step is cleansing. "From all your idols will I cleanse you." A disposition of repentance was already apparent. Many were beginning to ask how deliverance could be obtained; and, before they asked, the remedy is announced. God will undertake to purge out the virus of disease, and if he undertakes it, the change will be effectual. He will go to the root of the matter. The love of idols shall be rooted out of the heart; and, the root being killed, all the fruits will disappear. The instrument to be employed is the Truth - the revelation of Divine mercy. This is the "clean water" mentioned. To the same effect David declared, "The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." And Jesus the Christ affirmed, "Now ye are clean, through the word which I have spoken unto you."

2. The next step is heart-renovation. "A new heart also will I give you." By the mystic power or' his grace God produces gradually a complete change in the moral principles of every penitent man. New light enters the mind. Sin is seen in its loathsomeness. A gracious influence from heaven softens the dispositions of the heart. Feeling becomes tender. The tastes cluster round nobler objects. God is seen to be supremely good, and new affections begin to entwine round him. Old habits of evil are dissevered. New inclinations and aspirations are engendered. Step by step the man rises out of his dead self into a new life. "Old things pass away, and all things" within him "become new."

3. A further step is the indwelling of God's Spirit in the wan. This is an anticipation of the new dispensation, more fully developed at Pentecost; this is the highest, noblest gift God can impart. In a word, this is spiritual evolution. On Adam God breathed, and he "became a living soul." But this is a new departure. The Spirit of God finds an entrance into the human soul, and works therein a new creation. All the dispositions of God are gradually reproduced. The man learns to think as God thinks, to feel as God feels, to love as God loves, to act as God acts. Then God's will is done, and God's image is reflected in the man as a face is reflected in a mirror.

4. A further step is national restoration. The man who truly loves God learns to love his fellow-man; and this bond of mutual love was the very thing wanted to weld the Hebrews into a nation. A people can safely be trusted with national prosperity only when they are loyal to God. The whole land of Palestine was a kind of enlarged temple, and only a consecrated people are fitted for a consecrated place. The old covenant, in its essential principles was to be restored. God would give himself to the people; they would give themselves up to him.

5. Material prosperity. "I will call for the corn, and will increase it." Soul-prosperity is the foundation; temporal fortune is the superstructure. "All things are ours if we are Christ's" "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." In Palestine 'the state of the harvest-field was a mirror in which men saw the smile or the frown of God. To obedient Jews, land-fertility was secured by an inviolable pledge of Jehovah. The windows of heaven were opened; the vines were embellished with splendid clusters; the very mountains seemed to send out rills of oil from the olive-groves.

V. THE FINAL AIM OF THIS STUPENDOUS CHANGE; Viz. to reveal God's Name. In other words, to make known to the world his wealth of goodness. That the purpose and aim of Jehovah in this grand experiment might be made clear, it is stated both positively and negatively. "Not for your sakes do I this,' saith God, "but for my holy Name's sake." A full and accurate knowledge of God is hope and inspiration to men. If only the state of feeling in a man's heart be right, then in proportion as God is known, he will be admired, trusted, loved, served. If the soil of the heart be broken up and pulverized, the knowledge of God, like living seed, will grow and flourish and bear a rich harvest of fruit. "They that know thy Name will put their trust in thee." This heart-knowledge of God brings eternal life. Misunderstanding of God brings fear, bondage, misery, hell. The glory of God and the good of men are twin-purposes - two sides of the same coin. God's will is man's salvation. As we know God experimentally, we aspire to be like God, we yearn to do his will, heaven is begun within. - D.

Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, son of man.
Having scattered over an open field the bones of the human body, bring an anatomist to the scene. Observe how he fits bone to bone and part to part, till from those disjointed members he constructs a framework, which, apart from our horror at the eyeless sockets and fleshless form, appears perfectly, divinely beautiful. Now, as with these different parts of the human frame, so is it with the doctrines of the Gospel, in so far as they are intelligible to our limited understandings. There is a difference, which even childhood may discern, between the manner in which the doctrines and duties of the Gospel are set forth in the Word of God, and their more formal arrangement in our catechisms and confessions. They are scattered over the face of Scripture much as the plants of nature are distributed upon the surface of our globe. There, for example we meet with nothing that corresponds to the formal order, systematic classification, and rectangular beds of a botanical garden; on the contrary, the creations of the vegetable kingdom lie mingled in what, although beautiful, appears to be wild confusion. On the same moor, on the surface of the same meadow, the naturalist collects grasses of many forms, and finds both enamelled with flowers of every hue. And in those primeval forests which have been planted by the hand of God, and beneath whose silent and solemn shades man still walks in savage freedom, trees of every form and foliage stand side by side like brothers. Now, although over the whole surface of our globe plants of every form and family seem thrown at random, amid this apparent disorder the eye of science discovers a perfect system in the floral kingdom; and just as, though God has planted these forms over the face of nature without apparent arrangement, there is a botanical system, so there is as certainly a theological system, though its doctrines and duties are not classified in the Bible according to dogmatic rules. Does not this circumstance teach us that He intended His Word to be a subject of careful study as well as of devout faith, and that man should find in its saving pages a field for the exercise of his highest faculties?

I. THAT THIS PORTION OF SCRIPTURE, EXTENDING ONWARDS FROM THE 16TH VERSE, PRESENTS AN EPITOME OR OUTLINE OF THE GOSPEL. Its details, with their minute and varied beauties, are here, so to speak, in shade; but the grand truths of redemption stand boldly up, much as we have seen from sea the summits of a mountain range, or the lofty headlands of a dim and distant coast. In the 17th verse, we have man sinning — "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings." In the 18th verse, we have man suffering — "Wherefore, I poured My fury upon them." In the 21st verse, man appears an object of mercy — "But I had pity." In the 22nd verse, man is an object of free mercy, mercy without merit — "I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel." In the 24th verse, man's salvation is resolved on — "I will bring you into your own land." In the 25th verse, man is justified — "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean." In the 26th and 27th verses, man is renewed and sanctified — "A new heart also will I give you," etc. In the 28th verse, man is restored to the place and privileges, which he forfeited by his sins — "Ye shall be My people, and I will be your God." "This land that was desolate, is become like the garden of Eden." We have our security for these blessings in the assurance of the 36th verse — "I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it"; and we are directed to the means of obtaining them in the 37th verse — "I will yet for this be inquired of," etc. Such is the wide and interesting field that lies before us. But before entering upon it, let us consider —

II. WHO IS COMMISSIONED TO DELIVER GOD'S MESSAGE. Who and what is the chosen ambassador of heaven? An angel? No; but a man. "Son of man," says the Lord. By this title Ezekiel is so often addressed that it forces all our attention Lord remarkable fact, that God deals with man through the instrumentality of man, communicating by men His will to men. The rain, in its descent from heaven, falls upon the surface of our earth, percolates through the porous soil, and, flowing along rocky fissures or veins of sand, is conveyed below ground to the fountain whence it springs. Now, although rising out of the earth, that water is not of the earth, earthy. The world's deepest well owes its treasures to the skies. So was it with the revealed will of God. It flowed along human channels, yet its origin was more than celestial; it was Divine.

1. The kindness of God to man. The God of salvation, the author and finisher of our faith, might have arranged it otherwise. Who shaft limit the Holy One of Israel? The field is the world. And as the husbandman ploughs his fields and sows his seed in spring by the same hands that bind the golden sheaves of autumn, God might have sent those angels to sow the Gospel, who shall descend at the judgment to reap the harvest. But though these blessed and benevolent spirits, who are sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation, take a lively interest in the work; though watching from on high the progress of a Redeemer's cause, they rejoice in each new jewel that adds lustre to His crown, and in every new province that is won for His kingdom; and though there be more joy even in heaven than on earth when man is saved, a higher joy among these angels over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons, yet theirs is little more than the pleasure of spectators. To man, however, in salvation, it is given to share, not a spectator's but a Saviour's joy; with his lips at least he tastes the joys of that cup for which Jesus endured the Cross and despised the shame. If theft parent is happy who has snatched a beloved child from the flood or fire, and the child, saved, and thus twice given hind, becomes doubly dear, what happiness in purity or permanence to be compared with his, who is a; labourer with God in saving souls?

2. The honour conferred on man. Did Moses occupy a noble position when, taking advantage of some rock, he stood aloft amid the dying Israelites, and there, the central figure of the camp, on whom all eyes were turned, raised high that serpent, at which to look was life? Nobler his attitude, much holier his office, who with his foot on a dying world, lifts up the Cross — exalts Jesus Christ and Him crucified — that, whosoever looketh and believeth on Him might not perish, but have everlasting life. What dignity does this world offer, what glittering stars, what jewelled honours flash on her swelling breast, to be for one moment compared with those which they win on earth, and wear in heaven, who have turned souls from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the living, loving God? Each converted soul a gem in their crown, they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars, forever and ever. How has the hope of this touched, as with burning fire, the preacher's lips, sustained his sinking heart, and held up the weary hands of prayer! It has proved an ample recompense for the scanty rewards which God's servants have received at the hands of men, for the penury which has embittered their life, and the hardships which have pressed on their lot. You are "a son of man"; and as you bear the prophet's title, whatever otherwise you may be, let me call you to the prophet's office. The Master hath need, much need, daily need of you. Take a living, lively, loving interest in souls. Don't leave them to perish. You are your brother's keeper. Permanently and formally to instruct may be the duty of others, but to enlist is yours. "This honour have all His saints."

3. The wisdom of God. However highly gifted he may otherwise be, it is a valid objection to a preacher, that he does not feel what he says; that spoils more than his oratory. Once on a time an obscure man rose up to address the French Convention. At the close of his oration, Mirabeau, the giant genius of the Revolution, turned round to his neighbour, and eagerly asked, Who is that? The other, who had been in no way interested by the address, wondered at Mirabeau's curiosity. Whereupon the latter said, That man will yet act a great part; and added, on being asked for an explanation, He speaks as one who believes every word he says. Much of pulpit power under God defends on that; admits of that explanation, or of one allied to it. They make others feel who feel themselves. How can he plead for souls who neither knows nor feels the value of his own? How can he recommend a Saviour to others who himself despises and rejects Him? It is true that a man may impart light to others who does not himself see the light. It is true that, like a concave speculum cut from a block of ice, which, by its power of concentrating the rays of the sun, kindles touch wood or explodes gunpowder, a preacher may set others on fire, when his own heart is cold as frost. It is true that he may stand like a lifeless fingerpost, pointing the way on a road where he neither leads nor follows. It is true that God may thus in His sovereign mercy bless others by one who is himself unblessed. Yet commonly it happens that it is what comes from the heart of preachers that penetrates and affects the heart of hearers. Like a ball red hot from the cannon's mouth, he must burn himself who would set others on fire. We have read the story of a traveller who stood one day beside the cages of some birds, that tuned their plumage on the wires, struggling to be free. A wayworn and sun-browned man, like one returned from foreign lands, he looked wistfully and sadly on these captives, till tears started in his eye. Turning round on their owner, he asked the price of one, paid it in strange gold, and opening the cage set the prisoner free; thus he did with another and another, till every bird had flown away singing to the sides — soaring on the wings of liberty. The crowd stared and stood amazed. They thought him mad, till to the question of their curiosity he replied, I was once a captive; I know the sweets of liberty. And so they who have experience of guilt, who have felt the serpent's bite, the poison burning in their veins, who on the one hand have felt the sting of conscience, and on the other the peace of faith, the joys of hope, the love, the light, the liberty, the life that are found in Jesus, they, not excepting heaven's highest angels, are the fittest to preach a Saviour; to plead with man for God, and with God for man. During a heavy storm off the coast of Spain a dismasted merchantman was observed by a British frigate drifting before the gale. Every eye and glass were on her; and a canvas shelter on a deck almost level with the sea suggested the idea that even yet there might be life on board. With all their faults, no men are more alive to humanity than our rough and hardy mariners; so the order instantly sounds to put the ship about; and presently a boat is lowered, and starts with instructions to bear down upon the wreck. Away after that drifting hulk go these gallant men over the mountain swell and roaring sea. They reach it; they shout; and now a strange object rolls from that canvas screen against the lee shroud of a broken mast. It is hauled into the boat. It proves to be the trunk of a man, bent head and knees together, so dried up and shrivelled as to be hardly felt within the ample clothes — so light that a mere boy lifted it on board. It is conveyed to the ship and laid on the deck. In horror and pity the crew gather around it. These feelings suddenly change into astonishment. The miserable object shows signs of life. The seamen draw. nearer; it moves; and then mutters — in a deep sepulchral voice mutters — There is another man. Rescued himself, the first use the saved one made of Speech was to try to save another. Oh! learn that blessed lesson. Be daily practising it.

( T. Guthrie, D. D.)

They defiled it.
When with slow and lingering steps Adam and Eve came forth weeping from Paradise, and the gate was locked behind them, that was the bitterest home leaving the world has ever seen. Adam belay; the federal head of his family, they come not alone. A longer sad sadder procession follows them than went weeping on the road to Babylon. They are attended by a world in tears. Death has passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

I. LET US LOOK AT MAN SINNING. "Ye have defiled the land." Sin is presented here as a defilement. Pluck off that painted mask, and turn upon her face the lamp of God's Word. We start — it reveals a death's head. I stay not to quote texts descriptive of sin. It is a debt, a burden, a thief, a sickness, a leprosy, a plague, a poison, a serpent, a sting; everything that man hates it is; a load of curses and calamities beneath whose crushing, most intolerable pressure the whole creation groaneth. But leaving what is general let us fix our attention on that view of sin which the text presents. Here it is set forth as a defilement; and what else in the eye of God can deform, and does defile? Yet how strange it is, that some deformity of body shall prove the subject of more parental regrets and personal mortification than this most foul deformity of soul! Your manners may have acquired a courtly polish, your dress may, rival the winter's snow, unaccustomed to menial offices, and sparkling with Indian gems, your hands may bear no stain, yet they arm not clean; nay, beneath that graceful exterior may lie concealed more foul pollution than is covered by a beggar's rags. This son of toil, from whose very touch your delicacy shrinks, and who, till Sabbath stops the wheels of business, and with her kind hand wipes the sweat of labour from his brow, never knows the comfort of cleanly attire, may have a heart within, which, compared with yours, is purity itself. Beneath this soiled raiment he wears, all unseen by the world's dull eye, the "raiment of needlework," and the "clean linen" of a Redeemer's righteousness.


1. It is internal. Like snowdrift, when it has levelled the churchyard mounds, and, glistening in the winter sun, lies so pure, and white, and fair, and beautiful, above the dead that fester and rot below, a plausible profession may wear the look of innocence, and conceal from human eyes the foulest heart corruption. The grass grows green on the mountain that hides a volcano in its bowels. Behind the rosy cheek and lustrous eye of beauty, how often does there lurk the deadliest of all diseases! Internal, but all the more dangerous that they are internal, such maladies are reluctantly believed in by their victims. They are the last to be suspected and the hardest to cure. To other than the physician's skill or a mother's anxious look, this youthful and graceful form never wears bloom of higher health, nor moves in more fascinating charms, nor wins more admiring eyes, than when fell consumption, like a miner working on in darkness, has penetrated the vital organs, and is quietly sapping the foundations of life. Like these maladies, sin has its seat within. It is a disease of the heart. It is the worst and deadliest of all heart complaints. Needing not food, but medicine, a new nature, a new heart, a new life, this is the prayer that best suits thy lips and meets thy case — Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

2. This defilement is universal. Our world is inhabited by various races; different specimens, not different species of mankind. The Mongolian, the race early cradled among Caucasian mountains, and the Red Indians of the New World; these all differ from each other in the colour of the skin, in the contour of the skull, in the cast and character of their features. But although the hues of the skin differ, and the form of the skull and the features of the face are cast in different moulds, the features, colour, and character of the heart are the same in all men. Be he pale-faced or red, tawny or black, Jew, Greek, Scythian, bond or free, whether he be the lettered and civilised inhabitant of Europe, or roam a painted savage in American woods, or pant beneath the burning line, or wrapt in furs shiver amid Arctic snows, as in all classes of society, so in all these races of men, "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked"; "the carnal mind is enmity against God." The pendulum, farther removed from the centre, vibrates more slowly at the equator than at the poles; the farther north we push our way over thick-ribbed ice, the faster the clock goes; but parallels of latitude have no modifying influence on the motions of the heart. It beats the same in all men; nor, till repaired by grace, does it in any man beat true to God. How can it be otherwise? The tree is diseased, not at the top, but at the root; and therefore no one branch of the human family can possibly escape being affected by sin. Man is the child of unholy parents, and how can a clean thing come out of an unclean?

3. This evil is incurable. Hear the word of the Lord, Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me, saith the Lord. Again, Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil. Again, Why should ye be stricken any more, ye will revolt more and more? Of these solemn and humbling truths it were difficult to find a more remarkable illustration than that before us. What moral effect had God's judgments on His ancient people? Were they cured by their afflictions, by trials that extended over long years of suffering? Did these arrest the malady? Had they even the salutary effect of preventing their sinking deeper into sin? By no means. As always happens in incurable diseases, the patient grew worse instead of better. "Seducers wax worse and worse." As always happens when life is gone, the dead became more and more offensive. The brighter the sun shines, the more the skies rain, the thicker the dews of night, and the hotter the day, the faster the fallen tree rots; because those agents in nature which promote vegetation and develop the forms and beauty of life, the sounding shower, the silent dews, the summer heat, have no other effect on death than to hasten its putridity and decay. And even so — impressive lesson of the impotency of all means that are unaccompanied by the Divine blessing — was it with God's ancient people. Trust not., therefore, in any unsanctified afflictions. These cannot permanently and really change the condition of your heart. I have seen the characters of the writing remain on paper which the flames had turned into a film of buoyant coal; I have seen the thread that had been passed through the fire, retain, in its cold grey ashes, the twist which it had got in spinning; I have found every shivered splinter of the flint as hard as the unbroken stone: and let trials come, in providence, sharp as the fire and ponderous as the crushing hammer, unless a gracious God send along with these something else, bruised, broken, bleeding, as your heart may be, its nature remains the same.

( T. Guthrie, D. D.)

Range the wide fields of nature, travel from the equator to the poles, rise from the worm that wriggles out of its hole to the eagle as she springs from the rock to cleave the clouds, and where shall you find anything that corresponds either to our scenes of suicidal dissipation or the blood-stained fields of war? Suppose that, on his return from Africa, some Park, or Bruce, or Campbell were to tell how he had seen the lions of the desert leave their natural prey, and, meeting face to face in marshalled bands, amid roars that drowned the thunder, engage in deadly battle. Would he find one man so credulous as to believe him? The world would laugh that traveller and his tale to scorn. But should anything so strange and monstrous occur, or, while the air shook with their bellowings, and the ground trembled beneath their hoofs, should we see the cattle rush from their distant pastures, to form two vast, black, solid, opposing columns, and, with heads levelled to the charge, should these herds dash forward to bury their horns in each other's bodies, we would proclaim a prodigy, asking what madness had seized creation. But is not sin the parent of more awful prodigies? Fiercer than the cannon's flash, flames of wrath shoot from brothers' eyes. They draw; they brandish their swords, they sheathe them in each other's bowels; every stroke makes a widow, every ringing volley scatters a hundred orphans on a homeless world. Covering her eyes, humanity flies shrieking from the scene, and leaves it to rage, revenge, and agony. Sooner would I be an atheist and believe that there was no God at all, than that man appears in this scene as he came from the hand of a benignant Divinity. Man must have fallen.

I. APART FROM DERIVED SINFULNESS WE HAVE PERSONAL SINS TO ANSWER FOR. Come, let us reason together. Do you mean, on the one hand, to affirm that you have never been guilty of doing what you should not have done? or, on the other, that you were never guilty of not doing what you should have done? Could you be carried back to life's starting post, leant you again an infant against the cradle, stood you again a child at your mother's knee, sate you again a boy at the old school desk, with companions that are now changed, or scattered, or dead and gone, were you again a youth to begin the battle of life anew, would you run the self-same course; would you live over the self-same life? What! is there no speech that you would unsay? no act that you would undo? no Sabbath that you would spend better? are there none alive, or mouldering in the grave, none now blest in heaven, or with the damned in hell, to whom you would bear yourself otherwise than you have done? Have none gone to their account whose memory stings you, and whose possible fate, whose everlasting state fills you with the most painful anxiety? Did you never share in sins that may have proved their ruin, nor fail in faithfulness that might have saved their souls?

II. THE GUILT OF THESE ACTUAL SINS IS OUR OWN. There are strong pleas which the heathen may advance in extenuation of their guilt; there are excuses which they, Stepping forward with some confidence to the judgment, may urge upon a just and merciful as well as holy God. What value may be given to these pleas, what weight they may carry at a tribunal where much shall be exacted of those who have received much, and little asked where little has been given, it is not. for us to say, or even attempt to determine. But this we know, that we have no such excuse to plead, nor any such plea to urge, in extenuation of our offences, of one of a thousand of our offences. Supposing, however, that the plea were accepted, more than enough remains to condemn us, and leave guilt no refuge out of Christ. We talk of a natural bias to sin; but who has not committed sins that he could have avoided, sins which he could have abstained from, and did abstain from, when it served some present purpose to do so? Some years ago, on a great public occasion, a distinguished statesman rose to address his countrymen, and, in reply to certain calumnious and dishonourable charges, held up his hands in the vast assembly, exclaiming, These hands are clean. Now, if you or I or any of our fallen race did entertain a hope that we could act over this scene before a God in judgment, then I could comprehend the calm, the unimpassioned indifference with which men sit in church on successive Sabbaths, idly gazing on the Cross of Calvary, and listening with drowsy ears to the overtures of mercy. But are these, I ask, matters with which you have nothing to do? Beware! Play with no fire; least of all, with fire unquenchable. Play with no edged sword; least of all, with that which Divine justice sheathed in a Saviour's bosom. Your everlasting destiny may turn upon this hour. Do you feel under condemnation? Are you really anxious to be saved? Be not turned from such a blessed purpose by the laughter of fools and the taunts of the ungodly.

( T. Guthrie, D. D.)

Edom, Jerusalem, Mount Seir, Tigris-Euphrates Region
Actions, Acts, Conduct, Deeds, Defile, Defiled, Doings, Dwelling, Dwelt, Impurity, Kept, Monthly, Removed, Separate, Separated, Separation, Sight, Unclean, Uncleanness, Woman's
1. The land of Israel is comforted, by destruction of the heathen, who spitefully used it
8. and by the blessings of God promised unto it
16. Israel was rejected for their sin
21. and shall be restored without their desert
25. The blessings of Christ's kingdom

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ezekiel 36:16-23

     8807   profanity

Ezekiel 36:17-18

     7348   defilement

Ezekiel 36:17-20

     7520   dispersion, the

January 2. "I Will Cause You to Walk in My Statutes" (Eze. xxxvi. 27).
"I will cause you to walk in My statutes" (Eze. xxxvi. 27). The highest spiritual condition is one where life is spontaneous and flows without effort, like the deep floods of Ezekiel's river, where the struggles of the swimmer ceased, and he was borne by the current's resistless force. So God leads us into spiritual conditions and habits which become the spontaneous impulses of our being, and we live and move in the fulness of the divine life. But these spiritual habits are not the outcome of some
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

May 30. "I Will Put My Spirit Within You" (Ez. xxxvi. 27).
"I will put My Spirit within you" (Ez. xxxvi. 27). "I will put My Spirit within you, and I will cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments." "I will put My fear in your hearts, and ye shall not turn away from Me." Oh, friend, would not that be blessed, would not that be such a rest for you, all worn out with this strife in your own strength? Do you not want a strong man to conquer the strong man of self and sin? Do you not want a leader? Do you not want God Himself to be with
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

August 25. "And I Will Put My Spirit Within You, and Cause You to Walk in My Statutes, and Ye Shall Keep My Judgments and do Them" (Ezek. xxxvi. 27).
"And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them" (Ezek. xxxvi. 27). This is a great deal more than a new heart. This a heart filled with the Holy Ghost, the Divine Spirit, the power that causes us to walk in God's commandments. This is the greatest crisis that comes to a Christian's life, when into the spirit that was renewed in conversion, God Himself comes to dwell and make it His abiding place, and hold it by His mighty power
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Holy Nation
'Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. 28. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A New Heart.
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you."--EZEKIEL xxxvi. 26. In the beautiful and suggestive dream of Solomon, which is recorded in the third chapter of the First Book of Kings, God appears to him, saying, "Ask what I shall give thee"; and Solomon's answer is, "O Lord, I am but a child set over this great people, give me, I pray Thee, a hearing heart." And God said to him, "Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, nor riches;
John Percival—Sermons at Rugby

Prayer --The Forerunner of Mercy
Now, this morning I shall try, as God shall help me, first to speak of prayer as the prelude of blessing: next I shall try to show why prayer is thus constituted by God the forerunner of his mercies, and then I shall close by an exhortation, as earnest as I can make it, exhorting you to pray, if you would obtain blessings. I. Prayer is the FORERUNNER OF MERCIES. Many despise prayer: they despise it, because they do not understand it. He who knoweth how to use that sacred art of prayer will obtain
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

The Covenant Promise of the Spirit
I. First, as for THE COMMENDATION OF THE TEXT, the tongues of men and of angels might fail. To call it a golden sentence would be much too commonplace: to liken it to a pearl of great price would be too poor a comparison. We cannot feel, much less speak, too much in praise of the great God who has put this clause into the covenant of His grace. In that covenant every sentence is more precious than heaven and earth; and this line is not the least among His choice words of promise: "I will put my spirit
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The New Heart
And now, my dear friends I shall attempt this morning, first of all, to show the necessity for the great promise contained in my text, that God will give us a new heart and a new spirit, and after that, I shall endeavor to show the nature of the great work which God works in the soul, when he accomplishes this promise; afterwards, a few personal remarks to all my hearers. I. In the first place, it is my business to endeavor to show THE NECESSITY FOR THIS GREAT PROMISE. Not that it needs any showing
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

Free Grace
The other error to which man is very prone, is that of relying upon his own merit. Though there is no righteousness in any man, yet in every man there is a proneness to truth in some fancied merit. Strange that it should be so, but the most reprobate characters have yet some virtue as they imagine, upon which they rely. You will find the most abandoned drunkard pride himself that he is not a swearer. You will find the blaspheming drunkard pride himself that at least he is honest. You will find men
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

What Self Deserves
"Ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities, and for your abominations."--Ezekiel 36:31. IT HAS been the supposition of those who know not by experience that if a man be persuaded that he is pardoned, and that he is a child of God, he will necessarily become proud of the distinction which God has conferred upon him. Especially if he be a believer in predestination, when he finds that he is one of God's chosen, it is supposed that the necessary consequence will be that he will
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

The Stony Heart Removed
"Can aught beneath a power divine The stubborn will subdue? 'Tis thine, eternal Spirit, thine, To form the heart anew. To chase the shades of death away And bid the sinner live! A beam of heaven, a vital ray, 'Tis thine alone to give." But while such a thing would be impossible apart from God, it is certain that God can do it. Oh, how the Master delighteth to undertake impossibilities! To do what others can do were but like unto man; but to accomplish that which is impossible to the creature is a
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 8: 1863

Let Your Hearts be Much Set on Revivals of Religion. ...
Let your hearts be much set on revivals of religion. Never forget that the churches have hitherto existed and prospered by revivals; and that if they are to exist and prosper in time to come, it must be by the same cause which has from the first been their glory and defence.--Joel Hawes If any minister can be satisfied without conversions, he shall have no conversions.--C. H. Spurgeon I do not believe that my desires for a revival were ever half so strong as they ought to be; nor do I see how a minister
E.M. Bounds—Purpose in Prayer

God Has Everything to do with Prayer
Christ is all. We are complete in Him. He is the answer to every need, the perfect Savior. He needs no decoration to heighten His beauty, no prop to increase His stability, no girding to perfect His strength. Who can gild refined gold, whiten the snow, perfume the rose or heighten the colors of the summer sunset? Who will prop the mountains or help the great deep? It is not Christ and philosophy, nor Christ and money, nor civilization, nor diplomacy, nor science, nor organisation. It is Christ alone.
Edward M. Bounds—The Reality of Prayer

How those are to be Admonished with whom Everything Succeeds According to their Wish, and those with whom Nothing Does.
(Admonition 27.) Differently to be admonished are those who prosper in what they desire in temporal matters, and those who covet indeed the things that are of this world, but yet are wearied with the labour of adversity. For those who prosper in what they desire in temporal matters are to be admonished, when all things answer to their wishes, lest, through fixing their heart on what is given, they neglect to seek the giver; lest they love their pilgrimage instead of their country; lest they turn
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Jesus Angry with Hard Hearts
But I must not let imagination mislead me: they did nothing of the kind. Instead of this, they sat watching the Lord Jesus, not to be delighted by an act of his power, but to find somewhat of which they might accuse him. When all came to all, the utmost that they would be able to allege would be that he had healed a withered hand on the Sabbath. Overlooking the commendation due for the miracle of healing, they laid the emphasis upon its being done on the Sabbath; and held up their hands with horror
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

The Everlasting Covenant of the Spirit
"They shall be My people, and l will be their God. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me."--JER. xxxii. 38, 40. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye
Andrew Murray—The Two Covenants

Good Works.
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephes. ii. 10. Good works are the ripe fruit from the tree which God has planted in sanctification. In the saint there is life; from that life workings proceed; and those workings are either good or evil. Hence good works are not added to sanctification for mere effect, but belong to it. The discussion of sanctification is not complete without the discussion of Good Works.
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Touching Jacob, However, that which He did at his Mother's Bidding...
24. Touching Jacob, however, that which he did at his mother's bidding, so as to seem to deceive his father, if with diligence and in faith it be attended to, is no lie, but a mystery. The which if we shall call lies, all parables also, and figures designed for the signifying of any things soever, which are not to be taken according to their proper meaning, but in them is one thing to be understood from another, shall be said to be lies: which be far from us altogether. For he who thinks this, may
St. Augustine—Against Lying

Pastor in Parish (I. ).
Master, to the flock I speed, In Thy presence, in Thy name; Show me how to guide, to feed, How aright to cheer and blame; With me knock at every door; Enter with me, I implore. We have talked together about the young Clergyman's secret life, and private life, and his life in (so to speak) non-clerical intercourse with others, and now lastly of his life as it stands related to his immediate leader in the Ministry. In this latter topic we have already touched the great matter which comes now at
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren

Be Ye Therefore Perfect, Even as Your Father which is in Heaven is Perfect. Matthew 5:48.
In the 43rd verse, the Savior says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward
Charles G. Finney—Lectures to Professing Christians

The Person Sanctified.
"The putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh."--Col. ii. 11. Sanctification embraces the whole man, body and soul, with all the parts, members, and functions that belong to each respectively. It embraces his person and, all of his person. This is why sanctification progresses from the hour of regeneration all through life, and can be completed only in and through death. St. Paul prays for the church of Thessalonica: "The God of peace sanctify you wholly, and may your whole spirit and soul
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Introductory Note.
[a.d. 145-220.] When our Lord repulsed the woman of Canaan (Matt. xv. 22) with apparent harshness, he applied to her people the epithet dogs, with which the children of Israel had thought it piety to reproach them. When He accepted her faith and caused it to be recorded for our learning, He did something more: He reversed the curse of the Canaanite and showed that the Church was designed "for all people;" Catholic alike for all time and for all sorts and conditions of men. Thus the North-African

Evidences Internal and Experimental.
1. The external evidences of revealed religion are, in their proper place and sphere, of the highest importance. Christianity rests not upon theory, but upon historical facts sustained by an overwhelming mass of testimony. It is desirable that every Christian, so far as he has opportunity, should make himself acquainted with this testimony for the strengthening of his own faith and the refutation of gainsayers. Nevertheless, many thousands of Christians are fully established in the faith of the gospel
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

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