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Abused Privileges.

Abused Privileges.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. ERSKINE MASON, D.D.,



" For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech, and of an
hard language, but to the house of Israel : not to many people of a
strange speech, and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not
understand : surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have heark
ened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee :
for they will not hearken unto me : for all the house of Israel are impu
dent and hard-hearted." EZEKIEL iii. 5, 6, 7.
BY REV. ERSKINE MASON, D.D.,



" For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech, and of an
hard language, but to the house of Israel : not to many people of a
strange speech, and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not
understand : surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have heark
ened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee :
for they will not hearken unto me : for all the house of Israel are impu
dent and hard-hearted." EZEKIEL iii. 5, 6, 7.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 03, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/12/2014

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ABUSED PRIVILEGES.BY REV. ERSKIE MASO, D.D.," For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech, and of anhard language, but to the house of Israel : not to many people of astrange speech, and of an hard language, whose words thou canst notunderstand : surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have heark ened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee :for they will not hearken unto me : for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted." EZEKIEL iii. 5, 6, 7.WHE we read the first two of these verseswhich w T e have selected for our text, they seem tospeak of the peculiarly favourable and happy circumstances of the prophet, so far as the sphere of his official labour was concerned. The contrast isvery great between his condition and that of onewhose engagement in the same work of deliveringthe counsels of the Lord, involved a banishmentfrom his country, a residence in an unhealthy clime,and an association with rude and ignorant and inhospitable tribes. The scene of the prophet s ministry was at home, among his kinsmen and friends,to whom he was united by strong and enduringties, and among whom, as well by reason of longacquaintanceship as of office, he occupied a stationof comfort and of influence. ow if we should452 ABUSED PEIVILEGES.suppose, concerning the prophet, or concerning anyother man in similar circumstances, that he mustnecessarily be a stranger to all the trials of a ministerial life, we should show that we are drawing ourconclusions from very partial premises, from an al
 
together one-sided view ; and if we but read theconcluding verse of our text, we should discoveran idea which throws a new light upon his position,and appears to teach us that his trials are greaterthan they would have been, had God thrown himamong a strange, untutored people, where he couldhave looked for none of the comforts of home, andnone of the joys of an enlightened companionship.We do not by any means consider of small importance, the sacrifices which are made by one whopenetrates into the dark places of the earth topreach to their benighted tenantry the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is on his part a relinquish ment of substantial good ; there is an amountof pains-taking, and self-denial, and suffering, whichexperience alone will enable one rightly to calculate ; and to these sacrifices, and endurances, andprivations, the man who labours in other circumstances, may be an entire stranger. And yet it isa very superficial examination, leading to veryerroneous results, which in judging of a man sposition, looks no farther than these his externalrelations ; for it is seen at once, that the most important element to a right standard of judgment,the end a man has in view, is left entirely out of the account. I take it for granted that this principle is unquestionable, that a man s position is toABUSED PRIVILEGES. 453be estimated as favourable or unfavourable, not inthe light simply of some of its adventitious circumstances, but in the light rather of its relations tothe great object of his existence upon which hisheart is set. We take an example or two for illustration. The great object of the warrior is military renown ; and when he traverses inhospitableregions, and submits to the privations of the camp,
 
and exposes himself to the dangers of the battlefield, he makes many, and substantial, and painfulsacrifices ; but when you think of his object, and seehim returning covered with the glory of his military successes, oh ! surely, his position has been farmore enviable, his circumstances far more desirable, than those of one who has never moved fromthe comforts of the domestic fireside, and neverbeen exposed to any of the dangers of flood orfield, or had an opportunity of signalizing himself by any public achievement. The man whose ob ject is wealth, domesticates himself in a sicklyclimate, and in associations of all others most unfriendly to personal comfort ; and herein he suifersevils to which a man who remains among his kinsmen and his friends, is an entire stranger; butwhen he returns from his wanderings, brino-ino-o / o owith him as his reward his large possessions, theyin whose eyes wealth is the chief good, do notthink of comparing to its disadvantage, his positionwith that one, who, though he may have experienced but few discomforts, has yet scarce attaineda competency ; and the reason is obvious. Thesuccess in the one case is more than an equivalent454 ABUSED PKIVILEGES.for all the toils necessary to secure it ; and thefailure in the other case is not compensated by thepersonal comforts, for the sake of which it hasbeen submitted to.In applying this rule of judgment, then, to thesubject which in this discourse we have undertakento handle, I would ask my hearers, in the first

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