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Is not my word like as a fire ? saith the Lord ; and like a hammar
that breaketh the rock in pieces? — Jeremiah xxiii. 29.

Is not my word like as a fire ? saith the Lord ; and like a hammar
that breaketh the rock in pieces? — Jeremiah xxiii. 29.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 13, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD. J. COGSWELL, D. D Is not my word like as a fire ? saith the Lord ; and like a hammar that breaketh the rock in pieces? — Jeremiah xxiii. 29. When Jeremiah was called of God to the prophetic office, the Hebrew nation was excedingly corrupt. Ignorance, error, and wickedness greatly abounded. 184 THE POWER OF THE After Daniel and Ezekiel were led into captivity, Jeremiah was the only true prophet, of whom we have any account, who still remained in the land of Judea. Though he might have gone to Babylon with the as- surance of kind treatment in that great city ; yet such was his love of his country, and such was the deep interest he felt in the welfare of the remnant that was left, that he could not be separated from them. The abuse and cruel treatment he received from them, no doubt, drew many tears from his eyes; but did not harden his heart against them. He hoped that God would hear his prayers and cause them to repent. Had they regarded his admonitions they might have been spared and saved from ruin. After the murder of Gedaliah, whom the kmg of Babylon had appointed to be over them, Jeremiah was forcibly taken to Egypt, where it is supposed he died, or was put to death by his enemies. During his ministry the influence of Jeremiah was counteracted by a multitude of false teachers ; the number of whom had increased in proportion to the increase of wickedness in the nation. So greatly was
he hated on account of his fidelity in the discharge of his duty that the princes prevailed on Zedekiah to permit them to cast the prophet into a deep and miry dungeon, where he would have perished had not the pity of an Ethiopian sought and eflected his deliver- ance. The design of the false teachers was to deliver such discourses as would be most agreeable to the people with whom they were connected, and from whom they derived their support. But the first object of Jeremiah was to ascertain the mind of the Holy Spirit, and the WORD OP GOD. 185 second so to exhibit the truth as to make the right im- pression on the minds of his hearers, regardless of the consequences. His duty in a corrupt age was ex- tremely difficult. Though opposed, reviled and per- secuted ; yet he enjoyed peace of conscience, and a good hope of life and happiness beyond the grave. It distressed him exceedingly to see how ready those, whom he tenderly loved were to receive the most per- nicious errors. Mine heart within me, he said, is broken, because of the prophets, all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man, whom wine hath overcome because of the Lord, and because of the word of his holiness. I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they ran, I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. They pretended to receive communications from God by dreams, and they said, the Lord hath said, ye shall have peace, and [they said to every one that walked after the imagination of his own heart, no evil shall come upon you. God himself compared their preaching to chaflf, which the wind driveth away. The prophet that hath a dream, he said, let him tell a dream, and he that hath my word let him speak my word faithfully ; what is the
chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces ? The word of God, when made quick and powerful by the Holy Spirit, may with great propriety be com- pared to a fire and a hammer. I shall notice some particulars. L As fire kindled in a dark place makes visible objects around it, so the word of God when faithfully preached makes distinguishable those who feel its 17 186 THE POWER OF THE influence from those, who are the worshippers of idols. Light shines upon all our missionary stations, while all the world around them is involved in Pagan dark- ness. Thy word, said the psalmist, is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Christ, who is the Word of God is the hght of the world. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness compre- hendeth it not. Wherever the gospel is preached there light shines on those, who listen to the sound. Wherever a Christian church is established there the light is permanent. All those parts of the world, which are not favored with the scriptures, or the in- structions of the Christian preacher are involved in darkness. And the ignorance and errors that prevail are productive of gross immorality and every abomin- ation. Those who dwell in Pagan darkness cannot by the light of nature obtain any knowledge of the plan God has devised and adopted for the redemption of men. either the wise men of Babylon, or of Persia, of Egypt, or of Greece, neither the most learned of the Romans, or of modern nations have discovered

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