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Forbearance of God Brought to a Close.

Forbearance of God Brought to a Close.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A.


2 Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16. And the Lord God of their fathers
sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending;
because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling-
place : but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised
his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the
Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A.


2 Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16. And the Lord God of their fathers
sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending;
because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling-
place : but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised
his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the
Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 19, 2014
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FORBEARACE OF GOD BROUGHT TO A CLOSE. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.2 Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16. And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling- place : but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. I speaking of the Divine perfections, it is common to represent tliem all as infinite, because they do not admit of any increase: but perhaps it would be more correct to speak of them as limited, because they all so limit each other as to produce one har- monious agency in all their operations ; every per- fection being exercised so far, and so far only, as is consistent with the glory of the whole Deity. Justice, for instance, never exerts itself to the disparagement of mercy ; nor does mercy ever triumph over the rights of justice: so neither does patience interpose for the arresting of judgment, any longer than consists with the claims of holiness: as soon as ever its protracted influence would reflect dishonour on God as the moral Governor of the universe, it recedes, and leaves the sword of vengeance to execute its heavenly commission. The truth of this statement fully appears from the words before us; from which we are naturally led to notice, I. God's patience exercised — It was exercised to a most astonishing degree towards his people of old — [The
 
342 2 CHROICLES, XXXVI. 15, l6. [294. [The Scripture frequently speaks of God, not only as sending messengers to his people, but as " rising early" and sending them. This intimates, that as soon as ever they went astray, he commissioned his servants to reclaim them ; yea, many hundred years before the final execution of his judgments upon them, he forewarned them how he would proceed, and cautioned them against driving him to such extremities'" When these warnings were disregarded, he sent them prophets, to bring these things to their remembrance^ and to plead with them in his name. Sometimes he raised up prophets for particular occasions; at other times he continued them for many years in their office, in order by any means to turn the people from their sins. Full of *^ compassion towards his people," and averse to forsake the land which he had given them for a " dwelling-place," he bore with all their frowardness and perverseness ; " many a time turning away his anger," when he might justly have broken forth against them, and made them monuments of his everlasting indignation ^. But how did they requite his tender mercies? " They mocked his messengers (we are told), and despised his words, and misused his Prophets." Even against Moses himself did their resentment frequently burn, insomuch that on one occasion they were ready to stone him ^. Their Prophets in every successive age were treated with all manner of indignities, menaced, imprisoned, martyred, according as the wrath of their rulers was permitted to prevail. " Which of the Prophets have not your fathers persecuted?" said St. Stephen''; and our blessed Lord, to comfort his Disciples under the trials which they would meet with, reminded them, that " so had the Prophets been persecuted, who were before them*."] In like manner is it exercised in reference to us —
 
[God is yet sending his ambassadors to us, not merely to reprove and warn, or to encourage us with a hope of temporal rewards, as he did to the Jews, but to offer us redemption through the blood of his dear Son, and to beseech us to accept of reconciliation with him*^ And such is his " compassion towards us," that he cannot endure the thought of giving us up ^, as long as a hope remains of converting us to himself* And what return do we make to God ? Do we not act pre- cisely as the Jews before us did ? There is no faithful messenger that addresses us in Jehovah's name, but we call him an enthu- siast : however temperate and kind, and reasonable his exhor- tations • Lev. xxvi. 14 — 39. & Deut. xxviii. 15 — 68. " Ps. Ixxviii. 38. & cvi. 13 — 48. *= Exod. xvii. 4. "* Acts vii. 52. * Matt. v. 12. '2 Cor. v. 18 — 20. • Ezek. xxxiii. 11. Jer. xiii, 27. Hos. xi. 8. 294.1 TERMIATIO OF GOd's FORBEARACE. 343 tations may be"", we mock and deride him as " a babbler'," "a deceiver''," and " a fellow that ought not to be tolerated^" Our blessed Lord himself, who " spake as never man spake," was accounted a madman and a demoniac™; and every faithful servant of God from his day even to the present hour, has been made an object, though not of equal, yet certainly of similar, reproach. One would suppose that men, with the sacred volume in their hands, seeing how the Prophets and Apostles were all

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