TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.
Hagg. i. 4—10. "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages, earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes," &c.
Mal. i. 6—13. "A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master; if then I be a Father, where is Mine honour? and if I be a Master, where is My fear?…Ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted, and the fruit thereof, even His meat, contemptible. Ye say also. Behold what a weariness is it,…and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering; should I accept this of your hands, saith the Lord?"
Mal. ii. 1—9. "And now, O ye Priests, this commandment is for you…And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that My covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of Hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace, and I gave them to him, for the fear wherewith he feared Me, and was afraid before My Name. The Law of Truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the Priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they shall seek the Law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the Law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of Hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people." Does not the history of the times of Hoadley and such as he, and our present trials throw light upon the parallel?
Mal. iii. 8, 9. "Will a man rob God? yet ye have robbed Me; but ye say. Wherein have we robbed Thee? in tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation."
5. It is remarkable that, while the reinstated Jewish Church was so deficient in zeal, piety, and consistent obedience, and was punished by failure and disorganization; yet it never fell into those gross and flagrant offences, which were the opprobrium of its earlier period. It was clear of the sin of idolatry.