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righteous judgment; to take the state of a person's heart by what proceeds from his mouth, and so judge of the influence he is under by the truth or falsehood he utters; "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Hence these princes are to call men and things by their proper names; not to call darkness light, nor light darkness; nor to call evil good, nor good evil; nor to put sweet for bitter, nor bitter for sweet; nor to call holiness sin, nor sin holiness. They are not to call a false spirit a good one, nor a true spirit a bad one; nor to say to a wicked man, Thou art righteous; nor to say to these princes, Ye are ungodly. They are not to condemn the just, nor to justify the wicked, for they that do either are an abomination to God; much less to call Christ Beelzebub, and Simon Magus the great power of God. Men and things are to bear, and be called by, their proper names; so that the infants and unstable in Zion may not be left to halt between two opinions, but go by Zion's judgment. So says my text,

"The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord; to make empty the soul of the hungry; and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl are evil; he deviseth wicked devices, to de

stroy the poor with lying words, when even the needy speaketh right. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand," or be established.

In handling these words, I am determined, by the help of God, to be particular upon every point.

1. To give you a description of a vile person, who is to go by his proper name, and not to be called liberal.

2. Of the churl, who is not to be palmed with the name bountiful.

3. That a vile person is to be known by his vile doctrine; "The vile person will speak villany."

4. All that proceeds from his mouth, springs from the irreconcilable enmity of his heart against the Lord Jesus. "His heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord."

5. His drift, in all this, is, "to make empty the soul of the hungry; and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail."

6. We will consider the instruments that he uses in his mischief, and the quality of them; "The instruments also of the churl are evil."

7. The ultimate end he aims at is the eternal ruin of the just, even against their own testimony. "He deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right."

8. We will consider the character of a prince, or one of a princely spirit, who rules in judgment. "He deviseth liberal things."

9. His firm standing, or establishment, in his liberal device. "By liberal things shall he stand."

And, Lastly, draw a few inferences from the whole.

First, then, I am to give you a description of a vile person, who is to go by his proper name, and not to be called liberal.

I am sensible that all men are by natural corruptions vile; but my text speaks only of professors in religion. Saints and hypocrites, ministers of Christ, and ministers of Satan, are the only characters here meant. Hence one sort are called princes that rule in judgment; the others are persons that practise hypocrisy. The one deviseth liberal things, and speaks plainly; the other works iniquity, and speaks villany. The King of Zion is the grand subject of debate in my text; and it is plain that there are no neutrals where he comes: men must be for him, or against him; they must gather with him, or scatter abroad; love him, or hate him. Here are some princes, and some vile ones: some are ruling in judgment under him; others uttering errors against him. The one feeds liberally; the other makes empty the soul of the hungry. The one instructs the poor, and teaches him to speak truth; the other

destroys him with lying words, even when he speaks right.

The vile person, therefore, is an unrenewed, unconverted, uninspired preacher, who is in his sin, and under the influence of Satan; one whom the devil uses in his interest to deceive the simple, by perverting the word of God, and in leading sinners into rebellion against Christ, and against the grace of Christ, which alone can save them from sin, and from the punishment due to it. Hence they are said first to creep into houses, and then to pervert whole houses, in order to lead captive silly women laden with sins, and with divers lusts and pleasures, ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Such were Eli's sons; they were vile persons; sons of Belial: they knew not the Lord. Hence the heavy charge; “For I have told him," saith the Lord, "that I will judge his house for ever, for the iniquity which he knoweth: because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever." The Lord told Jeremiah, "If thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth." And we find the vile persons that the prophet had to deal with, and to separate the precious from, were in particular the false prophets; who told false dreams, and comforted in vain; who told the people

they should have peace, and made them trust in a lie; who broke the yokes of wood, and made them yokes of iron; who opposed the prophet Jeremiah in almost every message, smote him, and put him in the stocks, Jer. xx. 3. They withstood him to the face, and contradicted him and his message both, with a "Thus saith the Lord, within three years will I break the yoke of the king of Babylon;" when it was decreed and declared, that seventy years were to be the time of their captivity; and, even in Babylon, they went on with the same practice of hypocrisy; and wrote to Shemaiah, in the priest's office at Jerusalem, that God had appointed him an officer in the house of the Lord, to put every person that was mad, and made himself a prophet, into the prison, and into the stocks; and charged him with not executing his office, because he had not reproved Jeremiah, or laid him by the heels, Jer. xxix. 26. Hence it appears, that these vile persons are lying prophets, forgers of false doctrines, and deceivers of the people; and as they are vile in heart, and speak villany, vile they shall be in their end. "I will make thy grave," says God, "for thou art vile."

Such persons are not to be called liberal, lest, by perverting their names, we betray the simple into their hands to be zealously affected by them, and so be misled by them, and destroyed. This command to call these persons by their proper names, is not given to the children of the world,

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