Ezra 10

* Ezra encourages to reformation. (1-5) He assembles the people.

(6-14) Reformation effected. (15-44)

1-5 Shechaniah owned the national guilt. The case is sad, but

it is not desperate; the disease threatening, but not incurable.

Now that the people begin to lament, a spirit of repentance

seems to be poured out; now there is hope that God will forgive,

and have mercy. The sin that rightly troubles us, shall not ruin

us. In melancholy times we must observe what makes for us, as

well as against us. And there may be good hopes through grace,

even where there is the sense of great guilt before God. The

case is plain; what has been done amiss, must be undone again as

far as possible; nothing less than this is true repentance. Sin

must be put away, with a resolution never to have any thing more

to do with it. What has been unjustly got, must be restored.

Arise, be of good courage. Weeping, in this case, is good, but

reforming is better. As to being unequally yoked with

unbelievers, such marriages, it is certain, are sinful, and

ought not to be made; but now they are not null, as they were

before the gospel did away the separation between Jews and

Gentiles.
6-14 There is hope concerning people, when they are convinced,

not only that it is good to part with their sins, but that it is

necessary; we must do it, or we are undone. So rich is the

mercy, and so plenteous the redemption of God, that there is

hope for the vilest who hear the gospel, and are willing to

accept of free salvation. When sinners mourn for their sins, and

tremble at the word of God, there is hope that they will forsake

them. To affect others with godly sorrow or love to God, we must

ourselves be affected. It was carefully agreed how this affair

should be carried on. That which is hastily resolved on seldom

proves lasting.
15-44 The best reformers can but do their endeavour; when the

Redeemer himself shall come to Zion, he shall effectually turn

away ungodliness from Jacob. And when sin is repented of and

forsaken, God will forgive it; but the blood of Christ, our

Sin-offering, is the only atonement which takes away our guilt.

No seeming repentance or amendment will benefit those who reject

Him, for self-dependence proves them still unhumbled. All the

names written in the book of life, are those of penitent

sinners, not of self-righteous persons, who think they have no

need of repentance.
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