Jeremiah 34* Zedekiah's death at Babylon foretold. (1-7) The Jews reprovedfor compelling their poor brethren to return to unlawfulbondage. (8-22)1-7 Zedekiah is told that the city shall be taken, and that heshall die a captive, but he shall die a natural death. It isbetter to live and die penitent in a prison, than to live anddie impenitent in a palace. 8-22 A Jew should not be held in servitude above seven years.This law they and their fathers had broken. And when there wassome hope that the siege was raised, they forced the servantsthey had released into their services again. Those who think tocheat God by dissembled repentance and partial reformation, putthe greatest cheat upon their own souls. This shows that libertyto sin, is really only liberty to have the sorest judgments. Itis just with God to disappoint expectations of mercy, when wedisappoint the expectations of duty. And when reformationsprings only from terror, it is seldom lasting. Solemn vows thusentered into, profane the ordinances of God; and the mostforward to bind themselves by appeals to God, are commonly mostready to break them. Let us look to our hearts, that ourrepentance may be real, and take care that the law of Godregulates our conduct.
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