These things have you done, and I kept silence; you thought that I was altogether such an one as yourself: but I will reprove you…
1. The state of a man makes his thought, and this thought has its influence on the present life and its prospects. Idolatry has its fictions of God, which are frauds upon men, who sink Him into grosser and more bestial forms. Superstition knows the same perversity, ascribing to God thoughts and practices that are unworthy His nature, concocted in a morbid imagination; ,as unreal as a system of belief would be which recorded your conceptions of men .or your Maker formed in sleep while suffering from the nightmare. There is a tendency and habit of weakness to form God weak-minded; of cruelty to conceive of Him as cruel. To the pure He is pure, and to the froward, froward. To the prurient all is impure, and to the fraudulent all is deceit. The mummeries of worship, the follies of priestcraft, futile prevarications, cunning compromises and the stratagems of love and of war show this same fact in human life. Now transfer this lesson to the facts of another world.
2. Dire retribution may arise by simple reproduction: Keep the Word closed and every line and letter of your creed hidden, and look out over the face of the earth. You see various forms of animal life below, but none above, man. Before a closed Bible and a silenced Gospel what precludes the prospect that human life is to go to lower and yet lower grades according to its bent and bias? You see the loftiest summit rise from the plain and from among the uplands; and you see it steadily crumble and fall lower. What is there more congruous than the notion of transmigration? If there be evolution, there surely is devolution, a degradation of species. Nature teaches it. The spirit of man goeth — where? That of the brute — where? With the Bible closed we cannot answer. If there be no Gospel, no Heaven, no hell, no resurrection, no redemption, still there is no proof that there is no future. If you do not go upward, you do not prove that there is no downward. What is your hope? Where is your God? Is He a deceiver and the world full of illusions, with no relief, no redress, no rescue, no resurrection and nothing of us to be? Is your God fate? If so, hell, as men have printed it, is but a trifle to what is now already; just as when the merciless breakers dash the drowning man in their seething, swirling eddies, the glare of the volcano in the distance or a raging conflagration is nothing; just as the news of the burning of all his property is nothing to one about to swing from the gibbet. What is your God? Will He be what you make Him now? He is not what unbelief represents Him to be, but He is in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Open now the Bible, build your altar, bind the sacrifice! Acquaint thyself with Him and be at peace, for this is life eternal to know Him!
(H. S. Carpenter, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.