Religion the Parent of Morality
Ezekiel 45:9-12
Thus said the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice…

It is certain that God feels an active interest in all the covenants of man. The same authority that requires love to God requires love for our neighbors, equal in strength to love for self. True religion is not sublimely indifferent to the details of home and mercantile life. It designs to make every home a nursery for the Church, every shop an arena for the victories of faith. Every commercial transaction bears a testimony either for God or against him.

I. RELIGION HAS A MESSAGE FOR EVERY RANK OF HUMAN SOCIETY. Like the sun in the heavens, religion exerts the benignest influence on men of every rank and station. It teaches the monarch humility and self-restraint. It teaches princes to live for others. It teaches magistrates the value of equity and justice. It teaches merchants principles of honesty and truthfulness. It cares for the poorest and the meanest among men; inspires them with the spirit of industry; casts a halo of beauty over the lowliest lot. Nothing that appertains to man is too insignificant for the notice of true religion. For every stage in life, from childhood to old age, religion has some kindly ministration. For every circumstance it affords some succor. It superadds dignity to the prince. It gives a kingly bearing to the peasant. It links all classes (when unhindered) in true and blissful harmony. Tyranny on the one hand, and insubordination on the other, are equally obnoxious to religion.

II. RELIGION SHEDS ITS INFLUENCE THROUGH EVERY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN LIFE. We cannot go into any assembly of men for whatever purpose they meet, where we are excused from manifesting the principles and the spirit of true religion. Whether we meet for gaining knowledge, or for industrial toil, or for political action, or for commercial pursuits, religion claims to preside over all our thoughts and plans and deeds. The shop and the mart are capacious fields for the daily exercise of Christian virtues - fields exquisitely suited for the growth and ripening of the noblest qualities. Courage can only be developed in presence of strife and peril; so our religious virtues can only be strengthened in an atmosphere of temptation. If a man is not pious and faithful and truthful in his commercial transactions, he will not be pious and faithful anywhere. This is his test; and woe be to the man who succumbs in the strife!

III. RELIGION SETS UP STANDARDS FOR ALL HUMAN ACTIONS. "Ye shall have just balances." The shekel and the homer were to be fixed standards. If fraud be allowed to creep into our commercial scales and measures, the fraud will corrupt every transaction. The very heart of the mercantile system will be poisoned. Villany secreted here would spread as from a center to the whole circumference of commerce. It is supremely important that men establish right standards of speech and conduct. If the exchange is to prosper, it must (like the throne) be established in righteousness. Over the portals of every shop, on the beam of every balance, engraved on every coin, ought the maxim to run in largest capitals, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them!" - D.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.

WEB: Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Let it suffice you, princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute justice and righteousness; dispossessing my people, says the Lord Yahweh.

Princes not Oppressors
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