We observed in our yesterday's lecture, that the Israelites were condemned, because they were, when fed in rich pastures, like mettlesome horses; and this is what commonly happens. And even Moses foretold this in his song,
My chosen, having become fat, kicked against me,'
What the Prophet said was now fulfilled; fulness had produced ferocity in the people of Israel. According to their pastures, he says, they were filled; they were satiated, and their heart was elevated Ezekiel declares the same of Sodom; when their stomach was well filled they became proud, (Ezekiel 16:49.) But the Prophet speaks there of their cruelty towards men; for he says, that the Sodomites, while abounding in all blessings, were full of cruelty, so that they contemptuously despised the poor. But the prophet condemns here a worse thing in the people of Israel, for their heart was inflated with pride against God.
And there is, in the last place, a mention made of their forgetfulness of God. It is impossible, when men are blinded by a wilful self-confidence, but that they will cast aside every fear of God and every concern for religion. And this passage teaches us, that we ought to use our abundance temperately and frugally, and that we ought, in the first place, beware lest the bounty of God should introduce a forgetfulness of him. For it is an extreme perversion, that when the more largely God pours his gifts upon us, our hearts should be more narrow, and that his benefits should be like veils to cover our eyes. We ought then to labour, that the benefits of God may, on the contrary, renew the recollection of him in our minds: and then, as I have said, let moderation and frugality be added. Let us now proceed --