V

The Good Odor of Christ
Report of a Grace Received

We are unto God a sweet odor of Christ, to them that are saved. 2 Corinthians 2:15.
I received of Epaphroditus the things that were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. -- Philippians 4:18.
Then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. --John 12:3.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am requesting picture cards of the "Young Virgin" by Francisco de Zurbaran, because of a miracle that happened to me.

On December 16, 2000, while I was meditating over my life because I was feeling so alone and I was crying, I smelled the fragrance of flowers. With my surprise, the fragrance was coming from a picture card of the "Young Virgin." I didn't know where I got the picture card, or who gave it to me. Then on the night of December 21, 2000, while reading Messages from Heaven to the Messenger of Jesus in Mexico, Vol. 1, I found the same picture of the "Young Virgin" in the book, and again I smelled the fragrance of flowers from this picture. The fragrance from this picture lasted about one month.

In the book, I read that Jesus requests that this picture be distributed to school-age children. I am interested in purchasing several copies of this picture, so I can give them to my grandchildren.

Sincerely, Mrs. P.C., Maryland, USA



MESSAGE OF APRIL 5, 1970


SUNDAY, April 5, 1970, Octave of the Resurrection of Jesus. 9:55 a.m. I am at my typewriter, because Our Lord ordered me to do so five minutes ago. I will describe the circumstances because He wants me to.

All the days of Lent were very difficult for me, due to my physical ailments that also increased a spiritual despondency, each day more intense. (He wants me to describe all this right now.)

As He Himself announced a last message to the world, in our community we were begging insistently that He would deign to give it to the Holy Father, for example, or to some other influential person so that it would be heeded. But Jesus is incomprehensible in His ways, because He is God.

Well, this morning I awoke late, and for that reason I could not go to Holy Mass with the community; all because of my poor state of health.

(This, I confess, this causes me sadness, a type of rebellion, morally speaking; because, as I have said on other occasions, I am neither humble nor patient. And it makes me sad to see that I find myself reduced to a sluggish body, a bother that demands more than what a religious who loves her Rule and wants to keep up with her community in everything should give it. But, I repeat: I understand that this feeling in me is a lack of humility and patience.)

Well, with this rather poorly disposed spirit, I took care of myself as I am used to doing every morning, this attention lasting almost two hours. Then I came to our cell to do the cleaning, thinking that, at ten in the morning, I would go to Mass. But it did not happen that way. Jesus already had other plans. In such a way that I scarcely took the mop and entered our cell, when I heard that He was calling me from the little Chapel:

"Come… but quickly!"

I ran immediately and prostrated myself before the Tabernacle. Then He said to me: "Isolate yourself all day just for Me."

"Lord, and the Mass?" And He answered me: "It will be later at an opportune time."

I was going to leave the Chapel to inform my community (for I must advise it) of this order, when He said to me: "Take the Holy Bible."

He was referring to the Holy Bible we have in the Chapel and that has color plates. because we have others in other places and I myself have another Holy Bible, because in our community reading the Bible is a part of the Rule. But the one He indicated to me that I should take is the Spanish version of Torres-Amat. Well, I took it and went down quickly to give notice to my community that, by order of Jesus, I would not be available this day for anyone, only for Him. I saw the clock and it was ten minutes to ten in the morning. Then, as I have noted here, at five minutes to ten, I came to begin these notes.

Now it is eight minutes after ten. On entering the cell, without knowing where to begin, He said to me: "Take the typewriter and write, kneeling, on your bed. Take notes of what I have said to you." (And the voice of Jesus faded completely while I wrote the preceding.)

Here I am, then, waiting what He might order.

I do not know what He is going to dictate to me. But, if it is His will for me to tell my brothers and sisters all the circumstances of the moment, I will permit myself to tell them. There is a wonderful detail most fitting to be mentioned.

Although, as I have said, in our community we are avid readers of the Holy Bible, in common as well as in private, nevertheless, I read it very little, but that is not to say that I do not read it at all, because, since he gave me these messages for the world, I stopped private readings and assist only at community readings. Nevertheless, two days ago, I felt a great desire, almost a need, to read the Apocalypse. That is one of the books I read very little, because, I confess, I feel a little upset when I read it, not understanding it, but, because the messages speak of the fulfillment of predictions, obviously I felt that desire of confirming the times and all the rest in the messages and the realization of those messages that are, in fact, being fulfilled in part by reading the Apocalypse. Two nights ago I read about the opening of the seven seals and of the seven angels with the vials they poured out on the earth, etc. But, I confess, I was as confused as ever.

It is 10:15. Jesus has said to me at this time: "Open to Exodus." (I obey.)

It is 12:45, mid-day. I finished reading Exodus, as Jesus ordered me, up to Chapter 20, and I am bewildered, without making any deduction or conclusion of what words Our Lord might want me to notice or reflect upon, although I have been very impressed on going over what is described about the obstinacy of Pharaoh, and how Our Lord said to Moses that the king’s moral state was the reason why divine grace could not operate in his soul. Also, my attention was drawn very powerfully to the insistence of God Our Lord on choosing Moses as His intermediary, because he felt, and certainly was, very useless. And this makes me acknowledge that God, who is Almighty, almost always uses this economy: of making use of what is of no use.

This humbles me, and I feel intimately the divine motion of abandoning myself in the hands of the Lord, if He wishes, through my means, to make known His will to His children now. Who am I to oppose Him, or to suggest that He make use of some other person?

I am here, then, awaiting the voice of my Jesus, begging His pardon if my attitude has offended Him, because I might want to avoid His divine action.

I have a premonition about this, because I just finished reading to Chapter 20 of Exodus, and I do not understand what Our Lord wants me to understand of it. I stopped reading because I feel tired and besides, I believe the following chapters, although they are from the same book, Exodus, have the character of legislation; for I just finished reading the dictation of the ten commandments, and the following chapter speaks of judicial laws. I made a pause, feeling the need to raise my soul to Lord, and so I am doing it. It is 1:45 p.m.

When I suspended the preceding notes I closed my eyes and concentrated my mind on this single thought: How great and incomprehensible is the Lord our God! Then I said to Him: "For what other purpose have You called me, O my Lord and God? What do You want to say to me now? Speak to me, I beg you! And forgive me, if I have resisted Your orders! I am prepared to face any danger, risk or shame to carry out what You may deign to order me to do, on behalf of Your greater glory and the good of my brothers and sisters."

And Jesus said to me: "Open the Book of Deuteronomy. "

I open it and leaf through its pages. When page 201 appeared He said to me: "Read this chapter."

It was Chapter 32, the "Prophetic Canticle of Moses," and, as I was reading it, Our Lord was indicating to me: "Go on."

And so I read to page 205, where Chapter 34 ends: "The Death of Moses." When I finished doing this reading, Our Lord said to me:

"Close the book, and make a note of this discussion you have had with Me. Then meditate a little while, without thinking of anything else."

In these moments, then, I obey, making that meditation indicated by my Lord, so beloved! May He be blessed!

It is 2 p.m. While meditating on the prophetic canticle of Moses, I noticed where He predicted that the Israelites would be dispossessed of their supremacy before God, because of their perversions and their wicked hearts. (Deut. 32:19-26). With this I was filled with a feeling of tenderness for this race, because it is from them that Jesus took His flesh and blood and, without thinking, I asked Him intimately: "Must this be fulfilled without fail until the end?"

And, contrary to what Our Lord is apt to do with me (He hardly ever likes to answer my questions, because He tells me what He wants to), today, indeed, He answered me:

"Tell My people, My daughter, to repent and to stop persecuting the children of My Church! Tell them to give up their ideas and to submit themselves to My Law, the Law of My Gospel, which is what I have given to My Holy Church; because outside My Church there is no salvation."

Immediately Our Lord again said to me: "Open the book to where plate 45 appears."





I opened it, and there is a plate or image (painting) in colors of the Blessed Virgin when She was a child. She is seated on the floor with some handiwork on Her knees. Her little hands are joined in an attitude of prayer, Her eyes raised on high, and twelve little angels (their faces only) crown Her. She is seen within a curtain and, at one side, She has Her sewing things and a book; on the floor a basket and a jar, as well as a vase of roses and lilies. The title of the picture is: "The Blessed Virgin as a Child," by Francisco Zurbarán. (Picture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York.)

Here Jesus repeated some words that, not too long ago, He said to me: "My Mother always lived in a state of constant adoration." Now He said to me:

"This picture has earned eternal salvation for its author and for many souls. Try to reproduce it and to spread it, and to teach graphically how little girls ought to live, in imitation of My Mother, in adoration and recollection; even when working She was always in prayer. There is a lack of pious, modest, holy women, so there may be a chaste generation, My daughter. Say so to the whole world; above all, this message should go directly to the schools."

Here I again asked my Jesus, and He answered me. "Lord, what is the relationship between Exodus and Deuteronomy that You had me read, and the current situation in the world? What do you want to tell me or indicate to me on making me read this now?"

And His reply was: "I have used and continue using patience, putting up with human beings, and I will continue doing it, but tell all of them to try to give up their lives of vices and sins. Let them read the Holy Bible, above all Exodus, to the death of My great prophet, Moses, through whom I gave them My very first Commandments, which have not been abrogated, but confirmed by My Gospel. The precepts of the Old Testament that I gave by means of My servant, Moses, I descended later to perfect with My law of grace and of love.

"But My children continue provoking Me to anger, and this anger will fall upon all the obstinate very soon. And they will be all those who are stubborn and do not amend their lives, and, concerning My race, if they do not detest their sins and their incredulity, if they do not humiliate themselves and again become My people, I will detest them forever.

"Remember, daughter, that I have taught you always that, on the last day of time, My Justice will be exalted and glorified as much by the just who are saved, as by the reprobate who are condemned forever in the eternal fire with the fallen angels.

"Now, be alert, because great signs of My power and of My holy revenge will happen very soon. Just as before, now and always, I am the Almighty, and I will punish the obstinacy of My wicked children, because I will not tolerate them forever. And with this, enough!"

And Jesus was silent.

I finished my notes at two-thirty in the afternoon, thinking that Our Lord, on being silent, ended what he called me to attend to. Because I felt very weak, I lay down for a few minutes. Then I went down to the kitchen and took a little coffee to stimulate me, because I was stiff with cold in spite of the high temperature of the season, and of the fact that my illness causes me to suffer great heat. I took the coffee, then and returned to our cell and set about re-reading the preceding passages of the Holy Bible, when my Jesus said to me:

"Write."

I went to the typewriter, and He dictated this to me:

"This is the last message I will give to the world through you. Let all of them understand how much they are provoking My Justice, to make My wrath fall over the obstinate, especially those who are undermining My Holy Catholic Church, and making My beloved Vicar, Paul VI, suffer so much."

After these very solemn words that I heard from the physical voice of my Jesus, I understood why He had me read Exodus, and asks all His children to read it and meditate on it, so they may understand all His divine kindness has done for the salvation of human beings. For how many wonders He has worked by means of His prophets! And, nevertheless, men have been perverted. And how many wonders by means of the Divine Prophet, Jesus, the Christ! And, nevertheless, His first-born chosen people as well as ourselves, who are gentiles, continue offending His Divine Majesty!

That is why He warns us that soon He will pour out His holy wrath. Indeed, because the wrath of God is holy and just, and it will be poured out over all those who offend Him, whether Jew or gentile.

I believe that this is what the last message comprises: Let all of us put ourselves on guard, so each one may rectify his behavior, and the incredulous will come to the faith, and the believer will conform his acts to the faith he has received from the mouth of God Himself.

Well, after these words, I repeat, Jesus told me others; but these are for me in particular and for my community. Nevertheless, I am going to transcribe them, because that is how I sent out my first notes. My Jesus said to me:

"Now, indeed, My daughter, dedicate you time to publishing these words I confided to you from the beginning, because later I want to give you some time to dedicate to your soul and your community.

"Do not be saddened if I do not lift you from the state you are in, in company with your sisters. Little ones and the upright of heart are agreeable to My eyes, not the great ones, according to the world or to the human way of thinking.

"At the appropriate time I will bring to My Work the souls that are agreeable to Me, and suitable for consecrating themselves with Me as victims of atonement before My Justice. All the rest, My daughter, is worth nothing; they are grandeurs of the earth and not of Heaven. Love Me! And tell those who surround you in this Work to give Me all their love, to give themselves up to My cross, and the rest I will do with My power and My glory!

"I will come to you many times yet, but I will not give you even one message more for the world or for My Church. Rather, all I have announced through you they will see fulfilled. Adore Me! Love Me! And go on in peace!" And during these moments when my Jesus ceased speaking, I felt, as on other occasions, the caress of Jesus’ hand on my forehead.

From then until now when I am writing these notes, an hour has transpired. It is three-thirty in the afternoon.


May it be for the glory of God!

The poor messenger of Jesus
who offers everything for the good of all my brothers
and sisters in Christ and the Blessed Virgin



Deuteronomy. Chapter 32
A canticle for the remembrance of the law.
Moses is commanded to go up into a mountain, from whence he shall see the promised land but not enter into it.

32:1. Hear, O ye heavens, the things I speak, let the earth give ear to the words of my mouth.
32:2. Let my doctrine gather as the rain, let my speech distil as the dew, as a shower upon the herb, and as drops upon the grass.
32:3. Because I will invoke the name of the Lord: give ye magnificence to our God.
32:4. The works of God are perfect, and all his ways are judgments: God is faithful and without any iniquity, he is just and right.
32:5. They have sinned against him, and are none of his children in their filth: they are a wicked and perverse generation.
32:6. Is this the return thou makest to the Lord, O foolish and senseless people? Is not he thy father, that hath possessed thee, and made thee, and created thee?

32:7. Remember the days of old, think upon every generation: ask thy father, and he will declare to thee: thy elders and they will tell thee.
32:8. When the Most High divided the nations: when he separated the sons of Adam, he appointed the bounds of people according to the number of the children of Israel.
32:9. But the Lord's portion is his people: Jacob the lot of his inheritance.
32:10. He found him in a desert land, in a place of horror, and of vast wilderness: he led him about, and taught him: and he kept him as the apple of his eye.
32:11. As the eagle enticing her young to fly, and hovering over them, he spread his wings, and hath taken him and carried him on his shoulders.
32:12. The Lord alone was his leader: and there was no strange god with him.
32:13. He set him upon high land: that he might eat the fruits of the fields, that he might suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the hardest stone,
32:14. Butter of the herd, and milk of the sheep with the fat of lambs, and of the rams of the breed of Basan: and goats with the marrow of wheat, and might drink the purest blood of the grape.

32:15. The beloved grew fat, and kicked: he grew fat, and thick and gross, he forsook God who made him, and departed from God his saviour.
32:16. They provoked him by strange gods, and stirred him up to anger, with their abominations.
32:17. They sacrificed to devils and not to God: to gods whom they knew not: that were newly come up, whom their fathers worshipped not.
32:18. Thou hast forsaken the God that begot thee, and hast forgotten the Lord that created thee.
32:19. The Lord saw, and was moved to wrath: because his own sons and daughters provoked him.
32:20. And he said: I will hide my face from them, and will consider what their last end shall be: for it is a perverse generation, and unfaithful children.
32:21. They have provoked me with that which was no god, and have angered me with their vanities: and I will provoke them with that which is no people, and will vex them with a foolish nation.
32:22. A fire is kindled in my wrath, and shall burn even to the lowest hell: and shall devour the earth with her increase, and shall burn the foundations of the mountains.
32:23. I will heap evils upon them, and will spend my arrows among them.
32:24. They shall be consumed with famine, and birds shall devour them with a most bitter bite: I will send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the fury of creatures that trail upon the ground, and of serpents.
32:25. Without, the sword shall lay them waste, and terror within, both the young man and the virgin, the sucking child with the man in years.
32:26. I said: Where are they? I will make the memory of them to cease from among men.

32:27. But for the wrath of the enemies I have deferred it: lest perhaps their enemies might be proud, and should say: Our mighty hand, and not the Lord, hath done all these things.
32:28. They are a nation without counsel, and without wisdom.
32:29. O that they would be wise and would understand, and would provide for their last end.
32:30. How should one pursue after a thousand, and two chase ten thousand? Was it not, because their God had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?
32:31. For our God is not as their gods: our enemies themselves are judges.
32:32. Their vines are of the vineyard of Sodom, and of the suburbs of Gomorrha: their grapes are grapes of gall, and their clusters most bitter.
32:33. Their wine is the gall of dragons, and the venom of asps, which is incurable.
32:34. Are not these things stored up with me, and sealed up in my treasures?
32:35. Revenge is mine, and I will repay them in due time, that their foot may slide: the day of destruction is at hand, and the time makes haste to come.
32:36. The Lord will judge his people, and will have mercy on his servants: he shall see that their hand is weakened, and that they who were shut up have also failed, and they that remained are consumed.
32:37. And he shall say: Where are their gods, in whom they trusted?
32:38. Of whose victims they ate the fat, and drank the wine of their drink offerings: let them arise and help you, and protect you in your distress.

32:39. See ye that I alone am, and there is no other God besides me: I will kill and I will make to live: I will strike, and I will heal, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
32:40. I will lift up my hand to heaven, and I will say: I live for ever.
32:41. If I shall whet my sword as the lightning, and my hand take hold on judgment: I will render vengeance to my enemies, and repay them that hate me.
32:42. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh, of the blood of the slain and of the captivity, of the bare head of the enemies.
32:43. Praise his people, ye nations, for he will revenge the blood of his servants: and will render vengeance to their enemies, and he will be merciful to the land of his people.

32:44. So Moses came and spoke all the words of this canticle in the ears of the people, and Josue the son of Nun.
32:45. And he ended all these words, speaking to all Israel.
32:46. And he said to them: Set your hearts on all the words, which I testify to you this day: which you shall command your children to observe and to do, and to fulfil all that is written in this law:
32:47. For they are not commanded you in vain, but that every one should live in them, and that doing them you may continue a long time in the land whither you are going over the Jordan to possess it.
32:48. And the Lord spoke to Moses the same day, saying:
32:49. Go up into this mountain Abarim, (that is to say, of passages,) unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab over against Jericho: and see the land of Chanaan, which I will deliver to the children of Israel to possess, and die thou in the mountain.
32:50. When thou art gone up into it thou shalt be gathered to thy people, as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered to his people:
32:51. Because you trespassed against me in the midst of the children of Israel, at the waters of contradiction, in Cades of the desert of Sin: and you did not sanctify me among the children of Israel.
32:52. Thou shalt see the land before thee, which I will give to the children of Israel, but thou shalt not enter into it.



Commentary of Deuteronomy 32

Verses 15-18

We have here a description of the apostasy of Israel from God, which would shortly come to pass, and to which already they had a disposition. One would have thought that a people under so many obligations to their God, in duty, gratitude, and interest, would never have turned from him; but, alas! they turned aside quickly. Here are two great instances of their wickedness, and each of them amounted to an apostasy from God:–

Security and sensuality, pride and insolence, and the other common abuses of plenty and prosperity, v. 15. These people were called Jeshurun–an upright people (so some), a seeing people, so others: but they soon lost the reputation both of their knowledge and of their righteousness; for, being well-fed, they waxed fat, and grew thick, that is, they indulged themselves in all manner of luxury and gratifications of their appetites, as if they had nothing to do but to make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts of it. They grew fat, that is, they grew big and unwieldy, unmindful of business, and unfit for it; dull and stupid, careless and senseless; and this was the effect of their plenty. Thus the prosperity of fools destroys them, Prov. 1:32. Yet this was not the worst of it. They kicked; they grew proud and insolent, and lifted up the heel even against God himself. If God rebuked them, either by his prophets or by his providence, they kicked against the goad, as an untamed heifer, or a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke, and in their rage persecuted the prophets, and flew in the face of providence itself. And thus he forsook God that made him (not paying due respect to his creator, nor answering the ends of his creation), and put an intolerable contempt upon the rock of his salvation, as if he were not indebted to him for any past favours, nor had any dependence upon him for the future. Those that make a god of themselves and a god of their bellies, in pride and wantonness, and cannot bear to be told of it, certainly thereby forsake God and show how lightly they esteem him.

Idolatry was the great instance of their apostasy, and which the former led them to, as it made them sick of their religion, self-willed, and fond of changes. Observe,

What sort of gods they chose and offered sacrifice to, when they forsook the God that made them, v. 16, 17. This aggravated their sin that those very services which they should have done to the true God they did, (1.) To strange gods, that could not pretend to have done them any kindness, or laid them under any obligation to them, gods that they had no knowledge of, nor could expect any benefit by, for they were strangers. Or they are called strange gods, because they were other than the one only true God, to whom they were betrothed and ought to have been faithful. (2.) To new gods, that came newly up; for even in religion, the antiquity of which is one of its honours, vain minds have strangely affected novelty, and, in contempt of the Ancient of days, have been fond of new gods. A new god! can there be a more monstrous absurdity? Would we find the right way to rest, we must ask for the good old way, Jer. 6:16. It was true their fathers had worshipped other gods (Jos. 24:2), and perhaps it had been some little excuse if the children had returned to them; but to serve new gods whom their fathers feared not, and to like them the better for being new, was to open a door to endless idolatries. They were such as were no gods at all, but mere counterfeits and pretenders; their names the invention of men's fancies, and their images the work of men's hands. Nay, they were devils. So far from being gods, fathers and benefactors to mankind, they really were destroyers (so the word signifies), such as aimed to do mischief. If there were any spirits or invisible powers that possessed their idol-temples and images, they were evil spirits and malignant powers, whom yet they did not need to worship for fear they should hurt them, as they say the Indians do; for those that faithfully worship God are out of the devil's reach: nay, the devil can destroy those only that sacrifice to him. How mad are idolaters, who forsake the rock of salvation to run themselves upon the rock of perdition!

What a great affront this was to their God. It was justly interpreted a forgetting of him (v. 18): Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful. Mindfulness of God would prevent sin, but, when the world is served and the flesh indulged, God is forgotten; and can any thing be more base and unworthy than to forget the God that is the author of our being, by whom we subsist, and in whom we live and move? And see what comes of it, Isa. 17:10,11, Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the Rock of thy strength, though the strange slips be pleasant plants at first, yet the harvest at last will be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow. There is nothing got by forgetting God. It was justly resented as an inexcusable offence: They provoked him to jealousy and to anger (v. 16), for their idols were abominations to him. See here God's displeasure against idols, whether they be set up in the heart or in the sanctuary. He is jealous of them, as rivals with him for the throne in the heart. He hates them, as enemies to his crown and government. He is, and will be, very angry with those that have any respect or affection for them. Those consider not what they do that provoke God; for who knows the power of his anger?

Verses 19-25

The method of this song follows the method of the predictions in the foregoing chapter, and therefore, after the revolt of Israel from God, described in the foregoing verses, here follow immediately the resolves of divine Justice concerning them; we deceive ourselves if we think that God will be thus mocked by a foolish faithless people, that play fast and loose with him.

He had delighted in them, but now he would reject them with detestation and disdain, v. 19. When the Lord saw their treachery, and folly, and base ingratitude, he abhorred them, he despised them, so some read it. Sin makes us odious in the sight of the holy God; and no sinners are so loathsome to him as those that he has called, and that have called themselves, his sons and his daughters, and yet have been provoking to him. The nearer any are to God in profession the more noisome are they to him if they are defiled in a sinful way, Ps. 106:39, 40.

He had given them the tokens of his presence with them and his favour to them; but now he would withdraw and hide his face from them, v. 20. His hiding his face signifies his great displeasure; they had turned their back upon God, and now God would turn his back upon them (compare Jer. 18:17 with Jer. 2:27); but here it denotes also the slowness of God's proceedings against them in a way of judgment. They began in their apostasy with omissions of good, and so proceeded to commissions of evil. In like manner God will first suspend his favours, and let them see what the issue of that will be, what a friend they lose when they provoke God to depart, and will try whether this will bring them to repentance. Thus we find God hiding himself, as it were, in expectation of the event, Isa. 57:17. To justify himself in leaving them he shows that they were such as there was no dealing with; for, They were froward and a people that could not be pleased, or obstinate in sin, and that could not be convinced and reclaimed. They were faithless, and a people that could not be trusted. When he saved them, and took them into covenant, he said, Surely they are children that will not lie (Isa. 63:8); but when they proved otherwise, children in whom is no faith, they deserved to be abandoned, and that the God of truth should have no more to do with them.

He had done every thing to make them easy and to please them, but now he would do that against them which should be most vexatious to them. The punishment here answers the sin, v. 21. They had provoked God with despicable deities which were not gods at all, but vanities, creatures of their own imagination, that could not pretend either to merit or to repay the respects of their worshippers; the more vain and vile the gods were after which they went a whoring the greater was the offence to that great and good God whom they set them up in competition with and contradiction to. This put two great evils into their idolatry, Jer. 2:13. God would therefore plague them with despicable enemies, that were worthless, weak, and inconsiderable, and not deserving the name of a people, which was a great mortification to them, and aggravated the oppressions they groaned under The more base the people were that tyrannised over them the more barbarous they would be (none so insolent as a beggar on horseback), besides that it would be infamous to Israel, who had so often triumphed over great and mighty nations, to be themselves trampled upon by the weak and foolish, and to come under the curse of Canaan, who was to be a servant of servants. But God can make the weakest instrument a scourge to the strongest sinner; and those that by sin insult their might Creator are justly insulted by the meanest of their fellow-creatures. This was remarkably fulfilled in the days of the judges, when they were sometimes oppressed by the very Canaanites themselves, whom they had subdued, Jdg. 4:2. But the apostle applies it to the conversion of the Gentiles, who had been a people not in covenant with God, and foolish in divine things, yet were brought into the church, sorely to the grief of the Jews, who upon all occasions showed a great indignation at it, which was both their sin and their punishment, as envy always is, Rom. 10:19.

He had planted them in a good land, and replenished them with all good things; but now he would strip them of all their comforts, and bring them to ruin. The judgments threatened are very terrible, v. 22-25. The fire of God's anger shall consume them, v. 22. Are they proud of their plenty? It shall burn up the increase of the earth. Are they confident of their strength? It shall destroy the very foundations of their mountains: there is no fence against the judgments of God when they come with commission to lay all waste. It shall burn to the lowest hell, that is, it shall bring them to the very depth of misery in this world, which yet would be but a faint resemblance of the complete and endless misery of sinners in the other world. The damnation of hell (as our Saviour calls it) is the fire of God's anger, fastening upon the guilty conscience of a sinner, to its inexpressible and everlasting torment, Isa. 30:33. The arrows of God's judgments shall be spent upon them, till his quiver is quite exhausted, v. 23. The judgments of God, like arrows, fly swiftly (Ps. 64:7), reaching those at a distance who flatter themselves with hopes of escaping them, Ps. 21:8, 12. They come from an unseen hand, but wound mortally, for God never misses his mark, 1 Ki. 22:34. The particular judgments here threatened are, Famine: they shall be burnt, or parched, with hunger. Pestilence and other diseases, here called burning heat and bitter destruction. The insults of the inferior creatures: the teeth of beasts and the poison of serpents, v. 24. War and the fatal consequences of it, v. 25. Perpetual frights. When the sword is without, there cannot but be terror within. 2 Co. 7:5, Without were fightings, within were fears. Those who cast off the fear of God are justly exposed to the fear of enemies. Universal deaths. The sword of the Lord, when it is sent to lay all waste, will destroy without distinction; neither the strength of the young man nor the beauty of the virgin, neither the innocency of the suckling nor the gravity or infirmity of the man of gray hairs, will be their security from the sword when it devours one as well as another. Such devastation does war make, especially when it is pushed on by men as ravenous as wild beasts and as venomous as serpents, v. 24. See here what mischief sin does, and reckon those fools that make a mock at it.


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Deuteronomy: Chapter 28

Many blessings are promised to observers of God's commandments: and curses threatened to transgressors.

28:1. Now if thou wilt hear the voice of all his commandments, which I command thee this day, the Lord thy God will make thee higher than all the nations that are on the earth.
28:2. And all these blessings shall come upon thee and overtake thee: yet so if thou hear his precepts.

All these blessings, etc. . .In the Old Testament, God promised temporal blessings to the keepers of his law, heaven not being opened as yet; and that gross and sensual people being more moved with present and sensible things. But in the New Testament the goods that are promised us are spiritual and eternal; and temporal evils are turned into blessings.

28:3. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed in the field.
28:4. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the droves of thy herds, and the folds of thy sheep.
28:5. Blessed shall be thy barns and blessed thy stores.
28:6. Blessed shalt thou be coming in and going out.
28:7. The Lord shall cause thy enemies, that rise up against thee, to fall down before thy face: one way shall they come out against thee, and seven ways shall they flee before thee.
28:8. The Lord will send forth a blessing upon thy storehouses, and upon all the works of thy hands: and will bless thee in the land that thou shalt receive.
28:9. The Lord will raise thee up to be a holy people to himself, as he swore to thee: if thou keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.
28:10. And all the people of the earth shall see that the name of the Lord is invocated upon thee, and they shall fear thee.
28:11. The Lord will make thee abound with all goods, with the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy cattle, with the fruit of thy land, which the Lord swore to thy fathers that he would give thee.
28:12. The Lord will open his excellent treasure, the heaven, that it may give rain in due season: and he will bless all the works of thy hands. And thou shalt lend to many nations, and shalt not borrow of any one.
28:13. And the Lord shall make thee the head and not the tail: and thou shalt be always above, and not beneath: yet so if thou wilt hear the commandments of the Lord thy God which I command thee this day, and keep and do them,
28:14. And turn not away from them neither to the right hand, nor to the left, nor follow strange gods, nor worship them.
28:15. But if thou wilt not hear the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep and to do all his commandments and ceremonies, which I command thee this day, all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.

All these curses, etc. . .Thus God dealt with the transgressors of his law in the Old Testament: but now he often suffers sinners to prosper in this world, rewarding them for some little good they have done, and reserving their punishment for the other world.

28:16. Cursed shalt thou be in the city, cursed in the field.
28:17. Cursed shall be thy barn, and cursed thy stores.
28:18. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy ground, the herds of thy oxen, and the flocks of thy sheep.
28:19. Cursed shalt thou be coming in, and cursed going out.
28:20. The Lord shall send upon thee famine and hunger, and a rebuke upon all the works which thou shalt do: until he consume and destroy thee quickly, for thy most wicked inventions, by which thou hast forsaken me.
28:21. May the Lord set the pestilence upon thee, until he consume thee out of the land, which thou shalt go in to possess.
28:22. May the Lord afflict thee with miserable want, with the fever and with cold, with burning and with heat, and with corrupted air and with blasting, and pursue thee till thou perish.
28:23. Be the heaven, that is over thee, of brass: and the ground thou treadest on, of iron.
28:24. The Lord give thee dust for rain upon thy land, and let ashes come down from heaven upon thee, till thou be consumed.
28:25. The Lord make thee to fall down before thy enemies, one way mayst thou go out against them, and flee seven ways, and be scattered throughout all the kingdoms of the earth.
28:26. And be thy carcass meat for all the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the earth, and be there none to drive them away.
28:27. The Lord strike thee with the ulcer of Egypt, and the part of thy body, by which the dung is cast out, with the scab and with the itch: so that thou canst not be healed.
28:28. The Lord strike thee with madness and blindness and fury of mind. 28:29. And mayst thou grope at midday as the blind is wont to grope in the dark, and not make straight thy ways. And mayst thou at all times suffer wrong, and be oppressed with violence, and mayst thou have no one to deliver thee.
28:30. Mayst thou take a wife, and another sleep with her. Mayst thou build a house, and not dwell therein. Mayest thou plant a vineyard and not gather the vintage thereof.
28:31. May thy ox be slain before thee, and thou not eat thereof. May thy ass be taken away in thy sight, and not restored to thee. May thy sheep be given to thy enemies, and may there be none to help thee.
28:32. May thy sons and thy daughters be given to another people, thy eyes looking on, and languishing at the sight of them all the day, and may there be no strength in thy hand.
28:33. May a people which thou knowest not, eat the fruits of thy land, and all thy labours: and mayst thou always suffer oppression, and be crushed at all times.
28:34. And be astonished at the terror of those things which thy eyes shall see:
28:35. May the Lord strike thee with a very sore ulcer in the knees and in the legs, and be thou incurable from the sole of the foot to the top of the head.
28:36. The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king, whom thou shalt have appointed over thee, into a nation which thou and thy fathers know not: and there thou shalt serve strange gods, wood and stone.
28:37. And thou shalt be lost, as a proverb and a byword to all people, among whom the Lord shall bring thee in.
28:38. Thou shalt cast much seed into the ground, and gather little: because the locusts shall consume all.
28:39. Thou shalt plant a vineyard, and dig it, and shalt not drink the wine, nor gather any thing thereof: because it shall be wasted with worms.
28:40. Thou shalt have olive trees in all thy borders, and shalt not be anointed with the oil: for the olives shall fall off and perish.
28:41. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, and shalt not enjoy them: because they shall be led into captivity.
28:42. The blast shall consume all the trees and the fruits of thy ground.
28:43. The stranger that liveth with thee in the land, shall rise up over thee, and shall be higher: and thou shalt go down, and be lower.
28:44. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him. He shall be as the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
28:45. And all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue and overtake thee, till thou perish: because thou heardst not the voice of the Lord thy God, and didst not keep his commandments and ceremonies which he commanded thee.
28:46. And they shall be as signs and wonders on thee, and on thy seed for ever.
28:30. Mayst thou take a wife, and another sleep with her. Mayst thou build a house, and not dwell therein. Mayest thou plant a vineyard and not gather the vintage thereof.
28:31. May thy ox be slain before thee, and thou not eat thereof. May thy ass be taken away in thy sight, and not restored to thee. May thy sheep be given to thy enemies, and may there be none to help thee.
28:32. May thy sons and thy daughters be given to another people, thy eyes looking on, and languishing at the sight of them all the day, and may there be no strength in thy hand.
28:33. May a people which thou knowest not, eat the fruits of thy land, and all thy labours: and mayst thou always suffer oppression, and be crushed at all times.
28:34. And be astonished at the terror of those things which thy eyes shall see:
28:35. May the Lord strike thee with a very sore ulcer in the knees and in the legs, and be thou incurable from the sole of the foot to the top of the head.
28:36. The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king, whom thou shalt have appointed over thee, into a nation which thou and thy fathers know not: and there thou shalt serve strange gods, wood and stone.
28:37. And thou shalt be lost, as a proverb and a byword to all people, among whom the Lord shall bring thee in.
28:38. Thou shalt cast much seed into the ground, and gather little: because the locusts shall consume all.
28:39. Thou shalt plant a vineyard, and dig it, and shalt not drink the wine, nor gather any thing thereof: because it shall be wasted with worms.
28:40. Thou shalt have olive trees in all thy borders, and shalt not be anointed with the oil: for the olives shall fall off and perish.
28:41. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, and shalt not enjoy them: because they shall be led into captivity.
28:42. The blast shall consume all the trees and the fruits of thy ground.
28:43. The stranger that liveth with thee in the land, shall rise up over thee, and shall be higher: and thou shalt go down, and be lower.
28:44. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him. He shall be as the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
28:45. And all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue and overtake thee, till thou perish: because thou heardst not the voice of the Lord thy God, and didst not keep his commandments and ceremonies which he commanded thee.
28:46. And they shall be as signs and wonders on thee, and on thy seed for ever.
28:47. Because thou didst not serve the Lord thy God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things:
28:48. Thou shalt serve thy enemy, whom the Lord will send upon thee, in hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put an iron yoke upon thy neck, till he consume thee.
28:49. The Lord will bring upon thee a nation from afar, and from the uttermost ends of the earth, like an eagle that flyeth swiftly, whose tongue thou canst not understand,
28:50. A most insolent nation, that will shew no regard to the ancients, nor have pity on the infant,
28:51. And will devour the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruits of thy land: until thou be destroyed, and will leave thee no wheat, nor wine, nor oil, nor herds of oxen, nor flocks of sheep: until he destroy thee.
28:52. And consume thee in all thy cities, and thy strong and high wall be brought down, wherein thou trustedst in all thy land. Thou shalt be besieged within thy gates in all thy land which the Lord thy God will give thee:
28:53. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thy womb, and the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God shall give thee, in the distress and extremity wherewith thy enemy shall oppress thee.
28:54. The man that is nice among you, and very delicate, shall envy his own brother, and his wife, that lieth in his bosom,
28:55. So that he will not give them of the flesh of his children, which he shall eat: because he hath nothing else in the siege and the want, wherewith thy enemies shall distress thee within all thy gates.
28:56. The tender and delicate woman, that could not go upon the ground, nor set down her foot for over much niceness and tenderness, will envy her husband who lieth in her bosom, the flesh of her son, and of her daughter,
28:57. And the filth of the afterbirths, that come forth from between her thighs, and the children that are born the same hour. For they shall eat them secretly for the want of all things, in the siege and distress, wherewith thy enemy shall oppress thee within thy gates.
28:58. If thou wilt not keep, and fulfil all the words of this law, that are written in this volume, and fear his glorious and terrible name: that is, The Lord thy God:
28:59. The Lord shall increase thy plagues, and the plagues of thy seed, plagues great and lasting, infirmities grievous and perpetual.
28:60. And he shall bring back on thee all the afflictions of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of, and they shall stick fast to thee.
28:61. Moreover the Lord will bring upon thee all the diseases, and plagues, that are not written in the volume of this law till he consume thee:
28:62. And you shall remain few in number, who before were as the stars of heaven for multitude, because thou heardst not the voice of the Lord thy God.
28:63. And as the Lord rejoiced upon you before doing good to you, and multiplying you: so he shall rejoice destroying and bringing you to nought, so that you shall be taken away from the land which thou shalt go in to possess.
28:64. The Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the farthest parts of the earth to the ends thereof: and there thou shalt serve strange gods, which both thou art ignorant of and thy fathers, wood and stone.
28:65. Neither shalt thou be quiet, even in those nations, nor shall there be any rest for the sole of thy foot. For the Lord will give thee a fearful heart, and languishing eyes, and a soul consumed with pensiveness:
28:66. And thy life shall be as it were hanging before thee. Thou shalt fear night and day, neither shalt thou trust thy life.
28:67. In the morning thou shalt say: Who will grant me evening? and at evening: Who will grant me morning? for the fearfulness of thy heart, wherewith thou shalt be terrified, and for those things which thou shalt see with thy eyes.
28:68. The Lord shall bring thee again with ships into Egypt, by the way whereof he said to thee that thou shouldst see it no more. There shalt thou be set to sale to thy enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.


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