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Jeremiah 2:34

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I have not found it … - Rather, thou didst not find them breaking into thy house. The meaning is, that these poor innocents had committed no crime: they were not thieves caught in the act, whom the Law permitted men to slay Exodus 22:2, and therefore Israel in killing them was guilty of murder. The one crime here of theft is put for crime generally.

Upon all these - Or, because of all this. Thou killedst the poor innocents, not for any crime, but because of this thy lust for idolatry.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The nation had not been wrought upon by the judgements of God, but sought to justify themselves. The world is, to those who make it their home and their portion, a wilderness and a land of darkness; but those who dwell in God, have the lines fallen to them in pleasant places. Here is the language of presumptuous sinners. The Jews had long thrown off serious thoughts of God. How many days of our lives pass without suitable remembrance of him! The Lord was displeased with their confidences, and would not prosper them therein. Men employ all their ingenuity, but cannot find happiness in the way of sin, or excuse for it. They may shift from one sin to another, but none ever hardened himself against God, or turned from him, and prospered.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The blood of the souls of the poor innocents - We find from the sacred history that Manasseh had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; see 2 Kings 21:16, and Ezekiel 34:10.

I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these - Such deeds of darkness and profligacy are found only in Israel. Dr. Blayney translates, "I have not found it in a digged hole, but upon every oak." Others cover the blood that it may not appear; but ye have shed it openly, and sprinkled it upon your consecrated oaks, and gloried in it.

Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 262

Those who are thus misrepresenting Christ are placing a wrong mold upon the work, for they encourage all who are connected with them to do as they do. For their soul's sake, for the sake of those who are in danger from their influence, they should resign their positions; for the record will appear in heaven that the wrongdoer has the blood of many souls upon his garments. He has caused some to become exasperated, so that they have given up the faith; others have been imbued with his own satanic attributes, and the evil done it is impossible to estimate. Those only who make it manifest that their hearts are being sanctified through the truth should be retained in positions of trust in the Lord's work. TM 262.1

Let all consider that whatever their employment, they are to represent Christ. With steadfast purpose let every man seek to have the mind of Christ. Especially should those who have accepted the position of directors or counselors feel that they are required to be in every respect Christian gentlemen. While in dealing with others we are always to be faithful, we should not be rude. The souls with whom we have to do are the Lord's purchased possession, and we are to permit no hasty, overbearing expression to escape the lips. TM 262.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 662

“The Lord reproves and corrects the people who profess to keep His law. He points out their sins and lays open their iniquity because He wishes to separate all sin and wickedness from them, that they may perfect holiness in His fear.... God rebukes, reproves, and corrects them, that they may be refined, sanctified, elevated, and finally exalted to His own throne.” [Testimonies for the Church 2:452, 453 (1870).] 5T 662.1

“I have been looking over the Testimonies given for Sabbathkeepers and I am astonished at the mercy of God and His care for His people in giving them so many warnings, pointing out their dangers, and presenting before them the exalted position which He would have them occupy. If they would keep themselves in His love and separate from the world, He would cause His special blessings to rest upon them and His light to shine round about them. Their influence for good might be felt in every branch of the work and in every part of the gospel field. But if they fail to meet the mind of God, if they continue to have so little sense of the exalted character of the work as they have had in the past, their influence and example will prove a terrible curse. They will do harm and only harm. The blood of precious souls will be found upon their garments. 5T 662.2

“Testimonies of warning have been repeated. I inquire: Who have heeded them? Who have been zealous in repenting of their sins and idolatry, and have been earnestly pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? ... I have waited anxiously, hoping that God would put His Spirit upon some and use them as instruments of righteousness to awaken and set in order His church. I have almost despaired as I have seen, year after year, a greater departure from that simplicity which God has shown me should characterize the life of His followers. There has been less and less interest in, and devotion to, the cause of God. I ask: Wherein have those who profess confidence in the Testimonies sought to live according to the light given in them? Wherein have they regarded the warnings given? Wherein have they heeded the instructions they have received?” [Testimonies for the Church 2:483, 484 (1870).] 5T 662.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 243

Your case, Brother R, is similar to this. But the accountability of a minister of Christ, who is to warn the world of a coming judgment, is as much more important than that of the common workman as eternal things are of more consequence than temporal. If the minister of the gospel yields to his inclination rather than to be guided by duty, if he indulges self at the expense of spiritual strength, and as the result moves indiscreetly, souls will rise up in the judgment to condemn him for his unfaithfulness. The blood of souls will be found on his garments. It may seem to the unconsecrated minister a small thing to be fitful, impulsive, and unconsecrated; to build up, and then to tear down; to dishearten, distress, and discourage the very souls that have been converted by the truth he has presented. It is a sad thing to lose the confidence of the very ones whom he has been laboring to save. But the result of an unwise course pursued by the minister will never be fully understood until the minister sees as God seeth. 3T 243.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 361

Had you taken your position upon the health reform; had you added to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, things might have been different. But you have been only partially aroused by the iniquity and corruption that is in your houses. You have opened your eyes a little and then composed yourself to sleep again. Do you think angels can come into your dwellings? Do you think your children are susceptible of holy influences with these things among you? I can count family after family that are almost entirely under the control of Satan. I know these things are true, and I want the people to arouse before it shall be eternally too late, and the blood of souls, even the blood of the souls of their own children, be found upon their garments. 2T 361.1

The minds of some of these children are so weakened that they have but one half or one third of the brilliancy of intellect that they might have had had they been virtuous and pure. They have thrown it away in self-abuse. Right here in this church, corruption is teeming on every hand. Now and then there is a sing, or some gathering for pleasure. Every time I hear of these, I feel like clothing myself in sackcloth. “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears!” “Spare Thy people, O Lord.” I feel distressed. I have an agony of soul that is beyond anything that I can describe to you. You are asleep. Would the lightning and thunder of Sinai arouse this church? Would they arouse you, fathers and mothers, to commence the work of reformation in your own houses? You should be teaching your children. You should be instructing them how to shun the vices and corruptions of this age. Instead of this, many are studying how to get something good to eat. You place upon your tables butter, eggs, and meat, and your children partake of them. They are fed with the very things that will excite their animal passions, and then you come to meeting and ask God to bless and save your children. How high do your prayers go? You have a work to do first. When you have done all for your children which God has left for you to do then you can with confidence claim the special help that God has promised to give you. 2T 361.2

You should study temperance in all things. You must study it in what you eat and in what you drink. And yet you say: “It is nobody's business what I eat, or what I drink, or what I place upon my table.” It is somebody's business, unless you take your children and shut them up, or go into the wilderness where you will not be a burden upon others, and where your unruly, vicious children will not corrupt the society in which they mingle. 2T 362.1

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