The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; the smelter refines in vain: for the wicked are not removed.
Read Chapter 6
George Leo Haydock
Bellows, or crucible.
Lead, which was intermixed to purify the dross (St. Jerome) of gold and silver. But brass and iron could not be thus purified. All would be lost labour. Afflictions do not correct the obstinate. (Calmet)
Perhaps he will say to me, who am not reformed even by blows, I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, the heedless is heedless, and the lawless person acts lawlessly, naught is the heavenly correction, naught the scourges. The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed, as I once reproached you by the mouth of Jeremiah, the founder melted the silver in vain, your evil deeds are not melted away. Can you abide my wrath? says the Lord. Has not my hand the power to inflict on you other plagues also? - "On His Father’s Silence, Oration 16.11"