Sanctify you a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.
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If God does not desire fasting, how is it that in Leviticus he commands the whole people in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, to fast until the evening, and threatens that he who does not constrain his soul shall die and be cut off from his people? How is it that the graves of lust, where the people fell in their devotions to flesh, remain even to this day in the wilderness? Do we not read that the stupid people gorged themselves with quails until the wrath of God came upon them? Why was the man of God at whose prophecy the hand of King Jeroboam withered, and who ate contrary to the command of God, immediately smitten? Strange that the lion which left the ass safe and sound should not spare the prophet just risen from his meal. He who, while he is fasting, had wrought miracles, no sooner ate a meal than he paid the penalty for the gratification. Joel also cries aloud: “Sanctify a fast, proclaim a time of healing.” So it appears that a holy fast may avail toward the cure of sin.