Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. Jeremiah 5:1

If you can find a man… i.e., A godly, a zealous man.

For homines permulti, viri perpauci, saith Herodotus: there is a great paucity of good people.

Diogenes is said to have sought for a good man in Athens with a lantern and candle at noonday. And once, when he had made an O yes in the market place, crying out, ‘Ακουσατε ανδρες, Hear, O ye men; and thereupon company came about him to hear what the matter was, he rated them away again with this speech, Ανδρας εκαλεσα, ου καθαρματα, I called for men, and not for varlets.

Job was a man, every inch of him. {See Trapp on “Job 1:1”}

So was Moses, that “man of God”;

Daniel, that “man of desires”;

John Baptist, “than whom there arose not a greater among all that were born of woman”; Paul, that little man but who did great exploits;

Athanasius and Luther who stood out against all the world, and prevailed.

But “not many” such; blessed be God that any such. Cicero observeth that scarce in an age was born a good poet. And Seneca saith, such as Clodius was, we have enough: but such as Cato are hard to be found. The host of Nola being bid to summon the good men of the town to appear before the Roman censor, got him to the churchyard, and there called at the graves of the dead: for he knew not where to call for a good man alive.

God himself sought for a man that might stand up in the gap, but met not with any such one: And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. (Ezekiel 22:30)

The painting: Diogenes searches for an honest man. Painting attributed to J. H. W. Tischbein (c. 1780)

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