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ring wisdom, the excellence of which is proved in the blotted pages of human apostacy. We have seen Solomon building an house for God, enjoying a superiority of understanding over the whole human race, exulting in divine intercourse, crowned with riches and with honour, and extending his dominion from sea to sea. Fair is the aspect of piety, and we hang over it, unwilling to withdraw our enchanted attention from it! The morning of his day was unusually bright and promising: the noon became overcast; and in the evening of his life, his sun set enveloped with clouds, and shrouded by the most gloomy obscurity. It requires more than a common measure of grace to Support uninjured the flatteries of prosperity: Solomon was inebriated with them, and fell from his exalted piety into folly, guilt, and consequent danger. Who does not weep to see the king of Israel, whose youthful wisdom drew a princess from her country to try the justice of his celebrity, bowing his hoary head to the dust before a dumb idol, and ascribing to the work of men's hands the glory and the worship due only to God? Son of the morning, how art thou fallen The wisdom which distilled from his lips, which “spake of trees from the “ cedar tree that is in Lebanon, even to the “hyssop which springeth out of the wall,” and the penetration of which, pierced through the secrets of nature—O where did it slumber, when he forsook the Lord God of his father David, and “went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the “ Zidonians, and Milcom, the abomination of “ the Ammonites?” How worthless is “the wisdom of the wise,” when left to itself! and how easily does the power of temptation subdue the energies of the heart, and enslave the man, when the assisting hand of Heaven is withdrawn . The last days of Solomon formed a sad contrast to the lustre of his younger life. Blasted by vice, the fruits of the autumn but ill answered the promise of the spring. From the moment of his attachment to idolatry, he passed over to deserved oblivion: and having reigned in Israel forty years, “he slept with “ his fathers, and was buried in the city of “ David.” Rehoboam his son succeeded him, and in his days the kingdom was divided. Ten of the tribes of Israel followed Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and two only, Judah and Benjamin, adhered to the house of David. This division had been foretold, in the days of Solomon, by Ahijah the Shilimite. From this period these kingdoms were totally distinct; and under the titles of Israel and Judah, they had a separate line of kings, and were even sometimes found at war with each other. It is not our design to enter into the history of the kingdoms thus separated: but we refer you to the books of the Kings, and of the Chronicles; which even in the estimation of scepticism, ought surely to have an equal degree of credit, with the regular and authenticated records of any other country. The descendants of Abraham thus divided, were punished by bondage for their transgressions, at two different periods, under different circumstances, in different places, with different consequences. The object of the present meeting is, to exhibit and to corroborate, THE CAPTIv ITIEs of IsrAEL AND of JU DAH.
I. THE CAPTIVITY OF ISRAEL.
The bondage of the ten tribes took place in the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, king of Israel, in the year of the world 3585, and seven hundred and twenty-one years before Christ. According to Josephus they were removed out of their country “ nine hundred and forty“seven years after their forefathers were brought “out of the land of Egypt; eight hundred years “ after Joshua had been their leader; and two “ hundred and forty years, seven months, and “ seven days, after they had revolted from Re“hoboam".” It was begun in the days of Pekah, king of Israel, and completed by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria. Shalmaneser took Samaria after a siege of three years. Hezekiah was at that time in the seventh year of his reign over Judah. Hoshea was taken alive; the government of the Israelites was completely overthrown; the people were transported into Assyria, Media, and Persia; and other nations, out of Cuthath, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, were brought into Samaria, and took possession of the country which had belonged to Israel. These are the Samaritans, against whom the Jews bore particular hatred, and who did not fail to return it: for when the Jews were in prosperity they were willing to be thought in some way allied to them, but in their adversity always disowned them. And thus they availed themselves of the favour which Alexander shewed the Jews when he visited them, and professed to descend from Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Josepht. But so rooted and so permanent was their mutual enmity, that this opposition raged most furiously in the days of our Lord: so that the woman was surprised
* Joseph. Antiq. Jud. lib. ix. cap. 14. Sce note 1, at the end of this Lecture. # See Joseph, Antiq. Jud. lib. xi. cap. 8.
that he “being a Jew should ask water of her, “ who was a woman of Samaria;” and it is added, “for the Jews have no dealings with the “Samaritans;” and we find one of their villages, on another occasion, refusing to receive the Saviour, “because his face was as though he “ would go to Jerusalem.” The ostensible cause of this captivity was as follows: Hoshea, on an invasion of Samaria by Shalmaneser, in an early part of his reign, had bought him off by presents, and declared himself to be the servant of the king of Assyria. On these humiliating terms Shalmaneser withdrew his armies from him, and Hoshea was permitted, to hold the crown of Israel in subordination to him. After this compact between them, Hoshea secretly conspired against him; and sending to So, king of Egypt, for assistance, withheld the annual tribute to Assyria, designing to shake off the yoke which Shalmaneser had imposed. This monarch, termed So, in the words read at the commencement of this Lecture, is called Setho, by Herodotus; and is the famous Sabachon of Diodorus Siculus, and of other profane writers, who dethroned and murdered Boccharis, the king of Egypt, in the beginning of the reign of Hezekiah, and seized upon the kingdom. Shalmaneser coming to the knowledge of this conspiracy, advanced with a pow