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181 | Navigators and labourers,
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91 | Notice to the readers of the
150 | Powerscourt, Viscountess,
from the letters and papers
201 | Privileges peculiar to the
61 RELIGIOUS Tract Society,
81 Reading Abbey, ruins of the 233
the memoirs of ......176, 193 Savings' Bank, the ... 154
1 Seek conversion to God.... 158
121 Sinner's invitation to come to
180 Jesus Christ for the sal.
the working men of our.. 155 Twelve things to think upon 73
12 | ZERUBBABEL and Ezra 1+1
JEHU WITH JEHORAM AND JEZEBEL. OLD Elisha hath neither cottage nor foot of land; yet, sitting in an obscure corner, he gives order for kingdoms; not by way of authority, this usurpation had been no less proud than unjust, but by way of message from the God of kings. Even a mean herald may go on a great errand. The prophets of the gospel have nothing to do but with spiritual kingdoms; to beat down the kingdoms of sin and Satan; to translate souls to the kingdom of heaven.
The aged prophet employs a speedier messenger, who must also gird up his loins for haste. No common pace will serve us, when we go on God's message: the very loss of minutes may be unrecoverable. The directions of Elisha to the young prophet are full and punctual, whither to go, what to carry, what to do, where to do it, what to say, what speed to make, in his act, in his return. In the businesses of God, it matters not how little is left to our discretion: there is no important business of the Almighty, wherein his precepts are not strict and express : look, how
TRACT MAGAZINE, NO. 61. JANUARY, 1839.
much more specialty there is in the charge of God, so much more danger is in the violation.
Elijah foretold, and the world expected, some fearful account of the abominable cruelty and impiety of that accursed house: now it is called for, when it seemed forgotten. Ahab shall have no posterity. Jezebel shall have no tomb but the dogs. This woful doom is committed to Jehu's execution. Please yourselves, O ye vain sinners, in the slow pace of vengeance; it will be neither less certain, nor more easy, for the delay.
The prophet hath done his errand, and is gone. Israel was come to a sad pass, when the prophets of God went with them for madmen. Ye, that run on madding after vain idols, tax the sober guides of true worship for madness! Thus it becomes the godless enemies of truth, the heralds of our patience, to miscall our innocence, to revile our most holy profession. What wonder is it, that God's messengers are madmen unto those, to whom the wisdom of God is foolishness? But much credit hath he whom they call a mad fellow with these gallants of Israel, that on his word they will adventure their lives, and change the crown. God gives a secret authority to his despised servants; so that they which hate their person, yet reverence their truth : even very scorners cannot but believe them. If, when the prophets of the gospel tell us of a spiritual kingdom, they be distrusted by those who profess to observe them, how shameful is the disproportion! how just shall their judgment be! Jehu was à noted captain : his carriage and motion were observed more full of fire than his fellows. “The driving is like Jehu's, for he driveth furiously." God makes choice of fit instruments, as of mercy, so of revenge. These spirits were needful for so tragical a scene as was now preparing in Israel.
Too late did wretched Jehoram turn his chariot and flee, and cry, “Treason, 0 Ahaziah !” There was treason before, O Jehoram ! Thy treason against the majesty of God is revenged by the treason of Jehu against thee.
How just are the judgments of God! It was in the field of Naboth, wherein Jehoram met with Jehu : that very ground called to him for blood. Little did Jehu think, when he heard that message of Elijah, that his hands should act it. Ahab's blood is licked by dogs, in the very place where those doys licked Naboth’s.
Who would not have looked, that Jezebel, hearing of this bloody end of her son, and pursuit of her ally, and the fearful proceedings of this prosperous conspiracy, should have put herself into sackcloth and ashes; and now, finding no means either of defence or escape, should have cast herself into such a posture of humiliation, as might have moved the compassion of Jehu? Her proud heart could not suddenly learn to stoop. Extremity finds us such, as our peace leaves us.
Our last thoughts are spent on that we care most for. Those that have regarded their face more than their soul, in their latter end are more taken up with desire of seeming fair, than being happy. It is no marvel, if a heart hardened with the practice of sin, shut up gracelessly. Counterfeit beauty agrees well with inward uncleanness.
Thus must pride fall. Insolent, idolatrous, cruel Jezebel besprinkles the walls and pavement with her blood; and now those brains, that devised mischief against the servants of God, are strewed on the stones; and she that insulted the prophets, is trampled on by the horses' heels: “The wicked is reserved to the day of destruction: they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.”
How worthy were Ahab and Jezebel of such friends as the great man of Samaria! They had ever been false to God: how should men be true to them? They had sold themselves to work wickedness, and now they are requited with a mercenary fidelity : for a few lines these men sell all the heads of Ahab's posterity.
Now she that, by her letter sent to the elders of Jezreel, shed the blood of Naboth and his sons, has the blood of all her sons shed, by a letter sent from Jezreel to the elders of Samaria. At last God will be sure to come out of the debt of wicked sinners; and will pay them with that coin, which is both most proper, and least looked for.
Some carnal eye, that had seen so many young and smooth faces besmeared with blood, would have bemoaned their harmless age, their untimely end. It is not for the justice of God to stand at the bar of our corrupted judgment. None of these seem to have died before they were seasoned with horrible idolatry.
I can commend the zeal of Jehu; I cannot commend the fraud of Jehu: nor is it well to come to our end by crooked ways. He, that bade him to smite for him, did not bid him to lie for him. Falsehood is neither needed nor approved by the God of truth. If policy have allowed officious untruths, religion never.
The first part of the sacrifice was Baal's, the latter is God's. The blood of beasts was offered in the one, of men in the other : the idolaters are slain, the idols burned, the house of Baal turned to a draught, though even thus, less unclean, less noisome, than in the former perfumes: and, in one word, Baal is destroyed out of Israel.
Who, that had seen all this zeal for God, would not have said, “ Jehu is a true Israelite ?”. Yet he, that rooted out Ahab, would not be rid of Jeroboam. A false heart may laudably quit itself of some one gross sin, and in the mean time, hug some lesser evil that may condemn it; as a man recovered of a fever may die of jaundice or a dropsy.. We lose the thanks of all, if we wilfully fail in one.
It is an entire goodness that God cares for. Wo be to us, O God, if we be not all thine! We cannot but everlastingly depart from thee, if we depart not from every sin. Thou hast purged our hearts from the Baal of our gross idolatries; O clear us from the golden calves of our petty corruptions also; that thou mayest take pleasure in our uprightness, and we may reap the sweet comforts of thy glorious remuneration.
From Bp. Hall.
POPERY. THERE is a well-known adage which sets forth the impropriety of repeating old grievances, and for the most part the lesson it inculcates is a good one. Nothing can be more impolitic and unchristian than to “rip up old scores,' to revive old quarrels, or indeed even to allude unnecessarily to differences that have been arranged, and annoyances which have been forgotten. But though it is politic, as it is Christian-like, to forgive injuries, and to manifest forbearance, it is neither politic nor Christian-like to be negligent in danger and careless in seasons of temptation. Whatever
be the offence that a man has committed, if he has repented him of the evil, if he has atoned for it to the best of his ability, it ought to be buried in oblivion ;