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# have we in David ? To your tents, < 0 Ifrael!”
The son of Nebat has now the crown he was so solicitous to obtain. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin alone adhere to the descendant of David. The example of a general rebellion will not make them unfaithful to their misguided sovereign-their swords are ready to be drawn in his defence they breathe nothing but vengeance and war-when suddenly a message from God forbids the battle, and dismisses these mighty armies. There was yet some virtue in Rehoboam, in that he submitted to the will of Heaven, and held his peace, because the LORD had done it. With an hundred and fourscore thousand adherents, he dares not strive against his Maker-at once he lays down his arms, and after such a prohibition, will not seek even the recovery of his kingdom by blood-thed.
MEANWHILE his successful rival foments a spiritual, as well as a civil defection. He well knew the affinity between treason and idolatry-he knew that they who feared God, would not fail to honour the king. Thus, therefore, he reasons in his heart—" It is “ true, that the ten tribes have placed " the sceptre in my hands—this sudden « advancement may as suddenly de« cline--their return to their loyalty will “ at once deprive me of my life and “ kingdom. If they go up to worship
at Jerusalem, they will behold the
glorious ternple, they will see the “ magnificent palace of Solomon, and “ remember their first allegiance. There “ the solicitations of their brethren, the « admonitions of the priests, the feel« ings of their own hearts will bid them « throw themselves on the mercy of their “ lawful prince. I must therefore divert them from Jerusalem, or my
glory is baseless and unreal. With“ out having recourse to direct prohibi“ tion, which will but inflame their de“ fires, I will propose to them a more
compendious, more plausible worfhip. They shall have gods, and al
tars, and priests, and sacrifices of " their own.”
How easily is the variable populace seduced by every blast of vain doctrine, through the Neight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive! No sooner are the idols of Jeroboam set up, than all Israel falls
prostrate in humble adoration--the new king stands before his new altar, and the censer is in his impious hand.
Ar this moment a man of God comes from Judah to denounce the indignation of Heaven. When the king of Israel is in the height of his state and superstition, the courageous prophet fears not to interrupt the service with solemn ex
clamations of judgment. The messenger of Jehovah fears neither the power, nor malice of the tyrant, whom he dared to reprove so sharply in the midst of his pompous magnificence. He foretells the name of that descendant of David, who should overthrow these altars, annul these ceremonies, and (recovering his own rights and those of his God) should overwhelin the rivals of both with demolition and ruin.
And, left the remote event of the prediction should lessen its credibility, a present demonstration evidences its future accomplishment. The altar even now is rent in pieces--the ashes on it even now are scattered. With what amazement must the seduced Ifraelites behold this miracle! How must they tremble at their apostasy, when they see the power of the God whom they had forsaken?whenthey see him rending the altars of idolatry, and breaking them to pieces at the voice of his prophet ? Thus some of the beholders might possibly be affected: but Jeroboam, impatient of reproof, rebellious against God and man, instead of bowing the knee in humiliation, stretches out his hand for revenge" Lay hold on him.”
How easily can the ALMIGHTY prove to the profane and tyrannous, that wherein they deal proudly, he is above them! The hand, stretched out in rage, fuddenly dries up, and remains senseless and immoveable. There stands the king of Israel, like some antique statue, to which the skill of the artist has given looks and gestures of indignation, while itself is only lifeless marble. Now are his threats converted into humble entreaties--the prophet, so late the object. of his wrath, must now intercede with Heaven for his restoration. He might justly have been answered, “ Thine ins6 tentions to me were cruel-had thine