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“ hand prevailed, I should have sued to “ thee in vain. Continue a fearful spec« tacle of the vengeance of thy Maker !" But the servant of God must not strivehe must requite barbarity itself with meekness. The prophet makes intercession for Jeroboam,he is heard, and answered with success.
And will not even this prevail on an obdurate heart? Will not the king of Israel now renounce his idolatry? Will not he say, “ LORD, thou hast stricken
me in justice—thou hast healed me in
mercy-I will provoke thee « more this hand which thou hast re“ stored me shall be consecrated to thee, “ in pulling down these bold abomina« tions ?" Yet, alas, he persists in his impieties, and as if he had neither experienced the goodness and severity of God, lives and dies idolatrous.
THE wretched heir to his crimes, as well as his throne, falls by affassina
tion—his family is exterminated his name remembered with horrour, and handed down with infamy to succeeding generations. “Knowest thou not this “ of old, since man was placed upon “the earth, that the triumphing of the " wicked is short, and the joy of the
hypocrite for a moment? I went by, “ and lo, he was gone-I fought him, " but his place could no where be « found !”
ELIJAH AT SAREPTA.
THE providence of God seems to have reserved his most illustrious prophet, for an age of extreme depravity. The Searcher of hearts adapts his fervants to the work which he commissions them to perform, and raises himself up such witnesses, as are best able to evince their heavenly mission. Mofes, gentle in spirit, mighty in wonders, was fitted for the various events which befel him in his intercourse both with Pharaoh, and with the afflicted, and at the same time rebellious, Ifraelites. The grave and holy Samuel flourished, when the people of God were quietly feated in the land of promise-while the ardent zeal of Elijah was such as best became that desperate state of declension, into which the “ back-Niding Israel” had fallen, when the crimes of Jeroboam were loft and extinguished in those of Ahab.
" As the LORD God of Hofts liveth, “ before whom I ftand, there shall not « be dew nor rain these years, but ac« cording to my word.” After many solicitations, and warnings, Ifrael is fentenced by the tongue that had fo often interceded with Heaven in its behalf. The courage of Elijah is equal to his power. He dares proclaim to the face of Ahab those judgments, to which the wickedness of both king and people had exposed them. No earthly power could be formidable to one, who had such an interest in heaven, that he could either
or open it, at pleasure. Those prayers, which could restrain the
fhut it up,
clouds, could far more easily avert the Sword of persecution.
The drought which had been denounced by Elijah occasions an immediate famine. From the consequences of this visitation, the prophet himself is not exempted. The children of light are often suffered to participate in the temporal calamities of offenders. The brook of Cherith shall for a while relieve the thirst of the man of God and he, whose virtues entitled him to a welcome even in the courts of kings, is fed by miracle in his retirement.
At length the brook is dried up, and and the prophet is commanded to seek elsewhere for support. “ Many widows
were in Israel in the days of Elijah, “ when the heaven was shut up three
years and six months—but unto none “ of them was Elijah fent-he repaired
to Sarepta, a city of Zidon, unto a woman that was a widow."