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with their own despair, and dreading the fuccess of their adversary.

Now does the prophet of Jehovah call the people to witness his sincere proceedings. He avails himself of the opportunity of time and place—at the hour of evening-facrifice, he repairs the altar of God, which the degeneracy of Israel had suffered to fall into ruin. O holy man, what means this labour ? What need is there of these unseasonable reparations? Was there not an altar, was there not a sacrifice now ready? Did not the victim which the worshippers of · Baal had prepared, await the descent of that fire, which thy prayers should bring down from heaven?-It was thy just detestation of idolatry, which made thee refuse to avail thyself of their profanations. The altar, which in better times had been consecr ted to thy God, is more dear to thee in its ruins, than all the pride and magnificence of pagan worship!

ELIJAH

Elijah lays twelve stones on this hallowed pile, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. Ten of these were perverted to Baal. He regards not their present apoftasy-he has respect unto the ancient covenant, made with the holy patriarchs-he would, if poffible, bring them back to their primitive simplicity of worship. He well knew, that the past unworthiness of Israel would not blot them out from the book of remembrance, if they returned from their delusions to the ways of truth.

WHILE thus he reminds his people of their degeneracy, he bids them prepare a trench round his altar. He sends mefsengers to the sea*, which flowed at the

* There is no doubt that this was the case. Mount Carmel is situated near the Mediterranean Sea, between Dora and Ptolemais.

“ Surely as “ Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by “ the sea, so shall he come.” Jeremiah xlvi, 18. See also I. Kings xviii. 43, 44.

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foot foot of Carmel, and commands them to fill the trench with water—to pour it on the sacrifice, and on the wood. Ahab and all Israel are full of anxious expectation, and wait the event in folemn silence. And now, when God's appointed hour of the evening sacrifice was come, Elijah reverently approaches his altar, and, looking up to Heaven, thus addresses the Almighty: “ LORD God of Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, let it be known “ this day, that thou art God in Israel, " and that I am thy servant, and that I « have done all these things by thy « word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me " that this people may know that thou

art the LORD God, and that thou haft “ turned their hearts back again.”

The invocations of the idolaters were tedious—thoseofElijah were short, but effectual. He committed to God the charge of his divine truth, his covenant, his glory. Behold, the prayer of faith pierces

the

the heavens, and irresistibly ascends to the throne of grace. Israel shall see that the God whom they had forsaken doth not slumber nor sleep. In an instant the fire descends from heaven-consumes the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and licks up the water that was in the trench. With what terrour must an idolatrous king and people have beheld this amazing spectacle! How must they have trembled, left those devouring fames should light on their guilty heads, as well as on the sacrifice of Elijah ! How ever they might reject the mercy of their Creator, they could not but confess and ad re his power.

When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “ The LORD, He is the GOD“ the LORD, HE is the God.

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XXXIX.

NABOTH.

THE vineyard of Naboth was near adjoining to the palace of Jezebel-happier would he have lived, if it had been situated in the wilderness. How often is wealth a snare both to the soul, and to the life! The possessions of this Jezreelite are a perpetual cause of jealousy and envy to Ahab, and to the inhuman partner of his throne. . The vicinity of Naboth's vineyard makes it an object, on which an evil eye fails not to rest, and awakens those covetous desires, which can neither admit of satisfaction, nor brook controul.

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