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for treason, Absalom, Ahithophel, and Judas all die the same death. So shall they perish, who lift up their hands against the Lord's anointed !
A SOLDIER passes by, and sees, but dares not strike, the rebellious prince. His arm was restrained by the public charge of David, “ Beware that none “ touch the young man Absalom."Joab, on the contrary, when he hears the tidings, haftens to the place, and without hesitation fixes his javelin in the offender's heart. His zeal accomplishes what the soldier's obedience had furborne. He feared not to prefer the safety of his fovereign, to his command-regarding the life of David, and the peace of Israel, more than the weak affection of a father. That zeal, and that obedience, were both deserving of praise—the loyal subject equals the ardent patriot—the one revered his king, the other loved his master, and by that love disobeyed. All
Israel did not afford Absalom fo firmi a friend as Joab had once proved himfelf. He taught the woman of Tekoa to intercede with David for his recal, after his three years' exile. He brought him up from Geshur to Jerusalem. He led him into the presence, into the arms of his parent. Yet now he who had thus promoted the interests of Absalom, in honeft disobedience takes away a life fo justly forfeited. Joab forgot that he was the friend of one who had forgotten that he was a fon. The king is our common father ; our country, our common mother--nature has no private charities, more dear, more sacred than these. He is neither father, nor son, nor brother, nor friend, who conspires against the public welfare.
The dart of Joab is seconded by the weapons of his followers. Abfalom dies as it were by a variety of deaths. The hand of divine retribution makes his
crimes legible in his punishment. He had exalted himself against his lawful sovereign-he had pierced his father's heart with many sorrows-he had caused ftrife and division in Israel. the law of Moses he, who cursed the authors of his being, was stoned to death, how justly is an heap of stones cast on him, who fought to embrue his impious hands in a parent's blood!
Now Joab sounds the retreat, and calls off his eager troops from execution. He knew what his rebellious countrymen had deserved-but when Abfalom is no more, mercy shall arrest the sword of justice. The generous heart can distinguish betwixt the leader of a faction, and the misguided multitude ; and can pity those who are deceived, while it ordains vengeance to their deceiver.
The proud and ambitious Abfalom thought it would be injustice to mankind, if he suffered the memory of his grandeur
to perish. His three fons died in early infancy. That he might supply the loss, he reared a stately pillar in the king's dale, and called it after his own name, to perpetuate the honour of Absalom. Behold this curious pile converted into a ruinous heap, thrown down over his lifeless body, the monument of his rebellion, and of his shame! Hear this, ye vain-glorious boasters, who leave no memorial behind
but of ill-deserved greatness : who teach death itself the language of adulation, and who enurnerate the pompous titles, which shall be recorded on your tombs! The best of this affectation is vanity ; the worst, is infamy and dishonour. While the memory of the just is blessed--and if his humility refuse an epitaph, and retire to an unnoticed grave, God himself shali write his name upon the pillar of eter
ABSALOM is dead—who shall report it to his father? The bufy Ahimaaz offers himself to be the messenger, and will not be dissuaded. Joab knew David too well, to employ a friend on such an errand. An Ethiopian servant was fitter to bear this message, than the son of the priest. Ahimaaz, though he anticipate the arrival of Cushi, tells only of the victory: artfully suppressing those less welCome tidings, which should fill his master's heart with unutterable anguish. David enquires not,
« How fares “ the host ?” but, “ How fares the
young man Absalom ?” Like a wise and faithful messenger, Cushi, by an honest insinuation, reveals the fatal truth“ The enemies of my lord, and « those that seek his life, be as that
young man is!”
How is the good king thunderstruck with the word of his fervant? How is he bereaved of all comfort, and regard