Page images

you are making in the hope of so excellent a blessing. Then, while many still foolishly forsake Him, and fall, and perish at the rebuke of His countenance, expect, for your own part, that you shall in due time “ see the felicity of His “ chosen, and rejoice in the gladness of His “ people, and give Him thanks, face to face, “ with His inheritance."


2 Kıxgs x. 29. Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat,

who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in

Beth-el, and that were in Dan. In this verse, there is made mention, at the same time, of Jeroboam, and of Jehu, as two unworthy kings of Israel. The former, we are told, had instituted a peculiar sin amongst his subjects, and the latter would not abolish, or discontinue it.

The latter king, namely Jehu, had been specially commissioned, and raised to the throne by God, to execute His vengeance on the house of Ahab, for the murder of Naboth, and their many abominable idolatries. However, he is represented not to have been himself of a properly righteous and godly character. In all his proceedings, he appears to have been actuated more by guile, and cruelty, and worldly policy, than by a becoming zeal for the Lord. It was undoubtedly right that Jezebel should be slain, and that the worshippers of Baal

We can pro

should be destroyed; they suffered only the due reward of their deeds. Still, the manner of Jehu towards them is surely not to be commended. There was displayed in it, to our apprehensions, more of fury and cunning, than of justice. Jehu's spirit appears to have taken a savage delight in the slaughters which it behoved him to commit, instead of being rather disposed to shrink from the awful necessity which had been laid upon him. bably trace throughout his principal proceedings, a large mixture of that “ wrath of man" which “worketh not the righteousness of God.” And in the point, which my text refers to, he stands evidently convicted of insincerity; “ Jehu,” it is presently afterward written, “took “ no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God “ of Israel with all his heart; for he departed “not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made “ Israel to sin."

This occasions me, having said enough in a cursory manner concerning Jehu, lest any should be thinking too well of him, to revert to the former of the two kings above named, about whom I design to occupy this discourse. Of all the persons mentioned in Holy Scripture, to none, perhaps, is dishonour so invariably attached as to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. That he “made Israel to sin," is constantly annexed to his name, insomuch that the reproach sounds quite familiar, and has become almost inseparable from our idea of him. Whence then, it is obvious to inquire, did Jeroboam derive such an inherent and preeminent disgrace? Many kings of Israel did wickedly; in what respect did he exceed them all, and deserve to be thus unceasingly described, from one gèneration to another? Some may have need of information on this topic, since it is not declared in any of our Sunday lessons from the Old Testament. Let me, accordingly, begin with extracting, and setting plainly in order, an account of the sin invented, and entailed on the Israelites, by Jeroboam ; after which preparation, I shall have to propose a few generally important inferences, and admonitions,—those which the history to be reviewed is calculated most strongly to suggest.

First, therefore; in the twelfth chapter of Deuteronomy you may find written this positive commandment to the Israelites ;_" When

ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land “ which the Lord your God giveth you to in“ herit; then there shall be a place which the “Lord your God shall choose to cause His

name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring “ all that I command you; your burnt offer“ ings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the


“ heave offering of your hands, and all your “ choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord.” Now, the sin of Jeroboam consisted in leading his subjects to break this Divine commandment: and it had its origin in an evil heart of unbelief, or a want of trust in God.

So soon as the twelve tribes had obtained rest from their enemies round about, and were fully established in the land of promise, Jerusalem was chosen by God to be the place above foretold, that is to say, the place, where He would set His name to be specially honoured with burnt sacrifices and worship. “ Thither,” accordingly, “the tribes went up, even the tribes “ of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to

give thanks unto the name of the Lord,” (Psalm cxxii. 4.) during the days both of David and of Solomon; and every one of you can probably remember to have heard, that Solomon builded a house for Him therein, of surpassing magnificence and beauty. In that celebrated temple at Jerusalem, the Lord condescended to reveal His glory, hovering between two cherubims, or figures of gold, probably representing the heavenly host, set on the lid of the ark, which was denominated the mercy seat: and in the various courts of the same, the priests and Levites performed their appointed ministrations, and the people presented to Him

« EelmineJätka »