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"Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind."


AM very glad to see so many of you here this morning, and that your pleasure lies in attending upon the worship of God in his house of prayer. On such public occasions as these there are such crowds attend places of public diversions, that it often happens that some accident or other befalls some of the innumerable spectators: some perhaps will be carried home at night with broken bones, and perhaps some that are gone from home will return alive no more; but be it, however, as it may, I will be bold to say that we shall return home with the most peace, and in the possession of the best conscience.

A few years before this captivity befell the Jews, reigned that pious young king Josiah, so much lamented by the Jews, and even by the prophet Jeremiah, that the mourning at his death became a proverb in Israel, 2 Chron. xxxv. 25. He was slain by Necho king of Egypt, who was going to engage the king of Assyria by the river Euphrates. The king of Egypt sent Josiah word that he was not come out against him, but against the Assyrians; and he informed him that God had sent him, and was with him; and therefore he charged him not to meddle with God, that he destroyed him not. But Josiah paid no regard to this, not in the least suspecting that God was with a king of Egypt. This was one of the Lord's Shibboleths, for God was with Necho; and Josiah fell by the hand of the king of Egypt, as he told him he should if he meddled with God.

After the death of Josiah, the people of the land made Jehoahaz king instead of his father, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And the king of Egypt dethroned him, and condemned the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold, and made Eliakim king instead of his brother, and changed his name to that of Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz and carried him into Egypt, where he died.

Jehoiakim reigned eleven years in Jerusalem, and did nothing but evil in the eyes of the Lord. And against this king it was that the king of Babylon made war: and he took him, and laid

him in irons to carry him to Babylon. And with him he took also the vessels of the temple, and seven thousand soldiers, the smiths and craftsmen a thousand, &c. 2 Chron xxxvi. 6. And at his departure he made Jehoiachin king in his stead. And after he had reigned three months the king of Babylon put him down, and took him to Babylon, and made Zedekiah his brother king in his room; and it was in this king's reign that Jerusalem was taken and destroyed; and his wickedness was the principal cause of it; for he had made a covenant with the king of Babylon in the house of God, and given him the right hand of fellowship, and swore fidelity to him in the name of God, and that he held his crown by him, for it was Nebuchadnezzar that had made him king. After he had reigned eight or nine years he rebelled against the king of Babylon, broke his covenant, violated his oath, and hired the armies of Egypt to assist him against Nebuchadnezzar. In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar and all his host came against him, and besieged him until the eleventh year of his reign. And on the ninth day of the fourth month the city was broken up and taken. It was this king that cut and burnt the prophet Jeremiah's roll, written by the order of God: under him, Jeremiah the prophet was put into the dungeon: he was intolerably vile, and both princes and priests followed his example. "The chief of the priests transgressed very much after all the abominations of the hea

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