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rulers to.whom the education of the young men has been committed; and his subsequent address to the inhabitants of Jezreel while he points to the seventy heads piled in 1 heaps. at the gate of the. city, bespeak a mind estranged from the paths of simplicity and truth, and versed in the mazes of dark and ambiguous policy. Eut the crookedness and subtlety of the machinations in which he delights speedily become more conspicuous. He prepares to exterminate the worshippers of Baal: men judicially condemned to death by the Mosaic. law, and comprehended within the commission.with which Jehu, the minister of divine vengeance, was invested. How does he proceed to execute his purpose?, In the plain track of sincerity? In unmixed dependence on the Omnipotent God, who hateth a lying tongue (/)? Does he proclaim his own detestation of idolatry, the sentence denounced against idolaters, his special obligation to carry the sentence into effect? He has recourse to the most ignominious deceit. He proclaims himself the Protector of Idolatry. Affecting to regard as inconsiderable and unworthy of
(/) Prov. vi. 16, 17.
Vol. II. M Baal
Baal the sacrifices which had been, aceuou**,; lated on . his. altars,, and the honours tor, which his priests and prophets had beejot, exalted* by Ahab: he announces feltliejr assembled people of Israel the abundaaatly greater veneration which the idol and: bja.' votaries may expect from the present occji.f^ pier of the throne* Ahab served Baas. .iOb,. Iktle: but "Jehu Jhallserve him much* Coll* wita me all the prophets of Baal, all his scry-' , vants and all his priejls: let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to data Baal (/«}, From every corner of the land, the worshippers of Baal hasten. The king welcomes them with imposing respect. Bring forth', he cries, vcsnients^ bring forth robes of honour, for the worshippers of Badl. In blind exultation they crowd the temple of the idol, unsuspicious, that they are themselves the destined victims. They offer their sacrifices and burnt-offering*:, nor does the king, watchful to confirm their security, scruple his participation (»)i At the commencement of the ceremony the guards, posted at the doors, are roused to.
(m) See the whole transaction recorded 2 Kings, x» 13— zH. \
(«) And it came to pal's as scon as He had made an end of offering the barnt.oflering, &c—2 King*, x. 2$.
tigim&^ih&WmomXoxY menkbe t If mfbfih¥l%^k''^hml ftave Vr%hgftiihtb yotifySfotBi'efthpe; he thaiTeOtth him go, his Use flail be for the life of him. At the close they hear the triandate of tleftructibn; Go fy hihd flay them i, 'let hone ibmefo'rfhs— nW Jehu destroyed Baal v'ut df IfrcM. TM;Vt w'as. Not by a fearless application of the law; not by a pibiis discharge of his regal office; but by perfidious deceit, bf'idolatrous hybocrify, dbes he/inflict the merited punifhrsteht on the criminals. D#es"he plead tfoit if 'he did it in subtlety it wafcT& she ihiektthat hi might des roy the w&jftippers tifBaat? Does he ask; If'the truth of God hath shore abounded through my lie an to hh glory; why am I judged as a sinner [ol) <? Woe to the man that plunges into' wlcfoedtieis, under pretence of prom&r&g righteousness f. Woe to the man that/aifobeys one' of the commandments* of God, on the plea, that he shall thus rentier more efficacious obedience to another! Still do you cherish a floating aoubt as to the nature of the zeal of Jehu? Try that zeal by yet another test; and not 3 shadow of uncertainty will remain.
to) Rom. iii. 7.
M 2 V. Gs
V; Genuine zeal for religion .is, in the strictest import of the terms, zeal for the Lord. Its prime object is the glory of Jehovah-; the honour of his name, the purity of his worship, the influence of his law. Is such the zeal of Jehu I Are his cruelty, has ostentation, his falsehood, no more than heterogenous mixtures, stupendous indeed in collective magnitude, yes no more.than, extraneous impurities, unnaturally adhering to a latent yet actual zeal for religion.; clouding and debasing the living flame) yet without extinguishing or superseding it? -Or has in truth some other principle' the dominion? of hi& heart? From thejihs of Jeroboam the son of Ncbat, ivhomade- Israel to ft», Jehu departed riot-y to. wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan. Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LordGod of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the Jins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to fin. Here the master-motive stands displayed. Jehu, raised by the hand of God to the throne,, now looks for the security of it to hfs own policy. Destitute of faith in Him to whom, he was indebted for all; he trusts not to the King of kings for the permanence of the gifts which He bestowed. ' Destitute of
L K gratitude
I" '' \. O i* \ .
gratitude to his gracious Benefactor'; he returns for unmerited kindness habitual profane and presumptuous disobedience. While .regard to'the ,commandments of Qod conducted him in the path of advancement; he was eager to obey. The proscribed house of Ahab, the obstacle to his own exaltation, he delayed not to extirpate. Of the votaries of Baal, naturally attached to that family by which they had been^patronized, he spared not one. But here, to his carnal apprehension, obedience and interest cease to coincide. Grasping the sceptre of Israel, he beholds, with suspicious alarm, the dormant claims of the dependents of David. In the monarch of Jerusalem he contemplates a rival. Shall he permit the men of Israel three times in a year to.go up to worship in the temple reared in his rival's capital, to be mingled with his rival's subjects? That the men of Israel should three times in a year go up tofworfhip at Jerusalem, is the recorded and peremptory command of the Most High. %Jfa&, times in a year Jball all thy males ap. peprCiktf°t the Lord thy God} in. the place i&fcichi he Jhall choose \p). The chosen
?bulu±,".£ '(P) Deut. xvi. 16.
:VV'. M3 place