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something; though, not so much as leaving off more flagrant indulgences. For the prophet had brought a sample of this tribe of the Rechabites, or“ all the house," as he says, by the word of the Lord, or by his direction, into the recesses of the magnificent temple of Jerusalem“ into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah, the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door. And (to use his own words) I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine and cups: and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine : for Jonadab, the son of Rechab our father, commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye nor your sons, for ever; neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any : but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab, the son of Rechab our father, in all that he hath charged us;-to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons nor our daughters ; nor to build houses for us to dwell in : neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: but we have dwelled in tents, and obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
But it came to pass when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: SO WE DWELL AT JERUSALEM." (Jer. xxxv. 1, &c.)
These sons of the house of the Rechabites” were some of that good sort of people, who will go in the way of their hardy forefathers as far as it may suit their enervated frames: and, therefore, determined to leave off wine; as they would likewise have continued to live in tents, if there had been no objection. Their filial obedience was somewhat of a piece with Saul's in relation to the slaughter
of the Amalekites, which he seemed also to think punctual enough by his bearing. “And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag, the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But”—(Sam. I. xv. 20, 21.)—These Buts are very awkward occurrences in the way of obedience: but still the house of the Rechabites, with all their exceptions and reservations, may furnish a good moral on this particular occasion. They had done enough in the way of obedience to form a striking contrast with the people of Judah and with those of Benjamin who were settled in Jerusalem ; if they had not enough to gratify their boast to the prophet, nor enough for their own general welfare, which required them to observe their father Jonadab's injunctions to the letter. And then they would have staid in the wilderness, or gone where they could; keeping clear of towns and cities *; by which means they might have escaped, first the unpleasantness of being cooped up, and kept on short allowance for about eighteen
• It may be thought as a matter of speculation, whether a good portion of the Rechabites, and the most loyal among them, did not really choose to abandon the wilderness of Judah, and their connexion with the people at that time, and turn vagrants. When being disowned by their tribe, the mass of the Kenites, whom they had so long quitted for strangers, and too weak to establish themselves any where in a body, as many tribes have done, and the Rechabites also might have done perhaps if they had kept together, they were obliged to seek fresh quarters from East to West continually, taking a name, like their forefathers, from those quarters which they happened to occupy longest; as Egyptians from Egypt in the East, and Bohemians from Bohemia in the West. If so, we know them here, if we can be said to know a people so little regarded among us, by a corruption of the former name, as Gipsies. And allowing the probability of this hypothesis, it may further be questioned of that neglected race; whether the promise of God by Jeremiah to the Rechabites belong not to these children of the wilderness, the hedge-lying gipsies, who do not seem to want any thing belonging to manhood but the respect it generally deserves, - rather than to Jahazaniah, the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, his sons, or his brethren, or any others to whom the prophet offered wine in the house of the Lord, --unless they happened likewise to get off in time with the rest of their tribe.
months within the walls of Jerusalem; and afterward, as many of them as escaped the sword, being carried away captive to Babylon; so losing, that which to an Arab is dearer than life-- their precious liberty.
As the passage in which this favourable notice of the family of the Rechabites occurs is not a part of the history of that people, but of the history of the people of God, which is all the elect, who shall be gathered on a day known to him only perhaps as yet, by angels “ with a great sound of a trumpet from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other,” (Matt. xxiv. 31,) we are not acquainted with the subsequent fate and residence of any of these “ heirs of promise ” after the fall of Jerusalem aforesaid. Neither is that which has now been related of them so important in an historical view as it is in a moral and religious, from the scope it affords for some wholesome considerations on the subject of FILIAL DUTY : which may be sufficiently indicated for a beginning in the words of my text; though the superior information that is shed out to us by the broad daylight of the gospel will necessarily suggest a much grander and more perfect view of this, as it does of every other duty, than could be apprehended by any one in the early dawn of the same dispensation under the Law and the Prophets. And this I trust also to shew by the way, as I proceed in considering the forementioned subject of filial duty under these three several heads; namely, 1, its Substance; 2, its Reward; 3, its Practice: and all upon the forecited example of the REWARD OF THE RECHABITES.
§ 1. One word in my text, and that the very first, may serve to indicate or refer to the first part proposed, namely to the duty in substance: that word is only THEREFORE ; “ Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel.” Grammarians call this word a conjunction, I believe: and though it seems to be a little word, yet is it one of great force sometimes through the greatness of its relatives, the consequent and antecedent, on either side
which it serves to unite. For by means hereof either the reward or punishment as it may happen of a man, or of any number of men,-say a whole nation, or twenty nations at once, may be connected on either hand respectively: as Moses signified, for example, to the Israelites; wben, laying down the law to them from God before their invasion of the land of Canaan—as much for the ends of justice as for their own establishment-till they should deserve to be turned out, he tells them, or the Lord by him, “ Defile not yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you ; and the land is defiled : THEREFORE I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it: and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.” (Lev. xviii. 24, 25.)*
One time within the record of sacred history the whole earth had been so defiled, and was visited accordingly throughout ; being purified, not by the arms of a Joshua indeed—but by the arms of a flood and a sacrifice. (Gen. viii. 20.) As for partial cleansings, like that of the Canaanites recorded in Joshua for example, and others also as well those which Jeremiah alludes to in the chapter of my text and elsewhere, (Jer. iv. 6; vi. 22 ; xxxv. 17, &c.,) as others which are elsewhere alluded to by others; (Isai. xiv. 31 ; xli. 25; Ezek. i. 4, &c. :) occasional sweepings, as they may be called, with new brooms from the north,- they were no rarity at one time o: any more than have been since such sweepings in every direction,--east, west, north and south. The simple may cry shame on them ; and so will I in one respect : « destruction upon destruction is cried.” (Jer. iv. 20.) But let people set these sweepings aside, if they can, without setting aside the filth that makes them necessary. One fashionable freethinker of former days I remember reading in my youth among others particularly ; who seemed much out of humour with the book of Joshua, because Almighty Providence, which deigns to reveal its ways in Scripture, there owns such executions : his lordship considering the fact improbable ; while its reality is proved by daily experience, and, considering causes in their extent, one might query how the dignity of human nature, or even the human kind, is to be preserved without either these or the second of the forementioned alternatives.
When the world got into the church, and the church at the same time (but not before) began to turn the world upside down, (Acts xvii. 6,) by taking now the lead in corruption, as it had done before, and that most heartily, in the great work of reformation and salvation. VOL. II.
So in this example of which we are considering the sons of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, had on the contrary done themselves great credit by obeying the commandment of Jonadab their father, and keeping all his precepts, and doing according unto all that he had commanded them; and THEREFORE they were to be rewarded upon earth according to the reward that is mentioned in my text, and which I shall have further occasion to commemorate-being now engaged particularly on the substance of the duty or performance to which it relates and of its measure and mode. Of which you may be pleased to observe that, as we are informed by the light of the Gospel aforesaid concerning the subject or substance of this duty,
1. We must apprehend in its proper objects more than our immediate parents, either to take in the whole scope of this relation, or only that side of it which is implied in my text. For as the object of the partial obedience of that sample, as I should consider it, of the house of the Rechabites which attended Jeremiah into the sacred recesses of the temple as before mentioned, and for the before mentioned purpose was not their immediate father either as Jonadab or Rechab, so neither are the objects of filial duty in general those only to whom the subjects of such duty are immediately related in the way of consanguinity, or in any degree whatever ; but in the spiritual line as well as the natural, and in the civil too whether private or political-as well as in the spiritual; all those above us in every line, however near or however remote,-parents and pastors, masters and magistrates, being all to be honoured in their several degrees-and our own mother, as much as our own father. Also
2. The duty itself will imply somewhat more than obedience, and may by chance even somewhat contrary; differing in this respect from the duty that we owe to our Father in Heaven. For it is possible, though we should be very slow in concluding it on any occasion, that our