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the other. But for fear any servants of the true God might be there, Jehu desired all the people to search and see that there were none of the people of the Lord among them, but the worshippers of Baal only.” And it came to pass that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt-offerings, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, “ go in and slay them, let none come forth."
Thus was the worship of Baal utterly rooted out of all Israel.
But though so zealous in performing thus far all the commands of God, though so violent to all appearance against idolatry, Jehu himself was far from being a good man. He took no heed to walk himself in the law of the Lord God of Israel, but bowed before the images which Jeroboam had set up in Bethel and in Dan, instead of going with his people to worship the Lord God in his own temple in Jerusalem. Thus he encouraged idolatry in the land, whilst God had so expressly appointed him to root it out; and although the Lord allowed him and his children to sit on the throne of Israel, because he had fulfilled his commands against Ahab, yet did Jehu lose the favour and blessing of the Almighty, which could alone have made him happy in his greatness : and not only this, he ran a great risk of losing his eternal reward in heaven. He witnessed too many of the evils which Hazael, king of Syria, brought upon his unhappy country; for, “ in his days the Lord began to cut Israel short; and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel, and took from them all the country beyond Jordan.”
May we not suppose, that when he saw how bitterly
his people suffered because of their idolatry, he felt a deep regret at not having done all he could himself to keep them in the right way.
E. Mamma, was the prophet Elisha alive when Jehu destroyed the family of Ahab, and all the worshippers of Baal!
M. He was, my love, and lived several years after Jehu's death ; but at length the time came when he had finished his pilgrimage on earth, and was about to follow his master, Elijah, to heaven.
E. Did God take him up into heaven without dying?
M. No; it pleased God that his servant Elisha should die like other men; and that he should be prepared by sickness for the blessed change which awaited him. But there can be no doubt that the Lord was with him to support and comfort him on his sick-bed, and to give him cheering thoughts of that blessed world to which he was hastening. And Elisha died; and they buried him. And God was pleased to do great honour to the memory of this holy man even after his death: for he worked a miracle by him then, even greater than any of those for which he had been so distinguished in his life-time. I will tell you how this was. Very soon after Elisha had been buried, some persons had been preparing a grave close to his for a young man among them who had died; but whilst they were at work, they were disturbed by the sight of a band of their enemies, and in their haste to get away, they cast the man, whom they were burying, into the grave of the prophet. But no sooner had the dead body touched the coffin
of Elisha, than he was immediately restored to life, and stood upon his feet.
And thus does the close of Elisha's story, as well as Elijah's, strikingly remind us of that life which is to come hereafter, when the dead shall be raised from their graves and come forth, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. The doctrine of the life to come is clearly revealed to us Christians in the Gospel, and from the Old Testament we learn, and especially from such stories as those of Enoch, Elijah, and Elisha, that it was also made known, though not so clearly, to the people of God in ancient times. In Elisha we may indeed be allowed to trace a lively type or figure of our blessed Lord, who is, as you know, the life of men, the author of eternal life to those who truly believe in him. On his death it is that we depend for life hereafter and rise, as it were, from his grave to a new existence. Had Christ not lain in the grave, we should never have been able to burst its bands; but now that he has been there, when we are cast into it after him, thrown in as it were into his grave by a saving faith, it becomes to us, through a miraculous power, the place from which we shall rise to a far better life than we can ever enjoy in this world of sin and trouble. And here, Edward, I must finish my account of this great prophet of Israel, whose history fills up so many pages of the Bible, and whose memory will ever be considered as most blessed in the Church of God, to which he was so great an
THIRTIETH SUNDAY EVENING.
JONAH IN THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA.
E. WHAT did the people of Israel do, mamma, when Elisha was dead ? they had no other prophet to go to in their troubles,-had they, mamma?
M. Yes, my love; God was gracious enough still to continue his prophets among them, although they had given so little heed to Elijah and Elisha, and although they increased in wickedness every day. About this time there were several messengers of God both in Judah and in Israel, some of whom you will hear of by and by: I must now tell you a little of the history of one of them, who was called Jonah.
E. Did he live in the land of Israel, mamma?
M. He is supposed to have lived in the upper part of the country, in what was called the tribe of Zebulon, and we read of his having been sent by God on one occasion to the king of Israel, to encourage him against his enemies.
E. To what king of Israel ? to Jehu do you mean?
M. No, my love; but to Jeroboam, one of his successors, who was the third king on the throne of Israel after his death.
But it was not in the land of Israel that he chiefly exercised the office of a prophet, but in Assyria, where he was sent by the Almighty, to the great city of Nineveh, to declare God's judgments against it.
E. Were the people, then, who lived in very wicked, mamma? M. Yes; their wickedness seems to
so great a height, that God would no longer bear with it, and he said to Jonah, “ Arise! go to Ninereh, that great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness is come up before me.”
After having just gone through the histories of Elijah and Elisha, who not only possessed large portions of God's holy spirit of prophecy, and the power of working miracles, but were also two of the most faithful servants of God that have ever lived, you will be a little surprised, Edward, when I tell you that, instead of setting out immediately with the message of the Almighty, Jonah rose up, and tried to fly from the presence of the Lord, not liking to go on the business with which God had entrusted him. So he went down to Joppa, a sea-port town of Palestine, on the Mediterranean Sea, at a great distance from the land of Zebulon, where he was living; but he went there because it was the chief port of Judea, and he could easily get from thence on board some ship sailing to a distant land. There he found a ship going to Tarshish, so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish, thinking, Edward, that he should thus get away from the presence of the Lord.
E. Why, mamma, that was very foolish. How could he think that he could get away from God? I don't think he could have known that verse in one of king David's Psalms which you taught me a long time ago; I mean that verse where it says “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence; if I climb up into heaven, thou art there, if I go down to hell, behold thou art there! If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the