Obrazy na stronie

who have travelled in the East tell us that such things are not unusual. With us the dog is kindly treated : he is the companion and the friend of man. But there he is an outcast, owned by no one, dreaded and avoided by the people. Ahab had seventy sons and grandsons. They, with their guardians and tutors, were in Samaria. To those guardians Jehu wrote, saying, “ Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.” This letter caused great fear in those to whom it was addressed. They returned the reply to Jehu, that they were his servants, and would do whatever he bade them. He wrote a second letter, telling him to cut off the heads of the king's sons, and send them to him in baskets. They obeyed ; nor was this enough for Jebu. He slew besides all the connexions of Ahab, the priests and the great men, until none were left in Jezreel. He then set off to Samaria. As he was on the way, he met the brethren of Ahaziah, king of Judah : “ Who are ye ?” he said to them. “ We are the brethren of Abaziah,” they replied, “ and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.”

Marianne. Had they not heard that Jehoram and all the sons of Ahab were dead ?

Grandfather. They had not; the work of vengeance had been quickly accomplished. These brethren of Ahaziah shared the fate of those they intended to visit. By the command of Jehu all were slain--forty-two men. Marianne. I don't like Jehu very well for killing so many people, although of course they deserved it.

Grandfather. It was the will of God that he should put all these people to death, therefore in so far he did right, yet he was not a good man. He killed all the worshippers of Baal, and broke down the images of that false god; but he encouraged the people to worship the golden calves which had been set up by Jeroboam, the first king of Israel.

Marianne. I do not understand, grandfather, why the kings of Israel persisted in worshipping these golden calves; they must have known it was wrong.

Grandfather. The worship of the calves was begun and kept up to prevent the ten tribes from going up to Jerusalem to worship, because if they did that, they might again submit themselves to the house of David. Jehu did away with the worship of Baal, because that could be no advantage to him; the worship of the golden calves he thought tended to the strengthening of his kingdom, therefore he encouraged it. The misfortunes that came upon him in consequence teach us that we ought not to consider what is gainful but what is good ; that we ought willingly to bear worldly loss if we cannot prosper but by encouraging sin.

George. What misfortunes came upon him ?

Grandfather. Hazael, king of Syria, fought against him successfully, but we are not told the particulars of any of their battles. After reigning twenty-eight years he was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz. He had the same annoyance to bear from Hazael, who afflicted the Israelites grievously, so that of the great armies they had once had—their hundreds of thousands—there remained only fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen. In his distress the king of Israel prayed to God, who in mercy sent a deliverer in the person of the successor of Jehoahaz.

George. Who was he, and what did he do ?

Grandfather. He was called Jehoash, but we must not enter upon his reign to-night, for it gets late.

Because Jehoshaphat prayed, the Lord fought for his people, and delivered them from their enemies,—What do we learn from this ?

The great wealth of the children of Lot and Esau went to enrich their enemies,—What does this shew us ?

The children of Israel, shocked at having driven the king of Moab to such an extremity, raised the siege of Kirharaseth,- What does their conduct teach us?

When Elisha had the Syrians in his power, he caused them to be treated with kindness and sent away in safety,—What does his example teach us ?

What do we learn from hearing what others have suffered by famine ?

Amaziah met his death because he chose for his intimate friend the wicked king of Israel,—What does his fate teach us?

What are we taught by the misfortunes that came upon Jehu in consequence of his upholding the worship of the golden calves ?


" Alas! we were warn'd, but we reck'd not the warning,

Till our warriors grew weak in the day of despair,
And our glory was fled as the light cloud of morning,

That gleams for a moment, and melts into air.

"As the proud heathens trampled o'er Zion's sad daughter,

She wept tears of blood o'er her guilt and her woe,
For the voice of her God had commission'd the slaughter,
The rod of his vengeance had pointed the blow."


Marianne. You have not told us any thing about Judah ; who was king there ?

Grandfather. Joash, whose life was saved by his aunt Jehosheba. She hid him when Athaliah, his grandmother, would have put him to death, at the time that she killed all the seed-royal. He was only one year old, and his aunt kept him six years in the house of the Lord. She was wife to the high priest.

Marianne. Was he a good king when he grew up ?

Grandfather. He conducted himself wisely as long as Jehoiada, the high priest, lived, for he suffered himself to be directed by him ; but when he died the king became wicked, and served false gods. To punish him, Hazael, king of Syria, came up against Judah. Crime makes

us cowardly; so Joash was afraid to meet Hazael in battle. He took all the holy things dedicated to the Lord by himself and by his fathers Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah ; he took all the gold that was in the treasury of the Lord; he emptied the exchequer. This he sent to Hazael, who took it, and desisted at that time; but sent back his army the next year. He did not take the trouble to go himself, and he sent a very small army, for he despised the cowardly people of Judah. Joash had not another bribe to offer, so up marched the Syrians to Jerusalem. They killed the chief men, and carried to Damascus all the spoil on which they could lay their hands. The king of Judah was then in a diseased state of body. He might not have recovered, but he was not spared to try. Two of his own servants conspired against him, and put him to death. Such was the miserable end of a king who in his infancy had been so wonderfully preserved, and the early part of whose reign made so fair an appearance.

George. He was a very silly king.

Grandfather. The events of his reign shew us that as grace makes people great, so does wickedness make them weak.

Johnnie. Is there nothing more about Elisha ?

Grandfather. Yes, I shall tell you something about him. He was a very old man : it was now sixty years since he was called to the office of a prophet. His race was nearly run. A sickness had come on him, which could only end in death. When Jehoash, king of Israel,

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