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tween these two harlots was not a fortunate acci. dent, but was a wisely directed Providence. This is another proof that things which to us are purely accidental, are essential parts of a Divine plan in the government of God. This is another instance in which Providence makes use even of the wickedness of men to fulfil his purposes. The falsehood and wicked purpose of this cruel woman employed by Providence to display the wisdom of his servant Solomon. Deep and incomprehensible are thy counsels, Othou unsearchable Jehovah ! Instead of scrutinizing thy ways as censors of thy conduct, let us admire, and submissively adore. Who shall successfully contend with the Almighty?
REHOBOAM'S REJECTION OF THE OLD MEN's
- Kings xii.
Here we have another Absalom. Here good counsel is rejected, and the most absurdly foolish advice is providentially followed, in order that the word of the Lord should be fulfilled. Could any thing be more obvious to any man of ordinary understanding, than that Rehoboam should, on the application of his people, without a moment's de. lay, have given them satisfaction ? A very child could hardly need advice on this emergency. But Rehoboam rejects the obvious dictates of common sense urged on him by his aged friends, and listens to the silly counsel of his young advisers. The thing was of the Lord. God had declared that, on
account of Solomon's sins, he would take a part of the kingdom from his son. And here his Providence executes his threatening. 6 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people ; for the cause was from the Lord, that he might perform his saying, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shalomite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” Can any thing be more clearly asserted than it is here, that the reason why Rehoboam rejected the claims of the people, and the counsel of the old men, is, that the Lord might effect what he had declared ? Here God fulfils his purposes by the free actions of men. How God does this, while the actions remain the actions of men, human intellect cannot comprehend. It is easy to refine, and to talk nonsense learnedly and metaphysically. But a satisfactory account of the manner of the harmony of these two things, man will never succeed in giving. How foolish is that wisdom which grapples with such a subject !
THE LAND OF THE SHUNAMITE PROVIDENTIALLY
RESTORED.—2 Kings viii.
How wonderful is the Providence of the Lord, in accompanying the steps of his people! All things are arranged with reference to their interests ; and when they are in difficulties which may appear insurmountable, a train of circumstances is in progress for their deliverance. The Shunamite woman, warned by the prophet of an approaching famine, left the land of Israel, and resided seven years
amongst the Philistines. She returned, but her land was occupied by others. How shall she now prove her title? It may be impossible at the time to prove her title.
At all events, it may be very troublesome and expensive to produce evidence. The Providence of her God makes the matter easy. Proof is in court, the witness is in conversation with the judge, at the very moment of application. Nay, what is still more wonderful, at that very time the king happened to be talking with Gehazi, the servant of the prophet Elisha, about this very matter. How did it happen that Gehazi was brought into a situation to have intercourse with the king ? How
many chances were against this ? How did it happen that Gehazi was with the king at that particular time? He might have been nearest in attendance on the king, yet have been absent at that time. How did it happen that it came into the king's mind, at that particular time, to ask Gehazi about the great things that Elisha had done? How many chances were against this ? How did it happen that at the very moment in which he was telling the king about the restoration of the Shunamite's son to life, she came into the presence of the king, crying for her house and for her land? What power connected these events? The man who will not recognise Providence here may deny that there is light in the sun. “ Then spake Elisha unto the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn : for the Lord hath
called for a famine: and it shall also come upon the land seven years.
And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines : and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land. And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since she left the land, even until now.”—2 Kings viii. 1-6. How many independent wheels are here moving in concert! It is easy to see how the wheels of a watch all move in concert. They are all mechanically connected, and move by the same spring. But here are wheels unconnected, all moving in harmony, with all the exactness of mechanical influence. Here is really the harmony of the Monads of Leibnitz ; who accounted for the sensations of the mind in concert with impressions on the senses, by the hypothesis that the soul and body are like two independent
clocks, keeping exact time, which are perfectly in. dependent of each other, but always in harmony. This was arbitrary, and unphilosophical in the philosopher; for the doctrine is not philosophy but fig. ment. But in the fact before us, we behold several human agents acting as independently of each other as the same number of clocks; and all these independent agents act in as much harmony as exists between the impressions made on the sense, and the sensations of the mind. Here is wisdom. Where are you, ye philosophers ? Try your line in fathoming this depth. Your wisdom in these deep things of God is only folly: your boldness is the presumption of madness. You idly waste your time in attempts to fathom infinity; and bewilder your readers with incomprehensible refinements under the name of science.
JEZEBEL EATEN BY DOGS.
-2 Kings ix.
In executing predicted punishment on the family of the king of Israel, Jehu did many things by express command. Here, contrary to his design, contrary to his orders, Jezebel is devoured by dogs. This was a providential fulfilment of prediction. By the command of Jehu, Jezebel is cast down from a window. But instead of designing to give full accomplishment to the Divine prediction with respect to this woman, Jehu “ said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her; for she is a king's daughter.” But buried she cannot be. God's word