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Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first ; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came
27 This scornful mocking was retri. to pass at noon, that Elijah butive. So God warns those who mocked them, and said, Cry mock his warnings" I also will aloud : for he is a god; either mock, when your fear cometh.” he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and
28 Heathen rites were frequently must be awaked.
attended with extreme cruelty. they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me.
And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name : and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time.
And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 3* Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed spiritually, many a time and oft, dry
38 And does not my heavenly Father the burnt sacrifice, and the up rivers of waters of affliction, which
wood, and the stones, and the
seem ready to destroy the bright hope dust, and licked up the water of our sacrifice of prayer, and praise, that was in the trench. And and thanksgiving ? when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal ; let not one of them escape. And they took them : and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah ; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
EVENING, 1 Kings xix.
And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. T'hen Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about
Certainly Elijah seems here to this time. 3 And when he have lost his wonted courage. At saw that, he arose, and went the same time we read, that even our for his life, and came to
blessed Lord, when his enemies
pressed him sore, found it prudent Beer-sheba, which belongeth to withdraw himself from them. to Judah, and left his servant
* Every soul, under severity of there. *But he himself went trial, may have occasional seasons a day's journey into the wil- of sadness, which nothing can rederness, and came and sat
move-but a sense of God's presence. down under a juniper tree : and he requested for himself that he might die ; and said, It is enough ; now, O LORD, take away my life ; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel
touched him, and said unto 6 It is well for us habitually to him, Arise and eat. 6 And repose our trust on the divine mercy; he looked, and, behold, there then, though “heaviness may endure tas a cake baken on the for a night," joy cometh “ in the
morning Thus it was with Elijah coals, and a cruse of water —why should it not be so with thee ? at his head. And he did eat
Angels “succour and defend us" and drink, and laid him down also, though unseen. Our faith is, again. And the angel of that they are appointed of God to the LORD came again the minister to us on earth, even as they second time, and touched
do him service in heaven. him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there ; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah ? 19 And he said, I have been 10 Some natural fear will cling to very jealous for the LORD the most faithful servants of God. God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, eren I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11 As on this mount Horeb God had "And he said, Go forth, and delivered his law with all the awful stand upon the mount before majesty of thunderings and lightthe LORD. And, behold, thenings, terrible and unearthly, indi
cative of the severity of that dispenLORD passed by, and a great sation ; so now he declared his will and strong wind rent the in terms of gentleness, typical of that moantains, and brake in Gospel, to prepare the way for which pieces the rocks before the
all his former dispensations tended. LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind : and after the wind an earthquake ; but the Lord was not in the earthquake : and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire : and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts : because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword ; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus : and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria : and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over
Israel : and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay : and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth : and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again : for what have I done to thee? 21 And he returned back from
21 When once ordained to his holy him, and took a yoke of oxen, office, how promptly does Elisha and slew them, and boiled proceed to undertake its duties, and their flesh with the instru- thority. God grant that the minis
how faithfully did he sustain its auments of the oxen, and
gave ters of the Gospel and the people unto the people, and they did committed to their charge may not eat. Then he arose, and went vie in their readiness to serve Godafter Elijah, and ministered
whether to minister, or to be minis.
tered unto. unto him.
The tenth Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. 1 Kings xxi. And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 This mighty monarch of Israel
And Ahab spake unto Na- and conqueror of the hosts of Syria both, saying, Give me thy pines away in misery, because a garvineyard, that I may have it den of herbs is withheld from him. for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house : and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it ; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I
Not only is it a natural and praiseworthy feeling in a man to prize his ancient inheritance, whether it be earthly possessions, or that better inheritance, a high and honourable name ; but by the Jewish law, an inheritance was forbidden to be alienated. The refusal, therefore, on the part of Naboth was an act of piety. This Ahab knew; and yet, though as a sovereign he was specially bound to observe the law, he was the first to break it. Who shall wonder that God's anger followed him!
should give the inheritance + What a lesson is this to us all! of my fathers unto thee. teaching, that it is not the having * And Ahab came into his much, but the coveting little, which
constitutes riches-the contracting house heavy and displeased
our desires, not enlarging our posbecause of the word which sessions. With contentment, a dinNaboth the Jezreelite had ner of herbs is happiness—where spoken to him : for he had envy is, kingdoms satisfy not. said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money ; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel ? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. SSo she wrote 8 This excuseth not Ahab.
All letters in Ahab's name, and that Jezebel wrote or did could have sealed them with his seal, and
no weight without his sanction, either sent the letters unto the elders
granted or assumed *. and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: and set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him : and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried hin forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned,
In either case he sinned. If he granted permission, he became arowedly a participator in the guilt. If his influence were exercised privily by means of “his seal” of office, that very fact indicates a carelessness in the government of the state, which, involving as it may a nation's welfare, is in those who bear rule, a sin.