« AnteriorContinuar »
- Ahaziah, his son, entered into a strict friendship with Jehoram, king of Israel, and was involved in the fame judginent with hiin; for Jehu flew them both at the same time. Upon his death, his mother Athaliah usurped the throne ; and, that she might possess it without oppofition, endeavoured to destroy all his children. : But Jehoash, an infant, was secretly conveyed away by the wife of Jehoiada the highpriest; and after seven ycars Athaliah, who had filled the kingdom with murders and impieties, was slain, and the young prince placed upon the throne. His reign was filourishing and happy, while he was guided by Jehoiada : idolatry was banished, and true religion was restored: but upon the.death of that good and prudent counsellor, he'gave' way to the insinuating persuasions of bad'men, and revived the worship of idols. His guilt was soon followed with punishment: he was conquered by the Syrians, vexed with sore diseases, and at last treacherously flain by his own ferv311ts. . Before Amaziah, having his father's exChrift' am le and fate before his eyes, began 839: : his reign with piety ; but did not long continue in the fear and favour of God. A glorious victory which he obtained over
the Edomites, swelled his heart with pride; and so great was his infatuation, that he forfook. God, the author of his success, and paid adoration to the idols of Edorn, which could not deliver their own worshipper's out of his hand. He was afterwards defeated by the king of Israel; and at last killed by his own subjects. : Uzziah, who is also called Azariah, being seated on the throne, conducted himself with great wisdom and goodness, and was blessed with success against the ne ghbouring nations. He repaired and fortified Jerusalem, and invented many instruments and engines of war. He was also a great lover of husbandry, planting vines, and feeding many cattle. But his success proved his ruin; prosperity corrupted his heart; elated with pride he usurped the prief's office, and offered to burn incense: bus' in the attempt was suddenly stricken with leprosy ; upon which he retired to a private house, where he continued under the infection to the day of his death. Before As Uzziah was rendered incapable Christ of conducting public affairs, Jotham, 761. his son, took the government into his hands; he inherited his father's virtues without his vices: he was religious towards God, and righteous towards man. He
died in peace; and was succeeded by his wicked son Ahaz, who re-established idol. atry; and after the abomination of the heathen, facrificed in the valley of the Sons of Hinnom, and made his children pass through the fire to Moloch. Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah, king of I/rael, attacked his kingdom in different parts, and carried away many captives and rich spoils.
In his distress, he trespassed yet more · against the Lord; he even fhui up the
doors of the temple, and entirely suppressed the worship of the Supreme Being; and went on in a course of shocking profaneness, till he finished his inglorious reign in the thirty-sixth year of his age. Before Hezekiah, his fon, having oba Christ served the cistresses of his country, 726. and considered the source of thein, endeavoured to apply a proper remedy. He opened the temple, and restored divine worthip, according to the law of Mofes, He broke the images, cut down the groves, and cleansed the city and the land from the pollution of idols. After several years of peace and prosperity, he was seized with a severe illness, and forewarned by the prophet Isaiah to prepare for death, as it was heyond the power of human art to recover him. The king, being anxious for his enuntry, which the Alyrians were now invading, as well as from a natural averfion to death, entreated for a longer life s and his fervent prayers were such powerful advocates with the Father of mercies, that Ijaiah was sent to assure hiin, that fifteen years thould be added to his life, and that his king lom should be delivered from the Allyrians. The Lord, also, to convince him of the truth of this prophecy, caused the fun (or at least the rays of it) to go back ten degrees upon a sundial in the palace. Sennacherib, the king of Alyria, had already made a rapid conquest of the land of Judah; and as he drew near to Jeru. Jalem, he sent an infamous blafphemous letter to the king. Hezekiuh prepared for a vigorous defence; but at the same tine relied wholly. upon the divine assistance. He therefore spread the letter before the Lord, and earnestly implored him to vindicate his honour, and rescue him and his people from the impending ruin. God heard his praver; and while the proud and haughty conqueror was intending to storm the city, and already thought hinfelf mafter of it, in that very night the angel of the Lord. Iniote in the camp of the Aly, rians an hundred four score and five thoutia Jand, Thus the time of extremity
was the time of mercy; and when all things were desperate, the Lord saved Hezekiah; for he trusted in the Lord God of Israel, and clave unto him ; and indeed, whosoever putteth his trust in the Lord, fhall never be confounded. Before Hezekiah 'died in peace, univers Christ fally lamented, and was succeeded 645. by his fon Manasseh, who was as zealous to restore idolatry as his father had been to destroy it: he abandoned himself to every kind of wickedness and cruelty, and filled the city with the blood of the priests and prophets of the Lord ; but was stopped in his mad career by the Asyrians, who carried hiin in chains to Babylon. 1 In his affliction, however, he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, who therefore mercifully restored him to his liberty, and to his throne." Then Ma.nalleh knew that the Lord was God. He afterwards enjoyed a long and prosperous reign, and shewed his penitence and gratitude in a holy and religious life. Before Amon, upon succeeding to the Chrift* throne, took the former part of his 645. father's reign for his example, and did that which was evil in the right of the Lord. The repentance and piety of Ma. nafeh were forgotten, and the kingdom