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surprise, was bound in fetters, and carried to Babylon, his afflictions had the most salutary influence. “ He besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers."
In consequence of his humiliation he recovered his liberty, returned to Jerusalem, and became very assiduous to restore that religion which he had so rashly attempted to destroy.
His son Amon was an idolater; he grew bold in iniquity, rendered bimself obnoxious to his subjects, and was slain by his own servants.
Josiah, the son of Amon, though a child, was distinguished for his piety. He was but eight years old when he ascended his throne ; in the eighth year of his reign he began to seek the God of the fathers; and in the twelfth year he commenced the arduous task of purifying Jerusalem and Judea from the high places, and the groves, and the carved and molten images, &c. and he exerted himself to the utmost in the restoration of true religion.
The following circumstance manifests to what an extent the worship of God, according to the command of Moses, had been neglected in the preceding reigns; and how imperfectly it was restored by those sovereigns who had made the attempt. As they were busily employed in examining and repairing the temple, “ Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses. "* The discovery was nounced to the king. The book was read before him ; and, according to the ancient custom, he rent his clothes, as expressive of his surprise and consternation at the deviations that had been so long practised. He was terrified at the universal and habitual neglect of the divine law; and dreading the judgments of heaven upon so wicked a people, he consulted the prophetess Huldah. She unreservedly foretold the evils that would come upon the land, after the death of Josiah ; “ whom the Lord had spared because his heart was tender, and he humbled himself before his God." He solemnized the passover according to the law of Moses, and attempted to revive the service of the temple in its original purity. He unadvisedly interfered in a contest between Nicho, king of Egypt, and the king of Assyria ; and espousing the cause of the latter, he was mortally wounded. The solemnities observed at his funeral, were a testimony of his superior worth; and these solemnities were enhanced by their being conducted by Jeremiah the prophet.
introductory cause, of all those sufferings from a foreign bondage, which the nation was destined to experience. In consequence of the victory obtained by the king of Egypt, the authority of this conqueror over Judah became so great, that he deposed Jehoahaz, whom the people had chosen, substituting his brother Eliakim, afterwards named Jehoiakim, in his place. The deposed prince was conveyed to Egypt.
After Jeloiakim had reigned eleven years, " doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God," he was bound in fetters and carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, who had conquered Judea. His son Jehoiachin, though a child, in the
of three months gave sufficient indications of a depraved disposition, and he suffered a similar fate. The temple was plundered of all its treasures, and this youth was carried to Babylon; Nebuchadnezzar having appointed Zedekiah his brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem. This was after a lapse of some years ; for Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign. He reigned eleven years. Despising the faithful and alarming admonitions of the prophet Jeremiah, “he, all the chief of the priests, and the people transgressed very much, after all the abominations
of the heathen, polluting the house of the Lord; and the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up by times, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place : but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and inisused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no reinedy."* This man had the rashness to revolt against a power so much superior to his own, by which he invited his own destruction.
The dreadful period, so frequently predicted, was now arrived. The ages of their independency were passed; and a new epoch succeeded. Jerusalem was sacked and destroyed ; the temple which had been so much neglected, and so frequently profaned, was now burnt to the ground, together with the goodly palaces of the great.
The son of Zedekiah was slain in his presence; his own eyes were put out, and he was carried captive to Babylon, together with the chiefs of the people. Gedaliah was made ruler over Judah. During the life, and under the mild administration of Gedaliah, those who remained in the land enjoyed some degree of tranquillits but he was murdered by a disaffected party; ar all the inhabitants who were able to escape, fea ing a severer government, fled into Egypt f safety, in opposition to the advice of the proph Jeremiah ; and in that land they suffered great calamities than those which they had ende voured to escape.
* 2 Chron. ch, xxxvi.
These distressful events manifested, too lat the dreadful consequences which followed t! neglect of their ancestors to obey the injun tions of Moses, utterly to eradicate the pra tice of idolatry in the land of Judea, lest should become a snare to them; and they pe fectly corresponded with the menacing predi tions of that Legislator, announced previous 1 their entrance into the land of Canaan.
The above epitome of the Jewish histor, respecting their religious and moral character a people, discovers to us their perverse propei sities, and the persevering patience of Jehova In almost every period there was an oppositio to the divine commands which astonishes ; an the continued exertions of the Omnipotent, we necessary to counteract the effects of their ri peated rebellions. Had not the divine energ