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you admit to be the partner of your counsels, the friend of your inmost heart. It is recorded as a signal example of depravity in the nefarious career of Ahab, that he united himself by the closest and tenderest bond to an idolatrous and unprincipled woman. The consequence was deplorable, but natural. His own inclination to evil received a fresh impulse from hers: corrupt himself, he became more and more hardened by the accession of her corrupt passions : instigated by her, in the parti. cular example, that has now been passing before our eyes, as well as in the general tenor of his life, he proved himself an a, postate from God, and by natural consequence, (for religion is the only sure foundation of morality;) the enemy of man : and he has left behind him a fatal memo. rial of the powerful influence of vice on social intercourse, in the testimony of the sacred historian, that “ there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up." Warned by such an example, transmitted on such testimony, be cautious in the selection of your friends ; be especially cautious in the selection of your nearest and dearest friend; you are “ pilgrims and strangers upon earth ;" you are “ travelling towards a better country, that is an heavenly:” 'your present prosperity and comfort, and your future happiness depend in no small degree upon your companions, and particularly upon the wife of your bosom. Remember the judgment of Solomon, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband; but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones","?
Finally; from the narrative of the guilt and punishment of Ahab let us read the awakening doctrine of retributive justice, which the scriptures uniformly inculcate ; and be persuaded, that whatever be the circumstances of the sinner, sooner or later " the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. In elder times, when the providence of God was specially manifested in the government of his peculiar people, an irnmediate temporal punishment was often inflicted in proportion and suitable to the offence. ." In the portion of Jezreel,” where the murder of Naboth was committed, “ did dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel :" “ as dogs had licked the blood of Naboth, so dogs licked the blood of Ahab,” who was the occasion of Naboth's being shed. In these latter days, when the Almighty has ceased to interpose so conspicuously in the moral government of the world, the temporal punishment does not often appear so well adapted to the offence. But let not the sinner presume to flatter himself that he shall eventually escape the judgment of God. Whether he has been “ drawn away by his own lusts and enticed;" or been tempted by the allurements of others, whom he has permitted to stir him up to wickedness; “ the provocation, wherewith he hath provoked God to anger,” shall not be forgotten. In the punishments of a temporal kind, which befell the sinful Israelites, be may perceive an emblem of the miseries, with which his sins will hereafter be visited. And as surely as dogs did lick the blood of Ahab, and eat the flesh of Jezebel in the portion
i Ezek, xyiij. 20,
h Prov. xii. 4. VOL. II.
of Jezreel, so surely shall“ indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish” be poured out upon the impenitent sinner, according to his deeds.
May it please almighty God to grant us the grace of his Holy Spirit, that we may truly repent of and forsake our sins through faith in the blood of Him, by and through whom alone we may be saved, even our Lord Jesus Christ ; to whom in the Unity of the Father and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, now, henceforth and for