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same principle of faith we observe in the minor circumstances of his conduct : in conformity with the divine injunction, he went, as we are told in the 10th verse, another way back, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel. It is said to have been a proverbial speech among the Israelites, “ that a man went the same way he came when he failed of success in any undertaking :” the prophet, therefore, in this manner, as well as by his words, avowed his conviction that his journey had not failed : that every word which he had denounced against the altar, should in due time be most certainly fulfilled.

(4.) An additional evidence of his piety we find in his conduct toward Jeroboam, after the judgment which immediately came upon the king.

Although the hand of Jeroboam had withered, while in the very act of offering violence to the man of God, the prophet had no feeling of anger or resentment. He readily forgave the offender, and when desired to intreat for him the compassion of the Lord, he as readily complied, and the king's hand was restored again. So much was he under the influence of that disposition, which renders not evil for

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evil, of that charity which endureth all things : so well did he exemplify that rule, enjoined by our Saviour upon His disciples, I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you ; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.*

(5.) We may notice yet further his freedom from motives of worldly ambition, and from an undue regard to worldly interests.

When Jeroboam, on the restoration of his hand, said to hiin, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward; the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place, for so was it charged me by the word of the Lord.t It was the intention of the king to reward him; and the recompense would doubtless have been in proportion to the gratitude of a prince who had received so signal a benefit: but the refusal of the prophet was prompt and decisive; he did not pause for an instant to consider how he might reconcile his worldly interests with his duty to God: he did not

Matt. v. 44, 45. + Vesses 7, 8, 9.

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wo in this respect were very different from Daniel or Isaiah: but there are circumstances in the conduct of this prophet, which would lead us to the more charitable opinion conerning his character; and we shall probably be correct in considering him, notwithstanding his deviation in ome instance from the divine command, as possessing the fear of God. For

(2. It is evident from the narrative, that he entered upon his dangerous mission with much courage.

He did not, like Jonah, when commanded to preach to the Ninevites, abandon his duty; he went, although at the hazard not of his reputation merely, but even of his life, to bear a public witness against the idolatry of the people of Israel, and to announce the divine indignation. Had he suffered himself to be influenced by considerations of worldly prudence, he would scarcely have ventured to proceed upon such an errand, into the presence of such a ruler as Jeroboam; but so far was he from being deterred by personal motives, that he delivers his charge in decisive terms. He might have thought it more safe to speak in private to the king, and especially to select a moment when he was not occupied in his idolatrous worship: on the contrary, he testifies aloud before the people, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. It might have been less offensive to the pride of this ruler, if the prophet had addressed his words personally to himself: but the man of God turns from him to the altar; as if the very stones which formed it, were likely to listen with more reverence to his declarations, than either the king or his subjects. Jeroboam was exasperated at his conduct, and it was only by a miracle that the prophet escaped the effects of his indignation.

(3.) Neither was he less remarkable for his faith.

This appears from several circumstances connected with the story.

Had he not believed the word of the Lord, he would have hesitated to proceed upon his journey: his conviction of its truth is strongly manifested by the striking terms in which he cried out to the altar, and by the sign which he announced as immediately to happen, in confirmation of his statement; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.*

The

* Verse 3,

same principle of faith we observe in the minor circumstances of his conduct : in conformity with the divine injunction, he went, as we are told in the 10th verse, another way back, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel. It is said to have been a proverbial speech among the Israelites, " that a man went the same way he came when he failed of success in any undertaking :” the prophet, therefore, in this manner, as well as by his words, avowed his conviction that his journey had not failed : that every word which he had denounced against the altar, should in due time be most certainly fulfilled.

(4.) An additional evidence of his piety we find in his conduct toward Jeroboam, after the judgment which immediately came upon the king.

Although the hand of Jeroboam had withered, while in the very act of offering violence to the man of God, the prophet had no feeling of anger or resentment. He readily forgave the offender, and when desired to intreat for him the compassion of the Lord, he as readily complied, and the king's hand was restored again. So much was he under the influence of that disposition, which renders not evil for

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