James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 4) online

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who giveth us the victory.^

The vay of ,9iirces.s. — The men whom I have seen succeed best
in life have always been cheerful and hopeful men, who went
about their business with a smile on their faces, and took the
changes and chances of their mortal life like men facing rough
and smooth alike as it came, and so found the truth of the old
proverb, that " Good times, and bad times, and all times pass
over." Of all men, perhaps, wdio have lived in our days, the
most truly successful was the great Duke of Wellington ; and
one thing, I believe, which helped him most to become great,
was that he was so wonderfully free from vain fretting and
complaining, free from useless regrets about the past, from
useless anxieties for the future. Though for years he had on nis
shoulders a responsibility which might have well broken down
the spirit of any man, though the lives of thousands of brave
men, and the welfare of great kingdoms— ay, humanly speaking,
the fate of all Europe — depended on his using his wisdom in the
right place, and one mistake might have brought ruin and
shame on him and on tens of thousands ; yet no man ever saw
him anxious, confused, terrified. Though for. many years he
was much tried and hampered, and unjustly and foolishly kejit
fioni doing his work as he knew it ought to be done, yet when


B.C. cir. 1035.

and blameless in
the sifjht of G-od.
. ... The best
ihiiiKw we c'o
have somewhat
iu them to be
pardoned. How
then fan we do
anything meri-
torious, and
worthy to ba
rewarded? " —

" Fra> er without
watching is hy-
poeri sy ; and
watciiing with-
out prayei- is pre-
sumption." — Jay,

the messagrs
of Jatiaziel

'■ ' w xiv. 13, 14{
A I x'v. a.

<■ Jx. iv. 31.
ct I Chr. vi. 22.
e J. B.Smith, M. A.

That eloquent
Clay, had just
propounded a
political schema
to an asfe-ociate.
" It will ruin
your prospects
for the presi-
dency," suggest-
ed his friend.
'Is it nght?"
said Mr. Olay.
" Yes," was iha
answer. Mr.
Olay continued,
• 1 would rather
be right tha»
" In oxtemporai-y
prayer, "hat
men mostailmira
ij-o I least regard-
eth — namely, tha
volubility of tlie
tongue. Oh ! it is
the he>irt keei)-
ingtiiiieand toiia
with the vo;c6
which God lis-
le neth unto.
Otherwise the
nimblest tonrae
tires, and loudest
voice grows
dumb, before it
comes half-way
, up to heavtM,


//. cnaoNinLES.

[Cap. XX, 20— 30t

B.C. cir. 1016.

Only the con-
formity of tho
words with tho
mind, mounted
In heavenly
though ts, is ao-
ceptalile to Qod."
— TViomas Fuller.
f C. Kingsley.

Jehosha- <

phat's j

exhortation ;

a Oonip. I Chr.
xvi. 29 ; Ps. Xllx.

2- I

h " The word '
translated am-
hushments means
powers, or auKels
by God to bring ,
about the de-
struction of the I
army." — David-
son. 1

"Tho sense
seems to be that
God turned
jainst the in-
.aders the am-
bush wh. they
had set a:.ainst
Israel." — iVords-

t C. Simeon, M.A.

». 20. Col. R.

Tichbo urn. A
Cluster of Orripes;
W. B.Cadogan.2;
Dr. J. Gill, i. 70.

♦* Knaves will
thr i V e when
honest plainness
know-* not how
tolive."— S/iiWey.

d Carlyle.

the valley
of blessing:

a Comp. Ne. xii.

" Prayer draws
all the Christian
graces into its
focus. It draws
Charity with her
lovely train ; Ke-
pentance with
her holy sorrow ;
Faith with her
ele va ted eye:
Uope with her

the time came for work his head was always clear, his spirit was
always ready, and therefore he succeeded in the most marvelloixs
way. Solomon says, " Better is he that ruleth his spirit than he
that taketh a city." Now, the great duke had learnt in most
things to rule his spirit, and therefore he was able not only
to take cities, but to do better still, to deliver cities — ay, and
whole countries — out of the hand of armies far stronger
humanly speaking, than his own.-^

I 20—25. (20) wilderness of Tekoa, the direction in wh. to

jmeet the enemy. This was the act that tested their faith.

stood, in the gate, watching them pass out. (21) consulted,

so that there might be unity in the work of praise, beauty of

holiness, this is the spirit in wh. they should praise, not a

iname for the God whom they praised." (22) ambushments,*

j I'tern in wait ; angels, not mortal men. It was a miraculous

' overthrow. (23) stood up, etc., this ii. may poss. explain the

ambushraents. (24) dead bodies, by the time they arrived the

conflict was over. (25) three days, indie, that the quantity

was immense.

; Faith the mrans of national and personal proxperify. — It is
. our intention to show — I. What is implied in the faith here
recommended. 1. A renunciation of all false confidences; 2.
a simple afhance in God. Let us consider — II. Its influence on
our welfare. It has a favourable aspect on — 1. Our national
j prosperity ; 2. Our personal welfare. We would further address
: you on this subject — (1) A.3 members of the community ; (2) As
I members of the Church. "^^

I The present aspect of religion. — Keligion in most countries — •
more or less in every country — is no longer what it was, and
should be : a thousand-voiced psalm from the heart of man to
his invisible Father, the fountain of all goodness, beauty, truth,
and revealed in every revelation of these ; but for the most jiart a
wise, prudential feeling, grounded on mere calculation : a matter,
as all others now are, of expediency and utility ; whereby some
smaller quantum of earthly enjoyment may be exchanged for a
far larger quantum of celestial enjoyment. Thus religion, too,
is profit, a working for wages ; not reverence, but vulgar hope
or fear. Many we know — very many, we hope — are still
religious in a far different sense ; were it not so, our case were
too desperate : but to witness that such is the temper of the
times, we take any calm observant man, who agrees or disagi'ees
in our feeling on the matter, and ask him whether our view of
it is not in general well founded.**

26—30. (2fi) Berachah, Ucssmq. Wadj/ Bereihit, 2 m. W.
of Tekoa. (27) forefront, as leader. (28) psalteries, etc.,
as 1 Chr. xiii. 8. Tliey went out in faith, they came back in joy
and triumph." (2!)) fear, etc., wh. brought further blessing to
the land, confirming its security from attack. (SO) quiet, ft.
other invasions.

Asking a h/essinrf. — Learn to ask God's blessing on little things
as well as great. There is nothing which it is right for us to
do, but it is also right to ask that God would bless it ; and,
indeed, there is nothing so little but the frown of God can
convert it into the most sad calamity, or His smile exalt it into
a most memorable mercy ; and there is nothing we can do, but

Cap. XX, 31—37.}



its complexion for weal or woe depends entirely on what the
Lord will make it. It is said of Matthew Henry, that no journey
was undertaken, nor any subject or course of sermons entered
upon, no book committed to the press, nor any trouble appre-
hended or felt, without a particular application to the mercy
licat for direction, assistance, and success. ... It is recorded of
Cornelius Winter, that he seldom opened a book, even on
geiicral subjects, without a moment's prayer. The late Bishop
Iltber, on each new incident of his history, or on the eve of any
undertaking', used to compose a brief Latin prayer, imploring
special help and guidance. ... A late physician, of great
celebrity, used to ascribe much of his success to three maxims of
his father's, the last and best of which was " Always pray for
your patients." ^

81 — 87. (.SI) mother's name, given to show that he was a
genuine born Israelite. (32) departed not, wilfully, or wholly.
Slips he made, but no falls. (33) high places were not, etc..
comp. ch. xvii. 6, ref. may be to high places at wh. Jehovah
worshin was offered. (34) Jehu, see ch. xix. 2. is men-
tionea. 1 Ki. xvi. 1. (.35) join himself," in a commercial
alliance, needful to Ahaziah. as securing the trade of the Eed
Sea. (36) Tarshish, prob. Tartessus in Spain : or poss. a place
in India. Ezion-gaber, 1 Ki. ix. 26. (37) Mareshah, Jos.
XT. 4'1. broken, wrecked.

Degrees in backsliding. — The following may serve as an ad-
monitory list of the steps taken in tlie downward path : —
1. Neglect of secret prayer. Job xv. 4. 2. Disregard of the Bible,
Jer. vi. 19; Hosea iv. 6. 3. Forsaking the means of grace, Neh.
X. 89 : He. x. 25. 4. Worldly-mindedness, 2 Tim. iv. 10 ; 1 John
ii. 16. 5. Levity in conversation, Eph. v. 4 ; 2 Peter iii. 11.
6. A quarrelsome spirit. Isaiah xxix. 21 ; 1 Cor. iii. 3. 7. Dwell-
ing on the faults of others, Matt. vii. 3 — 5. 8. Readiness to take
offence, Prov. xiv. 17 — 19. 9. A murmuring, repining spirit,
1 Cor. X. 10 ; Philip, ii. 14. 10. A critical hearing of the "VVord.i
1 Cor. iii. 4 ; 2 Tim. iv. 3. 11. Covetousness, Luke xii. 15 ; Col. I
iii. 5. 12. Light thoughts of sin, 1 Kings xvi. 41 ; Mat. xxii. 5. 1
13. Intemperance. Prov. xxiii. 29 — 32. 14. Love of pre-eminence,
Prov. xvi. 18 ; 3 John 9, 10. 15. Indulgence in secret sin, Num.
xxxii. 23 ; Eccles. xii. 14. 16. Falling into outward sin, Prov.
xiv. 4 ; Hosea iv. 17. 17. Into scoffing and infidelity, 2 Peter iii.
3. 18. Persecuting the righteous. Acts vii. 52. 19. An awful
death, Prov. xiv. 32. 20. Final perdition, Matt. xxv. 41."

Gradual bacJ/slidi7)g. — We warn you against little concessions,
little acquiescences, little indulgences, little conformities. Each
may only destroy the millionth part of the velocity ; but this de-
struction of a millionth has only to be perpetually repeated, and
the planet's march is arrested, and its lustre is quenched. If
vital religion be driven out of the soul, it will be as the Canaan-
ites were to be driven before the Israelites, " by little aud

B.C. dr. 1036.

frrasped anchor;
with her opened
hand ; Zeal look-
ing tar and wide
to bless; and
Hiiniility looking
at home.'' — IJan-
nah Al<rte.
vv. 27— .■!0. a.
A'ares, 383.

vv. 28- 30. ir.
Brady, ii. 227.

6 D, Hamilton.

end of the
reign of

« 1 Ki. sxii. 44-"


6 Dr. Haven.

" I want the
Lamb's fountain
every day, His
in t e r c es sion
every moment;
and would not
give a giuat for
the broadest fig
leaves, or the
brightest human
rags to cover me.
A robe I must
have of one
whole piece,
broad as ihe law,
spotless as the
liijht, and richer
than an angel
ever wore — the
robe of Jesus."-^

Effects of back-
sliding. — " Loss
of character; loss
of comfort ; loss
of usefulness ;
and, as long as
any remain in
this state, a loss
of a well-p round-
ed hope of futur*
happiiiess." ~ Ct

C H. MelviU.




[Cap. xxL 1— ISw

&0. 1017


his reign
K Comp. 2 Chr.
Xi. 23.

( " Similar tr.ige-
dies have been
■adiy frequent in
EiiMtem cmrtR,
where the heir of
the proivn lnolts
as liis most lor-
midablo ene-
mies, anil is
then-fore tempt-
ed to secure liis
power by ih'ir
dfath." — Jamie-

c'2 Sa. vii. 12—
14 : 1 Ki. xi. :« ;
2 Ki.viii. I'J; Ps.
csxxii. 11.
d DryJen.

revolt of the
a 1 Ivi. xi. 14; 2
Ki. viii. 21 ; 1
Chr. xviii. 12. 13:
2 Chr. XXV. 19.

6 Qe. xxvii. 40.

The heaviest
load of f!:iiilt, if
there is true and
heartfelt rcpeat-
iincfl, cannot lay
more weight
upon the true
And only " Foun-
datiou " than It
will bear.

•' The miserable
hath no other
medicine, but
only hop e." —

" Where there is
no hope, there
can be no en-
deavour, or cau-
tion." — Johnson.

letter to
a " The docu-
ment In ques-
tion is not called
a lottui' {lygereth.


1—7. (1) Jehoram, comp. 2 Ki. viii. 16. He had been asso»
ciated with his father in government for two years before hia
father's death. (2) Azariah, 2 sons appear with the same
name, in Ileb., however, one is spelt Azaria/ui. (ii) fenced,
cities, of wh. they were governors :" so they were not dependent
on, and would not trouble, the reigning king. (4) slew . .
sword, an act so violent as to indie, the advice of Jezebel.* of
the princes, suspected as belonging to the party. Israel,
not the northern kingdom here, but put for Judah. (5) eight
years, only six as sole king. (6) Israel, here distinctly the
northern kingdom. (7) not destroy," i.e. at once. This ver.
explains God's patience with Jehoram.
2'he criwlty (if tijranti}/. —

Our emperor is a tyrant, f ear'd and hated ;

I scarce remember in his reign one day

Pass guiltless o'er his execrable head :

He thinks the sun is lost that sees not blood,

When none is shed, we count it holiday ;

We who are most in favour, cannot call

This our own."*
8—11. (8) Edomites, Ge. xxxvi. 9, 4.3.<» (9) by night, so
effecting a surprise. (10) so the Edomites, should be yet.
Comp. 2 Ki. viii. 22. The Edomites were more successful in a
second attempt.* Libnah, Jos. x. 29. because, etc., these
national losses came as a punishment for idolatry, etc. (11) made
high places, for the unlawful Baal worship, fornication, a
common metaphor, signifying idolatry, or spiritual vmfaithfulness.
An idolater's hope. — Tne Rev. Mr. Francis, an American
Christian missionary, stationed in India, states that in December,
1882, he met with an aged Brahmin, and conversed with him in
reference to futurity. On inquiring his age, the Brahmin told
him he had lived in this world about eighty years. In reply to a
second inquiry, he admittted that he had committed many sins.
The missionary then said : " As it is evident, from your advanced
age. that you have but a short time to remain on earth, do you
know how your sins are to be pardoned, and what will be your
state after death ? " He replied : " My hope is in the Ganges."
On the missionary expressing his sorrow at the delusion he
cherished, and stating the general arguments which prove the
absurdity of such a system, he looked very serious : and when
the question was a second time pressed upon him, he confessed,
that if the Ganges could not take away his sins, he knew not
what could.

12 — 15. (12) a writing, the word used is not either of those
for a letter.'^ fr. Elijah some think this should be Ell'ilin.^
Apparently Elijah was translated before this. Some think he
lived unto the reign of Jehoram. « And ^some deny the truth of
the narrative here.'' (l.*^) of Israel, "who were with extreme
measures dishonouring Jehovah.' (14) plague, or .ttrol'e. r. 17.
(IT)) disease, (")'c.,kind of consumption. " He had no bowels oi
compassion for hia own Hcsh and blood," v. 4.

Cap. xxi. 16—20.]



JRcfribiithm. — A minister in a small seaport town in Scotland,
eeveral years ago, fm-nished an account of a man. who for many
years was master of a coasting vessel, and an inhabitant of that
place. In his younger days he made a profession of religion :
and, among the small but respectable body to which he belonged,
he was deemed an eminent Christian. He afterwards became a
deist ! — nay, a professed atheist, and made the existence of the
Deity and a future state the subjects of his ridicule and profane
mockery. For horrid swearing and lewdness he had perhaps few
equals in Scotland. One night, in a public-house, when swearing
awfully, in a rage, he was summoned into eternity in a moment,
by the rupture of a blood-vessel.

16 — 20. (Ifi) Arabians, tribes lying south of the Philistines.
(17) brake into it," with a sudden incursion for plunder, in
the manner of these tribes, his wives, except Athaliah.
Jehoahaz, Ahazlah or AzariaJifi (18) incurable disease,
severe dysentery. (19) no burning, bee. of the sins he had
committed, the calamities of his reign, and perhaps also bee. of
the humiliating nature of his death, (20) without being
desired, i.e. without being regretted.

Tombs of the Mvg.^. — ''We descend into a trench sunk in the
rocky level, and divided by a wall, consisting of the rock itself.
and squared into shape, from a large court similarly sunk below
the level, and of course open to the sky. The passage through
the wall of i"ock is by an arch. The great court is about ninety
feet square, and on its west side is a portico about twenty-five
feet wide, excavated in its rocky wall. The fa9ade was formerly
supported by two pillars. The style of the entablature is what is
called Roman Doric, and the entire front, when perfect, must
have been very rich in effect, from the profusion of carved
foliage and fruit which it exhibits, portions of which may still
be traced. The entrance is in the left-hand corner, by a very
low door. The first room is an antechamber, square and plain.
The two rooms south of this entrance contain small niches or
crypts for sepulture, running into the rock. The general
character of these chambers is the same. The apartment west of
the antechamber, which is entered by a door in the centre of the
wall, is the most extensive of any. A panelled stone door was
formerly inserted by its stone tenon, at the corner, into the
groove which is hollowed out in the angle of the doorway. All
the doors around, except the centre one, lead into similar crypts
to those in the other apartment. Through the cenbre arch is a
pass,age into a low vaulted room, from which there is no issue,
and which was probably the resting-place of honour in these
sepulchral chambers. The sarcophagi, beautifully sculptured
with \vreaths of fruit and flowers, thrown from their niches, lie
broken and tenantless on the rocky floor. As the whole of the
apartments lie south of the centre of the portico, it has been
supposed that others, with a concealed entrance, may exist on its
noi-thern side ; but all attempts to discover them have hitherto
been in vain. From the extent of this noble sepulchre we
should be disposed to accept the tradition of its bei'Tg the
burial-place of the kings of Judah ; though the learned
Eobinson seems rather to consider it as that of Helena, Queen
of Adiabene, who resided at Jerusalem, and built a very splendid

B.C. 1017.

or seiihtr), bat
simjily a ■writ-
in,' (mketab),"-^

b Jamieson.

c Luther, Ber-

e Ex. xxxiv. 12,
15 : De. xxxi. 16;
1 Ki. xvi. b$.

end of

the reigrn
of Jehorara
a Or wasted it.
b 2 Chr. xxii. 6.

" To ' desire ' is
only to look for-
ward with long-
ing now; the
word has lost
the sense of re-
gret, or looking
back upon the
lost but still
loved. This it
once possessed
in common with
and desiilirare,
from which more
remotely, and
disirer from
wliich more im-
mediately we de
rive it. "-Trench's

Death is like a
postman, who
knocks alike at
ihe door of rich
and poor ; and
brings to this
man wedding-
cards, and to his
neigh hour a fu-
neral envelope;
to one the pleas-
ant news that his
richly -lad en
vessel has rp-
rive^l in port, ar'tS
to another ti-
dinis of disf ster

" Bluek ambition
staius a publio
cause." — I'o/ie.

c Rarl'etl. Scrip-
ture Sites and



[Cap. xxli l-9li

«.0. 1017.

Abaziah is
elected king:

« " Jehoram ap
parautly, ha 1 uot
dfsi^'uaieil Aha-
ziali as hi-i suc-
cessor. H:»QCO
he had to receive
his investituro
from the people."
— Spk. Com.

h 2 Chr. xxi. 5, 20.
"The w irds of
the origin il are
' Ahaziah was
the son of 42
years,' and his
years are traced
from the dynasty
of Omri, on ac-
count of liis con-
nection with it
on his mother's
Bide." — Ligtii-

"3orae make this
42 to be the age
of his mother,
A t h a I i a h ; he
was the son of a
mother who was
that age." — Mat.

*C. Simeon, U.A.

d A. Homeck.

visit to the
son of Ahab
a Comp. rebuke
of this union
with idoatrous
Israel, 2 Chr. xix.
2, XX. 37.
6 Jos. xix. 18.
« "Ahaziah fled
first to the
and escaped to
Samaria; but
was here, wh'ro
he had hiil him-
self, taken by
Johu's men who
pursued him,
brought to Jehu.
WtkO was still


1 — 4. (1) Ahaziah," called Jchoalmz, ch. xxi. 17. had
slain, so they could not be ransomed. (2) forty and two,
this cannot be, as his father was only forty when he died.* Prob.
it should read 22. Athaliah, ch. xxi. 6. daughter, or grand-
daughter. (3) he also, as well as his father, counsellor, in
her position as queen-mother. (4) they, i.e. AthaUah, and
Jehoram, her brother.

The daiKjrr of following evil coini.^el. — The history before me
will naturally lead me to point out— I. The influence of evil
counsel. Let us mark this matter more distinctly — 1. In the case
before us ; 2. In our owm case. But let me faithfully warn you
of — II. The danger of following it. In two ways will a compli-
ance with evil counsel operate to a man's destruction. 1. By
the habits which it will induce ; 2. By the judgments which ill
will entail. Address — (1) Those who are exerting their influence
against the Lord ; (2) Those who yield to such influence."

EcU companions. — Evil companions are the devil's agents,
whom he sends abroad into the world to debauch virtue and to
advance his kingdom ; and by these ambassadors he effects more
than he could do in his own person. His own shape and appear-
ing would friglit rather than allure ; and, well as men like sin,
did they see the father of it, they would not be very fond of
being his children ; but acting in the children of disobedience,
which are of the same flesh and blood with us, and creatures of
the same shape, and from which we have no aversion, but rather,
sometimes, a great affection to, the bait is easily swallowed.
These are his factors, and by these he draws men into eternal
darkness. By these he picks up all the good seed that is sown in
us, and infuses bad qualities into our better part. I'hese laugh
men into destruction and damn them in kindness. These fawn
men into misery, and tickle them into an eternity of torments.
These turn religion into jest and make the precepts of the Go.^pel
matter of raillery. These are true devils, that delight in the
murder of souls, and sinking into the bottomless pit, pull down
their adherents with them.<i

5—9. (5) -went -with," comp. 2 Ki. -011.28,29. (6) Jezreel,*

the counti'y residence of the kings of Israel. (7) of Qod, as
Div. judgment on his sin. against Jehu, i.e. to meet him.
Jehu, 1 Ki. xix. 16 ; 2 Ki. ix. 6—10. (8) and found, 2 Ki. x.
12—14. (9) sought, etc.. 2 Ki. ix. 27—29. brought him to
Jehu, this may be regarded as supplementing the account given
in Kings."

The dciire of power. — The desire of power may exist in many,
but its gratification is limited to a few ; — he who fails may be-
come a (liscontented misanthrope ; and he who succeeds may be
a scourge to his species. The desire of superiority or of praise
may be misdirected in the same manner, leading to insolent
triumph on the one hand, and envy on the other. Even the
thirst for knowledge may be abused, and many are placed in
circumstances in which it cannot be gratified. But the desire of
moral improvement commends itself to every class of society, and

Cap. xxiii. 1—5.]



its object is attainable by all. In proportion to its intensity and ,
its steadiness, it tends to make the possessor both a happier and
a better man, and to render him the instrument of diffusing hap-
piness and usefulness to all who come within the reach of his
influence. If he be in a superior station, these results will be felt
more extensively : if he be in a humble sphere, they may be
more limited, but their tendency is equally to elevate the charac-
ter of man.''

10 — 12. (10) seed royal, every person who might possibly
be made king " (11 ) Jehoshabeath, called Jchoxhcha, 2 Ki. xi. 2.
bedchamber, or bed-closet.'' (12) in the house of God,
Jehoiada residing in one of the apartments of buildings in the
outer temple- wall.

TIw hrdvhamhcr. — The bedchamber in the temple, in which
Jehosheba hid Joash in the days of Athaliah, does not seem
to mean a lodging-chamber, but a chamber used as a repository
for beds. I am indebted to Sii" John Chardin for this thought,
which seems to be a just one ; for the original words signify a
chamber of beds, and the expression differs from that which is
used when a lodging-chamber is meant. He supposes, then, that
place is meant .where beds are kept : for in the East, and

Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 4) → online text (page 58 of 66)