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ing, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed and also taken possession ? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, in the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee; because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord, behold I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger.

And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.” You perceive the bearing of this awful denunciation on the threat—“I will kill her children with death;" especially the latter part of the prediction—"Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat." To kill with death is an expression about the interpretation of which there is no possible difficulty. It is a strong expression, similar to many other passages in Scripture, when it is intended to mark the meaning with more than ordinary intensity. It means no more than to express by this reduplication the horrible character of the death by which these people should be cut off. And look how wonderfully the history of Ahab's family bears on this portion of my subject. Ahaziah never recovered from the effects of the fall already alluded to; Jehoram, another son, was

most cruelly slain in battle, and his body made food for the fowls of the air; and besides this, when Jehu came to ascend the throne of Israel, seventy of the children of Ahab were slain in one day, and their heads sent in baskets to the victor. Dogs licked the blood of Ahab on the very spot on which the innocent Naboth had been put to death; and of Jezebel herself, the sacred historian gives this most striking account of the termination of that life which had been marked by so much crime. “And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master ?" This was a most bitter and cutting taunt; it showed the character of the woman as well as marked her infatuation. Jehu could not brook the insult. The sacred history goes on—“And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, who is on my side? who ? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses : and he trod her under foot. And when he was come in he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. And they went to bury her; but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him: and he said, This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel.” What an awful verification is this whole history of the declaration of the text, “and I will give to every one of you according to your works.” Now let us once more see how this closing portion of the history of Jezebel is meant to explain the threat of God against this woman in the Church of Thyatira. “I will kill her children with death.” I need hardly say, that the term children is also used as a figurative expression in the Scriptures. Thus, believers are called the children of God, and sinners impenitent and unbelieving, are called the children of the devil. As our Saviour says to the Jews on a certain occasion, “Ye are the children of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do;" so, by the children of this woman, are not meant those who were children by natural relationship, but children in consequence of following the steps of her wickedness. And of all such God declares, that he would kill them with death; that is, he would pour out his fury upon them in the most terrific judgments, even till he had accomplished their destruction.

I have thus, my brethren, by a very minute examination and detail of the history of Jezabel, and by as minute an application of that history to the text under consideration, endeavoured to elucidate this subject; and throughout the whole of my examination, I have been more and more confirmed in the correctness of the interpretation and the soundness of the proposition with which I set out. And if I might venture now to give a paraphrase which should concentrate the views I have been endeavouring to sustain, I would read the censure thus-But I have somewhat against thee, because thou dost tolerate in your Church at Thyatira, one who, in cir

cumstance, in character, in efforts to pervert the true religion, so much resembles the wife of Ahab, king of Israel. She is seeking, by the most covert means, to overthrow your faith, and to make you indifferent to the practice of godliness. She is seeking, by her enticements, to seduce you, Christians, into spiritual adultery. I have warned her and given her time and opportunity of repentance, but she repented not. In her hardness of heart she resembles Jezebel of old. I will now cut her off from the opportunity of repentance. I will cast her into the bed of affliction, and I will bring trouble and accumulated distress upon all who follow her; and not only so, but I will pursue her and her followers to the very death, and my judgments shall be awful and terrible. Yes, this will I do, for mine eyes are like a flaming fire, and I search the reins and the heart; and my feet are like fine brass, and as Jehu did to Jezebel, so will I do to her and her followers. I will trample them in my fury; and I will do this, that all the Churches may know that sin, no matter what its kind or what its degree, shall not go unpunished; but that I will render to every one according to his works. And I censure you—you the bishop, and you the members of the Church of Thyatira-I censure you for having one instant endured this abomination among you; and though in consequence of your pure faith and your progressive Christianity, I will not punish you for this, yet I will destroy the abomination, and the workers of the iniquity, till their very memory

shall rot as does that of Jezebel. This, brethren, is the interpretation which belongs to this portion of the epistle to the Church of Thyatira, and from it you may derive this general les



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son—that Scripture is its own best interpreter. We should have been utterly unable to have given a rational exposition of this passage, had not history lent us the aid of its interpretation.

But perhaps it may be asked; To what valuable purpose all this may be brought? And here I have to answer, that I only regret that the limits of my discourse will prevent that enlargement upon which I might most profitably enter. But reserving the remainder of this epistle for future consideration, I will proceed as briefly as may be consistent with ministerial faithfulness, to draw the practical remarks which the present development affords us,

And 1. Mark the evil of defective discipline. All the censure which falls upon the members of this Church of Thyatira, was in consequence of not having dealt with this woman as she deserved, by cutting her off from the communion of the Church and drawing a long and well-marked line of distinction. But as she was a woman of power, of wealth, of influence, of speciousness, of great cunning, they appear to have been afraid to excommunicate her. And it was for this that they were censured, for God will not only have his people holy, but he will have them hate and abhor every approach to evil. And, my brethren, I do think that want of discipline is now one of the crying sins which presses its heavy weight on the Christian Church. If a man is rich, and powerful, and talented; if his connexions are great, and his influence desirable, is he not too often allowed to entertain just what heretical notions he pleases, to be just as inconsistent as he pleases, and just as worldlyminded as he pleases, and yet, for the world, we

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