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quently called Cutheans. Soon after their settlement in Samaria, they were taught the worship of the true God; but retaining also the worship of their false deities, their religion was for some years a mixture of Judaism and Heathenism. In process of time, however, having many of the Israelites incorporated among them, and having built a temple upon mount Gerizim like to that at Jerusalem, they appear to have abandoned all idolatry, and to have worshipped only the God of Israel.
Among all the kings of Israel, from Jeroboam to Hoshea, there was not one entirely free from the sin of idolatry; it is said of them all, that they "did evil in the sight of the Lord, and made Israel to sin;" though, on many occasions, they sought the Lord in their distress, and he was pleased to deliver them from the hands of their enemies. He distinguished Jehu with his particular favour, because he had executed his judgments upon the house of Ahab, and upon the priests of Baal: "Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, thy children of the fourth generation, shall sit on the throne of Israel."
Notwithstanding this special favour to Jehu, we afterwards read, that he took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel; for he deB
parted not from the sins of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin. Very different from this was the conduct of good Hezekiah, king of Judah; for he "clave unto the Lord, and departed not from following him; but kept his commandments," and the Lord was with him, and he prospered whithersoever he went.
Rollin says, the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem under Hezekiah, is one of the most signal facts in sacred history, and most proper to make us sensible of the Omnipotence of God, and his watchfulness over those who place their confidence in Him. Greater justice we think cannot be done to the subject, than in the description of this writer; we shall therefore present it to the reader in his own words: "I shall barely point out the principal circumstances, which may be seen at large by any one who consults the historical books that give an account of it; and especially the prophecies of Isaiah, which contain a very clear and express prediction of it.
"Sennacherib, king of the Assyrians, was set out from Nineveh with a formidable army, designing to destroy utterly the city of Jerusalem with its king and inhabitants. He assured himself of victory, and insulted beforehand the God of Jerusalem; saying, he would treat Him as he had done the gods of all the other cities and
kingdoms he had conquered. He knew not that he was but an instrument in the hands of God, who called him by a hissing, as the scripture expresses it, from the end of the earth; not to destroy, but to correct his people.
“All oppositions gave way before the victorious arms of this prince: in a little time he made himself master of all the fortified cities in the land of Judah. Jerusalem was in great consternation. Hezekiah had taken all necessary measures to put the city in a condition to make a vigorous defence, but he relied only upon the Divine assistance for its deliverance.
"God had engaged himself, by a solemn and frequently repeated promise, to defend the city against the assaults of the king of Assyria; but upon condition, that the inhabitants should depend only upon Him, should remain quiet, and not seek aid from the king of Egypt: "In returning and rest, shall ye be saved;" said he to them; in quietness and confidence, shall be your strength." He had several times declared to them, that the strength of Egypt should turn to their shame and confusion. To render this prediction still more sensible to them, he had obliged the prophet Isaiah to walk naked and barefoot through the midst of Jerusalem, declaring
that such should be the fate of the Egyptians and Ethiopians.
"The great men, the politicians, would not be satisfied to continue inactive, and rely upon the promise of God. They collected a considerable sum of money, and sent deputies to the king of Egypt, to implore his assistance. Several of them thought fit to retire into that country, in hopes of finding a secure retreat there, against the evils with which they were threatened. God several times reproached them for it, by his prophet, but always in vain. And the holy king Hezekiah incessantly repeated to them: "The Lord will deliver us; Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the Assyrians;" but they hearkened not unto him.
"This holy king, fearing he had done wrong in breaking the treaty he had made with the king of Assyria, resolved, in order to have nothing to reproach himself with, and all possible right on his side, to make him entire satisfaction. He therefore sent ambassadors to Lachish, and said to him: "I have offended, return from me ; that which thou puttest on me, I will bear." And the king of Assyria appointed Hezekiah to give him three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold. This sum he raised with much difficulty, and sent it to him.
"There was reason to hope such a step would have disarmed the rage of Sennacherib; but he grew more haughty upon it, and, adding perfidy to injustice, he sent immediately a large body of troops against Jerusalem, with orders to Rabshakeh, who commanded that detachment, to summon Hezekiah and the inhabitants in the name of the great king, the king of Assyria, to surrender the city. This officer discharged his commission in terms full of contempt for the king of Judah, and insults against the God of Israel..
"When Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes, put sackcloth upon his loins, and went into the house of the Lord; from whence he despatched his principal officers to Isaiah, to tell him the insolent words of Rabshakeh. The prophet replied: "Ye shall say to your master, thus saith the Lord: "Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me; behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land!"
"In the mean time, Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, had sent messengers to Jerusalem, to assure the inhabitants that he was coming up to their relief. And, soon after, he arrived with his ar my, joined to that of the Egyptians. Upon the