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spirit which swayed the actions of oriental conquerors. It was the refinement of cruelty.
The fate of Jehoahaz exhibits the evil nature of sin. For that his inglorious end was the effect of his transgressions, is clearly manifested by the prophet Ezekiel, who thus describes his ferocious disposition, which he couples with his punishment :
What is thy mother ? [Judah.] A lioness :
Ezek. xix. 1-4.
Let the reader, therefore, learn to abstain from the very “appearance of evil.” For sin and punishment are inseparable; and nothing but the mercy of God, through the atonement of Christ, can divide them. “Be sure your sin will find you out,” was the emphatic warning of Moses to the Hebrews, Numb. xxxii. 23; and it applies with equal force and meaning to every child of Adam under the
Abundant examples of the truth of this may be discerned in the history of the kings of Judah. Sin and punishment, for the most part, made up its sum. Who, therefore, would be happy, in this world and the next, must seek Divine grace, and walk in the ways of righteousness. Hence it is that the psalmist exclaims, in the fervour of inspiration :
Blessed are the undefiled in the
Psa. cxix. 1, 2.