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a prophet. God seeth not as man seeth; neither doth he choose men before they are fit, but therefore he fits them, because he hath chosen them: his call is above all earthly institution.
I hear not of ought that Elijah said: only he casts his cloke upon Elisha, in the passage. That mantle, that act was vocal. Together with this sign, God's instinct teacheth this amazed son of Shaphat, that he was designed to a higher work, to break up the fallow grounds of Israel, by his prophetical function. He finds a strange virtue in that robe; and, as if his heart were changed with that habit, forgets his team, and runs after Elijah; and sues for the leave of a farewell to his parents, ere he had any but a dumb command to follow. The secret call of God offers an inward force to the heart, and insensibly draws us beyond the power of our resistance. Grace is no enemy to good-nature. Well may the respects to our earthly parents, stand with our duties to our Father in Heaven.
I do not see Elisha wring his hands and deplore his condition, that he shall leave the world and follow a prophet, but, for the joy of that change, he makes a feast. Those oxen, those utensils of husbandry, whereon his former labours had been bestowed, shall now be gladly devoted to the celebration of that happy day, wherein he is honoured with so blessed an employment. If with desire, if with cheerfulness, we do not enter into the works of our heavenly Master, they are not like to prosper in our hands. He is not worthy of this spiritual station, who holds not the service of God his highest, his richest preferment. 1 Kings xviii, xix.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
C. WHITTINGHAM, Printer, Dean Street.