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blood that was spilt in the days of Manasseh, and by the introduction of an idol into the SANCTUARY; yet the peo. ple continued indifferent to the honour of the Lord, and were not solicitous to regain his favour. They observed, indeed, the ceremonials of religion, from the fear of the king's authority ; but neglected to reform their morals, notwithstanding the repeated admonitions of the prophets, some of which we have lately read.
It might be said, that Josiuh went down to his grave in peace, as the Lord had promised by Huldah the prophetess, because he was taken away whilst his kingdom was in a prosperous state, before the calamities with which it was threatened came upon it, and whilst he was in
peace and reconciliation with God, who did not send the king of Egypt against him.
The death of this excellent prince was deservedly lamented by all his people.
PART OF THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH.
From Chap. i. &c. How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.
Judah is gone into captivity, because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest : all her persecutors overtook her between the straits. The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to
the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate : her priests sigh, her virgins are afficted, and she is in bitterness.
Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper: for the Lord hath afficted her for the multitude of her transgressions : her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.
And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.
Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her : the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths.
The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation.
All her people sigh, they seek bread, they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O Lord, and consider; for I am become vile.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me; wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevailed against them : he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me deso. late, and faint all the day.
The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fail ; the Lord hath delivered me into their hands from whom I am not able to rise up.
The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me; he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men : the Lord hath trodden the virgin the daughter of Judah as in a wine press.
For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate because the enemy prevailed.
Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her ; the Lord hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him.
The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandments; hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow; my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.
I called for my lovers, but they deceived me? my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls.
Behold, O LORD; for I am in distress : my bowels are troubled, mine heart is turned within me: for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death.
They have heard that I sigh: there is none to com. fort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble: they are glad that thou hast done it: thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me.
Let all their wickedness come before thee; and do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my
transgressions : for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. This section is extracted from a book of beautiful elegies, which are preserved among the prophetic writings under the title of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. It VOL. IV. D
is supposed that they were written on the death of Jo. siah ; and they very pathetically express the sorrow which the prophet is said to have felt at the loss of that good king, for whose sake the judgments of God had been suspended, and which were now ready to fall on that devoted nation.
We must now have recourse to the history of the heathen nations.
PART OF THE HISTORY OF THE HEATHEN NATIONS
WHICH WERE CONCERNED WITH THE JEWS.
It has been before related, that, after the death of Essar-haddon, Saosduchinus (called in scripture Nebuchadonosar) succeeded to the crown of Assyria. He was a warlike prince, remarkable for the great advantages he had gained over the Medes, who, under the conduct of their king, invaded Assyria. Nebuchadonosar raised a powerful army, and defeated them, and killed their king. After this victory, he entered Media, and extending his conquests to the famous city of Ecbatana, the capital of that kingdom, levelled it with the ground. He then returned to Nineveh, and celebrated his victory by revelling and feasting for one hundred and fifty days; then resuming his martial spirit, he resolved to subdue the whole earth * ; but died in the midst of his
Nebuchadonosar was succeeded by Chynaladan. In his reign the Medes, with Cyaxaris, a young and war. like prince, at their head, not only recovered what the Assyrians formerly took from them, but defeated them in a pitched battle, and forced them to take shelter in Nineveh, their capital city, which they closely besieged; Universal History,
but were obliged to abandon their enterprize, and employ their arms in defence of their own country against the Scythians, who had invaded it.
In the mean time Nabopolassar, a Babylonian gene. ral whom Chynaladan had intrusted with the command of his troops in Chaldea, taking advantage of the low ebb to which the Assyrian power was reduced, revolted from him, and seized on the kingdom of Babylon for himself. Chynaladan, on hearing this, set fire to his palace, and was consumed with his wealth in the Aumes. Who were his successors history does not inform us.
In the twenty-ninth year of the reign of Josiah, which was the twenty-third of Cyaxaris king of Media, Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, having married his son Nebuchadnezzar to the daughter of Astyages, Cyaxaris's eldest son, entered into a confederacy with them against the Assyrians; and, joining their forces together, they besieged Nineveh, slew the king, and destroyed that antient and noble city : from which time Babylon became the metropolis of the Assyrian monarchy.
In the destruction of Nineveh was fulfilled the prophecy of Nahum, written about sixty years before, concerning it. The Babylonians and Medes having thus destroyed Nineveh, the surrounding nations were alarmed at their growing power and greatness; particularly Pharaoh-Necho, king of Egypt, who marched, as we have lately read, to make war upon them, with & great army.