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2 CHRONICLES XV. 14.
And they fware unto the Lord with a loud voice,
and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets:— And all the men of Judah rejoiced at the oath.
TT will be necessary to give a particular ac
1 count of what was the occasion, as well as the nature, of the oath which the men of Judah sware unto the Lord;—which will explain not only the reasons why it became ą matter of so much joy to them, but likewise admit of an application suitable to the purposes of this folemn assembly.
Abijah, and Asa his son, were successive kings of Judah.—The first came to the crown at the close of a long, and, in the end, a very unsuccessful war, which had gradually wasted the strength and riches of his kingdom.
He was a prince endowed with the talents which the emergencies of his country required, and seemed born to make Judah a victorious, as well as a happy people.The conduct and great success of his arms against Jeroboam, had well established the first;—but his kingdom, which had been so many years the seat of a war, had been so wasted and bewildered, that his reign, good as it was, was too short to accommodate the latter.--He died, and left the work unfinished for his son.-Asa succeeded, in the room of Abijah his father, with the truest notions of religion and government that could be fetched either from reason or experience.-His reason told him, that God should be worshiped in fimplicity and singleness of heart; therefore he took away the strange gods, and broke down their images. --His experience told him, that the most successful wars, instead of invigorating, more generally drained away the vitals of government, and, at the beit, ended but in a brighter and more oftentatious kind of poverty and desolation :-therefore he laid afide his sword, and studied the arts of ruling Judah with peace.--
Conscience would not suffer Afa to facrifice his subjects to the private views of ambition, and wisdom forbad he should suffer them to offer up themselves to the pretence of public ones ;— since enlargement of empire, by the destruction of its people, (the natural and only valuable source of strength and riches) was a dishonest and miserable exchange.—And however well the glory of a conquest might appear in the eyes of a common beholder, yet, when bought at that costly rate, a father to his country would behold the triumphs which attended it, and weep as it passed by him.-Amidst all the glare and jollity of the day, the parent's eyes would fix attentively upon his child;-he would discern him drooping under the weight of his attire, without strength or vigour,— his former beauty and comeliness gone off :-he would behold the coat of many colours stained with blood, and cry,—Alas ! they have decked thee with a parent's pride, but not with a parent's care and foresight.
With such affectionate sentiments of government, and just principles of religion, Asa began his reign.--A reign marked out with new