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Hast Thou Found Me, o Mine Enemy

Hast Thou Found Me, o Mine Enemy

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
REV. THOMAS SOMERVILLE, A.M.,



"Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" — / Kings xxi. 20.
REV. THOMAS SOMERVILLE, A.M.,



"Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" — / Kings xxi. 20.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 16, 2013
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HAST THOU FOUD ME, O MIE EEMY ?REV. THOMAS SOMERVILLE, A.M.,"Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?" — / Kings xxi. 20.What a picture we have here of social life in high places !There is the king, the ruler of God's own nation, thesuccessor of David and Solomon, occupying a royal palace,and surrounded with luxury, yet fretting like a pettedchild because one small garden is not his. In vigoroushealth, he sickens of a heart disease ; with wealth beyondhis need, he feels poverty-stricken for lack of a neighbour'splot of ground. There, also, is his wicked queen, like thatother queen in tragedy, screwing up the courage of her morefeeble consort. Hear her crafty counsel : " Proclaim a fast,and set aboth on high among the people, and set twomen, sons of Belial, before him to bear witness against him,saying, ' Thou didst blaspheme God and the king,' and thencarry him out and stone him that he may die." ot daringto go straight at the murderous deed, she must veil her wickedway by name of religion ! Simulation of virtue but intensifiesthe villainy. There, also, are the ready instruments. Like allothers in power and position, these royal plotters easily findagents to effect their foul designs. Poor aboth is publiclyconfronted, accused, sentenced, stoned, and his possessionbecomes the king's. Evil is triumphant ; but the triumph of evil is its doom. As an old writer has said : "God brings inhis bill at the end of the meal, not in the middle." AhabHAST THOU FOUD ME, O MIE EEMY? 29visits the vineyard to gloat over his new acquisition. Therehe is suddenly confronted by one whom he knew of old — the prophet of God, the fiery Elijah. Ah, how that one sternpresence robs the vineyard of its value, and turns its grapes
 
into gall ! Behold him cower before that majestic form !Listen to that conscience-stricken exclamation, " Hast thoufound me, O mine enemy?" Let us study — L — The course and issue of sin.How fair its semblance when it first allures ! It glittersin dazzling garb, obscuring every other object. " Likebirds the charming serpent draws," we gaze, and thelonger we gaze the more impossible is it to withdraw.All is forgotten — heaven, hell, early lessons, claims of affec-tion, interests of society — everything yields to the Satanicallurement. Viewing the coveted vineyard, reason reels andstaggers, conscience becomes stifled, and lawless desirewades through innocent blood to seize its object. For alittle while the grapes are luscious, and seem even to coolthe fever of passion, but soon the re-action comes, and theybecome the grapes of Sodom and the clusters of Gomorrah.Reason re-asserts its sway, and proclaims the transgressor afool. Conscience finds voice to vindicate the victim andvanquish the victor. Heaven frowns on the froward folly ;and hell, anticipating its prize, takes possession of the soul.Take the case of a man selling counterfeit wares, gloryingin his sharp practice, gathering where he has not laboured,reaping where he has not sowed. For a while all is well. Theglare of success dazzles him. His eyes stand out with fat ;he has more than heart can wish. But wait a little. Theenemy will find him out — Elijah is even now before him.His ill-gotten gain lies heavy on his hands : it yields him nosolid satisfaction. There is more of joy in the mechanic s30HAST THOU FOUD ME, O MIK EEMY ?
 
hard-won wage ; yea, in " honest poverty " more real wealththan in all the treasures of unscrupulous avarice.Or, take the sensual man. He enters the domain of vice,cautiously, secretly, with a sense of shame. Gradually, hissensibilities become blunted. Ere long he yields to vicesmeaner and more grovelling than at first he could havethought of. Every fresh feeling of the heart is hardened,every passion inflamed, and he plunges on in his mad career.Caught by the fatal current, he is hurried along with everaccelerating speed to the swirling maelstrom. ow andthen, perhaps, the memory of a departed mother, the kindlyadvice of an old father, or tender thoughts of his childhood'shome flash back upon his soul; but, alas! the bonds of habitare ever strengthening, and he cannot break away. Hecannot rise above what he has made himself. See him atlast — poor, feeble, and helpless. There he stands like someold volcano — within, hollow, empty, and cold; without,scorched, and wrapped around with the hard lava, which theburning fires had formerly ejected. o glow now, no fire,save that of re-quickened conscience and burning remorse.The end of sin is death.' ' Thus do the dark in soul expire,Or live like scorpion girt by fire ;Thus writhes the mind remorse hath riven,Unfit for earth, unmeet for heaven ;Darkness above, despair beneath,Around it flame, within it death."Let us, then — each and all of us — beware of entrance onany evil course. Avoid the wide, and seek the strait gate.Yesterday, perhaps, some evil temptation assailed you — theopportunity of unrighteous gain or unhallowed indulgence."Is it not a little one?" you may have said; "May I notyield a little and gain much?" If you yielded, then and

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