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Hezekiah's Resignation.

Hezekiah's Resignation.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A.


2 Kings. XX. 19. Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the
li'ord of the Lord which thou hast spoken.
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A.


2 Kings. XX. 19. Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the
li'ord of the Lord which thou hast spoken.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 18, 2014
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HEZEKIAH'S RESIGATIO. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.2 Kings. XX. 19. Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the li'ord of the Lord which thou hast spoken. IF of active virtues it may be said, that they are more fascinating and beautiful in the eyes of men ; of passive virtues it may be said, that an equal degree of divine grace is displayed in them. It is as much an effect of divine grace to suffer patiently the w^ill of God, as it is to perform it diligently. Accordingly we find, that most of the eminent saints of old were as remarkable for a meek submission to the divine disposals, as for a zealous execution of the divine commands. Aaron % Eli'', Job% David ^ and many others, are recorded as bright examples of the pas- sive graces : and the history of Hezekiah, as con- tained in the words before us, furnishes us with an admirable specimen of pious resignation. We shall consider his resignation, I. As an act of piety — • The judgments denounced against his family and kingdom were of the most distressing nature — [All the wealth that he possessed, together with the holy city and temple, were to be delivered into the hands of the Chal- deans ; and his sons, whom he should beget, should be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. To a monarch, what could be more distressing than the overthrow of his whole kingdom ? To a pious monarch, what more grievous than the destruction of God's temple, and the triumph of idolatry over the true religion ? And to a monarch that was a parent, what more terrible than such degradation and misery as were denounced against his offspring?
 
^onic may think that these judgments were not very afflicting, because they were not to affect the king himself, but only to attach ^ Lev. X. 3. '' 1 Sam. iii, 18. ''¦ Job 1.21, ^ Ps. xxxix. p, 260.] hezekiah's resignation. 169 attach upon his descendants : but, we apprehend that any per-' sonal affliction whatever would have been esteemed hght, in com- parison of the calamities here threatened*.] Yet were the tidings of them received with the most perfect submission — [What could any man say more? Hezekiah justified in the strongest terms the denunciations that had been delivered. Though he was taken entirely off his guard, and had not the smallest expectation of any such message from the Lord, yet, on the delivery of it, he bowed at once, and " accepted it as the punishment of his iniquity ^" Grievous as the chastisement was, he approved of it as coming from the hands of a righteous God, and declared it to be not only just, but "good."] Instead of murmuring against God for the severity of his judgments, he instantly expressed his gratitude for the mercy blended with them — [He was informed that in his days the nation should enjoy "peace ;" and that " truth" should triumph over the idolatry and wickedness which had overrun the land. These considerations, independent of his own personal welfare, were consolatory to his mind ; because, if God had been " extreme to mark what had been done amiss," he might have justly executed his threatened  judgments instantly, without any intervention of grace and mercy. On these mitigated circumstances Hezekiah fixed his mind ; and, whilst he acknowledged the equity of the judgments in their fullest
 
extent, he more especially adored the goodness of God in sus- pending them for so long a period : " Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days ?" The prospect of the prevalence of true reli- gion, though but for a season, was cheering to him : and he ** accounted the long-suffering of God to be salvation."] If, as an act of piety, we admire his resignation, much more shall we do so, II. As a lesson of instruction — Truly in this view the history before us is very important. From it we learn many valuable lessons : 1. That pride, however light and venial it may appear in our eyes, is most offensive in the sight of God— [It was pride which led Hezekiah to display before the Babylonish ambassadors all the monuments of his wealth and power : he felt an undue complacency in the things themselves, ^s though they of themselves could make us happy ; and next, he relied • See 2 Sam. xxiv. 17. ' Lev. xxvi. 41 . 170 - 2 KIGS, XX. 19. [260. relied on them as inducements to the king of Babylofi to court his alliance. According to the common estimation of men, there would be no great evil in this conduct : but God regarded as a very heinous sin, the indulgence of such vain conceits ; and marked the extent of his displeasure by the severity of his judg- ments. Let not any one then* imagine that an inordinate attachmer.t to earthly things, or a vain confidence in them, is a light offence. Whatever we have that distinguishes us from our fellow-creatures,

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