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ABIJAH, SON OF KING JEROBOAM. . ANOTHER of the good boys of the Bible was called Abijah. We read of him in 1 Kings xiv. He was the son of Jeroboam, the first king of the kingdom of Israel, when it became separated from the kingdom of Judah. We read, that “in him there was found some good thing toward the Lord God of Israel," when the rest of the “ house of Jeroboam” his father, and the greater part of the people, had become idolaters. And is there pot found in your heart “some good thing toward the Lord God of Israel?” We hope his fear is before your eyes, and that in your hearts there is a desire, at least to love, obey, and trust in God. If so, cherish those good feelings, and they will become stronger.
Abijah was surrounded by many disadvantageous circumstances, yet he was a good boy. His father was an idolater, and established the worship of the golden calves ; all the rest of the family, except Abijah, were idolaters, and also the greater part of the people of Israel. What reason you have to be grateful that you were not born of idolatrous parents. Abijah was a good boy in the midst of so much wickedness. How differently you are situated; you have the Bible, and many other good books to read; you have places of Worship, and Sabbath-schools to attend, where you are taught that which is good. You, then, have greater advantages than Abijah had.
“ Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, fell sick.” You have, perhaps, been sick; if so, you know something of the value of health, and I hope are grateful for it, and able to sympathize with others when they are sick. He was so ill that his parents feared he would die. His father then directed his mother to disguise herself, and go to Shiloh, to Ahijah the prophet, who had told Jeroboam that he should be king, that the prophet might “ tell
her what should become of the child.” Although Jeroboam had forsaken the worship and service of God, he believed the prophet could tell him whether the child would live. His infidelity, therefore, appears to have been assumed for a political purpose. Jeroboam's wife disguised herself so that she thought the prophet would not know her, “ for his eyes were set (or dim) by reason of his age.” “ And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam ; why feignest thou thyself to be another ! " How much surprised she must have been to find the prophet knew who she was before she came into his presence. So the woman of Samaria was surprised when Christ “ told her all things that ever she did.” Then the prophet told the wife of Jeroboam, that he was sent to her with heavy tidings, that the Lord God of Israel would bring evil on the house of Jeroboam, and that, when, upon her return, “her feet entered into the city, the child should die." The historian informs us that it came to pass accordingly. “And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirza ; and when she came to the threshold of the door the child died ; and they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet." It should be remembered, that we here see the goodness of God to Abijah. The prophet Isaiah declares that “the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” So it was in the case of Abijah, he was taken away from the evil which came upon the “house of Jeroboam.” Such is his history. He died when he was young, and so may our young readers; he was a good boy, and was taken to heaven, and" he being dead yet speaketh."
IV. JOSIAH, THE YOUTHFUL KING. Another of the good boys of the Bible was Josiah. We read of him in 2 Kings xxii. and xxiii. and 2 Chronicles xxxiv. and xxxv. Josiah was king of Judah, and he
began to reign when he was only eight years of age. Perhaps you may think you would like to be a king, but you might not be happier if you were. Our happiness does not depend upon our station, but upon our character. Those high stations are attended by many cares and dangers. But then, you think it is such an honour to be a king. Well, so it is, and it was a great honour to Josiah to be a king over God's people; but then we may be honourable without these high offices, for honour principally consists in excellence of character. " Better is a poor and a wise child, than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.” And then, all “who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality,” shall be “made kings and priests unto God” in heaven. The Lord says—" Them that honour me, I will honour."
Josiah “did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.” What a noble testimony is this to the rectitude of Josiah. And who would not like to do that “which is right in the sight of the Lord !” God approves only of that which is right. In his Word, God has informed us what is right in his sight, and has promised us grace to enable us to do it; thus we may all live so as to please the great Jehovah. What a mercy ! .." In the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father.” Now here is an example for you. Begin to seek the Lord while you are yet young; seek the favour of God; pray the Lord to “satisfy you early with his mercy, that you may rejoice and be glad all your days." Josiah had evil examples from the surrounding kings, for they were idolaters, and thus he must have been er. posed to temptations to do evil. The example of wicked young people may be a temptation to you, but, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” We must have courage to be singular when religion and duty require it. Josiah grew up to be a very pious man.
THE CHILDREN WHO SANG HOSANNA TO JESUS CHRIST.. We now leave the Old, and come to the New Testament. Here we read of some children who, on the occasion of the Saviour's public entry into Jerusalem, shortly before his crucifixion, “cried, Hosanna to the Son of David." Jesus entered the city, riding on a young ass, and thus was fulfilled that which was written by the prophet Zechariah, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy king cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation ; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." The disciples put their clothes on the ass, for the Saviour to ride on, “and a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying; Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth, of Galilee." On this delightful occasion it was, that the children were “ crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David.” Would you not have liked to be there ? And had you been there, would you not have climbed the trees, and broken off the branches to cast them in the way before him, and shouted as loud as you could, “ Hosanna to the Son of David ?” Well, you also can honour Jesus Christ, though not in the same manner; you can give him your hearts, and love him, because he first loved you, and you may devote your lives to his service. You can also sing his praises in the Sunday-school, and the chapel. I like to see young people singing in the worship of God, and I am sure they cannot put their sweet voices to a better purpose. It is a pity to hear a fine voice employed in singing songs of an improper tendency. The chief priests and scribes were displeased to hear the children
praising the Lord Jesus. They said unto Christ, “ Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea, have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" May we all here praise him, not only with our lips, but also in our lives; then shall we bear some part in the delightful work of singing his praises in heaven. “And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders : and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them,
power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
O! may I bear some humble part
It is evident, from what we read of Timothy, that he always was a good boy. It is said of him, that from a child he had known the holy Scriptures. Now, young friends, here again is an example for you. Timothy must have paid attention to what he read, and so should you. You have advantages which he had not. Printing was not invented at that time, consequently he had to read God's word in a written copy; but we have printed Bibles, and ought diligently to read and study the Holy Scriptures.,