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ferent from others in the Jewish annals. To give Elijah a proper introduction,' I shall insert the seventeenth chapter:
"And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belonged to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commaned a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, as the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, 1 am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me, and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, fear not; go and do as thou hast said: Lut make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and hé, and her house did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah. And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, what have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into
him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, see, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, now by this I know thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth."
It may be wondered where the ravens procured bread and flesh. Did they plunder the bakers' and butchers' shops? or did they kill the cattle and bake the bread themselves?—or did Jehovah furnish them from the Temple ?-Ah! but there is nothing impossible with God! God so ordered it, cries the Jew and Christian, and the very ravens must obey him! But it is a Jewish tale, and as the Jews have ever been violent fanatics, why should we believe such nonsense? Fanaticism has no relation to truth, but has ever proved its greatest enemy. The exhaustless barrel of meal and cruse of oil, is another ridiculous tale, and would be believed by no one but such as believe the tales about fairies, hobgoblins, spirits, devils, witches, and such like trash. The restoration of the widows son to life, has not so preposterous an appearance, although I am content that it is an invention. Animation might be suspended without being extinct. I am inclined to think, that as science proceeds, the restoration to life will be frequent in many cases, where the body is now buried as dead. I consider life itself to be the result of nature's peculiar machinery, and that its suspension is often the obstruction of certain parts of the machine, which art and science will discover the cause and the means of removing it. This can only apply to a body in good health. As the human body is but a portion of matter, it must, like every other part of the material world, go through its revolutions and changes; which we commonly call decay.
The next trick of Elijah is played off upon the priests of Baal, who, the Bible tells us, prophesied, but could not make their god do any thing in competition with Jehovah. They were not so clever as the magicians of Egypt! Elijah is not content with confuting them by argument and example, but he treacherously gets them assassinated. As there had been no rain for three years, it might be wondered where Elijah could obtain twelve barrels of water to souse his sacrifice and altar with, that the miracle of the fire consuming it might appear the stronger:-not to say a word about the fire consuming the twelve stones with which the altar was built. The tale about there being no rain for three years in a country that
was almost totally supplied by rain water, is altogether incredible. The inhabitants must have removed or perished.
The next particular in Elijah's eventful life, is, that he flies from Jezebel and falls asleep under a juniper tree; and that an angel awoke him and bid him eat a cake baked on the coals, and drink a cruse of water. Whence did the angel get the materials, the cruse and the flour, and the coals of fire? There is nothing impossible with God, cries my opponent, and how can I give him a rejoinder? Only by a contradiction as flat as his assertion. However, Elijah is so well pleased with this adventure, that he falls asleep again; and the angel comes a second time with more food and water; and after eating this holy repast, we are told that Elijah travelled in the strength of it for forty days and forty nights! This tale of fasting forty days and forty nights is met with too often in the Bible to escape suspicion. Christian fanatics have often made the attempt to imitate their blessed saviour and the holy men of old; but it has cost them their life, that were resolute enough to persevere. There have been many instances of this. This forty days fast brings Elijah upon the famous Mount, Horeb, and here he has an interview with Jehovah as curious as any by his predecessor, Moses. The following are the parti
"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?"
In the course of this conversation, Jehovah boasteth that his competitor, Baal, has not totally deprived him of worshippers in the following words:
"Yet have I left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bored unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him."
Only seven thousand, Jehovah :-this is too bad!
In the 21st chapter we have a short picture of the benefits of priestcraft and kingcraft, which is too precious to be passed unnoticed, it is as follows:
"And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give mè thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house; and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, 'I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou ́now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants of his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto thein. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money for Naboth is not alive, but dead. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it."
The tale needs no comment; such ever will be the effects of kingcraft and priestcraft. It will ever rob and corrupt mankind.
In the conversation which Elijah holds with Jehovah on Mount Horeb, he says, that all the prophets are killed, and
he alone remains, but fears for his life. Jehovah bids him be of good cheer. In the 22nd chapter we find prophets by hundreds; in the following tale:
"Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah. And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the Lord, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them. And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, aud prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the king's hand. And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good. And Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak. So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the Lord? And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upou the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil? And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth gilead? And one said on this man. ner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaial