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gets. Thus have-we obeyed the Voice of Jonadab, the Son of Rechab our Father, in all that he hath charged us, to drink no Wine all our Days, ive, our Wives, our Sons, nor our Daughters; nor to build Houses for us to dwell in, neither have ave Vineyard, r.or Fidd, nor Seed But ive have dwelt in Tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our Father commanded us. But it came to pass, ivhen Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, came ut into the Land, that ive said, Come, and let us go to JeIttfalcm, 'for fear of the Army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the Army of the Syrians, so ive divtll at Jerusalem.
Now, what is observable in this Relation is, that tbii Command of Jonadab seems at sirst Sight, and for aoghr. that appears to the contrary in Scripture, to have been very unreasonable, and even to have, exceeded the Aurhoriiy of a Parent; inasmuch as the drinking Wine, building Houses, sowing Seed, placing Vineyards, are not only innocent in themselves, but in some Ci-cumllances very necessary, and the abstaining from them very prejudicial and difadvantageous.
We sind Timothy ordered, by^a great Apostle, to drink Wine wiih his Water for the Sake of his Health; which certainly would not have been done by him, had it been any ways sinful; and it is well known, the living always under Tents, and being expofed to the Inclemencies of the Weather, is what scarcely any Constitution, however hardy, would be able to support for any Time; nay, we may venture to fay, if likewise debarred from the Use of strong Liquo's, which is the fame Thing as this Prohibition of the Rechabites, (the sews no! knowing of any other but Wine) could possibly survive it in the Winter Season without a Miracle, for a single Month.
Nevertheless, this is the severe Injunction laid by Jonadab upon his Family, which they were so scrupulous of observing, th.it nothing but the most absolute Necessity, ev^n the Fear of being taken Captives by an idolatrous Enemy, could induce them to transgress it in any Particular; even the Desire of a Prophet could not tempt them to violate it in one single Instance, neither themselves, their Wives, Sons, nor Daughters: What an Example is here set besore Christians, and how sew are there who come up thereto? But, neither did this their Obedience go unrewarded ; for the Prophet is ordered to declare unto them, Thus faith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, Because ye have obeyed the Commandment of Jonadab tour Father, and keft all his Precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you, therefore thus said the Lord cs Hosts, the God ^Israel, Jonadab the Son of Rechab shall not want a Man to stand before mi for
And we verily believe, as the Word of God cannot fail, that notwithstanding the Dispersion of the Jews, there has constantty remained a Succession of that Family (thoigh whether converted to Christianity, or prosessing their own Religion, we will not fay) to this Hour, and that they actually will so continue to the End of the World.
Thus did the Obedience of the Rechabitts not only meet with ample Retribution in the present Generation, but will do the fame to all succeeding Times; so munisicent is the Almighty to his poor Creatures! Nay, if we are not greatly mistaken in the Sense of the Words, to stand before me for ever, there seems to be yet a farther Blessing therein promised to that Famiy, even the Blessing of everlasting Lise; since no Man can be properlyfaid to stand besore God, omnipresent tho* he be in some Respects, name!y, in the Exertion of his K 2 Power Power, who is banished from his blissful Presence, and condemned to the Company of Devils and damned Spirits to endless Ages. Whar a powersul Incentive ought this to be to all considerate Persons, to live in a constant Obedience to a Command which has such a Reward annexed to the Observance thereof here, and gives room to hope for a so much greater hereafter?
But though this Example of the Rechabites is so singular, as a Principle of Obedience teems to have run through iheFamry, and to have descended from Father to Son, as if by Inheritance; and that to Injunctions apparently inconvenient, and even unreasonable, unless prescribed by Divine Authority, (which does not appear to us) that it was for this Reason chiefly we have inlarged so much upon it ; beirg but tco sensible how little Impression any Instance'! quoted from Scripture, make upon the Generality of Readers, yet was it not for want of several very remarkable Examples of the fame laudable Virtue in prophane History. Amongst the foremost of these, we shall relate two, which, we think, deserve the Preserence on many Account.', especially as they exhibit to us at one and the fame Time, in a strong Light, the good Effects of silial Piery, and paternal Tenderness. The sirst is of a Turk (but such a one, as many Christians might be proud to imitate) a Man in good Circumstances, and married to a beautisul Woman, whom he tenderly loved with a most generous Paslion, which met with an equal and reciprocal Return from her. Thus blessed in each other, they desired no greater Happiness than to spend the Remainder of their Days together in Tranquiliry; and as he formed no impracticable Schemes with a View of adding thereto, either by accumulating Riches, or courting Preserment, they had a tolerabie Prospect of so doing; when, by a fad Reverie of Fortune, or rather, to speak as a Christian, by a sudden, unforeseen, seenj and most heart-wounding Stroke of Divine Providence, he was not only torn at once from-the Arms of her he doated on, but precipitated into the deepest Abyss of Misery.
His Father, who was a Merchant, and traded between Aleppo and Grand Cairo, being obliged to take a Voyage from one to the other, to settle his Affairs, the Vessel on board whereof he was, sell in with a Maltese Man of War, so that he not only lost all his Effects, to a great Value, but was himself made a Captive, and carried to Malta, there to remain in Slavery, till he could either redeem himself, or sind some other who would pay his Ransom. Of this his Misfortune and Distress, the poor old Man, who had always' been a tender Father, informs his Son, who was in England, by Letter; as also of his utter Inability to pay the Sum demanded for hisRedempioi, having lost best Part of his Substance at the fame Time with his Liberty.
The End of the poor Wretch in acquainting his Son with his Misery, was, that he might relieve him from it, by paying his Ransom, not doubting of his Affection, and Willingness so to do, in case it ftcuM be in his Power: This, however, was no small Trial, the Price demanded being so great, that he could not raise it any other Way, than by the Sa e of all his Efsects, and leaving himself without any other Subsistence, than what he could procure by his Labour and Industry. How sew Sons would be ready to pay so dearly for the Liberty of an aged Parent! But even this was not the worst Part of his Trial; the generous and dutisul Turk valued not his Money, nor yet the being reduced to toil for a poor Sustenance for the Remainder of his Days, in comparison to what he owed to one of the best of Fathers; but there was another, who was far dearer to him than himself, whom he was not willing to make a Companion in his Sufferings K 3 and and Misfortunes, and to part from whom, the onlp Remedy he could think of, wa> yet wor/e than Death itself.
Our Reader will easi'y conceive, this was the Wise he so rmich doared on; by whom he was mutually and tenderly belove'*, a' d who must necesfarily be involved in his Distress, un!ers he prevented it by providing her some other Support and Protector, and transserring his Right in her to anothir M«.n, according to the Power allowed him by the Law of Mabomet. In effect, there was no other Way, but either to make her a Partner in hit Calamities, to be'divorced from her in favour of another who would maintain her handsomely, or to leave his aged Parent in Slaveiy. Each of rhe'e were sciere Trials to a Man who was both ii'idiy'obseivant of his Duty, and insinitely fond u/a beauteous, affectionate, and deserving Spouse; -tiio'jgh we are afraid they would not have been so to many amongst u«, who, nevertheless, maintain a fair Character in the World.
The generous Turk, however, never hesitated a Moment, but equally resolved to perform what Duty required of him, and to ecr.su'.: uic Welfare oF her whom he Could not bear to see expnsed to Want; though she, with equal Tenderness and Magnanimity, begged to share in all his Misfortunes, assigned her over to a faithsul Friend, who offered to accept and provide for her; assuring him nevertheless, for his Consolation, that he would look on her only as a precious Depofit, intrusted to his Care for a while, and to be again restored by him whenever demanded.
H«ving thus settled the main Affar, and what touched him most nearly, the Turk dispofed of hii Effects, determined to go where Duty, Gratitude., and Honour called hirr, and let fail for the Levant,