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Accordingly, this deceftable Woman, without any Remorse of Conscience for shedding innocent Blood, writes to the head Men of the City to procure falfe Wicpeflis co swear that Naboth had blafphemed God and the King, and then cause him to be stoned ; with which impious Orders these Monsters of Magistrates, to curry Favour with the Couri, instantly and exactly complied : Whereupon Jezebel, being apprized thereof, acquaints her Huse band that Naboth is dead, and bids him go and take Possession of his Vineyard ; This, Ahab, without making any Enquiry how the poor Man came by his Death, accordingly does ; but observe the dreadful Consequence thereof ; the Prophet Elijah is immediately ordered to meet him in that very Vineyard ; and denounces che heaviest of Judgments against him, his Wife, and his whole Family, even to utter Extermination, which actually came to pass.
Now, what is very remarkable in this Case, is, that it does not appear Ahab knew any ching beforehand of Jezebel's abominable Conirivance ; but then he knew it was not in her Power, by any lawtul Means, to keep her Promise, and give him the Vineyard of Naboth. As he did not therefore enquire what was her Intent, or how the meant to effect it, he was guilty of Connivance at any Wickedness The should think fic to devise for thar Purpose. Not only so, but as, when he even heard he was dead, he never troubled his Head how he came to be so, we find the Crime of Murder is as much laid to his Charge, as if he had actually perpetrated it himself. Haft thou killed; and also taken Podeffion says the Prophet. And then proceeds to pronounce this terrible Sentence : In the place where Dogs licked the Blood of Naboth, Mall Dogs lick thy Blood, even thine. To which he adds, concerning his profigate Wife, The Dogs fmall eat Jezebel by the Walls of Jezreel. Such was the Iflue of the Subornacion
of Perjury in Ahab and his dereftable Wife; 'nor was this all, for the Cry of innocent Blood brought down Vengeance also upon all his Posteriry; insomuch that not only his immediate Successor Joram was killed by Jehu, but all his remaining Children, being no less chan seventy in Number, were beheaded by the Rulers of Samaria at Jebu's Command; and, in short, his whole Family were utterly cut off.
The next memorable Instance we fhall produce of the fatal Consequences of this Sin, shall be in the Case of the chalte Susanna and the two wicked Elders. This virtuous Woman, the Wife of you achim, one of the Children of Israel who had been carried away Captive to Babylon, by Nebuchadneze zar, was a Person of very uncommon Beauty, in. somuch that the two Elders, who were appointed Judges of the People, and used much to frequent the House of her Husband Joachim, (he being a Man of Subitance,) fell violently in Love with her, and were resolved to enjoy her, either by fair Means or foul. To this end, they each of them watched their Opportunity to take her at a Disadvantage, though unknown to each other ; neither of them dariog to trust his Brother Elder with the Secret of his vicious Defires.
Being thus Strangers to each other's wicked In. tent, they mutually prevented the Accomplishment thereof; for as neither of them cared to stir from
Foachim's House, till he could no longer stay wich any Decency; and as they both wanted alike to gei rid of each other, in order to have the Coast clcar for the gaining their Ends, the one said to the other, Lei us now go home, for it is Dinner Time ; and thereupon they both went away from thence together, having each of them determined secretly within himself to return thither, as soon as he could Make the other of They did so accordingly, and
being surprized at meeting again so unexpectedly, and perhaps beginning from thence mutually to mistrust each others Morive for so doing, they examined one another upon chat (lead, and at last both acknowledged themselves to be inflamed with the same base Passion. Finding themselves thus Brothers in Iniquity, as well as in Office, a Case which happens but too frequently, even in our Days, they agreed to pursue their wicked Pure pose together ; and in order to this, as they knew it was usual with Susanna to walk in her Husband's Garden, which was a very fine one, always about Noon, they watched their Opportunity, one Day, ar thar Time, and concealed themselves therein.
Soon after, their wished for Prey came thither, according to her Custom, and the Weather being extremely hot, was desirous of bathing herself, after the Manner of the Women in the Eastern Countries, in a Fountain that was there for that Purpose. With this Intent she sent away her Maids to provide the Things neceffary, ordering them to fut the Garden-Doors affer them, as they did directly ; and Susanna being then left alone in the Garden, the two wicked Élders, thinking they could never have a fairer Opportunity to obtain their vile Ends, rushed from their Hiding-place upon her, and wichout any Ceremony told her, Behold the Gardena Doors are shut, that no Man can see us, and we are in Love with thee, therefore confent unto us, and lye with us. Worthy Magiftrares truly! But this was not all; fully bent upon gaining their Point by any means, they add this Menace, If thou wilt not, we will bear Witness against thee, that a young Man was with thee, and therefore thou did I send away thy Maids from thee.
Astonishing Wickedness! So hardened werc these old Greybeards in Sin, that, if she would not agree to commit Adultery with them, they
were resolved to destroy her by a false Accusation, (for Adultery was Death by their Law,) not fcrupling both Perjury and Murder, to be revenged on her for not yielding to their Luft ; and we Thall find them as good as their Word. But what says the beauteous Object of their brutal Desires to their wicked Proposal, and devilish Threats ? Why, fully sensible of her Danger, The fighed and said, I am Araitened on every Side ; for, if I do this Tbing, it is Death unto me, and if I do it not, I can. not escape your Hands. But though the fees inevi. table Death and Dishonour before her Eyes, does this virtuous Woman hesitate a Moment ? No, far from it : It is better, continues she, to fall into your Hands, than to fire in the Sight of the Lord. Accord. ingly, hereupon, the calls out with a loud Voice for Help, and those confummate Villains, the Elders, not only did the same, but the better to forward cheir hellish Design, and gain Belief to their false Evidence, one of thern ran, and opened the Garden Door.
In the mean while, the Servants hearing their Miltress cry out in the Garden, haftened in, by a private Door, to see what was the Marter, and to alíst her : Whereupon, those faithful Servants of the Devil, who had in vain endeavoured co defile her chalte Body, or corrupt her virtuous Mind, in Revenge for the Diappointment of their filthy Luft, gave her not Time to speak, but declared whac had been before concerted berween them, as they had threatened the virtuous Susanna. The Servants hearing such an Accusation from the Mouth of two grave Elders, knew not what to say, but were greatly confounded ; having never seen any thing in their Mistress that seemed in the least tending to Lightness of Carriage, they waiced cherefore in Silence, to see what would be the Issue of this Affair.
Next Day, an Assembly of the People was called, and the Elders being come, without any Remorse, fully bent on facrificing that innocent Victim to their Vengeance, and the Preservation of their own Credit, ordered her to be sent for: This was done forth with ; and accordingly the appeared, together with her father, Mother, Children, and all her Kindred, whom she brought, perhaps, in hopes of moving Pity. As she was veiled, agreeable to the Custom of the Eastern Countries, her two wicked Accusers, though bent upon her Destruation, being willing to have one laf Look, ordered the Veil to be taken off : This done, they stood up in the midft of the People, and laying their Hands upon her Head, as usual in such Cases amongst the I ows, bore Witness in this manner; As we walked in the Garden, this Woman came in with two Maids, and fout the Garden-Doors, and sent the Maids away. Then a young Man, who was there hid, came unto her, and lay wiih her. Then we that food in a Corner of tbe Garden, seeing this Wickedness, ran unto them.
And when we saw them together, the Man we could • not bold, for be was stronger than we, and opened the
Door, and leaped out : But, having taken ihis Wo. man, we asked who the young man was, but she would not tell us. These Things do we teftify. .
Mean while, as we are informed, the virtuous Susanna said nothing, but weeping looked up to Hea. ven, for her Heart trusted in the Lord. In effect, what could she do? She well knew her proreting her Innocence would avail noching against the politive Evidence of two Elders ! But we are likewise cold her Heart trusted in the LORD ; and well was it for ber ir did so; for never did he fail any that put their Trust in him. How remarkably different was her Conduct, and the Motives where by the acted, from that of the Elders? The Doors are put, and no Man can fee us, say they; but did they not know that God could ? It is better to fall into your