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CONTEMPLATIONS.

BOOK XVIII.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

JAMES, LORD HAYE,

BARON OF SALEY, VISCOUNT DONCASTER, EARL OF CARLISLE,
ONE OF THE LORDS OF HIS MAJESTY'S MOST HONOURABLE

PRIVY COUNCIL.

Right Honourable,–I cannot but thus gratulate to you your happy return, from your many and noble employments; which have made you some years a stranger at home; and so renowned abroad, that all the better parts of Europe know and honour your name, no less than if you had been born theirs: neither is any of them so savage, as not to say, when they hear mention of your worth, that " Virtue is a thousand escutchcons.

If now your short breathing-time may allow your Lordship the freedom of quiet and holy thoughts, cast your eyes upon Israel and Judah; upon the kings and prophets of both, in such beneficial variety, as profane history shall promise in vain. Your Lordship shall see Rehoboam following Solomon, in nothing but his seat and his fall; as much more wilful than his father, as less wise; all head, no heart; losing those ten tribes with a churlish breath, whom he would, and might not, recover with blood: Jeroboam as crafty, as wicked ; plotting a revolt; creating a religion to his state; marring Israelites to make subjects; branded in his name; smitten in his hand, in his loins. You shall see a faithful messenger of God, after miraculous proof of his courage, fidelity, power, good-nature, paying dear for a little circumstance of credulous disobedience; the lion is sent to call for his blood, as the price of his forbidden harbour. You shall see the blind prophet descrying the disguise of a queen, the judgment of the king, the removal of a prince too good for Jeroboam's heir. You shall see the right stock of royal succession flourishing in Asa, while that true heir of David, though not without some blemishes of infirmity, inherits a perfect heart; purges his kingdom of sodomy, of idolatry; not balking sin, even where he honoured nature. You shall see the wonder of prophets, Elijah, opening and shutting heaven, as his private chest ; catered for by the ravens, nor less miraculously catering for the Sareptan; contesting with Ahab; confronting the Baalites; speaking both fire and water, from heaven, in one evening; meekly lacqueying his sovereign; weakly Aying from Jezebel; fed supernaturally by angels; hid in the rock of Horeb; confirmed by those dreadful apparitions, that had confounded some other; casting his mantle upon his homely successor, and, by the touch of that garment, turning him from a ploughman to a prophet

. But what do I withhold your Lordship in the bare heads of this ensuing discourse ? In all these, your piercing eyes shall easily see beyond mine; and make my thoughts but a station for a further discovery. Your lordship’s observation hath studied men, more than books ; here it shall study God, more than men: that of books, hath made you full; that of men, judicious; this of God, shall make you holy and happy: hitherto shall ever tend the wishes and endeavours of Your Lordship’s humbly devoted in all faithful observance,

JOSEPH HALL.

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