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2 KINGS v. 4 and 25.
“And one went in, and told his Lord, saying, Thus and
thus saith the maid that is of the land of Israel." “But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi ? And he said, Thy servant
went no whither."
I AM going to read to you this morning the character
The man's name was Gehazi. He had a good place. His master was a religious man, a prophet; his name was Elisha.
The little maid's name I do not know; it is not put down. (I hope it is written in heaven.) She was more like one bond than free; she had been taken captive in battle ; her master's name was Naaman, he was a great man, captain of the host of the King of Syria ; and this little captive daughter of Israel
(for she was an Israelite) was a waiting-maid to Naaman's wife.
Concerning the master of this man, Gehazi, it is hardly necessary for me scarcely to speak Elisha is well known even to children; and some of the events of his life and ministry are written in the memory never to be effaced. He was subject to those changes of fortune in worldly matters which was ever the lot of God's faithful servants; yet nobody will for a moment suppose but that he was a good master, and that Gehazi fared well in his service. And, if we are disposed to look at things with a religious eye, and surely we are, this man-servant was very highly favored Going in and out with so distinguished a man of God; seeing his miracles; hearing his discourse, and receiving instructions at his mouth ; who would have thought that he would have turned out so ill? I make no doubt, but that many a humble and pious Israelite, as he saw Gehazi constantly attending his good master, said within himself, “Would that I were in that man's place !”—“would that I could be taught by so good a man, and minister to so excellent a master!” But as it was then, my brethren, it ever is, good masters have often bad servants, and people know not when they are well off, or value properly the privileges they enjoy. Poor Gehazi ! foolish and wicked; it was but a ту recompense for the leprosy which cleaved to him till death, that the King of Israel would talk to him,
and in his anxiety to be acquainted with the doings of the prophet, would say, “Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.”
Concerning the mistress of the little captive maid we know next to nothing ; but we know that this daughter of Israel was far from home
-a stranger and a slave. She might have been well treated, had every thing given her that was necessary; she might have been surrounded with all those circumstances of pomp and luxury, which are generally the portion of a minister of state ; but, I doubt not, as she waited on Naaman's wife, she often sighed for her own more humble home, and would gladly have exchanged every great thing about her for the poorest lot in her mother's house. Her mistress had not every thing she wished. Splendour, riches, and honour, indeed she had, but there was a weight on her heart, and gloom on her face, which could not have escaped even the observation of her waiting-maid. Her husband was a leper. There is some cross in every condition. The high as well as the low have trials and afflictions. In circumstances of adversity how good is it to meet with kindness and sympathy, especially from those with whom we
are continually associated. Bound together, as we all are in this world, by many ties, how good is it to be bound together additionally by the ties of good-will and kindly affections. If Naaman was afflicted with sickness, he seems to have been favoured with a household that felt an anxiety for his