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comest thou, Gehazi ?” “Where do you come from? What have you been doing ?" Simple, but searching questions, just at that moment. He was, no doubt, seized with a sudden misgiving ; but he hopes to escape
Thy servant went no whither.” “I have been no where in particular, master. I have only been doing my ordinary work-brushing your mantle," he might have said, or some such simple thing. But he sees the storm gathering. That benign face which had often cheered and encouraged him, now assumes an aspect of holy indignation.—“What will he say to me? how shall I escape ? would that I had never followed after Naaman"
'-so we may suppose he thought within himself. But it is too late ; he should have thought thus before Elisha said unto him—5 Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee. Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and men-servants, and maid-servants; the leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
If we are commanded to remember Lot's wife, let us not forget Elisha's servant !
And now, my brethren, if you were a servant, whether of the twain would you like to be, the waiting maid of Naaman's wife, or Gehazi, the servant of the prophet? There is but one answer. Nobody stands forth as the apologist of the prophet's servant. As
with one consent, all exclaim,
“ Let me be as the captive maid of Israel.” Then be so. Be contented ; be obliging; be kind ; be tender-hearted, and ever seek the welfare of all with whom
have to do; " and in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Shun the bad ways of the prophet's servant ; remember that covetousness is idolatry; and be sure your sin will find you out ; if not in the righteous judgment of God here below, yet most assuredly in the day of judgment at the end of the world.
Let us all learn from this story that no circumstance or condition of life is without power of doing good. Here is a little slave, a bond-maid in the house of a Syrian Lord, an instrument in the hands of God of doing great things. 'Never say you can do nothing. Try! try your best ! How do you know but that a kind word, or a heartfelt prayer, or a cup of cold water given in simplicity, may be the instrument of much benefit, and the seed of a goodly plant, which, in the harvest at the end of the world, shall yield thee a marvellous recompense. When the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; when the good deeds of all Christ's hidden ones shall be manifested, Oh ! how many that in this world were last, shall there be first, and how many that were here first and foremost, shall there be last of all !
Let us learn also from this story to be thoughtful and serious about the spiritual privileges we enjoy.
Not to abuse them ; nor turn them into a cloak of
And, in conclusion, let us learn from this story, that God is good, and that He is righteous and just; and that His kingdom ruleth over all. He is good, for like as this Naaman is made clean in the waters of Jordan
; so all of us, and all others who feel the affliction of the leprosy of sin, may wash in that fountain opened for sin and uncleanness, even the precious blood of Christ_" wash and be clean.” God is righteous and just, for like as he transferred the loathsome disease of the worshipper of Rimmon, to the covetous and hypocritical servant of his own prophet, so He will assuredly recompense to all such like characters, to
all ungodly people, indignation and wath, tritulation and anguish. And His providence ruleh on all, for like as he overruled the wars and the warriors, the captives and the prophets of old, and all their complicated circumstances; so he overruleth now the destinies of nations, and Russians, and Turks and English, and French, the captors and the captives, and all their complicated circumstances, shall make way for the further extension of His kingdom, until it shall be declared throughout all the earth, “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth."