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THE

HISTORY OF HEZEKIAH.

CHAPTER I.

CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH OF HEZEKIAH.

MEN seek out the source of a celebrated river at the expense of much danger and personal suffering. They ascend to the fountainhead, taste eagerly the gushing waters, and sketch the surrounding scenery. But it matters little, in most cases, whether a stream several thousand miles long breaks forth from a mountain or springs up in a valley. If its infant current is muddy or pure, scanty or copious, it may soon mingle with brooks of an opposite character and its original qualities disappear.

The desire is more rational to learn the origin of persons distinguished for genius, talents, virtues, or exploits—to trace the sources from which they early derived those sentiments and prejudices that seldom fail to be conspicuous in after-life. It is not an idle inquiry, who were the fathers and

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