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prey to their spiritual adversaries, can descant on the glory reserved in heaven for the faithful !

Those difficulties, which appal faint hearts, serve to animate an heroic mind. David is ready to encounter this mighty warriour, because no one else dares behold him. While he hears the proud boast of the challenger, his eyes sparkle with indignation, his heart beats with generous disdain.

" Who is this un" circumcised Philistine, that he should

defy the armies of the living God?”

The envious heart of Eliab considers this holy courage as a reflection on himself. “ Is it for thee, proud idle boy, “ to interfere with affairs of war? Is

yonder champion a fit antagonist for " thee? What dost thou think of thy“ felf, or of us? Go to thy sheep, and « look not in the face of Goliath. The « wilderness becomes thee, and not the « field ; unequal as thou art to any

« here,

“ here, fave only in arrogance and pre

sumption. The pastures of Bethle« hem could not detain thee-thou ~ must come down to see the battle. “ I know thy pride, and the naughti“ ness of thine heart. This was thy

thought—There is no glory to be obtained amidst the feep-folds; I will seek it in arms. My brethren are win

ning honour amidst the troops of Israel, " while I am bafely tending my flocks.

Why should not l endeavour to obtain

distinction, as well as they? This va“ nity makes the shepherd a soldier, " and the soldier a champion ! Depart, « rash stripling, to thy crook, and to

thy harpmand leave swords and spears “ for those, who know how to use « them!”

David, e'er he engages in other conflicts, first overcomes himself, and then his brother-himself, in his patient forbearance-his brother, in the mildness

of

of his answer. « What have I now < done? Is there not a cause?” It was not time to return railing for railing, when the swords of the Philistines were drawn, and Goliath was defying the armies of Israel. Surely this triumph was more difficult and more glorious than that which followed. That man is fit to fight the battles of the Lord, who has learned to be victor over his passions.

The fire of David's zeal is not to be thus extinguished. His courage, which meets with scorn at the hands of a brother, finds applause amidst unprejudiced hearts. The rumour flies to the ears of the king, that a youth is found, who is desirous of encountering the Philistine. David is brought into the presence of Saul. Alas, that ungrateful prince has already forgotten, not only his services, but his person! And now, when he beholds the young and ruddy shepherd, and hears him offer to enter the lists with

Goliath,

Goliath, he receives him with a contemptuous pity. « Thou art not able to

go against this Philistine to fight with « him-for thou art but a youth, and he “ is a man of war from his youth.”

All this cannot weaken that heart, which has received its strength from virtue. David must justify that courage to Saul, which he is eager to prove against Goliath. He modestly recites the past transactions of his life, in support of his more ambitious pretensions. « servant slew both the lion and the “ bear; and this uncircumcised Phi“ listine shall be as one of them, seeing “ he hath defied the armies of the living « God." He knew, that the presumption of Goliath would be the cause of his destruction he knew that holiness was an invincible shield to the faithful. He had already experienced the blessing of God's assistance, and he relied on him for his continued favour.

RESOLUTION

« Thy RESOLUTION thus grounded, makes even Saul himself confident. David has both his consent and blessing. He comes to Saul as a shepherd-he shall go towards Goliath as a warriour. The king's own armour is not too rich for one, who shall fight for his country. But what avails the splendour of Saul's coat of mail, if it is not adapted to David? The ho. nour is only an incumbrance-danger would ensue, instead of security. The son of Jeffe declines the glittering burden ; his staff, his fcrip, his fling, five fmooth stones out of the brook, are fitter for his purpose than royal panoply. A time shall come, when David, invested with all the honours of Saul, shall find them ftill a burden--heavy, but not to be relinquished, because committed to him by God. If we envy the dignity of others, it is through ignorance of the anxious cares, by which that dignity is accompanied. Could we feel their Vol. II,

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weight,

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