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preffor, who ruled the nations in anger, is perfecuted, and none hindereth.”
The prediction of Endor had alınost Alain Saul before the battle. He had forfaken the Lord he had held communion with demons-he had received his laft morsel at the hand of a forceressand now necessity draws him into that field, where he sees nothing but death and despair. The prophecy of the counterfeit Samuel funk into the heart of the apostate monarch. Those fatal words have already stricken him to the ground. Heexpects, in horrour and consternation, the doom, which, however denounced, he is too conscious of having deserved. While the mind is uncertain of success, it relieves itself by the probability of goodmeven in less promising circumstances, there is some mixture of hope. Thus far the spirit of a man may sustain his infirmities; but a wounded spirit who can bear? Not a ray of light penetrates
through the gloom--the waters overwhelm the despairing sufferer, and the stream goeth over his soul. The wages of sin is death ; while the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
It is probable, that the same moment faw David victorious over the Amalekites, and Saul defeated by the Philistines. David consulted with GOD, and prevailed_Saul with the powers of darkness, and perished. The effect is proportionate to its cause—the end corresponds with the means which led to it. " I call heaven and earth to record a“ gainst you,” faith the voice of God, " that I have set before you life and
death, blessing and cursing. Have I
any pleasure at all in the death of him " that dieth ?”
The slaughter of Sauland of his sons did not take place in the commencement of this tragedy--these sad events were re
ferved for its awful close. First, the people fly, and fall down wounded on Mount Gilboa-next, the sons of Saul are numbered with the fain. Death knows no partial distinctions—even Jonathan himfelf is involved in the common destruction. If valour, if holiness, if sincerity of heart could have averted the fatal blow, Jonathan would have survived—the son of Saul would have lived, to share in the prosperity of the son of Jeffe-to rejoice in his poffeffion of a throne, to which himself made no pretensions, the rival of David only in friendship and in virtue. God willed it otherwise—he had brighter rewards in store for that illustrious youth than an earthly diadem. The arrows of the Philistines dismiss the royal Jonathan to a more exceeding weight of glory than that which he relinquished to the brother of his love.
MEANWHILE the miserable Saul beholds his legions scattered, his children
lifeless, lifeless, his enemies triumphant, his honour prostrate in the dust. Wounded in body, and desperate in mind, he sees nothing before him but agony and death-and now, destitute of all hope, he requests that blow at the hand of his armour-bearer, which his indignant spirit disdained to receive from a Philiftine. He asks, but he is denied-no entreaty, no extremity can move the arm of that faithful servant against his lord. Had the unhappy monarch shunned the reality of fin, as carefully as the appearance of dishonour, his fun had never fet in blood he had neither lived, nor died a murderer.
What a faithful fervant refuses to execute, his own rash hand shall accomplish. Wicked men regard the cenfure of the world more than the peril of their own fouls. What if Saul had died by the hand of a Philistine? Jonathan his fon did so—and yet he died with glory. The carnal heart fixes an idea of shame to what is in itself either innocent or indifferent; and for the sake of idle popularity scruples not to commit actions prejudicial to dearer and better interests.
Now is the blood of the innocent priests, and the meditated Naughter of David, required at the hands of the tyrant. From the beginning of his defection, to this last act of violence, he was an enemy to himself and to his God. His death corresponds with his lifehis own arm pays him the reward of all his wickedness.
yet his spirit lingers, and seems reluctant to depart from its earthly associ
His armour-bearer has more fuccessfully imitated the desperate act of his lord, and is no more. Saul
yet breathes, and drinks to the dregs the cup of fury. Chance brings an Amalekite to the scene of his sufferings—and he, who had been