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of guiltiness proceed against him-and now that be lieth, let him rise up no more! Yea, even mine own familiar friend, "in whom I trusted, who did also eat of my bread, hath laid great wait for me. O thou God of my strength, why “ haft thou forgotten me? Why go I thus heavily, while mine enemies oppress me—while they say daily unto me, Where is now thy God?”

“ Why art thou so vexed, O my “ soul ? And why art thou so disquieted

within me? O put thy trust in God, " for I will yet give Him thanks, who " is the health of my countenance, and

my God.

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XXXII.

THE DEATH OF ABSALOM.

THE day of battle is come. David, who had formerly been clad in armour to defend himself against a tyrannous father-in-law, must now seek the same protection against an unnatural son. He musters his soldiers, appoints his commanders, marshals his troops ; and since their loyal importunity will not fuffer him to hazard his own person, encourages them with his eye, and restrains them with his tongue.

“ Deal gently “ with the young man Absalom, for my

fake.” O holy David, what means this ill-placed love, this unjust mercy ? Deal gently with a traitor? that traitor a fon ? that for an Absalom ? the graceless darling of so good a father? and this for thy fake, whose crown he had usurped, whose blood he was thirsting after ? For whose fake should Absalom be pursued, if he is spared for thine ? He was courteous to thy followers—affable and plausible to all Israel-cruel and implacable only to thee. And gels spare us, and carry us in their arms. O the depth of the riches of the love of God! How unutterable is his goodness, and his love past finding out !

a fon ?

And yet thou sayest, “ Deal gently with the young man “ Absalom for my fake.”

O Perfect type of that ineffable mercy of the true King and Redeemer of Israel, who prayed for his persecutors, for his murderers, and, while they were at once scorning and killing him, could fay, “ Father, forgive them, for they “ know not what they do!” If we are fons, we are ungracious, we are rebellious—but still our heavenly Father hath compassion upon us—continues that life to us, and those endowments, by which we provoke hiin--and bids his holy an

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The battle is joined—David's followers are only an handful, in comparifon with those of Absalom. But what the pious king wants in numbers, is fupplied by the justice of his cause. The sword of Abfalom is unsheathed by desperate ambition-David's, in his own necessary and just defence. By faith he was confident of victory-by faith, when the host shouted for the battle, he conjured the leaders of his army to spare his son.

THEY who had at first followed Abfalom in their fimplicity, cannot now perfecute his father in malice. With what courage

Ifraelite draw his sword against David ? On the contrary, who could want zeal and alacrity to fight for a righteous king and father, against the conspiracy of a wicked child ? The

GOD

could any

God of armies, who at his pleasure can fave with many or with few, takes part with justice, and lets Ifrael feel what it is to bear arms for an impious usurper. The sword devours them by thousands, and the wood devours more than the fword.” Let no man hope to prosper by rebellion-the very trees, and thickets, and pits, and wild beasts of the woods shall conspire to the punishment of traitors. Among the rest, a fatal oak singles out the leader of this vile infurrection, and with one of its spreading arms snatches him away to speedy execution. The beauty of Abfalom was every way ruinous. Those tresses, which once hung loosely dishevelled on his shoulders, now support the weight of his body, and make his pride his torment. Behold him suspended between heaven and earth, as one deservedly abandoned both by God and man! As if the divine justice had selected this punishment

for

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