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interest, and he only carried away a spear and a pitcher of water, as tokens of the king's danger, and of his own innocency. As foon as Saul was apprized of what had paffed, he acknowledged the superior vir. tue and generosity of David, promised not to make any further attempt upon his life, and having blessed him, returned to his own city.

After a few years Saul was reduced to a very deplorable condition; he was ata tacked by an army of the Philitines, far superior in number and strength to the forces of Israel, which he drew out against them: and, when he enquired of the Lord concerning the event, the Lord gave him no answer. This filled him with the ut. most perplexity and terror; he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled; for he well knew that there could be no success without the favour and assistance of God.

A batile however foon ensued; the en. gagement between the armies was very Tharp and violent, Jonathan and two of his brothers supported the fight with great courage; but being at length overpowered and flain, all was disorder and confusion, and the Ifraelites fled. Saul himself also fied; and on mount Gilboa, being fatigued and wounded, and fearful of falling inta

the hands of the enemy, he threw himself upon his sword and died.

David lamented with unfeigned forrow, the death of Saul and Jonathan in these pathetic words; The beauty of Israel is Nain; how are the mighty fallen! Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no deras upon you; for there the Mield of the mighty is vilely cast away, even the mield of Saul.-I am distrejjed for thée, my brother Jonathan; thy love to me was. zonderful, passing the love of women.How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished !

CHAP. XXV.

THE REIGN OF DAVID. Before DAVID, who had been privately Christ D anointed king by Samuel, was 1055, directed by God, upon the death of Saul, to remove to Hebron; where the tribe of Judah anointed hiin to be their king: while Abner, Saul's general, and the other tribes, proclaimed Imbofheth, the remaining fon of Saul, king over Israel. An open war foon commenced between the two rival princes, which continued for several years, till ljubosheth was barbarous

ly murdered by two of his own captains : after which, the conspirators, with full dependance upon a gracious reception, fled to David with the news; but, though the event was advantageous to him, that good prince detested the bloody fact, and commanded the authors of it to be put to death,

The heads of all the tribes immediately submitted to the authority of David, and anointed him king over Ifrael.

Inspired with a grateful sense of the numberless and various instances of divine goodness, which had taken him from the meepcot, and made him ruler over Ifrael; it was his study and delight to promote the glory and worship of God, and to discharge the important duties of that station, to which he had been so wonderfully raised. He brought the ark of the Lord from the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem, in a solemn triumphant procession; with music and songs of joy. He was also desirous of building a stately temple to the Lord, as a place of public worship; but the Almighty sent Nathan, the prophet, to inform him, that though his intention was highly acceptable, yet the execution of it should be reserved for his son, whom God would establish in the kingdom, and bless with profperity and peace. 6 Men are apt to be offended, if their good intentions are not carried into execution at their own time, and in their own manner: but all our defigns should be formed and pursued with submission to Providence, and we should chearfully sacrifice our private wishes to the will and glory of God.-The fervent zeal of David was not extinguished or abated by the divine prohibition; though the pious and honourable work was deferred to adorn the reign of his son, yet he applied great care and diligence in making preparations for it: and immense quantities of gold, film ver, and brass, which he obtained both by conquest and by commerce, were dedicated to the Lord, and laid up for that sacred purpose. He reigned happily over all Ifrael, and executed judgment and justice unto all his people : and the Lord was with him, and preserved him whither foever he went. The friendly affection, which Jonathan had shewn to him, was still fresh in his mind; and having made diligent enquiry after his family, and found Mephibodheth his son: alive, he restored to him all the poffefflons of his father, and placed him constantly at his own table. A Gratitude is the certain fruit of a good and generous heart; and the fatisfaction arising from the exercise of it,

proves experimentally, that it is more blesa Jed to give than to receive..

6 But, alas, what is man! what are even good men ! their best dispositions, their strongest resolutions, how uncertain and changeable ! -We have an alarming inftance of it in David, who suffered impure desires to get possession of his heart, and then gave himself up to the indulgence of them. Captivated with the beauty of BathJheba, he took her to his own house: after which, he caused her husband, Uriah, to be flain, and married her. The Prophet Nathan being sent by God to bring him to a fense of his guilt, addressed him with the pretended ftory of a rich man, who, upon the coming of a stranger, had fpared his own numerous flocks, and taken away the favourite lamb of a poor neighbour. The king immediately condemned the rich man for his injustice and cruelty ; but soon found that he had pronounced sentence against himself, for Nathan faid unto him, Thou art the man! for the lamb was the wife of Uriah. · Upon this home-attack, his sleeping conscience was roused; his mind was filled with remorfe; and the heartfelt confusion of his crime burst forth in this honest confeffion, I have finned against the Lord: and fo fincere and effectual was

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