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answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thy handmaid: And he answered, I do hear. Then she said, I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel; thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel, why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the Lord? Joab answered, and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. The matter is not so: but a man of Mount Ephraim, Sheba, by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall. Then the woman went unto all the people in all her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent." Thus the lives of thousands were spared.
The history of Abigail, the wife of the tyrant Nabal, affords a most beautiful illustration of the power of intercession. Nabal had insulted the messengers that David had sent unto him. David, therefore, was intent on resenting the insult offered, as he and his men had been a wall unto Nabal, both by night and day. "Abigail, on being informed of what had occurred, hastened, and took two hundred loaves, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched corn, an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them upon asses, and said to her servant, Go on before me; behold, I come on after you. But she told not her husband Nabal. When Abigail saw David, she hasted and alighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and fell at his feet, and said,' Upon me, my lord, upon me let this
iniquity be; and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thy audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid. Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal, for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him; but thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now, therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing that the Lord has withholden thee from coming to shed innocent blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.' David said to Abigail, 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me; and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.'"
Sacred history holds up many bright examples of an holy and heavenly feeling. The acts of Deborah, and her song of praise, will ever be admired. Hannah stands out as a conspicuous character for maternal care, and the dedication of her son Samuel to the Lord. The history of Esther, as regards fortitude and trust in God for the delivery of her people from extermination, may be viewed as an episode which has no parallel. Ruth's affection and servitude to her mother-in-law Naomi, was abundantly rewarded by the superintending providence of the Lord, in her union with Boaz. The New Testament has its Mary, who was honoured in being the mother of the Saviour; as well as the Mary who sat at the Saviour's feet and feasted on the word of life; and her sister Martha, who served joyfully on the Lord; its Elizabeth, who walked in all the ordinances of God blameless; its Anna, who departed not from the temple, but served God day and night; its Dorcas, who was full of good works and alms-deeds; its Lydia, who cheerfully entertained the Apostles; its Priscilla, who expounded to Apollos the way of God more fully; and its Eunice, who enjoyed unfeigned i faith in God: these, shining with Christian effulgence, may be said to eclipse the stars of the heavenly galaxy. The perusal of history, particularly sacred history, is therefore most important.
The life of king David, the father of Solomon, was a chequered life, full of strifes, contentions, jealousies, wars, and rebellions, which seem to have left him little time for either reflection or devotion. But oh! how has the Church of God been blessed, notwithstanding his many engagements, by his devoted piety and heavenly poetry, often invoking not only man, but all nature, animate and inanimate, cherubim and seraphim, yea, the whole host of heaven, to unite with him in praising and magnifying the name of the Lord. The chords of his harp constantly sounded forth the praises of Jehovah, to the joy and delight of Israel and the universal Church.
This servant of the Most High had six sons born to him in Hebron; namely, A union* Chileab, Absalom, Adonijah, Shephatiah, and Ithream; and four sons in Jerusalem, Shammuah, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon; and after reigning forty years, appointed Solomon, his son, as his successor, to reign over Israel; when, on that most impressive occasion, addressing Solomon, he said, "I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong, therefore, and show thyself a man; and keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his