« PoprzedniaDalej »
low the proud Goliath, and who had hitherto preserved him from the jealousy of Saul, could yet keep him from every: danger, so long as he trusted in Him.
Here I will say a few words upon this besetting sin, which made the life of Saul so miserable to himself and to those about him; which made him forget the many acts of kindness he had met with from David; and yet worse, caused him to try every means to take away the life of one who, under God, had been of such great service to him,-I mean jealousy. I should hope none of you will know what this means; that you may never have had angry feelings when any of your young friends, who have deserved it for their industry or good conduct, have met with praise in which you have had no share: you may be sorry that you have not also deserved it, and if your sorrow makes you wish to be like them, and causes you to try and imitate them, it is well, and your hearts will be made better for such feelings; but, on the contrary, if you feel angry with them for being better than yourselves, or, in other words, if you become jealous of them, then indeed it is time to beware lest this feeling, by being often given way to, should become the
constant temper of your minds, and make you miserable to yourselves, peevish and cross to your playfellows, and, when you are men and women, as unhappy and restless as Saul himself. But I would hope better things of you, and will now tell you how nobly David behaved when the life of Saul was twice within his reach.
When the king returned from fighting with the Philistines, it was told him that David was in the wilderness of Engedi; thither he made up his mind to pursue him, and took three thousand chosen men, and set out once more to meet the shepherd chief at the head of his four hundred. When Saul came to the desert, he went into a cave to rest awhile, and laid himself down to sleep, little thinking that David and his men were hidden in the very same place. Some persons would have thought this a good time for revenge, and David's men said, "The Lord hath delivered him into thine hand, do with him what seemeth good to thee:" but David was too noble thus to take advantage of any, even of one who had sought his life unjustly; he remembered also that he was his king, and the Lord's anointed; he cut off a part of Saul's coat as he lay asleep, but even for this his heart was
sorry, and when the king awoke, and was going out, David followed him, made himself known to his king, and bowed before him; he then asked him why he believed those persons who said that he thought evil against him, shewing him that the Lord had that day delivered him into his hands, saying, "some bid me kill thee, but mine eye spared thee: and I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord's anointed." Saul appears to have felt the full force of this noble conduct, for he lifted up his voice and wept: thus they once more parted friends, Saul went home, and David and his men again sought their
These kindly feelings did not long remain in the heart of the king towards David, for we find that he again took the field against him: David sent out spies, who found that Saul and his army were resting not far off, and when it was night, he took one of his men and went over even to the very place where the king was sleeping, took away the spear which was lying by his pillow, and a cruse(*) of water also, leaving Saul safe and untouched: with these in his hand, when he had climbed a hill afar off, he stood
and cried to the army to awake and see how badly they had guarded their king, shewing them that, while they were all asleep, an enemy had been there, and taken away the spear and cruse of water, which he called upon them to come and recover. Saul knew David's voice, and he said, "Is this thy voice, my son David?" and David said, "It is my voice, my lord: oh, king, wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after me, for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?" Then was Saul again sorry that he had come out against him, and said, "I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day."
This proved the last time that the king attempted David's life; for, after some little time, Saul was defeated in a battle with the Philistines; upon finding that defeat was certain, the king resolved not to fall alive into the hands of his enemies; he therefore fell upon his sword and killed himself.
On this eventful day fell Jonathan; which was a great grief to David, who mourned both for Saul and Jonathan; after this he was made king over the tribe of Israel, and by the time he was thirty years old, he was chosen king over all the nation. Yours affectionately.
AFTER David had been king some years, he told Nathan, the prophet, that he wished to build a temple to the Lord, for he said, "I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains." At first Nathan gave consent to the plan, and told the king to do all that was in his heart, for the Lord was with him: afterwards the prophet told David that it was not the will of the most High that he should build a place for Him to dwell in, because he had shed much blood, an act which, although permitted upon the earth for wise purposes, is by no means acceptable to a God of mercy.
Still we find that the Almighty was not displeased with David for thinking of it; on the contrary, He told him that his son should be a man of peace, and should build an house for Him.
David prepared a great many things before his death, and directed Solomon, his son, what to do; telling him that it