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earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a ser. vant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.

And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass with five damsels of hers that went after her, and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wile.

David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel : and they were also both of them his wives.

But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gaalim.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

Happy was it for David, as well as for the men in Nabal's family, that Abigail went forth to meet him : the means she made use of to appease him, shew. that she was a very prudent woman ; she certainly was persuaded that the Lord had appointed David to rule over Israel, and that he was on this account, as well as for his personal merit, entitled to respect. There was an absolute necessity for her imputing Nabal's churlishness to his folly, in order to save his life, as no other excuse could be offered for him ; besides, we must consider that she had great reason to blame her husband for the danger to which he had exposed his family ; with the most powerful arguments, from honour and religion, she en. deavoured to keep David from shedding blood, and en. treated him to regard her as the offender, imploring his pardon, which she thought he had too much generosity and compassion to refuse. This polite and elegant address appeased his rage, and he now thought with hor. jor on the deed he before intended to have perpetrated. From the manner in which David expressed his tharikfulness to God for preserving him from this sin, we

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may conclude that he would have felt great contrition' if he had committed it: let us not therefore hastily accuse him of cruelty of temper, but consider his provocation. Nabal's behaviour' was extremely ungrateful, insolent, and contemptuous ; and the words he made use of will appear particularly aggravating, if we consider them as addressed to a valiant general at the head of his troops, one who was a king's son-in-law, and who had been anointed captain of the Lord's inhe. heritance. Surely then we must, instead of condemning, admire David's noble behaviour in conquering his pas. sion as soon as he was reminded of his duty; as well as his humility in acknowledging his obligation to Abigail, whom he immediately dismissed, that she might relieve the fears of her houshold. · We cannot wonder that David should admire the beauty, wisdom, and elegance, of Abigail, and wish to have such a companion, after she became a widow ; especially as he had no other way of shewing his gratis

tude but by making her his wife ; but we niust regret - to find that he gave into the custom of the age he lived in, of having several wives.

From this part of Sacred History several important lessons my be learnt. First, that it is very dangerous to proceed to acts of revenge, whilst we are under the influence of passion ; for those who do so will be hurried into sins, which may inibitter the remainder of their days. It likewise teaches us, that a mild and gentle behaviour will generally snbdue that anger which arises in a generous breast from a sense of injuries. David's was of this kind, shough immoderate in its degree : and therefore he deserves not to be ranked with those impilacable characters who are deaf to all the pleadings of reason and humanity; who can, like Saul,

coolley

coolly plan the most malicious schemes, and are not to be diverted from the execution of them by any means. .

From the death of Nabal we may discover, that such injustice as his is very unpleasing to the LORD ; and that God will, himself, avenge the cause of the righteous. It is therefore much the best way to leave the chastisement of ingratitude to the supreme Judge, who seeth the thoughts of every heart, and can determine what the measure of guilt is, which it is impossible short-sighted mortals should be capable of doing.

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SECTION LXXXIII.
DAVID FINDETH SAUL ASLEEF-TAKETH HIS SPEAR

AND CRUSE,

From 1 Samuel, Chap. xxvi.
And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying,
Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah,
which is before Jeshimon ? .

Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.

David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched : and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host. And Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.

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Then said David to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee. .

So David and Abishai came to the people by night: And behold Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster ; but Abner and the people lay round about him.

Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will act smite him the second time,

And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed and be guiltless ?

David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him : or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish,

The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed : but I pray thee take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. · So David took the spear, and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked : for they were all asleep ; because a sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.

Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill, afar off, a great space being between them : and David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner ? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king? And David said to Abner, Art

not

not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel ? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.

This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master the Lord's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.

And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David ? and David said, 'It is my voice, my lord, O king.

And he said, Wherefore doth my lord the king hear the words of his servant ? If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering : but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD ; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go serve other gods.

Now therefore let not my blood fall to the earth be. 'fore the face of the Lord : for the king of Israel is

come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a par. tridge in the mountains. '

Then said Saul, 'I have signed : return, my son David : for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul wás precious in thine eyes this day : behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear: and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.

The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness : for the Lord delivered thee into my band to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed. Vol. II.

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