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which would convert those depravities and misdoings into arguments and evidences of God's abiding and eternal dominion.

Samuel could see little of these good things, which lay hidden in the womb of time, to be brought forth in their appointed season. He could only walk in the dark by faith not sight, slowly coming to understand so much of the divine precept as enabled him to obey it. His after life is full of melancholy yet consolatory instruction. He goes into obscurity as a good man should, when he feels that his main work is done. He comes forth whenever there is need for him, showing that the power which he once possessed is as real as ever, though it has another and safer dwelling than with the temporary and earthly steward of it. His last years are years of sorrow.

The king whom he has anointed has too faithfully fulfilled all his fears and prognostics. Yet there lies in the dim distance the hope of one, then a fugitive and an outlaw, who might become a true shepherd of the people, the author of a progeny which should rule and bless the nations. .

But as I intimated at the beginning of this sermon, the meaning of his life is not exhausted in himself. He too is to be the beginner of a race, though not of one which is to be propagated like that of the kings. It was a race which would include like the other a number of evil and degenerate children, who would turn their gifts to worse uses, who would more directly blaspheme the source of their gifts, than the civil rulers were able to do. There is no charm in any ordinance whatever, in the succession of son to father, or of pupil to teacher, to prevent such results as these. If there were, we should fall down and worship institutions and arrangements, instead of worshiping God. He pours contempt





upon the best devices, upon those which bear most the stamp of His own wisdom, when they exalt themselves against Ilim. The wise father has not to shed more bitter tears over the foolish son, than the godly self-sacrificing teacher has over the disciple who turns his truest words into falsehoods, his most faithful acts into excuses for sin. But under the guidance of a living God, the seed of the prophets became the blessed counteracter of the evil, the interpreter of the good which was to come from the seed of the kings. As the tirst of them trampled upon the hereditary charm of the priesthou that he might assert the glory of Him who had appuntend the priests, sv his successors were to break through the hem litary charm and crudition of royalty, that they might declare that prenant which was the foundation of royalty, the Giver or the curenant them when revalty derived its primary su, His continual elsin upon the obedience on liber This work w prer to become extinct, Es el vaxis perem-me, not to become

in a preveo * ferdes Propaet, a perteve Friend berert i would be our commencement va Xe* su mums vier da upen the fact of Ha pedres previous siery to been upon the deili Süty use he taustion.

Eu* Mpis u Big svariati seir respeetive miss it well with a va ur se vcker, how Much wearnu dvir cours dumperteces because cizre was a linker uier siti tudier að eicher, I may, if Geri emit, vineer 'n lille ruvi Wa may ind that

italiane Kees wilice in de ministers were a veche tue 'n ik erreut tirem trom sugin unumde Bitten all isetering the deepest te de un terdie uie Vuistivues ransactions of I.]



our lives. The more earnestly we desire to understand God's ways to us, and how we may walk in His ways, the more light will these records afford us.

One glimpse of such light, I think, you may have obtained from the subject which has occupied us this afternoon. You may have seen how possible it is in our dealings with our fellow creatures to fight too obstinately with their wilfulness, because we do not thoroughly appreciate the evil of it. We fancy that we can resist it by strengthening certain mud banks which had a real worth when they were formed, but which were intended for a purpose that has been fulfilled. If we saw how mighty the flood was, what it was likely to sweep away, we should feel that we needed some diviner and more permanent defence. That we may bring forth deep and eternal principles into fuller manifestation, we should not scruple to concede that for which we have a strong personal affection; we should acknowledge that the sins of rulers must lead to changes we cannot contemplate without fear; we should even adopt names and titles of which we have a reasonable dread. Our best maxims, our dearest heirlooms are worthless and dead if they do not bear witness of the Living God. He may sanctify and consecrate that which seems most opposed to them. This lesson I think is one of frequent and various application in our individual and national experience. There is another still more precious, that we should never despair when a people appears to be most bent on mischief—not even when all powers, civil and spiritual, are conspiring with it. Samuel had, more than once or twice in his life, an excuse for thinking that all these influences were leading to the ruin of his land. Yet deliverance came through the very acts which these evils made necessary.



[Serm. I.

And this was one of a series of instances in which selfwill was found to serve the purposes of a high and gracious Will. The last of that sories explained the meaning of all that wont before. “Of a truth, Lord,” said the little band of disciples who were gathered in the upper room of Jerusalem ..." Of truth, Lord, against thy holy child Jesus, were gathered together both Herod and Pontius Pilate, and all the people of the Jews; to do what thy hand and thy counsel had prepared before to be done." Oh, that while we lay to heart this consolation we may also join in the por which tillowed it. “And now, Lord, grant that their surrants mar with all buldness speak thy word, and thritis and wunders may be done in the name of thy holy

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1 SAMUEL, XIX. 24.

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Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the Prophets ?

This question, which became proverbial, is referred in the Book of Samuel to two different incidents in the life of Saul. He is said to have met a troop of prophets before he was chosen king, when he was known only as the son of Kish the Benjamite, and to have been suddenly seized with their Spirit. He is said in the latter and degenerate period of his reign, when he was persecuting David, to have gone down to Ramah in search of his son-in-law," and the Spirit of God came on him and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah.” It is the fashion of our times to suppose that these must be two versions of the same fact preserved by different chroniclers, and brought together by some careless compiler. I venture to think that that solution of the difficulty is not a necessary one, not even the most probable one. I believe that there occur

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