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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 series explained the meaning of all that went before. “Of a truth, Lord,” said the little band of disciples who were gathered in the upper room of Jerusalem -- "Of a 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 pueror which followed it. “And now, Lord, grant that the servants mar with all boldness speak thy word, and that fits and wonders may be done in the name of thy holy While Janus"
THE LIFE OF SAUL.
LINCOLN'S INN, 23RD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.-Nov. 23, 1851.
1 SAMUEL, XIX. 24. 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
#% KEZELT THEMSELVES
in mat, Acam linux events, often separated by many years, whiteha terik nx if we was the repetition of the other. I imway that those who reflext, may discover in such recurring incidents very striking, often very sad, memorials of what they have twen end of what they are; very awful witnesses of their own identity, amidst all the changes that have bePullen them, and the more terrible changes that have taken place within them. As it sometimes assists a man's meditations to walk amongst the same trees under the shade of which he walkeel, or to watch the sea from the same point from which he watched it, twenty or thirty years before ; so these startling revivals of past experiences, these relapses into states of feeling that have been unknown for a long season, must De more powerful revelations to him respecting the unity of the past and present in his inward history. And, if so, a Paithaal biographer will be careful to record such pairs of pirms. He will find them especially useful in making the tits mot his her intelligible. They will give his reader, short hve mar not know why, a sense that he is meeting with ***Hyal man, not merely with a man in a book.
We shall understand better how this observation applies * Sende history, it we trace it as it is delivered in the Binta. There war of presenting what is called the pationale roy the Bible narratives, stripping them of their pation and theological adiumets, which I do not profess to
I did. I should have to tell yon that Saul was chaver br the parande of Israel, because he was the tallest and strongest mat. among them: that while the novelty of royalty Insted, he retained his popularity: that he lost it partly through the influence of the prophet Samuel who feared that he was breaking lase from his influent ad making a doune hi , and whn therefore
him as having violated some of the duties which belonged to a theocratic sovereign ; that a young and brilliant rival put forward by this venerated teacher supplanted him in the affection of his people and even of his own family; that jealousy at the admiration which was excited by this adventurer, and fear that he would actually obtain the kingdom, overthrew his reason; that he fell into wild, arbitrary, and desperate courses, provoked a war with the Philistines, and died in battle. It seems to some that the records of our book become vastly more real when they are put into this modern dress and made to look as if they had been taken out of a journal of the day. And I do not deny that such paraphrases may be an escape from the dryness and formality with which Scripture narratives are sometimes offered to us, as if they referred to beings of a different nature from our own; as if, because they speak of God, they have nothing to do with man. But I venture to doubt whether the phraseology of newspapers is after all the most real, the most human, the most historical ; whether the conventional formulas which describe so readily and so satisfactorily to our minds the causes that produce popular or royal follies or perversities, do convey any distinct or living impressions to us; whether we must not render the modern dialect back into the ancient one from which we have translated it, before we can hope honestly to understand it, or to bring what passes among ourselves into comparison or correspondence with the history that is delivered in it.
For instance, it may be very true and very needful to remember that the height of Saul's stature and the comeliness of his person, had much to do with his being made the first king of Israel. But if instead of saying that the people
THE CHOICE OF RULERS.
elected him for this reason, we follow the Scripture narrative strictly, and say that he being a member of an insig
t family in the smallest tribe of Israel, and therefore being most unlikely to be selected by the people, and having no dream of any such honor for himself, was marked out by God as the person on whom He would bestow it-I believe we shall obtain a light, not upon this fact only, but upon a multitude that have occurred in the history of the world, which stand in great need of explanation, and which acc certainly not explained by the commonplaces of ordinary narrators, even if they call themselves philosophical. a number of cases (the annals of every nation, and of almost every age, supply some) an inconceivably trifling incident, as trifling as that of Saul going out in search of his father's asses, has brought forth the man whom a people feel to be, not selected by them, but given to them ; whom they adopt and embrace, they know not why; and who, whether or not he is able to guide and govern them, proves to be a faithful representative of their own state of mind, the very type and embodiment of that character and these habits of mind which they are themselves exhibiting: This is the fact. It has nothing to do with theories about who are or ought to be the choosers of a ruler, with the maxims which guide or should guide their choice of him. He is there; he comes to them. Whether you like it or not, you must refer, you do refer, his appearance to some invisible agency You may call that agency, Chance, if you like. If you know no other name, that is of course the one which you will resort to. If you are content with it, there is no more to be said. But mankind has not been content with it. Men have said, there must be an order in these events apparently so fortuitous. They have insisted upon knowing