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saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arin of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from thine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, one day they shall die both of them. And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.
even by their dependent fellowcreatures, unless dignity of character be added to dignity of station. How much less can nations or individuals expect God to bless them or honour them, unless they first honour him.
on Hophni and Phinehas: in
35 This prophety foreshadowed Zadoc, who was to minister before David-himself a type of the anointed of the Lord.
EVENING. 1 SAMUEL iii.
that the LORD called Samuel:
AND the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; and ere the lamp of God went cut in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; and he answered, Here am I. And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel
5 Nothing is more praiseworthy in youth than ready obedience to parents, or to those who are in the place of parents. This is not only in itself amiable, but it is wellpleasing to God, who has directed one of the ten commandments expressly to the enforcing it.
How pleasing it is to observe the
arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou
patient and cheerful obedience of the youthful Samuel!
didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nei
Therefore Eli said
ther was the word of the Again and again he is called; LORD yet revealed unto him. again and again he is sent back. And the LORD called Samuel But still, no hesitation to obey each successive call; no petulance ; no exagain the third time. pression of impatience or even wonhe arose and went to Eli, and der. Happy the children who resaid, Here am I: for thou member this, and act upon it, patient didst call me. And Eli per- and meek! God will bless them. ceived that the LORD had called the child. unto Samuel, Go, lie down and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to show Eli the vision.
Then Eli called Samuel, and
17 It is here that the character of the youthful Samuel shines with brightest lustre +. He was com manded by God to declare a painful truth to one he loved. He felt the command difficult; but he felt that
* Thus it ever is when our conduct rests upon a religious principle. It is wise in parents specially to act upon this truth when enforcing obedience upon their children. A fulfilment of duty then becomes habitual, and the performance of it prompt, and decisive, and unwearied.
+ That he loved Eli with filial reverence and most deferential respect, is evidenced by his obedience. Yet, when bidden to declare the heavenly message, he not for a moment hesitates. He knew full well-every child would have known-with what agonized feelings Eli would receive the tidings of approaching misery on his house for the wickedness of his sons; and he grieved to be the messenger of such tidings: but he obeyed God, even though he pained his friend.
obedience was imperative, and that to declare the truth must be right. Let the young especially remember this, and imitate the courage and faithfulness of the youthful Samuel.
18 Eli, in his submission, sets a noble example to us all, of that deep resignation which ever becomes a creature before his Creator!
hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good. And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
What if God now speak not to us audibly; and appear not to us visibly?—the whole rational world displays clearly to us his power and wisdom and lovingkindness, and his word and Spirit speak to us in language to which the wilfully deaf alone can be insensible.
The fourth Sunday after Trinity.
MORNING. 1 SAMUEL Xii.
AND Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's aand. And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness. And Samuel
3 This blessed and noble courage is the fruit of a conscience void of offence before God and man.
5 Well is it for a land, when its rulers and governors not only feel their awful responsibility, but can thus nobly meet it. This sense of honour, however, flows from religion alone. Piety towards God and integrity towards man, go hand in hand.
Samuel reminds Israel that the
said unto the people, It is same God which appointed Moses and Aaron to their ministry, appointed the LORD that advanced him to his, and that his ministerial Moses and Aaron, and that office was to be exercised with the brought your fathers up out same authority as theirs, and to be of the land of Egypt. Now received with the same affection *. therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers. When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place. And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee. And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe. 12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us; when the LORD your God was your king. Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: but if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes. Is it not wheat
12 What an instructive lesson! See how, when the civil polity of God's people was to be placed under human authority, He willed that the people should obey the kings, and princes, and governors he set over them; pointing the important truth, that the few should rule the many, not that the many should dictate to the
Thus the ministers and stewards of God's mysteries now, being duly ordained to their office by bishops in apostolic succession, justly claim to declare the word under apostolic authority, and reasonably plead that it be "received with pure affection;" as the word, not of man, but of God.
harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king. So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king. And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; and turn ye not aside for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. 22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.
fall upon it, repent of its own indi22 Let every heart, as these words vidual sins, that God may have mercy upon all; for of a truth, righteousness alone exalteth any
EVENING. 1 SAMUEL Xiii.
SAUL reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Beth-el, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent. And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear. And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal. And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people