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tenderness. Every joy is multiplied an hundred fold by every communication of it to the ear and the heart of friendship. Hannah prays, “and her countenance is no more sad.” She restores her earnestly expected son to God; and is infinitely enriched by the restitution. Whether the child cry for relief, or express its gratitude by caresses and looks of satisfaction, it is equally grateful and soothing to the fond parental heart. And will the great God in every deed vouchsafe to make himself known to us by the name of the hearer of prayer? Is he exalted to show mercy? Can he be pleased with the effusions of a thankful heart? Thoughtless, inconsiderate creatures that we are; blind to our highest interest, dead to our purest joy: We see nothing of God in that distress, in that deliverance. We attend to the creature only, and therefore found no comfort. We endured without hope, and we enjoyed without relish. Happy soul, that can command itself to peace, and say, I have poured out my anguish before the Lord, I have cast all my care upon him, my burden is no longer mine, but his. “Return unto thy rest, O my scul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. He hath delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” In the first transports of her joy, Hannah forgets every thi, g but the glorious object of it. The insults of Peninnah, her delight in Samuel, stand for awhile suspended; they are lost and forgotten in the contemplation of him, who had delivered her from the one, and bestowed the other upon her. But God, as he is in himself, cannot long be an object of contemplation to mortals. It is only by what he doth, that he can be known, and loved, and enjoyed by us. The soul springs up to God, is instantly repelled and overwhelmed by “light inaccessible and full of glory,” and seeks relief and em. ployment in surveying the ways and works of God. “My heart rejoiceth in the Lord.” . But “who is this King of glory?” The spirit shrinks with rever

ence from the inquiry; and the heart sweetly slides into the observation and acknowledgement of what an incomprehensible Jehovah hath done. “Mine horn is exalted in the Lord.” “The horn,” in scripture language, is the emblem of strength and empire. She was till now undistinguished, unprised, unimportant in Israel; a wife, without the honour of being a mother. But now she has risen into lustre, and place, and preeminence. Her Samuel is to her “a crown of glory, and a diadem for beauty!” She had power with God and prevailed; she asked, and God granted her request. This is naturally blended in her mind, with the derision and cruel mocking which she had endured. For the very devotions.of fallen creatures must savour of the calamities to which they are exposed, and the imperfection in which they are involved. Both nature and piety accordingly concur in dictating the expression of thankfulness which follows; “My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies.” Here the woman speaks; but the saint instantly subjoins, “because I rejoice in thy salvation.” When the life of God is completely formed in the soul, every particle of human corruption shall be purged away. There shall be no feeling, nor recollection, of unkindness or enmity. And in proportion as evil affections are rooted out, and kind affections are implanted, cherished, and promoted, so is the image of God impressed, renewed and preserved. The love of God perfected shall obliterate and efface every trace of resentment against man. After a short vibration on this string, the heart of the worshipper seems to recur with increased complacency and delight to a worthier subject of meditation, and loses itself in infinite perfection. “ There is none holy as the Lord; for there is none beside thee; neither is there any rock like our God.” When we attemp to meditate upon God, thought fails. When we attempt to address ourselves to him, language fails. In vain do we look round for a similitude that may enable us to form a clearer perception of his nature. It is his glory to be single and alone; to defy and prevent every idea of resemblance or comparison. When . the whole world of nature is explored, when all the powers of nature are exhausted, the soul falls back upon itself, shrinks into nothing from the daring attempt, and exclaims, “There is none beside thee,” “there is none holy as the Lord. “Who can find out the Almighty unto perfection!”

—Hannah awakes from this holy rapture, to contemplate this incomprehensible Jehovah, as exercising an intelligent, uncontrolable, irrisistable authority over all the ways of men; as the wise and righteous Governor of the world, whom none can successfully oppose, from whose notice none can possibly conceal himself. “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength,” Verse 3, 4. Behold the cure of pride. There is a God on high, from whom descended every advantage which one possesses above another, who carefully notes the use that is made of his benefits, and will demand an account of them; who “seeth the proud afar off, but has respect unto the lowly.” “By him actions are weighed;” they are judged, not according to their apparent circumstances, nor the maxims of the world, nor the rank of the parties concerned, but according to truth, according to the real merit or demerit of the action, according to the thoughts and intent of the heart. Thus is the mouth of arrogancy effectually shut, and the whole world laid low in the dust before a holy and righteous God. “The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girt with strength.” Even in this world, “the Lord maketh himself known by the judgments which he executes;” and causeth mento change conditions, and turneth the

world upside down. The affairs of men, like the frame of nature, are in a state of perpetual revolution, and the history of mankind is simply an account of the rise and depression of wretched mortals by means not of their own contrivance, by events which they could not foresee, and over which they had no power. The victor of to-day is to-morrow a captive, and he who now lieth “among the pots, shall come forth as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” The greater part of Hannah's song of praise is employed in making a more enlarged display of the wisdom and justice of the divine Providence in the government of the world. “ They that were full have hired themselves out for bread.” Some are born to case and affluence, and through idolence, inattention or prodigality, reduce themselves to want. Some acquire wealth by frugality and industry. But however gotten, it is but an uncertain possession, and we daily see multitudes, not through any apparent fault of their own “ waxing poor and falling into decay.” Others, as unaccountably rise into distinction and opulence. There is an unseen hand which gives and takes away. In prosperity there is no ground of insolence and triumph; in adversity no reason to despair. Her own peculiar felicity again presents itself to view, and the incense of praise ascends to heaven. “The barren hath born seven sons, and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.” There is a Jewish legend which saith, that for every child that Hannah bore, one of Peninnah's died. It is a mere conjecture; Hannah's triumphant song is rather a proof of the contrary. She discovers a spirit too excellent, in other respects, to permit us to suppose her capable of rejoicing in the devastation which the hand of God had wrought, much less in the destruction of her own husband's family. That heart must be lost to every feeling of humanity, lost to decency, lost to the fear of God, who can make the calamity of another, especially such a calamity, a ground of self-gratulation, and complacency, or a subject of thanksgiving to a holy and merciful God, as if he could become a party to our petty jealousies and contentions. No, a spirit so regulated as hers, so patient under mortification, so long nurtured in the school of affliction, so observant of, and submissive to the will of Providence, could not taste the mortality of even Peninnah's children as a source of joy. Her expressions amount to no more than a devout and humble acknowledgment of unerring wisdom, of unimpeachable justice, in conducting all the affairs of this world: in building up families, and in bringing them low; in exercising an absolute right of sovereignty, which will not be compelled to give account of its matters to any one. The gift of children is not always withheld in anger, nor bestowed in kindness, as the character and history of Fli's family will shortly evince. She proceeds to pursue the same idea of a divine superintendence in every thing, through a variety of particulars strikingly contrasted one with another, all aiming at the same end, all calculated to enforce the same practical lesson. “ The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory; for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness: for by strength shall no man prevail,” Verse 6–9. In the conclusion of her song, Hannah, wrapt into futurity, no doubt by the spirit of prophecy, contemplates the final consummation of the great mystery of Providence, as issuing in the establishment of universal order: in the suppression and punishment of vice; and in the unchangeable and permanent glory of a Redeemer’s kingdom. The same hand which balances the spheres, which conducts all the affairs of men,

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