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O king, come down according to all the desire of thy foul to come down ; and our part Mall be, to deliver him to the king's hand.

They knew the eagerness of the king's desire to get David into his hands, and therefore they press him to make expedition agreeably to that eagerness. To this he answers, with all the kindness of a man greatly obliged, and all the smoothness of a glozing hypocrite ; Blessed be ye of the Lord; for ye have compassion on me : Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know, and see his place, where his haunt is, and who hath seen him there; for it is told me, that be dealeth very subtilly * See

* Here is that fine observation of Horace verified :

At nos virtutes ipfas invertimus ----
------ - hic fugit omges
Infidias, nullique malo latus obdit apertum ?
( Cum genus hoc inter vitæ versetur, ubi acris
Invidia, atque vigent ubi crimina) pro bene sano,
Ac non incanto, fiet um astutumque vocamus.

Sat. 3. 1. 1.
One shuns the snares that subtil malice laid,
Nor will unguarded bare bis breast to ill :
Shou'd he within those regions chance to live,
Where envy dwells, and ev'ry guilt prevails,
His wise precaution, and his folid sense,
Are branded with the names of guile and craft.

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therefore, and take knowl. dge of all the lurking places where he bideth himself ; and come ye again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you. And it shall come to pass, if be be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah.

SAUL was now resolved to make sure work; and therefore he would not beat up this poor partridge upon the mountains, (as David calls himself) 'till he had spread his nets all around him ; 'till he had disposed his {pies throughout all the thousands of Judah, and taķen his measures fo, that it was impof sible that he should escape him. .

What intelligence he received after this from the Ziphites, is not told us : but from the eagerness, with which they entered into all his impotence of revenge, there is little doukt of their having soon sent him the best they could get ; for we find, that he soon after came out against David with his forces, and well knew where to find him. David was then in the plain of the wilderness of Maon; whither Saul, according to his intelligence, pursued him: which when David learnt, (for he also wanted no proper intelligence) he forsook the plain,


and took to the mountains ; whither Saul also pursued him with all diligence.

David was on one side of the mountain, making all possible speed to get away ; and Saul on the other, pursuing, and extending both wings of his army to incompafs him, when news was brought him in all haste, that the Philistines had invaded (in the original it is, poured themselves out upon) the land, and were putting all to fire and sword! This stopt him short, and turned him from an enemy who did no mischief to his country, to repel one that wasted it.

Thus was David delivered, by the timely interposition of Providence, from one of the most imminent dangers of his whole life.

To this refer that prayer, and praise, and thanksgiving, which make up the livih psalm. All the parts of which the very learned Dr. Patrick applies, with great judgment, to the present occasion.

The three first verses of it are a petition of deliverance from his enemies, then in full pursuit of himn *; and spoken in the style of a man, who, in full reliance upon the pro. tection of God, was resolved to sell his life as dear as he could. And to thew that he thought himself justified in doing so, he calls these men, who thus wickedly attempted to take it away, strangers ; that is, heathens, and aliens from the covenant of God; and determines to treat them as such.

a man, * Save me, O Lord, for thy name's sake : avenge me in thy strength, &c. - for strangers are risen up against

me ;

The 4th verse begins upon seeing his enemies stop short ; in full assurance, that God had heard his prayer, and interposed on his behalf : Behold, -- God is my helper * ! Concluding, in the 7th verse (not well understood in the English translation) to this purpose, that God had delivered him out of all his streights, (for, doubtless, it was a di stressful dilemma to be forced either to die tamely, or fight his sovereign, and his own people) and that he could now calmly and confidently survey those enemies, whom before he did not dare to look in the face of.

me; and tyrants, which have not God before their eyes, jeek after my soul.

* Bebold, God is my helper; the Lord is with them that uphold my soul, &c.

+ God hath snatched me out of every streight; and on mine enemies hath mixe eye seen ; that is, as the Arabick explains it, rested.


The prayers of great men in distress, and their thanksgivings after great deliverances, have always been matter of uncommon der light to curiosity, and men of serious and religious fpirits ! Nor does the glory of any great man ever shine out to their eyes in half the lustre, as when they behold him upon his knees, lifting up his eyes, or stretching out his hands to heaven, or, what is yet greater, prostrating himself before it, in humiliation and acknowledgment, then is the hero seen in all his dignity! And in this light, it must be owned, that Henry the Fourth of France, before the battle of Yury *, and Henry the Fifth of England, after that of Agincourt t, and David after

this * Davila relates, that the king, standing still at the head of the main battalion, joining his hands, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, said so loud, that he was heard by many; O Lord, thou knowest the intentions of my heart, and with the eye of thy providence thou pierceft into the secretest of my thoughts : If it be best for this people that I should attain the crown, which belongs to me by right, do thou favour and protect the justice of my arms : but if thy will bath determined the contrary, if thou taket away my kingdom, take away my life also at the same time, that I may med my blood fighting at the head of these who put themselves in danger for my fake.

+ Before the battle, he told his army, among other things, That though these ( the lance, the ax, the fword, and the bow) were the brave instruments to reap honour, jet he relyd upoz Omnipotence for the victory; and it was

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