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of God, that, by his cautious care and wisdom, he sought to avoid the inconveniences or dangers of this life; then do those men mistake the nature of his divine ordinance, who, neglecting the reason that God hath given them, do no otherwise avoid the perils and dangers thereof, than as men stupefied in the opinion of fate or destiny, neglecting either to beg counsel at God's hand, by prayer, or to exercise that wisdom or foresight, wherewith God had enriched the mind of man, for his preservation. Neither did the all-powerful God, (who made, and could destroy the world in an instant,) disdain here to instruct Samuel, to avoid the fury of Saul, by the accustomed cautious ways of the world.
Of the sons of Ishai, Samuel, by God directed, made choice of David the youngest, having refused Eliah the first-born; who, though he were a man of a comely person and great strength, yet unto such outward appearance the Lord had no respect. For, as it is written, • God seeth not as man seeth,' &c. .but the Lord beholdeth the heart'' He also refusing the other six brethren, made choice of one whom his father had altogether neglected, and left in the field to attend his flock; for of him the Lord
said to Samuel, arise and anoint him, for this is he:' which done, Samuel departed and went to Ramath. Neither was it long after this that Saul began to seek the life of David; in which bloody mind he continued till he died, overcome in battle by the Philistines.
The Philistines having well considered, (as it seems,) the increase of Saul's power, through many victories by him obtained, while they had sitten still and forborne to give impediment to his prosperous courses, thought it good to make new trial of their fortune; as justly fearing that the wrongs which they had done to Israel might be repaid with advantage, if ever opportunity should serve their often in
1 1 Sam. xvi, 7.
jured neighbours against them, as lately it had done against Moab, Ammon, and the rest of their ancient enemies. Now, for the quality of their soldiers, and all warlike provisions, the Philistines had reason to think themselves equal, if not superior, to Israel. The success of their former wars had for the most part been agreeable to their own wishes; as for late disasters, they might, according to human wisdom, impute them to second causes, as to a tempest happening by chance, and to a mistaken alarm, whereby their army, possessed with a needless fear, had fallen to rout. Having therefore mustered their forces and taken the field, encamping so near to the army which king Saul drew forth against them, that they could not easily depart without the trial of a battle; each part kept their ground of advantage for a while, not joining in gross, but maintaining some skirmishes, as refusing both of them to pass the valley that lay. between their camps. Just causes of fear they had on both sides; especially the Philistines, whose late attempts had been confounded by the angry hand of God.' Upon this occasion perhaps it was, that they sought to decide the matter by single combat, as willing to try, in one man's person, whether any stroke from heaven were to be feared. Goliath of Gath, a strong giant, fearing neither God nor man, undertook to defy the whole host of Israel, provoking them, with despiteful words, to appoint a champion that might fight with him hand to hand; offering condition, that the party vanquished in its cham, pion, should hold itself as 'overcome in gross, and become vassal to the other. This gave occasion to young David, whom Samuel by God's appointment had anointed, to make a famous entrance into pub. lic notice of the people. For no man durst expose himself to encounter the great strength of Goliath, until David, (sent by his father on an errand to the camp,) accepted the combat, and obtained the vic. tory, without other arms, offensive or defensive, than
a sling, wherewith he overthrew that haughty giant, and after with his own sword struck off his head. Hereupon the Philistines, who should have yielded themselves as subjects to the conqueror, according to the covenant on their own side propounded, fed without stay, and were pursued and slaughtered even to their own gates. By this victory the Philistines were not so broken, that either any of their towns were lost, or their people discouraged from infesting the territories of Israel. But David, by whom God had wrought this victory, fell into the grievous indignation of his master Saul, through the honour purchased by his well deserving. For after such time as the spirit of God departed from Saul and came upon David, he then became a cruel tyrant, faithless, and irreligious”. Because the high-priest Abimelech fed David in his necessity with hallowed bread, and armed him with the sword of his own conquest taken from Goliath ; Saul not only, by his wicked Edomite Doeg, murdered this Abimelech, and eighty-five priests of Nob, but also he destroyed the city, and smote with the edge of the sword • both man and woman, both child and suckling, • both ox and ass, and sheep 3.' And he that had compassion on Agag the Amalekite, who was an enemy to God and his people, and also spared and preserved the best of his cattle, contrary to the commandment and ordinance of God, both by Moses and Samuel, had not now any mercy in store for the innocent, for the Lord's servants the priests of Israel. Yea, he would have slain his own son Jonathan, for pitying and pleading David's innocency; as also once before for tasting the honey, when his fainting for hunger made him forget his father's unreasonable commination. The companions of cruelty are, breach of faith towards men, and impiety towards God. The former he shewed in denying David his daughter, whom he had promised him; and 2 1 Sam. xvi. 13. 3 1 Sam. xxii, 19. 4 1 Sam. xxiv.
again, in taking her away from him, to whom he had given her; also in that, when as David had twice spared his life in the territory of Ziph, and Saul twice sworn to do him no hurt, and confessed his errors, yet he sought still to destroy him, by all the means he could. His impiety towards God he shew, ed, in that he sought counsel of the witch of Endor, which was the last preparative for his destruction. For whereas when he sought counsel from God, he had been always victorious; from the oracle of the devil this success followed, that both himself, and his three sons, with his nearest and faithfulest servants, were all slaughtered by the Philistines; his body, with the bodies of his sons, (as a spectacle of shame and dishonour,) were hung over the walls of Bethsan; and there had remained till they had found burial in the bowels of ravenous birds, had not the grateful Gileadites of Jabesh stolen their carcases thence, and interred them. This was the end of Saul, after he had governed Israel, together with Samuel, forty years, and by himself after Samuel twenty years, according to Cedrenus", Theophilus, and Josephus, But yet it seemeth to me, that after the death of Samuel, Saul did not ruļe very long, For in the beginning of the 25th chapter, it is written that Samuel died; and in the rest of the same chapter the passages are written of David, Nabal, and Abię gail, after which the death of Saul quickly ensued.
An exceeding valiant man he was, and gave a fair. entrance to all those victories which David after. wards obtained, for he had beaten the Ammonites with their neighbouring nations; crushed the Syrians, and their adherents ; broken the strength of the Amalekites; and greatly wasted the power and pride of the Philistines,
5 Act. xiii. 31. Cedren. p. 69. Theoph. 1. iii. p. 3. Joseph. I. xxviii,
SECT. VI. Of such as lived with Samuel and Saul : of Hellen and
Hercules, and of their issues, upon occasion of the Dores, with the Heraclida, entering Peloponnesus about this time.
In the second year of Samuel, according to Eusebius, was David born ; after Codoman later, and in the ninth year; after Bunting, in the tenth. For David, saith he, was thirty years old when he began to reign: whence it followeth, thąt he was born in the tenth of the forty years which are given to Samuel and Saul. About the eleventh of Samuel, Æneas Sile vius, the son of Posthumus, began his reign over the Latins in Alba, who governed that state thirty-one years. There are who place before him Latinus Silvius, as brother to Posthumus, calling him the fifth from Æneas, and the fourth king of Alba; whereof I will not stand to dispute. In the eleventh of Samuel, Cercilus sat in the throne of Assyria, being the one and thirtieth king; he ruled that empire forty years. In this age of Samuel, the Dores obtained Peloponnesus, and at once with the Heraclidæ, who then led and commanded the nation, possessed a great part thereof, three hundred and twenty-eight years before the first olympiad, according to Diodo. sus and Eratosthenes : for all Greece was anciently possessed by three tribes or kindreds; viz. the Ioni. ans, Dorians, and Æolians ; at length it was called Hellas, and the people Hellenes, of Hellen, the son of Deucalion, lord of the country Phthiotis in Thessaly. But before the time of this Hellen, yea, and long after, Greece had no name common to all the inhabitants, neither were the people called Hellenes, till such time as, partly by trading in all parts of the land, partly by the plantation of many colonies, and sundry great victories obtained, the issues of Hellen had reduced much of the country under their obe