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in the face of an assembled world. With what holy exultation does she now declare her engagement, exhibit the sacred pledge of it, and proceed to the pub lic and solemn discharge of it!" She brought the child to Eli, and said, O my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him," Verse 25...27. How sweetly affecting are the effusions of nature, when aided and animated by devotion! How religion ennobles and dignifies every character, how it places every other quality in its fairest and most favorable point of view !How well it is adapted to every season and situation of life! It was this which fortified Hannah against the bitter insults and reproaches of her merciless adversary, and preserved her from rendering railing for railing. It was this which taught her self-government, so that she disturbed not the solemnity of the feast with womanish complaints, but covered a sorrowful heart with a serene countenance. It was this which carried her to the house of the Lord, for light, comfort and relief. It was this which carried her with reputation and advantage through the first duties of a mother; and exhibited, in one, the affectionate wife, the tender parent, the devout worshipper. This filled her heart and inspired her tongue, in presenting her offering, in addressing the high-priest, in raising her song of praise. And this will communicate lustre, value and importance on every female character, whether known to the world, or overlooked by it; in the secrecy of the family, or in the celebrity of the temple. There is a God who" seeth in secret, and will reward openly."
Eli repeats a cordial Amen to her pious purpose, accepts the precious trust committed unto him, and bends his knees in joyful acknowledgment of that God who had been multiplying his mercy to this family, and building up the house of Israel. And it is not long
before he finds that this young Nazarene was provided of God, and instructed of his mother, to rectify the disorders of his own house, and to supply the place of a degenerate race of priests, ripe for destruction and doomed to it, and ready to bring down a " father's grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Hannah's song of praise, which follows at length in the opening of the next chapter, merits, on many accounts, a separate and particular consideration, It possesses all the majesty, grace and beauty of ancient oriental poetry. It is one of the happiest effusions of an excellent female heart laboring under a grateful sense of the highest obligations. It presents and impresses some of the justest and most interesting views of Divine Providence, and, what is above all, it discloses one of the clearest and most distinct prospects of the coming, person and character of Messiah, the Prophet of prophets, King of kings, Lord of lords. Yes, christians, for this prophetess was reserved the honor of first pronouncing in sacred song, that "name which is as ointment poured forth," which angels mention with wonder and reverence, and which the whole company of the redeemed shall one day proclaim with "joy unapeakable and full of glory; MESSIAH the anointed of the Lord....whom the world so long expected, who in the fulness of time appeared, whom unbelieving Jews refused to acknowledge; whom they despised, rejected, crucified, and put to death; whom "God has exalted a Prince and Saviour to give repentance and the remission of sins;" to whose second coming the course of nature, the evolutions of Providence, the hopes and fears of every heart of man, the earnest expectation of the creature, and the bandwriting of God in scripture, all, all directly point.
The next Lecture will be an attempt to illustrate, and practically to improve Hannah's song of praise. May we bring to it a portion of that spirit which inspired the lips of her who sung, and directed the pen
of him who wrote. Let me conclude the present, with calling on every one present, to recollect personal obligations, and to walk suitably to them. Call to remembrance vows formed on a bed of languishing, in the hour of difficulty, in the instant of danger, at the table of the Lord: and thankfully pay them: as knowing that "it is better not to vow, than to vow and not to pay."
Desire more earnestly the best gifts; spiritual, heavenly, eternal blessings. By all means, in your vows, stipulate for your portion of present and temporal good things, saying with Jacob, " If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raimant to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God;" Gen. xxviii. 20, 21 ....and with Hannah, pouring out the bitterness of an oppressed heart before God, and begging relief of the Father of mercies, saying, "O Lord of Hosts, if, thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid.' But forget not withal, to stipulate, with Solomon "for an understanding heart," to prize and to improve mercies already bestowed; and with Jabez, calling on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed....and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil that it may not grieve me.
Hannah promised to devote to the Lord the child which should be given her; and ye have solemnly engaged to yield yourselves unto God; and "ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price, seech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God," Rom. xii. 1, 2.
HISTORY OF HANNAH,
THE MOTHER OF SAMUEL.
And Hannah prayed, and said, my heart rejoiceth in the Lord: mine horn is exalted in the Lord, my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies: because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God 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. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased; so that the barren hath borne seven: and she that hath many children is waxed feeble 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. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed....I SAMUEL ii. 1....10.
IN man, the master-piece of creation, are discernible various kinds of life, distinct from each other, yet most wonderfully blended and united, so as to form one great and astonishing whole. The animal, the intellectual, the moral life: to which we add, in man as he came from the bands of his Creator, and in man" renewed" by grace" in the spirit of his mind," the spiritual and divine life, the dawning light, the earnest and pledge, the celestial foretaste of everlasting life.
The first of these we enjoy in common with the beasts that perish. Like theirs, our bodies grow and decline. Like them we are led by sense and appetite, and are susceptible of pleasure and pain. And, like them, we arose out of the earth, are supported by it, and feel ourselves returning to it again.
The second, or intellectual life, raises man far above every other animal. He possesses the power of thought, that productive faculty of the Almighty; that image of God in our nature. He contemplates, compares, reflects, reasons, plans, performs.
By means of this he exercises dominion over all other creatures. Inferior to many, in some respects, by this he renders himself superior to all; and reduces all their powers to the subjection and obedience of himself.
The moral life places man in society; connects him with intelligent beings like himself; opens a capacious field of duty and of enjoyment; stamps him an object of approbation or blame; of reward or punishment.
The divine life unites man to the Author and supporter of his existence, the source of all his comforts, the foundation of all his hopes; the witness and the judge of all his actions; the avenger of all unrighteousness," the rewarder of them who diligently seek him."
To Adam, as an animal, God said, be" fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth: behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of