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mere ebullition of a rash, though brave impetuosity. Stripling though he was, he knew, and had experienced that in other strength, beside his own, the battle was to be fought, and the victory won. Therefore to the mistaken and angry expostulation of Eliab, his eldest brother, he quietly submitted ; and when brought soon after before Saul, he modestly replied to the questions of his sovereign by relating how he had opposed, and how he had prevailed against the lion and the bear, about to attack his father's sheep, --adding at the same time, and avouching his confidence, that the Almighty who had heretofore succoured him, would befriend and aid him still. 6. The Lord,” said David, “ that delivered me out of the
paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine." 3 With what success the
young man went out to the apparently unequal encounter, how he met him, and overthrew him, and thereby vindicated the honour and the cause of God and his country, we have just now read in the service of the day.
3 Ver. 37.
As presented to us in the simple language of the sacred historian, the narrative can scarcely be read without exciting a lively interest, both as regards the progress of the combat, and the issue of the event. Passing by the opening scene of this battle-ground, we will at once speak to the intrepid bearing and admirable conduct of Jesse's youngest son. For, my brethren, if courage and loyalty be dear to our hearts, if humility and faith be not unbecoming, we must feel greatly interested in the manner both of David's speaking, and of David's acting David's courageous bearing was evidently of a higher stamp than that of mere animal courage. In David there was no insensibility to the danger; but he calmly looked the danger in the face, and looked also around him, and within him for that succour and that help, without which the strength of the mightiest is but weakness, and nerveless to obtain the victory. The motives and the principles, in fact, which prompted to the line of thought and conduct which David here pursued, were truly in accordance with the dictates of a believing heart, of a heart humble and confiding in the overruling providence of God. Bold as might be the natural man, the youthful Israelite disdained not to look upward: and whilst he stretched out the arm of flesh to oppose and to strike down a bullying and blood-thirsty enemy, he piously trusted to the Lord God of Israel to bless that arm with victory. Come,” said the blaspheming Philistine, as the stripling approached to the mortal combat, “Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to
* The fifth Sunday after Trinity.
thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” His was the praiseworthy acknowledgment of the righteous believer; and whatever the scoffer and the wicked might affirm, the honest conviction of his
"doubtless there is a God that judgeth the earth." At the same time we are to observe that David neglected not those human means, he despised not those weapons of warfare, which were in use in his day. And when the weight and the size of Saul's armour were found inconvenient, David contented himself with those more simple instruments which, as a shepherd lad, he was accustomed to carry, and to use.
The brave and stripling warrior demanded not, he expected not, a striking miracle in his favour. He looked not for fire from the Lord to consume the adversary; neither did he demand that the ground should open to swallow up the vaunting and infidel giant. But he
* Ps. lviii. 10.
did look and seek for God's blessing on his righteous purpose to vindicate the cause of true religion. He considered himself simply as an instrument in God's hands to further on earth the knowledge and the fear of God. Therefore said he, in the strengthening spirit of confidence
“ This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand, and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee.
-And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.” 6
And even so, and thus did it come to pass: the sling and the stone became mighty in the hands of the faithful and undaunted Israelite. The giant champion lay prostrate; his lofty looks were humbled in the dust, and his haughtiness was bowed down; and the Lord, “the God of the armies of Israel,” was “exalted in that day.” Yes, brethren, that God's honour and
6 Ver. 46, 47.