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man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." He looketh, my young friend, on thy heart; and what will all thy other qualities avail; beauty and comeliness of person, (if thou dost possess them ;) elegance of dress and of manners; talents of the highest or der, and attainments of the most engaging kind; wealth, reputation, influence,-if thy heart is not right with God! Alas! in that case, these very qualities will only aggravate the final ruin of thy soul.
Abinadab the second son was called by Jesse, to pass
before Samuel. But he, too, was rejected. Then came the third, and the remaining four in their order; of each of whom the prophet declared, by a divine direction, that the Lord had not chosen him. He now inquired of Jesse, if these were all his children, and being told that one yet, the youngest, remained at home, he ordered him to be sent for; and to show the importance and urgency of his coming, he added, that they would not sit down without him to the feast of which it was customary to partake on such occasions, after the offering up of the sacrifice.
David came, and stood before the prophet; a lovely youth, in the freshness of budding manhood, of a beautiful ruddy countenance, and most prepossessing appearance. We may well suppose that he deeply wondered at the scene around him,—at the intense interest with which the venerable man of God fixed upon him his benignant, yet anxious gaze, at the amazement and curiosity which marked the looks of his father and breth ren,-and at the solemn suspense with which all seemed to be waiting some momentous issue.
The mystery was soon explained. The prophet announced the divine decision, and anointed David as the one, chosen of God, who was to be at no distant period, the king of Israel. What a change is before him. The sceptre of royalty is to take the place of the shepherd's crook. He who has been keeping his father's flocks in the retired vales of Bethlehem, is to be at the head of millions of his countrymen; to direct their affairs in peace, and in war to lead forth their embattled hosts against the enemy. That he may become qualified for these arduous duties, a di vine influence is imparted to him." The Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day for ward;" inspiring him with those peculiar talents and dispositions which he would need to call into exercise.
Samuel, having accomplished the object of his mission, returned to Ramah, and Jesse and his sons to their usual occupations at Bethlehem.
In the meanwhile, the judgments which Saul had provoked by his disobedience, were fast gathering, to fall upon his devoted head. That peculiar influence of the Spirit of God which had guided and assisted him in the discharge of his public duties, was withdrawn. Left to himself, an increased degree of folly and guilt began to mark his downward course; and, to render his case the more wretched, an evil spirit from the Lord,” as we are told, le troubled him.” God permitted this to take place, as a kind of punishment which was justly due to one who disregarding and resisting those divine influences which had so mercifully been shed down upon him, thus invited, as it were, a demon of wickedness to take possession of his breast. To what awful judgments do not they expose themselves who grieve away the Spirit of God !
The consequences of this change were soon apparent. Saul showed, at times, by his conversation and conduct that he was not what he used to be. Distracted thoughts, and uncontrollable passions, led him to say and do things of the most strange, revolting, and unworthy kind. Those around him did not hesitate to attribute this to the true source, nor to tell the king himself what they thought of his case, and to propose a remedy. "Behold now," said they, "an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man who is a cunning player on a harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.”
David, being sent for by Saul, visits him, plays before him
on the harp, (so that the evil spirit leaves him,) and returns home.
Saul yielded to the suggestions that were made, and ordered such an individual as had been mentioned, to be provided for his relief. Who shall undertake this responsible duty ? Who shall dare to stand before the royal maniac, in his paroxysms of distraction, and endeavor to soothe his agitated soul? Who will have the courage and self-possession to encounter his fearful ravings, and at the risk, too, of the disgrace and dangers of a failure. Under such circumstances, a man is needed of no ordinary character. For he must be one to ommand boih the respect and the confidence of Saul. His eye, his countenance, his mien, his conversation, his skill in music and in song, his whole soul must be suited to the emergency. Where can he be found ?
One of the attendants of Saul had seen David, and appreciated his peculiar talents for the service. This young shepherd, though but just entering upon adult years, had already acquired in the retired sphere in which he moved, a reputation for courage and prudence, and for an ex. quisite skill in the music of the times, which secured the confidence and admiration of those who knew him. It is probable also, (for we know not the exact time which had now passed away since he was anointed by Samuel at Bethlehem,) that no inconsiderable part of the esteem in which he was held, was owing to the extraordinary ripening of his character under the divine influence which attended him. The language that the attendant of Saul used, seems clearly to imply this. "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and
prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him."
Saul was so favorably impressed with this description, that he immediately dispatched.messengers to Jesse, directing David to be sent to him. No time was lost in complying with the royal command. David went to Gibeah, the place of Saul's residence, about thirteen miles to the north of Bethlehem, carrying with him, as was customary, a present from his father to the king; a humble one, indeed, but doubtless befitting Jesse's condition, and the mediocrity of his circumstances. It was an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid. Both the present and he who bore it, were very gracious. ly received. Indeed, we are told that Saul loved