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dwell in paradise. It was neither for God's honour nor for his own true good. His fault would be remembered against him to the last, and God took care, therefore, as I said at the first, to make evident how much he had forfeited and lost by it. Nobody could think that David had sinned with impunity who beheld his fallen condition; and though he had much worse things to bear than the curse causeless of such a one as Shimei, that person's behaviour was well calculated to mark and declare how low David had fallen, and to lay his honour in the dust. Yet the Lord, in what He permitted, did but act conformably with the doctrine delivered by his Apostle St. Paul, so many ages afterwards, where, speaking of God's people as visited with rebukes, he says : " But when we are judged, we are

, chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the worldo.” God's dealings with David, as they were mercy to the Church, to teach every member of it, in all ages, to flee from sin as from the face of a serpent, so likewise, in another way, they were mercy to David himself, and the grace so bestowed upon him was not in vain. David was much changed and benefited thereby.

Dearly beloved,” says St. Paul, “avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath'.”

“ Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good ?.” This is a prime part of Christian duty, and he is far advanced in Divine life who has attained to it. Then compare David, as before us now, with his former self in this respect. The instant that David was made acquainted with Nabal's discourteous treatment of the messengers, whom he had sent to ask help of him in his distress, his resentment was up in arms at once. "Gird ye on every man his sword ?,” he cries; he needs no prompter. But how different is it now under a very much greater provocation! Abishai would not have been long in taking off the head of “the dead dog, as he called him, who had cursed “my lord the king.” 1 Cor. xi. 32.

1 Rom. xii. 19. 2 Rom. xxv. 21.

1 Sam. xxv. 13.



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But the king was a broken-hearted penitent now, and had a sense of his own sins upon his mind; which both absorbed all thought of his dignities, and prevented all consideration of the sin of others. David was suffering in his own person the due reward of his own evil deeds. He felt himself to be in no condition to execute judgment, he was thinking of the murder of Uriah the Hittite, of his defilement of Bathsheba, of the great occasion which he had himself given thereby to the Lord's enemies to blaspheme; what had he to do with “the mote which was in his brother's eye” when, behold, what "a beam” there was in his “own eye ?” Indeed, his own son was seeking bis life; and was it likely that He whose goodness and mercy had so long followed him would have permitted this unnatural and monstrous assault upon him, had there not been a cause?

He must submit to the righteous judgment of God in that; how much more, then, to the insults of that Benjamite! “Let him alone, then, and let him curse,” he says; “for the Lord hath bidden him 4.”

Here we have the clue to David's whole behaviour. Shimei, howbeit he meant not so, neither did his heart think so, was, to David, the rod of God's anger. And saith the Scripture, “Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it 6.5 David had received good at the hand of the Lord as long as he knew how to use it. Should he not now most submissively receive evil when his sin had so specially called for it? In early life he had learnt and exercised faith and trust, and had found the advantage of them in his many deliverances from his enemies, but now he had need to learn other things, patience, submission, resignation. And having once been honoured, by being made through grace an ensample to the Lord's people, he must now, since he had turned away from the holy commandment delivered to him, submit to be held up to view after another fashion, to be a beacon instead of an example; to be made as it were to cry out, with the leper, “ Un


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2 Sam. xvi. 11.

See Isa. x. 5.

6 Micah vi. 9.

clean, unclean ?' as he came into the presence of God's worshippers. But this he was willing to do; and, being so, his spirit was not without a secret consolation. Had his heart fretted against the Lord, his burden would never have been lightened: but together with submission came hope; and the general state of his mind is that which is so beautifully delineated by the prophet Micah: “I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.

I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the Lord thy God 8 ?

Some such confidence as this it should seem that David had, even whilst he smarted grievously under the rod of God's rebuke; for, “it may be, that the Lord will look on mine affliction,” he adds, “and

, that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.”

And now I say there is much to be gathered from the history for ourselves; and let us take, therefore, another glance at it for that purpose.

It is possible enough, and through grace it may be done with much inward satisfaction of spirit all along, “ manfully to fight under Christ's banner against sin, the world, and the devil,” whilst we see our danger, and trust to God for help. But “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fallo;" it is not so easy to "continue Christ's faithful soldiers and servants under all conditions “to our life's end!." We are more upon our guard when confronting opposition, than when enjoying the fruits of victory. David tarried at Jerusalem, and gave himself up to undue relaxation See Lev. xiii. 45.

& Micah vii. 7–10. 1 Cor. x. 12.

Baptismal Service.







2 Sam. xvi. 10.

“And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of

Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so ?”

It was a strange history which the services of the day led me to consider in my last discourse: the fearful fall of an eminent saint of God into gross and aggravated sin. By God's grace, however, this man, David, repented and was forgiven: and hence the fallen may learn not to despair. Through the corruption of man's heart, however, the record of these things has often been abused, and is like enough to be abused again. This will not be the case with us, if we honestly attend to what remains of David's history; to which therefore let us look, for that caution and instruction in righteousness, which is so much needed by the best of us; and then I think it will be made clear to us, that God hates sin in none more than in his own elect; that if we have sinned wilfully, though our souls should be saved, our sin is sure, in some way or other, to find us out in this world ; that God will vindicate his own honour where his servants have betrayed it; and that the child of God who has given occasion to the Lord's enemies to blaspheme may go mourning all


his days long, notwithstanding that he may not be left altogether without spiritual consolations, and though he may accept the punishment of his iniquity in all humility, and by means of it grow in grace. So that there is nothing in David's history to diminish the dread of sin, but quite the contrary,

The child which Uriah's wife had borne unto David died'. That was the first rebuke which the adulterer received after his repentance. But the word had gone forth from the Lord besides, “I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house?” And it soon began to be awfully verified; nor was the curse withdrawn till David's dying day. The next chapter records the rape of Tamar, his daughter, by her halfbrother Amnon; the murder of that same Amnon by another of David's sons, Tamar's full-brother Absalom. Then we have the weak consent of David to permit this Absalom, who had fled to Geshur, and might much better have been suffered to remain there, to return to Jerusalem'. And then immediately follows an account of the base return by which that worthless spoiled child repaid his father's kindness. The first thing he did was to steal away from David the hearts of the men of Israel by fair speeches and ** lying courtesies; and then he proceeded to open rebellion against him ; upon the hearing of which David was constrained to flee, taking with him the few friends who remained faithful to his cause,

I mean, however, to confine myself now to one passage in the history, which records a special insult and act of ill-usage which David met with, and the manner in which he behaved under the provocation **** given him.

It is thus related in the words which immediately precede my text.

“ When king David,” in the course of his flight from Absalom,“ came to Baburim, behold, thence 2 Sam. xii. 19. 2 2 Sam. xii. 11.

2 Sam. xiii. 4 2 Sam. xiv.

5 2 Sam. xv.




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