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compose his forehead to sadness and gravity, while he bids his heart be wanton and careless within, and (in the mean time) laughs within himself to think how smoothly he hath cozened the beholder. In whose silent face are written the characters of religion, which his tongue and gestures pronounce, but his hands recant. That hath a clean face and garment, with a foul soul; whose mouth belies his heart, and his fingers bely his mouth. Walking early up into the city he turns into the great church, and salutes one of the pillars on one knee, worshipping that God which at home he cares not for, while his eye is fixed on some window or some passenger, and his heart knows not whither his lips go. He rises, and, looking about with admiration, complains of our frozen charity, commends the ancient. At church he will ever sit where he may be seen best, and in the midst of the sermon pulls out his tables in haste, as if he feared to lose that note, when he writes either his forgotten errand, or nothing. Then he turns his Bible with a noise, to seek an omitted quotation, and folds the leaf as if he had found it, and asks aloud the name of the preacher, and repeats it, whom he publicly salutes, thanks, praises in an honest mouth. He can command tears when he speaks of his youth, indeed, because it is past, not because it was sinful; himself is now better, but the times are worse. All other sins he reckons up with detestation, while he loves and hides his darling in his bosom ; all his speech returns to himself, and every occurrent draws in a story to his own praise. When he
should give, he looks about him, and
Who sees me? no alms nor prayers fall from him without a witness; belike lest God should deny that he hath received them; and when he hath done (lest the world should not know it) his own mouth is his trumpet to proclaim it. With the superAuity of his usury he builds an hospital, and harbours them whom his extortion hath spoiled; so when he makes many beggars, he keeps some. He turneth all gnats into camels, and cares not to undo the world for a circumstance,
Flesh on a Friday is more abominable to him than his neighbour's bed; he abhors more not to uncover at the name of Jesus than to swear by the name of God. When a rhymer reads his poem to him, he begs a copy, and persuades the press. There is nothing that he dislikes in presence, that in absence he censures not. He comes to the sick bed of his stepmother and weeps, when he secretly fears her recovery. He greets his friend in the street with a clear countenance, so fast a closure, that the other thinks he reads his heart in his face; and shakes hands with an indefinite invitation of When will you come ? and when his back is turned, joys that he is so well rid of a guest; yet if that guest visit him unfeared, he counterfeits a smiling welcome and excuses his cheer, when closely he frowns on his wife for too much. He shows well, and says well, and himself is the worst thing he hath, In brief, he is the stranger's saint, the neighbour's disease, the blot of goodness, a rotten stick in a dark night, the poppy in a corn field, an ill-tem
pered candle with a great snuff, that in going out smells ill; an angel abroad, a devil at home; and worse when an angel, than when a devil.
DAVID had lived obscurely in his father's house ; his only care and ambition was the welfare of the
In the preface to an edition of Horne on the Psalms by the Rev. Edward Irving, there is a character of David, from which the following is extracted—
Now, as the apostle, in writing to the Hebrews, concerning the priesthood of Christ, calls upon them to consider Melchizedek his solitary majesty, and singular condition and remarkable honour; so call we upon the church to consider David, the son of Jesse, his unexampled accumulation of gifts, his wonderful variety of conditions, his spiritual riches and his spiritual desolation, and the multifarious contingencies of his life; with his faculty, his unrivalled faculty, of expres sing the emotions of his soul, under all the days of brightness and days of darkness which passed over his head. For thereby shall the church understand how this the law-giver of her devotion was prepared by God for the work which he accomplished, and how it hath happened that one man should have brought forth that vast variety of experience, in which every soul rejoiceth to find itself reflected. There never was a specimen of manhood, so rich and ennobled as David, the son of Jesse, whom other saints haply may have equalled in single features of his character, but such a combination of manly, heroic qualities, such a flush of generous godlike excellencies, hath never yet been seen embodied in a single man. His psalms, to speak as a man, do place him in the highest rank of lyrical poets, as they set him above all the inspired writers of the old Testament,-equalling in sublimity the flights of Isaiah himself, and revealing the cloudy mystery of Ezekiel; but in love of country, and glorying in its hea
flock he tended; and now while his father and his brothers neglected him as fit for nothing but the field, he is talked of at the court. Some of Saul's
venly patronage, surpassing them all. And where are there such expressions of the varied conditions into which human nature is cast by the accidents of providence, such delineations of deep affliction and inconsolable anguish, and anon such joy, such rapture, such revelry of emotion, in the worship of the living God! such invocations to all nature, animate and inanimate, such summonings of the hidden powers of harmony, and of the breathing instruments of melody! single hymns of this poet would have conferred immortality upon any mortal, and borne down his name as one of the most favoured of the sons of men.
But it is not the writings of the man which strike us with such wonder, as the actions and events of his wonderful history. He was a hero without a peer, bold in battle and generous in victory: by distress or by triumph never overcome. Though hunted like a wild beast among the mountains, and forsaken like a pelican in the wilderness, by the country whose armies he had delivered from disgrace, and by the monarch whose daughter he had won-whose son he had bound to him with cords of brotherly love, and whose own soul he was wont to charm with the sacredness of his minstrelsy he never indulged malice or revenge against his unnatural enemies. Twice, at the peril of his life, he brought his blood hunter within his power, and twice he spared him and would not be persuaded to injure a hair upon his head, -who, when he fell in his high plans, was lamented over by David, with the bitterness of a son, and his death avenged upon the sacriligious man who had lifted his sword against the Lord's anointed. In friendship and love, and also in domestic affection, he was not less notable than in heroical endowments, and in piety to God he was most remarkable of all. He had to flee from his bedchamber in the dead of night, his friendly meetings had to be concerted upon the perilous edge of captivity and death, his food he had to seek at the risk of
followers had been at Jesse's house, and taken notice of David's skill; and now, that harp which he practised for his private recreation shall make
sacrilege, for a refuge from death to cast himself upon the people of Gath to counterfeit idiocy, and become the laughing stock of his enemies. And who shall tell of his hidings in the cave of Adullam, and of his wanderings in the wilderness of Ziph in the weariness of which he had power to stand before his armed enemy with all his host, and by the generosity of his deeds, and the affectionate language which flowed from his lips, to melt into childlike weeping the obdurate spirit of king Saul, which had the nerve to evoke the spirits of the dead! King David was a man extreme in all his excellencies, a man of the highest strain, whether for counsel, for expression, or for action, in peace and in war, in exile and on the throne. That such a warm and ebullient spirit should have given way before the tide of its affections, we wonder not. We rather wonder that tried by such extremes his mighty spirit should not often have burst control, and enacted right forward the conqueror, the avenger and the destroyer. But God, who anointed him from his childhood, had given him store of the best natural and inspired gifts, which preserved him for sinking under the long delay of his promised crown, and kept him from contracting any of the craft, or cruelty of a hunted persecuted man. And adversity did but bring out the splendour of his character, which mig have slumbered like the fire in the flint, or the precious metal in the dull and earthly ore.
But to conceive aright of the gracefulness and strength of king David's character, we must draw him into comparison with men similarly conditioned, and then we shall see how vain the world is to cope with him. Conceive a man who had saved his country, and clothed himself with gracefulness and renown in the sight of all the people by the chivalry of his deeds, won for himself intermarriage with the royal line, and by unction of the Lord's prophet been set apart to the throne itself; such a one conceive driven with fury, from