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disquisitions on the subject of it. LET But we must proceed to David's sen- XVI. tence on the Amalekite.
The two accounts of the manner of Saul's death, one given in the course of the history, at the close of the first book of Samuel, the other by the Amalekite, at the beginning of the second, are so different, that “ one of them (the infidels say, P. 26.) “must be false.” Very well; suppose it fo to be, and what then? Why then, they put the following resolution of the difficulty into the mouth of their Tom Fool of a Christian, as they call him. “ To this we can only answer, “as it becomes the faithful in all such " cases of feeming contradiction ; “ namely, that they were both writ“ ten by the pen of Inspiration, con* sequently must both be true, how
LET, “ever contradictory or absurd they
" may seem to mere human reason.” -Well said, Tom !
But let me ask these gentlemen, what mortal, besides themselves, Tom's elder brethren, ever imagined the Amalekite to have been injpired, when he told his story to David ? - An idle pickthank fellow, who stripped Saul of his diadem and bracelets, and ran away full speed with them to David, to let him know that all was safe, his old enemy was fallen, and he had put him out of his pain ! David saw through the character of the man, and, from his forward officiousness in the affair, probably concluded, he had taken some undue advantage of Saul in his wounded state, and Nain him, on purpose that he might find favour with his fucceffor in the king
dom, dom, by bringing him all this good LET. news. “ As the Lord liveth who hath XVI. “ redeemed my soul out of all adver“ fity ( says he upon another occasion ) “ when one told me saying, Behold « Saul is dead (thinking to have brought “ good tidings) I took hold of him, " and New him in Ziklag, who thought “ that I would have given him a re56 ward for his tidings." *
But whether David suspected it, or not, as the narrative of Saul's death given in the course of the history is true, the story told by the Amalekite is certainly false in some particulars, which are inconsistent with that narrative. Nay, it is not probable, if indeed it be possible, that the main circumstance of all should have been true. - Saul desires his armour-bearer
. * 2 Sam. iv. 9, 10.
LET. to kill him, who refuses; he falls upon XVI. his sword; and the servant, seeing
his master dead, does the same. Now, where is the interval, or opening, for the scene between Saul and the Amalekite to take place? Or would the armour-bearer, who refused to kill Saul, stand by, and suffer an Amalekite to kill him ? - But though David judged this man unworthy to be his friend, he may make a very good figure in the unbelievers' catalogue of faints, and I would recommend him to occupy a nich in that temple.
Let'us, however, for a moment, suppose, that David had judged otherwise; that he had rewarded him handsomely, and promoted him to honour. What would have been said, then? Why, that poor Saul had escaped the sword of the Philistines, but “ this
“ ruffian” (such is the courtly appel- let. lation bestowed upon David *) had XVI.. employed an assassin to dispatch him, during the hurry and confusion of the retreat! - O it had been a delicious morsel, exactly seasoned to the palate of infidelity!
P. 27. The infidels are much disconcerted, it seems, about the book of Fasher: it was extant previous to the writing the book of Joshua, and was not fi. nished till after the accession of David to the throne of Israel; so that, as they apprehend, either the author of Jasher must have lived upwards of four hundred years, or the book of Jolhua was not written till after the time of David.
Here again, a little Hebrew would have done us no harm. It does not * P. 25.