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been told to Saul, and he sent for David. And David said to him, “ Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, thou art not able to go against this Philistine, to fight with him; for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth."
E. What did David say to that, mamma ?
M. You shall hear his modest answer. He did not boast, like the Philistine: he simply replied,
Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion and a bear and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went after him and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and smote him, and slew him i thy servant slew both the lion and the bear; and this Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who 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.” In these words we see his courage, and that best source of courage, firm trust in God. The Lord had delivered him from those devouring beasts, and it was the same Lord in whom he trusted to deliver him from the Philistine, more dreadful still than they.
E. Did king Saul let David go then, mamma?
M. Yes, he said, “ Go, and the Lord be with thee.” And he clothed David with some of his own armour, and put a helmet of brass upon his head, and a sword in his hand; but David was not used to wear such things, and only found them a hindrance to him: he therefore put them off, and took nothing with him
and Israel shouted and pursued them, so that the victory against the Philistines was complete.
E. Mamma, what a wonderful story this is !
M. Wonderful indeed, Edward, that the youthful David, a humble shepherd boy, with only a sling and a stone in his hand, should kill the dreadful enemy of Israel, who had been able to fill the hearts of thousands of soldiers with fear! But let us learn from the humble and pious David to glorify the God of Israel; to see and admire his Almighty hand, and not to give to man alone the praise and honour which belong to God. You must remember, that this David, though young, had been already chosen by God, and anointed by the prophet Samuel, to be king over Israel after the death of Saul: and what was all this but an opportunity afforded him by God, to show to the people of Israel the piety and bravery of the young shepherd, the faith at once and courage of David ? You remember my telling you, that the spirit of the Lord came upon him from the day of his anointing. God Almighty was with David by his Holy Spirit, to give him those virtues and excellencies, which were necessary to make him fit for his great duties. We know that every good gift cometh from above, even from God. His spirit is the giver of all excellence to man. If a man is wise, it is God's gift; and in like manner, if he is strong and mighty and brave, all these things come from above. We may, indeed, do much by our own endeavours : we may add to our wisdom by study; to our strength by exercise; or to our courage by manly resolutions; yet, after all, we should do nothing without God's blessing. He can make us weak or fearful, when