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sentment were lost and forgotten in the common cause, and his country's call repressed every emotion of revenge. On account of the wickedness of his father, the kingdom which Saul had obtained by lot, was taken from him and from his family, and bestowed upon another whom the Lord had chosen. This, however, did not in the least diminish the ardour of Jonathan's patriotism, or prevent him at last from sacrificing his life in defence of the national honour, and in support of a kingdom which he knew he was not to inherit,
Again, we behold in Jonathan the pious and good man. Piety to God is a mingled sentiment of love and reverence for the Supreme Being. It leads to worship and obedience, and, above all, to resignation and humble submission to the decrees of heaven. This part of Jonathan's character appeared in the readiness with which he submitted to the will of God, in a point which men have reckoned most valuable, and about which they have contended with the greatest violence. Who can read of the many evils which the love of power has produced in the world, of the many men who have shut the gates of mercy on mankind, and waded through slaughter to a throne, and not behold with admiration and delight the pious submission and calm indifference of Jonathan, who resigned a crown to which he had been born, and which he was well qualified to wear, in favour of another ; because God had determined to take the kingdom from the family of Saul, and give it to a neighbour of his who was better than he. No impious murmuring is heard against the decree of heaven.
No open combination or secret intrigue is formed to defeat it's operation. On the contrary, Jonathan does every thing in his power to promote the designs of the Almighty. For often did he save the life of David from the fury and malice of his father; and often did he supply his necessities, and encourage his heart, when forced to wander, as a fugitive, in the desert.
" And Da6 vid saw that Saul was come to seek his life : " and David was in the wilderness in a wood. - And Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went “ to David into the wood, and strengthened 66 his hand in God; and said unto him, « Fear not, for the hand of Saul, my father, • shall not find thee : and thou shalt be king 66 over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee. “ And that, also, Saul, my father, knoweth. “ And they two made a covenant before the " Lord.” We are not to imagine that, like Esau, he threw away the blessing because he knew not it's value, or that he gave it up through fear and cowardice. The extent of his understanding, which was evident in his whole conduct; the love of the people, which he completely possessed ; and his determined bravery, prevent such conclusions. What, then, was the motive of his action ? It was submission to the will of God, who had raised his father to the throne, and had appointed David to succeed him : and that very circumstance, which made Saul seek his life, increased Jonathan’s regard ; namely, that he was the chosen and anointed of the Lord. There is not another principle in human nature, but this humble submission to God, that is capable of inspiring such great and generous sentiments. Without this, his character would have been incomplete : from this, all his other qualities derive an additional lustre.
Next, we behold in Jonathan a loving and affectionate son, filial love and respect is one of those affections which nature has implanted in our frame ; which does not arise from any peculiar merit in the object of it, but from the
relation in which the persons loving and belo, ved stand to one another; and the want of this affection must be deemed monstrous, wicked and unnatural. “ Honour thy father and " thy mother,” says the commandment, “that "thy days may be long upon the land wbich " the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
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that mocketh at his father,” saith Solomon, “ and despiseth to obey his mother, “ the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and “the young eagles shall eat it.” It has, however, been otten observed, that, the affection of parents to children is stronger than that of children to parents. Nature has wisely or, dained that our desires and passions should look foward, and that our cares should be applied where they are most wanted. In the breast of the children a more imperious passion usurps the place of filial affection ; and a new progeny arises, whose weakness and wants call forth all their love and regard. This remark does not seem justified in the case of Saul and Jonathan. Saul, a wicked and cruel tyrant, suddenly raised to empire, had some of the talents of a warriour, but none of the virtues of a man. On one occasion, he was led by a rash vow to sentence his son to VOL. I.
death; and on another, in a fit of passion, he aimed a javelin at his life. But all this did not exasperate the virtuous prince or alienate his affections from his parent. Saul was a bad man, who could claim no respect or esteem, for his personal qualities; he was rejected of God, his disobedience had lost the kingdom to its lawful heir : the friendship of Jonathan with his father's enemy and rival put his affection to the severest trial; yet still he acted the part of a faithful subject and a dutiful son. He did not associate himself with the desperate and discontented who resorted to David, and tried to overturn the government; but always displayed the most respectful submission and obedience. He viewed Saul as his father; the guardian and protector of his early days, whom nature and gratitude taught him to love and reverence. And as Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives so in their deaths they were not divided.
For Jonathan followed to the last his father's fortunes : and glory, patriotism and filial affection dug his tomb in the mountains of Gilboa.
There is, indeed, one part of his conduct which may seem disloyal and disobedient in the son of a King. “ Saul spoke to Jonathan