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man feels for another. This was the

very time when he conceived the first affection for David. “ For when he returned from the

slaughter of the Philistine, Saul inquired at “him, whose son art thou? And it came to

pass, when he made an end of speaking un“ to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit • with the soul of David ; and Jonathan lo66 ved him as his own soul.” And, as a token of his esteem, as a pledge of his friendship, “ he stript himself of the robe that was

upon him, and gave it to David, and his gar“ ment, even to his sword, and to his bow, and “ to his girdle.”

Unlike the friendships of the world, which, for the most part, have some selfish object in view, the friendship of Jonathan was most pure and disinterested. This appears most evidently from his sacrificing the fairest prospect of greatness and power to his attachment to his friend. He knew that David was to succeed to the sovereign power.

For when they wished to know how far the wrath of Saul was carried against David, the king upbraided his son for his attachment : “ Thou son of the

perverse rebellious woman,” says he, “ do " not I know that thou hast chosen the son of

Jesse to thine own confusion ? For as long “ as the son of Jesse liveth on the ground, " thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingsi dom.” But the affection of Jonathan was not changed or diminished. He saw David grow in favour with the people. He knew that he was to succeed to the throne. Every thing which men reckon good and valuable was at stake. The man of his choice was his competitor in these fair prospects, but his friendship for him remained stable. He submitted to be the second in that kingdom in which, from the possession of his father, he had the best claim to be the first. He made the sacrifice, too, at the time when the sacrifice was greatest : when he had not experienced the uneasiness of power, and when the expectation of it is most apt to fatter the youthful imagination.

Finally, the friendship of Jonathan was zealous, constant and unshaken. The surviving friend extols the strength and ardour of his affection in these beautiful strains : “ I am dis“ tressed for thee, my brother Jonathan : ve

ry pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy “ love to me was wonderful, passing the love 'co of women.”

Nor was this a momentary

glow of affection, which disgusts and disappointments and reverses are apt to cool. The friendship of Jonathan was not, like the friendship of too many in the world,

"A shade which follows wealth or fame,
“ But leaves the wretch to weep.”

His admiration and love were not confined to the day on which he beheld David returning, loaded with the spoils of the Philistine, and heard him celebrated in the songs of the daughters of Israel. In every situation, even the most distressful and adverse, he was to David a firm and unshaken friend. When driven in disgrace from the court, and forced to flee for his life ; when wandering in the wilderness, destitute of every necessary, and forsaken by his attendants; Jonathan's friendship was not abated. And, whenever his duty to his king, and his respect for his father, permitted him, he few with eagerness to his assistance and relief. David and Jonathan were actuated, as it were, by one soul. They burned with the same love, and glowed with the same resentments. They felt each other's pains, and shared in each other's sorrows. What can be more

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tender and interesting? what can better display the strength of Jonathan's friendship, than when he went, at the risk of his father's displeasure, and of his own life, to warn David to leave his lurking place and seek for safety in flight ? When they were alone, “ David “ arose out of a place toward the south, and “ fell on his face toward the ground, and bow“ed himself three times : and they kissed

one another, and wept one with another, " until David exceeded. And Jonathan said “ to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we “ have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, the Lord be between my seed “ and thy seed for ever.”

What friendship was like unto this friendship! With whom, 0 ! Jonathan ! can we compare thee, but with Jesus the friend and patron of the human race ; whose love to us was stronger than death. We envy thee “not that thou wast the son of a king : that " thou wast a successful warriour, and that “ thou diedst fighting the battles of thy coun“ try. But we envy thee thy generous, hon" est and disinterested heart. Thou wast the “ friend of distressed innocence: the friend

“ of mankind. Envy thee, did we say

? “ Rather we desire to esteem and emulate

thy virtues, that, like thee, we may live beloved, and die lamented.”

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