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LETTER XVI.

DEAR CHILDREN,

From the day of David's victory over Goliath he formed a very close friendship with Jonathan, the son of the king; they loved one another as if they had been brothers, and indeed became so warmly attached, that one would have laid down his life for the other: this was a great comfort to David, who had no sooner gained the love of his fellowcountrymen than Saul became very jealous of him, for, on the day of the battle, the people had sung in praise of the young hero,(24) saying, “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands," which gave great offence to the king, because it was making the young shepherd boy of more consequence than himself. But David behaved very wisely, and was liked by the people, and by all Şaul's servants; his friend Jonathan also, was always ready to speak for him, and to intercede on his behalf; yet, for all this, the jealousy of Saul was so deeply rooted, that he took every opportunity,

not merely of shewing his dislike to him, hut even many times attempted to take away his life. Once, when the king was troubled with evil thoughts, David took his harp, as usual, to sooth him, and while he was playing, Saul held a javelin() in his hand, and threw it at him; but Saul missed his aim, for David stept aside and was not hurt.

When the king saw how wisely David behaved, and how much he was loved by the people, he was greatly afraid, because he saw that the Lord was with him, and he resolved to expose him to some great danger, hoping that he might get rid of him in that way: he promised him his daughter for a wife, upon condition that he should kill one hundred of their enemies, the Philistines; which thing pleased David, and he arose, took his men, killed two hundred Philistines, and came back unhurt: which made Saul yet more certain that the Lord was with the man whom he so much feared.

All this time Jonathan's love for David did not abate, and he spoke well of him to the king, his father, and reminded him how much good David had done by killing Goliath, and putting to flight the armies of the Philistines, saying, “thou sawest

it and didst rejoice, wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, and slay David without a cause:" then Saul said, As the Lord liveth he shall not be slain.” Jonathan told David how his father's heart was softened towards him, and he brought him before the king, and he was there as in times past.

After this there was war again, and David went out against the Philistines; his God was still with him; he put them to flight, and returned with victory, which roused the jealousy of Saul yet more, made him forget his kind promises to David, and he again sought to smite him with a javelin, but he escaped to his own house: even there the king pursued him, and sent people to watch about until the morning, to prevent bis escape, when they were to kill him; but his wife, who knew the danger he was in, let him out of a window privately, dressed up an image in his place, and put it in his bed, so that when the men came in the morning to take him, they found him not, for he had made his escape, and went to stay awhile with the good prophet, Samuel, who was then living in Ramah.

Saul was so angry at this, that he sought to kill his own son, Jonathan,

David did not come before the king again for a long time, but went from place to place, meeting with many troubles; he however contrived once or twice to see his friend, Jonathan, whose kind words were very pleasant to him; and he saw his brothers and many of the friends of his youth, who heard of his being in the neighbourhood, and came to see him in the cave of Adullam, where many people joined him at different times, until he was the captain of about four hundred men. When Saul heard this, he set out to defeat him, and had almost taken him in the wilderness of Maon, owing to the unkindness of some people, who told the king where he was: but, just as he had hoped to succeed, news was brought that the Philistines had come up against him, when he turned back from following David, who thus escaped once more out of his hands.

Yours affectionately.

LETTER XVII.

DEAR CHILDREN,

If I were to tell you all that David met with while he was flying from Saul, it would fill many letters; but supposing that you will read these things for yourselves as they are written in the Bible, I only attempt to give you those events which will be most likely to please you, and lead your minds to enjoy the many wonderful and grand, yet simply beautiful stories you will find written in that best of books.

Indeed I think you will no where meet with a life of greater changes than David's: only imagine the future king of Israel flying from mountain to cave, from rock to desert, from the malice of his foe, often not knowing where to lay his head, nor how to satisfy his hunger: but we may suppose that he had the satisfaction of thinking that it was without any fault of his own; and He who had so greatly helped him all his life long, He who had delivered him from the lion and the bear, He who had guided his arm when he laid

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