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- 1 Samuel
by Robert Hawker
THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL
IT is not certain, that Samuel was the author of this book, which bears his name, though, probably, he might be the writer of that part of it which contains so much of his own life and ministry, which is prosecuted to the end of the twenty-fourth Chapter. But it is certain from this very cause, that neither the close of this first book of Samuel, nor the whole of the second book could be his. The general title therefore given to it in our Bibles, should seem to be the more proper: otherwise called the first book of the Kings. But, (as I have before remarked in the general observations, introductory to the perusal of either of the books of the sacred volume), it is not so material to us in the present hour, to be informed who the person was, the Holy Ghost hath been pleased to appoint as a scribe, for committing his truths to record; as to discover in the book itself, the blessed marks and well known characters, that it was written under his immediate inspiration. When the Reader is himself illuminated to know the Spirit's testimony, and can plainly read that testimony in the sacred writings; these are the grand things to be attended to, and the imprimatur of the Holy Ghost, which is to be looked for. And in these points, both the first and second books of Samuel, carry with them the fullest assurance.
In point of time, the history contained in the first book of Samuel, relates to the annals of the world about eleven hundred and fifty years before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the history itself comprizeth a period of about fourscore years.
I would earnestly beg the Reader to look diligently, as he passeth through the perusal of this book of God, for sketches and outlines of the blessed Jesus. And yet more earnestly, rather than lean to his own understanding, beg the enlightening grace of the Holy Ghost to open to his view the several sweet tokens here given of the Redeemer. Depend upon it, here is a great deal contained in it, that hath peculiar reference to the Lord Jesus. God never left himself without witness, concerning the promised seed, in any one age or period of his Church. The apostle Peter in his sermon to the Jews, expressly assures us of Samuel's ministry concerning - Jesus: All the prophets (saith he) from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Acts 3:24 . And when we find that memorable promise of Jehovah, delivered to Eli, and which is recorded in this book of Samuel, in which God pledged himself to raise up a faithful Priest that should build him a sure house, and walk before his Anointed forever: (1 Samuel 2:35 .) Surely there is enough in this blessed book of God, to convince us of the grand, and important things contained in it, to call up our most earnest attention, and to prompt the mind to be looking out for New Testament mercies, covered under an Old Testament dress.
Oh! thou, who hast given all scripture by inspiration, and hast directed it, and made it profitable, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness; do thou blessed Spirit of all truth, direct both the Writer's and the Reader's mind into the truth, as it is in Jesus; that we may know the things which are freely given unto us of God; that what is written, whether in the law of Moses, or in the Prophets, or in the Psalms, concerning Jesus, may be opened to our understandings, that we may understand the scriptures, which will make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Amen.
the First Week of Advent