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CINCINNATI:
PUBLISHED BY TIDBALL & TURNER.

1854.

TIE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

297092B

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOU'ADATIONS R 1914

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CHAPTER I. The wandering Jews had fled from oppression in Egypt, and had entered upon their promised inheritance in the land of Palestine. The same Divine hand which brought them out of the land of bondage was still their defense and protection, and though they had grievously erred, and in consequence had been involved in disastrous wars, during one of which the Ark of the Covenant itself was taken and borne away by idolatrous hands to a city of strangers, still the God of Heaven was their help and shield.

The mysterious power secreted in the ark and holy vessels connected therewith, unattended by any human agency, eventually wrought out for itself its own deliverance. Even the temple of Dagon and its god felt its power, nor could the proud city of Ekron, nor its mighty men, retain the sacred treasure. Like the holy mount on the summit of which, amid lightnings and thunder and darkness, it was divinely planned, and at the base of which it was constructed, none but consecrated hands were allowed to touch it, lest they die. Restored to its proper custodians, Israel again enjoyed peace and prosperity; idols were abolished, groves and images cut down, and days of promise and hope returned to the chosen as the golden sun emerges from the clouds after the storm has passed away. The great Jehovah was again acknowledged by the nation as their king, and all hearts united in pouring forth ascriptions of praise to the majesty on high. When the devoted Samuel was Judge over Israel, universal peace

and prosperity prevailed; but a sad reverse came to the nation when he retired from the judgeship, and his unprincipled sons took the bench in his stead. Their unrighteous acts caused the people to murmur, and they came to Samuel and asked for a king. It was an evil hour to Israel. .

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