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Title: A few remarks on the Scripture History of Saul and the witch of Endor
Author: Church, John
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A few remarks on the Scripture History of Saul and the witch of Endor" ***

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HISTORY OF SAUL AND THE WITCH OF ENDOR***


Transcribed from the 1816 R. Thomas edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                   [Picture: Public domain book cover]



                                    A
                               FEW REMARKS
                                  ON THE
                            Scripture History
                                    OF
                                  SAUL,
                                   AND
                          _THE WITCH OF ENDOR_,


                                * * * * *

                              BY J. CHURCH,
                           _SURRY TABERNACLE_.

                                * * * * *

              TRY THE SPIRITS WHETHER THEY BE OF GOD.—John.

       FOR SATAN TRANSFORMETH HIMSELF INTO AN ANGEL OF LIGHT.—Paul.

       WHAT WILL YE DO IN THE DAY OF YOUR VISITATION, WHERE WILL YE
                          FLEE FOR HELP.—Isaiah.

                                * * * * *

                           Sold in the Vestry.

                                * * * * *

                               _SOUTHWARK_;
             PRINTED BY R. THOMAS, RED LION STREET, BOROUGH.

                                  1816.

                                * * * * *



_REMARKS_
ON THE SCRIPTURE HISTORY OF
SAUL, &c.


          “WOE ALSO TO THEM WHEN I DEPART FROM THEM.”  Hosea ix, 12.

               “GOD IS DEPARTED FROM ME, AND ANSWERETH ME NOT.”
                              1 Sam. xxviii. 15.

       _To all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ in Sincerity_.

BELOVED,

IT is your mercy the divine Spirit is the glorifier of Jesus; that he has
set him forth in his word as the Christ of God; what he is, what he has
done, and what he has graciously said to his people.  This is the work of
our faith, to receive as we need, these things, all the way to heaven.

The person of Jesus is the delight of the Father, the glory of heaven,
and the foundation of the Church, considered as God-man Mediator.—The
glories of his person is revealed in the word, but we must die to see
them in full perfection, and no doubt that will be an heaven worth dying
for: but blessed be God we are not wholly in the dark about these
excellencies, so runs the promise, _They __shall all know me_, _from the
least to the greatest_.—His person is truly blessed; his love is
immutable; his work is honorable and glorious, exactly suited to all the
necessities, of his people.  His covenant engagements, his precious
offices, his sweet titles and characters, the Father’s gracious
acceptance of the work he accomplished, and to which he had called and
appointed him.  These, and a thousand more interesting points, are set
forth as matters of our faith, and the food of our souls.  His
everlasting righteousness is our justification, his precious
blood-shedding is our atonement, and his prevalent intercession at the
Father’s right-hand, is the basis of our hope, and the ground of our
acceptance.—I say again, my dear friends in Jesus, what a mercy!  This is
our refuge, our remedy, our joy, our triumph, our present and eternal
all: and that we have the most important evidence of interest in these
capital blessings, by being led from every other refuge; and under a
sense, a daily view of our need, we are enabled to fly for a refuge, to
lay hold on this hope; nor can we have a pain, a sorrow, a cross, a
misery of any kind, from sin, Satan or the world, but the holy Spirit
designs thereby really to endear the Lord Jesus to us, as he is revealed
in the word.  There is another most blessed consideration for our faith,
viz. What Jesus has graciously said to his people, in all the precious
declarations of the Father’s love; the evidence he has given of this in
the gift of the dear Son, to obey, suffer, and die—the declarative
evidence of his own love, in his willingness to accomplish the work of
redemption; and blessing his people with the gift of the holy Spirit, as
the principal evidence of interest in his love and work.  His precious
invitations to poor, needy, helpless, lost, wandering, undone sinners,
who being in the least imaginable degree convinced of their state, they
are invited to him, with the most comfortable assurance of salvation;
which assurance _of_, and _to_ faith, will, in due time, produce the
comfortable assurance of sense.  His promises are exceeding
glorious—hence the Church declared, after a beautiful, tho’ enigmatical
description of her Beloved, _His mouth is most sweet_.  The promises are
very precious, yea, the Apostle calls them _exceeding precious_—they are
exactly adapted to our cases, let them be what they may: if thirsting for
the consolations of the Spirit, Jesus says, _I will pour water on him_,
_and floods on the dry ground_.  If ready to give up all, having waited
long to little purpose, he says, _The vision is for an appointed time_,
_at the end it will speak_.  If a soul is groaning under guilt, he says,
_I will he merciful to your unrighteousness_, _and your sins and
iniquities I will remember no more_.  If we feel our sins too strong for
us, he promises he will subdue them.  If we are made sensible of our
backsliding, he says, _I will heal your backslidings_.  If in great
difficulties, and we know not which way to get out of them, he says, _I
will bring the blind by a way they __know not_: _I will guide thee with
mine eye_.  If harrassed by the Devil, he promises to _bruise him under
our feet shortly_.  If complaining of hardness of heart, he says, _I will
give you a new one_—and if full of fears, he declares he will be _an
hiding place in every storm_; and if we feel as if we were forsaken of
God; and are actually forsaken of friends, relatives, acquaintance, and
both professor and possessor shun us; and suppose every ray of sensible
comfort gone, yet, he cannot, will not leave or forsake you; for he hath
said, _I will never_, _never_, _leave you_: _I will never_, _no_,
_never_, _no never_, _forsake you_! for so the learned say it is in the
original, not less than five times mentioned.  How sweet the thought!—so
that we may confidently sing—

    The soul that on Jesus bath lean’d for repose,
    He can not, he will not forsake to his foes;
    That soul though all Hell should endeavor to shake,
    He’ll never, no never, no never, forsake!

And he is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man, that he
should repent.  Let our faith plead these things, and may we rejoice in
him who is the faithful God—he never can leave or forsake his dear
Children, his Bride, his jewels, his crown, his honour, his glory, his
own flesh and blood.  This is our security and our triumph.  His love
cannot change; his nature is immutable; his purposes cannot be broken;
the bond of union cannot be dissolved; he is one with them, he is in
them, and they are engraven on his heart, on his arms, and on the palms
of his hands; and he has sworn, _Because_, or _As I live you shall live
also_.  Yet there may be some apparent forsakings, these are chiefly
imaginary; yet they have caused these sad complaints—_Why hidest thou thy
face_, _O Lord_?  Zion said, _The Lord hath forsaken me—my God hath
forgotten me_!  The Lord may depart from his people, in the suspensions
of his keeping hand; and the light of his countenance, the sense of his
favour, and the divine comforts of his spirit—this may be seen in the sad
tale of the fall, of the children of God, especially in the history of
Sampson, of whom it is written, that he went out to shake himself, as at
other times, and he wist not that the Lord was departed from him: the
Lord may seem as if he had forsaken his people when he delays answering
prayer; when the soul is shut up for a season; when sin prevails; when no
power is felt under the word; when providences are dark; when temptations
are strong; when the Church is under long persecution; and when distress
abound.  Thus we may be partially forsaken; but faith can still triumph
in this—_What shall separate us from the love of Christ_?  David still
loved his Absalom, though he refused him the sight of his face.  The loss
of the light of God’s countenance, loudly proclaims the direful effects
of the believer’s sin, sloth, and unbelief—O! for grace to fly from sin
as from the face of a Serpent—O! for grace to cleave to Jesus
continually.  But the Lord may be said to leave a man, when he withdraws
his sustaining, creative, providential hand, as in the case of some who
are lunatic; of others who push into dreadful crimes, and suffer for
them; and of others, who are left to their own pride and despair, and who
rush headlong, by their own hands, into an awful eternity.  It is a mercy
for a natural man to be kept by the almighty power of God, even as the
God of nature.  The Lord may be said to leave a people, when they have
slighted the Gospel, rejected his servants, despised his ordinances, and
wholly cast out his messages of love to his people.  This we all know was
the case with the Jews, which is to be seen to this day: God has given
them up to their own blindness, pride, prejudice, and enmity; and no
doubt they will remain so till the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Hence he has said, _I will drive them out of my house_.  _Yea_, _woe is
to them when I depart from them_.  _Your sin remaineth_.  _Behold your
house is left unto you desolate_, _until ye shall say_, _blessed is he
that cometh in the name of the Lord_.  But finally; the Lord has left
some individuals to themselves, who have come into a profession, and who
have, uncalled, claimed the Lord as theirs; who have been awfully proud,
arrogant, lovers of themselves, heady, high minded, and cruelly envious
of others; whose hearts were never truly humbled; whose enmity was never
slain; whose secret prejudice was never subdued; nor were such taught out
of either the Law, the Gospel, or affliction: such may have wonderful
talents, but no love of God, of Christ, or the Spirit; no real love to
the word of God, the house of God, the people of God, or the operations
of the grace of God.  Such may make a fair shew in the flesh, for a
season; may be useful in some external things to others, as the
scaffolding to a building, which will be taken away when the building is
compleat; and if not immediately by death, yet will, sooner or later,
take offence and stumble at the word, leave their profession, find their
gifts wither; hide that talent in a napkin; mount the scorner’s chair; go
from bad to worse; stab religion in its vitals, and are by and by, given
up to a _fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation_.  Such
awful characters there have been, and it would be well if the world did
not groan with many at the present time.  Such cannot be said to fall
from grace received, alas, they had none—but only from a presumptuous
confidence, a feigned faith, a false zeal, and an hypocritical hope; and
surely nobody in their right mind, can call these things Grace, however
God makes use of them for a season, and then leaves them to their own
heart’s pride and cruelty; and the awful source of such things is, in
general, _black despair_.  This was partly the sad case of SAUL, which I
now present to my friends, that the affecting story may excite fear, and
self-examination; gratitude and praise for distinguishing grace and
mercy.  Doubtless much has been and may be said, in commendation of some
actions in Saul’s life, but the review of his religious character is
truly sad, nor can any one suppose, for a single moment, he ever
possessed the grace of God in truth; for surely that grace saves a soul
from the curse of the Law, the guilt of sin, the damnation of hell, and
the power of Satan: converting grace saves us from the world, self, and a
form of godliness; the grace of faith saves from damning unbelief; the
grace of hope from wretched despair; and the grace of love from the
carnal enmity of the heart; leads us to love God, Christ, and the Holy
Spirit; teaches us to love his word and ways, and to love all that love
Jesus, who bear his image, and serve him in godly sincerity.  But none of
these marks of the elect were found in Saul: not _faith_, because he
daily manifested his intention to destroy the promised Messiah, who was
David’s offspring, as well as David’s Lord; nor _hope_, for he died in
awful despair: nor _love_, for his soul was filled with carnal entity
against the love of God; nor access to God; nor a spirit of supplication;
nor the grace of patience; nor humility; nor resignation to the will of
God; and being destitute of those things, his end was according to his
works.  He was a slave to his sin, but God’s children are set at liberty
from these things, that they should not serve sin; and can there be
greater sin in the sight of God than envy, hatred, and malice in the
heart against the children of God? impossible!

This poor unhappy man was the son of Kish, a Benjamite.  The children of
Israel, to be like the nations around them, loudly called out for a King,
which God gave in his anger and took away in his wrath.  Samuel was
appointed to anoint Saul; he then assembled the Hebrews to receive their
new king; the people shouted, and wished him joy.  A spirit of prophecy
fell on him at times, which astonished many, but it does not appear to
have been in a covenant way, so that no one appears to have reaped any
benefit from his talent.  Coming to the kingdom, God furnished him with
natural abilities for the government of the people.  Hence it is said,
_God gave him another heart_—not the new heart and the right spirit he
has promised his people, but a mind capable of managing the affairs of a
kingdom.  Soon after this advancement, Saul distinguished himself in some
very great exploits, but fell an awful victim to his pride, which was
manifested in his envying David, whose fame began to spread among his
people.  _Who can stand before envy_?  After God had so particularly
honoured David, Saul’s sun set at noon day, while light was rising on
David, never to go dawn.  The enmity of Saul was great indeed, which set
him upon the awful act of murder; this infernal intention he prosecuted
till the last stage of his life, and finding David had taken shelter
among the Philistines, he gave over thoughts of getting him destroyed.
About the year of the world three thousand and forty nine, the
Philistines invaded his kingdom, and encamped in the very heart of it,
perhaps at the very time he was troubling the afflicted David.  Saul now
fell into the deepest distress of mind; his measure was now, nearly
filled up, and a righteous God was now about to take vengeance on him for
his disobedience in the matter of the Amalekites; his horrid cruelty in
the murder of the priests and their families; and his enmity to David, of
course to David’s God.  Despair seizing his soul and preying on his
spirits, he first calls on God, but most probably not in the appointed
way; nor did he wait God’s answer, but fled from him in the pride of his
heart, and applied to the devil and his daughter, the Witch of Endor, for
relief to his mind.  Sad refuge, miserable comforters indeed!  He wanted
to see and speak with Samuel the Prophet, whom he had neglected and
disobeyed in his life time, and therefore as God was departed from him,
nor would answer him, he was determined, in defiance of Jehovah, to seek
redress, from the Devil.  The Witch, no doubt, retiring to another
apartment than that in which Saul was, used her spells and enchantments,
to bring up the pretended Samuel, who first told her who her client was,
which made her cry out, Thou art Saul, come to me in disguise.  After
Saul had assured her no harm should come to her, of course she had
nothing to fear from man, and no doubt much conversation took place,
which is not recorded, between the Witch and Saul.  But he being in
haste, asked her what she saw when she had used her spells.  She answered
and said, I saw gods ascending out of the earth: the learned say it is
not a plural, but ought to be rendered a god—Angels, and Magistrates used
to be so called.  This idea of the singular number is supported by the
question, What form is _he_ of?  And the Witch said, An old man with a
mantle.  She did not say she saw Samuel, nor did the Ghost say it was;
and it is queried whether Saul saw the spectre at all; but he bowed
himself to the ground; perhaps to hear what the spectre had to say, as
their speech was called muttering; or if Saul saw the figure, then the
conversation that passed is recorded, at least part of it.  The spectre
pretends he was Samuel in a glorified state; and that Saul had disquieted
him.  He told him that Saul and his sons should be with him the next day.
He then brought up some of his sins, and charged them home to his
conscience, in order to drive him into desperation: this made Saul faint
in the house of the Witch, and he could scarcely be prevailed on to take
any refreshment.  He then travelled all night to his troops.  When the
battle was fought, the Hebrews were routed, but they maintained a running
fight till they came to Gilboa, where the enemy overpowered them; three
of Saul’s sons were slain; Saul being pressed by the enemy be begged his
Armour-Bearer to run him through with his sword, which he refusing, Saul
took his owe sword and fell upon it, and went to his place.  The subject
of enquiry is the Circumstance of his application to a Witch to raise up
Samuel.  Many have been, and still are of opinion, that it was really
Samuel the Prophet, the man of God; the principal reason why even some
good men are of this opinion is, simply, on account of the prophecy.  The
question with them is, how could Satan foretel what would happen to Saul?
I shall therefore shew the very important reasons why I think the
appearance was not the true Samuel.  2ndly, shew the possibility of Satan
knowing what would shortly befal Saul.  3rdly, produce the testimony of
some of the best writers on this subject.

The whole circumstance we find recorded in the first book of Samuel, 28th
chap. which I humbly conceive, if attentively read, and well weighed in
the mind, it will appear evident that the spectre which appeared to Saul,
could _not_ be the true Samuel.  I state my reason to those friends of
mine who are not clear in their judgments on this subject, and request
their attention to the following observations:

_First_, that it is believed that the woman at Endor was really a Witch;
this is not doubted by any; and surely every person who is conversant
with their Bible, must remember that Jehovah forbid, on pain of Death,
the practice of Witchcraft, Divination, Necromancy, or consulting the
dead.  Hence the command, _Thou shalt not suffer a Witch to live_.  As
they rejected the Most High, and sought to devils, the sworn foes of God
and his Saints; therefore it is absurd to suppose that God would
countenance such a practice in Saul’s case.—_Second_, It is evident God
has absolutely refused to answer Saul, and if he got any answer from the
other world at all, God did _not_ send it; then Satan _must_ either send
it, or come himself.—_Third_, It is declared God would not answer him by
Prophets; and we all know Samuel was a Prophet; then it could be no true
prophet of God.—_Fourth_, The scriptures declare that Saul died for his
transgressions, which he committed against the Lord; and also for asking
counsel of one that hath a familiar spirit, to enquire of it, and
enquired not of the _Lord_, therefore he slew him.—1st Chron. 10th
chapter.  Let this divine testimony suffice that he did not enquire of
the Lord—then he must have enquired of the Devil.—_Fifth_, We have no
authority to believe that it ever was in the power of the Devil, or his
Daughter, a Witch, to disturb a Saint in heaven; or to raise up a body
from the grave.—_Sixth_, To take them out of the hands of Christ, or the
bosom of his felicity.—_Seventh_, Had it been the true Samuel, he would
not have said he came up from the earth, but rather that he came from
above.—_Eighth_, No Believer can for a single moment, admit that a
glorified saint could be subject to hellish enchantment.—_Ninth_, Nor is
it reasonable to suppose that God would answer Saul by a dead prophet,
when he refused to answer him by a living one; or that God would send a
Prophet from heaven upon such an errand as this at the motion of a
Witch.—_Tenth_, Nor would Samuel, the true Prophet, have admitted such
worship and homage to be paid to him as the Devil did.—_Eleventh_, If it
had been the true Prophet, he would have reproved him for the sin of
asking counsel of a Witch, as well as other sins he accused him
of.—_Twelfth_, Had it been the true Samuel he would have advised him to
go by humble confession to the Lord, and wait on him for pardoning mercy.

From these observations, I think, it cannot be reasonably supposed to be
Samuel, the true Prophet of God.  That there have been appearances of
spectres I doubt not, but I cannot suppose for a moment, that they are
the real souls of the departed, but either their guardian angels or
infernal spirits, sent on errands we know nothing of in this lower world;
but this I leave, and only remark that in this case of the wretched,
despairing Saul, that Satan, with whom the Witch of Endor was very
familiar, could easily transform himself into a grave old man, with a
mantle, when the scriptures declare he can transform himself into an
Angel of Light, which must be a greater work.  It is evident he is now,
and has been for many years, worshipped by Heathens, in many forms,
witness the idols which are made and adored abroad, in which form, no
doubt, Satan has often appeared to his familiars.  As to his being called
Samuel, many who have been possessed of the devil are called prophets, as
well as many who are destitute of grace have been called christians; but
what appears to stagger some of my friends the most is, how Satan could
know future events, and predict them to Saul.  But surely there was no
such a great mystery in this, when it was well known the evil spirits, in
the oracles of the heathen, and in others, have told future events.
Besides, Satan well knew the numbers and strength of the enemies that
came up against Saul’s army.  No doubt Satan has much to do in a field of
Battle.  Likewise Satan well knew that God had left Saul, and could then
easily tell that it must go bad with him and his armies.  There wanted no
conjurer to tell that, nor need Samuel come from heaven to predict it.
Balaam, the wizard, who went several times to consult the devil about
cursing the children of Israel, was obliged to turn Prophet, and foretold
the coming of Christ, and the glories of his kingdom; the destruction of
the enemies of the Church, and his own awful end, _I shall see him_, _but
not now_—(that is, when he comes to judgment.)  _I shall behold him_,
_but not nigh_—(when he lifted up his eyes in hell).  Besides, God often
permits Satan, as the Prince of the Power of the Air, to foresee the ruin
of men, as in the case of Ahab.  See 1st. Kings, 22nd Chap. xx, xxii
verses; and Satan, in a man, may predict his own ruin, or the ruin of
others.  This may be seen in the case of Haman, in the book of Esther,
6th Chap. xiii, xiv verses.  But what was the prediction of the Devil in
Samuel’s appearance?  _Thou and thy sons shall be with me to-morrow_.  If
this was the Soul of the true Samuel, he never could have said this, for
Saul could not associate with the Lord’s children in heaven, seeing he
lived and died a murderer; nor could his son, Jonathan have been with him
in heaven, seeing he was a lover of the truth, and a servant of the Lord;
and though they both died in the same field, they could not go to the
same place.  So that this spectre’s prediction was wrong; and if it was
supposed to be Samuel’s body brought up from the grave, and the Prophecy
was, he should be in the grave to-morrow; neither was this true, for the
battle was not fought for some days after, and it was a considerable time
before Saul was buried in the grave, as you will find in the close of the
31st Chap.  Besides, Samuel was buried at Ramah, and Saul was buried at
Jabesh.  Thus the prediction of the Devil was not true; nor did all
Saul’s sons die together, for some lived along time after his death.

I shall now produce the testimony of some learned and pious men, whose
opinions appear to be truly scriptural.

Bishop _Hall_ remarks on this subject: “Why should God answer that man by
dreams, who had resisted him waking?  Why should he answer him by Urim,
that had slain his Priests?  Why should he answer him by Prophets, who
hated the Father of Prophets?  Unto what mad spirit are men driven by
despair!—if you will not answer _Satan_ shall.  Could Saul be so ignorant
as to think that magic had power over God’s deceased saints, either to
raise them up, or call them down from their rest?”

Dr. _Smith_, who published his comment on the Bible in 1735, observes,
“Many controversies have been about Samuel’s apparition, but I am
entirely of opinion that it was neither in the Devil’s, or the Witch’s
power to raise up the true Samuel, to make him appear there; it was
nothing but mere deceit and collusion of the Devil, whom God sometimes
permits to do strange actions, for the ruin and destruction of those who
give credit thereto.”

The truly learned Mr. _Poole_, in his works remarks on the 13th verse of
the chapter—“And the king said unto her, Be not afraid, for what sawest
thou?  And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the
earth—or a god, a divine person, glorious, and full of majesty, exceeding
not only mortal men, but common ghosts.  She useth the plural number,
either after the manner of the Hebrew language, which commonly useth that
word of one person, or after the language and custom of the heathens; but
the whole coherence shews that it was but one, for Saul desired but one;
and he enquires for, and the woman answers only of one, as if it came
from the place of the dead.  The woman pretended, and Saul, upon her
suggestion believed indeed, that it was Samuel, and so many Popish and
other writers conceived; but that it was _not_ Samuel, is sufficiently
evident.”  The argument of this good man I have interspersed in a
foregoing page.

Mr. _Matthew Henry’s_ opinion may be ascertained from the few remarks
extracted from his notes on this chapter.—“Since Saul can discern no
comfort, neither in heaven or earth, he resolves to knock at the gates of
hell, and see if any there will befriend him and give him advice.  Saul
(who we may suppose was kept at a distance in the next room) bid her not
to be afraid of him, but go on with the operation, and enquired, What she
saw?  O, saith the woman, _I saw gods ascending out of the earth_; _i.e._
a spirit—angels were called gods, because they were spiritual beings.
Poor gods that ascend out of the earth.  But she speaks the language of
the Heathen, who had their infernal deities, and had them in veneration.
Saul came in disguise to Satan, and Satan knew him well.  Satan came in
disguise to Saul, but Saul could not discern him.—It was cold comfort
this evil spirit gave to Saul, and is manifestly intended to drive him to
despair and self murder.  He upbraided him with three things, tho’ he had
been the seducer; and then he foretold his approaching ruin, which any
body could have done as well as Satan.”

Bishop _Patrick_ observes, “It is not in the power of witches, to disturb
the rest of good men, or bring them back into the world when they please;
nor would the true Samuel have acknowledged such a power in magical
hearts, but to Saul this was a proper device of Satan, to draw veneration
from him, to possess him with an opinion of the divination, and so to
rivet him in the Devil’s interests.”

Dr. _Haweis_ also remarks—“It is incredible that the Devil should have
any power over the souls of the righteous; nor can we conceive God would,
to countenance such an abomination, suffer the holy Prophet to appear:
the soul which was in heaven could not come up out of the earth, nor the
glorified spirit be troubled as this apparition pretended, much less
could Samuel say, Saul should be with him to-morrow, whose impenitent
end, gives no hope of his happiness.”

Mr. _Mason_, a very spiritual writer, expresses himself thus concerning
Saul’s conduct; “See how a sin-hardened soul acts—not like David, who
goes to the Lord with an humbled heart, a broken spirit, a sorrowful cry,
_O Lord pardon mine iniquity_, _for it is great_!—But like Saul, who
applied to the Devil for relief, for the Lord was departed from him.”

Mr. _Brown_, in his Self-interpreting Bible, says, “And when the woman
saw Samuel, that is, the Devil in his likeness.  Satan hath no power over
the souls of glorified saints.  God would never give him any to
countenance consulting of Devils.  Samuel’s soul had not to come out of
the earth, nor would he have said that Saul should be with him to-morrow,
for it is not probable the battle was fought on that day”.

The able and learned Dr. _Gill_ observes, on the 15th verse, “And Samuel
said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?  This makes it
a clear case that this was not the true Samuel—his soul was at rest in
Abraham’s bosom, and it was not in the power of men or devils to disquiet
it—nor would he have talked of his being brought up, but rather of his
coming down, had it been really he, much less would he have acknowledged
that he was brought up by Saul, by means of a Witch, and the help of the
Devil.”

The late truly deep-taught scriptorian, Mr. _W. Huntington_, in his
Epistles of Faith, acknowledges this history had once puzzled him, as
many professors had told him it was really Samuel the Prophet, that the
Witch of Endor raised; but adds, For my part I cannot believe it, for God
has promised that his people shall be gathered in peace, and that their
bodies shall rest in their beds; and I cannot think that it is in the
power of the Devil to break the promise of God; for the wicked _cease_
from troubling, and in that state, the weary are at rest.  If Satan can
bring a soul out of Paradise, who departed in the faith, and raise a body
out of the grave, who was once a temple of the Holy Ghost, he is not only
the God of this world, but a rifler of the next.  However, Jesus Christ
is the resurrection and the life, and he is too jealous of his honour to
give it to an enemy.  The woman cried out, _I see gods ascending_, when
she saw the Devil come up, as an angel of light—and I do not wonder at
it, for I dare say she had never seen her sweet-heart in the rays of an
angel, or with the gravity of a Prophet before.  Be not offended at the
word sweet-heart, God says they sacrificed to devils, and went a whoring
after devils.  See 37th Deut. and 17th Levit.

One of our best and most evangelical preachers and writers, (I mean the
excellent Dr. _Hawker_) in his notes on this chapter, remarks, “The great
enemy of souls might be permitted to personate the departed Prophet, as
such he appears to Saul’s view like Samuel.  That it could not be Samuel
himself, is I think, evident from other considerations.  Neither Satan
nor his instruments can have power over glorified saints; neither could
the soul of Samuel be said to come up out of the earth, when we know that
the spirits of just men made perfect, are with the Lord.  Neither, had it
been Samuel, would he have told him of the awful event about to take
place, without following it up with advice to repent, instead of driving
him to despair, and thereby forming a temptation to self-murder.”

                                * * * * *

                                  FINIS.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

                  Thomas, Printer, Red Lion Street, Boro





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