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hope for thee.” That saying will cheer him. We have long been preaching that there is no hope for drunkards — they are lost. Under such doctrine, we have seen father, brothers, and sons hurried down to woe. But there is hope for these. It comes welling from the cross of Christ ; it lingers and plays like sunlight on the pages of the word of God; it whispers in the prayers of Christians, and entwines around the willing forms of men, a very messenger of life to all.
“Yes, there is hope for thee, poor soul,
All wild and wayward as thou wast;
The death knell of the past.
And bosoms panting like a sea ;
For there is hope for thee."
THE UNFAITHFUL WOMAN.
Poison drops of care and sorrow,
Bitter poison drops are they,
Sad memorials of to-day.
HE LOVED A WOMAN IN THE VALLEY OF SOREK, WHOSE NAME
WAS DELILAH. — Judges 16 : 4. THE history of Samson is a source of interest to all young people. His great strength, his heroic achievements, his peculiar vicissitudes, make his case one of more than ordinary moment among those who read the Bible mostly for its stirring narratives, or for its delineations of character. Though not of the highest religious consequence, it is not entirely destitute of spiritual instruction ; and we may be able to draw from it some useful lessons.
Samson was a Danite. He was born in Zorah, and was the son of Manoah. At the time of his appearance upon the stage of life, the children of Israel were in captivity. For their sins, God had given them into the hands of the Philistines, who oppressed them. When the young man arrived at mature years, he went to Timnath, and saw a Philistine woman, on whom he set his affections. Unlike the youth of our times, who marry without advice, he went to his parents, who accompanied him to Timnath, where the preliminaries were settled. On the way, as Samson journeyed with his parents, a lion, wild and roaring, came against him. But unaffrighted, the giant seized him by the jaws, and rent him asunder as he would have rent a kid. Some time after, on another journey to Timnath, he found the carcass of the lion filled with honey, a swarm of bees having taken possession of it. After his marriage, he said to the assembly, most of whom were Philistines, “ I will give you a riddle, and you shall have seven days to find it out. If you succeed, I will give you thirty sheets and thirty changes of garments; if not, you shall give me the same number of sheets and garments.” They accepted the challenge, and took up the bet. The riddle was, “Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.” Day after day, the men of Timnath puzzled themselves on this riddle in vain. Finding they were about to lose, they went to Samson's wife, and threatened to burn her, and her father's house, if she did not coax the secret out of her husband. She yielded to their persuasions, and pleaded with him; and though he had concealed it from all else, he told it to her. So, when the time was up, the Philistines had the key to the riddle, and said to Samson,“ What is sweeter than honey, and what is stronger than the lion ?” Samson knew at once that they had been at work with his wife, and became enraged; and after slaying thirty men, he went to his own home, leaving his wife with her friends. She was soon married again, the desertion of her husband not seeming to produce any serious impression on her mind. A while after, the heart of Samson relented, and he went for her; but her father refused to give her up, and wished him to take her younger sister, who was more beautiful. This again enraged Samson, who caught three hundred foxes, and tying firebrands to their tails, set them loose among the grain of the Philistines, and the fire, spreading in all directions, produced a general calamity. On his return home, the Philistines went after him, and as his nation was subject to the Philistines, he was surrendered. When the Philistines thought they had secured him, he burst the cords, and seizing a jaw bone, slew a thousand of them. For these heroic deeds he was made judge, and reigned many years. But his life was not to end peaceably and quietly. Mighty deeds were yet before him, and God's mighty purpose he was yet to perform. It is related of him, that on one occasion he went to Gaza, and the people all turned out to arrest him ; but as it was night, they concluded to wait till morning. The city was well guarded, and the escape of the giant was deemed impossible. But in the night, the strong man arose, and unhanging the gates, tore up the posts, and throwing them, bars and all, upon his shoulders, marched up to a high hill, and cast them down there, and went his way.
But treachery was to accomplish what force could not. In the valley of Sorek lived Delilah, a Philistine maiden, to whom Samson became attached, and as many suppose, married her. It is imagined by some that Delilah was a very wicked woman; that her character was vile, and her life shameful. But of this we have no proof, and it is probable that her character was good, and her reputation and connection respectable. Be that as it may, the Philistines selected her as the instrument for the accomplishment of their revenge. They bribed her to find out wherein the great strength of Samson lay, and she accepted the bribe. What her motive was we cannot tell. It