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The Baldwin Library
HISTORY OF SAMUEL
THE history of Samuel contained in
the Bible, is very pleasing and instruct-
ive, because- he was very wise and holy,
and served God all the days of his life,
from the time he was a child.
His father's name was Elkanah, hand
his mother's name Hannah. She was a
very good woman, who prayed to God
and tried to please him. She gave her
child the name of Samuel when he was
eight days old, for that was the custom
of the people who were called the chil-
dren of Israel.
4 THE HISTORY
Samuel means asked of God." Han-
nah gave her little baby that name be-
cause she had asked him of the Lord in
prayer, and had made a vow, which means
a promise, to give her child to God, that
he might serve him as long as he lived.
She dwelt with her husband at a place
called Ephraim, in the land of Canaan,
which is sometimes called the Holy Land.
It was in that country that the Israelites,
who were God's chosen people, lived, after
Moses and Aaron had brought them out
of the land of Egypt, according to the
command of God, and after they had been
in the wilderness forty years. Many men
who feared God lived in that country.
Most of the holy prophets dwelt there.
Our blessed Lord was born in Canaan,
preached his gospel, and did most of his
OF SAMUEL. 5
miracles there. There he suffered and
died for us, and rose from the dead, and
thence he rose up into heaven. It was in
that country that the apostles of our
Lord began to preach his gospel. They
told poor sinners that they must repent of
their sins and give up doing wickedness;
and that they must believe in our Saviour,
and their sins would be forgiven; that
their hearts being changed by the Holy
Spirit, they should serve God, and then,
after this life is ended, Christ would
receive them into heaven.
Samuel was born many hundred years
before our blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Christ, came into the world.
When Samuel was a little child, he
lived with his father and mother at
Ephraim; but he was not to live there
6 THE HISTORY
always with his parents, as his mother
had made a vow to give him unto the
Lord all the days of his life." He was
to live in the house of God. As that
was the case, we may be sure his mother
took great care of him whilst he was
with her. She nursed him very kindly;
and, when she rocked him on her knees,
pressed him to her bosom, and gave
him the kisses which showed a mother's
love, she thought of the time when he
would be far away, engaged in God's
Kind and good mothers love their chil-
dren and take pleasure in teaching them
those things which may make them good
and happy. Children ought to be very
thankful to God for their wise, good, and
kind parents, and for good instructions;
OF SAMUEL. 1
and they ought very dearly to love such
I will now tell you how Samuel was
given to the Lord.
The house of God was at a place called
Shiloh. That was a great way from
where little Samuel's father and mother
lived. The house of God was called the
tabernacle. It was not a house built with
stones, or bricks and mortar. It was
made of wood, and cloth, and skins.
There was also gold, silver, and brass
about it. Some of the cloth was dyed
blue, purple, red, and scarlet. It was a
very beautiful house or tent, for a taber-
nacle means a tent. It could be taken
to pieces and carried from place to place.
God had commanded Moses to make it
when the children of Israel were in the
8 THE HISTORY
wilderness. The tabernacle contained
different parts. Into some parts the
priests only were allowed to enter. The
priests and Levites were appointed to
perform the services of the house of God.
None but the Levites were allowed to put
up and take down the tabernacle.
To this house the people came to wor-
ship God and offer sacrifices, according
to the law given by Moses.
The time fixed upon for Samuel to be
taken to the house of God by his mother,
was not till after he was weaned; and
then she said she would bring him, that
he might "appear before the Lord, and
there abide for ever."
So when Samuel's mother had weaned
him, they made great preparations for
the occasion: for his parents intended
OF SAMUEL. 9
to offer gifts and sacrifices. She took
with her three bullocks, and some flour
and wine, and brought Samuel to the house
of God in Shiloh. When they had
arrived there, they slew a bullock for a
sacrifice, and brought the child to Eli
the priest. And Hannah told him that
she was the woman who had stood by
him when she was formerly there, pray-
ing unto the Lord. For that child she
had prayed, and the Lord had granted
her petition. So she had lent or returned
him to the Lord, as long as he might
After she had given up her son, she
sang a beautiful hymn of praise to God,
beginning with these words, My heart
rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted
in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over
10 THE HISTORY
mine enemies; because I reioice in thy
salvation. There is none holy as the
Lord: for there is none beside thee:
neither is there any rock like our God."
You see, this good woman was glad
to give up her little boy that he might
always serve God. She was not afraid to
leave him in the hands of God, and under
the care of Eli the priest, who was God's
minister. She knew God could take care
of her dear little son when away from
her, as well as if he were with her. And
she knew, also, that Eli could teach him
to know God and his holy law, and every-
thing he needed to know, to make him
wise, good, and happy.
When this dear, good mother left her
little Samuel-no doubt she felt very much
at parting with him-she would not fail to
OF SAMUEL. 11
give him good advice, and pray for him.
It is a great blessing to children to have
praying parents who love and fear God.
From that time Samuel lived in the
house of God, with Eli, and ministered
before the Lord. How delightful it was
to see a dear little child serving the Lord
of heaven and earth with all his heart,
from day to day, in God's own house !
Eli, it appears, from the kind manner
in which he spoke, loved Samuel; and,
no doubt, took great pleasure in teaching
him the great truths of God's holy word,
and how to serve the Lord acceptably.
By means of the sacrifices, Eli could
teach him about the Messiah, that is, our
Lord Jesus Christ; who, it had been
foretold, should come into the world.
For the sacrifices of lambs and other
12 THE HISTORY
animals which were offered upon the
altar in the tabernacle, were intended to
make people think about Messiah the
Saviour, who, when he did come upon
earth, was called the Lamb of God,
which taketh away the sin of the world,"
because he was appointed by God the
Father to die for our salvation.
Samuel, though a great way off from
his father and mother, was not forgotten
by them. They came every year to
Shiloh, to worship God at-the feast; and
his mother brought him a little coat year
by year. She never failed. Every year
there was the little new coat for Samuel.
What a happy meeting it must have been
for the child and his parents How
rejoiced they must have been to see each
other, after an absence of twelve months!
How pleasing it was to Samuel's parents
to find him in health and grown bigger
than when they last saw him! And
above all, to hear of his piety and good
conduct. For he grew wise and good as
well as bigger. The Bible says, And
the child Samuel grew on, and was in
favour both with the Lord, and also with
Happy Samuel, to be loved by God, to
be in favour with the Lord! God's favour
is better than life. Those who enjoy the
favour of God are the happiest people
in the world. It is better to have the
favour of God than to have all the riches
and fine things in the world.
It came to pass, after some years, that
Samuel was called to be a prophet. This
is the way in which it happened. Eli
14 THE HISTORY
had very wicked sons; and a man of God
came to him and told him about the
wickedness of his sons, and that God would
punish them. But they still went on in
their wicked ways. Their father had
become very old, and his eyes were dim,
so that he could not see.
One night when Eli had lain down in
his place, and Samuel also had lain down
to sleep, the Lord called Samuel: and
he answered, Here am I." And he ran
to Eli, for he supposed it was Eli who
had called him; but Eli told him he
had not called him; so he went and lay
down. And the Lord called yet again,
Samuel, and he rose and went again to
Eli, and said that Eli had called. But
Eli said, I called not, my son; lie down
OF SAMUEL. 15
Now Samuel did not yet know the
Lord as the prophets knew him, neither
was the word of the Lord revealed to
And the Lord called Samuel the third
time, and he went to Eli as he had done
before. And Eli perceived that God
had called Samuel; and Eli told him to
lie down, and if he heard the voice call
him again to say, "Speak, Lord; for thy
servant heareth." So Samuel lay down
in his place again; and God called as
before, and Samuel answered -as Eli had
told him. And God told Samuel that he
would bring to pass all the things that
he had told Eli, because of the iniquity of
his sons; and because they had made
themselves vile, and he restrained them
Samuel lay in his place till the morning,
and then got up and opened the door of
the house of God. But he was afraid to
tell Eli what God had said to him. Not
that he wished to disobey God, but be-
cause it would distress and grieve poor old
Eli, who had been kind and good to him,
and had taken care of him and instructed
him in tlie things of God. But Eli
wished very much to know what Samuel
had been told. So Samuel told him
everything; he hid nothing from him.
,When Eli heard what God would do,
he did not rebel, but meekly said, "It
is the Lord: let him do what seemeth
That was the way in which Samuel
became a prophet. God spoke to him
about what should come to pass, and
7 -<^- ^ ^
OF SAMUEL. 17
gave him a message to deliver. It is
said in the Bible, that Samuel grew,
and the Lord was with him, and did
let none of his words fall to the ground.
And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-
sheba knew that Samuel was established
to be a prophet of tle Lord." After
that, God appeared many times to
Samuel, and revealed himself by his
The punishments which God had told
Samuel should come upon the wicked
sons of Eli, happened as it had been
foretold. For having gone with the
Israelites to battle against the Philis-
tines, they were both killed, and the ark
of God was taken.
The news was brought to Eli, who
was ninety-eight years old, and blind
18 THE HISTORY
through old age, as he sat on a seat
by the way-side, waiting. A man ran
from the army and came to him, and
told him that Israel had fled before the
Philistines; that there had been a great
slaughter among the people; that his
two sons were dead, and that the ark
of God was taken. When the mes-
senger mentioned that the ark was taken,
Eli fell off the seat backward, his neck
broke, and he died. He could bear to
hear of the death of his sons, but to
hear that the ark was taken was too
distressing for him to bear. It is very
likely he fainted, and, having lost all
power over himself, fell. He had judged
Israel forty years.
After the death of Eli, Samuel was I
established judge of Israel.
OF SAMUEL. 19
The little boy whom his mother
returned to the Lord, was now become
a holy man of God, who was both pro-
phet of the Lord and judge of Israel.
The judges of Israel were persons
who were over all the people as gover-
nors, and judged amongst them, when
there were disputes between them, and
when any were accused of having done
wrong to their neighbours or committed
Samuel on one occasion said, "Gather
all the people to Mizpeh, and I will
pray for you unto the Lord."
So all the people came together at
Mizpeh and worshipped God, and fasted
and confessed their sins. When the
Philistines, who were the enemies of the
' Israelites, heard that they were gathered
20 THE HISTORY
together at Mizpeh, the lords ,of the
Philistines went to fight against them.
When the people of Israel heard that
they were coming against them they
were afraid, and they said to Samuel,
" Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God
for us, that he will save us out of the
hand of the Philistines." And Samuel
offered a sacrifice, and prayed to God
for Israel, and God heard his prayer.
And as Samuel was offering the sacri-
fice, the Philistines drew near to battle
against the Israelites ; but God caused a
great thunder-storm to come upon the
Philistines that day, which put them in
disorder, so that they could not fight, but
ran away. And the Israelites followed
after them and smote them.
To keep up a remembrance of what
OF SAMUEL. 21
had happened, and show their gratitude
to God, Samuel took a stone and set it i
up as a monument, and called the name
of it Eben-ezer, that is, the stone of
help, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord
helped us." The Philistines were con-
quered, and they did not come any more
into the coasts of Israel.
That the people might have justice
done and not be oppressed or injured,
whether rich or poor, in whatever part
of the land of Israel they might live,
Samuel went in circuit from year to
year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpeh,
and judged Israel in all those places,
as now the judges of England go
into the different counties to hold the
It came to pass that the Israelites
22 THE HISTORY
wished to have a king; and it was brought
about in this way:
When Samuel was old he made his
two sons judges over Israel. But they
were not good men like their father.
What they thought about was, getting
money, not doing justice. They took
bribes and perverted judgment.
Then all the elders of Israel met to-
gether and came to Samuel at Ramah,
where he lived. And they said to him
that he was old, and that his sons did not
walk in his ways, and that they wished
him to make them a king to judge them
like all the nations. Samuel was grieved 4
because they wished to have a king, and
he prayed to God about it.
And God said to Samuel that he must
do as the people had said to him; for it
OF SAMUEL. 23
was not Samuel whom they had rejected,
but God, that he should not reign over
them. He was to point out to them their
folly in desiring a king, and to show them
how much it would be to their hurt.
Samuel did so, and especially told them
how displeasing it was to God.
Nevertheless the people refused to
obey the voice of Samuel; and they said,
Nay; but we will have a king over us."
Thus they would not have God for their
ruler, but would have a man as their
king, as the heathen had.
Then God made known to Samuel
that he was to anoint Saul, the son of
Kish, to be their king. Saul was a fine
and good-looking young man; there was
not a finer young man among the Israel-
ites. From his shoulders and upwards
he was taller than any of the people.
The asses of Kish, Saul's father, were lost;
and he sent Saul with one of his servants
to look for them. They went a great
way, but did not find them. They were
about to return, when his servant said to
him that there was in the city a man
of God, and that he was an honourable
man, and that all he said came surely to
pass. He advised him to go to him,
that he might show them the way they
should go. Then Saul said, Well said;
come, let us go." So they went to the city.
Samuel, when he met Saul, took him to
eat with him, and afterwards conversed
with him privately on the house top.
The next day, as they were going out of the
city, "Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured
it upon his head, and kissed him, and said,
OF SAMUEL. 25
Is it not because the Lord hath anointed
thee to be captain over his inheritance ?"
Some time after, Samuel called all the
people together at Gilgal to establish
Saul in the kingdom. As judge of Israel
Samuel had been very upright and faith-
ful; and, as the people had wished to
have a king, he might think that some of
them had something against him. So
he made a speech to all the people in the
presence of the king, in which he showed
that as a judge he had, done what was
right and best for them.
After this appeal in proof of his in-
tegrity, uprightness, and faithfulness, he
reminded them of many things which
God had done for them, and admonished
them to fear the Lord and serve him in
truth and obey his voice, assuring them
26 THE HISTORY
if they did God would protect and bless
them and their king, but if they rebelled
against the commandment of God, his
hand would be against them.
Samuel gave them a sign to show that
what he had said was true and right. He
told them that he would pray to God to
send thunder and rain that day. So he
prayed to God, and he sent the thunder
and rain to establish the word of Samuel.
And all the people greatly feared the
Lord and Samuel; and they asked him
to pray for them, saying, Pray for thy
servants unto the Lord thy God, that we
die not: for we have added unto all our
sins this evil, to ask us a king." Samuel
gave them some more good advice,
and said with the kindness and affection
of a father, God forbid that I should
OF SAMUEL. 27
sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray
for you: but I will teach you the good
and the right way."
King Saul did not serve God faithfully,
but was disobedient and self-willed: and
God told Samuel that he had rejected
him from being king over Israel. We
will mention a remarkable instance of
There was a very wicked and sinful
nation called the Amalekites. They had
lain in wait for the Israelites to destroy
them when they came out of Egypt.
They had a very proud, cruel, and wicked
king, who had caused many people to be
killed. God had commanded Saul to go
and destroy all those wicked people and
all they had. Saul went and fought
against them, but did not do as he was
28 THE HISTORY
commanded; for he kept some of their
best things, and took their cruel king
alive. After the battle, Saul came to
Samuel and said that he had done what
God had commanded. But that was not
true. Samuel could hear the bleating of
the sheep and the lowing of the oxen,
which Saul had reserved out of the goods
of the Amalekites. Saul pretended that
the people had only taken some of the
best things to offer in sacrifice to God.
"And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as
great delight in burnt offerings and
sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the
Lord? Behold, to obey is better than
sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of
rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witch-
craft, and- stubbornness is as iniquity and
idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the
OF SAMUEL. 29
word of the Lord, he hath also rejected
thee from being king."
How wicked and dangerous it is, under
pretence of serving God, to neglect obedi-
ence to his commandments. What God
delights in is a spirit of devotedness, sub-
mission, and obedience to him. It is not
mere profession of zeal for his service, but
real observance of his commandments,
that is pleasing in his sight. Let it be
your constant care, dear young reader, to
obey God. Our blessed Lord said, "Not
every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven."
Pray for a spirit of obedience, that,
by the help of the Holy Spirit, you may
always be able to do the will of God.
30 THE HISTORY
Saul rejected the word of the Lord, and
the Lord rejected him. If we reject his
blessed word by our disobedience, he also
will reject us.
Then Samuel said that Agag, the cruel
king of the Amalekites, should be brought
to him. And Samuel said to him, "As
thy sword hath made women childless,
so shall thy mother be childless among
women. And Samuel hewed Agag in
pieces." -He killed him because God had
commanded that he should be put to
Some time after, Samuel, having been
commanded by God, went and anointed
David to be king over Israel. He was
keeping his father's sheep when Samuel
went to anoint him. David had a beau-
tiful countenance, and was a fine young
OF SAMUEL. 31
man: and what was better still, he loved
and served God.
This is the last thing that is said in
the Bible Samuel did. He was very old
when he died. And all the Israelites
lamented him, and buried him in his
house at Ramah.
And now, dear young reader, you
have here the history of Samuel, which
you may read more at length in the
Bible. There are several things in this
history about which you should think.
You should think how young Samuel
was when he began to serve God. He
was only a little child. You should pray
to God to put his Holy Spirit in your
heart, that you may love. and serve God
from your childhood as Samuel did.
32 THE HISTORY OF SAMUEL.
Samuel was remarkable for praying
much to God. In this you should imi-
tate him.- Love prayer, as Samuel did;
and pray, as he did, from the heart. And
especially ask God, for Jesus' sake, to give
you the Holy Spirit, that you may truly
believe in Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
Samuel continued to serve God all the
days of his life. Do the same. Be
faithful unto death.
Samuel did all the good he could.
May you do so too. Then men will
respect you when you are old, and when
you come to die. And what is best of all,
our Lord Jesus Christ will receive you
into heaven, if you have believed in him,
and have loved and striven to obey him to
your life's end.
REED AND PARDON, PRINTERS, PATERNOSTER ROW.