ON entering a Roman Catholic church in many of the large cities of France or Italy, there is much to impress the mind of a spectator not accustomed to such imposing scenes. There is the vastness and magnificence of the edifice, with its "dim religious light ;" the gorgeous dresses of the priests, and highly dramatic character of the services ; the clouds of fragrant incense ; altars illuminated with candles, and blazing with gold and jewels; the apparent devoutness of the worshippers, all on their knees with heads bent reverently to the ground, or eyes intently fixed on one who, with many a strange mysterious sign, is changing - as they believe - bread into the flesh, and the blood of the grape into the blood of an incarnate God; and there is the grandeur of the music that swells and rolls till it seems to shake the walls of the mighty fabric, amid whose lofty arches it is heard dying away, like the echo of angels songs.
But when he has recovered from his first surprise, and begins to look atound him with calm composure, there is nothing there which strikes an intelligent and thoughtful Protestant more than the remarkable disproportion between the men and women among the worshippers. For one man telling his beads in front of a shrine, or kneeling before an image, or muttering his confession in the ear of a priest, or adoring the host, or thrusting out his tongue to receive the wafer, or engaged in any other ceremonial, there are at least twenty women. It is not that the proportion of women is twenty, or ten times larger in these countries than in our own; nor that the men there have not sins to be pardoned and souls to be saved, and know it too. It is not that the men are all atheists, and say, "There is no God ;" nor even all confirmed sceptics, who, corrupted by Voltaire and others, have made up their minds to reject Christianity, and regard the Bible as "a cunningly devised fable." The striking preponderance of the one sex over the other in these Popish, as compared with our Protestant, churches is to be sought in other causes. It is mainly due to the pretensions of a church which, arrogantly claiming not only to be the mistress of the empires of the world, but of its mind, has everywhere proved itself the tool of tyrants, and an enemy to the liberties of mankind - to the monstrous frauds she practises on the credulity of her devotees - to the childish mummeries of her worship - to the pride and ambition, to the avarice, the rapacity, the sensuality, and the vices which once characterised, and, where opportunity permits, in many instances still charactense, her clergy. How gross their lives and habits were is a matter of history; nor did Luther, or Knox, or any of the Reformers ever draw a darker picture of them than some found, not in the pages merely of Roman Catholic historians, but in the records of their own Ecclesiastical Councils.
For example, the sixty-eight canons enacted at a General Provincial Council which met at Edinburgh, church of the Blackfriars, on the 27th Nov., 1549, eleven years before the era of the Reformation in Scotland - and which, under the presidency of Archbishop Hamilton, of St. Andrews, was attended by many prelates and distinguished members of the Church, are prefaced by a confession that the troubles and heresies which afflicted the Church were due to the corruption, the profane lewdness, and the gross ignorance of churchmen of almost all ranks.
The clergy, therefore, were enjoined to put away their concubines under pain of deprivation of their benefices; to dismiss from their houses the children born to them in concubinage; not to promote such children to benefices, nor to enrich them, the daughters with dowries, the sons with baronies, from the patrimony of the Church. Prelates were admonished not to keep in their households manifest drunkards, gamblers, whoremongers, brawlers, night-walkers, buffoons, blasphemers, profane swearers; and the clergy in general were exhorted to amend their lives and manners. Such were the fruits of Popery where it had room and freedom to develop itself; and in these days, when short-sighted statesmen are proposing to reestablish and endow it, it is well to remember how the crimes of its clergy and the nature of its claims have made religion in many countries an object of indifference or of contempt to educated men; to almost all who make any pretensions to intelligence, or to freedom and independence of thought.
What has happened in these lands on a great scale has happened in our own on a small one. With us infidels have taken occasion from the crimes into which its ministers and followers have fallen to disparage religion, and sneer at piety. They have not scrupled to ransack the pages of the Bible to find matter for casting doubts on its Divine authority; seeking in the sins of Noah, of Abraham, and of Jacob, of David, and other saintly but fallible men, weapons wherewith to stab Christianity, and make hers the unhappy fate of the eagle which fell pierced by an arrow feathered from her own wing. This is unfair. For what good cause, as well as religion, not been betrayed by some, and dishonoured by others? To raise an argument or a sneer against our holy faith on the crimes either of its professors ministers were not so, if, like Hindooism or other forms of paganism, it either lent these crimes its sanctoin, or had any tendency to produce them. but its tendency is the very opposite. The Bible, instead of sanctioning, strongly condemns the very sins it records - condemns them in all, but especially in the professors of religion. It is therefore impossible to conceive anything more unfair and illogical than to make the crimes of Christians a reason for doubting, or denying the truth of their faith.
But the carnal mind being enmity against God, however unreasonable, it is not unnatural for men thus to abuse the apophthegm, "The tree is known by its fruit." And how careful, therefore, should the ministers of religion, and indeed all God's people, be of their walk and conversation, of their life and manners! how should they take heed lest their sins, even their failings and inconsistencies, afford occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, or cast a stumbling-block in the way of Christ's weakest followers! "Whosoever," He has said, "shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea."
These reflections are suggested by the low condition to which the crimes of the priesthood had brought religion in Israel at the time when Hannah first appears upon the stage. The mother of a distinguished man who was to introduce better days, her own lot had fallen on evil ones - in that darkest hour which precedes the dawn. The aged Eli, whose pitiful and tragic fate is one of the most touching incidents in the Bible, was then both the high priest and judge, or civil ruler, of Israel. Presenting in his family one of the moat melancholy examples of the truth that, though talents often are, grace is not hereditary, this good man had, in Hophni and Phinehas, two remarkably depraved sons. They were his colleagues and assistants in the priestly office. Taking advantage of their position to gratify passions which a too-indulgent father had allowed to grow up unchecked, they were guilty of the most atrocious crimes. They tyrannised over the people, trampling them under foot. Ministers of religion, none violated precepts so flagrantly as they. No crime was too great for them to commit, nor place too sacred for them to profane. Neither man's property nor woman's virtue was safe in their hands. The Scribes and Pharisees, those hypocrites on whose heads John the Baptist and our Lord launched their loudest thunders, were not so guilty as they. Christ charged them with turning his Father's house into "a den of thieves;" but Eli's sons turned it to a fouler purpose. Regardless even of appearances, they took no trouble to whiten the sepulchre, but committed within the sacred precincts of the temple such outrages on morality as are without a parallel, unless in the darkest days of Popery - that age of immoral popes, and priests, and monks, and nuns, which preceded and did much to produce the Reformation. The time was one for judgment to begin at the house of God, for an Ezekiel to rise up and cry aloud, saying, "Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds, Woe be to the shepherds of Israel, that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool: ye kill them that are fed, but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was drawn away, neither have ye sought that which was lost: but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled over them; and they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became meat to rail. the beasts of the field where they were scattered; and none did search or seek after them. Behold I am against the shepherds, and I will require my flock at their hands."
Such were they who served the altar in Hannah s time; and the result was the same as the world has seen in after times, Outraged and disgraced by the crimes of its ministers, religion sank into public contempt, and, almost mortally "wounded in the house of its friends," seemed ready to expire. With the interests of virtue betrayed by their appointed guardians; with those who should have set the best, setting the worst example; with consecrated priests taking advantage of their position to grow rich by sacrilege, and debauch the wives and daughters of the community; what else was to expected than such results as may be seen Italy, in France, and in other popish countries At first indignant, and in the end demoralised, the people deserted the house of God, and the profession of a religion which the its priests had made to stink in their nostrils. Wherefore," alluding to Hophni and Phinesid, "Wherefore the sin of the young men was great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord."
But even in those days God did not leave himself without a witness. There were some who felt that his, like other good causes, has never more need of support than when it is betrayed, or disgraced by its supporters. To the cry, "Another man to bear the colours!" it is a brave thing to step forward, and, plucking them from a dead hand, to raise them up and bear them on; but it is a still nobler and braver thing to join the broken band who, refusing to flee, rally around the standard that traitors or cowards have abandoned. Such an act closed the life of Colonel Gardiner, the grand old Christian soldier, who, deserted by his own regiment on the fatal field of Prestonpans, and seeing a handful of men without an officer bravely maintaining the fight, spurred his horse through a shower of bullets to place himself at their head, and fall a sacrifice to truth and loyalty. Such an act also was the women's who openly followed our Lord with tears when no disciple had the courage to show his face, in the streets - when they by their desertion had covered Christ's cause with shame, and his enemies, in cruel mockery, had crowned his head with thorns.
We cannot perhaps apply to the father of Samuel and husband of Hannah the saying, "Faithful among the faithless only he ;" yet to Elkanah certainly belongs the honour of resisting the current of popular opinion, and, in an age of all but universal defection, clinging to the cause and the house of God. When its ministers had brought dishonour on the service of God, and their crimes had made the people abhor it, he felt that there was the more need for him to stand by it. He was not the man to desert the ship. Resolved, to use the words of a brave seaman, to stick by her so long as two planks held together, and perish rather than survive her loss, he clung bravely to the wreck. Praying, cxpecting, waiting for better times, this devout and devoted man maintained the practice of religion; and, with few to keep him in countenance, repaired year by year, according to the statutes the Lord, to His house in Shiloh. In this, acting a part as consonant to sound reason as to the precepts of religion, he sets an example which no Christian can fail to admire - such as no one who falls on evil times or happens to be thrown into evil company, should fail to imitate.
Standing on the shore of an estuary, one sees a boat riding in the tideway, when sea-weed and other things float by, over the self-same spot; and whether the tide ebbs or flows, whether it steals quietly in or comes on with the rush and roar of foaming billows, the boat always boldly shows its face to it; and turning its head to the current receives on its bows, to split them, the shock of waves. This, which to a child would seem strange, is due to the anchor that lies below the waters, and,grasping the solid ground with its iron arms, holds fast the boat. It seems no less wonderful to see a tree - no sturdy oak, but slender birch, or trembling aspen - standing erect away up on a mountain brow; where, exposed to the sweep of every storm, it has gallantly maintained its ground against the ternpests that have laid in the dust the stateliest ornaments of the plain. But our wonder ceases so soon as we climb the height, and see wherein its great strength lies; how it has struck its roots down into the mountain, and wrapped them With many a strong twist and turn round and round the rock. Such an anchor, and rock, and stay, Elkanah had in God. To divine grace, his steadfastness to duty against the popular influence and amid almost universal defection was mainly due. Yet I cannot doubt, nor, knowing what in trying times husbands have owed to brave and pious wives, would I doubt though I could, that in the bold and faithful part he acted, Elkanah owed much to her whose name gives a title to our chapter.
Both before and since the days when they ministered to our Lord, and, following him to Calvary with their tears, were the last at the cross and the first at the sepulchre, the Church has exhibited many instances of high and holy heroism on the part of women. However deserving of the name in ordinary circumstances, where martyrs fires were fiercely burning, and scaffolds flowed with blood, and prisons overflowed with captives, women have not showed themselves to be the "weaker sex. On the contrary, when adherence to principle involved painful sacrifices, men have found such support in gentle women as I have seen the green and pliant ivy lend the wall it clothed and clung to, that, undermined or shaken, was ready to fall. Daughters of Eve, but no tools of the tempter to seduce, with a babe at their breast and others at their knee, they have encouraged man to withstand temptation, and boldly face the storm, counting rank, home, living, and all things else, but loss for Christ. Such was the spirit of Hannah.
Some good men have been sorely tried by godless wives. Of Solomon, who presents a signal illustration of the saying of an old Scotch judge, "That you can never determine a man's sanity either by the wife he marries or by the religion he adopts," it is said "his wives turned away his heart after other gods." Happier than Solomon and many else, Elkanah was not one of whom it could be said, "A man's enemies shall be those of his own house." At least, so far as concerned Hannah, his was not a house divided against itself. Entering with sympathy into all his plans and works of piety, inflaming his zeal, and confirming him in his resolution, though he should stand alone, to stand by the cause of God, she was worthy the name of "helpmeet." Blessed woman, and "mother in Israel," we would set her forth as a model for wives, and mothers, and all, to imitate.
"There is a skeleton in every house !" This, though a trite, is a true saying, and trite because it is true. The grim monitor that stands in every house to teach us that unmingled pleasures are to be sought in heaven, Hannah found in hers. Happier than some that have been unequally yoked unbelievers, she had a worthy and pious husband. Never was wife more prized and more loved than she. In what esteem Elkanah held her, how fondly he cherished her, how dear she was to him, how kind he was to her, appears in the very loving and tender terms with which he essays to soothe her grief, saying, "Why weepest thou? and eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
As is indicated, by that question, her great trial was to be childless - a disappointment which, though is natural for all wives to wish to be mothers, either from every Jewish woman hoping to be the the Messiah, or for some other reason, painfully felt by them than it would be by other women. But her trial, like a wound into which cruel hands rub salt, or some other smarting thing, turning ordinary pain into intolerable torture, was greatly aggravated and embittered by the happier fortune and insolent reproaches of a rival.
We may be astonished to hear that Hannah had a rival; and that a man whom we have seen standing up so bravely for the cause of God, and setting his breast like a rock against the tide of irreligion that swept over the land, should have conformed to one of the worst customs of the world. Yet such is man! There are spots in the very sun - such defects in the brightest Christians as to remind us of the words, "I have seen an end of all perfection." Elkanah was a polygamist. To his own misfortune, not less than to Hannah s, he had another wife besides her. A violation of that law of.nature which introduces about an equal number of both sexes into the world, and a breach also of that revealed will whereby we are taught that at the first it was not so - one woman only being given to the man - this practice, though winked at, was punished in Elkanah's case - as it was punished in Jacob's, in David's, in Solomon's, and is still punished wherever polygamy prevails. Homes that might be the abodes of peace are disturbed through polygamy by intestine broils; ever and anon swept by storms of domestic discord. There envy reigns, furious jealousies, and hatred. There rage the worst passions that a sense of injury and a false position can rouse in woman's breast.
In some kind and gentle women Hannah's mis fortune would have excited feelings of sympathy. But the other wife, who had children - a rude, coarse, proud, and vulgar woman - turned it into an occasion for triumphing over her, and embittering all the, springs of her life. Elkanah loved Hannah more than her. Peninnah saw that; and to be avenged of a wrong that rankled in her bosom, and she could neither forgive nor forget, she poured the the vials of her wrath on the head of her innocent but unhappy rival. "Her adversary," it is said "also provoked her sore for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb."
In these circumstances - circumstances to which the old adage, so generally true, applies with peculiar force "Speech is silver, but silence is golden " - teaches us how to bear our trials, whatever their nature be; and how to seek, and where to find relief. Weep she must - if haply her heart overcharged with sorrow, like a dark cloud that dissolves itself in showers, may find relief in tears. These flow from her eyes, but no word of reproach passes her lips. Reviled, she reviled not again. She feels as it is in nature, but acts as it is only in grace to do. The woman is not lost in the saint, nor, as is apt to happen, is the saint lost in the woman. Where others, roused to fury, would have retaliated, Hannah silently submits; where others would have given themselves up to repinings and hopeless grief, Hannah prays. Her patience could not conquer Peninnah; but her prayers might achieve a greater conquest. By them she might prevail with God. In her trouble she sought the Lord - by and by to turn the tables on her adversary; by and by, in that temple where Peninnah's reproaches had wrung her heart with grief and filled her eyes with tears, to stand with a boy at her side - an offering to the Lord of her grateful heart, and lift up her voice over her enemy, as God's people at last shall over all theirs, singing this magnificent ode
"My heart ,rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the. Lord, my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased; so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children has waxed feeble. The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall ‘he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed."

A singular phenomenon has sometimes been noticed at sea. In a gale, when the storm, increasing in violence, has at length risen into a hurricane, the force of the wind has been observed to actually beat down the waves, producing a temporary and cornparative calm; and similar is the effect occasionally produced by awful and overwhelming trials - these, by their very power and pressure on the heart, abating both the violence, and the expression of its feelings. But what is equally remarkable and still more observable in trials is, that we can more easily bear a heavy blow from God's hand than a light one from man's. Conscious of sin, we feel that He has a right to afflict, where man has none. Job, for example, sat on the ruins of his fortune and the grave of all his children to kiss the rod that had smitten him, and say, as he put his hand on the mouth of a mother who was raging like a bear bereaved of her whelps, "Shall we receive good at the hands of the Lord, and not receive evil also? The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and blessed be the name of the Lord " Yet when his friends - his "miserable comforters," as he called them - but rudely touched the wounds God's hand had made, he winced. Their injurious speeches broke him down; and losing the magnanimous patience with which he had seen his family and fortune buried in one day, in a common grave, he now exclaims, "Oh that God would grant my request: that God would grant me the thing I long for; that it would please God to destroy me; that he would loose his hand and cut me off My soul strangling and death rather than my life.Therefore hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? 0 that I had given up the ghost and no had seen me !"
It has been also observed that it is much more difficult to meekly bear wrongs by friends - by such as we revere, respect, or than by the hands of enemies. Hence the of those complaints which in respect of the wrongs our Lord suffered, and suffers still, from the sins of His people, not only from such treachery as Iscariot's, but such denials as Peter's, and such desertion as the other disciples , we may ascribe to him, "Mine own familiar friend hath lifted up the heel against me;" "These are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends!" Now under such a wrong how admirable the meekness, how sanctified the temper, of Hannah!
Smarting under the cruel reproaches of her rival, overwhelmed with grief, to use the very words of Scripture, "in bitterness of soul," she lingers in the temple behind the rest, and there alone, as she supposed, pours out her tears and prayers before the Lord. Resting after the work of the day - heavy on an aged man - but unseen by her, Eli sits by a post of the temple. Her sobs and sighs, perhaps, calling his attention, he turns - to see a woman there. Tears stream down her cheeks. Hers is a sorrow with which no stranger could intermeddle, and God, who hears in secret, alone could cure. So while calling on Him, and vowing that if He will give her a man-child, he shall be the Lord's all the days of his life, Hannah prays in silence. •But though no sound was heard, her lips moved; while probably her body, sympathising with the agitation of. her spirit, as it often does under violent grief, kept rocking all the while. His eyes dim as well as his head grey with years, Eli - too much accustomed in these evil times to see abandoned women - thought she was drunk! And more ready, like other weak, indulgent fathers, to discover and reprove sin in others than in his own sons, he addresses her sharply, saying, "How long wilt thou be drunken ? - put away thy wine from thee." A grave and very offensive accusation! Under such a charge, and in the rapid alternation with which the mind passes from one passion to another, who would have been astonished had her grief suddenly changed to anger? We dare not have blamed this highly virtuous as well as broken-hearted woman, had she repelled with indignation so foul a charge. It was hard enough to suffer Peninnah's scoffs; but it is harder to have insult added to injury, and her bleeding wounds, as now, torn wider by the hands that should have closed them. The meekness. of Moses have become a proverb ; and justly so. But did he, did any man or woman, ever show a milder, gentler, lovelier Spirit, a more magnanimous example of how to suffer wrong, than Hannah when, without one angry look or tone, she replied, "No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto."
No wonder that Eli, perceiving the wrong he had done, should have turned his reproaches on himself; and touched with ‘Hannah's grief, answered and said, "Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him."

I know an island that stands crowned by its ancient fortalice in the middle of a lake, some good bow-shots from the shore. With the walls of the old ruin mantled in ivy, and its tower rising grim and grey above the foliage of hoary elms, it serves no purpose now but to recall old times and ornament a lovely landscape. But once that island and its stronghold were the refuge and life of those whose ordinary residence was the castle that, with gates, and bulwarks, and many a tower, and floating banner rose in baronial pride on the shore. When in the troublous times of old that fort was beleaguered and its defenders could hold it out no longer against the force and fury of the siege, they sought their boats, and, escaping by the postern gate over waters too deep to wade and too broad to swim, threw themselves on the island - within the walls of the stout old keep to enjoy peace in the midst of war, and safe beyond the shot of crosshow, to laugh their enemies to scorn. In their hardest plight, and against the greatest numbers, this refuge never failed them.
Such a refuge and relief his people find in God. the confidence and bold language of the "Truly my soul waiteth upon God; from him cometh my salvation. He only is my and my salvation; he is my defence: I shall be greatly moved. In God is my salvation, my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times: ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us." Hence, also, in allusion to the security such strongholds offered in the East, as well as here, in olden times, the Bible says, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, into which the righteous runneth, and is safe." And thus, as prayer is our way of access to God, and the means by which we place ourselves under his protection, it is a resource that never fails. There is no evil from which it does not offer escape; no sin of which it may not, through the application of Christ's blood, procure the pardon; nor any temptation over which, calling in the aids of the Holy Spirit, it may not achieve a victory. There is no burden too heavy for the back of prayer to carry, nor wound too deep for its balm to heal. It provides comfort in all the sorrows, relief amid all the troubles, and a cure for all the ills of life.
When her rival vexed, and her husband tried in vain to comfort her, teaching us what to do and where to go, Hannah sought her comfort in prayer. That door remained open when all others were shut; that spring filled the fountain to its lip when all other streams were dry. She found in God the comfort that she sought. She longed to have a man-child; and had such faith in God as to believe that, though - it might seem a miracle, He was able to grant her request, and, in the words of the psalm, "make the barren woman to keep house, and be a joyful mother of children." And He who helped Hannah to conceive such faith, helped her to conceive a son. Let her case teach us that the way to get anything is first to get faith - " all things are possible to him that believeth."
There are people, who claim to be philosophers, that laugh such hopes to scorn. Amid evidences of a divine wisdom, power, and goodness, visible and bright as the sun at noonday, they cannot say, what "the fool saith in his heart, There is no God ;" their God is not our God, nor is "their rock unto our Rock." According to them God all events to the operation of what they call ordinary laws of nature," without guiding, rolling, overruling, or interfering with them in way whatever. No wonder that with such the Divine Being is to them neither an object of reverential worship nor of filial affection. How fear, or love God? Their God is a Sovereign, who, parting with his sceptre though he retains his crown, is denuded of all authority - a Father who, careless of their fate, casts his children out on the world, like the poor babe a guilty mother exposes, which, though it may perchance be pitied and protected by others, is cruelly forsaken by the author of its being. How dark and dreary such a philosophy! All nature, and every religion, Pagan as well as Christian, revolts against it. And I cannot but regard them as the greatest enemies of mankind who, denying the efficacy, would silence the, voice of prayer; and sweep away the last refuge of.wretchedness; and quench the one hope that shines to many over life's troubled waters; and plunge our world into the darkness of a perpetual eclipse - into the sorrows and miseries of a home where wife and children stand helpless around the bed on which their guide, and guardian, and protector, and bread-winner, lies deaf, and mute, and cold, in death.
Some one has said of prayer, It moves the hand that moves the world. A grand truth! to a poor conscience-stricken sinner, to an alarmed soul, to an anxious, weary, trembling spirit, a truth more precious than all science and philosophy. Hannah believed it. Nor - encouraging us to cast ourselves in faith on the promises of God in Jesus Christ, on the ample bosom of his love, and into the almighty arms of his providence - did Hannah believe in vain. She left the temple, and went home, a changed and happy woman. "She went her way," it is said, "and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad ;" and came back betimes to say to Eli, as leading Samuel by the hand she presented him to the aged priest, "0 my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord: for this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: therefore also I have lent him to the Lord: as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord."

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