On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain
•sc. 38.] SAMUEL. 323
history of the miseries of our time to have been brought to a conclusion, that I might no further discourse of the deeds of men ; but that I may not be thought timid or weary, whereby I might the less carefully avoid that saying of baiali, " Woe be to them who call good evil, and evil good, placing darkness for light, and light for darkness, bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter, who seeing see not, and hearing hear not, whose hearts are overshadowed with a thick and black cloud of vices ;" I will briefly set down the threatenings which are denounced against these Ave aforesaid lascivious horses, the frantic followers of Pharaoh, through whom his army is wilfully urged forward to their utter destruction in the Bed Sea, and also against such others, by the sacred oracles, with whose holy testimonies the frame of this our little work is, as it were, roofed in, that it may not be subject to the showers of the envious, which otherwise would be poured thereon. Let, therefore, God's holy prophets, who are to mortal men the mouth of God, and the organ of the Holy Ghost, forbidding evils, and favouring goodness, answer for us as well now as formerly, against the stubborn and proud princes of this our age, that they may not say we menace them with such threats, and such great terrors of our own invention only, and with rash and over-zealous meddling. For to no wise man is it doubtful how far more grievous the sins of this our time are than those of the primitive age, when the apostle said, " Any one transgressing the law, being convicted by two or three witnesses, shall die, how much worse punishment think ye then that he deserveth, who shall trample under his foot the Son of God?"
§ 38. And first of all appears before us, Samuel, by God's commandment, the establisher of a lawful kingdom, dedicated to God before his birth, undoubtedly known by marvellous signs, to be a true prophet unto all the people, from Dan even to Beersheba, out of whose mouth the Holy Ghost thundereth to all the potentates of the world, denouncing Saul the first king of the Hebrews, only because he did not accomplish some matters commanded him of our Lord, in these words which follow: "Thou hast done foolishly, neither yet hast thou kept the commandments of our Lord thy God, that he hath given thee in charge ; which if thou hadst not committed, even now had our Lord pre-