1 Samuel 26:13-16
Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:…

Art not thou a man? (ver. 15). A man should prove worthy of himself; his nature, power, dignity, and responsibility. Every man should do so (not only everyone who, like Abner, occupies an exceptional position), forevery man (fallen though he be) is great. "Let us not disparage that nature which is common to all men; for no thought can measure its grandeur. It is the image of God, the image of his infinity; for no limits can be set to its unfolding. He who possesses the Divine powers of the soul is a great being, be his place what it may. You may clothe him with rags, may immure him in a dungeon, may chain him to slavish tasks; but he is Still great. Man is a greater name than president or king" (Channing, 'Self-culture').

"A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt;
Though sullied and dishonoured, still Divine!"

(Young) In order that he may act according to his true nature, and not unworthily of it -

1. The body must be the servant of the soul. It was designed, with its various passions, to obey, and not to rule; and to keep it "in subjection" (1 Corinthians 9:27) requires watchfulness, self-control, and manly strength.

"Call to mind from whence ye sprang;
Ye were not form'd to live the life of brutes,
But virtue to pursue and knowledge high"

(Dante, 'Inferno')

2. The mind must be faithful to the truth; esteeming it as more precious than gold, searching for it as for hid treasure, receiving it on proper evidence, cleaving to it when discovered, and confessing it without fear. Here is room for the exercise of the highest virtue or martial courage. "In understanding be men" (1 Corinthians 14:20).

3. The heart must be set on the supreme good; resisting and overcoming the temptation to set its affections on wealth, pleasure, fame, that "satisfy not" (Psalm 4:6).

"Let thy heels spurn the earth, and thy raised ken
Fix on the lure which heaven's eternal King
Whirls in the rolling spheres.
O ye misguided souls!
Infatuate, who from such a good estrange
Your hearts, and bend your gaze on vanity,
Alas for you!"


4. The conscience must be reverenced as the king; its integrity defended against all foes, its voice obeyed at all risks, and its favour desired above all earthly dignities. "Reverence thyself" (1 Samuel 22:22).

5. The will must be fixed on doing the will of God - resolutely, firmly, and constantly; in striving against sin, advancing in holiness, and promoting his kingdom. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13).

"Be as the tower that, firmly set,
Shakes not its top for any blast that blows."

6. The character must be conformed to that of "the man Christ Jesus," the highest and only perfect pattern of true manhood (John 13:15; Ephesians 4:13; Philippians 2:5), and the Saviour and Helper of all who endeavour to be like him.

7. The present life must be a preparations for the future. Man is made to live forever, and it is not manly to live only for the passing moment. He who sleeps at his post of duty and neglects to watch and pray is surely "worthy to die" (ver. 16). "Look up to heaven, look down to hell, live for eternity!" - D.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:

WEB: Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of the mountain afar off; a great space being between them;

David's Last Meeting with Saul
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