By wilful resistance to God's will, he opened the door to those evil passions which till then, at the utmost, only served to make his character unamiable, without stamping it with guilt. The reserve and mysteriousness, which, when subordinate to such magnanimity as he possessed, were even calculated to increase his influence as a ruler, ended in an overthrow of his mind, when they were allowed full scope by the removal of true religious principle, and the withdrawal of the Spirit of God. Derangement was the consequence of disobedience. The wilfulness which first resisted God, next preyed upon himself, as a natural principle of disorder; his moods and changes, his compunctions and relapses, what were they but the convulsions of the spirit, when the governing power was lost? At length the proud heart, which thought it much to obey its Maker, was humbled to seek comfort in a witch's cavern; essaying, by means which he had formerly denounced, to obtain advice from that Prophet when dead, whom in his lifetime he had dishonoured.
In contemplating this miserable termination of a history which promised well in the beginning, it should be observed, how clearly the failure of the divine purpose which takes place in it is attributable to man. Almighty God chose an instrument adapted, as far as external qualifications were concerned, to fulfil His purpose; adapted in all those respects which He reserved in His own hands, when He created a free agent; in character and gifts, in all respects except in that in which all men are, on the whole, on a level,—in will. No one could be selected in talents or conduct more suitable for maintaining political power at home than the reserved mysterious monarch whom God gave to His people; none more suitable for striking terror into the surrounding nations than a commander gifted with his coolness and promptitude in action. But he fell from his election, because of unbelief,—because he would take another part, and not the very part which was actually assigned him in the decrees of the Most High.