Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in to her.…
I. LEARN HOW VERY STRONG PEOPLE ABE SOMETIMES COAXED INTO GREAT IMBECILITIES. Those who have the kindest and most sympathetic natures are the most in danger. The warmth and susceptibility of your nature will encourage the siren. Though strong as a giant, look out for Delilah's scissors.
II. THIS NARRATIVE TEACHES US THE POWER OF AN ILL-DISPOSED WOMAN. While the most excellent and triumphant exhibitions of character we find among the women of history, and the world thrills with the names of Marie Antoinette and Josephine and Joan of Arc and Maria Theresa and hundreds of others, who have ruled in the brightest homes and sung the sweetest cantos, and enchanted the nations with their art, and swayed the mightiest of sceptres, on the other hand the names of Mary the First of England, Margaret of France, Julia of Rome, and Elizabeth Petrowna of Russia have scorched the eye of history with their abominations, and their names, like banished spirits, have gone shrieking and cursing through the world. Woman stands nearest the gate of heaven or nearest the door of hell. When adorned by grace she reaches a point of Christian elevation which man cannot attain, and when blasted by crime she sinks deeper than man can plunge.
III. CONSIDER SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH STRONG MEN GET THEIR LOCKS SHORN. The strength of men is variously distributed. Sometimes it lies in physical development, sometimes in intellectual attainment, sometimes in heart force, sometimes in social position, sometimes in financial accumulation; and there is always a shears ready to destroy it. Every day there are Samsons ungianted. I saw a young man start in life under the most cheering advantages. His acute mind was at home in all scientific dominions. But he began to tamper with brilliant free-thinking. Modern theories of the soul threw over him their blandishments. Scepticism was the Delilah that shore his locks off, and all the Philistines of doubt and darkness and despair were upon him. He died in a very prison of unbelief, his eyes out. Far back in the country districts there was born one whose fame will last as long as American institutions. His name was the terror of all enemies of free government. He stood the admired of millions; the nation uncovered in his presence, and when he spoke senates sat breathless under the spell. The plotters against good government attempted to bind him with green withes and weave his locks in a web, yet he walked forth from the enthralment, not knowing he had burst a bond. But from the wine-cup there arose a destroying spirit that came forth to capture his soul. He drank until his eyes grew dim, and his knees knocked together, and his strength failed. Exhausted with lifelong dissipations, he went home to die. It was strong drink that came like the infamous Delilah, and his locks were shorn. Evil associations, sudden successes, spendthrift habits, miserly proclivities and dissipation, are the names of some of the shears with which men are every day made powerless. They have strewn the earth with the carcases of giant, and filled the great prison houses with destroyed Samsons, who sit grinding the mills of despair, their locks shorn and their eyes out.
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.