Verse 14. "Then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise" - He had a confidence that deliverance would come by some means; and he thought that Esther would be the most likely; and that, if she did not use the influence which her providential station gave her, she would be highly culpable.
"And who knoweth whether thou art come" - As if he had said, "Is it likely that Divine providence would have so distinguished thee, and raised thee from a state of abject obscurity, merely for thy own sake? Must it not have been on some public account! Did not he see what was coming? and has he not put thee in the place where thou mayest counteract one of the most ruinous purposes ever formed?" Is there a human being who has not some particular station by an especial providence, at some particular time, in which he can be of some essential service to his neighbour, in averting evil or procuring good, if he be but faithful to the grace and opportunity afforded by this station? Who dares give a negative to these questions? We lose much, both in reference to ourselves and others, by not adverting to our providental situation and circumstances. While on this subject, I will give the reader two important sayings, from two eminent men, both keen observers of human nature, and deeply attentive in all such cases to the operations of Divine providence:- "To every thing there is a season; and a time to every purpose under heaven.
Therefore withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thy hand to do it. SOLOMON.
There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows, and in miseries. SHAKESPEARE.
Has there not been a case, within time of memory, when evil was designed against a whole people, through the Hamans who had poisoned the ears of well-intentioned men; in which one poor man, in consequence of a situation into which he was brought by an astonishing providence, used the influence which his situation gave him; and, by the mercy of his God, turned the whole evil aside? By the association of ideas the following passage will present itself to the reader's memory, who may have any acquaintance with the circumstance:- "There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man!"Then said, I, Ah, Lord God! They say of me, DOTH HE NOT SPEAK PARABLES?" Rem acu tetigi.
Verse 16. "Fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days" - What a strange thing, that still we hear nothing of prayer, nor of God! What is the ground on which we can account for this total silence? I know it not. She could not suppose there was any charm in fasting, sackcloth garments, and lying on the ground. If these were not done to turn away the displeasure of God, which seemed now to have unchained their enemies against them, what were they done for? If I perish, I perish.] If I lose my life in this attempt to save my people, I shall lose it cheerfully. I see it is my duty to make the attempt; and, come what will, I am resolved to do it. She must, however, have depended much on the efficacy of the humiliations she prescribed.