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our fathers our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.

17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

18 O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:

19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.

21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings unto the LORD, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:

22 And did eat and drink before the LORD on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the LORD to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.

23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.

24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.

25 And the LORD magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel. LECTURE 671.

20 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed


Of being great in the sight of God.

Most happy was the frame of mind in which a king the most prosperous, having been raised from the sheepfold to so high an eminence, and having dedicated to the service of God probably the largest quantity of treasure that has ever been seen together in the world, still acknowledged that all he gave was God's before gave it, and acknowledged himself indebted to God both for the power and the disposition to give it. How much greater is the man who thus justly reckons of his wealth, and of his bounty, than they who pride themselves in either, or in both! May we learn to admire most in others that which is in God's sight best! And may we never forget, that our way to be exalted in his sight is to be lowly in our own eyes!

David dieth.

26 Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.

27 And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

28 And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.

29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,

30 With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.


Against forestalling judgment.

Of David's end it is here recorded that "he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour." Not a word is added as to the state of his never dying soul. No hint is given towards satisfying our anxious desire, to know whether he died at peace with God, fit to live with Him in heaven for ever. And we shall find this the case generally in the record of the death of Scripture characters, no opinion is expressed on the condition of the departed, with reference to the judgment to come. And we ought to take this silence of the inspired writers for a reproof to our over anxious curiosity, for a severe reproof upon a practice in which many are now apt to indulge, the practice of pronouncing judgment on the state of the departed. Our privilege is this, not to sorrow as they that have no hope. Let us hold fast to this, and it is enough. Let us hope in each case as far as possible, and we need form no further judgment. In our ignorance of each other's hearts, and in our total inability to weigh the amount of privileges which each may have used or have abused, it is presumptuous in us to pronounce positively of any one, either that he is lost, or that he is saved. As for David, there are few for whom our hopes can well be higher than for him. And we seem to have good ground for trusting, that what he said prophetically of Christ will in the main be realized in himself, "Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, neither shalt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption." Ps. 16. 11. But where Scripture has not spoken, let us be content to wait for certainty till the judgment of the last day. And instead of presuming to forestal the sentence which will then be given, let us watch and pray and labour, that whosoever may be then admitted to share the glory of the Lord, we may be found ourselves among the number.

Thanks be to God, in behalf of all his servants departed this life in his faith and fear! May He give us grace so to follow their good example, that with them we may be partakers of his heavenly kingdom, through Christ our Lord!


Solomon's sacrifice at Gibeon.

1 And Solomon the son of Da- 4 But the ark of God had David was strengthened in his king- vid brought up from Kirjathdom, and the LORD his God was jearim to the place which David with him, and magnified him ex- had prepared for it: for he had ceedingly. pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.

2 Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.

3 So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness.

5 Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.

6 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offer ings upon it.


Of beginning and ending with God.

Glorious indeed is this beginning of the reign of Solomon. Oh had he but thus continued to the end! He began with a public act of devout homage to Jehovah. He began with testifying before all the great men of his kingdom his faith and trust in God, and his resolution to honour Him in the way of his appointment. A thousand burnt offerings, this was devotion worthy of a king; for such burnt offerings were then according to God's word fitting expression of devotedness of heart. A thousand burnt offerings offered upon the brazen altar which was originally consecrated for the altar of the tabernacle, and that altar sought out at Gibeon, when there was another nigh at hand at Jerusalem, this was a proof, that the new monarch loved the old ways, and that with all the glory of the new temple in prospect before him, he delighted to honour, whilst it yet was standing, that tent, wherein the presence of the Lord had been so long and so signally made manifest. Happy are those kings who begin their reign, as Solomon did his, with a solemn profession that they are devoted subjects of the Lord! Happy are all they, whether kings or subjects, who having begun their course of life in the way of God's commandments, continue, and also end in Him!

Solomon's choice.

7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. 8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead. 9 Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?

11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:

12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after

thee have the like.

13 Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.

14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen : and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

15 And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the vale for abundance.

16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.

17 And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means.


Of God's granting our requests.

Does it seem a surprising instance of condescension, for God to say to Solomon, "Ask what I shall give thee?" Do we wish that we were in this monarch's place, to have our choice thus given us by God? Surely then we forget, that God has spoken no less graciously to us, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Matt. 7. 7. It must indeed be owned, that God no longer gives us a choice altogether unlimited. For He has taught us by St. James, that we ask amiss if we ask in order to consume upon our lusts; and moreover He has signified, that in this case we may expect to ask and have not. See James 4. 3. But this is a limit

set us for our own good. And if we had a choice as wide as that of Solomon, we ought still to prefer, as he did, wisdom to riches; we ought to pray for skill and grace to do our duty to God, rather than for all the joys and honours that this world can afford us. And surely as God gave to Solomon more than he asked for, not only granting wisdom, but also adding riches, and wealth, and honour, such as no other king ever had before or after, so will God fulfil in us his gracious promise, as to the blessings of this present life, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6. 33.

But what did all these added blessings do for Solomon? What was he the happier for the wealth which he was tempted to spend in chariots and horsemen, in violation of the law of the Lord, or for the silver and gold which he made to be in Jerusalem as plenteous as stones? Did not these things tend to lift up his thoughts in pride, and to alienate his heart from God? Did he not, in spite of all his wisdom, become sensual instead of spiritual, and worship them that were no gods, instead of Him who made heaven and earth? Did not these most abundant gifts of his heavenly Father turn, through his abuse of them, to his grievous harm, instead of ministering to his endless happiness? Oh let us not then murmur, if God oftentimes seems slow to give us that prosperity in this present world, which in virtue of his promise we are apt to look for. Let us not be surprised, if it should frequently turn out, that these things are not added, in the sense which we expect, to those persons who seek first his righteousness. It is enough if He gives us all which it is really good for us to have. He cannot but best know what things will most work together for our good. He has plainly taught us in his word, that as many as He loves He chastens. See Rev. 3. 19. Let us therefore be prepared, however earnestly we pray for the things which to us seem joyous, still to thank Him no less devoutly, if it should prove his will to send us not wealth but poverty, not health but sickness, not honour but reproach, not joy but affliction here, as our best and safest way to joy for evermore.

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