Abbildungen der Seite

than thou wast to the prince of Israel ? Thou hast said, “ Whatsoever ye « shall ask the Father in my name, I " will give unto you.” Let thy merciful ears be ever open to the prayer of thy servants—and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee !

THERE needs no time for deliberation—the waking thoughts of Solomon had been intent on WISDOM. His heart was fo filled with the love and admiration of that heavenly gift, that it fastened at once on the grace it had longed for. " Give thy servant an understanding

heart, to judge thy people.” Had not Solomon been already distinguished for wisdom, he would have been less sensible of its value-he would not thus have preferred it in his desires-he would inot have esteemed it the pearl of greatest value in his diadem. “ceived that I could not otherwise ob

« When I per

“ tain her, except God gave her me,

(and that was a point of wisdom also “ to know whose gift she was) I prayed “ unto the LORD and befought him, " and with my whole heart I said, O God of my fathers, and Lord of mercy, give

me Wisdom that fitteth by thy throne." Solomon well knew, that royalty without wisdom would be only pre-eminence of infamy—that life itself would be tedious, and

power unprofitable. The king of Israel awakes, and finds that his dream was divine and oracular. Illumination is shed over his heart-he feels that God hath given him a new soul. No wonder, that on his return from the tabernacle to the ark he testifies his joy and thankfulness by burnt-offerings, and peace-offerings, and public feastings. The heart which is filled with a sense of the presence and favour of God, betakes itself with eagerness to these outward expressions of gratitude.


" God is the LORD who hath shewed us

light—bind the facrifice with cords,

even unto the horns of the altar! “ Thou art my God, and I will praise " thee—thou art my God, and I will Il exalt thee.”

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



FOUR years are foon elapsed, in preparations for the house of God. Solomon avails himself of the exquisite art of the Tyrians, of the zeal and ardour of his own people. Hiram procures him artificers in gold, in silk, in purplethirty thousand Israelites in their courses hew down the stately cedars—while the humble Gibeonites, the objects of Saul's furious and unhallowed zeal, (being in number an hundred and fifty thousand) are employed in hewing stones, and bearing burthens. None are so mean, but they may be useful in their callingseven less honourable services are equally


necessary. Let us but labour with honeft alacrity, and God will accept our industry, and count it for skill.

The temple is framed in Lebanon, and set up in Sion. Neither hammers nor axes are heard in this holy structure. There was nothing but noise in Lebanon-nothing in Sion but silence and peace. Whatever tumults are abroad, all should be quietness and sweet concord in the Church. O God, why do we suffer schism and furious contention to be heard within thy sanctuary? LORD, knit the hearts of thy servants together in the unity of the Spirit, and the bond of peace—that we may mind and speak the same things—that thou, who art the God of peace, mayst take pleasure to dwell in our fouls!

Now is the foundation laid, and the walls are rising of that glorious fabric, which all nations have admired, and all ages celebrated. Even those piles,

« ZurückWeiter »