Page images
PDF
EPUB

manner of servicei. And, as Moses had provided all the things belonging to the tabernacle according to the patternk” which God showed him, so David gave to Solomon the pattern of the temple and of the things belonging thereunto, according to the directions which he had received from the Deity; for David said, “ The Lord made me understand, in writing by His hand upon me, all the works of this pattern?." And David made large offerings for the temple of the Lord, and the chief of the people offered willinglym; and he made. large sacrifices unto the Lord". And David offered up a hymn of adoration and thanksgiving, in which he said, “We are strangers before thee and sojourners, as were all our fathers ; our days on earth are as a shadow, and there is none abidingo.”

Thus David considered himself but as a stranger on earth, thereby declaring, according to the argument of the Apostle P, that he sought a country*. David, then, understood the pro

i 1 Chr. xxviii. 11-18. mi Chr. xxix. 2, 8. 'k Hebr. viii. 5. Exod. xxv. ' 1 Chr. xxix. 21. 40. Acts, vii. 44.

• 1 Chr. xxix. 15. . 11 Chr. xxviii. 19.

P Hebr. xi. 13, 14. * That David was acquainted with the existence of a state of being after death, is not only to be inferred from his possession of that unction which teacheth all things", from his declaration that he was a stranger upon earth, and from the general acquaintance with the Christian scheme, which ho

1 1 John, ïi. 20, 27.

mise which God had made to his seed, of an everlasting kingdom, as referring to a heavenly country, to which he looked. The holy unction which he had received taught him all things 9. and GOD had himself explained to him the meaning of all the works of the pattern" which he gave to Solomon respecting the temple. Accordingly we find, throughout the Psalms which he wrote, beautiful and sublime descriptions and illustrations of the Christian covenant and of its divine Founder; and through him were delivered, in those sacred hymns, such minute and

manifests throughout all his writings, but also from many express declarations which he made. He bitterly lamented the sickness of his child; but, when the boy was dead, he ceased to mourn, for, said he, “ Wherefore should I fast? I shall go to him.” “ The men of the world,” he says, “ have their portion in this life3, thereby manifesting his belief in the existence of another life; and he adds, “ As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likenessa.” “The righteous,” says he, “ shall inherit the land and dwell therein for evers.” And in the passages that apply to Christ's resurrection, David speaks in his own name, thus applying a resurrection to himself also 6. The writer of the forty-ninth Psalm gives a striking description of the resurrection of the upright, and of the condition of the wicked after death 7. 22 Sam. xii. 23.

o Psalm xvi. 10; xxxi. 5; 3 Psalm xvii. 14.

xl. 2. * Psalm xvii. 16.

7 Psalm xlix. 14, 15. 's Psalm xxxvii, 29.

1 1 John, ii. 20, 27.

exact predictions of the leading circumstances of our Redeemer's sufferings on earth, that those compositions carry with them the appearance of historical narration, rather than of prophecy.” : David affords another strong proof that the gift of the Spirit does not destroy free agency, nor render him upon whom it has been poured, incapable of transgressing against God. For David did evil in the sight of the Lord, in procuring the death of Uriah", and Satan was permitted to provoke him to disobey the commandment of the Lords.

· Solomon, who succeeded David his father, was also “ king over all Israelt.He built the temple according to the directions which David had given him". And God appeared unto him in a dream by night, and said, “ Ask what I shall give thee w.” And Solomon said, " Give thy servant an understanding heart, to judge my people, that I may discern between good and bad." And God said, “ Behold, I have done according to thy word ; lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto theey.” So “God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding

[ocr errors]

• 1 Kings, vi. and vii.
" 1 Kings, iii. 5.
* 1 Kings, iii. 9.
y 1 Kings, iii. 12.

inuch, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea-shore z." Nevertheless « it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods ; and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his GOD, as was the heart of David his father; and Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord a." He that had raised a magnificent temple to the Lord God,“ did build an high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, in the hill before Jerusalem; and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon b."

Thus the understanding to “ discern between good and bad," did not secure Solomon from transgressing against God. Like Adam, he had obtained the knowledge of good and evil ; but, as a descendant of Adam, as an inheritor of the frailty and weakness of the flesh, he was not able, in every instance, to “ eschew evil and do good." Solomon, then, affords a striking example of the insufficiency of human wisdom to attain to the law of righteousness d., : “ Wherefore the Lord God said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

thy servant. Notwithstanding, in thy days I

will not do it, for David thy father's sake; but . I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. How

beit, I will not rend away all the kingdom, but will give one tribe to thy son, for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosene.” And the prophet Ahijah: said to Jeroboam, “ Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee ; but he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israelf.” Accordingly, after the death of Solomon, ten of the tribes of Israel said, “What portion have we in David ? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! now see to thine own house, David 8." “ So Israel rebelled against the house of David"," “ there was none that followed the house of David, save the tribe of Judah onlyi.”.

Thus Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, reigned in Judah and Benjamink; and Jeroboam was king over the ten other tribes? Thus the children of Israel were divided into two kingdoms.

The kingdom of the ten tribes (which was

• 1 Kings, xi. 11-13.
' 1 Kings, xi. 31, 32.
& 1 Kings, xii. 16.

i 1 Kings, xii. 20.
* 1 Kings, xii. 23.
| 1 Kings, xii. 20.

« PreviousContinue »