« AnteriorContinuar »
o let the nations be glad and sing for joy : for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.
Let the people praise Thee, O God ; let all the people praise Thee.
Then shall the earth yield her increase ; and God, even our own God, shall bless' us.'
God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him...
Though our mode of worship differs greatly from that of the Israelites, Christians may, notwithstanding, collect much valuable instruction from the account of the dedi. cation of Solomon's Temple.
The Sentiments which Solomon entertained of the majesty and goodness of God are such, as every one should feel whilst engaged in public worship. Solomon is likewise worthy of imitation in his benevolent solicitude for the welfare of God's people, and the propagation of religion. In respect to burnt sacrifices, we have no occasion to follow his example ; neither is it. with us a point of duty to build stately edifices to his honour.
As the Lord vouchsafed to make his presence evident in the land of Israel, it was proper that a Temple should be erected in the place which he had chosen, to fix his name there ; in order to keep up a perpetual' remembrance of His relation to this people as their King, and likewise to shew forth His Glory and MAJESTY to the surrounding nations ; who hearing that the living God had actually manifested Himself in a visible manner at Jerusalem, might forsake idols, and embrace his holy religion.'
Whoever considers the greatness and excellency of the SUPREME Being, will be ready to exclaim with Solonon, Will God in very deed dwell upon earth ? Behold
:: i the
the heaven, and heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee, how much less a house which is built with hands! We cannot, it is true, add to the Glory of God by any human means. He is infinitely perfect and happy in Himself, and the fountain of all happiness in the whole universe : all the service we can pay Him, therefore, is to proclaim His power, wisdom, goodness, mercy, justice, truth, as a mean to keep up our own fear, love, and veneration towards Him, and to invite others, by our example, to do the same; and this service may be performed in an humble edifice. It is, however, no sin to erect fine churches, and adorn them properly ; on the contrary, in opulent cities, where the very merchants dwell in palaces, those buildings which are dedicated to Divine service should be proportionably magnificent, provided that the worship performed in them be agreeable to the rules prescribed by their religion ; and this section encourages us to hope that God will be present in all places dedicated to public worship, if the hearts of those, who assemble in them, are rightly disposed to hold communion with Him, by fervent prayer, for he is no respecter of per. sons; and as, by the diffusive propagation of Christianity, there are now many congregations of His people, who cannot all meet together in one Temple, we may certainly multiply places of worship, and may reasonably hope each will be sanctified by his presence. Our Lord Himself has said,—Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. We must not expect, be the building ever so costly, that God will appear amongst us as he did in Israel; because we live under a very different dispensation; and have the promise of those good things, of which the splendour and magni. ficence of Solomon's Temple were but very imperfect emblems.
SECTION XLII. TWE LORD GIVETH A TESTIMONY OF HIS ACCEPT
“ANCE OF SOLOMON'S PRAYER.
From 2 Chron. Chap. vii, viii. Kings, Chap. ix. · And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.
If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people : '
If my people which are called by my name, shall hume ble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent anto the prayer that is made in this place.
For now I have chosen and sanctified this house that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. · And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; Then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.
But if ye turn away and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them,
Then I will pluck them up by the roots out of my land, which I have given them; and this house which I
have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a by-word among all nations,
And this house, which is high shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it ; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and upto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them and served them : therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
Then Solomon offered burnt-offerings unto the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch ; even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of the tabernacles.
And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required : the porters also by their courses, at every gate : for so had David the man of God commanded.
And they departed not from the commandment of the king unto the priests and Levites, concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures. ro ,
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. We find from the answer, which the LORD Vouchsafed. to make, that Solomon's prayer was perfectly agreeable to the Divine wid}, it may therefore be safely adopted as a model of public devotion ; and it will afford great
satisfaction to compare the various parts of this prayer with the prayers of our church service, as they will be found to agree perfectly in substance. It is to be observed, that the Lord entered into a personal covenant with Solomon, when he appeared to him ; from the conditions of which we may understand, that neither king nor people, in any nation, are to expect the continuance of the Divine blessing, if they are disobedient to the Divine law. . • It must have been a great satisfaction to Solomon to receive 80 undoubted a testimony, that the LORD had heard his petitions, and that they were acceptable to Him.
THE BUILDING OF SOLOMON'S HOUSE-THE HOUSE OF LEBANON-THE HOUSE FOR PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER -HIS THRONE, &c.
From 1 Kings, Chap. vii. i ii. x. ix. SOLOMON was building his own house thirteen years. He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon.
And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
Then he made a porch for the throne, where he might judge, even the porch of judgment; and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other.
And his house, where he dwelt, had another court within the porch, which was of like work. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh's daughter, (whom he had taken to wife) like unto this porch..