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native pride and selfishness. For, power of disposing the hearts of pations
1. God can make it the mutual in- to peace, God signally displayed terest of neighboring and foreign na- thrice every year, in his special provitions to be at peace with each other.dence towards the natural enemies of This was the case in the days of Solo- his chosen people. « Tbrice in the mon. By the instrumentality of David, year shall all your male children ap. God had delivered his people from pear before the Lord God, the God of their enemies, and put them in posses- Israel. For I will cast out the nations sion of all the land which he had prom before thee, and enlarge thy borders : ised to give them. This we are ex-Neither shall any man desire thy land pressly told in the context, “ And Sol- when thou shalt go up to appear beomon reigned over all the kingdoms, fore the Lord thy God thrice in the from the river unto the land of the Phi- year.” On those great occasions, God listines, and unto the border of Egypt.preserved his people from the power The children of Israel had gained as and depredation of their enemies, by large a territory, and secured as great actually disposing their hearts to peace. advantages, as they had any grounds to Indeed, national peace must always be expect or even to desire. And, on the ascribed to the mediate, or immediate other hand, their neighbors had no rea-influence of the Deity, upon the hearts son to flatter themselves, that it would|of men. When any pation dwells fafebe for their interest to attack the peo- ly, every man under his vine, and unple of God, in their present state of der his fig-tree, they ought to consider strength and prosperity. All things, this public blessing, as coming from therefore, conspired with the policy of the hand and goodness of God. IproSolomon, to cultivate national peace.ceed to show, Just so God is able to unite the hearts II. That national peace is a great of other nations, hy uniting their inter- national blessing. ests. It has long been a maxim in So long as Solomon had peace on politics, that national interest is the all sides round about him, it diffused first principle of national policy. It is universal happiness through his wideonly for God, therefore, to make it thely extended kingdom. National peace mutual interest of different nations to is naturally productive of the greatest be at peace with each other, and they national prosperity. This will appear themselves will naturally seek and pro- if we consider a variety of particulars. mote this agreeable object. Besides, 1. National peace naturally tends to
2. God is able to govern the hearts increase the numbers of a people. It of nations, and, in that way, dispose was promised to Abrham as a great them to mutual peace and harmony.blessing, that his seed should be ex. It was a proverb in Israel,“ The king's tremely numerous. This blessing is heart is in the hand of the Lord, as diminished by war, but promoted by the rivers of water : He turneth it peace. The seed of Abraham, at cerwhithersoever he will.” There is a tain seasons, were minished and bro't supreme power in every nation : and|| low by war and its natural attendants. the men who possess that power, have But in times of peace, they rapidly inthe right of making war or peace.-creased again. And perhaps they nevBut the hearts of those very men are er increased with greater rapidity, than in the hand of the Lord, who has a 81- in the long and peaceful reign of Solpreme control over all their views and omon. Accordingly, we are told in our designs. God standeth in the congre- context, that “Judah and Israel were gation of the mighty ; and while they many, as the sand which is by the sea are deliberating upon the most impor- in multitude." National peace pretant of all pational concerns, he is able served them from the sword and pegto turn their hearts, and voices, and tilence, which commonly go hand in exertions, to national peace. This hand, and make dreadful havoc of the
lives of men. It is almost incredible nity of exchanging the fruits of their how fast a people will increase in num- own industry, for the wealth of the bers, vlule ikey are free from public world. aud wasting calamities. And the in 3. National peace has a happy increase of numbers not only adds to the fluence upon every branch of human happiness oi a people, but to the glo- knowledge. Leisure and learning go ry of ticir government. So Solomon together. While any people are free thought, and so he said. " In the from the terrors and distresses of war, multitude of people is the king's honor: and are increasing in numbers and but in the want of people is the des- wealth, they have time and opportutruction of the prince.” How valua-nity for turning their attention to menble is national peace, which preserves tal improvements. The long and unthe lives of millions, and adds millions interrupted peace which Solomon en to the numbers of a nation !
joyed, was the happy occasion of the 2. National peace directly tends to astonishing advances which he made promote national wealth. Wealth is in the various branches of science.a temporal favor to nations, as well as He was no less celebrated for his to individuals, though it be often per- knowledge, than for his wealth and verted and abused by both. Solomon magnificence, We are told in the says, “ The blessing of the Lord mak- context, that" Solomon's wisdom exeth rich, and he addeth no sorrow with celled the wisdom of all the children it.” Peace is the parent of wealth.-of the east country, and all the wisFor peace promotes industry, industrydom of Egypt. For he was wiser than promotes comnierce, and commerce all men: than Ethan the Ezrahite, and promotes the wealth of any nation.- Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the
The national peace in the reign of Sól- sons of Mahol ; and his fame was in all omon, promoted a very extensive and countries round about. And he spake lucrative commerce, which made both three thousand proverbs : And his the prince and people immensely rich. songs were a thousand and five. And This the pen of inspiration has record-he spake of trees, from the cedar-tree ed, for the instruction of all future a-that is in Lebanon, even unto the hysges. « Now the weight of gold that sop that springeth out of the wall : came to Solomon in one year was six And he spake also of beasts, and of hundred three score and six talents, fowls, and of creeping things, and of beside that be had of the merchant fishes.” The peace and prosperity men, and of the traffic of the spice- of his kingdom, gave Solomon a hapmerchants, and of All the kings of Ara-py opportunity of pursuing his own bia, and of the governors of the coun- studies, and of encouraging the sons try. The king had at sea a navy of of science to diffuse useful knowledge Tarshish, with the navy of Hiram.- through every part of his extensive Once in three years came the navy of dominions. Learning never flourishTarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivo-ed, but under the united influence of ry, apes, and peacocks. So Solomon wealth and power. The Greeks and exceeded all the kings of the earth for Romans became rich and powerful, riches. And the king made silver to before they had either leisure or inbe in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar clination to turn their attention to the made he to be as the sycamore trees useful and liberal arts. But after their that are in the vale for abundance.". conquests had put them in possession While a nation enjoys the blessings of of wealth and peace, they carried peace, its individuals are at full liber riculture,manufactures, commerce, arty to cultivate the earth, and pursue chitecture, poetry, sculpture, and paint. every lucrative calling. Peace like-ling, to a surprising degree of perfection, wise opens the ports of numerous na-||
National peace has always had a tendtions, and gives them a fair opportuency to promote national knowledge.
The noblest works of genius, in the || shall be a man of rest; and I will give most refined nations of Europe, have him rest from all his enemies round been brought forth, not in the din of|| about : For his name shall be Soloarms, but under the calm and auspi-| mon, and I will give peace and quietcious influence of public peace. Hence ness unto Israel in his days. He shall the history of ages assures us, that the build an house for my name.” The friends of science have commonly Temple which Solomon built, was the been the enemies of war.
most rich and magnificent structure 4. National peace affords a favora- that ever was raised by the hand of ble opportunity for fortning public de- man. It was seven years in building; it signs and performing public works.-daily employed abovean hundred thouEvery rising nation finds, that in order | sand workmen; and there was more to be happy as well as respectable, || gold and silver expended in adorning it must build cities, erect churches,|| it, than is now in circulation in all the endow colleges, open canals, make nations of Europe. And, after he had bridges, repair highways, remove pub-finished this great work, he still went lic nuisances, and perform many other on to build cities and palaces, and to expensive works of general utility.-- make Jerusalem the seat of his king
To promote such national objects was dom, the metropolis of the world. highly reputable among the Romans Such vast and important designs were in the zenith of their prosperity. Plin-| accomplished in the long and peaceful ny congratulates one of his friends up-reign of Solomon, And when any na. on being appointed a surveyor of the tion enjoys peace on all sides round highways; an office, to which even he | about them, they have the fairest opand Cæsar himself had been promoted.portunity of forming and of executing It is only whọn nations are settled in designs of public utility and imporpeace, that they can form and execute tance. In this view, national peace is public designs. One principal end highly conducive to the general good which God had in view in giving of every civil commụnity. peace to Israel in the reign of Solo 5. It is the direct tendency of namon, was to afford them leisure totional peace to promote personal as build the Temple, and to perform oth-well as public prosperity. There is er great and useful works, which no other national blessing so extenshould raise their dignity and glory insive in its kindly influence, It perthe sight of surrounding nations, andvades every part of a nation, and in the view of future ages." And Da- yields a peculiar pleasure to high and vid said, Solomon my son is young low, rich and poor, young and old. It and tender, and the house that is to be looks with a mild and cheering aspect builded for the Lord must be exceed-upon every individual, and increases ing magnifical of fame and of glory | every other public and private blesthroughout all countries. Then he sing. In the peaceful reign of Solocalled for Solomon his son, and char-mon, all his subjets appeared to be in ged him to build an house for the Lord a state of rea! happiness and self-enjoyGod of Israel. And David said to ment. This is expressly mentioned Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in as the fruit of pational peace. my mind to build an house unto the dah and Ierael were many, as the sand name of the Lord my God : But the which is by the sea in multitude, eatword of the Lord came to me, saying, |ling, and drinking, and making merry." Thou hast shed blood abundantly, These expressions cannot mean carnal and hast made great wars: Thou shalt mirth and levity ; but that serenity not build an house unto my name, and cheerfulness of mind which God because thou hast shed much blood required his people to feel and express upon the earth in my sight. Behold, in a state of outward prosperity. Unia son shall be born unto thee, whollversal peace diffuses universal joy
through any community. While they (the king unto the priests and Levites, dwell safely and sit under their vines concerning any matter.” Such was and fig-trees, none being able to make the happy influence of national peace them afraid, they enjoy a train of plea- upon religion, in Solomon's reign.sing reflections. The idea of safety, And it had the same effect in the with respect to ourselves, our friends, reigns of other pious and pacific prinand our country, is not only agreeable ces. All the revivals of religion which in its own nature, but it also gives a we have an account of in the succeedhigh relish to every other earthly en-ing reigns, were in times of national joyment. Hapry is that people that peace. Of Asa we are told, “In his is in such a case : that there is no days the land was quiet ten years.--breaking in, nor going out, and no com- And Asa did that which was good and plaining in the streets. This was the right in the eyes of the Lord his God. case of Israel in the peaceful reign of For he took away the altars of the Solomon. And this is the case of any strange gods, and the bigh places, and nation, who enjoys the blessing of uni- brake down the images, and cut down versal peace. I may add,
the grores, and commanded Judah to 6. National peace is very friendly seek the Lord God of their fathers, to the interests of religion. During the and to do the law and commandments. peaceful reign of Solomon, religion His son Jehoshaphat was a great regreatly flourished. As soon as he was former, and promoted the cause of refixed upon the throne, he invited the ligion in a time of peace. Accordingpeople to go with him to Gibeon,ly it is said, “The fear of the Lord where he offered sacrifices, and called fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands upon God for wisdom, to enable him to that were round about Judah, so that discharge the weighty duties which they made no war against Jehoshashould devolve upon him in the phat." There was another revival of course of his reign. His prayer was religion in Hezekiah's peaceful reign. graciously heard and abundantly an-And another after that, in the peaceful swered. . When he had finished the reign of Josiah. Indeed, public peace Temple, he consecrated it to the ser- and true religion have always promovice of the Deity with great solemnity ted each other. It is the natural tenand devotion, which met the approba- dency of peace in any nation, who ention of Heaven. Nor did he stop here, joys divine revelation, to promote the but, by his example and authority interests of religion. And in this view promoted the regular and solemn wor- especially the reign of Solomon is reship of God in his house. “ Then presented by the Psalmist, as a type of Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the future spread of religion and prosthe Lord on the altar of the Lord, perity of the church under the reign wbich he had built before the porch, of the Prince of Peace. even after a certain rate every day, of "In his days shall the righteous flour. fering according to the commandment ish; and abundance of peace so long of Moses, on the Sabbaths, and on the as the moon endureth. He shall have new moons, and on the solemn feasts, dominion also from sea to sea, and three times in a year, even in the feast from the river unto the ends of the of unleavened bread, and in the feast earth. They that dwell in the wilderof weeks,and in the feast of tabernacles.ness shall bow before him; and his And he appointed, according to the enemies shall lick the dust. The order of David his father, the courses kings of Tarshish and of the Isles shall of the priests to their service, and the bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Levites to their charges, to praise and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings minister before the priests, as the duty shall fall down before him: All nations of every day required. And they de- shall serve him." As soon as univerparted not from the commandment of|sal peace shall reign, and men shall
beat their swords into ploughshares, sceptre. He was wiser than all men. and their spears into pruning-books, The greatest princes admired his wisthis glorious prediction shall be fully dom, and placed themselves as pupils accomplished. Our Saviour was born at his feet. And this wisest of men and in a time of peace, and he shall reign of princes, was a prince of peace.
He in a time of peace. The peace of na-had a just sense of the importance of tions always has been, and always will saving his people from the evils of be, highly favorable to the cause of re- war, and of turning their attention and ligion. In a word, national peace exertions to the arts of peace. And serves to promote every national in-through a long reign of forty years, he terest, and is the greatest of all nation- maintained peace on all sides round al blessings.
about him, and raised his kingdom to IMPROVEMENT.
the first rank among the kingdoms of 1. If peace be the grearest national men. This is a noble example, which blessing, then war is the greatest na- it is not beneath the greatest princes tional calamity. War and peace are and potentates of the earth to imitate. diametrically opposite to each other in There is nothing of so much importheir nature and tendency. War tends tance as war, that is commonly underto destroy all that prosperity which taken with so little coolness and prupeace tends to produce. War dimin-dence. It is much more frequently ishes the numbers and wastes the the result of folly, than the fruit of wiswealth of nations.' War obstructs the dom. From whence come wars and progress of science, and destroys the fightings? Do they not too often come works of ages.
War corrupts the from the bitterest passions of human hearts and lives of men, snd wounds nature? It highly concerns those, who the interests of religion and morality. hold the reigns of government, and War spreads a general gloom over the carry in their hands the lives and interbeautiful face of nature, disturbs the ests of their subjects, to take good adpeace and destroys the hopes of fami-vice, before they make war. This lies and pierces the bosoms of old and was Solomon's counsel, and Soloyoung with the keenest anguish and mon’s conduct. Near the close of his distress. It is impossible to paint the reign, some of bis neighbors gave him horrors of war and all its attendant | just grounds of offence; but he had miseries. It will appear in its truest more wisdom, than to chastise their light in contrast with the blessings of inselence, at the expense peace. And to view it in this dread- and prosperity of his own kingdom. ful light, we need only turn our eyes 3. If it be the natural tendency of to Europe. It has there spilt the blood national peace to promote national of millions. It has there trampled up-prosperity; then it is the wisdom of a on all laws, human and divine. It people to do all in their power, to re. has there laid waste the labors and tain this invaluable blessing. A proswisdom of ages. It has there spread || perous people are very prone to forget ignorance, infidelity, vice, and misery the source of their prosperity, and to through a large portion of the globe.become extremely stupid, avaricious, In a word, war is the calamity of ca- and revengeful. These are passions, Jamities, and the greatest of all natural which naturally enkindle the spirit of and national evils.
And wben the spirit of war has 2. If peace be the greatest of nation-enflamed and infatuated the minds of al blessings, then it is the wisdom of a people, they are deaf to the voice of those who possess the supreme power reason, and blind to the motives of inin any nation, to promote and maintain || terest. While they feel the powerful this desirable and important object.- impulse of malignant passions, they Solomon was the greatest and wis- would much rather sacrifice their own est prince that ever swayed a royal intesest and happiness, thap fail to pour
of the peace