« AnteriorContinuar »
SOLOMON. The unlimited extension and full establishment of the kingdom of Christ, in the latter days, is the great object on which the Eternal Mind has been set from eternity, and that to which all God's conduct in the economy of grace, and the affairs of providence, have had a tendency. Of this consummation announcements have been made, more or less, by all the prophets, "for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”* “ These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him;" + and striking representations have been given of it in the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, in different periods of their existence, and by those who filled their thrones; but its final glory was an object of such vast importance, that to give a view of it, one entire reign was almost exclusively appropriated; and the honour of setting forth the Saviour, in connection with it, though enjoyed in part by David, was more fully bestowed upon his illustrious son.
That Solomon was a type of Christ we have no express declaration in Scripture, and, therefore, if its verbal authority be required to justify us in concluding that he possessed such a character, we must despair of making out his claim to be so regarded; but that such is really what he was designed to be appears sufficiently evident from the way in which he is spoken of, and the fact of his being addressed in a manner
* Rev. xix. 10. † John xii. 41.
which could only be proper in reference to the king of Israel in an inferior sense, while it was perfectly in accordance with the glorious character of “him to whom all the prophets gave witness." * Like Isaac and Jacob, Solomon was a child of promise. “Behold,” said God to the patriarch David, “a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.”+
But in the Epistle to the Hebrews, i. 5, these words are applied to Christ without any allusion to Solomon, of whom they were, doubtless, in the first instance, spoken: “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son." Solomon prefigured Christ.
From this it appears that Solomon is to be considered a type of Christ, and between him and David there was this difference; that while the latter set Him forth in his kingdom generally, the former prefigured Him in the glory of that kingdom, and the relation which it bore to himself.
I. In the glory of his kingdom.
It is true that so varied are the productions of the earth, both as to quality and quantity,
* Acts x. 43. † 1 Chron. xxii. 9, 10.
and so different are the means of defence and health which nations possess, that some dependance upon each other must be kept up among them. This takes place by the order of heaven, and the result is the same as in the case of individuals and families. It reminds them of their mutual obligation, and tends to keep up a sympathy which it is proper should be cherished amongst men, as they have all
sprung from common stock. This, however, is a very different thing from the servile subjection in which kingdoms are sometimes placed, the direct tendency of which is to degenerate and degrade the spirits of those who are under it, and to destroy all their energies. Of this independence the people of Israel had known something prior to the time of Solomon, and were not altogether strangers to it after the sceptre had fallen from his hand; but the nation never enjoyed more liberty than in the days of that prince. It had a government as much its own as was consistent with the character of a Theocracy, and had to yield to the caprice of no powerful foreign monarch, in order to insure his support and protection; nor was it distracted by the fear of an invading enemy, against whose warlike attacks it was required to provide the means of defence. Some feeble efforts were made by a faction in favour of a rival power by those who were in the interest of Adonijah, but it was too inconsiderable a movement to disturb the solid basis on which the throne of Solomon rested; and while his kingdom had the most happy independence in itself, it was respected
* 1 Kings i.
or feared by all the nations by which it was surrounded.
The kingdom of Jesus Christ, likewise, especially in the latter days, will be distinguished by its independence. It is now “not of this world;"* but then it will appear in its free spiritual character. His subjects will have nothing to fear from the powers that be, nor from the prince of the power of the air; for while the former will have fully learnt that there is nothing to dread from the reign of Immanuel, and be glad to enlist its powerful alliance, the latter shall be bound with the chain of omnipotence. “ They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts." +
2. In its influence: “ Solomon made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones.”
That the wealth of nations has sometimes been a means of their ruin, there are too many sad proofs in the history of the world to allow any room for doubt; but if so, the same result may be as often traced to their poverty. If abundance, on the one hand, has led to luxury, indulgence, and oppression, with all their train of attendant evils, poverty, on the other, has induced servility, restriction of industry, and the development of talent. Indeed, it has generally been the abuse of the resources of a country that has led to such fatal consequences * John xviii. 36.
+ Psa. lxxii. 9, 10. I 1 Kings x. 27.
rather than those resources themselves. That wealth is not necessarily an evil is clear from the fact of its being among the temporal good things which God gave to Solomon.
Now, in this which formed so considerable a part of the glory of the king of Israel, it is easy to find what appears to be a designed resemblance in the kingdom of Christ. The resources of that kingdom are heavenly and divine; they consist of the provisions of the covenant of grace, the agency of the Spirit, and the influences that are given from on high, with all other blessings that are included in the great and precious promises which the Gospel contains. These, however, are not supplied by miracle, but through the use of means. It is, according to the Divine economy, to give by degrees; and, therefore, as the obstructions are removed, and the facilities for enjoyment increased, the enjoyment will be augmented in proportion. Much as there may have been in the past, and however great may be the advantages of the present, it is not in the power of either to give anything like a full representation of what will yet come to pass.
When Christ shall receive the full glory of his mediatorial kingdom, all the blessings provided will be possessed, and every saint shine in the beauties of holiness, for “ the spirit shall be poured out from on high.”* “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days.”+ 3. The glory of the kingdom of Solomon * Isa. xxxii. 15.
+ Isa. xxx. 26.