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of them that love him, and keep his commandments.”* And generally this is a principle upon which his government of the world is conducted. The case of Solomon, however, was a gracious exception; for, instead of visiting him with the marks of his displeasure on account of the sin of David and Bath-sheba, he was no sooner born than the Almighty announced him as the object of his divine regard ; and the very name which he assigned to him expresses his distinguished favour. “ The Lord loved him, and sent by the hand of Nathan the Prophet, and he called his name Jedidiah”* (beloved of the Lord).
It was not always the case that the nation of Israel prospered, even when their sovereign was a favourite of heaven, any more than they were in every instance called to suffer on account of the misconduct of their rulers: but here there seems to be an exception. It was for the love which he had to Solomon that God shed a glory over his honoured people, which they would not otherwise have possessed.
But in a higher sense Christ is the beloved Son of God. Like Solomon, he was a child of promise. On his entrance into the world he was announced as the object of God's supreme regard; and frequently did he direct attention to him, as his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased. To honour and glorify our Lord is not the only object for which the gospel kingdom was set up in this world, any more than to exalt Solomon was the sole reason for the glory of the kingdom of Israel in his day;
* Exod. xx. 5, 6. † 2 Sam. xii. 25.
but still God's love to Christ is the cause of his love to his people. He delights in them for his sake; and because of his complacency in him together with them, has glorified the gospel state. Therefore it is said, “ The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."* But,
2. That which appeared most conspicuous in Solomon, and to which the glory of his kingdom, so far as he was personally concerned, was to be mainly ascribed, was his wisdom.
God does not work miracles in vain, and never bestows endowments where they cannot be appropriated for the use and profit of the possessor, or others with whom he may be associated. Considering the peaceful, flourishing state of the kingdom of Solomon, those qualifications, as courage and military prowess, by which other kings had been distinguished, would in him have been comparatively useless. What he especially needed, in order to government, was wisdom.
As from the state of his kingdom this was the property which was chiefly called for, so, for the same reason, his government being less burdensome, he required it in a less degree than others who had found it more difficult to retain the throne and hold the sceptre. But he was endowed with it in a singularly wonderful manner—not only more than could be required in his official capacity, but to such an extent, and relating to such things as did not necessarily come under his cognizance. He was the wisest of all men. None who went before or
* John iii. 35.
came after him were like him in this respect. " And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt."
• The rich among the people intreated his favour.”[
For what was all this, then, but that he might be a more striking type of Christ, "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." I "Who is the wisdom of God, and the power of God." S This wisdom the Saviour employs in the affairs of his kingdom, and stands prepared to impart it to all the human race. Solomon's glory may be traced,
3. To his religious character, and the interest he took in the worship of God.
So well is it understood that " righteousness exalteth a nation, while sin is the reproach of any people,"|| that instances are furnished by the history of nations, in which the monarchs of the earth have enforced religion for the sake of the improving effect it was expected to have upon the character and obedience of their people. That the kings of Israel, had they been left to themselves, might have made such a use of the cause of truth, is probable; but this was a course against which they were protected by the peculiar constitution of the Hebrew commonwealth; for as God designed the Jews to be the conservators of his church in the world, and for keeping up the fear of his name —to legislate for religion, as well as in matters of a purely civil nature, became part of their province. Their duty, however, in this respect, * 1 Kings iv. 30. † Psa. xlv. 12. I Col. ii. 3. § 1 Cor. i. 24.
| Prov. xiii. 34.
did not necessarily imply their own personal piety, or impose on them any particular limits to which they should proceed in the attention which they paid to it in the discharge of their official duties. Hence there was a great difference among them as to their moral character; for while some interested themselves no further than was absolutely required, others did much more: but Solomon excelled them all. He was not only inspired to make known the Divine will, and build the temple-a stupendous and unprecedented work—but he dedicated that edifice himself, arranged everything in connection with the worship of God, especially the orders of the priests: and it was this his religious character, seen on these and other occasions, that conduced in an eminent degree to the lustre of his kingdom.
So Jesus Christ not only builds a far more beautiful house for God-his church in this world-but also orders all the affairs of its worship and service. Its ministry is of his own appointment; and all the gifts his servants possess are from himself. " Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.—And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."*
* Eph. iv. 8, 11–13.
ON THE TYPES CONNECTED WITH THE ANTE
DILUVIAN WORLD AND THE HEBREW
NOAH AND THE ARK. “When once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”—1 Pet. iii. 21. --That the wonderful deliverance here recorded was typical in its design, the above words of the Apostle place beyond a doubt, and therefore, it has always been admitted by typographers and commentators to a prominent place in their writings. Nevertheless, what it was in that merciful interposition that constituted the type, whether the water, the ark, or the salvation, which was effected for Noah, they have not agreed in determining, though many of them have considered the latter to be intended. M'Knight says, that“ the relative Ó, whereunto, in the 21st verse being in the neuter gender, its antecedent cannot be kißwtos, the ark, in the 20th verse, which is feminine, but vowp, water, which is neuter;" and then proceeds to state that