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was in his mind to build an house unto the name of the Lord, his God, but that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, that he had made many wars, and shed much blood upon the earth, and therefore was not to do it, but to leave it to his son, in whose time God promised to give peace in Israel. David then en
treated him to walk in the ways of the Lord, to keep his laws, and then he need not be dismayed; he also called upon all the princes and people in the land to help in this great and glorious work.
After this, David grew very old, and died, and Solomon, his son, was king in his stead.
Solomon loved the Lord, and followed the laws of David, his father, and, soon after he became king, he went to Gibeon to sacrifice unto the Lord. There God appeared to him in a dream by night, and said, "What shall I give thee?"
Here we have an instance not to be met with elsewhere in the history of nations; the God of heaven and earth condescending to offer one of his creatures a choice of all His good gifts. Solomon is allowed to be the wisest man that ever lived, and here he shewed his wisdom; many persons would have wished for very impro
per things, but Solomon neither asked for riches, nor for length of days, nor for any other worldly good, but confessed to the Lord that he was but as a little child, and that as he had to govern so large a kingdom, and a people which were without number, he besought the Lord to give him an understanding heart to judge aright, and to discern between good and evil. This was very pleasing in the Divine sight, and God said to him, "Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding, behold I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart, so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee." The Almighty further shewed his approbation of Solomon's wise choice, by adding to his gift of wisdom both riches and honour; and He promised him that, if he would walk in His ways, and keep His laws, He would lengthen his days.
Then Solomon began to build the temple for which David, his father, had prepared many things; and a most wonderful place it was: you may read a full
account of its beauty in the book of Kings. When it was finished, Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, to meet him at Jeru→ salem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord into the most holy place. There was nothing in the ark but the two tables of stone which Moses had put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel on their coming out of the land of Egypt; and when the priests were come out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord. Then Solomon blessed all the congregation of Israel which stood round about, knelt before the altar in the presence of the people, spread forth his hands to heaven, and prayed the Lord for a blessing on the workmanship of his hands, saying, "but will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house which I have builded!" Solomon then put up a prayer to the Lord God, that He would look upon this house night and day, and bless it; that all prayers which arose from its walls might be heard by Him; that if they were smitten before their enemies; if heaven were shut up,
and rain should cease, because of their sins; if there be in the land famine; if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or caterpillar; if any stranger should come out of a far country, for the Lord's sake, and pray towards this house; if they went to battle with their enemies, and because of their transgressions, should be carried away captives; "yet," said the king, "if they should repent and turn unto Thee, with their whole heart, and with all their soul, and pray unto Thee toward their land which Thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which Thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for Thy name: then hearken Thou unto the supplication(") of thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place, and hear Thou in heaven, thy dwelling place, and when Thou hearest, forgive; for they be Thy people, which Thou didst separate from all the people of the earth to be thine, as Thou spakest by the hand of Moses, Thy servant, when Thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, Oh, Lord God." -When Solomon had done praying, he arose from before the altar and blessed all the congregation of Israel, with a loud voice. He then besought the Lord that
he would make known to all the poople of the earth that the Lord He is God, that there is none else. He then tried to persuade the people to let their hearts be perfect with the Lord God, to walk in His laws, and keep His Commandments. Then Solomon, and all Israel with him, made a sacrifice before the Lord, after which they held a solemn (28) feast together.
The king then sent the people away, joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David, his servant, and for Israel, his people. Yours affectionately.
AFTER the death of Solomon, his son, Rehoboam, became king of Israel; and his example is one of the many warnings held up to us in the Bible against pride of heart. Instead of speaking kindly to his people, and caring for their welfare, when they came to him to make their complaints, he at first asked