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1 Kings iii. 9.

Give, therefore, thy servant an understanding heart, to judge

thy people, that I may discern between good and bad :

Of the persons recorded in Scripture, as being eminently favoured by the Almighty, and enjoying his immediate protection, none were more distinguished than King David and his son Solomon. Their reigns comprise the most splendid period of Jewish history; and the study of their characters will afford us abundance of instruction,-not because we are likely to be placed in the same circumstances in which they were placed, but because the principles by which they were guided in the best parts of their conduct will teach us what to imitate, and the faults of which they were guilty will warn us of what we should avoid. We shall learn not only to humble




ourselves, in lowly adoration, before our great Creator, but to make a just use of our faculties, in choosing the path in which we ought to walk.

The same infinite goodness that “called David from the sheep-folds, and, as he was following the ewes great with young, took him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance” (Ps. lxxviii. 71, 72.);—that protected him from the open violence of his declared enemies, and from the malicious envy and insidious friendship of Saul ;—that made “his crown flourish,” and gave him a throne of glory in Israel, extended itself also to his son, and raised him to the highest point of dignity and grandeur. Solomon had, even from his birth, been the object of God's particular regard. A prophetic promise had been made, that he should be raised up to execute that great work, which David had the strongest desire, but not the power, of performing; and “ that his throne should be established for evermore.” Chron. xvii. 14.) He was invested with the regal dignity, before David was gathered to his fathers; and immediately after his investiture, the Almighty condescended to reveal himself to him in a dream at Gibeon. In this dream, God proposed to his choice whatever he should ask. He was assured, therefore, that he might rely on the divine favour and protection. An opportunity was given him of exerting his reason in the manner that was acceptable to God. His happiness and glory were, by the especial indulgence of Ileaven, made to flow from his own election ; and

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