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On the Youth of Solomon.

On the Youth of Solomon.

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Published by glennpease
BY ARCHIBALD ALISON, LL. B.



1 Kings

*' Aiid Solomon said : And now O Lord my God ! Thou hast made

thy servant king instead of David my father ; and I am but a little

child : I know not how to go out and to come in.
*' Give, therefore, thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy

people, that 1 may discern between good and bad, for who is able

to judge this so great a people ?
" And the speech pleased the Lord, that SolomoD had asked this

thing."
BY ARCHIBALD ALISON, LL. B.



1 Kings

*' Aiid Solomon said : And now O Lord my God ! Thou hast made

thy servant king instead of David my father ; and I am but a little

child : I know not how to go out and to come in.
*' Give, therefore, thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy

people, that 1 may discern between good and bad, for who is able

to judge this so great a people ?
" And the speech pleased the Lord, that SolomoD had asked this

thing."

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 19, 2013
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O THE YOUTH OF SOLOMO.BY ARCHIBALD ALISO, LL. B.1 Kings*' Aiid Solomon said : And now O Lord my God ! Thou hast madethy servant king instead of David my father ; and I am but a littlechild : I know not how to go out and to come in.*' Give, therefore, thy servant an understanding heart to judge thypeople, that 1 may discern between good and bad, for who is ableto judge this so great a people ?" And the speech pleased the Lord, that SolomoD had asked thisthing."These words are part of that celebrated prayerin which Solomon is represented as addressingliimself to "God on his accession to tlie throne of Israel. The form of the book in which it is rela-ted, permits it only to be considered as a fact inthe history of his reign, and necessarily leaves thesentiments and disposition which led to this beau-tiful address, to the imagination of the reader tosupply. But in the apocryphal book of his wis-dom, it is related at much greater length ; andrepresents the feelings and character of the author,with a simplicity which is singularly affecting, andwith an eloquence which cannot be too much ad-642 OJV THE YOtTH
 
mired. It opens with a very beaiitifal descriptiouof the character and eifects of wisdom, and of theearly admiration which it had excited in his mirid."ow, when I considered these things," sayshe, "by myself, and pondered it in mine heart, how^^ that to be joined to wisdom is immortality, and^^ great pleasure in her friendship, and glory by" communing with her, I went about seeking how" I might take her unto me. evertheless, when I'' perceived that I could not enjoy her, except God^^ gave her me, I went unto the Lord and besought^^ Him, and with my whole heart I said," O ! God of ray Fathers, and Lord of Mercy,<^ who hath made all things by thy word, and or-^' dained man through thy wisdom, that he should^^ have dominion over the creatures which Thou" hast made, and govern the world according to^' equity, and execute judgment with an upright'^ heart, give me that wisdom which sitteth by thy^^ throne, and put me not out from among thy chil-" dren ; and send lior out of thy holy Heavens, and" from the throne of thy Majesty, that she may'^ dwell with me, and that I may know what is plea-^f sing unto Thee. So shall my works be accepta-ii ble, — so shall I govern thy people righteously," and be meet for my father's throne.'^There is not, perhaps, in the history of mankind,a more beautiful picture than that which is hererepresented : — A young man in the bloom of life,when every thing was gay and alluring aroundhim, — in the moment of ascending to a throne.OF SOLOMO. 43
 
when pleasure and ambition were before bim, andeastern servility, witb its wonted adulation, toldbim, that all thin2;s were in his hand, — betakinghimself thus humbly to his God, and implorini^ oHim that wisdom wliicli mi2;ht enable him to re-sist the temptations witii which his situation sur-rounded him, and to fulfil the duties to which hewas called. Had it been in the latter periods of his reie;n, when satiated with pleasure, and dis-appr.'uted in ambition, — when fatis;ued with thecares and pageantry of a throne, he looked abroadfor better comforts, — had it been at such a timethat Solomon had directed his soul to Heaven,much of the merit of his piety would have beenlost. It would have t!ieu appeared only as thelast refu£;e of a discontented mind, which interest,not disposition, had led to devotion ; and whichsou2;ht only for repose in piety, when it had beendisappointed in every thin^ else. But at such aseason, to be guided by such sentiments, — in suchan hour to betake himself to God, — bespeaks amind so humble and yet so pure ; a disposition soardently and yet so rightly inclined; and a soulso well fitted for every kind of excellence, thatno language of praise seems too great for itsdesert.It i« not, however, from the peculiar situationof Solomon, that the beauty of this memorableinstance of devotion arises. The charm of itchiefly consists in its suitableness to the season of 44 O THE YOUTHyouth ; in its coiTespondence to the character anddispositions which distinguish that important a§e ;and which no length of acquaintance with theworld prevents us from wishing to find in the

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