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given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.—And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.” 1 Chron. xxix. 10_19.
The monarch paused, and called upon all to unite with him in a solemn act of worship; after which Solomon was again anointed king in the presence and with the sanction of the assembly, by Zadok, and David resigned the regal authority to him.
It is to this interesting occasion that both the leading and subjoined engravings have reference. In the former, the artist has endeavoured to represent the aged monarch in the regal costume of that period, and his attendants in the observance of the ceremonial proper to the king's presence. The sovereign stands—“ Then David stood up;” and his son and the great officers sit, in token of reverend submission to the sacred authority of the Lord's anointed. David wears upon his head a state cap, and is clothed in a double-sashed tunic, bordered on the edges. The assembly are attired in appropriate costumes, but all of them of a light and airy character, and the dresses of the head are calculated to protect both the head and neck from heat, and at the same time to distinguish the respective rank of the individuals. The authority upon which the artist has chiefly rested, is a seal discovered at Antioch, and which is probably of the age in which David lived.
The assembly consisted of the princes of Israel; the princes of the tribes; the captains of the companies in immediate attendance upon the monarch; the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds; the stewards over all the substance and possession, or cattle of the king; the sons of the monarch; and the officers or secretaries, with all the mighty and valiant men in Jerusalem. These various ranks are depicted in the engraving, and the observer will scarcely fail to distinguish the one from the other. They are, indeed, placed therein according to their priority of rank, the royal personages and great officers of state being nearest the monarch, and so on down to the meanest in the assembly.
The zeal of David and his people, as recorded in this interesting portion of Holy Writ, is well calculated to quicken that of the Christian reader, in his endeavours to promote the glory of God in the world. Who can, in truth, read of the lively zeal of the monarch of Israel, and not feel his heart warmed with the same holy principle? And then, the importance of the work which the Christian is called upon to assist in erecting, by his talents and his substance, should act as a powerful incitement to his zeal. It is not simply to the erection of temples made with hands, but to the erection of a temple composed of living stones, or immortal souls. This great truth is too frequently forgotten by the subjects of the Prince of peace. They give; but it is with a sparing hand, and as though it were for a nugatory purpose. But the redemption of souls is no trifling matter. It cost much, even the precious blood of a crucified Saviour, to redeem them; and it becomes the Christian, the man who considers his own soul safe for time and eternity, to stretch every nerve for the salvation of others throughout the wide and universal world.