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2.] A good and perfect heart must be a soft and tender heart. So it is described, Ezek. xi. 19. I will take the ftony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh. And it is mention'd to the praife of good King Jofiah, God himself mentions it with great approbation, that his heart was tender, 2 Kings xxii. 19. that is, as you may fee by the story there, his heart was eafily imprefs'd with the word of God; he laid it to heart, as we fay, and was greatly affected with it.

3.] A good and perfect heart must be an obedient heart. It must be difpofed to a ready and willing obedience to the whole will of God. This is called a heart to fear God and to walk in his ftatutes. And it is otherwise exprefs'd, by God's writing his law in the heart, which means an inward disposition of foul, that inclines a man to practise the outward rule of duty. Once more,

4] A good and perfect heart must be a believing heart. With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, Rom. x. 10. And this is as material, and effential a property of a good heart as any whatever; for without faith in Christ there is no pardon to be had, no mercy to be expected. And whatever other good qualities there may be in our hearts, yet nothing without the robe of Christ's righteoufnefs, which is put on by faith, will ever recommend them to the acceptance of a juft and holy God. It is now time to dismiss this

firft head. Thus we have confidered what that great, and defirable bleffing is, which is mention'd in our text. It is a perfect heart.

The fecond thing which I obferved in this text, is of whom this bleffing is defired and afked; and it is of God. You may fee to whom this prayer was offered up in the verse before our text, O Lord God of Abraham, Ifaac, and Ifrael our fathers, give unto Solomon my fon a perfect beart. As the heart was ori-ginally God's gift, as the God of nature; fo. a perfect and good heart, in a fallen creature, can only be from his gift, as the God of grace. No power but his who made the heart at firft can make it anew, and restore its original perfection. Without the grace of God, all human inftructions, and the warmest and moft pathetick motives to holiness and goodness will be in vain. The watchful care, the wifeft counfels, and most affectionate perfuafions of godly parents will avail nothing: 'tis God alone that can give a perfect heart. This, it feems, David was very fenfible of. No doubt but the good man had confcientiously done his duty, in the religious education of his fon; he had done all that he could do, to make him a good, as well as a great man. If you look back, but into the last chapter before this where our text is, in the 9th verfe, you may fee a fpecimen of David's inftructing and counfelling his fon Solomon: how seriously does he deal with him about his B 4

foul !

foul! how folemnly does he charge him! and in what moving language does he exhort and perfuade him to be religious! Thou Solomon my fon, know thou the God of thy father, and ferve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind: for the Lord fearcheth all hearts, and underftandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts; if thou feek him he will be found of thee, but if thou forfake him he will 'caft thee off for ever. What could a father fay more and better? David had done all that a man could do, to form his fon for godlinefs, as well as greatnefs; and for heaven, as well as the throne of Ifrael. But, after all, he was very fenfible, that the whole fuccefs depended on the blef-. fing and grace of God; and therefore he follows all with prayer. "O Lord, do thou "give unto Solomon my fon a perfect heart. "It is not his being my fon will make him "thine, and make him a good and happy "man, without thy grace and fpirit to "change and renew his foul. I have given "him the beft inftructions I could, that was "my duty; Lord give him thy grace, that "is thy gift, and thine only." This is very obfervable in our text; that after all the inftructions, and good counfels, and all the methods of religious education, which David had used towards his fon, he begs that God would give him a perfect heart; as being fenfible that this was the gift of God, and of him alone. I go on to the

Third thing which I obferved in the text; and that is by whom, and for whom, this prayer was made. It was by David for his fon Solomon. It was the prayer of an aged dying parent for his dear child, and for the foul of his child, which is the greatest concern of all. David makes no other request for Solomon in all this prayer but only this, "Lord give him a perfect heart make "him but a good man, and I afk no more "for him; for then I am fure he will be well "provided for, and then I can chearfully "leave him to the care of providence for "the prefent life and world." Here you fee the longing, the breathing, the vehement defire of the foul of a godly parent; it is fort the welfare of his dear children, and above all for their spiritual and eternal welfare. Next to his own falvation, there is nothing which he defires fo much as that, nothing which lies with fo much weight upon his mind, and for which he will pray more earnestly. O Lord God of our fathers, give unto Solomon my fon a perfect heart. Here Criticks ob

ferve an elegance in the Hebrew, which our English cannot well exprefs: the word perfect aludes. to the name Solomon, they found much alike in the Hebrew and they agree in sense too, for Solomon fignifies either peaceable or perfect. Lord make him a Solomon indeed;


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The words in the Hebrew are shelomoh and halem,


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make him anfwer his name, and perfect him by thy grace. Solomon was probably as complete a young Prince, of his age, as the world ever faw, both for natural parts, and acquir'd accomplishments; he feem'd well to deferve his name Solomon: but Lord, without a perfect heart, without inward grace and religion, what is all this? 'tis but like the fine carved ornaments of a tomb, which inclofes nothing but filth and corruption. A perifhing finner, an apoftate fon or daughter of Adam, made for immortality, but going on in the broad road to hell; 'tis always a fad fight, a moving object of compaffion and pity but when I fee a lovely young perfon, in the flower and bloom of life, adorn'd with the beauties of nature, and accomplished with the arts of education, and yet, it is to be feared, in an unregenerate ftate, an enemy to God and a child of the Devil, what great pity is it! My foul melts with double forrow, to think, that fuch lovely qualities fhould all be loft in hell, and swallowed up in the lake of burning: who would not put up a fervent prayer for fuch a young perfon, Lord give him a perfect heart too,

make him truly good, and make him hapРУ for ever. But this will in a fpecial manner be the earnest prayer of godly paboth from falam to be perfect, or to be at peace; from whence comes the participle meshullam, Ifai. xlii. 19. and the Arabick Muffulman, a title which the Mahometans give to themfelves, fignifying perfect.


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