Imagini ale paginilor

to walk with God; and I now proceed to shew how this must be done.

I. First.—In all our plans, purposes, and pursuits we must have a constant and deep re gard to God. As the Psalmist says, we must set the Lord always before us: we must have at all times a realizing view of his presence with us, and his glory must be the end of all our actions; whatever we do, we must do all to the glory of God in Christ Jesus. His existence and claims, his commands and mercies, with our own accountableness, duties, and obligations, must be habitually present to our minds, and whatever we propose or undertake must have some reference to him, and be engaged in and carried on as a part of our duty and service, and so as to meet with his approbation and favour. Thus single must our eye be in having respect to him. How different is the case with numbers, who may be truly said to live without God in the world. He is unobserved and forgotten in their plans and calculations: no motive in their breasts springs out of regard to him; no purpose originates in a desire to please and honour him; no

action has his glory as its end. God is not in all their thoughts; but their pursuits in life, their search after pleasure, and all that they do, and say, and think, originate in mere earthly motives, are regulated by mere earthly principles, and regard a mere earthly end. It seems as if the holy man, of whose character I am now preaching, was rebuking some persons of this description; for the frequent repetition of the word ungodly, appears to imply an accusation of their utter disregard of God. "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." But if we are to live "godly," as well as "soberly and righteously in this present world," and like Enoch, to walk with God, a constant and steadfast regard to him must attend on all our ways; it must enter into all our views and purposes, regulate our choice and determination in all circumstances, and be the governing principle of our lives. We must

live with such regard to the invisible God, as if he were ever immediately seen before us, and walk under an abiding sense of his presence, looking to rest with him at the end of the journey, and there to behold him in his unclouded brightness, and dwell with him for ever.

II. Secondly.-To walk with God we must hold communion with him. Perhaps this is the principal idea expressed by the phrase, which thus becomes descriptive of that mental and spiritual intercourse which Enoch maintained with God, not only making him the object to which he directed all his views, and in reference to whom he formed all his measures, but also, as it were, conversing with him in prayer and meditation. Such must be also our habit; we must aim at this, as much as possible, in our common occupations and employments, in our mixture with the world, and pursuit of the callings to which we are appointed. We must thus often have our conversation in heaven, even while engaged in the things of earth. But feeling, that this broken and casual intercourse is not sufficient

to keep up the spirituality of our minds, we must often retire from our earthly engagements and cares, that we may hold more direct and uninterrupted intercourse with heaven. We must "enter into our chambers and shut our doors about us," escaping thus from all without, that there may be nothing to distract our minds, and none to see, none to speak to, but God and ourselves. The early light of morning, and the still hour of night, will always afford us favourable opportunities for such communion with God. But besides these, we must make or lay hold of others, as our different circumstances permit, whereby we may solemnize our minds, and induce a spiritual frame, and thus, by exercises of devotion, not only bring ourselves nearer to heaven, but also render ourselves better fitted for the right fulfilment of all the duties which belong to our present condition on earth.

As we thus walk in communion with God, so God will walk in communion with us. He will manifest himself to us as he doth not unto the world. By that secret and mysterious intercourse with our spirits, which the

father of our spirits so well knows how to maintain, we shall know that he is with us of a truth; we shall have our thoughts elevated, our faith and love and hope excited and enlarged, our sorrows soothed, our fears allayed, and our hearts rejoicing with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. Yes, thus we shall feel that it is good indeed when we draw nigh unto God, and God draws nigh unto us.

[ocr errors]

III. Thirdly. We must keep the commandments and observe the ordinances of God, for such is a very material part of the walk with him. It is recorded, as a strong mark of approbation of Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, that they "walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." So we also must keep all the commandments of God. As we walk with him, we must hear his voice saying, "if ye love me, keep my commandments;" "this is the way, walk ye in it." Our souls must answer, "I count all thy commandments concerning all things to be right;" "Oh! that my ways were made so direct, that I might keep thy statutes." Hence

« ÎnapoiContinuă »