Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

are

aging all his affairs, and equally designing his welfare when it gives, or when it withholds. For there is of ten a great difference between what is pleasing, and what is profitable. Hence the apostle tells us, “No “ chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but

grievous : nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the “ peaceable fruit of righteousness, unto them which

exercised thereby.” And David could say, “it « is good for me that I have been afflicted.” If health, if honour, if riches will be good for us, they are secured; if indigence, if obscurity, if sickness will con duce to our advantage, they will not be denied; for

no good thing” will He withhold. Of all this He is the infallible Judge; let us then drop not only our mur. muring, but our anxiety; let.us "cast all our care upon “ Him who careth for us;" let us be satisfied that

all things work together for good to them that love “ God;" and ever remember the word upon which He has caused us to hope—“The young

lions
may

lack “ and suffer hunger ; but they that seek the Lord shall “ not want ANY GOOD THING.” And,

IV. Whom does God regard in all these exceeding great and precious promises? “THEM THAT WALK

UPRIGHTLY." While by this single expression, David takes down the confidence of the presumptu. ous, he encourages the hope of the real christian, who under all the imperfections which make him groan, knows that his desire is to the Lord, “and to the re“ membrance of his name." For the character is not sinlesss; he has “not' attained,” he is not already 6 perfect;" « but this one thing” he does, “ forgetting

GG

" those things which are behind, and reaching forth « unto those things which are before,” he “presses to“ ward the mark for the prize of his high calling of “ God in Christ Jesus.” He is “an Israelite indeed, in « whom is no guíle.” His sincerity may be viewed in reference to himself; to others; and to God.

He walks uprightly with regard to himself ; in all his dealings with his own soul he guards against self-deception and flattery; he dreads a false peace; he wishes to free bis mind from every bias in his own favour, and to survey impartially his state and his character. He does not shut his eyes against the evidence of offensive truth ; nor hold back, or divert his understanding from those inquiries which may issue in mortifying and painful convictions. He comes to the light; he sus, pects, and examines himself; he reads, and compares, and judges himself again ;' again he investigates him. self, and kneels, and prays, “ Search me, O God, and “ know my heart : try me, and know my thoughts : “ and see if there be any wicked way in me; and lead “me in the way everlasting.”

He walks uprightly with regard to God. It is an awful consideration, that " with him we have to do” in all our religious exercises. In singing we profess to praise him ; in prayer we profess to seek him; in hearing his word we profess to obey him; and “God is © not mocked.” He distinguishes between appearance and reality. And in the christian indeed, there is something more than pretence; he does not “ draw “ nigh to God with his mouth, and honour him with “ his lips, while his heart is far from him.” He worships God in “spirit and in truth.” His external ser

vice arises from inward principle. Hence he makes conscience of private duties ; he is the same in his fam. ily, as in the temple ; he is the same in prosperity, as in adversity. The simple and pure regard which he has to the will and the glory of God, keeps him from partiality in religion; there is no sin which he cherishes; there is no duty which he dislikes. He esteems all the divine precepts concerning all things to be right, and he hates every false way.

He walks uprightly with regard to men; his transactions with his fellow-creatures are distinguished by candour, openness, honesty, punctuality. His professions are the sure pledges of his designs. What he promises, he performs. He does not consider his tongue as given him to deceive. He hates and ab. hors lying. He shuns adulation; he gives not flatter.' ing titles to any. He does not suffer sin upon his neighbour;,“ faithful are the wounds of this “ friend." He does not abound in ceremony; it is too deceitful an article for him to traffic with. He is not an actor on a stage ; he is not a rotten sepulchre, over which stands a white-washed tomb; he is what he appears to be.

Such is the character of the righteous; these are their privileges.

“ For the Lord God is a sun and “shield; the Lord will give grace and glory, and no “good thing will he withhold from them that walk “ uprightly.” Hence we learn how exceedingly we are mistaken, if we view religion as unfriendly to our happiness. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, “ having promise of the life that now is, and of that * which is to come.” It is the “one thing needful ,"

and if we make light of it, whatever be the prize we pursue, we are “observing lying vanities, and forsak, “ing our own mercies.”

Hence we expostulate. Can the service of sin, or the pursuits of the world, afford you advantages like these? Can earthly things even in their abundance, heal a wounded conscience, sustain you under the troų. bles of life, take away the sting of death, and raise you above the dread of eternity? What have they done for you already? You have tried their efficacy; are you happy? Why will you refuse a fresh proposal sanctioned by the experience of millions, and the success of all who have tried it ? “ Acquaint now thyself " with Him, and be at peace ; thereby good shall come "unto thee.” “Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge ?” “Wherefore do ye spend money for " that which is not bread; and your labour for that “ which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and“ eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delighc “ itself in fatness.” “ Incline your ear, and come unto "me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make "an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure « mercies of David.”

We congratulate others. “ All hail, ye highly fa"voured of the Lord.” “Happy art thou, O Israel ; “who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the Lord, “the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy 5 excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars “ unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high plan “ ces." “ Blessed is the people that is in such a case ! yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord.” “ We have heard, O God, that thou hast a people

upon earth diftinguished by innumerable and inefti. “mable privileges. We would not be satisfied with *“ knowing and admising their portion ; weary of the “ world which has yielded us nothing but vanity and “ vexation of spirit, we would seek our inheritance

among them that are sanctified by faith that is in “ Christ Jesus. We would take hold of the skirt of « him that is a Jew, saying, I will go

with
you,

for I « have heard that God is with you. I am a compan. “ ion of all them that fear thee, of them that keep thy

precepts. Look thou upon me, and be merciful “ unto me, as thou useft to do unto those that love “ thy name.

Remember me, O Lord, with the fa. vour that thou bearest unto thy people ; Q visit me “ with thy salvation ; that I may see the good of thy “chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy na. “ tion, that I may glory with thine inheritance." May God inspire us with these sentiments. Amer,

« ÎnapoiContinuați »