« ForrigeFortsæt »
and hear not. Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee, O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me. 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 delight 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
Turn you at my reproof; behold I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you“. Hearken unto me, O ye children; for blessed are they that keep my ways*. But he that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul.
Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee lights. Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light". For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee ; behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation'. Sect. 5. We are likewise called to habitual self-atten
tion and watchfulness. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness; ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch, and be sober. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every inan the ineasure of faith”. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God“; looking
§ 4. • Jer. v, 21.
d Prov. i. 23.
& Eph. v. 14.
b Psalm lxxxi. 8.
e Isa. lv. 2, 3.
diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled"; lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life.
Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently; that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside'. Stand in awe, and sin not; commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes". . Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life'. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eye-lids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established".
Sect. 6. Prayers of the Saints on this head. How many are nine iniquities and sins ? make me to know my transgression, and my sina. That which I see not, teach thou me; if I have done iniquity, I will do no more. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults; keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins, let thein not have dominion over me; then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me; teach me thy statutes. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins, and my heart'; search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any in me, and lead me in the way everlasting
Examples. “ The difficulty of knowing ourselves, and the danger
arising from ignorance in this important concern, may be illustrated by some striking examples on sacred record.
“ Hazael furnishes us with a very remarkable one. When he had come to the Prophet Elisha, by order of the king of Syria, to inquire concerning the issue of the disease that prince then laboured under; and when the prophet told him that the king would not recover, and that he, Hazael, was to be king of Syria, and would prove a barbarous enemy to the children of Israel,” Hazael said, But what; is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing"? • This abhorrence, though strongly expressed, was but of very short duration. It appears from the context, that in less than twenty-four hours thereafter, he murdered his master, and seized the crown: and in his cruel inanner of carrying on war against the Israelites, what the prophet had foretold was fully verified.”
“ David, the king, affords a melancholy proof of the dismal consequences of inattention to our own hearts. After perpetrating one of the most shocking crimes, he continued near the space of a year to enjoy the fruits of his wickedness without remorse. Nathan's parable roused him from this lethargy; the judgments of the Lord were denounced against him; and his soul was pierced with the sharpest sorrow'.
“ The case of Peter, that great saint and apostle, is very striking. He knew not what manner of spirit he was of, when he said,” Though all men should be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee'. “ How quick, how dismal was the change! In a few hours,” he began to curse, and to swear, saying, I know not the man".
“ We have good reason to be on our guard against
2 Kings, viii. 13.
* Matt, xxvi. SS.
1 2 Sam. xii. 1–13. * Matt. xxvi. 74.
the snares of sin, and the treachery of our own bearts, and to commend ourselves to the divine care at all times. Saying,” Be surely for thy servant for good. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually".
OF THE RIGHT CULTIVATION OF THE SOUL IN
DIVINE KNOWLEDGE AND TRUE WISDOM.
Sect. 1. Knowledge and wisdom are the most im
portant acquisitions.-2. Ignorance and folly are the dishonour of our natures, and the source of our greatest calamities.-3. Knowledge and wisdom contrasted with ignorance and folly.-4. In order to attain sound knowledge and wisdom, a diligent attention to all the means of instruction are necessary.--5. The Divine Majesty is represented as complaining of the inattention, the criminal ignorance, and folly of men.
-6. And solemnly calling them to learn true wisdom. -7. He is the blessed source of sound knowledge and wisdom.-8. While he instructed Israel by his law, he gave them the promise of fuller degrees of light in the latter days. --9. These promises were fulfilled by the coming of our Lord Jesus. — 10. His divine instructions show, that he is truly the light of the world.-11. His complaints of the perverseness, hypocrisy, and folly of that generation to which he preached. — 12. His Apostles were enjoined to communicate this divine light to all nations. - 13. This
sacred commission they executed with zeal, diligence, · and fidelity. — 14. True knowledge and heavenly
wisdom will have an abiding influence, producing purity and holiness in heart and life. — 15. And are connected with a steadfast attention to the sacred
records. — 16. Of vain pretensions to knowledge and