« PreviousContinue »
4. If piety will lead to open that this world is our own, and duties in our social meals, then that we have no Lord over us? it will lead to secret duties, at The very common neglect of our solitary meals. We may table duties is a high proof of have secret breathings of grati- our awful departure from God : tude to God, without any visible And our making so light of this signs of our being at prayer.- neglect is a dreadful proof of our But if God, who seeth our stupidity. hearts, never discovers them ascending in grateful emotions, when we receive a morsel of Deccitfulness of Sin. bread, a draught of water, or some of those fruits which he LL the promises of sin has prepared to delight our are treacherous. It detaste, we give evidence to him ceives us, when it promises pleaand to ourselves, that we are This is a bait, which is unholy and unthankful.
frequently used to beguile men. 5. The tables of the pious There is doubtless a short and poor are better furnished than feverish pleasure which sinners the tables of the graceless rich : taste ; but it quickly passes and Tho' the poor have not so many is immediately succeeded with dainties, yet they have the bless- languor and regret. The seat ing of the Lord, and that mak-, of sinful gratification is in the eth truly rich, and he addeth no passions. From these solid satsorrow thereto. They who feed iafaction cannot arise. When on a coarse and scanty fare, irregularly indulged, they crewith a lively sense and acknowl- ate a deep and lasting torment edgment of the divine munifi- in the mind. Sin addresses itcence, do, no doubt, enjoy even self to the passions, the weaker their meals better than those parts of human nature, and not who fare sumptuously every to reason and judgment. Those day ; but who do not look to are more easily deceived, and and adore the hand that feeds when once perverted prove danthem. Let not any of the poor gerous. To them sinful plealose this privilege of having the sure is represented an imporblessing of God, to enrich their tant object. But, tho' the obtable. Some have said, that ject in appearance be a bed of the thanksgiving of the table was roses, experience finds it a bed worth more than the food. of thorns. Ask the drunkard,
6. What a proof of prevailing when sober, whether he found impiety is the general neglect unmixed pleasure in his cups ; of these plain, easy and reason- whether reflection can bear the able duties? How many tables brutish spectacle, which intemin this Christian land, wherperance made him. Ask the our heavenly Benefactor is no libertine, in a calm moment, more acknowledged than tho' whether his pleasures are worth they were furnished independ- vhat they cost; the loss of a enty of his Providence? Is not sound mind in a sound body.this denying the God who made Will a father, who has pursued and preserves us ? Do we not the paths of sin in search of manifest by this, that we feel I pleasures, advise his son to tread in the same treacherous road; / When the belief of heaven and will he encourage him as being hell cannot be erased from the in the way to happiness? A mind, being fixed there upon Christian country produced one the fullest conviction, that they such father, * who taught his are both plainly, and equally son vice by precept and exam- | plainly, revealed in the sacred ple; but such an unnatural fa- scriptures; when this point canther is both the wonder and de- not be gained, sin would pertestation of the world. At first, suade us that these eternal rethey who seek pleasures from alities are very distant, and by the gratification of sense, may their supr.used distance, endeavglide in a smooth current, but or to diminish their restrain. soon will find themselves on a ing influence upon the mind.tempestuous sea, whose "waters In this it is deceitful; for the cast up mire and dirt."
longest life throws them back When sin promises wealth but a little way; innumerable as a reward of pursuing it, pov- accidents may fix us in one of erty, disgrace or both, are the them immediately. real inheritance acquired. Sin affects to be less criminal Wealth gotten by " iniquity than it is ; bids the passions proves a curse to its owner. plead their natural propensity;
The wreath of laurel promis- calls their indulgence infirmity ; ed by sinful ambition proves begins with those acts which are but a fading flower, or a stig-less flagrant, establishes a habit; ma of foul disgrace. All the then proceeds one step further, wealth, pleasure or honor, ob- which is likewise secured.-tained through its influence, is Thus an imperceptible progress transitory and vanishes like the is ultimately made to a point, morning cloud or early dew. which would have startled the
But the great point, in which young offender. If the mind, sin is most deceptive, is the for a moment, be alarmed by its making light of future realities. situation, sin has a delusive The cheat, which it practises opiate ; it represents danger as upon men in this life; all the distant, and future time more true pleasure of which it robs than enough to set all right.them ; all the pain of body and But if the time be too surely anguish of mind, into which it short, and the soul be just launplunges them here, are the dust ching into eternity, sin still has of the balance. We can lose or
its quieting draught, and the suffer but little in this world.- sinking soul is braced to the last But when sin represents the with a false representation of joys of heaven and the sorrows the divine benevolence. As fuof hell of trifling consequence ; ture punishment is the strong. when it persuades us the forest restraint upon sin, next to mer is easily attained, and the the animating hope of future latter easily avoided, it is most glory, sin would persuade us of all deceitful. If sin can gain that there is some escape from this point, nothing can raise a it, otherwise than by holiness.--mound to stop its progress. Its language to the tempted' is,
“ Ye shall not surely die.”Chesterfield.
And if, like our first parents,
they give heed to it, they must as the darkness and inclemency be awfully undeceived in the of the times, when affairs of imfuture world.
portance cannot be well concertSometimes, however, the pri- ed and effected: Nor as the soner is thought so secure in scorching heat of the sun at the shackles of sin, that the noon, distressing and destroymask is dropped, and sin itself ing his subjects by tyranny and declares, there is no hope, and persecution. And, as the tendelivers over its captive to im- der grass springing out of the mediate despair.
earth, by clear and influential Wherefore, exhort one anoiher shining after rain ; so, under his daily, lest any of you be hardened benevolent, gentle and efficathro the deceiifulness of sin. cious administration, shall his
OBED. subjects flourish, prosper and
And David said, Although For the Connecticut Evangeli- my house, i.e. my descendants, cal Magazine.
who shall, in succession, sit on
my throne, will not, all of them, A Paraphrase and Note on 2 Sam. sustain such an excellent, princexxiii. 3, 4, 5.
ly character with God; yet,
under the afflictive prospect, I "HE. God of Israel said, have this consideration for my
to me, He that ruleth over inen, me an everlasting covenant, so must be just, ruling in the fear wisely and graciously ordered, of God. And he shall be as the that whatever cometh to pass light of the morning, when the shall subserve its accomplishsun riseth, even a morning with ment. He hath engaged, with out clouds; as the clear shin- an oath, that my house and my ing afer rain. Although my kingdom shall be established to house be not so with God, yet all generations; and that, of the he hath made with me an ever- fruit of my loins, according to lasting covenant, ordered in all the flesh, he will raise up the things and sure: For, this is all Messiah, to sit on my throne, my salvation and all my desire, (2 Sam. vii. 16. Psal. lxxxix. although he make it not to 3, 4. Acts ii. 30%) even the grow.”
great Prince of Peace, the true The God of Israel, who like a and everlasting Redeemer, unrock, is their strength and re- der whose auspicious governfuge, spake to David, saying, ment, his subjects shall yield Whoever is advanced to the cheerful submission, shall be high and important office of rul- exceedingly numerous and uning over men, must be just, rul- speakably happy; and through ing in the fear or reverential re- whose meritorious and efficient gard of God. And he shall be grace, I, and all who trust in as the light of the morning, and obey him, shall receive eterwhen the sun riseth, even anal salvation. God hath made morning withcụt clouds; i.e. with me this covenant; for, it he shall be discerning, wise, is so well adapted for the manimerciful and prosperous : Not! festation of his own glory, and
A Paraphrase and Note on 2 Sam. xxiii. 3, 4, 5.
for the security of my present being fully persuaded that he
doubt, often obscured. But, to NOTE.
adduce and particularize the It is the character of true many passages of scripture, faith, to prevail and live under which lead us to this conclusion, the pressure of trial. The good would far exceed the intended man's faith, oftentimes, appears brevity of this note. more conspicuously in adversiiy sage, however, I may quote, in than in the sunshine of outward which it appears, that his mind prosperity. The sturs, which was touched with melancholy, cannot shine, through the efful- or distrust, and his spiritual gence of day, discover their views were much darkened. brightness and beauty at night. “My covenant will I not break, We admire the firmness and nor alter the thing that is gone constancy of an hero, in batile, out of my lips. Once have I and the skill and exertion of a sworn by my holiness, that I pilot, in a storm, at sea. Pre- / will not lie unto David. His viously to the remarkable trial, seed shall endure forever, and through which he called his his throne as the sun before me. faithful Abraham to pass, God But thou hast cast off and abhad established with him his | horred; thou hast been wroth covenant; and said, “ Fear not, with thine anointed ; thou hast Abraham, I am thy shield, and made void the covenant of thy thy exceeding great reward. I servant; thou hast profaned his am God Almighty ; walk be- crown, by casting it to the fore me, and be thou perfect." ground.” (Psal. lxxxix. 35, 36, And the divine power and good 38, 39.) But, though this pasness were admirably manifested sage indicates, that his lively in the firmness and endurance exercise of faith was much deadof his faith. His eye of sense ened ; yet there are other sencould not perceive how he could tences, in the same Psalm, which sacrifice his Son, in a consis- express the vigor of his gratitency with the Messiah's advent tude and hope, in his celebratand kingdom. Nevertheless, he ing the divine faithfulness and staggered not at the promise pleading with God, for the rethro’ unbelief; but was strong newal of his loving kindnesses. in faili, giving glory to God; ' And though he uttered these
plaintive expressions of dejec- ness. To this agree the words tion and distrust, yet his confi- of the Prophet : “ Before they dence, in the goodness and truth call, I will answer; and while of God, was so far recovered, they are yet speaking, I will that he could, at the close of ) hear." the Psalm, say,
6 Blessed be the But, through the common Lord forevermore.”
course of divine Providence, we firm was his reliance, that he are liable to so many trying oceven added to the expression of currences, that though praise and adoration, his repeat- hearts may not, at the time of ed Amen : Or, verily, so let it be. trial, condemn us ; yet we may If God but looked through the be greatly afflicted. It is, therecloud, which, at any time, ini- fore, very important, that we tervened between his smiling have respect to all the divine face and the disconsolate soul of commands. This is the best David ; that condescending look defence against despair. Says could turn his darkness into day, David, “Unless thy law had his mourning into gladness; to been my delight, I should then the end or purpose, that his have perished in my affliction. glory (i. e. his tongue) might I will never forget thy precepts: sing praise to God, and not be For, with them hast thou quicksilent. (Psalm xxx.) And the ened me." Senuineness of his grateful aflec- “Great peace have they who tions often appears in that, upon love God's law.” They are his recovery from his despon- cheerful and confident in his dency he requests others to join universal government and prowith him in his acknowledge- tecting goodness. And while ments of thankfulness and ado- they rejoice, that the whole creration. “I will bless the Lord ation is at his sovereign dispoat all times-iny soul shall sal, they, through faith, delightmake her boast in the Lord fully view the unchangeable Rethe humble shall hear thereof deemer accomplishing his graand be glad. Oh, magnify the cious design of redemption, and Lord with me, and let us exalt causing all things to work tohis name together : I sought gether for good to them who the Lord, and he heard me and love God, and who are the caldelivered me from all my fears.” led, according to his purpose.The most effectual way to And though they may be desprevent a melancholy temper titute of outward wealth, yet and dejected spirit is to walk they, in the true meaning of the closely with God, and thereby expression, possess all things.keep our consciences pure.-- | In times of adversity, their song “Our iniquities separate be- is, “ The Lord liveth ; blessed tween us and our God, and our be
my rock ; and let the God of sins hide his face from us, that my salvation be exalted.” In he will not hear." But when them is fulfilled the saying of an we, through his free grace, love ancient : “Whether a man be and obey him, he favoreth us rich or poor, if he have a good with his special presence and heart toward the Lord, he shall, mercy: He even preventeth us at all times, rejoice with a with the blessings of his good- I cheerful countenance.”