« ElőzőTovább »
did that which was right in his fight, and declined not to the right hand, nor to the left. And God made him to prosper. You must, as he did, seek unto God betimes; for God is nigh to them who call on him; especially to those who seek him early. David says to Solomon his fon, “ Know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and knoweth all the imaginations of the thoughts. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever."
3. If you fear God, you will remember the fabbath-day, and keep it holy. This is God's day; a day on which you are to honour him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasures, nor speaking your own words.
You must keep this day holy, that fo you may serve God better every day. You must employ the whole of the day religiously; and especially keep your hearts, when you go to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the facrifice of fools. We read of some who are in almost all evil, in the midst of the congregation and assembly. Let there be none of these among you. Think how pious Jacob felt, when he considered himself in the presence of God. “ Surely God is in this place, and I knew it not. How dreadful is this place! This is no other than the house of God : This is the gate of heaven.”
4. If you fear God, you will govern your tongues, knowing that for every sinful, every idle word that you speak, you must give an account in the day of judgment.
David says to children, “I will teach of the Lord—What man is he that desireth life, that he may fee good ? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile."
you the fear
You must not take the name of God in vain ; must not mock at holy things ; must not talk of God, of heaven, of hell, in a careless, unmeaning, profane manner. If you thus talk, God will not hold you guiltless. You remember, that when little children scoffed at a good old prophet, God, in anger, fent bears among them, which tare them in pieces. What then will become of you, if you mock God himself ? Never speak falsely. If
you fear God, you must keep your lips from guile~from lying.
“ A lying tongue is abomination to the Lord." All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, in the place prepared for the devil and his angels : And it is just they should have their part there, for they imitate the devil ; they act as his children. He was a liar from the beginning, and is the father of liars.
Abhor all filthy and unclean talk. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is pure and wholesome, and fit to be heard. Let not uncleanness be once named among you, nor foolish talking and jesting ; but let your Ipeech be always with grace ; with decency and propriety, as becomes virtuous and holy children.
5. If you fear God, you will not contend and quarrel with one another, but will be friendly and peaceable. When David teaches you the fear of God, he says, “ Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
How odious it is for children to fall into violent passions with one another; to threaten and strike · in anger ; and to use vile and provoking names ! Christ fays, “They who are angry with others without a cause, and call them fools, shall be in danger of hell fire." He calls children “ his lambs.” You
know that lambs are innocent creatures. When you quarrel with one another, you act, not as Christ's lambs, but rather as young bears and wolves.
6. If you fear God, you will endeavour to do good according to your ability: and besure, you will be careful to do no mifchief, to have no cona cern in any wicked plans that are proposed. If finners entice you, you will not confent; but will turn from them and pass away : you will have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness ; but will rather reprove them : you will fay to es vil doers, “ Depart from us, for we will keep the commandments of God." We read of some, who fleep not, except they have done mischief, and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. Never join such parties as these ; for “a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, and feet that are swift in running to mischief, are abomination to the Lord." And “a companion of fools will be destroyed."
7. If you fear God, you will honour your parents : For this is his command, “Honour thy. father and mother, that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth.' Speak of them with respect, behave toward them with reverence, obey them with cheerfulness, and regard their will, when you are absent from them, as well as when you are present with them. Solomon says, " The eye that mocketh his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” His meaning is, Such ungracious and wicked creatures, as mock and despise a parent, while children, will probably prove rogues and villains, when they grow up; so that God, in his wrath, will give them up to an untimely death,
and leave them to be devoured by ravenous beasts and birds.
8. If you fear God, you will betake yourselves to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of lost finners.
He came to seek and to save them that are loft. When you compare your hearts and lives with God's holy law, you see that you have tranfgreffed it. This law condemns every one who continues not in all things written therein to do them. Christ by his death hath redeemed us from the curse of the law you can have redemption on. ly by faith in him as a dying Saviour. The fear of
as a holy and righteous Being, will lead you to Christ, who came to save you from the wrath to come. The law of God is a schoolmaster to bring you to Christ, that you may be justified by faith. Christ invites all weary and heavyladen finners, all who feel their guilt and see their danger, to come unto him, that they may find rest to their souls. Them who come to him, he will in no wife cast out.
FINALLY: If you fear God, keep his command. ments. Do what he requires, and shun what he forbids. Keep out of the company of wicked children, as much as you can, left you learn their ways, and get a snare to your souls. When
you see evil in other children, reprove them ; if they are so proud and scornful, that they will not regard you, desire those who are older to reprove them. “He that converteth a finner from the er. ror of his way, shall fave a soul from death, and fhall hide the multitude of sins."
Thus, my children, I have taught you, what it is to fear God, and why you should fear him. I hope you have hearkened, while I have been speaking. Forget not what has been said. Think of it after you go home, and pray God to impress it on your hearts. If
hearts. If you knew you should die, in two or three days, would you not regard what has been spoken ? You know not how soon you shall die. Many die young. How happy it is to be always ready. If you live to be old, death is not far off. " Man that is born of a woman is of few days." God has called you to obtain falvation through Christ. Give diligence to make your calling sure. Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation. If you despise God's calls and resist his grace, when you are young, perhaps you will be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, and rejected of God forever.
Hear then and regard the words of David in our text and the verses which follow :-" Come, ye children, hearken unto me, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that delireth life and loveth many days, that he may see good ? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil and do good ; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut of their remembrance from the earth. Evil fhall lay the wicked. But the Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shall be defolate.
A PRAYER FOR CHILDREN.
ALMIGHTY God! Thou hast created me by thy power, preserved me by thy care, and supported me by thy goodness. From thee I derived my being, my reafon, and all my powers. I am indebted to thee for all