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SERM. an evil way: not confidering, how displeafing such a courfe is to the divine being. These things haft thou done, and I kept filence. Thou thoughteft, that I was fuch an one as thyfelf. But I will reprove thee, and fet them in order before thee. Now confider this, ye that forget God: least I tare you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
Pf. 1. 21.
And in the New Teftament, fays St. Paul: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith. Prove your own felves. And, If any man thinks himself to be fomething, when he is nothing, be deceives himself. But let every man prove his own work. Then fhall be have rejoycing in himself alone, and not in another. St. John is directed by our exalted Lord, to write in this manner to the church of EpheRev. ii. 5. fus: Remember therefore, from whence thou art fallen: and repent, and do the first work. I Cor. xi. And St. Paul obferves: If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged, or condemned, by the Lord.
xiii. 5. Gal. vi.
4. Which brings us to another argument for this practife: That God will hereafter try and judge us, and all men.
There is a day appointed for reviewing the actions of all mankind. And then every one
will receive according to what he has done in SERM. the body, whether good or evil. This fhould be of great force to perfuade us to think on our ways now, and feriously to recollect our paft conduct; that all inftances of misbehaviour may be blotted out, and corrected by the tears of unfeigned and timely repentance, and by hearty reformation and amendment.
5. There is a great deal of reason to apprehend, that we fhall be induced to think on our ways fome time before our departure out of this world.
If ever we are brought into troubles and diftreffes, or have near apprehenfions of death and judgement: then these reflections will be unavoidable, and thefe thoughts will disturb us, when the benefit will be uncertain. It must therefore be prudent, to think on our ways in time, freely and voluntarily, and by a speedy and effectual repentance and amendment, to lay a foundation for pleafing reflections, and comfortable profpects, in a day of affliction, or at the time of death.
6. Lastly, Let us attend to the great advantages of thinking on our ways.
It is a likely mean of repentance, of amendment, and of emprovement in every
SERM. thing good and excellent. We fhall then I. know ourselves. We fhall fee the evil of fin, and be very fenfible of the fad confequences of continuing therein. We fhall turn from it, and carefully keep God's commandments, to the end, without any more deliberatly and wilfully forfaking, or turning afide from them.
This is the leffon of the text, and of what` follows. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy teftimonies. I made hafte, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. Which laft words, God willing, fhall be the subject of our meditations the next opportunity.
The unreasonableneffe of Delays in
PSA L. cxix. 60.
I made hafte, and delayed not to keep thy (teftimonies) command meat.
HIS pfalm is equally admirable
elegance of compofition. The prevailing principle running throughout, is a high efteem and veneration for the revealed will of God: which under fome expreffion of law, word, ftatutes, ordinances, teftimonies, or fome other phrafe of like import, is mentioned
SERM. tioned in almoft every verfe of the pfalm. II. Notwithstanding which, and the length of the meditation likewife, it is not chargeable either with tedioufneffe, or tautologie. But there is a great and surprising variety, and the attention of the reader is kept up from the begining to the end.
Indeed the variety is fuch, that it is fomewhat difficult to make a fummarie of it's contents, or represent in brief the feveral thoughts, with which it is filled. However it may in general be faid, that the Pfalmift often profeffeth the regard he had for the divine law. And he aims to recommend to others the ferious and diligent ftudie of it, and a fincere and conftant practife of all it's precepts, as the only way to true bleffedneffe. He declares the great and frequent experience he had of fupport and comfort from it in his diftreffes and afflictions. He vows perpetual obedience and conformity to it, notwithftanding the difcouragements he might meet with from the world about him, and the multitude, or the greatneffe of tranfgreffors. He prays alfo for farther inftruction in God's word, and help to keep it to the end. The pfalm is fuited to comfort the dejected, to