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head. And he, whatsoever his military rank may be, grossly mistakes the nature, the importance, and the end of a soldier's life, if he speak, or think, or act concerning it, as though the fear of God and obedience to the laws of the Gospel were not essential even to the present comfort of the military man, of the man who, from the very nature of his profession, is liable at any moment to be called

upon to expose and to lay down his life in the discharge of his duty.

In short, the worth, and the instruction to be gained from this interesting history of David's combat with Goliath, consists mainly in the noble example therein set before us of piety joined with valour, of independence of mind and intrepidity of spirit coupled with an honest humility of heart, knowing how in all faith to refer the cause to God. David's heroic example will serve to show us that it is not the part either of valour or of wisdom to defy and to blaspheme, as did the giant Philistine, the Lord God Almighty. But, alas ! brethren, what do we, but approach unto similar depths of wickedness, if we give not the Lord “the honour due unto his name," ? if we trust to ourselves, or “take man for our defence, and in our hearts go out from the Lord ?”!3 In all our ways and in all our doings, would we have a blessing thereon, we must do as David did. We must “go

go forth in the name and in the strength of the Lord God.”. The fitness, the propriety of that action must be more than doubtful, on which we cannot ask God's blessing. O! “ consider” we well “the end,” the account to be given hereafter of all the things done in the body; and surely we must see the reasonableness of regulating our conduct by the righteousness and holy love of our God and Saviour. And, however brave and excelling, and applauded by his fellow men, any one may be on earth, yet are his prospects of eternity not enviable, and he hereafter may find himself but a miserable and despicable wretch, unless he hath arrived at the knowledge, and been living in the love of him, who is greatly to be feared,-even “ the Lord sitting upon his throne.”

2 Psa. xxix. 2. 3 Commination Service. Jer. xvii. 5.

4 1 Kings xxii. 19.

111

SERMON VIII.

NOT TO CONSENT WITH SINNERS.

PROVERBS i. 10.

“ My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”

In this opening chapter of the book of Proverbs, and of several also of those which immediately follow, Solomon sets himself to advise and instruct in “ words of truth and soberness,” founded in experience, and expressed with surprising simplicity of eloquence. Herein does the royal writer beseech the attention of his hearers, and demand their cheerful compliance with his precepts, as being for their own real interest, for their present and ever lasting benefit.

Professing to teach wisdom, to lay down a rule of life and manners, and to show how men may best secure to themselves honour, and respectability, and comfort, Solomon, as in the chapter of our text, peremptorily insists upon this great truth as the foundation of all virtuous action, that there can be no true wisdom, no right rule of conduct, unless the knowledge of God be attained, and the fear of God be in the heart; unless, that is, such a knowledge and such a fear be with us, as may deter from the commission of evil, and induce and determine to the practice of that which is good. “The fear of the Lord,” saith he with solemn earnestness, “is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

It is the property of the foolish man, as also of the vain and presumptuous worldling, to make light of, if not to turn into ridicule, those words and that revelation which Almighty God, in compassion

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