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thee, consent thou not. And there is much and urgent need that we all be persuaded readily and stedfastly to follow this most wholesome, this most valuable advice. For

many

and
many,

it
may

be said, are they of the sons of men who have been betrayed from the paths of virtue, and have gradually sunk deep into the mire of sensuality and crime, from the want of a little resolution to say No! when others were seeking to persuade them to be of their number in running into some folly, or into the commission of this or that evil thing.

Alas! for the weakness and the sinfulness of our nature, the picture which the royal writer sketches is strictly correct and true. These sinful men, against whom we are exhorted to be on our guard, and to stand firm, are represented as not content that they themselves are above the fear of God, and are apparently, and with good prospect of success, devising for themselves plausible schemes of worldly profit.

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Satan-like, they are not content with this, but they are diligently seeking to persuade others to be as wicked as themselves : to the yet uninitiated in crime they offer riches, and pleasure, and impunity. “We shall find,” say they, “all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil.” But whatever they may say, whatever they may offer, we are not to attend unto their hollow representations, for their words are but words of vanity and deceit. My son, walk not thou in the way with them, refrain thy foot from their path : for their feet run to evil.”3 We are to read itas a certain truth, that if wejoin with them, if we hearken to their counsel, and follow their example, and participate in, and abet their evil deeds, we shall, like them, become sinners against our own souls. “They," we are told, “ lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.” We are, therefore, but making a thoughtless and ruinous com3 Prov. i. 15, 16.

4 Ib. i. 18.

pact, when we enter into the views and give ourselves to take part in the lawless schemes of idle and ungodly men. It may well please them to draw us into their company, and to make us as much " the children of hell” as themselves; for thus do they obtain countenance in their evil deeds, and, strong in number, they dare to call their way prosperous, and are thus encouraged to break more and more atrociously the commandments of Heaven. But, says Solomon, “ My son, walk not thou in the way with them.” “Hear,” and consider well, “ the conclusion of the whole matter.” For our yet further instruction the veil of futurity is, as it were, lifted up, and we are bidden to behold how it is that the profligate and scornful man layeth wait for his own blood, and lurketh privily for his own life.

In a grand and impassioned strain of eloquence Solomon proceeds to introduce the voice of God, personified as wisdom, calling aloud, and beseeching the “ simple

ones to

open
their
eyes,

and to become sensible of the fearful woe and horrible despair which shall one day be revealed, and multiplied upon the head of every hardened and impenitent sinner, every wilful and stubborn despiser of the righteous law of his God.

For a time, sinners may think, and they may say, that all things are safe, and that no harm is approaching. The exact reverse, however, is the real state of the case. A destruction is coming; and unrepented sin shall have its just recompense of reward. As writes the king of Israel in the chapter of our text, so did our Saviour speak, and so it is written in the Revelation, describing, forour warning and instruction, the terrors which shall in the end overwhelm the guilty, when the day of repentance, the day to amend, shall have passed away for

And, surely, men who are not altogether infidels, men who do not deny the possibility of a resurrection, and of a judgment to come, should not put away

ever.

G

from their thoughts the truths which they have been told, and which are written as with a sunbeam throughout the Bible, concerning a judgment to come. Surely it would be wise in men to make some provision against that day when the stoutest heart shall fail, and every worldly vanity, and every worldly thing, shall be consumed in the fearful burning. “O! consider this, then, ye that forget God;" 5 ye that live only unto idleness and pleasure, or in a yet more criminal round of licentiousness and evil. Think not in your folly that “to-morrow shall (always) be as this day, and yet more abundant.” No! a day is approaching, which shall not be followed by a morrow either to you, or to the world. And 0 ! if the face of your now insulted God and your now slighted Redeemer be then turned away from you, awake as you will then be to the awful real. ities of eternity,—what in that hour shall be

your agony and your portion for ever?

5 Psa. 1. 22.

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