« AnteriorContinuar »
wisdom which Solomon so justly extols, and which is nothing else than an acquaintance with the Divine rules, and the moral maxims of pure and vital religion, and of which, pre-eminently, Christ Jesus is “the Author and Finisher." We say, an acquaintance—but we mean thereby, not a mere superficial acquaintance-not a mere cold verbal assent to the general beauty and loveliness of God's holy precepts, but that we take such an interest therein as shall lead to a diligent cultivation and practice, a fruitfulness, an abounding in every good word and work, “an adorning of the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things."
Thus is it that the spectacle deprecated by Solomon in our text,“ a young man void of understanding,” may happily not so often be found among us: although, whilst antichrist is yet abroad in the world, there will be those, alas ! who walk “according to the course of this 4 Tit. ii. 10.
5 1 John iv. 3.
world, according 'to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit,” as St. Paul writes, “that now worketh in the chil. dren of disobedience : who have their conversation in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh."6
Nevertheless, we would speak even to all, -to the stripling as well as to the young man,—to the yet elder in years, and to those who may as yet not have entertained any pious, or abiding thoughts concerning man's truest wisdom, and what shall best befriend him in the hour which, to the wise, as well as to the foolish, must alike come—the hour of perishing nature--not to be put off by the strongest exertion of human wit, or the brightest display of worldly talent. In that hour, even the hour of awakening up into eternity, great shall be the profiting and great the praise of “the wisdom which is from above;"? the wisdom and the knowledge whereby man is taught “ to depart from evil,” and “to do his duty in that state of life, unto which it hath pleased God to call him.”8The treasures of that wisdom, and of that understanding, shall neither fail, nor deceive. They can make the honest poor man richer than the titled slave of sinful pride and lustful passion. He will be rich; he hath treasure in heaven; and because he is a religious man; because he fears God, and fears to do a bad action ; and because, finally, instructed in the faith of the Gospel, he takes to himself, and is influenced by the word of promise, which saith, “ Blessed are they which do his (Christ's) commandments, that they (through him) may have right to the tree of life."9
6 Eph. ii. 2, 3. 7 James iii. 17.
THE GUILT OF SWEARING.
Matthew v. 34.
“ But I say unto you, Swear not at all.”
The words here read, however brief their expression of the will of the Almighty, do at the same time positively and strongly prohibit a practice, which the commonest 'observation will surely tell us is glaringly frequent, and lamentably rife in our streets. And yet, my brethren, whose are these words? who uttered this restraining command? who hath said, “ Swear not at all”? You scarcely need be told, that these are the very words, that this is a positive injunction of Christ,
our rightful Lord, the appointed Judge of all men, and who, in reference to the solemn proceeding of the judgment-day, hath declared, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."1 Fearful, then, must be, and is the infatuation, and great the folly of those who fly in the face of a command issued on such Divine authority, and who disregard a prohibition, the infraction of which will be sorely visited hereafter. Nevertheless, the violation of this precept is too notorious, the sound of
profane and idle oaths is too frequently heard among us, to render it a matter of question whether or no there be any occasion for the ministers of the Gospel to lift up their voices against this heinous sin. There is but too much need for the
appointed watchmen of the christian sheepfold to “ be instant" in this matter to remember, and to follow the injunction from the Lord to Isaiah, Cry aloud,
1 Matt. xii. 37.