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ways. If you climb up into Heaven he is there ; if you go down to Hell he is there also,” To him “ all hearts are open, all desires known, and from him no secrets are hid.” To suppose that you are safe, because you feel satisfied that no mortal
eye has seen your sin, no mortal creature has knowledge of it; to think that there is nothing to fear, because all apprehensions of human detection and punishment are banished from the mind ; to imagine that evil doings have no other record than the memory, no other retribution than the reproaches of Conscience, is a vanity which the extreme of folly only can indulge, a delusion which none but guilty and obdurate bosoms can admit.
In the end, when the judgment shall be set, when all people, and nations, and kindreds, gathered from the four quarters of the earth, shall stand before the tribunal of their Judge, God *“ will make manifest the counsels of the hearts,” open every avenue which was thought closed up for ever, drag to light the hidden creature of sin, and justify his final decisions before Angels and Men by the full disclosure of recorded guilt. Knowing, therefore, that there is not
*.1 Cor. iv, 5.
any creature that is not manifest in his sight,” and that “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do,” always consider yourselves as living in his presence, as watched by him in every motion of your hearts, and in every action of your lives, and as accompanied by him, an all-seeing and invisible witness, in all your ways and wanderings, at home and abroad, in light and in darkness, in the house of mourning, and in the house of feasting, in the hour when you are lurking in secret places to offend, and in the day when you go forth to obey and bless.
Let this awful sense of his presence and spirit be so deeply impressed upon your hearts, and so frequently indulged in your meditations, that it may act as a constant check upon your thoughts, words, and works. Let the fear of offending him be so carefully cherished in your breasts, as
Heb. iv. 13.
to operate a strong and pious aversion from all evil, and a daily and constant practice of godliness and virtue. And let the assurance of a future judgment on human actions, of punishment to be inflicted on the bad, and of reward to be bestowed upon the good, excite a desire to perfect holiness in the fear of God, and a corresponding exertion to render yourselves worthy of his forgiveness, through the merits of Jesus Christ.
Remember the words of Solomon, and lay them up in your memories to serve you in the hour of temptation. * “ Re
young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.” of “ Hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep his commandments ; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work iuto judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
* Eccl. xi. 9.
+ Eccl. xii. 13, 14.