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is on high.—Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.”
Thou God seest me! This is a pleasing reflection when I am in trouble. He knows all my s walking through this great wilderness ;" he knows where the burden presses; he knows how long to continue the trial, and by what means to remove it. In no condition am I hid from my heavenly Friend. He saw Jeremiah in the dungeon, and Daniel in the lion's den. My circumstances are perplexing :-“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot behold him: on the left hand where he doth work, but I cannot behold him : he hideth himself also on the right hand, that I cannot see him.-But he knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. The eyes of the Lord are upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.”
Secondly. To the wicked it is a very awful reflection. Yes, what can be more awful than the thought—that God sees you rise in the morning, goes forth with you, observes you all the day long-that you have passed under his eye from infancy to youth, and from youth to manhood that he has beheld every plan you have formed, every bargain you have made—that he has observed not only actions but motives ; not only words, but thoughts ; not only the evil you have committed, but the evil you wished to commit: all the filthiness of your imaginations, as well as of your lives—all the difficulties you have had to overcome in pursuing a sinful course; every check of conscience, every rebuke of Providence
and has noticed not only the number, but aggravations of all your crimes. And what ren
ders all this still more dreadful is the fact, that he does not forget anything he has seen. You have forgotten many of your transgressions ; but he remembers even the sins of your youth. Sometimes persons sin from custom and habit: and know not when they do so; for instance, they know not when they lie or swear. If it were possible to secure all their evil words for one month, for one year and read it to them—what a surprise would they express! Well, not one of them has escaped the divine notice: he has recorded them all in the book of his remembrance. And, to complete the terror of this consideration—all he has seen he will publish before the whole world ; and he will also punish all that he has seen "s with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.”
Thirdly. The reflection will be found very useful to persons of every class:
Useful as a check to sin. For can a person sin while he realizes this ; can he affront the Almighty to his very face? - This would restrain us even from secret faults, and make us as pure in the closet as in the sanctuary, for God is in the one as well as in the other.
“O may these thoughts possess my breast :
Consent to sin, for God is there.” Useful as a motive to holiness. The presence, the eye of one who is above us, and whom we highly esteem and reverence, elevates our minds and refines our behaviour: and we desire to act so as to gain his approbation. A servant feels
this when he is before his master, and a subject when he is before the king. One of the heathen philosophers, therefore, recommended his pupils, as the best means to induce and enable them to behave worthily, to imagine that some very distinguished character was always looking upon them. But what was the eye of Cato compared with the eye of Jehovah! Who would not approve themselves unto God! “In his favour is life.-I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies," says David, “ for all my ways are before thee."
Finally. Useful as a reason for simplicity and godly sincerity. O! let it banish all dissimulation from our religious exercises ; and whether we read, or hear, or pray, or surround the table of the Lord, let us remember that " God weigheth the spirits.” If we had to do with men only, a fair appearance might be sufficient ; " but the Lord looketh to the heart.” And can we play the hypocrite under those eyes which are as a flame of fire? What will a name to live, a form of godliness avail us with him who is " a spirit, and seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Let us then no longer suffer ourselves to be led by sense, but let us live and walk by faith. Let this important truth sink down into your hearts-that the eye of God is always upon us. The truth, indeed, remains the same whether we regard it or not; but if we lay hold of it by faith, and keep it present in our thoughts by meditation, it will be found the noblest of all principles ; and by the blessing of God, it will preserve us froni sin; it will excite us to duty ; it will make us - sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.”
THE DEATH OF JESUS.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall
into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.-John xii. 24.
DEATH-death, the most dreadful of all events, has often been rendered a blessing.
The death of a believer has been useful. It has encouraged and established those who are walking in the way to Zion with many a trembling step, and many a shivering fear how it would go with them at last. When they have viewed a dying Christian, and have seen the grace of God, they have been glad : their courage has been revived, and they have rejoiced in hope. Why may it not be so with me? “ The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.” His looks, his words, his experience have also made an impression on the minds of the careless which has never been erased. After turning their backs on a sermon, they have been convinced by a dying bed. There the evidence was too plain to be denied, too solemn to be ridiculed. They have admired and resolved to follow a Master who is so good to his servants, and who does not“ forsake them when their strength faileth, but is the strength of their heart and their portion for ever.” And the death of the saint has proved the life of the sinner.
The death of a parent has been useful. His expiring charge has never been forgotten. The
thought of separation for ever from one so loved and valued has awakened in the son a salutary fear. Returning from a father's grave, he has met with God saying, Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, thou art the Guide of my youth ? and, turning into his closet, he has kneeled and said, O Thou in whom the fatherless findeth mercy, I am thine, save me. And the death of the parent has proved the life of the child.
The death of a minister has been useful. Some of the servants of God have laboured faithfully without seeing the fruit of their labours. One has sown and another has reaped. But the removal of our mercies, by showing us their value, leads us to prize them. It has been so with many a conscientious preacher: he has been little regarded while living, but when dead his word has come with power to the conscience. His addresses, prayers, and tears have been remembered by his people ; and the expectation of meeting him at the last day has forced them to exclaim, How shall we escape? And the death of the minister has proved the life of the hearer.
The death of a martyr has been useful. His patience and fortitude; his joy and triumph; his forgiveness of injuries, and his prayers for his persecutors, have struck beholders, rendered a religion honourable that could produce such marvellous effects, led to an examination of its evidences; and faith and zeal have been the result of inquiry. “ The wrath of man has praised God,”—" and the blood of the martyrs has been the seed of the church.”
But where are we now? We have an example to produce infinitely greater effects than all these. Let us leave the disciples, and behold their Lord;