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the best, when prejudice has not operated in a peculiar manner, which the world has ever seen. In all these, the Fear of God was the controlling principle. Concerning those rulers, whose conduct is recorded in the Scriptures, the subject does not admit of a doubt: for the divine writers have marked each case so strongly, as to put it wholly out of question. Concerning such men, as JMoses, Samuel, Josiah, and JNehemiah, no man is at a loss. There is as little uncertainty concerning Alfred the Great, Sir JMatthew Hale, and many others, in later times. All these, and all other men of a similar character, were supremely controlled in their conduct by the Fear of God; the great thing insisted on by JehoshaPhat in these directions. .Nehemiah, particularly, informs us concerning this subject, as it respected himself. The former Governors, says he, who have been before me, were chargeable unto the people; and had taken of them bread and wine ; besides forty ... Yea, even their Servants bear rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the Fear of God. Of Hananiah, the Ruler of the Palace, this eminently worthy man says, chapter vii. 2, that he gave him charge over Jerusalem, because he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. Of Cornelius it is said, he feared God, and gave much alms to the people. Of Obadiah, the governor of Ahab's house, it is declared, that he feared the Lord greatly; and that he had thus feared him jrom his youth. As a proof, as well as consequence, of this spirit, we are informed, that, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, he took an hundred and fifty of them, and .#. in caves; where he kept, and fed them, at the daily hazard of his life. By St. Paul, religious Reverence is alleged as the ground, and directory, of Christian submission to lawful authority, Eph. v. 21 ; and by Malachi, chapter iii. 16, as the cause of Christian fellowship. Thus we find this spirit extending its benign influence to the various branches of Christian duty; and proving a peculiarly efficacious cause of zeal, and exemplariness, in all those parts of a religious life, which contribute, immediately, to the well-being of our fellow-men. 5thly. Religious Reverence is the foundation of peculiar Blessings to the present world. The secret of the Lord, says the Psalmist, is with them that fear him. Ps. xxv. 14. He hath given meat to them that fear him. Ps. cxi. 5. There is no want to them that fear him. Ps. Xxxiv. 9. By the fear of the Lord are riches and honour. Prov. xxii. 4. The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear him. Ps. xxxiv. 7. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him. Ps. cxlv. 19. These promises, and these declarations, furnish complete security to those who fear God, that they shall really want no good thing: Wor... III. 11

that their circumstances shall be so ordered, as that all things shall work together for their good. They may indeed be troubled, and persecuted, and even cut off by a violent death. But these evils will take place, only when they become necessary; and when they themselves, as well as others, will become more happy, in the end, by means of them, than they could be without them.— Ordinarily, they will find, in times both of adversity and prosperity, ways, and those very numerous, in which God will show himself more attentive to their real good, than they themselves were; and, even in this life, will often see, that the most untoward events, as they seemed while passing, are such as they themselves, while taking a retrospective view, would choose to have had befal them. At the same time, all their enjoyments are blessings; and not, like those of the wicked, enjoyments merely. At the same time also, while the sufferings of the wicked are punishments and curses, the afflictions of such as fear God are only blessings in disguise. 6thly. Religious Reverence is especially the means of securing etermal life. Surely, saith the Psalmist, his salvation is nigh to them that fear him. Ps. lxxxv. 9. I know, saith Solomon, it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him. But it shall not be well with the wicked, because he feareth not before God. Eccles. viii. 12, 13. And again; The Fear of the Lord tendeth to life. Prov. xix. 23. And again; The Fear of the Lord is a fountain {{j and to sum up . in a single declaration, The wicked are declared by Christ in the character of Wisdom, Prov. i. 29, to be finally given over to destruction because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the Fear of the Lord. But it is unnecessary to spend time, any further, in illustrating a doctrine, which necessarily follows from the observations, made under the preceding heads.


From these observations Christians are taught,

1st. The supreme Importance of the Fear jo.

This affection is #. to the acceptableness of their worship, and their obedience; to their hatred of sin; their safety in temptation; and the amendment of their lives. It is a primary ingredient of their piety. It is the well-spring of their F. lence, justice, faithfulness, and brotherly love; of rectitude in them, when rulers; of submission, good order, and public spirit, when subjects. . It is indispensable to their enjoyment of the favour of God in this life, and his everlasting kindness in the life to coine. Higher motives to the attainment of any character cannot be alleged. Let every Christian, then, cherish and cultivate religious Reverence in his own mind. Let him often, and habitually, bring before his eyes the awful Being, who is the only object of this affection, and whose sole prerogative it is to demand it of his creatures. Let him fasten his yiews on the presence and greatness, the purity and glory, of Jehovah; and solemnly discern, and confess, that he himself is nothing, less than nothing, and vanity. In the incommunicable splendour, in the incomprehensible majesty, of the Uncreated Mind, all created glory is ". and forgotten. In the presence of the Sun of Righteousness every star hides its diminished head. . Before his beams the lustre of angels, and archangels, fades into nothing. In the presence of his purity the heavens themselves, spotless as they are to a created eye, are unclean. What then is man, that God should be mindful of him; or the son of man, that he should visit him 2 What indeed are we; what indeed must we be; in the presence of such a being as this 2 Such thoughts as these ought ever to be present in the mind. Whenever it turns its views towards the Creator, those views ought, from motives of interest and duty alike, to be, invariably, of the most reverential kind. They most become the character of God; are eminently pleasing in his sight; constitute the best and happiest frame of mind; and most advantageously influence us in all our duty. 2dly. From these observations it is clear, that habitual Reverence to God is one of the best Evidences of Piety. After what has been said, this truth needs no further illustration. All that is necessary to add is, that we are bound to examine ourselves accordingly. 3dly. As Reverence to God is the most profitable, so Irreverence is the most dangerous, habit, which can easily be conceived. As I shall have occasion to dwell particularly on this subject, when I come to consider the third command in the decalogue; I shall not dwell upon it here. It is sufficient to observe at the present time, that every person, who is the subject of this character, ought to tremble at the danger, to which he is daily exposing himself. There is no manner, in which he can more effectually harden his own heart, or provoke the anger of God. 4thly. He, who does not reverence God habitually, is here taught, that he is wholly destitute of religion. There is a state of mind, in such persons, especially as have been taught to fear God from the morning of life, and have retained a strong influence of these impressions, which it is often difficult to distinguish from evangelical Reverence. But there is also a state of mind very extensively existing, which is wholly destitute of this attribute, and which, if examined with an ordinary degree of honesty and candour, may be easily discerned. No infidel, no profane person, no mere sensualist, or worldling, needs to hesitate, for a moment, in determining that he is destitute of Reverence to God, and consequently of Religion. Of course, he ought to

regard himself as plainly an object of divine wrath; and, so far as he has hitherto lived, an acknowledged heir of perdition. The fear of God is a fountain of life. Irreverence to him is a .# of everlasting death. Let every irreverent man remember therefore, that, to such as he is, God is a consuming fire. I have dwelt more minutely and extensively on this great subject of Religion, because of its inherent importance, and because it is, I think unhappily, a rare topic of discussion from the desk.



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1 PEten v. 5–Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

IN the preceding discourse I considered, at some length, that exercise of love to God which is styled Reverence. I will now proceed to examine the kindred virtue of Humility, an attribute which seems to differ from Reverence not so much in its nature as in its object. God is the object of reverence; ourselves, of humility. The state of the mind in the exercise of these Christian graces seems to be the same. It is hardly possible that he, who is now employed in reverencing his Maker, when casting his eye towards himself, should fail of being deeply humbled by a view of his own circumstances and character.

Before I enter upon this examination, however, it will be proper to observe, that there are other modes in which love to God is exerted; and which, although not demanding a particular discussion here, are yet of high importance, and well deserve to be mentioned. They deserve to be mentioned because of their importance. The reasons why they do not claim a particular discussion are, that more time {j be demanded by it, than can well be spared from the examination of such subjects as require a more minute attention; and that they may be sufficiently understood from the observations made on the other exercises of ..";

Among these, the first place is naturally due to Admiration. By this I mean the train of emotions, excited in a good mind by the wonderful nature of the various works of God, and the amazing power, and skill, and goodness, which they unfold. God, saith Eliphaz, Job v. 9, doth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number. These things, we find good men, distinguished in the Scriptures for their piety, observing, and commemorating, with a transport of Admiration. Oh sing unto the Lord, says David, for he hath done marvellous things. I will shew forth all th marvellous works. Surely I will remember thy wonders of old. How great are his signs, says Nebuchadnezzar, speaking at least the language of a good man, how mighty are his wonders! . What they #" they ...i. upon others to feel. Remember, says David, his marvellous works that he hath done ; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. 1 Chron. xvi. 12. Declare his glory among

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