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son to hope that we shall not be left to fall into great and dangerous mistakes, but, discerning our duty, shall find cause to say,
6. The law of the Lord is perfect, “ converting the soul : the testimony of “ the Lord is sure, making wise the sim
ple: the statutes of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart: the commandment “ of the Lord is pure, enlightening the “ eyes : the fear of the Lord is clean, en
during for ever ; and the judgments of “ the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.”
6. All scripture is given by inspiration “ of God, and is profitable for doctrine, “ for reproof, for correction, and instruc“ tion in all righteousness ; that the “ man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
My friends, are you young and inexperienced ? The word of God is fitted to guide you in the slippery paths of youth : It teaches the young to be sober-minded, to remember their Creator in the days of their youth, to guard against the snares peculiar to their situation, and to devote the best of their time, the flower of their days, and the
vigour of their strength, to the services of the kindest and most rich rewarding of all Masters; so that when the Psalmist puts the question, 66 Wherewith shall * a young man cleanse his way ?” he readily replies, by “ taking heed thereto * according to thy word.”
Are you advancing in life, or arrived at that period when you stand in greatest need of the aids and consolations of religion? The word of God is still suited to be your guide. It teaches the aged to be“ sober, grave, temperate, sound in
faith, in charity, in patience, in beha“ viour, as becometh holiness.”
Are you in poor and mean circumstances, depressed with poverty and want ? The word of God directs you
how to obtain real wealth,—to the true source of happiness,-a contented mind. It points to a better and an enduring substance,-a treasure in the heavens which faileth not, where neither moth nor rust can corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.
Are you blest with abundance? It charges you
“not to be high-minded, nor " trust to uncertain riches, but in the li
“ ving God, who giveth us all things rich“ ly to enjoy ; that you do good, that
you be rich in good works, ready to “ distribute, willing to communicate, lay
ing up in store for yourselves a good “ foundation against the time to come, “ that you may lay hold on eternal life.”
In the season of prosperity, the word of God allows us to be joyful, but only in measure, from a view of the uncertain, as well as the unsatisfying nature of all earthly enjoyments. “ In the day of ad“ versity,” it commands us to consider.”
My son, despise not thou the chasten
ings of the Lord, nor faint when thou 66 art rebuked of him. Call “ the day of trouble, and I will deliver “ thee, and thou shalt glorify me.'
In the different relations of husband and wife, parents and children, masters and servants, magistrates and subjects, ministers and people, the word of God gives particular directions, suited to every case and to every possible combination of circumstances, And happy beyond expression are they who possess this divine skill of applying the Sacred Scrip
upon me in
tures, the oracles of truth, to the different occasions of life as they occur.
In order to this, I add, in the third and last place, That the Lord guides his people by his Spirit. Thy Spirit is good; « let him lead me into the land of
uprightness.” The Spirit of God does not reveal any new truths different from, or in addition to, those recorded in the written word. He does not guide by impressions on the mind, the nature and tendency of which cannot be explained. But he opens the understandings to understand the Scriptures. He enables and disposes clearly to perceive, and faithfully to apply the truths already revealed in his word, as the various cases and circumstances of his people require, and
as many as are the children of God are “ led by the Spirit of God.” They are taught of God: they have received the unction from the Holy One, which shall abide with them for ever. Hence, in all ordinary cases of sin and of duty, they are possessed of a spiritual discernment, which, without any painful exertion, guides their feet into the
They wait at wisdom's gates, and humbly depend on the promised influences of the Spirit of God, who leads them into all truth, and brings to their remembrance every thing necessary for their comfort and direction.
Oh how great a privilege is this divine teaching ! How needful in the present dark and depraved circumstances of human nature ! It is for this the Psalmist prays so fervently in different parts of this inspired book. Open thou mine
eyes, that I may behold the wonders of “thy law : make me aright to know the
way of thy commandments. Give me “ understanding, that I may keep thy “ word. Shew me thy ways, O Lord; “ teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy “ truth, and teach me; for thou art the “ God of my salvation. All day long do 66 I wait on thee.”
Thus earnestly did the pious Psalmist implore from God this inestimable blessing--the illumination and guidance of his Holy Spirit. And we, my friends, if ever we expect to enjoy this privilege, must seek after it by the same means, in the exercise of faith and prayer.