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I am speaking ; and he knows what you are thinking “ He searches you, and knows you. He knows your down-sitting and your up-rising, and understands your thoughts afar off. He compasses your path and your lying down, and is acquainted with all your ways. There is not a word in your tongue, but lo, he knows it altogether. You cannot go from his fpirit, nor flee from his presence. Darkness and light are both alike to him.” Do you not fear this God ?-You are afraid to do wickedly in the presence of your pa
You speak and act many things, when you are out of their fight, which you do not choose they should know. But remember, you cannot hide yourselves from God. He always ob
He looks you through and through. How dare you ever tell a lie ? He hears you, and he abhors the deceitful child. How dare you speak profanely? He knows every word you say, and he will not hold you guiltless when you take his name in vain. How dare you entertain wicked thoughts ? He perceives them all ; and a heart that devises evil imaginations, is abomination to him. When you are in
company, and at your diverfions, think of God's presence ; thus you will be made more watchful against fin. · If you are afraid at any time to be alone, think that a gracious God is with you, and put your trust in him. When he guards you, nothing can hurt you. Pray to him in secret; he can hear you in every place, and will reward you openly.
You should fear God, because he is powerful. You fear your parents, because they have power to punish you, when you offend them. God has more power than they, more than all men in the world, more than all creatures in the universe.
If he created this world and all creatures in it; if he created the sun and moon, and all those wonderful bodies of light which you seein the evening; and if he moves, and preserves them all; then he is great, and of great power, and nothing is too hard for him.
You fometimes see a little of God's power, in mighty winds, violent storms, and terrible lightning and thunder. But these are only “ the hiding of his power.” He can destroy the world ; yes, all worlds, as easily as he made them : And the scripture tells us, he will destroy them. . “The skies shall pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up. Then all good men and good children will ascend on high, to dwell forever with God, with Christ, and with holy angels : but the wicked shall be turned into hell; they shall go away into ever
. lasting punishment. Dreadful thought !
Children, do you not believe, that God has spoken this, and will do as he has spoken? How dare you, then, sin against him? Who knows the power of his anger ? What a fearful thing it is, for guilty creatures to fall into his hands?
4. You should fear God because he is righteous.
He not only hates sin, but will punish impenitent sinners. He often punishes wicked men and wicked children in this world, and will punish them more terribly in the world to come.
You have heard how he once poured a flood of water upon the earth, and destroyed all its inhabitants young and old together, except eight persons, because all but these had corrupted his way. You have heard, how he rained down upon Sod. om a storm of fire and brimstone from heaven, and consumed at once all the people who lived there, except Lot and two of his children ; bes cause their wickedness was great, and they laughed and mocked at pious Lot, who warned them to repenc. You have heard, how he made the earth open its mouth, and swallow up Korah, and a number of ungodly people, and their wicked children with them ; because they murmured against him, and would not obey his commands. They all sunk down alive into the pít, with such dreadful outcries, that the people who stood near fed away, for fear that the earth would swallow them up too. You have heard, how a number of profane children, who mocked at a godly prophet, were torn in pieces by wild beasts--you have heard, how Ananias and Sapphira were ftruck dead in a moment for telling a lie--you have heard, how the sons of Aaron were consumed by fire from God, because they were profane in his house, and would not honour him, when they drew near to him.
From these things you know, that God will punish fin. If such is its punishment in this world, What will it be in the next? The men of Sodom, Christ tells us, muft appear at the judgment. They suffered much in the deftruction of their city. They must suffer much more in the place of torments. And yet it shall be more tolerable for them, than for those finners who will not hear and obey Christ speaking in his gospel.
You fhould fear God, because he is gracious and mereiful.
There is forgiveness with him that he may be feared. You are therefore required to fear the Lord, and his goodness. Though he hates sin, and will punish obstinate sinners, yet he will forgive those who repent. Have you not often seen, how ready your parents are to forgive your offences, when they see that you are sorry for them ? Now, as a father pities his children, fo the Lord pities them who fear him. If a parent, who is evil, will give good things to his children, how much more will God, who is merciful as no other is, give his holy spirit to them who ask him ? He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but had rather that they would turn and live. He therefore commands them to repent-He calls to them, “ Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die ?” He fent Jesus Christ into this world to call finners to repentance. He gave up his own son to death in their stead, that they might live through him. Through Christ he will freely forgive all
, who, being really sorry for their fins, forsake them, and pray for grace that they may, and resolve through grace that they will, walk in newness of life.
Now you should be afraid to fin against God, who has done so much for you, and is so ready to pardon and save you.
Do you not sometimes think how kind and bountiful God is to you? How he gives you health and food and raiment ? How he preferves and keeps you from day to day ? Many have died younger than you : and many of those who live, have not all those comfortable things which you have. And besides these earthly comforts, he has given his word to instruct you ; his son to die for you; his fpirit to work in you; and his promifes to encourage you. Though you have linned, if you repent of lin, and pray to him, he will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and will remem
fins no more. The goodness of God should lead you to repent. ance: But if you despise the riches of his good. nefs, you treasure up to yourselves wrath against the day of wrath. Vol. V.
I have shewn you, why you should fear God.
I will now,
should fear him. If you fear him as you ought, you will be careful to please him in every thing, and watchful not to offend him in any thing.
1. If you fear God, you will desire to know what he requires of you. You will not live carelessly, and run along blindly, doing any thing, and every thing, whether right or wrong, just as it happens to please your inclination ; but you will prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. You will read his word as you are able. If you cannot read it well, you will learn to read it better. You will attend when you hear others read it. You will hearken to your parents when they instruct you; and you will make enqui
you are in doubt, what you ought to do. You will not give all your vacant hours to sport and play : but will take pains to improve in the knowledge of God and his will, that you may fear him more, and serve him better.
2. If you fear God, you will pray to him. And you will pray often--every day, every night and morning. You will humbly ask him, not only to supply your outward wants, and preserve you from death, but also to forgive your sins and save your souls. You will daily look back and confider what evil words you have spoken, sinful actions you have done, and foolish thoughts you have indulged ; and
you will ask God's mercy to forgive what is past, and his grace to keep you in time to
God loves to hear children pray to him. He has promised, that they who seek him early shall find him. It was said of king Josiah, that while he was yet young he began to seek the Lord, and