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these things to heart. Turn your mind to them at once. Fix your whole attention on them. It is madness to delay. Believe on Jesus. Seek the Holy Spirit promised. Cast yourself on God's mercy in Christ, and you are safe for ever.
Thou God of glorious Majesty,
A worm of earth, I cry!
A sinner, born to die!
Lo! on a narrow neck of land,
Or shuts me up in hell!
Eternal things impress!
And wake to righteousness;
When thou with clouds shalt come
To meet a joyful doom!
THE RIGHTEOUS MAN'S PRIVI.
“Thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”—Psalm v. 12.
WHEN we read the psalms of David we are constantly struck with the manner in which he sighs for, and seeks close, sensible, and heart-affecting communion with God. He cannot be satisfied with anything less than the presence of God, and the power of divine things within him. He knew as well as we do what coldness, deadness, and earthliness, meant; but he could not rest while under the power of these things-he sighed, he prayed, and struggled to get into liberty. He wanted to be happy in God, and to see others happy. Happiness, if not of the essence, is the ornament of religion. Nothing impresses, affects, and wins upon sinners like seeing the Lord's people happy, To build upon our feelings is wrong, but to be satisfied with a religion which does not produce the deepest, holiest, happiest feel. ings possible, is equally wrong Fait be genuine, always leads us to Christ, makes us happy in Christ, and inspires us with a desire to make and see others happy. Hence
in the context we read, “Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice : let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous : with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” Let us notice,
First, THE OBJECT OF GOD's BLESSING. The Lord will bless the righteous. Who are the righteous ? They are the sincere. They all hate pretence. They dread being deceived themselves, and they will not deceive others. They often say less than they feel, from the fear of misleading those who hear them. The life exhibits the desires and aims of the soul. They frequently examine themselves to prevent self-deception; they compare themselves with the marks of God's people as laid down in his Word; and lest they should be partial they fervently pray, “ Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts ; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Grace always makes a man honest, and honesty appears in sincerity. If you cannot take a man's word, or trust a man's promise, you are justified in doubting his Christianity ; for unless religion makes us truthful, it does nothing for us. The religion of a liar, or a pretender, is not the religion of Christ. The righteous are sanctified. They are separated from the world, and are set apart for God; and this
separation is the effect of inward operation, or the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearta They are made partakers of a Divine na ture, and this unfits them for the gaieties, pleasures, and carnal pursuits of the world, and prompts them to seek fellowship with God, conformity to God, and the enjoyment of the presence of God. The Lord's people are a holy people. Influenced by holy principles, they walk by holy rules, and thus appear in the beauties of holiness before their fellow-men. The righteous are saved. Saved in the Lord. Saved by grace. Saved through faith. They are saved from the mistakes into which many fall, and as prudent men, look well to their goings. They will not build on an insecure foundation, They will not trust in an arm of flesh. They dig deep and lay their foundation on the rock. They are saved from soul-destroying errors. God's written Word is their standard. They bring every sentiment to this. They try every doctrine by this. They will not be led blindfolded by pope or prelate, by priest or presbyter, by antiquity or what is new; but they search the Scrip. tures, and compare all things therewith. They are saved from self-righteousness. They renounce everything of their own, to trust in the bloodshedding and obedience of Jesus Christ alone. They place no confidence on anything they do, not even on i anything they feel, but rely on the finished
work of Christ alone. Their title for heaven is in Christ alone. Their meetness for heaven is the work of the Holy Spirit alone. Their guide to heaven is the Bible alone. The proof they present to their fellow-men is good works alone. They must have Christ and all his merit; the Holy Spirit, and all his grace; the Bible, and all its doctrines, precepts, promises, and requirements; and a holy and consistent life, or they cannot claim to be considered righteous. They are saved from sin. The conscience is delivered from the guilt of sin, the affections are delivered from the love of sin, the will is delivered from the power of sin, and the consequence is, that the man in his life is delivered from the practice of sin. Feeling the power of God's grace, and realising God's favour, sin has no dominion over him, for he is not under the law but under grace. Grace influences him, and the same grace teaches him, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, he should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present evil world. Such a one is righteous, for his heart is right with God, he stands in union with Christ before God, and he daily endeavours to walk so as to please God. This is the man whom the Lord delighted to honour. Let us now,
Secondly, consider THE COMPREHENSIVE PRIVILEGE. The Lord will bless him, favour him, and compass him as with a shield.