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ned, what an advantage in a course of years must he get: how much better to spend his time so, than in wickedness. He was used to a constant attendance upon the worship of God; no person that minds his bible can be a sabbath breaker; but on the contrary will love to go to hear the bible explained, that he may learn things, which by mere reading it he might not so soon find out. To keep the sabbath-day holy was his delight, not his burden.
He was used to secret prayer. He was not like the wicked, who do not call upon God, How many of you can say the same? Which of you have been upon your knees to prayer this morning? how long is it since you last prayed? or did you ever pray at all? Oh do not live without prayer. Are
you unable to pray? ask your friends to teach you; think of what you want, and beg of God to help you in asking for it. Are you too busy to pray? remember, that if you do not call upon God now, by and by you will call and he will not answer: Are you ashamed to pray? then you are ashamed of what you ought to glory in, and Christ will be ashamed of you at the day of judg ment. Begin to learn early; it will then
be pleasant and easy; and God has said, those who seek him early shall find him.
He was accustomed to obey all the will of God. He became the servant of God, instead of the slave of Satan. Do not you all wish to serve a good master; one that is kind, and rich, and generous, who will use you well, and reward you well; rather than one who will put you to dirty work, or what you ought to be ashamed of, give you unwholesome food that will poison you, and at last instead of wages give you ill usage, and put you in prison? then it is better to serve God, than Satan; for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He was brought up in honesty. Not to pilfer and cheat, but to give to all their due. The bible condemns knavery of every kind; and does not allow masters or servants, rich or poor, old or young, to do injustice, or wrong their neighbour. It requires truth; and condemus all liars, to the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. It requires the utmost chastity, not only in deeds but in words, and in thoughts. And reckons drunkenness, which some account a trifle, to be a great sin. If Timothy was thus trained to holiness, and brought up to serve
God, and hate iniquity; was it not a great advantage to him that he knew the scriptures from his youth.
3. It made him respectable, and in great esteem. A wicked man may meet with a deal of homage, but nobody really esteems him while the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.
The friends of a good child love him. Nothing can delight pious parents more, than to see their offspring fond of reading, of p aying, of going to the house of God. Those who do so, are most likely to behave kind to their brothers and sisters, dutiful to their parents, and honest to all the world. While those who hate their bibles, and love wickedness, are a grief of heart to all their relations. "A wise son maketh a glad father, but a foolish son is the reproach of his mother."
Even strangers whenever they discover seriousness, and religion, in young persons, are pleased with, and attached to them. The great apostle Paul was fond of Timothy, and one principal reason was, because though young, he was religious and had from a child known the holy scriptures. If it is the approbation of the wise, and good we seek, let us be wise and good ourselves;
and without doubt they will approve us. If it is the wicked with whom we rather wish to associate, sin will please them no doubt: bat remember," a companion of fools shall be destroyed; the wages of sin is death."
Indeed, if holiness pleased no one else, it were still worth while to be holy, because it pleases God. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." If the whole world proved of wickedness, yet unless God approved of it too, we had better let it alone: since he will certainly take vengeance upon all who do not obey him. To have God approve of us, is the way to wealth; the blessing of the Lord it maketh rich, and addeth no sorrow thereto : it is the way to safety; "If God be for us, who can be against us? When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him;" it is the way to happiness; great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them. If therefore wish to become respectable among your friends, in the world at large, or before God; search the scriptures of God, walk in the ways of God, depend upon the grace of God; and be sure those that honor him he will honor.
4. The knowledge of the scriptures made him happy in this world. Let his circumstances be what they might, without the knowledge of God he could not be happy; and with it he must. Sin is the source of all the sorrow that we feel; and if the bible teaches us to hate and avoid sin, it teaches us the way to escape sorrow. And although religion denies us a great many pleasures, which wicked persons highly prize; let us remember they are such pleasures as will poison those who prize them, and destroy all whom they please. Whatever happiness a man may have in sin, he would have a great deal more without it.
Those who search the scriptures, have God's blessing, and he blesseth, and it is blessed indeed. The scriptures are a light unto our feet, a lamp unto our path; how happy this must make a person who was walking in darkness: they are sweet as honey to the taste, how refreshing to those who are hungering and thirsting after righte
To know that God rules in all things, orders every concern we are engaged in, defends us from enemies, or over rules troubles for our good; is the most comfortable knowledge we can have: and in the bible only