Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

fear of the Lord is a grace of the Holy Spirit, it is a new covenant blessing, and manifests itself in a deep reverence of God, a hearty love to God, and an active desire to please God. It leads its possessor to hate sin, as God's enemy; to love holiness, as the Lord's delight; and to attend upon all divine ordin. ances, and means of grace, because God has appointed them. It makes a man afraid of himself, so that he is afraid to trust his own judgment, lean to his own understanding, or to seek his own personal advantage, but in subordination to God's glory. He is also afraid to trust in man, even his friends, lest they should lead him astray by flattery or partiality; and he is afraid to encounter his enemies in his own strength, or to yield to them, lest he should grieve the Lord. He is often afraid to judge of God's mind by providences, to rest in his own feeling, or to yield to sudden impulses or impressions, lest he should neglect God's word, or be led astray. He will not move in anything of importance without asking counsel of God, or act without his direction, and above all things he is afraid of being deceived by his own heart, by Satan, or by sin. His great object is, in every thing to please God; and his great aim is, in all that he does, to glorify God. Fear keeps him from presumption, self-de. pendence, and trifling with temptation, and is therefore his great preservative, as it is written, “I will put my fear into their

hearts, and they shall not depart from me.” Many blessings are promised to the fear of the Lord, and all who fear him enjoy many privileges ; nor is this the least, Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose."

God will be his teacher, and will teach him as a father does his child. Divine teaching is infallible teaching. God teaches the heart, and so he regulates the life. He teaches us our dependence upon himself for all we need ; and accompanies this knowledge with the sense of our utter unworthiness to receive any good thing from him. He teaches us to ask of him in prayer whatever we desire, or see that he has promised in his holy word ; and having asked, patiently to wait his time, hoping for, and expecting the blessing. His teaching will make us humble, under a sense of our sinfulness; thankful on account of our unworthiness; and diligent, in the use of all appointed means. His teaching will produce resignation to his will, fill the soul with quietness and peace, and make us happy under the most trying circumstances. Divine teaching leads us to honour God, enjoy the Saviour, realise the presence and blessing of the Holy Spirit, and highly to appreciate all covenant mercies.

God chooses the good man's way, and teaches him to find it, and walk in it. Jealous of his own heart, of his own judgment, he ap. plies to the Lord, and often hears a voice behiud him, saying, “ This is the way, walk ye

[ocr errors]

in it.” Sometimes he shines upon his holy word, and that like a good map points out the road. Sometimes by the secret and seasonable operations of the Holy Spirit upon the mind, he disposes us to take a certain course. Sometimes the finger of his providence points in a certain direction, and every other door is closed. Sometimes he is brought to a stand, like Israel at the Red Sea, he refers the matter to the Lord, leaves it wholly with him, and by a variety of unexpected dispensations his way is made plain. Generally he is led to defer to the Lord's wisdom, yield to the Lord's will, and right heartily to say with those of old, “Thou shalt choose our inheritance for us.” In providence he only de. sires what is sufficient, suitable, and best for him. Food convenient for him, so that the prayer of Agur suits him. In grace he desires to possess first, and principally, what will prove an evidence of God's favour, mani. fest God's care, and impart satisfaction to his immortal mind. He wishes to be good, rather than great; and to be useful, rather than rich.

Reader, how is it with you? Dost thou fear God? Is thy fear of God evangelical, springing rather from love to him, than a dread of being punished by him ? If you fear God, you need not fear any one beside. If you fear God, you may have strong confi. dence, for you will at all times have a place of refuge. If you fear God, you may live in

peace, and free from care, for there is no want unto them that fear him. Blessed, therefore, is the man that feareth always. If you fear God, he will choose your way, mark out your path, direct you in all your difficulties, and supply all your needs. Every trouble shall be sanctified, and do you good. Every trial shall bring grace with it, and turn to your advantage. You will never need a friend, while God is true; nor a source of comfort, while the covenant stands firm. To you it is given to believe in Jesus, and to you belongs all the exceeding great and precious promises of his word. Promises, which secure to you all that is necessary for life and godliness. Promises, of grace now, and glory at the end of your course. O fear the Lord, then, all ye his saints, for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack and suf. fer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. For the Lord will give that which is good, and our land shall yield its increase. He will bring them home to himself, by a way which they know not, and will lead them in paths which they have not known; he will make darkness light be. fore them, and crooked things straight, these things will he do unto them, and will not for. sake them. He will guide them with his counsel, and afterwards receive them to glory.

PRAYING FOR OTHERS.

A REAL Christian has sympathy with all true believers. They are taken up into his heart, and are included in his prayers. For them he praises God, and for them he pleads with God. As one with Christ, he is one with them. As interested in Christ, he feels interested in them. They may be poor and needy, they may be oppressed and despised, they may be weak and feeble, but they excite his admiration, and draw forth his love. How beautifully the conduct of David illus. trates and confirms this. How many of his Psalms are intercessory. How often he pours out his heart unto God, in language similar to this, “ Save thy people, and bless thine in. heritance : feed them also, and lift them up for ever.” Ps. xxviii. 9.

“SAVE THY PEOPLE." All the Lord's peo. ple need salvation. Nor is it enough that they be saved once, they need to be saved often. They are frequently in danger, and often full of fears. Knowing this, we often pray, “ Save thy people.” Save them from the guilt, power, dominion, and distressing consequences of sin. Save them from the

« FöregåendeFortsätt »