« הקודםהמשך »
THE REV. JAMES SAURIN,
LATE PASTOR OF THE FRENCH CHURCH AT THE HAGUE,
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS
NO. 82 CLIFF-STREET.
CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
Serinon LXXX.-Ön the Delay of Con-
Sermon LXV.-The Deep things of God, 98 : Sermon LXXXII. On the Example of
struction of Impenitent Sinners, 115 Sermon LXXXIV.-St. Paul's discourse
teous for the Misconduct of the Wicked, 121 Sermon LXXXV.-On the Covenant of
Bermon LXIX.— The Song of Simeon, 140 Covenant,
Sermon LXXXVII.-The Family of Je-
together with Jesus Christ-Part I. 181 Sermon XCVI.-The calamities of Eu-
PROVERBS iv. 26.
Ponder the path of thy feet, and all thy ways shall be established.
The sentence which we have now read, in- | arises concerning the subject, to which it is cludes a subject of immense magnitude, more applied, and this requires a second elucidation. , proper to fill a volume, than to be comprised The term step is usually restrained in our lanin a single sermon; however, we propose to guage to actions of life, and never signifies a express the subject of it in this ono discourse. mode of thinking; but the Hebrew language When we shall have explained the subject, we gives this term a wider extent, and it includes will put it to proof; I mean, we will apply it all these ideas. One example shall suffice. to some religious articles, leaving to your piety “My steps had well nigh slipped,” Ps. lxxiii. the care of applying it to a great number, and 2, that is to say, I was very near taking a false of deriving from the general application this step; and what was this step? It was judging consequence, if we ponder the paths of our that the wicked were happier in the practice feet, all our ways will be established.” of licentiousness, than the righteous in obeying
I suppose, first, you affix just ideas to this the laws of truth and virtue. Solomon, in the metaphorical expression, ponder the path words of my text, particularly intends to reguof thy feet.” It is one of those singular figures late our actions; and in order to this he intends of speech, which agrees better with the genius to regulate the principles of our minds, and the of the sacred language than with that of ours. affections of our hearts. “ Ponder the path of Remark this once for all
. There is one among thy feet, and all thy ways shall be established,” many objections made by the enemies of reli- for so I render the words. Examine your steps gion, which excels in its kind; I mean to say, deliberately before you take them, and you it deserves to stand first in a list of the most will take only wise steps; if you would judge extravagant sophisms: this is, that there is no rightly of objects, avoid hasty judging; before reason for making a difference between the you fix your affection on an object, examine genius of the Hebrew language and the idiom whether it be worthy of your esteem, and then of other languages. It would seem, by this you will love nothing but what is lovely. By objection, that a book not originally written in thus following the ideas of the Wise Man, we the idiom of the language of scepticism can not will assort our reflections with the actions of be divinely inspired. On this absurd principle, your lives, and they will regard also, somethe Scripture could not be written in any lan- times the emotions of your hearts, and the guage; for if a Greek had a right to object operations of your minds. against inspiration on this account, an Arabian, We must beg leave to add a third elucidaand a Persian, and all other people have the tion. The maxim in the text is not always same. Who does not perceive at once, that practicable. I mean, there are some doctrines, the inspired writers, delivering their messages and some cases of conscience, which we cannot at first to the Jews, " to whom were committed fully examine without coming to a conclusion, the oracles of God,” Rom. iii. 2, spoke pro- that the arguments for, and the arguments perly according to the idiom of their language? against them, are of equal weight, and conseThey ran no risk of being misunderstood by quently, that we must conclude without a conother nations, whom a desire of being saved clusion; weigh the one against the other, and should incline to study the language for the the balance will incline neither way. sake of the wisdom taught in it.
This difficulty, however, solves itself; for, How extravagant soever this objection is, after I have weighed, with all the exactness of 80 extravagant that no infidel will openly avow which I am capable, two opposite propositions, it, yet it is adopted, and applied in a thousand and can find no reasons sufficient to determine instances. The book of Canticles is full of my judgment, the part I ought to take is not figures opposite to the genius of our western to determine at all. Are you prejudiced in languages; it is therefore no part of the sacred favour of an opinion, so ill suited to the limits canon. It would be easy to produce other which it has pleased God to set to our knowexamples. Let a modern purist, who affects ledge, that it is dangerous or criminal to susneatness and accuracy of style, and gives lec- pend our judgments! Are your consciences so tures on punctuation, condemn this manner of weak and scrupulous as to hesitate in some speaking, "ponder the path of thy feet;" with cases to say, I do not know, I have not deterall my heart. The inspired authors had no mined that question? Poor men! do you know less reason to make use of it, nor interpreters to yourselves so little? Poor Christians! will you affirm, that it is an eastern expression, which always form such false ideas of your legislator? signifies to take no step without first delibe- And do you not know that none but such as rately examining it. The metaphor of the live perpetually disputing in the schools make text being thus reduced to truth, another doubt it a law to answer every thing? Do you not