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Yet who amongst us must not confess that he has forgotten all his vows?

Behold then, we may say to all, “ Ye have sinned against the Lord”-]

Nor are we to suppose that our sin will always pass unnoticed II. What assurance we have that our sin shall find us

out Sin may be said to find us out when it brings down the divine judgments upon us

[Conscience, stupified or seared, often forgets to execute its office

Nor speaks, till God, by his Providence or Grace, awaken it

Sometimes years elapse before it reproves our iniquities

Sometimes it testifies to our face as soon as our sin is committed

Whenever it thus condemns us, our sins may be said to find us out

But the expression in the text imports rather the visitation of God for sin

There is a punishment annexed to every violation of God's law

And sin then finds us out effectually when it brings that punishment upon us-]

That it will find us out, we have the fullest possible assurance

[The perfections of God's nature absolutely preclude all hope of impunity

If he be omnipresent, he must see; if omniscient, remember; if holy, hate; and if just, punish the violations of his law

If he be possessed of veracity and power, he must execute the judgments he has denounced

The declarations of his Word abundantly confirm this awful truth

Sin leaves a track which can never be effaced; and evil, however slow-paced, will surely overtake ita

However scoffers may exult in their security, their ruin is fast approaching

h Gen. xlii. 21, 22. i Matt. xxvi. 74, 75. and sxvii. 3, 4. k Ezek. xviii. 4. " Isaiah iii. 11. Rom. ii. 9. Ps. xxi. 8. Prov. xi. 21. m Prov. xiii. 21. Ps. cxl. 11. o 2 Pet. ij. 3. and iü. 4, 9. and Deut. xxix. 19, 20.

The remarkable instances of sin being detected and punished in this world afford a strong additional testimony

David and Gehazi, though so studious to conceal their guilt, had their iniquity marked in the punishment inflicted for it

When, according to human calculations, it was above two millions to one that Achan would escape, the lot fell on him by an infallible direction

How much more then shall the most hidden things be brought to light hereafter!

The appointment of a day of final retribution puts the matter beyond a possibility of doubt

For what end can there be such a period fixed but that the actions of men may be judged

And for what end can they be judged, but that every man may receive according to his deeds?!

We may then emphatically say to every sinner, "Be sure, &c."-] INFER

1. How earnest should we be in searching out our own sins!

(We think little of evils which have been committed by us long ago

And imagine that they are effaced from God's memory as well as from our own

But every action, word and thought is noted in the book of his remembrance

He sees the transactions of former years as if they had this moment passed

All our iniquities are viewed by him in one accumulated mass

Nor does he abhor them less than in the very instant they were committed

Let us not then pass them over, or palliate them, as youthful follies-

Let us remember how exactly the Lord's threatenings were executed on the Israelites in the wilderness

And endeavour to avert his judgments while space for repentance is allowed us

Let us mourn over our innumerable violations of our baptismal covenant

Let us lament our solicitude about a present portion, our aversion to fight the Lord's battles, and our indifference about the heavenly Canaan

* 2 Sam. xii. 9---12.2 Kings v. 26, 27. 9 Eccl. xii. 14.

VOL. IV.

p Josh. vii. 14-18.
r Numb. xxxii, 10-13.

We must repent of these things, or lie under the guilt of them for ever-]

2. How thankful should we be that a way of escape is provided for us!

[It is not sin lamented, but sin unrepented of, which will find us out

There is a city of refuge provided for those who will flee to

The man, Christ Jesus, is an hiding-place from the impend. ing storm

If we flee to him, we may be sure that sin shall not find us out

Every perfection of the Deity is pledged to save a believing penitent

We are confirmed in this hope by the most positive declarations of scripture

We have most authentic and astonishing instances of sin forgiven

And the day of judgement is appointed no less for the complete jnustification of believers than for the condemnation of unbelieversa

Let this blessed assurance then dwell richly on our minds

Let it encourage us to take refuge under the Saviour's wings

Let an holy confidence inspire those who have committed their souls to him

And let all rejoice and glory in him as able to save them to the uttermosta-]

s Ps. I. 21. Luke xiii. 3. i Heb. vi. 18. u Isaiah xxxii. 2. * 1 John i. 9. y Isaiab xliv. 22. Mic. vii. 19. Heb. viii. 12. z 2 Sam. xii. 13. Luke vii. 47. and xxiii. 43. a 2 Thess. i. 9, 10. • Matt. xxiii, 37.

c 2 Tim. i. 12. d Heb. vii. 25.

CCCLVII. THE DANGER OF FORGETTING GOD.

Psalm ix. 17. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the

nations that forget God. THE most eminent saints are represented in scripture as weeping over an ungodly world-Nor would this exercise of compassion be so rare, if we duly considered how great occasion there is for it-The words before us are a plain and unequivocal declaration from God himself respecting the doom which avaits every impenitent sinner

-May God impress our minds with a solemn awe, u bile

we shew

1. Whom they are whom God esteems wicked

If we consult the opinions of men, we shall find that they differ widely from each other in their ideas of moral guilt, and that they include more or less in their definition of wickedness according to their own peculiar habits of life; every one being careful so to draw the line that he himself may not be comprehended within it-But God does not consult our wishes, or accommodate his word to our partial regards: he denominates all them wicked, who“ forget” him-Doubtless there are degrees of guilt; but all those are wicked in his sight who are for. getful of 1. His laws

[These ought to be written on our hearts, and to be the invariable rule of our conduct-It should be our constant inquiry, What is duty? what does God command?-But if this, be no part of our concern, if our enquiry be continually, “What will please myself; what will advance my interests: what will suit the taste of those around me;" are we not wicked? Do we not in all such instances rebel against God, and become, as it were, a God unto ourselves.—Yet who amongst us has not been guilty in these respects?--] 2. His mercics

[Every day and hour of our lives we have been laden with mercies by a kind and bountiful Benefactor-And should they not have excited correspondent emotions of gratitude in our hearts? Yea, should they not have filled our mouths with praises and thanksgivings?-But what shall we say to that greatest of all mercies, the gist of God's dear Son to die for us? Has not that deserved our devoutest acknowledgments?

- What then if we have passed days and years without any affectionate remembrance of God!--What if we have even abused the bounties of his providence, and poured contempt upon the riches of his grace? What if we have “trodden under foot the Son of God, and done despite to the Spirit of grace?” Are we not wicked? Do we account such ingratitude a venial offence, when exercised by a dependent towards our. selves? -] 3. His

presence (God is every where present, and every object around us has this inscription upon it, “Thou God seest me”-Now it

is our duty and privilege to walk with God as his friends, and to set him before us all the day long--But, suppose we have been unmindful of his presence, and have indulged without remorse those thoughts, which we could not have endured to carry into effect in the presence of a fellow-creature; suppose we have been careless and unconcerned even when we were assembled in God's house of prayer; suppose that instead of having him in all our thoughts, we have lived “without him in the world;" are we not wicked?--Is it necessary to have added murder or adultery to such crimes as these in order to constitute us wicked!-- Does God judge thus, when he declares that they who are thus without God, are at the same time “ without hope?".—]

While we rectify our notions respecting the persons that are wicked, let us enquire II. What is to be their final doom

The word “hell” sometimes imports no more than the grave; but here it must mean somewhat far more awful; because the righteous go into the grave as well as the most abandoned Hell is a place of inconceivable misery

[Men in general do not wish to hear this place so much as mentioned, much less described as the portion of the wicked: but it is better far to hear of it, than to dwell in it; and it is by hearing of it that we must be persuaded to avoid ith-Our Lord represents it as a place originally formed for the reception of the fallen angels; and very frequently labours to deter men from sin by the consideration of its terrorsAnd who that reflects upon that “lake of fire and brimstone,” where the wicked “dwell with everlasting burnings,” and “weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth" without so much as the smallest hope of deliverance from it, and where "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever;" who that considers what it must be to have the devils for our companions, and to have the vials of God's wrath poured out upon us, without intermission and without end; who that considers these things, must not tremble at the thought of taking up his abode in that place!-] Yet must that be the portion of all that forget God

[Now scoffers make light of eternal torments, and puff at the denunciations of God's wrath; but ere long they will

a Eph. ii. 12.

b ? Cor. v. xi.

c Luke xii. 5. Mark ix, 43–48.

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