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the warnings and admonitions of parents and friends, and the solemn threatenings of the word of God. They are pleased with the first part of the text, and would wish to understand it literally ; but are displeased with the conclusion. It speaks unpleasant things to them : “Go on as you please, give a loose to your passions and desires, walk as your heart and eyes direct, sport away the bloom of life in folly's idle whirl ; but remember that you must shortly answer it at the judgment seat of Christ.” Death is near and inevitable, and a life spent in vanity and folly and sinful pleasure will certainly be connected with final destruction.
It is unnecessary to enlarge ; enough has been said to evince that in the words of the text, the wise man did not mean to encourage youth to go on in the ways of their heart, and sight of their eyes; but that it was his design to point out the way in which youth are naturally inclined to go, and to warn them of the tendency of these ways, and the destruction to which they lead.
It remains now in the
III. Place, to attend a little to the solmn dissuasives. in the text, or to the import of the warning, “Know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee. into jugment.” And
1. The words imply and teach us, that God is the constant spectator of all the conduct of youth at all times, and indeed of the conduct of all mankind. “For all these things, God will bring thee into judg- . ment.” The words imply that he knows and sees them all; as it is elsewhere declared, “the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” God will not, like worldly judges, need to have recourse to witnesses, to inform him of our conduct. He is not, and cannot be far from every one of us; for it is in him that we live and move and
have our being. We cannot possibly be concealed from his eye. When men sin against their fellow creatures, they may perhaps succeed in their endeavors to deceive them, and conceal their own wickedness; but from God they cannot conceal a thought. To attempt it would be madness. This should have influence upon sinners, and render them afraid to indulge in sin, or walk in the ways of their hearts.
2. The words very emphatically express the certainty of a future judgment, and that sinners cannot escape it.
This is a doctrine abundantly taught in scripture ; but the emphasis with which God declares it to sinners in the text is peculiar: “Know thou”—“ that God will bring thee into judgment.” It is not said, expector believe ; but “know thou.” Thou, O sinner, whosoever thou art, there will not only be a judgment, but every sinner must appear—not one can escape. God will bring thee into judgment. In vain will sinners attempt to conceal themselves. In vain will they excuse or dispute an attendance, for God will bring them. His hand will be upon them, and it will be infinitely too strong for their feeble resistance. \
3. The solemn warning in the text implies, that the judgment threatened will be dreadful, and that it will be particular and final.
For all these things, God will bring thee into judgment. No action, purpose, or thought, will be forgotten or omitted. Every work and every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil, shall be brought up to view. Thousands and thousands of sins, which are forgotten by the sinner, and which will probably be forgotten until that day, will then be brought up and set in order, in awful order before his eyes. The doom will also be final. There is no appeal—no deliverance to those who are found impenitent. There is but one sentence for those on the left hand: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” This is the result of the judgment of God, with respect to all who continue to walk in the ways of their heart and in the sight of their eyes. This is the portion of the wicked, the heritage appointed him of God. Such are some of the important dissuasives contained in the solemn warning in the text, and addressed to all, especially to those youth, who walkin the ways of their heart, and in the sight of their eyes : “Know thou, that for all these things, God will bring thee into judgment.” In review of this subject, let the youth who hear me, be exhorted to enquire into the state of their hearts, and the course of their lives. Let them suffer conscience to speak, and hearken to its voice. Should any find that they are of the number of those who walk, and are still disposed to walk, in the ways of their heart, and in the sight of their eyes, let them hear the divine admonition, for to them it is addressed : “Rejoice O young man,” woman, or child, rejoice and “let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things, God will bring thee into judgment.” Remember that God is a spectator of all your conduct, he knows all your thoughts, and hard speeches against him, and against his cause and people. The Lord hearkens and hears. A book of remembrance is written for you, as well as for those who fear him and think upon him. Remember that God will bring you into judgment, and set your sins in dreadful array before you, and that if impenitent and without an interest in Christ, your doom will be that of those who have trampled on the blood of the Son of God. A doom which you cannot escape, and yet a
doom which you cannot endure; and being unable to escape it, and unable to endure it, you must sink under it for ever. Act not, my hearers, so unwise a part as to endeavour to elude conviction, lest you flatter yourselves that there is no sin, no moral evil in walking in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes : Or that there will be no judgment : Or that God observes you not, or will not be strict to mark you. Do not act so irrational a part as to run the dreadful risk, against the dictates of reason, conscience, and revelation. If you should finally loose your immortal souls, and that after so many calls and warnings, what would the world, with all its pleasures and enjoyments profit you ? Or what could you give in exchange for your souls.
T HESE words are an exclamation of pious David. They were spoken in the review of past deliverances, and the contemplation of present and future dangers and trials. Looking back over the past scenes of his life, considering the dangers and enemies he had encountered, and the deliverances he had experienced, and contemplating all the way in which he had been led, he could ascribe it to nothing but the constant watchfulness, and the interposing hand of God, that he was still preserved, and that his enemies had not triumphed in his death. In this review, he found great occasion to rejoice, that his times had not been in the hands of his enemies, nor yet in his own, but in the hands of God ; and he was filled with emotions of gratitude to his preserv