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righteous,) but they are like the chaff which the wind scattered away from the face of the earth;" so light, empty, and unprofitable are they. "Therefore (continues the Psalmist) the ungodly shall not be able to stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous:" that is, they shall not be able to make their cause good when they ■come to be tried by that God who will judge every ©an. "aocording to his works, whether he has done good, or whether he has done evil." In that awful day the wicked will be separated from the congregation of the righteous, as chaff is from the wheat. The former, like the chaff, will be burnt with fire unquenchable; and the latter, like the wheat, be gathered by their Redeemer into his garner: that is, be received by him into those mansions of eternal rest and glory, which he is gone to prepare for those that love him and keep his commandments.
In the last verse the Psalmist seems briefly to sum up all that he had been observing before concerning the different fates. of the righteous and the ungodly. "But the Lord knoweth;" that is, the Lord superintends and approves the way or conduct of the righteous—"and the way of the ungodly shall perish:" in other words, their conduct shall lead them to destruction.
I have now pointed; out the excellent lessons which the Psalm we have been considering contains. Reader, if you are amongst the number of the ungodly, of those who keep bad company, neglect the Scriptures, and live in sin and disobedience to God and your Redeemer, I beseech you to awaken from your awful situation; for you are in the road that leads to destruction. Deceive not yourself with the idea of repenting and reforming at some future time. Repent and reform now—you may not be alive to.morrow.
But if, on the contrary, you are in the number of those who are earnestly endeavouring to work out their salvation, blessed are you. Go on cliearfully and zealously in your righteous course. Pray daily, through Jesus Christ, for the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, that you may be preserved from every thing that is evil, and "increase and abound in every good word and work." Then, when the hour comes in which death shall summon you to leave this world, you will depart in peace, with a humble hope of acceptance through the mercy of God and the merits of your Redeemer.
SHORT LECTURES ON THE CATECHISM.
"Thou shalt not steal." Our gracious Creator intended us to be the inhabitants of an eternal world. And those who are to dwell with him hereafter must be prepared for that abode of holiness and purity, by holy and pure dispositions here. It is indeed for this purpose that we are placed in this world. It is that, in the midst of trials and temptations, which are allowed to assail us here, our faith and obedience may be tried and exercised. It is for this purpose that our Heavenly Father has given us his laws to guide us, and his Spirit to assist us; that since our blessed Saviour has purchased and prepared a kingdom for us, and freely offered it to our acceptance, we may be fitted and prepared for the reception and the enjoyment of that happiness which only can belong to those whose hearts are holy, just, and pure. We see, then, the necessity of living in the constant observance of God's laws here, as a preparation for happiness hereafter,—and this ought indeed to awaken our gratitude to the Almighty, who gave us those laws to guide our steps in our way to heaven. As travellers to a heavenly home, we may well say, with David, " thy word is a lamp unto
my feet, and a light unto my path." But the laws of God not only guide us in our way to heaven, but the observance of them is the only method by which we can be happy upon earth. If all the laws of God were kept in their true spirit, this world would be a world of friends and brothers:—if all of them were broken, it would be a world of monsters and savages: —and indeed, where only one of God's commands is broken, just in that proportion is misery produced. Look only at the eighth commandment, which forbids us to steal. If this command were to be generally broken, the happiness of society would be instantly at an end. The exercise of upright industry gives a man an honest satisfaction in his own exertions, and an enjoyment in what he has acquired. But if he cannot feel security in his possessions; if others are to live in idleness, and to plunder him of his fair earnings, he will have only been employed for-tbetjd7atatage of the worthless and the wicked: and no reward of his labours will be his own. Moreover, if a man, by his* exertions, either of body or mind, is able not only to supply his own wants, but to leave an inheritance to his children, the enjoyment of this is secured to them by this commandment; and this is another encouragement to industry . and prudence. The laws of every Christian country therefore punish robbery, and enforce the observance of the eighth commandment.
Every man, then, who wishes to uphold the laws of God and man, will try to find out dishonesty, and to punish it; will try, by distributing of the Scriptures,—by educating the young,—and by promoting Christian knowledge, to prevent it; wil^ask himself whether he has a dread not only of actual robbery, but of those dirty, deceitful, underhand methods, which a man may endeavour to justify to himself, by calling them the tricks of trade, or the way of business, , but which are, in the sight of God, nothing less than robbery. Indeed, truth and honour are always fait and upright, and, as they say, abovehoard. If, therefore, a tradesman has any plans of his own which he would not wish his customers to know, it becomes him well to examine himself, and tp see whether he is not breaking the eighth commandment. If money is got either by concealment, or by false representation, we may then fairly say that it is stolen. If an article is smuggled, government is cheated out of the duty, and therefore government is robbed. If I smuggle an article which ought to have cost six pounds, and I have given only four for it, because it has not paid the duty,—I have not robbed a man of six pounds, but I have robbed the government of two.
Praising above its merits an article you have to, sell, and lowering below its merit3 an article you have to buy;—all this is done for the sake of geting money,—and all therefore requires good self-,
examination' to *ee bi&v far it is iron est Tun* rigntr
All deceit is a sort of robbery, and unbecoming an upright man, and more especially a Christian.
Well then does it become us to be watchful in this our duty to our fellow-creatures; and we are indeed to consider that it is likewise our duty to God.
But this commandment is also broken with more immediate reference to the Almighty, when we rob him of that day which he has set apart for his own service, or of that worship which he has appointed for Himself,
There is much more indeed in this command-. ment than we might at first suppose, and much more indeed than we have here remarked. But what shall we do if we see that we have broken it ?— Even that which we must do when we are brought to see, in any thing, that we have offended—RePent. But repentance will not blot out our past crimes.—No. It will not repair the injuries we have inflicted—No. We must indeed do all we can to repair the losses we have occasioned. Bat no sinner can tell the extent of the misery he has produced. Thus we see the absolute need of a sufficient atonement for our sins, since we can never make it ourselves. But, as Christians, we know that Christ is our propitiation,—and, confiding in Him, we can use the words which our Church gives us, after every commandment, "Lord have mercy upon us." But our Church does not consider that sorrow for the past, and supplication for mercy, are sufficient; we are taught to pray for future obedience.— "Lord, incline our hearts to keep this law."
Nothing is more truly Christian-like than brotherly love. It was our Saviour's own commandment that we should "love one another." Chrisr tians .are called brethren, to shew the feelings of kindness which they ought to have one towards another. Children ought to be particularly taught this kind regard for the feelings of each other. Children learn to. read beautifully at National Schools, and they cannot well have a better education. The great part of their reading is from the Bible, which teaches them the dispositions of love and kindness, which they ought to have. For if the heart is not improved, as well as the understanding, the very best part of education is left out. I hope my little readers will learn the following versesi—
The God of Heaven is pleased to see,
For love and kindness please him more