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shall hold me!" These are higher and more effective motives than any which this world can suggest. There is a supreme Governor, an Almighty Father, a righteous Judge.

The fear of God is also the most universal preservative from sin. It preserves from every kind and class of sins, and extends its restraints to all places, times, and circumstances. The fear of man will restrain from sins of a certain kind; but the fear of God has a tendency to restrain from sins of every kind. It will restrain not only from outward sins, but from those that are within; not only from sins against man, but from those that are against God. Where the fear of God rules our hearts, we shall have "respect to all his commandments." If our hearts are thus ruled, our lips, our hands, and our feet will be under the same control.

You have known those who were very careful not to commit some particular sins, but quite careless in regard to committing others. Some men are intemperate, who are never dishonest; some are profane, who are never intemperate; some scarcely know how to speak the truth, and yet they are industrious and sober. Now, what these, and such like persons need, in order to make them better men, is the fear of God. They would commit none of these vices, and would practise every virtue, if they feared God.

You have known those, too, who have been addicted to particular sins, become reformed in some respects, without becoming wholly reformed; nay, so far from being reformed, that they have only adopted some new courses of wickedness. The motives under which these persons act are very obvious. One sin interferes with another, and they are obliged to lop it off. There are

sins of youth which are exchanged for the sins of middle life; and there are sins of middle life, which are exchanged for the sins of old age. Youth keeps them from the sins of age; age keeps them from the sins of youth; but the fear of God will preserve them from both. One vocation will preserve them from the sins of another vocation; but the fear of God will preserve them from the sins of every vocation. Poverty will keep them from some sins, and riches will keep them from others; but the fear of God will keep them both in poverty and riches. Rank, station, and office may keep them from some sins, and dependence and low condition may keep them from others; but the fear of God will restrain them in every station of human life. Avarice may restrain them from expensive sins, and prodigality may restrain them from the sins of avarice; but the fear of God will restrain both the sins of avarice and prodigality. The sea may restrain them from some sins, and the land from others; but the fear of God will keep them on the land and on the sea. There are motives that will induce men to avoid sins thai are scandalous, that will prevent them from being singular in wickedness, that will keep them from gross and degrading iniquity, and that will now and then keep them from all open sins; but the fear of God will keep them from sins that are applauded, that are sanctioned by custom and example, that are fashionable and splendid. His eyes are upon the ways of men ; he seeth not as man seeth; he judges through the dark cloud; no secrecy, no solitude hides from his all-penetrating eye.

In view of the preceding thoughts, there is a loud call

on all of us for honest self-inspection. None of us are without sin; yet should we greatly desire that our sins should be detected and cast out. Some of you may perhaps be satisfied, because you do not take God's name in vain; some because you are not dishonest; some because you are not licentious and impure. But can you say, "So do not I, because of the fear of God?" Is there any sin from which you abstain, on a religious account, and because you fear God? Of how many evil crimes can you say, I was tempted, but did not yield; I might, and should have committed great wickedness; but "so did not I, because of the fear of God!"

Cultivate, then, more and more, an honest conscience. Let not your mind and conscience become defiled, and impaired by sin. Never silence the reproaches of conscience. Whoever else may be ignorant of your wickedness, you yourselves are privy to it. And it is a knowledge that never can be obliterated. A sense of guilt is painful for the time; but there is no hope of reform, of repentance, of pardon through the blood of Christ, where conscience is not suffered to speak out. When she speaks, listen; when she smites, bear the blow; else will the wound never be healed. Plead guilty to her charges, and bear the burden to him who bore our sins in his own body on the tree.

Be careful, too, to keep your hearts in the fear of God. "Happy is the man that feareth always." Live in the habitual fear of offending God. We should all be afraid of offending God. We are not safe from sin, from soul-destroying sin, without the fear of God. That life is the happiest life, it is the most cheered life, where God is most feared. "The Lord taketh pleas

ure in them that fear him, and them that hope in his mercy." Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty, the whole blessedness, the whole and chief end of man.



PSALM Xxiii. 3. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

It is remarkably characteristic of the Scriptures, that in their free and abundant use of figurative language, they borrow their imagery from the simplest objects. They do not have recourse to the fine arts, nor to the extended circle of the sciences; for these are familiar only to the learned; but, for the most part, they illustrate and impress truth by images borrowed from the appearances and productions that are familiar to common minds.

This twenty-third Psalm furnishes a beautiful illustration of this remark. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for his name's sake." In our reflections upon this clause of the Psalm, three things deserve our consideration. Men are wanderers from God: God himself is their Restorer: the evidence of their restoration is the fact, that they are led in the paths of righteous


I. Men are wanderers from God.

There are not a few severe and humbling delinea

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