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of yourselves will have a tendency to make you very cautious of such persons, such places, and such things as have led you from the path of duty into the path of folly, sin, and sorrow.

2. Form a just estimate of the men of the world. There is no occasion of mixing unnecessarily with the world, in order to form a just estimate of the men of the world. Read the Bible, and there you will find their character and conduct drawn to the life. There, you will be told, that “they are all gone out of the way,” that “ there is none that doeth good, no, not one, and that there is no fear of God before their eyes.” Surely their company is not to be chosen, their advice is not to be heard, and their example is not to be followed. They are all laying snares for one another, as well as for the people of God. Solomon says, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. My son, walk not thou in the way with them ; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood." Hear this advice of the wisest of men, and obey the command of him who is wiser than he: “Beware of men.'

This important knowledge of the world may be a very great safeguard. It will teach you to be as wise and cautious as Nehemiah was, when Sanballat and Tobiah laid a snare for him. He understood human nature too well, to put any confidence in their flattering proposals, and pursued his duty in safety. Trust not in man, nor in the son of man; but trust in the Lord Jehovah in whom is everlasting strength, and who keepeth all who stay themselves upon him, because they trust in him.

3. Live watchfully and prayerfully. Pray daily, pray always, pray without.ceasing. This duty God has enjoined upon all men for their good. He that heareth prayer sees all the snares that are laid for the innocent, and can break them whenever he pleases. Aud he has broken them in ten thousand instances in answer to the sincere prayers that have been made. Acknowledge God by prayer in all your ways, and he will direct you, and lead you in plain and safe paths.

4. And finally, be truly religious, and maintain the fear of God in your hearts, and this will effectually cure the fear of man which bringeth a snare. The fear of God excludes the fear of man. Mordecai found this to be true. Elijah found this to be true. Peter and John found this to be true. And real Christians ever since have found this to be true. Hence Solomon lays it down as a universal truth in the verse which contains the text: The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” Be therefore in the fear of the Lord every day and all the day, and the


fear of man cannot ensnare you. Pursue your duty, and you will be out of the reach of the fear of man, for who will harm you, if you do that which is good ? So long as any are destitute of the fear of God, they will be under the corrupting and dangerous influence of the fear of man.




"MOSEs said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father.

in-law. We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good : for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel."—Num. X. 29.

AFTER Moses had conducted the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, he came to mount Sinai, where he remained for more than a year. Whilst he was here, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian came with his son to mount Sinai, and continued with him till he was about to pursue his journey into the wilderness. Then Moses said to Hobab, the son of Raguel, “ We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good : for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.” As the people of God desired Hobab to go with them to the land of promise, so what Moses said to him may be considered as what saints say to sinners, “Come with us, and we will do you good, for God has spoken good concerning us.” The spirit of the text may be comprised in the general observation :

That saints desire sinners to go with them to heaven.

I shall first show that this is the desire of saints, and then inquire why sinners should comply with their desire.

İ. The first thing to be considered is, that saints desire sinners would go with them to heaven. This is evident, from the fact that all who are walking in the way to heaven possess a pure, benevolent, heavenly spirit. They feel, in a measure, as the heavenly inhabitants feel towards sinners. We know that they rejoice, when sinners repent of sin, turn to God, and walk with the godly in the way to Zion; for there is joy “ in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just

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persons which need no repentance." Since saints possess a heavenly spirit, they must desire that sinners would forsake the paths of the destroyer, and walk with them in the ways of wisdom and paths of peace. Though they cannot consent to walk with the wicked in their present course, yet they sincerely desire, that the wicked would turn their feet into the path of righteousness, and walk with them in the way to eternal life. They would not be saints, if they did not desire that sinners should become saints, and bear them company in their journey to heaven. This further appears from the character of saints as drawn by the pen of inspiration. The prophet represents them as saying to all around them, as Moses said to Hobab, “ Come ye, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” Elijah lamented that he was left alone, and none would walk with him in the paths of piety. The children of Zion also said, “ The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts." They lamented that sinners would not unite with them in attending divine ordinances and promoting the cause of God. Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." This is the language of the Church to those that are without, by which they kindly invite them to come with them to the table of Christ, and walk with them in the way of holiness through this world to the world of glory and blessedness. Let us now inquire,

II. Why sinners should comply with the desire of saints, that they would go with them to heaven. And here it may be observed,

1. A compliance with this desire of saints is reasonable, because it is one of the strongest desires of their hearts. Though they desire the temporal good of sinners, yet they desire their future and eternal good much more. They had much rather see them walk in the way to heaven, than see them walk in the path to wealth, or honor, or any outward prosperity. This is their strongest desire in respect to sinners in general, and more especially in respect to their friends and connections in particular. Pious parents more ardently desire, that their children would walk with them in the way to heaven, than that they would walk with the men of the world in the pursuit of the greatest and noblest objects of their supreme regard. They can conceive of no greater joy in respect to their children, than to see them walking in the truth. Moses felt a stronger desire, that the children of Israel should walk with him to heaven, than even to go there himself. His desire was put to the test. God threatened to destroy them, and to make of him a great nation. But his benevolent heart could not endure the thought. “ Blot me," says he to God," I pray thee, out of thy book." Let me, rather than they perish. Paul felt and ex. pressed the same ardent desire for the salvation of the Jews, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bear. ing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Now, if saints have such strong and ardent desires, that sinners should go with them to heaven, it seems reasonable, that they should comply with their desires. Sinners are often ready to gratify saints in some respects, and why should they not be still more ready to gratify this most ardent desire of their hearts. By complying here, they would give the greatest satisfaction to saints, who would rejoice over them and with them to all eternity.

2. Saints not only ardently desire, that sinners would go along with them to heaven, but they ardently desire it from the best of motives. It is because they love them, and wish to do them good. Moses had a benevolent motive in desiring Hobab to go with him to Canaan. 6 Come thou with us, and we will do thee good : for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.” Saints wish well to sinners, and it is because they wish well to them, that they desire they would go with them to the heavenly Canaan. Others may desire them to walk with them in the paths of the destroyer. They may say, “Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause : let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil : cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse.' Those who invite sinners to walk with them in such wicked ways, act from low, mean, selfish, and malevolent motives ; which ought to be decidedly and indignantly rejected. But the invitations of the righteous, which flow from pure benevolence, are worthy of all acceptation. It is, therefore, perfectly reasonable, that sinners should gratify the pious and ardent desires of saints, by going with them in the way of holiness to the heavenly Canaan.

3. It is reasonable that sinners should comply with the desires of saints to go with them to heaven, because they have no good excuse for not going with them. For, in the first place, they are able to go. They have as much strength to

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