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parts of good conduct, and readie to every Serm. good word and work.

IX. 3. They who fear God from their youth, especially, if it be with much steadinesse, are useful in the world many ways. Such men promote the good of society in their several stations. They also adorn, and recommend religion to others. By their means some are brought into a good liking of it's ways: or are induced to consider and examine it's pretensions, till they find them just and reasonable, Others are confirmed, and they persevere with joy and resolution. It is very likely, that many pious Israelites were animated and encouraged by the example of Obadiah: though their circumstances were fuch, that they could not all act with the same opennesse that he did. They were obliged to greater privacie. But yet they did not bow the knee to Baal, or render him any act of homage.

4. They who fear God from their youth have the happinesse of being always prepared for the various events of providence. If they are removed hence, their end is peace, and their reward is sure. If they live, they go on to perform the duties of life: and are


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Serm. the best qualified of any men to bear the IX. troubles and afflictions of this state with a

calm and composed inind, and comfortable Pf. cxlii. trust in God. For God is their refuge, and 5 ixxiii, . their portion in the land of the living. They 26.

have none in heaven but him. Nor is there any upon earth, whom they desire in compariSon of him. And when flejh and heart fail, God is the strength of their beart, and their portion for ever.

. 25.


What has been now observed should induce all, whatever is their age of life, to fear the Lord.

They who are in early age have encouragement to give up themselves to God now, without delay, and to fear and serve him henceforward all the days of their life. There is great virtue in so doing. And it will be attended with very desirable advantages. None will discourage them from being early in this design. They who have feared God from their youth, will readily assure them, that it is the wisest thing that


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can be done. They who are now serious Serm. and religious at length, after trying the ways

IX. of fin, will likewise assure them, that if they neglect the present opportunity, and defer to come to a full determination, and form effectual resolutions of obedience to all God's commandments; that delay will some time be matter of grief and bitter lamentation.

This discourse then may be considered as an invitation to young persons, to be truly religious without delay: to weigh and confider the things of religión seriously, and to determine accordingly : to remember now Ecc. xii. their creator in the days of their youth, and to serve him constantly with inviolable fidelity.

But it suggests no discouragements to others, who have as yet deferred. It does indeed thew, in some measure, the evil of procrastination. But it does not infinuate, that there is no hope or remedie for those who have long delayed.

They who have feared God from their youth have some distinction. They were early wise, and they have proceeded in Wisdom's paths. But they are not taught to boast, or say scornfully: They are not, as other men.



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PS. cxxx. 4

SERM. They likewise bave failings. And do own,
IX. that if God were strict to mark iniquity,

they could not be justified in his sight. Their
hopes therefore are founded in the mercie of
God. They believe, and it is what they
would recommend to the confideration of
others: That with God there is forgivenesse,
that he may be feared and served by such
weak and fallible creatures as we are.

Goodnesse is as certainly a property of the
II. lv. 7. Deity, as any other. If sinful men forsake

the evil of their ways, and unfeignedly return
to God, they will find rest for their souls :
for he will have mercie upon them, and will
abundantly pardon.

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For the Lord God is a fun and

shield. The Lord will give grace and glorie : no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

HE Lord God is a fun. He is

not only glorious and excellent T

in himself: but from him issue 576

streams of knowledge and wildom, joy and comfort. Whatever the sun is to the material world, that God is in the most eminent manner to his people.


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