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that his "leaf shall not wither," and that whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper." The remaining portion of the psalm, which I have just read to you, contains a not less instructive warning, which, although it is not so pleasing a subject, is yet a very necessary one for our attention to be turned to. Holy Scripture is indeed full of encouragement, and the blessedness of walking in the way of righteousness is a common and delightful subject; but we must not neglect the equally plain and equally certain denunciations of the danger of sin, nor so occupy ourselves in contemplating the mercy of God, and the happiness of true believers, as to overlook His just wrath revealed against unrighteousness, and the certain misery of the ways of ungodliness. It is the duty of your ministers, brethren, to bring each subject before you in its turn; while we delight to hold up to you the promises of the Lord, and to repeat His gracious invitations of mercy-while we desire to allure you into the ways of godliness by

showing the blessedness promised to those who walk in them, we must also show you the other side of the picture, as it were, and declare to you no less clearly the danger of continuing in sin. Let me ask your attention, then, this morning, to the concluding verses of this psalm, in which David, speaking still under the direction of the Holy Ghost, describes the character and the fate of the ungodly. "The ungodly are not so; but they are like the chaff which the wind driveth away." These words contain a description of the character of the ungodly. "The ungodly are not so;" that is, they are the direct contrary to the character of the righteous, which was described in the three first verses. Whereas it was said of him that he "walked not in the counsel of the ungodly," it is "not so" with these. They "follow a multitude to do evil." They join themselves to the company of those who live without God in the world.” If they find themselves in the society of those who have the fear of the Lord be

fore their eyes, they are uneasy and disquieted, and feel out of their proper places; but when they meet with the vain, the vicious, and the profane, they feel no restraint put upon their words or their actions, and whatsoever their counsel may be, they agree with it and follow it. Thus the wicked Ahab had his counsel of false prophets, while he persecuted and imprisoned the prophets of the Lord. So it is, brethren, still. We must have counsellors of some kind-we must follow the advice and imitate the example of some one, and we are most ready to follow that counsel which most approves itself to our carnal mind, and " prophesies" to us "smooth things." Whence, then, are you seeking your counsel, brethren? After whose advice do you walk? Possibly you may not be conscious of walking after man's advice or example; you may think you are independent agents, and that no one has sufficient power or influence over you to lead you astray. Blessed, indeed, must he be, who is so


strong that no man can entice him into sin. But let us beware of the insensible, but nevertheless very pernicious, effect of custom and habit, and doing as the world in general seem to do. We may not, perhaps, think that example has any effect on us; but let us consider whether we have courage to go contrary to general opinion-whether we dare, for example, to make any religious profession, to do any pious action, or to refuse to join in any profane conversation, or vicious indulgence, the shunning of which may make us singular, and mark us, among our fellow-men, as those who will not do all that their neighbours do. This will show whether we are afraid to despise and neglect the counsel of the ungodly or no, and will prove to us whether we have the fear of man before

our eyes, or the fear of God.

"Fear not

them," said our Lord, to his disciples, in the chapter we have heard for the second lesson this morning-" that can kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul;

but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven; but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."*

Again, whereas it is said of the righteous, in the first verse of this Psalm, that he" standeth not in the way of sinners ;" it is not so"-in this respect also-with the ungodly. "Their feet run to evil," and they delight to stand in the broad and beaten path of vice. Whereas, those who are under the power of God's grace, if they find themselves approaching to sinful ways, start back, and dare not go on, however great the temptations may be, because of the fear of God ;" and if not aware of their danger until they have actually committed sin, when they come to themselves, and perceive the evil they have fallen into, return with sorrow and penitence into the way of righteousness, * Matt. x. 28.



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