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SACRED MEDITATIONS FOR THE
“ Stand in awe and sin not : commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”—Ps. iv.
“I have thought of thy loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.” According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness." “ God is our God for ever and ever : he will be our guide, even unto death."---Ps. xlviii.
“ I will both lay me down in peace and sleep : for thou Lord only makest me dwell in safety.” Ps. iv.
“ Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.” “ I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”Ps.-xiii.
eth thee will not slumber." “ Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” “ The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” " The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” “ The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.”
6. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth and even for evermore."---Ps. cxxi.
“Let us search, and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.” “ Let us lift up our heart with our hands, unto God in the heavens."-LAMENTATIONS iii.
There is one great duty, my dear young friends incumbent upon us all, from the earliest period of our knowing that we ought “ to refuse the evil, and to choose the good,” to the latest moment of our mortal existence; and that is to examine ourselves continually, and to regulate all our thoughts, words, and actions, by that great standard of perfection, which our blessed Lord gave us the example of, wbilst he was on earth ; and which we must follow “ with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our strength,” if we mean to behold bis transcendent glory, and to enjoy the ineffable delight of his presence in heaven. What an awful consideration is it that the wickedness of mankind, within a comparatively short period from the creation, was so enormous, so utterly beyond the hope of reformation by human means, that it required the intervention of the Divine Being to come upon the earth, to make himself manifest in the flesh, to take our nature upon him, and to seek that which was lost, that through the means of his redemption we might be reconciled unto him, and rendered capable of receiving the precious gift of salvation from him. Recollect, my dear children, that we have all a share of this sin to answer for ; that we are all born with an hereditary portion of it, and that the business of our lives ought to be the combating with our propensity to it. Nor must you imagine, that because you are young, your faults are necessarily trifling in themselves, and consequently will not be visited with the displeasure of God. The children that mocked Elisha were only children, and committed what some might deem only a childish fault: nevertheless, in the sight of God, it was otherwise; and insomuch, as they were insolent and impious to the utmost of their power, in mocking the chosen minister of the Most High, so did he visit them with his wrath, as severely as if they had sinned in the ripened understanding and more extended sphere of their manhood; for at the prayer of Elisha, “ there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” So if you mock your elders and your teachers, or nourish a rebellious and ungrateful feeling towards them; if you are undutiful to your parents, or unkind towards your brothers or sisters, or companions ; if you suffer yourselves to lie, pilfer, or deceive; if you nourish in your bosoms envy, hatred, malice, pride, selfishness, revenge, covetousness, or any other base suggestion of our fallen nature, you estrange yourselves as much from heaven, and act as much in opposition to the will of your Heavenly Father, at the moment, as you could at a more mature age, by giving way to the same evil feelings on a more enlarged scale.
The Scriptures, I have already remarked, are full of endearing expressions concerning children and young persons; too full for the idea to be for one moment entertained that their thoughts and actions are of small importance in the sight of God, or to their own salvation. Jesus Christ took little children up in his arms, and blessed them, and said, “ of such is the kingdom of heaven;" but they were little children indeed; whose minds were not yet opened to the knowledge of right and wrong, who had not learned, as the language of scripture mercifully expresses it, to “discern between their right hand and their left hand,” and who, therefore, could not have fallen into actual transgression. Of such, we are told that “their angels continually see the face of their Father, which is in heaven.” A proof that their innocence, through the mercy of the Creator, obtains them admittance into a state of happiness, for it is only the pure who can see God.