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A Wise Deportment Delineated.

A Wise Deportment Delineated.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A.


Ps. ci. 2. I will lehave myself tuisely in a perfect ivay.
when wilt thou come unto me r* I will walk within my
house ivitli a perfect heart.
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A.


Ps. ci. 2. I will lehave myself tuisely in a perfect ivay.
when wilt thou come unto me r* I will walk within my
house ivitli a perfect heart.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 21, 2014
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A WISE DEPORTMET DELIEATED. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.Ps. ci. 2. I will lehave myself tuisely in a perfect ivay. when wilt thou come unto me r* I will walk within my house ivitli a perfect heart. EXTESIVE influence is a most invaluable talent, which entails upon us an awful responsibility, and should therefore be improved with all possible care and diligence. The higher we are in the scale of society, the more our obligations to exert our- selves for God are increased. But, if wisdom direct not our measures, our most strenuous efforts will be in vain. David was well convinced of this truth ; and, having seen in his own experience a wise ad- mixture of mercy and of judgment in the dealings of God towards him, he determined, in his limited sphere of action, to imitate the conduct of the Governor of the Universe, and so to temper mercy with justice in the whole of his administration, that iniquity might be suppressed, and virtue cultivated, not in his own palace only, but throughout all his dominions. We might not unprofitably enter into an investigation of the principles which he laid down for the regulation of his conduct, and mark the spe- cific course of action which he determined to pursue towards his courtiers ; but we shall wave the consi- deration of those particulars, and notice rather the general principle which he adopted, and which is equally applicable to persons in every station of life; ** I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way ; I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." A noble
 
403.] A WISE DEPORTMET DELIEATED. 329 A noble resolution this ! We will endeavour to point out, I. The great importance of it — The value of religion, generally, is acknowledged by all ; but few are aware of the vast importance of a wise, discreet, and prudent deportment : yet on that essentially depend, 1. The peace and comfort of our own souls — [An indiscreet conduct, even where the person's intentions on the whole are good, will involve him in many difficulties, and rob him of those supports and consolations which under other circumstances he might enjoy. True it is, that the wisest de- meanor will not avail to root out prejudice, or to make religion lovely in the eyes of carnal men : for the children of darkness cannot but hate the light : and our blessed Lord himself, in whose conduct not the slightest fault or error could be found, was an object of universal hatred to the whole Jewish nation. But it is no less true, that imprudence in religious characters calls forth against them, and, in appearance, justifies, the malignity of many, who, if the zeal had been better regulated, would never have raised their arm against it. Many parents, masters, ma- gistrates, who would never have interposed their authority to obstruct a prudent exercise of religion, have been induced to exert their power in consequence of the indiscretion of those whom they were constrained to oppose. In such cases their opposition can scarcely be called persecution ; nor can the cross which the sufferers are called to bear, be called " the cross of Christ :" it is tlieir own cross, that they have to bear, and their oiun folly, that they have to blame. Enthusiasts do indeed per- suade themselves that they are suffering for righteousness' sake : but having no satisfactory evidence that such is indeed the true ground of their trials, they cannot feel that humble acquiescence in the Divine appointments, which, if they had acted a wiser part, would have calmed their spirits, and sweetened their
 
afflictions^.] 2. The benefit of all around us — [othing can be more unreasonable '"han that men should condemn religion for the faults of those who profess it : but they will do so, and will take occasion from the misconduct of religious people to defame and decry all vital godliness^. It is of no consequence in their eyes, that the wise and prudent condemn the things that are complained of: no; their adver- saries are not disposed to discriminate between the guilty and the innocent : they involve all in the same obloquy : and will bring the * 1 Pet. ii. 19, 20. & iv. 15, 1(5. ''2 Pet. ii. 2. 330 PSALMS, cii. 2. [403, tbe faults of former ages as grounds of accusation against those who live in the present day''. Even the errors that were acknow- ledged and lamented by the persons who in early life committed them, are !?till adduced as characterizing not only the persons who openly renounced them, but those also who have never in any degree approximated towards them'^ : and all this is done for the purpose of discrediting religion, and of justifying their own aversion to it. On the other hand, great good is done by those who " walk circumspectly," and " shine forth as lights in the world^." They " put to silence the ignorance of foolish menV and " shame those who falsely accuse their good conversation in Christ^." What St. Peter says of " wives winning by their good conversation their unbelieving husbands **," we doubt not is often verified in all other relations of life ; those who behold the light that is set before them being constrained to acknowledge, that *' the righteous is more excellent than his neighbour'." A certain awe is impressed on the minds of the ungodly by the sight of *' a man of God." " Herod feared John," when he saw what a  just and holy man he was'': and it is particularly said of Saul,

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