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ments, and prompts us to transgress under the Appearance of greater Secrecy and Security, then particularly let us remember, that the Closet is to God as the House. Top, the Darkness even as Noon-Day, and that the Almighty is a more intimate and tremendous Witness of our Iniquity than if thousands of our Fellow-Creatures were Spectators of it.
BUT, 2dly, this Sense of God's Omniscience, as He is our Great Rewarder, is an excellent Incitement to our attaining the Purity of Christian Holiness.
Walk before me, says God to Abraham, and be thou perfect : So that there is a Connection between the one and the other ; and by walking before God, i.e. by behaving ourselves as Persons under God's continual Notice, alone it is that we shall arrive at true Perfection ; for if God, who is the bountiful Rewarder of all his Servants, be constantly ready and present with us, observing every Motion and Inclination of the Heart ; what more affecting Inducement to a sincere and entire Obedience ; if we have any Respect to the Recompence of the Reward, how shall VOL. I.
we endeavour to keep up cur Pretensions, to heighten and advance such our Reward, by improving in every Virtue, and growing up in every Divine Grace, not one righteous Thought or pious Inclination, not one Act of Devotion, or Aspiration after Heaven, will be like Water spilt on the Ground, but all Works of Faith; our Patience of Hope, and Labour of Love, every Circumstance of godly Obedience will be remembered to our eternal Glory and Happiness. So that this Argument takes in not only the overt Acts of our Duty, but extends to the Sincerity of our Thoughts and Intentions ; God, who to reward, observes them both with the Eye of Jealousy, and our secret Imaginations are as open in his Sight as our most publick Actions. Since Purity of Heart can alone recommend us to the Divine Acceptance, and Purity of Heart ought as naturally to flow from the habitual Sense of God's continual · Notice and Inspection over us as Purity of Action. Thus then, by setting God always before us, by making the Almighty, as He is the constant Observer, fo
likewise likewise the habitual Object of our Thoughts, the End of all our Actions : He will be ever on our Right-hand, that we shall not fall; his Providence will support the natural Man, his Grace will support the moral Man; and by thus making his Essential Presence familiar to us here, we can alone secure to ourselves an Admittance to view Him Face to Face hereafter, and make his glorious Presence pleasurable to all Eternity.
BUT, Good Lord ! how dreadful is the Thought of our standing continually in thy View ! how awful is every Place rendered by thy Presence ! in thy Sight the Heavens theniselves are not clean : How abominable then shall sinful Duft and Ashes appear before thee ! Thou searchest our Hearts, thou triest our Thoughts, but, good Lord! while thou thus searchest, purify ; be present with us by thy Essence ; fo, by thy Grace, look well if there be any Way of Wickedness in us, that thou mayest reform it ; make us as thou will be graciously pleas'd to accept, and then we shall dare, we shall rejoice to approach thee ; purify us by the InK 3
fluences of thy Holy Spirit, and we shall be clean, wash us in the precious Blood of thy dear Son, and we shall be whiter than Snow. Then will Innocence take off the Dreadfulness of thy Sacred Ma. jesty ; for the Brightness of thy Eternal Glory will not amaze those whom thy Grace has sanctified, for to them in thy Presence is the Fulness of Joy, at whose Right-band there are pleasures for ever, more,
Ephes. iv. 8. Latter Part.
H E Psalm, from whence 2 . these Words are taken, is a
O TU Pfalm of high Jubilee, de. D e s cribing a Victory of great
Might, a Triumph of great Glory. These Atchieyments are attributed to God himself, and the Characters of infinite Power and Majesty, under which they are represented to us, well besuit the Dignity of the Divine Being : The vanishing of the Enemies like Smoke, the dissolving of them like Wax before the