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dealings with mankind. Let these statements be fixed in the memory, and let us frequently review them. The repetition will have a tendency to keep us affectionately mindful of the truth, that Jehovah does indeed fill both hearen and earth; and that all things are open to His inspection.
Secondly, cultivate the habit of acknowledging the hand of God in all the occurrences of life.
We are not called upon to interpret the divine proceedings in every instance, which is presented to us by passing events, whether of judgment or of mercy. The way of God is in the sea, and His path in the great waters :* He maketh darkness His secret place : His pavilion round about him are dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.t It is an abuse of the doctrine to be continually discovering judgments in temporal visitations ; for these are often intended in mercy: Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth. I But the perversion of a right principle is no sound argument against the principle itself; and it is good to recognize in every event that hand by which all things are directed and controlled. A mind thus disposed will discover the Almighty as well in the still small
* Ps. lxxvii. 19. + Ps. xviii. 11. | Heb. xii. 6.
voice as in the whirlwind; in the circumstances which pass unobserved by common minds, as in those which affect the destiny of states and empires; in the manna which descended silently upon the ground, as in the retreat of Jordan to its source, and the terrors of Sinai. The psalmist would teach us to perceive this divine agency in the most common and daily mercies : it is God who prepares our table ;* it is He who causeth us to lie down in peace, and to dwell in safety; t it is His goodness which preserves us in our going out and our coming in. I In matters apparently the most trifling and unimportant His interposition is as surely to be seen as in those which to us appear of the most commanding moment: not a sparrow falls to the ground without Him, and the very hairs of our head are all numbered.Ş It would be foreign to the present purpose to dwell upon the satisfaction with which a mind thus habitually occupied observes on all hands the influence of a gracious God. To such a mind all the works of nature and all the ways of Providence open a wide field of instruction and of delight inexhaustible: it can every where trace the presence and the power of an indulgent Father, * Ps. xxiii. 5. + Ps. iv. 8. Ps.cxxi. 8. S Matt. x, 29, 30. who renders all His appointments subservient to the benefit and the happiness of His people. This will be the sure result of a lively sense of the omnipresence of God. But we confine our remarks, at present, to the mode of producing that perception; and in this view it is extremely useful to refer all things to His disposal, and to acknowledge in all things His gracious interposition.
Thirdly, this end will likewise be greatly promoted by the regular worship of God.
In attending the public services of religion, we virtually acknowledge that God is present in our assemblies; and if our hearts be engaged in devotion, we feel the force of the conviction, But so apt are these public duties to degenerate into form, that without the daily exercise of private prayer they will usually cease to produce any lasting impression. The man who habitually presents himself, in the retirement of his own chamber, before the throne of grace, has in these acts of devotion a great additional security that he shall not become insensible to the divine presence. For how is he occupied ? In appealing to the Almighty, as acquainted with every purpose of his heart; in thanking Him for the mercies which have been recently vouchsafed, and confessing himself unworthy of the least of them; in soliciting His continued favour and direction under every circumstance of life, and in recoinmending to His grace and goodness all those who have an interest in his affections, and whose welfare is connected with his own. Let occupations of this kind frequently occur; let them engage the mind at the opening and the close of every day, and they will generally produce a lasting effect upon the disposition and character; for prayer is indeed among the chief means by which all spiritual blessings are procured; and he, who would obtain the communications of the Spirit, must thus diligently seek them. But we are speaking here chiefly of their effect in producing an habitual sense of the presence of God: and although even this benefit is not derived from any virtue or excellence in the prayer itself, yet we may mention this as a natural result of the practice, because it can scarcely be long pursued without an operation upon the mind in some measure correspondent with it.
The last remark which we shall offer, points to the importance of firing these impressions in early life.
Would you wish your children to remember their Creator as they advance in years? Teach them to do so in the days of their youth. Would you wish them to act in their future intercourse with the world as in the presence of Him who will one day call them to account? Let them be taught while they are yet unacquainted with its temptations, and while they have no particular motive for resisting the truth, that there is an eye which pursues them even to the deepest retirement; and that however they may escape human observation, they cannot screen themselves from the notice of God. Let them be instructed in the relation which they bear to Him, and be told with what compassion He looks down upon them that fear Him. Let them learn to lift up their little hands in prayer, to thank Him for the mercies which they are conscious that they enjoy, and to entreat that favour and protection of which they stand in need. Will the lessons thus imparted be forgotten in advancing years? The assurance of the wise man, that a child trained up in the right way, will not depart from it,* may convince us that the seed which is thus sown will rarely be lost. Impressions, which seem almost to be obliterated, are not unfrequently renewed by