1 Chronicles 28:9
As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve Him wholeheartedly and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.
Sermons
Early PietyJ.R. Thomson 1 Chronicles 28:9
The Faithfulness of the Great Heart-SearcherR. Tuck 1 Chronicles 28:9
A Parental Charge: a Sermon to the YoungW. Clarkson 1 Chronicles 28:9, 10
Christian EducationPlain Sermons by Contributors to the "Tracts for the Times. "1 Chronicles 28:9-21
David's Charge to SolomonF. Whitfield 1 Chronicles 28:9, 10, 20, 21
David's Charge to SolomonSketches of Four Hundred Sermons1 Chronicles 28:9-21
David's Charge to SolomonHomilist1 Chronicles 28:9-21
David's Instructions to SolomonJohn McNeill.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Decision in Religion RecommendedC. Clayton, M. A.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Fathers and ChildrenM. Braithwaite.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Genuine Piety a Search for GodHomilist1 Chronicles 28:9-21
God the Searcher of Hearts, and Found of Them that Seek HimJ. Mason.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Godly Parents Concerned for the Piety of Their ChildrenJames Hay, D. D.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
God's Relation to Human LifeJ. Wolfendale.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Heart ServiceHomiletic Review1 Chronicles 28:9-21
In What Manner We are to Serve GodJ. Mason, M. A.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Royal Regard for the Right Training of Children1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Seeking GodT. J. Judkin, M. A.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Seeking the LordCharles Voysey, B. A.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Seeking the LordThe Study and the Pulpit1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Solomon Succeeding DavidF. E. Clark.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
Spiritual Aspects of ManHomilist1 Chronicles 28:9-21
The Duty and Advantage of Knowing and Serving the God of Our FathersJ. Guyse.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
The God of Thy FatherJ. Wolfendale.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
The Knowledge of God the First Principle of ReligionJ. Mason, M. A.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
The Moral Discipline of the ImaginationS. E. Keeble.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
The Nature, Cause, and Danger of the Sin of ApostasyJ. Mason.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
To Serve God the Best Way to Prosper in the WorldJ. Mason, M. A.1 Chronicles 28:9-21
A father's solicitude for his son is too often confined to his temporal prosperity. It was not so with David. The aged monarch was indeed anxious for Solomon's stability on the throne, for his fitness to discharge all regal duties, for the magnificence of his public works, and for the splendour of his reign. But he was well enough acquainted with human nature to know that character is the key to life. His supreme desire was that his son should be right at heart, that his principles should be sound, that he should honour, trust, and serve his God. Hence the beautiful language of the text.

I. THE NATURE OF EARLY PIETY. It does not consist merely in outward associations or in outward observances.

1. The basis of such piety is knowledge. "Know thou the God of thy. father." Hence the importance of early instruction in religious truth.

2. The substance of such piety is a cheerful service of God. The practical energies of youth need to be employed in doing the Lord's will. Willingness and cheerfulness should characterize all work done for God. It is well that the young should be trained to find their delight in the practical service of their God and Saviour.

II. THE MOTIVES TO EARLY PIETY.

1. The obligation of duty. It is right to "remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth."

2. The assurance of the Lord's perfect knowledge: "For the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts."

3. The encouragement of promise: "If thou seek him, he will be found of thee." There are many similar assurances in Scripture fitted to encourage the young to seek the God of salvation.

4. The fearful alternative: "If thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever." - T.







And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father.
Learn —

I. THAT OUR LIFE IS EXPOSED TO GOD'S INSPECTION.

II. THAT OUR SERVICE TO GOD SHOULD SPRING FROM SINCERE MOTIVES.

III. THAT OUR WELFARE DEPENDS UPON OUR CONDUCT TOWARDS GOD.

(J. Wolfendale.)

1. The rich experience behind these words.

2. The force of parental affection in giving that experience.

3. The susceptibility of youth to profit by the teaching.

(J. Wolfendale.)

We see here one generation —

1. Transmitting the knowledge of God to its successor.

2. Enjoining the service of God upon its successors.

3. Indicating God's method of dealing with its successor.

4. Bequeathing its unfulfilled intentions to its successor.

(M. Braithwaite.)

I. WHAT THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD IMPLIES.

1. A firm belief of His existence.

2. Just and regular sentiments concerning the perfections of His nature. Whatever argues a real imperfection or frailty in men ought not in the most distant resemblance to be ascribed to God.

3. A reverent contemplation of Him, according to the discoveries He hath been pleased to make of His perfections in His Word, works, and the ways of providence. Let us frequently contemplate —

(1)His almighty power.

(2)His holiness.

(3)His wisdom.

(4)His veracity.

(5)His infinite mercy.

II. THE EFFICACY AND INFLUENCE THIS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD OUGHT TO HAVE UPON US. The design and end of knowledge is not only to enlarge and enlighten the mind, but to direct the practice and mend the heart. The true knowledge of God should produce in us —

1. Reverence.

2. Holiness.

3. Dependence upon Him for wisdom (James 1:5).

4. Confidence in His promises.

5. Fear.

6. Gratitude.

(J. Mason, M. A.)

No better advice could have been given to the young sovereign of Israel. No better advice can to-day be given to the young sovereigns who fill our churches and Sunday-schools. So far as Solomon followed this advice he was prosperous beyond any that went before him; as soon as he forgot this advice the terrible warning with which the verse ends was fulfilled, and the disappointed misanthrope in the Book of Ecclesiastes tells us of the sorrows of a man whom God has forsaken. As God chose Solomon, so does He choose every young man and woman for some special work, which they alone can best accomplish. There are four things to be noticed in this charge.

I. KNOW THOU GOD.

1. Through the Bible.

2. Providence.

3. Through the communings of our own heart.

II. Know thou thy FATHER'S God. Every generation need not begin at the beginning, as though the fathers knew nothing about God. There is much foolish talk about thinking these great truths concerning God and religion through for ourselves. That our fathers served God is a reason why we should not discard Him.

III. SERVE HIM WITH A PERFECT HEART.

IV. SERVE HIM WITH A WILLING MIND. It is said that when the Princess Victoria was called to the kingdom, the messengers, who were the highest dignitaries of State, arrived at her palace from the death-bed of the king very early in the morning. They had great difficulty in arousing any one; but at length the princess's maid appeared, who said that her mistress was in such a sweet sleep that it was a pity to disturb her. "Tell her," said the Archbishop of Canterbury, "that we have come on business of importance to the queen, and even her slumbers must give way to that." Very soon the princess appeared, and was invested with royal robes and prerogatives. To every young person comes the messenger of God telling them of their Father's good pleasure that they should inherit the kingdom. No one can afford to neglect the summons.

(F. E. Clark.)

Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.
These words contain —

1. Advice given to a hopeful son.

2. By an excellent father.

3. Under most affecting circumstances.

I. THE COURSE PRESCRIBED.

1. TO know God. This implies —(1) That mankind by nature do not know God.

(a)They do not understand God's relations to mankind, as their rightful Sovereign; their Guide in difficulties; their Redeemer from evil; their Friend in necessities (Psalm 10:4).

(b)They do not acknowledge God in these relations.

(c)They do not enjoy God in these relations (Ephesians 2:12).(2) That the knowledge of God must be sought to be enjoyed.

2. To serve God with a perfect heart and with a willing mind.(1) By preserving attention to His guidance (Acts 3:22, 23; Hebrews 12:25).(2) By habitual dependence on Christ's mediation (Colossians 2:6).(3) By steadfastly resisting Satan (1 Peter 5:8, 9).(4) By aspiring after spotless purity (2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Peter 3:14).(5) By doing good to mankind for God's sake (Galatians 6:10; Romans 14:17, 18).(6) Serve Him alone (Matthew 4:10).(7) Seek to please Him in all things (Matthew 6:22; 1 Corinthians 10:33).(8) Serve Him from a principle of grateful affection (Romans 12:1).(9) And in cheerful hope (1 Peter 1:13).

3. Thus to know and serve God must be justly denominated a course of acceptable piety. It is acceptable piety —(1) In opposition to the complimental piety of the Antinomian; for it includes actual service.(2) To the affected piety of the hypocrite, for it includes sincerity of heart.(3) To the erroneous piety of the superstitious, for it includes piety directed by the knowledge of God.(4) To the servile piety of the Pharisee, for it includes service cheerfully rendered.(5) To the inconstant pious intervals of unstable professors (Hosea 6:4).

II. THE ARGUMENTS BY WHICH IT IS URGED.

1. From the knowledge of God as our Observer.

2. From His goodness as our Redeemer.

3. From His just severity as our Judge.(1) God cannot be imposed upon (1 Samuel 2:3; Proverbs 16:2; Ecclesiastes 12:14).(2) Forsaking God is highly resented by Him, as implying ingratitude, treachery, and folly (Jeremiah 2:13, 19).(3) Apostasy from God is justly punished with eternal banishment from Him (Job 21:14; Matthew 25:41).Application:

1. You must serve God on earth, or you cannot live with Him in heaven (Matthew 7:21).

2. That you may serve God acceptably you must first know Him (Exodus 5:2).

3. The knowledge of God should be restlessly and confidently sought (Proverbs 2:3-5; Jeremiah 31:31-34).

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

These words were not spoken from the death-bed, and yet behind them there is the background of death, judgment, and eternity. When dying men or women are speaking to us we know their words are few and well ordered. Especially so are the last utterances of parents to their children, if there is sufficient strength left of mind and body. In this instruction to Solomon we feel just as if the Spirit of God gave David inspiration. Just as if he looked into Solomon prophetically and saw both his weakness and his strength, words shaped themselves upon David's tongue that exactly fitted the best and worst in the youthful life that lay before him.

1. David felt, "I cannot offer the chart of ray life to my own son when he is beginning his voyage and say, 'Just sail as I sailed,' for if so, he will run on reefs that I was nearly foundering upon, he will run on the quicksands that nearly ruined me." Those lights that lie around our dangerous rock-bound coast are all very fine, and our lighting system is one of the glories of our British commerce. How all our coasts are lighted up at dangerous places at the expense of millions of money spent in building lighthouses, fitting them with the best lights, and keeping efficient men to take charge of them! But take the best of them, and ask any sailor, and he will tell you that five minutes of the sun itself is worth them all together. So it is with the best human testimony, the best earthly wisdom, and the best human experience. What a blessing when we can lift our heads right above it all to the sun that never fails us! "Know thou the God of thy father."

2. See how David recommended his God to Solomon. In Old Testament days to name His name apart from any human qualification and attachment was then something too large, too vague, too profound. But when David speaks of "the God of thy father," how homely it makes God!

3. After all, grace is not an heirloom. It cannot be bequeathed. Solomon had to know God for himself. Of the godly Eli's family it was said, "Eli's sons were sons of Belial."

4. What wonderful instruction in the philosophy of conduct is in religion, if we would only believe Him! Know Him, and let your knowledge be of the practical kind. I said this to my son the other day: "My lad if I were beginning just where you are, and only twelve years of age, if I knew about myself and about what a fool I am at bottom, about how bad I am by nature, and what sin and grace really mean, what the Word of God means, and what Christ means — oh, my lad, if I were back with you, I think I would make more of life than I have done." I think David is saying all that to young Solomon. "If I could begin all over again, Solomon, if I could stand where you are standing, I would make life to mean just one thing — God! God! God! God!"

(John McNeill.)

I. THE NATURE OF THE DUTIES HERE SPOKEN OF.

1. You are to know the God of your fathers. This means such a practical acknowledgment of Him as engages a religious regard to Him as our chief good and highest end, that we may glorify Him here, and enjoy Him for ever, in the way of His own appointment.

2. You are to serve the God of your fathers. His ordinances and institutions are to be observed in all acts of religious worship, and His commands are to be obeyed in a departure from all iniquity and in a performance of all moral duties, with a professed subjection to the gospel of Christ.

3. You are to serve the God of your fathers with a perfect heart and with a willing mind. There is a sort of perfection which consists in integrity and uprightness, in opposition to prevailing hypocrisy, and which must be found in the heart if ever we serve God in an acceptable manner (1 Kings 15:3, 14; 2 Chronicles 25:2).

II. THE MANNER IN WHICH THESE DUTIES ARE RECOMMENDED.

1. This important advice is directed to every one of you, as if you were mentioned by name.

2. It is the God of your fathers who is recommended to you.

3. It is the God whom your fathers themselves have recommended, and can recommend to you.

4. It is the God to whom your fathers have devoted you, and for whom they have trained you up.

5. It is the God of your fathers, who has encouraged you, by His covenant promise, to know and serve Him.

6. It is the God of your fathers, who has as much right to your knowing and serving Him as to theirs (Deuteronomy 29:10-12).

7. It is the God who will so much the more resent your disregard of Him, because He was your father's God.

8. It is the God before whom you must appear, together with your fathers, in judgment at the last day.

(J. Guyse.)

I. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN CHILDREN RECOGNISING GOD AS THE GOD OF THEIR FATHERS?

1. That they stand in a covenant relation to God through His promise to their fathers to be their God and the God of their seed.

2. When children are required to recognise God as their father's God they should recall to their minds the pious instructions which their parents have communicated to them.

3. When children are required to recognise God as their father's God, this should remind them of the many instances of God's faithfulness, and kindness, and mercy which their fathers have experienced at God's hand.

II. THE EARNEST DESIRE OF GODLY PARENTS FOR ADVANCING THE SPIRITUAL AND ETERNAL INTERESTS OF THEIR CHILDREN.

1. It is necessary that children should know the God of their fathers.

2. There is nothing on which the heart of a pious parent is more deeply fixed than the religious interests of his children.

III. THE MOTIVES AND ARGUMENTS BY WHICH THIS DUTY OF CHILDREN IS ENFORCED.

1. Youth is the most advantageous period for entering on a religious life. In every science or profession early application is deemed necessary to future excellence.

2. The children of godly parents have pre-eminent advantages above other young persons for entering on a religious life.

3. The obstinacy of young persons who have been religiously educated, and after all forsake the God of their fathers, is especially criminal, and attended with great aggravation.

4. That those young persons who have been religiously educated, and forsake the God of their fathers, are in danger of greater punishment than other men.

(James Hay, D. D.)

I. WITHOUT SINCERITY AND SERIOUSNESS, OUR RELIGION CAN BE OF NO VALUE IN THE SIGHT OF THE OMNISCIENT GOD.

II. IT IS IMPORTANT IN EVERY POINT OF VIEW THAT YOUNG PERSONS, EVEN FROM THEIR EARLIEST CHILDHOOD, SHOULD BE TAUGHT THIS HIGH AND HOLY LESSON — TO BE SINCERE AND SERIOUS IN THEIR RELIGION; that is, in their whole conduct.

III. TO "SERVE GOD WITH A PERFECT HEART'' IS THE SUM AND SUBSTANCE OF ALL PRACTICAL RELIGION.

(Plain Sermons by Contributors to the "Tracts for the Times. ")

Homilist.
I. THE FOUNDATIONS OF A RELIGIOUS LIFE.

1. The knowledge of God (Jeremiah 9:23, 24; John 17:3). This knowledge is not a mere abstract conception of God, but a burning memory of the Friend of the family.

2. A dedication of ourselves to His service.

II. THE SAFEGUARDS OF A RELIGIOUS LIFE.

1. A consciousness of the Divine presence in the heart.

2. A consciousness of the Divine omniscience prevents evil thoughts.

III. THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF A RELIGIOUS LIFE. "If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee."

1. In every department of life man is a seeker.

2. In the department of spiritual life our gain is the greatest.

IV. THE WARNING OF A RELIGIOUS LIFE.

(Homilist.)

Rev. Benjamin Smith, in his "Gems Re-set," reminds us of an interesting circumstance concerning the royal family of England. A dignitary of the Established Church had been examining some of the royal children in the Catechism. The divine was thoroughly satisfied with the readiness and the correctness of the replies. Doubtless he would be pleased to be able with truthfulness to commend the children of the Queen. He manifested his good sense, however, by doing this in an indirect manner, praising the lady who was their ordinary instructress. He said, "Your governess deserves high commendation for teaching you the Catechism so accurately. I am delighted with your proficiency." The young folk replied, "Our governess does take great pains with us in our other lessons, but it is mamma who teaches us the Catechism." There is reason to believe that the Queen of England was deeply solicitous that her children should from their earliest years be well acquainted with God's truth. That truth had been commended to her when young by her mother's tuition and example. In her husband, Albert the Good, our Queen had one to counsel and aid her in the training of their children. Thus the highest lady in these realms, with cares of State constantly pressing on her attention, and with godly and learned men ever able and willing to impart Scriptural instruction to the royal children, deemed it her duty and privilege to teach the Catechism to her loved ones.

And serve Him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind.
I. WHAT IT IS TO SERVE GOD

1. To serve God is to sincerely practise all the duties of piety.(1) We must take heed to our private devotions — reading, meditation, prayer.(2) We must discharge the duties of public worship.

2. To serve God is to practise all those duties which we owe more immediately to our fellow-creatures and to ourselves.

II. WHAT A TENDENCY THE SERVING GOD IN THIS MANNER HAS TO SECURE HIS FAVOUR AND BLESSING IN ALL OUR SECULAR CONCERNS.

1. This is evident from the promises God has made in His Word (1 Timothy 4:8; Deuteronomy 8:18; Proverbs 10:22; Psalm 34:10; Psalm 84:2; Matthew 5:5; Romans 8:28; Ecclesiastes 2:26).

2. This is apparent from the very nature and connection of things. "Godliness with contentment is great gain."(1) It secures a man the most durable peace, the most valuable possessions, and gives him much more satisfaction and comfort in that share of the world which providence hath allotted to him than the most affluent fortune ever afforded, which I take to be the meaning of the promise, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."(2) It preserves a man from running into vicious habits and customs.(3) It obliges to the practice of that integrity, wisdom, and industry which have a natural tendency to improve our circumstances.

3. This is confirmed by constant experience and observation. Conclusion: How greatly mistaken are they who think to prosper in the world by stepping aside out of the path of duty, or who dare to violate the sacred obligations of virtue and religion for the sake of a temporal advantage.

(J. Mason, M. A.)

I. THE RULE OF WORSHIP LAID DOWN IN THE TEXT, which we should carefully observe in all our religious transactions with God. We must worship God —

1. With a perfect heart. That is —(1) An upright heart: "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).(2) A pure heart. This stands in opposition to all vile affections and corrupt ends in worship (1 Kings 15:14; Psalm 26:6).(3) A devout and engaged heart. This stands opposed to —

(a)Worldly and wandering thoughts;

(b)a dull and drowsy frame in worship.

2. With a willing mind.(1) We should always preserve an habitual readiness and disposition to the service of God, and oppose and break through every accidental reluctance of the mind thereunto.(2) Our minds should be excited to the service of God from a principle of gratitude and love.(3) With cheerfulness of heart in worship.

II. WHAT IS ESSENTIAL AND PECULIAR TO CHRISTIAN WORSHIP? It must always be performed in the name of Christ (Colossians 3:17; John 14:13, 14; John 16:23, 24, 26). To serve God in the name of Christ implies —

1. A dependence on His mediation for the acceptance of our services.

2. A dependence on His grace for our assistance (Philippians 4:18).

3. A dependence on His merits for the atonement of our guilt (Romans 3:24, 25).

4. A thankful acknowledgment of this gracious constitution of His, in appointing His Son to be Mediator between Him and His apostate creatures.Application:

1. How vain it is to lay a great stress upon any particular place, or external forms and modes of worship.

2. This should lead us to inquire in what manner our worship, hath been performed, and what hath been the ordinary frame of our mind therein.

3. This shows the need we have to prepare our hearts to serve Him, and to avoid everything that would unfit us for this service.

4. Hence likewise appears the necessity of keeping the heart with all diligence in the service of God.

(J. Mason, M. A.)

Homiletic Review.
That which we do with the heart is done without grudging, or toil, or weariness. A willing heart goes all the day on its path of duty, art unwilling one soon tires. All is nimble and cheerful which is done by the heart. This is the only kind of service God accepts of His creatures. This is the only condition in which men can render true service to Him. If the heart is dull, our service will be inapt and untoward.

(Homiletic Review.)

God the searcher of hearts, and found of them that seek Him: —

1. When God is said to search the heart, the meaning is He perfectly understands it.

2. The knowledge which God has of the human heart is universal: "Searcheth all hearts."

3. The hearts of men and the imaginations of the thoughts are mentioned here as distinct objects of the Divine knowledge, and the difference between them is — by the former we are to understand the passions and purposes of the mind; and by the latter, the paintings of fancy, or the mere casual rovings of thought. I proceed now —

I. Briefly to PROVE THIS PROPOSITION, the Lord searcheth or knoweth all hearts.

1. This is evident from the reason of things. He that gave to man an understanding heart must understand the heart He gave (Psalm 94:9-11).

2. This may be further argued from His omniscience.

3. This is expressly ascribed to Him in the Scriptures (Jeremiah 17:9, 10; Jeremiah 20:12; Acts 1:24).

II. TO SHOW HOW FITLY THIS CONSIDERATION IS URGED TO ENFORCE THE DUTY ENJOINED, or how proper it is to induce us to guard and govern our thoughts at all times, especially in the service of God.

1. A total neglect of our thoughts and the frame of our spirits in the service of God shows a great contempt of His authority.

2. God, who knows our thoughts now, will call us to an account of them hereafter.

3. It is the turn and temper of the heart which forms the character of every one in the sight of God.

4. To keep a strict and constant guard over our hearts at all times, and especially in His worship, is the best evidence we can have of our sincerity.

III. MOTIVES TO ATTEND TO THE EXHORTATION GIVEN. "If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee," etc. These words contain the most valuable promise and the most awful threatening that are to be found in the whole book of God. Notice particularly the promise. To seek the Lord is usually applied to the duty of prayer, but in the Bible it is often put to denote the whole of practical religion (Psalm 34:10; Isaiah 45:6; Isaiah 9:13; Isaiah 6:5). If we seek we shall obtain —

1. His favour. It is a much easier thing to please God than some men. There is no such thing as pleasing these sometimes without the most servile compliance with their caprice, a conformity to their manners, and a connivance at their follies.

2. His help (Luke 13:24; Hosea 5:15; Jeremiah 2:27; 2 Chronicles 33:11, 12).

3. His direction (James 1:5; Proverbs 2:6; Proverbs 3:5, 6).

4. His Holy Spirit (Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13).The Holy Spirit is comprehensive of all the good things we can desire.

1. There are His renewing, sanctifying, supporting influences.

2. His preventing, quickening, assisting grace. He is our guide, teacher — earnest of the heavenly inheritance.

(J. Mason.)

The moral cultivation of the imagination is of the first importance to the young.

I. ITS NEGATIVE DISCIPLINE. The imagination must be restrained —

1. Because our lower nature will master our higher.

2. We inherit a sinful nature, prone to evil imaginings from our youth up.

3. We may sin in thought as well as in deed. This raises the question —(1) Of literature. We must give heed to right reading. A few moments of tainted literature may impart a fever to the imagination which will blight its beauty for ever.(2) Of art. There is much pagan art in Europe, The value of Ruskin's art-criticisms lies not in its infallibility, but in its moral elevation.(3) Of pleasure.

II. ITS POSITIVE DISCIPLINE. We must seek the things which stimulate and refine the imagination.

1. By means of noble literature.

2. By means of Christian conceptions.A cultivated imagination is an aid to faith. Let it kindle over Christian truth, the nature of God, the incarnation, redemption, etc. Application:

1. Some think there is no harm in imagining evil, if it is not committed. Read Sermon on Mount.

2. This should convince the unconverted of sin.

(S. E. Keeble.)

If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee
God is to be sought and found not merely by the intellect, not alone by processes of accurate logic, but by other faculties that have been bestowed upon us for this purpose. The moral sense, the consciousness of our high obligations, must be carefully and scrupulously nourished and cultured till we acquire an appetite for the noblest virtue — till, in fact, we hunger and thirst after righteousness and learn to satisfy our craving in communion with God and getting moral food and strength from Him. There must be a Divine discontent with our own righteousness in order to drive us to His footstool to ask for more. We must cherish our spiritual affections. We must put ourselves in the way of loving God. We must teach ourselves to pray or beseech Him to teach us. It is contrary to all common sense to expect feelings to arise in our heart spontaneously while we remain in conditions in which those feelings are all but impossible, and while we refuse to use the faculties which were given us for the express purpose of bringing us to love God. If the soul will not seek after God it cannot find Him. God will wait long enough, no one knows how long or how patiently; but it must germinate for itself and put forth its tender sprout and green leaves above the mouldy ground, and thus ask for God's air to breathe life into it, and His gracious rain to feed it, and His glorious sun to shine upon it, and give warmth and beauty and fertility to it in time to come. Neither sun nor rain nor air can do for that hidden seed what it must first do for itself. "Seek ye the Lord."

(Charles Voysey, B. A.)

I. THE DUTY.

1. Whom are we to seek? God in Christ.

2. How must we seek Him?

(1)Not in our own strength.

(2)With an integrity of purpose and a singleness of determination.

(3)By forsaking and standing aloof from the world; by putting down self and walking with a mortified spirit.

3. Where are we to seek Christ?

(1)In the Scriptures.

(2)In the sanctuary.

(3)At the family altar.

(4)In the secret exercises of prayer.

4. When are we to seek a God in Christ? Now.

5. Why are we to seek Christ?

II. THE ASSURANCE.

(T. J. Judkin, M. A.)

The Study and the Pulpit.
I. YOU SHOULD SEEK HIM.

1. You cannot do without Him.

2. You have everything when you have found Him. The true light (John 1:9). The bread of life (John 6:35). A refuge from the storm (Isaiah 25:4). Your rock and fortress (Psalm 31:3). A sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16). An advocate (1 John 2:1). A surety (Hebrews 7:22). The truth (John 14:6). Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

3. He has sought you, has come from heaven for you, is seeking you now.

4. You know you will find Him.

II. THE MANNER OF SEEKING.

1. In His Word, by obeying it.

2. In thine heart, by confidently expecting Him to come and dwell in thee. When He knows that thou really desirest Him, He will be found.

(The Study and the Pulpit.)

I. THE PROMISE. We must seek Him —

1. Scripturally.

(1)With penitence.

(2)With faith.

(3)As He is to be found in Christ.

2. Earnestly.

3. Early in life: They that seek Me early shall find Me."

II. THE WARNING. Those who forsake God, who turn towards God their back, and not their face; who forsake His house, Word, day, people. I once visited, upon his death-bed, a professional man who had evidently forsaken God all his life, and whom God forsook in the hour of death. He then sought God earnestly, but it was too late. He could not find Him. When I prayed with him, he tried to follow my petitions, but his mind — distracted and bewildered — would not allow him. He told me over and over again that he sought to pray, but he never could find words. He also told me that he endeavoured to write his prayer upon a slate, but that his fingers refused to move. And in that awful state of mind he went to his final account. Another whom I visited seemed to be actually amid the pains of hell, whilst his body was still upon earth. As the large drops of perspiration stood upon his agonised forehead he exclaimed, "There is nothing you can tell me. I know it all. I have heard these things from you and from others, and that is my misery. I am entering hell with my eyes wide open." These are no imaginary cases. "Cast off for ever."

(C. Clayton, M. A.)

Homilist.
We may look at these words as presenting man to us in three solemn aspects.

I. AS INSPECTED BY THE EYE OF GOD. God knows each individual man thoroughly. He does not overlook the units in the millions. Thoughts, purposes, feelings fall under His searching glance (Psalm 139:4). This should impress us —

1. With the importance of our existence.

2. With the solemnity of our existence.

II. AS INVITED TO THE FRIENDSHIP OF GOD.

1. This is worth seeking.

2. This requires seeking.

III. AS THREATENED WITH THE DISPLEASURE OF GOD. "God," says an old author, "never casts men off until they first cast Him off."

(Homilist.)

Homilist.
I. IT IS A PERSONAL SEARCH FOR GOD.

1. It is a search for Him, not His.

2. It is a search for Him, not His presence. All men are in His presence. To have Him is to have His heart, His sympathies, His love.

II. IT IS A VOLUNTARY SEARCH FOR GOD. All genuine religion is uncoerced and free: "Will ye also go away," etc.

III. IT IS A SUCCESSFUL SEARCH FOR GOD: "He will be found of thee." This discovery is —

1. Conditional.

2. Transcendent. Find Him.

3. Individual: "Thee." The man who has sought Him — no one else.

(Homilist.)

But if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever
I. THE SIN AGAINST WHICH THIS THREATENING IS PRONOUNCED.

1. Apostasy is a total renunciation of the principles, the practice, and profession of true religion. It is attended with the greatest aggravations of which any crime is capable.(1) Other sins may be committed through the surprise of a sudden and violent temptation. This is a determined and deliberate act, the result of thought and choice; and a perverted and abused understanding approves the choice, so that the apostate goes astray with the full bent of his will.(2) It always carries in it a secret malignity against true religion.(3) Apostasy hardens the heart, sears the conscience, and renders it almost wholly incapable of any serious impressions, either from religion or reason.

2. The ordinary ways by which men are drawn into it.(1) A great zeal for little things is one remote cause. When a man is convinced that his zeal has abused his understanding, and led him wrong, he is for throwing it all off at once, and apt to degenerate into a total indifference about all religion.(2) A weak affectation of seeing further and appearing wiser than other men.(3) Some secret, predominant vice or unconquered lust which men care not to part with. If a man's religion does not make him averse to sin, sin will make him averse to religion.(4) An excessive love of the world — the pleasures, profits, or the preferments of it.(5) A partial backsliding in religion. This partial backsliding generally begins with light thoughts of sin, frequent neglects of duty, or a careless, irreverent performance of it.(6) Inconsideration, or a thoughtlessness of futurity.(7) Reading infidel or profane books.(8) Wicked company. Nothing more contagious than the breath of a profane man. The world is governed by examples. Bad examples are commonly most attractive, and especially when set by those whom in other respects we much esteem.

II. THE THREATENING DENOUNCED AGAINST IT.

1. All obstinate and final apostates shall hereafter be totally rejected of their Maker. They shall never more be received into favour.

(J. Mason.)

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