by Thomas Manton
in ePub, .mobi & .pdf formats
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.—Psalm 119:15.
ALL along David had showed what he had done; now, what he will do. Ver. 10, 'I have sought;' 'ver. 11, 'I have hid;' ver. 13, 'I have declared;' ver. 14, 'I have rejoiced.' Now, in the two following verses, he doth engage himself to set his mark towards God for time to come: 'I will meditate in thy precepts,' &c. We should not rest upon anything already done and past, but continue the same diligence unto the end. Here is David's hearty resolution and purpose to go on for time to come. Many will say, Thus I have done when I was young, or had more leisure and rest; in that I have meditated and conferred. You must continue still in a holy course. To begin to build and leave unfinished is an argument of folly. There is always the same reason for going on that there was for beginning, both for necessity, profit, and sweetness. We have no license to slack and give over till all be finished: Phil. 2:12, 'Work out your own salvation;' otherwise all you do is in vain, yet not in vain: Gal. 3:4, in vain as to final reward, yet not in vain as to increase of punishment. You lose your cost, your watchings, striving, prayings; but you will gain a more heavy punishment, so that it had been better you had never begun: 2 Peter 2:20, 21, 'For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning; for it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.' You bring an ill report upon God; your sense of the worth of heavenly things must needs be greater for your making trial; and therefore your punishment for neglect the greater. Into the vineyard they came at several hours, but all tarried till the close of the day. Some called sooner, some later, but all held out till the end: Heb. 6:10, 11, you; have ministered and must minister; you have prayed and must pray; you have heard the word with gladness, and must hear still. Many in youth are zealous, but when their first heats are spent, grow worldly, careless, and ready to sound a retreat from God. The fire of the altar was never to go out; so should the life, and warmth, and vigour of our affections to the word of God be ever preserved. God is the same still, and so is the word; and therefore we should ever be the same in our respects to it. The devil in policy lets men alone for a while, to manifest some respect to the ways of God, that they may after do religion a mischief. They are full of zeal, strict, holy, diligent in attendance upon ordinances. He never troubleth them, but is at truce with them all this while, till they get some name for the profession of godliness, and then he knoweth their fall will be the more scandalous and ignominious, not only to themselves, but to their profession. They are forward and hot men a while, till they have run themselves out of breath, and then by a notable defection shame themselves, and harden others.
Table of Contents
Sermon I: I will meditate in thy precepts
Sermon II: I will delight myself in thy statutes
Sermon III: Deal bountifully with thy servant
Sermon IV: Open thou mine eyes
Sermon V: Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide