From “God’s Omnipresence the Best Guard Against Sin,” (ca. 1700)
Let us not suffer ourselves to be led any longer by our senses, but let us live by faith, believing that God is present with us, looking over us, and into us, and observing all the passages of our life. Whatever employment we are about, let us still remember that God sees both what it is, and how we do it. Whatever company we are in, let us still remember that God is in it, and takes notice of everything we think, or speak, or do together.
Wherever we go, let us remember that God goes along with us; when we sit down, that he stands by us ; and when we rise up, that he helps us. Whenever any trouble falls upon us, let us remember that God is present to support us in it, to make us better by it, and when he sees it good, to deliver us from it. Whatever danger we are in, let us still remember, that no danger can be so near us as God is, who is always at hand to defend us from it, and to bless it to us. In short, whatsoever our condition be in this life, let us remember and believe, that the all-wise God, and our most merciful Father, knows it to be good for us, and is always with us to make it so.
Could we accustom ourselves to call God to mind upon all occasions in this way, and to actually believe that he is present with us, as he really is, we should soon learn the divine art of setting him always before us; and then how circumspectly should we walk! How comfortably should we live! How steadfast and unmovable should we be in the midst of all the storms and tempests we meet with here below!
We should indeed live next door to heaven, and want nothing to complete our happiness, but to do that which we endeavor perfectly; for to have God always perfectly before our eyes, so as clearly to behold his glory and goodness, is the happiness of heaven; where our faith being turned into vision, we shall see God face to face, and so be perfectly happy in him.
And insofar as we set God always before us upon earth, so much we partake of the joys of heaven, and are so far happy, according to our weak capacity in this world, and in the ready way to be fully, perfectly, eternally happy in the next, through his merits and mediation for us, who is always with us, even Jesus Christ our ever-blessed Lord and Savior.
William Beveridge (1637-1708) was an English theologian who served several London parishes before becoming Bishop of St. Asaphs in 1704. He was called “the great reviver and restorer of primitive piety” for his efforts in reviving patristic teaching and robust liturgical piety. Several volumes of his sermons were published after his death.