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to rush into the midst of coarse frivolity, and brutal mirth, of mad excitement, and all that can prepare a soul for hell? Surely, then, you will make some exertion, to save the souls and bodies of young and friendless females, from misery so entire, from ruin so beyond all hope. Oh! I would, in consideration of their youth, not far removed from childhood, I would call for
pathy, from the younger members of this congregation. The average time of life, of those who fly for refuge to this place, is not above from sixteen to seventeen years, at the most. What an age is this, when they implore some shelter from the pitiless storm, some compassion for their souls, to drive them off, and virtually to say; "You cannot return ;-it is vain for you to think of ever being restored to virtue, to happiness, and to God;-between you and them there is a great gulph fixed - they are lost to you for ever—you have sinned beyond redemption!" O my youthful friends, living, as you are, under the sheltering wing of parents, who would not that the winds of heaven should visit your face too roughly-you who have all the blessings, which care and love imply, strewed, with an unsparing hand, around you-you, (and, oh! may there be many such here!) who, in addition to, and above all the blessings of this life, can render thanks to God, that you were
early taught to know, and love, and fear him :Who, I say, made you to differ? Who set his love upon you, and called you by his grace? Who gave his angels charge concerning you, to keep you in all your ways? Oh! then, you will not say, because these young creatures have sinned against Heaven, and against those laws which you hold dearer than life, that they are excluded from all share in your compassion, and from that sympathy, which I trust misery will be sure to find, in hearts like yours. Think of him, who came down from the true holy of holies, to seek and to save lost and unhappy sinners. Think of him, who was purer than the streams that flow from Paradise, and who said to the woman taken in adultery, "Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more." Remember him, who forgave you what you could not pay; and then have compassion on your fellow-servant, even as he had pity on thee. Remember that those for whom I plead, are destitute of all you most prize in life. Home, and all the recollections which that magic name calls forth-the haunts of innocence the friends and companions of their childhood all these are to them, as if they had never been; or, rather, I should say, they cannot but remember, that such things were. And will not you, whose hearts now glow with the warmth of youth, feel for those whose morning of life is
thus uncheered, thus wrapped in darkness, clouds, and thick darkness? You may not, from your age, have the command of money for such occasions: but can your parents refuse, if you beseech them by that love they bear to you, and by the love they bear to him who gave himself for you and them, to have pity upon the destitutes, who stand imploring at these gates of mercy? Oh! one look from you, might do more, than all the arguments and exhortations I could use.
And to you, who are parents, I would say,while you are daily blessed with those olive branches around your table, shew your gratitude to God, by imitating his compassion. Think of parents less happy than yourselves. Think of those, whose children have wounded them in the tenderest point, and upon whom God has laid the greatest, perhaps, of all afflictions. too harshly, as if the fault was theirs.
race is not" always "to the swift, nor the battle to the strong." And, perhaps, while I am interceding with you, for these daughters of affliction, I am interceding, in some instances, for the child of many prayers. Though banished, by a necessary severity, from a father's house, she is not forgotten there. She is not forgotten, at the morning and evening sacrifice. When the little flock are assembled at the family altar, the one
lost and straying sheep, is remembered, in supplication, before the Lord. He is implored still to watch over her, in that far country in which she wanders: nay, perhaps, this very sabbath, a prayer has been offered, that God would guide her footsteps to some house of refuge, and provide her a shelter and a sanctuary, there. Oh! may that prayer be heard - may it pierce the cloudsmay it move the hand that moves the world, and that can touch the springs of compassion in your breast! Oh! may it appear, this day, to all, and may angels report the news in heaven, that this assembly has manifested itself to be a Christian congregation; not only the worshippers, but the followers of him who came "to heal the brokenhearted to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind — to set at liberty them that are bruised to preach the acceptable year of the Lord!"
GALATIANS, vi. 14.
"GOD FORBID THAT I SHOULD GLORY, SAVE IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BY WHOM THE WORLD IS CRUCIFIED UNTO ME, AND I UNTO THE WORLD."
SUCH a declaration comes with full force from St. Paul; because he was, perhaps, as highly gifted, and as eminently distinguished, as any mere man that ever lived. And of this he was himself quite conscious. "If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh," saith he, "I more: of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews." But these envied distinctions - all his labours as an Apostle- his abundant revelations-his ascent above the bounds of nature, into the third heavens ; — all these he counted as less than nothing, yea, even as dung and dross, in comparison with the cross of Christ.
How, then, could St. Paul glory in a thing so vile; in a thing, which to the eye of flesh and blood appeared so humiliating, and so dishonourable to his blessed Master?