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have over their hearts, to draw gree engaged towards the creature. them off from all serious attention Hence, could ministers and Christo those things which make for tian parents prevail, they would at their everlasting peace. Here, all times warn the younger part of alas! the enemy is but too success- their charge to shun every advance, ful. Here it is that the pastor to avoid every step which would trembles for the lambs of his flock. break in on their peace of mind Here it is that he has to lament and spiritual progress, by allowing over many that once bid fair for their affections to fix on any perheaven, but now seem rather to son until Providence seemed to prefer the paths of the destroyer. present an object desirous of their What often makes the danger two- love, and worthy of their esteem, fold greater to these young females, as being likely to promote their and consequently enhances, the present comfort and eternal happipastor's anxiety for their souls, is, ness. When that in sound judgthat
many of their parents, being ment appears to be the case, paworldly, ignorant, and perhaps pro- rents would do well not to interfane characters themselves, neither pose unnecessary hindrances, or see the peril nor impropriety of excite petty objections to the comtheir children associating, at an pletion of the parties' wishes, but early age, with almost any young rather to promote them, that they man who
address them. If might serve the Lord without the suitor be not a most vile and distraction.” It has been the wrinotorious character, they see no- ter's practice, ever since he entered thing to object to. They have no the ministry, to meet the senior idea that their daughters can suffer girls, female teachers, and some from such an acquaintance, and of their mothers and elderly neighperhaps they actually approve of bours, on the Sunday evenings, bethe young man's worldly senti- tween six and eight o'clock; when ments more than of their daughter's instruction is communicated in a religious ones.
All this is certain- more familiar way, and admonily the case in many, very many fa- tions given in a closer manner, and milies, in our villages and hamlets. with a more personal application, What, then, is the natural conse- than would be proper at church. quence of all these unhappy cir- Here the duties these young people cumstances? No other than the have to perform, the snares they falling back into the world of many have to shun, the tempers they a young person who, but for form- have to cultivate, the associates ing such acquaintances, would, hu- they should choose, and the chaste, manly speaking, have gone on in and modest, and moral path they the ways of godliness, established are called upon by God to pursue, their characters among the wisest are brought forward with as much and best of their neighbours, distinctness as is proper. Somestrengthened the hands of their mi- times the history of pious young nisters, have been useful in their women, who have warred a good day and generation; and, finally, warfare, and finished their course whether they died unmarried, or with joy, is brought forward to aniwere united to a suitable character mate and instruct them; at other in wedlock, would have departed times, examples of those who once full of that hope which maketh not run well, but were afterwards enashamed. It is no easy matter for snared and carried down the stream the devoutest young person to give of iniquity, and perished in their the Lord that place in the heart sins, or at least departed full of which he demands, when the af- bitter anguish and almost in despair, fections are in any considerable de- are produced to warn and alarm
them. In one word, decision of ger, and their desire of an interest character, and consistency in their in Christ Jesus and his great salgeneral conduct, are here pressed vation. In some instances, I have home on their consciences as ab- had cause to fear that the Holy solutely necessary to their present Spirit has been quite taken from comfort and eternal felicity. The them; for while they have acted so reflecting reader will not be sur- as to bring a scandal even on the prised to hear, that these little ser- female sex, they have lived
appavices become a kind of winnowing rently unmindful of what either fan, which separates the chaff from God or man thought of their conthe wheat. It is here I discover duct. But one thing is. worthy of the painful symptoms of the world, remark: that as far as my own obof the flesh, and of the devil's suc- servations have gone, with only one cess in alienating the once attentive exception, every individual who mind from ministerial instructions, has thus turned away from God and drawing it off from holy, per- has incurred either disgrace of severing, christian practice. No character, or lasting misery and sooner do I perceive a listlessness distress. Those who have, as it in their manner, and an irregu- were, courted seduction, have been larity in their attendance here, seduced and become quite harthan experience has taught me
dened. Others, who were kept where to look for the cause. My from such depths of evil, but who observations on improper dress, would associate and intermarry and on the absolute necessity of with irreligious characters, have shunning vain and ungodly com- given a death-blow to all their panions at all times, and especially comforts on earth. Their partners on the sabbath, are found to dis- have uniformly turned out unkind, please the wavering part of my nay cruel husbands; and while in young charge; and, on inquiry, I several instances I hope the Lord always find they are actually fall- has not quite forgotten to be graing into the very evils which I have cious to the unhappy womens' souls, warned and entreated them to he has, undoubtedly, made their escape. For a time, there seems sins and backslidings their severest to be a struggle between the con- chastisement. Poor unhappy wovictions of conscience, and the de- men! Now it is too late to remedy vices and desires of the flesh. And the evil, they but too severely feel it may be some weeks or months the many and great sorrows that an before they can quite shake off irreligious husband brings into the their respect for their minister, and house of one who once sought the their fear of God; but in many, Lord, and who, it may be, again very many cases, the work is com
wishes to return like the prodigal son pletely done in half a year's time; to his father's house, but is opposed so that they can absent themselves and hindered in a thousand ways altogether from our school, dress by her profane husband. Often do in a tawdry manner, and flirt about these men forbid their wives to atthe village on a Sunday evening tend the means of grace, and, as with young men, who, to say the far as in them lies, they exclude least of them, have no fear of God both minister and serious neighbefore their eyes, and whose per- bours from their houses. And is suasions lead these unhappy per- this the object, the idol for whose sons first to turn their backs on sake any once promising and naGod, in absenting themselves from turally amiable girl has turned her our evening parties, and then gra- back on God? Yes, this is the dually to overcome all their con- individual who was to make her victions of sin, their sense of dan- completely happy. Follow this
man, and you will see him through arising too from that very quarter one part of the day spending his where they had calculated on reapmoney in the alehouse; and during ing so much happiness? the other, .cursing and swearing, The case that formed an excepand reeling in drunkenness about tion must not be passed over in sihis own, half starving his children lence; for although that individual for want of that money which he has did not tarnish her character with squandered in his brutal excesses, the world, nor encoupter domestic and abusing and beating her who wretchedness, yet her soul was, gave up God and conscience to be and I believe still is, in the utmost his. This is not overcharging the peril of being lost. Miss L. had, picture. I could take any friend up to the time of becoming acto, alas! but too many cottages, quainted with Mr. S., maintained where all I have said is verified so much of the steady Christian every week. No doubt but Satan character, as to encounter much leads on many to continue such im- barshness from her father. She, proper acquaintances, and to form however, would not join their routs, such unfit connexions, under the of the gay parties that survisionary expectation of being in- rounded her. She dressed as bestrumental in reforming those ha- came a disciple of Christ, and went bits in their suitors which they can- about doing good, and associated not but see and condemn in their with the wise and good only. She sober moments. Yes, they argue bore reproach for Christ's sake as to themselves, they shall have so became one of his followers, and much influence, and the individual was the joy and rejoicing of my makes such promises, and perhaps brother clergyman, B.
Mr. s. has already reformed in part, that her suitor was a very gentlemanly, they doubt not but time and good rich man, without one spark of management will complete all that religion. The family of Miss L. remains to be done. This is the considered it a very advantageous way they answer any objections of offer, and after a while she gave their friends, and silence any oc- him her hand, with, I believe, no casional fears that arise in their small portion of her heart. Conown minds. But I should wish to scious, however, that those who know, whether any one instance of have no religion of their own are such reformation has, under such not very partial to it in those concircumstances, ever taken place? nected with them, she had, preCertainly not within my observa- vious to her marriage, insisted on tion and inquiries. Nor can it be separate articles, legally drawn up expected. She who knows her and executed, declarative that she Lord's will, and deliberately breaks was never to be opposed or hinhis commands, can never expect dered in attending whatever means his blessing as the result of such of grace she wished to be present transgression. All that can be at. Mr. S. was very much of a hoped for is, that her offended Gallio ; he honestly signed the Lord will yet spare her soul, and deed, and I believe never attemptbring it forward through that scene ed to infringe on its provisions: nor, of earthly wretchedness which her indeed, was there any occasion for improper conduct has entailed on him to do so; for, melancholy to herself. This certainly is, in many state, within a short time after instances, found to be the case. their union, his once serious bride, But who, even in this case, would finding herself in possession of a not shudder at the prospect of such splendid establishment, and sura train of bitter afHictions becom- rounded with the gay friends of her ing their inheritance for life, and gay and rich husband, drank so rapidly into the spirit and folly of from me; though, I trust, I have the world as to whirl round in the not been altogether forgotten in same vortex without the smallest your prayers. I should not have reluctance. She even spent some taken the present liberty of writing, hours every day with a music-mas- did I not know that to hear of the ter, learning to play the harp and spiritual welfare of any individual sing fashionable airs and theatrical would give you great pleasure, and pieces. Of course, all her old ac- particularly of one who some years quaintance were given up, as her ago you so kindly instructed. It is pious habits were relinquished for now, I believe, eight or nine years those of the world. Such was the since you exhorted me to guard state of things when I last heard of against forming a connection with her family. How her course will any one whom I had not the strongfinally terminate, the Lord only can est reason to believe was decidedly tell.
religious. So little did I then Let this suffice to show how know of the deceitfulness of my much cause the minister, who loves own heart, or of the wiles of our his flock, and wishes to spend and great enemy, that I thought the be spent in their service, has to fear caution unnecessary. I felt so dethis perilous trial, which one day or cidedly fixed in my own mind, that other will fall in the way of all his I forgot the weakness of human reyoung people. Their inexperience, solution, and the many temptations and the native depravity of the heart, that daily beset our path. My expose
them to a host of adversa- dear and reverend friend, shall I ries; while, alas!
tell you, that this very temptation
had well nigh been the ruin of my “ Vice points them to a flowery vale, Where streams of pleasure seein to roll;
immortal soul! I blush to say, And every sweet, on erery gale,
that I became attached to one who Crowds through the senses to the soul. feared not God, who loved not the “ Imagination lends her aid
Lord Jesus Christ; and, as the To strengthen er'ry dangerous snare ; consequence of such an attachment, Till each fond flattering vision's fled,
I forgot that love to the Saviour And gives its victim to despair."
which once warmed my heart. Blessed be God, there are some Often, while indulging these sinful instances in which both the writer desires, would my heart smite me and his brethren in the ministry with the wickedness of my conduct have succeeded in putting their in backsliding from my God; but young hearers on their guard; and I tried to stifle the uneasy thought. in others they have been permitted I was not willing to pluck out the to see the deluded individuals break right eye, and to cut off the right through the snares that had for hand. Yes, I had wandered so awhile entangled and led them far in heart, that I did not even astray; and once more these wan- like to meet with any of God's dering lambs have been found in people. I well remember, I was the fold humbled, instructed, and afraid of hearing of your coming to more established than ever. Among ; I thought I could not look this number, I believe, the writer of you in the face. I forgot that my the following letter, which reached most secret thoughts were all open me very recently, may safely be in- before a holy God. But, I bless cluded. May the Lord have all God, I was not permitted to fall the glory!
into any outward flagrant sins.
Mercies and judgments passed beREV. SIR,
fore me, and even severe bodily “ You will, no doubt, be very afflictions hung over me; but I did much surprised at receiving a letter not return unto the Lord till abont
five months ago, when it pleased you will speak a word of warning God to call unto himself a near to other young females. Will you neighbour, a person about my own send another of your papers to the age; and, O my reverend friend, I Christian Guardian? * One on this wish I could display to you what subject, that others may guard passed in my mind on hearing and against this rock, on which I had seeing what occurred at that death- well nigh split? That work is read bed scene! I trust I shall never with the greatest interest among forget it. She died rejoicing in the us," &c. &c. Lord--in Jesus Christ, as her Saviour! Often have I read of such May the Lord keep and preserve deaths, but never was I so near a this young woman in her present witness before. Her prayers to
frame of mind; and may many be made pure and holy, as God is others of her sex be led, through pure and holy-her anxiety to have grace, to seek that power and wisno rival in her affections--her ear- dom from above which may prenest desire that she might but go serve them in the circumspect walk to her Saviour, and her firm de- of pure and undefiled religion, unpendence upon that Saviour—these spotted by the world, and at a disthings, by the blessing of God, tance from all that friendship which brought to my mind my former is enmity against God! May they hopes and fears respecting that ever remember, that there can be dear Redeemer; and created in no union of heart, and consequentmy mind most earnest desires, that ly no happiness, between a man I, who had so often forgotten my who fears not God, and a woman God, might be again permitted to who walks in his fear all the day renew my broken promises, and, long. “I speak as unto my chilby the strength of the blessed Spi- dren. Be ye not unequally yoked rit, be enabled to walk in newness together with unbelievers : for what of life. I hope and trust these de- fellowship hath righteousness with sires are not delusive; I hope they unrighteousness? And what comare the work of the same Spirit of munion hath light with darkness? God. I have been enabled altoge- And what concord hath Christ with ther to give up the acquaintance Belial ? or what part hath he that that led my heart astray. I feel believeth with an infidel? and what such earnest desires to be con- agreement hath the temple of God formed in all things to the will of with idols? for ye are the temple God-such constant fear lest I of the living God; as God hath should fall again--such earnest said, I will dwell in them, and prayer to be kept daily and hourly walk in them; and I will be their in the narrow path of religion, as, I God, and they shall be my people: think, I never did before. Do not wherefore come out from among these things, my reverend friend, them and be ye separate, saith the show the finger of God? Are they Lord, and touch not the unclean not the work of the Spirit?
thing; and I will receive
and I have taken the liberty of ad- will be a Father unto you, and ye dressing you, to beg your prayers shall be my sons and daughters, at a throne of grace, that I may saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Copersevere even unto the end; and rinth. vi. 13-18. also particularly to request, that