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will be succeeded by endless remorse. Dare to be singular in this age of degeneracy, and be determined to possess that internal felicity which arises from reconciliation with God, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, which will stand the test, when the day of trial comes, and will rise in value, and expand into finer ramifications of delight, as the heavens pass away, as the elements melt, and as the earth dissolves.
“ If I were asked for a sight the most interesting and the most lovely; I would say, 'tis a young man, fearing God, and walking in the ways of wisdom, in the midst of a revolted world. One diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, conscious of the divine favour. This is crowning himself with rose buds, and letting no flowers of the spring pass by him. For, though it is becoming fashionable in this extraordinary age, to assume a form of godliness while the power of it is regarded as a species of modern fanaticism, yet I hope that you are not carried away with the general delusion, but still admit that it is a consciousness of living in daily communion with God, that constitutes the essence of religious enjoyment.
This is the point where most men err. They will consent to a diligence in business, but not to a fervency in spirit, serving the Lord. What God hath joined together, they will dare to put asunder, and pursue the objects of this world with increasing avidity, whilst this fervency of spirit is either utterly unknown, or positively disregarded; verily they have their reward; but what is that reward ? Is it the peace which passeth all understanding; is it the joy which is unspeakable and full of glory; is it the sublime extasy of the mind which passes over the boundary of time, to rest and expatiate in the life to come ? Alas !
Their reward is not endowed with such fine elementary properties, but is earthly and sensual. God, the Author of every good, is not in all their thoughts. They are estranged from him. His honour; the grandeur and worth of the soul; the re
demption made by Jesus Christ; the bliss and glory of the heavenly state are altogether overlooked in their hot pursuit after earthly things; surely if angels ever weep, it is at such a sight. If the silence of deep amazement ever reign over their exalted sphere, it is when looking down
• To see a soul, a soul immortal spending all her fires,
Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness,
For what, after all, is this mighty prize when attained? The lapse of many long, fatiguing, and perplexing years, (it may be,) brings the golden harvest in view; it is reaped and gathered in : but what is its amount found to be? 'Tis a lying vanity, a deceitful dream, a complete deception. The successful candidate is awfully disappointed; placed as far, or farther, from the point of true happiness, as he was the first day he set out on the vain pursuit. • He called his wish ; it came: be sent it back, and then he called another; that arrived : he still calls on, till death call him, who varies not his call.' Ought we to be surprised, if such a man reach the end of life quite anfurnished for that world to come? Ought we to be surprised, if a horror of great mental darkness seize him, just as he is leaving all his earthly possessions, to give an account of his stewardship? • For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or, what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?-Matt. xvi. 26.
“ Lean not, my friend, on earth, 'twill pierce thee to the heart. If the mind be happy, the man is happy, wot otherwise. Where shall wisdom (that is true bliss) be found ? Riches say, It is not in me; honour says, It is not in me; pleasure says, It is not in me. • The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil, that is understanding.'
“ It would give me great pleasure, if I could in any way contribute to your true happiness. For this end it is true I have endeavoured to set before you some
of the dangers to which your are exposed, and have pointed out the way of escape. Permit me, before I close this letter, just to remind you of a few of the obligations you are laid under from your advantages, and the high responsibility which is attached to ? them.
“ The rising generation, you know, are destined ere long to be masters of the world; and ought not every one who is coming forward in life, to feel a tremulous anxiety for the moral improvement and social harmony of the world? Is not his own honour and happiness necessarily involved in it? Your example, from the station which you occupy, will have a powerful effect on the principles and habits of those by whom you are surrounded. • One sinner,' says unerring truth, · destroyeth much good.' And will you, my dear friend, signalize yourself as a destroyer rather than a benefactor? Shall your career through life be traced by the moral devastations of lewdness and scepticism, rather than the triumph of virtue and piety? I hope not.
“I hope by your reverence for revealed truth, by your regard for the sanctity of the sabbath, and your attendance on the appointed means of religious instruction, by the chasteness of your conversation, and by a uniform display of a holy, benevolent, amiable, and Christian disposition, you will prove a blessing to that circle in which you move ; and thus glorify God in your body and spirit, which are his. And does not your elevation in society place you under an imperative obligation to do this ?. You ought never to forget that the same Divine Providence which has raised you above others, might with equal justice have reversed that appointment, so that on the same spot you might have appeared a poor, desolate, and neglected child.
“ So again, you should recollect, • I am not only á. son but the eldest son of the family; and may I not expect that the younger children will look up to me for direction and example ? Methinks I hear you say, with emotions of fraternal love, Nor shall they
look in vain.' Consider your obligations to your kind and affectionate parents; how tenderly have they dealt with you; how kindly and anxiously have they watched over your rising years ; what cares, and pains, and solicitudes have they borne
on your account; the very idea of grateful filial recompence must swell your breast with a glow of delight; whilst the most distant prospect of causing them a moment's anguish appals the mind with chilling horror. Yes, I am persuaded it will be your highest ambition to repay them with the grateful return of filial love and obedience. And what a high satisfaction will it afford them, to see you walking worthy of your situation, pious, amiable, useful, approved of God, and acceptable to men.
“ You may one day have children of your own, and then you may expect from them a like return. May you, my dear friend, never be deprived of that heartfelt pleasure which I have often enjoyed in a churchyard's solitary walk, sweetly conversing with the dead, and reflecting ;-There lie the remains of a once loved and affectionate parent, whom I delighted to honour, whom I feared to offend, whose peace mind I dared not destroy, whose happiness I studied to promote.. Yonder rests in peace an endeared sister, whose sorrows and whose joys I always shared, whose interests and well-being were near my heart, and with whom from childhood I never had a misunderstanding. These are pure enjoyments, which can be appreciated only by those who possess them.
“ Thus you see how freely I unbosom my mind to you, in order to stimulate your exertions, in moving your emulation to begin life well, in order to end it well. Should some things which I have advanced appear ambiguous, or should they, oppose your habits aud inclinations, do not reject them in haste, but put this letter by, and read it over at some future period. It may speak when I cannot: your are beginning life, I am ending it, and hope ere long to bid as happy a farewell to it, as I have lived happy in it. I have welcomed its social comforts, and enjoyed them in
greater abundance than most; and when I leave them, it will not be with regret, but with expectations, not the giving up of pleasures, but exchanging them for joy unspeakable and full of glory.
“ Yours, &c.
In the next number, some of the popular charges against Evangelical Religion will be examined and repelled,
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