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sun shines, and when the gale is mild not as a stormy day, when the lightning flashes, and the thunder roars, and the torrents descend. While, therefore, I would direct them to the solemn and sublime, to the sacred and lovely things of religion, I spend no time in collecting the flowers of rhetoric, or in reducing sentences to harmony.
Let these introductory remarks suffice. As I address you with tenderness and affection, though with great plainness and honesty, and with a sincere desire to promote your present and eternal happiness, let me indulge the hope that you will consider with serious and candid minds what I
I now commend
work to God in humble and earnest prayer,
“Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings with Thy most gracious favour, and further us with Thy continual help; that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy Holy Name, and finally by Thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen.
Q Blessed God, from whom cometh every good gift and every perfect gift! our best endeavours to promote the glory of Thy Name, and the salvation of immortal souls, are utterly vain and fruitless without Thy especial grace and blessing : may it please Thee favourably to regard this humble effort to advance the interests of true religion ; and to make it the means of exciting many of the rising generation to renounce error, the world, and vanity; to remember their Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier in their early days; and to choose that good part which shall never be taken from them.
Look in mercy, O Lord, on all young persons, and pour upon them, in rich abundance, the manifold gifts of Thy Holy Spirit ; that they may not yield to the follies and passions of their inexperienced minds and hearts; but may become true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be diligent and faithful followers of Him. Keep them, O Lord, from the sins and dangers to which they are peculiarly exposed in an evil and ensnaring world. Make them considerate and serious, humble and devout; and enable them so to give up themselves to Thee and to Thy service, that they may say in afterlife, in the joy and gratitude of their hearts, that they have feared the Lord from their youth.
Be pleased, gracious Father, to deliver those of the young
who are virtuous and amiable from the mistakes and delusions to which they are particularly liable. Enlighten their minds and enliven their hearts, that they may see and feel that human virtue is not divine grace; that mere pleasing dispositions are not spiritual affections, and that mere amiable conduct is not Christian obedience. Suffer them not to trust in themselves, as though they were righteous : but grant that they may truly know themselves as sinful creatures, and be excited to seek unfeigned piety.
Blessed be Thy Name for the privileges that we enjoy in this favoured land; for the Scriptures, the public ordinances of religion, and all other means of spiritual improvement. May it please Thee, 0 Lord, of Thy great goodness, to make us all wise to see, and diligent to use, our inestimable blessings, that we may not bring upon ourselves aggravated condemnation. Prosper all efforts that are made for the diffusion of Thy saving truth among the different classes of mankind-among the rich and poor, the old and young. Grant, if it be Thy good pleasure, that the readers of these pages may be led by Thy grace to enter into the ways of wisdom in their early years. May they escape the various corruptions that are in the world, and continually advance in piety; abounding here in the fruits of righteousness, and finally obtaining everlasting blessedness, through Jesus Christ our only Lord and Saviour. Amen.
“ Then grudge not thou the anguish keen
Which makes thee like thy Lord,
Thy youth's ideal hoard.
Unmurmuring let them go,
“Learn the blessedness of having God for your Father, and his kingdom as the home of your future rest. So, while others are wildly pursuing a gilded shadow, which the night of death will ere long shroud in everlasting darkness, you will attain a portion in the felicities above, substantial as the new heavens in which you, will dwell, and enduring as the days of eternity.”
Buddicom's Christian Exodus.
The importance of youth with respect to the formation of character, is universally admitted : and this conviction is acted upon by all prudent persons, as to the affairs of the present life. But why is it not acted upon in matters of the highest moment ? Surely children ought to be instructed, in a manner and measure suitable to their tender years, to fear and love God; to trust in Christ and to love Him;
to think rightly of the great Sanctifier; to have some just notions of themselves, of this life, of sin, of piety, of duty, and of the prospects that lie before them in the unseen world. Shall we be always putting off religion to a future period, both as to ourselves, and as to those who are most dear to us? But my
business here is with the young themselves.- If you postpone attention to religion until you are grown up, you will then probably postpone it until you are grown old : and then, more probably still, the all-important subject will never be regarded. Waste your early days in common frivolity; and your minds will soon be filled with errors, prejudices, and worldly views, and your hearts will be thoroughly imbued with a worldly taste, The moral field within, to speak so, will soon abound with brambles and noxious weeds. Every chamber of the breast (to change the image) will be filled with loved, cherished, and enthroned idols. The understanding will become impervious to the light of truth; and the affections will be alienated from sacred things in proportion as they are attached to worldly objects. To delay attention to religion in youth is, in fact, to form habits and a frame of spirit directly opposed to it; and to consign yourselves to the dominion of all your spiritual enemies.
You admit that religion is a subject of the first importance, and that it ought to be seriously considered by you in your early days. I can easily