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moulding material elements, the pious soul recognizes God and His will in all things. Religion cannot fail to give you elevated thoughts, holy feelings, and divine joys in the most humble post -in the most common occupation.
You will have enjoyment in solitude. Are you far from friends? Have you been deprived of them by death? In retirement, and in a desolate state, you cannot be alone: your God will be with you. Remember His most intimate presence to your souls, and loneliness will not be oppressive to you, and bereavement will lose much of its anguish. You will rejoice, though you walk over a desert : you will sing praises, though you are in a dungeon.
You will have enjoyment in distress. Religion is a faithful friend: she will never forsake you: and she will be nearest to you when other friends may be most distant from you. You will hear her voice, and feel her power, and receive her consolations, in the days of your greatest necessity. In the time of sickness, pain, and languor, in the sombre shades that mark the evening of life, and when death approaches, you will not be left comfortless. You will know where to look, and
upon whom to depend.
You will have enjoyment as you anticipate eternity. Redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, sanctified by His Spirit, and walking with God in holiness, obedience, and resignation, the unending ages of an unchangeable eternity present to your undeceiving hope a day without clouds, joy without sorrow, bliss without bitterness, perfection without alloy.
To what, I ask, does the suffering, the warfare, the activity, the enjoyment of the true Christian lead? Let the words of our blessed Lord be the answer—"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” -Surely it may now be said, that piety is "the whole of man”-his honour and happiness; the life, and safety, and blessedness, and perfection of the soul, amidst the changes of this mortal existence and the disclosures of eternity.
Thus I would call upon you, my young readers, to reflect on piety in the completeness that belongs to it.
Cherish no fine fancies : rush into no extremes: but learn to consider things, as much as possible, such as they are; such as you will find and feel them. Suffer with patience, fight the good fight with courage, act with diligence, enjoy with gratitude. Then your happiness will abound -not the happiness of angels, unmingled and unceasing—but the happiness of true believers, always mingled, sometimes interrupted, but which ere long will be exchanged for the perfect felicity of heaven.
“O Almighty and most merciful God, of Thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech Thee, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that Thou wouldest have done; through Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen.
O Holy and Gracious God, help me to think with adoring joy and gratitude on Thy goodness towards me in making me spiritually acquainted with the Gospel of Christ. I might have still been a thoughtless trifler, living in sin, and enjoying the transitory pleasures of this world. But, O Lord, the desire of my soul is to Thee, and to the remembrance of Thy Name. O enable me to form just views of religion, and always to entertain them, that I may not wander and mistake, but proceed in the way of truth consistently and steadfastly. As I am called to suffer, let me not sink under any trial, but endure with patience. As the true Christian life is a warfare, may I resist every foe, and finally be more than conqueror.
As I am called to activity, enable me to use all my time, powers, and talents faithfully in Thy service. As I am called to enjoyment, let me partake of the joys of religion with thankfulness. In all circumstances, whether prosperous or adverse in human view, let me be
fully persuaded that true piety is the glory and happiness of man; his life, peace, honour, and blessedness, through time and eternity: and grant that through Thy grace I may order my conversation in agreement with this persuasion. Let no enemy prevail against me. Let me be never improperly influenced by any thing that I hear. Enlightened in mind, and convinced in judgment, and knowing where my resources are, grant that I may always go forward in the divine life, abounding more and more in true excellence, both in the principles and in the fruits of unfeigned piety, to Thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
“ A few forsake the throng ; with lifted eyes
“Unreserved obedience is the only test of the power of true religion, and of the inward sanctification of the heart. Let not the world, and its crooked interests retain you within the unhallowed circle of its attractions. Beware lest your apparent policy and advantages cause you to walk in a different path from that which can alone lead you to heaven, through Him who is the way, and the truth, and the life.”
Buddicom's Christian Exodus.
WHATEVER varieties of character exist among men, they are reducible to two classes; for all men are either godly or ungodly, holy or unholy, good or wicked, with true piety, or without: there is no third class: and these two classes are essentially distinct from each other, as to views, principles, feelings, objects, conduct, and end.