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self. Let him reflect what it is to blast the hopes of long indulged expectation ; to repay the cares of infancy with scorn and ingratitude; . to wound the quiet of declining age, and bring down gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. If these thoughts are not sufficient to stop him in his career of wickedness, all that remains for the poor afflicted parent is in bitterness of heart to curse the day in which he was born; to lament that the pangs she endured at his birth were infinitely inferior to those she now feels; and, weeping over her abandoned child, to address him in the piercing language of our Saviour: “ If thou hadst known, even thou, in “ this thy day, the things which belong to " thy peace! but now they are hid from thine .“ eyes!”
You then that are just entering upon life, will do well to consider these things seriously with yourselves. Stand still, therefore, for a moment, and reflect, before you begin your course, that you may be able to run it with joy. Be assured, that much depends upon it; your own welfare here, the confort of your friends, and, what is above all, your eternal state hereafter.
: You are at present happy: be assured, that that happiness is the effect of your innocence, Preserve that innocence as you advance in life, and you will be happy still. But the moment you give way to guilt, you will let in a flood of cares and misery upon your souls, which will drown you in perdition.
You will find a dangerous and deceitful world to encounter. It has its smiles, and it has its frowns; it will become you, therefore, to prepare your soul for temptation in both: but neither let the one allure, nor the other terrify you, out of your integrity. Keep innocency, and take heed to the thing that is right. Look up to the God of your fathers, and take heed to your ways, according to his word, and you have nothing to fear. He will be a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempeet; his faithfulness shall be your shield and buckler.
And may the God of all mercy teach us alt so to consider them, that we may in earnest apply our hearts unto wisdom; that neither the splendor of any thing that is great, nor the conceit of any thing that is good in us, may withdraw our eyes from looking upon ourselves as sinful dust and ashes; but that we may press forward to the mark of the prize of our high
calling in Christ Jesús our Lord, in faith and patience, in humility and meekness, in charity and self-denial ; that, when this short and sinful life is ended, we may reign with God, in glory everlasting!
HEBREWS xii. 2.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of:
our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
IT is of all consolations, to a considerate 1 mind, the greatest and most powerful, that there is a God in heaven that ruleth over all the jarring and distracted scenes of this lower world ;-a God, without whose concurrence no power can reach us, no change or chance can befal us, and on whose goodness we may safely rely, as directing all things with an impartial hand, and for the best and most salutary purposes. And yet, in the common conduct of human life, how little do we see of that patience and resignation, which such a consideration ought to inspire! How little do we see of that lowliness of mind and submission, with which the creature ought ever to bow down before his VOL. II.
Creator ;-of that humility and meekness, with which the dark glimmerings of human wisdom should bend to the all-surveying brightness of divine omniscience! On the contrary, we are ever attempting to fathom with the scanty line of finite knowledge, the unfathomable depths of immensity; we are ever ready to break out into the murmurs of impiety, or sink into the abyss of despair; we are ever disposed to impeach the decrees of unerring wisdom, and arraign the sentence of impartial justice; and in all the misfortunes we suffer, instead of looking up to the God of consolation with submissive eyes, and a heart full of contrition for those sins which have justly drawn down his heavy displeasure, the unfortunate are rather disposed to charge him as a hard and cruel master, who loves tó sport with the unoffending work of his hands, and willingly afflicts the children of men.
“ Have we not,” say they, “ without any « fault of ours, experienced, even from our " cradles, nothing but calamities, afflictions, "and pains ? Were we not left orphans in our " infancy;-no tender inother to cherish us in
her bosom, no prudent father to conduct “our steps through the follies of youth, and "shield our inexperience from the frauds and