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THE

YOUNG

MAN

WHO

HAD

NO

DECISION.

cessful operation; and he and his Follow, follow, He is waiting family have become respectable citi. To conduct our steps above;zens of the United States. He is no There to share a Saviour's love.

Hope transcendent! thought elating !. longer, however, a worshiper of that strange phantom, "Liberty and Equality," for he has long since learned, that wealth and talents usefully directed, have, and ever must

“Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.” have, their proper influence and reward in all civilized communities.

WILLIAM B- was the son of J. B. B.

intelligent and truly excellent parents, who had made every arrangement for

his respectability and happiness, and USEFUL EXERCISES. No. IV.

who had uniformly taken the liveliest The first and fundamental article interest in his intellectual and moral of religion is the existence of God; progress; and yet, they had always “ for he that cometh to God, must deplored one thing_his utter want of believe that He is, and that He is a decision. There were no fixed prinrewarder of them that diligently seek ciples possessed. Every thing was him.” Heb. xi. 6. The doctrine of capricious, fluctuating, and unrethe Divine existence might be inferred solved. He would form plans, and and illustrated in a variety of ways start from them. He would decide from the works of God around us, on measures of importance ; but, withand within us. But instead of enu- out any valid reasons being entermerating all, let our next exercise tained, a thorough change would relate to the one most convincing; speedily be manifested in all his emoor, What is the most conclusive argu- tions, anxieties, and desires. His ment for the Divine Existence ? and, conduct was essentially marked by its What is the Scripture which confirms waywardness. Though a few that argument?

deeming qualities might have been possessed, yet the partial and occa

sional exhibition of these did not in(Lines suggested by reading Useful Exer- alter their opinion respecting him;

duce any of his judicious friends to cises, No. II.)

because there was a constant vacillaBROTHER pilgrims, onward wending ; Fellow mortals, kindred clay;

tion of sentiment, and a ceaseless Much is on the road depending

fluctuation in the current of his We select to be our way.

thoughts and determinations.

The parents of William expended Of the many paths diverging,

a considerable sum on his education, How to make “the blessed choice;' Is there no monition urging,

and intellectual training. They were No directing, guiding voice?

anxious that his knowledge should be

varied, accurate, and extensive; that Shun-it says-yon broad descending Course, where thoughtless thousands throng; and vigorously disciplined ; and that

his powers should be appropriately Whither, whither are they tending? Vice, alas, allures them wrong.

every thing should be done to elicit

the best properties and excellences of See the hand of faith is pointing

his mind. His memory, accordingly, To the path by virtue trod; There are happy spirits mounting,

was early exercised, and every effort Led by Jesus up to God.

was made to awaken his faculties.

re

THE RIGHT WAY.

were

He was supplied with appropriate and earnestly with him, and for him. They valuable books, and he enjoyed the uniformly took him with them to the advantages arising from having the house of God. They were much best masters. It was evident, how- gratified in ascertaining that he felt ever, after all the time consumed, considerable pleasure in hearing their after all the means employed, and beloved Minister. Still higher was all the expense incurred, that this their gratification, and still livelier young man made but comparatively was their gratitude, when they found trifling progress.

There no that he expressed a desire to become stores of information acquired. There a Sunday-school teacher. They was no precision in his views, no cherished the hope that serious and proportion or vigour in his powers, important impressions were produced no character of intellectual promise. on his mind, which would be permaHis reading had been productive of nently and inestimably beneficial. merely trifling benefit; and the utmost Accordingly, they were very desirous disappointment and mortification were of acquiescing in his views, and of experienced, especially by those who acceding to his wishes : he was rehad laboured so assiduously for his commended to their Pastor, and introhappiness, and who had felt so duced to a Sabbath-school. Thus he anxiously and tenderly for his wel- was admitted to a field of labour of fare. In the prosecution of all his the most interesting and momentous studies, William was capricious and character, in which all his energies irregular, nothing was fixed and de- might have been vigorously and useterminate. He rambled from one fully employed for God. For some subject, and one volume, to another, little period, William appeared to rein the most heedless and absurd man- alize pleasure in the prosecution of ner possible. There was no chain in his responsible engagements. He was his thoughts, no link in his inquiries, active in his efforts, and assiduous in no perseverance in his efforts and his attention to the company of investigations; all was broken, dis- “ young immortals” entrusted to his jointed, and confused; consequently, care. He seemed anxious to benefit surprise cannot be excited that his them, and to be instrumental in proacquisitions were so scanty, and that moting their moral and spiritual welso little benefit was reaped from all fare. Unhappily, however, for his the advantages he enjoyed. As it was own character and happiness, and for with his studies, so it was with regard the religious interests of others, these to religion. The intelligent and pious emotions were not permanent. His parents of William were exceedingly, goodness resembled the morning cloud, indeed supremely anxious, to see him --soon dissipated ; and his active effort truly devoted to God, concentrating was like the early dew,--soon exhaled; his energies for the advancement of all was short-lived and transient, conthe honour of the Saviour, and rising sequently almost nugatory and powup into life as a genuine and orna- erless. He began very speedily to mental member of the Church of flag in his managements and operaChrist. Hence they employed every tions. Complaints were broadly expossible means, in order that, by divine pressed, and he soon acknowledged agency, this end might be accom- his dislike to the ordinary routine and plished. They taught him, at an monotony of the Sunday-school. early period, to read the Holy Scrip- Little interest was felt in the children, tures. They prayed devoutly and and their religious instruction and

manner.

dedication to God were matters that was in William an utter want of awakened but a trifling degree of genuine religion. He had none of the sympathy and tenderness. William holy principles, the devout feelings, or soon manifested irregularity in attend- essential characteristics of the people ing his class, experienced inconsidera- of God. He had not left the world ble pleasure in meeting with his fellow- in thought, sentiment, or desire. He teachers, and conducted the business did not like to abandon its pleasures, of the school, when he did attend, in nor to give up its votaries. He the most mechanical and apathetic was unwilling to endure the taunts

There were no devout emo- and revilings of his young friends and tions, no holy aspirations, no fer- companions, who despised religion ; vent and importunate intreaties for a and he had not that decision of chaspecial blessing from the God of grace racter, and firmness of

purpose, which and salvation : when he came to the would enable him to meet their reschool he came without prayer and proaches with composure,— feeling that without enjoyment: if he made any he was in the path of duty, and in the effort, it was done in so cold and so way marked out by Christ for his uncertain a manner, that the effect disciples. Thus William evinced that was feeble, and, indeed, rendered he was devoid of the Spirit of Jesus almost powerless. William became and his followers ; that he was destinot only dissatisfied with the Sabbath- tute of the self-denial, and the selfschool, and was capricious in his at- renunciation, which the word of God tendance, but he began to manifest requires, -and had never taken

up his indifference towards his Minister, and cross at all ; in a word, that he was the place of worship where so much entirely without decision in relation to good was accomplished, and where the care of the soul, the glory of his parents had long been accustomed Christ, and the realities of eternity. to hear and enjoy the word of God. Thus every thing in his character was He thought he should like to attend without influence or beauty, and some other sanctuary, listen to ano- every thing in his exertions was ther Minister, and meet with another without effect. His want of decicongregation. Faults were discovered siveness was “the dead fly in the pot in his fellow-teachers, and in his Pas- of ointment;"—it was not only untor, which he had never perceived be- sightly, but was positively injurious ; fore. He began to be captious, car--it marred and ruined all. ping, and ungenerous in his feelings Young men ! if you wish to be and observations. He was easily respected by the intelligent, esteemed offended. He could not brook con- by the excellent, and loved by the tradiction; and when opposed he was truly pious, be characterized by your not only warm, but vehement. He decision, especially with regard to reabandoned the school. He became ligion. Let your principles be imashamed of his fellow labourers. He bibed then, and let them be calmly discarded the ministry of his Pastor ; and boldly avowed. Let your habits and exhibited, in the clearest and be active, virtuous, and pure; and ilmost convincing manner, that he was lustrate them in a quiet and unprea mere idle, empty, and irregular pro- tending, still, in a very decisive, manfessor. Indecision, it was evident, ner. Beware of capriciousness ! Bespoiled all : every arrangement was ware of being ashamed of your views altered, every promise was broken, and opinions :-if they are excellent every effort was frustrated. There why should you? Beware of trim

ming, to please an ignorant, selfish, tile, the thoughtless, and the more and corrupt world! If you are un- openly vicious. The ardour of youthdecided, you will have no moral ful passions, the high promises held beauty, and exhibit no religious at-out by the world and sin, and even tractions. Besides, what influence the very novelty of forbidden gratifican you exert, and what good can cations, all concur to render the season you effect in the family, in the church, of youth the most important and the or in the world ? If not disesteemed, most dangerous. Almost every tempyou will be always suspected. Your tation meets with a friend in the boplans will have no vigour, and your la- som of the young man; and hence bours will have no effect. There will “ his steps are always ready to slide.” be nothing ornamental associated with It becomes such to attend to the yourselves, nothing permanently be- words of wisdom, which at once exneficial conferred on those around you. pose the danger, and point to the And how can you at all honour that means of defence from it. " WhereSaviour who requires us to leave the withal shall a young man cleanse his world, to follow him, to bear his way? By taking heed thereto accross, to live to him, and to be ever cording to thy word.” ready to suffer for His sake ?

Among the evil influences always Young men ! are you decided for in operation to induce the young to God? Inquire, if you are not, where neglect every religious duty, and to is the beauty of your character ? repress every serious thought, the where is the usefulness of your lives ? society into which too many of them where is

s your hope in relation to are thrown, is not the least. From eternity?

W. very many circles in all ranks, every

thing bearing the least resemblance to genuine piety, is systematically excluded; and epithets are sought out

to render that, on which God puts (From Davis's Narrow Way; or, Directions the highest honour, degrading and to the Young.)

contemptible. Methodism, fanaticism, Let me urge upon your attention and enthusiasm, do not, indeed, define the vast importance of every thing or describe that which gives such inefwhich in any way relates to pure and fable disgust. These epithets serve undefiled religion.

only to evince the malignity of those The temptations of the young to who employ them, while they fail to the entire neglect of religion are nu- give any accurate idea of that against merous and powerful; many are which they are levelled. There are overcome and led captive by them. few young persons who think, and a With the light, the trifling, the vain, yet smaller number who examine for and the dissipated, the work of temp- themselves. Even the man is too tation is easy ; the victory is sure often the mere creature of prejudices: before the attack is begun. They can we therefore wonder that the are inveigled, and taken, and de- youth is influenced by appearances stroyed, as the thoughtless bird is rather than realities? If we would ensnared by the craft of the fowler. be wise, even for time, it becomes us And it too frequently happens, that to think for ourselves: how much those of whom better things were an- more important is it for us to do so in ticipated, fall a prey to the very same that which relates to eternity! The allurements which beguile the vola- prejudices against correct conduct in

RELIGION.

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the affairs of this life are few in num- ners, “ fools.” It is said of the Most ber, and confined certain classes, High, that “He taketh not pleasure and these the most degraded in the in fools ;” and the Psalmist teaches scale of society! but the prejudices us, that it is "the fool that hath said against genuine piety are very nume- in his rt, There is no God.” Let rous, and to be met with in every it be remembered, that it is not the circle. He who imbibes them swims outward act of sin merely, that meets with the stream, and his progress is the eye and calls down the vengeance without effort; but he who opposes of heaven ; but even the thought of them, resists the influence of the iniquity, “the imaginations of the world, and he will find himself en- heart, ,” that are perceived in their gaged in a conflict which requires secrecy by Him who "knoweth what courage, constancy, and perseverance. is in man.” These evil principles He will have to encounter and stem and workings are equally hateful in a torrent; for “wide is the gate and his view, with those acts of transbroad is the way that leadeth to de-gression which both heaven and struction, and many there be which earth concur in condemning. The go in thereat ; because strait is the emotion of anger, known only to gate and narrow is the way which him who indulges in it; the impure leadeth unto life, and few there be thought, locked up in the secret that find it.'

chambers of the breast; the vain and It is obvious that there are certain lofty imagination, cherished when no sentiments and pursuits which are so eye is on the self-deceiver, are fully flagrantly wrong, so inconsistent with exposed to the inspection of that eye, every principle of sound morality, to which “hell and the grave are that the very enunciation of them in- open," and from which “destruction volves their condemnation. What hath no covering." can be said in praise, or even in palliation of the following: “ Pleasure is the chief good;" " Revenge is sweet;”.

Humility is unsuitable to a being of such high destinies as man ;

Let us hope that in the following us eat and drink, for to-morrow we account of the wall of China, given die?" And what can be said in de- by a Catholic Prelate, we behold an fence of the practice of the drunkard earnest of the downfall of that and the glutton; or in vindication of mightier barrier of prejudice and his pursuits who is a votary of sen- ignorance, which has so long made sual gratifications ? To prove to China inaccessible to the Gospel :you, my young friend, that these On the 7th of October, 1834, we would be injurious to your character, arrived at the great wall, so highly that they are condemned by the well- extolled by those who know nothing disposed among your fellow-creatures, about it, and so emphatically deand are hateful in the view of the scribed by those who have never seen Most High, would be to waste your

it. This and the other wonders of time in seeking to convince you of China should only be seen in pictures that of which you cannot for a mo- to maintain their reputation. The ment entertain a doubt.

great wall has nothing remarkable Every kind of sin and folly is but its length, which is about fifteen hateful in the sight of God. He calls hundred miles : its principal direction sin, "folly ;” and he designates sin- is from east to west ; but a little to

THE WALL OF CHINA.

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