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evidently wished his son to follow a different plan. “My son,” said he, “ trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him; and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes ; fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

Much has been said by divines and moralists upon the beauty and excellence of virtue and holiness; of its fitness to secure the approbation of our judgment, and the support of our inclinations. But however well this may sound in theory, it is too well known, that in practice it utterly fails to produce any motive of sufficient power to direct the young man.

He must have an authority that will control the evil affections of a corrupt nature; and an authority always in force, and never liable to be evaded. How little could be effected in the government of mankind without authority, all experience shows, and every where the laws of society, as far as they can reach, provide an authority. What would be the state of society, if no law, or authority, existed to overawe the evil doer. However men might occasionally do right when under no temptation to the contrary, yet the moment passion, interest, and temptation, began to solicit them, they would too often follow whithersoever these invited them. Indeed, when the affections and inclinations shall once be powerfully excited, and become headstrong towards evil, how little do the wisest reasons, the most prudent counsels, and tle

VOL. II.

GS

most affectionate exhortations, avail without authority to restrain, and to enforce obedience.

Try the experiment where you will, in kingdoms, in armies, or in private families, respecting children and servants, and you will find, it is a due regard to authority, and not mere unarmed reason, that governs, and restrains, and determines. An authority that can punish disobedience, command submission, and an authority that can reward virtue, may conciliate love and obedience. He who would preserve his heart and his way clean, must learn to have God always before him, as the Judge of all the world, the punisher of those that despise Him, and the rewarder of those that love and seek Him.

This is a point on which it is necessary thus to have dwelt, as it is one of the highest importance. Would a young man cleanse his way, he must not only take heed to his way, exerting all the prudence of which he is naturally possessed, but he must also cherish and cultivate in his mind an early and constant regard for God; and the true spirit of piety must be the governing principle of his heart and life. Without this, his virtue and innocence will always be left defenceless, in a precarious and uncertain state, liable to be wrested from him by such temptations as often and easily beset him. If he have not the fear of God before his eyes, and the love of God in his heart, he will be as Samson was when he had lost his strength-weak like other men, like those many young men who are daily seen ensnared and led captive by sin and folly. Whatsoever he doth, he must do it heartily as unto the Lord, knowing that without this principle no efforts or prudence can constitute a sufficient preservative.

Some, indeed, may urge that even with it there is no such preservative; they may urge that we have upon record frequent instances of persons illustrious for their piety and regard for God, who have been seduced into gross sins. This cannot be questioned. But the inference that a principle of piety, and of referring all things to God, is no safeguard, cannot be supported upon these melancholy facts. They prove the weakness, not of this principle of faith and piety, but of those who apply it. Could we look into such cases in all their bearings, and see them as He does, who knoweth the heart, we should probably find, that these men had, for the time, given up their principle of piety, and not that the principle of piety had failed them. And if this be the case, instead of showing the weakness of true piety, it shows its absolute necessity, and the weakness of our mortal nature, which without it cannot stand. Whereas true piety, which is the union of faith and love, is able to support the soul under all sufferings and temptations. Whenever it has been truly embraced and cherished, it has set men above all the terrors and allurements of the world, it has enabled them to perform those great achievements which St. Paul recites in the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews" It has stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, out of weakness has made strong.” Sustained and cheered by it, “some have been tortured, not accepting deliverance, others have endured trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, of bonds and imprisonments; have been destitute, afflicted, tormented.” In one word, difficult as it is, yet with God all things are possible. When you are weak in yourselves, you are strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. His grace is sufficient for you, and His strength will be made perfect in weakness.

My younger brethren, though I have taken some time in urging this single point, which perhaps you may have thought too plain to require so many arguments in proof of it, yet let me request your patient attention to the few words of exhortation which I have to address to you upon the truths we have been supporting.

In the former discourse, I laid before you maxims of conduct, which especially depended upon the exercise of your own powers and judgment, and exhibited them to you as specimens of other precautions which your own prudence might suggest.

In this I have endeavoured to recommend to you that principle which alone can give life and efficacy to all your efforts, and without which all your powers will be found weakness, all your purposes unstable as water, and mutable as the will, tem

per, and passions, of man. It is no trifling point, which I have been recommending to you; no, it is your life—the life of your souls depends upon it, the security of your integrity, the maintenance of your character, your ease, your honour, your happiness, both for time and for eternity.

You have now entered upon life under your own conduct and guidance; heretofore your parents and friends have, or ought to have, taken heed to your way; but now you must take heed for yourselves. They cannot, indeed, be unconcerned for you ; rather their concern is increased. Nor ought their authority to be absolutely shaken off, or their counsels despised. But you are not willing that they should, nor are they able to attend to you, and care for you, as in your former infant and youthful state. You must and will take heed for yourselves; the time is arrived for which you have probably long been wishing

But what! will you, dare you, go forth, and rush into this world of snares, of sins, and follies, without any guide and director, without any authority over you? If you do, it must be a wonder indeed, the greatest of wonders, that you escape sin and folly.

It is an awful scene for a young man to leave his father's house, and go forth into a strange and untried world. But how much more affecting would it be to the young man, did he but know and consider what a trust, what an awful trust, has de

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