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enough for the great work you have to do: it was all given you by God, and all bestowed upon you for the purpose of glorifying him, and adorning your souls with the beauties of holiness. You cannot, without the utmost ingratitude and danger, spend any part of it in rebellion against him: you cannot devote any part of it to vanity and sin without
perverting the end and design of your being. Though in the bloom of youth, you have no assurance of life for a day, for an hour. The greater part of those, whose bodies are waiting in the repository of the dead for the resurrection-day, died in youth. Many of your youthful associates have fallen by your side. . And have you ever seriously thought how dreadful a thing it is to die in an unholy state, and in the guilt of unpardoned sin ? An unsanctified soul, that has lived here but to the world and the flesh, must ever suffer the flames of the abyss, and the avenging justice of the most holy God. Ought not the bare possibility of such a doom excite you to instant solicitude and care? Either you will repent and live to God or not. If not, you are undone for ever. You will through eternity curse the day when you were born,
, and cause the arches of the world of horrors to resound with your execrations of yourselves for your indulgence in sin, and your neglect of the Redeemer. But if God should bring you to repentance after your youth has been wasted at a distance from him, with what agony will you think of that precious season which you madly cast away in sin ?
in sin ? With what pain will you think, • What knowledge, what holiness might I have then obtained; how happy and how heavenly a life might I have then led; what days and years of mercy did I throw away for nothing!' And when God has given you the taste of his
love, and the hopes of heaven, it will deeply wound your hearts to remember, that you so long, so unthankfully, so heinously offended so good a God, and neglected so merciful a Redeemer, and trampled upon infinite divine love.
And even though God in mercy convert and save you, yet the bitter fruit of your youthful sins may follow you in this world to the grave: ever affecting your body, your reputation, your conscience, and your mind. If you wish to possess much spiritual wisdom or usefulness in the world, your preparation must be made in youth. Oh! that you knew how much of the safety, fruitfulness, and comfort, of your future life depends upon this precious season: upon the wisdom and the grace you may now obtain! If you would avoid doing an irreparable injury to others, and drawing them into sin by your solicitation and examples, and plunging them into eternal despair, then early. seek the Lord. When they have joined with you in vicious indulgences and sinful pleasures, it is not in your power to turn them, that they may join with you in sound repentance. And if they do not repent, they must lie in agony for ever.
Oh! haye you the heart to make a sport of your own and other men's damnation ? Yes, of your own as well as theirs; for there is the utmost danger lest your youthful sin become remediless, and custom harden you, and deceivers blind you, and God forsake you for your wilful resistance of his
will be left to a deluded understanding, to a seared conscience, and a hardened heart, to oppose grace and your own salvation, till death and hell convince you of your madness. Oh! trifle then no longer with sin and with the unquenchable fire. But cry, "What shall we do to be saved? Wherewithal shall a
young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto, according to thy word.”
2. This subject leads us to felicitate those young persons who have devoted themselves to the service of God.You have chosen the good part.” The wisdom of your choice will be more and more displayed every future year, and will be especially manifested at death, and in the judgment-day. Blessed indeed are ye, to be thus early secured from the greatest danger, the danger of perdition; to be thus early rescued from the reigning power of sin, from spiritual blindness and madness; to attain thus early the delights of faith, and hope, and love, of holy knowledge and communion with God and saints, of peace of conscience, and anticipation of glory. Blessed indeed are ye in the joy that ye communicate to your parents, in the happiness that ye give to the pious, in the service, that by beginning thus soon, ye may do to the church of God. Still, then, persevere; and let “ your path be like that of the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
3. Finally, my brethren, though this discourse has · been addressed principally to the young, yet let those who are more advanced in life and still unrenewed, remember that many of the observations that have been made apply with double force to them. If youth should weep for mispent time, how much more should you? If they should consider their conduct, and the certain and speedy consequences of sin, how much more should you? Thousands who began the career of life with you, are now past warning, past all hope and help for ever. They once laughed at judgment and perdition; they are now feeling what they would not believe. Through the unspeakable mercy of God you are still alive, and after so many sins and dangers you still hear a warning voice, and have salvation offered to you. No longer trifle. Review your whole lives. Ask yourselves what you have done. Consider seriously whither you are going, and whether your life has prepared you for your journey's end, and how your way will appear to you at death, at judgment, and in the world to come. Listen, then, at last, to the voice of grace. Having wandered so long in sin, it is surely time to “ turn unto the Lord, that he may have mercy upon you; and to our God, that he may abundantly pardon you.”
BRUISED REED AND SMOKING FLAX.
MATTHEW xii. 20.
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall
he not quench.
The ministers of the Lord Jesus would unfeignedly rejoice, could they always, in consistence with their duty, hold up before you the tender and consolatory doctrines of the gospel; could they always utter the accents of peace, and the declarations of pardon ; could they always cause the temples of God to resound only with hallelujahs and thanksgivings. If at times they uncover the pit of despair; if they exhibit the agonies of the lost; if they speak of the thunders of the law, and the avenging justice of the Almighty; it is not because such subjects are more correspondent with their feelings, but because they dare not abstain from declaring the whole counsel of God, and because they hope, from the terrors of the Lord, to persuade men, and prepare them for the consolations of the gospel.
To-day, my brethren, our text leads us to a subject on which we love to speak, and to which believers will ever listen with new delight. This subject is, the abounding grace, the unspeakable compassion, of the