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PSALM CXix. 9.
Wherewith fhall a young man cleanfe his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.
N the former part of this Pfalm, the royal writer had expreffed his determined resolution of walking uprightly, and keeping the commandments of his God. But ftruck with the greatness of the task he had undertaken, and confcious of the manifold fnares with which the path of unfufpecting youth is ever ftrewed, he here pauses, as it were for a moment, to question with himself, how he should best be able to execute the noble B
but arduous refolution he had formed: "Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way?" How fhall a young man, fuch as I am, ignorant and unexperienced, guard his fteps aright, amid the corruptions of a dangerous world, or how fhall he fo direct his conduct, as to keep himself undefiled and innocent from the great offence? And to this enquiry he returns an answer of the greatest importance; an answer, which ought to be engraven upon the breaft of every young man, who wishes to be happy: "By taking heed thereto, according to thy word."
Here then are the two great rules, which ought to be the invariable guides of every young man's conduct; 1ft, That he ought to take heed to his way: and; 2dly, That the meafure of this caution ought to be the word of God.
And ift, He must take heed. This is a leffon which cannot too often, or too ftrongly, be inculcated the mind of every young upon Christian. Innocent and undefigning himfelf, he fets forward in the career of life, joyous and unsuspecting. Having felt no dan
ger, he thinks there is none. Unfurnished too with knowledge, unfixed by principles of wisdom, unconfirmed by experience, the thoughtless wanderer is left to the guidance of wayward fancy or youthful paffion, he therefore carelessly ftrays through the fields of pleasure, he gathers the rofe-buds of the spring, he twines the festive garland of joy and youth, and thinks himself at liberty to follow their delufive call, fo long as they do not seem directly to lead him to injure himfelf or others; not knowing that the serpent of temptation is to be found even in the enchanting walks of paradife itself.
Here then is the time for wisdom to interpofe her friendly aid: to tell him, that these are dangerous and deceitful guides: to tell him, that the world is full of fnares and dangers, which he fees not to tell him, that he is in an enemy's country, where every unguarded step may prove fatal, and that every thing from within and without, if not timely prevented, will confpire together to draw him on to ruin and misery.
Let then fome friendly monitor, let the voice of parental wisdom remind him, that