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fore? The passion for pleasure has indeed abated, but the love of lucre, the most sordid of all passions, hath come into its place. If such persons have any regret for their past life, it is only because it is paft. Even then, they look with envy upon the gay and the flourishing state of the young. With what joy and triumph do they talk over the excesses of their early days, and seem to renew their age in the contemplation of their youthful follies ? Alas, 'my friends, Is not God the Lord of all your time? Is there one of your days which doth not pertain to him ? Why would you then take the flower of life, and make it an offering to the enemy of souls ? Is your time too long, to be all employed in the service of God? Is the prime of your days too precious, to be devoted to Heaven? And will you only reserve to your Maker the refuse of life; the leavings of the world and the flesh ? If you would speak it out, the language of your heart is this; that whilst you are good for any thing, you will mind the world and its pleasures ; that you will crown yourselves with rosebuds, before they are withered, and let no flower of the spring pass away; but if at any time the world shall forsake
your passion for pleasure shall have left you, you will then seek the comforts of religion. Any part of your time, you think, is good enough for God; you will apply yourselves to the work of your salvation, when you are fit for nothing else; and when you cannot make a better of it, you will seek the kingdom of Heaven.
Is it thus that ye requite the Lord, O people, foolish and unjust? Is this your gratitude to your Benefactor ? Is this your love to your Father? Is this your
kindness to your Friend? Whilst he now calls upon
in the sweetest language of Heaven, “My son “ give me thy heart,” ought it not to be the natural movement of your heart, to answer with the good man of old, “ With my soul have I desired thee in the
night ; with my spirit within me, will I seek thee
early ;"_" Whom have I in heaven but thee? " and there is none in all the earth whom I desire be« side thee.”
In the second place, Let me exhort you to early piety, from the consideration of those evils which await you
your future days. Now is your golden age. When the morning of life rejoices over your head, every thing around you puts on a smiling appearance. All nature wears a face of beauty, and is animated with a spirit of joy. You walk up and down in a new world ; you crop the unblown flower, and drink the untasted spring. Full of spirit, and high in hope, you set out on the journey of life: visions of bliss present themselves to view : dreams of joy, with sweet delusion, amuse the vacant mind. You listen and accord to the song of hope, “ To-morrow shall be as this day, and much “ more abundant.” But ah ! my friends, the flatter. ing scene will not last. The spell is quickly broken, and the enchantment foon over. How hideous will life
appear, when experience takes off the mask, and discovers the sad reality! Now thou hast no weariness to clog thy waking hours, and no care to disturb thy repose. But know, child of the earth, that thou art born to trouble, and that care, through every subsequent path of life, will haunt thee like a ghost. Health now sparkles in thine eye, the blood flows
pure in thy veins, and thy spirits are gay as the morti. ing: but alas ! the time will come when diseases, a numerous and a direful train, will assail thy life; the time will come, when pale and ghastly, and stretched on a bed, “chaftened with pain, and the multitude ts of thy bones with strong pain, thou wilt be ready “ to choose strangling and death rather than life."
You are now happy in your earthly companions. Friendship, which in the world is a feeble sentiment, with you
is a strong passion. But shift the scene for a few years, and behold the man of thy right-hand become unto thee as an alien. Behold the friend of thy youth, who was one with thine own soul, striving to supplant thee, and laying fnares for thy ruin ! I mention not these things, my friends, to make you miserable before the time. God forbid that I should anticipate the evil day, unless I could arm you against it. Now remember your Creator, consecrate to him the early period of your days, and the light of his countenance will shine upon you through life. Amid all the changes of this fluctuating scene, you have a Friend that never fails. Then let the tempest beat, and the floods descend, you are safe and happy under the shelter of the Rock of ages.
Thirdly, The season of youth devoted to piety, will yield you a comfortable old age. .
When the fire and spirit of youth are decayed ; when sober age retires from the noise and bustle of a busy world, and loves to spend in peace the tranquil Sabbath of life, what joy will it afford to be able to look back with pleasure on the actions of other years! Worn out and weary of his pilgrimage, the traveller now entertains himfelf by recalling the times that are past, and recolleđing the scenes of his early days. In particular, he now loves to recall the period of child. hood and of youth, when he wandered up and down, a stranger to care and sorrow, and passed his days in innocence. Often does the fond idea recur; often the pleasant period return. It will add much, my friends, it will add much to the pleasures of the reflection, if you have it in your power to recall to mind that your early days were not only innocent, but useful, and de voted to the service of your Creator. To look back on a life, no season of which was spent in vain ; to. number up the days, the months, and the years, spent in the service of God, will be inward rapture, only to be felt. This will cause the evening of life to smile, and make your departure like a setting fun.
I hall conclude with one consideration, which I hope will have weight, and that is, if you seek God now in the days of youth, you are certain of success. Go out in the morning of youth, and you are sure to gather the manna of everlasting life. God himself will bend from his throne, and teach your spirits to approach unto him. They who seek him early shall find him, and shall be guarded from evil on his holy mountain.
AMONG those who have their time most at their own disposal, there prevails a maxim very different from that which is recommended in the text. The maxim of the world is, to spend time in idleness and folly, or, to speak in their own language, “ to kill time” by dissipation and amusement. Life, which appears so short upon the whole, is nevertheless so long in particular parts, that vast numbers of men are overstocked with its days and hours ; their time hangs heavy on their hands; they know not how to employ it, or what to make of themselves. As they have no fund of entertainment within, and for that reason, nó happiness at home, they naturally look out for it abroad. Hence every paftime is greedily sought after, that can banish thought, and save them from their own company. Hence places of public entertainment are frequented, parties of pleafure are formed, plans of dissipation are concerted, and amusement, frivolous amusement, becomes the ferious occupation of life. Only look around you into the world ! Obferve what policy and contrivance are continually put in practice by men, for pre-engaging every day in the week for one idleness or another ; for doing nothing, or worse than nothing, and that with so much ingenuity and forecast, as