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on him, afflicted, tormented, suspended between heaven and earth, covered with blood, and sinking beneath an intolerable load of sorrow; can you look back to Calvary, and continue to treat him thus? I know the world tempts you to do so, but will you let the world prevail? Did he leave heaven, and the brightest throne of glory, to encounter such horrors for you, and will you not give up what the vain world can offer, for him? Let it do its best; were its riches, pleasures, and honours yours, are these things better than the heaven to which Jesus offers
to lead you? He came to save the lost, will you refuse to let him save you? The graves opened, and the rocks rent at his crucifixion; shall graves open sooner than your heart, and even rocks be softer? Unless you turn to him, as far as you are concerned, all his love will be in vain. As to you, it will be in vain that he came from heaven, and became the poor man of sorrows. As to you, it will be in vain that his hands, his feet, his side were pierced, and that he became the sufferer of the cross, the victim of death. O let him not have to say to you, "You will not come to me that you might have life." Flee to him for salvation. 0 give him your youth! Trust him with your soul. Make him your all in all; and in him
be blessed for time and eternity. But if you refuse to do this, if you continue to slight his love, and to deny him all that such goodness claims; then, young sinner, expect hereafter no gentle flames, no tolerable damnation; for know that the deepest and most wretched hell will not be more dreadful than such iniquity will deserve. Your sin will be nothing less than preferring Satan, who tries every method in his power for your destruction, to that blessed Friend who bore such sorrows for you. You will be covered with a load of ingratitude, blacker, in one respect, than that which sunk the devil and his angels to the lake of fire; they sinned against a gracious God, but if you continue to slight the gospel, you will sin against a gracious God and a suffering Saviour too. Even devils themselves may then rise up in the judgment to condemn you, and to declare those who could be insensible to such goodness, and indifferent to such a friend, in this respect at least, more horribly wicked than themselves.
Early piety peculiarly acceptable to God, and peculiarly honoured by him.
THE affection of earthly relatives and friends you doubtless esteem of much importance to your happiness; but allow me to remind you, that there is one infinitely greater Friend, whose approbation is of more consequence than that of all earthly friends united. The King of kings deigns to regard early piety as peculiarly acceptable to himself, and this is a weighty reason for its choice. If then you would be happy here, and happy for ever, useful on earth, and glorified in heaven, I beseech you to make this blessing yours. I beseech you to remember, that the esteem and love of mortal friends, if obtained in youth, and enjoyed through following years, and if ever so important for all the term of life, will sink into insignificance itself, when death shall dislodge your soul from its feeble habitation, and eternity receive you to its endless abodes. But to possess that early acquaintance with Christ, that early piety which is peculiarly pleasing to God, will most nearly concern you, long after you have done with
the world; long after not one trace of you or
whose favour will be found better than life, when the world itself has passed away like a shadow, that vanishes when the sun goes down.
While piety, in any situation or age, is pleasing to the Most High, yet youthful piety has peculiar charms. No sight upon earth is more lovely, than to see young persons, in the very bloom of life, devoting themselves to the Saviour, who died for them; and ornamenting his religion by giving it their best years. Religion may be regarded by the aged convert from sin and folly, but it must be honoured by the young, or by those who were religious in the prime of their days. Early piety is peculiarly pleasing to the blessed Jesus. Hear him saying, "I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me." One of the last commands he gave to Peter was, "Feed my lambs." The apostle John was his young disciple, but he was " the disciple whom Jesus loved."
The marked and honourable distinction which God has placed on early piety, strikingly shows, how peculiarly acceptable it is to him. He has made few, except those converted in early life, instruments of advancing, to any considerable degree, his glory upon earth. Late converts have generally